Easter Show, Tent Pegging and Wood Chopping

I have been putting off the inevitable Sydney Royal Easter Show for close on three years now. I have ducked and dived and made excuses until I was starting to look like quite the liar.

So along came Monday – Easter Monday – the day before the show was ending and my number was up. Really and truly. I sucked it up like a big girl, put on my sneakers and went to the show looking like a badly dressed tourist in my own town. I refused to bow to the backpack and happily trotted out my nice leather bag. Which is HEAVY, all on its own. Rookie mistake people, rookie mistake. Take the fucking backpack that you get when you sign up for gym membership. Your shoulder will thank you for days after.

So, yes, the Show. Quite pleasant actually. First Show moment – on arrival we ate the obligatory chip on a stick.

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The salt content alone, not including the fat content, can send you into a cardiac arrest if you are so inclined. However, as it was vegetarian it made me feel less guilty as I walked through the goat and pig stall. My mother wanted to know if they had painted the pigs for the show – as they appeared to be patterned. Some seeing eye glasses appear to be in order shortly.

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I was obsessed with getting to the dog show. I have never really been to a dog show and now that I am a crazy dog lady it is a total essential. I am not certain but I think that maybe they give the dogs drugs so that they can do their hair. As I have a dog and I see many other dogs in the park I know that never, on God’s green earth would any of them allow anyone to groom them to within an inch of Kim Kardashian. There was one that looked like it had been done over with a GHD. Not a word of a lie. Drugs in dog shows people. The next big scandal. Remember, you heard it here first.

And then we went to tent pegging. Best sport ever (not counting wood chopping). These mad arse people on horses pop balloons with pistols, chop stuff off a stick (it must clack and not click when you chop) and then they “draw their lance” and get these ring things off a string and finally peg a piece of paper off the ground. There’s even a world championship that was held in Oman and Australia sent a team. True story. And they have names like Barry Biffin and Jake Van Dorsen. Totally mad. Here is a picture of my ungrateful offspring refusing to have their photo taken at tent pegging. The smiling blondie is my mother.

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Oh, and the wood choppers. Highlight of the show. The lovely and young Jessie from New Zealand was a total hit with Miss14. He chopped himself silly – I have never seen people do such things with a tree stump and an axe. Respect. Muscles. That is all. And they wear these cute white pants. That is all.

Special mention to the farmers with the fruit displays. In my life!

I managed to wangle out of going on rides etc because even Miss11 could not be that cruel and even though I promised to go with her on absolutely anything, my grey pallor was perhaps a dead giveaway. For that she might still live to see another sunrise after breaking her father’s iPad today.

So after corralling three children (sorry mom) through the Easter Show I was well and truly exhausted and completely lost my shit when I arrived home to find dishes in the sink and the dishwasher NOT unloaded. As you do ten hours later.

Stay safe out there people and out of jail – even though the urge to kill your offspring and possibly your spouse is threatening to overwhelm you and a tour of duty at Long Bay Correctional seems like a good vacation idea – only five more sleeps till Term 2 starts.

Love and light

Lauren xxx

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Q1 – it’s a wrap

Everyone’s year – work and otherwise is broken up into various segments and my Q1 has wrapped as of now. It commences again on Thursday so yeah, two days to reflect.

Jeez Louise, 2014 you started off rough. New boss, big changes. Big trauma for this girl. Then the levelling of all things before the upswing. Because you can’t keep a good girl down. Especially not this one.

The kids have survived another school term, the endless soccer season has once again commenced (did it ever stop?) and Passover and Easter are upon us. I have not, for some reason, given the eggs my usual attention because it is focussed on soya linseed bread with blue cheese and apricot jam. There is no segway here into the fact that I still haven’t got myself together in the exercise/eating department but I reckon you can’t achieve everything in four short months.

My dog is still the total bomb! And did you know? – he has his own Instagram account. You should totally go and follow him on Insta – his name is @koda_the_retriever – along with the 170 (and counting) other people that do – trust me – he will make you smile every. single. day.

And while he is beautiful – he is not so clever. I was talking to my friend in the park the other day. He has a lab called Banjo and we were reflecting on how this breed is perceived to be uber bright but really isn’t so. I told him I totally know why – because they spend all their time being handsome and beautiful. And that’s the God honest truth.

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Take yesterday for example when I took our Koda to play in the park. (Under duress because there was a massive storm brewing and I am not good with the wet – similar to new people). We were going well until Koda’s friend Lola went to wade in the muddy bog down from the park and then they proceeded to play together. Which proves the point that regardless of how well trained YOUR dog is, if another dog is allowed to go into the boggy marsh, you are fucked. Because they will rub their mud all over your clean golden retriever. And your husband will scream blue murder because your house has just been cleaned and there’s a muddy dog and 10 people are coming for dinner tonight. FFS (translation : fuck fuck shit). And you almost call Tom to come over with his doggy wash machine to help but for the sum of $50 you don’t and you try and wash the dog yourself using a combo of wet wipes and puppy shampoo and a wet towel. Major fail is all……and a totally pissed off dog.

But, we’ve survived the first bit of the year, major stress and deadlines looming. A few major lights in the tunnel – pre-approval to TedxSydney – hell to the yes – been stressing for a solid year that I was going to have to reapply. Thanks guys – love your work xxx. And…..we are heading to the US of A in a few months. First timer to the land of the free and simply cannot wait to hit Vegas and NYC. Vegas because well, The Hangover………..

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and NYC because – obviously, duh – Sex and the City.

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How exciting is this? *runs around the room screaming like a total spaz*

So yeah, Q1 – you’re wrapped up.

Love and light
Lauren xxx

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Some advice for the men out there

Some conversations prove interesting because they are a testament to never knowing the workings of another person’s mind. Even when you have shared a bed with a person for over nineteen years and been married for almost eighteen.

At dinner the other night with friends, The Artist was sprouting an interesting philosophy. And I quote “with marriage, it should be like a 15 year lease and then everyone gets to re-evaluate their options and go their own way. Yes, that’s what it should be, like a 15 year lease.”

The stunned silence gave way to my friend saying “well that wasn’t the reaction you were expecting now was it?” Because well, asshole.

We then went on to discuss among ourselves (not including The Artist) whether he thought his future options for a second 15 year lease might include something of the 25 year old variety. There was much laughter over this one. Because well, middle-aged not 25 anymore.

It was suggested that as an experiment my friend’s husband could strap a GoPro to his head and accompany The Artist on a night out in say, Kings Cross for example, and document his success. The Artist chirped in at this point saying he didn’t want to go there. My friend’s husband didn’t want to strap a GoPro to his head either.  Someone tried to divert attention by attempting to start a discussion about how one sees people with GoPro’s everywhere. (Nice Try but no conversion).  [For those of you who are not aware of what a GoPro is - it is this camera thing that you strap usually to your head and walk around looking like a twit.]

We then pondered avenues if not the X where one can examine one’s options and we asked it to be noted that there was not a line of 25 year old ladies waiting on the sidewalk outside the house just simply waiting for The Artist to charm them into a lease.

Relaying the conversation to my friend Tallulah yesterday about the 15 year lease option proposal, he said that men need to realise that they should always go with their second answer/thought when faced with a question or discussion of controversy.  For example, if one’s girlfriend or partner had to say “hey babe, do you want to watch the Sex and the City movie?” go with option b which would obviously be “absolutely”.  As opposed to option a being “I’d rather sandpaper my balls”.

This is sage advice menfolk.

Love and light

Lauren xxx

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You knew this post was coming……

According to the tow truck driver there are some people that go an entire lifetime without ever getting a nail in a tyre whilst out driving through suburban Sydney. I think these people might not be driving so much as catching the bus.

Similar to me this morning. Because yesterday on the back of a big win (finding a koala onesie for Miss 11 at the 11th hour before a dress up disco party) I took the scenic drive home via Maroubra Beach’s Marine Parade (as you do after a big win) and picked up what can now only be described as an anticipated big loss.

I might have mentioned previously on this blog my penchant for playing loud boom boom music whilst out and about. Well, as I approached the beach and the bass was dropping (yeah, I’m cool like that), there seemed to be some additional boom-boom which doubled as a thwack -thwack. I immediately scanned the surrounds to see if there was some hoon in the vicinity with his boom-boom messing with my bass. Nothing. Miss11 and her mate pointed out that people were staring as we drove by.

So I turned down the bass only to hear thwack-thwack, thwack-thwack. Like a playing card pinned with a clothes peg on a bicycle tyre (old school) so the whole world can hear you coming. So I pulled over thinking, paper. Heavy duty stuck to part of the car. As if…..

See below Exhibit A.

nail in tyre

According to those in the know, what the fuck is that? It’s fucking huge! Never seen that before. You been driving on a construction site lady? (Tow Truck Driver)

According to others, you are a walking disaster, from one thing to the next, seriously, how? Why? (The Artist)

Once again, my team at Bob Jane Edgecliffe are going to fall over when my sweetie arrives on the back of a tow truck this morning. For the second time in four months.  See exhibit B below.

car on tow truck

According again to those in the know, that tyre is fucked lady. No-one’s going to be able to fix a hole that big. (Tow Truck Driver).

And so it goes. To the tune of over $500 to replace a less than 6 month old tyre.  FML does not seem to quite cover it. Neither does insurance.

Love and light

Lauren xxx

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The Rude Barometer went red

I want to talk about something that does my head in.

And as you read further I want you to appreciate where this is coming from.  However, in a world where we are increasingly connected by mobile phone we are equally increasing disconnected to our manners.

I sit in a lot of meetings.  Big meetings, small meetings, one on one meetings.  I am noticing a trend.  Which perhaps isn’t exactly new but seems to be on the rise, along with unfuckingbelievable rudeness.

I was sitting in a meeting the other day with about 40 other people (literally). On either side of me, mobile phones were huzzing on the table.  Non-stop.  Not ringing because my God!, that would be rude.

But huzzing and vibrating?  Apparently not so much.

Yes, you are a hero - you got a text.....

Yes, you are a hero – you got a text…..

My slapping hand was itching.  My throwing arm was needing a major workout.  Mobile phones to nearest wall.

Neither person on either side of me was a neurosurgeon or doctor of any nature I want to point out for the record.  Nor are they running a country.

What the fuck is really so important?

And let’s talk about what actually happens once the phone has huzzed…….

There’s that grabbing of the phone (almost with surprise) with urgency and the serious face “I am an important person, I have a message to read/someone is calling me”;  followed by that knowing smile “I am an important person, this person who has messaged me clearly needs me desperately” followed by that smug face with the sense of renewed urgency “I must message them back, I am an important person”.  No actually, you are not.

The face on the guy in the middle.  That's the face....

The face on the guy in the middle. That’s the face….

If for whatever reason they cannot message back immediately there is fidgeting and pawing of the device. By this stage my slapping hand is red hot ready to go.

Now I am very fond of my mobile phone and the beautiful beautiful internet and all it has to offer.  But seriously people. When did this behaviour become okay?  Because it’s not.

And I haven’t even yet touched on when you are having a one on one meeting (not talking average social here but actual business) and someone is actually rude enough to answer their phone and then say “sorry, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back”.  So why not just not answer the phone, let the phone take a message – which is what it does naturally – and then call back when you are not in a meeting and making a rude ass of yourself?

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And while I use this in a business context there are people that I have stopped meeting socially because they cannot put their phones down.  They simply cannot.

And I simply cannot bear their rudeness.

I appreciate the new world.  But the new rude?  Not so much.

Love and light

Lauren xxx

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Grant me the courage

I’ve written a few posts in the past three days.  Published none because the thoughts are not complete and I don’t want to articulate this in the wrong way.

This blog wasn’t always called AlwaysLauren.  It started off being called Grant me the serenity.

Most of you (I assume) know that this comes from the serenity prayer which goes:

“God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, courage to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference”.

The serenity prayer is also the cornerstone of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Those people know their shit.  Whilst I am fond of a good alcoholic beverage I cannot count myself into their program because frankly, I wouldn’t qualify. (Footnote: The Artist tends to disagree here).

I also more days than not wear the serenity prayer on some engraved metal on my wrist.  Chances are not a soul has noticed or even knows this.  But it keeps me grounded.

Some of us feel too much.  It’s not a bad thing but it tends to cause a bit of trauma.

The words help.  For me.  It’s a baseline that I return to and rationalise things.

At the moment I’m in the “courage to change what I can” stage.  I think, without doubt, this is the most difficult part.  What makes it worthwhile is that change, at the end of the day, if you orchestrate it yourself with a goal in mind, can only be good.

And as for the universe.  I’m not a religious person, so we’ll leave it with the universe.  It brings you things in strange ways, at strange times. Like my dog Koda.  Straight from the man himself.  Because he’s clever like that.  And like this:

Last week my car drove me to a coffee shop I had no intention of having breakfast at to fill in time between school drop off and a meeting.  An old friend was there.  She’s reinvented herself as a life coach and someone stopped at our table to tell her how much she loves reading her weekly Facebook posts.  Obviously (social media junkie that I am) I made enquiries and received my first Facebook update from her page  yesterday.  These were her words:

“Make the choice to stop doubting yourself and start believing that you can be who you want to be, you can make positive changes and you can live a life with purpose.  You are wonderful and have a lot to offer the world, you just have to believe it!”

Wow people, isn’t that just the truth?

Wishing this on you  – to the power of unicorns.

Love and light

Lauren xxx

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A man with a death wish

So, for those of you who are sick of hearing about my dog (and I dare you to identify yourselves) if you don’t want to hear about him I suggest you click straight out of this post immediately.

Apologies for the very slight variations on the theme here for the past while.  Not.

Last night, fortunately I was adequately lubricated with spirits, when a debate ensued at dinner regarding the good looks of my Koda.  The Artist (who is still sulking with Koda over the previous incident) took it upon himself to say that there were perhaps other dogs as good looking if not more so than Koda.  I mean seriously.  What the AF?   The man has a DEATH WISH.

He then went on to actually name the said dogs.  I wished a hex of plagues upon him.  Including the legendary fleas of a thousand camels infesting him armpits quote from somewhere I can’t remember (such is my rage).

I will eat your garden.  Such is my disappointment.........

I will eat your garden. Such is my disappointment……… (and my mother’s rage)

It is my belief that the man does not intend to have sex again in his lifetime.

That is all.

Love to you (and not to The Artist) and light (there is no light for him in the dark that he wishes to be his future with comments that my dog is not the best looking Golden Retriever on the Eastern Seaboard)

Lauren xxx

Linking  up with the other bloggy peeps over at With Some Grace for FYBF

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