Friday, September 30, 2011

Grateful For... Technology

This week I'm feeling all cool and lovin' on technology.
Cause that's how I roll - bytes and RAM and syncing and apps and ...  
I'm talking rubbish.

I'm no tech head - I can barely say or spell techenogical. See?
(I think this blog is testament to that. Plus, it took a tech help desk to tell me where the on/off button is on my modem this week. Swellin' with pride.)

I do, however, have in my hot little hands a gorgeous lil iPad 2 - on loan from school for a couple of weeks to familiarise myself with it before making my decision on an 'Apple' weapon of choice.
(Um, I'm actually typing this post on our ol' faithful PC 'cause I would like to publish it tonight and not next month though.)

Like the little old lady I am, I've often lamented the minefield that is this technological age our kids are growing up in - but it's not all bad.

In the past few years, I've seen technology turn the way we teach on it's head.
For the most part it is pretty fabulous stuff.

I have loved embracing the Smartboard and all that it offers us in the classroom.
I'm probably only engaging about 1% of it's optimum capabilities at the moment and even then we think it's pretty awesome in our class.

The internet has completely altered our approach to research, writing, publishing, communicating and learning at in the classroom - or lab. I'm feeling my way through the world wide web alongside (sometimes even behind) my students and it's overwhelming at times.

At our school, we are moving towards every child have constant access to their own iPad or mac -  and integrating them into every facet of school life. We're no longer going to work against social media like Facebook but make it work for us.

In my personal life, technology has seen huge shifts in the way we do things around here too. From simply paying bills, to accessing information, communicating with the fam right through to hearing Magoo tip tap away on his Thomas The Tank Engine laptop and declare he's reading a new "memail" - technology is developing faster than the tweens on youtube.

Anyway, I RAMble. Ha ha. Geek joke.
Hooray for technology and all that comes with it.
The good, the bad and the ugly.

Here's a taste of some of the highly educational experimentation I've been conducting since receiving the iPad 2 this afternoon.

The boss'll be tickled pink.

 Linking up with fellow gratitude givers @ Lemon Rhodes this week.

Come on over for a byte. Ha ha. :-)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

10 Things You Didn't Want To Know About Me

I have been invited by Mandy from A Little Space Like Home to join in this link up.
I love receiving invitations, so rsvped with a yes and immediately began wondering what to wear.

Turns out there's no dress code.
Basically I'm required to divulge ten little offerings about my pitiful self and force you to read them!!
Feel free to dress up for the non occasion if you wish.

I. can. not. sing.
My lack of musical ability has been the bane of my existence since childhood.
It ruined every (almost) straight A report in school - and even uni.

I have had huge insecurity issues in the past.
And seriously bright red face when so much as looked at issues.
And insomnia issues. 
And food (or moreso, the avoidance of food) obsession issues.
My thirties have been kind to me in all of these respects. Hooray for aging!

I have appalling taste in television. I love the rubbish.
Reality rubbish really rocks my world.
Farmer wants A Wife, The Biggest Loser, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Block... Bring it on. 

I lust after Robbie Williams.
I went to his last concert here two nights in a row - and loved, loved, loved them both.

I get super cranky if Hubby's in the room while I'm trying on outfits.
I don't like being watched when making these big decisions
(or is it when I'm all fussy, twirly, swirly, changing ten times, checking-my-butt in the mirror?!)

I worry about alcoholism. A lot. A lot more than I need to.

SEVEN (Hang in there!)
I am beyond impatient.
But working on it.

I have never eaten Vegemite or drank coffee. Ever.
Can't get past the smell.

I count 'shots' or backfires or firecrackers or whatever they are out there when I hear them and check the time.
One day the cops will turn to me for key evidence - and I'll be prepared.

I love teaching, but hold aspirations to one day pursue a career as an editor.
I'm certainly (self) trained in the art of the 'critical eye'.

You made it!

Now it's my turn to invite 5 other bloggers to play.
Come on down lucky ladies...

Julie @ Mama of Two Boys
Kate @ Our Little Sins
Loz @ Ninja Tales
Lou @ Sunny + Scout
Cheryl @ NUMBER FIVE   
I look forward to reading yours.

Shar :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Where Do They Come From?

Do you ever see a random pair of knickers, jocks, a single sock (or worse, much worse) on the footpath, the verge or the road and wreck your head with the possibilities?
The back story.

A girlfriend recently recounted a tale of her toddler daughter throwing a brand new coveted Haviana thong out of the car window at an intersection - and her subsequent glamorous retrieval of said thong.

So there's one perfectly plausible reason for rogue, single thongs in tiny sizes on the road.

But what about those undies?

Are people simply disrobing in plain view on the streets around the place?

Has someone left their washing basket in the back of the ute, only to lose some precious (or not so precious) cargo on a speed bump?

Is my sinister-crime-fiction-reading-mind correct and the spot is actually the scene of a terrible assault?

Did some poor child neglect to zip up their swimming bag and unknowingly drop items of clothing from a to b, Hansel and Gretel style?

Did a mighty gust of wind carry them from a nearby washing line, leaving behind empty pegs and a bewildered owner?

Did a couple of those randy teenagers get busy right here on the footpath? (Would explain some of the "much worse" type of roadside souvenirs too.)

The mind boggles.
Therefore, the mind should probably get on with some work.

If you happen to know the backstory that accounts for at least one item out there on the streets - do share and partially put me out of my misery, please.

Shar :-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

52 Week Project : Wk 2

Week 2's self torture portrait...
There's me again!
This time on the way to a friend's place to watch the football on the weekend.
I like to jump on the bandwagon during finals time.
The rest of the season is just muscly arm eye candy to me!

Unfortunately, this was me on the return trip as the boys lost by a substantial amount and ended an awesome season in disappointing form.
West Coast for 2012, hey?!

Linking up with gorgeous My Mummy Daze and her 52 Week Project.
Go on, get your self portrait on!

Shar :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Not All About Me

I'm still chuckling as I type this.

Recently, I noticed a new blog post appear in my reader and clicked over to enjoy a progress report from the gorgeous Farmer's Wifey. The post featured pictures of the new doors in place in her nearly completed home.
I left a cheeky comment about loving her doors and them being 'well hung'.

A minute later, that post disappeared and was replaced with a brand new identical version on her blog - minus the cheeky comment.

I gasped aloud and was frozen with shame - assuming that she'd pulled the post after reading my trashy comment and reposted it fresh without the taint of that Mum on the Run's vulgarity. I immediately emailed Farmer's Wifey gushing,

"Oh my goodness.
Did you delete your original Sunday post because of my inappropriate comment?? So, so, so sorry.
Shar (Mum on the Run)"

Then sat and sweat.
Four minutes later,(I told you, I was sweating it!) I got a reply.
Turns out Farmer's Wifey had had some html trouble after publishing and the post was playing with her blog format, so she had to delete and repost.

Ba ha ha. I laughed aloud - with relief and then more shame.
What on Earth makes me think the whole world is about me - and not html??
Where do I get off thinking that someone is going to go to the trouble of republishing a post just because of a sentence I released into the cyber world choc full of smut?!!

Why do I feel targeted and go into a panic when generic emails fly around at work - only to find out the whole thing had nothing to do with me at all?

Why do I instantly think someone is having a dig at me if their facebook whinge relates in any way to something I may (or may not) have done or said in the past thirty odd years?

Why do I overanalyse every non reply or sarcastic comment?

Why do I go to bed hoping that so-and-so understood what I meant when I said such-and-such and wasn't offended?

Why do I feel that certain people are judging my parenting and/or son at every turn (or tantrum)?

Why don't I realise that the people in my life (mostly) choose to be here?

I constantly have to remind myself that there are a million and then some reasons why people do and say what people do (like html) - and almost all of them have absolutely nothing to do with the things I do and say.

Why can't I get it through my thick skull to trust that if someone has a problem with me, they will be mature enough to let me know - overtly, not in the form of little clues and disguises so there's no need to 'offend hunt'.

I need to grow up.
Or refrain from being a dirty little tramp. ;-)
(I'm not really. A dirty little tramp, that is.
Don't be offended, please. I'll have to send you a pathetic email too.)

Do you ever mistakenly think it's all about you?
Or... is this just all about me... again?!

Shar :-)

Point + Shoot : Food Fare

Sunday : 8am
Extra Extra! : Omelette Bandit Caught Egg Handed.
For something entirely different, we ate us a whole lot of food on the weekend.

It hasn't escaped my attention that last week's Point + Shoot was also high on the calorie richter scale.

Let's just say that nobody is wasting away around these parts of late.
The only ribs you would identify easily are those on a plate smothered in smokey bbq deliciousness.

We ate ourselves into a frenzy once more.

From Friday night's Japanese bento,
to Saturday morning's "legs and shoulders" (aka eggs and soldiers),
to footy nibbles of chips, cheeses, dips, breads and pies with friends pretty much all of Saturday,
to Sunday morn's omelette,
to homemade pizzas that night
and plenty of snacks in any gaps -
this weekend was our usual feast of excessive consumption -
washed down with an array of beverages to help us over that gluttony threshold.

Yep - that's VB. We're all class!
Sooo, how's your diet going?

Rolling over to Lou @ Sunny + Scout to link up for a spot of Point + Shoot.
(Point + Shoot - can you eat that?!)

Shar :-)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Grateful For...Save Of The Day

School swimming lessons.
Teacher torture by any other name.

This week, dancing the dance of the pre-teen-girl-contorting-behind-inefficient-towel-hustle in the girls' change rooms I was confronted by the inevitable vagrant (definitely not to be confused with fragrant) undies on the bench.

As the all-of-a-sudden-ridiculously-modest girls were finally dressed and making their way out to the pool floor to enact a further round of chatty, hairbrushing mayhem on the general public, I was face to gusset with these rogue knickers that undoubtedly belonged to some young lady currently feeling the breeze.

Without being impolite, it was, ahem, visually obvious that the underwear had definitely been worn - possibly by a very environmentally conscious little lady, if you get my drift.

So. I was the responsible adult.
I couldn't knowingly leave said dacks in the change room.

But. I was also a grossed out squealing little chicken on the inside.
I couldn't pick them up. I couldn't even look at them.

I looked desperately through my handbag for something resembling those long gripper jaw things and was rewarded with a couple of pens.

I approached the enemy foul undies with two ballpoints in hand, considering my plan of attack when in raced a sweet saviour girl who rescued her stranded knickers (and this chook) and swiftly stepped into them with a giggle.

In that moment, relief and gratitude flooded in.
It was too close for comfort, I tell you.
I should know better.

Lesson learnt.
Next week I'll be packin' plastic.
As in gloves and bags.

Grateful for that close call - and moreso for the save of the day.

Linking up with much more mature and profound gratefuls @ Lioness Lady

Shar :-)

Post Script - to add insult to injury and up the eeewwww factor, I opened Magoo's lunch box after daycare this evening to find a band aid in there.
A dirty, little, germy, used band aid that is most definitely NOT his.
The gross out gods are playing with me.
I'm scared to go near our toilets.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

52 Week Project : Wk 1

The 52 Week Project
I resisted for a while.
I didn't wanna do the self portrait part.
But the self portrait part is the whole premise of the project, you see.

Thanks for leading by example, Kate.
(If it's feeling a little 'single white female' here - you're not imagining it.
Maybe I've got a blog crush!!)

Anyway, The 52 week project is a link from the gorgeous My Mummy Daze and involves throwing all that nasty, naggy self talk out the window and posting a self portrait every week for a year.
Agggh - 52 shots of moi.
Apologies x 52 in advance.

So, here's week 1's pathetic offering.

Cheating? Much?

That's me (no?!) and my trusy little Canon friend.
Read my lips - I'm saying "it's you and me x 52, bud."

Shar :-)

Livin' The Dream

Here's proof that dreams do come true...

Does anyone give a rats that I was cooking dinner at the time? Didn't think so.

From Hubby to hottie with the drag of a vacuum, the plug of a lead and the push of a button...

What? Good deeds deserve celebrating -
with smudgy glasses.

If you're acquainted with this little spot, you'll know that Hubby don't vac.
Unless you blog it into being, it seems.

For good measure, Magoo entered the room, laughed and said
"Daddy! What choo doing??!"
When I suggested Daddy could do it again sometime, they both looked quite dismayed.
Hubby quickly explained to Magoo that he wouldn't have time for their "fun stuff" if he took up vacuuming!

Keep dreaming the dream people - and blogging the blog!

Off to compose a little post about men cleaning bathrooms while I'm on a roll here.

Shar :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Did you catch Channel 9 last night?
When they aired a 'roasting' of Charlie Sheen??
Apparently it was comedy - and a bit of fun?

I understand the premise of a 'roast' is to make fun of our failings.
I get that. I do that.

But making light of drug addiction, criminal behaviour, poor parenting and abuse on an International forum??
I must have lost my sense of humour.

Yes, we didn't have to watch.
I didn't.
I've only seen parts (supposed 'highlights') of the 'roast' and that was plenty for me.

Charlie doesn't seem phased, so power to him.
I love a person who doesn't take themselves too seriously.

But would his family be 'phased'? His children be laughing along?
The people that he has hurt, abused or disappointed over the years?

Whilst on the surface it may seem a harmless poke at someone,
I can't help but think about the fact that this is someone's life.
Someone's life that is unravelling at an exponential rate.
The complete loss of dignity, massacre of his career, the abuse,
the pain his family would be experiencing,
no doubt the countless attempts by friends, family and professionals to 'clean him up'
- those thoughts don't make me laugh.

I've made I make inappropriate cracks regularly,
I've likened running to an addiction in a silly blog post -
but I cannot stand the media perpetuating absolute myths about the glamour or humour in addiction.
(ie. the tragic loss of a supremely talented Amy Winehouse)
Because, at the coalface, there is NOTHING remotely glamorous or humourous about a loved one in dire straits.

If you found this excuse for entertainment last night, amusing,
I don't mean to insult you.
I'm being highly sensitive and riding a high horse today.
Maybe you haven't been affected by the fallout of addiction in your life.
I pray that you, and these 'funnymen' never have to endure the pain of witnessing a family member or relationship devoured by this ugly monster - addiction.

I'm no mathematician
 but I can tell you that

the theft of a beautiful soul
the loss of entire days and precious memories
the resignation of dignity
pitiful lows
endless, repetitive one-way converations tirades
self sabotage
physical decline
family members who now get riled up over silly t.v. shows
when they should probably just chill out and step away from the keyboard!

Shar :-)

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Newlywed With An Apology

Six weeks today...
A milestone.
The longest stretch of time without one - or both - or all of us in my little family being airborne and away from home in many, many, many months.

For some people this is the norm.
Not us.

I've beaten myself up this year over my discomfort with being apart from my husband for long or indefinite periods of time.

Lots of women 'hold down the fort' very capably for a lot longer than I've ever had to and with more children, greater workloads and less support than I have.

But I'm working towards acceptance of the fact that
a) it's not just the inconvenience of solo parenting such as missing running group, committee meetings, or anything after 7pm that bugs me by week two.
b) it's not only the responsibilty or emotional toll of being on my own that wears me down after a while.

c) it's not the dog poo scooping that irks me most.
d) Mostly I miss my Hubby, my teammate, my partner when he's not here and that's okay.

I have noticed that in recent posts I have been dropping a lot of "Hubby"s.
"Hubby did this... Hubby did that... Hubby says this... Hubby says that..."
Sickening stuff, really.

It reminds me of the early days of a crush or a relationship when you (supposedly subtley) keep dropping the person's name into conversations randomly and make all sorts of (supposedly valid) excuses to walk past their locker/bus stop/home/office.

At times earlier this year the only mentions poor Hubby got in this space were in the context of my distaste for solo parenting while he travelled at the drop of a hat for his new role at work.

My marriage was certainly nowhere near over.
We're both too stubborn for that.
But we had become accustomed to a serious level of independence and were going down the path of two (usually) polite adults cohabitating and sharing one single commonality - in the form of an adorable little boy (okay, two - the sweet boy and the mortgage). 

Since Magoo and I returned from Ireland six weeks ago, Hubby and I seem to have found a new passion for one another, for our marriage and for our little family's future.
It's been beautiful.

We are back to hand holding, snuggling on the couch, making genuine eye contact, bothering to actually share our day's news, making Magoo uncomfortable with PDAs, actually listening to each other, appreciating each other's efforts, choosing to put one another before the rest of the world, cracking pathetic jokes and remembering what it is we love about one another.

Bluuuugh. I know.

If my constant references to Hubby have caused you to vomit into your keyboard or sprain an optic nerve rolling your eyes, I apologise - but accept no liability.
I will, however, provide you with a lovely plastic vomit catcher thing free of charge if you email me your details. I'm all heart.

Hey, we all know that six weeks is usually the 'honeymoon' period of hormone induced bliss for any major life changing event (ie.marriage, babies, new jeans)  - so I may be back to Hubby indifference sometime soon.
I sincerely hope not though.

Loved Up Shar

Point + Shoot : Watch Me, Mum!

Sunday - 11: 15am : Steamy Pork Bun goodness @ Yum Cha.
This weekend I watched. A lot.

Not so much the box, but the boys.
(My own boys, promise!)

Oh - and maybe the West Coast Eagle variety too.


Watched the kms clocking up with running group.
I'm always glad I've dragged my butt out the door before reasonable o'clock on a Saturday morning when I join this beautiful bunch.

Watched Hubby and Magoo get their splash on at swim training.
(Less competitive types than my Hubby may know this as 'Baby/Toddler/Child swim' classes.)

Watched Hubby happily play with the new (and bonza bargain) additions to our camping gear on the front lawn.
Until he insisted I help him out with the whole pergola erection thing.
Oh, stop. Clean thoughts people.

Watched my son be arrested

maybe for piracy?!

(Ha ha! Now, that was a Dad joke.
Sorry. Didn't mean to step on your toes there, Hubby)

Watched an exhilarating game of footy and watched Magoo with maybe one third of one eye simultaneously.
A 3 point win in the end. The intense, edge-of-your-seat end.

Watched my two homelands battle out for rugby brag rights.
My 'Ireland' home won this round. But I get to brag either way.

Watched the wild weather blow away our Sunday morning plans.

(and our outdoor furniture - nice save Dad)

No Mummy run after all, no Daddy paddle after all, no hockey grand final cheer squading after all.

Instead we engaged in the fine art of soldier dunking.

Watch and learn, son.

Watched countless 'entertaining' concerts at the hands of the Magoo Wiggle.

(Looks like Jeff Wiggle managed to make the 7am concert after all. Wake up, Jeff!!)

Watched those fantastic yum cha yummies from above disappearing at an impressive rate

Watched, wrangled and wrestled with my inner hoarder as I coaxed our spare room (otherwise known as our very own not-so-natural disaster zone) into being a little less.. well, disastrous. The fallout however is still massive and may take weeks with teams of volunteers working around the clock. Anyone?

Watched the fruit and veg pile up at the markets while Magoo's soft serve ice cream did whatever the exact opposite to 'pile up' is. Run down your hands, I guess.

Watched our 'Marble Race' hand-me-down masterpiece suffer at the hands of Magoo.

Watched Hubby engage in some serious Marble Race envy when we googled 'Marble Race'.
(if you feel so inclined, avoid 'Marble Race @ Eeeeeric's' on YouTube. Magoo was not impressed when I closed it mid race due to explicit language issues!)

Watched my waistline expaaaand at an exponential rate.

Watched Sunday afternoon, turn into Sunday evening, somehow morph into Sunday night.
Another beautiful weekend -


No need whatsoever to
discuss the time lapse
 in these shots. Really.

Come Point + Shoot with the birthday girl, Lou @ Sunny + Scout.
Shar :-)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Kids Are Alright

The gorgeous bunch of kids that I teach this year are dynamic.
They're loud, they're fiesty, they're individual -
They're opinionated, they're bossy, they're awesome...
and they're so, so generous.

As a school we have recently started to support World Vision's Smiles programme.
This initiative is one where your monetary donations are equated to a tangible 'gift' for a community in need.

In a single week my class alone has raised a huge amount with no sign of stopping.
So much so that we filled the donation box and had to 'bank' the cash raised so far with the office.
Large cash donations sourced primarily from their own moula.
I told one particularly selfless student that she could donate half of her wad of notes and that would still be extremely generous.
She responded saying "that's okay, I don't really need anything else".

This bunch, they're goal orientated so the notion of being able to see where our money is actually going to be utilised is an excellent incentive.
We have a World Vision chart in our room outlining the various donations and their life-changing impact in a community.
For example, $10 in donations 'gifts' a chicken and chicken feed or $125 trains a teacher.
My kids are pulling out all stops and aiming to buy 'a stable full of animals' ($1200!!!)

Our school is now also launching our annual shoebox appeal - Operation Christmas Child, supporting Samaritan's Purse. This programme provides gift filled shoe boxes to children in desperate and disadvantaged situations around the world.

The kids are getting excited about taking home these special boxes and filling them with small, appropriate 'gifts' for children who wouldn't otherwise receive presents or luxuries in their lives.

I'm also excited to share the fun with Magoo this year - while hopefully raising some awareness in his beautiful, egotistical little head that we are beyond blessed in our family, home and country.

Meanwhile, my class are also busy personalising and perfecting hand made games and treasures to gift to their younger year one buddies in our primary school.

If I request a volunteer or ten for tasks from tying my shoelaces to unjamming printers to manning the sports shed, there's always an immediate and impressive response. These guys don't hesitate to help each other out or encourage one another.

My students have formed groups completely off their own bat to clear rubbish out of our nature zone in their own lunchtimes, to organise and hold dodgeball competitions for other students at lunch and to care for another class' budgies before and after school.

We're not angels or saints. No halos here, that's for sure.
But these kids, like lots of others, have hearts to match their huge personalities..

(Assume soapbox here)

Kids 'these days' - they're getting a bad rap.
We can give our kids a hard time and harp on about how society has fallen in this day and age. We can be dismayed at the decline in common decency or manners and be disgusted at the rise in inappropriate and downright dangerous behaviour.
(Yep - my hand's up. Guilty as charged).

But that's not the whole story or the full picture.
Most kids are just kids. Great kids even.
Kids are intrinsically 'good' people. They want to love and be loved.
They crave direction, boundaries, guidance, care - they may not know it, but they do!

Nuff said.
I heart kids. Cause kids heart others.

(Alight from soapbox here.)

Shar :-)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Grateful For...Becoming

This week I'm grateful for... becoming.

Becoming an Aussie
(marrying an Aussie and creating an Aussie).
We've come a long way baby.
From the early days when some kind folk lent my new-to-Australia-and-fridgeless Irish family a big old esky...
And we took turns sitting on the special 'box seat' for days  - until someone explained it's actual purpose to us.

Becoming a teacher
(not marrying a teacher, hopefully not creating a teacher).
I just love my (part time) work.
The satisfaction, the energy, the hilarity, the generosity, the honesty, the organised chaos of being with a bunch of children all day.
I also love the luxury (that unfortunately some don't have) of carer's leave for days like this week when, in my home and heart, one vomity little man's needs had to come before thirty two not-so-vomity kids' needs.
I love that almost every one of the thirty two asked after my little Magoo on my return today. A very special group of not-so-vomity kids.
Hmmm. Were it not for the vomit on my shoes
 and the emergency bucket in the background -
one would be forgiven for doubting him.
They bounce, these kids.
Becoming a blogger
(marrying a tolerator of blog and creating a likely "blogging is so old school, Mum").
I'm always inspired by the beauty that's to be found out here in the blogosphere.
And astounded by the kindness, openness and support of 'virtual' friends since I first hesitantly tip tapped away here earlier in the year.
Thank you blog buddies!

Linking up with other Gratefuls,
this week being hosted @ the lovely Mira Narnie

Happy weekend.
Shar :-)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

He's Doing What???

Sometimes I mistakenly think I might be modern, hip, with it, current...
You know, not living in the dark ages.
Sometimes I'm wrong.

I saw this ad in the weekend's papers  - or the recyclable packaging for copious promotional material posing as a newspaper here in W.A.
Immediately I was struck by the stereoptype switch or role reversal depicted in it.

Could be the cover of a houswives' raunchy magazine, really.
When I showed it to Hubby he didn't even notice.
But their target market would have on some level, right?
Well, I did.
If you're still in the dark, wondering what I'm banging on about 
- the man is vauuming.
The man. While the woman looks on.

If I wasn't already in a happy, committed relationship with my own beautiful Dyson I may have considered such a purchase.

Magoo and I would love to watch Hubby enjoy a spot of vacuuming while looking on from the clean couch in our pristine finest.

There my 1950s-esque self was, thinking that they were cleverly and subtley turning society's stereoptypes on their head in this avant garde campaign.

Later that day, I opened  Kate's blog (Our Little Sins) to realise that it was probably only my personal stereotype that this ad was actually challenging

She featured a pic of her man, the Innovator, vacuuming their place.
For real.
(Love the blur effect too. We can't show you this man's face because he is in trouble with men like Shar's Hubby for raising the bar.)

The pic didn't actually show gorgeous Kate and her children reclining and gazing on with familial pride and adoration - but I'm sure they were.

So, there you go.
A raging dinosaur I am.
Guess I'd better go back to my rightful place in the kitchen now.

Did you notice / care that the handsome man was happily engaged in housework?

Shar :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Silver Anniversary

I'm a silver Aussie today.

This week it has been 25 years since my brave parents upped and left their entire families and cosy Irish hometown for (much less) greener pastures.

Although there were circumstances surrounding their migration, they took a gamble on coming 'down under' - to a place where they knew noone and with no more than whatever four suitcases could hold.

I can distinctly recall my Dad showing me on a world map the strange country that we were jetting off to and going to call home. I can still hear my grandparents remarking that you couldn't actually get any further away if you tried.

I was seven years old when we set off for the airport from my Grandad's home, my two year old sister and I rocking matching new pink tracksuits.

The same tracksuit that I genuinely wanted to burn mid flight in order to sever any ties with the little Irish lunatic on a rampage in economy class.

I can remember my Dad, in his thick, sweary Irish accent arguing with a man with an equally thick, sweary German accent over my sister's uncontrollable behaviour. 'Wild' doesn't even hit the sides when referring to my (now) beautiful sister's childhood antics.

I can clearly recall finally touching down at night in this weird 'Perth' place and being mesmerised by all the lights. Friends of a friend of a relative kindly picked us from the airport and dropped us at the Migrant Centre with a thoughtful gift of a carton of milk and a box of chocolates.

The dining hall at the centre was long closed when we arrived and the fight that ensued over that box of chocolates was monumental.

The years that followed our migration saw my parents move from absolutely nothing to - renovate and establish homes for us, set up a trade business, finally understand the purpose of sunscreen, acquire citizenship, build a wonderful social network and lifestyle, provide us kids with every opportunity possible and even bring a genuine fair dinkum Aussie into the world and family.

The distance, isolation and loneliness tweny odd years ago was immense. It's only now that I fully appreciate the sacrifice and courage of my folks at that time.

The distance bites - always has.
My Mum's Dad passed away years ago while she was heavily pregnant with my little brother so we didn't travel to lay him to rest.
My Dad's parents both passed away within a month of each other while I was pregnant with Magoo so again I didn't pay my respects as I would have liked to.

But, with my entire family now back in Ireland, it's my turn to quieten the longing and confusion in my heart and instead think with my head. This beautiful spot I have built here in Oz, my gorgeous little family, our treasured friends, the lifestyle I love - that's where my future lies.

Here's to 25 fantastic Aussie years - and many, many more.

Man, I was under the illusion that I had only just turned 25.
The Maths is giving me a reality headache.

Shar :-)  
(Or Shaz, as you Aussies like it!)

It's... Law School

Last week I was waxing lyrical about wanting to sloooow down the pace here.

Yesterday, I was living the adage 'be careful what you wish for'.

I became aware of just how excruciatingly sloooow life can be.
LIfe as a prospective juror.
Especially a prospective juror looking down the barrel of a three week trial.

Last Monday I was privy to the delights of real live 'Play School' - with these fully grown men and women playing clown putting on a show for our benefit.

This Monday I was privy to the delights of real live 'Law School' - with a whole different set of fully grown men and women playing clown putting on a show for their own benefit, it seems.

Being summonsed to jury duty was a life long ambition of mine.
By 10am yesterday, it felt like a life long experience of mine too.

I have nosey parker tendencies and I do like the notion of contributing to our justice system.

Especially since they have tightened the rules so that my employer's letter and young child excuse didn't cut the mustard with the Sherrif's Office. Turn up or pay up appears to be their new motto. (Hence, the stream of prospective juror excuses poured out to the weary judge in the middle of the courtroom during selection instead of on paper before wasting everyybody's time).

I did enjoy gaining some insight into how (slowly) our judicial system operates in detail and full colour. I particularly enjoyed watching a selected juror backchat the judge while the rest of us looked at each other with incredulous, nervous amusement like school children. I also couldn't help but feel for the accused  - being ogled by a large bunch of strangers. Had I ended up on the alternative 'indecent dealing' case, this sympathy may not have been a factor though.

I did not enjoy the prospect of 21 long, sloooow days hearing 72 seperate, but almost identical, counts against the one accused.

Thankfully my extended Magoo duty trumped extended jury duty at the last turn and I was released to enjoy the delightfully slooow sushi train of Jaws - bliss, before coming home to pick up the pace again.

It's my hope that this voyeuristic near brush with the judicial system is the closest I ever come to gracing a courtroom again. (You hear that, Magoo?!)

Shar, your honour.