30 September 2007

Evan Almighty

The most interesting thing about this film for me was watching Lauren Graham in a different role. I have been watching 'The Gilmour Girls' this year on DVD. I love the series and especially Lorelai's character. So to see a different character, who wasn't as strong and spunky as Lorelai, was kind of freaky.

'Evan Almighty' was ok, there were a couple of laughs but I could have waited to see it on DVD. I must restore my weekly excursions to the cinema to see movies I want to see. I haven't felt compelled to see anything for a while though. Or doing anything much for that matter. All this must change!

My excursion with my adorable neice and nephew today was a great start. They were so fun and grateful, it was an absolute pleasure and the perfect antidote to the misery I've been wallowing in lately. I really need to remember this experience and be more proactive at doing different things to snap out of these funks I find myself in from time to time.

29 September 2007

My Blog is 2 today

So can we expect temper tantrums and wobbly walking and cute talking? Maybe! I don't know. I don't think it relates well to human development. Bad metaphor. My blog is a libran.
In case you didn't notice I have removed lots of pointless and fruitless advertising today. I have also reduced my tags to a little over a hundred. Not quite as reduced as I'd hoped, but still an improvement.
Right now I don't know what to expect from anything. Exciting hey! Scary too. I think I am getting a little stir crazy, home alone. Tomorrow I am going to visit my brother and his family and take his kids out for a movie, or some junk food, or what ever it is little kids like these days. I love kids. They are fun and in the moment, just what I need. Yes, I am not a great Auntie, I'm doing this for me.
I am feeling much restored after spending the day mostly in bed. My mum brought me magazines, soup and bread. She's a treasure. I am probably the only Victorian who doesn't know who won the 'Grand Final' - I wonder how long that will last.

Tag Dag

I am spending a day in bed with my laptop. Romantic hey! I need to have a semi rest day. I will be making some changes to my blog so I apologise if it is annoying in any way. My last post was my 400th and I have 277 tags. Ridiculous! I thought so too! So I am going to fix this.

28 September 2007


I have spent a little time on Facebook these holidays and have added some old friends as well as a couple of new ones. It's great to find people I know and after the discussion I had earlier in the week, think I might use these tools to stay in touch with friends as the younger lot are.

When you are in your 40s though, many of your friends are not on Facebook, or any other social networks that I can find. Yesterday I called an old friend who I haven't seen for around 4 years. I have a small pile of his stuff that I have uncovered in this cleaning frenzy I've been in. I am dropping it off to him today whilst I am in Melbourne. I have attempted to find him on Facebook. Somehow I had lost his details. Possibly a dysfunctional mobile phone that I'd been using at the time. Fortunately I found a piece of paper with his details on it. The whole experience made me realise how easy it is to lose track of friends. We all have busy lives.

Facebook has had some negative press, as have many other social networking sites. It all comes back to the individual user though really. If you are in it to get the largest number of friends or making all your details open to the public, you could encounter an invasion of privacy. I would argue it is one that you have invited.

27 September 2007


I have had ridiculously late nights all week. In my delicious solitude I have kept no track of time and have eaten when I feel hungry. I found myself going to bed after 3.00am most nights. I haven't lived like this for years. I am generally in bed before 10.00 most nights. I'm not sure what has gotten into me!

I haven't been reading as much as a result. Normally I go to bed at 9.00ish and read for an hour. As I have been so late going to bed, I have gone straight to sleep. I have been sleeping in as well.

I used to live like this all the time when I was younger. I don't really like it. I am going to bed early tonight. I want to read and awake early. I am heading to Melbourne tomorrow to catch up with loved ones.

26 September 2007

Full Moon 27th September 2007

This full moon in Aries is good for new beginnings and setting intentions for a fresh start. I've been reading a few different astrologers perspectives on this during this week because I've had the time. There are some different views though. You might want to read the following if this interests you:
Mystic Medusa:Mars Mood Cures
Christine Broadbent: Planetary Currents

The Harvest Moon tomorrow night is named for the Northern Hemisphere. Obviously it's not harvest time here. The name for the first moon in spring would be the Grass Moon. The names of full moons are also listed on the Earth and Sky website.

So I'm setting my intentions for beginning again. I've been doing heaps of cleaning and clearing of unwanted stuff, both in my home and in my head. I have revisited one of my most helpful books "Forgiveness: The Greatest Healer of All" by Gerald G. Jampolsky M.D.

One small distinction I have made for myself is that I have began intending to 'feel' rather than to 'be'. It has really changed the way I imagine the outcome and I think it might enhance my results. It will be interesting to see. Tomorrow I will redo my goals for this next term. I like to revisit my personal mission statement and goal setting each holidays. So this seems like a good time.

I enjoy this and don't check back on my goals and intentions throughout the term (I could make excuses yet can't be bothered). I achieve many things I set out to. I think it's just good to get clear about what I want. Then I can throw myself into the random, spontaneous, frantic pace of the term.

25 September 2007

Staying In Touch

I was chatting to my son's friend Brigitte on the way to the deb the other night. She is completing her VCE in a town that is over 3 hours away from here. She moved when she was in year 8. They (son and friend) caught up online. They weren't close friends when she lived here. She is a year older than he. They reconnected on My Space and are very close friends now. Brig stays here for weekends and he has been to her new place for weekends as well. Her extended family lives here still.
I chatting with Brig about staying in contact with people when she finishes school. I remembered when I finished HSC (as it was known, back in the day) that I lost touch with mobs of people that I had seen every day at school for around 12 years. It was weird. They weren't close friends, but I liked many of the kids and never really saw most of them again. I told her to appreciate all those acquaintance-type people.
Living in a country town, many people move away when they finish school. When I caught up with lots of them at our 20 year school reunion, they were mostly the same as they were at school. It was fun.
Anyway Brig and I were wondering if kids today will stay in touch better with MSN and the Internet. She is going to be an experiment for me and let me know if it happens.

24 September 2007

Coughing and Spluttering

I have had the full range of winter ailments this year. On this first day of the holidays I have woken with a sore chest and cough. I did enjoy a full nights sleep last night.
I am drenched with relief that it is holidays. Last term was just too full on for me personally. I need to rest, clean my home, throw out stuff and catch up on all the details of my life. I have no travel plans. I am going to get re-acquainted with my home.
I put my son on a plane yesterday to join his dad in QLD for a holiday. It will be quiet around here without him and his friends. The last two nights there have been a tangle of bodies sleeping in his room each night and lots of comings and goings and laughter. I love the kids, but honestly will appreciate a break in the traffic.
Andy is off to Tassie today. I don't know how I feel about that. Mixed I guess, is all I can say.

22 September 2007

Doing the Deb

For months our year 11's have been preparing for the debutante ball by learning to dance, handing over large sums of money and fantasizing about what 'the big night' would bring. I know this because my son was one of them. In the beginning there were the 'who's partnering who' conversations along with last minute upsets and broken agreements. Then came the girls chatter about dresses and shoes. The eager mum's joining the 'deb committee' to ensure they got front row seats (I didn't venture and thus was seated firmly at the back wall) and their child the 'right' night. I've seen all this before as outsider (teacher) and insider when my daughter went through similar motions 2 years ago. Never was brave enough to go on that committee though!

The last week has brought partner gift exchanges, hair disasters, makeup trials, and that nervous excitement we all know before a big event. Yesterday, the climax was finally reached. We (son and I) went to the home of his partner, where four stunning girls had gathered to create the kind of glamour and beauty you could expect at such an event. They all looked amazing. There were few stressful moments and last minute crisis, before they climbed into the limo and were taken to the venue for photo's and goodness knows what else.

Four hours later we arrived and watched them 'be presented', smile, dance etc and then the deed was done. The big footy match was listened to with discrete earphone, by a few suffering parents. The sacrifices they make! I must say, having taught many of these kids when they were in year 7, 8 and 9, it was touching to see how they had grown up. They are a great bunch of kids. There was food, music, dancing and glitz.

The after party was attended and in the wee small hours I was driving a carload of teens back to my house to sleep it off. It was twilight when I got into bed.

Is it all worth it? I don't know, but it has been done. Twice now. If you ask my kids, they would say yes. They enjoyed themselves and love the sense of occasion and formality. I did my deb and although I wouldn't have dreamt of not doing it, I wouldn't again if I had my life over. I thought it was overrated as far as experiences go, personally.

For those of you who are not familiar with this Australian rite of passage, see this wikipedia extract, scroll down the Australia and there you have it. Our students were 'presented' to the local Catholic priest.

21 September 2007


Yesterday whilst waiting between interviews at parent teacher night I read this great piece of writing from 'The Age': 'Show respect, don't demand it'. There is so much accuracy in this article that I would recommend you to read it and reflect on it.
A colleague gave it to me for a read and as soon as I read the headline I agreed. I guess the bottom line is really that as teachers we can demand all we want, yet from experience, both personal and observed, the only way we are ever going to get it, is if we give it. Not just as teachers either I would suggest, as parents, partners, employees, even bloggers I imagine.
My parent teacher interviews were wonderful. I met with mostly very loving, supportive parents who have great kids. It was a pleasure to be able to share with them my observations about progress and personal gratitude for their young people.

19 September 2007

MSN & Joanna Newsom

Years ago (probably 10) I had MSN and I used it occasionally. I found it a little invasive to be honest. The way it would pop up whenever I logged on to the Internet was kind of annoying. My kids used it a lot, so I stopped altogether and when I got my own laptop, I didn't put it on. It was kind of part of the freedom of having my own computer.
I have re-installed it this week. It's changed. It's great!
Finally now I have friends and people I know on MSN that I can chat to with it. I like that. I am not that much into chatting to random people.

I am loving Joanna Newsom this week. Especially this song:

18 September 2007

Parent Teacher Interviews

Today I asked a kid to get his parents in for an interview. I have taught this young man for 3 years. He is the only student I have ever taught for three years in a row. It has been a pleasure to teach him. I have never requested an interview with his parents. I have never felt any need to see them. He has usually worked well, behaved well and been caring and compassionate with other students. I realised today, this would be the final parent-teacher interviews I would have a chance to meet them. I really want to tell them face to face, what a wonderful job they have done with their son.
Positive Calls
Our principal asked us last year to make a positive phone call home. She suggested that instead of focusing on negative behaviour and phoning parents to let them know what the child was doing wrong, that we chose someone who was doing the right thing and phoned the parents and let them know their child was doing great. I took the challenge and phoned a parent of a kid I'd been quite impressed with that week. The parent was delighted and the kid was my friend for life. I still get a huge smile every time I see him, he's left our school now.
Good Intentions
After that experience, I thought I ought to do it once a week. It made me feel so good as well. I haven't done it since though. I'm setting an intention to make at least one of those calls this week before school finishes. I hope that those parents do visit me at parent teacher interviews too!

17 September 2007

Timmy Curran Download

My younger brother by the same name, Tim, is the music guru in my family. He always puts me on to really good stuff and makes the best CD mixes for all of us for Xmas. He emailed me this great link to Timmy Curran's latest CD, Word of Mouth, which is available on that site for free download. I have listened to it and I like it. Enjoy!

16 September 2007

Weekend ends with Deb Practise

Tom is partnering a girl at the school's deb ball on Friday night. The parents had to go to deb practise to learn the dance they do with their parent. It's a long time since I did my deb, so I was glad to have an opportunity to refresh the steps.

I stood at the back of the hall watching all these grown up teens. I had a bunch of them in year 7. They are great kids and have grown up well. It's quite amazing the change since they were at our campus 3 years ago.

I loved having Jane on Friday night. I was delighted that her daughter Ricki was there too. I haven't spent time with Ricki like that for ages. She is a great young woman. Yesterday we went for a walk and Sam is walking so well he pushed Tom in the wheelchair for a little while. It was quite amusing. I was sad to see them go.

14 September 2007

Waiting for Jane

And Sam of course. My friend Jane lives in WA and she has been on a holiday to Jindabyne and is passing through tonight on her way to Melbourne. I am so excited to see her. I have even tidied my house!

Normally at this time of the term - one week to go - I am too tired to lift a finger. I need my friends to visit more often so I have my home how I like it.

I've brought my beautiful tulips home from work. Unfortunately two blossoms blew off in the wind on the way to the car but hey!

13 September 2007

Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs by Michael Gerard Bauer

The latest offering from Michael Gerard Bauer is perhaps even more hilarious than "Don't Call Me Ishmael". I'm not sure though. Both novels contain laugh out loud parts.

In 'Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs' the quest is to capture the heart of Kelly and Ishmael definitely finds himself in some scrapes in this adventure. 'The Dugongs' is the name of his fathers old uni rock band that attempts a 20th reunion. Enjoy the familiar characters in new and amusing scenario's. I especially loved the rivalry between maths nerd Prindabel and Zorzotto (self titled "Razzman") in the debating final. It was priceless.

I hope Michael Gerard Bauer has started on his next novel, because so far I have loved 3 out 3 novels I have read.

12 September 2007

I like this New Moon!

Today has been great for me! It's a good start to the lunar month I must say.
I have received another gorgeous, hand picked from the garden, bunch of tulips. They are multi-coloured and absolutely lovely. This time the student was brave enough to bring them to the office for me himself and coped very well with all the extra attention he got for being so thoughtful.
Two tulips have bloomed in my own little Andy planted patch.
My best friend Rhonda has brought in piles of chocolates every day because her son sent her a large box. He's working in a chocolate factory.
Tonight I had my monthly massage and I was intending making it every 6 weeks to save money. It was so divine, I spontaneously booked another for 4 weeks from today! Surely there is something else I could go without :-)

11 September 2007

Anita Roddick - Thanks for a Life of Service

I am deeply saddened to hear that Anita Roddick has passed away.If you are not familiar with her great deeds this wikipedia article is a good starting point. When I began my first business at 20, I bought a copy of 'Body and Soul' and it became like a bible to me. I have also read and reread 'A Revolution in Kindness' and 'Business as Unusual'. She was such an inspiration to me. The world is truly a better place for her being in it. I am grateful to her, for all the examples she set. I wish her family and friends my condolences.

10 September 2007

New Moon and Partial Solar Eclipse - 11th September 2007

Nothing to see this time folks...
This eclipse will only be seen from parts of South America, Antarctica and the South Atlantic.
Diving Gracefully
I found this article about the astrology of this period and I feel like I am falling rather than diving gracefully as the article suggests one should do. I am about the age of 42 and as suggested, perhaps I am having a mid-life crisis. More likely I am just tired and coming to terms with a thing or two. I know I will get above this melancholy and resistance to the changes occurring in my life. Only 9 school days left of this term. Reports to write, parent interviews, a deb ball to attend added to the usual routine means my holidays will be a fitting reward.
Highly Charged Date
September 11th is a date we all shudder to hear. Six years ago...I remember that day facing a class of students and trying to make sense of what they'd seen on TV before coming to school that day. I hadn't been teaching long, probably about 12 months (I was a late starter at 35). Not an event we'd ever want to see repeated anywhere on the planet.
On a Lighter Note
My son is no longer in Ja'mie's top friends on MySpace. He was booted today. He took it well.
I got loaned a copy of the sequel to "Don't Call Me Ishmael". 'Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs", I am told is even funnier. I could do with a laugh.

09 September 2007

'Rose by any other name' by Maureen McCarthy

Maureen McCarthy read aloud the beginning of this novel to us at the Melbourne Writers Festival and I was hooked. I have devoured this book in a day. I could no longer resist it sitting in that pile next to my bed.

Remembering Young Adulthood
'Rose by any other name' is a novel I would recommend to all older teenagers about how life can get in the way of your plans and sidetrack you. I loved it as I remembered my first year out of school and how I went in every direction other than the clear and planned path. Sometimes the emotional upsets in our life drive us to seek escape from all the good and nurturing things in our life. They build a cranky outer shell that disguises who we really are from both the world and ourselves.

Unconditional Families
I loved this novel as a mother and a daughter. That tension between the mother and daughter that is so prevalent in my own mother/daughter and daughter/mother interactions. It was so realistic and funny and sad. Maureen McCarthy captures beautifully the pleasures and trails of belonging to a close family.

Sprinkled throughout the novel are rants about the things Rose hates, that she has published in a music magazine. My favourite:

"Don'tch just hate it... when you find out the all your dirty secrets are public knowledge? You go around thinking your life is private, that no one knows your business. Well, I'm here to tell you, you millions of multi-talented, meat-eating, hoodwinked, rock-loving Saucers, that not only do the banks, ASIO, the tax department and the credit companies have all your details on file, more than likely your family knows a lot more about your every move than you do. Yep,that's right! Face it! Your mother reads your diary. Your siblings trawl through your emails. Your friends, hungry for contact with warm-blooded creatures after a day in front of the screen, spread your private confidences like preachers at a religious rally. Don't blame them. Privacy is dead. Get used to it!......"

(pg 266)

And what a relief it is to have all our darkest guilty secrets and pains exposed and accepted. You try to save those close to you from the pain you experience, yet it is the pain of separation from them that is the real sin.

I really adored this novel. It contains so much emotionally; from the freedom and bliss of surfing, the joys of shared music taste, the intimacy of best girlfriends and sisters, the pain of betrayal, the vulnerability of being in love, the deep pain and anger of our most important people falling to human status, the discovery of loving the wrong person to the myriad of interactions that occur in relationships. It is a full and juicy novel.

08 September 2007

Master of the Books by James Moloney

I was looking forward to reading this sequel to 'The Book of Lies'. It was just as gripping and further unravelled the lies and truths of the first novel.

The characters journey further and fight against evil once more. I hesitate to give too much away. I enjoyed this novel and the many twists and turns of the plot. The Book of Lies has been destroyed and Marcel finds the true source of his gift.

As before, I look forward to the promise of the third book. At the Writers Festival for Schools the year 7 & 8 students attended James Moloney's talk, and knowledgeably inform me that there will be another in this series. He keeps me wanting more.

Ahhh...The weekend....nice

The 'Nice Blogger Awards' I would like to give to a blog I have only recently discovered. I really like Cellobella's 'SultanaBlog'. There are plenty of other blogger's that are nice, yet so many of them have already had this award, awarded!

My son's Myspace life has become busy as he was listed in the new ABC TV show 'Summer Heights High', character Ja'mie's top friends. He cracks me up with his ironic humour, both my son and Ja'mie, who is also actually a he. Speaking of son's, I notice that Meg's son wrote a post on Blogpond about Christian Indoctrination last weekend, and was still receiving comments, yesterday. Interesting.

07 September 2007

I Can Be Nice!

I have received my first award. Thanks Kim from Laketrees! I understand I can pass this award on to others now, yet I will need to think about it on the weekend as life is a little pear shaped for me right now. I appreciate this though and just quickly wanted to mention it.

04 September 2007

'Tales of the Otori' by Lian Hearn

I forgot to name my good friend Carmel, when I was mentioning friends I was grateful for. She was lumped in with my work mates. She has leant me book 4 of the 'Tales of the Otori' series, 'The Harsh Cry of the Heron'. Carmel was my daughter's homeroom teacher when she started at secondary school and a real role model for her. When I started at the school I work at we soon became good friends. She'd come highly recommended.
Tales of the Otori
I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire series I've loaned from Carmel so far.
'Across the Nightingale Floor', 'Grass for His Pillow' and 'Brilliance of the Moon' were all wonderful and I look forward to reading this latest one. There is a new book 'Heavens Net is Wide' that goes back to the start. I will savour these ending and beginning books as I did Harry Potter.
Lian Hearn
Lian Hearn lives in Australia, yet these books are based in Japan. She weaves the landscape and mythology well and I learnt a lot from these books that helped me to understand Feudal Japan.
My Book Pile Right Now....
I have a delicious pile of books I'm currently reading in addition to 'The Harsh Cry of the Heron'. I have James Moloney's 'Master of the Books' and it every bit as engrossing as 'The Book of Lies'. I have Maureen McCarthy's 'Rose By Any Other Name' and I'm looking forward to that also. I have 7 other books in addition. Two of these I have began, yet put aside for these more compelling books. I may or may not get back to them!

03 September 2007

Gone With the Wind

Helping my son with homework....
I must confess I have never helped my kids much with their homework. I don't even check if they have done it. I believe it's their homework, not mine. This weekend was an exception as Tom had to watch 'Gone With the Wind'. I was delighted to get the movie and Andy, Tom and I watched it together. It was Tom's first viewing so Andy and I provided some explanations for him about what was going on in it. There is some great information on the web about 'Gone With the Wind'. I loved the novel too. I haven't read the sequel though 'Scarlett'. I think I might though.
A few surprises...
I was surprises by the things I had to explain, such as the concept of a 'ruined' woman who had gone unchaperoned and being 'in mourning' by wearing black. I guess I take for granted that those behaviours have disappeared.
My First Viewing
I remember the first time I went to see 'Gone With the Wind' with my mum, both grandmothers and Auntie Pat. It was probably my first of many nights out with the girls! I loved it and loved Scarlett. She was such a spirited woman. I have often used her line 'I won't think about that now. I'll think about it tomorrow.'

02 September 2007

Father's Day

I adore my dad. I have just returned from spending time with him. I get to see him quite a bit luckily. He is a very good man and I know I am blessed to have him in my life.

He has retired and is loving it. I'm pleased he has this outlook as I have seen people retire and be miserable. He worked so hard during his life. He would be gone by 6.00 and return after 6.00 each night. He had a sand quarry and was in partnership with my pa. He told us that they never had an argument whilst they were in business for over 30 years.
It's hard to buy for my dad as he never suggests anything and always says he wants for nothing. He is not a drinking, golf playing, fishing kind of dad. He doesn't have any interests other than his wife and family. He takes photo's and has all the old family photo's. He already has all the equipment for this hobby. He buys what he wants, when he wants it.
Still, I found a PC Chess tournament game. I was never able to beat him at chess, not that I am much of a player. I hope this will provide a challenge and I am also trying to get him to use his computer more.
He has never had to use a computer for work, so his usage has been limited to checking bank statements online. He wants to scan all the old photo's he has onto disk and fix some of them. He has boxes and boxes of great photos. It will be a great resource for the family.
This is one of my favourite photo's in the world. It is from left to right, my great grandfather, grandfather, dad and godfather, Uncle Jack. Dad is the only surviving member of this hardworking team. This photo was taken before I was born and we lived on the farm near Yarragon.

01 September 2007

Celebrating Spring

I'm glad August is done. It has been a very ordinary month for me. I've been home sick or sad more than I've been at work it feels like. I am really fed up with it. I actually love my job and the kids I teach, so I have been pretty flat the last couple of days. I guess there was just too much to deal with last month.

My tulips are popping up. One of my students brought a handful of tulips (his mother deposited them at the office)for me last week. I love them. Andy planted a dozen bulbs for me last year and this will be my second bunch of flowers from him. It's fun to watch them arrive as they are right now.

Today I went for a stroll (there was nothing brisk about it) to the local shops in the sunshine. I haven't exercised for so long and I had to get out of the house. I was starting to feel sorry for myself-blah! I wore my hat and sunnies and I'm glad I did because I read The Age: Victorians need to slip, slop, slap in Spring.

"Victorians are being warned not to leave their sun protection until summer with the Cancer Council of Victoria saying ultraviolet (UV) ray levels are already at a point where they can cause damage leading to skin cancer."
I listened to some podcasts I had downloaded. I love my iPod. I had an mp3 player but itunes is so easy to use. I have subscribed to some of the ABC radio programs and I have all my music on it.

Rhonda came over and it was great to have a laugh with her. The beginning of the new season I am declaring a fresh start for myself.