Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fiddly bits

It's been an interesting few months - quitting a well-paid job, feeling like a failure, surviving Christmas, starting the novel in the holidays, twanging the Achilles, seeing Sapphire smile again as school resumes with the bully in another class, finding myself the captain of the tennis team....

During all of this, I've pretty well decided that the formal job structure is no longer for me. No more black polyester slacks, ironed shirts or pinchy shoes. No more nine-to-five and a boring commute home and have you filled out your timesheet and paid your two bucks into the tea club kitty yet. No more feeling trapped or struggling to be nice to someone who needs a short shap slap rather than strained respect.

Instead, little things have cropped up. Good things. Back writing for The Age. A few hours of casual work at an independent book company several tram stops away; some tutoring leads and child minding. Yep, child minding - one, as it happens. To hear this spunky little seven year old spontaneously exclaim, "This is so much fun," as we sat outside taping together some shoe boxes for Skipper the rabbit's new playground made me grin wider than the Nile.

And so, on a morning off I had a long list of errands to run. It was a beautiful sunny day. Sapphire and I had been for our now-regular 3km run (her) and hobble (me); the vet had just rung on the mobile to share the good news that Milly's second lump wasn't cancer and a box-load of new chocolate samples were on their way. Plenty of time to do the bank, post office, hardware store and Coles before then.

I saw my body reflected in the Witchery window whilst crossing Puckle Street and instead of cringeing, thought, "I'm OK. No-one's running away from me screaming and I look happy and content in myself. What more could I ask for?"

The check out lady at K-Mart told me all about being blindfolded and taken to the airport and whisked off to Sydney for her surprise 50th birthday present. "Thank god it wasn't a blindfolded Brazilian," I said, waving goodbye to her laughter. Life was good. An article had been submitted three days before due date and a radio station had requested an interview.

"Here." A pretty sixteen year old girl, presumably an apprentice beautician, thrust a brochure into my hand. She was fully painted and precariously perched on her stacked heels outside the salon, selecting passersby to hand her leaflets to.

"Ta." Such places are alien to me, so it stayed scrunched in my hand until I reached the car park. As the key was inserted into the door, it was time to open up the paper and see if it needed to be read or flung into the recycling bin on the other side of the trolley bay.

'Menopausal Skin Treatment. This voucher entitles you to three sessions of half-price facials designed to rejuvenate ageing, tired skin. Call today to change the way you look and feel!'

Beastly brochure.


nuttynoton said...

good to hear that life is looking up fopr you and you have beaten the problems we have of the daily grind. keep it up here is to the book this year??

And don't worry about the facials, most of us clever folks realise that beauty is more than skin deep

Elephant's Child said...

How wonderful on so many fronts. Milly cancer free, Saphire bully free and you out of the daily tedium. So the novel sooner rather than later?

Andrew said...

You should have gone back and slapped the lass who gave you the brochure. Next step is people offering you their seat on a tram. 'Would you like a seat dearie?'

Benjamin Solah said...

I'm dreaming of being outside the 9-5 prison... one day

Hannah said...

Damn life and its twisted sense of humour! That's why I avoid all those beautician-spruiking people. I know my skin isn't peaches and cream, thank you very much. No need to have you tell me it!

So wonderful that things are looking and feeling up for you, Kath. HURRAH!

Pandora Behr said...

Excellent Saph's happier at school - and you're sounding well good.

As for that last thing - maybe they meant the flyer for your Mum... nah, go back and slap her.

drb said...

V glad to hear that Milly's 2nd lump is not cancer. The girl needs glasses.

Kath Lockett said...

Thank you nutty - here's hoping my innards look better than my outtards.

Novel, Elephant's Child, will somehow have to be squeezed in amongst FOUR part-time jobs I've got going at the moment. It will happen though. It will.

Oh Andrew, I haven't had that happen to me. Yet..... I'm just hoping that the young chickie was short sighted and meant to hand me the 'free facial' brochure instead. In 'Kath Land' that *would* happen.

Benjamin, it'll happen for you too, I'm sure. I'll be honest though and admit that a lot of my freedom is because Love Chunks, well, isn't.

Ta, Hannah. Yep, life is good, menopausal skin condition and all!

If I see her again, Pandora, I won't slap her but say, "Oh at sixty eight, sweetie, I'm long past needing this." Trouble is, she'd probably believe me. Dad said in his first years of teaching when he was only twenty four the kids thought he was forty!

Thanks drb. See everyone? drb thinks the girls needs glasses too? Welcome to Kath Land!

Vanessa said...

I do occasionally frequent beauty salons and there is no way I would go to one with brochures like that! You sound happy Kath, I hope things continue looking up for you. Yay for Millie and Sapphire!

Jayne said...

S'Ok, when I was little I was once asked my Dad if he'd fought in the first or second world war *blushes*
Those gals think anyone over the age of 16 is ancient, so by that reckoning, we should be classed as irreplaceable, precious priceless notable mounuments.

Mrs Dump - Adelaide said...

Don't worry Kath - she was probably just so jealous of you looking so great, relaxed and actually enjoying your life compared to her still with many years of 9-5 drudgery ahead of her.
WordVerification is comoged - (my definition:) brought to the realisation that someone else's life is infinitely better than yours looks like being for the forseeable future. Yep - I'm sure that girl was comoged.

River said...

I prefer the "instant" facelift. Think of something happy and smile. There you go, instant lift.

Pinchy shoes?? Why would anybody wear pinchy shoes?? Buy a wider fitting. Find a shoe shop that specialises in wide fittings.
Comfort is everything! if the feet are unhappy, so is the rest of the body.
Great news about Milly and all your little extra jobs. I could never be a corporate person.

Kath Lockett said...

Vanessa, they are. Milly's sleeping in her beanbag as I type this; Sapphire's gone happily to bed and LC's snoring on the sofa!

True, Jayne. Sapph has asked me if there was television around when I was a girl and at first feeling offended, I then realised that I *do* remember when it changed to colour.

Mrs Dump - I love it. She was most definitely feeling comoged!

River, by 'pinchy' shoes I actually mean blister-causing ones. I've got fairly narrow feet but clearly a set of heels that attract blisters no matter how flat, soft or comfortable the shoe is. Even sneakers do it to me.

Baino said...

Sounds peachy at the moment. Wish I could dump the polyester suit and pinchy shoes! As for the facial? Any facial's a good facial. Good news about Milly too MWAH

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Baino. Hope your m-i-l is on the improve too.

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

Jesus. I wonder if there are people standing around giving weight loss brochures to people too. Or hair regrowth ones to balding men.

Or perhaps language course ones to people in shops with spelling errors or terrible punctuation in their signage.

Meditation class brochures to people being horribly rude to shop assistants over things they can't control?

Hmmm, I actually like where this is going now...

LJP said...

You should make your own brochures to hand back to these people. Free slap in the snozz - special offer one day only...

Kath Lockett said...

I *love* your ideas Conor - yours too, LBJ - 'Use some deodorant' to fellow travellers on the 57 tram;
'If you dog does a poo - don't pretend to be blind: PICK IT UP';
and my personal favourite:
'Teenage boys: Pull up your pants!'

Jackie K said...

loved this post
that's life for you