Thursday, 27 March 2014

The embarrassment hot flush

This is exactly how I feel.  
Ever spent several days after an embarrassing moment writhing in agony every time your memory reminds you of it? I'm sure no one is immune to this nasty experience.

At least I don't think they are.  Actually I bet there are some totally brazen folk who never regret a word or an action.  Bastards.

When it happens to me, every time I remember my embarrassing moment I go red again and have a sort of a hot flush thing.

Is it just me? Surely not.

It happened the other day.  I was speaking to a new acquaintance, someone I respect and like but don't know very well.  They referred (a little obliquely and most unexpectedly) to a post I wrote on this blog and I didn't twig immediately to what they were talking about.  So instead of saying thank you, or making a suitable witty and intelligent comment, I said nothing and acted casual in the worst possible sense of the phrase.

In short, I just blanked them.  Changed the subject and walked off.  GAH!!!  You should see me now, I'm red as a beetroot just writing about it.

Later that day, I worked out which post they were referring to, and what an exciting thing it was that they had read it (although a bit daunting).  And I wanted to go back and explain my total hopelessness and thank them, and be clever and amusing and urbane.

But of course, it was far too late for that.  Instead I spent the next three days going red with shame every time I remembered my social ineptitude.

I wondered when in life this phenomena begins.  Based on a few early memories of embarrassment, I suspected it was early onset. So I checked with the kids and they said it happened to them all the time!

Issy said once she kept singing when everyone else in the class had stopped.  She said it was SO embarrassment.  So young and so vulnerable, bless them.  I do remember doing totally embarrassing things when I was little and feeling blushy for days.

And of course, back in my totally foolish youth I would regularly forget large parts of my evening, as part of my quest for being the stupidest, most inebriated, staying out latest university student or overseas backpacker I could be.

Oh yes, those nights certainly caused me some angst the next morning.  Luckily I spent them with people who also forgot large chunks of the evening.  And of course I NEVER behave like that anymore.

No, really, I don't.  Nights like those require some serious time and effort put into them.  You have to stay out past midnight for one thing, and I can tell you, that ain't happening.  I am a pumpkin by 10pm most nights, and very often before.

It barely happens at New Years.  This NYE just past, I was begging the kids to go home at 10:30 and they wouldn't let me.  I was asleep on my feet by the time the midnight fireworks were over, they had to push me up the hill to home.  Note: we were only 500m from home, if that.

So while I'm no stranger to that post embarrassing event, blushy feeling, it doesn't happen as often as it used to.  Partly due to the fact that I'm so very mature and confident now I'm in my 40's but mainly
because I just don't get out much.

But when I do meet someone new, who I want to make a good impression on (as I did with this person) I can easily become overwhelmed and do stupid things, like blank someone who's just trying to compliment me and be nice and make a connection.

So Mrs B if you are still reading my blog, I'm sorry.  You know who you are.  And to the rest of you embarrassment hot flushers out there, you have my sympathy, empathy and kindest regards.

Image by Stuart Miles, courtesy of 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Apple? Pear? Fruit Salad?

I had an apple sticky note.  But I had to draw the pear.  Sorry. 

On the weekend.  I realised jeans season is approaching and flowy, sin disguising sundress season is about to end.

I wondered if I could even do my jeans up.

I decided enough was enough.  Enormous indeed were my decisions.

No more family bags of Maltesers were to enter the house.  Ever again.  Except when they're 2 for $7 because that really is a bargain.

No more family bags of M&Ms were to enter the house either.  Nor share packs of KitKats.  Except, as above, if the price was so good, it would be a travesty to ignore it.

And no Easter Eggs. None.  Nada.  Zip.  Maybe a small bag for the kids...

After dinner each night I was to have a small sweet eg.  2-3 pieces Cadbury or 1 x diet mouse thingo.  After that, if desperate, a cup of tea.

No pre dinner cashew nuts.  No no no.

No finishing off kids meals.  No no no no NO.

After making this decision.  I went onto the Michelle Bridges site for the 450, 000, 000th time.  I toyed around with the Join My Team Now! button, or whatever it says, Be Your Best Self! or Start Your Fitness Journey!

I didn't press it. She wants me to exercise 6 times a week while eating hardly anything.  And what at the end of 12 weeks?  Is exercising 6 times a week my future?  Eating hardly anything my plan for life?  Not likely.

So within another 12 weeks after that I'll just be back to normal.

Let's just take a quick look at my normal:

I like to keep my fat nice and close, around my belly.  This is (according to some expert, somewhere, or maybe many experts all over the world) a very very bad place to keep it.  I should, if I'm going to carry fat, make sure it's on my hips and thighs, or my bum.  This is (apparently) a much better place to keep it because it's further away from my heart.

I am not sure all those lovely ladies with extra fat on their hips, bum and thighs would agree with this.  And in any case, fat goes wherever it wants.  In my case, it fancies hanging around on my belly.

I have a close girlfriend who has a lovely flat belly, but her thighs and hips drive her mad.  In fact, I have several girlfriend like this.  If we are to resort to fruit comparisons, they are the beautiful pear.  My pear shaped friend laments that when she does get a grip on herself and exercises and eats carefully, the LAST place to lose the fat are her hips, thighs and bum.  Her face goes gaunt, her breasts start shrinking (gah!) but the other trouble spots remain troublesome.

To continue the charming fruit analogy, I am an apple.  This results in silly stick legs, topped by a round, comfortable, squishy middle.  When I am careful with my food and extravagant with my exercise my legs just get skinnier and my belly stays nice and pillowy.  My breasts also soldier on to the bitter end while my face goes gaunt.

Too much information?  Sorry.

My normal is annoying me.  And as I approach my 'ahem' mid forties, my shape is getting harder to manipulate with normal careful eating and moderate exercise.

I think it's time for DRASTIC ACTION.

And the answer is: 5:2.  Allegedly staves off Alzheimer's.  There's a fair bit of that in my family so I wouldn't mind taking evasive action.  I contemplated starting yesterday but the call of my Sustain with yoghurt and avocado toast was just too much.  Also I forgot, which brings me back to Alzheimer's.

I really need to get a grip.  Two days a week? It's not so bad.  I'm definitely going to do it.  Maybe I'll start tomorrow.

Anyone done it?  Your thoughts?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Five signs I’m turning into a Granny.

Sure I know I'm getting older.  But I honestly think I'm having a quantum leap past middle age and on to the other side.  My priorities seem so removed from the young and frivolous that I fear I'm bound for endless Grannydom.  And I don't mean your Groovy Gran or your Nan who's totally young at heart.  I mean the grumpy kind.

Let's hope time proves me wrong and it's just a stage I'm going through.

Reason 1. On the weekend I drove past several groups of young girls walking to a music concert/festival thingo.  It was a warm, sunny day.  Every single one of them was wearing tiny weeny cutoff shorts and tank tops.  Much leg and midriff was showing.  And all I could think of, was, I hope those girls have put sunscreen on or they’ll burn to a crisp.

Granny anyone?

Reason 2. I love getting up at 6am and having a cup of tea.  I listen to the birds and watch the sun come up.  Sometimes I put out a load of washing. This is after going to bed as early as 9:30 after nodding on the couch for half an hour.  No stamina. 

Such a Granny.

Reason 3. I put warm sweaters in the kid’s schoolbags if the temperature looks like dropping below 23 degrees.  Come ON.  In many countries, everyone is out in t-shirts when it’s 15+ and over 20 degrees is like a heatwave.  Not here where a 15 degree day is the depths of winter.  I’m certainly not helping them when I tell them to put something warm on when it’s not even below 20. 

Just like a Granny. 

Reason 4. I always have tissues.  In the car, in the kitchen, in my bag.  I can always blow a nose, or wipe up a spill.  Except on Sunday when Issy sneezed massively twice (and Issy’s sneezes are to be feared) in church and I had nothing.  I think her shirt will survive the snot we had to wipe on it.  This was just before the thong blowout I wrote of yesterday.  I’ve now learned my lesson and popped a couple into my little wrist purse for just such a moment.  I think I only need to transition to keeping one down my bra or up my sleeve to achieve true Grannydom. 

And finally,

Reason 5. I have a flowery handbag.  It's made of material, not leather.  See!  And I love it and want to keep it forever. 

I love it.  I don't care what anyone thinks. 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The great thong blow out of 2014

Josh is doing his sacraments at the moment and is up to the part where he is preparing for his First Confession (known these days as Reconciliation). 

Mike is a good, good man, and he likes taking the kids to Church a couple of times a month.  I am not as good and often plan Coastrek practice walks for this time. 

Newsflash: Coastrek is OVER.

Josh had to be at this morning’s 9am church service to be presented to the congregation as one of the kids about to do Reconciliation, and Mike was out bike riding.  The poor man gets about two hours to himself a week where he’s not either working or doing something for the house or the kids, so I took them along.

Now these days, dressing for Church is not a big deal (no best dresses like in the 70’s when my mum would take me) and while some families come dressed very nicely, there are a fair few (including us) in more casual attire, sun dress, board shorts, cutoffs.  And today, 3 of the 4 of us were wearing thongs.  

Issy, always fashion conscious, had opted for pink sandals.  She was also wearing a fetching blue hair band I’ve never seen before in my life.

So we were at the pointy end of the service, where we have to stand up sit down, stand up, kneel down etc culminating in the giving out of communion.  And it was during this time that Sarah experienced a fatal thong blowout. 

A fatal thong blowout is where your thong strap detaches itself from the thong base, in such a way that cannot be repaired.  In a non-fatal thong blowout you can just shove the little circly bit back through the hole at the top of the thong and all is well.

Unfortunately this was not one of those times.

We looked at each other, horrified.  With only a few minutes to go until we all had to walk up the front to communion, it was a desperate moment.  It was bad enough to be wearing thongs, barefoot was unthinkable. 

I tried to get Sarah to dash off and have her communion in my thongs and then dash back for a quick shoe swaperoo. But she was too timid to push in front of all the nice churchgoers (in their suitable footwear).   
One pair of working thongs.  Two pairs of feet. 
So we were stuck.  Two pairs of feet, one pair of working thongs, one dud.

As the grown up in the situation, I bit the bullet.  Sarah took my thongs and I attempted to wear the broken ones.  This meant I had to walk (slowly) up the aisle, clenching my big toe and second toe together very tightly to keep the little rubber strap in the semi right position.  This caused me to walk like my left knee wouldn’t bend.  

I got some very strange looks indeed.  My children were no help as they were bursting with laughter.  None of us could even look at each other. 

I lurched to the top of the aisle, grabbed my little bread and wobbled to the side where I hid behind a pillar and removed the offending thong.  I walked back to my seat in full view of anyone who cared, with one thong on and one bare foot.  I even waved the broken one at a mate as I went by and whispered “thong blowout”.  She cracked up.

The kids and I made it back to our pew and tried not to laugh too hysterically.  A friend sitting behind me had noticed my awkward gait and asked sympathetically if I was still sore from Coastrek. 

Five minutes later, it was over, I had my thongs back on and Sarah danced barefooted from the church.

When we got home, we threw the thongs in the bin.  I think I might insist on ballet flats next time. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Several strangely compelling topics

We eat a lot of avocado.  Like one a day would not be unusual.  All five of us love it, on toast (Turkish!), sandwiches, cruskits…I could go on. 

Our method of keeping them in good nick in the fridge is to stick the two halves together and tie tightly into a plastic bag.  Thus the air cannot get to it and they stay nice.  Seeing as they are used within 24 hours, it’s not much to ask of the plastic bag. 

This ensures we always have avocado in the house.  Because I can’t bear a house without avocado in it. 

So this morning I put the toast on, opened the fridge, found the plastic bagged avo, pulled it out and found this.

So like, where's the avocado?
This is the avocado equivalent of putting 1mm of milk in the milk bottle back in the fridge.  Or leaving one sheet of loo paper on the roll.

The culprit could be any of the other four people I live with.  It certainly wasn't me. 
For shame.

In other household fails, I’ve given up on using the right toothbrush as we are all using the same bathroom and all the toothbrushes seem to be orange.  Mike and I have access to our en suite from tonight so am looking forward to being certain my toothbrush is for my teeth only.  I know we all share the same DNA but I think toothbrush sharing is oversharing. 

Issy now has homework.  It’s fairly low key, being a list of ten words to write neatly on one side of the sheet and some simple maths questions on the other.  In past years with the older two, I’ve kept the marked sheets in a growing pile and occasionally looked back fondly at the progression of spelling words or handwriting. 

This time, it’s going straight to recycling.  Sorry Issy.  My days of admiring lists of words like bat and rat and sat are over.  Josh has to spell abundant and announcement and that’s taking up all my brain.  I do love you.

And then, this morning I noticed my lips were a little dry.  I picked up the nearest tube of what I thought was lip balm and applied it.  It felt a bit weird.  Imagine my horror when I took a closer look at the tube and realised I’d just applied bright green zinc to my lips!  A quick check in the mirror proved the horror was real. And excruciatingly bright.

Clearly zinc from the front.  Der. 
I nearly ripped my lips off trying to remove it before the school run. 

Could be lip balm from the back?  
And finally,

10 years ago I took Sarah to her first swimming lesson.  Mike came too.  Because she was our first and it was a big deal.  She was 8 months old.  We sang and pretended she was a motorboat.  She grabbed at plastic ducks in the water.  She laughed and laughed.  We dribbled water on her head, bounced her around in the water, and even ducked her under for a second.   She was the chubbiest, happy little swimming baby ever.   

Proof she can swim.
Today I took Sarah to her last swimming lesson.  She is nearly 11.  I am watching her now and  She can do all the strokes and is about to trial for squads and with everything else this family does, I’ve decided to pull the pin.  The cost and logistics are too much.  Plus, she can swim.  She’s not an Olympic contender.  Job done.
she is swimming 25m backstroke like a champion.

But it’s the end of an era and I’m a bit sad.

Although the money we’re saving will no doubt cheer me up. 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The second Trek of Bec (and the Desperate Heightswives)

We nailed the stairs, we trampled the beaches, we CANED Coastrek . 

We so happy.  At Mona Vale.  15km in.  
Aaah Coastrek 2014, such fond memories.  

At the beginning we sped to the Palm Beach stairs and hurtled up them like little mountain goats, avoiding the queues of last year and riding the adrenalin rush as long as we could. 

The weather was cool, and a bit windy. The rain and wind increased during mid morning, and it was hard for a while, but not nearly as cold and treacherous as last year.  By late morning, the rain was gone and the overcast conditions were perfect.

I felt great.   We all did.   We kept being surprised at how great we felt. 

The difference between our mental state last year and this year was huge.  And it proved how much the relentless wind and rain in 2013 drained our mental energy as well as physical.

OK, I’ll stop banging on about how much harder it was in 2013 starting…now!

The beaches were wide, flat and the sand was firm.  Even the horrid 2.5km on soft sand from Narrabeen to Collaroy was, if not easy, certainly bearable. 

Here is the day, broken down by rest stops and breaks. 

We started at 7am:

Picked up at 5:30am and driven to starting point by Splendiferous Support Crew. 

Palm Beach to Mona Vale: Three hours, 15 km. Coffee and Gatorades delivered by Superb Support Crew.

Mona Vale to Dee Why: Three hours 10 km Hot chips at Dee Why brought to us by Superior Support Crew.

Dee Why to North Steyne: 1.5 hours 7 km Blister bandaid changeover by the beach and a refreshing lemonade icy pole.

Queenscliff to Tania Park: 2.5 hours, 12km.  Family jumping madly up and down on rocks.  Sensational Support Crew back in action with added bonus children. Lemonades, bananas and love. 

Tania Park to Clontarf: 45 mins, 2km.  Family magically reappeared and jumped up and down some more, then walked along beach with me.  I do love them.  All talked at once and wanted to hold my hands at the same time.   

Clontarf to The Spit: 1 hour, 1 km.  We shall not speak of this again. 

The Spit to Balmoral: 1 1/4 hour, 3km.  Met by family about 300m from end and walked hand in hand (little bit of argy bargy about whose hand for how long) to finish. 

8pm: Crossed as a team of four, arm in arm. 

We had some aches and pains, some blisters, but at the end I felt awesome.  Well, I certainly didn’t feel bad.

At home my husband (who is a darling) ran me a bath with Radox and in an elegant touch, lit a candle. 

And Febfast is OVER.  OOOOVVVVAAAHHH.  Mike planning curry, red wine and Rugby tonight (the old romantic). 

I hope I don’t get pissed after one glass because that would be embarrassing.