Monday, May 14, 2007

How I didn't learn to be ambidextrous NB: this is a bit yuck

I have learned two new hobbies 1) Bird watching - not just the four dudes at home) and 2) making tiny collages (as per picture that I made for Stuart's mum for Mothers' Day). I love doing them and while this one is all soft and pink and theme-based, others are more about nature and various things that occur to me as I go through some of these wonderful old books and trace and draw leaves and flowers for them, I find having a non-writing/reading hobby helps my deeply annoying and time-consuming anxiety/depression that comes and goes in my life (and has gone a lot more recently as I manage my life a lot better and learn to relax and find joy in small things - like writing to you, and collecting leaves - I know, but I can't help it, they're so beautiful - and playing with my small birds and caring for them and hoping to be able to rescue more animals when I finally buy a house).
So, things are pretty good right now. and my mum was accepted into the stem cell research program (sounds like she's going to be an astronaut for NASA) but it also means months of hard times too. She's very brave. Possibly the worst bit is that she has to share a four bed ward for five weeks in hopstial. As the family of a wonderfully kind and assertive father, we 're often able to wangle a decent room in hospital, so this is a bit of a downer. We'll figure out some ways to improve things, I hope. As she's like me in terms of loving reading and listening to the radio, she at least will be able to occupy herself in this difficult situation. Anyway, I'll neatly segue from one bastard medical condition to another...

How I didn't learn to be ambidextrous

Earlier this year I had two fingernails removed, they got smashed in a garage door and two got infected after not being cared for properly (or at all, and it seems I don't trim my fingernails properly). So this was the gross result... That gross red stuff is called 'proud flesh ' - yeah, I was REALLY proud of it... urgh. I think this is a great title for a crime novel 'Proud Flesh', only it suggests a tougher, grittier type of book than the ones I write. I hope someone else has better luck with this style and uses the phrase well.
And I couldn't do stuff for a couple days until I managed to get an emergency appointment with the very kind and generous Dr Sach, who flinched when he saw them (I know! I was ashamed) and that day he said he'd have to remove the nail plates. I was okay until I realised he meant fingerNAILS... Then I sort of fainted/threw up at the same time and went back to sit in the waiting room and stare into space for a few hours. Under local anaesethic he took them off and I, in turn, took a couple weeks off work, with huge bandaged hands as per picture. Once the excrutiating pain subsided I started feeling kind of good about having an enforced break from work. And then I had to change the dressings (and I fainted twice and ended up doing it while lying down so I didn't have so far to fall). But now they're perfect, and I realise how not being able to use my writing hand cramped my lifestyle. I learned a lot of sign language for the next book (tricky with only eight fingers) by using some great sites on the net as well as some really terrific docos about the cruel abuse and treatment of deaf people during WWII by the Nazi Party (I learned a lot of horrible words but it was incredible to watch a documentatry that had subtitles, a deaf sign language dude in the corner of the screen, and the voice over. Every TV show should do this, it sems obvious. You'd learn more languages and the world would be a much better place for people with sight and hearing difficulties. I'm slightly ashamed to realise how great it would be to do this for other people and yet, we just don't. Stupid.
People really suck sometimes. However, i HAVE loved seeing more and more use of signs that use braille.
Oh, and another, dopey but fun things was that I found the time to watche the first few seasons of Buffy again. Always a good thing.

Listening to: Splashes of Classic FM, I like the idiosyncratic option of not choreograpphing my music as I usually do, and mostly, it's great stuff.
Eating: Icecream. Stuart discovered Baskin Robbins. Oh dear...
Thinking about: The Tequila Bikini, I have a great plan for the next chapter and I'm very excited
Watching: Lost, Extras, The final season of Angel (so sad...) and my little honeyeater Charlie as he's still not growing feathers on his head
Wearing: Victoria Secret nighties. I bought a bunch a few weeks ago and find them so comfortable I wear them around the house because theyre 1) Modest 2) Warm, yet cool - magical I think 3) Could be mistaken for mini dress if the cops come around to arrest me for stealing flowers for the birds each day - they'll never get me for indecent exposure these days.
Reading: Anything by Helen Forrester. I read her when I was young and am trying to get some copies, but all avalable on order only, I found two in an opp shop which started this obssession. She's an excellent writer, and in my humble opinion did a better job then Frank McCourt dealing with extreme poverty and how people deal with life under difficult circumstances.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

and the lady in black...wore white

With the marriage of one of my friends (and ex-boyfriends) coming up, my thoughts have turned delightfully to all things romantic. (friends have noticed they get more hugs and kisses, and the birds have more pink glitter bits on their heads from my smooches - poor things).

I realised I hadn't ever posted anything about getting married. Here is a pick of my wedding shoes - After first painting these (once gold satin shoes from the oppshop that I usually wore with my racy nurse's uniform for dress up parties... ) blue, things went sideways pretty quickly. . White dress, blue shoes. I thought it would look cool. It didn't.

So... I decided the day before to paint them white. This didn't work out all that well. On the day they sort of... flaked off all over my carpet as I was getting ready. Fortunately Nick, my best man, turned up with some French Champagne, which gave me the blind confidence to try some McGyver style improvement. I painted the spots with White Out and tied big white bows on them to detract the eye, distract anyone from the flarge white flakes (no grass growing up here, folks...) (It was the shoe equivilent of wearing big earrings to distract people from the fact I haven't brushed my hair.) Anyway, here's a picture of my shoe, and a shot of my best man, Nick and my bridesmaid, Jo, having a drink and a relaxing chat before getting moving, pretending we weren't all watching my shoes flake through the white, then blue and expose some (surprise!) gold...) .

I am forever grateful to these two wonderful people for helping me through this amazing but slightly scary day. I snatched an anxiety attack about five days before the wedding and when the day arrived I was feeling kind of out there with worry and discomfort.

I knew I wanted to marry Stuart more than anything, I couldn't WAIT to go on our honeymoon (to New York to see the Christo exhibition in Central Park) but all the formalities and the sense of not doing anything right, made me feel anxious and a little unhappy some days. But on the day, I was happy indeed. Eventually things worked out beautifully (although my dad was unwell on the day and Jemima, our Border Collie, ate too many amazing snacks and was sick for weeks afterwards - I called every day from New York to check on her, I love that dog) and it was a great day.

Well, nothing will ever make me forget the feeling of almost blue/white joy I felt standing with Stuart (who I'd had a crush on for ages before we actually dated) and saying precious words to each other in front of a hundred of our dear friends and family (and dog) and getting married.

I think that I am the luckiest girl in the world, not just to have Stuart, but to have my birds, my friends, my family and such a hopeful, beautiful life. I live in a great city and I love the fact that if I need to have a nap, I can. Things are simple when you're me, I guess.

My friend Anna's gorgeous young son, Tom, asked me why I put pink streaks in my hair and I said it was for the same reason I sometimes have ice cream for breakfast and weetbix for dinner, Why not? Of course, that attitude has got me in to some big pots of trouble too but it's made for some great moments in my life. This all feeds into my writing which is another reason I know I'm lucky - I get to do my favourite thing for a living.

So today's blog is dedicated to love. Love of friends, family, work, life, animals, storm clouds, flowers, waves, music, everything. I'm very grateful to have it all.

The wonderful photos here were taken by the incredible photographer, Claudio Raschella ( except the one in New York which was taken by Stu.