Love Me a Cashed-Up Bogan

  Welcome to The Lounge once again.

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  Link your posts below.

This week I discovered the new ultimate in the Aussie cashed-up bogan stakes.

#AngryDad.

AngryDad is a series of videos uploaded to Youtube by two naughty boy sons, Dylan and Mitchell.  They know just how to poke at their middle-aged Dad enough to get an explosive, expletive-laden rise.

AngryDad, frustrated by his kids bothersome antics, always calls for wife Sharon to step in and help and usually resorts to the good old-fashion clip ’round the ears to manage the bullying by his boys.

This is my favourite clip – I was almost rolling around on the floor.  Makes me proud to be Strayan.

 

Don’t view this one at work!

Found anything hilarious on the internet lately?

Love,

Robo X


The Soft Launch

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Not forgetting

My mother in law is a collector.

Mismatched crockery, linen, crystal, small pieces of rope tied together to make a longer length…

 

Fifty percent annoying, fifty percent admirable.

 

 

She’s from that practical generation.

The generation that understands hard work and knows what it’s like to save and wait for every possession.

The generation with an innate sense of frugality and of worth.

 

 

A strange item that my mother in law keeps has morphed, over the years, into a rather odd collection.

 

Remembrance cards – the little memorial keepsakes that are handed out at funerals.

She has hundreds but displays just a handful – they’re taped to the inside walls of a glass-fronted cabinet, in her kitchen.

 

 

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Greek immigrants to Australia formed solid bonds in those early years and together they built strong communities.  Growing up, we have always known elderly Greeks – we’d call them θεία and θείο, Aunt and Uncle, an extension of the family.  As the years passed on, they did too – I’ve often accompanied my parents to funeral services. I have a distinct and early memory of hugging my mother’s leg at a burial, my child’s mind silently questioning why the coffin was going downwards, when heaven was clearly up.

 

 

More often than not, the local Greek newspapers have entire pages devoted to death and memorial notices – quarter page photographs with a biography detailing the village in which they were born, their work in Australia and the names of their partner and children. It’s a rite of passage in the Greek community, it is customary to attend the funeral of someone you knew.  Our religion is dutiful in its commemoration of the dead and so is our culture.

 

 

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Koliva is a symbolic wheat recipe that is blessed and served at memorial services.

 

 

My mother in law’s remembrance cards are an offbeat assortment of the dead.  The photographs on some of her little cards are of young people, others are middle-aged but most are elderly.  They are relatives, friends, acquaintances, neighbours and compatriots.

People she knew, lived with and loved.

 

She looks in this cabinet every morning as she takes her pills and countless times throughout the day, her gaze drift through the glass door.

 

A steadfast reminder of mortality, the brevity of our existence and the importance of all we are left with – our memories.

 

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I learnt from my mother in law to keep remembrance cards.  They’re in my wardrobe, in a little cardboard box.  With each passing I attend, I add to my collection.  To me, they are primary evidence I can one day show my children – each card reperesents a life and each life has a moral to its story.

 

There were people before us. 

People who led rich, abundant lives. 

Some were sick, others were killed and some just grew old.

Value the people in your community and you too, will be valued.

 

 

The other day, I jovially asked my mother in law why she keeps all those cards.

She hesitated, let out an uncomfortable laugh and then said that she just can’t throw them away.

 

Neither can I.

 

 

I have never lost someone exceptionally close to me but I wonder, if that time comes, will I tape their remembrance card to my kitchen cupboard?  Will someone tape mine to theirs?

 

Do you keep mementos?  How do you, not forget?

 

Love,

Robo X

 

Linking up with Miss Jess and #IBOT


Hips Don’t Lie

Welcome to The Lounge for another week!

This week’s theme is ‘things I suck at’.

Oh where should I begin?!

 

 

 

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My diet.

 

I cannot get it right.

 

I’ve started more get-fit quests than I can remember and along the way, I’ve parted with a hefty fortune I’d rather forget.

 

There has been no expense spared on health magazines, diet pills, magic teas, meal replacement shakes and fill-me-up juices.  I’ve invested in gym memberships and personal trainers, microwave dinners, group fitness and pricey lifestyle programs.

 

I’ve also tried my fair share of diets.  Paleo, low GI, low cal, low carb, no carb, soup – both cabbage and vegetable, the blood group diet and the pinnacle of all crash diets, the grapefruit diet…

 

Things work for a while, then, nothing.

 

The other week my sister called me at 9pm.

 

She had the ‘tone’ in her voice.  Matter-of-fact, to the point and curt.

 

When the ‘tone’ comes out, sister means business.

 

 

 

Her monologue lasted for exactly two minutes, I timed her on the oven clock in my kitchen.

 

 

Robo, (she used my real name).  I’m just calling to say that I‘ve was thinking about you and I think that your weight problem can be fixed.  For once and for all. It isn’t that you don’t exercise because you do.  Your problem is portion control.  You don’t know when to stop and you don’t know what to eat.  And you drink alcohol and you like dessert, so it’s doubly bad.  My friend Effie has just lost 6 kilograms using Lite n Easy and she looks great.  (At this point she went on about Effie’s diet highs and lows for a while.)  And you have such a pretty face! It’s krima* for you to be so overweight. 

 

 

And so it was said.

 

The brutal honesty that only a sister can deliver.

 

I was not upset with her.

 

 

 

The fact of the matter is that I did lose weight after my last baby.  Most of the pregnancy weight came off.  And it stayed off, until I stopped being careful with food.  After that, he weight didn’t just creep back on, it piled on with retribution, quickly and I ballooned to an epic 83 kilograms.

 

 

83 kilograms.

The biggest I’ve ever been.

It’s humiliating to type the figure.

 

 

My saving grace is that I’m tall.  So to the average person, I don’t look ‘fat’.  I look like I could lose a few kilos.  But in reality, I need to lose a minimum of 13 kilograms, to place in the healthy BMI range.

 

 

I exercise regularly so I am not unfit.  I’m just too heavy.

 

And my sister is right.  I eat all the wrong things.

 

 

 

 

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My runners at the gym

 

 

So Lite n Easy it is.  I’m at the start of my second week and I feel pretty good.  I have energy and the food is much better than I anticipated.  There is also a huge amount of food and it arrives in neat little organised parcels that strangely satisfy the methodical, organised side of my personality.

 

 

Finally, I feel as though I am doing myself a huge, long overdue favour.

 

Somehow, this feels like it could be it.

 

 

 

Hopefully, this is it.

Fingers crossed, I’ll learn my lesson.

 

 

How’s your diet?  Any tips?  Who is your critical friend?

 

 

Love,

 

Robo X

 

 

 

*a shame

 

 


Greed is Not Good

Welcome to The Lounge for another week…

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Next week it’s all about Winter, this week it’s all about Money.

If was ten times smarter, (and blessed with the ability to commit and see tasks through to their end), I would like to have become a Detective.

 

 

The thrill of the chase is clearly in my blood.  When a huge case breaks, especially in NSW, I’m insatiable.    I relish all media until I’ve explored the story to its fullest.  I form my own conclusions about the Whodunit and it becomes my ‘topic of the week’ as the story unfolds.

 

 

Most recently, the crime that’s had me checking the news at an alarming rate, is the one involving 20 year old student, Jamie Gao and ex-NSW Police Detectives, Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara.  As soon as Jamie’s body was found wrapped in plastic and floating off Cronulla Beach, it was safe to assume that he was not an innocent party in this case.

 

 

Greed does not take long to strike.

 

This boy, barely old enough to be a man, must have thought he was untouchable.  What was he thinking, mixing in those murky circles?

 

How a kid can be involved in such a high stakes crime, how a kid can be acquainted with such high profile police and criminals, is too far-fetched to be believable.

 

 

The bittersweet upshot of this particular case is that millions of  dollars’ worth of methamphetamines did not make it to our streets. This time…

 

Another young Jamie Gao is undoubtedtly climbing the ranks. Another untouchable.

 

 

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Source:  SMH

 

 

Greed is never good.

Continue reading


Abercrombie Street Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for linking up with The Lounge!  This week, we’re talking ‘parks’. 

 

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In the 1980s, a trip to the Abercrombie Street park was a rare treat. It didn’t happen on a daily basis, but when we were allowed to go, we’d tear down that hill, as fast as our little JC sandals could carry us.

 

 

 

 

Back then, parks with decent play equipment, were few and far between.  If you had a good one nearby – you were definitely lucky.

 

 

 

 

The Abercrombie Street park consisted of a see-saw – steel and a plank of wood, a set of swings – steel and a couple of planks of wood with chain, and a big, metal slippery dip.

 

 

 

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Our monumental slippery dip had sky-scraper dimensions.  For the few short-lived seconds of being at the top, you were king or queen of the world – the tallest person for miles, with a tail of kids lined up, waiting on the ladder beneath you, at your mercy.

 

 

 

 

Upon negotiating the steep angle of the slide and working up the courage to finally let go, you were catapulted down the metal surface at death-defying speed.  The exhilaration of the slide was epic, but it was all too brief.  The unavoidable conundrum of a good landing was always an issue.  Alighting at a short distance from the slide was the goal, but landing in the dirty ditch at its base upon dismount, was often the reality.

 

 

And God help you in the summer!  Summer brought with it an added slippery dip problem – the elation of a good quick slip down the slide, versus a well-seared bottom and a few potential tears…

 

 

 

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The see-saw, like the slide, was no mean feat.  If you shared the see-saw with a similarly sized kid, you’d be in park heaven – but those times, when a bigger bully would turn up, smirk and sit on the other side…  Those times were filled with terror.  The minutes felt like hours as you would hold on, as long as you could, up high up in the air.  Before too long however, you would inevitably start to inch down, splinters from the weathered plank of wood would inject your thighs and hands and you’d smudge your face with dirt, when wiping away the hot tears.

 

 

As I got older I learnt the reckless skill of slowly walking up a see-saw, then racing down the other side as it slammed to the ground.  Such skill required great balance and a dexterity that could only be achieved upon becoming a veteran of the park.

 

 

 

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The swing set was always my last stop.  A push-off from an older sibling or neighbour and I was set, gliding through the air as high as I could go.  The freedom of swinging engaged my imagination, but by far, the best benefit was the chance to cool down and rest my hot face against the cold chain before the long, hot walk back up the hill.

 

 

 

The Abercrombie Street park was a proper park!

 

If you fell, it hurt.  If you didn’t get a turn, you didn’t get a turn.

 

 

 

 

No synthetic soft landings, no plastics, no colour, no canopies, no barriers, no fencing, no safety standards, no litigation.

 

Just grass, trees and a bit of wood and metal.

 

 

 

As far as we were concerned, it could’ve been Disneyland.

 

 

 

 

Parks have changed.  What was your park like when you were growing up?

 

 

 

 

 

Love,

 

Robo X

 

 


I Reckon Midwives Rock!

Welcome to The Lounge for another Thursday.  This week, our keyword is Midwife.

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Birthing my baby has been my stand-out experience of self-determination, personal endurance and pure love.

I can’t imagine anything that could take its place.

 

 

That day in 2008, like millions of other women before me, I put my fears aside, managed the indescribable pain and did one of the most important things I will ever accomplish.

 

 

Then, two years later, I did it again…

 

 

And my mum was right.  The minute babies are born, somehow pain washes over the woman and it is substituted by the intensity that is Maternal Love.

Unmatched Love.

 

Birthing my babies took stamina, resilience, some visualisation and a great deal of positive thinking.

 

It also took support.

 

My husband who held my hand.

A doctor who was cool and collected.

And a midwife.  An amazing angel-midwife!

 

 

She listened with an empathetic ear, she encouraged me to soldier on and she articulated my feelings when I was labouring and could not speak.

She knew how to manage a soon-to-be-mother with sensitivity, a smile and a bucket load of confidence.

 

 

As Monday is International Day of the Midwife, I wanted to create a little awareness on my blog about these special people.

 

 

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More of a calling than a career, I reckon.

 

Have you written your birth story?  Link your post below and please, show some support for #IDM2014 on Monday.

 

 

In the mean time, you can check out my favourite Midwife Blogger here.  She rocks!

 

 

Happy International Day of the Midwife for Monday!

 

 

Love,

Robo X