FAREWELL UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN

Stepping through the building’s revolving doors and swiping my work card for the last time, I felt overcome with nostalgia. My mind went for a trip down memory lane to the first time I stood in front of the security gates, desperately trying to get my visitors card to work so I that I could get to my job interview on time. I remember feeling self-conscious that I was holding up the flow of morning traffic as I did my awkward forward and backward shuffle trying to get the barriers to open. I remember rushing to the toilet to calm my nerves, flapping about trying to cool my sweaty body, and checking my armpits for embarrassing sweat stains.

I really wanted the job. At the time, this government role was what I deemed in my mind as the pinnacle of my career success in my profession. I believed that my self-worth was directly linked to my job title, and this role would be validation of that. It would satisfy my ego and dull that little insecure voice in my head telling me that my value and existence was defined by work and its accomplishments.

I remember taking extreme care in my appearance, rehearsing the lines that I would say, and trying to give myself the pep talk I needed to come across as a capable and confident person. I remember the elation I had felt at news of my success. I remember meeting my work colleagues and feeling nervous but eager to please. This job was pivotal to me feeling complete.

Over the years, I began feeling frustrated with the system, felt downtrodden with my inability to effect change, and resentment built to a point where I became an ineffectual team member. It was also around the time I was gifted with a second job title – mum – and my struggles with work-life balance, mother’s guilt and anxiety reared its ugly head.

Why did I stay, I hear you ask, if I was so unhappy?

I made excuses to myself: I needed a job, we needed the money, it was well-paid and secure, and I should have been thankful to have a job when so many others struggled to find one. In truth, I stayed for longer than I should have out of fear. I was fearful of the unknown. I didn’t believe in my own abilities or capabilities. What if I didn’t find anything better? Don’t they say the grass is always greener on the other side? My anxiety made sure to shred any remaining confidence.

And so, I stewed in my misery, negativity pouring from me like a poison, darkening my thoughts and affecting everyone around me. I was depressed and couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. People were moving forward, grabbing opportunities with gusto, and surviving within the murky waters of the workplace restructures. I didn’t feel like I belonged anymore and I certainly didn’t feel I deserved to be there, taking someone else’s spot. I was lost. I was a failure as a teammate and as a parent. I was in a very bad head space. For the sake of my mental health and my family, there was only one solution and that was to resign.

Today, as I said my farewells to my friends, I felt strong emotions of grief and loss. These wonderful people had become my second family, unwavering in their support, encouraging with meaningful words and enriching my life with their presence. Today, I close this chapter of my life with fond memories that will forever be etched in my heart.

Where will my new adventures lead? What does the next chapter look like? What are my plans? I do not know.

The only thing I do know is that I am ready for the magic of new beginnings.

 


To my friends, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

FT – I will miss your hugs and infectious laughter.
MD – I will miss your jokes, even though I rarely got your punch lines.
QG – I will miss your D&Ms, you gave me strength through some of my darkest days.
WY – I will miss your tough love, no-nonsense attitude.
GS/MN – I will miss your generous and kind spirits.
MS – I will miss your inner strength and words of wisdom.
GP – I will miss your wildly inappropriate but funny comments. Don’t go changing.
JL – I will miss hearing of your small wins with coupons and freebies.
EB – I will miss your words of encouragement and support.
HS – I will miss your self-deprecating humour.

And to the rest of the branch, who are no less important to me, thank you for being a part of my life journey.


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MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO

It’s a common understanding that part of good parenting involves modelling good behaviours. Children are imitators, so you can’t tell them to do something but not do it yourself. The mentality of “do as I say, not as I do” is simply unacceptable. You have to lead by example because your children look to you as their role models, they learn how to behave, act and deal with life situations by watching you. If you want your kids to have good manners, show them by saying YOUR pleases and thank-yous. If you don’t want your kids swearing, don’t curse in front of them, even if a moron cuts in front of you and nearly side swipes your car. Your children are a reflection of you, in the emotional and behavioural sense. Effectively, you are on public display, open for view and imitation twenty-four-seven.

In writing all that, I can admit that I am not a great role model. I act on whims, with logical and rational reasoning often taking a backseat. I can be a sarcastic, pessimistic, undisciplined, glass-half-empty, stubborn type of person. My epitaph would probably read “Consistent in her inconsistencies”.

So I can’t really complain when my seven-year-old throws her wet towel on the floor or grumble when I have to unravel underwear from her inside out pants while sorting laundry. I can’t call her a slob because I would essentially be calling myself one, seeing I can’t adhere to my own rules.

I’m constantly nagging my kids to drink more water but I happily drink coffee and tea instead. Talk about being a hypocrite!

How can I scold my daughter for being a hoarder, tucking away her possessions and never being able to find anything when she is a by-product of my habits? My father in-law just the other day asked where the old relic of a juicing machine he gave me was, and seriously, it could have been misplaced in the linen closet for all I knew!

And when my toddler started to point his tiny finger at me and say, “I want you to do it right this minute young lady!”, who do I have to blame for that?

Like most parents, I make sure my children feel loved and supported, are well-fed, dressed in clean clothes, help with school readers, try to volunteer where I can, take them to social events and extra-curricula activities.

I know that I’m not a terrible mother, but I struggle to focus and I find it exhausting being mindful as a parent. Despite it all, I continue to try.

This week when I found myself with homework that tested my patience and ability, I was quick to chuck a self-pity party and throw in the towel. I had spat the dummy and thrown an embarrassing toddler tantrum. My daughter started homework that same week and when prompted, her responses fell between “I don’t want to do it” and “it’s too hard”. Coincidence much?

I had to dig deep and do some self-reflection. What was I teaching my kids? What effects were my actions having on them? Am I being the role model that I want to be? How am I shaping my children for the future?

If I want my daughter to face challenges with aplomb, to learn from mistakes and not be afraid of trying, to be resilient and persevere, I had to pull my finger out and set the example.

So I sat down, batted away the self-doubt and attempted to do my homework. I tried and failed multiple times. I practiced and practiced until I produced a piece that I felt content with. I had done my homework to the best of my ability. I gave it a go.

Not surprisingly, my daughter also decided to give her homework a go.

The results got me thinking… maybe I’ll become a vegetarian. Do you reckon my children will want to eat their veggies then?

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MY FAULTY CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

I’ve started a creative writing class. Last week we were asked to write a short piece on a profound moment in our life. Here’s the link if you missed out – A Slice of Life. This week we were asked to write a character description of someone we know well. We were told not to give a ‘description list’ where the character’s physical attributes were simply listed. Our task was to try to use some or all the five senses (taste, smell, touch, hearing, sight) to help bring alive the character to the reader. The examples given to us for reading contained lots of similes, metaphors, actions and physical details for personality.

Interestingly, I discovered that I cannot write a good character description, and I tend to delve into storytelling using scenes and dialogue. My descriptions were unnecessarily wordy without the ability to give a clear vision of the portrayed character.

In my first attempt, I tried to describe a broken woman, but instead I wrote a short story. I used a different tack with my second to seventh attempts by using stereotypes, hoping that by doing this I could narrow my focus and not waffle. I wrote bullet points of stereotypical descriptions using google search and tried linking the sentences. I ended up with vague descriptions and a scene. It was frustrating not being able to understand my barriers. It felt a lot like having writer’s block. After much discussion with my significant other, we discerned that because I don’t like the idea of stereotypes and generalisations, I couldn’t draw inspiration from this method. I simply don’t see people in that way!

In the end, I wrote bullet points of short phrases to describe someone I knew well from my childhood. Being able to visualise the person in my mind’s eye helped. I should have done that in the first place as instructed by the teacher! I think the final product was the best character description from the lot. What do you think?


My first attempt:

Broken woman

Wiping the condensation from the mirror with her freshly manicured hand, she stepped back and stared at the woman before her. No longer was she the dependent, dutiful housewife at the beck and call of a demanding and abusive man. She had thrown that dead weight from her hunched shoulders, loosened the stranglehold, and scrubbed that disease from her body and soul. She had tucked the once cowering woman and her fragmented thoughts into the dark realms of her mind, forever to be left behind.

She pinched her cheeks in an effort to brighten her sallow complexion. She cursed under her breath, as she applied the foundation to cover the dark circles that had formed under her eyes from the sleepless nights. Carefully, with an unpracticed hand, she used her new makeup to contour her eyes and cheeks, smiling triumphantly at her efforts. It was like riding a bike.

Letting the fluffy pink towel drop to the floor, she admired her perky and fulsome breasts, the result of a ten thousand dollar loan from her brother and the aftermath from a bitter divorce. It would take her years to pay the amount, but it was worth every penny in rebuilding the confidence that was systematically stripped from her over the years.

Who was she now? How would she introduce herself? What would this man see? A thirty-year-old woman with three children under five, jobless, penniless, divorcee and in a world of hurt? Never in her wildest dreams would she have imagined these turns of events. She chastised herself for allowing morose thoughts to enter her mind. It would do her no good to dwell.

Tonight, she could be anyone. Tonight, she would be the strong, fun-loving, wild at heart woman she wanted desperately to be. Tonight, she would rebuild her life.

She pulled back her shoulders and took a deep fortifying breath. She had a date to meet and a new persona to slip on. She clutched the bright rouge lipstick and with a shaky hand smeared the lipstick on her plumped lips.

She slipped into the black tube dress, the one she had pulled out from deep within her closest, the one she had worn back in the days before she met HIM. She silently thanked the heavens that it still fit like a glove, even after housing and vacating three beautiful children. Pushing up her cleavage and smoothing down her flat-ironed hair, she grabbed her stilettos and clutch, and headed out.

She stopped momentarily at her children’s doors, peering in to see if they were asleep. Upon seeing her youngest, twelve-month-old baby in his cot, she paused, doubting her decision to leave, but then her vision of HIM with HER solidifies her resolve.

Shaking off the mother’s guilt, she raised her head high and strutted her new and improved version towards the inevitable.


Using stereotypes:

Old woman

Her white caterpillars connected in a frown as her beady black eyes took in the rowdy grandchildren at her door. Sinking further into her corner chair, she pulled the woollen blanket towards her droopy jowls, keeping her thin and wiry frame warm from the accompanying blast of the icy chill. The coldness crept into her osteoporotic bones and made her dentures rattle in her mouth as she shivered. She pushed her thick rimmed glasses back on her upturned nose with a skeletal finger. Clang! Screech! The sudden noise of a slammed door startled her sensitive state. A heavy blanket is placed on her, and the warmth of it envelops and entices her weary body and anxious mind for a sleep.

Hippie

His friends called him ‘Love Flower’ but his parents named him Jeremy. His home was a large commune off the grid, where like-minded people fed off the land and gave back to Mother Nature. His place of work was wherever his bare feet would carry him. His work station was any surface his scrappy frayed jeans would settle upon. His craft involved the strum of an acoustic guitar. He relied upon the good graces of passing people to throw unwanted coins into his weather-worn guitar case, thereby funding his weed smoking habit. If he was lucky, an occasional person would stop to listen, unfazed by his unkempt appearance. His lean body would bounce energetically with the beat. His head of unwashed blonde dreadlocks would sway from side to side, as his grubby fingernails strummed the guitar strings. Sometimes people walking past would curl their lips in disgust at the faded OP Shop tied-dyed shirt, his overgrown beard that brushed his chest, and at the lingering smell of unwashed body odour that was emitted from his pores as he worked up a sweat. He didn’t notice or care. He was in his element, young and carefree, unburdened by societal expectations, rejecting conventional values, and pursuing a life of enlightenment.


Final attempt:

Grandma

Her wispy white hair would sometimes peek out from under her woollen beanie as she sat in her favourite corner chair. With a red woollen blanket draped over her legs, her beady black eyes would watch her visitors like the Big Bad Wolf eyeing its prey. She wore a fearsome mask: a side glance, the slight tilt of her chin, and a furrowed brow. It was a stony expression that invited no conversation unless she was inclined to grace her company with small talk. She was the matriarch, domineering and proud, sitting on her throne ready to cast her judgements. Her progeny would come bearing gifts and seeking validation. She would award a smile for those that brought news of success and a scowl for those she thought unworthy. Like chess pieces, she would maneuver them, favouring her rooks and bishops, and carelessly discarding her pawns. Little did she realise that her game, in the end, there would be no winners as they all fall.

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READING BETWEEN THE LINES

Parent teacher interviews are an important time when parents can find out more on their child’s progress at school. It’s a time when parents get an insight from someone with an objective view on their child’s academic, emotional and social development.

Why are parent teacher interviews necessary for me?

I know nothing. My child’s after school conversations starts with a grunt and ends with a monosyllabic word.
Me: “How was your day?”
Mandy: noncommittal grunt
Me: “What did you do?”
Mandy: “Stuff.”
End of conversation.

My child forgets to relay important messages about classroom changes.
Me: (eyeing the tumbleweeds blowing past in the wind) “Mandy, why are you the only kid lining up?”
Mandy: “I don’t know!”
Me: “Are you sure you’re supposed to line up here today?”
Mandy: “Oh yeah, we’re supposed to line up at the gym.”

I’m assuming (and you know what they say about assuming things) that my child hears and conveys messages accurately.
Me: “Where is your school reader?”
Mandy: “We don’t have to do them anymore.”
Me: “Did Ms France say that?”
Mandy: “Not exactly in words.”
Me: “What does that even mean?”
Mandy: “Mum, trust me. I know these things.”

Also, I’m an introvert and uncomfortable with ad hoc meetings unless it’s necessary. Plus, I don’t like discussing awkward or sensitive matters with other parents nearby. So these parent teacher interviews are imperative to finding out what and how my daughter is doing at school and for me to relay any important information to the teacher.

We all know that parents can be sensitive when it comes to any perceived criticisms of their progeny. It’s no surprise that teachers would try to be tactful with their choice of words when describing their pupils. No teacher will say ‘your child is a nightmare to deal with!’ instead they might say ‘your child is full of life, vivacious’. They aren’t going to say ‘your child drives me nuts with their endless stupid questions!’ but they might choose to say ‘your child has a curious mind’. They might really want to say ‘your kid is a chuckle head’ but to limit death threats, they resort to ‘your child has untapped potential’.

As parents we are too close to the subject, too invested, too attached, to see any flaws and might expect to hear positive feedback. I wonder how much of the spiel that teachers give about their students are individualised and not a regurgitation of the same old, just to keep the peace. And if it isn’t a blanket statement that they give all parents, are they really saying what they mean or is it code for something else?


I enter the classroom, excited to hear news of my daughter’s progress. We do the obligatory small talk before delving into proper discussions.

“Is there anything you want to know about Mandy’s progress?” asks Mandy’s grade one teacher, Ms France.

I only have one burning question on my mind, I want to know if my daughter has told porkies about wearing her new glasses for class.

“No. Mandy told me she didn’t have to wear them anymore!” informs Ms France. “Sometimes when I see her sitting at the back of the room with her friends, I’ll ask her if wants to come sit closer but she’ll refuse. She doesn’t seem to want to wear her glasses and sometimes, when I ask about them, she tells me it’s not in her bag.”

Translation: I tried a few times but really, it’s not in my job description.

I should have trusted my gut. My Princess Porkie Lies will be getting a stern talking to tonight.

“Her writing is good. She found a way of finish the tasks quicker by writing lists. So now, I prompt her to do more writing and get her to think of other ways she could write. Last time, she conceded with doing a letter,” says Ms France, hesitating between sentences.

Translation: Your daughter is a Shortcut Sally.

I nod in understanding. This sounds like the Mandy I know.

“Her math is good. They are learning about addition, subtraction, fractions and a bit of division. Maybe you could do additions at home and make it fun with money. Kids love money,” says Ms France.

Translation: She sucks at maths. She needs help otherwise she has no hope with the other concepts.

Again, I nod in understanding. Her dad has some work cut out for him!

“Her reading is good. Just to warn you in the report, her progression isn’t the same as last time as the reading material has gotten harder,”

Translation: I’m telling you this in case you’re a high achieving parent and expect your child’s trajectory to be linear.

“She’s doing well,” says Ms France, leaning back and pushing out her chair.

Translation: Your time allocation is over. Please don’t ask anymore questions. I’d like to finish on time to go home and eat dinner. I’m starving!

Mirroring her body language to leave, because it’s plain as the nose on one’s face, I bid farewell and go pick up my gem. I’ll need to pull up my sleeves, put in some elbow grease, and do a bit of polishing to make my prized treasure shine bright like a diamond!


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A SLICE OF LIFE

I started my creative writing course this week and the first task in class was to use exactly fourteen words to write a life summary. It was read out loud for the other four classmates and teacher to hear and critique. Gauging from responses and the requests for me to reread the piece, I would assume that I completely missed the brief. My husband suggested that it wasn’t ‘metadata’ that anyone could understand and that I was trying too hard (sigh).

Is it true? Tell me your thoughts (please take pity on me and be gentle, I’m still learning).

An ode to my children:

Two warm embraces,
two sloppy kisses,
causes walls to break,
darkness to fade,
love.

Anyhow, my homework is to write a piece depicting a profound moment in my life, one that I would like to share and have critiqued in next week’s class. For the next six weeks, I’ll be sharing my writing pieces with you to read and enjoy.


A SLICE OF LIFE

I wiped the sweat off my brow with the back of my hand before tugging at the silk pyjamas that stuck to my body like second skin, feeling self-conscious. I was uncomfortable at the thought of wearing pyjamas for day attire but that was how the locals were dressed, and it was imperative that we didn’t stand out in the crowd.

“We mustn’t look like tourists or Vietnamese foreigners. The people will gouge us for every dollar if they sniff us out,” my mother informed me before we left my grandma’s shack, the humble two-room clay house where we were staying.

I took a deep breath, the cloying pollution no longer causing my lungs to seize, prompting a frenzied pull of the Ventolin puffer for relief.

“Daughter, hurry up! Don’t fall behind!” my mother admonished, not bothering to look over her shoulders as she walked ahead with my aunts and cousins, people introduced to me not twenty-four hours ago.

I trudged along, taking in the sights with a mixture of curiosity and bewilderment. There were street vendors wearing conical hats, squatting on both sides of the narrow lane, their baskets filled with readied merchandise for the day’s sale, hoping to make an honest living. Colourful rows of wicker baskets full of rambutans, longans, custard apples, durian and other exotic fruit not commonly seen in an Australian supermarket, lined the path. I’m stopped every few steps by a person wanting to sell their goods, haggling at a pace that I struggled to keep up with, despite being fluent in the language. I simply shook my head and avoided eye contact as I pushed forward.

My feet slowed to a stop as I saw several ducks laying prone on bamboo mats, feet tied, beaks opening and closing, gasping for their lives. My vision continued to be assaulted by distressed chickens crammed into lattice wooden crates, motionless and eerily subdued. Not a single quack or cluck came from these animals. I glanced away, tears threatened to fall, my throat felt tight, and the contents of my stomach wanted to make a second debut. I understood that these animals were food, but it was inhumane the way they were being treated. It felt wrong.

I turned to gauge my mother’s feelings, expecting to see her as shaken as I was, but her eyes swept absently over the animals and moved on. I felt upset that my mother was unaffected by the disturbing sight. The idea that this was a normal, everyday occurrence wreaked havoc with my sensibilities.

Nervously, I peered ahead to see what other atrocities I might witness. My mother had wanted to visit this market to get some groceries for the big family reunion. I had assumed we were going to a supermarket, like back at home, but instead we were at an open market.

The smell hit my nostrils before my brain could register the makeshift slaughterhouses. I pinched my nose to avoid the pungent odour of raw meat as my hand caressed my churning stomach. Carcasses hung on huge hooks above tables filled to the brim with different cuts of meat and offal. Flies feasted on the bloodied remains that were thrown haphazardly in dirty bins nearby. My eyes bulged at the confronting sight of mutilated pig and cow heads placed proudly as centrepieces. Thankfully, their eyes were closed. I got jostled and pushed as people bumped into my still and stunned form. The impact of seeing death was profound.

“Cousin! Why are you standing there like a stunned ass! Haven’t you seen a dead animal before?!” said my cousin Nga, her high-pitched laugh jolted me from my shocked state of mind.

I closed my slacked-jaw, embarrassed to have been caught unawares and being teased by stranger, even if she was family. I didn’t reply and continued walking. This was supposed to be my culture, my people, my family, but it all felt overwhelmingly foreign to me.

I could see my mother’s laughing face and bright smile, beaming with happiness at reconnecting with her lost family; the family that she had left behind when she became a Vietnamese refugee, the family that she looked upon with fondness as she reminisced on tales of the old days. It’s been eighteen long years of saving money to make this journey back. I was ecstatic for my mother, she deserved this happiness after all of our hardships. She was with her kin, this was her culture, her sense of belonging, her community, her happiness.

I was supposed to feel something being here, stepping foot on this land, being among its people. I needed to feel it; a connection, an anchor, an understanding.

Instead, I was a jumbled and conflicted mess. I was caught between two cultures. I felt the weight of my parent’s pressure to mold me into their perfect Vietnamese daughter; dutiful, meek, softly-spoken, and intelligent. Someone they could see married to a Vietnamese boy from a respectable family, with an equally respectable career. Someone to pop out a few grandkids, live nearby and be dependent on them for guidance and advice. In essence, I felt the pressure of familial loyalty being raised with the strong values and beliefs of the Vietnamese culture. I constantly tried to seek their approval and wanted to make them proud, for they had struggled and given up their home to give me a better life.

I felt guilty for not feeling the same sense of attachment to my heritage and wanting to adopt mainstream Western culture and ideals. I yearned to be accepted by my peers, to be considered Australian. I felt displaced and I didn’t feel like I belonged in either community. I was a vagabond.

How does one find their place in the world if they don’t know who they are, what they represent, feel connected to their culture and heritage, or have a sense of belonging to a community?

It was in the moments of witnessing my mother’s unadulterated happiness being among her community in her home country, that I forced myself to make a decision; be a drifter among both communities, forever feeling displaced or risk disappointing my parents and seeking my truth.

My own happiness was at stake.



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MY REMEDY FOR SCHOOL HOLIDAY BOREDOM

I promised myself that these school holidays, I would try really hard not to use Uncle TV to babysit my children. As much as the kids love him and I love that he is part of our lives and offers free babysitting at a drop of a hat, I wanted to give them experiences that didn’t involve technology or send me broke.

I had a plan to do loads of arts and crafts; rock painting, slime making, water painting, drawing, craft making with recycled materials. It was supposed to last a week. It kept them occupied for three days. During that time, the squabbling was kept to a minimum but without a backup plan for activities, they were at risk of boredom. We all know bored kids equals broken things, fighting and nagging.

So what did I do?

I took them for a big walk to a nearby oval and let them run off their leashes until they came back panting and tired. They enjoyed the fresh air and freedom. Two weary and satisfied children, one content parent and a good night’s sleep. Nine days left.

I created Project Weed Annihilation. The side court was chock-full of overgrown weeds, so I set them to work weeding. They thought it was fun (suckers!). Two tired and happy children, one grateful parent and a weed-free court. Eight days left.

I persuaded them to role-play ‘Cleaning Crew’. It involved cleaning the entire house and lasted several days. It was epic. They weren’t impressed with that game. Two grumpy children, one ecstatic parent and a cleaned house. Six days left.

I strongly encouraged them to play ‘Shopping at the Supermarket’. It involved making a grocery list and buying said groceries. This got me on the sh*tlist. Two angry children, one tired parent and groceries no one helped me carry. Five days left.

My husband took pity on our situation and suggested we do an overnight stay in a country town a couple of hours away. The catch? We would take public transport and walk EVERYWHERE. Anyone who knows me understands that I am ill-equipped for walking. Something about chaffing thighs, itchy sweating and sore feet just doesn’t appeal to me.

It took four bloody hours, three trains and a bus ride to get to our destination! We walked for hours on end! The only thing I was looking forward to was getting to the hotel and resting my tired feet. It was a pity that when I booked the place, I hadn’t realised it was a drive-in motel inn in the middle of bumfudge nowhere. We had to walk the Great Plains and trek Mount Everest to find solace in a hovel.

My germaphobe alert beacon was in full distress mode. The shower had black mould infestation, there was hair on the bathroom floor, towels had suspect stains, dust infiltrated all living spaces, and the beds left an itchy sensation. There was no way I was even bothering with their complimentary communal gym, sauna and spa. We couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

Highlights were an overpriced tram ride, eating from a kebab food truck for lunch and McDonald’s for dinner, and a walk through a beautiful park. The kids saw many interesting sights like a giant skeleton head, a British tram cafe, and statues. Two exhausted and satisfied children, two wiped out parents and experiences for the memory bank. We’re in the home stretch now.

It’s important to give children valuable experiences to create memories, provide learning experiences and develop an understanding of the world around them.

We asked Henry, the train/tram enthusiast, what his favourite part of the trip was.

His answer? The motel.


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THE LIEBSTER AWARD

The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The award is a way to be discovered but also to connect and support the blogging community. A great idea in promoting your own blog and others. Originally it was given out to blogs with less than 2000 readers but this has slowly lowed as the reward has gained popularity. It is now only 200 readers or less. It’s really an arbitrary number. If you like helping other blogs out go ahead and do it regardless of its size.

I would like to thank Rivergirl at River’s World for the nomination. This lovely lady was one of the first few people who started commenting on my blog posts, reaching out and forming a connection. In doing so, she gave me a boost of confidence. Instead of typing up a response and then deleting comments, I began pressing the enter button. Ok, enough of my mushiness!

River’s World is full of funny gifs, witty remarks, and good humour. Her posts are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Go check out River’s World and have a laugh!

Rivergirl’s impossibly hard questions for me:

1.  You’re a pigeon newly arrived in Hollywood. Who do you poop on first?

So many people, not enough poop to go around. It’s too hard to choose just one person.

2.  Donald Trump has been impeached. Mike Pence has been trampled to death at a gay pride parade. Nancy Pelosi has resigned her position and run off to Tahiti with a member of BTS. You’ve been chosen to be the next President of the United States. What’s your first executive order?

Wow. Just wow.

Such power could do serious damage if wielded poorly and I’m not sure I’d be the best commander of anything. I either make grand, life-impacting decisions without in-depth thought or struggle to choose between ham or salami sandwiches.

So… if the United States was unfortunate enough to have me as President, my first order would have to be a ban on salami sandwiches. You know… to make life choices easier for everyone.

3.  The Brussels Sprout is a much maligned ( and extremely gassy ) cruciferous vegetable. You run a PR firm and have just been hired to tweak it’s image. Go!

Scientists have discovered that eating twenty brussel sprouts a day will form sufficient gaseous fuel to allow humans the ability of self-propelled flight. You wanna fly? Eat those darn sprouts.

4.  Your lifelong dream of being a stripper has come true. What’s your stage name?

Candy Crusher (I was addicted to Candy Crush at one stage).

5.  Your cruise ship is sinking and you’ve scrambled onto a life raft only to realize it’s overloaded. What… or who… do you push overboard?  A case of craft beer, your significant other, the oars, a beloved pet wombat, or the ship’s navigator ?

*Note – if you say beer or wombat, you are dead to me*

This is an easy one. I’ll need sustenance in the form of wombat and beer. I’ll need oars to bat down those circling sharks. The significant other could come in handy for keeping insanity at bay, fishing and other survival needs. I’d push overboard the navigator because of you know… the best indicator of the future is the past.

Now for the nominees:

1. Seetha from 3 Little Birds. Seetha is a writer, a poet, a mother and an amazing, compassionate and supportive woman. Her work is emotive, empowering and insightful.

2. Kerry from Stories of Then. Kerry is an accomplished author with stories published in several anthologies, Ink Dreams and Heart of a Child. She offers valuable writing-related tips and advice.

3. Janea from My Dream Is To Tell Stories. Janea is the author of Searching for Fire, writer of poetry, short stories and writing-related topics.

4. Nathan from Nathaniel Fiction. Nathan is a new author, who has just released his book, Voices in the Dark. Part of the novel is free to read online.

5. Iain Saunders writes about mindfulness, life and business skills.

I recommend you check out the above bloggers and show them your support!

Post these rules:

1. Acknowledge the blog which nominated you.
2. Answer the questions your nominator asked.
3. Nominate two to six other bloggers who might appreciate the boost.
4. Ask them several unique questions.
5. Let them know you have nominated them.

And answer these questions:

1. It’s your first day at a new job, you’re in the lunchroom about to get your delicious leftover casserole, labelled with your name. Only problem is your new supervisor is sitting there eating it. What do you do?

2. Your phone is ringing. It’s a very important phone call that you must answer as callback is not an option. You’re stuck on a public toilet, surrounded by people in other cubicles. What would you do?

3. You’ve got two bags of rubbish and your bin is full. Your neighbour is prickly and doesn’t like other people putting their rubbish into her bin. You sneak out in the middle of the night to dump your rubbish anyway. As you lift the lid, your neighbour shines her torch on you. What’s your excuse?

4. You’re on a deserted island. A crate washes ashore. Inside you find the one thing that would make your life more bearable. What’s inside?

5. You’re on a reality TV show and to win you have to eat three of the following: bull’s testicle, monkey’s brain, fish eyes, bull’s penis, maggot cheese or soft-boiled fetal duck. What’s the lucky three?

While I would love to hear your responses, there is absolutely no pressure to participate. I am just happy to have you as part of my online community and this nomination is my way to recognise and help support your blog.

Thank you to everyone who likes, shares, comments and follows my blog.

xx Kathy