Category: Family and Life

BBQ Dog

The Artist woke up in a terrible state this morning.  He had had a nightmare.  I immediately asked if the nightmare was that I had died.  Because such was his state.  What else could it have been to render him so distraught?  It had to be that (that I had died) because his greatest fears would be realised in that he would have to:

* be on the frontline (like a General Eisenhower) to deal with two teenage girls and their mood swings on a daily basis
* buy tampons
* go formal dress shopping (for two dresses)
* shop for and cook two meals a night (one for normal people and one for a vegan)
* finally take responsibility for doing the 120 million hours required for Miss18 to get her drivers license

It turns out that my death is not that scary.  What is that scary, the stuff that nightmares are made of, is BBQ’ing the dog.  He had a dream that he BBQ’d Koda.  And Koda’s eyes were open on the BBQ while he was preparing to eat him.

I went to make coffee and returned to find The Artist spooning the dog on his bed (the dog’s) whilst crooning his deepest apologies.  The dog was having none of it.

He stalked downstairs with me in indignation to do his morning ablutions.  And then the problems started.  He would not come inside for fear of being breakfast, even though BBQ is more of a lunch/dinner thing.

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I trust you nothing.

I explained to him that he was safe.  Traumatised he started eating grass whilst communicating to me with his eyes that perhaps if he eats grass his father won’t find him so appetising.  I then told him about the cows that his father enjoys as steak – completely destroying his safety net theory and my hope of ever getting him inside.

The Artist is still apologising to Koda for his terrible dream transgression.   But I don’t think he is that sorry because I sent him this Facebook funny to which he responded as follows: IMG_5711.PNG

Yup – nightmare my friend.

Love and light
Lauren xxx

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Lock the bathroom door. That is all.

I’m not really one to party hard on New Years eve.  Too much pressure is all.  But I’m fond, like on most days of sitting in my garden on a bean bag and rolling some champers or a good caprioshka.  This year was no different – we did a BBQ – The Artist cooked like an Iron Chef and we headed off to the Maroubra Headland where we observed both the Coogee and Sydney fireworks at 9pm simultaneously!  Who knew?

On our return The Artist went straight to the bathroom.  Those Pure Blondes with 85% less carbs (bullshit, bullshit) seem to just flow straight through a person.  I returned to the kitchen to retrieve my glass of champagne when a brief commotion occurred down the passage.  Did I care?  No.

Granny Kay had been rummaging through her handbag for a comb.  Because the wind had disturbed her hair.  She then, without thought to enquire, opened a closed bathroom door to fix her “do”.  Except well, The Artist was in full flight emptying his bladder.  Much yelling and outrage (them).  Much laughing (me).

peeing

According to The Artist she didn’t even leave quickly enough.  According to Granny Kay he should have locked the door.  All my father wanted to know was if Granny Kay liked what she saw?  All kinds of inappropriate people.  All kinds.

The Artist has made it an order of business today to fix that lock today.

Happy New Year people.

Love and light

Lauren xxx

By the seat of his pants

A few weeks back – before we left for the icy hub that is Canberra I dropped off three pairs of The Artist’s work pants at the dry-cleaner.  He has four.

It was opportune to do it then because he did not need them for a week (obviously) when he can wear one pair of jeans over and over again.

On our return a week went by and I didn’t get to pick up the three pants.  Then another week went by.  It became a game.  I was waiting you see, for The Artist to ask where his pants were.  But nothing.  And three weeks became four.  Then it became a challenge.

I had occasion to visit the dry-cleaner on Wednesday to get Miss16’s blazer done as it was being reassigned to Miss13.  This has been another exercise/challenge in the waiting game.  I have noticed that both their blazers and jumpers for school have been getting smaller by the week.  Miss16 reached critical mass last Monday and Miss13 is just the lucky recipient of bigger stuff as someone had to obviously take one for the team.  They keep me busy tracking their tenacity and their ability to go the distance this family.

Two days after the return of the pants I asked The Artist if he was happy to see them. Well! I received a diatribe of rhetoric about how his pants (the pair he wore for four weeks) were able to stand up alone, walk over to him and in fact they pretty much could dial the space station.  He then asked whether I had noticed him buying alot of socks.  In fact I had.  Apparently he needs a clean pair every day.  Every, single, day. Hahahahahahaha!  (I personally think he’s trying to find a comfortable brand and is working his way through the multitude of options at DJ’s but that’s just my take on things.)

The thing is, it totally gives me the shits to put pairs of socks together.  It’s a thankless task.  And with mens socks they tend to look so similar.  The Artist is also not shy to whinge about different socks fraternising in the same pair – seriously – no-one even sees them under the pants.  So to go back to the topic at hand, they (the socks) often languish (washed and all) in the wash basket in the laundry because I cannot be assed to put them together.

I think it was the hope when I started working from home that things of this nature might just happen naturally but sadly it is not to be.  If you hate doing the socks, you hate doing the socks.

p.s. the drycleaner argued like nobodies business that I did not in fact have pants in waiting at his shop.  When I produced my docket he looked at the date, looked at me, gave me the hairy eyeball, shook his head and went digging in the recesses of his rack where he was clearly about to do a street sale to defray costs.  He also feels that The Artist deserves cleans pants – good thing he doesn’t know about the socks (or the underpants – let’s not talk about the underpants).

Love and light
Lauren xxx

Shades of Grey

We’re painting the outside of the house. We inherited its original colour from those who built it from scratch and I must say I had no problem with their artistic eye. A couple of years ago we inherited new neighbours who have now decided that the time has come for an external reno.

After some to-ing and fro-ing agreement has sort of been reach on painting The Chez the colour Stepney (a shade of grey – go figure!). My friend Gary, the renderer, is laughing his ass off because Stepney is the “colour du jour” and of course it is what we chose (following a recommendation from the neighbours colour consultant. Disclaimer: The Artist and I did not contribute to the expenses related to the colour consultant because, well, bullshit).

So the big Stepney revamp began today due to inclement weather on Monday.

I chose to work offsite today as I anticipated that there would be stress at HQ. And it turns out that this was not a bad call.

At exactly 8.48am I received a distressed text from The Artist that one of the painters was experiencing diarrhoea and was camped out in our downstairs toilet. Apparently the painter spent a good 30minutes clearing his bowels and didn’t use the toilet brush or the spray. The Artist at this point was freaking out straight off the Richter Scale.

For those who don’t know – The Artist is a bit of a germophobe. If I am trying to ward him off, all I need to do is blow my nose into a tissue and then wave it in front of me like a weapon.

I said to my colleagues that I anticipated returning home to find a rented porta-Loo on my sidewalk.

Confessions over dinner revealed that research had been undertaken as the first painter had entered the toilet to assess the costs related to the aforementioned porta-Loo.

Being an accountant, The Artist is trying to work out how to get the neighbours to contribute to the cost. Not being an accountant I have broken down the daily cost for him relative to his daily stress and I think he might just bite the bullet and put it on the Amex.   And no, we can’t ask the neighbours to contribute because well, they paid for the colour consultant. Swings and roundabouts people, swings and roundabouts.

To be honest, I’m somewhat distracted because according to The Artist, the only word the painter with the poo problem knew was toilet. So tomorrow I’m totally going to sit with them at morning tea (because I’m working from HQ) to get the full story – the where are you from and where do you live now? why are you here? what are your dreams and hopes? who are your nearest and dearest? and where do you hope to be in two years time?

Coming to Australia as what I can only describe as a privileged immigrant and still struggling with so much I cannot begin to imagine tackling a language barrier, a financial barrier and an education barrier on top of the emotional upheaval of leaving a country you love (regardless of what has transpired – where you were born is often still home). I hope they’ll talk to me (The Artist has told me not to arrive with baked goods – yeah whatever) – they’re with us for two weeks – and aside from getting a house with a new colour – Stepney people – watch this space – I’d like to get to know the men who are making my home the colour it will be for probably the next ten years.

And who knows where any of us will be in that period of time?  Life can change in a heart beat – for good and bad.

But it is the eternal hope of something better, something more inspiring, something more that keeps us all moving forward.

Love and light

Lauren xxx

The Bitter Sweet

Last night I attended the last prize giving of our primary years – both Miss 15 and Miss 12 will be in high school and I will no longer have whinging rights on hearing the same address by the principal and president of the board twice. (It has to be said that this year they nailed it with the content and timing so I really had nothing to whinge about – it really was quite good).

It is often a very bittersweet moment these lasts. Sweet  because you only now have one prize giving a year to go to and bitter because well, we’re all ageing.  Fast.

However this time round there was another element.

Two months ago one of Miss12’s teachers passed away suddenly.  She was only 46 years old.  She was  buried next to her father who had died earlier in the year.  It was sadder than sad to see a family and a school community in mourning for one of their own, one who was so very beloved.

The School dedicated a perpetual memorial prize last night in her name for the Most Conscientious and Diligent Primary Student donated  by the Year 6 class of 2014.

And you know how sometimes you get goosebumps for no reason?  The Artist asked whether he could leave after the standard class prizes were awarded and I said he should possibly like to stay a while longer for the special prizes.  He looked strangely at me but complied.

Miss12 won that prize together with another classmate.  I wanted to have tears and tears and tears but I’m not one to cry in public and I’m not sure I would have been able to stop that easily.

Because how bittersweet.  And in the words of Miss12 – “I felt so sad getting that prize.  Excited too but sad.  Because if Miss Leigh was alive there wouldn’t be this prize and that would be better”.  Despite all the congratulations and the honour of it, there’s that terrible sadness.

There’s also another side.  Miss12 started school in 2007 having just been diagnosed with a visual processing disorder.  This means it’s really hard to learn to read, write, do maths.  Until it’s decoded, and the  brain has been trained in its own way to learn, all these things are just squiggles on a page.  Literally.  And from first hand experience I can tell you how scary it is, for both the parent and the child.   For the first four years of her schooling, afternoons were traumatic.  I would sit with her at the table and wade through homework.

I found a book in a store in the Blue Mountains called All the way to Lhasa.  About a boy and his yak making the journey to Lhasa by just putting one foot in from of the other.  And that’s what we did most afternoons.  Sometimes with tears but always with perseverance.  That book used to echo through my head.

One foot in front of the other.

One foot in front of the other.

I worried every day about the later years of school and how it was going to pan out.  About three years ago Miss 12 started not needing me at the table, but in the general vicinity.  Two years ago even that became unnecessary.  She is pedantic about how she presents her work and that it is handed in on time.  Conscientious and Diligent. And she wants to do it on her own now.

It was hard to feel happy about winning an award in someone’s memory when that someone passed too soon – but I know how much work, how many hours have gone in and will continue to go in with this child who has to be a little more conscientious and diligent to make it work.

And I guess there’s a few messages here for us all, the journey might be a long one, but we continue to put one foot in front of the other.

Love and light

Lauren xxx

May her memory be a blessing

I am so very very sad.

It’s the ripple effect of a terrorist attack in Israel.  A senseless killing.  Young life cut short by an age old hatred perpetuated through the next generation.

A Jewish world in mourning.  It happened when Gilad, Eyal and Naphtali were killed in July.

It’s happened again today with the deaths of Almog Shiloni and Dalia Lemkus.  But Dalia Lemkus isn’t just a random name to me.  She’s the granddaughter of my mother’s late best friend Essie.  And I doubt that she hated anybody.

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My mother told me that Dalia was a talented painter and creative human being who put herself through university battling financial odds.  She was 26 years old and had her world ahead of her.   She comes from a large, religious family who have called Israel home for almost thirty years.  I have known her family all my life.

In less than an hour her mother, father and siblings will bury her.  There’s a saying amongst my people “May her memory be a blessing”.  I don’t rightly understand what that means in the context of this grief and loss.

I just know that her family are reeling and that we are reeling.  I want to feel hate and anger but the sad is too big.

Wishing Dalia’s family in Israel, Australia and South Africa strength at this time.  We mourn together.

Lauren

 

A funny thing happened 18 years ago

So, here’s the kicker.  There are some girls – when they are young, and playing Barbie’s and such, start dreaming about their wedding and their dress and their ring and the like.  I was not such a girl.  While I was fond of dressing a good Barbie – it was about the fashion and the accessories, never about the wedding.

In later years, the teens, I didn’t get tied down to anyone and was quite happy hanging out at party central with my friends – something that saw me through nearly eight years.  So still, no thinking about weddings and dresses and rings etcetera.  Which I suppose one might think was strange but when you are clubbing six nights a week, there really isn’t much time to reflect on such things.

In 1994 after a very belated gap year, I returned home with no intention of staying for any length of time.  I even got a job as a receptionist/head of entertainment at a firm of accountants.  Enter The Artist.  Now it must be said that perhaps I would not have even noticed The Artist especially, except for the fact that he was the only person in the building that arrived (late) and walked past my desk without saying hello.  Yes sirree Bob!  Challenge accepted.  And the rest, shall we say is history.  I hunted him down like a hunter after a wild boar and a year later (it was a slow process) we were dating and a year after that a wedding was happening.  Except I didn’t have a bloody clue what I was doing or what I wanted. It was fundamentally a fucking disaster.  Even if I say so myself.

So we fast forward to today.  I wake up, bad bad headache and very painful limbs.  Cancer I think.  Cancer for sure.  Then I remember that yesterday we took the dog for a walk to Coogee and back and it dawns on me that despite the recent Hot Yoga sessions, my body is not being friendly towards anything other than cycling on a spin bike.  Sad days I tell you.  So after chugging some Panadol and clearing my head it dawns on me that “oh shit” it’s the wedding anniversary (truth be told my iPhone reminded me but let’s not go there).  So I yell through the bathroom door “Hey, Oscar, happy anniversary!’  It then dawns on me, the irony of the bathroom door and yelling  Oscar.  Good thing no-one had a gun hey?

Yeah, so 18 years, no guns, no-one’s killed anyone and we have two hell children teenage girls and a most beloved dog.  We’ve moved king and country and survived.

Happy anniversary Babe.  Love you long time.

Love and light

Lauren xxx