Thursday, 14 February 2008

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

From little things, big things grow...

Took the Children Away, Archie Roach, 2006

Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations – this blemished chapter in our nation’s history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Wednesday 13th February 2008

To quote Kerry O'Brien, journalist today 'Can't wait for the big things...'

And as always, Mez says it better...

From Little Things, Big Things Grow - Paul Kelly, Kev Carmody and John Butler - Make Poverty History

Thursday, 7 February 2008

A bad case of the blah, blah, blahs...

Driving home last night in the car, I caught the last half of Peter Gabriel's and Kate Bush's "Don't Give Up". I loved this song when it first came out in 1986 (1986 - hooley dooley!), even though it always made me a bit melancholy, though the Shannon Noll/ Natalie Bassingthwaighte version was a travesty.

So I listened to it, even sang along with Kate for awhile until I found myself tearing up... why I always cry while driving the car always puzzles me, should probably avoid sad lamenting songs, though even listening to talkback and something moving will make me cry... sigh...

Well, anyway... this song reflects a bit about whats going on with me and some of those I consider mine at present, and in listening to it again today I realised sometimes my mood reflects the man's laments and sometimes I find myself taking on Kate's role of comforter, hopefully a warm place in the dark...

And I'm also left pondering why I'm so drawn to people who walk that line between light and dark... and sometimes fall...

in this proud land we grew up strong
we were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail

no fight left or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I've changed my face, I've changed my name
but no one wants you when you lose

don't give up
'cos you have friends
don't give up
you're not beaten yet
don't give up
I know you can make it good

though I saw it all around
never thought I could be affected
thought that we'd be the last to go
it is so strange the way things turn

drove the night toward my home
the place that I was born, on the lakeside
as daylight broke, I saw the earth
the trees had burned down to the ground

don't give up
you still have us
don't give up
we don't need much of anything
don't give up
'cause somewhere there's a place
where we belong

rest your head
you worry too much
it's going to be alright
when times get rough
you can fall back on us
don't give up
please don't give up

'got to walk out of here
I can't take anymore
going to stand on that bridge
keep my eyes down below
whatever may come
and whatever may go
that river's flowing
that river's flowing

moved on to another town
tried hard to settle down
for every job, so many men
so many men no-one needs

don't give up
'cause you have friends
don't give up
you're not the only one
don't give up
no reason to be ashamed
don't give up
you still have us
don't give up now
we're proud of who you are
don't give up
you know it's never been easy
don't give up
'cause I believe there's the a place
there's a place where we belong
(Peter Gabriel)

Monday, 28 January 2008

Miss Frou Frou has entered the building...

Well, I'm back... not sure for how long... but am here anyway...

To any of you still checking in occasionally I have no excuses for not posting very regularly apart from the fact that I haven't felt the need to say much of anything.

What's been happening?

Working for the man... Well - I had a job interview early December, that didn't pan out - which is probably not a bad thing... but it's left me in a bit of a quandary - I feel restless and unhappy about some elements of my work, and there are lots of opportunities out there at present, BUT I love the team of people I work with and while there are days when I could cheerfully throttle others around the place, the team make it all bearable. I know I could go somewhere else, possibly earn more dollars, and also find a role that would reduce some of the stress I'm currently under...

But I'm wondering what is important... the fact that I've found a little niche for myself, working with a group of people I love and respect, who appear to love and respect me (on my good days) and tolerate my eccentricities and histrionics (on my bad days). Or the need to have a job that fulfills me in a way that my present one doesn't completely... and run the risk of finding the job, but not enjoying the people quite so much... (sounds a bit like my eternal quandary about men!)

God bless rest you merry gentlemen women...
I had a quiet, contemplative Christmas/ New Year that has rolled on into most of January. Lots of reading (2 to 3 books a week), watching TV (catching up on shows from 2006/2007), sleeping and even some quilty things...

Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home... it looks likely that I will need to find a new home sometime this year, as my landlords have decided against offering me a new lease, as they are thinking of selling. I got very, very depressed at this... this is my 4th year here, and it is very much my home. Initially decided if I have to leave, then I want to do it on my terms, and got even more depressed looking at what passes for decent, affordable housing around here. But discussing this with friends have decided to just wait and see what happens.

The Queen of stuff... Have spent the weekend sorting through my 1930s reproduction fabrics partly because I was inspired by stumbling across this post on the Happy Zombie - hooley dooley I'd love me a stash like that says I... then realised I've probably got close to a stash like that already! Have well over 200 different 1930s reproduction fabrics -let alone all the other fabric I've accumulated.

Now, considering Ms.J. has twisted my arm painfully (yeah right) to go along to a Dear Jane workshop and maybe start one of these suckers, I figured using 1930s fabrics might be the go, if I had enough of them (ha,ha, ha...).

But seriously, my fabric obsession seems ever so slightly out of control... I don't even know what I've got anymore... so, progressively working my way through and sorting and folding seems like a good idea... and maybe culling?
funny pictures
moar funny pictures
Am also doing the same with my book collection... with 7 full height bookshelves groaning under the weight of books, I'm going through and being ruthless... have I read it? Yes. Do I want to read it again? Yes - then keep, if no - dispose. If I haven't read it yet do I want to? No - then discard!

If I am going to have a move, then I need to get organised so that I'm not taking anything with me, that I don't want or need. I've still got boxes from the move 4 years ago, that haven't been unpacked!

A room of her own... Well, I've got a whole house, but have also got organised and bought myself a decent desk, chair and a new monitor and keyboard. I am currently churning out a suite of policies and procedures for work. Churning being the operative word... have been more productive this month in this area than I had been all year - I think primarily as I've been set up with remote access at home, and encourage to spend a day a week at home working, which is blissful without the everyday distractions of people popping in and phone calls.

I've discovered I can be quite disciplined with this working from home thing... hoping that when the current mad spurt of work is over I can roll that over into being disciplined to do some creative writing of my own.

The writing of anything for pleasure has gone by the wayside at present, too much professional writing happening to even get into the right headspace... another reason why I've not been posting much.

And so it goes... as for personal stuff... I'm good. Nothing momentous happening, just enjoying myself, probably being a bit more solitary than I normally would be at this time of year, but not unhappily so... though I'm busy organising a sort of birthday bash for mid-March which looks like being fun - dinner and dancing with some mates, and generally making mayhem!

Oh well.... need to get back to fabric folding... catch you later...

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Dance little lady dance...

We had our work Christmas Party last night... a torturous drive up into the mountains only to discover on arriving at the Restaurant that they'd lost power!

So what was meant to be a 3 course meal with a DJ to dance the night away looked like turning out to be a bit different...

BUT... one of the reasons I love my work is people seem to be able to make the best of situations... we had candlelight all over including candles in the loo's so we could see what we were doing... and a cold entree, 130 warm dinners cooked on one small gas cooktop and purchased icecreams for dessert!

The disappointing thing was the lack of music... but when one couple got up onto the dance floor and started to dance to nothing... I said to one of my colleagues, what we should be doing is formation dancing like The Nutbush, Bus Stop etc. She said, I'm game if you are... so out we went and started to do the Nutbush and then within seconds had about a dozen girls up dancing in perfect harmony...

Next thing we know the DJ, doing a wonderfully inventive improv of his own, rigged up his ipod to his laptop and with the aid of the emergency evacuation megaphone we had music... tinny, distorted but music... and we were off!

I then spent the better part of the night dancing, at one point teaching some of the others basic belly dancing so we shimmied and wobbled across the floor... but the best part of the night was dancing with Ms. J... one of my workmates who is just totally gorgeous and insane. At one point I kissed her smack on the lips and said I love you as you make me feel pretty normal in comparison to your antics. Ms.J. has a basic style of dance... dorky ala Kath and Kel! And she gets into it with such gusto that she had us all doing it... though she was the only one regularly flashing her knickers.

At one point the only 4 people left on the dance floor making monkeys of ourselves were myself, Ms. J. and 2 other work colleagues and we let it rip... bogan dancing to AC/DCs you shook me all night long. When a disapproving person made some wisecrack to my boss... she came up and joined us, much to the amusement of the majority of the others...

Am paying for it today... can barely move... but gee it was worth it... I had the bestest time...

For those of you not familiar with Kath and Kel just watch this, and watch Kath (silver permed foxy lady) to get an idea of what Ms. J and the rest of us got up to!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

I hope I never....

As I've been a bit of a slack-arse with both posting and keeping up to date with friends blogs I didn't realise that Karina had tagged me to do a meme and tell you 5 things about me I've never told before. Karina put a great spin on her meme and revealed 5 things she's never done... so I'm going to do the same but with a twist 5 things I hope never to do... or never to do again!

One: Work early morning shifts
My ideal job would be a job that started at midday... actually last week I did a couple of days where I worked till 8.00pm... it was bliss. Even though I started work at my normal time, I got so much work done between 4.00-8.00pm I am seriously thinking of asking if I can change my hours so that I work till 7.30pm (at least during the summer and daylight savings). Can't work till 8.00pm as I discovered last week at exactly 8.00pm the alarm activates... frightened me half to death...

Gone are the days where I will willing start work at 7.00am (unless I can work in my pj's!)

Two: Stand on the observation deck of any high rise building
I've discovered it's not heights I'm afraid of so much... it's falling. I can look out the window of a plane, can even stand at a lookout and look off into the distance... just don't ask me to look down! Famous at a previous workplace for going green at the gills and almost fainting when the electrician climbed over a guardrail and balanced precariously while trying to change a light globe. Equally as famous for refusing to walk into a training room with floor to ceiling windows in the high-rise Rialto building and then collapsing in a shaking heap when the trainer tried to reassure me by pressing his entire body against the glass.

I think in a previous life I was the virginal maiden sacrificed to the gods by being chucked into a volcano!

Three: Go to see the Monster Trucks, Car Racing, Motorbike Grand Prix et al.
I knew it was luuurv with Boomerang Boy when I agreed to go to the Monster Trucks with him one night instead of going for a walk to see the Christmas Lights along the Boulevard... sigh...

To make matters worse... he then proceeded to spend the rest of the night roaming around with his best buddy, turns out I was invited along to keep his mate's heavily pregnant girlfriend company so the boys could go watch their toys and dream....

Three: Internet Dating (those Lonesome Losers websites)
Conversation with the Nature Boy today about the ridiculous real estate prices at present that went off on a typically strange (for us) tangent:

MFF: I will probably rent for the rest of my life as I won't be able to afford to buy a house.
NB: Yes, you will.
MFF: Only if I find a man who wants to keep me in the style I wish to be accustomed to!
NB: Well, that'll happen too!
MFF: Do you think so?
NB: Yes!
MFF: I don't think that's very likely... in order to meet someone you actually need to leave the house!
NB: Well, eventually... but you could meet him and get to know him online
MFF (shaking her head furiously): Seriously... no way... the last guy I met online told me he had to leave early even before I got my coat off... and then ended up staying around for 3 hours, paying for my dinner, telling me he had a great time and would like to see me again and then a week later ringing me and saying he would like to stay in touch but he was pursuing other options and by the way he had found himself strangely aroused by me, had I been trying to arouse him and had I been aroused too!
NB (laughing): That is kind of weird...
MFF: That's the thing, he seemed so normal too... I think it's me... I bring out the odd in people
NB: Yeah, I can relate to that... (laughing)

Five: Go camping...
Back in the day when I advertised in the personals, probably a good 80% of the men who responded to my advert after telling me their name and occupation and the suburb they lived in told me they liked going camping! There was one memorable guy in his voicemail who said in a fairly decent Sylvester Stallone/Rocky Balboa voice 'Ummm... I like going fishin' and campin'... and ummm... walks on the beach, and ummm going to the movies, but I 'specially like fishin' and campin'...'

Before anyone yells at me... I realise that there are lots of people who like camping, including some females... but not this little fat duck! My idea of roughing it is a 3 star motel! And I once told Peter Rabbit that I really liked the great outdoors... as I watched it out the window on my way to the bed and breakfast!

I also told him earlier in the year, when he suggested that cuddling up in a sleeping bag was romantic, that I wasn't adverse to sharing a sleeping bag, or a tent for that matter... the man of my dreams will pitch that tent in the middle of the living room or better yet the penthouse at the Hyatt.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Songs to fall in love by... It Might Be You...

Time... I've been passing time watching trains go by
All of my life...
Lying on the sand, watching seabirds fly
Wishing there would be
Someone waiting home for me...

Something's telling me it might be you
It's telling me it might be you...
All of my life...

Looking back as lovers go walking past...
All of my life
Wondering how they met and what makes it last

If I found the place
Would I recognize the face?

Something's telling me it might be you
Yeah, it's telling me it might be you

So many quiet walks to take
So many dreams to wake
And we've so much love to make

I think we're gonna need some time
Maybe all we need is time...
And it's telling me it might be you
All of my life...

I've been saving love songs and lullabies
And there's so much more
No one's ever heard before...

Something's telling me it might be you
Yeah, it's telling me it must be you
And I'm feeling it'll just be you
All of my life...
It's you..
It's you...
I've been waiting for all of my life...

Maybe it's you...
Maybe it's you...
I've been waiting for all of my life...

Have been playing the radio in the car lately, after weeks of total silence, and doing my usual channel surfing and finding myself listening intently to a variety of mushy love songs... one of which was this one... by Stephen Bishop - used to wonderful effect in the movie Tootsie.

And no - not falling in love... just being a bit wistful... and thinking it's probably not a bad thing to articulate what I want... I want to have someone to sing this song to... well the quiz on Xine's blog says nice things about me... mostly...!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Things I have learned... in no particular order of importance...

  • Drooling and dribbling and sighing 'oh my god, look at the size of his hands' is probably not the most appropriate response when being introduced to the very cute, but very young (28) new guy at work...
  • I am not much of a team player... I love working as part of a team, as long as no-one else is doing MY job...
  • I do not delegate well...
  • Working 10-12 hours days for 3 weeks in a row in order to have a week off kinda defeats the purpose of having a holiday...
  • Particularly when you then go back to working 10-12 hour days on your return...
  • Telling men that you need to mother-proof your house prior to a visit has them thinking of p0rn and a drawerful of goodies... and their eyes glaze over...
  • As does telling them that you are going on a d1ck-free weekend with your girlfriends...
  • Having slightly hairy legs on a girls away weekend is probably better than attempting to shave said legs at midnight in the bathtub when you've spent the previous 48 hours doped up to the gills due to back spasm...
  • Legs bleed a lot...
  • Starting belly dancing lessons is probably not the smartest thing to do when you are in the middle of a full blown fibromyalgia episode...
  • People think it's funny that the one body part that gets injured after belly dancing lesson number one is your ANKLE...
  • Keeping quiet about the boobage and bum cramp after your first belly dancing lesson is probably not a bad thing...
  • Men, want to talk to me and feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with me, which is lovely...
  • Feeling comfortable enough to shut up and just jump my bones on occasion would be even lovelier...
  • Despite the fact that I often make reference to being a little fat girl, and my humour is self-deprecating, I actually like myself, a lot...
  • Which is probably just as well, as it becomes clearer every day that my world and the rest of the planet are often slightly out of kilter and it's likely to be a long while before a lovely man tells me to shut up and jumps my bones...
  • Just as well I'm an optimist... someday my prince will come... sigh!

Sorry... you know what they say... if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all... well... that's why I've been so quiet...

Friday, 2 November 2007

She's back.......!

Hi all... have you missed me? Have you really missed me?

When I had a tarot reading a couple of weeks ago when she said that the next few months would be primarily focussed on work she wasn't kidding... pity this is what my work is life at present... sigh...

If you're feeling in the mood to laugh out loud often you'll find more of the brilliance of Doug Savage's Savage Chickens here.

And just 'cause... it seems a very appropriate at present... my life as a movie.... would be... wait for it...

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Black Comedy

In your life, things are so twisted that you just have to laugh.
You may end up insane, but you'll have fun on the way to the asylum.

Your best movie matches: Being John Malkovich, The Royal Tenenbaums, American Psycho

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Drive-by blogging.... watch out for that tree... I mean fence!

Further to my previous post, this is how I am currently feeling!

And on Thursday night, after 3 days of 10+ hours days and an average of 3-4 hours sleep each night, I decided to go with NPNP to see Hairspray...

Great movie by the way, want to go and see it again... they are doing sing-a-long versions already.

Glad I caught up with NPNP, and glad I saw the movie despite being utterly exhausted BUT turning into my driveway about 10.00pm, I stopped as I usually do to collect my mail from the letterbox, climbed back into the car and accelerated up the drive to the sound of crunch, bang...

As I'd turned into the drive I was closer to the fence then I realised and dragged the car's passenger side along the fence line taking the car down to base metal in several places as I caught the metal edge of the fence protector FENCE 1 CAR 0

I've driven up this driveway at least 5 times a week for the last four years... I just sat in the car and had a quiet sob for a few minutes... then came inside to toss and turn till 3.00am... and then slept for 3 hours to get up and drag myself off to work for a 7.00am start.

Car will take a week to fix... which means I will either have to take some time off... almost impossible to get from my place to my place of work by public transport, or see if anyone who lives in neighbouring suburbs might be give me a lift... either way I'm going to have to curtail my working hours.... the universe trying to tell me something do you think?

Note: Friday night sleep tally - in bed and asleep with the light on at 11.30pm - slept through until 9.00am! Last night... asleep by 1.00am ... awake at 8.00am... so may be the sleep thing is going to settle down.

Am going to try this week to see if leaving at a normal time (i.e. 5.30pm) and going home and fixing dinner etc. and then sitting down at computer to do some work after I've eaten, might help with the sleep thing... am sure leaving work at 7.30pm and eating dinner at 9.00pm isn't a healthy thing!

Also as a result of Friday's meeting with Safety Inspector it's clear that we need some additional resources to manage the current crisis... so will be talking to the powers that be about bringing in a contractor to help out... either that... or I curtail some of my projects as this level of craziness is unsustainable!

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Drive-by blogging.... working for the man

Sorry I haven't been around much... some major dramas at work that have seen me trying to do my own job plus someone else's (working 10 hour days)... combined with a mega bout of insomnia (have averaged about 3-4 hours sleep a day all week) and the odd panic attack... is it any wonder I've been quiet!

Hope to be back soon... maybe not posting... but at least getting around to read what everyone else is up to ...

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Love of my life wanted, must love cats...

More tales of the Boomerang Boy
MFF: Hi, how are you?
Not good, I tripped down the stairs and I've hurt myself

How did you do that?

Mrs Boomerang's bloody cat was scratching my bag and I chased it and slipped

(laughing) - Oh poor you...

Damn cat! I told her it had to go ... so she's given the cat to her mother


Yep, told her either the cat went or I did

You know what I would have done if you said that to me, don't you?


Let me help you pack your bags sweetie...

(laughing) See, that's why I didn't marry you!

Indiana has a blog post today about single women getting rid of their pets if they want to date! With the utmost respect to Indy, he can bugger off!

I've had pets all my life, and one of the things I missed most when I moved out of home was the presence of animals. I love cats and dogs, but do believe with my lifestyle that a dog would be an indulgence. But have two cats, getting Gertie the year I moved out, and then Gracie the following year to keep her company when my nephew moved out and she was spending a lot of time on her own.

We are a package deal... and I'm aware that there are men who do not like cats, which is why I tell prospective dates about mine early on... I'm not going to waste either his or my time if he has an allergy or an active dislike of them.

In the same way that I don't date men who have children but don't play a role in their lives (unless there are circumstances like distance etc. that prevent it) I wouldn't date a man who would expect me to give up my animals...

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

What the.....? Misunderstanding Men

It's really simple... Women speak subtle. Men do not.

It's that easy, you want a guy to know that you like him and you are interested in having him pursue and chase you, then you need to be less don't want to be too obvious, but you need to be less subtle... Indiana

The above comment was left on my last post... You Say Potato, I Say Potato... Misunderstanding Men

And a few weeks ago Midwest posted about advice from Wombat on Kiss & Blog that goes as follows:

1. Don't initiate anything with a guy (not even friendship), ever
2. Don't initiate anything with a guy (not even friendship), ever
3. Don't initiate anything with a guy (not even friendship), ever

Is it any wonder that I am so totally ambivalent about dating!

I think I might do better becoming lesbionic... sigh....

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

You say potato, I say potato.... Misunderstanding Men...

More tales of the Boomerang Boy...

Hi, it's Frou

Oh, hi - what can I do for you?

Um... is there something you wanted to ask me?

No, why?

Ohhh... I'm sorry... I've been mistaken, sorry to bother you

No, wait... what do you mean?

T said you had asked her if she thought I might go out with you if you asked. She's obviously playing some sort of game... trying to embarrass either you or me

OH... no, that's right I did talk to her about it... what did you tell her?

I told her yes

(Awkward silence)

Umm... so... are you going to ask me?

Ohhh... I thought you might ummm ask me....

B, why do you think I rang you in the first place?

OH! Yeah... right... so you're asking me out... Cool!

I should have ran... I really, really should have...

And new tales of Boof...

Boof: Hi, what are you wearing?

Heah, you have no right to play those games...


Girlfriend, remember?

Oh yeah.. but nothing wrong with indulging in wishful thinking

You had your chance mate, and you blew it...

When did I have my chance? There was never a chance... was there?

What did you think I was doing all those nights hanging around at work till midnight sitting out on the back steps drinking coffee while you smoked?

Having a break from work?

And why did you think I volunteered to take the minutes for you when you were Football Club President?

You liked football?

And why was it that my girlfriends all accidentally bumped into us those nights at the pub and joined us?

Shit... they were checking me out! Seriously? You were interested in me?

You are an idiot!

But, but... that's not fair... I didn't know...

Doesn't matter now, does it... like I said you had your chance...

Email later in the day:

Boof:I still think you can't blow a chance you didn't know you had to begin with

Don't sulk, it doesn't become you...

And now for the Nature Boy

MFF: Can I ask you something? As a member of the male species, who knows me reasonably well?


Am I flirt? My girlfriends all claim I am a terrible flirt...

No, not at all... you're very playful and full of banter but not at all flirtatious

Ok, thanks

(Unspoken thoughts) I seriously need to lift my game... cause for a brief while back in the beginning I actually was flirting with him... !

So, I'm pondering...

Are men clueless?

Or am I pathologically incapable of understanding them?

Sunday, 16 September 2007

With my body I thee worship....

Boomerang Boy: She's a 'what you see is what you get' kind of girl
Miss Frou Frou: And I'm not?

BB: No way!

MFF: Seriously? What do you mean?

BB: You're like Forrest Gump's Chocolates...
you never know what your going to get until you bite into it...
MFF: But you like chocolate?

BB: Yeah, but I want to know what kind it is before I eat it!

The above exchange took place about 4 years ago, as part of a discussion about the kind of relationship BB wanted into the future, and why he was marrying someone else, even though he still professed some feelings for me.

It lead to some interesting conversations with friends at the time, as I tried to understand what he meant. Most of my friends saying they thought I was open and honest and very much a 'what you see is what you get' kind of girl... though interestingly a conversation with MLF (my first love who I've known for over 25 years) was illuminating...

MFF: He said I wasn't a 'what you see is what you get' kind of girl
MFL: He's talking through his arse... you're a straight shooter

MFF: Thanks... even way back when we first meet and we were going through all
that 'will we/ won't we' stuff of our relationship?
MFL: (silence - laughter) .... Oh yeah, I see his point...

All of this is playing out in my head at the minute, as B and S at work are dead keen on turning 'find Frou Frou a man' into their next project... wanting to put my profile up online etc. and I am so ambivalent about it all... and I'm wondering why I am so unenthusiastic...

What also keeps playing through my head is a conversation with Nature Boy earlier in the year.

NB: Do you realise every time the subject of men and relationships comes up you either snort dismissively or you do the eyeroll thing?
MFF: Yeah, well that's because the whole men/relationships thing and I don't fit very well
... always ends up in tears before bedtime
NB: You're not very confident about yourself, are you?

MFF: Oh, you've misunderstood. I am very confident... I know I am an amazing woman and some man would be extraordinarily lucky to have me.
NB: Umm... ok... (looking at me like I'm an alien)
MFF: Where I lack confidence is in the single men out there and they're ability to see me for the Goddess that I am...

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Extra! Extra! Read all about it... Miss Frou Frou unmasked...

One of my favourite bloggers, Candid Karina recently posted her response to this great new meme.

The Rules: A blogger interviews you, and you post the answers on your own blog. Then you invite readers to volunteer to be interviewed, and you interview THEM, and they post it on their blog, and on and on we go...

I volunteered to be interviewed and below are Karina's great questions and my long-winded fluffy waffle in response... Anyone that would like me to interview them... leave a note in my comments...

1. First, let's get the obvious out of the way: Tell us the when, how and why about the birth of your blog.

I started blogging in February in a typically round and round the garden Frou Frou way... I met the Nature Boy just over 12 months ago... and almost from the get go we had these games of email tag. He's the King of short responses, a skill I've yet to master (no really - says everyone!) but he used to enjoy my mini-stories and general lunacy... and constantly encouraged me to write... something he continues to do... which is unbelievably lovely.

Around the same time, I happened across the blog Reasons You Will Hate Me and became an avid lurker, enjoying MsFits and her fans and detractors, Friday Q&A becoming a must read every Saturday morning over my Vitabrits. And from there started reading others, and got a bit of a hang for how this all worked... had heard of blogs but never read one... what can I say... I'm technically backward... only buying a DVD player a year ago, and cracking everyone up today trying to connect a USB to a laptop... but I digress...

So, started to think that blogging would actually suit me. I like writing, have always been comfortable with email as a form of keeping up with people, and blogging is just a way to do it on a much broader stage. Those that know me, say my emails are like having a conversation with me, reading my words and they hear my voice... and friends in RL who have read here say the same. (Though there aren't many RL friends reading anymore... or if they are they are lurking... come out, come out wherever you are).

2. Your blog name...explain please.

My friend Roz's former husband, K was a mad Englishman who introduced me to soccer, beer with lime, "Dirty Old Town" drunkenly sung, and the phrase... I used to be, but I'm alright now... every time you were making conversation and said something like "I/he/she/they/your like, want, are ....., etc. his response would be "I used to be .... but, but I'm alright now" often to much jocularity...

Try it...

You're nice... I used to be nice, but I'm alright now... She's skinny... I used to be skinny, but I'm alright now etc.

He did it so often, that I used to end the sentence for him, and then started saying it myself, something I still do...

3. So, you're a single woman, and have recently said you might be ready to get back out on the dating scene. You've told us what you would want in a man, but tell us, what are the things you miss most about relationships?

My relationships have always been unconventional, with none being similar to the others, and have spent more time single then coupled in my life.

What do I miss?

That lovely butterflies in your tummy feeling when you're going to see him, or you hear his voice... kisses... cuddles and hugs... someone to share the end of the day with (the mental debrief sharing tales of woe and silliness)... a sense of belonging, I'm his/ he's mine and the comfort that comes from that feeling... someone to scratch the middle of my back when it's itchy... and to tell me when I've tucked my skirt into my underpants again!

4. To borrow a question asked of me in my own interview, tell us about your worst date ever.

My first recollection on reading this was the date with a guy from the personals who seemed like a nice guy, but had unfortunate teeth... he had fangs! Though really, apart from the fact there was no way I was ever going to kiss that face, it wasn't a bad date.

So, my worst date... is complicated.

Around the same time I meet Vampire boy, I talked to Jay who turned out to live a couple of streets away, and ran a local myotherapy clinic. When I spoke to him, he was funny, quick, clever and a bit arrogant (all things that interest me) and he seemed really keen... particularly when in response to a question from him I told him I'd had over 100 responses and I was talking and meeting quite a few guys over the coming weeks. We talked a couple of times and then organised to meet for dinner at a local pizza place.

Sitting in the restaurant waiting for a stranger is always nerve-wracking... and my nerves only escalated when a very attractive, nicely dressed Jay wandered in and introduced himself. Now, I know I have wonderful qualities and that people love and have loved me... but Jay was just... I don't know... too good looking, too cool, too smooth, too confident... and in a weird way that calmed my nerves.

Figuring it was unlikely I'd ever go out with him again, I just relaxed and enjoyed myself. We had a great dinner, which he insisted on paying for and he offered to walk me to my car. On the walk to the car he said, I'd like to see you again, much to my surprise. I said I was busy for the next couple of weeks, which made him laugh, and he said - so how about I ring you in a fortnight. (I now realise this was all about Jay needing to stay on my list... not necessarily because of me, but a competition thing... he could choose not to see me, but didn't want me to cross him of my list of 100 - he used to constantly ask how many people were still on the list, and I used to laugh and say how do you know you have even made the list!)

Still, I was surprised when he did as he said and rang me in a fortnight, and asked me to come over to his place after he'd finished work one night... something I wasn't prepared to do at that point.

But he pushed, I want to see you again... so I said I was going out to a local Irish pub on Friday night with some friends, he could meet me there if he wanted to and in the conversation said to him, if you're going to be a bit uncomfortable about fronting up with a whole bunch of strangers you could bring along some of his friends.

Friday night... really, really crowded pub... hanging with my mates, keeping an eye out for Jay and I spotted him and said to Miss La De Da 'Oh there he is, the blonde in the leather jacket standing by the leadlight window' and she turned and looked and then turned back to me and said 'what - the guy with his tongue down somebodies throat?'.

??? I looked and sure enough he's deeply kissing a pretty young thing! Jay stopped, and then put his arm around her, and then another girl came up and the three of them went up to the bar, with the original girl hanging all over him.

MLDD said are you going to go up to him, and I said no, I'll let him come to me. And we sat there, and waited while he scanned the room looking for me, passing his gaze over me several times, but not actually making eye contact. It was like I was invisible, or else he had forgotten what I looked like...

This went on for almost an hour... he deep in conversation with both girls, occasionally scanning the room I'm assuming looking for me, and occasionally kissing the pretty blonde. And all the time I was sitting in plain view about 4 feet away from him. Eventually, Jay and the two girls left.

He rang me the following day... "Hi - what happened last night, I was there but didn't see you?". "I know" says I, "I saw you".

"Why didn't you come up?" says he. "You were a bit busy at the time" says I dryly. He laughed out loud... and then asked "What did your friends say?"

"My mate said you were a 'root rat'!" Again, he laughed. "Oh, I kick 'em first to make sure they're still breathing! What did you say to that?"

"I didn't care if he was a 'root rat' as long as I was the rat he was rooting!"

Again, he laughed... declaring I was the funniest girl he knew and he really wanted to see me again. To which I replied "Sorry, one of the things you need to know about me is I hate standing in queues".

I never dated him again, though he persisted for a few weeks, and for a couple of months we used to occasionally bump into each other around the neighbourhood. Haven't seen him for a few years, and the myotherapy clinic is gone... so don't know where he ended up.

5. If you could have dinner with any celebrity, alive or dead, who would it be, and why?

I'd like to host a dinner party (not cook... just host) and I'd invite:

Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson - they can have a cook off!
Kate Hepburn and Spencer Tracy - cause it would be nice to see them together one more time and Kate is my hero...
Robert Redford, Johnny Depp and George Clooney... gorgeous men who have/ do make interesting films and George cause he's the archetypal funny, quick, clever and a bit arrogant man...

Remember, if you want me to interview you, leave a not in comments.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Members wanted... The All Over the Shop Choir...

Can you - sing Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass, preferably all within the same verse?

Can you - when you can't remember the actual words, convincingly fluff around, emote and make weird vocal noises that imitate singing?

Can you - dance like a dork, completely out of rhythm with what you're actually singing, but nevertheless keep swinging those hips?

Can you - make mistakes in 2 out of 13 songs, but manage to ensure no-one in the audience notices?

Can you do all of these things and still have a ripsnorting, ripper of a time?

If this sounds like you, Miss Frou Frou and Miss La De Da, Choir Leaders
are recruiting for the All Over the Shop Choir...
experienced singers need not apply!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Life is too short for self hatred and celery sticks...

And so begins a new series of blog posts... My Life as a Bumper Sticker (Button/ T-shirt)...

I'm a big girl... as has been mentioned several times since this blog began... most notably in response to Sheila's comments about the Little, Fat, Funny Girl tag on the blog back in the early days... so I don't need to harp on the fact that I'm a short, lush, curvy, womanly woman... and fairly happy to be so.


I don't obsess about my weight, rarely hop on the scales so it was a shock when I did spontaneously on Friday and realised I'd gained 3kgs since I last weighed myself and have gained close to 8 kgs over the last 12 months.

This is the heaviest I've been since a major change in my life 5 years ago saw me lose a tremendous amount slowly over a 12 month period... not because of dieting, just a change in eating habits and general lifestyle. I'm still a long way off my heaviest weight and don't imagine I'd go back to that... but I'm not feeling very healthy.

And I'm certainly aware since my brother's bout with kidney cancer in January, that being on the heavy side and not very fit is ok when your general state of being is wellness, when you are ill carrying extra poundage can have a significant impact on your ability to cope with ill-health.

My problem is that I've never been much of an exercise junkie... I like exercise that occurs as a result of some activity like dancing or going for a walk etc. but the thought of actually doing exercise for the sake of exercise just gives me the blahs... hence the treadmill parked in front of the TV for the last month has become a great place to hang the ironing... sigh...

It's also not that I eat too much... it's that I do not eat enough... I can go all day without any food at all, and don't often actually feel the sensation of hunger. I've fallen off the dieting wagon many a time because there is too much food to eat, not that there is too little...

As someone who is often distracted by some creative idea I can regularly forget to feed and water myself!

All of this is linked a lot to the fact that I'm so cerebral... I live in my head most of the time, rarely if ever acknowledging my physical self... until it turns on me and smacks me upside the head and says enough is enough... which is what it's doing at present... with ongoing viral problems and muscle fatigue and aches and pains.

I'm never going to be a slim girl... well - I could be if I hit the gym on a daily basis and existed on celery sticks and water... and that sure as eggs isn't ever likely to happen. And actually, don't think I'd want to be a skinny, skinny girl... I'm quite happy with my curves and bumps... even if they are rapidly heading earthward as gravity and mid-life sets in.

BUT... as well as feeling unwell there are a few too many lumps on my bumps at present for me to feel comfortable...that's vanity... and I'm happy to admit to it... and dropping those 8kgs would make me feel a whole lot better I suspect... both physically and psychologically.

I'm talking about getting back on the dating scene, and to be positive in that atmosphere means I need to feel positive about myself... at the minute, the only time I'd want to be naked with someone would be if he was blindfolded (tied to a bed would be good too... but that's a whole other blog post... )

So... I'm not dieting... I'm getting healthier... my friend S (who is studying for her personal trainer certificate) is making up an eating plan for me that is realistic... we looked at one of those services that supplies all your food, but most of it is that horrible plastic reheat in the microwave stuff.... yuk... yuk...

She's creating a plan that includes food I like to eat, that is easy to prepare for one... and will allow for me to go out for dinner etc. with friends, which I do a lot and don't want to stop doing.

As we work together she's going to act as my coach... reminding me to eat... often! And a group of us are starting to go for a daily walk at lunchtimes, which will be good for me on a number of levels as most days I work through lunch, grabbing a quick sandwich if I remember. I'm clearing the ironing off the treadmill and will at least try to use it every 2nd day... if only for half an hour...

And setting myself a target of going shopping in late November for a Frou Frou dress for our work Christmas Party... I'm going to buy myself something gorgeous, get my hair done... and then let my hair down... and party the night away... preferably with a nice boy who likes blindfolds and being tied to the bedpost... !

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Night and day.... dum, de de dum....

"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day"... Vincent Van Gogh

Have you ever realised how much the world is designed for 'morning people'...

I am not a morning person... never have been. My mother laughingly tells the story of me as a school aged child, and later as a young working woman living at home, she would awake to the alarm, get up, come in and prompt me to get up, have a shower, prompt me to get up, feed animals, prompt me to get up (by this stage very loudly), have breakfast, prompt me to get out of the shower (where I was usually half asleep under the spray), put a load of washing on the line, and then discover me staring dreamily into space, sitting on the end of my bed, with a towel wrapped around me and one sock on...

When I lived at home, there was someone to keep me moving and active, if still in a zombie-like state, and hustle me out of the house and onto school or work. For many years, I drove my mother to work on my way in, and was therefore forced to keep a particular schedule, which was probably a good thing, as I also had jobs that required me to open up the office or to start a shift.

At the same time there was also someone to prompt me to go to sleep... when us kids and Dad was still at home, I disappeared to my room early... usually to listen to music on headphones in the dark... till the wee small hours... or to read... until I nodded off over a book or my Mum came in to screech that it was 2.00am and if I didn't turn my light off I wouldn't get up in the morning.

In one of my early jobs as a mailsorter, in order to get to work on Friday mornings for a 7.00am start, that required catching a 6.00am bus, I would set my alarm for 4.00am, get up, shower, make coffee, and then hop back into bed semi-clothed for an hour or so, listening to music so I could be awake enough to trust myself to leave the house.

At the Architectural practice when some bright spark the Managing Director, decided to schedule marketing meetings for 7.00am so they'd be over before the workday started, I declared the only way they'd get me there was if they supplied breakfast... so there was a danish and a coffee waiting for me... and I'd arrive with dripping wet hair and no makeup and converse in growls and grunts until my brain woke up. The same deal was negotiated with my summer school classmates a couple of years ago, if they wanted to start the day earlier, they needed to provide me with caffeine... and there was a different boy waiting patiently with coffee and a donut each day as I dragged my arse across the campus, bleary-eyed and ragged.

So... it's not a recent thing that my body clock is out of whack with what most people would consider the norm... But, living on my own, I can indulge myself a lot more.

There are days now when I have been up and prepared for work, but I have to lie down for 15-30 minutes, sometimes even an hour and then I will feel up to facing the day... those days are usually when I haven't woken up before the alarm has gone off. I don't respond well to alarm clocks or being frightened awake... it's like my system goes into shock or something, and it's almost impossible for me to bound out of bed and race into the day.

"Drink and dance and laugh and lie, Love, the reeling midnight through,
For tomorrow we shall die! (But, alas, we never do)
"... Dorothy Parker

But the world is not kind to us night owls...

At one workplace with an agreed core hours that varied between 7.00am - 7.00pm, 2 colleagues were able to negotiate 7.30am - 4.30pm workdays, but I was told that I couldn't work a 10.00am - 6.00pm day... it was too inconvenient...

This was despite the fact that I had been able to work the same hours for 5 years prior under a previous manager... and because other departments were working till 9.00pm, we had a much better coverage of hours, often for the last hour or more of the day I was the only one in the office.

I'm lucky now, in that I have a boss who is understanding of my early morning struggles, and accommodates me, knowing that I keep track of my hours. Though there have been grumblings from some workmates, who fail to acknowledge that while they're out the door at 5.00pm on the dot, I'm often one of only a handful of people still in the office at 6.00pm... and often hitting my stride workwise about 3.00pm!

It's not even the work situation that annoys me most. It's the remarks by friends and acquaintances... the snide remarks and suggestions of laziness... that I am wasting time, that I should be doing something productive with my daylight hours...

I'm not lazy... I'm at my most productive, when most people are nodding off for the evening. Just because getting up at the crack of dawn rocks your boat, doesn't mean I have to... actually most of these bright and shiny, happy morning people are also those scary pod-people who confess to liking camping, and 5k runs in the pre-dawn.

I'm not wasting time... I am usually doing a pretty good imitation of the 'living dead' before midday... so why wouldn't I choose to actually sleep during that unproductive time.

You want to wake me up early, it better be because more than the sun is up, and you want to indulge in exercise of the carnal kind... and even then, you need to be gentle about it... otherwise... bugger off!

I've discovered over the last few days at home, that it is not so much that I suffer from insomnia, it is that my system doesn't need to sleep until well after midnight... and if I am allowed to wake naturally, I am able to be awake, and reasonably alert without much strain or effort by about 9.30am. And a 30-60 minute nap mid afternoon is more than enough to keep me feeling calm, centred and rested.

And it would be nice, when we're talking about endangered species that someone would give a shout out to us 'Night Owls' and recognise that we too need to be protected... Night Owls of the world... stand up and be proud!

"Q: What do you get when you cross an insomniac, an agnostic, and a dyslexic?
A: Someone who stays up all night wondering if there is a Dog.”... Groucho Marx

* Get a job that starts at midday and finishes at 8.00pm
* Preferably somewhere that celebrates siesta
* The next time someone jokes about giving me an early morning wake up call... let them... then ring them at midnight and babble for an hour

Monday, 27 August 2007

I've got the music in me...

Oh, wow... hard to tell you all about Saturday, except that it was the most magical experience.

I still will not profess to being much of a singer, have no idea whether I stayed on pitch or not, but I was able to follow all of the instructions from our Choir Director, Vicki King, even when she mucked up at one stage and didn't give us our cue for a verse of a song... a minor glitch that only the choir and soloist noticed.

Was on the verge of tears several times, but managed to keep it together... though all of the soloists coming back onstage to reprise My Island Home at the end had me blinking rapidly and squeezing Miss La De Da's hand tightly.

I struggled a little with my back injury and sore feet from standing up, but the pain disappeared the minute we stood on stage, and started to sing... and then returned with a vengeance once I got off stage... hence this reasonably short blog post and still being a bit tardy in getting around to catch up with everyone else's blogs.

Am home for a couple of days, mostly sleeping and reading and doing some applique while watching TV, with the heatpack applied. OH - and attempting to dye my hair back to the chocolate brown colour that I was 12 months ago has left me an interesting shade of maroon/brown/red! I like it - it matched my t-shirt!

If you want to listen to some of the amazing soloists and musicians who played with us on Saturday, check these out - most have music you can listen to online.

Akasa - made up of Vicki King, Diana Clark, Heidi Bradburn, Andrea Watson - sang Walking Song and Vicki sang lead on Walk with Me with the choir... that's one of my blubber songs!
Kavisha Mazzella - I am such a fan of this woman and her music now... go down to the bottom of the page and listen to a track from her album... hope to see her at Darebin Music Feast
Diana Clark - sang Breathe into Time, and also sang two songs with the choir.
Doug de Vries - brilliant guitarist... played Elegy for Rita
Tali White - wrote a wonderful song called "Wave Building" especially for the choir, as he said, think mix between rock opera and bollywood and you'd have a bit of a feel for it... he is a bit of a whirling dervish... Tali is involved with The Guild League and The Lucksmiths
Valanga Khoza - sang Thula Mama with the choir - another emotional song... gorgeous, gorgeous voice
Paulo Almeida from the Dili Allstars - sang with the choir on O Hele Le
Lou Bennett - oh, wow... she was amazing... sang Lingmarra with us at the start of the concert and then came back to do the most emotional version of My Island Home with us... I'm hoping to see her during the Darebin Music Feast
Liz Frencham - played Double Bass and taught the crowd and the choir a lovely song that we sang along with
Ron Murray - wowed us with his didgeridoo... both in the opening song, Lingmarra and later in the encore of My Island Home

There were others, including a performance by The West Papuan Culture Group that was very moving... and the wonderful Dani Fry belting out a great gospel track with us.

Now, all I need to do is go chasing up albums for all these wonderful people, and prepare for concert two on Friday night... still plenty of tickets available for any Melbourne readers... not so many of us singing this time ... only about 160! Miss La De Da and I have been having a quiet nightmare about her and I being the only Alto 1's in attendance...

Ain't got no troubles in my life, no foolish dreams to make me cry, I'm never frightened or worried, I know I'll always get by... I've got the music in me, I've got the music in me....

Blogindipity strikes again! Found this quiz at Chicken-Scratch... I can live with this one!

You are Schroeder!
Take this quiz!

Friday, 24 August 2007

It's the end of the world as we know it....

You know what they say, it's not over
till the fat lady sings.... guess what?

Yes, tomorrow is the big day... first Choir Concert - which is sold out... 450 seated and approx. 200 standing... and me and 250+ of my closest friends singing up a storm...

Sorry I've been a bit out of the loop this week... at rehearsal last Sunday I pulled a muscle in my back that has seen me very, very uncomfortable sitting, standing and lying down all week.. so I've limited my time on the computer...

Who knows what I'll be like tomorrow night after about 8 hours of standing... most of which will be singing... or at least pretending to sing... am still struggling a bit with the phrasing of one of the songs... so can expect a bit of mumbling and fudging tomorrow...

Some of the songs we are singing are so haunting beautiful that I cry when I sing them... so will be interesting to see what it's like tomorrow on stage... more like others will be crying at my singing!

Anyway, will promise to catch up with everyone soon...

Monday, 20 August 2007

Your heard it here first, folks.... I iz complex!

You're Watership Down!
by Richard Adams
Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

No - I iz crazy!

Anyone remember Harvey?

Nothing to see here folks... am exhausted, but excited...

Choir concert in 5 more sleeps... and then 3 days of solitary bliss... not sure what pleases me more to be honest - this spending time with people thing is hard work!