Zesty Mumma's Words

A life lived without passion is a life half lived

Archive for the tag “relationship”

Stepford Wives to Kim Kardashian -The pressure on Young Women

Long ago in the dark ages, the 1950’s that is, poise and the ability to dress attractively were desired attributes for the cultured young woman. These and the ability to clean a home and cook a roast dinner all the while dressed as a Stepford wife.

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You may think that these standards are long since resigned to the depths of history, but let me ask you what is the difference between the pressures on those 1950’s housewives and the images the likes of Kim Kardasian and her ilk are transmitting into the brains of young women today.

Poise was important then and just so today. Think of the skill involved in presenting the perfect selfie to the world. Surely the poses required in those social media posts are a reflection of the type of “poise” desired for the young in society today.

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Ok so the Stepford “pearls and twinset” look has well and truly gone by the wayside but young women today are faced with an equally unattainable standard splashed over the internet and magazines. Thanks to the same Kardasian clan and lesser media starlets it is not good enough for young wives and mothers to be just cute, they have to be sexy as well. Seductively posed pouting in the bathroom mirror or suggestively filmed with breasts partly exposed, while driving their children to school. This is standard fodder for the all powerful social media platforms. So while the unattainable 1950’s and 60’s standards of perfection is thankfully no longer valid, it has been replaced by an equally unattainable standard – pole dancer style.

You might call me a dreamer but in the words that just dropped out of Amy Farrah Fowler, as I write this blog and watch The Big Bang at the same time, “why can’t we go back to the time when brains were sexy.”

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Verdant Mountain Peaks and Gravel Pits -What Contrast!

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This weeks blog is the first part of my truly solo journey, dragging my greatly overpacked bags with me. I usually don’t make such a huge mistake with my estimation of what will be needed for a trip, but what can I say, we all screw up at sometime.

I’m heading north to Granada via Malaga by bus, which in Spain is a great cheap way to get around. The buses are modern and clean, with many many services to choose from. They also offer exceptional sightseeing experiences along the way.

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As the gentle hills of the coast give way to the towering peaks of the Sierra Nevada they form a dramatic gateway to the old Arabic fortress city of Granada. The modern day city however, is a melting pot of locals, tourists, artists and a strange phenomenon “German Hippies”. Two nouns I haven’t found synonymous to a large extent in the past, yet here in Granada they exist in great numbers complete with multiple piercings and dreadlocks.

The city is packed on this long weekend but in this case it only adds to the atmosphere. Colour and music fill the streets. Above the city the mountains are ever present and in spite of the heat it isn’t hard to imagine a winter backdrop of snow capped peaks. Sitting atop a smaller hill, watching regally over the chaos below, is the Alhambra ( the old Moorish palace) and its exquisite beauty can not be over estimated. Abundant clear fresh water gushes or tinkles or drips from the sides of the hill resulting in verdant, shady gardens and natural forest. Moorish poets described the Alhambra as “a pearl set against emeralds”.

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When the might of the combined Catalan and Castile Empires of Spain finally rested Granada from the Arabic Moores it caused great sadness. The last Emirate of Granada was so distraught at the loss of his beautiful home he sobbed as the caravan of family and possession’s made its way out of the palace gates. His mother, a woman that could give Cruella Deville a run for her money, was heard to to tell her heart broken son not to “weep like a baby for something he couldn’t hold onto like a man”. Ouch, that’s one tough mother!

Viewing the palace in the late afternoon from a neighbouring hill; the golden haze from the setting sun dripping like melted gold over her ancient turrets while flamenco buskers serenade the on lookers, it was easy to understand how this city could inspire such passion.

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The bus to Alicante, my next destination, didn’t inspire anything but a sore backside but the scenery was still worth the discomfort. Spain is essentially one gigantic rock. I know I have told you all about the romantic olive groves, the hectares and hectares of berries and of course the very very cheap wine Spain produces ( made with them grapes they grow) but to see the terrain as we head to Valencia state is to look upon a gravel pit. Popping up amongst the rocks here and there are the beginnings of the citrus groves this part of Spain is so famous  for.

However, there is a down side to all this agriculture in a country that essentially is desertlike in many areas. In 2011 a massive earthquake struck at a very shallow depth causing devastating deaths, major damage to infrastructure and left 10,000 homeless. A year on from the tragedy and an investigation ruled that the cause was the extraction of ground water, which had been going on for years.

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The scary thing is that the agriculture is still going on and it still doesn’t rain much in Spain.

Tips

  • When booking buses – if you are booking connecting buses that are run by different companies always make sure you have a couple of hours between the connection. In Spain buses run to there own timetable and you need to account for any delays that usually occur.
  • The Alhambra – Makesure you book your ticket to the Nazarid Palaces and Generallife at least a month before you leave, if you are visiting at peak time.
  • It is only about €15 for the ticket to all Alhambra attractions so don’t book on a sight that says it is €35 or €40 as these sites are for guided tours.

How To Make It To SevilleWithout A Complete Meltdown – A Sangria or Two Helps

 

The air is surprising when I wheel my bags out into the street on my first day in Spain, clear and cool but with the hint of what is to come. Like a tap you turn on that first runs cold but slowly you feel warm water mixing with the cool, till finally all you have is hot.

My 500mtr walk to the metro is not uncomfortable, with the help of a couple of passerby’s, a little English and a bit of sign language, what I already knew was confirmed (the metro was straight down the street). I really didn’t need to ask I think it was more just for reassurance.

Once I had taken the escalator to the first level of the Metro it was another thing, no ticket office, no one to try and speak to, only machines, but thankfully a large map and three really lovely Canadian boys. You really don’t want me to bore you with the details of how I manage to hold on to all my bags, get my money out and pay for my ticket, lets just say it was hard. Getting through the turnstiles was just as difficult but thankfully Spanish men are really helpful as well.

Intercity trains are run by Renfe, which is situated at  Atoche, the largest of Madrid’s stations, the old terminal having been transformed into a tropical covered garden.  It was easy to find the customer service to enquire about tickets, but as it turned out, not quite so to buy one. After being directed to an office and a machine that spat out tickets notifying you of your place in the queue,  I realise in horror that my ticket said A244 when the LED display notifying the next customer to be served was only saying A103. With a single customer service representative working I quickly realised my dream of getting to Seville by lunch time was out the window.

During the next hour and a half I noted with perverse glee the many travellers that walked into the office and looked around in confusion, only to be told by another customer about the machine. Once they’d taken their ticket I waited for the inevitable series of reactions. Firstly a quick glance down at their number, then a corresponding glance at the flashing display for the current ticket to be called, followed by one of two actions when they realised how long the wait would be. The first was horrified disbelief, really entertaining. The best however, were the people that nervously scanned the seated customers with a half smile on their lips, certain that someone was playing a huge joke on them and they were about to “get punked”.

To be honest I’m really not that sure there wasn’t some comedy show being secretly filmed for Spanish television cause here is the rub, when I finally arrived at the glorious moment of my ticket being called, feeling like I had won the lottery, I was told ” sorry but this office is for pre booked tickets, you have to go to another ticket office to purchase tickets for travel today!”

All I want to say is I arrived in Seville at 4.30, took me longer than it should have, cost more than it would if I had booked and paid before I left Australia and it is my own fault. Train travel in Spain is actually brilliant, fast and clean and once you get the hang of it, very easy.

Seville is a seriously beautiful city, particularly the old Jewish quarter, which really is the only place to stay. There are far too many awesome sites to visit that I won’t mention them here, just google images and research them, totally worth it. The train station was relatively close to my hotel according to the map, so once again McDonalds, their black tea and free wi fi was greatly appreciated. I sat down drank my tea, had a wrap and sent a few messages to assure friends and family that I was still alive.  Unfortunately the last message to my son finally depleted my iPad battery and I realised with horror that my phone had died as well. Aargh!

I almost crumbled into pure panic at that moment because I hadn’t written the address of my pension down on paper and had no  idea of the name. However, just before I opened my mouth to scream I realised I had actually printed out the booking form, handing it to a taxi driver I sank with relief into the seat. Again as much as it pains my to say it, without a charged phone to follow google maps, there was no way I would have found the hotel if I had taken the bus. The taxi took me straight there and only cost €8. The narrow rabbit warren of streets and lanes in the old city was too hard to navigate on your own.

I had chosen La Montorena because of the position and price of course but also because of the mosaic lined foyer and roof top terrace and it turned out to be a good one. My single room was a shoe box but the bed was fine and the small bathroom opposite was mainly used by me alone. Again it may only have been €26 a night but the cleanliness was remarkable.

As I mentioned before but my trip to Spain is an extended one, nearly three three months in total then a month in England, so my bags are heavy. The narrow marble staircase up to the first and second floors made it impossible to drag up my huge rolling backpack. I had actually anticipated this and packed everything I thought I might need for the weekend into my  overnight bag, so I store the big one downstairs.

Seville was my first taste of the heat of summer in southern Spain and it is strong, but being dry it is bearable at the same time, not the sticky ever present humidity of the tropics. Walking around the scenic sites is therefore a mostly comfortable experience. Bars are abundant, food is cheap and beverages (alcohol included) is even cheaper so once the heat drains you a little it is easy to recover your strength. Sangria in particular is an effective medicine.

Low cost accommodation can have a bad reputation for many reason, noisy young travellers for one thing. Not that they weren’t present at La Montorena but they weren’t that noisy. These days however, you are just as likely to find older travellers, just like yourself, they love to talk and the roof top terrace was the perfect place meet the other guests.  I met a lovely Danish couple who had just arrived and were making a return visit. There is a definite comoraderie that you don’t get in resorts and upmarket hotels,  maybe a sense of shared experience!

Tips

  • Work out your metro train trip prior to taking it – mine involve taking 3 different train lines to the main station which I do think is weird when I was actually on the airport line to begin with but hey it’s Spain. And write it down – you will not remember!
  • Book and pay for your intercity train ticket before you leave home – you do not want to star in Spanish Candid Camera!
  • Buy a power  converter also before you leave home – we rely so much on technology today you CANNOT be stuck without your device, that is unless you want to have a nervous breakdown!
  • cafe/bars are cheap but even cheaper is grocery stores, the small corner store variety no exception. So if you are really trying to live cheaply  a knife, rice wafers, avocado, tomato and some smoked salmon under a roof top cabana, with a €2.99 2011 bottle of red is fabulous ( just make sure the wafers you buy don’t have some sickly sweet creamy substance inside because you couldn’t read the label otherwise your eating with your fingers)

 

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Functional Dysfunctionality – Families Where Would We Be Without Them

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Families are complex and I don’t think there are many people  on the planet would disagree with that. Just navigating the intricate labyrinth of internal relationships can be a mine field and can make your mind bleed at the same time; brother sister, mother daughter, husband wife, father son, then lets add aunts, uncles etc etc to the mix. I believe that most of our families work on the basis of functional disfunctionality.

Which brings me to my mother, Monica, a spritely impish woman in her seventies. She is incredibly active, still playing tennis and riding her pushbike many times a week, looking after grandchildren and great grandchildren on a regular basis and walking everywhere she can. Born during the Second World War she lost her father while he was a soldier in the British army. Her mother, having four children, had to find work and placed three of those children in an orphanage. Like so many of the children of that time loss was just part of her life and just like the English do so well, she just got on with life.

As you would imagine security to my mother is a very important thing. She doesn’t understand the waste she sees constantly in society today. People have far more disposable income than ever before but use it far less wisely. I tell you all this to explain what happened on my first trip to New Zealand and Queenstown in particular.

Even before we left Australia, in the planning stages of our trip, my mother told me that the main thing she wanted to do was visit Milford Sound. It wasn’t a trip I had envisioned for myself but as the tour guide I knew I would have to find out a little bit about about it. The first part of that trip saw us spend ten days in the North Island before taking the ferry to Picton. We stayed in Wellington for a few days, where I picked up some brochures. When I read the price of the trip I knew I would have to be skilful when breaking this news to my mother. After dinner the night before we left I sat down next to Monica, who was happily watching the television, drinking a cup of tea and nibbling on chocolate, perfect I thought, her heaven.

“So mum” I say, carefully as you go, “I’ve been looking up about your trip to Milford Sound”.

“Yes,” I could tell by her tone she was excited; phew I thought this is going to be easy.

“Well from what I can see, you take a bus from Queenstown all the way to Milford then on to a boat ……” I went through the whole scenario with her.

“This trip here” I held up the first brochure. “Is $159 NZ” I heard a squeak come out of her mouth but I ignored it thinking I could finish her off with my secret weapon.

“But look at this one, it’s on special for $144,” who could argue with that I thought. Monica that’s who, I think she nearly had a coronary.

“Oh that’s too much I can’t afford that,” Mind you this is the same woman that wouldn’t hesitate to buy a $200 dress if she really wanted it.

Eventually I had to let it go cause there was just no reasoning with her and the argument was getting heated. Even the fact our exchange rate at that time gave us $1.25 NZ for every $1.00 AU, could not sway her.

On the South Island things calmed down and I didn’t mention the trip to Milford again. A couple of days before we arrived in Queenstown out of the blue my mother says.

“I think I will do the trip to Milford Sound, I was just being silly.” I remained calm; I’d kind of expected this about face. Generally it is just the unexpected that people react to, when their brain has time to process the information they’re usually ok. So I didn’t say too much, not wanting to gloat.

“That’s good mum, I know you’ll enjoy it”.

“We’ll see,” she said ominously.

The day we arrived in Queenstown was a cool day, so once mum was settled with her cup of tea I went to reception to use the Internet. Deciding that I probably needed to book the trip to Milford while I was there I made it for Tuesday, two days away.

When I got back to our accommodation mum had found a couple of young backpackers to talk to so she was in a great mood.

Waiting till we were alone I said in the brightest voice possible, “ I booked our trip to Milford Sound.”

Monica nearly choked on the marmalade toast she was eating, “what did you do that for, I can’t afford that.” She proceeded to huff and puff, working herself into lather. I thought at that moment that my mother might have been suffering from either Alzheimer’s disease or Schizophrenia.

It was my turn to “WHAT” her.

“Excuse me. Didn’t you tell me the other day that you had changed you mind and wanted to go”?

“Oh, you shouldn’t listen to me,” to say I was flabbergasted at that moment was an understatement.

I won’t bore you with anymore details; needless to say it was very tense for a while. I did take the trip to Milford and had an amazing time, while my mother stayed in Queenstown. As I say families are not for the faint hearted, you possibly may need a PHD to understand them.

Choice and Commitment – A hard lesson to Learn

The last few mornings I have been picking up and taking my friends two young daughters to school. The morning drop off is something I haven’t had the pleasure of partaking in for quite a while and I will readily admit I will not miss it. Crazy is a word that springs to mind, kids, cars (not a good mix) parents, dogs it’s all there. I can’t help looking back to my own primary school years when it was just lots of kids walking and the occasional car.

The two little girls I have been chaffeuring are absolutely gorgeous and no trouble at all, so it has been a pleasure. As an observer I have laughed to myself at the funny little characteristics that children take on relevant to their position in the family. The youngest is an impish, quirky, funny girl who tends to be babied by her siblings, while the oldest is a gentle and calm person who takes her responsibility to her younger sibling very seriously.

I can see the older girl in later life in a position where these beautiful characteristics are in high demand, i.e. nursing or teaching.

Today however, wasn’t a great day for the little one, her sister wasn’t going to school as she had to go to the dentist. This meant the little one has to go to school by herself.    She wasn’t happy!

Being the youngest she is used to always knowing that at least one of her siblings are always near at hand (she does have an older brother that is able to get himself to high school). She tried all the tricks that a youngest child tries, they plead, they cry and they stubbornly refuse to budge.

I truly wanted to keep her with me, it would have been so easy. We could have had a lovely girlie day and it was very tempting, but I didn’t relent. If you allow a child to stay home from school cause she doesn’t feel like going, does that same person not go to work as an adult because they don’t feel like it? Ok that might sound like a stretch but where does it stop?

One reason that cemented my determination to encourage her to go to school was the fact that she had promised her parents that she would. She kept repeating, “I shouldn’t have promised, I shouldn’t have promised”.  This nine year old had learnt something that many adults never learn, the implications of making a commitment. Her parents have done a great job, they successfully taught their child about choice and commitment.

This skill can be a determining factor for success in every aspect of your adult life.

So we sat in the sun, she cried, I cuddled her and she eventually got up and chose to walk into her classroom, while I breathed a sigh of relief.

My Husband Wears Black – Not for the Reasons You May Imagine

My husband wears black.
Not because he is of Mediterranean descent.
Not because it’s a fashion statement.
I was always really grateful for this odd character quirk, mainly because he often tended to wear much of the food he was eating. Not that he was a particularly messy eater, its just that at some stage he always managed to drop something down his front.
I have found however it’s really important  not to set yourself on too high a pedestal because as fate would have it, life often drops everything straight back in your lap, literally.
Craig and I were getting ready for a wedding and I had laid out for him his cloths, this included the beautiful new white shirt I had just bought for him.
He took one look at it and with all the wisdom of the ages stated, “it’s white, what happens when I spill my dinner on it” Some would call him a pessimist I choose to think of him as a realist.
I consider myself to be of reasonable intellect and despite all previous experience with Craig and clothes and food, all put together, for some unknown reason this question had not entered my mind. May be it was the optimism of the day, could there be a better time for it than a wedding?
We didn’t have a choice, the wedding was at four, it was three o’clock already and the trip took an hour.
There was only one thing to do, throw caution to the wind and take our chances with the white shirt.
I needn’t really to have worried, as it turned out it’s the brown shoe polish you have to watch out for.
Sitting in the car waiting to leave I heard Craigs voice float down to me from the verandah, “Does brown boot polish come out.” Instantly I felt the blood drain from my face. My dream of turning up with the tall, dark haired stranger (we didn’t know many of the invitees) in the crisp, snow white shirt were evaporating by the second.
The brown shoe polish stain dissolved remarkably well in water and the soaked front of the shirt was nearly dry by the time we entered the wedding venue.
I needn’t have worried, Craig said he would drive, so the only liquid that passed his lips was water. Then after the first hor’d’ erve he informed me he had a virus and felt like dying so that was the end of food for him.
No worries, I didn’t let the side down. A huge piece of spicy red sauce landed down my right side and spattered all over the front of my pale pastel dress.
I’m now considering how we would look in his and hers matching black.
Yay team goth.

Expect the Unexpected and You May Be Pleasantly Surprised

 

 

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Have you ever had an unexpected year, a year when nothing proceeds the way you would have thought it would, let alone planned. The year I left my husband and found myself living in a two bedroom flat looking after two grade 12 students, only one of whom was my child, was my surprising year. I spent most of the time fighting tooth and nail to make two  teenagers pass grade 12 , when neither of them really cared that much. Dragging my child out of the surf and the other one out of her bed cause she “just had to sleep a bit longer,” was my usual scenario. I felt like a sergeant major directing traffic, one to Maroochydore High and the other to Mountain Creek. That definitely wasn’t what I expected when the clock struck twelve on 31st December the previous year.

The day after I moved into the flat in Alexandra Headland I walked to the top of Pacific terrace. The view was amazing, the sunlight sparkled on the water and there was barely a breath of wind.  I sat down to contemplate exactly what I was going to do.

I was 40 something and single, after trying desperately to revive something that I should have left dead and buried, retrenched from my job and at that stage neither of my children were living with me. The situation could have seemed quite bleak, I had left all my furniture with my ex,  lent money to someone maxing out my credit card at the same time and I was broke. Sitting on top of that hill, taking in the view on that spectacular autumn morning, I thought to myself, I can either become bitter and twisted or make this an adventure. I’ll tell you later what I chose.

I got  a job at a local seafood shop, not really very glamorous, but if you have ever tried to find a job when you are over forty you will understand. There was method in my madness though, I had partly applied for this particular job because I knew how physically demanding it could be. At the end of grade 12  I had worked the summer holidays in a fish shop so I knew what I was getting myself in for. I had lost my peace in the last ten years of my marriage and I really needed to rest my mind. After years of office work I thought it was a good way to begin my reinvention.

So there I was shovelling boxes of fish, prawns and ice, in and out of cabinets, I didn’t have the time to sink into the bitter and twisted mind set that I was trying to avoid. I did learn to appreciate the little things. To this day nothing gives me more pleasure than to sit down on a hot summer night with a dozen natural oysters, sprinkled with salt, pepper and lemon juice, on a bed of ice, a can of dark and stormy in my hand, watching the Gilmore girls. Oh the unequalled bliss of it all.

So I rode my pushbike to work every morning, up and over the Alex bluff, sunlight dancing on the water, my mind sorting through all the sludge of the past twenty years, defragging as I went. Early on New Years Eve morning, as the year drew to a close, I was making my way through Mooloolaba.  Riding in the middle of the road as I approached a narrow section near the “Loo with a View,” a racing bike attempted to flash past me. The problem was I had a string bag hanging off my handlebars and his handlebars became tangled in it. As anyone would I came to a complete stop planting my feet firmly on the ground as I felt my bike being pulled by the other bike. Unfortunately for that rider it caused his bike to also come to a full stop, he and his bike then hurtled to the bitumen. I saw the whole thing happen in slow motion, unable to do anything to stop it. I watched his thankfully helmeted head smash into the curb and he lay there with his expensive bike resting on top of him.

I felt so bad ….. really, really bad …. until he started to scream at me.
“You bloody idiot, you moved to the side, you bloody idiot” over and over again. I tried to apologise in a soft consoling voice, but he went on and on. Now I’ve been screamed at by the best of them and the more he screamed, the more defensive I became. In the end enough was enough and I stood over him, hands on hips, waggling my finger and stamping my foot like I was scolding a naughty child. “You listen here” I said in my best school marm voice, “It was an accident and you’re very rude and don’t you ever call anyone a BLOODY IDIOT again”

And that’s when I saw it, I wish I hadn’t, I couldn’t believe it. The bloke lying on the ground, hurling abuse at me, was missing a foot. It was like a scene from a bad Monty Python movie, It was awful, Excruciatingly unexpected.

I do want to assure you that he didn’t lose it when he fell of the bike, I just hadn’t noticed it before.

The missing foot made me feel even more incredibly bad than I already did. I probably should have stayed; however, his behaviour, which I am sure was just shock on his part, had made me so angry that I got on my bike and rode off into the sunrise. I then spent the whole of the day in fear that I’d get a visit from the police to cart me off; cause there emblazoned on my tea shirt was the name of my employer, a well known seafood supplier.

Since then many unexpected things have happened, amazing jobs. I worked for a now defunct Childcare Company as an event coordinator. They flew me all over the countryside. I had one trip to Tasmania to open a couple of centres where I only worked for 8 hours the entire five nights I was away and they paid for it, car, fuel, accommodation, meals, amazing. I do sometimes feel that I may have contributed to the financial demise they eventually experienced.

I’ve even been known to wear a purple bear suit when there was a need, now that is another story. I have travelled to many other destinations, that I actually paid for. I have a peace I didn’t have in my marriage and I am unbelievably happy.

So I guess you know which choice I made! Honestly sometimes it is just that simply, you have to choose. Who would have thought, very unexpected!

Get Your Priorities Right – The Renovation Nightmare

Renovating a house can be a long and arduous project, as I’m sure anyone who has viewed the endless list of reality television shows will agree . A list of priorities is a necessity, however this is generally the point at which partners no longer see eye to eye. Men and women just can’t seem to place the same level of importance on the same bit of needed repair.

My husband feels that building a monolithic stone barbeque, which every bloke that comes to our house gazes at longingly, is of vital importance. Their eyes glaze over with appreciation, and say in hushed voices,” Ah, mate what a beauty”.

My priorities run a little more toward esthetics of the home. Personally though, considering that the bathroom is under the house and we have no internal stairs, I’d be happy with a light so I could see where I was going in the middle of the night.

It is a hazardous trip at the best of times. Two dogs, a cat and numerous green tree frogs being just some of the obstacles you have to navigate. However at one o’clock in the morning, when you are busting to go to the toilet, it can be out right dangerous.

As I stumbled down the stairs the deep sleep I had woken from still held me in its clutches and I was oblivious to my surroundings. I had almost made it to the bottom when my foot landed on something I had never felt before. Cool and smooth its coils rolled over the side of my foot. My heart stopped beating and I instantly leapt into the air, dancing and screaming as I hit the ground. In a second it was gone. I ran hysterically up the stairs to my sleeping husband to seek protection. After a few beers the night before he was not in any mood to wake up before time, but I tried anyway.

“Craig, Craig” I said, “I’ve just trodden on a snake”.
“Mmm, Mmm ” says he.
“Craig, Craig” I said, “I don’t know if I’ve been bitten by a snake”.
“Mmm, Mmm” says he.

We continued this routine for the next ten minutes, during which time my imagination raced and I perceived every speck on my foot as a fang mark. Finally, my voice found its way to the darkest reaches of his brain.

“Do you feel sick” Craig asked.
I thought seriously, my heart was jumping out of my throat, sweat was rolling down my brow, but no I didn’t feel sick.
Being the strength of our family and having the ability to make executive decisions, based on all available information, before closing his eyes and drifting back to sleep he said, “Lie down for a while and see what happens”.

For some unfathomable reason I listen to him.
As sleep finally came upon me my last thought was. “If anything happens I could be dead”.

Not a Place for the Faint Hearted – The Boxing Day Sales.

The fallen lay defeated on the battlefield. Meer shells of humanity, unable to speak about the horrors they had faced. The retreat had begun early in the campaign and by 4.00pm the exodus had escalated to a stampede.  Only those with true stamina survived the melee.  This was a battle not  for the physically strong  but the mentally strong.

Yes I braved the boxing day sales, stepping over broken husbands strewn across the path as I entered the Plaza.  Why, why why do they allow themselves to be subjected to the torture. They’re not built like us, they don’t have the shopping gene. The noise, the lights, the million and one items to find and purchase, oh the pure confusion of it all.  Like little animals in the glare of a thousand headlights, their eyes dart back and forth in alarm, hearts racing, exhibiting the jerky, erratic movements only fear can cause. Can’t their carers see the pain they are in?

Lets face it the ability to shop is a very underrated skill, one that truly warrants deep analysis. If you think about what it takes to be successful at the Boxing Day sale you may be surprised at how significant this is for success in other areas of your life.

Firstly you definitely need stamina as I have previously mentioned. Also needed is ingenuity, there are any number of people out their tying to find that ultimate bargain just like you, so you have to get there first.  Concentration, now that is of the utmost importance, no distraction can be allowed. No screaming children or disgruntled husbands can sidetrack you from your mission.

Maybe this is where the education system has been failing society. Lets do away with geography (we’ve got Google earth now anyway) and social studies (Social media has done away with the need to meet face to face these days) and replace them with shopping studies.

Highly developed Shopping Genes may hold all the ingredients for all the worldly success anyone could want, stamina, ingenuity and concentration, what more could you need!

 

 

 

 

 

Hard Work isn’t a dirty word, it’s a Necessity For Success

Yesterday I had to prepare a submission for a business owner. She was asked to speak about what she felt were the key elements of her success . I know this person very well and am one a small group who have seen how hard she has worked to achieve success.

Below is the list I prepared for this submission.

*          Vision  – You need to see where you are going to be able to make a choice of which path to take.

*          Passion – Loving what you do is vital cause it is going to get hard sometimes and only love will keep you going.

*          Respect – For your customers, Staff and suppliers cause you’re not alone on this journey.

*          Innovation – to be the best at what you do you have to be a leader not a follower. Striving to be ahead of the pack gets you noticed.

*          Tenacity – Last on this list but it may be the most important.  There are days when you will be barely hanging by the skin of you  teeth. You will need all the will you can muster just to lift your head off the pillow some morning’s. Tenacity is vital cause you’ll have to fight tooth and nail to make a go of it.

There have been times when I have honestly wondered how she survived but no matter what or how she was feeling she just kept going.

Which brings me to my point. Up until recently there has a trend that goes something like this. “tell a child they can be anything they want to be and the they will succeed.”

Really?

What about working hard, Is it a dirty word?

Success ALMOST never just happens. I am not just talking about your working life either, hard work is needed in every facet of your life.

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