November 26, 2012

26/11: Music for Monday

I am exhausted. I smell. And I've spent the last twenty minutes picking paint out of my hair.

It was another huge day painting but, I'm happy to say, we are actually getting somewhere! All undercoating of house ceilings and walls is about 95% finished! We had dreadful humidity in ol' Sydney town today (felt like around 80%, FFS) which meant by 9.15am, I had rivers of sweat pouring off me. Ugh. Not terribly glamorous, I must say. By the time school pick up rolled around, I was something close to 'pong city' - and totally desperate for a shower. I figured I'd do that when I got home. Ha! So much for that plan. The clock's showing the time as a little after 9.30pm and I'm only just managing to sorting that out now.

But first!

It's Monday (for a couple more hours in Australia, at least) so there's the very important business of some music for you all. Today's choice is all about weather - we've had some really hot days here this past week, a foreshadowing of the summer to come and it's looking like we're in for a scorcher this year. I'm going back a few years (well, more than a few actually) but this song always reminds me of lazy summer afternoons, lying on the sand and soaking up the ambience that only the beach can give.

Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind

Seals & Crofts - Summer Breeze 

Happy Mondays, everyone.

November 20, 2012

You have GOT to be kidding me...

It's been said by someone (I have no idea whom) that if you have a son and you manage to keep him alive until the age of 25, you've done a good job. That person was clearly very smart.

As a parent, I have been witness to many silly decisions made by my three sons over the years. They have (thankfully) lived and (hopefully) learned from their mistakes so far. I am certain they will make a few more dumb moves before they are grown - young people always do - but I pray that none of them ever tempts fate like this:

See the boy on the ledge? Meet 18 year old Schoolie* Cameron Cox. He's drunk and as a consequence, is feeling rather tired and emotional. His alcohol-addled brain is telling him to have a sleep, but instead of going to bed he elects to climb out the window and lie on the ledge of his hotel room "for the thrill and to get some fresh air." A person in the room opposite takes a picture and posts it on social media site Instagram.

What this photo doesn't show you is that Cameron's room is on the 11TH FLOOR OF THE HOTEL BUILDING.

The fucking eleventh floor. Even typing that is making my head spin. I feel sick just thinking about it. One slight roll to the right would have seen him fall to his death. An ugly, unnecessary and totally preventable death. Imagine how devastating that would be for his family and friends.

For his part, Cameron doesn't seem to realise how close he came to dying. He says, "I didn't think it would get this much attention. My Dad might be a bit angry when he finds out, but we'll see."

Jeez, Cam, ya think?? I want to slap you on his behalf, just to see if that knocks some sense into you! The poor man will probably grab you close and hold you tight for a long, long time before letting go and then wanting to kill you for being so bloody stupid!

As it turns out, Cameron may find out what his Dad thinks sooner rather than later. The hotel has since discovered Cameron's identity and earlier today evicted him from the premises. Looks like Schoolies is going to be over for Cam.

Quite frankly, that's the least of his worries. He's very, VERY lucky to have survived it at ALL.

Schoolies Week is in full swing here in Australia and thousands of school leavers have travelled to the Gold Coast, Byron Bay or even Bali for a week of celebrations. I grew up in New Zealand where Schoolies is not the norm, so this whole 'leave home and your parent's rules for an alcohol-soaked week away with your mates' concept is totally foreign to me. FFS, I remember arguing with my parents to be allowed out until 11.30pm for one night the day school finished!

Did you go to Schoolies when you finished school? Where did you go? And for those readers who live out of Australia, do your high school graduates have any similar kind of holidays?

November 19, 2012

19/11: Music for Monday...

Mmmmm... just what I feel like.

My mobile phone is ringing. It's only 7.34am. Caller ID tells me it's Son#2.

"Mum? I've just run up to the bus stop but I missed the bus... and the next one won't get here in time to get me to school. Can you take me? Sorry, Mum."

Damn. Looks like I'll be dropping off TWO boys today. There goes my relaxed breakfast before I take Son#3 to school. No time to watch telly now, we'll have to leave early to negotiate the horrendous traffic on the way to the high school. As always, Son#3 is ready to go regardless. Because you never sit down and watch TV on a school day until you're dressed and eating your breakfast. "That's the rule, Mum says." ASD does have its positives, sometimes.

I managed coffee a little later, before me and the Painting Pants were in action again today. You get a lot done when it's just you and the room and the paint and the radio. It was a productive day. Music is the key though - keeps you going! Speaking of which, today is our musical day here at WSDN and I have a cracker of a song for you.

In case anyone has been living under a rock, the new James Bond movie 'Skyfall' featuring the delicious Daniel Craig has just premiered almost everywhere in the world right now. I don't know about you, but I have been a MASSIVE Daniel Craig fan ever since seeing this:

Well, hell-oooo there... 

Craig is brilliantly cast, IMO, because he is the BUSINESS onscreen as 007. Sexy, smart, athletic and ruthless, yet still possessing a touch of humanity. Plus he looks unbelievably hot in a tux, a Bond must-have. Case in point:

See what I mean? ON FIRE. *ahem*

But getting back to the reason for mentioning James Bond in the first place - MUSIC - the soundtrack from the latest instalment of the Bond adventures features one of my favourite female vocalists, Adele.

I have yet to see the film but I will be rectifying that as soon as humanly possible. From what I've seen and read about it, Skyfall is a worthy chapter of the Bond story so far. Take a moment and listen to the film's title track; even if you're not a Bond fan, it's definitely worth taking the time to listen to Adele's fabulous voice.

Happy Monday, everyone.

Let the sky fall, when it crumbles
We will stand tall, 
Face it all together
At sky fall,
At sky fall

Adele - Skyfall

November 16, 2012

Sisterhood of the Painting Pants...

Thank GOD it's Friday. I'm knackered. We have nothing planned here tonight although I'm feeling slightly guilty about that because this afternoon I put off having one of H's mates here for a sleep over. I just couldn't face it. All I could think about was having a night of doing nothing followed by a long sleep, fuelled by the knowledge that no alarm clock would be screeching at me in the morning.

Easy Coat would be right if it applied itself!

This past week has been filled to the brim with 'busy' and my body is feeling it a little tonight. It's telling me to stop, slow down and baby, I'm listening. Three of my days have been spent painting walls and ceilings. I've been clambering up and down ladders, cutting in with brushes and filling in with rollers, working a lot above my head and constantly moving, stretching and reaching. Muscles I didn't know I had are now making their presence felt. There is a high probability that I still have paint in my hair.

Oh, the stories those Painting Pants could tell...

I've done loads of painting over the years and these trusty pants have been my companion all the way along. They were witness to the 'Tuscan Yellow' phase I went through a few years back when suede effect paint was all the rage. My wrists ache just remembering all those cross hatched brushstrokes! Then there was the fresh white when I painted the rumpus room ceiling, again. And now the current latte-like colour with an unlikely name of 'Self Destruct' covering the walls at home today.

I finished painting early today though. There was Important Business to be had at my youngest son's school assembly. He was going to receive a very special award -  his 6th Principal's Distinction. Time was of the essence so I didn't have a chance to go home and change which meant the Painting Pants were going to have to do 'school assembly' as best they could.

But did Son#3 care about that? No, he did not. A gorgeous smile lit up his face the moment he saw me standing there at the back of the hall. It remained that way for the entire time he was on stage, holding that badge front and centre with pride.

The Pants and I were thrilled. I clapped like a madwoman at the end. And peeled another splash of paint off my fingers.

The weekend beckons. The Painting Pants are in the wash. And it's raining. I'm home with my boys and all is right with the world.

November 12, 2012

12/11: Music for Monday...

No matter how old your children are, the parenting and teaching never really stops. The only difference is the type of issues you're required to deal with.

Take my week, for example.

My youngest, 12 year-old H, is negotiating the entry into his teen years and the wilds of puberty. Mood swings have made their presence felt and the non-committal grunt has surfaced far more regularly in his speech repertoire. We go from one extreme to the next: one minute I'm talking him down off a metaphorical anxiety ledge, the next we are jumping around with joy because he's brought a note him advising me he's receiving his SIXTH Principals Award at this Friday's assembly. Woo hoo!

Middle son, 14 year-old M, is currently in Fiji living the dream (on holidays with his best mate and his family) so it's been so VERY quiet at home. I've washed much less and the ice-cream is lasting a lot longer in the freezer. He's home Thursday and I CAN'T WAIT to have him back. We've all missed his cheeky face.

Then there's my eldest boy, N. He's 23 and still living at home although he did move out for 18 months or so before coming back. It was just long enough for us to miss him, I think. Currently without a licence (that's a very long story) I've gained another regular customer for Mum's Taxi Service. He's your typical young man, likes to enjoy his free time with his mates by going out and having fun. Until it's not fun. Yesterday we spent 5 hours in the hospital emergency department; N had managed to cut his hand rather badly during his travels the night before. As soon as I saw it, I knew it needed stitches. I was right. He needed six, as it later turned out. And a tetanus needle while they were at it. He's fine, his hand a bit sore but he's more or less okay.

It's an absolute roller coaster, this parenting gig, isn't it? You never know what's around the corner. Or when the next big dip is coming! So I think today's musical selection for this Monday is an apt one, given my past week, don't you?

Happy Mondays, everyone.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you you would cry,

So just look at them and sigh, and know they love you.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Teach your children

November 10, 2012

Dance like there's nobody watching...

The Ninja Boy is currently in his final year at primary school. He is my youngest child, teetering on the brink of teenage-dom. The remaining weeks of term are hurtling by at great speed, much faster I think, than either of us actually expected. Change is coming. BIG change. As a consequence there have been a few meltdowns and emotional outbursts of late, including one memorable day recently when H apparently told his teacher to "calm down and RELAX!" Shit is really starting to get real.

Strike a pose

The annual Year 6 disco was on last night and he was so excited. The Ninja Boy LOVES to dance. A new shirt was purchased especially for the occasion (from the Men's section, God help me - an XS!!) and hair gel was applied. He was looking mighty sharp.

Watching my son having the time of his life with his mates was both wonderful and bittersweet. I couldn't ignore a pang of sadness flickering ever-so-slightly in my heart. Because those fabulous boys, dancing with so much joy in front of me, had become so much more than simply classmates. They'd forged real friendships. Accepted each other for who and what they are. Made mistakes. Learned about life. Grown in mind and body. And they'd all done it together. 

It will be hard to leave that behind, yet we must. A new challenge awaits. Life marches on. The future is just waiting to be written.

And I know the Ninja Boy will be okay, despite the change. His charisma and personality will see to that. As well as his dancing skills. Man, that boy can dance!

So happy weekends, people. What are YOU up to? Any dancing happening in your social calendar?

November 5, 2012

Music for Monday...

Congratulate me, will you? Because this moment deserves a special mention. *impressive drum roll*


I'm feeling very self-righteous about my efforts - this is huge news for me, especially as it's only early November! With special thanks to my Partner In Crime, today saw us hit the factory outlet shops for some serious Christmas gift purchasing. Bolstered with an energy-giving coffee, we scoured the racks and shelves for those elusive bargains (and found a few). It felt fantastic being able to cross some names off the 'Need-To-Buy-For' list. The trick now of course, will be whether or not I can keep this good work up. So much pressure!

I have several annoying clever friends who usually have their shopping finished by the start of October, all aforementioned presents bought, wrapped and hidden away ready for Christmas morning. Unfortunately, I am NOT one of these people. At 46, I have come to the realisation that I will NEVER be one of those people. But that's okay. I still get it done, so that's all that really matters.

Christmas seems to come around earlier every year, don't you think? I do. My local shops had the cheek to whip out their decorations by the 1st of Sept. Just ridiculous. I studiously ignored them for 6 weeks because I wasn't ready to even think about Christmas then. Of course I also made a mental note NOT leave the shopping to the last minute. Because that's what usually happens. Years gone by have seen me power shopping in a semi-organised frenzy/panic during the last two weeks before Christmas. It's hardcore shopping, people and definitely not for the faint hearted.

Who knows, maybe this year will actually be different! Keep your fingers crossed.

Now to the business of the day. It's Monday after all. Seeing as we're talking about shopping, today's musical selection is all about one of the essentials you need to do it - money!

Money, get away
Get a good job with more pay
And you're okay

Pink Floyd - Money

Happy Monday, everyone.

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