It’s finally time to sit for a moment and gather my thoughts. It’s time to reflect on this past year really, firstly because that is how long I have been dallying on getting back into writing for me, but secondly … Continue reading
Shit is getting real today and no apologies.
I work. I have kids. I study. I train. (Okay these days I sometimes train). I have a busy-ass life.
I have a husband. He works. He has kids. He studies. He trains. (Wait, no he doesn’t, the man is naturally fit – insert eye roll).
So who does the work at home? We all do!
I clean. I cook. I garden. I tend to the kids. I discipline. I love.
Hubby cleans. Hubby cooks. Hubby gardens. Hubby tends to the kids. Hubby disciplines. Hubby loves.
I’m certain by now you are thinking what the fuck is she on about!!! To be totally honest my husband does do a bit more than me at home, mostly because he is the one that is there in sociable hours and I am not. He works less than me so gets in and does what needs to be done. So why is it that people in 2016 still throw about the terms “emasculated” “unfulfilled” “not a real man”? To be honest it baffles and angers me just as much as the terms “a womans place is in the kitchen” “women should put their careers on hold” “women should act ladylike”.
I’m going to share my take on what my husband is.
My husband is manly because:
***He can soothe the tears of our children
***He can chase the fears from their dreams
***He can calm even the scariest storm on their faces
***He can make them food that nourishes their bodies
***He can clean up after spilt milk and spilt tears
***He can make our girls feel like the princesses they are
***He can make math homework exciting and fun
He can do all this and still make me feel like nothing can hurt me when he is around. He cooked for me when I could only throw up (preganacy), soothed my fears when the words cancer and brain surgery were bandied around like a play thing, held me when my sobs had no end, encouraged me when my dreams felt too far away, stood firm for me when others tried to tear me down. I love him for this and so much more.
What’s so emasculate about that?
Sometimes I wonder why the hell I continue to keep my blog, particularly when it appears that my thoughts rarely make it past the ever greying matter I call my brain and onto the computer screen. There you have it folks, sums up what shitloads of bloggers and vloggers think but never say, least of all to their audience. Then again as the greying matter turns silver I lack the ability to apply a filter and since that probably isn’t going to change any time soon I guess you will either love this new take or find your way to some love, light and mung beans.
I had a temporary thought of catching you all up with some purple-shaded, meditative-sounding, flower-encrusted story of how life sometimes sucks but nice things do happen to good people but I don’t want to. Simple. So instead here are the plain facts.
Life has handed hubby and I some low blows, some that we thought would keep us down for good and some that still make us doubt our own resolve. If you have been here before you know it already but if you haven’t let me spell it out for you simply. LOTS OF SHIT. The details aren’t really that important, we all have it but some of it gets stuck on your shoes and follows you around.
We don’t make friends with all this crap but we do say hi and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t set up house in our backyard. In fact, we have been hinting at the crap in our lives that maybe it’s time we saw other people and by geez I think it might have gotten the message. Finally, some great things have happened in our lives. We do believe in some of that love, light and mung beans, more than a little faith, and lots of hard work. I don’t exactly know what happened, maybe the balance turned, but we have had a week to outstand all weeks.
Firstly, hubby got a full month of work after what was an eternity of nothing much, he was scheduled for surgery to fix his sinuses, the tax office decided to give me a tidy sum back, and my husband is getting surgery to fix his wrist using a very forward thinking method in the next month.
All I have to say is thanks for the great shit that happens when you least expect it.
Chat soon – I have a rant on my mind and I’m not afraid to use it!
After an appointment with my doctor filled with lots of tears and an hour long massage at our local Salt Caves, I’m ready to revisit and share with you our trip home and time in Sydney at the end of our European vacation. I will start with our flight home from Abu Dhabi since we have already talked about the business class bliss from Athens to Abu Dhabi. So we board the plane and end up delayed on take off, which wouldnt have been so bad had it not have felt like a sauna in the plane for the whole time. The flight home was relatively uneventful and we were well looked after the whole trip (I will do a post later about the good bad and ugly of international travel at a later time). Our late departure meant we risked missing our transport to the hotel, especially when the lines to get through border security were horrific!!! Hours!!! Turns out however it really didnt matter because the transport company didnt seem to make their customers a priority and we sat waiting what seemed an eternity til near midnight. Considering I had an early morning conference the next day we decided to catch a cab to the hotel….ahhhhhh – yeah we got done and they over charged us and tried to scam us to call them for our transfer back to the airport.
We were so grateful to arrive at our beautiful and very luxurious hotel “The Menzies” complete with bell hop (is that even a real title or just in the movies?), indoor heated pool, massive breakfast restaurant (that cooks your eggs to order yes thankyou), and THE most amazing customer service I have ever experienced. Seriously, after the very hard mattress beds in Europe we were very happy to have a few nights in a lovely soft mattress in Australia! Our breakfasts were divine, although we didnt really give a thought to dinner and just bought something close by (in fact I think I even had a vegetarian burger at Hungry Jacks one night – I know….shock horror!!!). Lunches were just something from wherever we were but we did have lunch at the base of the opera house on the waterfront, and another at the RSL at Bondi Beach (not on the same day of course lol).
I had an absolute blast at the Ignite Tour with Emazon. Seriously folks if you have never heard of this woman check out my blog posts about her workshops, and head over to http://www.emazon.tv or http://www.rebelology.com.au – my whole way of thinking has changed and she is such a catalyst for a better future…words really dont do it justice. I was blessed to be able to go with my beautiful teenager who also swears by what she has learnt with the help of Emma. This was the main reason we came home earlier and had a few days in Sydney, just so we wouldnt miss the event since we missed the Brisbane one whilst we were in Europe.
We also spent a day just exploring what Sydney has to offer but if I’m completely honest Sydney just didnt excite me at all, but I made the most of it because it seems my kids love Sydney. We did get to do all the musts whilst we were there though – we finally saw the Sydney Opera House in its enourmous beauty, we ate lunch at the Opera House boardwalk restaurant, and travelled around the harbour on a ferry. We decided after all the stairs we did in Europe we would not use this trip to do a bridge climb on the Sydney Harbour Bridge however, and a smart decision that was I think.
The thing we loved most from our little recovery in Sydney was our day trip to Bondi Beach with my sister in law that lives not far from Sydney. Bondi is just as beautiful (if not more) than we had seen on television. Its beach stretched before us golden, and surrounded by beautiful views. We enjoyed a lovely lunch overlooking the beach before letting the kids have a swim – Lauren in the beach and Mackenzie in the little beach pool – whilst my sister in law and I explored the rocks.
We enjoyed a little Max Brenner before a good sleep to prepare for our trip home to the Sunshine Coast. We really were looking forward to going home to our pooch Bella, our comfy beds, and our beautiful beaches.
We arrived home to my parents and my brother in law waiting to pick us up from the airport…their help was very appreciated. Because our poochy wasnt coming home til the afternoon, we dropped all our stuff at home before heading straight to our favourite place One on La Balsa for lunch and a little walk along the waterfront. This will always be home for us no matter where we have been.
^^^OUR FAVOURITE VIEW – ALEX HILL
^^^LA BALSA – POINT CARTWRIGHT
Stay tuned for another post – I will do one on the best and worst of traveling internationally with our musts and must nots for every country, and another covering how we dealt with travelling overseas for 7 weeks with a child with APD AND SPD AND OCD and how you can make travel happen with your sensory kiddo.
The Rain In Spain Falls Mainly On The – hearts of all the long distance bus drivers!
Okay so this really wasn’t the highlight of our trip that we thought it would be – in fact it was kind of horrific really. In my head I had envisaged this whole awakened feeling of joy seeing the places that people visit on the Camino de Santiago…really got to stop building expectations before the actual event I think. We caught a high speed train from Montparnasse to Irun on the border of France and Spain, and from there we caught a taxi (after much difficulty trying to find one) to the hotel in San Sebastian. Now if we had just stayed in the hotel we would have been absolutely fine because it was super comfortable, beautiful breakfasts, wonderful attentive service…but we decided to explore San Sebastian instead.
San Sebastian is a beautiful backdrop of old buildings and cobble-type streets, mixed with churches, hillsides, beaches and old boating docks. Its very picturesque and worthy of the postcards you by at the touristy stops along the way.
Along the beaches is like a concrete walkway that was under the higher walkway kind of like a tunnel, that had archways along the front – bit hard to explain really. Although the day started out as rainy and miserable, it became quite sunny and warm and it wouldn’t be strange to think it was a bit like Melbourne weather. We enjoyed a lovely walk along the beach and thought it might be nice to go for a swim seeing all the English folk enjoying the water so we went to the waters edge and enjoyed the moment of frostbite as our toes felt the icy waves coming in. No I don’t think we will swim thankyou…
We did love the idea of tapas they have there and after seeing the beautiful church there, we went off in search of a lovely tapas bar to eat at – the spreads put on were beautiful and the social vibes were funky. Sadly though we did not get to enjoy this with most of it being all local seafood and cured meats, so we opted for a lovely little restaurant or two for our meals in San Sebastian. Did I mention that breakfast often was sweets here? The girls thought this was completely awesome! I was craving my raw spinach and vegetables.
After two nights we boarded the bus for Santiago de Compostela. That is when our real nightmare began. The trip we had thought was going to be a nine hour bus trip and we were well planned for that with snacks, water, and activities. It wasn’t til about four hours in that we realised that there may be no stops for meals, and we also found out that it was going to be a twelve hour trip. We tried to ask if we could duck out to a vending machine at one of the stops whilst they loaded up the suitcases but the bus driver stood in the walkway with hands in our face saying no very loudly and rudely. Despite us trying to explain (in Spanish we had translated by a friend) that we had no food for our children because the ticket did not state there would be no stops, the bus drivers still refused to let us off to get food for our kids. It was at this stage that I lost the plot and began crying…the feeling as a mother of not being able to provide food for your child when they are already distressed is a terribly helpless feeling and although it is definitely not the same, I now have a renewed empathy for mothers struggling to feed their children in refugee camps and third world countries. Finally an Aussie (at one of the stops and not even on our bus), saw our distressed and told us to get off now and the bus will come back for us. I cried with sheer relief, and let me tell you I could have kissed the ground when we finally arrived in Santiago.
The accommodation in Santiago was basic, but modern, comfortable, and the service was exceptional. We visited the church and enjoyed the energy of all the pilgrims that had arrived to end their long journey. We met lots of Aussies that had just finished it and they gave tips for our teenager who now wants to do the Camino – that would be the only reason for returning to Spain at this point. The church was beautiful and I wondered for just a moment how a simple building could bring up so many emotions for me when I realised it wasn’t the grandeur of the building, but the grandeur of the millions of tears and prayers that had taken place over many years in this place.
We left Spain much to our excitement and flew to Switzerland – by far my favourite place so far for its beauty….but as always thats for another time…
Have you got a horror story from one of your holidays? Share with me your story.
This is the poem I wrote in remembrance of the brave men in history. This is the first time I have shared this publicly so if you wish to share it please identify the source. To poppy and his forefathers…
“SOLDIERS OF GOLD”
Written by Tammy Pilton 25/04/05
The news spread like fire to every city and town,
That a battle was coming, so all gather round.
Come join the forces, as Australians you must,
Even those who have fear in God you must trust.
Mothers don’t fear and fathers have pride,
For these Soldiers Of Gold bravely march side by side.
For those who came willing excitement was strong,
For those who were scared, the journey too long.
As the shoreline drew close, their fate was sealed,
They had come the wrong way! Was the horror revealed.
As they row in closer, what is it they see?
But the unforgiving shores of GALLIPOLI.
The Turks were prepared, troops and guns like a wall,
Our Soldiers Of Gold disembarked and right there they did fall.
The assault on our boys was thick and fast,
As the bullets came strong their front didn’t last.
Those brave men pushed forward filled with dread and fear,
Knowing deep down that their death may be near.
As they dug in their trenches, for the long mighty haul,
Many Soldiers Of Gold chose to pray for the soul.
Days turned to weeks, months turned to seasons,
Filling time writing home not searching for reasons.
Words full of faith and hope, mixed with desperation,
Recording for history, their duties for our nation.
Both sides called cease fire to bury their dead,
These images of horror are now etched in their head.
The bravery they showed, the courage they had,
Built the foundations of mateship with their fellow lad.
This mateship meant not leaving one man behind,
This Aussie kind of mateship is hard to find.
Coming home was harder than going off to war,
They could not begin to describe the horrors they saw.
But home they did come, yet much smaller in size.
Welcomed with love, but with tears in their eyes.
Finally their battle is fought and finished at last,
Our Soldiers Of Gold are home, raise the flag at the mast.
Now many years on we still remember them,
Those Soldiers Of Gold the bravest of men.
Their sacrifice will be remembered throughout history,
As their families keep alight their flame of glory.
Their souls never lost, their spirits are found,
Wherever we walk on Australia’s free ground.
And though sometimes we’re sad,
Through our bittersweet tears we still see.
All our Soldiers Of Gold,
The heroes of GALLIPOLI.
THE MORE WE REMEMBER THE LEST WE FORGET.
To all who fight for what they think is right we will never forget. To all the families who are without a loved one for any length of time because they protect our country, we will never forget.