7:30am is my new sleep in time!?!?

7:30am on a Saturday morning and I am awake? I never would have thought that I would wake up at this time without an alarm clock on a weekday let alone a Saturday. During the week I have to leave the house before 6am to get to work on time. My alarm is set at 4:45am and I’m usually up by about 5:20. There are still some normal me things that I do of a morning.

I know that my body clock has changed… but it still seems odd to me. During the school holidays slowly and slowly I was able to sleep in later. But these days as it gets closer to 9pm you’ll see me nodding off. My latest night on the school holidays would have been 11pm. Not very late by my standards…

It’s interesting how my job as changed my lifestyle and what I would consider quite dramatically. I sometimes dream back to last year and the years before. The days that I was part of the education system as a student. I had days off that I could claim as “study days”.  I felt my life to be very busy. I have only been a part of the working world for what? two months? And yet I am already noticing the dramatic shift.

I remember back to when I finished high-school and was moving on to uni. I had this feeling, as though I was in a grieving period where I was at a loss. I decided to take a year off. To this day I would say that, that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. However, during that year I wasn’t really transitioning. I didn’t have that “phase” as some might say. I was almost in limbo. I was missing school and did not know what was to come of me.

At the start of this year I worked in a factory. That taught me not to get a job in a factory. In the middle of year I travelled with my mother. That taught me to see the world, just maybe not with my mother… although surprisingly enough I would go overseas with her again. But that’s another story for another time. By the end of the year I was working at a general store. I loved that job. It taught me more about the confidence I had inside that there was there all along but that I had never believed existed. Once that year was over however, I was ready for my course to begin.

I started uni and in some ways it felt as though I was back at school again. The change was not that different. I was still missing school but for different reasons. I was missing my friends not school itself. It felt good to be in a place where I worked out a good routine, a good way to study and to enjoy my placements at schools. I can’t believe I am already reflecting back upon my uni life. It’s too soon.

It feels too soon for a lot of new changes. But I guess in working in before and after school I get to experience another year “off” so to speak. Everyday I am learning new things. About me, the children, the school and the parents. I am certainly seeing myself grow as a person. I have this kind of confidence that similarly to my job at the general store was always there but I never believed existed. 

Learning from life and our experiences is great. If it means waking up earlier to do so. Then I’m happy. I’m happy because I’m working, not everyone is these days. If life were as simple as putting all the pieces of the puzzle exactly where they were meant to go. We would all be bored. That would be sad.

I’m happy that I haven’t had things happen in my life just as they “should” be because I have learnt so much. I believe to be a much stronger person because of it.

Awake at 7:30am on a Saturday? I shouldn’t really complain and question it. I will choose to enjoy it. Enjoy listening to the birds outside my window. Enjoy relaxing in bed. Enjoy the fact that I’m awake earlier enough to go down to a gluten-free cafe and buy their amazing gf bread. Plus I have still had a two hour sleep in. So I think I’m doing pretty well. 🙂

Signing off – I need to get up, feed the cat and get me some (gf) bread!!

If we didn’t have to work for a living…

I am asking the question – if we didn’t have to work for a living what would we do with our time? Do we work because we need the income or do we also do it because it’s fulfilling, it gives us a sense of purpose etc? It’s probably a bit of both but would we still work if we didn’t have to?

I am in the transition phase of life from just finishing my degree and starting my career. There are some days where life just feels like a series of steps, a series of things people need to complete in order to get through life.

Once we are born we come into a world that is completely unknown, we are taken care of by our parents, family members, friends and even strangers. When I look back to my child-hood although my Mother was the one I would say raised me, brought me up and did most of the work. There were other people there that came into my life and looked after me.

As I got older and in particular when my parents separated and later got divorced I learnt more about how to look after myself – for me the process of looking after myself started at about 6 or 7 years old. I still had other people around who I could depend upon but with my mother now being single I had to do more for myself.

It started with simple things like tieing my hair in a pony-tail but eventually I learnt to cook, do my washing and take myself to school.

I came out of school and was soon living in student accommodation and once again I was doing more myself and learning more about what I wanted for me.

By now I had completed both Primary and Secondary School and was about to start my degree.

The point that I’m trying to get at is that if you think about it once we are born we have a series of life lessons that need to be done before another lesson can begin. To the point where they are never-ending right up until we are no longer here.

I’m not saying that life is predictable or clear. Life does get in the way, we are presented with challenges and sometimes those “steps” have to be altered and changed in order to still get to where we want to go.

But where exactly are we going? If we can’t live forever is there is point? What would happen if we all decided to live on benefits?
Is that even possible?

For me being a teacher isn’t because of the money because lets face it I’m not going to earn a huge sum of money by doing my job. I’m doing it because I want to make a difference in the world. Plus I know that even if I didn’t need money for food, rent and bills I’d still do it. I can honestly say that I have enough love for what I got my degree in to do regardless of the money.

If I had more time just for me I would probably do more art, baking, writing, reading, watching of movies, etc. Not every day would be jam-packed and I probably wouldn’t get up early and decide that 9ish would be the earliest I’d wake up and I’d love to live in my trackies/pjs and not have to really worry about how I looked. But would I love my life? Honestly no, I don’t think I would. I can’t imagine not working with children in any way shape or form. As a nanny/babysitter, teacher or with what I’m doing now with before and after school care.

Everyday I feel so lucky to be a part of the lives that I’m a part of. Some of these kids are at school each day from 7:15am to 6pm at night, they have homework, extra-curricular activities/sport, parties, weekends away, etc. Their childhood isn’t exactly what I’d call easy. It’s pretty full-on.

The weekends and school holidays are for me time. If another person comes into my life some day then he will be included. But for now I can enjoy my spare time. I can enjoy my work and my hobbies. I think I’m pretty fortunate. My job to me isn’t simply a job and I cherish the time I have for myself.

I would rather be blissfully happy earning little than miserable earning a lot.

Signing off – Happy Saturday!!

 

Back into baking

Image

I got so excited when I saw the cake tin for these cakes, I honestly couldn’t let them go and had to buy them.

In my quest to get back into baking I thought that I would try making these cakes but with a cake mix. I haven’t done a lot of baking for a while and although I’m pretty good at cakes I thought it best to ease myself into them.

In creating these cakes I knew that I was getting myself into something more than just a simple cake. The process was straight forward… I mean cake mixes are sinch! But as I was doing so I was delving into an array of childhood memories… I had these Babushka dolls when I was a little girl. I remember they had elements of red in them and flowers of some kind.

I remember opening the big doll then the next size up and so forth until I had all the dolls lined up in a row. The trick was getting the dolls back inside and having the pattern perfectly lined up so they didn’t look sloppy and so they closed properly.

I don’t know where mine are anymore which I believe to be sad because if I did then I know I would still have them. I would still keep them as a treasure. I might even on the odd occassion play with them as I did when I was a child.

On the night of my 21st birthday my older brother gave me another set of these dolls. Except these ones were of a teacher. So totally his style. Inside the smallest of the dolls was a butterfly necklace that had purple gems on the wings. It was a beautiful gift. I still have the doll and necklace and although it’s not quite the same as the pretty red one with the flowers, it’s still such a lovely thing to have.

Then sometime last year I caught up with a friend as the days were creeping closer to Christmas. Here in Melbourne we have beautiful arcades in one of them there is a shop full of these dolls. Now my friend here loves these dolls more than me so we had to go in. There were so many different kinds!! I couldn’t believe it, it was incredible. My friend and I started sharing our Babushka doll stories and I learnt more about them then if I had simply googled…

They’ve also become a bit of a trend so I wasn’t all that surprised to find a cake tin that meant you could have Babushka doll cakes but it was still felt pretty good to see them sitting there in the shop.

The icing details may not be perfect but I’m pretty happy with my little creation.

So tempted to have one before dinner but I know that I shouldn’t… 🙂

Signing to be soon be enjoying these delicious sweet looking cakes!

Image

Whistle while you work

I cannot travel, write, clean, bake or do the dishes without listening to music. Even in a house that I share if I must listen to my ipod then I do. Find me on a tram or in a car and the music is blaring.

I have to be able to listen to good lyrics and sometimes sing-a-long when the time comes. It gets me motivated to do the things that I need to do.

Right now I’m listening to “Realize” by Colbie Caillat next on the list is “Better by Home Soon” by Crowded House. I’m in a chilled out mood but need something that cheers me up. I have eclectic taste. When people ask me what type of music that I like I usually don’t actually know the answer. I can recognise songs but usually never know the artist or band or what the song is called. Sort of embarrassing for someone who gets a lot of music.

Music is great because it serves a multiple of purposes. It’s played at both weddings and funerals. At parties, sporting events, on road trips, in people’s homes, in movies; the list is endless.

It evokes many emotions; can make you feel sad, happy, enlightened, spiritual, excited, etc.

People have tried to become famous out of it, sung in the shower and busked on the street.

There are many reasons to celebrate music.

Today I’m celebrating music because it’s helping me write. I have had many recent life events to deal with recently and it’s all pouring out in words. The music is helping me to keep focused. It’s helping me to keep going. To get what I need to write out onto the page.

I don’t know how far I’ll go with whatever it is that I’m writing but for some reason it’s all coming to me and I know that I’m taking the opportunity to get onto to paper or in this case computer screen. 

Ahhh now I hear the voice of Micheal Jackson and “Don’t Stop to you Get Enough” and think to myself that’s pretty much what I’m doing with my writing!!

I’ll write and write and write until there is nothing left in me to write… which probably won’t happen until I take my last breaths….

“Just whistle while you work
And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place
So hum a merry tune
It won’t take long when there’s a song to help you set the pace

And as you sweep the room
Imagine that the broom is someone that you love
And soon you’ll find you’re dancing to the tune

(Spoken: Oh, no, no, no, no! Put them in the tub)
When hearts are high the time will fly so whistle while you work

*(Another version)*
Just whistle while you work
Put on that grin and start right in to whistle loud and long
Just hum a merry tune
Just do your best and take a rest and sing yourself a song

When there’s too much to do
Don’t let it bother you, forget your troubles,
Try to be just like a cheerful chick-a-dee

And whistle while you work
Come on get smart, tune up and start
To whistle while you work”

http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/snowwhiteandthesevendwarfs/whistlewhileyouwork.htm

Because having fun while doing what some might consider a chore is much more enjoyable then sitting in sound of silence. Ha Ha 😉

Signing off as “True Colours” is playing in my head… 🙂

 

 

 

My battle with gluten free breakfast!

So today I decided to make myself Quinoa Porridge! It took about half an hour to make which for breakfast is a bit of a drainer, so when I sat down and ate it, I thought to myself: “this better taste good!”

Guess what – it did! It tasted bloody brilliantly in fact. A little sweet so I’ve learnt for next time to add less golden syrup… but a part from that it was warm, crunchy (for the chopped almonds) and incredibly filling!

The afternoon has come and I can still feel a happy stomach and a sigh of relief!

My batttle with gluten free breakfast actually feels like it’s getting easier!

Back in the day before I knew of my Coeliac Disease, breakfast was simple. A couple pieces of toast, fruit and a cup of tea or if I had a bit more time – then I’d treat myself to eggs on toast, maybe even with a bit of bacon.

In the past year or so I’ve been learning what it’s like to live on a gluten free diet and breakfast as been the hardest meal to conquer. I’ve tried everything! From packaged rice porridge, fruit and yoghurt and of course gf cereal. Toast was set aside as gf bread is expensive and it’s hard to find a good loaf out there that isn’t like a brick.  Nothing has seemed to fill me up and I’m usually hungry about an hour after eating! It’s been frustrating as anything plus not exaclty that healthy either. Snacking is NOT a good alternative, that’s for sure.

It’s nice to finally be feeling like I can start the day like most normal people do – with a good breakfast! Since eating the Quinoa Porridge, I have felt fuller and have gained more energy. It put me in the mood to have a productive day. Instead of feeling sluggish and ‘starving’.

Being a coeliac has it’s moments and it’s definetly a learning curve on how to be a better cook in giving myself a healthy, delicious and filling diet. One that I can ensure will give me the most nutritients and thus allowing me to be the best that I can be.  When I discover new recipes like the porridge I made today I am faced with mixed feelings. Somewhere between triumph and feeling excluded. Triumph because I can eat something and enjoy it and exluded because I’m not a part of the ‘normal’ world anymore.

I know that these days being on gluten free diet is easier than it was ten or even five years ago but it doesn’t take away the ‘sucky’ feeling I have when I have to go food shopping, go to a restaurant, a friend’s house, a party or can’t be bothered and want take-way. There isn’t really an easy way out and today with my porridge I’m ok with that but maybe tomorrow things won’t be so easy.

I know I have to stick to the diet for my health and stay positive which I do with all my determination. But all I’m saying is – sometimes I wish I didn’t have to. Sometimes I wish I could walk across the road and buy some fish and chips and finish off the meal with an ice-cream in a cone – now that would be a real treat!!

In the meantime: here’s to brekky! You don’t know how amazing it is until you can longer find a simple way to enjoy it.

Signing off so I can more fun learning how to be a better gluten free cook! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Film Review: “Mother and Child”

Sorry for being out of communication for a while I was working hard on finishing my degree!! Completeling my last assignment, handing it in and presenting it in front of a panel of peers and a lecturer/my assessor – scary, scary, scary!! However I can now safely say that I’m that much closer to being a teacher! I don’t have much to say at about it at the moment as it’s still sinking in so I thought I’d write a film review instead. Here goes:

This film really took me by surprise. It is a film that resonated with me not because I’m a mother – which I’m not but because I’m human.

Although as the title suggests it is centred around the relationship between mother and child to me it is more about the realities of human life.

In one person’s lifetime they can experience a myriad of change. Change can be seen as a blessing or a burden.

The changes that I’ve endured through-out my life have seen me smile, cry, fall in a heap, conquering challenges, see a new outlook on life and ultimately grow as a person. I believe that all people have more similarities than differences and that this film captures this brilliantly.

The best part about this film is watching how these people face what life presents us and in a raw and humanistic style. There is no denying how people really are. It is through these people’s emotions, needs and thoughts that we see ourselves. We see how we want to be perceived, how society views people and how we truly are.

At the heart of it of course is that relationship between mother and child. We watch the lives of three women and their ‘journey’ A woman who gave up her daughter for adoption, a woman who is that daughter and a woman who desperately wants to have her first child.  Their lives intersect like you wouldn’t believe.  I can tell you it’s so much more than just a simple story about three different women. It’s a story about the complexities of life and all it has to behold for us.  It also in my eyes about the strength that a person can have when they are faced with it what in turn makes us who we are.

On a side note…

The song “Little One” by Lucy Schwartz is a song that compliments the film beautifully and now gets played on replay through my ipod…

Hard to find the words but if you watch this film – I’m sure you’ll get what I mean…

Signing off! All my best…

Book Review: “Any Human Heart”

Image

Someone’s journal is usually or at least to me kept away from any other person but to that it belongs to. “Any Human Heart” however is Logan Mountstuart’s journal. It is a place where I never thought I would find myself. I have a journal and write it with the thought that no one else will ever read it. I write in such a way where I allow myself almost total freedom. I say almost total freedom because I know that one day it is possible that someone may find all my journals and read them. The people who will maybe one day get the chance to read them will either make discoveries of what I really feel or think to themselves that they knew how I felt all along.

To me a journal is a place where I put my thoughts and feelings. It is generally not where I write entries such as “Dear Diary today I went to the movies with so and so we saw blah di blah and it was great. Afterwards we grabbed a bite to eat and it was delicious” – it is more to do with venting in order to get something off my chest. In some ways it is a healing process in which I deal with negative emotions. I don’t always write about the bad things that happen but it does help in that way. It is a place where I can go before I talk about things to other people…

What originally drew me to this book was my uncle saying that this blog reminded him of this book. In those words I instantly thought to myself – I had to read it. In that moment I did not realise what I would be getting myself into.

Mr Mountstuart writes in a very honest voice about what happens in his life, there isn’t any of the “Dear Diary” stuff but it is very much a detailed description of his life. His incredible life. He lived through every decade of the 20th century. To be a part of this was at sometimes very intense and in other times very enjoyable. Because of this there were times where I wanted to stop reading. I kept going because Logan himself kept going. He kept living despite the moments in his life where he wished he had not lived through. Towards the end of the story (without giving anything away) you understand that he was a person who simply wanted to live.

He wanted to live every encounter of life. The highs and lows. The joys and woes. The light and dark. Every part of it needed to be lived and through his eyes it was.

I do not believe that unless you read this story you will truly understand what I am trying to say. When my uncle told me about the book and how it spanned over every decade of the 20th century. I thought to myself, it would be interesting to see what that meant. I did not believe until I read it how much change one person could be confronted with. Trust me – there was in this book an amazing amount of change – some of it drastic and some of it smaller but all of it had huge influences to where his life took him.

“Any Human Heart” by William Boyd I believe is a must read. I do not believe that I could rate it out of ten because of how personal it is but I do believe that every page takes it’s time to unravel and reveal a life that was much lived. It proves to us or at least certainly to me that life is worth living.

I would like to thank my uncle who told me about this book – I don’t think I would have known about it or read it if it wasn’t for him.

Signing off because I need to get back to doing things I need to but do not want to do… urgh.

It’s strange but good to be home!

 

 

 

 

I’ve just come home from living in a very remote community in the Northern Territory, Australia. I was there for a six week teaching placement and have to say that although my days and weeks were difficult, challenging and I struggled a bit even with thoughts of wanting to go home, that it was one of the best, amazing and inspirational experiences that I have ever had in my life so far. In fact now that I’m home even though I’m very happy to be here I’ve started to realise how desperately I would have liked to stay. I’m tired, missing the kids and finding it hard to adjust being back in Melbourne.

I can tell you being back here and re-adjusting to Melbourne life is almost harder than my first week in the community I was in and it’s mainly due to being around lots of people and also being in my room alone… When I first arrived in that community, all I thought was how blissfully peaceful it was and how nice it was with the sun going down as we were un-packing the car.

The first challenge that I had to face was living in a school library, only having a cold tap at the sink, de-frosting meat for all our cooking and having to check for frogs and toads in the toilet. As the weeks progressed I noticed how much I was missing simple comforts of life and a lot of things that I took for granted.

Amongst having to boil a kettle for washing dishes, I started to miss sitting on a couch, I wasn’t able to use my personal laptop for connecting to the internet (instead was supplied with the use of a school’s one), the internet itself was slow so no blogging etc, all the food I had to eat was already there and apart from a really expensive and basic shop there was no backup. We were five hours to the nearest town so there was also the factor of isolation. If it wasn’t for my fellow student teacher I quite possibly would have gone home earlier than originally planned – she was the person who I talked to, cooked with, worked with, watch movies with, etc and I’m happy to report I have made a new friend!

Apart from the teaching we were able to get go down to the local river, go for walks and when back in Katherine on a school trip see some amazing sights! A boat cruise down Katherine Gorge was probably the high-light, with amazing cliffs, clear water and a place to swim – you could not have asked for anything better to do!

Now that I’m home I’m asking myself – did it really happen? Because it almost feels like it didn’t. I’m sitting here in my room thinking – what am I doing here? I should be somewhere else, shouldn’t I? I’ve been to have a “real” coffee, eat at the Vic Markets with my Dad, gone to the milkbar because I was out of milk, sit on my bed, pat my cat and say hello to some of house-mates. The funniest part about coming back to Melbourne is apart from seeing family and friends the two things that I’m looking forward to the most is being able to use a hot tap and sitting on a couch!

I never thought I would be excited by such simple things, but there you go.

It’s strange and good to be home and there is not much else to say.

Signing off while thinking to myself – wow I can actually blog again!

 

 

 

To be yourself

Lately I’ve been caught up in so much of what is going on in other people’s lives, but what for? I’m me and that’s ok. I should just be who I am and the best that I can be…

I should not feel sad or anxious about not having something that another person may have just because I feel like I should have those things. If those things are not here right now than that doesn’t matter maybe they’ll come and maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll come tomorrow and maybe they’ll come in a few years time…

I’m reading this book called “down to earth” … ( http://www.penguin.com.au/products/9780670075928/down-earth)

It’s very inspiring…

One of things that I have just read is

“Stop living according to the expectations of others and focus on building a life that is unique to you”

The book is centred around the idea of simple living. Since being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease I have gone from thinking all I will rely on is the gluten-free substitutes but cook how I used to e.g spag bol (Spaghetti Bolognese) but with G-F pasta, flourless chocolate cake…etc, then I decided to branch out and try new recipes and before you knew it I had a cupboard full of different ingredients…

I started to think if living gluten-free meant 20 ingredients that used to only take 4 or 5 that, that was a bit insane… I have the gluten-free 4 ingredients cookbook… but most of those recipes are good but a bit too basic…I still want to be able to eat delicious food just not spend so much money…

The great thing about this book is it gives you so many ideas on how to live your life fully but simply and not only that but it gives you a guide for each stage in your life in decades so 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and retirement.  It emphasizes on how if you’re not already living the life you want then it’s never too late to start. (The writer of this book is in her 60s and looks back on her life when she takes the plunge into the concept of simple living…)

It’s true to say that I’m very much a homebody and have always been very happy with that. I want to do things like travel – through my own country and the world…

I want to continue my education (on my own terms…), I want to learn another language, etc,etc

Let’s face it I want love and babies…

And tea and cake

and cats and dogs

and I want to be happy in a place that I call home… I want that home to be filled with photos of friends and family

places I’ve been…

I want my own veggie patch, herb garden… to have lots of flowers

I want to give back to the world so that not all my sentences start with “I want” like they have been…

and acceptance lots of acceptance…

but I think the place to begin is in myself otherwise I don’t think all those things will happen…

If I accept that I am who I am and that no body and I mean no body can take that away from me then I think I will be a better person… along the way I will learn from others of course but I can’t let influence take over and create someone I’m not because that will crush me before my time and no one wants that…

I’ve had a huge lesson of the day:

Be happy with who you are and who you will be!

Signing off because my feet feel frozen!!!

(15 days till Darwin, 15 days to 30 degree weather that’s celsius btw…)

Oh Baby It’s Cold Outside!

You know you are on holidays when it gets to 3:00am and you’re still awake. The day couldn’t have gone any slower and your pjs become the attire of choice…unless you need to buy chocolate. Well at least this is what happens in winter. Winter days are filled with dreaming up your next hearty but comforting dish and you can’t help but to indulge on baked goods… and knowing that tomorrow you’ll be wearing 3 jumpers just to keep warm makes it all the worth-while. This morning I nearly decided that  I would read all day long with a cup of tea and a cat on my lap, but as I realised there were forms to fill in for my up-coming N.T trip this wasn’t going to be possible…

But I will make it up to myself 🙂

At this point in time though it’s not just that I’m on holidays it’s also that I’m really close to finishing my degree! The day that I never thought would come is soon here and although I’m excited I can’t help but to take a big swallow and sigh!!

I cannot believe that I’m sitting here half-way to finishing my degree – I keep having this terrible dream that I’m in a classroom on my first day and all I do is stare at the kids… I don’t know what to do on my first day – I will, I know I will…but in the back of my mind I’m second-guessing myself… It’s almost like I need other people to stop saying that I’ll be fine and to say I’ll be rubbish – just so I can be determined to prove to them they’re wrong…but that’s crazy!!!!!

All these irrational thoughts are crazy… I just hope I’m not the only on thinking them…

Am I the only one thinking them?

This is crazy! This is crazy! This is crazy!

Why do I do this to myself? Think like this?

I guess it’s partly human nature and partly going back to not believing in myself and also partly totally normal but still!!

Urggghhh…

I’m sure it will all come into place I just sometimes wish we didn’t have to go through all of this before it did or that I could just magically see exactly where I’ll be next year.

Ahhh I seriously dislike not knowing what I’ll be doing…

This is crazy! This is crazy! This is crazy!

*deep breath*

Tonight I will dream:

Knowing what to do, knowing that mistakes are ok and knowing that I will be ok no matter what happens.

Tomorrow I will:

Write a list of things that still needs to happen before NT and tick them off as I do them so that I’m not sitting around stressing

and then we’ll go from there…

Is it too late to bake a cake?

I’m conjuring in my mind the perfect layered cake perfectly decorated, GF and utterly delicious…

Right now… maybe I’ll have a sneaky scoop of ice-cream with drinking chocolate on top? hmmm yes… Ice-cream in winter that’s what we all need!!

Ok. Good plan.

Lets go and execute it!!!

Lesson of the day (haven’t done one for ages…):

RELAX! It’s all good. 🙂

Signing off to make a yummy concoction.

Previous Older Entries