- Catherine Irwin
- Perth, WA, Australia
- Hi friends. To those I have met in person and the many I haven't - welcome to our nest. Thanks so much for stopping by. I am a mama of six baby birds and wife to one papa bird. Our nest is an intricately woven home, crafted over time, through the highs and lows of life, and many in-betweens. We are soon to leave our Australian nest to re-locate to our second home, the UK. This is our story, of our new life in a new country, the trials and tribulations, bidding goodbye to precious friends and embracing new. I know at times, our wings will be flapping so hard to keep us moving forward that we will tire, however, a little perseverence will bring effortless gliding amongst a soft breeze, and even stronger wings for the journey ahead. Welcome to our flight......
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
So when I was away on my super, fab holiday, I noticed a few things about human behaviour. And since I had all the time in the world on my hands, I did quite a lot of people observing.
This is what I discovered:
In some cultures it is acceptable to expel wind in public, indeed it is a sign of gratitude for the meal that has just been partaken of. A good pick of the nose after said meal is also completely understandable and the clearing of ones throat, hawking excess mucus, is both refreshing and healthy. Burping loudly is a sign of clearing the pipes and aiding in digestion. Indeed, the louder the better and if in front of another's face, not to worry because re-digested burp gas can be quite benefficial.
Then there is food, which was a constant source of amusement at the buffet breakfast table. Some enjoyed salad and fish and noodles which to me, smelt like my babies bottoms in the morning. However, judging from the way they devoured their plates, I can assure you it wasn't the case for them. Others would eat only sweet treats in the form of muffins, pastries, sweet breads etc, piling their plates as high as the Eiffel Tower, only to be seen later surreptitiously shoving them into bags, up shirts or down their short pockets, for a bit of noshing later in the day.
Now the 'egg station' as it is called, is very popular. And the cooks do a great job with the humble cracker. Poached, fried, omletted, in it's shell, sunny-side, well-done, you name it, you got it. I stopped myself asking whether the producers of the eggs were forced to lay under lights and batteries or free to roam in the lush greenery of the country. I suspect the former, but didn't dwell on it. They still tasted great.
And then there is all the different ways people dress, how they fix their hair, what shoes they put with their clothes. Some looked as though they should have a big 'indecent sign' on their backs. Seriously, a sheer flowing top, just touching the butt line, teamed with a black bra and black g-string whilst walking through a shopping centre, is well, kind of gross.
All shades and manner of hair was noted as well. Some great blonde's and some truly bad and awful colours as well. And apparently, to mix streaks of red, blonde and brunette all on the one head is 'the bomb'. Kind of looked like a bomb to me but enough people paraded this style about, so maybe there is something in it.
And of course, there is the difference in all of the world's languages. I patriotically expect every word to be spoken in English which of course is not the case, but I am always surprised when other foreign words are spoken so fluently from mouths where I expect Enlgish to be shared. I would so love to be able to converse in their native language but I could only sit and listen and try to guess what the conversation was all about. A lot of hand flapping and stamping of feet plus raised voices usually signalled to me that there was a slight bit of tension and maybe I should religate my position and move on.
The most surprising watch take would have to be around the pool. All manner of shapes and sizes were squeezed into itty-bitty swimming costumes. There were some buffed and polished bodies - tanned and toned. Others were more the colour of jelly-fish with the same sort of bodily wibbles and wobbles. Some took up only inches of the pool seat whilst others spilt out all over the seat and some of the ground. Fascinating stuff.
Still, now I am home and my 'holiday hobby' has come to an end. Most speak English in our neighbourhood and I am not privy to poolside attire or share my breakfast with a crush of others.
I think I will have to brush up on my German or French and have a go at talking to these mysterious, fascinating other races. I am sure I could learn a lot.
One thing I can assure you of though, you will never see me walking around Myer in a sheer caftan and black g-string. Promise!
Monday, 24 January 2011
I have been on holiday. A proper, good, old-fashioned break. Not a family holiday, a kid-holiday or a squeeze-in-a-few-days-at-an-over-priced-resort type of holiday. It was an adult holiday - no children - at all - for ten days. Wow. And it was overseas - a good seven hours flying time.
I actually slept in, which is such a foreign concept. I napped and watched tv in bed. I drank wine as the pool water lapped at my feet. I ate my meals uninterrupted, chewing and swallowing slowly, instead of throwing it down my throat to wipe little faces or clear snot from dripping into food.
I conversed with adults and strangers and hid from children like the plague.
The only bottom I wiped was my own (big deal with twin babies!)and the only body I washed was my own. I dressed just me and was responsible for just me. No lunches, no drink bottles, no changes of clothes, hat, sunscreen or shoes, other than for moi!
I sat on my balcony and talked to no one. The silence was a unique and priceless gift and I soaked those times of nothingness up like a sponge.
I did not exercise (running) at all, apart from strolling from the buffet to my table and pottering around the markets.
I sent my mind to a day spa for ten days and my body to a beauty spa. I was scrubbed, massaged, oiled, moisturized, pummelled, cracked (toes eek) and beautified.
I wore eye makeup for the first time in ten years, experimenting with colours and new techniques.
I pretended I was young again and in my 20's, where time, age, stress and six babies had not taken their toll.
I flossed my teeth every night, brushed my hair until it shone, wore pretty knickers, painted my toe-nails and read four whole books (with no pictures or sound effects).
I shopped a little (well ok, every day), taking the time to browse instead of charging around the isles in an anxious storm. I discovered the art of bartering and loved it. Actually I was quite good at it, to my surprise. The thrill of the chase and all. I have kept the Billabong brand and fake designer watches going for the next financial year on my purchases alone.
I drank loads of great coffee and ate whenever I felt like it, sometimes in bed in my jammies at 3am in the morning.
I laughed a lot and smiled often and I had the priviledge of falling in love with my precious Mother all over again. I lapped up her company, presence and her unique love for me, her daughter.
In all of this, I met myself again. She had been sitting exhausted on a cold park bench, her eyes tired and her body weak. Her mind had long ceased to operate efficiently despite all the demands she placed on it to be 'on top of it all'. I took her hand gently and spoke to her with kindness and respect and in return she gave me back the gift of herself - her true self, and I am so pleased to see her this way again.
I highly recommend it - much cheaper than therapy.
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Oh Gosh, golly, gee. Long time between blogging, folks. Anybody still out there?
Hands down, I have been incredibly remiss throughout cyber-world, but let me explain ... Where have I been and what have I been doing? Well, basically, it all comes down to this - before school break-up things, ie school plays, concerts, awards, busy bees, busy bakes, busy byes to friends. Lots of let's catch ups, let's drop in, drop by, drop everything. Even more, clearing and cleaning for the big day, not to mention shopping and shipping to distant loved ones.
Then the big day actually arrives and there is the chorus of excited children at 5am, the giving, receiving, unwrapping, clearing, eating, rushing, smiles, tears, having fun, having tantrums, being thankful, being grumpy, taking a Panadol, feeling blessed, feeling tired.
Nearly close to dropping my bundle after said big day, there were copius amounts of public holidays to follow. I didn't know where I was. It felt like we were in a void and I lost track of time, days, dates, possibly years.
Boxing Day was a blur, both the day after Christmas and the get-one-free day on the Monday. And then, lo and behold, it was my birthday. Yippee! Except most were a bit done with the celebrations and what little they had left they were putting in storage for New Year.
I am pretty sure we are in the New Year. I know it has something to do with changing ten to eleven and time marching forward.
I think I have heat fever, I think I need more tea. My hair needs a trim and my washing is in piles all over the house. I am waiting for my groove to come back, for my New Year's resolutions to appear and stimulate my mind to move but actually I think I need to lie down first.
Maybe tomorrow. What year is it again?