December 2011 ~ My IdeaLife

My Kingdom for a Kiss Upon Her Shoulder

It's been 18 years since his blood warmed our hearts and his, but his voice remains and still inspires...Read more...

The love of your life

Is it a man, is it a career, no it's superbaby!...Read more...

A lifetime of beauty in a song

Middle East (the band not the place) have somehow condensed the human experience into this soulful song: Blood...Read more...

Superwomen have it all by NOT doing it all

Superwoman really don't exist, it's more like Insanitywoman, so stop pretending and start outsourcing...Read more...

Saturday 31 December 2011

What will you remember about 2011?

This year has been one of those ones that stands out. I'm not sure if it's just my baby brain having a half life of six months and so I've completely forgotten everything about 2010, but this year somehow has made it pale into insignificance.

2011 will always be the year that I realised I will not live forever, it was like Death was trying to tell me something and for the first time I listened.

I never knew Steve Jobs but his words back in 2005 "have the courage to follow your heart" will haunt me until I truly take that first step towards my destiny. His death still makes me sad. What an amazing visionary that was taken from all of us far too early. At the same time his amazing thoughts and words inspired me to the point that I wrote an article about him that got published in a major newspaper, which ironically felt a touch like where my heart was leading me.

I met Gavin Larkin once, in a pitch situation. He was larger than life, vivacious, intelligent and compelling. At the time I didn't know that he had started RUOK? day for the prevention of suicide, and he didn't know that he already had cancer. His death this year was incredibly shocking, he was younger than me and left behind his wife and three children. His amazing life was captured by Australian Story, if you missed it I highly recommend you watch it here.

Ten years on we mourned again the loss of thousands of innocent people as we remembered 9/11. I had managed to not think too much about it since the shocking event took place, as I didn't know anyone who died. But with the gravity of motherhood I saw the grief of parents, partners and young children in a much deeper and clearer light, and one that cut me deeply. My heart still breaks for their loss.

And most drastically my immortal status quo was irreversibly challenged, when a beautiful friend with two kids the same age as mine was diagnosed with cancer in October. Something about someone so close to you, living a parallel life and it being disrupted so frighteningly has rocked my world. I'm sure not as much as hers and her gorgeous family's, but my heart broke when she told me and I know I will be in limbo until I find out she is going to be ok.

In 2011 my two babies became little boys. Their personalities developed and my eldest started speaking and giving me a whole new insight in to the way he sees the world. My youngest also showed us who he is going to become with his unwavering determination and gusto for life. And I woke up from probably a couple of years of sleep deprivation to realise how lucky I am to know these two amazing little beings. Yes they are hard work, yes it is insanely stressful trying to constantly protect them as they totter towards stairs or learn to jump off fences, but they are my universe, my joy, my pride and when I feel their arms wrapped around me, when I see them collapse in giggles, when they look at me with wonder and love, I realise it is me that has been given new life, in the creation of theirs.

Thanks to the existence of said perfect little creatures, in February this year I was inspired to start blogging, which has lead me to realise that writing is a bit of a passion of mine and one I'm hoping will continue to change my life. All those inane years of journal keeping seems to have had some benefits, other than one day explaining to my ancestors why they are slightly insane. I have been lucky enough to have work published all over the place but what has been more exciting is meeting other bloggers. In them I have found friends who somehow get the insanity that is the need to write and overshare, I mean, contribute to the world. The generosity, wit, intelligence and comradery I have found is so brilliantly unexpected. There are too many to mention but I can't let go of this year without thanking some of you for your support, encouragement and friendship:

Maria Tedeschi of Mum's Word
Purple_cath of Precocious Lotus Jewels
Nathalie Brown of EasyPeasyKids
Danielle Uskovic from Lenovo
Brenda Gaddi of Mummytime and Digital Parents
Emma Ashton of Reality Ravings
Andrea Zanetich of Fox in flats
Bernadette Morley of So now what?
Denyse Whelan 
Yvette Vignando of HappyChild
Sharon of Twitchy Corner
Mary-Ann Harris of Mah73
Kathy from SmallKucing
Alexandra Carlton and
the worst until last
Joe Hildebrand (aka the online sensation)

and Happy New Year to all of you, 
thanks so much for taking the time to visit and 
I hope I've given you as much joy this year as you have me! xxx

What will you remember about 2011?

Thursday 22 December 2011

FAT MEN, PRESSIES & LIES. I Love Christmas!

One photo I won't be showing the boys!
One thing that seems to roll out as a big concern every year is how commercialised Christmas has become. I used to be a raving looney, I mean born-again Christian, and so I remember that originally Christmas was a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but like many today, the Son of God is more likely to pop up throughout the year as a phrase I prefer to my other favourite “For eff’s sake!” 

So being such a disrespectful, blaspheming pagan, should I stop celebrating Christmas? Probably, but instead I am doing the opposite. In fact I am throwing myself into buying gifts, like the demon, that probably is possessing me as we speak. 

I have fallen hook, line and sinker for Santa and his reindeer, there will be a carrot left out for Rudolf, and some sort of stiff drink for the fat man himself. I am going to lie to my children about a whole lot of things and forget to mention a whole lot of other details, like how the chimney is blocked AND about a quarter of the size of the man that is going to come down it with a huge bag full of presents, including a trampoline. I am going to wheel out another implausible explanation I remember being told, when my 2yo inevitably asks me why he’s seen more than one Santa in one day, that is “they are his helpers”. (I didn’t fall for that one Mum and Dad, as much as I didn’t buy the sanitary napkin being described as a foot band-aid either, the adhesive would stick to the wound, hello?!) 

Anyway my point, if I ever get to it, is does it really matter that Christmas is commercialised? Isn’t it just marketing people taking advantage of us needing only the smallest excuse to buy the people we love presents? Giving and receiving and unwrapping and eating lots and playing games and talking about fake fat people that live in the North Pole making toys all year, do we really want to stop all that because it is not based wholly on the original meaning of Christmas? In any case if we are to become up-in-arms shouldn't it be because Santa Claus and Jesus Christ are both equally as fantastical as each other? At the end of the day, or year in this case, the only truth is these are the things we like to do and yes retail does benefit, but we do too.

And why not? We work hard all year so we deserve a bit of unadulterated, meaningless fun. And before you judge me as a vacuous party girl, consuming through life, I think there is meaning at Christmas. It may not be religious, it may not be based on anything that can or can’t be proven but it is a time to give to those you love, to those that have less than you, and to yourself.

Of course we need to be cautious with our spending and not over do it, I would never advocate giving beyond your means, and it shouldn’t be about dollar amounts in any case. It is truly the thought that counts, that is unless you are a complete scrooge, you know who you are. 

And I know that spending time with my husband and me will always bring more joy to the boys than anything I could buy, but I am addicted to their smiles, I'm in love with their laughter and I dream about their happiness. So if I get to give them both time and presents then BONUS! I have the means and so judge me if you like, because I am a big lying, spending Christmas sucker. 

On Christmas day I'll probably be passed out next to a fat man in a red suit (aka Dadda), all that toy-making (trips to various shopping centres) and flying around the world (fighting for car spaces), delivering pressies (wrapping, sneaking, wrapping, tying and more wrapping) and eating cake (cooking, ordering, preparing) catches up with you, you know! 

Merry Christmas everyone! (& apologies to all my gorgeous Christian friends!)
Where will you end up this Christmas?

Thursday 15 December 2011

SAD MAC: Apple ain't all Genius it seems

It seems the online gods are having a bit of a laugh with me of late. Firstly our telco decided to move our internet connection in such a way that once it was on the new system it didn't work. Look I used to work for a Telco and I know the spaghetti wire world that our internet connectivity is tenously balancing on, so the word 'migration' strikes fear into the hearts of most Telco workers because it loosely translates to call centre meltdowns and 24 hour days.
Secondly less than two days after getting back online, and being rightly credited for my downtime (Thank you iiNet) my infant-aged MacBook Pro, actually it is better described as 'my right arm' carked it. My little silver slice of former perfection is now telling everyone it comes across "I've had it, no more blog posts, no more tweets, facebook shits me too, and don't bloody start me on Google+! And do you think 11GB of photos is enough? no? Well just piss off then and leave me to die". Not so helpful from something that is currently storing the data from the last ten years of my life. And as it is our home computer it also has my whole family's life recorded on it.

But the real shite happened when I went to my beloved Apple for help. When it first died I called the Apple Ambulance and they tried CPR and then advised I rush it to Emergency, aka the Apple 'Genius' Bar. It seems 'Geniuses' are in high demand and I would have to wait five days to see one in the City. But if I felt like travelling 28km north I could see one that afternoon and the genius on the phone said they probably could have me up and running that afternoon. So off we went and 40 minutes later we were in the hands of a genius. This Genius was very friendly and kind and gave all the appearance of being as useful as a Mac itself. Problem was he's not really a genius, and it became apparant quite quickly that 'Genius' in an Apple Store could as easily mean 'Useless smiley fellow'.
Upon trying a data-transfer once and failing, they discovered the hard drive wasn't a standard Apple part and found it difficult to hide their relief at sending me on my way with my too-hard basket hard drive. Not before they made me drive all the way home though. So over 100 km later I said "It would be nice if you guys compensated me in some way for all this trouble given you have wasted my time and money and NOT fixed my computer, nothing drastic just a show of good will like an iTunes gift card or something?' With the smile never leaving his smug face "I'm sorry we can't help with that here".
If my Mac was fixed this pic would be so much funnier! May be it's a good thing they're not Geniuses.
Of course not, your customers actually don't matter any more because you have turned into a smiling robot. It would have made more sense if he said " Buzzzzzzz. Stop. Refusing.politely.". "Well I was having a good day until I spent 3 hours of my life affected by Geniuses such as you. Thank you too for absolutely nothing".

And there ends my long, long, long love affair with Apple. See this is the problem with great branding. We forget that the brand is not our friend. It is not even human and the more powerful it becomes the less likely it is to give a flying f**k about you. How quickly they forget that the relationship between a customer and a company is symbiotic and therefore precious. The reality is the real customers are their shareholders and although customers have put them where they are, it is rare to have any real respect for them.

I thought Apple were different, and not just because of their ad campaign. Even they are starting to forget they are dealing with people, with busy lives, families, pressures and values. Values about courtesy and consideration for others. And making good when you stuff someone around. If you don't you lose that person, they are the rules of life. And while ever your customers are human - you have to follow them, no matter how automated you become, or you will lose them, like you have me, one of your most loyal.

Saturday 10 December 2011

IS LOVE LOST BEST FORGOTTEN?: The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

There is nothing not to love about a movie who’s leading lady describes herself as applying “my personality in a paste”. From the moment Clementine, played by Kate Winslet, bounds to life, bowling over Joel’s (played seriously and amazingly by Jim Carrey) more conservative character, I was in serious adoration. 


“Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind” written by Charlie Kaufman, was his third film following the first brilliant, amazing, mind-blowing “Being John Malkovich” and his second, not as successful “Adaptation”. And although being released way back in 2004, is timeless in it's unique insight into our hearts. 

If like me you’ve been buried in poo and/or lego for years, you will have forgotten about this movie. But if ever there was something that could make you remember life before parenthood, this is it. You know when your biggest problem was finding the man of your dreams, or having found him, keeping the spark alive with dancing, music, movies, conversation and adventures. What else was there? 

My husband* describes most of my favourite movies as weird, so if you like mainstream, logical-type films, like he does, you will not like this one. This film is so weird any description is fairly lacking but it is centred around a couple, Clementine and Joel, who fall in love, then out of love and break up. Nothing new there, until Clementine happens upon a company that offers to erase the memory of Joel. When Joel finds out he does the same and we get to watch as he realises too late that he wants to remember their love.

It’s a crazy idea but somehow it takes nothing away from the rawness and beauty of love and heartbreak. I swim in the roller coaster of Joel and Clementine’s relationship, from toe-curling first kisses and romantic adventures to screaming and slamming doors.

Most of all I love the exploration of fate. What would my life have been like if I had never met this person or that? Is trying to change your existence fruitless because what is meant to be will always be, whether you like it or not? Is the love of your life someone you left behind or the person you are with?

I know there are a few blokes I could happily erase from my past – but would it make my life better or would I end up making the mistake again because I won’t learn from what I can’t remember?

If you need a break from the world of parenthood check this movie out and if you have teenagers, make them watch it too – they will be instantly cool!

*My husband should like this film when the lead character says this “Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating.” I might make him watch it again maybe after 8 years of marriage he will relate a lot more!

Monday 5 December 2011


For those of you that know me, you probably know I am SO not afraid to express my opinions in real life, but mainly on topics I know a lot about. So maybe if I was writing about advertising or marketing I would be out on a limb every day (stay tuned), but instead I mostly write about motherhood. As a fairly new Mum myself and with no formal parenting training I am very careful not to put myself forward as any type of expert in that area. Like most Mummy bloggers, I am bumbling through the most challenging experience of my life and all I can hope is that what I write shows empathy to other parents who were equally shocked by the challenges of parenthood.

So I was pretty surprised at the reaction of some women to a piece I wrote that was published on Mamamia last Tuesday. The article was my personal feelings surrounding sending my eldest to daycare. I intentionally put an alternative view forward simply because it occurred to me that maybe a bit of daycare would have done me good when I was younger, never dreaming this would be misconstrued as attacking stay-at-home Mums. Nor that it would incite nearly 500 comments.

One comment from a non-Mum created a very valid furore:
"Sorry, but what’s the point of having kids if you’re just going to ship them off somewhere? Yeah, I know, ppl need to work blah blah but if you can’t afford kids then don’t have them. Personally when I have kids, I’m going to look after them 24/7, I won’t have kids and palm them off willy nilly." 

Another Mum was in a fury:
“I do find this article infuriating. Is it not possible to simply outline all the positives you see about your own personal choice of parenting without having to resort to attacking any other choice that’s different to yours?...Please don’t assume that my daughter was sheltered and protected at home by a doting, grumpy mother…”

Another stated I was condescending and a bully to stay-at-home Mums. (I am not, for the record.) 

Another was a little more realistic and extremely funny:
"I am a SAHM. I would dearly LOVE to place (dump, bung, fling, fire out of a cannon) my children into daycare for a day or two a week. Can’t afford it. Sigh. It’s been 7 years at home and we’re all sick of looking at each other. I would love a chance to miss my children." 

And there were many gems of wisdom such as this one:
"The way I see it, it takes a village to raise a child, not a mum and dad in isolation, which is often the case now, we live so far from extended family." 

Needless to say my personal quandary caused a little bit of 'discussion' probably because modern parenting is so personal, contentious and varied. I am glad we have choices, however hard they may be, where our own Mothers did not. I think we will always have regrets, I already feel that it probably would have been better if my eldest went to kindy at 16 months instead of 9 months but my work situation did not allow for this (I was pregnant with my second and had to return for 6 months before going on maternity leave again). Then again as one wise commenter on Mamamia said, you can never tell what would have had better outcomes because you can’t run concurrent existences for your children to see if they would have faired better taking a different path.

One thing occurred to me though as I read all the comments, Lana Hirschowitz, the editor of Mamamia and Mia Freedman have the best jobs in the world if this is what they see most days. That is, passionate women who adore their children and truly want the best for them, which was the theme through most of the comments. Also the vast majority were empathetic, understanding and kind in their support for Mothers who face tough decisions involving the loves of our lives. We’ve all been there and the support between us is so crucial. Children used to be brought up by a community and although so many of us are isolated geographically, online can be that community at least for insanity-prevention if not for providing the break all Mums need now and then. 

For those that were judgemental, harsh and self-righteous well they can stay by themselves in their perfect worlds and have this video to keep them company. 

So go have a read and see what about 400 Mums feel about daycare – it is fascinating and mostly really heartwarming and encouraging. 

The video above is a part of a very funny series of videos, created by Valerie Stone Hawthorne you can watch more on YouTube or visit her blog 

Friday 2 December 2011

HOW TO KISS YOUR WAY TO THE TOP! Without the smelly after taste

As promised, every Friday I would bring you some insight into how to reinvigorate your übercool inner-self. This week is no exception, in fact I think I have happened upon the key to true alt-worthiness and it is so simple to execute. In fact it will only cost you about 2 extra seconds a day and BAM! Max Markson will be at the head of a screaming pack of agents trying to sign you up. 

It all became apparent when I was at a party recently and I was caught in an awkward moment with a woman whom I’d just met. Unperturbed by our lack of acquaintance she bobbed in for a second cheek kiss. I was completely confused, especially since she missed my cheek the first time, but nonetheless she ignored my ignorance and patiently waited for her second cheek to be acknowledged. Later I found out she was really somebody, as she lived in Woollahra. She was also putting up, I mean in a serious de-facto relationship with, a twenty-something salesman, despite her near-cougar status. And as a bonus he looked like he’d just walked off a catwalk in Milan. I especially liked how he winked at me and kissed my hand. When he even gave me his number in case I needed some pool cleaning products, ‘how lucky was she’ I thought 'to have someone so friendly and helpful, and I don't even have a pool!' 

Then it hit me, we could all be like her, all we have to do is add an extra cheek kiss to your current single slammer whenever you say hello or goodbye to anyone and everyone. Easy!

As I delved further into it, I realised the double kiss is a wave you just have to get on. And don’t be put off by the poor nobodies around you that end up awkwardly staring at your open second cheek for two whole seconds, they’ll get there eventually. And besides you are doing them a favour, as once they realise the benefits of the double kiss they’ll not only be swinging left and right with abandon, they’ll be so grateful they’ll end up smacking one on your ar5e too!

‘So what are the benefits?’ I hear you ask. Well they are many and varied. Firstly the double kiss instantly implies you are wealthy and probably from the upper class. It indicates a private education, probably enhanced by a lengthy stay in Europe, from which you possess an intellect far superior to most. It demonstrates a socialist idealism as you determinedly share your exclusivity with all levels of society in an altruistic and educational kind of way. And most importantly it shows your sincere generosity as you give twice as much as most.

In 99% of cases I would recommend an almost obsessive approach to the double-kiss, that is, even in the face of an ugly nose collision or confused chin suck, the second cheek must be set upon and christened. But proceed with caution if you ever find yourself outside the five-kilometre boundary of your capital city. A misplaced ‘peccadillo’ in the suburbs could incite the more common Glasgow kiss and a subsequent trip to Emergency. (Note: The upper North Shore is the exception to this rule, so much so you would be unceremoniously extradited if you didn’t double kiss!)

Overall the benefits of double-whammies definitely outweigh any negatives, I mean who really cares if some pleb calls you a Tosser, they’re just jealous of your amazing new status. It’s your fast-track to fame and fortune people, so get smooching and remember the cheeks you’re aiming for are at eye level, well most of the time anyway.

© MyIdeaLife, 2011. All rights reserved. Base image source: