Tag Archives: #ibot

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.

 

 

Image

 

 

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.

 

 

Image

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.

 

Image

 

 

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


Yesterday’s Virgin

So 2014 started with a literal bang.

Here’s my list of bangin’ events, so far.

 

 

One.

Illegal fireworks organised by some fellow campers at inland NSW.  On the way back from the short bushwalk to said fireworks, I lost my camera flash.

Karma.  Participation in illegal activities.

 

 

Two.

Upon returning home to Sydney I was hit with news that I would be hosting a family function.

Fifteen people, ten kidlets, one day’s notice.

Fun.  And a great excuse to speed clean the house.

 

 

Three.

The night before this function, the impossible had to happen.  I innocently killed a couple of stray ants that I found in my front room with a little fly spray.

Upon returning to the front room twenty minutes later, I found an absolute gold mine of ants.  Tablespoons full of ants.  Some dead, some dying and others trying to get the fuck out to safe ground…

It was apocalyptic.

Too apocalyptic for the month of Jan.

 

 

Four.

Today, the day after the big family event, I realised that I have a serious case of silverfish.  Six t-shirts ruined with tiny weird looking holes.  My friend, Google says I’m fucked and need to head to Bunnings.  Stat.

But that’s a job for tomorrow.

 

 

So how’s your New Year?

I hope it’s awesome coz mine is a bit on the ‘how’re you going’ side…

 

 

Image

 

 

And as for the title of this blog post.  When I googled silverfish, this book cover popped up.

What a byline…  I think this protagonist, too, has encountered a few silverfish.

 

 

 Happy 2014!

Hope it rocks!

 

 

Love,

Robo X


Waste Not

The events of last week left me feeling flatter than usual. So when Friday night finally arrived, all I could do was make myself comfortably numb, close my screens and set myself up on the lounge to reflect.

 

 

Life, aside from the predictability of the routine, is OK.

Nothing bad has happened to me?

 

 

Last week, I had the opportunity to see life from the perspective of someone less fortunate.

And I’ll tell you bluntly, what I saw was fucked.

 

 

The incident was on my mind all week.

I still think about it now.

 

 

When I find myself complaining, I remember.

When I think about my kids, I remember.

When I noticed too many lights on in my home tonight, I remembered…

 

 

And I got up and switched them off.

 

 

Image

 

 

Because some people rub sticks together to get their light.

Because some people don’t have a magical white switch to flick.

Because some people don’t live in homes, with lights that they can leave on.

 

 

I was angry with myself last Friday.

First World Fuckwit’s Syndrome.

Guilty.

 

 

But sometimes it’s good to be angry.

Anger puts a fire in my belly. It makes me want to do something.

Something worthwhile.

 

 

Do you get FWFS?  What puts the fire in your belly?

 

 

Love,

Robo X

 

#IBOTing for the first time in ages over at Essentially Jess


Hump Day

Day two of the last week of school holidays and the dreaded hump day is here. 

It comes around on every school break.  It’s the day I realise that there’s limited holiday left and full-time work is just around the corner.

 

 

Great big exhale.

 

 

Most of my posts relate to the fact that I love my job and my kids at school.  I’m passionate about teaching most of the time.  But inevitably and I doubt that I’m alone on this, in the last week of holidays, the idea of returning to work bears a heavy, anxiety-inducing burden.

 

 

Today I’m worrying.

 

I’m worrying about a procedural review that I’ve been asked to conduct at school.  It’s something I haven’t done before, so I’m imagining late nights, Excel spreadsheets and tedious red tape.

 

I’m worrying about the student council elections that I have to arrange, with votes I’ll have to tally and kids I’ll have to disappoint.

 

I’m worrying about the black dog that term three weather often brings.

 

I’m worrying about the mornings and how on earth I’ll get my two dressed, fed and into the car on time, every day.

 

I’m worrying, as always, about my ‘day care guilt’ and I’m wondering if by working, I’m actually doing the right thing by my children.

 

 

Another great big exhale.

 

 

Sorry, but it’s hump day and I’m on a school holiday downer.

 

 

Do you worry about returning to work and leaving your kids?

Any tips?

 

 

Love,

Robo X

 

 

Linking with Essentially Jess for a bit of #IBOT action.

 


The kindness of Strangers

Over the last few days, I’ve read what feels like hundreds of blog posts.

Taking part in last month’s Digital Parents Blog Carnival meant that I would opportunely acquaint myself with many blogs, some I knew and others I had not heard of.

 

 

Some Bloggers pose questions, while others offer opinions.  Most posts are versions of reality, but some are far removed from my reality.

It’s these ebbs and flows that make the blogging ride so enjoyable.

You can keep reading, if you want.

 

 

Checks and Spots is a blog I came across in the Carnival – one that I look forward to revisiting.

 

Clare’s post, The One Thing I Wish I Knew About Motherhood asked 16 women what they wish someone had told them, before they set sail as a parent.

 

klimt-gustav-mother-and-child-detail-from-the-three-ages-of-woman-c-1905

 

 

At the risk of sounding overconfident, I knew I would be OK with the arrival of baby number one and thankfully, I was blessed with a text book dream baby; he played nice.

 

 

It was baby number two who I was worried about.

I was not as self-assured about my sanity with the arrival of my second kid.

 

 

There were so many more variables at play.

 

It wasn’t just me who had to get my act together, there was a 2 year old as well, who might have other plans.

There was Post Natal Depression that I’d heard about first hand, the memory of labour to worry about, another change to the dynamic of the household, my body, my patience…

Experiencing the warm, fuzzy, open-all-hours, newborn baby stage, this time with another little traveler in toe, made me very nervous.

 

 

People I spoke to were quite specific about bub number two having turned their world upside down.

 

 

But a woman I worked with at the time, Anne, set the record straight.

She listened and empathised and then she gave me her simple philosophy – the best advice I’ve ever been given.

 

 

Baby Must Thrive, Mother Must Survive.

 

 

According to Anne, it was simple.

 

All I had to do was take care of my babies and take care of myself.

 

Feed the baby, play with the older one and rest whenever possible.

Do the housework when I could, cook simply and freeze meals.

 

Do only what you can.

Attempting what you can’t accomplish is futile.

 

 

Just ensure the baby thrives and you survive.

 

 

Anne’s words became my mantra for the next two years.  

They helped in gaining perspective.

 

Now I’m a mum of two and a full time employee.

If I am tired, I try to rest.

Sleep is elusive but toys underfoot and mountainous laundry, are not.

 

 

So God bless Anne P, the tall blonde from Cronulla, who I briefly worked with, years ago.

I only knew you for a very short time but you gave me the best motherhood advice I’ve been given.

 

 

Wisdom hey…

Just paying it forward.

Got any good advice for parents?

 

 

Love,

Robo X

 

Linking up for a very long overdue #IBOT over at Essentially Jess!

 

 


Mummy/Miss and Manic Mornings

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mornings are incredibly busy.  Busy to the point of manic.

 

220px-School_zone_flashing_light_warning_sign

 

Being a teacher means that I divide myself into two halves, two personalities.

 

From 6am-8am I’m Mummy, getting my own kids off to school.  This involves all the usual stuff, (I won’t bore you), as well as making myself presentable and racing out the door to embark on my hour long commute – three drop-offs, my own included.

 

While my little Crapastra putts along, we listen to music and do a little in-car dancing.  In the back seat, they fight, they cry, they laugh.  I navigate through the traffic, run lists through my head, apply make-up at the lights and secretly pray that it is not a morning where Miss 2 throws up her breakfast – her latest party trick.

 

Mummy! Mama! MUM!

 

 

After drop-off number two, I drive myself to school and park in our impossible car park.

 

My title changes from Mummy to Miss and I navigate again, this time through the corridors to my staffroom, hopefully in time to stick some bread in the toaster, which I eat on my way to my first class.

 

Freaking mornings…

 

 

My students, each with their attitudes and sensitivities, are my other children.  Some days I want to gaffer tape their mouths closed but other days, their energy keeps me moving.

 

My own children are my life, but my students is where I draw my inspiration.

 

 

It would be unethical of me to tell you their stories but some have such incredible tales to tell.  Hardship, disadvantage…  Their stories may seem far-fetched but they are very genuine.

 

My manic mornings pale in comparison.

 

The vast majority of my students make me want to try harder, be a better teacher.  They inspire me to do more and invest more, so school means something, to all of us.

 

 

Miss, can I ask..?

Miss, do you have..?

Miss, I need…

I know I won’t change their world but changing an hour in their day, providing an experience listening, helping – it can improve their existence.

 

This part of my job is not like academic achievement and report comments, it can’t be measured.  You’re rewarded with a nod, or a smile, or a student wanting to stay beyond the bell, to ask another question. 

To me, that is inspiring.

 

 

So when the last bell rings I’m heading out the door, out the car park and back in my Crapastra, navigating the streets of Sydney once more, rushing home to start the afternoon shift.

 

Freaking Afternoons…

 

 

So, what inspires you?

Do you have an alter ego?

 

Linking up with Jess for #IBOT over at Essentially Jess.

 

 

Love,

Robo X


What are your must-sees?

The Godfather trilogy aired on free to air the other night.  Such a fabulous lot of films.  Casting, score, story – this trilogy ticks all my boxes.

I love films that unfold slowly and keep me guessing.

 

 

I like different movies for different reasons.

Although I’m 36, I’m still unable to pinpoint my favourite movie.  I can only narrow it down.

 

 

I love Taxi Driver and so does My Man.  I love the way that after 15 years of watching it, I still wonder who Travis Bickle might be.

Travis Bickle

 

I love Blade Runner because it makes me think about the future.

bladerunner

 

I love Strictly Ballroom. It’s bogan-ness makes me so incredibly happy.  Every time I watch it.

strictly

 

We can all learn from the strong sense of family in The Castle.  It’s the vibe.

Thecastle

 

I love The Breakfast Club.  Because each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.

TBClub

 

The Shawshank Redemption sees innocence win, even after a very hard road.  There could be no better ending to this story.

shawshank

 

The Ten Commandments is a very special movie that always makes me marvel at Christianity.

charlton-heston-as-moses-the-ten-commandments-1956-paramount1

 

Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now make me think about the atrocity of war.  It makes me think just how strong our soldiers need to be.

full_metal_jacket

Apocalypse

 

Love Actually is just beautiful.  Such a beautiful story about different types of love and of course, love conquering all.

COlin

 

Different films take me on a different journeys.

 

 

Right now I’m loving a few series as well:

 

Breaking Bad tops my list, Yo!

BrBa

 

Sex and the City is one that I re-watch when I want to laugh or cry, or laugh and cry at the same time.

john_corbett

 

I loved Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold in The Wonder Years.  I would love my kids to see this.

The WOnder Years

 

I love The Office UK because of David Brent.

the office

 

And I adore The Office US because of Michael Scott.

THe office US

 

The Sopranos makes me think about how the other half live.

THe Sopranos

 

I could go on…

 

 

What are your faves?  What are your must-sees?

 

Robo X

 

Linking up with Essentially Jess today.  A Dancing Essentially Jess, no less!  #IBOT