Before the end of the Boer War (or twelve months ago in the blogosphere), Baino sent me four words to write about. Snappy September's now in full swing, so why not bung in a few of my photos and get my blog on?
TOFU (because I'm betting you hate it and can really get your teeth into that one)
Well, dear Baino, you might be surprised to discover that I don't hate tofu. Sure, I don't buy it as part of my regular grocery shop but do occasionally order it when I feel like an Asian-dish that's packed with more veges than meat. Fried tofu is best because it gives it a toast-and-egg flavour and coating but the steamed silken stuff is okay too.
The key word here is 'okay'. Not my favourite, but not disliked either; 'tofu' to me is the flat vinyl beanbag of the healthy(ish) food world -I could quite happily live without it, but might choose if it it's right under my nose.
THONGS (you can go either way on this one)
Thongs, for me, will always belong to my feet and never my arse crack. I only once gave the undies a go and lasted about ten minutes before the thought of having white cotton and spandex rubbing right up against the least hygienic part of my body - let alone the feeling of willingly paying $12 for a permanent wedgie - was about as much fun as undergoing a PAP smear on YouTube. Seeing the visual evidence of G-strings walking in front of me - the jiggling buttocks under work trousers wobbling like nervous blancmanges down Collins Street - was enough of a turn off as I didn't need an amused audience behind me as I passed by either.
Tess, our first dog, loved thongs so much that LC and I ended up buying the $1.79 rubber pairs as a regular Woolworth's item long before they were back in vogue for people to wear. She'd wedge her furry face under the straps towards the peg bit that secured the big toe. Then she'd frantically flap her ears so that the sole of the thong would go 'Whappity Whappity Whappity WHAP' on the side of her head, thus starting the fight. She'd then try to shake off the marauding footwear and bite it back, which only caused it to slap her a few more times which gave her another excuse to bite and wriggle back as it slapped her snout again and again...... Many pairs of thongs were ruined this way, but it was more fun and value than wearing any of them.
HEAVEN (because I don't know what you think about that)
Neither do I, if I'm honest. I come from a 'churchy' family, but elected to sleep-in as soon as I was permitted to make the decision myself. Since then, any church attendances have been out of sentimental reasons (it's Christmas time, we're at my parents' place and Mum is singing in the choir), weddings or funerals.
I know that 'God' is just a word, but I believe, somehow, that there is a God of some kind. Despite picking at my nails until they bleed and suffering all-too-regular bouts of insomnia, I've never spent much time pondering the meaning of life, the point to our existence or what is beyond the Milky Way. Something far bigger and cleverer and stronger than me has made all sorts of things that my brain doesn't have a hope of comprehending. All I can do is try to be a decent person. I think.
And if reincarnation is true - and my own philosophical and spiritual jury is still out on this issue - I'd love to return to this planet as a much-loved and well cared-for family dog.
Heaven, therefore, in my own small way, is experienced every day through the things I see, touch, hear and taste. The coffee made by Love Chunks; the feel of Milly's furry ears, my first dazzling view of Sapphire each morning, the taste of chocolate and knowing that every single person I interact with has a story that will fascinate me. A neckrub is pretty close to heaven too.
AMBITION (Because you're driven but still manage the work life balance - he-he free tips without buying the book)
Hmmm, this is a tough one to summarise. I was ambitious once, up until about five years ago when my body, mind and soul decided to simultaneously pull the blinds down so that it forced me to rest, reduce my ridiculous working hours and decide if having a fancy office, a meaningless-but-important-sounding job title and a big salary was worth losing six teeth, possessing a gnawing gut, painfully excreting rabbit droppings at 3am and then explosive diarrhoea five minutes before a presentation was my idea of a successful life.
It wasn't. Nor was having Sapphire in childcare - and later, before and after-school care full time; crying for no apparent reason on the weekends; feeling permanently resentful/grumpy/exhausted and jealous; hiding out in the work toilets or finding myself at the desk, having done an hour of work when my boss would ring - from the sanctity of his breakfast table in Glenelg with the opening line, "I knew you'd be there already."
Writing a book, surviving the aftermath of Bulldog's ego and cruelty to work from home as a writer and researcher and chocolate reviewer has been the best thing I've done for my so-called 'career path'. I earn a fifth of what I earned five years ago and am extremely lucky to have the luxury of knowing that Love Chunks earns enough to see us through. He supports my work (and the diversions) and has pointed out more than once that I'm a healthier and happier person.
So 'ambition' for me is about trying to contribute to my family on my terms, but acknowledging that it can't be done without the support and understanding of Love Chunks and Sapphire. And for that I'll be grateful to them for the rest of my life.