Friday, May 25, 2018

87 Days: Engineer's Lunch

Once a month I have lunch with my friend Peter the Engineer.

We worked together at Tin Can, String and Whistle ten years ago, when we were on the same team.

Peter the Engineer is a quintessential engineer. He has a cow lick. You would mistake him for a pot plant at parties, though he does have a wicked sense of humour when you get to know him. Sometimes, he wears grey cardigans. When you don't know him well, he looks at your shoes when he talks to you. You know, at a push, Peter could fix anything with a bit of gaffer tape, bailing twine and WD40 (all good engineers can do that).

I like Peter We're the same age. He's married with two tween daughters who give him grief. We're nothing alike for the most part, though we're politically aligned.

And by hook or by crook, we meet for lunch once a month, as we have done religiously for the last eight years.

Other than this, we don't mingle in the same circles, though he knows some of my friends from the Tin Can, String and Whistle  days.

I like having male friends with whom I can just chew the fat  and have a laugh with, and enjoy the fact we know a lot about each other without having to worry about other stuff. I've helped him with his CV and job prep when he was made redundant. It's good.

Today we spoke of him finding his eldest daughter a school and of the bullet that I found I have dodged this week.

We also spoke of the Food Wanker Plan and the pitfalls of being on a restricted diet.

So I sat there with my superfood salad as he tore into burger. I didn't even look at it longingly.

"It's not all bad, this diet."
"I can see that." he said looking over the salad. "You're not being deprived."
"Nope. But it can be had when you want to go somewhere fancy."
"Ah well. Are there any downsides to your regime? You're looking great."
"Thanks, but there is one bad thing about all this?"
"I have the libido of a 25-year-old."
"Yeah, I'm not sure if my patches are a bit strong or it's the diet, but I'm as horny as hell most of the time. It's bad."
"Yes. You'd think I'd be over all of that by now."

He coloured, then looked away, then laughed.

"Yes, I can see it being a bad thing."
"Too right. "
"Indeed, how would you be if your wife was all over you like a rash all of a sudden."
"Very scared. I would be very scared."
"That's what I thought."

As I said, it's good to have lunch with somebody who gets it. We're nearly 50. All that was supposed to be tailing off...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

88 Days: Real Estate Agents

I learned a lot today, in spite of myself.

Having taken the afternoon off to spend some time interviewing real estate agents for the sale of our temple building, I learned a few things.

  • Real estate agents aren't that scary
  • I might actually be half competent when it comes to administering things
  • When you're the person who sits to the side, you get to ask the tricky questions
  • Afternoons off are wonderful
  • Just because a charity mugger is hot doesn't mean you will give him your money - no matter how hot he was (I was tempted)
  • Taking your own teabags to places means you can have a cup of tea and look normal evening if you're drinking rooibos tea.
  • The cute real estate agent doesn't necessarily get the job (bummer, would have liked to work with him)
  • My tastes are too expensive - why is it every handbag I like costs the Gross National Dept of a small European country?
  • Knowing you've dodged a very large bullet can help mend the spot where your heart used to be.
I think that makes for a very successful afternoon off.

Today's Song:

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

89 Days: Onwards


I say, 'onwards'.
Life kicks you in the guts.
I say 'onwards'.
Life takes the carpet out from under you.
You find yourself wallowing in the pit of despair.
'On you go.'
Your dog has died, your cat has fleas,
You feel you're dying by degrees.
'On you go, be on your way,
Life will turn around one day.'
Just, onwards.

It's the only way to go.

Friends are amazing things. My friends are gold. You know who you are. Thank you.

I am playing the glad game a lot at the moment.

I am grateful for:

  • My health
  • My heart
  • My friends
  • That I am resilient
  • That I don't wallow for too long
  • That I will be able to use the events of yesterday to move forward.
Just, onwards.

I might write about the third degree ceremony I participated in last night at another time.

There is a lot going on in my life at the moment.

There is a lot to be grateful for.


Today's Song:

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

90 Days: The Axe Wound

There is a point in time when you forget you ever had a wound. It does happen - eventually -  and you can finally forget that you were ever injured and start to move on. Your body starts to move as it once did, your energy returns, the breath comes into your lungs and your joints move as they should and life becomes bearable under the knowledge that your are healing.

The scar will often be void of sensation. Whether this is a good thing, one can't say. It's one of the coping mechanisms.

Then there are wounds that never quite heal. They nearly do, then they open again, only to have to start the process again. The tissue does knit. The seeping nearly stops, but the hole never quite mends.

I have an old axe wound. A metaphorical one, yet it is a wound.

The seeping scar has been there for over twenty years. Probably nearer to twenty-five.

I remember the day I got it. It came from a shared secret after a day at work and a night on the beer. The secret was not intended to set the hatchet into me, bit it did. I didn't let on how badly I'd be injured. I'm good like that. Nobody had to see the axe that was sticking out of my chest. I've never been one to share my holes.

I hide the wound and the scar well for the most part.

Then something happens and the wound opens again. My innards are on display at the moment. There has been another swing of the axe. It's over the old wound so I feel like I've had some protection.

I'm numb to the pain for the moment.

It will heal. It will just take time.

And maybe some gin. And probably some tea and tears.

But mostly time.

Today's Song:

Monday, May 21, 2018

91 Days: Mistress Panda's Home for Wayward Moggies

As an Eliot Tragic (I am a lot of tragics - Suits Tragic, Rake Tragic, Shakespeare Tragic, Pixies Tragic, Young Ones Tragic (NO WE DON'T HAVE A VIDEO!!)

I have always loved the universality of T.S.Eliot. I adore T.S.Eliot - always have. I just 'get' Eliot. I feel Eliot. I know Eliot. I wish I knew T.S. Eliot, but I'd be standing there in front of him saying "I'm not worthy" like I did with Richard Flanagan a few years ago. T.S. Eliot is God. (Like The Pixies)

And another thing. T.S. Eliot was also a cat lover.

He wrote the poems behind Cats the Musical - though you have Andrew Lloyd Webber to blame for the rest of it.

In the first poem in the slim collection of cat poems is entitled, "The Naming of Cats" which reads,

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter 
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

(The Naming of Cats by T.S. Eliot)

I have to say - I wholeheartedly agree. A cat does need three names. And my friends, who leave their charges with me when they go on holiday, know that I will rename their cat while they come and stay with me.

Kitt and her partner Ravi dropped around the two beasties on Thursday night. They're off to Bali. Kitt, who has left her feline children with me for nearly ten years came in, put down the cat cage, opened it, and out strutted Princess Olympias - or Princess to her mother.

Ravi, who I had not met before, but heard a heap about, kept his brown tabby, Kitty,  in his arms for a while. On placing her on the floor, she scarpered under the couch.

Princess Olympias, by this time, was asleep on the bed.

"She's going to rename your cat, Ravi."
"Because that's what she does."

I've had a number of friends note that I'm a but strange like that - but I'm just taking my queues from T.S. Eliot.

Okay, so Maow Maow, love of my life, is normally referred to by his moniker. But he's also known as Fat Boy, or the Feline Steamroller, having a propensity for knocking everything off your bedside table at 5 a.m. Maow Maow is a bit of an exception.

My friend Teddy has a glorious boy called George. To me, he's Pudding (Georgie Porgy pudding and pie.) Pudding suits him. I pick him up and he purrs. He can't hate it.

Kitt's an old cat - the one who was around before Princess Olympias before it got high speed rubber poisoning - was Mrs Squeaky Puss. She had a pathetic little mew. She squeaked - and liked to sleep curled up in your armpit under the covers. Odd beastie, that one.

And Princess Olympias, who started life as Olympias, before Kitt was seeing Ravi, and her douchey ex had a thing for Ancient Greek History. When I first met Olympias, my comment was 'Too big a name for too little a cat.' At my place, she's Mrs Fluffy Britches. She's also now known as Princess Passive-Aggressive after she decided that I was too awful to share a bed with last night. I was in the dog house for the night due to being away the night before. Before you ask - the neighbours fed them and looked in on them.

Cats let you know when they aren't happy.

My mother's cat, Freda, what just known to me as 'Bitch'. She was a bitch. She had attitude. All that cat needed was some knuckle dusters, biker boots and num-chucks and she could have taken on the world.

So this leaves me with what to rename the tabby. She's a 13-year-old dame, Very sweet. She has a very soft coat.  She's got a dragging tummy, quite normal with female cats of a certain age. Although she parked herself under the couch for the first 24 hours, she's out and about now, coming up for pats and chats. She even follows me into the bathroom, as it she can't work out why I want to get under a stream of water.

So what am I going to call a brown tabby with the unfortunate moniker of Kitty? (If you go to a vet's practice, something like 20% of all cats are called Kitty or Puss... original, much...)

As of late last night, when I got home from my weekend away, we got the name. This cat has bladder issues. She's forever trotting off to the litter box. Kitt also warned me that she wasn't against taking  a leak in the shower recess. I've been careful to shut the shower screen after use for the moment.

But it seems Kitty was caught short while I was away.

She obviously wanted to take a pee in the shower, but couldn't, so she found the next best place - the bathmat.

She's been renamed Pissy Puss for the foreseeable future. I think that's apt.

And I'm doing extra washing.

Ah well, it's only a week.

Today's Song:

Sunday, May 20, 2018

92 Days: The Care Bear Meme

I'm holed up in the Qantas Club with three and a half hours to kill before my flight takes off. Rather than roaming around Sydney spending money I thought catching up on some paperwork would be a good thing. I miss having my best mate from Brisbane living here in Sydney - it was wonderful to catch up with her regularly (Though we were in the same city last night, we just found out about it too late - she was 400 meters away as the crow flies.)

Ah well.

At least the Qantas Club as an unending supply of soda water. I fell of the food wanker wagon at lunchtime yesterday - my one muck up meal and afternoon for the month where the restrictions go out the window. Some bad choices washed down with a few gin and tonics played merry hell with my newly pristine system. Gorgonzola and tiramisu were probably not the best choices to make. Gorgonzola and I have a chequered history at the best of times.  I was still buzzing at 3 a.m. Lesson learned.

So I will get some writing done, get this blog out then chug on back to Melbourne on a latish plane.

Questions  - as always are from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

What never fails to cheer you up?

That's easy. You want to cheer me up - give me a puppy or a kitten to play with. I'm a sucker for both of them. Failing that, send me for a bath or a swim. I like being in water.

Which friend do you have the most in common with?

I have a number of friends who remind me of myself and we have lots on common. Alice and I are born a week apart and we have similar music tastes (eclectic) and have lived in similar places and love travelling. Jeanie and I are currently doing the middle-aged and single thing and we have similar career goals. Lots of my friends and I have things in common, but I think it's Alice and Jeanie who I have the most in common with at the moment.

One thing that never fails to anger you?

Pretty much anything the Federal Government does on a daily basis.

Favourite way to spend a sunny day? 

Going for lunch somewhere where you can sit outside. Swimming if it is warmer is good too.

Create a fortune cookie note based on your week.

Nevertheless, always persist.

Favourite way to exercise?

Walking and gyming - I love both and do a lot of both. Swimming is a close third, but I don't do that enough.

Favourite thing about your best friend?

Which one? I love Blarney because she is a black and white to my grey. Jayanthi is very kind and loves food like I love food. Mariah in Brisbane makes me feel like I have another sister. Jonella is always there for me and I am grateful for that.

What kind of things do you like to create?

I love to write - so creating stories is wonderful. I'm a big knitter and baker too. And I will draw, albeit badly given the chance. I like to create a safe and warm environment for myself too.

What languages would you like to learn?

I would love to take more French lessons - I have passable French, but these lessons wouldn't go astray as I have a good base. I also have a hankering to learn Spanish. All I can say now is "Two beers, please - and I want to spend a few months in Spain soon.

A topic you’re really knowledgeable about?

I'm not bad in the modern literature field - and I'm a complete Shakespeare boffin.

When do you feel you look your best?

Strangely, give me a short skirt, tights, bovver boots and a jumper and let my hair go free, with a slash or red lipstick. Aging rock chick me - but I feel good about it. 

Now that some weight is coming off, I'm feeling more confident naked too. I do naked. Just don't summon the visuals.

What types of music do you like to listen to?

Rock. Adult Alternative. A bit of soul. I don't mind the odd bit of jazz. I rather like classical. My iPod playlists could have theses written about them.

Something that leaves you completely in awe?

Anybody who can pick up a huntsman spider and take them outside. I hate the fuckers.

What is your most childish aspect?

I have many childlike qualities. I love jumping in puddles and kicking leaves. Ice cream makes me happy. I still believe in the good in the world.

A time where you had to be really brave?

When my niece died. That summoned courage I never knew I had.

How do you like to keep warm?

Tuck me up in bed with a heavy duvet. That or stick me in front of a wood fire. I miss wood fires - we had them when I was a kid.

What brings out your soft side?

Romantic movies. Puppies and kittens. I'm known as a big sook anyway, so it doesn't take much.

What is your favourite way to treat yourself?

Buying makeup that I really don't need. And as I'm on this food wanker plan, once a week I have a bar of Pana Chocolate.

Something you’re proud of about yourself?

Completing my masters with a High Distinction average is something I am proud of. I'm also glad that I rarely settle on things, but strive for better.

Something you don’t care about? 

I would have said the Royal Wedding, but I ended up watching it anyway. I really don't care about most Reality Television. There are a couple of exceptions, but most reality telly leaves me cold.

Today's Song:

Saturday, May 19, 2018

93 Days: Nightswimming

There is a need to wash you from me
That no amount of water will enable
Without motion, and time.
Without repeated strokes
Or rhythmic breathing,
Without the gasping for air,
In... out... in... out...
The flick of the legs
Or the surge of liquid surrounding
Every molecule of self.
It cannot eradicate traces of you.

The night air, free from scent,
Mottling light
Acts as a barrier,
Morphing time and sense,
As the water takes away all reason.

There is only the night
And the water,
And the need to wash you from me,
Repeated actions,
Lengthening, strengthening,
As the slow, steady strokes,
To take me to a quiet place,
Floating from one time,
To another,
As the night, and the water, suspend reason.

Today's song: