Thursday, 30 January 2014



just a quick post to say that I am off tomorrow, with my fella. To Sri Lanka. I am looking forward to spending lots of time eating food and frolicking in the water.

Work in the morning, down tools, then flying out in the arvo, because that is the way I roll.

I shall endeavour to post while away.

Will miss youse


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Postscript. Things I luff.

Call the last post my scheduled whinge.

The comments were good, from a few different angles.

Naomi, I would love to read your thoughts on the issue, your treatise. Perhaps a blog series?

In Cuba, there don't seem to be the same issues. Women walk around like they are Miranda Kerr. They are gosh darn attractive. Women of all shapes and sizes, many of them with luscious curves and big breasts.

I think a large part of that is the lack of advertising there.

A lot of it is confidence.
Confidence is powerfully sexy.
Confidence can't be bought.

I have met people of both genders who I thought were super-attractive. Very few of them, on reflection, were good looking in the cookie cutter sense. What they did have in common was that they were confident and funny. Not cocky. Comfortable in their own skin.

My fella told me that, when we first met, what first attracted him was that I seemed self-assured, and that I was nicely turned-out, wearing a nice dress. Blokes dig dresses.Good blokes dig confidence.

So in recent months, I've been making a real effort to put the glad rags on, accessorise, do my hair, pop some makeup on. Walk tall. It makes a difference to me.

Anywho I have found a few things I really luff. I thought I might share them.

1. St Tropez Spray tan.

I used to use Dove Summer glow to get a bit of colour in my legs. It stank and I had to shower a few hours after I put it on.
This St Tropez Stuff is the Shizz. It sprays on, blends evenly with little rubbing in and is streak free. The colour comes out natural, very similar to my sun-exposed areas. It has a pleasant smell. I luff.

2. Coconuts and other nuts, in my breakfast smoothie.

I have been adding dessicated coconut and almonds to my breakfast smoothie of a morning, a little handful of each. I whizz them up in the thermie as fine as I can get them.
My skin looks better than it has in a while.

Coconuts contain Lauric Acid, a medium chain fatty acid. It has the following very useful properties

  • may increase HDL (good cholesterol)
  • in-vitro: a good treatment of acne (no studies done, but seems to work pour moi)
  • possibly appetite suppressant, and in larger quantities, ketogenic (mild ketosis causes appetite suppression too)

Don't you already feel better?

3. My breakfast smoothie...

3/4 banana (I peel and cut up bananas, and freeze them, which makes lovely smoothies)
small handful of each of almond and coconut
4 strawberries or you can use blueberries or mango. All delish
1 and 1/2 tbs plain yoghurt
1/2 tsp honey
water - about 80 mls.

Whizz your almond and coconut to a fine powder. As fine as you can get it.
Add all other ingredients and whizz. Pour into a very lucky glass. Enjoy. I look forward to this every morning.

4. Dogs. Particularly those that turn their head to side in a charming manner, like this.

I met a dog outside a cafe. It did this little head turny thing. I offered my hand for a sniff. The dog allowed me to pat her. When I walked away she licked my hand, as if to say "I did not say you could stop patting me yet".

The dog was a bitzer - the owner said collie cross lab, probably with a bit of kelpie in there. She had the most beautiful eyes.

I luff dogs.

5. The fact that I am getting muscles in my arms. 

Thankyou to my Trainer, Jacqui.

6. My group training

I do training in a group. My trainer, Jacqui, knows her stuff. I don't say that lightly. She is tough but encouraging. She trains all the yummy mummies and some daddies in the area, in her little gym at the back of her house. Some of the mummies bring their kids along and they play with toys or on the trampoline. One little six year old daughter of one of the mummies sprayed our faces with water as it was a hot day. J should have her on the payroll. A married couple come along of a Saturday Morning, bringing both children. We all keep an eye out for them. It takes a community to raise a child. It is great to see that everyone is included. I enjoy having the kids around.

7. Trying new wine varieties that I haven't heard of.

Albarino, anyone?
Arneis? Mataro? Gavi? Fiano? Torrontes?

If I see something on a wine list that I've never tried before, I usually go for that. I ask the waiter what style it is, what it is similar to. And I drink. Mostly I enjoy them.

8. Pickled onions. Always and forever.

What qualities do you find sexy? Same sex? Opposite sex?
What things do you luff at the moment?

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Such a pretty fat.

Sorry, you have probably this meme before.
I like it.

I am trying to win the battle in my head with poor self/body image. It's an ongoing one.

I try to walk past the mirror or and not criticise the reflection. I try not to cringe at a photo of myself. That automatic negativity, I call out and challenge.

Trying to reconcile self acceptance (not even love) with feeding myself good food and exercising (and seeing these as nourishment rather than punishment). I am getting there with that one. Certainly, when I exercise, I walk taller and feel powerful.

I try to make the best of what I have. I even put a bit of effort into my 'do today because I'm worth it.

That is just the battle in my head.

Not even the insidious and constant reinforcement from advertising that strokes the "you are not [insert adjective here] enough" gland.

But what about the people that you actually speak with?

Two examples recently

1. In a shop, I tried on a dress. It was not flattering so I didn't buy. I looked at another, said "nice dress". The (very thin) saleslady said "oh that dress is lovely on women with a fuller figure".

Befuddled, I walked out of the shop. I didn't really know what to make of that. But I don't think I will go in there again.

2. A few friends, thinner than I, complaining about their weight to me, and relaying weight loss wins.

I don't think either of them meant any harm.
And I won't call them out on it.

But I would like to propose a couple of blanket rules -

1. Sales staff should not make any judgements about a person's figure. A simple "that looks nice" is fine. Even if it is a lie. It's about moving stock off the floor, right?

Even "that looks nice, very slimming" gets up my nose a bit, to tell the truth.

2. Be careful who you share your own body image/weight issues with.

Weight is a fraught issue and body image so very easily shot to shit.
People should just drink a big cup of shut the fuck up, I say.

I work with people with significant obesity (we are not just talking 5 or 10kg) and I try to a. focus on the physical and mental health issues and b. (if it's a female) pay them a compliment or take an interest. On some level, I identify.

I like this song.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

First World Issues

I am finding myself overwhelmed and irritated by first world issues today.
Let me regale you with some of them

  • The stuff on the last post. I emailed the tour provider outlining the situation and she said that once a travel package is assembled, it is non refundable. I am asking a few more questions. I am vacillating abit....thinking I would prefer to experience South America without the crowds, I think. I will sit on it for a day or so.
  • I am suffering from TTOM. That just makes everything worse.
  • I am suffering from bitchtastic allergies.
  • Treatment of allergies taken last night is making me groggy today
  • My back is sore and I might not be able to go to running. I am overwhelmed with what other exercises I might do. I want to go for exercise as I feel ratty
  • The coffee I bought was too strong
  • This thesis writing business takes too darn long.
  • They have put biscuits in the office biscuit jar and I just want to eat them all
  • I forgot my nectarine to munch on
  • I left my birkies at my friend's wedding house and I can't be bothered going to pick them up today but I miss them......
  • I don't look as good as her below, when I cry.

And I am sure I will think of some more before the day is out.

Naomi I think I have fixed the thing you are talking about.

But some first world issues are important.

Last week my mum, who works with people with intellectual disabilities, was telling me about a person she works with who has no money for any clothes, shoes or undies, hence the workers have been chipping in. They don't get paid much.

I was bothered by this and felt sorry for the person.

So, after asking mum a few questions about the persons size etc, I bought some cheap and cheerful clothes over the internet for the person, and arranged them to be delivered to the person in their home. Mum tells me the person will be very excited to receive them.

That just puts it all into perspective, does it not?

Decisions, decisions.

I have a bit of a conundrum at the moment.

Don't get me wrong, it's a nice one. But a conundrum just the same.

I am wanting to go to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. I have never been to South America, nor to an Olympics.

The time to book things is now. I have had my eye on a tour provider and am looking at making a small deposit to lock things in.

The thing is, that is 2 and a half years away.

I am thinking, hoping, that things will change in my life in that time.

Change in the form of a house/mortgage in an inner city suburb with the fella. Change in the form of a little bubba.

I will be 37 in 2016. Just sayin'.

Yet I have learned that things don't always work out as planned in life. All we can do is plan for what we hope for, plan A, and have a plan B too.

My thinking is that I will see if the deposit is refundable, then pay it. And then get on with things. Cancel if needs be.

Any thought bites out there?

In other news, I bought a bikini on line. I have to send it back. The top is good but the bottoms, no good. I have been looking at Robyn Lawley swimwear, which is made for normal women with booteh and no box gap (whose thighs meet in the middle and kiss like old friends). Swimwear galore were selling them at a discount. I bought this one.


Hope your week is going good.

We are off to Sri Lanka next FridayYEAHHHHHH

Any nice conundrums in your life?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Lassitude. Weddings. Thoughts.


This is the explanation.

Melbourne Town is having a heatwave of the variety it has only once every 2 or 3 years. You will note it is 37 degrees at 9pm, and it maxed out at 43 today. It is going to be 41 tomorrow (that 38 is wrong).

Everything takes about twice as much effort in this diabolical weather.

But I still went to Pilates. Or should I say Bikram Pilates....

It's been an interesting week.

On Saturday, I went to a wedding, where I was groomslady.  The wonderful couple rented a house with a big covered deck and a big backyard looking onto a creek with ducks. They had a marquee and catering and bought their own booze. They had a Mr. Whippy van, just for the wedding guests, for dessert. That was awesome.

During the day, I got there at 0800 to start hair and makeup. I fawned over the bride, spent some quality time with the Groom's ma (out from Singapore, a very sweet lady who cooked us fried rice for lunch) and comandeered one of the bridesmaid's hair (she didn't spring for hair so I gussied her up a nice french roll).

Here are some pics...

the grooming started the day before....
0800 and coming at me with a makeup brush...not.impressed.
getting in with the hair
et voila...
the clouds broke later in the afternoon...

fully gussied, bejewelled, with a flower on top.

During the course of the morning, the groom was rehearsing the song to which he was going to sing and strum the bride down the aisle.

He was getting nervous.

I took the opportunity to prescribe some calming medication. That was as strong as I could easily get my hands on at 11am....

I had a fun day, and I enjoyed all of it. I was really thrilled for the couple.

I spent most of Sunday convalescing. It was a big day. The fella went to Singers to do some teaching. Hence I have time to think about the hard issues. That guy who hit the young 18 year old in Sydney in an unprovoked attack, and the young fella died and the guy has been charged with murder...this case...

Here are my thoughts... which I put as my facebook status as I had to get it off my chest before I went to bed.

Apropos this murder charge for the man who king hit the boy who later died.
Will it make an example of the man- probably yes.
Will it give a tiny bit of solace to the victim's family, the fact that he is being charged with murder rather than manslaughter- potentially, though it will be cold comfort to a tragically bereaved family.
Will the murder charge stand up in court- I can't really comment.
Importantly, will the harsher charge being laid decrease the incidence of this egregious crime?
I struggle to see how it would.
The assailants in these cases are young men with impulsive tendencies, more than a few may have a touch of antisocial/ narcissistic PD.
They are more often than not jacked up on alcohol or stimulants.
I very much doubt that this harsh charge factor will go through their heads before they raise a fist.
Harsh sentences- yes, I agree. But we also need as a society to strongly and visibly reject violence. More police on the street. More ads on the Telly- get it into peoples consciousness every day.
Aggressively educate young people at risk of committing these crimes.
We need to do all of these things, not a knee jerk response.
Anyway that is something to leave you with.
I am going to go to bed, put the aircon on in the room, and read a book or something.


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Things I do when thesis writin'.

I had set myself a goal to write the first two chapters of my thesis in January.

Of 2013.

That did not occur.

More pressing things came up....such as ....uhhhh....

You see, I am used to having lots of things to do which need to be done now. Things with a date of out there somewhere are very, very hard to get done, you see.

But, to my credit
  • I probably don't actually need to write chapters 1 and 2 till full on writing mode (ie after project finished) but I would really like to get the bits I can write done soon.
  • I have written a few papers relevant to my thesis and also written the grant application, so the ground work is done, hence the first couple of chapters may be largely cut and paste jobbies.

Today I have given it a red hot go. I have strapped myself to the proverbial beast.

And I find it hard to focus.

I have gotten SOME writing done but here are some other things I have attended.

  • Drank 2 cups of instant coffee. Moccona. Thought about buying some proper coffee for my den. Think it ought to be Jasper coffee. That's what the cool kids drink around here.
  • Thought a lot about that poor mother and daughter who died in Bali..... How? Why?
  •  Found myself a dress to buy to wear to an upcoming wedding this weekend. The invitation states "beach chic". The forecast is for 26 degrees and sunny. What do we think?
    I am getting hair and makeup done with the bridal party because I am groomslady. I didn't even have makeup done for my own wedding, so this is exciting. I am somewhat less excited about having to drive to the location at 0800 and pay $$$ for the privilege...oh well, not something I do every day.
  • Thought about the food I wanted to eat, including (but not limited to) Salt and Vinegar Chips, Caramello koalas, Rum and Raisin Icecream. It is always tempting to nibble while writing, but it is the time when it is least needed.
  • Done some stretches of my hip flexors. Because they get tight. And that causes all manner of problems. Walked outside in the sunshine.
  • Looked at Facebook. Looked at my email accounts. Repeat x24000.
  • And actually done some things that needed to get done. 
  • Panic about a disabled citation manager. Emailed IT. Worked it out myself. Email IT again. Despair at my lack of computer skills.
  • Tried to get colleagues to collectively book 5 star accomm at a conference in KL. Did not convince them. Booked 4 star accomm with them.
  • Ate my self-packed lunch. Felt virtuous.
  • Looked at flights for aforementioned conference. Need passport details...
The day's been quite productive....

Terra Twenty Fourteen.

Hello chums!

There is no other way to hit the ground but running, is there?

And run, my fella and I did, on New Year's day. In some sultry sultry conditions, and with a bit of a sore head.

But first, we did some hardcore entertaining.

On the 30th, I hosted my junior colleagues at my house for some wine, cheese and reminiscing about a tough month well managed. They bought me some flowers, bless them. Here they are a week or so later!

Then the fella and I hosted an NYE partee. Low Key. About 12 peeps. That it was low key did not stop me from embracing a rock-chick ensemble with a smokey eye and a nude lip colour. This took a bit of planning and some pre-purchasing (FYI I recommend the Innoxa lip gloss - tastes and smells like coconut).

I worked on both the 31st and 2nd, but gallavanted off to Brisvegas with the fella on the 3rd.

The weather was diabolical. Hot, and humid. I nearly melted.

I had never been to the brizz before, and, notwithstanding the heat, it was nice to walk around.
I am nothing if not tough.

It was interesting seeing all the Queenslander houses in New Farm (there were some bloody big spiders in the trees though), and trundling along the river. No other people were foolish enough to be out.

This sign was also interesting.

Later, we had a wander about GOMA, to see the falling down to earth exhibition. It involved large scale installations and many references to wolves and the number 9. I enjoyed it.

We then went to Art Gallery, to see the California design exhibition. What struck me was that many of the designs that are iconic now (ie Eames etc) were borne out of necessity, using the materials plentiful after WW 2. Necessity is the mother of art as well as invention!

I took no photos here.....I am a bit funny about taking pics in galleries, even though the are allowed. Who is with me on this one?

We took a very hot walk over the bridge, stood in Myer for the cool, and then went to our hotel pool. Later we went to Tartufo for dinner. I am not very easily impressed by food but by golly I was impressed here - I had some chicken liver pate followed by the sand crab linguine.
Again no photos, begging me to ponder the question - if the food is not instagrammed, do the calories count?

On the Sunday, I was lucky enough to meet (separately) 2 enigmatic and even-more-fab-in-real-life lady bloggers.

check the reflection...

And Her.

a shy little blossom....

(Guess who...)

It is wonderful meeting fellow bloggers - I have previously had the pleasure of meeting Kathryn, Philippa and Shauna in real life. P and S even cheered me on at the London Marathon! Kathryn and I did some karaoke in Tokyo together..

You chat like old mates - you already have some of the back story, and have already connected on some level previously....

But now, it is back to work. Back to earth. Hitting the ground running. After the dietary indiscretions of the extended festive period, craving and necessity has made me purchase a pretty penny's worth of fruit and veg. I whipped up some corn and zucchini fritters in the thermie.

I am loving the thermie - lots of tasty and healthy food is whipped up in a flash in that thing....

In exciting news, the fella and I are off to Sri Lanka in Feb, for a longer holiday! To borrow the phrase from FF, 'citing. I am discouraged from taking prolonged (ie over one week) holidays at the same time as the staff with children so Feb it is!

Also here is another gratuitous photo of some french bulldogs. Yes, it might become my thing.

And how about you?

How are you finding getting back to work?
Have you met other bloggers IRL?
Do you dig a rock chick outfit sometimes? A smokey eye?
Are you trying to be fit-n-elfy in the new year? How is that going?