Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mi Casa es .... Umm, How Do You Say Baby In Spanish ?

I’m nesting. Kind of like a giant, watermelon-bellied bird.

Yes, until now I’d always thought it was an old wives tale or one of those funny things pregnant ladies say to explain away their craziness, but I have the “ nesting instinct “, and I have it bad. Basically, its this intense feeling of wanting to clean and rearrange and generally get my house for ready for the arrival of the baby. Like I said, I’d heard of women saying they were nesting before and I just thought it was a load of clap trap. But over the course of the last month or so this need to have my house in tip-top shape has taken hold of me – and its getting worse. Its not just cleaning ( that’s how it started ) – its decorating too. I purchased my little duplex earlier this year, and moved in back in July, but its only now that I’m obsessed with having all the decorating finished.

Mr Gil and I have spent a good amount of time in the last two weeks painting. Its with good reason – the previous owners had thought it a brilliant idea to paint the walls garish, circus clown colours and, pregnant or not, there is no way I could live with a Kermit the Frog green bathroom. ( I would find a Kermit the Frog bath mat appealing though ). So now all the walls in the living area are a nice, neutral sandy/green colour, with a slightly darker hue for the architraves. I’ve made it my personal project to paint all the doors ( the same colour as the walls, only in a gloss paint ) and I only have three doors to go. Mr Gil is fervently working on the baby’s room – and knowing that we are having a boy guess what colour we went with ? Blue – yes, no-one could ever accuse of being original. I liked a seafoamy green colour but Mr Gil was set on the blue, so blue it is. It’s a lovely aqua blue and the trim will be a darker navy colour and we’ve ( ok – I’VE ) chosen to go with white furniture.

I never knew decorating my home would get to me so much. Sure, I knew what paint colours I was and wasn’t willing to live with, but I wasn’t prepared for how emotionally attached to the choices I would be. I want the house – my first own, non-rented piece of property – to be an extension of me. A visual interpretation of what image I have of myself, and want others to have of me. I want to say “ of us “ because we’re almost a real family now, the three of us ( Mr Gil, The Bump and me… ) but aside from really wanting to have blue in the baby’s room, Mr Gil has been happy with my d├ęcor suggestions. Or at least, he hasn’t voiced any objections. So I’ve gone with what I like, whats “ me “ and i’m just hoping in some way its “ him “ too, and he’ll be comfortable living with neutral paint colour and black and white photography on the walls. I want our space to be classic yet contemporary, but I don’t want to feel like I’m living in some kind of art museum. You know ?

Maybe you don’t. All I am sure of is that there is crazy, overwhelming desire within me to get it all finished before the baby arrives. Its not just some idea of practicality – “ It’ll be much easier to do it before we have a crying baby to look after “ – but more of a “ I cannot possibly be a good mother unless my walls are painted/pictures are hung/bathroom is sparkling !!! “.

Yes, triple exclamation mark – its that nuts.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting All Political on Yo' Ass

Yes, i’m getting all political on you. And by political, I mean I’m going to have a whinge about a socio-political issue so for anyone who a) doesn’t care or b) isn’t interested, feel free to click on over to Facebook right about now.

I’m sure anyone north of the equator is completely unaware, but for the past four weeks now there have been a bunch of Sri Lankan “ refugees “ sitting on an Australian customs boat, moored off the Indonesian coast. That’s quite a few nations to wrap your head around, but long story short we’re talking about Sri Lankan nationals trying to make their way into Australian territory. Thing is they didn’t quite make it – they got busted just beyond our waters and had their boat hauled off to Indonesia ( apparently Australia and Indonesia have some agreement in place in regards to “ boat people”, the details off which I am not clear on ). So there you have it – four weeks ago a boatful of refugees got caught trying to slip into our country and have been sitting on an Australian government boat ever since. Why you ask ? Because they refuse to get off.

This is where my rant comes in – how have they been allowed to just refuse to get off? Since when do illegal immigrants, refugee or not, get to dictate the terms of their status, effectively telling the government where to shove it ? Those who know me know that I’m quite the humanitarian ( or hippy, depending on your view ) but even I’m drawing a line here. You cant just float your way from one country to another with the intention of illegally sneaking in, and then stomp your foot and refuse to co-operate when your caught out.

Here’s the latest scenario – after 3 and half weeks of sitting on an official Australian vessel, using mobile phones to communicate with media outlets and having well spoken children cry on TV, begging to be let in, the Sri Lankans have been offered a place in Australia…. As long as they are processed in Indonesia, which could take up to a year. This offer was greeted with a big fat “ Uh…. Nuh “ from our Sri Lankan friends, who are still refusing to disembark in Indonesia and are threatening to drown themselves if they are taken straight to Australia. What reaction does this illicit from me ? “ How freaking rude”.

It’s not that I have no compassion. I don’t doubt the existence of refugees and there may even be some of them on this particular boat ( even though they speak wonderful English, have mobile phones on board and allegedly flew themselves to Indonesia before boarding their leaky refugee boat ). However, I find this whole refusal to co-operate thing hard to swallow. I would imagine that if the situation in your homeland was so abhorrent, your women were being raped and your men were disappearing, you had nothing to eat and no future for your children, so terrible that you fear living there any longer – well I would imagine that an offer of safety and freedom in a good country, inside of a year, would be a godsend. I’d imagine that you would take any safe home you could get, whether it be in Australia or Indonesia or – god forbid – even New Zealand.

But no, not these “ refugees “. Nope, for them only the best will do, even though they have no legal right to obtain it. And yet, for some reason, our government is putting up with it. I find it hard to believe other Western countries would do the same.

Lets just put it like this - can you see a whole bunch of Mexicans parking themselves on a barge in the middle of the Rio Grande and refusing to get off on their own side ? Un-bloody-likely….

Friday, November 6, 2009

You Can Still, and Will, Do This....

The past was called to my attention today and i realised that i'm not as contemplative now as i once was. I'm not sure if this is a bad thing - i still contemplate, but the things on my mind are now more often trivial than deep and meaningful. I blog about the days random happenings and make lists of curious tidbits instead of musing on my innermost thoughts. I suppose its because i'm happier now - and with happiness there is a definate lessening of internal contemplation. Or internal damnation , which was quite often what was happening in my case. I've stopped looking inside and trying to figure out what was wrong - i still delve inside every now and then but i dont see much wrong anymore. I dont feel like there's so much i need to get off my chest, which really decreases blog post subject matter. That being said, i could make regular posts about how good i'm feeling, and how things are going so well or how much brighter the world seems - only i know that if i was reading a blog where every second poast was sunshine and rainbows i'd be completely turned off. Life needs its yin and its yang, its black and its white, its ups and its downs, in order to be interesting. And so does a blog - just as a blog that was continually full of doom and gloom would become boring, so would continual " happy-happy-joy-joy ".

Whats my point here ? I'm trying to convince myself i'm still capable of deep and meaningful; that i'm still able to ponder the intellectual and the emotional and not just the trivial and ridiculous; that i can still become absorbed and lost in a film or book or album instead of merely watching or reading or listening. And most of all i'm trying to convince myself that being able to do all these things will help me raise a wonderful person, with an open mind and an open heart.

I want to be the mumma who helps her child to experience and live and learn and grow and.... be. I want to let my child know that its a good thing to be smart; that their are hundred ways to do things but that doesnt mean that any one of them is the single " right " way; that thinking for yourself is awesome and being a sheep is not; that different does not always equate to worse. I would like to think i'm up the this task. Admittedly, its crazy to think- not 18 months ago i was still seeing a pyschiatrist, trying to convince myself that i was not the boring/dumb/ugly person that i imagined i was. I had to learn to rely on myself, knowing that true self-reliance and belief was all i needed. Now ? In approximately 9 weeks time i will have someone in my life who will rely on me for everything; their reliance on me will literally be the difference between life and death. Its a sobering, scary yet exhilirating thought.

My life is not going to be mine anymore - and yet it is, and so much more mine than it ever was. Its just going to be different, thats all. And isnt the proverbial change as good as a holiday ?

Monday, November 2, 2009

And They're Racing!

Happy Melbourne Cup Day everyone! I am pretty sure I’ve written about the Melbourne Cup before however, for those not in the know, I am talking about the biggest and most important horse race in Australia. Its known as “ The race that stops a nation “ because come 3pm this afternoon the majority of Australians will either be glued to the tv or huddled around a radio watching the 3200m race. Yes, we Australians love our sport, whether the main competitors be human or equine.

The fun part about Melbourne Cup is the betting. I’m not a regular gambler, nor am I an expert – but, like many Australians, I take the opportunity to have a once-a-year bet on the big race. I came to work 15 minutes early this morning specifically so I could pour over the form guide. Unlike the expert race goer, I don’t take previous form/trainer/jockey/gate drawn into account; nope, the majority of my decision making comes down to three things:
* Number
* Colour
* Name

That is, when I’m trying to pick a horse on which to put all my annual hopes of luck and fortune on, I make the decision based on what number the horse will be running as; what colour silks the jockey will be wearing; and whether I like the name of the horse. These three things need to combine to give me a positive vibe. Are they colours I like, or do they have another lucky association for me? Is it running under my lucky number, or number I feel good about ? And does the name have a good ring to it ?

Based on these three things, this year I have put my bet on a horse named “ Shocking “, which is running as number 21 ( a multiple of 7, my lucky number ) and his jockey is wearing black and gold ( I like the combination, and it’s the colour of my fathers football team). I think I’ve got a pretty good chance this year. I’ve got my “ good vibe “ combination happening and the horse was actually fourth favourite with the bookies last time I checked. Also, the last time I won anything on the Melbourne Cup was 10 years ago, so I figure I’m about due for a win.

Now all I gotta do is count down to 3pm, along with the rest of the nation, to see how I fared….