Monday, 17 June 2019

The black hole

It's black
Dark
Unbearable

I go on only because two perfect little faces smile at me each day
They make me giggle and sing, dance and forget
When I focus on them

I force myself to look at them
And remember they have a lifetime of adventures to be had
My role is to encourage them
Make them hopeful
Happy
Proud
and safe

Hard when all I see is black
An empty large hole
Where hope once was

So painful, that I prefer to feel nothing
But its those two little perfect faces
The high pitched voices
The cuddles and tantrums

That make me go on.



Thursday, 6 June 2019

Small things…



Yesterday I walked into the office, looked at my desk and found a little package of love… just for me!

A lovely colleague surprised me by bringing in a packed lunch.

She had prepared a delicious lentil salad accompanied by a little bag of walnuts and two apricots, I was so moved - that I teared.

To sound a little weary and ‘woe is me’ it’s been a long time since somebody actually did something nice for me for no apparent reason. I actually forgot how much joy a person can bring, just by thinking of someone else.  It brings light on a dark day, warmth to a cold world,  hope when it’s all gone.  This little act changed my day so much so that in addition to the tear and smile, it bought me a change in a mood where I actually left work happy and exhausted, not just exhausted.

Last week, I bought my baby a new pair of leggings and a t-shirt. When I presented them to her, worried that she wouldn’t like them, she hugged me tightly and said ‘Mummy when did find the time to do this?’  It made my heart swell with pride – not because she liked what I bought, but because Miss 6 realised that I squeezed in some time around an insane schedule for her. She actually thought outside of herself!

These two recent incidents made me realise that it is time to be a ‘do gooder’ again.  If I can change someone’s day for the better – even if it a slight change, then why not.

Spread the love.


Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Funny Girl


I am told I write funny.

I don’t know if that means I write with a funny tone, or that my writing style is wrong.

Being a Sagittarian – I will go with what has been said at face value… I assume that I am funny i.e. entertaining, witty & make people laugh.

Truth is, I am human, not a literary robot that sticks to grammar rules. I am someone that feels, write, and experiences many a time (don’t go there visually) written or typed diarrhea. When on a roll, I don’t stop.

I love to write, want to write and get paid to write.  

For this to take place, I must write (obviously). I have tried and tried again to pick this up – and not let the mundane get in the way of writing, but it has happened.  

So once again, like a sold-out rocker but not old, and not a rocker…and hopefully not sold out, I am back...  (I hope)

Monday, 12 March 2018

No Good Actor!


Last night I received two handmade cards. One from Little Miss the other from The Baby.

Little Miss wrote, Mummy, I love you very very much, love Little Miss.

The Baby can write her name, mummy, daddy and her boyfriend’s name (she refuses to learn to write Little Miss).  So, she drew a pretty picture, wrote Mummy, The Baby and drew, cut out and coloured four sweets (two for her, two for me).

Before presenting them to me, I could hear them whispering in the hall,  ‘She is going to cry, they will be what she calls ’tears of joy’  they then started arguing over which card I will cry harder for.

When presented with the first card, I genuinely tear with emotion. As I read through the card, I realized what the two were arguing about in the hall, and while incredibly moved with The Baby’s beautiful card – I forced myself to turn on the tears for her card in an attempt to have them match the first round of tears. I failed. Miserably.

The Baby, dissatisfied with quantity and quality of waterworks (she cant write but she can count!) yelled with accusation ‘You cried more when you opened Little Miss’ card’

‘No!’  I protested, ‘ Not true’ I love your card equally!  I even managed to push a few tears out.

She stormed out unconvinced. 

I no actor. 


Friday, 9 March 2018

International Women's Day. Or Women's every day.

Since my last blog – my sensitivities towards gender equality are heightened.  My little girl is invited to a boy’s birthday party – she is the only girl. She plays with the boys.

For some time I battled with the idea that something was up.  When I asked what the girls do during recess  – she replied with ‘they’re boring, they sit and talk about clothes, boys, who they will marry’  I was left astounded. They’re 7! 

It’s with great relief that Ms. 7 prefers to run, play, shout, climb trees, playfight, be a superhero or a monster.

Yesterday’s celebration of the international women's day made me question. We celebrate women, adult women. There are business women’s networking talks, we celebrate female heroes, we celebrate organisations that support EEO.  But…. what messages we sharing with little girls to help them get through each and every day?

Are we telling them to burn the plastic tea set and climb a tree? That it is ok to be, feel and act differently, because that is what being an individual is all about?

I pondered this all day yesterday and when I got home from work and raised it with my girls, The Baby (now four) replied ‘but every day is our day. Don’t you tell us that we choose to have a good day, or a great day…it’s how we choose to tackle it?’


Job done, for today.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

The sisterhood in practice: Mothers fight back!

I am a proud member of a closed Facebook mothers group entitled Foreign Mothers & Mothers to Be in Athens. This is a group of women I have met, many only online who have become my sisters. They are my ‘go to group’ for answers, support, advice, and laughs. 

We celebrated a coup today (not the sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government type by an instance of successfully achieving something difficult). And I am proud. Very proud. Not for the group – but for what we have achieved for our children… 

Since distributing the below statement today to the press in Greece and since agreeing to bombard retailer websites, schools and registering complaints online over the last two weeks, many retailers have removed what we have considered to be inappropriate images of young girls in fancy dress. 



Mothers in Athens come together to put an end to the sexualisation of little girls

Apokries in Greece should be a special time filled with fun, laughter, and of course food.  As the festivities peak, the tempers of some mothers have reached boiling point. 

In the search for appropriate aged costumes for their children, many are outraged having witnessed images of children modelling provocative, inappropriate costumes on a range of Greek retailer websites, catalogues, and in stores selling costumes.  

While trying not to spoil the fun of Apokries, a closed Facebook group entitled ‘Foreign Mothers & Mothers to Be in Athens’ (FMIA) have come together to put an end to the gross sexualisation of children, particularly young girls. 

‘My daughter was given a brochure from school.  The girls’ costumes are modelled by 10-year old’s wearing stripper shoes (no joke!) and the costumes are equally inappropriate. Shocked!!!!!’ said an FMIA member.

Images of young girls, wearing stilettos, showing midriffs, and posing provocatively appear on websites project messages such as ‘That's right, Little Girl! You, too, can dream of being a sex object!’ said another group member.   

To shut down the practice, FMIA has contacted retailers, schools that have distributed catalogues, Safeline, and Facebook.   Some retailers have responded positively by removing the offensive photos. 

Others have removed the ratings from their site preventing many from commenting and complaining.  The Greek media has covered the issue, but not enough has been done to stop this inappropriate practice.

As a collective group and voice, the FMIA group have stated ‘This is not the future we want for our children.  We want our children to grow up to be empowered, strong, confident individuals that respect and value each other as equals, not as sex objects.’ 

Advertising companies, photographers, parents of child models, retailers and parents that allow their children to be influenced by advertising practices need to take responsibility.  This is a problem that affects the future of our children. 

About Apokries
The tradition of Apokries started so that the Christian people could celebrate and indulge before the great 40-day Lent of Easter.  It lasts for three weeks before this period of fasting begins. Each part of Greece has its own customs and traditions during Apokries. People dress in masquerade, play games and jokes, have a huge parade, and throw sweets to the observers. 

About Foreign Mothers & Mothers to Be in Athens’ (FMIA) – Facebook group
Is a closed Facebook for mothers and mothers to be, living in Athens, Greece to exchange advice, experiences and support.








Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Calm

Today I heard a saying to describe somebody that does nothing, who is lazy.  The saying is in Greek, but easily translatable. 

They say ‘he/ she is flying a kite’   The hand action for flying a kite often accompanies the saying.  I couldn’t help but giggle.

The individual my friends were referring to often is also described as an employee ‘scratching themselves’– another saying that means, doing nothing.

It’s a funny description but an awful perception to have of someone. Or is it I wonder?  I turned to look at this individual who seemed relatively content, happy, relaxed.

My two ‘rays of light’ combined with juggling a fulltime job I like (though at times mundane), additional consulting work, play dates, attempts to exercise, cook and clean house leaves me with little time for kite flying.

I have forgotten what it’s like. Would I think more creatively, or would my mind be blank, empty, rested? Would I be more passionate or less?

One thing is for certain – it would not be exhausted. This kite flying and scratching deal doesn’t sound too bad.  

To me, I hear, see, feel and breathe calm.

What about you?


Friday, 2 February 2018

Another year and its only the beginning

Another year passed and then another - and here we are.

An accomplishment in reflection. The recent years have been a very bumpy uncomfortable ride. I haven't had the luxury 4WD to navigate my way through it smoothly. My beat up little car that stalls and rolls backward on hills, that sounds perpetually out of breath is just that. Out of breath.

Throughout the hardship - and I mean American TV soap opera drama I have looked at my two little rays of light. 

The two little beings that breathe air into my lungs, who make me throw back my head and laugh wholeheartedly and who make me forget all my woes and remind me that life is for adventure, cuddles, giggles, and love and I am thankful and finally inspired.

I am back. Not in full, but in part. Peeping out and waving madly around the army of boring routine, work, bills, stress and consistent ball juggling.  Can you see me? If no, never mind. I am writing for a tiny little audience this time..me. My public declaration to myself, I can do it. It's for me.  I enjoy the process, it gives me a break. It makes me think, feel, celebrate, laugh and reflect. It's my version of visiting health spa and why not?

If anyone wants to come along for the ride, it's free, untargeted and hopefully fun. 

Stay tuned..or not. Your call.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Winners are grinners

Last night Mr Lucky and I had programming fall out.  The girls quietly moved into the toy room adjacent to the lounge-room and played quietly.

A live political debate was on last night, inconveniently at the same time that 'I am Cait' was on TV.

I won't go into detail as to who wanted to watch what.

It goes without saying that I wanted to watch the more important, intellectually challenging, 'I must watch this to be better informed, it affects everyone globally' program.

We began our own intellectual debate, introducing valid arguments such as... 'I am ironing in front of the TV now, please help me get through unprecedented and painful experience by allowing my brain to be simultaneously stimulated' to 'but I haven't had a moments peace today... the girls are happily entertaining themselves and do not need constant supervision - let me have just a little down time'

Strong, valid, emotive arguments.  We are both Sagittarians, you know what happens when fire plays with fire.

The baby, then waddled into the lounge room, holding on tightly to the laptop.  She handed it over and said - 'Watch it' and waddled away with what I suspect was a look of disgust on her face.

The live debate was also being aired online. Debate over.  We both won.

Summer is over.  My three month sun salutations on the beach (also known as throwing myself on a sunbed at the beach) have been interrupted by the threat of cold weather.  I have become very Greek as I count the number of swims I have had over the summer, and challenge myself to have a few more before the beach club down the road shuts down for the winter.  Summer is over, it's now back to the blog.

Image: 'Retro Television' courtesy of SweetCrisis at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Thursday, 23 April 2015

Confessions of a working mummy

Not unlike other paid and unpaid working mummies, my human fuel tank has its needle stuck somewhere between exhausted and seriously exhausted to the point of vague.

My batteries are rarely recharged.  My spark plugs like my home, need a good dusting and once over.

I often leave for work before my babies are awake and return home just before their bedtime. It is awful.

Below are ten confessions that I suspect many paid and unpaid working mums relate to - but perhaps rarely admit to:

1. The ankle biters do not take baths every night
2. I don't know if they really brush their teeth every day - despite threatening them that if they don't brush their teeth, they will fall out
3. I empower my children by giving them options:  'Brush your teeth, or they will fall out. You choose'.
4. I clean only what I can see, on the weekends
5. I iron only the ankle biters clothes because I don't want them going to nursery being the scruffy untidy kids
6. I don't iron my or Mr Lucky's clothes - we have to fight it out in the playground
7. I mix whites and and darks in the washing machine when I am seriously short of clothes
8. The only calm and quiet time is when I comb the ankle biters hair. I still remember how a brush feels when run through outdoor played / wind swept hair.  I am prepared to be late anywhere/ anytime to avoid my cherubs experiencing this
9. We have no routine. Ever. No matter how much I pretend or try to
10. The ankle biters still sleep with us and we love it and they too do

Not so bad, really, it isn't, no, of course it's not, is it???