Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Time for a recap.  Its the end of the first quarter and time to assess how my new years resolution is coming into fruition.   For 2011, my aim was to make this year all about ME!  Yes, selfish I know, but well deserved if I do say so myself.
 For the last two years, my children have been my absolute focus .   My children’s father and I separated whilst we were living in the UK and at the age of 3 and 2, left all they knew, their house, family, friends, pre schools and Father to live in NZ with me alone. 
Despite my own pain and grief, I have been completely focussed on managing and helping them through their pain, fears, anxiety and immersing them in their new kiwi family and community, making new friends and starting new schools.  My wonderful children have been AMAZING and a constant source of inspiration and admiration for me.  They still have bouts of pain but more manageable and we have all worked hard to make a life for ourselves here and live happy!
They are so fully immersed in their community and schools, sports, and have many friends and are so happy so I feel I can honestly say that my job was well done.  It was extremely intense, when I thought that I couldn’t handle any more pain, another blow would come and knock me off my feet but we have finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel and life is looking good!
So now that my children are happy, my 2011 focus is ME and my resolution is all about EXPANSION:
Expanding my Knowledge, Interests, Income but not my waistline.  So at the end of the first quarter, how have I feared?
-          I have started this blog, which I am loving, expanding my interest in writing and also giving me an opportunity to babble when bored in the evenings!
-          I’ve held a ‘make your own pasta’ evening with a group of new friends (and my lovely old one)  Highly recommended – making pasta from scratch with only a rolling pin as equipment.  Lots of Italian food and wine is a sure winner to bring people together for a good night.
-          I’m currently organising with a friend of mine a ‘make your own mozzerellia’ evening with a respected NZ cheese maker demonstrating, with of course lots of wine and new friends.
-          I am now employed!  Only a few hours a week cleaning out the fish tank at the local kindergarten but hey, small steps....
-          I’ve started an exercise regime and although my waistline remains the same, my fitness and energy levels are increasing – a big plus.
-          I’ve taken up a crafty hobby and made my daughter a doll, all lovingly hand stitched.  It’s a bit wonky, but she loves it which made it all worthwhile.  I was so impressed with myself, I also made one for my niece’s first birthday and I’m currently making a snuggle monster for my son out of his now redundant baby blanket.
-          I’ve taken on an international exchange student, helping both with my income and family.  A wonderful addition to our family and also expanding my and my children’s knowledge about other cultures.
Above all I have a positive mindset that is motivated to get ahead, and is thirsty for new experiences.  Not a bad start so far.  Bring on Q2!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If I could turn back time...

Dating for a single mum is an absolute minefield!  I’ve recently been doing a bit of research as to the best steps to take to get myself back on track and it is terrifying me.
I’ve also realised, like most other kiwi girls – we usually don’t date.  Relationships seem to just manifest themselves from drunken nights out, all of a sudden realising that the same man seems to be at the same parties most of the time.  If you notice he is there for the sixth time, you should change your relationship status on facebook and make noises about moving in together.
 So it has got me thinking.  What would I do if I could do it all over again, knowing what I know now.  I guarantee my life would have taken an entirely different road.  Here are my top 10 things I would do if I was 26 again:
1.        Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise and Exfoliate RELIGIOUSLY!  Only Cher can turn back time.
2.       Wear sunscreen – The battles I’ve had with the sun is bordering on ridiculous.  I am fair skinned, deal with it.  I will never go brown.  At 26 despite having 3rd degree burns around my bikini line (very sensitive), I still thought if I continued sunbathing I would eventually look Spanish.
3.       Invest disposable income on property instead of bottles of vodka, taxi rides home and petrol station pasties at 3am.
4.       Do not seek approval – do my own thing and be strong confident and comfortable doing it.
5.       Be patient – I have a whole lifetime of experiences ahead of me; I do not have to do EVERYTHING in one weekend.
6.       Choose the guy, don’t let them choose you. I do not have to ‘date’ every guy that pays me attention or buys me the next vodka and cranberry.  Be patient and choose wisely.
7.       Use my work/job as a place to learn and get ahead instead of an extension of my social life and necessary evil to get through (mostly hungover) until 5pm drinks.
8.       Be Mysterious!  Oh I so wish I could be mysterious instead of blurting out everything that comes into my mind to anyone who will listen.
9.       Respect myself and believe in me.
10.   Have a life plan and stick to it.
Now, I know if I had managed to follow these rules, I certainly would not be the person I am today.  And although I made some horrendous mistakes, at least it was a colourful past and I now have lots of stories to tell!
What would you do differently?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I may need some new knickers

My love life has a pretty disastrous history.  I should have been able to foresee my wayward path when at the late blooming age of 20, my first ever boyfriend ditched me after a glorious six month relationship for his half sister with a walking stick awaiting her hip replacement.
Oh how I was scorned!  Since then my love interests fell into one of two categories.  Either your typical bad boy where I would swoon ridiculously if they ever looked in my eyes for more than a millisecond or out of character said something nice.   Or at the other end of the scale, those that were a little less fortunate in their relationship history (like myself) but were very keen to make amends.
As I got older, I added a string of secret work flings to my bow, which more often than not ended up in major avoidance tactics and embarrassing small talk at the coffee machine.  All forgotten after a few days of making ourselves incredibly busy around the office.  These interludes did absolute wonders for my productivity, it’s a wonder my bosses didn’t encourage it.
At around 26, I began to reach my stride and was confident, flirtatious and vivacious.  A socialite who could hold court with a room full of potential mates (or so I thought after my sixth vodka and cranberry).  Realistically I would be falling asleep on the late tube home, alone, being woken up at the end of the line by the driver whilst wiping the dribble from the corner of my mouth and wondering whether I’ll be able to make it home before peeing my pants.
So what has happened?  I feel like I am a child who has regressed in her development.  I now cower in the corner and hide behind imaginary pot plants if I have just a tiny notion that there may be a single man in the room.  Words refuse to leave my lips and I stand limp, blushed and bamboozled in front of the male sex.  I erect an almost visible wall at the mere mention of men or dating.
I am actually incredibly comfortable being single.  I'm not lonely, I really enjoy having only myself to answer to and clean up after.  My only concern is that time is not on my side.  My last date was pre children when my breasts stood up on their own and my stomach was as tight as stretched canvas. 
I can only conclude that there is so much more at stake now.  I’ve grown up and I want more.  Gone are the days of frivolous flings. I’m 10 (ahem) years older and have a much better idea of what I want and need in a relationship, emotionally and physically.  It’s a long list, I tell you.  I also want a role model for my children, an income to share, he needs to fit into my life with my children, and to coin and old work phrase, must be able to ‘add value’.  Someone we can all learn from, laugh with, cry upon and just comfortably sit next too, without talking.  Above all, he must be willing to mow my fricken lawns.
So, in my endless world of research (I like to find a new topic each day. Yesterday was the pollination of figs – please google, great dinner party conversation.),  I will find the most appropriate steps for someone in my situation, to finding a potential and fulfilling mate.  I will then post and report my progress on this blog.
If my history has anything to go by, I’m doomed!!  But goodness knows it will make good blogging material.
Wish me luck!
By the way, please don’t forward this blog to any potential mates, I will obviously deny all of my above demands and become the old fancy free frivolous flings me.  Oh yes, Easy Breezy.  That’s me.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I will not eat a Blow Fish

I absolutely pride myself on not being racist.  I have lived in many multicultural societies, travelled extensively around the world, actively embraced different cultures.  I have an unquenchable thirst for different cultures and I find the more I learn, the more I want to learn.  I am incredibly PC in this regard and I’m quick to jump to correct anyone who isn’t.  I actively encourage my children to relish and celebrate differences in cultures by hosting international exchange students and in a previous job, I looked after lots of children in my home all of different races.
Just to emphasise my commitment, during high school I competed at two Polynesian festivals, once for the Rarotongan group and once for the Samoan group where I was the only European representative (surprisingly).  Unfortunately I was placed in the front row, and if I didn’t stand out enough, I managed to get sunburnt the day before so I ended up looking more like a glow in the dark English Pocahontas.  However, it was an amazing experience, I mix and mingled and was accepted by my fellow performers and learnt a huge amount.  Yes, I do feel that Nelson Mandela and I are kindred spirits.
However, I have recently taken on a Japanese exchange student and have been forced to face an ashamedly ugly truth about myself.  It has become apparent that I have had an unconscious wall up around the Japanese and Chinese cultures and have at times, I am ashamed to say have contributed to racism against these cultures.  Why??  I am still trying to understand it myself.   Ignorance most probably.   
Could it be the fact that all the majority of asian constituents in New Zealand are exceptionally wealthy – they need a significant amount of funds to become a resident in New Zealand, and we are always suspicious of those who have more – rather than welcoming their contribution to our economy?
Could it be that almost everything we produce they can do it cheaper, faster, better??  Lets face it, that is pretty annoying, but we all don’t mind benefiting from it.
I once had an awful experience with a Japanese man.  I was travelling in a packed tube somewhere in London, standing up squashed like sardines against other commuters when I felt a hand start to caress my bottom.  I looked around in disgust, but couldn’t look down as everyone was too squashed together.  The man just looked me in the eye and was smiling.  This kept happening until I managed to get my hand free and grabbed him in the act. I then didn’t really know what to do and let him go and managed to get off at the next stop.  This seemed to cement my brick wall stronger than ever making it difficult to break down.  Now, I do know that one bad apple does not a race make, so why did it make me think this way?  Lets face it, he probably just mistook my plump bottom for a couple of firm peaches, who could blame him?
Just to be clear, I have never actively been racist against these cultures.  Protesters, please stay away.  I just have obviously harboured some issues, it is not everyday my bottom gets caressed.
My Japanese student arrived yesterday, and since her arrival my brick wall has been broken down in tremendous chunks at a time.  She is exceptionally friendly, polite, loving, caring, eager to learn.  She is just wonderful with my children and they already adore her.  I can not believe that I ever had a wall up at all, and now all I can think of is that I am so eager to learn everything about her and her family.  I can already sense that this is going to be an exceptionally rich experience for both of us and I whole heartedly welcome her into our family.  I thank her so much for this.  Just by being herself, I can not believe the change in my attitude and awareness in 2 days already, imagine what the rest of the year will bring!
Although, I’m still not going to eat a poisonous blow fish.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Passion vs Patience

So, I expected a number of things to miraculously happen after my first blog entry.  Namely:
1.        Oprah, Ellen, Dr Phil to be banging down my door asking for just a minute of my time to come on their show .  (Oprah, you better hurry up, this is your last season afterall) or at the very least, NZ’s Good Morning show – (just so I could turn them down, I mean, really?  Even I have standards).
2.       Publisher deals, Book launch parties (as obviously I would have written my autobiography overnight), book signings and red carpet requests.
3.       A Husband – Even despite my last post, becoming an overnight success must draw some talent my way, shouldn’t it?
Anyway, surprisingly, it never happened.  As you can guess from the above, I am not a very patient person.  I am truly passionate.  Not the rose between my teeth, stilettos and fishnet type of passionate (although that has been known to happen – disastrous consequences, another post).  I mean the ‘I can’t think of anything else passionate, excited, bursting, explosive passionate’.  I managed to blag my way through an interview once, saying that I was so excited about the job, I had a burning fire inside me, and it worked.  (Job in question – secretarial temp to an IT manager, 3 weeks).
I am like a shaken bottle of fizz ready to explode when I get a new idea.  I get so ahead of myself – utterly consumed with excitement.  Unfortunately, like a bottle of fizz, the next day, I’m a bit flat, then, by the end of the week, well, it just needs to be replaced with a new bottle.
Patient people are not like this at all.  They are methodical, cool, calm and collected.  Always reaching their goal.  They are, in my eyes, divine and the key to my road to serenity.
I would, without hesitation, trade in half a bottle of my passion, for just a mere sip of patience.  Just a sip, would see me through such a number of daily activities.
-          Building lego with my son, a box deemed suitable for 7yr olds.  Hmmm.
-          Sticking to a diet, instead of expecting to grace the catwalk after consuming my first salad.
-          Mowing the fricken lawns
-          Finding the right pair of each child’s shoe as we are leaving the house
-          Playing Board Games
-          Keeping it together whilst simultaneously cooking dinner, wiping bottoms, finding shoes and building lego
-          Completing.....well, just about everything.
The possibilities are endless!   I am on a quest to find patience!   How exciting!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Being Single

I have not had sex in 2 years.

For someone who has been known to say to a potential mate:  'You bring out the animal in me'.  This is not a good thing.  So number one on my 'to do' list for 2011 is to have sex. Lots of it. Preferably with someone else, rather than low lighted scented candles and self seduction.  How I go about achieving this warrants it's own special 'to do' list, so I will dedicate an entirely new post to it - watch this space.

A Man's work is always single mums.
I never ever envisaged having to mow the lawns, pump up bike tires, clear guttering, educate my son about his foreskin, clean maggots from my rubbish bin...the list goes on.  So I dedicate this post to 10 ACTUAL reasons to find a husband.  Certainly not a conventional list, but from entirely my point of view:

1.  To mow my fricken lawns!  I hate it!  I try to enjoy it, see the positives - get outside, exercise, achievement etc, but all the grass clippings down my cleavage, sweat dribbling down my bum crack, slipped discs from trying to get the damn thing started puts me off.  Once finally completed, all torture equipment put away until next weekend, I go inside to find my children have taken full advantage of Mum's distraction and have decided to make potions with toothpaste, shampoo and flour on their bedroom floor.  I take a deep breath and go to the toilet to stop myself from screaming uncontrollably - (or at least before I have thought it over properly, then scream), pull down my pants, and amongst all the grass clippings that drop to the floor, out flys a moth desperately seeking its freedom - maybe this is another sign for the aforementioned lack of sex.... on to that 'to do' list...

2.  Put the rubbish out.  This is such a traditional male job, and for good reason.  Even with my Ex, I put the rubbish out, so this criteria for a new husband needs to be crystal clear, maybe even in our wedding vows.  I do not like dealing with maggots.

3.  Penis education.  I know more about the humble penis that I or any lady should do.  I have googled penis' what they should or shouldn't do at each age, explained it to my son, but after a 2am episode to A&E because of a 'Forced Foreskin Retraction' (technical term, will let you work it out..) have decided that despite all my research and encouragement, I fail bismisly at this as I do not have the right equipment.

4.  Babysitting.  I very rarely go out - this is due to a number of reasons, mainly I can count my friends on one hand (or two fingers), and money is always an issue (this could be point no. 5).  Babysitting is a rare commodity from family members (free) as I can not afford to pay a horny spotty teenager, nor would I leave my children with one at such a young age.  Having a husband at home could mean that I could get a life - and maybe some more friends at the same time.

5.  Money - As above, 2 incomes are better than 1.  Enough said.

6.  A Soundboard.  This could be at the very least, a help in decision making, but for the most part, a barrier for my PMS rants so that my children don't receive the first wave of fury.

7. Child outdoor activities - Riding bikes, playing soccer, cricket, rugby, tennis. Go carting. Climbing. Building Sandcastles.  All activities I am usually too tired to be a part of or have 101 other motherhood priorities eg. googling penis's.

8.  Heavy loads.  There have been a number of instances whereby I have had to operate heavy machinery (Utes and Transit Vans) for collection of heavy goods eg. beds, climbing frames, furniture.  I have no will or desire to do this.  Physically is it difficult and also I need to organise point number 4 (babysitting) before undertaking this task.  It is a minefield.  I have suceeded everytime, but a much better job suited for new husband.

9.  Technical ability.  I may be falling into sterotypes here, but can new hubby please sort out my TV/DVD/HD/AVI/MP3/Multi Region/USB system to one remote with an on/off switch, volume and channel control.  That is all I need.  Preferably, could he upgrade all of the above as well.  Thanks.

10.  Take photos of me and my children.  I have no record of all of us together, as I am always the one taking the photos.  I would be devestated if 20yrs on my children are looking at their childhood photos without me in them, thinking that I may have not even been there.  All my hard, relentless and thankless work to make their lives the best they could possibly be would be worthless if I don't get some sort of recognition later in life.

I now realise that my chances of finding a husband may be slightly hindered after posting this, so all of the above will be denied until I do actually manage to find one and have a ring on my finger, and a new telly.