Handy

My husband is bloody handy round the house. It’s brilliant. Sometimes I take it for granted. Often actually (although I’m sure that will come as a shock to you). If something needs to be fixed, he fixes it. If something needs to be built, he builds it.

I’m not used to that. I didn’t grow up with it. My dad is what you’d call the reverse of handy. He tends to be the cause of more things requiring fixing than actual fixing itself. I remember such episodes from my childhood as the one-little-tap and the gumboots-on-the-hands. The first was when dad and I were putting together a CD rack from a kitset. We apparently had it all done, but there was a quite significant looking spare part. Dad found a hole, poked the part in and told me to give it “one little tap” with the hammer. I did. The thing splintered into a million parts which all launched themselves around the lounge. When he asked me to help him put together a garden bench you can understand why I ran for the hills.

The gumboots incident was even more traumatic. For Christmas one year dad had bought mum a rechargeable kitchen utensil unit. It had this wall mounted strip from which an electric knife, a beater and some other stuff that I don’t remember hung from. It was the early 80s and we had one of those typical 70s kitchens with a brown tiled splashback between the orange bench and floral wallpaper. But that’s not relevant. Dad was drilling holes in the wall to mount the unit, only he didn’t know where the wiring was. It was my job (at the age of 7) to stand with a gumboot over each hand in order to push dad off should he start to get electrocuted. That still haunts me in my dreams.

So it’s a blessing that Shaun isn’t like my father in that respect. I came home the other day to find him moving the garden shed by himself using some sort of trolley that they use in the office to move photocopiers. Holy hell. The mess dad would have made of that doesn’t bear thinking about. He would probably have dropped the shed on one of the cats.

But the reason this is on my mind at the moment is because some months back I bought a new couch for my office. It is quite big and means that no standard desk will fit beside it. So Shaun built me one and he put it together last night. It’s bloody fantastic. It has this hutch of shelves built in that he has cut into the right sizes for my monitor and speakers and other stuff. It’s cute.

And then I moaned about not having anywhere to store the washing basket. As you can imagine, it was quite the dilemma. So last night he built me some shelves.

And I appreciate it.

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In the summertime, when the weather is high…

I love love love long weekends. They make the short week that follows fly by. It’s Wednesday already! The working week is half way through. While I know I shouldn’t be wishing my life away, at this time of year I really do live for the weekends. I was thinking about it last night. Although the working year has well begun, it feels like a bit of a hiatus time. It’s like I’m half on holiday or something. Working from long weekend to long weekend. At the end of next month we’re going to the Gold Coast for a week to celebrate our second wedding anniversary and then that’ll be it for the holidays for a while.

I so much prefer summer to winter that I feel like a different person at this time of year. It’s because I like to wear as few clothes as possible. OK. It’s not really that, although it’s true that I’m partial to a bit of naked cleaning. (I’ve actually taken up naked garden watering as well – but only very early in the morning so as not to risk sunstroke.) There is just something about the sunshine that makes everything seem good. That and the fact that the days are longer. You get more bang for your buck.

This week is extra specially cruisy as I have a training course for the next three days, on a software suite that I already know inside out. I wrote a relatively complicated site using it at the end of last year. So I think the biggest challenge may be staying awake, especially now that I’m off the caffeine.

But hey, if life is so good that my biggest worry is appearing alert, then I’m lucky to be alive.

Back on the wagon

Well, the ride is over. I’ve spent the last couple of months taking a break from treatment so that I can drink wine and binge on coffee. Today is the last day for a while. I start back on the drugs tomorrow.

I’ve had a bit of a change in mindset about it. Last year I was going through the motions and following the rules grudgingly. This year I almost feel excited about it. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had a break and am now more ready than ever to have a child, or whether I’ve just gotten my head around things a bit more.

Taking the summer off was the best thing I could have done. Aside from the fact that I wasn’t in town to have the bloods and scans, I really needed the break. Enjoying a few wines in the sun over the holidays is what summer is all about!

I’ve also changed my attitude towards treatment in another way. Last time I was miserable because I felt I was missing out on things when I’d go to special occasions and not be able to drink. In retrospect, I’ve realised that it wasn’t so much the alcohol, but the fact that I ‘wasn’t allowed’. So I’m going to be more relaxed this time. If I go to something special I’ll have a wine if I want one. Not several bottles, as I would have in the past, but a drink with dinner. I suspect that half the time I won’t even want one.

So hopefully my new, slightly more relaxed attitude will help. Now I just have to try and apply it to my exercise regime!

Trial by media

Yesterday I found myself getting a bit irritated by the attitude of a few people towards the death of Heath Ledger. The first thing that has been bugging me is the way people read something in the media and then speak on it as if they are an expert and it is a fact. “Oh, it was a drug overdose.” Really? You know that because you were there? Or because you read it on some website or heard some person in the cafeteria say it?

The second thing that is bugging me – and much more seriously than the first – are the people that are picking up on that so-called ‘fact’ and judging the man for it. “Well it’s hard to have sympathy for someone that did that to themselves”. What the hell? You’re in a position to judge someone on something you are presuming, because you know their circumstances and are in a position to rule that they were reckless and their life is somehow worth less than yours?

So you see that my reaction is a strong one.

I’ll confront the first point first. When will we learn that you can’t rely on what you hear in the media? The story changes on an hourly basis. Even worse – different sites report different things at the same time! It turns into chinese whispers and people start reporting facts that are about as true as the fact that I’m 2nd in line to the English throne. (That’s not true, by the way.) I have been in two situations in my life where things have happened to friends of mine and they have been misrepresented in the media. One involved the murder of someone I loved and the second was a friend that got caught up in a ‘drug scandal’. He was hung, drawn and quartered in the public eye, only to have his charges dismissed because they were false. Funnily enough, that wasn’t whispered about in the hallways.

So come on people, before you start buying into the hype, step back and have a think about what you’re actually doing and who you might be affecting.

And then there’s the drug thing. Let’s make an assumption for a minute (and that’s all it is – an assumption) that the man did drugs (which calls to mind for a moment just how incredible he was in Candy). That does NOT give anyone the right to judge him. It sure as hell doesn’t mean that he should get any less sympathy than anyone else. People choose to do drugs for all sorts of reasons, all of which are their own business. Some people – and it would make sense that actors would be right at the top of that list – have things going on in their heads that we can’t begin to comprehend. They live lives in a pressure cooker and occasionally something has to give.

So until you’ve lived inside someone else’s head or walked a mile in his shoes, how about remembering him for all the good things he did and showing him a little respect.

Not to mention giving his family a break while they pick their hearts up off the floor.

Friends

I’ve been desperately missing my best friend lately. The holiday season and the fact that he’s been overseas working a lot means that I haven’t seen him in a couple of months. It just feels weird. There is nothing particular that I want to talk to him about. It’s not like we haven’t been in email and phone contact. I just want to see him. I feel like something is missing from my life and it’s him.

This fact got me thinking about the nature of friendships in general. I have another couple of best friends. They are my girls and there is never a week that goes by when I don’t see them. It’s not because I love them any more than I love Paul, it’s just the nature of friendships.

Last year, for the first time in my life, I made friends with some people online. I never thought it would happen to me. I was actually one of those people that used to scorn online relationships. Now I realise that they are kinda like the new generation version of penpals. It’s completely legitimate to befriend someone that you’ve never met (and more than likely never will). They serve quite a different purpose to in-real-life friends. You can tell them things that would be considered gossip if you told people that move in your world. You can confide things about yourself that you don’t want others to know. You can offload.

I have friends from my past that I am no longer in constant contact with but they move around on the periphery of my life and I know that when I see them it’ll be just like I never left. They were people that were fundamental in past lives, so we have a connection that will always be there. I got a fright just before Christmas when one such friend almost died in childbirth. I had been meaning to get in touch with her for ages. She had been on my mind. I heard from her when she came out of critical care and was on the mend. It made me realise that I need to be vigilant about staying in touch – even if it’s just a text to say hi.

It used to frustrate me that I was always the person that did the contacting. I used to feel that if I didn’t, then people would slip away, because they are too lazy to do the contacting themselves. I have realised that it probably is the case, but that it’s ok. The fact that I’ve always played that role means that people have come to expect it. Now that I’ve actually committed some proper thought to it I’ve realised that I don’t mind. I’m the contacter. It’s what I do.

I have a huge circle of friends, of many different natures. I like that there are people out there that I can call on for different things at different times, whether it be for some sort of support or just for a wine in the sun and a few laughs. Part of that has to do with the fact that I love to be loved I suppose. I have known that about myself forever. More of it has to do with the fact that for me, life is all about people.

So to all of my friends out there, whatever the nature of our relationship may be… 

I love you.

YEAH!

Yesterday was one of those days that turned out to be bloody great. I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary when I woke up. I had no big plans. It was just going to be an average day at work. But then stuff happened. Not big stuff. Just a few small things that compounded to make my day a good one.

The morning started off as usual. Those masochists among you that keep coming back to here to read about absolutely nothing will know from this post and this post that we have been having a few issues with the people that moved our furniture into our house a few months ago. They damaged our fridge and have been refusing to pay up. We took them to the Disputes Tribunal and won, but they were still holding out. Yesterday was D-Day (in my mind). I decided to pursue further action through the courts. That meant either having their company dissolved or sending out a bailiff to start seizing property.

I went home at lunchtime to get my folder of paperwork. When I arrived I checked the mailbox and there was a cheque for full and final settlement. YEAH!

When I got to the door I noticed a swing tag hanging on the handle. It was from FedEx saying that they’d tried to deliver a parcel and that they would be back later that day to try one more time, otherwise I’d have to collect it myself. If I signed the swing tag and left it on the door before 4pm they’d leave it later in the day. Sweet! I’m never home before 4pm. So I signed. It was a delivery of Abercrombie clothes that I’d ordered online last week. New clothes. YEAH!

As I was leaving the house I noticed something in the mailbox, which was weird, since I’d already cleared it. It was another parcel for some other clothes that I’d forgotten I’d ordered. YEAH!

And finally – the clincher. I got back to the office and was clearing my email when I noticed a message in my spam folder. I went to do my customary permanent deletion  (the title was Congratulations) when I opened it on a whim. Turns out I’ve won a luxury weekend away at the hotel or resort of my choice. Even better is that it’s from K-Y Brand (personal lubricant products 🙂 ) and the weekend away comes with a product pack. Hilarious. I don’t remember entering a competition but I’m sure as hell not complaining. YEAH!

So things are good. I’m now planning my romantic weekend away. It’s a good omen – I think I’m going to conceive. YEAH!

King of the World

Today is an interesting day here in New Zealand. It’s sad and unique and almost confusing for me. It is the state funeral of  Sir Edmund Hillary . Sir Ed (often referred to as NZ’s favourite son) was the first man to reach the top of Mount Everest. In May 1953, he conquered the world’s highest mountain alongside Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. A pretty amazing feat.

It is that climb that made Sir Ed famous, but it was his ongoing philanthropic work in Nepal for which he was most proud. He devoted his life to helping the sherpa people improve their living conditions and quality of life. He became as much as part of their history as he is of ours.

He was a great man.

I am feeling conflicted about the way we are dealing with his death. He passed away on January 10th and has been on the news every day since. The media have served to make the sound of his name something that is almost beginning to irritate me.  The top news story for the last week has been the build up and preparations for his funeral.  There are huge screens erected in parks and special public transport has been arranged so that people can go and watch the funeral. It blows me away. Sir Ed was a humble man. It has been said on numerous occasions by those that were close to him that he would have hated all this fuss. While I accept that because Sir Ed was a public figure there is some expectation from people who want to pay respect to him, I struggle with the fact that this is turning into something of a circus.

Hillary has been lying in state for a couple of days and people have been queueing up to file past his closed coffin. I just don’t understand this behaviour. Looking at the closed coffin of a man you’ve never met? It is such a foreign concept to me. Similarly strange is the practice (which tends to happen more in other countries than it does here) of leaving flowers. Like when Lady Di died  and people left flowers at the palace gate. There were so many of them that they all just stacked up and died and then created a huge amount of work to remove. What a strange tribute. It always strikes me as a bit ridiculous. Why not donate the $50 you spent on flowers to a charity that she set up?

So there’s the conflict. The behaviour seems so strange to me, yet I know that in the face of death people behave in the only way they know in order to comfort themselves. And who am I to judge that?

So this is my tribute to a great man. Farewell Sir Ed. For a few minutes there you really were King of the World. May you rest in peace.