Sunday, 25 March 2012

That irks me. I am irked...

Image: imagerymajestic /

Anyone who knows me at all will know that I wouldn’t usually the phrase “I am irked”.   I would normally say “that really shit me off”.  And when something really annoys the living bejesus out of me, I’ll substitute shit with the eff word.  Just to really drive the point home.  Maybe I’ll even slam my hand on the table.  Or someone. 

And I get irked by a lot of things.  A lot!  So much so that I’m betting that all those people who are simply nauseated by my constant attempt at being positive with a gratitude journal and upbeat photos of my life, will be sitting back and thinking whatevs.  But it’s true people, it is soooo true.  At the best of times I’m irritated, at the worst of times I want to burn this city to the ground.  I just choose to hide that side of my personality.

I must start with a caveat.  This post is totally and unequivocally a rant of the First World Problems proportion.  I wrote a whole post on first world problems and you can read it here.  I apologise, but occasionally I would like to let off steam.  I try to be positive on a daily basis.  I keep a photographic gratitude journal, and I generally only post happy things online.  But I’m only human.  And to illustrate that, I thought I would write a post about things that irk me.

So let’s begin.  I won’t bore you with all the things that get on my nerves, just four that spring to mind as I'm typing this post.

People whose entire contribution to your texting conversation is “K”

Me: Will be there in half an hour, see you soon!
Them: K

What.  Are you too friggin cool for school to actually type the “o” that directly precedes that “k”?  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m guilty of shortening a lot of words when I’m texting.  But for some reason, that ‘k’ really gets under my skin.


When people (read: The Architect) don’t finish one thing in the pantry before they open another

 Case in point: there will be at least 2-3mm of cordial left in the apple & blackcurrant bottle, but he will crack open the Coola cordial.  I say “you can’t just finish the other bottle first?” and he will reply “but I didn’t want that one – I want this one”.  And you know what?  He ain’t foolin’ no-one.  He knows, and I know, that he can’t be bothered throwing the bottle out.  He knows, and I know, that that bottle will sit in the pantry for WEEKS and he still won’t feel like apple & blackcurrant cordial.  These bottles would double in number if it weren’t for me, the goody two-shoes rule-follower with my Mum’s voice from childhood ringing in my ears “finish it off before you open a new one!” dutifully drinking all the dregs that The Architect doesn’t want. 


Repeating myself

My family will be choking with laughter right now.  Repeating myself is probably THE MOST annoying thing for me.  Which is most unfortunate given we have a five year old and a two year old.  And we all know: they’re not much for getting things first go, are they?  No, no, no.  There must be MUCH repetition.  And I’ve discovered that repeating it with clenched teeth, screaming it or clawing at your hair in frustration isn’t really conducive with getting a message across.  In fact it could actually frighten them.  Yeah.  Mumma of the year.

Still.  Friggin irritating. 

People who can whistle perfectly

I know – I’m such a grumpy old wummin.  But this one has been with me for as long as I can remember.  And as a general sweeping statement: people who can whistle a tune perfectly seem to think that you want to hear them.  I used to encounter whistlers on the street, waiting at bus stops and sometimes even ON the bus.  If you don’t like people speaking loudly on their phones on public transport (which I don’t), you’re definitely not going to like someone whistling a tune (perfectly or imperfectly) in close range.  Are you with me? 


I’m going to stop here.  I could go on and on and on but that would serve no purpose at all (people who sniff, people who talk on the phone at the cinema, people who are ignorant, people who…okay that’s enough – my anxiety levels are rising…).

So there.   There’s a small list of things that can irk.

Let me know what irks you.


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Baby Olympics

We caught up with friends of ours this morning that have a beautiful 14-month-old daughter.  My girlfriend asked me what age my kids were when they started speaking.  She asked because a friend of hers (who also has a baby around 14 months old) had enquired whether their little cherub had started speaking yet.  Her friend then proceeded to tell her how her little one was already speaking.  So talented.  You with me?

Prior to being asked this question, my friend hadn’t even given her 14 month old’s speech development a second thought.  They were sailing along happily, as you should be when you have a 14 month old.  But as can so often happen, once somebody has planted a seed, it takes hold and you become a little worried.  Should she be speaking now?  Is there something we’re meant to be doing to aide this development?

So yes.  Sometimes the question IS innocent enough and people ARE genuinely interested in knowing what your bubba’s doing.   And sometimes people are simply playing a not-so-subtle game of Baby Olympics.  Urban Dictionary defines Baby Olympics as:

“When parents constantly compete so that their children advance more quickly, have more toys, have bigger birthday parties etc. than their "friends".

Oh yes, John and Jane are playing the Baby Olympics, they've invited 125 kids to their son's birthday party.

We were first told about Baby Olympics when I was pregnant with the Polynesian Princess.  It was one of those pieces of information that went in one ear and out the other, as I smiled sweetly at everyone giving me advice and thought “Whatever.  Less talking and more passing-me-chips please”.

The term “Baby Olympics” became relevant for me right about the second I got home from the hospital with Polynesian Princess on boob.

Them: So how often is she feeding?
Me: Every two hours and every hour around 4pm’ish
Them: (sympathetic head tilt) oh you poooor thing, when are you going to start stretching that out?
Me: Ummmm….when I want to?
Them: Well, mine went straight to four hourly feeds, no problems!  She’s SUCH a good little girl (cue the baby talk to their own child) “aren’t you darling…YES you ARE!”…



Them: So is he talking yet? (referring to Little Warrior)
Me: Not really – you get a “mum” or a “dad” out of him…
Them: Mine’s such a little chatterbox – she’s such a good little talker.  She already has 100 words!

That’s great.  Big ups to you guys.  And honestly, I do think it’s awesome when our babies reach any little milestone (I do – hand on my heart), but I just never got (and still don’t get) this almost obsessive need to constantly compare and critique.  I mean, who really cares?

I think you can tell when someone is enquiring out of genuine interest, and when they’re just enquiring so that they can take Gold in the Baby Olympics category you have unwittingly been entered into.  “Oh isn’t she threading yet?”, “mine has been threading for AGES – I told them at daycare that she needs to be moved up to the next room, she’s bored in this one”.  True story.  That was a real conversation.  And no.  I’m not friends with her anymore.

Have you ever competed in Baby Olympics?  Were you a willing or unwilling participant?

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Pictogram Tuesday

What did you do today?  This is what we did:

We explored the world

Felt the grass and water on our bare feet

Climbed a mountain

Then sat and reflected on our feats

We decided to utilise our culinary creativity

And baked delicious cakes in cups

Like a painter at work, she iced the cakes

And decorated accordingly..
Yes indeed.  It was a lovely day all-round.  Hope yours was too...

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Love you Brisbane

I live in Brisbane and I love it.  I know a lot of people don’t (and, invariably they’re always from different states).  And I know a lot of people view us as the poor country cousins but I don’t care.  And just for the record, I don’t think they’re right.  But I AM going to say that, aren’t I?

I’ve lived here since I was about seven years old.  So all told, I’ve been here 32 years.  For me, I can’t see me ever leaving this city again.  I love it here, but I haven’t always been filled with this great love and appreciation.

In my youth I left Brisbane.  Without a backward glance, I jumped on that JAL flight to Heathrow and happily embarked on the adventure of my young life.  I fled for the same reason many other young Australian’s left.  To explore, discover, experience and be awed.  I did all of that.  Had a fabulous time and grudgingly returned poor as the proverbial church mouse.  To be fair, I actually went over as poor as this church mouse.

Upon my return I picked at Brisbane.  I bullied it.  Pushed it around like my baby brother (sorry bro).  In my mind I had outgrown Brisbane.  It wasn’t big enough for me, the fashion in Europe was far superior, the people weren’t worldly enough and there was NO variety in shoe shops (this was a deal-breaker for me).  I scoffed at the mere suggestion that I was home to stay.  No way, I’d say – I’m home to pay off my credit cards, save money and then head straight back.  I couldn’t wait to leave.

Fifteen years later and here I sit, eating crow.  So what happened?   I started seeing the place differently.  I started re-discovering and genuinely appreciating Brisbane and its surrounds.  Sunday afternoon sessions at Friday’s with a steak, jazz and a drink.  Weekends away in Byron Bay with my besties.  Eumundi Markets on a Saturday morning and filling up on all the tasters.  Day trips down the Goldie with my besties, falling asleep in the backseat on the drive home with a wet towel wound into the window to keep the sun out.  Areas like Teneriffe, the Brisbane Powerhouse, Emporium and Portside springing up.  Fruit and veg shopping at the Rocklea Markets.

I feel fortunate to still live in the town I grew up in.  My memories are many and date back a long time.  I’ve watched the mall evolve into what it is today.  I still remember Cherry Lane on the mall.  It was this giant, two-storey white glossy store full of clothing I’d never be able to wear because I would NEVER be that cool.  Going to the movies was such a big deal because you actually had to travel into the city.  A trip to the flicks was never complete without a visit to Darrell Lea for a glass bottle of tiny, brightly coloured boiled lollies.  I think they still sell them, don’t they?  And no childhood memory of Brisbane is complete without Kim Durant singing "Love you Brisbane".  And just for old times sake - here's the clip.

Now that I’ve got children, I’ve found my past, my present and my future are all bound to this one city.  Who knows where Polynesian Princess and Little Warrior will end up in the world?  They may spread their wings and disappear to a different continent for a time or forever.  But for now they’re here, collecting their own childhood memories.  In Brisbane, our hometown.

Do you still live in the city you grew up in?  What are your favourite memories?

Image: Troy Faulder /

Saturday, 3 March 2012

My six-word memoir

Smith Magazine has inspired me to write a six-word memoir.  For those of you asking who? what?  It’s all explained at Smith Magazine’s website here.

Apparently Ernest Hemingway was once asked to write a six word story, and his response was:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

I’ll just let you ruminate on that for a little bit.  Using only six words, Hemingway is able to tell a story that gives me a lump in my throat and makes me want to squeeze Little Warrior tight.

 Smith Magazine resurrected the idea (waaaaaaay back in 2006) and put the challenge out to their readers.  It reads “One Life. Six Words. What’s Yours?”  They received enough entries to write a book (or ten).  You can see a list of the books here.

Some of my favourite entries include:

Why didn’t I see it coming?

What if the dots don’t connect?

Being moody makes me feel alive

It got me thinking and it inspired me to write one of my own.  Could I sum up my entire life in six words?  Could you?

Well, I tried and here’s mine:

Life is good.  It wasn’t always.

Give it a shot, and I would love to hear what your six-word memoir would be!