Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Monday, 30 April 2012

52 Weeks of Me: Looking In

This is me 'looking in' on my husband's weekend treat to himself...the football.

This is actually LAST week's theme but, who knows, with a bit of luck I'll get something else up before the week is out! Mind you, the way the week is shaping up, I will not have time to scratch myself. This seems to be my excuse for my appalling lack of exercise and resultant ballooning waistline and thighs but really, let me give you an idea of of what's on the cards.....

Monday: work, specialist's appointment for shoulder...(YAY! Let's get this ball rolling!) And then tutoring at 7.30pm
Tuesday: work, middle school parent teacher interviews until......not sure yet....and then maybe tutoring (or not...depending upon lateness of PTIs)
Weds: work, after school parent meeting, parent meetings at the BA's school (this time as a parent), netball practice and an important meeting with Small Boy's Mum (more of this later)
Thurs: Fridge repair man in the morning, Himself's office in the afternoon learning how to do their account payments, Tutoring at 7.30pm
Fri: Work.......and home to collapse in the evening. Don't THINK there's anything on in the afternoon or evening. Could be wrong. Frequently am. Probably have to take the BA to some social event. (Thanks be, for Himself who both took her and picked her up from the party last Saturday night. There was a reason the suburb didn't sound familiar! 40 minutes each way from our place!!!!!)

On Saturdays now I have to transport the BA to school netball in the morning and Club netball in the afternoon. It's no wonder I have no time to get to the gym myself.

As for the meeting with Small Boy's mum: this week we were graced with sleepovers Weds, Thurs and Fri nights! It's the first time he's stayed with us in about two months and only the second time this year. He's now at the local High School which is actually closer to our place than his mum's so it is easier for him to stay here during the week. Himself is naturally quite keen for this arrangement to be formally established in order to 'get some routine' into him and to keep an eye on what's going on with schoolwork etc as his term 1 report Card was dire :-(. As a result, we are going to meet with the Small Boy's mum, a rare occurrence, to make sure we are on the same page about some issues. For example, on Thursday night Himself got a call to pick Small Boy up from the local mall on his way home from work. This was circa 6pm and had not been negotiated. Apparently he 'had no homework' and, as I prepared dinner, announced to me that he had 'eaten at the mall'. He also won't eat breakfast in the mornings. :-( All these things need discussion although, as he is not mine, I am going to have to back off on some of the issues I guess.

At last we are seeing him.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Behind the Barricades

Recently, whilst looking back over posts to find a picture I'd lost in the tangle of changing machines and corrupted external drives, I found this post.

It made me sad because I used to be quite funny.

Sure my job was a nightmare and my stress levels through the roof, but I was observing things with a keen eye and I hadn't lost my sense of humour. Now, as I look back over the last few months here at The Sword, I see superficial posts with a hat tip to reality and with dwindling attempts at humour and insight. Of course, it's indicative of where we are in life but it still makes me sad. Hell, I wouldn't want to read me.

So, in an effort to clamber over the roughly proportionate brick walls of malaise and life demands which tower threateningly over  my creativity and humour, I'm going to fill you in, as tactfully as possible, on the recent vagaries of life at The Sword although, to be honest, it isn't tact that's stopped me writing around here; I was never overly blessed with tact. :-)

A number of things have happened recently, some good, some bad, some a little ambiguous (we shall see how they turn out). Himself and I are struggling with health issues, No 2 Son is unemployed again, Small Boy doesn't come by any more and the Baby Angel is in the throes of her final year at school. Even without recent events, we have out hands full.

The good thing that's happened is that Himself's uncle has left us what looks to be a sizeable legacy. The bad thing is that the two of us now have to agree on how to use it! I would like to reduce our mortgage as much as possible, as well as replace that retaining wall which has been causing us grief for some years now.
Himself would like to put a sizeable chunk of it into the business. *Sigh*
Business is the big issue of course. Being self employed in this economic climate is not a comfortable thing. Of course, as the economy bunny hops along, people want websites to promote their business and whilst there is no problem in attracting the clients,  many don't actually have the readies with which to pay, at least not within our '14 day payment' terms. This leaves us with cash flow issues and naturally when there's not enough to go around, it's the Boss who misses out.We seem to have been standing still financially for as long as Himself and I have been together. So whilst Himself sees the inheritance as an opportunity to invest in the business, I see it as throwing wads of bank notes into a black hole.

The ambiguous thing is that Himself's business partner sauntered into the office a month or so ago and announced he was moving to the UK. Has had already sold his house. With a creative partnership stretching back nearly 15 years, Himself was gutted by the bombshell delivery of the news.

I suppose we should have seen it coming. With the employment of a couple of super hot young programmers in the last few years Business Partner, as the technical arm of the partnership, has been feeling more and more inadequate and disempowered. Add to this the fact that his wife wants to live in a cooler climate and his son to attend a european university and it was really only a matter of time. I guess we just wished he had discussed it before it became a fait accompli.

Naturally, this has produced a flurry of restructuring, not the least of which was our recent sojourn to Kangaroo Island for a 'Restructuring Workshop'.

The remaining 'gang' gathered at our favourite island resort to see how roles could be re-organised and tasks re-allocated. It was good to do this away from the somewhat claustrophobic confines of the office and the continual interruption of phone and emails.


The interesting thing about the whole exercise is that it included me. Up until now I have had a fairly remote input into Himself's business activities. I have provided voice-overs, proof read content, tested new sites and occasionally collated print materials but I have not been involved in the day to day running of the office or in the strategic nature of the business. With the departure of BP this looks set to change.

Himself ran a very tight workshop over the one and a half days. I minuted, drew up a framework of aims, goals and objectives and helped to run through the 'who' and 'when' of an Action Plan. Apparently they thought I did a wonderful job because they also want me to come into the office on my one day a week off to chase payments, pay accounts and organise the filing system!

I am not sure how I feel about this.

Also behind the barricade of doom and gloom are our health issues which are at once debilitating, depressing and expensive. Mine of course is the old shoulder problem which has surprisingly lain dormant for three and a half years. On re-reading this post I am shocked by how similar my symptoms are to this time, but how quickly they were cured by an injection last time. According to latest ultra sounds, I now have a full thickness tear of the tendon although, unlike in this picture, mine is probably more towards the front of the supraspinatus. It was sustained in the incident I described here although, it is likely that I had a pre-existing superficial tear (even though I can't remember any specific trauma) which has just ripped right through. Whatever the pathology of the thing, it ain't going to go away by itself and impacts on my ability to do many of the heavier manual tasks about the place that seem to fall to me. Strangely, it is my sleep which is most affected.

Lying still in one position for any length of time seems to cause nerve irritation and I am waking up in the early hours with intense burning pain down the front of my arm. Ack. Talking about it is enough to bring the shadow of those twin brick walls back over my head. My immediate inclination, right now, is to stop writing, get a large glass of wine and do something vaguely organisational like, oh I don't know, re-arranging deckchairs on the Titanic.

Himself is suffering with major dental issues which affect his quality of life and, like all dental issues, threaten to be hugely expensive. He wants to go the cheap route but I don't want to be married to someone with full dentures! :-( Bear this in mind any of you who still struggle with smoking. It is another aspect of the revolting habit which will come to plague you in later life!!

Stepsons are my other heartache. As briefly as possible I will mention some of these issues, as they do impact on me, although I know they are not actually my issues to discuss. No 1 Son is traveling a very dark path at present with addictions, money problems and even physical threats to his safety. He has been out on his own for 5 years now so we only see and hear about these things as the situation deteriorates. Himself is determined that No1 Son's problems will not impact upon the others.
No 2 Son is still living downstairs in his 'Pit' and we have some hope for him, if he could only get a direction in life. He is unemployed again at present and lacks the resilience to hammer on doors and flood businesses with his 'resume'. I feel strongly that if he could just find his passion and be given a break, he would blossom. OK it may turn out that he's more of a Patterson's Curse  than a Forget-Me-Not but hey! there's nothing like a big field of blue in the Spring. He often has good intentions.
Small Boy is breaking all our hearts at present. He has started High School and has simultaneously decided that he has better things to do than spend the weekend with a busy dad and two boring girls (The BA and I). In some ways, it is to be expected that his life will revolve less and less around the family, as indeed has been the case for the BA as she stretches her social wings; but I was just not expecting it so soon. And I strongly feel that his parents could be making more of a stand. And his first secondary school report reflects the state of play.

So that briefly (hah!) is life here behind the Barricades. I am hoping to recover my humour and energy and start writing, I mean really writing, again. I'm just not quite sure how to go about it.

52 Weeks of Me: Shadows. (From last week!)

I am behind on my 52 Weeks of Me project through holiday depression and a quick trip to Kangaroo Island for a business workshop last week. That was where I finally grabbed a shot for the 'Shadow' theme. Now I am already overdue to post the next shot for the 'Looking In' theme and I haven't even started thinking about that one yet. My decent PAS has jammed up and I am reduced to shooting with an 8 year old 3.2 megapixel dinosaur. It's not very inspiring.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Back On Top

The sun is out and I'm feeling better.

Monday, 9 April 2012


I might stay in my pyjamas all day today.
I might do nothing.
It’s grey and incomplete outside. I am on my own and it’s Easter Monday.
My sister was born on Easter Monday.
But she's a long way away.

I’m alone with my pain and my apathy. My shoulder hurts every morning. 
Lying still is the worst thing for it. 
The pain is hard to remember when it stops but when it wakes me up it consumes me.

My house is like a bomb site. 
Every surface is covered with the detritus of my life. 
The part of me that wants to control and organise seems to be away. 
Has it gone on holiday like everyone else? 

Is this an essential resting or a criminal waste of the time I so loudly complain I do not have enough of.

I’m reading at the moment. It makes me think in literary language. 
I’m reading ‘Incredibly Loud, Extremely Close’ or is it ‘Extremely Close, Incredibly Loud’? 
I can never remember.
It is the kind of story that meets me where I am.
I’ll get better.
I always do.

Because I have people who love me.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

52 Weeks of Me: Work

 Well I am about a week behind with my 52 Weeks of Me Challenge. I started a post about work late last Friday night but it was Tuesday before I checked on the theme for the picture I should have uploaded on Saturday! As a happy result of my snowballing lifestyle, I can now put both of these incomplete posts together and bring you a real run-down on work, as I experience it!

That lunatic grin above probably resulted from the fact that I had just succeeded in catching a child who had done a runner from his classroom. Note the high flush in my heavily crevassed cheeks and the manic glint of triumph in my eye? I gotta tell you, for a 51 year old I ran like the clappers! In fact, I haven't sprinted like that since the time I tried to play rounders at school in the UK when the BA was still only about a year old. That ended badly. Recent childbirth and the attendant strain on various parts of the female anatomy do not partner well with a flat-chat sprint, a shock to one who had often represented her House at sprinting. Since then I've confined myself to gentle jogs on the treadmill and omitted jumping jacks from my workout regime.

But I digress! There's nothing like the thrill of the chase and the rush of the capture to brighten a girl's day. So, how did it happen? Well, it was like this.........

There I was, standing in the classroom as Extremely Tiny but Extremely Disturbed Boy (henceforth known as ETBED Boy) shot purposefully towards the doorway. I had thoughtfully suggested to his teacher that she lock the door as she left but had foolishly forgotten that (for OHS purposes) the bloody door opened from the inside. This fact had not escaped ETBED boy, who made a purposeful break for the exit about 2 minutes into his recess detention.
(Do not ask about why he had a recess detention. The whole thing is too hideous to repeat but involves a lot of 'I WON'T AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!!)
Knowing that I was at a make or break moment with the child and that I desperately needed to win the powerplay, I set off after him with the determination of a teacher who needs to make a point. As I barreled out  into the wet area I was a good 6 metres behind him but I pumped my arms and, doing my best impression of Cathy Freeman, I found myself gaining on him. As we shot through the side entrance door into a narrow race formed by the playground fence I was almost upon him; but knew I had to get him before we reached the open space of the playground. We skidded around the corner like  Coyote and the Roadrunner and, lunging forward, I brushed the collar of his shirt with my outstretched fingers. They closed on thin air! Fortunately, he felt me hot on his heels and changed tack. He stopped abruptly and latched himself onto the fence with a face that said 'I shall not be moved'.

I practically fell over him, so quick was his strategy change! Breathing heavily and trying to sound light hearted, I prised his fingers off the fence and carted him back to the classroom to serve the rest of his 'sentence'.

It all worked out ok in the end but boy oh boy could I feel my calf muscles for the rest of the day!!

Never a dull moment.