Saturday, February 28, 2009

Motherhood Update

Home from work in time to cook dinner the last 3 nights?

Back to overseeing homework?Tickbox YES

House spic and span?

Fridge and pantry well stocked with nutritious food?

Washing folded and back in drawers?

Resumed nagging about chores, showering, shoe cleaning, tooth brushing, hair shampooing and room tidying?

Back in the running for mother of the year?


What a relief!

I was really starting to worry that I was turning in to one of those mothers whose own needs superseded those of their child. I realise now that I’m unlikely to leave any significant mark on this world so I consider that my main reason for being here is to raise a good and useful citizen who may be in a better position (i.e. smarter and more able) to leave his positive mark on the world.

I know that in only a few short years, the boy/man will be doing his own thing and may or may not be regularly in my life and I accept that but…

I would hate myself if any ambivalence on his part related to his perception of ambivalence on mine.

August 12

I was browsing in Wikipedia and came across my date of birth. I thought it might be fun to search for an interesting person (alive or dead) who was born on the same day as me.

Peter Krause

I was amazed how many famous people were born on 12 August but this is who I chose to share with you here today.

It’s Peter Krause, star of Sports Night, Six Feet Under and Dirty, Sexy Money.

This guy was not only born on my birthday but actually in the same year which I thought was kind of cool as I think he’s a good actor (and I thought that even before I knew we were born on the same day). I was a really big fan of Six Feet Under.

How about sharing some information on someone who was born on your birthday?

If you do, don’t forget to link it back to me.

Friday, February 27, 2009


I am a big fan of the late Don Clifton and Marcus Buckingham and their ideas about nurturing and growing your strengths.

I am right into understanding what makes me tick and embracing it. I firmly believe that the areas in our professional (and personal) life where we are strongest and most talented, provide our biggest opportunity for improvement.

Why waste time going from bad to mediocre at something like closing a sale or facilitating training, when you coJennifer Foxuld concentrate on going from really good to being great at say, delivering professional presentations or process redesign?


I found this book today that I’m really looking forward to reading. I hope it’s good and might help me and Rory to better understand his innate strengths. Who knows? I do know the book is being raved about. It'll be an interesting read anyway if nothing else.

There are always going to be certain things that we aren’t naturally good at but that we need to learn to be OK at for our job and thaMarcus Buckinghamt’s never going to change unfortunately but we can still put our main focus into maximising our natural talents.

Check out this stuff for yourself – it’s certainly changed my work life for the better.

I’m now confident to offer my strengths to my team and every single day now I get to spend at least some of my working day doing the stuff that really energises me.

My work day hasn’t been the same since I got my head around this. I’m totally sold. If you only read one book this year make it this one.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hot stuff

Further to jennicki’s post at ‘Boys Don’t Like Funny Girls’, I thought I’d throw my own Hollywood dream list into the mix for your edification and entertainment.

Unlike jennicki, who appears to have a thing going for older men, my ‘top 5’ are pretty much around my own age except the lovely Matt who’s not quite 40 yet.


Browse and enjoy if you are so inclined

Johnny Depp   George Clooney Russell Crowe

Viggo Mortensen

Matt Damon


Now how about sharing your favourites?

Broken toes

Rory arrived off the bus from school today with 2 toes on his right foot broken, bruised and strapped together and him struggling along with a crutch and his school bag and his football boot bag. Lucky I was home (worked from home today) when he texted from the bus to tell me he was hurt and I was able to zip down to the bus stop and collect him.

In the 3 years he’s been at his high school, he has developed quite a relationship with the school nurse - she’s stitched his cut feet more than once, she’s waited with him while the ambulance arrived when he was knocked out on the sports field, she’s strapped broken fingers on at least 3 separate occasions and iced his strained muscles, she’s given him panadol and a quiet place to sit when he started getting headaches last year and generally looked out for him and rung me as required. Most weeks he visits the sick bay for one injury or another, thankfully he usually only requires a sticking plaster or an icepack for 10 minutes and then he’s off again. She’s an older lady and she claims he’s her reason for not retiring yet – he makes her feel useful :-)

Rory  26 Feb 2009

Rory is not particularly accident prone, he’s just a big strong very active boy, he’s 15 and just reached 182cm, (or fractionally over 6” for the non-metricated amongst us) and spends every lunch time with his mates playing either their own variation of American football or something else they call Canadian Forceback . All I know is that sewing up his school uniform shirts and trousers (he’s at a single sex school with quite a formal uniform) is a weekly occurrence when they comes home ripped, with buttons missing and almost always covered in grass stains. At least once a week he’s got a massive new bruise or two somewhere. After all the orthodontic work he’s had I insist he wears a mouth guard at all times playing these full contact ‘games’ and so far no damage thankfully to his pearly whites.

Apparently one of his mates landed on his foot with his knee while they were playing at lunch time today and his poor toes are very obviously broken, bruised and very swollen. We hardly bother with x-rays and doctors visits for toes these days as there’s nothing they can do besides strapping when they’re broken anyway.

He’s not complaining but is worried that his football (soccer) team are mustering within the next couple of weeks to get started on training before the season starts, and he wants to be in good shape for that.

I’m lucky he’s a tough kid.

My favourite poem (again)

The Quiet Life

Happy the man whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest who can inconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day.

Monet's Haystack

Sound sleep by night, study and ease
Together mixt, sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

by Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Old habits

…are not always hard to break.

I used to be one of those people who could be relied upon to get things done. I don’t mean at work as it’s pretty much a given that you have to get shit done at work or else you get fired. No, what I mean is the other stuff.

AnimatedRefBeing on the school gala committee, keeping the house clean and the gardens tidy, attending night classes, coaching the kid’s football team as well  as volunteering a half shift a week at the animal shelter.  All this alongside being a working single mother.

It’s all changed though. And not for the better.

Somehow 2009 has already morphed into the year where I  work too many hours each week, where I write a blog and read other’s blogs (and add comments ad nauseum) and where the house is in a perpetual state of disarray. I’m distracted.

Rory is nonplussed by it all but is encouragingly picking up some of my slack.  He’s taken to reminding me, as a secretary might, about upcoming events and requirements on my time and/or my pick-up/drop off schedule for that day if required. I came into the kitchen this morning to find him adding dates and details into my PDA. I asked him was I getting that bad? Had I dropped the ball in the motherhood stakes? He assured me I hadn’t actually missed anything but the unspoken “yet” hung in the air.

I made an extra effort tonight and I was home before 6pm with grocery shopping and proceeded to cook a proper dinner and run the vacuum around and do a load of washing.

Must be better mother!!! Will update progress tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A rose by any other name…


…would smell as sweet. William Shakespeare 





Following on from Kate’s post, I searched my name in Urban Dictionary. I started with Lou but most entries were truly revolting so went to Louise. There were pretty meagre offerings there too unfortunately but the least lame (or plain offensive) is below.


Louise is a popular feminine form of the name Louis; it is used in all English-speaking and French-speaking countries, and is commonly found across Europe.

Rhymes with most of the English dictionary: cheese, peas, keys, please, knees, wheeze, jeez, bees, ease, tease, sneeze, these, fees and so on..................

Also in a famous saying: "Jeez Louise!" __________________________________________________________

Well that was enlightening, not! Why didn’t I get a cool one like Kate?

My elbows are healing nicely, starting to get a bit itchy (hehe that looks like bitchy) but I am determined not to scratch and interfere with the healing. Got my new glasses today and it’s fabulous being able to read again.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I don’t think I’ve mentioned that sometimes I commute to work by air. It’s about an hours flight to Wellington, our capital city. The regularity of travel depends on what’s going on at work. Sometimes it’s only once or twice a month and other times it’s at least one day a week.

If it sounds like a flash job believe me it’s not. 

I had a 7am flight this morning which means I got up at 5am and reached the airport feeling tired, coffee deprived and hungry at about 6.45am. As usual I arrived too late to grab a decent cappuccino and something to eat before boarding.  The inevitable queuing for the x-ray machine (and the grumbles when my bangles set off the alarm) was followed this morning by sitting and waiting in the plane while they hold up the departure for some Member of Parliament flying to work for the week.

Anyway, by the time I’m ‘enjoying’ the crappy offerings they call coffee on the plane, I’m usually in full on work mode and doing some reading to prepare for the days meetings. Not today.

I found myself sitting next to a woman in her sixties, who was in NZ from the UK and was on her way to a town north of Wellington to stay with her son and his familyAir_New_Zealand_Plane_Tail who emigrated here a couple of years ago. She was so excited about seeing him and her grandchildren that she could barely sit still.  I’ll call her Doreen and she was adorable. She entertained me for the whole flight with stories of her son growing up and why she’s decided to stay put in the UK when her only child and grandchildren have moved to the other side of the planet.

Doreen said she couldn’t stand the thought of leaving the village where she grew up and got married and raised her son and, most importantly I think, where her late husband is buried. She told me that she visited him everyday and a friend had promised to keep up the daily visits while Doreen was away for a month in NZ.

When we landed and I was in a taxi heading to the Wellington office, I reflected on the conversation with Doreen and I felt sad that she was tied, albeit apparently willingly, to a place that kept her from enjoying the living.

Life’s too short.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


My particular favourite.

Security ahhhhh

This is my first post published via Windows Live.

So far I love it! I have been playing around and it seems simpler to format and obviously the big plus is that it’s another copy of my journal should another Homer Simpson moment prevail. I like that it underlines typo’s like Word does so you can fix as you go. It’s simple to insert maps, tables (if you’re that way inclined) and all seems very straightforward.

The proof will be how it looks when I post I guess.Rory and mates

Rory arrived home yesterday afternoon with his two best mates and, just to annoy them, I started taking some pics earlier.

Can you work out what it is that’s holding their attention so well?


Yes? It’s PlayStation surprise surprise!











Mum and dad arrived home earlier today so I had to take the little dog home to them. He was so excited to see mum, it was adorable. I guess that’s a good excuse to post a pic of him seeing as the previously posted one has now gone. 013

Anyway I am dying to see how this looks on my site so will publish now – here goes…

Head Injured

What a weekend it's been.

Most of you wouldn't have seen my post of yesterday following my fall so I will recap. My friend L and I were leaving a small local maternity hospital where we'd been visiting another friend and her new baby, and it was pouring rain so we were running to the car. Naturally I was wearing totally the wrong footwear (high heel strappy sandals - having not been expecting rain) and I fell. I lost quite a bit of skin off both elbows and lower arms and whacked the bejesus out of the back of my head on the asphalt.

I got home and dried off and then cleaned and patched myself up and I must admit to a certain degree of feeling sorry for myself having no-one to make me soup and toast soldiers and tuck me into bed for a nap to help deal to the very nasty headache.

Had a lovely couple of hours kip and felt slightly better so thought I'd read a few posts from you guys to catch up. Long story slightly shorter, somehow I managed to delete every single one of the 49 posts I have written since starting my blog on 11 January. I blame the head injury plus a fair smattering of idiocy. The help forum gave me a couple of suggestions to try and get them back (such as Google cache) but all to no avail. Is there a way to safeguard around this?

On a smaller scale (and of far less anthropological importance) I now get what those of you from JS must have felt seeing your record disappear last year.

...anyway onwards and upwards. Am sincerely hoping today's a better day.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


All my posts have disappeared? Any ideas anyone?