The hard way, I might add.  This is where I spent about 85% of my childhood, this exact trampoline.  And over thirty years later it still stands in my parent’s back yard.  I remember when we first got it, Dad drummed in to us that we could not exceed the maximum weight capacity it could hold.  I could barely count to five or tie my shoes let alone add up but that did not stop me quizzing everyone who wanted to have a jump on how much they weighed.  It went, “I weigh three stone, how much to you weigh?” –  cue piercing, accusatory stare.  Nowadays I think my handbag is the only thing that weighs three stone! 

One Christmas a few years ago that I remember fondly involved many hours on there with my youngest niece teaching her the finer points of double bouncing and also doing multiple hip-swivel manoeuvres.  So the following year when I trekked home for Christmas I wasn’t surprised to find her waiting for me on the tramp (as us cool kids called it).  I didn’t stay on it long, and had been in the door even less time, but some hours later I couldn’t move.  At all.  Something  in my back had zigged when it should have zagged and now I had pinched a nerve.  The three hundred bucks it cost me to fix it taught me a very valuable lesson; I am too old for this shit anymore.  And so this past Christmas the closest I got to the tramp was this photo.

2-14820021When I was about 6 years old I was roaming the grounds of the Agricultural College where we lived (my Dad was a lecturer at the time), wearing a borrowed, and much too big, pair of overalls and having a grand old time on my own.  It was the late 70’s in rural Australia and the place was as safe as houses, but I still don’t know why I was on that adventure so far from my own front door.  I fondly remember the sun was shining, there were no training wheels on my bike and I was all set with a screwdriver in one pocket and a biscuit for later in another.  Life was good and I was feeling uber grown up.  Imagine how much better the day got when I stumbled across a $5 note in the gutter!  Five bucks when you are only 6 years old is akin to finding $2,857,453,409!!  I couldn’t believe my luck and quickly put it in one of the many handy pockets I had on me.  There was nothing to spend it on nearby so I got on with the business at hand which most likely involved bugs, or dirt, or bikes or other imaginary distractions.  When it was time to head home I remembered the money but to my horror I couldn’t find it.  My instant fortune had evaporated, and with it my dreams of taking the whole family to Disneyland!  Tearfully I headed home and told Mum, who gave me one of those hugs only a mum can give.  Later Mum actually found the money in one of the tricky side pockets on the leg, and Disneyland was back on!! 

Cut to last night when I took the dogs for a walk to the local pet shop Zac’s to buy some creepy dried kangaroo offal that they seem to love.  I put the change in my pocket and we legged it to the park.  There we met a lovely, very exuberant puppy called Junior and they all chased each other madly in circles while his owner Kim and I chatted.   It was great as they were tiring each other out and we were just standing still until it was time to head home.  It wasn’t until I reached into said pocket to get the front door key that I realised my $45 change was gone.  Thinking back to when I was 6 I frantically searched every pocket on me in case I was mistaken but alas, no.  I dropped the dogs home and went back to the park with a torch.  I think I spent about 40 minutes combing the off-leash area like they do on the cop shows on tv, slowly sweeping in long parallel lines.  All I got for my troubles was numb toes and a cold nose!  I just hope whomever finds my money either puts it to good use or that it went to someone who could use it.  Reckon MacGyver might be safe after all…

Vegan RoyaleDon’t get me wrong, I heart food and I appreciate anyone with great cullinary skills – especially all the women in my family who cook!  It’s just that I have never really been motivated to commit to cooking well on a regular basis, preferring instead to buy cookbooks full of pretty pictures or watch tv shows making gorgeous food I’m unlikely to attempt.  It even got to the point where I had to self-impose a ban on any more books full of pretty pictures!  Cut to the recent series Master Chef and all that has changed.  I know my Mum will be pleased that I now regularly bust out the slow cooker on the weekends and make a meal or two to share for the week ahead.  Sometimes I even go so far as to make two courses.  Sometimes.  Now that Master Chef is off the air I feel kinda lost without my tutorials and idea sessions.  I’m not alone, we no longer race to the office in the morning to make comparisons of the previous night’s episode anymore either.  But I did learn an important lesson from the winner Julie.  Cooking can be a great way to show love, to heal, to nurture and to say thank you for the big things and the little things.  You may recall an earlier post where I mentioned Electric Legs has been sick, well one of my first instincts was to cook some food to make him feel a little better.  It seemed to do the trick for now, but he tells me I can’t have a 10 out of 10 for my first meal!  I just like that he thinks there will be a second one, ha ha!!

tu tu much
tu tu much

I have a love-hate relationship with tutus and sequins, by association.  I love, love, love to see a beautiful piece of work up on stage but when I’m up to my eyeballs sewing it, it’s often pure hell.  Recently I went to watch my niece compete in the biggest ballet competition of the year for her.  On balance she had quite a successful campaign across the dozen or so solos and troupe routines she danced, though not quite as good as previous years.  She’s ten years old and has just moved up an age group and is at the very junior end of some much bigger girls and the competition in relation to technique is very tough.  All girls experience this as they progress, but I think often the reality of the situation as you get older is a bitter pill to swallow.  I’m just pleased my niece is passionate enough about dancing to stick it out and clean up the trophy haul next year!  By then she’ll have a new tutu and I’ll be up to my eyeballs in sequins.  Again.