Beady Eyed Bird: 1 Wooly: 0

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One morning, I was standing in the study using the full sized mirror that lives in the study – because after all, a mirror in the bedroom is bad feng shui – contemplating my ensemble. 

When ‘thwack’ – something hits my upper arm. 

Looking around I see a small bird peering back at me from the back corner of the bottom bunk. Yep, I had been hit by a bird in the arm. What are the chances that a bird will fly in – through the downstairs back door, up stairs, into the study and then into my arm?

I do what I believe any mature women would do in this sort of situation, yep, I panicked, screamed and ran out of the house and on to the street.

I am terrified of animals. 

I once found a small puppy in my courtyard and freaked out. Not quite knowing what to do I promptly closed the curtains hoping will all my heart that puppy would … disappear. And you know what, it did!

Whilst I just wanted to close the door and hope that the bird would disappear, even I realised that that was unlikely to be effective. I had to do something. 

A call the firebrigade seems a little over the top – so instead, I called a my friend Penny who lives about an hour away. She wisely suggested I call someone a little closer. It was my brother in law, Grant, who had the challenging task of sorting me out.

He offered a series of ‘reasonable’ statements like “the bird will be more scared of you than you are of it” which, I find hard to belive, and suggestions like “give it a little prod with the broom and get it to fly towards the door”. Yeah, right, as if the bird isn’t going to attack me in the face if I were to do that.

Regardless, we came to the mutual agreement that something needed to be done and I hung up feeling energised and ready to act.  

I creep up the stairs and peek around the corner into the study, the little guy is sitting there with his beady eyes looking right at me. I press my back up against the wall and I inch my way (keeping my eyese on the beady eyed bird) towards the balcony door. I get the door open before inching my way back out of the study. 

Once out of the study. I do what I always do when I find myself in a time of crisis. 

I head to the local cafe and catch my breath over eggs on toast and coffee. I was a little scared when I arrived home that perhaps the bird had made itself at home and was living it up at my place, but was pleasantly surprised to find my place empty.

The upside?

That I was wearing a good outfit during this this time of crisis! 

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Dusting myself off!

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So I kicked off the year with some real gusto around this years theme: Yes let’s.

Full of hope & the belief that a bit of openness to new & exciting things would lead to many a new & exciting thing.

Well, we are two months in & I am feeling a little exhausted.

The thing about new & exciting things is that you can count on them to remind you that you are alive, but they aren’t necessarily fun or easy. Something I forgot in the thrill of the new year.

In the past two months I have managed:
– To gain a new friendship which ended as briskly as it started. Always a little painful.
– To get 10 stitches in my forehead after a dramatic bike accident. Again, a little painful.
– To post a selfie which I later regretted. Not necessarily painful, but also not ideal.
– To slice my finger open on a pair of scissors which proceeded to bleed for 12 hours before my third trip to the doctor in two weeks. Yep, this one was painful.
– To find a new housemate & manage the transition of living with someone new. This has had moments of expected challenge.
– To learn that “fitness goals” are a real thing and that in the world of online dating a misalignment of these can bring things to swift end. This was actually not too painful.

But in amongst all this I have also found time to:
– Slide down a 400 m outdoor water slide that was set up in the city by Slide Melbourne which was a mixture of terrifying and fun.
– See Roxette in what is likely to be their last concert in Melbourne. There is nothing quite like watching a woman who has a brain tumor, limited eye sight & hearing perform to give you a bit of a reality check & what a challenge actual is.
– Check out my first water aerobics class, which I loved and plan to embrace with gusto when my stitches ‘un-stitch’.
– ‘Coach’ my ten year old niece as she prepared for a swimming competition. There is nothing quite like that feeling of being a proud Aunty.
– Be continually reminded of what great people I have in my life who laugh with me & support me when things get tough.
– Join a book club and embrace what Melbourne has to offer in the summer: the tennis, community events and art installations.

So, the takeaway message?

That this is living?

Just as there are painful and difficult moments there are moments that make you laugh with joy, so, get back on the bike (with a helmet) and keep on going!

The best medicine

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This week has had some tough moments, where I have felt stuck and a bit over it all. But, it was in one of these moments that I also had a timely reminder.

I’d rocked up to work, not feeling that great about being there. Normally, I am really good at being able to click into work mood, which comes with a good level of positivity and hope. For some reason, I couldn’t make this happen.

On this day, we were running a training day for group of young people. We met before the training was due to start to prepare the space and set up the different activities.

One the elements of the day was centred around helium-filled balloons tied to smooth stones. I put my hand up for setting up this activity, there were many offers to help, but I was in no mood for playing nice with others and so, assured everyone that I was good to do this on my own.

How hard can it be?

The idea was that we would arrange the balloons outside so that when the participants walked outside it looked like a field of balloons. Visually pretty cool. Practically, well, I was soon to find out …

In my wisdom, I decided I would set the activity up – outside. Yep, that I would tie helium-filled balloons to stones outside.

There were four groups of ten balloons. I secured two sets quite easily to the bag of stones. Great. I knew, this was going to be straight forward.

Now, what to do with the other two bunches.

I’m not quite sure why, but I decided to try and tie one bunch to the strap of my Birkenstok sandal, with the idea being that I would start tying stones to the balloons that were still in my hand.

It was at this point things got a little away from me. I was struggling to tie the balloons to my shoe with only one hand. And then it happened.

A small gust of wind + poorly secured bunch of balloons + a Birkenstok that wasn’t as heavy as first thought = professional women, holding a bunch of balloons, wearing only one shoe, running down the street, chasing a wayward bunch of balloons, making futile jumps in the air to grab the ties that were dangling… just… out… of … reach!

There is no happy ending to this story. Those balloons disappeared into the ether as you probably expected.

But, once I stopped my running and futile jumping. I laughed and laughed.

At the pure idiocy of trying to tie forty helium-filled balloons to stones – outside; at my blind stubbornness & belief that I could do this on my own; at the notion that I would be able to catch those flyaway balloons; and finally, at the whole situation.

Me standing in the street. Wearing one shoe. Holding a bunch of balloons. Laughing loudly.

The timely reminder?

Well, sometimes, it takes a good laugh to shift and give energy!

#futurepostalservice

This Saturday, I had an eight year old boy, I’ve never met before, put a smile on my face.

I was walking back from a show at the Melbourne Recital Centre taking in the sunshine & generally feeling pretty good about life, when out of the blue this boy, in a blue cap with the letters FPS embroidered on it, runs up and hands me a postcard.

After a somewhat surprised & startled thank you; he sprints away.

What was his message?

2015/01/img_5796.jpg A thank you for being awesome!

A message from The Future Generation to an adult … to this adult.

Well, right back at you, Future Generation – my nieces and nephews & those little people who are in my life to whom I’m not linked by blood -thank you for the smiles, the tickles, the giggles, the kisses & the crazy games.

Note:

For more information check out The Future Postal Service ; a project which endeavours to connect children and adults “one delivery at a time”.

Not that kind of Bob

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Bob: My first book club for 2015 was full of surprises tonight.

Even though I hadn’t read the book – the minimum criteria for most book clubs – I decided to turn up anyway. After all, I have a thought on most things!

And good news, I was accepted into the book reading fold. Well, at least that is what I am telling myself.

Not being a book club connoisseur, I think we did things most book club members do – we talked about Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (the selected book for January), ate spicy popcorn and gulped from pints of craft beer.

And, like any new group, there is group process. The old forming, storming, norming and performing. So, this evening we formed.

There was the sharing of names and a gauging of peoples general interest in reading, as well as light banter about what Bob (oh, and in case anyone missed what Bob is – it’s the name of our bookclub) could be; it is only our first meeting and we are already thinking about the possibilities.

I love this group.

First up was the writing of our own book. The Lena Durnham book is a series of personal essays. There was a sense amongst the group, well those who had read the book that the book was a little erratic. The essays aren’t arranged in chronological order and it was at time at little hard to keep track of who was who and what happened when.

Why could we not write and collate our own personal essays and call it a book? The book could creatively be titled Not that Kind of Bob and would consist of personal essays. This might have been my brain child – and whilst I think it is destined for success, it might take a few more meetings for it to gain traction and buy in from the group.

The other possibility; a book club flash mob. We could meet at surprise location – like the at the fish tank in the waiting room of the local doctors surgery – and chat about the February book or about rich and famous featuring in the magazines around us.

Regardless of what might be possible, I have really enjoyed what was and am looking forward to meeting again in four weeks, in the curved leather booth with a pint of craft beer, chatting about the latest book and life in general with a group of women who are interesting, honest and dynamic.

Who knows I might have even read the book.

2015 Yes Let’s

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The best thing about a new year is the possibility.

I have been busily working on my 2015 theme and after much reflection, research and workshopping I have arrived at: 2015, Yes Let’s.

Yes Let’s is a game that I played in an improvisation class late last year. The premise of the game is to learn to accept offers. An offer, in improvisation, is any action or piece of dialog that can advance a ‘scene’ if accepted by the people in the scene.

The notion of accepting ‘offers’ in real life – outside of an improvised scene – feels exciting and fun as who know what opportunities may be created, experiences had and relationships formed.

It is easy to say no to an ‘offer’ out of fear, uncertainty or self doubt. This year, I am going to try (with the support and encouragement of my friends and family) to accept the offers that come my way.

All that I need to complete my 2015 theme is a song, to serve as a reminder through the year! I am open to suggestions.

The perils of flying in skinny jeans

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I recently took a flight from San Francisco to Boston. I donned a pair of black skinny jeans & a black t-shirt; my flying outfit, of course.

About 20 minutes into the flight I realised I was in trouble. My calves were really starting to hurt; like I had a bandage on both legs that was too tight.

And then, pins and needles in my feet.

Pins and needles is the last thing you want when cramped into an economy class seat. Obviously because it is making an already uncomfortable situation more uncomfortable but it can’t be good right?

Can you get a blood clot from that kind of situation? Gangrene of the foot?

I don’t know. But as the flight continued the situation was becoming increasingly more pressing. I had to get the pants off!

Folks, I did not have a spare pair of pants tucked away in my hand luggage.

But, I did have a sarong.

I head to the back of the plane; sarong in hand. I wait in the galley for a bathroom to become vacant.

It is whilst I am waiting that it dawns on me that not only are the skinny jeans tight in the calf – but they are even tighter in the ankle. There is no way that there is going to be enough room in the airport toilet to extract my fatter-than-I-realised calves out of these jeans.

And that is how I found myself, in the galley of an airplane in my t-shirt & underwear. After peeling the jeans off of my body I secured the sarong around waist – using my belt – and wandered back to my seat with skinny jeans rolled up under my arm.

Back in 45C I am feeling a whole more human; acutely aware though that in 3 hours I am going to have find a way to get my fatter-than-I-realised calves back into those skinny jeans!