the modern way

Shaun Tan

Daughter One has flown to the other side of the country,  the west coast of Australia, to visit with her sister, Daughter Two and finally meet new niece,  Peppercorn.

I was at work when an email arrived from D1 telling me she was downstairs enjoying a solo coffee while waiting for D2 and Peppercorn to wake up.

Seconds later, an email from D2 with a photo of a smiling Peppercorn wishing me a happy Monday.

Microseconds, another email from D1 saying she wished D2 would wake up.

Mother (me) five hours away by plane on the east coast, emails back and tells her D2 and Peppercorn are awake. Family reunited.

Scary isn’t it.


head matters


The alarm didn’t go off this morning – because it is Saturday! Yay Day. It’s almost over though, and that is heart breaking. As we have all sadly noted, weekend pass too quickly.

I have promised Petite Fille that she can help me make a birthday cake for Uncle Son when she wakes from her afternoon nap. Earlier today we agreed that if we danced too hard and our heads fell plop! onto the ground that Uncle Son would screw then back on, because he is very good at fixing things. I think that knowledge is helping her to sleep soundly in her bed. Head issues all resolved, tick!

Another major life issue solved.





what a pain

girl star blue

On a scale of one to ten, I would say my massage was about seven, maybe seven point five. She lost points because she talked the entire time, whereas I like to just be still and silent. I did think she could have used a little more pressure from time to time, but considering I was already in pain, I can understand her going gently.

The thing that really lowered my satisfaction rating was when she leaned close and said, “I have to say something now that you may not like to hear.”

I grunted, not sure where this was all going. It was too soon to declare undying love for me.

“The right shoulder is the masculine shoulder and to have pain in that area means you have anger at a male, or males.”

“Like my husband?”

“Well, the first name to mind is usually the right one.”

If the pain had been in my left shoulder, it would have meant I was angry at a female.

Nothing to do with the fact that I am right handed, and felt searing pain when I lifted my arm above my head to open windows? Nothing to do with the fact that I spend hours on end at a computer keyboard, and use a mouse? Oh no, I have to hate my husband. If it was true, it would be more males that make me angry than just Mr FD!

She continued with a long story about how she takes on her clients’ negative energies and after each massage has to go out and release the anger; or she becomes very aggro by the end of the day. I think she is inhaling too much of her lavender scent.

In a whispered voice she warned me that I may become testy, or impatient with people (yeah, what’s new there?) because of the release of lactic acid and old blood and I should warn those around me when I got home. The husband I supposedly hate, too, perhaps?

Later, I went to my doctor. His opinion is that I have either strained or torn the rotator cuff and is sending me to have a scan. I wonder if the man anger will show up?

I did tell Mr FD that he was causing my pain, and that I probably had medical grounds for getting off murder if I decided to do him in. “Same old, same old” was his only reply.

I punched him in the left shoulder. I’ll give him a female to be angry with…


another day of earthly matters


Home on strike today. Really. Teachers are striking for a full day as employers have failed in over 12  months of negotiations to reach a deal with the teachers for better pay and conditions.

I am making the most of the day – hey, I am not being paid so the day is mine. I have booked a massage for later in the day. First time to a local masseuse so fingers crossed that it won’t be a pounding or knotting experience, but then again, not simply an oil rub. I am seeking relief from with my shoulder pain.

This week I found myself discussing “louse, lice and nits” with the year sevens. I brought the conversation to an end with the statement, “Yes, we can get lice anywhere on our body where we have hair, but we are not discussing that today…” No, it wasn’t sex ed, it was a literacy class!

I think we need danger pay too – we never know where a discussion will take us.

tip toeing through the Red Shoe Project

red shoes 2

This year, my  intention is to be more creative. As some of you may be aware, I have name 2016 The Red Shoe Project.

I have to claim that is is going really well, so far. I have been much more creative at work, if not at home, but the increased creativity is becoming matched by an increasing level of frustration. I just don’t have the time to undertake or complete all the things I have planned.

I started a newsletter for students, and I am using a software program I haven’t used before, so I had to take time to teach myself how to use it. Rewarding but laborious.

I have dozens of ideas for library displays but lack the time to source the resources and build the displays.

I am about to launch a competition for students in which they are to decorate old fashioned wooded rulers in their medium of choice, but can’r find the time to make the promotional material.

Time, Time, Time.

Oh and extra energy. I am a person who needs a good night’s sleep to get through the next day. Some school nights I am asleep by 7.30pm. There have been nights when Petite Fille and I have been in a race for who could get to bed first. She usually beats me as she has two other people helping her into bed.

So to be creative, I need time. I’ve tried being creative with time but it isn’t working so far. No being helped by the fact that Petite Fille and her parents are lodging with us during their house renovations. Not a complaint, merely an observation.

No wonder artists live alone in garrets and don’t have day jobs!

And while I am complaining, I have has a cold that has led to a continuous dry cough and I hurt my shoulder opening louvres in the Library and now can’t raise my arm above shoulder height without crushing pain. And you thought your life was tough!

Anyway, what the Red Shoe Project has taught me that one needs good health, sleep, organisational skills, and time to be creative. Maybe next week.

Maybe if I click the heels of my red shoes like Dorothy, I can go to a Creative Space, far, far away…




Frustrations abound

friday drink

Minerva has every second Friday off. That means for half the day I have a school officer fill in for her, while I teach classes. We have taught her just enough to do the job, but not enough to be dangerous to the library management system.

This year, a second school officer has been stationed at the circulation desk to assist the I.T team. She is not a part of the Minerva and FD team apart from answering the occasional phone call when Minerva goes to the bathroom. She takes up the slack for the I.T Guy who knows everything but does little.

This Friday was Minerva’s Friday off. I hesitate to call it a day off as Minerva has a intellectually handicapped adult daughter and an ageing mother, so her day off is merely a day spent taking them to appointments etc. Anyway, Minerva is not at the desk.

I am afraid this Friday, there was almost Murder in the Library, as both school officers, They of Little Knowledge, insist on butting into everything I do and also, and this is where their near death experiences   arise, insist on telling me how to do things in my own Library. Additionally, more than once I was told “Minerva does…” well, you know what, I am the boss. Minerva does what I ask her to do… as Minerva will tell you…

The following text message was exchanged between Minerva and I:

FD: I am afraid I must murder They of Little Knowledge because they are so bloody annoying. People telling  me how to do things in my own library uuugggghhhhh!

Minerva: That does not surprise me. I thought the same a couple times this week with I.T. Woman when she had no idea what she was talking about. I made a point to explain a little more about the system to her. Miss me?

FD. I have cancelled all your RDOs.

Minerva : You Love me!

Not quite sure how Minerva arrived at a declaration of love from my murderous intent, but I will allow her delusions.

She may have to answer for teaching I.T. Woman (who has no I.T. knowledge but is merely there for filing and phone answering, and this week used an iPad for the first time)  more about our systems. A little knowledge can indeed be a dangerous thing.

More people to tolerate and pretend to be nice to, in my life. No wider I am cracking from all the pressure.


need to know basis is sometimes too much knowing or needing

car 1

I am a fairly patient person. Let me rephrase that. I try to be a patient person. Lately though I have been struggling with Minerva’s need to finish an explanation or her back grounding to a decision or question, long past the post of me having given my feedback or decision.

Once she starts her story, that story must be completed. I will have summed up the information she has provided, given a verbal reply and be communicating through my body language (usually starting to face away from her, one foot poised to step onward, ever onward) and she is still “The I said…and she said… and I thought….” I just want her to shut up. MOVE ON.

That’s not nice is it? Me, not her. She is long winded, She should do something about that, or at least know that if I have given my reply I don’t need the colour of the buttons on the dress of the person who- well you know what I mean.

This can happen several times a day.

I like Minerva, I really do. I’m not allowed to hit her though am I?

my own worst enemy; or it’s not me, it’s me.

stress 1

My doctor has made the decision to change my medications. The pharmacist sent me home with a several pages of information about the new medication. It appears to have a long list of possible side effects which cover everything short of turning into a cow. However, in some extreme cases turning into a cow is a distinct possibility.

Flu like symptoms are listed and since Saturday I have had a throbbing head and a sore throat. However, Petite Fille has a cold and so it is more likely that I have caught her virus.  Am I having a side effect or sharing germs? Either way, time will tell I expect.

I have to take my own blood pressure first thing in the morning and last thing before bed. These times are suppose to be when I will be less stressed and anxious. Doctor obviously doesn’t know that the moment I wake my brain kicks into action and takes on a life of its own.

I am one of those people that having my blood pressure taken makes it rise. I have to take it at home, in the hope I will be less anxious about it. I think this would only work if I was unconscious.

The only time my blood pressure has been within normal range, even with medication, was during the three weeks I spend with Peppercorn. Days on end sitting on the couch being Peppercorn’s Nanny upon which she likes to nanny nap is great relaxation therapy. I wonder if I could claim air flights to Perth on my medical insurance? Perhaps under natural therapy?


Valentine’s Day – do you need it?

heart you

Do you celebrate St Valentine’s Day? Mr FD and I don’t – a bit too commercial for us. Also, one day of attention wouldn’t make up for 364 days on indifference or neglect if that was the case. If you do, I hope the day met your expectations.

I don’t quite understand the trend for marriage proposals to be on such a grand scale that it needs months of planning and a cast of dozens.

Before I go further, I should disclose that Mr FD proposed to me while we were in a glasshouse at his university. He was watering his research plants and I was sitting on an upturned drum, it was just weeks after I had undergone eye surgery and so I was sporting a rather large eye patch. I think that proposal has meant more to me than any Hollywood styled event every could have.

So, I don’t understand why anyone has to think he needs to sky jump out a plane to land at his beloved’s feet to proposal. Do they think beyond that day to what marriage really means?