Friday, July 30, 2010

It's a beautiful day

After planes and ferries came to a stand-still this morning due to an unusually heavy fog, it's turned into the most glorious day with the smell of Spring in the air. Can it be that Spring is on it's way already?  Not that I'm complaining - it's my absolute favourite season of the year but it's always a reminder that before long, Summer will soon be here - the season I dread.  Anyway, I'm determined to live in the now and enjoy the perfect weather ahead, although I've been fooled before into thinking that the weather's getting warmer.  I skip merrily around the house taking blankets and flannelettes off beds, only to be hit by the ferocious winds of August.

Wondering through the fog like I was on the moors of Yorkshire, (see, I'm getting right into Wuthering Heights!) I made my way to my World History tutorial which went well, although I couldn't help initially feeling like some sort of imposter.  Having never studied history before and being quite clueless to anything much before the 18th century, I wasn't really sure what to expect.  And that's precisely why I and everyone else is there - to learn!!!  Today we discussed historiography (the history of history) and the errors in historical practice.  By the end of the class I'd pretty much established that I'm not so clueless afterall.

I was clueless, however, to the subsequent phone call I received after my class, from a girlfriend I haven't seen in years.  Like most friendships our lives took us in different directions so I was actually moved to tears when I received her unexpected phone call - even more so when she told me she was in town and is coming to visit us tomorrow!!  So, true to form, I raced home where I've spent all afternoon in preparation for the impending visit from my Honey Bunny - a spring clean!

It really was the perfect ending to a beautiful day.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Web log

My first two days back at uni have just reinforced how much I missed learning over the semester.  As usual, I arrived two hours early on both days and will try and get there at least 45 minutes early tomorrow.  I'm one of those people who hate to stress and find that the earlier I am, the less stressed I am!

My first 'Great Book' is Wuthering Heights.  Although I read this book when I was about 16, I was at an age when I couldn't really appreciate it and am looking forward to reading it once again with the intention to analyse the text.  The thing I'm most excited about is sharing my thoughts with the other students in the tute and listening to theirs.  I'm also excited that I'm not the oldest one in the tute!!!  I'm certainly not an agist but it is quite nice to find myself in a class with a fellow mature-age student.

I also get to design another blog for my New Communications class.  I didn't think this class was going to be of much interest to me and the only reason I'm taking it is because it's a core subject for my degree.  However, after today's lecture I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy it more than I thought I would.  I might actually learn something!!!  Would you believe I only found out today that 'blog' is short for 'web log'!!!  And I didn't learn it from my lecturer - I learned it from my husband!  So I think a class on communication technologies will do me the world of good.

My last class for today was World History.  What can I say?  If you love literature, you're most certainly going to love history.

It's going to be a busy semester taking on 3 subjects but I think it's time to challenge myself a little bit further.  Well, we'll see how I feel about challenging myself in about 4 weeks!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A shock to the system

Two posts in 24 hours!!!  Today is my first day back at uni.  It's 6.15am and after waking up from a nightmare that TD No. 1 had just given birth to five babies which were left lying around all over the place, I've been lying in bed for 1/2 an hour thinking about how much more relaxed I am.  I signed up for a third class, two days before the start of semester and only bought books and stationary yesterday afternoon.  A year ago, I would've had all that done a month beforehand!  Now I'm sitting here blogging an hour before I have to leave (and I've just burnt my porridge)!  It's absolutely teeming down with rain outside and I'd much rather be snuggled up in bed.  I am looking forward to the semester but all this getting organised business after a 5 week break is a shock to the system!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Unhappy campers

"Let's go camping" said No.1 Son's friend's mum, "The boys can play and we can relax and enjoy the great outdoors."  Sounded like a great idea at the time.  TD's 1 & 2 both instantly complained about the lack of teenage things to do whilst camping and the fact they would both be the oldest ones there.  So I suggested TD No. 1 stay with Nan and Pop and TD No. 2 could bring a friend camping.  "How is that fair?" queried, TD No. 1, "Why can't I bring a friend?".  So after much argy-bargy, I made an executive decision and told them they were both coming and we were going to have a nice family weekend together.

Day 1.  We decided to hire a camping trailer.  Having only ever used one once before, we needed a little demonstration beforehand.  Two hours later we were more or less on our way.  By the time we arrived to our lovely bush retreat location, it was starting to get dark and we still had to assemble the camper trailer and the five man tent the girls were sharing.  After more argy-bargy, sulking teens, over excited children running about the site like lunatics, we finally got it all sorted - started a fire, cooked dinner in the dark, removed a tick from TD No. 1 and went to bed.  It took about two hours for me to get warm.

Day 2.  I awoke to a cow mooing and a kookaburra laughing.  Supportive Husband No. 1 and I went for a nice leisurely stroll while the rest of the family slept.  We found a coffee van and had a quiet coffee under a giant fig tree, contemplating how lucky we were to be in such a beautiful location.  We then walked back to the site and I contemplated how unfit I was before I was met by TD No. 2 complaining that she needed a shower but didn't want to take one on the site!  After more argy-bargy she decided she'd wait until we got home.  The rest of the day went quite smoothly.  SH No. 1 and I managed to do some quiet reading, while the children kept themselves occupied running around in the bush with their walkie talkies - my "too cool for school" TD's suddenly quite happy to be frolicking with the younger ones.  After an early dinner and a few wines around the camp fire, SH No. 1 suddenly started feeling nauseous.  This continued all through the night where I expected either his moaning and groaning to subside or a frantic wrestling with the tent zipper.

Day 3. With SH No. 1 still sick and tired, we awoke to rain.  It took a little more than two hours to pack the camper trailer, the girls' tent and the car and another hour and a half to finally arrive home.

Three loads of washing, six ticks and five hot showers later, we all contemplated the glorious luxuries of home!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stepping out of the box

I treated myself to a couple of lazy hours on the couch watching t.v. yesterday after doing my usual never-ending load of washing and came across Oprah.  She was talking about women who become so caught up in the business of kids/husbands/work that they become a little "stuck".  This really struck a chord with me because I feel as if I've been stuck for a while. 

Oprah's friend Ally got together a group of stuck women and challenged them to step outside their box.  This involved partaking in a roller derby, jumping out of a plane and skinny dipping on a deserted beach.  The thought of jumping out of a plane absolutely terrifies me and listening to the sense of achievement these women felt (possibly because they couldn't believe they lived!) after flying through the air, actually got me crying.  It got me thinking of things I could challenge myself to in order to step out of my little box.  When my Dad died, I felt the need to challenge myself  constantly because I thought it was now or never.  I did a bridge climb with TD No. 1 which didn't really freak me out until they put the harness on; I competed in a 12km run which I found extremely empowering because I'd always hated running and to just run non-stop for 12k's made me feel like queen of the world; and I decided to go back to school where doing my first presentation as a mature-aged student got me out of my box because my fear of public speaking was probably the biggest reason for not returning to school sooner.

Now I feel I need to set myself a new challenge.  But what?  I've come to the realisation that any activity that involves possible death does not interest me in the slightest i.e. sky diving, bungy jumping and even the thought of hot air ballooning makes me break into a cold sweat.  I suppose this makes me somewhat risk averse (and boring) - so be it.  But that doesn't mean I can't set myself other challenges, does it?

I think from now on a challenge a year may be just what the Oprah ordered!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Family traditions

Today I hit the big smoke to see an exellent exhibition by the Australian artist, Ron Mueck.  For those of you who aren't familiar with his brilliance, check it out.  Anyway, this isn't a review post.  It's been a while since I've been in the city and it got me thinking about how not so long ago, it was a really big deal to venture into the big smoke.  The city was where you went to see a movie or to buy something special from one of the big department stores.  Now all these things are at your fingertips in the suburbs and a trip to the city is probably more of a hassle than anything else.  Not the adventure it once was.

I remember Dad dropping us off to the cinema in the city to see The Pink Panther and hanging out at the only Hungry Jacks in the Mall with my friends when I was a teen.  It was a big deal.  I also remember, on those rare evenings that my parents would venture into the city for an evening together, we'd each wake up in the morning to find a jar of Bo Peeps from Darrell Lea's sitting on the dining room table.  When my own children were little, I too would surprise them with a jar of Bo Peeps after a trip to the city.  So in honour of my childhood tradition, today I bought a jar for each of my children.  Sure, there's a Darrell Lea's just down the road and yeah, they're 16, 14 and 10 but the kids all had a giggle to themselves when they saw the Darrell Lea bag.

It's so nice to have your own family traditions and thinking about it now, we do have a few that have been passed down over the generations.  The orange in the Christmas stocking, for instance, because my stocking had one in it and my Mum's had one in it, because her Mum's had one in it - because growing up during the depression and  the war, oranges were scarce and considered a treat.  I've actually stopped that one recently because it was like, "Hey Mum, what's with the orange?"

I heard a great story once about a newly wed couple.  The young bride decided to make her new husband a roast chicken for dinner.  When she pulled it out of the oven, her husband was surpirsed to see the roast chook in pieces.  He asked her why she hadn't cooked the chicken whole and she said, "Because that's how Mum does it."  At the next family gathering the husband went to his mother-in-law and asked her why she cooked her roast chicken in pieces and his mother-in-law replied, "Because that's how mum used to do it."  He found his wife's grandmother and asked her why she cooked her roast chicken in pieces and she replied, "Because when I first got married, the oven was so small I couldn't fit a whole chicken in."

Keep up those family traditions and check out Ron Mueck if you get the chance - he will leave you breathless!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mama's brand new plan

I've just returned from a very relaxing week on the Sunshine Coast - minus the sunshine!!!.  Not that it worries me - I have my little sunshine in a pill every morning, also known as vitamin D3!  Although the weather wasn't the best, it was so nice to get away from certain day to day routines, only it doesn't seem to matter where you chooff off to - there's always a mountain load of washing to be done.  Now that I'm home, yes it's nice to be back, but I always feel as if  I'm returning to the job of 'house maid'.  Once again, I feel it's time to start lessening my home duties a little bit and trust the other four people who also live here to take up a bit of the slack. 

Maybe I'm a control freak - I don't know.  What I do know is that I'm determined to finish my first year at uni this Semester and start full-time next year (sounds familiar doesn't it?  I'm sure I said the same thing last semester).  One of my classes (Creative Writing) involves a two hour return trip which I ummed and ahhed about and almost withdrew from, but I really want to take it.  So watch out kids, Mama's got a brand new plan!!! 

I've got two more weeks of study-less bliss before returning.  I got great marks for both my subjects last semester but even this hasn't mustered up the enthusiasm I once had for returning to uni.  I've thought about deferring, quitting and returning to work.  The only thing that's stopped me is the thought of returning to a dull receptionist/administration job that I vowed I would never return to again!  Hence my decision to take a step up and try three subjects a semester in the hope of completing my degree sooner.  Having said that, this morning I did some research into becoming a Teacher/Librarian which will eventually require a Masters!!!!  It all seems to be taking forever - and therein lies the problem.  I have no patience.  Light-bulb moment - my lack of patience has been the cause of all my dithering over what it is I really want.

So what's the plan?  Worry less about housework, focus more on my immediate goal of finishing my degree and practice some patience.

I've done it!!!

Well, I've finally done it!! Got accepted into Uni AND created a blog!!! After searching for insightful websites to help me tackle my journey into academia at my ripe old age and coming up with nil, I decided to start one of my own. I hope this blog will encourage anyone who has ever doubted their own abilities, to put one foot in front of the other and achieve their ambitions, desires, matter what they are. If anyone has any inspiring stories to share, I would love to hear them. I love an inspiring story!!!