Tiny little ants almost brought me down!

My accomodation in Ubud, Bali is a ‘home stay’. If you’ve never been before the cheapest accomodation is a hostel, then home stay, and the upper eschalon a hotel. Let me set the scene… beautiful carved wooden doors, sculptures over the door frames, white drapes, four poster bed, beautiful Balinese bathroom with stone floor shower. Oh and then they made me change rooms! Bathroom- tiles from top to bottom with a shower facet that’s smaller than me that sprays the wall unless you take out the hand held option and shower one handed whilst holding the other hand over your head like a weird monkey dance. I am staying on Monkey Forest Road!

Before

After

All of the rooms seem beautiful with garden views. No TV. No kitchen. The staff bring you a flask of tea each day. Lovely.

I’m trying to be more positive in 2020. I finished 2019 with a lot of anger, pent up resentment, fatigue, and frustration. I spoke with a friend and admitted that at times my downfall may be my own stupidity and I wondered, do a lot of things go wrong for me?! Some things are out of my control. That day my flight to Bali with Jetstar was cancelled and my tenants gave notice to leave my investment property. But this story is of one of the tiny little moments that led to my stupidity.

Daily balancing my blood sugars whether my body has too much sugar to process, or not enough, I found myself needing a sugary tea. So I stirred sugar into my cup of tea poured from the homestays daily flask. Problem solved and I went about my day. Later that night, quite parched and almost out of bottled water, I poured myself another cup of tea in the dark room. It was cold and putrid! And wriggling! I ran to the bathroom to spit out what I had left in my mouth and as I turned on the light I found the cup was filled with tiny ants floating around having a tea spa. Gross! I cursed the homestays stupid daily flask!

I washed out the cup to try to get rid of the ants and saw tiny grains of sugar stuck to the bottom of the cup. It wasn’t the hotels flask that the ants had crawled in to. It was my sugary cup I’d left out all day. Totally my fault!

It felt like the ants were still alive, floating down my throat and trying to swim to survive. I coughed. I dry heaved. I rinsed my mouth out with what water I had left. They weren’t going anywhere. After awhile things calmed down but I felt they had bitten my throat on the way down. It felt sore. Maybe swollen. Oh geez, what if these tiny ants bit my throat? What if I have an anaphylactic reaction?

close up photo of ant

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

I googled “Swallowing tiny ants” but that wasn’t helpful. Tried “tiny ants bit my throat”. That was a minefield. The most helpful thing I read said a reaction usually occurs in 2 hours. Okay, I’d try to relax and see if it got worse. I tried to watch Netflix but I imagined my throat getting tighter, it felt swollen but my tongue wasn’t swollen. I had my ventilin and some antihistamines just in case. Back to relaxing.

Fourty- five minutes later it felt no worse but no better! I took some more ventilin and if you’ve ever had to inhale ventilin you know it can make you a bit shaky. I looked at the time and it was getting later. I really had to go to sleep because I was getting picked up at 2am to go for a sunrise hike. I started to panic! What if I fell asleep, couldn’t breathe and didn’t wake up? What should I do? If I go to reception (because there’s no phones in this place) they barely speak English, they won’t know what to do! Do I try to sleep and if I wake up gasping, I can go outside and yell for help? I put clothes on. Even if I try asking the Balinese for advise they’ll probably just ask if I want the hospital. I can’t sit at a hospital for hours if I don’t need to. I’ll miss the hike and lose my money.

I can’t call my parents (like I usually do). It’s too late in Australia and I need to be a grown up. What would a grown up do?? Well I bought travel insurance for a reason. I’ll look up their emergency hotline. And the wifi stopped working. So I turned on my mobile data to find my Medibank Health Insurance.

Medibank email: The Medibank Travel Insurance helpline is 1300 362 544.

No answer, this number is Australia only. Add the international dial code, doesn’t work.

PDS: Our emergency assistance team is available to help 24 hours a day. Contact details can be found on your Certificate of Insurance (COI)

COI: Call Australia on +61 (2) 8907 5672.

No answer.

Left brain: relax. Right brain: panic!

I know, I’ll try Australia’s ‘Nurse on call.’

Won’t connect, it’s just an Australian 1300 number.

Its now been two hours. I can either make a big deal out of this or just go to sleep. I suddenly feel an inescapable sob jump out of me. I’m meant to climbing a friggin volcano in a few hours! FFS! Why does this shit happen! And then I realise… maybe I’m panicing because I’m going to attempt to climb a volcano… 

I make my decision. I’m going to go to sleep. They are just tiny little ants and I’m a big human. Humans have drunk ants before and survived. Humans have climbed volcanos before and survived. I’m a survivor. I’ll be fine.

And I was!

When I got out of bed again at 1:30 am I couldn’t believe that those tiny ants were almost my downfall. 2020 needs to be different for me. 2020 will be different for me. I better get started on that!

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Doing it for the girls (who can’t)

I was stuck in the check-in queue for over an hour at the airport so I had no choice but to look around at everyone else waiting. Mostly families, then couples and a few single people squeezed in between them all. I watched on as most of the men were doing the heavy lifting. There was some really tall, strong, long haired men… ahhh there’s a flight to Auckland.

Maori men. Think Jason Mamoa but the New Zealand version without as much personal training. Still strong.

https://bookingagentinfo.com/celebrity/jason-momoa/

I was on my way to Indonesia, Bali, for a week of relaxation and adventure. These men were balancing bags, kids, and societies expectations of strong men, doing a wonderful job. I happened to be behind an Indian family: two males, two adult females and a young girl. The men did nothing but hold up the queue. However I ignored them and focused on the strapping young- middle aged men looking after their families. My heart ached a bit for that. I felt a whisper of desire. If I have an aura, it turned green and spread out enveloping them as if I could turn that into my own life.

I stood alone. Balancing my bags and dragging them along with my singledom as we took miniature steps around the walkway like a cattle call. A bad back and type 1 diabetes, I would have loved someone to help me. I imagined my invisible partner placing his hand on my lower back..

“You going okay?” he’d check on me.

“Here babe, I’ll take that bag. You take this lighter one,” he’d say.

It took over an hour but I’d be sprinkled with little reassuring kisses and a few stops for a hug as we tried to be patient and shuffled along together. It would be fine, it was an adventure together. We’d give each other funny glances, reading each other’s minds as we watched other people. Oh we were so in love!

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Then I noticed a young family. A couple and their daughter. The man stood in front of them with his ear phones in and ignored his daughter pulling on the back of his trousers for attention. He had two bags but the mother had a bag, a pram and was looking after the young girl. Hmmmm this was more realistic. I remembered the fights I’ve had with previous partners. The stress of getting two people packed, out the door and at the airport on time. I only had to worry about one person. I suddenly felt lighter and that seeking aura of jealousy snapped back, quite quickly, and returned to me standing alone.

I’m powerful on my own. I can do things in my own time, based on my own decisions and there’s no one to argue with or make me feel bad.

So maybe those families and couples were looking at me with jealousy.

“I wonder where she’s off to on her own and what delightfully free adventures she’s going to get up to?” they’d ponder.

“Look at her smaller bag” they’d glance at each other.

“Oh to not have anyone whinging at me or pulling on me”, they’d dream.

Every time I said to someone that I was going to Bali their response was “Who are you travelling with?”

The driver that picked me up said that it’s unusual to travel alone in Bali for the first visit.

I’m alone, but I’m free. I am financially independent, I am strong willed and I’m curious. I know there are thousands of women that can’t travel alone. They don’t have the money. They are too sick. They are scared. I’m doing this for you. Because I can. Yeah okay, it’s for me. I’m relatively fit and able, so I must. However I think that in doing this for myself, it says to everyone, everywhere that it’s okay to be alone. Or to try something new.

As a Dad was handed his families six passports to look after, I walked down the aerobridge swinging my arms free. Because I can!

photography of woman listening to music

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

A day in the life of a dog Mum

At school, I refer to my dog as my ‘fur baby’, to which my smart ass students ask “Did you give birth to her?” I reply as a smart ass… “Yes”!

This is for all the dog Mums and pawents to share the love and maybe get us a tiny bit of street cred as to why we refer to our dogs as babies! Those of you with human babies will have started off buying nappies or thinking about how to deal with poo disasters before they are toilet trained…. as do we (puppy toilet training pads or ‘floor nappies’). As a baby, they have to learn how to walk… so do puppies. I remember thinking that a dog just walks from day one but at twelve weeks old, after all their shots, they are still finding their feet, how far they can go and working out how to walk on a lead. So we carry them when they are tired and we coax them along just like a baby. We buy them toys and take a million photos as they grow. The similarities continue…

Is it a girl or a boy?

It’s traditionally pink for girls and blue for boys to identify your baby. Super old fashioned and a stereotype that needs to be thrown out, it stops the idiots on the street from asking mundane questions and misidentifying your baby. The confusion about my dogs sex is just as annoying. I ended up covering her in pink- pink collar, pink ID tag and a pink lead. ‘She’s a girl’ I’d cry out in my head when strangers approached us.

“Hello little fella”

“What a good boy”

“He’s a cutie”

I’d just referred to “she” chatting to a dude online. Can’t you read?!

Don’t eat that!

Whilst parents are worried about age appropriate soft toys and eating off the floor, I worry about dead birds, chicken bones, chop bones and a drunks left over Maccas mashed into the pavement.

She is so cute, people used to feed her dog treats through the fence. At the drive-in bottle shop, they offer dog treats through the window. They greet her at the vets with a little treat. Noooooo- she is allergic to EVERYTHING!

Is it a number 1? Number 2? Number 3….. ewwwwww

My friends that have had a baby comment on the poo disasters. Poop everywhere. The number 3 poo explosions are particularly hard to deal with and clean up. One poor little guy had gastro which was a complete nightmare!

“Car seat covered, bedding covered, child covered! Poo in the bed, poo on the floor, poo squirted in the portacot”

My doggo likes to roll in poo! If she runs off into the bush, she’s found wombat or kangaroo poo (just guessing) and down-dog pose to rub her neck and face in it. Sometimes rolls her whole body over it. Often just washed, she must be too clean. One day she rolled in a big dogs big sloppy poo and it was all over her face and neck and collar. She then tried to wipe off some on the grass, rubbing more of it into her face and eyes and choking.

Then there’s her own poo issues- I’ve wiped off messy poo, cut off dry poo, picked up a hell of a lot of poo everyday, broken bags with poo on my hands and running out of bags with improvising what the hell to do with the poo!

We struggle at bath time. Like your child cries or throws a tantrum, my baby hates the idea of a bath. Sometimes I get lucky and she can wash off in the ocean. Oh wait, this beach was covered in oil spills from the boats…. sigh.

Doctor, doctor!

A Mum proclaimed “Freaking continuous cold. Sodding day care.”

My house has been fleamageddon! After dog sitting in January, I have been fighting a flea pandemic that I continually seem to be losing.

She’s allergic as I mentioned….. allergic to meat and protein, grass, dairy, and gluten. (What’s left for her to enjoy? Carrots). She has skin infections, ear infections, bladder infections almost non stop. The Vet bills are non stop. So are the calls to Mum for advise… just like a baby.

Sleepless nights

There’s licking, scratching, crying, toilet needs, teething, wanting to sleep with Mum, nightmares, and sickness which means I haven’t slept through the night for almost seven years.

So… I call her my baby!

I’m not that naive and know that they are different. How many of you are dunking your babies in the ocean to get clean?!

Happy Easter!!

Rate my beaches

I decided to take a road trip down the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne for the day. Amongst the tea trees are some of the most beautiful beaches in Victoria.

The first stop in Rosebud was so relaxing, not another person walking along the beach, sharing it with the swans and the boat birds. Whilst the town is filled with campers and fishing folk from the foreshore camping and casual pubs, they certainly weren’t on the beach.

My second stop in Sorrento was for lunch and as you walk towards the cafes you actually have to leave the beach views behind. Less campers here, more holiday makers staying in their beach houses and where the rich or famous come to play. Day trippers come over on the car ferry from Queenscliff. At the cafe with me, is Martha and Michael from Married at First Sight fame. A nasty piece of work on the show, she politely let two young girls have their photos taken with them.

If my life was like these beaches, I’d be calm and peaceful, beautiful and rich! My local beaches smell like salt and seaweed with all kinds of plastic and rubbish washed up. Then I found one that was roaring in Portsea….

Imperfect rock formations, worn away over the years by the wind and the waves. Like most of us, trying to stand their ground but everyday faced with being stood on and washed over with the surf pounding away.

Like a single girl, you had to make an effort to get close to it (all the many steep stairs) and it wasn’t just going to let anyone near. If you make the effort, it’s worth it!

On the way back, I couldn’t resist stopping at Shelley Beach and it didn’t disappoint. I was collecting old sea shells by the waves when a dog approached me to play ball. Accidentally ending up in the water I stepped towards it just as the tide was coming in, fast. My skirt was saturated as I ran back away from the water, ball in hand, laughing.

As I continued walking along with the dog, it kept running further and further away with the ball. I soon realised it was used to playing by itself.

It knew that if it left the ball by the water, the tide would push it back to it! It was playing ball all by itself.

You don’t need a partner to enjoy adventures. I had a great day out by myself with my love of the beach! I hope you do something enjoyable for yourself this weekend.

I am a feminine feminist

Some people still think of Feminism like it’s a dirty word! It’s not a lesbian, who no longer washes or shaves and hates men. What’s fun though…. is that it can be.

You can also be a feminine feminist!

I can never own enough dresses. Dresses work no matter what season. Throw on some leggings and boots during winter and get your legs out in summer. My colleague loves pink! Pink errrryythang! So what? It’s just a colour.

A Feminist just wants equality for all. They have a belief that you can be whatever and whomever you want to be. Blokes can be feminist. Don’t be scared and confused. It’s time to educate yourself!

feminist

dictionary.com

Feminine definition

It seems that we are in the fourth wave of feminism. How sad, that this is the fourth time we are trying to make a difference and get the world to stand up and listen so that changes are made. How many waves will it take?

The first wave of feminism came about from the suffragettes who worked hard to get women the right to vote. This continued throughout war times when the traditional role of women started to change and women found themselves working outside the home for the first time.

J.-Howard-Millers-We-Can-Do-It-poster-from-1943-495x640

J. Howard Miller’s We Can Do It poster from 1943.

The second wave of feminism was in the 70’s with Germaine Greer at the forefront. Women were still fighting to reduce inequalities, and change the roles of women in the family, the workplace, and to gain reproductive rights. “Feminists: What were they thinking?” Netflix Film interviews the women that posed for a book of photos “Emergence” by Cynthia McAdams during the height of this movement.

Be a good girl…. well that implies that we weren’t good girls. I’ve only known that ‘no’ can be a complete sentence in the last 10 years. (Jane Fonda)

In order to change it, we had to become disobedient (Judy Chicago)

Our bodies, our lives, our right to decide.

We want equality, we want it now (protesters chants)

The women’s naked body was no longer reserved for pornography. The body was a source of pride and of health. The body was to be celebrated and enjoyed.

The third wave of feminism came about in the 90’s- individuality and diversity was the goal. (As an 80’s born child, I don’t recall anything about this movement but I certainly had the privilege of looking and sounding just like one of the guys. There were less gendered experiences).

The fourth wave of feminism is now! This movement is to eliminate sexual harassment, assault, and misogyny. Think of the #metoo campaign where women are standing up and speaking out. We need to end violence against women. White Ribbon Australia states statistics like:

One woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.

It’s not widely spoken about outside of teaching circles but the Australian Government undertook a Royal Commission into Family Violence and subsequently developed a program to be taught in schools ‘Respectful Relationships’. “Evidence shows that gender-based violence can be prevented by working with the whole population, and in this case, all schools, to address the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge that supports the prevention of violence.” (Department of Education)

Respectful relationships

227 recommendations were made! If we still need to make that many changes, what are you going to do differently?

Even if you are not female, everyone has a Mum, or Grandma, or sister, niece, cousin, aunt, girlfriend, wife and/or female friend. I want you to consider…. how could you NOT be a feminist?!

 

 

Why we love Cruella de Vil characters

Have we all learnt from the Married at First Sight TV series that you can be cruel and popular? What a terrible message! Disney’s Cruella de Vil was both brunette and blond, representing all the cruel women. She was horrible and we were all worried about those puppies. Married at First Sights success is based around the same premise- we are all watching on to see if the puppies are okay and Cruella gets what’s coming to her.

Cruella has been played by Ines, Elizabeth, Susie, Cyrell and now Jessika. They havn’t cast many ‘normal’ girls as that doesn’t get the ratings. For last Sunday’s dinner party episode, 1.9 million viewers tuned in! (Source: Nine Comms)

The most watched show on Australia television.

MAFS Executive producer, Peter Walsh, claims they are not paid actors and it’s not scripted in an interview by Alex Carlton.  With the headline that he regrets this season, it’s just more hype for us to tune in to! A producer regrets nothing that gets 1.9 million viewers.

I think the reason we are intrigued by ‘car crash TV’ like MAFS is somewhat complicated. We want all these things:

1. They’ll get what they deserve and we get to see it! It’s rare that we have someone mean or rude in our lives and whilst we hope karma will bite them in the bum, or someone calls them on their bullshit, we don’t see the aftermath.

2. It distracts us from our real life or makes us feel better about our own issues.

3. It makes us feel connected- When others talk about it, we can join in with our thoughts and feelings. It becomes a real life social experiment for what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour to different people.

4. We are hopeful that good wins in the end! We have to check in on the puppies.

I had decided I wasn’t going to watch anymore. I wanted to take a stand against the lack of role models and decent people.

Girl code doesn’t exist to me …

Sam would make a really good Father because he looks great with his shirt off… (Ines, MAFS)

But MAFS talk comes up at parties on the weekend and at work during the week! My Mum and I text throughout the show when we watch it at the same time but live an hours drive away. Whatsapp messages with friends ping when Cruella does and says something stupid. As much as I hate it, I want to watch it for all the reasons above. Like the 1.9 million others, I’m sucked in.

You shall not pass!

Like I had Gandalf’s staff, I stomp my foot down and yell ‘you shall not pass!’ Blocking the entrance to pleasure town, he’s turned away and denied entry.

This is my memory of when I interfered with my house mates sexy time plans and intervened to prevent an absolute douchebag from crossing our apartment threshold.

Girls don’t often interfere with the pick up plans of our friends. However this house mate of mine was in a regular pick up cycle. She’d sleep with a guy and feel euphoric that she’d met someone and that an exciting adventure together would ensue but by the next weekend, he was gone. To pick herself back up from the blow to her self esteem, she needed to pick up again. And so I watched her on the merry-go-round from hell.

We lived together for 1.5 years and were both single together for at least a year of that time, living in a prime real estate spot in Melbourne with many bars to choose from for dancing and boys! My housemate and I were chalk and cheese though. Where she was blonde (fake), I am brunette. She, tall with high heels, I, average with flats. She tanned (fake) and me, pale. She sporty and I, chubby. With a kickarse attitude and dance moves, I wasn’t short on admirers on a dance floor but in a bar scenario, she was the clear favourite with the lads.

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She believed that if a man strode up to her and said things like:

I couldn’t help but notice you across the room. You are amazing. I must have you now…

Then that was true. A guy had truly seen the light and realised how amazing she was and picked her out in the crowd. I am more sceptical.

My favourite comedian, Iliza Shlesinger, and all round amazing chick puts it well (credit: Elder Mellenial)

And then I saw her.” And that lie becomes… A big part of our narrative as women, this hope that we will go out and a man is going to see us, save us, rescue us. It’s this hope that we’re going to be seen and that’s going to happen for us. And we all have this sort of shared fantasy where you walk into a… a club or a bar with five of your girlfriends who look exactly like you. And you walk in and a man picks you out of the crowd, sees you for the beautiful soul that you are, like, decides… like, there’s some DJ up there and he looks out and he’s, like… “Her.” And you’re, like, “Me?” And then your life begins, right?

So every weekend, my house mate thought this was going to happen for her.

In this particular bar, on a particular weekend, this particular guy carried out this fantasy for her. But he made one, HUGE, fatal error. It was just the two of us girls, and him. What did he do wrong? He ignored me!

This guys approach was so bad, he wouldn’t look at me when I was introduced. He stared into her eyes with the intensity of a vampire carrying out mind control and the hope that I’d just disappear. Believe me, if there was anyone else to talk to, I would have disappeared. Unfortunately his mind control worked and I became aware that he was coming home with us. He had been rude for a few drinks now so I told my housemate that he wasn’t a nice guy and I certainly didn’t want him in the house. If she was determined to be with him, they’d have to go elsewhere.

Funnily enough the two of them walked home behind me like a very confused couple trying to sort out the problems of the world. They walked forwards, they stopped, they walked backwards. I kept moving forwards and got home before them, still mad. When they had the nerve to turn up together, probably thinking I’d gone to bed, I stood at the front door, Gandalf style.

You are rude and arrogant, but this is my home. You shall not pass.

She left with him and they found somewhere else to go. She might have felt I was being unreasonable but she never said so. That was my intervention with her and I think she knew it.

My home, my rules.

The princess saves herself

I’ve been following Mamamiaaus on Instagram and reading women’s posts about accepting yourself and baring it all in a bikini for summer no matter how you look. One post really resonated with me about ‘being brave’.

She has a really good point. Now I find myself criticising any reference of ‘brave’.

There’s a hilarious parody of The Greatest Showman ‘This is me’ by Mother’s. The lyrics include:

The laundry is piled all around

I’ll be brave

I’ll keep calm

And I’ll sing the clean up song

Laundry is not brave, to me. However, I think that brave is really personal -what’s brave to one person might not be brave to another. I’m not scared of spiders but to someone terrified of them, dealing with a spider probably required them to be brave!

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I was given a book for Christmas: The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace. It’s a collection of poems spanning her life that includes loneliness, abuse, disorders, trauma, diseases and love! It has a trigger warning at the start and a dedication “thank you for inspiring me to be the girl who survived.” This princess was brave. Not only did she survive, she wrote a book:

Amanda Lovelace

Our personal definition of brave needs to evolve and develop over time. It’s only brave to deal with a spider for so long, maybe the first few times. I believe that as resilience and strength develops you can face more and more obstacles and become ‘braver.’

As per the description above from Mamamiaaus, I’m brave dealing with a incurable, complex disease (battling a chronic illness- type 1 diabetes). When people say they are terrified of needles, I feel brave. When I can’t get my blood sugars under control and I’m so sick of it all, I feel I’m strong, because I have to be. If I don’t do it, I die. Is that brave?

Did any of you watch Andrew Denton’s interview with Amanda Lindhout? She was a Canadian journalist in Somalia in 2008 and endured physical atrocities after being kidnapped and regularly abused. She was held in captivity for 15 months! She came out of it alive and now lives by the mantra “I choose peace. I choose freedom. I choose forgiveness.” The only way she made it through was with resilience and optimism. She was bloody brave. 

Fighting for a better life inspires bravery. These warrior women save others.

The princess can save herself but if you can be inspired by others I think you will find that your bravery will go off the chart!

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Are these women being brave wearing a bikini? Yes, they are being brave for themselves. I’m proud of them for challenging the skinny social norms and being happy with who they are. They might inspire others to be brave to wear a bikini. You have to save yourself before you can save others. What’s more inspiring for me at the moment is the hardships that others have had to endure. Take Malala Yousafzai’s new book- We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World. Imagine what these women have had to endure! Thinking about their lives, I’m not brave injecting insulin each day. That’s easy in comparison, I’ve got this. Now, what else can I face…. onwards!

Baby, dance with me

When I was a little fish (18-24 years old) I loved clubbing and usually went out four nights a week! Dancing on top of podiums, or taking over the dance floor and belting out tunes. This was the sound track to my life and when I hear these songs played now, it takes me back to where I was that year, including what I was wearing.

In honour of NOT going to my 20th high school reunion this weekend, here’s five favourite dance songs from the naughty noughties:

2000Can’t stop the MoonlightLeanne Rhymes

I went on many a night club tour and danced on the bar like Coyote Ugly. That year all my clothes (and hopefully that of the time) was inspired by these girls. Fake leather pants and tiny tops. I also had a fake leather top and leopard print skirt that was a winner. Red pants and a tiny lace top. Damn, I wish I could pull that off now! Couldn’t even pull it on now.

2001Dance with me112

Singing at the top of my lungs “choc tops in the parking lot.” Turns out he was waiting in his convertible. Well I think choc tops is much more realistic.

I see you looking at me
I can tell by your eyes that your feeling me
And I really want you to get close to me
So won’t you dance with me… Dance with me
My drop tops in the parking lot
And I wanna take you back to my spot
But we still got a little more time to rock
So won’t you dance with me… Dance with me!

19992004Be FaithfulFatman Scoop

If you go anywhere that’s playing hip hop, they will play this song! I’ve been dancing to it for over 14 years now. I would have danced to it every Thursday night 2000-2003 when I hadn’t started my professional career yet. You knew you were guaranteed to hear this one during the night and they often played ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ (Dirty Dancing) to wind down the night at 3:30am.

Fatman Scoop is so widely played that Australia’s new Prime Minister made reference to it only 3 weeks into his job, getting himself in hot water over the lyrics. He must have been trying hard to get a laugh as we didn’t vote him in.

Of course I liked this song, singing and making up awesome dance moves. Everyone loves a good audience participation opportunity.

Single ladies! I can’t hear ya! (Cupping my hand to my ear)
Single ladies! Make noise! (Miming a megaphone with my hands)

All the chickenheads, be quiet! (bobble head)

All the good lookin’ women sing along… (bump and grind)

If you’ve got long hair, put your hands up! (shake your hair, bobble head, hands up, bump and grind)

2002- Dirty- Christina Aguilera

Well this is a fan fave of everyone’s. When I was out with male friends they said they love this song too because when it comes on, all the girls turn slutty. The song didn’t do so well on the radio but I’m sure the film clip was well watched as she danced and ‘fought’ in the tiniest of bikinis in a fighting ring. We burned up the dance floor gyrating along as well. I loved her album ‘Stripped’ with both the CD and DVD regularly played, inspiring me with songs- Fighter, Beautiful, Underappreciated and The Voice Within. I died my hair black and wore it long, curly and messy.

Christina

2008 – Low- Flo Rida and T Pain

Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur. The whole club was looking at her

Apparently this is the look that T Pain likes….. well boots with the fur in Australia has to be uggboots! No wonder the whole club was looking. You might get away with going down to the shops in your Uggs but not a club. But then she hits the floor and is so low and such an amazing dancer that no one cares. I always thought I was singing the wrong lyrics with ‘apple bottom’ but turns out I wasn’t! We then sing ‘Baggy sweat pants, Reboks with the straps’…. well this is the look that Flo Rida likes. No wonder I thought Uggboots on the dance floor was acceptable in this song.

As an Elder Millenial, I didn’t have a digital camera or smart phone during this time. If there’s no photos on social media, did it even happen? Yes, it did! For my 20th birthday night club tour, the host took photos and sent me printed photos a week later.

Whales communicate in song and the just like them, I feel strongly about having music in my life. It’s so powerful. It can lift you up or help you chill out. Luckily I’m surrounded by amazing people at work that love to sing and my sister will have a good sing along too. Enjoy some fun music this weekend and get jiggy with it (Thanks Will Smith)!

Get a life

I was told me a couple of months ago to ‘get a life’. It wasn’t said to be mean or upset me but it did upset me, at first. My immediate reaction is ‘what the heck is he talking about?’. I’ve got lots of friends and I’m always out and about, I’ve travelled, I’ve partied, I’ve had a couple of failed relationships, I’ve lived.

I’ve participated in many rites of passage including my ‘Wild West’ themed 21st party, concerts and festivals every year.

Went on a Rumspringa Contiki tour(s)- 8 countries in 15 days through Europe and then New Zealand.

Worked the Ritual customer service jobs and those three days working in a sand paper factory. (Working at Blockbuster Video- the kids wouldn’t even understand)

Vision quests- island hopping including drink, dance, sleep (repeat) at a full moon party in Koh Phangan – finding out a month later that all the sleeping was due to being diabetic!

Obligatory jumping out of a perfectly good plane.

Feeling like I was going to plummet to my death from ‘treetop adventures’.

Surviving the weird and wonderful food in China and walking… no, climbing…. no, hands and feet crawling up the steep stairs on the Great Wall of China to drink a warm beer at the top!

Discovering what it’s like to live the song Bangarang, experiencing a 17 hour sleeper train in China and again in Vietnam- sliding forwards, backwards, side to side and up and down over the train tracks in bed.

So how have I not got a life? Oh, failed relationships….

I may have a big social network and exciting adventures but I’m not making a life for myself with my own family….it was my Dad who said it to me. My kind and caring Mumma and Pappa just want me to be happy and make sure I’ve got someone else in my life.

Well it’s not exactly from a lack of trying. Mr Suave ghosted me after five dates. ICE COLD SUAVE.

I’m quite nice and often sweet (or raging, there’s becoming less in between and I’ve been told I’m cute. However I want to be fierce!

Men might not like ‘fierce’ but if I’m to get a life, and that’s not with a partner, then I want to be doing and saying things that have impact.

Get a life you’re proud of.

I’m passionate about equality and girls empowerment but previously felt a bit useless trying to change the world. I came across One girl and their Do it in a dress fundraiser.

From what I understand, Primary School ceases at 10 years old in Africa. So what do girls do then? They either have to look after the home and the rest of the family, find work, or (most likely) be sold by the family into marriage. This then leads to mistreatment by their much older husbands and certainly isn’t a life I’d wish for anyone!

For $300, a girl can continue her education with a scholarship for a year. So I wore a dress to my school, as a teacher, to meetings, walking the dog and to Pilates to raise money. Not only did I raise $845 but what was incredible was that 15 students were inspired to wear a dress and fundraise as well.

Five young boys joined in the cause. These boys are only 10 years old and were prepared to take the laughs and smash the stereotypes of wearing a dress to try and change the world and fight for equality. I was so proud of them!!

Together, we raised almost $4,000.

The Paper Bag Princess

There’s been two Royal weddings of late- Meghan and Harry and recently Princess Eugenie. Meghan and Harry have just made their way to Australia where they excitedly announced their baby news and met hoards of Primary School students. Why? So the kids become emotionally invested in their lives, respect and love them and won’t want to leave the Commonwealth when they grow up. That’s one of my theories anyway. Yet, as girls grow into women, we want them to be more realistic about their lives and rather than hope to fall in love with a prince, or be rescued by a prince, they can recognise fairy tales from hard work, strength and resilience.

“The paper bag princess” by Robert Munsch is a must read for a girl of any age! It’s a tale that starts off with the typical characters- a prince, princess (well, his fiance) and a dragon. However it is the prince that gets kidnapped by the dragon and needs rescuing by the princess! She hurriedly gets dressed to save him and wears only a paper bag to run after him and attempt to outwit the dragon.

When she encounters the dragon, Elizabeth outwits him by asking him to perform feats of strength until he passes out. Elizabeth then passes the dragon and goes to save Ronald. However, when Ronald sees Elizabeth in a paper bag, rather than beautiful princess clothes, he is aghast. Ronald yells at Elizabeth to come back when she looks like a “real princess”. Our heroic Paper Bag Princess swiftly replies by saying, “You look like a real Prince, but you are a bum.” She takes off her crown, and gleefully dances into the sunset. (Credit: https://www.teachingchildrenphilosophy.org/BookModule/ThePaperBagPrincess)

This paper bag princess is now single but strong! I can identify with Elizabeth as I want to meet someone that accepts me as I am. If I have to change to please him, then I am not going to please myself. After being gaslighted in a previous relationship, I truly believe that you need to be happy in yourself, with yourself, by yourself.

When dating and speaking to friends about trying to meet someone, I’ve been given the following advise:

  • Write a list of everything that you want in a partner and it will come true. It has to be specific though, or it won’t come true
  • Make space in your wardrobe and clear out a drawer for a future partner. When you have made the physical space, the partner will come
  • Expand your age range, you need to go for older men (try a lot older)
  • Try to meet men with kids
  • You need to wear lipstick
  • Get the ‘girls’ out (boobs)

When you do meet someone online, frequent questioning is along the lines of ‘What are you looking for?’ I’ve tried to communicate what I’m looking for in a couple of different ways as if you tell most guys that you want a relationships that’s a quick turn off and has them running for the hills! I’ve previously tried ‘casual but respectful’, and something like ‘looking for a connection’ or someone that wants to get to know me.

I’ve been on four dates with Mr Suave now and neither of us have asked what the other is looking for. I think we are just enjoying getting to know each other. I have put in some effort with hair, make up and clothes and get nervous putting myself out there with high school type doubts ‘what if he doesn’t like me?’. On each occasion I’ve forced any doubts away and reassured myself ‘just be yourself, you are worth getting to know.’

I’ve just realised that I’m not looking for a relationship. Well not just any relationship. If I was, I’d be happy to go out with anyone that was single that I could pair up with. I’m the paper bag princess. I want someone to like me just the way I am. If that’s make -up free in my PJ’s then that’s my paper bag. I’m happy to rescue my prince but he also needs to be respectful, kind, and appreciate me. I certainly don’t need to be rescued…I am single but strong.

Off I go, gleefully dancing into the sunset.

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afterglow art backlit birds

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

How to lose a girl in 7 days

There’s a major disconnect between men and women’s expectations and how we communicate. When my first relationship was struggling, I read ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.’ It was so insightful, I asked my partner to read it so we could discuss it and understand each other better. However, when we talked about it, he had interpreted it entirely different!

Craig David sings ‘7 days’ and the song starts off like he’s picking up a ‘lady of the night’ off the street but then he sings about caring for her, she’s a special lady, and can call him any time ”Cause I’m a man who’ll always be there (oh yeah)”.

“I met this girl on Monday.

Took her for a drink on Tuesday.

We were making love by Wednesday.

And then on Thursday and Friday and Saturday.

We chilled on Sunday.”

Women hear things like this and might think If I sleep with him, he will start to care for me. (Even though he’s said he just wants something casual.)

Men hear things like this and might think She’ll be happy to jump into bed with me even if we’ve just met and know nothing about each other. 

Online dating turn off’s:

  • Bad photos– no smile/no teeth, not showing your eyes (the eyes are the window to the soul!), photos are 10 years old and you no longer look like that, photos of so many men we don’t know which one you are or photos of photos (what the?).
  • Messaging multiple times before receiving a reply
  • One word answers
  • Not asking us any get-to-know-you questions
  • Telling us how you like ‘IT’, without being asked (this includes unsolicited D pics)
  • Work cover injury (The assumptions are that your job is unsafe, you are unsafe, or you are a con artist)
  • Gambling debts (you can’t manage your finances or are addicted, you won’t be able to care for someone else’s life if you can’t manage your own)
  • Living at home with your parents because there’s no work available ‘at the moment’ (as above)
  • Lack of effort and poor first impression- no eye contact, very casual clothes. A friend once cut off a guy as he wore thongs (flip flops/jandles) to a date.
  • Taking more than 3 days to reply. If you are interested, then respond to her messages in a timely manner!
  • Anti-Feminist comments such as

“Girls are still single as they are far too independent these days. My (Italian) Mum takes care of the cooking and cleaning and looking after us as she loves it and has good family values.”

*It’s fine if a woman CHOOSES to look after a man. But she can also choose not to. My second relationship failed as I refused to do all the cooking, cleaning, wash and fold his clothes. I didn’t want to be like his Mother. I wanted a partner.

What turns you off??

The need for a partner is changing

For some species, the involvement of males in the reproductive process is entirely optional. While the males may exist, they are not essential to reproduction. Lots of animals can reproduce without male involvement, from the smallest insects to the biggest reptiles. Asexual reproduction comes in many forms too, from basic cell reproduction to complex cloning cycles.

The life cycle of this little starfish is looking bright. I don’t have a partner but I would still like the option of having a baby one day. I met with Dr Rachael Knight about my fertility options. After waiting in the reception area at Melbourne IVF, I ascended the steep stairs and she met me at the top of the stairs with a welcoming smile and a positive approach to an exciting step in my life. She was a breath of fresh air.

I’ve previously heard:

“Have you tried internet dating?” (Duh!)

“37 years and 6 months… don’t get your hopes up”

“Are you dating anyone at the moment? (No) Well, you don’t have long.”

“Awww (to another friend), this is the last baby our group of friends will have”

The blood test results that I had done were in from my doctor and Dr Knight politely and professionally explained that they were good, as she expected. I have the average amount of eggs for someone my age, not too low and not high. It would be less than someone younger but she explained that between 33 and 39 years old is a good time to look at egg freezing.

There’s quite a few steps involved to start this process. It’s important to get an AHM test from your GP. Dr Knight then referred me for another blood test that looks for any serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis. You can choose which ones you test for (which is incredible) but seeing as I may end up considering whether to raise my baby alone, and already have a complex disease with Type 1 diabetes, I said “test them all!” This is approx $400.

Following this blood test, I’ll have an ultrasound. Not just any ultrasound though, the brochure says a virginal ultrasound (gulp) “to measure the endometrial thickness, size and number of follicles in both ovaries” (Pathway of care, Melbourne IVF). Then meeting with a nurse, we will establish counselling and the costs involved with the intent to commence hormone injections in a months time!

Before leaving the appointment, Dr Knight advised me that starting to fall pregnant naturally at this time would be the preference. Egg freezing has only a 50 % success rate. We will aim for 10-20 eggs as they individually only have a 5% chance of fertilisation. They have sperm donors if I was interested in that process. She suggested I might also like to consider getting pregnant at 39 and keeping the eggs frozen for a second baby when I’m then over 40.

I hope that one day I do find an amazing partner. For those of you unsure how it’s going to work out for you, just keep swimming! There’s plenty of fish in the sea and many options available today. Work out what is going to make you happy, and go for it.

Stumbling around in the waves

There was a strong wind today, causing the sea to lurch and sway with big foamy waves that tried to grab at my shoes as I walked along. Literally and metaphorically, the sea churned. It just wasn’t my day.

After walking along the beach this morning, a potential ‘great man’, stopped at the traffic lights ahead of me and took off his earphones, making himself available for conversation but I was so focused on making sure my dog was going to be friendly to his tiny, delicate whippet that conversation starters left my brain. As he moved the headphones back on and walked in the opposite direction, probably never to be seen again, great lines came to me!

“Good ear protection from the wind”

“Cute dog, what’s her name?”

“Hi, what’s your name and do you have a girlfriend?!”

What’s clear is that I need to practice the art of conversation. Matthew Hussey, dating coach, and his new show ‘Single Wives’ had them try three opening lines to approach men on the street. It seemed super scary but once they had done it, so simple! One was simply asking if they could recommend anywhere good for lunch. I have to stop hesitating or being nervous and just ‘Hi’! I’d much rather have real life experiences than online dating.

Later on, after surviving the crowds in the city to meet friends, I managed to inject the needle of my insulin pen into my finger as I went to inject into my Type 1 diabetic stomach on the train.

Got my foot trapped in the security door as it slammed closed on me at my friend’s apartment.

Missed my bus.

Smashed my phone!

It wasn’t just an awkward fumble that caused the phone to leap out of my hands, or lurch like the sea. My friend had been talking to me about fertility treatment and she warned me to be prepared ahead of my first consultation. She had ‘only taken folic acid tablets for 6 weeks’ and recommended I start straight away. My kind friend helped me out with her left over bottle of tablets as I left her place. I was already feeling like I should have stayed in bed for the day. As I walked to the bus stop with a huge bottle of tablets, the label screamed out at me “Pregnancy and Breast Feeding GOLD”. Not
mentally or physically prepared for this announcement to be made in my head or anyone else’s, I hurriedly tried to push the bottle into my tiny, black (Single and ready to mingle, no baggage here) bag and attempted to close the zipper. Imagine if a potential ‘great man’ looked in my direction and saw it. Things had to go to make room so in I went with my designated search claw and out came the phone.

And if one search claw proves inadequate...you may need the second.

Rationally, I could protect the phone in my hands. It was surely a good choice. But as the wind whipped around me and my barely there cardigan, freezing at the bus stop, my hands failed in their only job and lost grip on the phone. Down it went, onto the concrete floor. Cool as a cucumber, nothing to see here, I quickly picked it up and maneuvered it into my back pocket until the bus came.

Once I had taken a seat, it was time to inspect the damage. Yep, the top half was completely smashed. Although it still worked, it was a sign that it was time to just go back to bed for the rest of the day! The wind and the sea won today.  Sometimes it lifts me up, sometimes it sends me (and my phone) crashing down.

 

Dating excuses- how quickly the tide turns

seawaves on sands

Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

The tide of the ocean can seem to turn quickly at times. You may be walking along on a wide stretch of sturdy sand, feeling like you are walking straight ahead with a clear direction and the knowledge that one foot will follow the other at a repetitive and comfortable pace. Suddenly a big wave comes up to change the shoreline and chases you sideways while you desperately try to keep your shoes dry. You end up sidestepping or hop along with one wet shoe, having to scurry up the beach a bit more and jump over the seaweed or rotting jellyfish lying abandoned from an earlier tide. The wave may be so big it stops you from continuing and forces you to take a new path, moving off the beach altogether. Continue reading