Monday, August 27, 2012

Tough Love

In the not-too-distant future my Lord and I will be taking a giant leap of faith and cohabiting.  When you consider the fact that my Lord has lived on his own for the past 30+ years and that I have not lived with a partner for 18+ years, the prospect of sharing an abode is a rather daunting prospect for us both.  There are a number of compelling reasons for this move, the most paramount being that we love each other and want to spend more time together sharing our lives and building our future together as life partners.  But I must say I do have a few other very legitimate reasons for moving in with my Lord and renting out my house, you see not only would this move be a boon to my bank account (ergo the European Extravaganza trip of a lifetime) but it may just be the incentive Slug Boy needs to get off his proverbial and do something with his life rather than sitting around the house 24/7 playing on the computer.  Bye-bye 200gb of internet, bye-bye food source, bye-bye roof over his head!  There just isn't enough room currently for Slug Boy at my Lord's 2-bedder house which is crammed full with what my Lord refers to as his 'treasures' so in effect I will be abandoning my never-had-a job, high school and TAFE drop-out nearly-19 year old son, aka Slug Boy, to fend for himself.  I have jumped up and down, ranted and raved, threatened and cajoled to try and get this kid motivated to do something ... anything ... and it works for half a day .... tops!  Its exhausting, it doesn't achieve anything and as Dr Phil would say "How's that working for you?"  It isn't Dr Phil!  So it's high time for a change of tactic and a bit of tough love, I'm just waiting on his grandparents (very affectionately nicknamed by me as Doom & Gloom, don't be mistaken I love my parents dearly, its just a loving reflection on their idiosyncrasies) to return from their latest grey nomading adventure because I may be planning on abandoning my only child but I'm not completely heartless :-/

Saturday, July 21, 2012

It's Been Awhile

I haven't felt the desire to blog in some time, life has been good to me and when things are going well and I'm busy with work it's hard to find the desire or the need to blog but this morning I have the need.  I don't like to brag as I remember singledom only too well, it was not that long ago that I too was lonely and longed to have someone to share my life with but I have found so much more than just a lover, I have found my best friend, life partner, my No 1. supporter ... I've found a man who loves me just the way I am and I want to shout it from the rooftops.  My man doesn't demand that my hair be blonder, longer, tamed, or that I wear more make-up, or that I only wear dresses/skirts and certain types of undergarments/or no undergarments!, nor does he hold our relationship to ransom until I lose weight.  He doesn't criticise the way I laugh or what I say or how I say it.  He doesn't put me down if I'm a bit slow on the uptake.  He doesn't demean me or bully me or think I'm less of a person because I'm of the fairer sex.  It doesn't bother him that I wear my spectacles rather than my contact lens 99.9% of the time (even though my ophthalmologist says I should!).  He's not offended by my less than ladylike habits of occasionally burping and farting.  And get this, he doesn't even get angry about my snoring!!!  Quite simply I have found the most patient man in the world.

What got me thinking about the state of my love affair is that I have started to read the latest big literary craze, 50 Shades of Grey, and its making me realise that the majority of men I have dated in the past have all been into the whole dominant/submissive lifestyle to varying degrees ... i.e. control freaks.  Don't get me wrong there's nothing sexier than a dominant man in the boudoir or a man who behaves like a man outside of the bedroom.  Its just that the majority of men I have had relationships with in my life have all held their 'love', their 'attention', their 'affection' to ransom unless I met their constant demands and when I failed to comply 24/7, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month etc they quickly lost interest and moved on to their next prey.  

I am so blessed to have finally found someone who loves me unconditionally ... I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I Fall To Pieces

Today I had a job interview ... I HATE job interviews.  No matter how much I try and coach myself beforehand and think about the types of questions they may ask and the types of answers I can give, my mind goes blank and I get that deer-caught-in-headlights expression on my face.  And then I start to babble ... today's examples were my use of the euphemisms 'what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas' and 'the whole enchilada' <cringe> .  You would think the more interviews you do the better you would get at them but this hasn't been the case in my experience thus far and over the years I would guesstimate I have attended at least 30+ interviews.  I also start waving my hands around a lot when answering the questions like I may be able to better convey my answer in some obscure form of sign language.  I inexplicably lose my ability to string a sentence together and I struggle about when to end answering the question, have I said enough?  Did I explain that clearly?  Hang on, maybe I should have another go at answering that question?   The worst questions are always the case scenario questions of which they were all practically case scenario questions today especially as I haven't been in the kind of case scenarios they were asking about for about 8 years on reckoning.  I've spent the last 8 years cloistered in my comfortable little typing pool positions hidden away from the general public where I've not had to man reception desks and/or take telephone calls or assist staff chasing paperwork all at the same time.  Nor have I had to be concerned with prying eyes.  I am aware of the Privacy Act but when put on the spot and asked to answer a specific case scenario question when I've not been in the case scenario, nor have even considered the case scenario is not easy.  Yes its all just basic common sense but mine appears to fly out the window when under pressure!  I know I can do the job blind-folded and in written form I can sell myself but when I have to verbalise it to an audience, well in the words of Patsy Cline ... I fall to pieces.  Thankfully I am not in NEED of a job at the moment so if I've tanked it's not the end of my world!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dating In The Middle Years

It ain't easy dating in one's 40s!  It comprises of a lot of give and take, negotiations and compromise and sometimes a lot of sacrifice from one partner for the other.  Now that my Lord and I have gotten over that first rush of romanticism and are settling into our relationship there are things that are becoming apparent.  Namely that my Lord appears to be doing all the sacrificing!  Its not fair but unfortunately as the sole parent of a Slug Boy a lot of my time is spent poking, prodding, prying, pushing and pulling a very stubborn and fearful 6' 18 year old child kicking and screaming into adulthood.  I also have a 13 year old arthritic-ridden Golden Retriever and a 12 year old tortoiseshell feline who suffers from chronic bladder infections caused by being run over by a car when she was young cat so I spend ridiculous amounts of time and money running around to vets, buying specialised pet food and medications. I work at least 40 hours a week and I'm about to take on further online education through Open Universities Australia.  Oh and occasionally I knock off a review or two for an online website portal and undertake art/writing classes.  Basically dating me requires a lot of patience and understanding.

In a perfect world I would have one of those kids who is super independent, confident and mature.  I wouldn't have to work 40+ hour weeks and I could study in all that free time I would then have.  But life isn't perfect, the bills still have to be paid and I still have responsibilities ... and dreams!  I have discovered to my greatest relief that my Lord has the patience of a Saint.  I know things will change, eventually .... hopefully I will in the future be able to cut my hours of work back, Slug Boy will morph into being an adult male?!, my poor dog and kitty will sadly eventually leave this mortal coil :-( and I will then be able to pay my Lord the attention he deserves, well until our elderly parents require nursing or I one day (in the far distant future!!) become a grandparent myself. 

Dating in one's middle years is an obstacle course of children, exes, elderly parents, mortgages, careers, and bucket lists.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Out of My Comfort Zone

I have stepped out of my comfort zone recently and undertaken a volunteer position as a Reviewer with a local cultural event portal website  To date I have written and posted two reviews and  I am making the understatement of the century when I say I am on a steep learning curve. From my viewpoint I'm at Base Camp on Mt Everest!    

My first attempt at reviewing an event was a nerve-wracking affair.  I chose to review an art exhibit for a local pioneering deceased artist.  The exhibition was being held by his wife at the Newcastle Community Arts Centre. I had seen the exhibition mentioned on the Centre's Facebook page and was interested in seeing a local painter's works which included many well-known Newcastle vistas.  The fact that this painter had also immigrated from Italy when he was 9 years old was not lost on this self-confessed Italiophile either. So off I trotted excitedly one Saturday afternoon to the exhibition, completely unprepared in hindsight, with the Lord of the Wetlands in tow.  My Lord was performing photographer duties for me. 

Now looking at art is not a hardship for me, I enjoy perusing the canvases but asking the hard questions is!  My first gaff was on introducing myself to the artist's wife and the curator, I recognised the wife's surname but I hadn't cottoned onto the fact that she was his wife (being in her early 60's should have been my first clue) and said "Oh your his daughter?", "No",she said, "I'm his wife!" ... D'OH!  My second gaff came when giving artist's wife and the curator the URL for the website I was reviewing for, I completely ballsed it up getting the actual name of the organisation wrong!  Worse, the light-bulb didn't come on until later that evening when my Lord and I were relaxing at home.  Needless to say I crept shamefacedly back into the gallery the following day to rectify my mistake.    

This Saturday just gone I undertook a short creative writing course through the Hunter Writers Centre.  I was unsure at the time of attending this class whether or not I would able to review the course for the website so again I wasn't properly prepared.  Once I got the go-ahead on the Sunday evening I was forced to email my teacher and ask (beg?!) her to supply some of the information regarding her qualifications and the background of how the course and the Centre came about.  Thankfully she was lovely about it all and happily supplied me with a virtually pre-written review.  

I have had some feedback on my first review which was considered a bit 'clumsy' and I concur.  I have yet to hear back about my second attempt but I did have some help with the factual content, actually the mere fact that there is factual content is due in thanks to my creative writing course teacher!  One thing I know for sure is that I have no desire to be a journalist.  I am quite content being a blogger for the moment.  However, I am not quitting.  This experience has plenty more to teach me and it is forcing me to get up out of my typist's chair and from behind my widescreen computer monitor and out into the real world!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Naked Truth

I don't draw, I won't say 'can't draw' because yes I can physically draw vague shapes and lines, I just don't draw very well!  So tonight I braved a brand new frontier, drawing classes but not any old mundane drawing of plastic fruit in the stock standard cut glass fruit bowl borrowed from Aunt Flo's 70's wooden veneer paneled display unit!  No nothing quite so boring for moi, I have joined a life drawing class!  Ok so I only joined the life drawing class because it was the only art class that wasn't booked solid but the art teacher assured me that it was a suitable class for absolute beginners such as myself through to the more seasoned artisan. 

So off I toddled this evening not knowing quite what to expect, telling myself not to giggle and expose myself as a complete novice, hoping and praying the class wasn't full of perverts and sleazebags or a brood of 20-somethings on a hen's night (I've been told life drawing classes are quite popular for a bride's last single soiree these days, a bit more upmarket than an all-male review granted!).  But in fact it wasn't anything like I feared it might be!  There were was a healthy mix of at least 25 people, a reasonably equal mix of both male and female students, their ages ranging from their early 20's up to 60's.  The atmosphere was laid back and casual with some nice chill-out music playing in the background,  someone even had their scruffy little pet dog with them.  

Our classroom was large and there was a ring of chairs and tables around a platform in the middle of the room.  Behind the initial ring of table and chairs was a secondary ring of easels for those students who like to stand and draw.  The platform was nicely decorated with crushed velour rugs, pillows and cushions in deep gem stone colours, slightly reminiscent of old 70's style-porn classics ... mmmmm not belongings of Aunty Flo's I hope?!

Our model for the evening was a very respectable looking lady in her late 40's / early 50's, a rather petite lady, a size 10 I would guestimate, but still a lovely rounded soft figure that only ladies with a bit of age and child-bearing can attain.  Yes, I was jealous but that's a natural state when one is aesthetically challenged as myself ... yes, I may have been blessed with ginormous boobs but with them come a ginormous belly much to my eternal despair!  Her perky neat little boobs even seemed to defy the laws of gravity, my melons gave up the fight years ago, sigh!

So what happened the very moment our muse disrobed?  Did I giggle embarrassingly?  Did I clear my throat nervously?  Did I guffaw with gusto?  No, I did none of the above.  Our model was obviously an old hand at this naked modeling lark and she just shrugged off her kimono-style floral dressing gown stood upon the platform and immediately struck a pose, and then another, and another, and another in quick succession.

Our aim, so my art teacher informed me, was to just draw the form, the shapes, the movement.  I didn't have time to get or feel embarrassed, it was go, go, go!  Also maybe the fact that our model was female went a long way to easing my discomfort after all I've seen many a naked female form in my time from the fact that I myself am female and have shared communal showers and dressing rooms with other females of all ages and sizes over the years.  Perhaps I will blush when the time comes for me to draw the naked male figure?

Did I learn anything?  You bet your 4B's I did! I learned that I need to soften and relax my hand when I draw, I learned that I need to just rough sketch an outline to begin with, I learned I need to dissect the naked human body into shapes like a puzzle, I learned that I need to find the movement and there was much more than that but I'm a little overwhelmed by information overload at this very moment.  I also learned that there are so many incredibly talented people out there, and I think they were all in my class this evening!  I also learned thanks to my fellow elderly gentleman classmate sitting next to me, and from my art teacher, that I will improve with practice.  Thank heavens for that!

The naked truth is that I will never be the next Michelangelo or Monet or Vermeer's granted ... nor do I ever want to be the next Picasso, the little misogynist pr... you get my drift!   I just loved the atmosphere, the process, the education and I'm happy to just to sketch away to my little amateurish heart's content in relative complete anonymity. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Short & Sweet

My Lord and I attended Short & Sweet by the Sea at Nobbys Lighthouse on the Saturday evening of 25 February 2012.  An evening of free theatre brought to the masses by the City of Newcastle in partnership with Newcastle Livesites.  Short & Sweet incorporated five 10-minute plays featuring local actors, writers, producers and directors who all participated in Newcastle's and Sydney's Short & Sweet Festival.

Living up to its moniker, the entertainment while short was most definitely sweet.  In very trying circumstances i.e. gale force winds, a hoard of rather restless ankle-biters (any teacher worth their salt will testify to how windy weather makes small children rather restless), and the malfunction of a stage prop or two, the talent persevered and proved beyond doubt their professionalism and their talent. The only disappointment my Lord and I had with our evening of culture was the fact that it was all over red rover way too soon and we were left wanting more!  It certainly has whet our appetite for more live theatre in the future.  

Despite the wild winds, wild children and wonky stage props, the setting at Nobby's Lighthouse was a wonderfully dramatic backdrop for live theatre. Many thanks to the City of Newcastle and Newcastle Livesites for putting on this wonderful event.

On the program guide:

The Gift
Written by Karen Crofts and directed by Melinda Latsos
Beverly, played by Heather Gibson, tries to come to terms with her last house move. Her sons, played by Peter Oliver and Peter King, prompt memories that are both loved and unspoken.

From a Great Height
Written by Mark Konik and directed by Keane Williams
Features Glen Waterhouse as the hapless Dan deciding on whether to go on a date with the 'girl' from the office, played by Jo-Anne Ford. Glen won the Best Actor award in 2011.

That’s Confidence
Written by Tristram Baumber and directed by Natasha Watson
A quiet man, played by Peter Sykes, learns confidence the hard way from "Jeff", played by Matt Graham. Set in the office lunch hour, the staff, featuring Ana Ringma and Alex Jacobs, are served by a waitress with attitude, Corrine Lavis.

Just the Ticket
Written by Sally Davies and directed by John Wood
A young man, Ben Tranter, attempts to avoid a parking ticket from an officious parking inspector, Linden Mullard.

Dispatch (seen in Sydney)
Written by Kylie Farrugia and Tracey Dwyer and directed by John Wood
A group of mythical characters (Tooth Fairy, Cupid and Death amongst others) discuss their day-to-day highs and lows of working in their fantastical jobs.