The Art of Denial

I’m really tempted to just gloss over the fact I haven’t posted since May. How. Did. That. Happen. Really. How can it be November next week. I’m not even going to put a question mark to that. How the hell can it be November.

Well Jane, I hear you ask, you’d better have a good story to tell us since you’ve been off the airways.

As it turns out, I do!! I got a new job, in a new field, and have left nursing (yaaaaaaay!!!!) I’m working in a pastoral care role with people who have disabilities, and I’m LOVING it. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

I’ve started my new novel (yaaaay!!!)

I’ve finished sewing two dresses recently. One quite bad and one a bit better. And, I’m off to do a sewing weekend with Gertie Hirsch tomorrow in Perth (pictured above and below, no that’s not me), and have found a fabulous teacher here in Adelaide to help me learn my craft (yaaaay!!!)

I got the lighting system working in my dollhouse, and it’s now finished after three years of blood, sweat and tears. I’ve also bought two new miniature projects to be tackled over Christmas (yaaaay!!!)

I’ve gone back to pole dancing lessons (yaaaay!!!)

I’ve magically lost 20kgs without dieting. Well, that might be a lie, but everything else is true. Plus, my muse has discovered his inner Jamie Oliver, so I’m not having to cook every night.

Whew! It’s been intense.

So tomorrow, I’m off to Perth to do a two day workshop with the sewing blogger Gertie Hirsch. My muse has reminded me that I’ll be the oldest, and probably the chubbiest person there, but that’s par for the course, so I’m not going to dwell on that. The weird thing is, I moved to Perth from New Zealand 30 years ago, and I haven’t been back since. It’s going to be a bit of a journey…

On that note, big apologies for my slackness. It’s been a busy few months, and I’m feeling back on track, ready to get back into writing and ready to get back into life, instead of bouncing from one event to the next, while feeling completely out of control.

Yaaaaay!!!

And hopefully I’ll come back from Perth looking more like this.

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Lessons Learnt

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOkay, this photo is pretty radical. Clearly I am not in IKEA buying my dream bookcase.

“What’s happening Jane?” I hear you say. “Are you performing a tracheotomy in a restaurant on a dying person, has someone thrown up on you, or are you in pain from being shot in a hold up?” Well, it’s none of the above. It’s me in a Bali toilet (it’s a selfie!) God, I hate public toilets. It’s what puts me off traveling overseas. If I was one of those blessed creatures who don’t care about what goes on around them, then I would have been to Bhutan and back, several times. But I hate it. I hate plane toilets. I hate all toilets that are not my own. I have nightmares about going to the loo in public places.

So, what does this have to do about my blog? Nothing really. It’s 10pm and I’ve just scratched some chilli in my eye by mistake (where did that come from??), I have a 5am wake up call for a nursing shift a the hospital which may, or may not be available (ahhhh, the joys of being a casual worker), and I’m in the middle of editing my new book, which I am having a mini meltdown over (it’s crap. I am crap. My writing is crap.) So perhaps that’s why I posted a photo of me looking at some crap in a loo.

On a brighter note, here is a fabulous way to restore confidence in all areas of life, when one is doubting oneself (that might be the lesson learnt, because the title implies something wise and deep, which is not really going to happen!)

SKIN POLISH

Okay, so forget about spending loads of money on skin exfoliation products. Just grab some castor sugar, pour it into a bowl, and add a good dash of a body lotion. I find sorbalene works wonderfully for this. Now hop in the shower, and rub it all over your body. Rinse off, et voila! A polished skin. You won’t be disappointed. (Public health warning: obviously, don’t rub so hard your skin comes off and don’t rub it on your face).

 

Tribal Wives and Husbands

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, I was watching Tribal Wives this evening, after making dinner for my Muse. For anyone who hasn’t seen this fab show, it involves plonking women from England, into a tribal setting in places like Africa, to see how they fare. They usually have a nervous breakdown.

I said “I think I should go on this show.” (Even though I’m an Australian, which makes us pretty tribal at the best of times).

“Why?” he asks.

“Because I’m in my forties, I don’t have children, I have issues with my mother, and I would probably cry a lot.” That makes good viewing for this particular show.

“They would send you home the next day. You are too neurotic, and you can’t stand the heat.”

I start thinking about my Muse. “Well, if they had a show for Tribal Husbands, they would send you home the next day, because you don’t do anything. They don’t have computers and sports channels in the tribes. You would be considered useless.”

After ten minutes of me laughing so hard I cried, my Muse stormed off to do the dinner dishes. But seriously. Let’s just get down to business and post a great recipe for the heat, which should descend on us any day now, considering it is summer in Australia. Having said that, it was 32 degrees today, and tomorrow it’s going to be 20 degrees. What the???? And by the way, that photo is of me, in 40 degrees of heat at 9pm on New Year’s Eve at a party, in a hotel where the air conditioning failed. I’m just saying, when it comes to survival in the tribe, I was the last one standing…

Gin and Tonic

Take a really big glass out of the cupboard and put it in the deep freeze.

Put your gin bottle in the deep freeze

Make sure there are ice cubes in the deep freeze

Lemon

Tonic (in the fridge)

Method:  Place four ice cubes in your chilled glass. Pour yourself a sturdy measure of gin into said glass and top up the glass with tonic. Garnish with lemon.

Public Health Disclaimer: Don’t do this at breakfast. This is a strictly over the yard-arm drink.

 

Nearly Better Than Celine…

IMG_0741 About two weeks ago, I had the chance to grab a place in a masterclass with a famous Australian author, Fiona McIntosh. She was brilliant. So brilliant, I contemplated ditching Celine Dion as my ‘go-to-girl’ when I need advice, instead replacing her with Fiona McIntosh as my screen saver. However, there have to be limits to your loyalties, and Celine is pretty well up there for me. Having said that, I love Fiona McIntosh only a smidgen less than Celine (you have been put on notice Mrs Dion).

What did you learn on your course, I hear you say? Well, I discovered the novel I was writing was crap, and I am now working on a new novel as a result of the course. Sometimes, you just have to change lanes mid-journey and be true to yourself (that sounds deep!) Fiona showed me that discipline (ie. not lying in bed until 9am on your days off reading Hello magazine), determination (not watching Dr Phil instead of writing while lying on the couch on your days off), and belief in yourself (as opposed to lying in the fetal position while chugging down red wine, when you get home from being sent to work in the ER as a nurse, when you have no emergency training), are what you need to succeed as a writer. That and a lucky break.

So, having pitched my imaginary new novel to a Sydney editor who came to the course (it was a masterclass!!!), I now have to write said imaginary novel, in about eight weeks. I think that could be my lucky break. I hope so, but if not, then well, fucked if I know. I shall post some new spring recipes soon. Until then – leap, then look. It works!

The things you wait to say in life…

photo-39Okay, so here are some things I would LOVE to say in my life: I’m off to Paris for my birthday (although, maybe not my actual birthday, as that is in August, which is peak tourist season.) Let’s start again. My book royalties mean I can afford an apartment in Paris, for a month in spring. Then there is: I’ve lost 10kg! Really, and it was super easy. Following from that fantasy is, I performed a pole dance in public!! And I got a standing ovation. I’ve been learning pole dancing for years, and am still useless, compared to the people around me. Any whoooo, the other thing I would say is: I can’t meet you for lunch/can’t do that shift at the hospital/vacuum the house today, cos I’m editing my next book!! And that’s what I am doing. But fear not, my recipes are at the ready, and my husband has primed his workmates to expect a rainfall of food. Well, you can’t eat it yourself if you are going to effortlessly lose 10kg, edit your book, and perform a dance in public on a pole any time soon…