Friday, June 25, 2010

Go girls!

As a blogger, I don't talk politics, but on this occasion, I make an exception.
I'm a woman, I'm single, I'm a redhead (well, sometimes!) Watching Julia Gillard take over as Prime Minister of Australia, I couldn't help but be proud.
Her gender shouldn't be an issue, but people, get real! She is our first female PM, she's single, and she lives in a working class suburb. She wasn't even born here, she came here from Wales. This is a significant moment in Australia's history.
As it happens, my kids were home sick from school, and they were puzzled at first as to why I was glued to the 'boring news' instead of working at my computer.
Then Miss 7 wandered in, and joined me on the couch for a cuddle.
"So a girl's the boss of Australia now Mumma?" she asked.
"Yes," I replied.
"I didn't know a girl could be in charge of Australia!" she exclaimed.
And I felt quite teary as I told her: "Yes they can. Girls can be whatever they want to be."
"Cool," said Miss 7.
At H's age, I could never have envisaged a world where a woman could be the PM.
Men were always in charge - in politics, of companies, schools, churches, and even at home.
Single women with defactos were classed as 'living in sin'. Career woman, God forbid, were looked down on. Married women who wanted to work, were frowned upon. (And yes, I am that ancient).
Back then, a girl was expected to grow up, get married, have kids, and look after her husband and family. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)
I don't necessarily agree with the way Julia Gillard took over, or some of her policies.
But I do think it's awesome that we've come so far that I can tell my kids: Yes, a woman can be in charge. No she doesn't have to be married or have kids to be a respected member of the community. Yes women, like men, can be as powerful as they want to be.
And if they choose not to, that's fine too.
And you know what else? Regardless of how you feel about Kevin Rudd, yesterday he was gutsy and gracious. I love that he was emotional, and that he and his family were clearly so supportive of each other.
You've got to respect that.
Writing this, I am listening to Julia Gillard give her first press conference as our PM. I don't know how the election is going to pan out, but I'm really proud to be a woman and to live in such an awesome country as Australia.
And to tell Miss 7: "Yes, H., you can be Prime Minister of Australia when you grow up!"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

One person's trash ....

Don't you love that Aussie tradition of putting crap you don't want in front of your house, with a 'free' sign?
Over the years, we've given away loads of stuff that way. You know the kind of things that aren't worth selling, and you no longer need. And there's not enough for a charity to come out and collect it, and it's too big to take there in your car. Or it's something electrical, and most charities won't accept these products anymore.
Anyway, we've given away quite a bit of stuff that way over the years, including a lounge, table, toys, and microwave. (The guy who picked it up wanted the glass plate inside it. Who knew?).
Maybe it was karma then, but driving home from visiting my brother and his family last weekend, we passed a computer desk sitting on a footpath, and bearing the sign: 'Giveaway'.
Mr 9 has longed for his own 'work desk' and was beside himself with excitement. So of course we stopped, but try as we might, we couldn't fit the desk in my little Mitsubishi Lancer.
We huffed and puffed and eventually, using an ingenius technique of shopping bags and clothes (don't ask), we managed to tie the desk onto my boot and drive very carefully back to my brother's house to beg for help.
He and Mr 9 replaced the shopping bags and clothes (I said, don't ask), with a sophisticated network of ropes and even one of those dinky little red flags I think you're required to display by law when transporting crap that doesn't fit inside your car.
When we got home, Mr 9 happily untangled the ropes and helped me move the desk into the house.
It's currently in his room, where he has proclaimed it is his work desk.
Okay, it's certainly a well-loved desk, but it's working fine for My 9. Now we just need one for his sister!
Thanks anonymous donors! Oh, and Uncle D. for coming to our rescue ....

Monday, June 21, 2010

And so are the days of our lives...

The school sports day came around again, and so it was that we found ourselves camped on a greenant-ridden field on a chilly Brisbane morning.
The Parents and Friends Association had thoughtfully arranged for a coffee/hot chocolate van to be there for thirsty parents and teachers, but unfortunately, there was a wait for the electricity key. Queue agitated queue of anxious parents in desperate need of a caffeine hit. There was talk of queue-jumping and coffee-snatching, but no one was admitting anything. Eventually I got my coffee (a skinny flat white if you must know), and was able to put my  mind to the task of cheering on the kids. (Okay, there may have been some gossiping going on with other parents, but you didn't hear that from me...)
C. had a touch of Braveheart Action going on ...

H. had her fighting stripes on ...

Missy makes her move in the egg and spoon race. Pity it's not an Olympic sport ... and yes, that is one of my tops because at the last minute I found out she didn't own anything blue. It's more like a dress on H.

C. ready to run his race ...

But at the finish line he crashed and burned and hurt his neck. That got us one free ride in an ambulance to the Mater Childrens' Hospital in Brisbane.
(It's okay ... it was a little dramatic as they had to treat it as a possible fracture.) But he soon got the all-clear and plenty of pain killer. Plus he got to keep this very cool neck brace. It's the latest must-have for 9-year-olds, don't you know?
As C. said wistfully, as he cuddled the kitten and snuggled into a mountain of pillows: Why does everything have to happen to me?
(I don't know son, I don't know ... but we'll get through it together)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

House rules

Do you have house rules? We've had them for a few years now, and they generally work.
We keep them pinned up somewhere obvious, just to remind us.
But because of my separation from the kids' Dad, there are new rules for each house. 
Last weekend, I got the kids involved in coming up with Mumma's rules.
Miss H. got a bit distracted at first, and came up with this ...

I know, cute huh?

(She has a kitten fetish)
Then she did her version of our house rules. I'm not sure where Eat apples came into it, but I like it. (And what the hell is that creature, and what is it eating? Looks like a bum to me...)

When I was sad one day, Mr 9 immediately knew how to cheer me up. He put on his neck brace, added my glasses, and looked like a nerd. I couldn't help cracking up. 
Just a few reasons why I love my kids so much!