Who the hell am I?

That crazy Eden lady has reignited her Fresh Horses Brigade meme and I thought I’d jump on and go for a ride. This week – after a particularly snarky, nasty and down-right malicious time in Australian blogging – she’s asking the question, who the hell are you. It seems fair enough. Her post is here. Giddyup.

Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade

Who the hell am I?

I laugh loud.

I cry easily. I cry a lot.

I think I’m pretty funny.

I have a big heart.

I am a worrier but more about the big things – public policy, that Tony Abbott could possibly be our Prime Minister, the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots and the long term societal impact poverty has on a community and indeed a nation.

I am a complete stresshead. Always have been.

I have finely honed skills at self-sabotaging me in whatever my latest endeavour or idea. ‘You’re not good enough’ is set in my foundations. I’m re-stumping as we speak.

I am a really good home cook.

Baking makes everything better.

I have three main life mottos: “onward”, “fall down seven times rise up eight”, and “no one gets left behind”. I’m considering adding “stop being sad and start being awesome” to my mantra rotation list.

I am very easily swayed by others opinions and suggestions:
– Exhibit A: I always wanted to be a journalist but changed direction to PR when one very jaded editorial assistant on Cosmopolitan magazine told me to because it was better money.
– Exhibit B: We decided to have a baby because the naturapath I was seeing did some colour selection thing with me and I kept choosing purple. Apparently that was my subconscious telling me I wanted a baby.

I have some really trashy tendencies when it comes to food: jam rollettes, finger buns, that fluffy white icing on boston buns and tea cakes, MOCK CREAM. I’ve had a craving for a chiko roll for about 15 years but am too embarrassed to ask for one, even at the greasiest take-away shop I would never visit again.

I don’t cope very well in being left out. I am a chronic over-sharer and take it very personally when people do not return the favour. Got a secret? Got a plan you’re hatching? I must know. I NEED to know. Even if it’s not appropriate for me to know. I think this can also be called ‘trust issues’.

I can get very jealous of others and their success. I’m getting better at remembering to simply be the best I can be.

I’m on the verge of becoming one of those people who regales you with their fitness regime.

I’m turning 40 this year and while I’m not dreading it I’m not particularly looking forward to it. I’ve always had a feeling of not having enough time. Now I feel like I’m running out of it. It’s subtle but different.

How’s that for starters?


So who the hell are you?







It has been a while hasn’t it.

About five years ago it was all the rage to meme meme meme. I still don’t know what that means. Is it that it is all about me me? Or is it an abreviation for something so obvious I now look like a complete doofus? Ah well, nothing new there.

It has been a grim grim week here. The abrupt, shocking and heart-breaking passing of beautiful Lori‘s husband, the ongoing flood crisis in Queensland (a post on which I have started so many times but which is just so vast and overwhelming it seems trite no matter how I word it), the shooting in Arizona and on it goes.

So it seems a good time to take stock and remember the good stuff, the stuff that makes me happy.

From my beautiful Blackbird

10 things that make me happy

  1. Homemade granola with greek yoghurt for breakfast
  2. Homemade chai mix which I stir into my tea every morning
  3. Sodoku on my iPhone
  4. The cool breeze that blows through our bedroom window across our bed
  5. Grover saying, ‘what that (s)mell?’
  6. Baking pretty much anything but in particular my lemon slice and my new honey nut slice
  7. Hanging out with new friends (aka mothers of my children’s friends)
  8. Running
  9. In bed, the weight of one of my children lying along my back (as opposed to the doink of the bloody bed shark)
  10. That all my children know all the words to the entire Dixie Chicks Home CD.

What makes you happy?


A meme

So Blackbird tagged Duyvken and Duyvken tagged me – YAY!

What are your current obsessions?
Sodoku – I know, I’m about 10 years behind the trend.

Which item from you wardrobe do you wear most often?
Do not get me started about the current fug I am in over my wardrobe. I am so sick of my uniform of a cotton knit top and shorts/skirt/jeans. So.sick.of.it. I have an entire wardrobe full of clothes that don’t fit and it is really pissing me off. I don’t have any jackets or cold weather gear, just some hideous cheap hoddies that make me look even more like I have totally given up on looking half decent.

What’s for dinner?
Tonight was farfalle with meatballs, which were actually left over hamburgers from last night in a homemade tomato sauce. Dessert with a rhubarb and apple crumble.

What’s your greatest fear at the moment?
That we will never get above this financial pit of pathetic horror. That I will never lose the 20 kilos I need to lose. That something will happen to one of the boys. Oscar’s surgery that is earmarked for early next year (I like to get in early on the worry thing). That the big dint on the running board of the car (from Chef hitting a rock and the dirt road to Wombeyan) will get rust in it before we can afford to get it fixed. Money. That I’ve been in a bit of a fug since before the school holidays (a month ago) and it’s only shifted slightly.

What are you listening to?
Classic FM in the mornings (oh Margaret Throsby how I love thee) and Richard Glover in the afternoons, Justine Clarke in between.

If you were a goddess what would you be?
Some buxom wench who feeds everyone.

What are your favourite holiday spots?
Reality: camping in the bush. Fantasy: Italy, New York, Canada, Scotland

What are you reading right now?
Nothing. Maybe that has something to do with my fug. I think I’m going to borrow The Poisonwood Bible from the library – everyone raves about that.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Huh. Whaddya know. I don’t have one.

Who or what makes you laugh?
My children, my husband, Jon Stewart

What is your favourite spring thing to do?
Borrow the in-law’s trailer and clean out a whole heap of shit. That and washing down walls.

Where are you planning to travel next?
We’re going back to Wombeyan Caves at Christmas. Yes.We.Are.

What is the best thing you ate or drank lately?
The apple and rhubarb crumble I made tonight was pretty good. The red wine I glugged down last night as Jasper had a mega-meltdown was just the ticket.

When was the last time you were tipsy?
Probably when we all went out to dinner – but that was a very generous version of tipsy. Maybe a few weeks back when we had our neighbours in for dinner and I drank a lot of sparkling shiraz?

What is your favourite ever film?
The can not be only one – Stranger than Fiction, Footloose, Steel Magnolias, St Elmo’s Fire, Adaptation, pretty much anything done by the Coen Brothers, Hoodwinked, Transformers, Ghost Town and so on and so forth.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your children?
Patience, nothing good comes from anger, that every single person is different, that if dinner is going to be later than 6pm expect early signs of the apocalypse.

What song can’t you get out of your head?
Homer singing “Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig. / Does whatever a Spider-Pig does. / Can he swing / from a web? / No he *can’t*, / cause he’s a *pig*. / Look out! / He is the *Spider-Pig*!”

What book do you know you should read but refuse to?
Anything by Salman Rushdie.

What is your physical abnormality/abnormal physical ability?
I just have no idea what this means? My third nipple? My 11th toe?

What is your favourite colour?

While I adore being tagged, I don’t tag, it makes me all hot thinking about how I would choose them.

My man

So Heather over at Dooce did a meme today. I would say it was the first meme she’s done in at least two years, probably even three, maybe even more! She told her congregation to go forth and do the same and so it came to pass, a meme about my man, Chef:

What are your middle names?
My middle name is Elizabeth, Chef’s is James. Can you get more white bread?

How long have you been together?
Together for 18 years this year (CRIKEY!) and married for 11, 12 in October.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
About three months. I had started working at the local Pizza Hut, in the hideous grey wrap-around one-size-fits-all-except-me skirt and everyone kept talking about this guy – about how cool he was, about what a practical joker he was, about how he had something like nine written warnings when you were only meant to get three before being sacked – who was away at uni. When he returned at Easter to pick up some shifts I arrived at work to a definite ‘buzz’ in the air – this guy was back! So I headed up to C-section, where we all ate staff meals etc, and there he was. Absolutely nothing like I had expected. But he had this enigmatic mix of twinkly eyes mixed with a general saddness about him. He tortured me at work with various practical jokes – including sending one pan seperator lid through the headbanger fridge (which cut between the front prep area and the back wash-up area) to me at a time, telling me it was the last one, for the duration of an entire shift. There was something like He went back to uni after two weeks and the following term break was when we got together.

Who asked whom out?
Well… that’s tricky. Can I answer red wine did? Two weeks earlier I had asked him to do a shift for me as I was having a dinner party w/ some friends from uni. The purpose of the dinner was to invite the guy I had lost the big V to over and to get the input of these friends as to whether he was the tragedy I now thought he was or if it was something I should pursue. Chef said he couldn’t do it because he was coming and that his invitation must have been lost in the mail. For some reason I thought this hilarious and did invite him over. At the end of the dinner (when from the minute I saw the V-taker I knew I could never ever touch him again, let alone see him) all my friends said, ‘don’t think much of the V-man but ___ (chef) is a good egg and he really likes you.’ This was confirmed by mum, my brother and my mother’s then boyfriend. I hadn’t really thought of Chef in that light at all, so it was an interesting idea.

Anyway, about two weeks later, Chef asked me to do a shift for him as he had a 21st to go to in the Blue Mountains. I told him I couldn’t do it because I was going to the same 21st and my invite must have got lost in the mail.

So an already long story short, we went together. We got to the 21st, Chef looked in and said that no one else from uni had showed up and that he didn’t know anyone in there. The up shot was, he didn’t want to go in and if he didn’t go then I sure as hell wasn’t going in. So we went to the nearest pub and had dinner at the little Italian restaurant out the back. The night went on. We consumed a.l.o.t. of red wine. We joined tables with the ladies next to us – some tourists from New Zealand. The chef and waiter joined us. One of the women asked us how long we’d been together and we looked at each other and not.a.word.of.a.lie both said, in perfect unison, ‘oh, we’re not together. Yet.’

And then we pashed.

How old are each of you?
I’m 36, he’s 37.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
My brother is here every other weekend when he has our neice so we probably see more of him. Chef has an older brother and younger sister. We all get on very well. It makes me very happy indeed.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
The thing that is the hardest for us as a couple now is finding time for ‘just us’ and ensuring each other is ‘ok’. We’re pretty good at it though. The hardest situation for us overall has been the growing up together as well as growing as parents at the same time. There have been some very difficult and dark times.

Did you go to the same school?
Nope. Considering I went to an all girls school that is probably a good thing. We went to the same uni but Chef was only there for a year. The year before I transfered there. It was three hours out of Sydney. It had the most highly regarded communications degree and while I had decided I didn’t want to go away to uni when I was at school, once I had a boyfriend and the promise of regular sex at that university I was filling out those transfer forms before you knew it. Naturally Chef then got kicked out for not even turning up to two of his end-of-year exams. And so continued our long distance relationship for the next four years.

Are you from the same home town?

Who is smarter?
Chef. Without a doubt. But I am more driven and stubborn.

Who is the most sensitive?
Chef. Without a doubt. He just doesn’t show it. My heart, meanwhile, is on my sleeve.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
It is pretty rare but it is pretty much always brunch or lunch. There is an awesome cafe in Avalon I’ve mentioned before called The Cook’s Larder which we love, while we also adore this sushi place in Chatswood, the name of which eludes me.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Tasmania. Twice. We almost moved there near the beginning of our relationship, such is our shared love of its wild and windswept coast.

Who has the craziest exes?
Well, considering Chef’s life before we started going out is pretty much a mystery only he knows about and I only went out with one other guy (see above) there are no crazy exes to speak of.

Who has the worst temper?

Who does the cooking?
Me. The guy cooks for a living. As if he’s coming home to whip up dinner. Although when he does – YUM.

Who is the neat-freak?
Well, let’s just say that when Chef notices how trashed the house it it really is time to call for a skip bin.

Who is more stubborn?
He is a quiet patient stubborn while I am a stomp around slam the door type stubborn. He wins.

Who hogs the bed?
Yeah, he might be 6ft4 and built like a brick shit house but I get the bed. Well actually, we have a king size bed so we both do OK.

Who wakes up earlier?
Haha. Hahahahahahaha. Chef once told me in the heat of an arguement about how he never got up early to the children and how I was dying to just sleep in ONCE he very calmly told me he had carved out a whole career around sleeping in. He now works at a place where he does breakfast four mornings a week. Karma baby. Karma.

Where was your first date?
See above.

Who is more jealous?
I don’t think you could call either of us the jealous type.

How long did it take to get serious?
We were always serious. The night we got together, even though we were both off our collective nut, he said to me, ‘I really really like you and I want something with you that will last a long time.’

Who eats more?

Who does the laundry?

Who’s better with the computer?
Hmmm, the techy software side, Chef. The Word shortcuts side, me.

Who drives when you are together?
Chef, but that’s just because he never gets to drive the bus otherwise.