Way back when..

I was thinking about the course of my public service career again due to the whole 14 years thing. I actually began in law in the mid to late 1980's in a very small legal firm doing my articles and I think I lasted in that particular office about one month.

I always thought that it might have been because of my wearing Diors "Poison" to work. To wear that perfume was to make quite a statement but hey that's what I remember the eighties were all about - huge shoulder pads, big earrings and big hair so why not some larger than life perfume. It was particularly wrong for this office however which was dead.dead.dead. I seriously couldn't believe how quiet it was there no one laughed or talked they whispered and probably about my perfume.

I think my wearing that perfume woke my boss up and he didn't like it because not much later I got called in by him to discuss my future. He was quite Dickensian in character - skinny with a hook nose and quite pasty and grey. He suggested that we should part ways and I couldn't have agreed with him more.

So two weeks later I fronted up to a government office and after a short interview with a lovely English man who declared that he wasn't interviewing me for leader of the world I became a Para-Legal.

I loved it there it was very vibrant place to work because of a number of people but particularly one of the lawyers who I shall call Felix who was also gay. Felix requested that for cases we were to colour coordinate for televised walk-ins outside the court , once inside the court we were to sweep in and sashay to our side of the bar table.

Another character from that office was a guy who ultimately became the lead singer of Powderfinger. He was a young funny guy who deferred from his first year of uni to be our office boy. He would lead a group of us at lunch time to various hotels around Brisbane to watch his guitar teacher and take us for sessions at the Royal Exchange (R.E) in Toowong where we would drink bourbon and cokes and try and solve his love life problems.

He was also often my driver as I didn't have my licence and I can recall that many times he would make drive around the block one more time to hear the end of a song. He was such a sweetie - I saw him last year in a chinese restaurant in the Valley and I just couldn't bring myself to say hello - I knew if I did approach him it would really about the fun times we had at the DPP and not about him fronting Powderfinger but I am just not the type of person to approach people who have a modicum of a celebrity profile.

On the other side of the coin there were some really really serious lawyers in this organisation and I learned that there are some lawyers who believe that every individual should be prosecuted for one thing at one stage in their lives. I am from the school of thought that believes in 'prosecutorial discretion' and that a lesson can be learned without the need to always proceed to conviction.

I spent a lot of time instructing barristers there and seriously considered becoming a barrister myself - and I certainly spent the first half of my career as an advocate. I got to see some of the best criminal barristers at work given that some defendants could afford to buy the best legal defence they could.

I loved watching a particularly good cross examination where you could see the witness being lead down the path and then suddenly find themselves falling into a camouflaged pit and watch them flail helplessly - it was quite compelling and entertaining even if they were prosecution witnesses.

My role was to take notes at the bar table and analyse and collate evidence and be the Sale of the Century Girl. If anything needed to be handed up to the Magistrate or Judge I usually had to do the tooing and frooing ensuring that everyone got a good look at the exhibit.

After spending a year there and then a year at Legal Practice (play school for graduate law students wanting to become Solicitors) I returned there and took an instructing Solicitors role in quite a big case. Unfortunately by then, Felix and I had fallen out and he never ever forgave me for my behaviour after a few drinks where I gave him the evil eye. I admit it was mostly my fault being young, impulsive and immature though it was behaviour he was equally capable of exhibiting. I had to spend the entire case which went for 4 weeks with him only speaking to me when absolutely necessary. At the end of the case we had the mandatory celebratory lunch, given Felix still wouldn't speak to me it was entirely awkward.

In my second stint at there I ended doing some of my own court appearances mainly in Magistrates Court no hearings but quite a few callovers and pleas which I enjoyed. It was not the sort of jurisdiction where people generally went to prison except for the occasional major fraud.

I ended up leaving there to go to London in the early 90's with my boyfriend who would later become my husband. I will leave that experience for another post.


The second revelation on a Monday

I actually meant to put this in my last post but that was just getting too long winded. When I finally dragged my sorry self to work on Monday I had to deal with a page and a half of criticism of my paper from someone I had kind of known. I had expected the criticism because the same had been given to some of the other papers which we had produced.

The source of the criticism though made me realise that I have been admitted as a Solicitor for 14 years! Oh my Gawwwwwd! I don't even feel that I have that much experience (there were a few years off for traveling etcetera.)

I attended Legal Practice in 1989 with the person who critiqued my paper and based on her comments and some anecdotes from my friend F who had to deal with the person on a working group I don't think that the person has changed one tiny teeny little bit. Apart from the shock of the 14 years revelation I was actually heartened to acknowledge that I had indeed changed since then.

I remember I was quite immature and rebellious that year of Legal Practice - the person however, got married in the worst possible taste of the late eighties you could evah imagine. I am not going to use my blog to vent on people but I am stating a fact it was the height of bad eighties wedding fashion.

Anyway the critique I took with a grain of salt. You provide statistics they want more statistics, you don't provide statistics, they want statistics. Basically if I didn't put in statistics its because there were no reliable statistics. I had of course thought of addressing some of the issues the person raised but I would have been criticising the organization and I don't think my masters really wanted me to do that - that's for the stakeholders to do.

I will always remember this person's voice and I haven't heard it for 13 years, high, nasal and very Awwstraylian - really the bane of our existence for those 9 months in Legal Practice.

Revelations on a Monday

Monday - I can't believe I actually survived it. Those grandiose thoughts I have had on more than one occasion in the past year that I would really like to have a third child are almost completely gone. Unless of course we win the lotto - and you actually have to buy a ticket in that which I gave up doing a long time ago.

It was of course due to lack of sleep. We went to bed at 10pm not a bad time to retreat really and in between then and 5 am there were 9, yes NINE separate wakeups and not just wakeup, roll over and go back to sleep. Eight wakeups involved getting out of bed. One of them for P actually involved driving and another one for me involved my delivering some harsh words to Elliot at around 4am. And can you believe it the children were not even sick!

For Elliot it was nightmares which caused him to wake up something I am quite sympathetic as well as empathetic about. I feel he is reaching the phase of his youth where death and war concern him most of the time and especially at night. I recall having the same experiences as a child - I was petrified my mother would drown because I knew she couldn't swim and war was something I would dwell on till I was so frightened I was completely paralysed. I knew I was just feeding off my fears night after night but did not feel that I could confide in my mother or father.

I tried to give Elliot some advice on how to deal with his fears - I hope I was right. I told him that I used to visualize a big chest of metal drawers with locks on every drawer. I would visualize opening each drawer from top to bottom though closing each drawer before opening the next and in the very bottom drawer I would put my thoughts about death and war. In order to access those thoughts I had to open and close each and every drawer with a key. I asked him to put his "bad thoughts" in a drawer like that and lock it up and it would be his choice to unlock that drawer and take out those thoughts. I hope I was empowering him or was I just telling him how to avoid things? All I know is that it got me over being frightened to live when I was his age.

Back to Elliot's fixation with death, we actually had a discussion in the car the other day which involved listing between us all the ways a person could die. This was prompted by my driving past a cemetery. I did say to Elliot that I thought it wasn't the happiest of conversations to be having and he assured me that he wanted to know what the most dangerous way to die was so he could avoid it. He decided in the end that going to war and climbing were likely to end in the most tragedy.

He usually finds a way to pry things out of me. He once asked me how the child lock was operated on the door. I avoided telling him as I didn't want him disabling it and later he said "I just want to know about the lock on the door Mum so I can use a childlock for my child" I felt that I was endangering the life of my future grandchild so I told him how to operate it.

As usual I start writing about one thing and end up writing about something else completely. It was the interruptions on the Monday which revealed to me that perhaps I really don't want a third child. I know it was wishful thinking but it took Monday to confirm to me that I am not cut out for all of these wakeups. Oh yes the driving - P had to pick up my sister's housemate poor girl. She is staying by herself and she phoned us around midnight because she had convinced herself that someone was stalking her and wanted to spend the rest of the night in our spare bedroom so he kindly came to her rescue.

Oh and the harsh words for Elliot - the final straw was his asking me to please come in and turn off his television instead of his turning it off himself!


A post mortem

As I said, the show Cracker on the ABC on Saturday evening is my latest favourite Brit detective drama prior to that it was Red Cap again not strictly detective it was British soldiers stationed in Germany who were solving crime prior to that Sam in Prime Suspect and prior to that the Scottish one - the name escapes me - all of them dark and gritty and tense. Just. Love. Them.

It was the post mortem on Cracker that got me thinking about the things I have been exposed to over the course of my legal career. On the show during the post mortem various squelchy sounds were made and some assorted intestinal organs were shown. It didn't phase me to watch the gore - because I know its probably just some offal they got in and arranged for the scene.

I have seen a real post mortem on video. When I started back in law in 1996 I had to assist a crusty old prosecutor on a Coronial Inquiry. He was a real character - lots of experience but a bad marriage and a love for a drink meant he was now at the end of year public service career. He was as my friend F and I put it DW (dead wood) and posted in a place where he could supposedly do no harm except annoy the bejesus out of me that is.

I recall sitting next to him in court and I was eating a Mentos - he asked me for one and I said straight out "No!" I don't think I have ever refused anyone a breath freshener in my life - but he was really annoying the crap out of me. Its funny how I can remember being exasperated working with him but I can't recall any particular incident.

Back to the post mortem - he gave me a video of one to see as I had no experience with dead bodies and you usually have to see a few photos of the deceased during a coronial plus its worthwhile knowing what happens in the post mortem as it sheds light on the cause of death.

I took the video home and P and I watched it one evening. I thought it was a fairly good one - considering I could have got a person who might have been submerged or decayed. I got a nice clean gunshot wound in the back to a male who was in good physical shape. I knew but decided not to watch up to where they peel back the face. I watched the weighing of the various organs and I thought that was about all I needed to know. I recall the Dr performing the post mortem reminded me of Mr Bean - he even dropped the bullet on the floor.

A year later I ran my own Coronial Inquiry - it was very sad of course it was a death in custody by suicide. I recall reading all the prisoners' letters and he had a young son. The prisoner had hung himself and he had placed all the photographs of his son in front of him like a shrine. I imagine his son was his last thought and vision. It always makes me feel so sad for his son - I hope he realised that his father loved him so much. I believe the reason he killed himself was depression caused by the fact that he could see no end to his imprisonment. I still feel the heavy heart and blackness that he must have felt when he thought he would probably be in jail for most of his adult life.

I remember a friend of the prisoner's coming to court he came in handcuffs with shackles on his hands and ankles - a physically strong young man. He is probably going to be in the system a long time too he will probably leave a middle aged man by the time he gets out.

Sometimes there are things that I have found out in the course of my career which will haunt me for my days and wonder if they will ever leave me, terrible crimes perpetrated by people against each other and I fear for the safety of my loved ones.

A couple of weeks ago I was absolutely terrified by the thought of random crime and all that might stand between complete tragedy and my family is an unlocked door or window and some terrible thing might befall us from which we may never recover.

Other days I can't believe that people really want "truth in sentencing" or the death penalty or that prisoners complain too much because they have too much time on their hands. I am against the death penalty but when I read of a crime so horrendous committed against a child my daughters age and I think what if... would I believe that this criminal could be rehabilitated.

I believe there are people who are truly irredeemable and should never be released but there are also those who have not had the chances in life or been able to take opportunities or recognise them and are truly victims of circumstances beyond their control and they deserve a chance or two to get it right. I hope there are people making good decisions about the lives of these prisoners and I hope that I have helped them with the right ones.

My weekend.

Dinner Friday - deep fried calamari, lime and pepper mayonnaise, a margherita and a becks.
Dinner Saturday - crab omlette and green salad, mussels in tomato, white wine, chilli and basil.
Dinner Sunday - Barbecued marinated lamb and salad.

Lots of lovely dinners and quite a domestic weekend - throw in a couple of infant birthday celebrations - a one year old and a four year old then a Grand Final watching my latest favourite British detective drama ('cept he is a psych.) Cracker a very domestic Sunday with a little bit of kite flying in the late afternoon and that's it for my weekend.

In retrospect it all doesn't look so bad - the downside was that Gabriella decided to wake at 5am each morning - P took the first morning and I took the second - I was going to do the first one but I woke up and said "I am too tired to enjoy my life" and I really meant it.

God was I cranky this morning. I just hate getting up at the crack of dawn.


Thats Entertainment

Like having your teeth extracted without the drugs. Two cold hours in a room with too effective air conditioning settling "The Glossary". The highlight of my day which goes to show how uneventful my week has actually been at home and at work. I am not complaining because there isn't anything or anyone to complain about, worry about, or for that matter entertain me.

While seeking to entertain my son during the holidays I fell asleep half way through "A Shark's Tale". I never fall asleep at the cinema - I realise these animation films are contrived but this was so contrived I felt jaded and bored and sweet sleep was my only escape. Well at least I didn't have to leave the cinema like my sister when watching "Cat Woman" and more to the point I couldn't leave because Elliot was enjoying it and that is all that should matter.

An amusing part of my day while researching on the internet I discovered the list of demands by Palenstinean prisoners prior to their going on a hunger strike - not that I consider imprisonment is amusing just that these prisoners have undermined their more legitimate demands with ones like: No more headcounts, airconditioning in cells, comfortable seats on buses, fruit knives (YES a knife) in cells, more television channels, mobile phones in each cell. I believe in humane containment by all means but many of these demands were indistinguishable from the desires of law abiding citizens who may never get to experience airconditioning in their own homes.

Enough of me time, I have to go my son wants me to read a few more pages from the Chronicles of Narnia.


Making me smile at work.

This morning while I am getting ready for work I am brushing my hair in the bathroom doorway so I can keep an eye on my mischievous daughter who is loitering with intent. Her hair (in direct contrast to Elliot's at the same age that is, she actually has hair) is growing rapidly and most of the time will sit straight up in something of a mohawk fashion unless I have exerted some control and smoothed it down while still wet from her bath.

This morning she has her little brunette mohawk going and she watches me brush my hair and reaches up to tidy her hair with an invisible brush. I get her brush for her so she can fully imitate the task though given her lack of control there is no helping her hair today. I recognise this small sign as the emergence of her capacity to notice and learn by imitation though it is also indicative of a greater responsibility for P and I. There are greater lessons we hope to pass onto her. Till now she has explored her world and only tasted it (well as much as we let her).

I hope that we are able to provide her with examples of the best behaviour we can from which she can learn and imitate. Good manners and compassion most of all, a sense of humour, the ability to laugh at ones self, love of family and friends a sense of community and personal pride and responsibility are some of the values I hope we are instilling in Elliot and will give to her too.


What is inspiring me on a Sunday night.

The great fresh asparagus around at the moment and the fantastic price! I have actually gotten ahead of myself and baked a ham and asparagus mornay for tomorrow night to have with some warmed bread rolls. I try to do this mornay at least once each winter looks like we will be having it for spring instead at leasts it is still a touch cool. We feel very French when we do have this dish and its great with some fruity white even a red especially when I use a mature cheddar and aged parmesan.

As I cook the mornay another apple crumble (and I still have crumble to spare) and some fresh tuna I decide to get in the mood for tonights A.I. 60's night and P has put on the Beatles "Let it Be - Naked" album. My favourite is "The Long and Winding Road"and P's is "Across the Universe." Great music to cook to not as much family fun as the Jam and "Town called Malice" or "Going Underground" or "Thats Entertainment" which P, Elliot and I have had some very good kitchen dance times to.


Dinner with the girls

Last night was the annual have dinner for the birthday of one of my good girl friends Virg. I have known her for 19 years and also with F (my new manager at work and good friend - we have known each other since our first year in law school that was 1984 - yes - 20 years!).

Increasingly when we do meet I find we talk about surgical and non surgical cosmetic interventions. Mostly about the people we know who have had some work done. But last night it ventured into talk of what they are considering in the not to distant future. Botox is definately on the cards and to my surprise perhaps a nose job! Not a complete change of nose but a bump being ironed out. Virg informed us that as we get older and the skin on our face sags our noses will actually continue to grow and if you had a prominent nose before - then basically watch out!

I don't have the prominent nose - but I have to admit I recently noticed a frown line on my forehead which is there despite the fact that I am not frowning. Both F and Virg do have noses - not unattractive because they are very attractive women but they have both had nose injuries in the past and the bumps are something they now want to attend to.

I had thought that I wouldn't have any cosmetic work done but last night gave me cause me to think again - what if I don't will I be the most aged looking and wrinkled out of all of us! I got through my pre-teens, teens and 20's without succumbing to peer group pressure and had thought it was over and done with. Now here it is again!

My theory is that we are being influenced by the cosmetic surgery industry because in the last 24 months the media has been inundating us with cosmetic surgery magic stories and how the most ordinary people have access to it. No longer the bastion of celebraties and movie stars - yes we too can have the lovely shiny renovation. I don't think I want to look like I have had some "work" done - is there such a thing as growing old gracefully with a minimum amount of non-surgical interventions?

My other theory is that this cosmetic surgery indulgence may only be apparent in my generation because we are the last generation of sun damaged adults - our children have been protected because of what we have learned. The next generation shouldn't age as quickly due to protection from the sun. Or it could go the other way and given that my generation appear to be embracing cosmetic surgery - the next generation won't even give it a second thought like I am now and it will become common place.


Learning to stand. Posted by Hello Suga Lu started a game last week where we make Gabriella stand and start counting to three and most of the time instead of trying to stand she starts to topple. Though tonight she really got the hang of it and balanced for quite a while in fact she can stand up by herself already. I really wanted to do some naked studio photos of her (discreet of course) before she walks because once she does walk she is no longer just my baby she is my toddler. I am so not sure how to feel about her growing up, knowing she is my last baby. I may have to write about it eventually. I want her to stand still in time for a while with me so we can both embrace this time which I love so much - when she sees me as the beginning and end of her world and her baby words are expressed in lovely sing songs of happiness and joy to my ears.

Bathtime Posted by Hello is always more fun for Gabriella when Elliot is with her too. I have been wanting to get a photo of Gabriella wet for some time but she started to make it hard for me because everytime I tried to take the photo the flash would start and she would duck her head.

Flowers from Ros Posted by Hello My lovely mother-in-law brought me these flowers last night when I invited her and Grand Nan (P's 89 year old grandmother) over for the roast pork and apple and rhubarb crumble. Ros and I adore flowers and we have very similar tastes sometimes we like form over substance. I recently decided that one single stem orchid is more beautiful and longer lasting than irises or roses. I also love masses of paper roses too.

Ros had given me this tall vase for my birthday this year and it has been fantastic for indulging my gladioli obsession and sometimes for sunflowers and bird of paradise or just those long reed like grasses you can see behind these lillies.

When it just doesn't make sense

The rhubarb SugaLu and I bought on Saturday inspired Sunday evenings dinner. I decided a roast pork with crackling and some "golden roast potatoes" made from kipflers that Elliot adores and roast pumpkin, red onion, garlic, carrots and sweet potato. For the rhubarb I searched high and low for the best recipe for a apple and rhubarb crumble to serve with custard and icecream.

I read several recipes for the crumble and the one I was most impressed with is from Phillip Johnson's Ecco 2 cookbook. I have always loved dining at Ecco it is a fabulous bistro and I admire Philip Johnson's use of fresh produce presented quite simply. Over the years I have used many of his recipes too and I have finally realised after yesterdays experience that there are some definite anomalies with his recipes. I recall when making his lemon tart that perhaps it was my fault that there was so much lemon filling and pastry left over as I don't think I was using the exact same tart tin - now I am starting to think twice after the crumble episode.

I decided my crumble would be mostly based on his recipe and I would add some pecan and walnuts as well and instead of raw sugar I opted for brown sugar.

I started getting suspicious when I prepared the apples, 4 of them with half a kilo of sugar and one cup of water. I had to make a caramel first so I thought the sugar should dissolve so I justified half a kilo of sugar to 4 apples and ten stalks of rhubarb in that way.

The crumble is a different story. The first ingredient was 300 grams of coconut - I looked at my coconut and realised that meant an entire packet plus some extra, the rest of the quantities were 300g of crushed digestives, 300g of raw sugar, 200g of almond meal and 100g plain flour and 100g of rolled oats. I think the dry ingredients come to a total of 1.3 kgs of topping along with 250grams of butter. What is more perplexing is that you are instructed to use only a half a centre metre of the crumble over the 4 apples plus rhubarb. Another instruction I query is that if you find the apple acidic (after half a kilo of sugar!) then you can add some more sugar.

(Note: Even though I decided to use half the quantity that was instructed to I still have crumble to spare in my freezer).

While this doesn't prevent me from using Ecco recipes again I now approach them with more trepidation.

To market to market

My sister SugaLu, Gabriella and I had been to Brisbane's Farmers Markets on Saturday morning. It is a tradition I have now been following for several years. The markets are on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month. I like to get up as early as possible to beat the crowds, which isn't a problem with Gabriella often waking at 5.30am these days. Once there I decided I will have to start getting there by 5.30am as with Spring now here it is much lighter and it is getting busier earlier. I like to buy fresh flowers and beautiful breads, free range eggs, canolies, dips, spices, olives, cheeses, great Mandalong lamb, the freshest asparagus etc. etc. It is a wonderful shopping trip if you are having people over that night for dinner or want to put together a beautiful breakfast or lunch. If we can get out of there without buying an organic brownie (for the kids so SugaLu and I always say to ourselves) made by this lovely french man it is a good exercise in self-restraint.

I ran into my mother-in-law Ros (who might I say is the most aspirational mother-in-law in the world I hope I will be as generous of spirit as she is with my daughter or son-in-law one day) and we ended up buying a large piece of the freshest yellow fin tuna together. We decided to split the tuna - her for lunch with a good friend and mine for dinner with P that evening.

I convinced her to make a nicoise influenced salad to have the tuna with. No potatoes, but fresh long green beans, tomatoes, avocado, boiled eggs, olives, red onion and some very fresh mesclun mix just rocket isn't a bad choice either.

I went around to her place that morning to bring her my flat grill for the tuna and made her a salad dressing based on a coddled egg, dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice and capers. The tuna is simply prepared - brush on some olive oil and use some cracked pepper and sea salt. Heat the griddle to quite hot and then cook the tuna on both sides briefly. I like mine quite rare in the middle. Ros decided to cook and serve her tuna in separate slices. I decided to keep our tuna in one triangular piece and cooked it so there was quite a lot of rare pieces for the salad. I served the tuna tossed through the salad and we shared a bottle of Japanese white wine ( a gift from P's brothers in- laws when they were over from Japan). It was a fabulous salad and we are definitely going to do that again. The wine was not particularly fruity and certainly wasn't offensive we thought there was an after taste of saki or rice wine to it in fact!

SugaLu and I ended up splitting some fresh rhubarb which inspired my cooking the next day and is also my next entry.


Some time for me!

I have finally had time for me and P. I finalised the paper for the first deadline yesterday. There will no doubt be revisions but the major work is out of the way. P and I decided to treat ourselves and go to the movies for the first time in absolutely ages. Maybe the second time since Gabriella was born last October.

I hate to admit this, but when we got there - the 1.30pm session to see the Bourne Supremacy. There wasn't much choice I don't usually like to watch movies that I think are really DVD quality and there is something about Matt Damon that to me makes me NOT think of him as "star" quality. I think he can be a fine actor but there is something about his particular appeal that doesn't appeal to me. Anyway as usual I digress.

When we got to the cinema - a couple had brought their young son "Freddy" a lovely approx 11-12 month old. My heart sank a littel -we had gone to the trouble our leaving our children at home and this was our first time at the movies for such a long time and they decided to sit behind us. I felt paralysed wondering how Freddy was going to cope. I was thinking maybe he is extremely placid and hates activity of any kind and maybe he hasn't slept for 24 hours and is going to sleep for the next 2 hours and maybe they have done this with him before and he just loves the cinema and will be enthralled for the entire time and maybe he told his parents "Hey Mum and Dad - we have GOT to catch the 1.30pm at the Balmoral you know how much I love the Jason Bourne stories."

Well none of the above - I think the family lasted 10 minutes - his mother took him outside about 3-4 times in the first few minutes of the movie starting, she was to her credit very concious of him making noise and I felt really sorry that I had some bad feelings about it in the first place and wished I could have offered them my sister's services and they could have been child free (and being child free when your at work doesn't count in my books) and enjoyed the movie like we did.

About that movie - I am very realistic about movies which are based on books - I can understand there are limitations in making a movie out of a novel. However, with this one they may as well given Jason Bourne a different name and given the movie a different title - because any resemblance to the novel was miniscule. It had a fantastic car chase in it though - it was like a car chase dance of death. I understand from a comment made by Matt Damon that they wanted to "keep it real" and made Jason Bourne obtain maps to read from while he would drive while simultaneously being pursued by the entire Russian police force might I add. I said to my sister and P - so how come then during the entire film then he never ate and never toileted once!

He really really really does love this team. He has written to the captain of the team Michael Voss who kindly wrote back. It was as we thought it would be a type written letter though signed by Mr V. I didn't think anything of that at the time, until Elliot wrote to Jason Akermanis. Mr A is quite an individual from what I can gather - but I would have to say it was refreshing to see that Elliot got a very prompt response from Mr A - and apparently in his own handwriting. I mean.... why else would you send something handwritten unless you wrote it yourself. While I can't say I had given it much thought prior to this event - my esteem for Mr A has risen inestimably.

Elliot wants to write again. Unfortunately he doesn't have anything new to say so we try to discourage him plus they will probably eventually want to use a restraining order!

My son the Lions fanatic Posted by Hello


Even more sickness abounds

I forgot to mention P and my sister Suga Lu have also been sick. I am so over the amount of sickness around me, when is it going to end! My throat is starting to feel a little strange....... oh, o.

I am off to Elliot's sports day tomorrow we will have to see how that goes - last year he developed an ear ache which I misread as anxiety about participation and the pressure of winning. Hopefully it will go well this year seeing as he has already had his earache.

Father's day on Sunday - better find P a gift I have something in mind I hope I can find one at a reasonable price. He will love it and it would actually be a surprise if I can track it down.

More illness abounds

I have been so busy with the new job - I get home and barely make dinner and eat it with the kids and P get to bed in order to deal with all of Gabriella's night waking. Both children were sick last week and we had a lot of trouble dealing with them at night. As usual P and I took turns sleeping with them both. Elliot came home from school sick on Thursday and only went back to school today .

We just managed to keep things under control with lots of nurofen and panadol. Surprisingly neither of them were exhibiting temperatures over 37 so I thought it was the run of the mill virus which we could handle. As it happened, they both developed ear infections and ended up with perforated ear drums last Sunday.

As is usual with my life, Sunday also happened to be the day I invited my friends from work for the first and possibly last time ever. So I had to deal with sick children and entertaining. It went well, but I don't know if I like the cross over of private me and work me. Some of the people I work with I like knowing privately some I really don't need to know them more than at work.

Quite a few people who said they were coming didn't end up coming - I said to one of my closer friends on the day I didn't really expect that much from work colleagues its not like I have known them as well as my private friends and family. As far as I am concerned you only get invited once to my place and if you don't turn up there is no second chance - I am way to busy and too old to keep trying. I really don't mind being let down - it simply means I don't have to put much effort in with those people so its easier all way round.