Category Archives: alcohol

Cows, God and Lego

 

cows-god-and-legoOver a drink before dinner last night, dearest hubby and I got on to the topic of health and food and the fact that we probably should be giving our bodies an alcohol free day after the madness of Christmas and New Year.

For whatever reason, we got onto the topic of cow’s milk. It got weird as we discussed the benefits of fattening a calf with the stuff and how all mammals have tits and how humans prefer the cow variety of milk even over their own type. Hubby confessed to having tasted the human stuff back in breastfeeding days, it weirded him out.  But each day he slops some juice of cow boob in his morning coffee. I told him about how I had watched a clip from the UK where PETA tricked some people into trying dog’s milk and how hilarious their reactions were. (Read more and check the clip for Barkers Milk here).

So, where am I going with this? I explained how after I had watched this clip it made me question the meaning of life, the universe and everything. It made me wonder, why do Jews eat meat and dairy separately and why do Hindus revere the cow? Google threw this at me;

In religion. In Hinduism, the cow is thought to be sacred, or deeply respected. Hindus do not worship cows, although they are held in high esteem. The reason has to do with the cow’s agricultural uses and gentle nature.

The more I read, the more I found that it is the life giving goodness of the cattle that is respected, they are gentle creatures who produce life giving milk and can be used to assist with other parts of agriculture, like a bull pulling a plow. Which leads us to the next strange twist in our conversation. Religion!

Oh hell! Oh shit! I have crossed the boundary! Dad told us to never discuss politics or religion and here I go. Convo went like this…

Me: Whatever you believe, religion is geography. Everyone wants to know why, and using something we can’t see, but trust, means we can make up some ripper stories to help our kids learn. It doesn’t matter where you live, there are lessons to be found in every culture. It might be written in a bible (he is a very lapsed Catholic), or it might be the stories handed down by Aboriginal Elders as Dreamtime. Essentially it is just helping us to observe the laws of survival and guiding us to be good people at the same time….

Him: Refers to some Catholic bible story which my brain failed to register due to being afraid of brainwashing.

Me: You can still quote that, it must have worked.

Him: Gives me a strange look. Then asks a bit about what I believe…

Because of where I was born, and who I was born to, I have been bought up with Christian values and have been given the luxury of participating in Christmas and Easter without the commitment of going to church. I have never been christened. I don’t usually have an opinion other than it is great to have ceremonies for births, deaths and marriages, it helps people to cope. When I think about God, I see a massive human form sitting up in the sky playing Lego with us, creating a world of wonder and experimentation and destruction.

So in our God created Lego world we have cows. She is placid enough to sit around and get her boobs pulled so we can use her essence to assist with our living. She produces offspring which we can kill easily for meat and we use her shit on the garden to help our veggies grow. The cow was created for our survival.

Thank God for cows and Douglas Adams who told us the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything in his famous book Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the answer, of course is 42. Perhaps one day we will know the question.

 

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chrismas-bonbonsThere have been years when the thought of Christmas looming just made me grumpy and anxious.
Working in hospitality meant that by the time Christmas finally got here, the carols, the cleaning up after the bonbons and the people who are not the best behaved under the influence of alcohol had worn on my nerves to the extent that they were like the little popper in the bonbon, just waiting for someone to tug on them before they cracked.

Then there was the pressure of finding pleasure in shopping! I fucking hate dislike shopping.  That is all!

This year we have got it sorted. We have taken the stress out of the day. Instead of shopping for shit that will remain in the packaging for years to come, we have opted for a $10 Secret Santa for all the people over the age of High School. Shopping for the small kids was easy as pie. I scheduled a whole day and made a list. It wasn’t fun, but it did not see me sitting in my hot car somewhere breathing into a brown paper bag.

our-actual-christmas-tree

Our Tree

The food is organised. I never stress about cooking as this is the part I love. Our kids are the perfect age for building some excitement in the lead up. I let them decorate the tree by themselves. I did not move one of the baubles to a more appropriate place. It is theirs and it is beautiful xx

Today I finish work for the break and have a couple of days to casually wrap those few gifts we have bought for the little people. I can slowly tidy the house and prepare it for the influx we are expecting on the day. I will collect the food I have ordered and make those last minute purchases of fresh good.

Three more sleeps until a relaxing celebration of family and food.

Merry Christmas my friends xx

 Edit: Parent Log: 23/12/16, 8:49pm. My Children are behaving beyond expectation. I am unsure whether to be afraid or proud. For now I choose proud. I have taken them both shopping separately for their sibling and they are both old enough to understand how important it is to keep a secret if it will make the surprise better. 

 

How to Keep Your Shit Together

Do you ever get asked how you do it? These are a few of my tried and true tips which enable me to keep my shit together well enough to survive at times and thrive on the good days.

Washing!

Wash it when there is a load. That’s right, don’t wait until there are 5 loads and then tell the world via social media how you spent all day doing the washing. Take it in turns of  bed days or towell days, probably on a day when you don’t have a big enough load to fill the machine with clothes. Then hang it out using your nut. Hang the clothes in sections of what belongs to whom, then when you bring it in fold that shit straight off the line and into the basket. Walk inside and put it away. Put it away? Yes, you heard me, put it away, you already folded it, no need to dump a huge pile of clothes on a couch or a bed it’s ready to go, just put it there. Next step, go to the next bedroom and do it again. There you go, it’s done.

Housework.

Who made up the rules that you need to spend a whole day, once a week doing housework. Yes it is nice when it is all squeaky clean, but do you seriously have the energy? Just do a bit each day and keep it clean and tidy. Maybe once a month do a big all day clean, but only if you are feeling the need.

Bookwork.

Bills come and they go. Depending on what you do this can be a bit different. If you are a normal household, get yourself a bill folder and have the one that needs to be paid on top, when payday comes, check what has to be paid in that billing period and pay it. Done, not a problem except if the money and the bills don’t match, and this post has naught to do about budgeting. If you run a small home based business spend 10 minutes before you go home (or inside the home) to fill in those pesky journal entries, much more fun that a couple of days at the end of the quarter when the BAS is due.

Shopping.

Make a list. Stick to the list. Read the catalogues and buy your staples if they are really cheap, you don’t need washing powder this week, but you will after you have done those five loads of washing. Allow yourself chocolate as life is too short to not have treats. Don’t take the kids to the supermarket if you can avoid it. If you can’t say no to extras or make them choose a treat according to budget. Never take my husband shopping, he is worse than children, your significant other may be better behaved. Look after the small business, use the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker (OK, I know we don’t need candles every week any more, but I couldn’t help it). My local baker does a loaf of sliced bread and two litres of milk for $5, cheaper than walking through the lolly aisle with the kids to get to the milk at the back of the shop. Buy your mince and sausages in bulk and freeze the extras.

Kids.

This is my biggest failure. My ideas are good, but executing them can be somewhat of a trial because unlike the other things we now have to take into consideration personalities, moods and the position of the moon. My most successful tool is bribery. In the morning. You may play games on your tablet before school and kinder once you have eaten, gotten dressed, your hair is done and teeth are clean. This works most days find your bribe and stick to it. Stay consistent, as soon as you decide you can’t be bothered putting them to bed, so stay up a bit late and watch a movie, those little nutters will cut loose with the most annoying of behaviour making me instantly regret my laziness.

Cooking.

You can go and spend more than I spent on my first car on the most lavish of appliances these days. Personally I love chopping and preparing, it makes my wine taste better, and the love in the food shines on the plate. I love cooking, so I have no advise to those of you who don’t. The slow cooker trend puzzles me somewhat. You still have to prepare it, then leave and appliance on all day, often while at work. Sorry Dudettes and Dudes, this freaks me out as much as leaving the iron on.

Check your emails every two days.

Make sure there are no bills and unsubscribe to all the time wasters you accidentally subscribed to in the first place. Don’t attach your social media to your email, that’s just another way of getting you to log on and waste a few hours reading shit you already knew, like the content of this post.

But the one thing I have had to come to terms with is that I am not a superhero. I like the thought of it. I wish I was one. But I am not. There are days when all this organisation still gets me down. I used to get stressed. Now I just accept that the floor will still be dirty tomorrow when I feel more like doing it (I used to have to do that on Wednesday or my whole world would end), the family will survive on toasted sangas for dinner if I am not feeling the cooking love, there are plenty more clothes in the cupboard, the kids will not die if I don’t….the list is to long for this one. Keep your expectations of yourself real peeps, balance the life and keep your shit together xx

Class of 2013-14, an outline

A short reflection of the Certificate II in Hospitality course I facilitated recently.

I was really excited to have a full class and get into doing what I love, training others in a fantastic industry.

“Careful what you wish for.”

On orientation day we had 18 enrolments, all of them unemployed, some long term, some short term and some had never had a job. We explained the requirements of the course and filled in the paperwork. There were blank eyes, red eyes, wild eyes all looking back at me. Most of these people had to be here, they were just going through the motions in order to continue getting Centrelink payments. We had one late starter, taking the total number of enrolments to 19.

We begin all of our courses with Prepare for Study, this helps our learners to Learn to Learn, Get Tech Savvy, Get Study Smart and Reflect on their learning. We deliver this in our moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment).

On the first day of class I had some eager beavers all ready to start, it went reasonably well, they were required to log into the moodle once we had passwords set up and access things didn’t go too badly. Not everyone turned up, but we expected that.

The second day was awful, the students were late for class, disruptive, and I generally had trouble controlling their behaviour, and they seem to have no respect to others or myself. I walked into the EO’s office at the end of the day swearing and frustrated, she asked me if I was going to be able to cope? Bang head here I was unsure. What I did know is there was no way I was taking this lot offsite, alone, to a local bar where I had intended to deliver this course.

This was going to be tricky, I looked to Malcolm Knowles Adult Learning Principles  and out of the six I could only relate to one of them at this time  Adults are goal oriented the goal, get my name marked off the attendance list and continue to get paid.

After about a month I had a core group of 10 who attended class. They ranged in age from 17 to 37, and they all had dealt with their own shit in one way or another. LL&N  issues were a major problem, this was only Certificate II, so I didn’t care if they could spell it, as long as they could explain it.  My mission, engage them.

I flipped the classroom so they could do their assessments in class time. I encouraged them to use Facebook to contact each other. I allowed many cigarette breaks when attention was waning, I allowed time for general chit chat and eventually I earned their respect by not taking their crap.

There were many interesting conversations and comments, far too many to fit into one blog post. Have a look at Shit Happens for some of these.

Out of the 10, one got herself a job before it finished, the two most disruptive dropped in and out (eventually out, the others wereThank you relieved) and I have issued 6 certificates, and will issue the last one when practical placement is completed.

The most rewarding part was my card and bottle of Black Douglas scotch which they all put in for and presented to me. It touched my heart to know that they appreciated me and how much I had gone through with them to reach this point.

 

2013, over and out!

New Years Eve is here. We are biding our time until the evening of celebrations begin. I am so excited!! Not because this is the end of 2013, but because there is something about the new year which gives us a sense of rejuvination and possibility. Oh, and for the first time in years I actually plan to celebrate, in style, and go out.

I have been trying to remember the last time I actually celebrated the New Year, not at home, not at somebody else’s home, but going out for the evening to battle the crowds for service at the bar and observe the wonderful world of party goers.

I think it was 2000, rather a long time ago.

My love for the hospitality industry obviously doesn’t help. I always thought it was fun to work New Year, and it is. The best thing about working these big nights is that you already have a ready made party when everyone knocks off work for the night, and I have seen the sun come up on many occasions. But I haven’t actually ‘worked’ New Year for the last 5.

In August 2008 I became a Mum. The best job I have ever had in my life, and for the past five years I have been happy to celebrate, at home, where my girl (and later my boy) can be with me.

This year I have a babysitter, a dinner reservation with friends, and the anticipation of a great night ahead.

I have never been one for new year resolutions, as I don’t enjoy letting myself down.If I must have one I will say I will work on being a healthier me.

So cheers to my family and friends. Cheers to health, wealth and happiness. And cheers to 2014 I am looking forward to the fun, laughter, challenges, trials, temptations and whatever else you have to throw at me.

Bring it 2014, I am ready!!

Seafood and Chocolate (oh, and wine of course)

When I have picked Miss 4 up from pre school the last two weeks she has been sporting all sorts of bunnies, painted eggs, paintings of eggs, hats with ears…and you get the picture.

So I asked her “Did they tell you why we have Easter?”. “Ummm..” she replies “because after Christmas comes Easter.” Then I ask “What does Easter mean to you?”. You guessed it. “Going hunting for Easter eggs”. Of course it does, isn’t that what Easter means to every child? That is what it meant to me.

I loved this post from a friend on Facebook

With the holidays upon us, I think it’s important to reflect on the true meaning of Easter…

CHOCOLATE AND BUNNIES.

Oh and time off from work. These are the important things.

I am not sure what to say to Miss 4, I am still answering questions about what happened when kitty died 18 months ago. She thinks he is heaven, she buried him with some smarties for the trip, I think he has most probably decomposed in the ground under one of Grandma’s oleander bushes, never to be seen again. But a bit of spirituality never hurt anyone.

What does Easter mean to me? Well I love a good bible story, I like all stories.

Easter for me is hot cross buns for breakfast and a lovely seafood lunch with family on Good Friday. This year I found a bakery that still have orange peel in their buns, I cannot begin to describe my excitement!  This is a small part of our lunch feast. Note the very nice bubbly to go with it. Not exactly poor man’s food these days, but I still partake in the fish and wine (forget the bread though, it might fill me up and I wont be able to fit in any scallops).

Photo: Only the cold component of our lunch. Add seared scallops, thai prawns and lemon pepper calamari, needless to say I am stuffed full and can't fit any flourless orange cake in.

Saturday is spent slothing about as I am still recovery from committing gluttony the day before.

Easter Sunday is the day of the hunt. Now that I am a mother it is almost as exciting for me as the children. The children are allowed to gorge themselves silly on chocolate in the morning then run it off for the rest of the day. It also marks the first game of Australian rules football for our local league, which means the man of the house leaves at noon and returns whenever he and his mates have enjoyed enough of each others company and beer. This is the beginning of  a wonderful and relaxing winter, where we mutually enjoy our time away from each other each week.

Most of all I love the opportunity to see family and friends, I love the joy on my kids faces (especially Master 2 this year) and I love spending lots of time with my husband who has an extended Easter break every year.

Hoppy Easter to all 🙂

3y/o versus Intoxicated behaviour?

Recently I had the pleasure of facilitating a Responsible Service of Alcohol course to some very experienced hospitality workers. It was an enjoyable day and the knowledge of the participants, and the fact I had worked with each and every one of them, made for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

We made our way through the content, discussing the key agencies, the impact of alcohol consumption on our community, harm minimisation, signage, the effects of alcohol and strategies to prevent underage drinking and intoxication.

For those who are not aware, the definition of intoxication for the purpose of the liquor laws is- a person is considered to be intoxicated if

  • the person’s speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is noticeably affected, and
  • it is reasonable, under the circumstances to believe that the affected speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is the result of the consumption of liquor

As I was reading through the list of examples of behaviour I couldn’t help but begin to smile. Belligerent, argumentative, bad tempered, loud/boisterous, exuberance, annoying/pestering others, overly friendly, all appeared to my warped sense of humour. I couldn’t help thinking that my 3 year old had displayed all of these traits in the past 24 hours. She had also displayed one of the examples of speech, not understanding normal conversation (what part of NO do you not understand? I remember saying perhaps a little on the loud side). She is also often off balance, bumping into or knocking over furniture and people. And as for coordination, I am often cleaning up after a spilt drink.

After grinning away stupidly to myself about the parallels I decided on a new mantra when deciding when to cut someone off from purchasing alcohol. “If you insist on behaving as a three year old, I insist you leave the premises”. Although this is not the statement I would make to a person I was refusing service to or evicting, it will make it a little more fun for me thinking of my personal mantra as I am doing so.