Wednesday, 31 January 2007


i don't have glandular fever! hurrah! i do, however, have a 'nasty virus' that requires me to stay at home until the end of the week. it's nice to have the bit of paper from the doctor that prevents me from feeling guilty about being sick - what is it about that? i don't know where that complex has come from.

Monday, 29 January 2007

world record

well i lasted all of one and a half hours at work. still, it's amazing how much more efficient you can be when you suspect your fuse is about to blow out. answered a whole stack of emails and delegated things and signed cheques and prepared an it feels like things are still humming along instead of piling up.

Sunday, 28 January 2007

a castle in the epiphanies

i'm optimistic that i'll be well enough tomorrow to go to work. i'm going to try my best, anyway. i only did four relatively small things this weekend and each felt monumental.

what i did on the weekend by rebecca, aged 30 and 3/4

  • i joined a gym
    ok, so joining a gym when you're sick doesn't seem like the smartest thing to do. but i've been thinking about the need to get a bit more active for a long time, and they waived the (considerable) joining fee for the australia day long weekend. so i did it. emma also goes to this gym and she's the most motivated person i know, so hopefully once i am well enough to go regularly i will start to get fit. hurrah!

  • i went to hannah and eddie's wedding
    it was at st andrew's cathedral in the city and it was beautiful. hannah walked down the aisle to 'i can only imagine' by MercyMe, which is a song that makes me cry every time i hear it on its own (though i know it in an amy grant version). so to see her looking just beautiful, walking beside her father who was just bursting with pride, to that song, nearly undid me completely. i'm just glad it's not out of place to cry at weddings. tim bowden's sermon was excellent too. but i didn't stick around for the afternoon tea as i needed to go home and lie down.

  • i went to mum's and did my washing
    this is fairly prosaic, but it meant having lunch at the green mango cafe on clovelly road and just hanging out with my mum. which was nice.

  • i baked a cake
    mama grace's chocolate cake. 'nuff said.

i can't believe i'm 30 and 3/4. anyway, i digress...

what this post was originally going to be about, before i wandered so far away from the point, was that despite all the unwellness and boredom and depression, this last week has given me some great insights and a rejuvenation of my prayer life. we've been working on the next issue of Salt magazine at work (well i've been doing my bit at home), and it's going to be on the topic of prayer. so reading through various articles and books has made me realise how little i actually do pray, and has prompted me to do something about it. and i find the more i talk to God, the more i want to talk to him, about everything. and most of all, i've been so incredibly humbled and felt so grateful that i can call the creator of the universe 'Father' and that he listens to me when i talk to him.

i just think that's wonderful.

Friday, 26 January 2007

tea and sympathy

i think i'm starting to get that peculiar type of depression that comes from being sick. sorry to be harping on about it, but, well, when you're just lying around for days on end you have little else to think about.

i guess it's times like these (when i'm feeling sorry for myself) that i realise how it can really suck to be single, or not living with family. when i'm sick i just can't do anything for myself. the flat gets into a hopeless mess, i can only eat things that require minimal preparation so i usually end up eating biscuits and tinned spaghetti, and i just can't get my head around doing really basic things like doing the washing up.

my dear darling mother came over this afternoon and cooked me dinner and did the dishes - what an angel! - but i was too out of it to be very good company and she let me go back to bed and went home.

but then i wake up and my flatmate's home from work and i can't ask him to do anything for me really cos he's just my flatmate and he's been at work all day and part of the problem with being sick is i get all whingey and vague and can't actually specify what i want. but deep down all i really want is someone to be there for me to grouse at, to make me a cup of tea, to give me a hug and try to make me feel better.

i guess, ideally, that's where someone like a spouse would step in, someone who knows you and knows what you need and loves you enough to want to make you feel better. i'm not really sure where that ideal comes from in my mind; it's certainly not from personal experience because none of the boyfriends i've ever had have been any good at dealing with me when i'm sick or sad.

thank goodness for mum, eh? :)

Thursday, 25 January 2007


although unwell, we had tickets to see the eva yerbabuena ballet flamenco at the opera house so i psyched myself up and got dressed and we went (if i do have glandular fever, it isn't that contagious, so i wasn't being completely irresponsible by going out in public).

i am so glad i went.

it was the most incredible thing i've seen in a long time. we were sitting in the third row, so although it wasn't perfect in terms of being able to see the dancers' feet, you were so close you could see every movement and every facial expression. in the flesh yerbabuena looks like my friend camilla might look in about fifteen years, absolutely gorgeous, totally powerful and commanding. she does as much with a raised eyebrow as she does with her amazing feet.

the six dancers and the band who accompanied her were also fantastic, and the audience cheered and clapped for about fifteen minutes at the end until they gave us a beautiful encore. all the costumes were gorgeous, and the thing that i noticed was that they were mostly very demure. yerbabuena's dresses in particular were mostly covering her from neck to ankle and yet she was so unbelievably alluring.

flamenco is a stunning form of dance. it is as much about silence and stillness as it is about passionate whirling and stamping. the women are not skinny, flat-chested girls, but full-blooded, full-bodied women. i read somewhere once that the flamenco purists resent women learning the dance who aren't spanish because it is a heart dance, something that is in the blood. and seeing these dancers tonight you can believe it; they pour their whole beings into the dance, their faces are totally full of emotion, and they are so strong.

if you can ever track down a 1997 documentary by mike figgis called flamenco women, check it out. it features yerbabuena, but also these amazing older women who prove you don't need to be young, quick or thin to be completely arresting. i remember seeing it when i was at uni and being absolutely captivated.

here's a link to a SMH slideshow featuring some of the music from the show (written by her husband, paco jarana) and photos of the other dancers too.

surely it can't be

ok, i'm not jumping to any conclusions here, but i just noticed i have a slight rash on my chest and i'm really not feeling much better. i wonder if it's glandular fever?

You may experience symptoms similar to a severe cold, with an extremely sore throat, swollen glands in the neck, fever, lethargy (want to sleep 12-14 hours per day), malaise, & headache. You may feel nauseous. If these symptoms are unresolved after two weeks, you might have glandular fever.


well that all sounds about right. apparently i did have glandular fever many years ago and didn't know about it! just so used to feeling 'under the weather' it didn't occur to me that i might actually have had something more serious. but it showed up in a blood test long after the fact, and my doctor said that of course it meant i am more vulnerable to future lapses.

my doctor is away until monday and i can't get in to see any of the other doctors at his practice. it sounds weird but i just don't have the energy to go and see a brand new doctor and explain it all. so until i can get to see him i'll keep praying it's just a low level virus, get lots of sleep, drink lots of water and eat lots of fruit and vegies. doesn't sound too bad, really...

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

les invalides

after starting the year off really well with work, i've been sick for the last two days. i have lots to do that i really want to get stuck into so it's a bit frustrating. got migraines, extreme nausea and weirdly aching joints. most unpleasant. it has been suggested more than once that it might be a flu thing. this alarms me because my boss came back from the states with a nasty flu and i would hate to have caught it, but i'm hoping it's just my body being stupid and it all sorts itself out by tomorrow. if it doesn't...well then...i guess i'll just have to sleep some more.

being sick always makes me want to curl up under the blue and white crocheted rug my great-aunty bab made for me when i was a child. i haven't today, as it's too hot for that, but how's this for a seamless segue into showing off the latest progress of TQTWD (the Quilt That Wouldn't Die...remember?).

freda and i are really excited about it. i haven't had the chance yet to show it to danielle, who was instrumental in me starting the whole thing all those years ago. but i like the fact that this will most likely become my sick-day solace quilt, and it will contain memories of two wonderful women who have helped me along in my Christian walk and been lots of fun to sew with.

so here it is, not yet put together with the backing, or quilted, but here's the top, currently hanging on my wall:

Friday, 19 January 2007

more sex

i've been going through a stack of 'zed' magazines that mark brought into work. i didn't even know this magazine ever existed - it was published by matthias media in the late 90s, aimed at late high-school, early uni aged people. hopefully i'm not breaking any laws by sharing with you an excerpt from one of john dickson's article on sex that illustrates better what i was trying to write about a couple of posts ago.

['Sexperts'] seem to be the great promoters and freedom-fighters for sex, but when you scratch beneath the beautifully glossy surface, it's just the opposite. The promoters turn out to be demoters; their fight doesn't bring freedom, it sets a trap, which many of us fall into.
If they thought you wanted to hear, "Be celibate!", that's exactly what [women's magazines]'d be saying. Although they go on and on about sex, they don't value sex at all, except as a way of selling magazines.

The same is true of the movies and the Mardi Gras. On the surface they look like they're fighting for sexual freedom, but scratch beneath the gloss and it turns out they're really promoting sexual selfishness, triviality and unfaithfulness.

Let me explain. My first car was an orange Datsun 1200. It got me from A to B, but it really was a rust bucket. It only cost me a thousand bucks, so I didn't treat it too well and had no problem lending it out to any of my mates. I figured that if they crashed it, it was no big deal. Suppose though, I owned the latest Porsche. I can assure you, there is no way I'd be letting any of my mates anywhere near it, let alone in the driver's seat. A valuable car like that needs respect and the utmost care.

It seems to me that the sexperts of our society have sucked us into a Datsun view of sex. Lend it out. It's not that special. Don't worry about rules and guidelines.

But in God's eyes, sex is more like a Porsche. It is valuable. It demands care. It is something precious to us, not just the machinery we use to get around and enjoy ourselves. God is not against sex, he's very much for it...Remember, the Creator is creative...he invented sex - fantastic, enjoyable, intimate and exciting. And because sex is so valuable, God has given some very smart guidelines and rules for its enjoyjment and to keep us from getting hurt. The sexperts usually say these guidelines are restrictive and boring, but that might just be because they have been fooled into thinking that the Porsche is a Datsun.

zed magazine, issue #7, 1997, p5-6

i like this analogy. but no matter how good the analogy i have a feeling there are certain people (such as my psychologist) who will never concede the point. they just think you're being 'quaint' at best.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

the quilt that wouldn't die

my love of craft things is being resurrected - watch out! i shall be collecting random, meaningless swatches of fabric just because i like them. i shall be hoarding all sorts of bits and pieces because i might be able to use them in 'something'. i shall be once again pondering whether buying a sewing machine can be considered an essential purchase.

i got together with freda, my godmother-if-i-had-a-godmother, yesterday and dragged out the sad remnants that were once going to be my quilt. but, the lovely encouraging woman that she is, she ooh-d and ahh-ed over my badly pieced blocks and said they were wonderful. she is of the opinion that you must enjoy the craft you're doing or there's no point, so if you obsess over making every stitch perfect then you will most likely give up because you're not having fun. this is very much my philosophy!

so we laid the blocks out on the ground and she gave me some ideas as to what we could do. we sewed a few things and now i am charged with going off to find some bordering and backing material - maybe next week we'll be able to put the top together and i'll be that much closer to actually having a finished project. it's only taken five years!

Friday, 12 January 2007


i should be getting ready for work, but wanted to post this while i'm thinking about it. before i do, i want to say what this is not. it's not a rant, it's not a whinge, it's not a 'poor-me''s just some honest reflections. and a bit rambly too. and maybe over-sharing.

it's about being single. well, it's about more than that...

the caveat in my particular case, as most of you will know, is that i am a Christan and have decided to pursue a particular type of relationship, but that i have not always been that way.

when i was going to a (non-Christian) psychologist last year, this made discussing relationships a tricky area as to her way of thinking i should be able to just go out and hook up with almost any guy ("you're young, you're attractive, you're interesting and fun - what's the problem?"). she suggested in passing that a lot of my emotional problems could probably be solved by having a lot of sex - and not necessarily within the boundaries of a loving relationship. sure, if you're looking at sex as just an endorphin-releasing physical act then fine. but if you're trying to view sex in terms of what God made it for (apart from the functional purpose of procreation, it's meant to be an expression of love and oneness between two people who love each other, and who are joined and are committed to each other in marriage, forsaking all others) then it's not that easy. i think the thing that made it all the more difficult for the psychologist to accept was the fact that i have been sexually active in the past, so as far as she could see there was no difference in me going out and getting laid now - and i have encountered that attitude in others (even from Christian men, would you believe).

it's a struggle to throw off the old self and i wonder whether temptation in this area would be as big a problem for me if i had never 'gone there' in the first place...i guess we'll never know.

this makes the idea of pursuing a godly relationship with anyone kind of difficult. i want to be totally honest with people and have never felt the need to hide anything about my past, figuring that i wouldn't want to be involved with anyone who judged me because of that. but how much and how soon do you divulge all of that in the interests of honesty? i know that revealing this stuff negatively affected my relationship with a Christian guy (who after thinking i ought to be pure as the driven snow then decided i was fair game to treat however he wanted), but then that might have said more about his maturity levels than the situation itself.

and so i find myself still single at 30. i feel a dissatisfaction with the whole idea of casual dating, and the more i think about it the more i understand that it isn't the way relationships should go, where you are loosely committed with no or few strings attached, and where sexual gratification is the main goal. and yet when you start to read Christian books, blogs, etc about relationships it all seems so earnest, so serious, so grave and so far away from my world. i know our society puts too high a premium on the rush of emotion, the idea of chemistry and the superficial elements of attraction but it seems like a lot of the time the only alternative is some austere, detached and cerebral interaction that may or may not result in a deeper relationship.

there's nothing wrong with that necessarily, but for someone who is highly emotional, extremely physical and operates on a more intuitive level, i don't quite know how to conduct myself other than to just...not. which is also unsatisfactory.

i'm generally quite happy being single. but sometimes i long for that intimate companionship and to embark on another phase of life, starting a family with someone, for example. as i mentioned before, sometimes the temptation of a purely physical encounter with someone is so strong i have to be really careful.

and yet i don't want to go out with the primary objective of Meeting Someone. for all that i would love to get married and have children, i don't like the idea of hunting for a man. it just seems so...desperate and distasteful. i've been advised by some people to change churches because there are more (any!) eligible men at other churches. while this might be true, i detest the idea of going to church with the objective of finding a husband. i've been advised to take up dancing lessons, because it's a great way to meet people, despite the fact that i find it really hard to do things like that on my own and would most likely scuttle away at the end of the night rather than trying to talk to people. i don't think it's laziness or fear that leads me to want a way of beginning a relationship, for want of a better word (organic in the sense that it evolves naturally, without being contrived or forced).

the thing is i don't believe my happiness, or indeed God's plan for my life, revolves around whether or not i get married. i am constantly striving to learn contentment in every situation, including in this area. so if you pray for me, pray that i would be content and that i would trust God, in this and in everything.

okay i've rambled enough and come to absolutely no conclusions. on with the day. well done if you made it to the end!!!

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Kitty Kar

i forgot to say - i have a car! well, kind of. dad bought an old bomb while he was in town recently rather than renting a car (as you do), and when he left he entrusted it into my care.

here is the 1984 nissan skyline i am now tooling around in - it's 8 years younger than me!

(actually on the back it says datsun nissan skyline so either they were in the middle of a name change or they couldn't make up their minds)

it has a top of the line sound system and interior detailing:

i enquired as to whether it was worth getting the air conditioning repaired. the auto electrician told me that the coolant used by these cars was banned in 1994 and it would cost at least $295 to convert the system. i decided fresh air is a wonderful thing.

but the best feature by far of this car is its seat covers:

it also takes leaded petrol, which is, of course, banned. so you have to fill it up with unleaded and then add this lead substitute or something to the tank. the wheel alignment seems a bit dodgy and my father warned me to take it easy in the wet because the back wheels have a tendency to spin out and the car goes sideways. by all rights this car probably shouldn't be allowed to exist.

but i am once again mobile! watch out, world!

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

closed beaches, holidays over

today is my last day of holidays, and it kind of feels like the first. i'm still tired! i hate waking up to alarms, maybe that's it - if i could get up whenever i felt like it and wander in to work it would probably be okay. probably. who am i kidding, i'd never go.

but i have actually been looking forward to getting back to work and getting stuck into the next issue of salt magazine. i'll be the only one in the office for the rest of the week, so hopefully the phone doesn't go too insane and i can actually do things like sort out deadlines and things for the year, read some stuff i need to review for the magazine and just get my act together.

i didn't achieve much of anything these holidays, but i don't mind that so much. i had lots and lots of projects i was going to do and i don't think i did any. i did finish reading a couple of books, so that was good, i slept whenever i felt like it and woke whenever i felt like it, and i went up a few levels in WoW (yes, i'm a nerd).

today i met up with catherine and baby samuel for a bit of shopping at eastgardens, which strangely wiped me out. samuel is really clingy at the moment and didn't like being handed to me when catherine was trying on clothes. i got a couple of (much needed) pairs of shorts on sale and some lovely smelling stuff from the body shop and lush, which make me feel happy even as i can smell them sitting here on my desk.

i've been having a bit of a personal (west) wing-fest lately too, finishing season 5 and embarking upon season 6 after feeling a bit negative about the whole show after aaron sorkin's departure. but i love it again! so i came home and watched another episode and then decided on my last day of holidays i really needed to go to the beach and not spend the whole gorgeously sunny day indoors.

i tried bronte, it looked pretty rough. i tried clovelly because it's so sheltered i figured it might be a bit better, but it was equally rough and had this miasma of sludge all down the middle, so i wandered along the cliffs for a while, then decided to head over to coogee for one last stab at the whole swimming malarkey. it, too, was very rough so i swam in the pool on the south end, and after about five minutes they closed the beach anyway, so i didn't feel i'd been too much of a coward to go into the surf! the water was freezing, but sitting in the sun letting the salt dry on my skin felt wonderful.

and so that's the end of my brief holidays! but isn't it wonderful that God's given us the power to work and the leisure to rest, and the ability to delight in things like gorgeous scents, wild surf and delicious sunshine?

here's clovelly:

Monday, 8 January 2007

these women are nuts

i turned on the TV this afternoon while i ate my lunch. not usually being at home during the day, i have forgotten the strangeness of daytime TV, Oprah, in particular.

i don't know how old the show was - sometime in the last year - but the band Bon Jovi was on and as i flicked through Oprah announced that everyone in the audience was getting free tickets to the opening of the Bon Jovi world tour. the (predominantly 35-45 year old) women went absolutely crazy. screaming, clapping, jumping up and down, absolutely bat-crazy. even Jon Bon Jovi looked slightly bemused and you would think he would be used to screaming audiences. neither he nor Oprah could get a word out for about a minute because of the noise.

i just don't get it. enthusiastic applause, sure. wild cheering, yeah bring it on. but pawing your neighbour, bursting into tears and looking like you're about to pass out through sheer exhilaration because you've been given a concert ticket? maybe for these women it was a rekindling of their youths. maybe they were all die-hard Bon Jovi fans and they had been dreaming of that moment since they used to write 'Richie Sambora 4 eva' on their folders at school. maybe i'm a little too cynical, but i'm thinking they might need to get out more.

speaking of which i think i need to leave the house right now; daytime TV is strangely hypnotic and yet incredibly stultifying.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

happy new thing

i have spent a lovely last couple of days with my dear friends jen and mark. i was supposed to go to a party at brett and em's, and felt bad that i didn't, but as i've kind of been unable to even really leave the house much for the past week, i didn't think my back was up to a party, and i actually didn't feel like drinking a lot. and really, when i'm at those things my willpower gets whittled away and i always end up drinking more than i intended. i plan to go over to their place with a bottle of wine and an in-person apology this week.

jen picked me up on new year's eve and we picked up a dozen assorted krispy kremes, as is our tradition. she and mark cooked burritos for dinner, which we ate while they introduced me to the first season of angel (we've been working our way through buffy from beginning to end for the last couple of years, as i had only seen the last couple of season. i have resisted angel until this point, but no longer!). then we ate some doughnuts and played WoW for a few hours, punctuated by slabs of chicago, which was on channel 7, and some of jen's delicious Christmas pudding.

then i decided i needed to see some fireworks, and as we had heard some at 9-ish, we wandered down to parramatta park, figuring there would also be some at midnight. alas, in parramatta, the new year starts at 9.30 and there were no midnight fireworks, but we got back home in time to watch the harbour ones on TV. we had some frangelico and went back to WoW for a little longer before crashing.

i then slept in till 1.00pm! i was so pleased about this, because the last few days i have been unable to get to sleep at night, or to sleep in in the morning, which means i've been operating on very little sleep, making it much harder to deal with things. so i surfaced in the afternoon, and we had absolutely scrumptious blueberry pancakes, hung out a bit more, ate more doughnuts, had fish and chips for dinner and eventually went home in the lovely rain. it has been so nice to spend such a slab of time with some of my favourite people, doing not much, eating whatever we wanted, and sleeping a lot.

and i realised that this is the first new year's in three years that i haven't spent feeling miserable and crying for most of the night. so hurrah! 2007 will be great if this is any indication!

happy new year everyone!