A mental health day

Today I decided I needed a mental health day.

It was going to be a reasonably quiet day at work, I had plenty of rec leave up my sleeve and a very understanding boss.

A form tomorrow and a sigh of relief.

I had a few things to do.

I’m making a little slideshow for my mum’s 70th birthday.

How gorgeous is my mum?


There’s something about the sixties… so glamourous.

I love the headbands, the pointy shoes, the gloves, the hats.

In the morning I met the lady who is coming to clean our house.  We’ve been doing our own cleaning but with both of us working full time and a recommended cleaner available, I thought it was time to say yes.

OMG our house is disgusting!

I thought it was relatively clean – we had cleaned on Saturday – but no.

It seems that some people are gifted in that department.  I am not one of them.

Then I had to go over to Mum’s house to pick up some more photos… which enabled me to have another cuddle with my new niece and score some salad for lunch.

Afterward I played with the photos before leaving to pick up my kids from school – a rare treat.

I actually thought I was supposed to be having parent-teacher meetings but that’s tomorrow.

At the end of the day I feel as if I have been on holiday for a week.

So relaxed.  Nice clean house.  And organised for Mum’s birthday… with the small exception of the present. *worried look*

I think the idea of regular mental health days is a winner.  🙂




Warning: This post contains photos of my breasts



Yes I had a mammogram.  First one ever.

The clinic was very efficient.  I was in and out within about 15 minutes.

I probably would have been quicker but I asked the nurse if I could have a look at the plates.

Normally you get the photos taken and walk away to wait for the results, two weeks later, by post.

It took me three years to get a mammogram done.

Three years since I was sternly talked to by two of my closest friends to get them done.

Two years with the note from my GP in my handbag.

It wasn’t because I was scared.

I honestly thought the tales of discomfort were probably exaggerated for effect.

The tales are probably exaggerated to the same level that pain in childbirth is exaggerated.

Not. In other words.

You think at first that it’s not going to be that bad.

It’s firm pressure, yes, but painful?  No.

But then the nurse presses down just a little bit more.


You stand there, caught with one breast in a vice, thinking “For f**k’s sake take the picture already!”

And then they take the sideways picture.

Yikes!  It’s even worse.  Breasts aren’t supposed to be squashed that way.


So what’s the verdict?

Well I don’t know do I?

She talked about ducts and probable cysts but as they say in the classics – no news is good news.

I’ll hope just for a letter in the mail in a fortnight.

I told my mum by the way that I was having one done and she shocked me!

I’ve had a good life she said.  I don’t want to know.

That.  Does.  Not.  Compute.

She’s not even 70.

Mind you, she is so healthy and fit she’ll live to 100 or more with or without painful squishings.

Still it was a little… unsettling.

And as for me… two years until the next one.

UPDATE:  I have the all clear.

Just saying yes at the moment


This is a photo of Groover at the top of the overbridge that we walk on during our weekend’s walk.  He nearly always beats me to the top.

These days I find it hard to find the time to exercise.

Yes I know it’s an excuse.

Yes I know that if I really prioritised properly I would find the time.

The fact is my life is full and exercise comes a long way below family time, work, sewing, bridge, twittering, blogging, reading… just about anything in fact you care to mention.

I’m playing in two competitions at the moment – State Swiss Pairs – first night last night = epic FAIL, and the Interstate Women’s Selection.

Well I’m practicing for the latter.

I’m playing with two different partners with two quite different styles so it is quite interesting.  One seems as steady as a rock, but can be quite intuitive with her bidding – in a good way, the other follows the rules strictly.

As I’ve also been described as intuitive (but not in a good way), it makes for erratic scoring. 🙂

If only work didn’t get quite so in the way…

As far as sewing goes, I’ve made Dippity an outrageously short bubble skirt, which she of course wears ALL the time because it is so revealing – and not with leggings as I suggested.

And I ran up a pair of black pants to wear with the black and white overskirt Mum picked up at Freo Markets.  They were surprisingly simple to make.

Reading – well I’m taking an age to read the library books I’ve got out and have already had to go back and renew them.

Work is insane at the moment – I seem to be filling in for several people all at the same time – and I am so over fire season!

Family – yes they still seem to be occupying the same house… Hugamuga gets his lower braces tomorrow…

And so to exercise. LOL.

At least giving up alcohol seems to be helping control the weight.  17 days and going strong.  You never know I might even make it to the end of the month.

The other thing I’m trying this month – in the spirit of open-mindedness – is Bettina Arndt’s just say yes policy in the bedroom.

It raised my hackles when I first heard her talk about it.  It struck me as a blow for feminism and the rights of a woman to say no.



Okay perhaps I’m not entirely living without exercise at the moment.

The power of song

Remember me telling you about this singing group?

I go past them on my walk every Saturday.

They meet around 9am outside The Blue Duck (this is the cafe in front of which Ken Crew was killed by a shark – remember that?)

Well today instead of power walking past them (*snorts* at thought of actually power walking), I turned around and went back to ask them who they were and why they sang every Saturday.

Turns out they are the Perth Ukelele Club and they have been going about 18 months.  It started with three people and gradually people joined and now they have quite a healthy group going.

They love the ukelele because it’s a really easy (apparently) instrument to play and quite a cheap one too – about $25.

The organiser – who wasn’t there today – has collected a song book of songs with the chords and they take turns to choose a song.

They invited me to join them and sing!

Obviously singing voice doesn’t matter.  Nor did sweaty attire from walking 5Ks.

While I was working out whether to stay and prove to them I couldn’t sing or continue on my walk one of the group told this story.  She is a doctor and works in Emergency and this week she used singing to help cure someone:

So did I stay?

Of course!  We sang Bad Moon Rising, Bye Bye Love, Let it be, I have a dream, California Dreaming (harder than you think!) and many others.

Afterwards I walked home with a lighter step.

And I’m half convinced to buy us all ukeleles for Christmas.

What to say to someone with cancer

It’s horrible news.

It takes you out of your comfort zone.

Your easy relationship of the past has gone.

Suddenly all the rules have changed.  Your friend could be dying.  Suddenly you don’t know what to say.

Big C is in the room.

But have the rules changed?  

Has your relationship altered?

Does your friend feel different about you?

Of course, the fact is that nothing has changed.  Your friend had cancer before he or she told you about it, before they themselves knew.

The only thing that has changed is your comfort level.

Get over it.

I was speaking with someone with cancer last night, in fact, she was going in for some more chemo today.

When she was first diagnosed, eight years ago, she said the most marvellous thing that happened was that three male friends of hers rang her and told her they loved her.

One of them (I’m proud to say) was my dad – who went to school and university with her husband.

She has carried that with her in the eight years since.

So if you are in any doubt as to what to say to someone diagnosed with cancer, the lesson I’ve learned is to ring them, and tell them that they are loved by you.

As Patrick Dodson, WA Senior of the Year said – “I don’t know what the questions are – but I know the answer is love.”

Caught in the act

Since November 2006 I have carefully avoided my former gym, across the road from work in East Perth.  I had been a member there longer than any other gym I’ve been a member of.

I used to find it quite convenient to pop out during lunchtime for a quick half hour workout.

But then I went on holiday to Ireland (yes I’m blaming the Irish) and after that I never really got back into the rhythm of regular exercise.

Hence joining the team at Club HASAY.

So yesterday I had to walk to the bank at the end of the road to get coffee money.  It was a beautiful morning and I was quite pleased that the rediteller downstairs at the cafe was out of order, forcing me into the fresh air.

I got my money and almost skipped along the road to my favourite coffee pot – Punch.

As I neared the corner where my gym is, I blanched.

I’d forgotton to swap to the other side of the street and there, eyeballing me, was my former personal trainer – Dean – who remembered my name…

“Hey Cellobella, how’s it going?  Doing much exercise lately?”

Of course it was obvious that I hadn’t been.

I couldn’t get out of there quickly enough and I came up with the perfect exit line.

“So Dean, when is the next boot camp?”

“Not til January…”

“Oh,” I said, “What a shame… well, better go.  Bye!”

As if I was going to do boot camp.  *snort*

So how is the exercise-diet thing going?

Well I’ve been walking 3-4 times a week but the diet is a bit of a worry… apart from lunch.  The Lunch Club at work is still going strong and really works well.

I’m sitting here now, waiting for my lunch to arrive, waiting for the surprise!

Now if only I could organise a dinner club…

The working lunch

I’ve been pretty good this weekend. Yesterday I spent five hours weeding in the garden.

It was long overdue – thigh high thistles – and it took me ages to clear just a small section of my garden.

I figured that counted as exercise.

Then, this morning Groover and I went for an 8 kilometre walk. It was a beautiful day. My legs are aching now though.

Unfortunately two days of exercise won’t make up for the five days of slackness before hand but in that time it was my birthday and I made a dress so I figure that counts for something.



Anyway here’s my exciting news which I’m sure will excite my fellow Club HASAYers – especially the ones who work outside the home.

At work we’ve formed a lunch club.

(no, really, this is good… keep reading)

What we do is each day one of us makes lunch for all five in the group. The lunch must be lo-fat and healthy.

It’s brilliant. It’s cheaper than getting lunch from the local cafes, it means we always have a healthy lunch that we don’t have to make and it makes us part of a little community. It means each day we get a surprise. And really – making one salad or five doesn’t really take that much more effort.

My first day is Wednesday and I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. I’m a bit nervous the girls won’t like my salad. So, any recipes, tips would be gratefully received.

The stink of nightmares

How did you sleep last night?

If you woke up with a nightmare it might be worth making sure there are no stinky smells near where you sleep.

Experts have discovered that when you smell something pleasant, like roses, you have “positive” dreams.

But if you smell something yucky, like rotting eggs, you tend to have “negative” dreams.

My advice… be careful who you sleep with… no farting!

Or maybe – keep a window open!

PS:  Maybe the sweet smelling flowers explain why my girl used to sleep well?