It’s all about the Serenity Darl…….

 

Hi Readers.

Big apologies on how long it has taken for me to connect with my inner imagination and write a short story on LIFE! Keep in mind that my blogs are real and are happening in your suburb and the suburb next door!

I have been in a predicament many of us cross as we hit our 30-40s!  Should we renovate our home or move?  Your family is growing, some of the kids are bigger than you!! Your home is ageing as quick as the back of your wrinkly hands and you just cannot handle the green laminate in the kitchen anymore! Oh my goodness! What shall we do?

The real-estate prices are going ‘gang-busters’, how on earth will our kids ever be able to afford to buy a home in this great city!?  Why they may be still at home when they are 45! As my hairdresser says “For Shit’s sake!’. 

My family and I love our home! The location is beautiful, it’s all about the serenity isn’t it?  We love our neighbours and we feel safe, and that is something no amount of money can buy.

Cecil never does anything ‘half arsed’ – its either full throttle or he’s asleep!  SO… as a happily married couple (I am happy, he is married), we decide to renovate! Before I know it, the plans are drawn up, the council plans are approved and the bank has agreed to lend us the amount of money equal to a small coal mine – by looking at this new home of mine on paper – I can only say “Welcome to Club Le – BraineO”.  I am excited.

Day One – Five – The Development and Beginning of Club Le-BraineO

house day 1

verandah

Roof

So we are off! The demolition is in full force.  Thank goodness we have decided as a happily married couple (I am happy, Cecil is married) that we would move out!  (I failed to tell you that the five of us have moved into a 2 bedroom unit!  It is very cheap and very nasty!  More on that later…)

All of sudden this domestic Goddess is thrusted into a Renovators World:  colours, basins, taps, tiles, bench tops, 50 shades of white, 50 Shades of Grey and the outlay of thousands of dollars per day!

Suddenly I am OBSESSED with the weather and what the builders are going to accomplish in a day.  I have a permanent look of concern plastered on my face, I can’t get enough of renovation tv shows and I have seriously learnt that $$Renovation Currency by far is the most expensive currency in the world!

Cecil visits the house often….he can only be described as resembling Darryl Kerrigan (the Dad) from The Castle! He looks around, tapping at the walls, and feeling the textures and the whole vibe:

“Geee Darl, What have they done here?  Feel the timber here! They have a done a brilliant job on this! Gee Darl, look at the view from the dunny.. I am feeling the serenity just like the days in Bonny Doon!”

“Mate, how much does he want for the spiral staircase? Oh tell him he’s dreamin!”…..

He is so proud – for finally, he can see 20 years of hard work starting to pay off – in the form of his Castle…

As Club Le-BraineO is being erected – the 5 of us are cramped up in a two bedroom unit – even on the nicest of sunniest days the lights have to be turned on.  It is cold and the mould is getting worse and worse as the time goes on!  I have two very hyperactive boys that consistently push the boundaries of noise and insist on playing soccer in the 2m x 2m lounge room!  The only way I can describe their lack of space,  is that of locking up King Kong or capturing Dumbo the Elephant!  Their batteries never die.

Since living in the mould pit, Cecil has experienced a shocking round of conjunctivitis that almost robbed him of his vision and each child has been incredibly ill with bad viral infections.  Thankfully, I avoided each illness bullet shot my way –  Pffft it’s a Mum thing, I am sure!  Giddy up!   I keep telling myself this renovation journey will all be worth it.

Taken today:

top

So… Club Le BraineO is shooting up like a golden star! Up she goes.

I have been told by many that renovating a home is one of the bigger stresses in life? Do you agree?  I do believe it will be worth it, and I hope Club Le BraineO will be operating by Christmas time…….

To see my Cecil so proud and to the see the kids so excited – already I feel like we have done the right thing, even though we have a long way to go yet.

“Homes” come in all shapes and sizes – no balconies, views, spiral staircases or pool rooms create the inner happiness – HOWEVER- by crikey and heaven help me…… that en-suite and walk-in robe is sure is going to help!

Giddy up! It’s all about the serenity!

LB 🙂

The_castle_poster

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Who is this person and shall I get Botox??

Braine BW-19It seems like a life time that I have actually been able to sit down at my keyboard, and write!  Something that I love doing. With a young family, being a working Mum, married to my Cecil and a renovation on toe – I must say that I have been full throttle, pedal to the metal or you may like to imagine me as busy as a one-legged kick-boxer.

Well it was almost 780 days since I turned 40, FORTY, 39+1!  I woke up on my 40th Birthday, it was a day like any other – however, this particular morning, I lied there and stared at the ceiling and thought to myself “Here I am! 40 is here! I am going down the other side of the hill! I am here! SHIT!  I am here!”.  It was a weird feeling, again it was like most days, but I felt that I had reached an important stage in my life.  I felt happy, a great sense of contentment that my life had fallen the way I had always wanted – happily married to Cecil with three healthy and lovely children, my crazy and loved family all close by and all sharing strong health,  I am surrounded by good and loyal friends and I have a happy home that Cecil and I created together.  I felt a great sense of appreciation that my life was good.

I still don’t believe that I am 40 (+2) years old, however my body is slowly but surely starting to remind me.  I often still feel like that pimply faced school girl standing in the playground – still so indecisive and quite naive and often still doubting myself in many situations. I have an ability to laugh at myself so I have jotted down a few observations of late, maybe you have experienced some of the below?

I enjoy a glass of wine (or two), Nothing nicer than sitting down with Cecil and having some cheese, crackers and a nice bottle of red – it is a real pleasure of life.  Over the last 750 days (approximately) I have observed a weakness –  I have a few glasses of red and then feel the need to fall asleep! With smelly pink fluffy slippers on – I fall asleep, mouth wide open and I start to snore like a trombone. Poor Cecil – he didn’t marry this!  Who is this person!??

The morning after a glass of red (or 2) is equally not as glamorous as I would like to imagine myself!  I wake as though I have been partying for 3 days? Or maybe a steam train DID charge through the wall and run over me? It certainly feels that way.  Or was I abducted by aliens and poisoned by their powers? Did I REALLY eat a bad oyster?  What is going on!?  Who is this person!?? For I did not suffer hang-overs of this kind in my 20’s or 30’s!  I feel close to death……

I love to sleep! Daddy Dottie once proudly told me that if sleeping were a National Sport then I may have made it to the Olympic Games and represented Australia.  I could have won Gold and possibly fallen asleep on the podium.  I can sleep ANYTIME of the day, on any train, in any car, on any plane, at any airport, on any beach, in any climate, on any day, during any movie, in any taxi, on any subway, in any uncomfortable chair, on any hard floor and at any table –  BUT… I cannot sleep in bed at night! Who is this person!??

For I once slept for 12 hours straight, like a happy baby.  However 780 days ago my sleeping statistics showed a drastic decline – I began to suffer from  RESTLESS LEGS!!! Ever had restless legs??  I get restless legs – this is feeling that your legs will not sleep! They just keep dancing, twirling, jolting, twitching and throwing themselves about my bed without me even giving them PERMISSION!  Who is this person!??

I used to be able to read any book with any font size.  However, again, in the last 780 days, I have suddenly had to put my book practically up my nostrils to be able to read it, if I don’t put it up that close – I cannot see the words. I haven’t had to think of wearing spectacles EVER!  I am now quite scared to drive at night, because I am suddenly squinting, almost sitting on the dash-board trying to see out the windscreen.  Who is this person!??

My face. I have started to pout my slitty pathetic lips in photos – I have suddenly become conscious of my lip-line and its reduction over the last 780 days. I am now aware of my position in photos and making sure the camera is at my best angle. I like my crows feet to be hidden by taking the photo from above. My fringe has become thicker , I am not really prepared emotionally for Botox just yet, so I have decided in the interim to thicken up my fringe.  Who is this person thinking of Botox!? Thinking I need a good hit of the stuff! Real soon….Who is this person!??

Never in my life have I been so adamant about adding filters to photos of myself and only ever posting the more favorable photos of myself on social media.

In my 20’s and 30’s I never cared for calories – let alone the fact that you should count them.  Over the last 780 days, I have started counting the dirty suckers.  I know exactly how many I am supposed to consume per day – yet take no notice of this. I can no longer eat like a horse.  Who is this person!??

Whilst driving or tapping my fingers away on a keyboard, I often get glimpses of the tops of my hands! Ewwwww…. they are not my hands! Who pinched my soft hands? Which old lady took my hands and left me hers?  Her dirty dish-washing hands are all I can now see.

My neck, I have two words “GOBBLE GOBBLE”.

My backside, I have another two words “WOBBLE WOBBLE”.

As previously declared, I am no athlete (in my own mind I am true Champion).  However, I do run because I enjoy it. I have noticed a change over the last 740 days or so in my recovery time, in that it now takes me a few days to recover, I now get a piercing pain in my lower back – I never have had to deal with this stuff!  Sometimes I can feel my knees twinging and quite often I just feel as though I am going to fall apart! Yes, legs come off, then my arms, then my head all fall apart all over the road and wait to be collected by the next garbage truck that comes my way!  Who is this person!??

More and more often I am walking into rooms and then getting there and wondering what the hell I went in there for? I sometimes ring my lovely Cecil and then forget why I called him. More frequently I tend to double book myself or sometimes much to my disgrace, I just don’t turn up!  I am having to write myself “To Do” lists both at home and at work! I never did this in my 20’s or 30’s. I once had an incredible memory!  Who is this person!??

For this blog, I cannot suggest a simple solution to any of the above – however all I can say that we get older every second. Embrace your time and embrace those restless legs (I truly believe they do burn calories for you whilst in bed, a positive to look at!). You will never ever find enough Botox to keep your youth (but goodness me it has to be worth a try!?).

As a wise woman once said to me “better to get old than the alternative“. Yep – as I sit here squinting away, starring at these old lady’s hands and smoothing out those deep creases in my forehead – I am reminded – Who am I?  I am ME, I am 42, I look it and I bloody feel it!

Giddy up! I am going to get Botox!

LB 🙂

42

“If only I knew then what I know now”

As if I don’t eat enough rubbish, to only now be confronted with beautiful Easter chocolate in every grocery store I enter! I have hardly recovered from the Christmas rush, expense and extra kilos I gained over that time, to now be now consumed by Easter.

Each April, since my kids were babies, we have hit the northern east coast of Australia with our great friends. This is a great time for the kids to get some good old fashioned outdoor play by the sea with their old trusty family friends. It’s also a great time for the adults, as the kids are so entertained and there is time for relaxation, laughing and if we don’t feel like cooking we don’t! Giddy up to that I say!

Family holidays build so many fond memories for kids, if you can remember back to your own childhood, one of many stand out memories are family holidays and the mischief created. It wouldn’t matter where you went, as long as you had some great company, sun, sea and sand.

There has been talk in the media this week writing letters to your ‘young self’.  What would you advise to your young self?.  This got me thinking, there are so many things that I know now, that I wish I knew back in the dayI thought I would share with you:

Dear Young Self,

You will always struggle at school. You aren’t one of the smart students in the class room, but you have plenty of friends and this is really important to you. The best friend you have close to your side, sadly you will fall out with her when you are young adults. This upsets you and forever leaves a sense of sadness and guilt. Don’t listen to people that don’t know what they are talking about, make your own decisions and do what you really want to, because you didn’t, and the time cannot be reversed.

You will fall in love a couple of times and get hurt! Your first love will teach you lessons that will last a life time, your first love will not treat you nicely and you will cry often. Tell your parents how you feel – don’t bottle things up and try and deal with them at such a young age, you are way too young.

You will know when you meet ‘Mr Right’, he will waltz into your life when you are quite young and you will be in love with him from the moment you hear his laugh. He laughs a lot at his own jokes and makes everyone else around him laugh, usually by bad fart jokes. He will treat you like a Queen from the very first date. You will be a lovely happy Bride and have a beautiful wedding. You will be lucky enough to have your Grandmother still young enough to attend. He is a good man – so don’t lose sleep about the ones you meet along the way.

One day you become a secretary in a big glamorous city office with a view and you meet some amazing people along the way, you meet life-long friends and work for many inspiring smart lawyers. This is a great job for you, as you love to organise, you are interested in the law and you love technology.

You are not great at sport, and guess what? You are never going to be! However around the age of 30 you begin running. You are very slow and inconsistent, but you love it. The only person you race against is yourself and this is very satisfying. So stop worrying about not making representative teams, it is never going to happen. Embrace that you are a dead set legend in your own mind.

You will one day become a Mother. You will share this moment with your adored husband by your side. This by far will be your proudest moment. You look at these babies and FINALLY you realise you have done something so right. You will be so proud to be their Mummy. You are a good Mum, who tries hard. You are far from being a perfect Mum, however, when you see your happy kids smiling back at you, you will realise quite often that you are doing a great job. You can’t cook to save your life – luckily for you, you will marry a man who can cook like a Master Chef.

Eleven days after you have your first child, there will be a new threat to our society – the threat of terrorism. On 11 September 2001, there will be an awful attack on New York City. This attack will shock the world – and take away part of our innocence. Terrorism will become real and you will often read of terrorism and disgusting acts of terrorism, both abroad and in your country.

Life gets busy with balancing work and family life. However, make more effort to visit your parents more. You need to work on this. They are getting old and you need to go and visit them more often than you do.

Even though you can’t see it right now, you will have a very close relationship with your brother. He will one day become one of your best friends, and you will rely on him for many things. As an adult you will talk to him almost every day. He may annoy the hell out of you right now, but he settles down and stops biting people’s toes. You will one day admire what a great father and husband he has become to his own family.

From time to time you will feel anxious – for no reason – this happens more and more the older you get. Running helps with this as does being around good people who make you feel good. You will never really understand why you get anxious. However, you know what fixes it and makes it go away – so in this area you are a real winner!

Vacuum your house less! Who cares if you have a dirty floor! You are shortening your vacuum cleaner’s life and you will frustrate your family. It is okay to have a messy house and be a little unorganised sometimes. Leave it and play with the kids instead.

After you turn 40 your life will speed up and it seems the weeks quite quickly turn into years. So go on holidays, buy clothes that make you feel good about yourself, exercise, take good care of your skin, protect yourself from the sun, be with people who make you happy and eat good food. There are too many sad stories close by that make you realise that life is short and can be taken in a split second.

Remember Young Self – back yourself and stand up for your opinion.

 

Love always your, Older 40+ self

My Parents……

WOW! Time flies when you are having a hoot! I have just returned from a 10 day holiday to the incredibly “large” (first word that comes to my mind) New York City! The city that never sleeps, has more bargains than I have had roast dinners, has a sky line that, honestly, took my breath away and this constant buzz, even as you lay in bed at night, you can still feel this ‘buzz’ of pure energy.

Kicked a major goal – I ran around Central Park (not the whole thing), but I gave it a good go. It was particularly cold on this day – but I had packed the right clothing and I did it! It is an amazing park, and if you haven’t been there – you should consider putting this on your bucket list.

Many people have asked the highlight of my trip, and I would have to say, without sounding like a piggy – I think the highlight for me was some of the amazing food that I ate. We went to some really beautiful restaurants, and I indulged in a very selfish way, the most beautiful food I have ever eaten in my life.

With it’s heavy traffic, massive population, emergency sirens, dirty subways, freezing cold temperatures and 2 fun and outgoing girlfriends by my side, I had the time of my life! Thank you NYC!   I WILL BE BACK………(with more money).

As a ‘new age woman’, I take the internet for granted, I take advantage of this incredible technology more often that I would like to admit. Why wouldn’t I? Amongst many things, this technology saves me time and money! Around New York, my friends and I used Google Maps very often, without it, we would have been lost. True story.

We used Google and Trip Advisor to find beautiful restaurants, good shopping, weather conditions for the following day, weather conditions back at home, Skype to see our darling children’s faces and Facebook to stay in our loops of love.

I know many of my parent’s generation are computer savvy. This blog is not about tearing down the generation before mine. Take my Uncle for example, he is incredible on the computer, and loves the fact he is talking to our relatives in UK via Facebook. He loves the fact he can promote his new business via the Internet – he understands the capacity of this incredible gift we all called the “Internet.”

If I look at my Friend List on Facebook, more and more of my parent’s friends are joining up and really enjoying being part of this fantastic, quick and detailed way to ‘stay in touch’.  Last year, I taught my lovely mother-in-law how to use Facebook and drive an I-pad. She is loving her new skills.

Then there is my amazing, fun, caring BUT NOT VERY COMPUTER SAVVY parents! – Tech Savvy Uncle, calls my parents “THE DOTTIES”.

Poor Daddy Dotty rang me at work yesterday in an irate state.  He wanted to go to Noosa to visit Tech Savvy Uncle with Mummy Dotty. Little did he know that when he had so proudly booked the holiday for him and Mummy Dotty via the Internet, he had used a Portuguese website to pay for his flight from Sydney to Noosa and it cost him $890!!!!

Unknowingly, he paid for this journey in Pounds! In Daddy Dotty’s eyes, how could he become involved with a Portuguese travel company? He lives in ‘straylia mate! How could he have paid in pounds? He is only going to ‘friggin’ Noosa to visit Tech Savvy Uncle!

Daddy Dotty was clearly confused and cranky yesterday, and it made me feel a little sad. If people are untrained or have never had use for a computer (no matter what age), life must be difficult at times? Slowly the world is changing, a paperless society?

Is Mummy Dotty the only person on earth, that still has a Bank Book (like the one below)? She has that little piece of history stamped each time she makes a deposit or withdrawal. She goes INSIDE the bank, (how many of you actually go inside the bank?). She lives in fear that the ‘untrusting’  ATM will ‘rip her off’ or steal all her money!! I believe deep down that Mummy Dotty is quite unsure and scared to actually use this technology. For decades, the bank-tellers, yes, they still have bank tellers in banks, have been trying to get the bank books off Mummy Dotty – but she would rather give her left leg or an eye.

Copy of Bank Book!

A small task like paying a bill these days. Mummy Dotty still goes to the post office and makes these payments over the counter – just in-case the computer gets it wrong. She has all her bills delivered by the postman, she puts the cash with the invoice and she goes straight to the post-office. Not a day late!

She gives everyone her email address, but has never ever logged in to see if she has any emails.

It was only about 6 months ago, I bought it to the Dotties attention that they could actually move their ‘laptop’ around the house! That they could put it on their ‘lap’ and unplug it from the power point if they wanted to! Mummy Dotty thought this was a real treat, but still never logged on.

I often show pictures from Facebook or Instagram to Mummy Dotty of our family in the UK, I show her how much the kids have grown and good happy snaps that I do get a lot of enjoyment viewing – she says “OH yes, they are nice, but why do people put all that stuff on there? I am not very interested in what people eat for dinner, its boring.”.

Mum’s probably right in many ways, we expose so much of our lives to everyone (says me who writes a blog and loves a good Facebook posting!) .

So if you are really worried, the two Dotties have just landed in Noosa. They arrived safely and I hope they have a lovely time.

They are quite funny (without even trying) and I love them. We don’t have our parents forever (as many of you know), it’s the memories we make that stay with us for the life time.

Giddy-up and beware of Portuguese travel web-pages!

LB 🙂

Happy Australia Day……..

As I sit here and type this week’s blog, sweat is dripping from brow and all down my back, it’s hot today! Is this humidity knocking you around? It is certainly knocking me around. I look at my freckly skin and often think if I had of lived in the Southern Hills of Ireland (which my skin is designed for), would I be this freckly and would I look younger than I do now? The Australian sun is harsh – the summers are long, and each time I am in the sun, I can feel it ageing the cells of my skin.

BUT… I LOVE it! We all love it. We love the outdoors in this beaut country, with its beautiful National Parks, Beaches, Parks, Cities, country, mountains, gorges and its great people. I am proud to say we are Nation of great people and when things are tough, we pull together.

As we celebrate Australia Day this weekend, I thought I would blog about my Aussie childhood.

I feel blessed to be an Aussie. I don’t travel often, but when I do, I am so proud to say “I am Australian”. I am proud to be married to an Aussie (Cecil) and I am proud of my little Aussie kids. I am blessed to hold that little Passport in my hand, that allows me to freely travel and then return to Australia as an Australian Citizen.

I am grateful for my childhood. I was from the generation where, no news was always good news, we were allowed to ride our bikes around the streets until the street lights came on, kids were always welcome to turn up to their mates’ houses without their Mum having to ring or text first and my childhood also consisted of hours and hours of play in a park, in the back yard pool with fun neighbours or at a beach catching waves on a stripy red and blue air mattress with a fin and handles – like below:

matrress

Pool games consisted of collecting pegs at the bottom of the pool, the winner was the kid who had the most pegs. Or if you were a dare devil – you could see how many laps you could swim under water without having a breath!

My younger primary school years were years of play. I can’t remember having to do homework as a smaller child, and my parents never forced me to read books. When my brother and I got home from school, we would throw our bags down, eat and then go back outside to play with the neighbours. There was no such word as Xbox or Playstation. There was limited sporting opportunities and after school activities were far and few between. I look back, remember and smile. These were great days.

A vegemite sandwich with a piece of fruit was as far as my school lunch went, if I was lucky I had .50 cents for the school tuck-shop. I didn’t know what sushi was – and I definitely didn’t need $5.00 to buy a school lunch. However, I never went hungry – and statistics now show obesity levels were lower back then.

My school holidays were often spent at my grandparent’s house – they only lived 30 minutes from my home. We didn’t do fancy things – we shopped, we watched tv together, we ate lots of lollies, we had amazing times with cousins and we talked to each other. My grandfather was always telling us stories and I loved these times. Now they are gone to heaven, I remember these “simple” holidays I had with them and they are warm memories. .

Birthday parties were at home with fairy bread, lollies, chips, sausage rolls and cordial. The kids would swim and then have a few games of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” and “Musical Chairs”. If it was a good year, we took our friends to McDonalds for dinner. We then spun, slipped and played for hours on one of these until we felt we were going to vomit:

maccas

My fashion consisted of a few terry towelling onsies – like this one below. Along with my buddies we weren’t aware of fancy labels; we all wore the same type of things, like shorts and t-shirts or quite often just a ‘cossie’ with thongs on our feet.

terry

We didn’t wear bike helmets and we constantly fell of bikes and grazed our skin on the road – I can remember often picking black gravel road from a wound on my knee or elbow. It would be very painful, the pain would bring tears to my eyes.

We all had the same trade mark, which was white zinc across our noses! Never worried about our shoulders, arms or the tops of our hands – I know I never worried about these areas, as it is now I see the damage this caused.

zinc

As a kid in the 70’s and 80’s, we walked places! If we didn’t have our bikes, we walked, simple as that. If kids needed to get hold of our parents urgently, we had to go to a phone box and make a “Reverse the Charges” call through the “Operator” and then it was a long shot if our parents picked up the call. If we were locked out of the house, we just had to sit and wait for our parents to come home, if we were ‘stuck’, we had to get our own way home, by foot, as there was no way of getting hold of Mum and Dad to come and pick us up – the “mobile phone” was what Maxwell Smart had on the sole of his shoe.

Being a kid in Australia is good, no matter what the year! Each generation is different from the one before, we all get this – but something remains the same, we are all blessed to live in this great Country, it’s a great place and a great life for all kids, big and small……….

Thank you Australia and Happy Australia Day!

Giddy UP and get out there!

LB 

Bring on the New Year.

So the Christmas rush is over and you have just said good bye to 2014. Did you welcome in a brand new year? Or were you repulsed that you are a year older? Are you making a new start? Will you see 2015 out the way you intend to today? Will you fall of the speeding wagon? I already have.

You’ve gone back to work this week, if you are anything like me, you put on your usual black work pants, and they feel bloody tight! Very bloody tight – right across the bum cheeks! My golly gosh – I looked in the mirror (on tippy toes – this makes me slimmer) and I asked myself:

Mmmm… have I put on weight or did these pants somehow go through the dryer and shrink a little?”.

It’s January for goodness sakes WOMAN! You haven’t used the dryer. You have put on weight.

Alas! I enjoyed every second of the festive season. The slothing on the lounge, on the beach, in a Café’, in a restaurant, in the back yard or in my pool – I have slothed like a lazy cat in the sun – in every place I could possibly think of! I have eaten sooo…. much crap! I have eaten chocolate, lollies, pizza, bread, bread, bread, ham, chocolate, ham, chocolate and more bloody ham – in fact I reckon if I tilted my head to one side, a piece of ham may fall out of my ear!  I have eaten Lindt balls until I could barely move, and just when I thought I couldn’t stuff in another one – I sure as hell found room for another 1 or 2!

So what was your New Year’s Resolution? Did you make one? I did! I make the same one every year which is to “Worry less about the small stuff” – however, by 2nd of January, I had already worried myself sick over something petty. I have since realised it is just the way I am programmed, and I don’t think I will ever be any different – it’s a work in progress, I am a work in progress.

worry

Our genetic program plays such a big part of who we are (no scientific break-through here), however, we can override our stubborn tiny genes and make some changes IF the desire is strong enough.

I have always had a day dream that I will become a Gourmet Cook, one of these days I will love cooking, and make some amazing dishes. I have often seen myself with my hair in a loose bun with a pretty pink apron on, waltzing around my pristine white kitchen, smiling and singing as I deliver beautiful meals to my perfectly groomed family.
cook

(HUGE SIGH HERE…………… )

At 40+ years of age this is not happening – I still hate cooking and I still cannot cook very well.

Poor Cecil and our perfect children! If they have to eat another spaghetti bolognaise made by me, they too will tilt their perfect little heads and have spag bol leaking from their ears.

My Mum is not and was not a cook, and for years I have blamed her for not teaching me this basic skill (I blamed her for not getting a cooking gene and then for not passing it on to me). I have faced the fact, it is not Mum’s fault. My common sense has many boundaries, and for an unknown reason, I refuse to want to learn to cook, I have no patience for cooking and I hate being in my kitchen unless, of course, I am eating!

All in all, I have painted a picture like this: I am chubby little lady, who worries and panics far too often. I cannot cook to save the life of myself or my family. Bring on 2015 – with your good genetics, your bad genetics, good meals or bloody dreadful meals, worrying less, cook spaghetti bolognaise less and cheers to beating those tiny little stubborn genes!

Life is good!

Giddy UP!…..

LB 🙂

Who Knows? Just buy it!!!

I am in love with Miranda Fair Westfield Shopping Centre! True story…..

In fact, I get a feeling of absolute happiness and peacefulness when I enter those big sliding doors and my size 7.5 shopper’s feet hit those beautiful pearly, white, glossy and pretty tiles. All my natural instincts become on high alert, I feel so alive. The smell of food, the warm sound of shoppers chatting, the cool air-conditioning on my face and the spectacular lights.  It’s a school day too, I am without my kids and Cecil, there is no such thing as rushing today!

shoping

My wide eyes alert very much like a lioness who has lost her favorite baby cub.  I just can’t take in enough information. I hunt the shop windows, with a starving hunter’s instinct to find “Sale”, “Everything Reduced”, “50% of all Sale Items” “Two for the Price of One” or “One Day Sale only”. These loud signs scream at me like Dracula gets called to a grave yard and I, at times, feel a bit like what Shane Warne must feel when he has a mobile phone (debating whether to send an inappropriate text message or not!?).  I like Warnie, cave in and I am lured into shops to spend money on items that make me incredibly happy, completely satisfied and so in touch with that wanna-be/try hard celebrity that lives inside my soul.

I try on these wonderful clothes that are priced way above my depressing legal secretary salary! I feel so happy. Under the Westfield dimmed lights, I can feel and hear that trapped wanna-be/try hard celebrity that lives in my soul, she forcefully instructs me to:

Spin three times in front of the life size mirror with you prospective purchase”, “pull your stomach in woman”, “stand on your tippy toes”, “pout your lips” “you look good!”, “Mmmmm… you look very good”, “gee you look good”, “this dress is made for you”, “not bad for 41 love and you have had 3 kids, not bad at all!”, “now let’s get a side view”, “pull in your stomach a little more”, “never know what is around the corner? You may get kicked by a donkey and be dead next week! Live for now, just get it! GET IT”.   

I surrender! I surrender! I surrender! – within a weak 10 seconds the dress is on layby! Only because I don’t have the money today – but I will have it in 4 weeks! NOT!

The hunt is finalised and the credit card is bleeding BUT the dress is mine. I am then hit by a sense of guilt! Negative thoughts roll on in:

“That was expensive!”, “I really can’t afford that dress”, “geez, I really need to pay the kids’ school fees this month”, “what about the darn house renovation? we are supposed to be putting a second level on”, “what will my Cecil say?”, “my poor Cecil is still wearing clothes from the 80’s”, “lovely Cecil what is he up to today? He works hard! I better phone him”, “Oh well, I might be dead next week, I might get bitten by a snake or kicked by that wild donkey, who knows? I better get the dress”.

shopping

I feel quite down for about 5 minutes after the completion of the hunt! I really need a coffee, I need to sit and I need to check my phone. I waddle on those pearly white tiles to my favorite coffee shop.   I reveal my purse again and buy myself a skim milk cappuccino and a slice of chocolate cake. No food guilt in Westfield today as I looked damn gooooood in that dress (under those dimmed Westfield lights and that Westfield mirror)  and “I might be dead next week, who knows what is around the corner? I could get attacked by bees and die a painful death in my backyard” – so I eat the chocolate cake.

I am then reminded of the time, it is 2.30 pm, have I really been here for 5 hours? Yes I have… caught up in my own little Westfield World – time has no meaning and at times, neither does my money! It is about now that I remember I am NOT a celebrity, “Oh shit.. what am I going to have for dinner tonight!? What am I going to feed them!”, it has been an expensive day!”

Soooo…. I buy a BBQ chook! Only because I can’t be stuffed cooking tonight (again), life is too short.. who knows what is around the corner!!!??

Live in the moment and buy that dress or whatever tickles your fancy!!

today

Giddy UP and be careful of wild donkeys!

LB 🙂

Awful Big Sister…

This week my younger brother (although he does look a lot older than me) posted a picture on Facebook of his beautiful little boy, dressed up as a girl.  He had makeup, a dress, blue eye shadow, lipstick and a wig.  Of course, the person responsible for this was his cheeky older sister!  My little nephew (lets call him Mr T) looked so cute.  Mr T is one in a million.  He is wild, crazy, smart, incredibly funny, says very random comments, has no ‘off’ switch and has a smile that would melt anyone’s heart.

As I looked at this funny photo, I was reminded of my own childhood, and then was quite humored yet disturbed by some childhood memories I had stored – some terrible things I used to do to my poor little brother. For privacy issues let’s call him “Ethel” – you will understand why as the story goes on…

I am almost 3 years older than Ethel, as kids we were like any other average brother and sister.  Good parents, a Dog, a Budgie, a Toyota we called “Terry” and we had huge fights, that involved punching, hitting, pinching, pulling hair and biting (Ethel was a biter).  There were times, however, we were the best of friends, often playing games of “shops”, (I was always the shopkeeper), pool games (I was always “Polo”), BMX rides (I was on a horse), Patridge Family Karaoke (I was Laurie on percussion, Ethel was the young red headed brother, Danny Bonaduce), Young Talent Time Karaoke ( I was Danni, Ethel was Vinnie), hanging with neighbors, cousins and many family shin digs.  All in all, it was a very happy and loving childhood.

We would often go to our Grandparents for the school holidays, where we would spend so much time with our cousins, who were all the same age (although I do look a lot younger than them).  Cousins – some of the best memories of my childhood consist of my cousins.  Even though we don’t see each other much these days, the bond is still there – and the memories never fade, each time we get together, the same stories get told and it’s a time you really get back to your real family ties.

Ethel (at 6 years old) was a lot like Mr T – slightly crazy, often in trouble, wild and allowed his big sister (me) to dress him up as a girl.  I would sternly say to a cute Ethel:

Simple as this Ethel, if you want to come along with me and the cool cousins, you have to wear Aunty Sadie’s bra with big oranges stuffed in the cups, with her curly black wig, her floral dress, hand bag, high heels and you must call me “Mummy” all day – it doesn’t matter that I am only 9 years old myself, but call me Mummy and we will all call you Ethel!

Poor Ethel, he was only 6 years old! He did all of the above and went to the city dressed like this. We called him Ethel all day long and he wore oranges strapped to his chest in his over shoulder boulder holder! We made him go into the Women’s Department at “GRACE Bros” and ask the shop assistant where he could buy a bra? Oh the pain….poor Ethel.

Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a horse. I would ride for miles and miles on my horse, and Ethel would often ask if he could come with me. Of course being the awful sister I was, I would say “No Ethel, go away you are not coming with me and my super cool horse friends’.

What is that fake Police Siren I can hear? “Eeee aaawwww eeeeee awwwww” – I would look over my shoulder from upon my high horse and in the distance I could see this miniature gold and black BMX bike with a Police siren attached to the handle bars and blaring. It was poor little Ethel, he had ridden his bike to try and find me on my horse. He would ride that bike for miles, with his little Police siren! I would be NATURALLY so unimpressed, as now I would have to look after him and make sure he could get that bike up all the hills whilst I just sat there on the fat horse!

I am ashamed to let my readers know, that in a rage as a small little girl, instead of pinching or pulling Ethel’s hair, I actually kicked him in his crown jewels, not once BUT twice!  On one occasion Mum had to take him to the hospital as his left testicle twisted….  Oh the shame………poor little Ethel…..

I could write many memories down of my dear little brother and the awful big sister – I truly was. I wasn’t always nice to him, hardly ever actually, but I loved him and was very protective when I had to be.

He was my best little mate, and still is. I tell my own children these and many more stories, and say, one day “Your brother or sister will be your best friend” of course, they don’t believe me.

I am very lucky to have a brother like Ethel. He always helps me, no matter what time of the day.  He is a good bloke.

We still have a many disagreements in life, although I am happy to report that the biting, pinching, hair pulling and the kicks to his nuts have ceased.

Looking again at the picture of my lovely nephew Mr T, I really do think he is getting off lightly!

Love your siblings.

Giddy Up!

LB 🙂

Strike a Pose

This week my Cecil and I took our three kids to see Katy Perry.  There is only one word that sums up this Pop Star and that is “AWESOME”.  She truly is fantastic and a wonderful role model for children.

Her body curvy and athletic, and her words so encouraging.  She asked the 16,000 person crowd – “Do you love yourself? Yes! Because that always comes first!”.  I watched as many little innocent faces around me, took every word she said with such admiration and love.

She became quite serious at one point in the concert and spoke of a ‘Killer Disease”, automatically we all thought she was going to discuss Ebola, but she then said this awful disease: “Selfie Disease“.  How right she is! If I seen it once, I’ve seen it twice, I’ve seen it 16,000 times – a self absorbed generation of Tech savy humans taking selfies!  Which leads me to the topic this week – SELFIES…..

I can’t believe how popular the “Selfie Pole” is right now? A long pole/stick where you can attach an IPhone to the end.  Snap your pretty self whist you walk, talk, eat, yawn, sneeze, pick your nose or whatever you please – this pole will bring many hours of fun if you, in fact, do suffer from ‘selfie disease’.

It looks like this:

Selfie Stick

Are we becoming too obsessed with trying to record a moment or a memory, yet, we are actually missing the moment?   We are watching some of life’s biggest events and miracles through a small hand sized frame. Is this how we will recall the memory in years to come? When we are elderly will our memories be recalled through that same small frame.

Although, any parent would agree, when I say I can watch the play back of my babies being born over and over again – each time I am taken back to those very special days.  I also love to watch my wedding DVD, I hate the fact that I don’t look that young anymore – but I do love to watch a young Cecil and I on one of the happiest days of our life. I wonder how many selfies I would have taken on my wedding day or the birth of my children, had the ‘selfie’ have been invented back then (now I am showing my age).

Am I correct? Have you ever captured a moment on your IPhone or taken a cracking selfie that makes you remember what a special day it was for you? Are you a victim of “Selfie Disease“?

I don’t have selfie disease, but many of my friends do.  Many of them know exactly the angle to hold that IPhone camera, then shove a filthy hazy filter over the top to hide even more wrinkles (Yes ladies we know your dirty tricks) you find that angle where the crows feet disappear and your lips look a little fuller and if they don’t – you pout slightly.  You know the angle don’t you? I am not investing in a selfie pole just yet, but I may be putting it on next year’s Christmas list for few!

My aim:  I am trying to get 1,000 selfies with good stories. Could be the birth of a child, your first fun run, with a celebrity, at your wedding, with someone special, somewhere special… there are no limits here.  If I get 1000 selfies, I am going to publish them and make the best coffee table book you have ever seen.  True STORY….!!

Do you want to be part of this? Then tell us…

This “selfie’ is important because ……..???

Send it to:  1000selfies@outlook.com

We here at http://www.dailylifeofbraineo.com are waiting for your selfie! Now get to it!

SNAP SNAP!

Giddy UP….

LB 🙂

Happily Married

This week’s blog has been inspired by my optometrist John H or Mr Cool.  He is a great bloke with a great sense of humor!  Besides my husband, he is the only man I let stare deep into the pupils of my eyes.

This week my husband (for privacy issues, let’s call him “Cecil”) went on his annual “Boy’s Weekend”.  Many years ago it started purely as a weekend away and it usually involved a couple of hours drive up or down the coast.  What is the old true saying?:  Give a man an inch and he will take a mile” – well this “Boy’s Weekend” is now almost a week and involves a plane trip!  It’s all pretty harmless, a few old school mates who swim, surf, play golf and drink a few beers.  Nothing short of a few fart jokes, complaints about lack of intimacy with their wife, lots of swearing, belching, burping and snoring.  Cecil and his mates also tell the same stories over and over again.

I have been married to “Cecil” for 16 years. We met when we were quite young.  It was his funny fart jokes that initially attracted me to him – he had such an attentive audience that night.  I guess I was amused, yet disgusted at this handsome character! Who was this rude, yet hilarious man? Surely not my future husband or the father of my 3 children???   Twenty years on – fart jokes haven’t died. Married Cecil.  Three kids. One dog.

I have learnt many things about being married to Cecil, and by no means am I  an expert in this field.  Here are three certain things I have learnt in MY marriage:

Once a Mummy’s Boy – ALWAYS a Mummy’s Boy!  Accept this fact and move on.  Be warned….don’t try and change this relationship and for God’s sake don’t try and be his Mother!  You are rowing up stream without a paddle here or you may have more chance of winning a kick-boxing competition with one leg! Don’t try and be her.

Make no mistakes here, when Cecil looks at this woman he sees absolutely nothing but an angel figurine, she has a golden halo, pretty white wings and she flies on over when he needs  her, she is usually carrying a lovely casserole or his favorite soup.  His Mummy will always be at your heels, keeping you high on your stumpy smelly little toes.  Like a protective tiger in a famine fueled jungle –  she awaits in the background for you to slip up, so she can slide on in beside him and wipe his little brow with her white handkerchief.

If you married a “Daddy’s Boy”, again, accept the fact that nothing here will change and just move on.  When Cecil looks at his Father he sees nothing but a God-like figurine, a bearded man in a white gown carrying a cross in one hand and a nice cold beer in the other.  His Father will be at your door with the lawn mower, whipper snipper, gurney, dynamic lifter, a free car wash and even a little rub of his tired feet if they are sore.  His Daddy will do any task around your house, just so he can spend some quality time with this fine specimen of a son he produced, then when the tasks at hand are complete, they will sit down together for a beer and a quiet prayer.

I fell in love with a fitness freak lunatic and like the two conditions mentioned above, this condition has no cure, and only gets worse as middle age creeps in. His training regime becomes his world and more serious as his age progresses.  This fitness freak type will push you to the point your life may become lonely and dare I say “BORING”.  On a Friday or Saturday night you often may find yourself sitting on the couch drinking a small glass of red wine because Cecil has gone to bed at 8.00 pm for he must rise at 5.00 am to work his temple of a body.  Poor  patient and understanding you – whilst Cecil clocks miles in the pool, you slowly and regrettably awake the next day to nothing but a stinking, cracking, head banging hangover and 3 hungry children.  Surprisingly, the bottle of red you opened last night is empty.   Surely “You didn’t drink the whole thing on your own??” you ask. What a great party me, myself and I had last  night! Point here, red wine goes down easily when you are partying on your own.

 On the rare occasions Cecil attends a party with me – I get this glare, you too may be familiar with this glare, this means:  

No more worm! Party is over, I need to get to bed.  It’s 8.30 pm.  We are going home!”

My response: ‘No! I am staying Cecil! One more worm!

Random Fact: Men have larger brains that women – about 13%, this has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence.  Thank goodness.

Well that is it from me this week.  Sixteen years married and I wouldn’t change my Cecil or his family. I am blessed.

Remember, one glass of red can go a long way!

GIDDY up!

LB 🙂