Monday, August 31, 2009

5 Things I DON'T Love About Winter

Today is officially the last day of winter. Summer is on it's way. Booooooo! I'm very much a winter person.....having said that, there are still things about the cold season that irk me.

1. Getting rained on (especially when I've forgotten my umbrella or struggling with bags of shopping).
2. Having to wait so long for my washing to dry. I might as well have just hung it out and let the rain wash it.
3. Being unable to sleep without bedsocks.
4. Not being able to host 'outside' events for fear of rain.
5. Colds, flu and all that jazz.

Soooo, what DON'T you like about winter? Summer people you may whinge now ;)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Photo Friday - 'Seaside'

Hanging out with my friends Rianna (left) and Rhianon on the rocks at Frenchman Bay, near Albany.
July 2002.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's Show Time!

Last weekend was the annual district show. I know a lot of locals just yawn when the show is mentioned but, as a newcomer, I see it as a chance to unleash my creative juices. I'd never get around to doing anything crafty otherwise. This year I entered the inaugural funky t-shirt competition with a design I created in my Year 10 art class. Ok, so it took 11 years, but I finally made it into a shirt. And I WON! WOOHOO!

My new clothing range.

I won $25 for first prize :)
My advice...NEVER work with feathers!
Neither of my necklaces won unfortunately.
I'm hoping to sell them at our local fete which is coming up in a few weeks.
My earrings which I made for myself months ago and decided to enter at the last minute. They won first prize believe it or not (prize was $2 haha).
Next year I'm going to attempt crocheting with beads :)
And NO I was not the only person to enter these competitions :P

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

St Kilda

We spent our second day in Melbourne in St Kilda. Public transport in Melbourne is excellent! The tram stops right outside our friend Jenn's house (where we were staying) and goes all the way to St Kilda. And it is SO regular compared to Perth. There is usually a tram every few minutes.

On our way to St Kilda, we stopped off at Brunswick St in Fitzroy which is one of Melbourne's more historic and grungier suburbs. Most of the buildings are old and adorned with graffiti and old posters advertising gigs which have been and long gone. I loved the interesting array of shops with their funky and alternative clothing. We found it strange though that so many of them were closed and it was mid-morning! A lot of them don't open until 10:30 or 11 but stay open until 6. Duncan wondered if it was because they were owned by young nightclubbing enthusiasts who would sleep in and stay up late and so run their businesses accordingly. Once we'd seen Brunswick St, we hopped back on the tram again.

It was my second visit to St Kilda having first visited in July 2006. Acland St (the cake street) is a must-see. We packed our own lunch to save money and ate it in St Kilda's Botanic Gardens. There we were joined by two very keen magpies. I refused to share my lunch, knowing that as soon as I did, they were bound to bring the rest of the family. However, when I noticed part of my banana was bad, I chucked it to the birds. Duncan sighed. He'd been warning me not to feed them and now he pointed at a crow who was coming to see what the commotion was and said, "Now here comes a jolly crow!"

Not for long. The two magpies soon chased him away.

We noticed a guy hanging around in the gardens, pacing around, reading the same bit of paper over and over. It was then we realised that he was an actor learning his lines and sure enough there was a filming session going on nearby with two female actors and one cameraman. We couldn't tell what show it was but as we were leaving the gardens, we noticed a van parked outside a house with stacks of filming equipment.

St Kilda Beach is not nearly as nice as Perth's beaches. It's more of a harbour really. While we were walking along, we noticed the same actors had come down to the beach and were filming another scene of the show.

I think St Kilda is nice to visit but I don't think I could live there. After a while I started to feel sick so we caught the tram back to the city. Duncan suggested it could be low blood sugar because I hadn't eaten much all day and I felt really faint. I felt better when I ate the biscuit I brought in Acland St but I really wanted to go somewhere quiet to sit down (we'd been walking and walking and walking). Duncan suggested the cinema and I convinced him to see My Sister's Keeper with me :)

Me in Brunswick St.
At St Kilda's Botanic Gardens.
St Kilda Conservatory.
It was quite warm in there.
Luna Park. It was closed.
Palace Theatre.
St Kilda Beach.
French people hanging out (well, it sounded like they were speaking French).
The jetty. Duncan kept pretending he was going to push me off. Horrible man ;)

Monday, August 24, 2009


Have you ever gone to church and come away believing that God definitely had something to say to you? Or that things that were said and did during the service mirrored what had been going through your mind recently?

That happened to me yesterday.

When I say God spoke to me, I don't mean that I think the service was tailor-made for me only and that God didn't also speak to others. Let me explain...

Our friend, Barry, preached yesterday and I'd been asking him for the last couple of weeks what he was going to preach on to which he kept telling me, "Wait and see." Well, of all the topics or passages he could have chosen, it was one that had been dominating my thoughts particularly for the last weeks but really for the last couple of years.


I've been reading a book called The Peacemaker by Ken Sande which I'm finding to be a tough read. Hence, I'm reading it slowly because I'm feeling rather delicate as it opens up some old wounds. The night before, I'd been reading a chapter which was about Matthew 18:21-35, the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. And Barry used that exact same passage in his sermon. It was a good talk and relevant for everyone, not just me, but at the end when I felt like I was going to cry, I turned to Duncan and whispered, "God sure wants me to keep hearing about forgiveness, doesn't he."

That wasn't the only strange thing that happened yesterday. In my recent post, Replaced, I mentioned a lady at our church who plays the piano week in, week out. Well, yesterday the service leader publicly thanked her for being faithful in serving us this way. 'Faithful' was the exact same word I used in my post. I didn't write it to suggest that no-one had ever thanked her because, for all I know, she could receive regular thanks but I know what it feels like to be unappreciated. So it seems like the service leader was thinking along the exact same lines as I'd been thinking recently.

From these happenings, I can draw some possible explanations:
  • People at my church have been reading my blog.
  • People at my church have been reading my mind (ok, I seriously hope not. That WOULD be scary!)
  • God has been placing the same things that have been in my heart on the hearts of others.

It could quite possibly be a combination of the first and third options. I believe nothing is a coincidence with God.

Have you ever had an experience like this?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Marriage 101: Post-Wedding Doom

I know Duncan and I are definitely NOT the only married couple to have had this experience.

When you're dating, older married couples keep nagging you, asking when you're going to get married. Then after the wedding, they tell you it's all doom and gloom.

You'd think couples further down the marriage journey would offer newlyweds some encouragement....but they often don't. Sometimes when Duncan and I show physical affection in public we get the odd snide remark from people who have been married much longer than us. Stuff like "Get a room" or "Don't you ever stop touching each other?" It's not like we've been overly touchy-feely or anything. I just love my man!

Personally, I think some older couples are jealous of newlyweds. Perhaps they've lost the romance, passion and excitement out of their own marriage so they don't want anyone else to have it either. However, it is pretty discouraging when all you're told is negative stuff.

I know what people mean when they say that relationships change and become more 'comfortable' over the years. We've only been together for two and a half years and married for 16 months but we've started to feel this change. You start to become more comfortable in your own skin around your partner and allow them to see your 'uglier' side, secure in the fact that they love you. You can be yourself and no longer feel the pressure to impress each other like you do when you're dating.

But I don't think this should ever be a licence to just put no effort into the romance side of your relationship. People say that the warm fuzzies die off after a while and maybe they do a bit, but it sounds like they're just letting them die by not putting in as much effort. The whole "Oh Susan knows I love her. I don't need to do anything nice for her," kind of attitude.

I think Bek is right in her post For better or worse about married couples needing to make an effort to keep the 'honeymoon feeling'.

If you're married, then please offer some newlyweds some ENCOURAGEMENT. I was so happy recently when someone told me, "It only gets better." It was so nice to hear something positive for a change!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Melbourne Views

Duncan's first visit to Starbucks.

Lygon St, Carlton.

We enjoyed some pizza there.

View from the Rialto Towers Observation Deck.

Etihad Stadium where we headed four days later :)

Southbank. Me looking over the Yarra at the city.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

5 Things I Love About Winter

1. Rain on the roof at night when you're all tucked up in bed.
2. Getting to wear scarves, beanies and nice woolly jumpers.
3. Footy and netball season.
4. Snuggling under a doona while watching TV with the fire going.
5. Watching thunderstorms from the window.

What are your five favourite things about winter?

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Yes Sergeant.....No Sergeant"

When discussing what we would like to do on our first full day in Melbourne, I told Duncan that I really wanted to visit the Old Melbourne Gaol. I'm just fascinated with historical places like that.

The entry price enabled us to walk around for as long as we liked plus it included a tour of the old watchhouse which was just a short walk down the street. We walked around the gaol for about an hour, poking our noses into all the cells and we saw the 'hanging platform' where many prisoners' lives ended. Ned Kelly was the most famous of all the inmates and it was pretty creepy seeing his death mask as well as the death masks of many other prisoners. Even more creepy was the fact that some prisoners protested their innocence to the end and years later, some received a posthumous pardon. Ummmm....a little too late, I think.
The tour of the old watchhouse (which closed in 1994) was one of the highlights of our trip, in my opinion. The tour party was greeted by a lady in a cop uniform (an actor playing a sergeant) and she was absolutely hilarious! She treated us like we were criminals, insulted us constantly and we had to answer every question with "Yes sergeant" or "No sergeant". We got shut in a cell which was pitch black and made to line up and not move while she told us the history of the place. At the end, the 'sergeant' said, "I'm not really a sergeant and I'm a really nice person." I would love to have an acting job like that.

A death mask.

Cat of nine tails.

Old exercise yard.

Padded cell at the Old Watchhouse.

Watchhouse exercise yard.
Do I look scary?
He doesn't even look sorry for what he's done ;)
I married a fellon!
Having a photo taken with the 'sergeant'. She was so cool :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Funny

My boss told me this one. It's hilarious!


Aging Mildred was a 93 year-old woman who was particularly despondent over the recent death of her husband Earl.

She decided that she would just kill herself and join him in death. Thinking that it would be best to get it over with quickly, she took out Earl's old Army pistol and made the decision to shoot herself in the heart since it was so badly broken in the first place.

Not wanting to miss the vital organ and become a vegetable and burden to someone, she called her doctor to inquire as to just exactly where the heart would be.
"On a woman," the doctor said, "your heart would be just below your left breast."

Later that night, Mildred was admitted to the hospital with a gunshot wound to her knee.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I'm sorry if this post is a bit depressing or if you don't really get what I'm rambling about.

Quite often in my life, I've been 'replaced'. By that I mean that I've filled a certain role because no-one else was interested in doing that job or task and although I knew I was no great talent in that area, I got great joy in serving in my role.

But later on, a person with real talent and exquisite skills in that area came along and I was no longer needed. Therefore, I was replaced.

It's happened recently in netball. For many years I've played goal shooter. Now no-one watching me play this year would believe it, but I used to be deadly accurate and could get the thing through the hoop from almost right on the goal circle. But this year, not only have my shooting skills evaded me, I'm now in a team with a greater selection of shooters and I've been replaced by these newcomers. Last year, we only had two shooters to choose from so I was a guaranteed choice. This year I've started making my new home at wing defence which is foreign territory for me. Yet I know it's not because they suddenly thought Hey, we reckon Sarah would make a fantastic defender. Wing defence is the most unheralded position on the court in my opinion. You are basically an unglorified tagger. It's because these new shooters are better than me so I've been shoved elsewhere. I've served my purpose while there was no-one else to fill that position and now that the more spectacular and flashy shooters are here, I've been 'replaced'.

It happens in the AFL. Hands up who remembers Chad Fletcher? He has barely been sighted in the Eagles lineup all year and the rumours are he'll be forced to retire at the end of the year or else be sacked. Just a few years ago he was an integral part of the Eagles premiership midfield - Judd, Cousins, Kerr and FLETCHER. He has won two Ross Glendinning Medals in Western Derbies. But nobody remembers the Chad Fletcher of yesteryear and the vital role he played. Now he's older and slower and the younger, speedier midfielders are getting the nod ahead of him. He has done his bit and he's no longer needed. He has been 'replaced'.

Duncan and I were talking the other night about people who serve diligently and enthusiastically in churches for many years suddenly get replaced when a super new talent arrives on the scene. For example, we have a lady in our church who plays the piano most weeks. That's the only instrument we have. No drums, no singers even. Just a piano. She has served this way in the church for many years. Now, Duncan and I have a couple of friends who are absolutely brilliant piano players. Imagine if one of these friends came to our church and the leaders went so starry-eyed that they gradually pushed our faithful piano player to the background and replaced her with our friend. Wouldn't that suck? It happens though. Sometimes the church gets just as mesmerised by talent as the world and causes us to make some thoughtless decisions. I've served in Christian ministries in the past where I was filling a role that nobody wanted only to be pushed aside when a more talented person arrived on the scene. I knew I wasn't the greatest at that role but I loved serving that way. I just felt hurt and unappreciated that nobody bothered to explain things to me, I just got 'replaced'.

Now I'm not saying that churches shouldn't invite talented individuals to participate in ministries to which they are obviously suited to and keen to be involved in. Obviously God has blessed some people with great talent whether it be singing, playing an instrument, cooking or graphic design. I'm not saying we should get bitter when we are replaced or jealous of our replacement or find satisfaction in what we do rather than in how God sees us. Rather it's the unceremonious 'dumping' of faithful individuals that I don't like. I know that sometimes we need to put the church or team or whatever before our personal satisfaction. But sometimes these groups get so obsessed with winning, being the best or being flashy that they (often unintentionally) trample over people who have been faithful and reliable to ooh and aah over the newest talent. I may not be the greatest netball player but I am committed. I turn up every week. Last year I played with the flu and two injured shoulders. I'm not telling you this so you'll bow down and worship me but sometimes a simple thanks would be nice.

We shouldn't fill roles so we can get accolades but being unappreciated sure sucks too. Some people don't like attention being drawn to them but we can still say thank you. We all run our course and need to move on although it doesn't make being 'replaced' any easier.

Maybe I just have to come to terms with being an Average Joe (or Josie).

I hope I made some sort of sense!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Hunk Turns 28

We had a birthday gathering just with our local friends for Duncan's birthday a couple of weeks ago. The reason we invited only locals (all who ended up coming were from our church) was the size of our house. Thankfully the weather was fine and we had a fire outside. The theme: Bring and Share DESSERT NIGHT.

After Duncan had planned it for a Saturday night and emailed out invites, I realised he had scheduled it straight after a very important event....The Western Derby. I was warned that I wasn't allowed to sulk if the result didn't go my way....and I didn't. I was a good girl ;)

My sheep cake I made for Duncan. The head looks a bit munted but it was the first novelty cake I'd attempted since primary school cake competitions.

Geof and Ellen.

Ruth, Erryn and Joel.

The Hunk cutting his cake.

Karina enjoying some dessert.

Erryn and Karina.

Our FAB friends who helped out in the kitchen. They were a blessing :)
Robyn, Darren and Ian.

Lovely warm fire.

Everyone warming themselves.