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momentous events Random thoughts

Countdowns are so exciting, aren’t they?!!

I feel a little like Big Kev. I’m so excited, I swear little bits of me are actually escaping out of my skin. The reason, you ask? I’m SOOOO close to re-joining the world of the internet-capable computer owner again, I can just about taste it! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so when I last blogged, I was computerless and jobless. Using hubby’s computer to bemoan my lack of money, my mounting credit card bills and my growing concern over the increasing intensity of demand letters over my past-due bills (boy, they can get rather stroppy, can’t they?!!)

Since then, I’ve got myself a job. Was getting absolutely nowhere with gaining paid employment the ‘traditional’ way, so I mustered as much courage as I could, found a niche that needed filling, went and pitched my proposal to the boss, and he agreed to pay me for the service I was offering. Yay! So now I can say that I’m ranked among the ’employed’ again! I oversee the marketing for St Paul’s Lutheran Primary School, Caboolture. So I’m pretty stoked, and my first pay will go towards purchasing myself my very OWN laptop! Yay!!! So I have around two weeks to decide what I want and where to get it from. I’m actually leaning towards getting a Mac. Never had one before, but I keep hearing good things.

What would YOU recommend?

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#librarytwittermysteryamonth

Just another day in paradise…

I’m still computer-less. And still job hunting. But really, what have I got to complain about? I have my health, my (relative) youth, my family, a home, vehicles, food, clothes. I’m blessed. Truly.

Okay, so I’m scumming a few minutes of time on hubby’s computer – again – and I so can’t WAIT for a job so that I can buy myself a computer and start blogging again. Maybe continuing my assignment for @katiedatwork which has been on permanent hold for almost a month. Still an’all…

My reason for blogging today is to add my impressions of Marianne Delacourt’s “Sharp Turn” to #librarytwittermysteryamonth. I read her “Sharp Shooter”, the first novel featuring Tara Sharp, just to get acquainted with Delacourt’s writing style and protagonist. A great beginning quickly became quite a readable pageturner. Not quite the sophistication of Agatha’s Christie’s classic for the January read, but entertaining nonetheless.

“Sharp Turn” continued the themes commenced in her first. Tara Sharp, a broke Private Investigator living in her parent’s garage, continues to use her ability to see auras to crack cases within a week. In “Sharp Shooter”, the case involved a Mob Boss. In this, Tara moves into the field of motorbike racing and high class brothels. Both were easy reads, with believable characterisation and a choice of setting – Perth – which is obviously well known and dearly loved by the author.

I must admit a little disappointment with the sheer size of the cast though. And although it may have necessary to include some of the wayward characters to eventually become Tara’s “employees”, it seemed a little contrived.

On the whole, they were enjoyable reads. And I’m very much looking forward to reading and reviewing the March #librarytwittermysteryamonth choice! Hopefully by then I’ll have a job and my own computer…

 

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#librarytwittermysteryamonth Random thoughts

Had to do it…

Okay… nicking hubby’s computer again to type this (arrgghh! I really REALLY need one of my own again!!) but seeing as it’s January 31, it’s the last day of posting about Agatha Christie‘s ‘Murder on the Orient Express‘, which I said I would do for the #librarytwittermysteryamonth challenge.

So… to task.

Never read this novel before. Or seen the movie either, so had little expectations of what I was to encounter. Knew it had Poirot (and imagined the actor now famous for his portrayal of the same character) but was looking forward to the storyline.

Have to admit some disappointment though. It felt too trite. Too overworked. Too pat. Even after just the first few chapters, I admitted some surprise at the overuse of some adjectives describing facial characteristics, “expressionless” being an obvious one. Yes, it was clever. Yes, it was well-written with some beautiful turns of phrase. But plot-wise, I felt as though it wasn’t the masterpiece I had expected it to be.

Anyway, that’s my take on it. Sorry if my opinion disappointed anyone!

And sorry too, for my lack of blogging. I’m REALLY looking forward to buying myself another computer (SOOOOOOOO majorly SICK of ones that die on me!) but that’s going to have to wait until I have a job…

Stay safe, dear readers! As always, thanks for visiting. And I’ll try to be back again soon, I promise!

Yours,

Ceridwyn

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momentous events Random thoughts

Silence… not necessarily golden!

I’ve been without a computer since Wednesday. Even now, I’m stealing a few minutes on hubby’s laptop. First email, then googlereader for jobs, quick moderation of the latest on goodoldtalk, and apologise for the absence of spam deletion, then a quick post on here. No time for twitter or facebook, let alone getting any work done on the project I’m meant to be completing for Uni!

I’m starting to realise exactly how much time I spend online, and how little I can get ‘done’ without it!

In a way, this is an obscure apology for the absence of recent reading material on this blog. Sorry!

Ceridwyn

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Random thoughts

oh happy day

Happy Australia Day, everyone!

Hope yours was as lovely as mine…

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Random thoughts

Okay… this is a little strange…

I blogged last week about how I felt when I had graduated but not yet started working. Restless; a bundle of nervous energy. That story had a good ending though. I applied for, and was given, the perfect job.

I find myself in the same situation now. In December last year, I thanked my two emplyers (Coolum Beach Christian College and Glasshouse Country Christian College) profusely, and resigned. My intention was to have just the one employer in 2011, working either part-time (my preferred option, seeing as I wanted to complete as much of the M.IT that I could this year) or full-time. Teaching, or Library work… it did’t really worry me.

But here I am. School’s been back for two days, and I’m at home. ‘Unemployed’. Hmmm…! And it’s not as if I’ve been sitting on my behind doing nothing; I’ve been applying left, right and centre! Was interviewed yesterday by ‘SmartTeachers‘, a company that sources teachers for Private Schools. Even they said that there are no jobs available. So where does that leave me? Restless! And full of nervous energy! I need a job! And because I’ve been without a paycheck since early December and the bills are starting to pile up in a very threatening manner, I need a full-time job… now!

It’s 9.47am. I’ve cleaned and vaccuumed my entire house, baked a cake and transferred the rest of my delectable home-made vanilla slice into containers, done a couple of loads of washing, picked up what feels like several truckloads of toys. All of which is great, but I need to do something which pays…

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Random thoughts

‘P’ plates on – check!

Due to last night’s extreme lack of sleep, and this morning’s early rise to get Miss 6 off to her first day of Year One, I find myself sitting down to blog with no real clear idea of where this will end up. But that’s cool. I’ve been tagging stuff ‘random thoughts’, but on reflection, have noticed that they weren’t particularly random. So, using the (supposed) words of William Wallace made famous by Mel Gibson, “That’s something that we shall have to remedy then!”

Today is this blog’s one-month-and-one-day anniversary. Which makes me officially onto my ‘P’ plates, I’ve decided. Which brings me to some random facts about my travelling experiences, and some random thoughts about the same…

  1. I got my motorbike license before my car license, and I rode the blue Suzuki GSZ250 that I had bought from my older brother from the streets of Eight Mile Plains to Rochedale and back for several weeks from 2am – 4am, teaching myself to drive the thing before I went for (and just passed!) my test.
  2. Almost a year later, that same motorbike died at the top of the Gateway Bridge (hole in the gasket or something? Whatever that means!) but luckily I had enough momentum to get over the top and roll back down towards the toll gates on the southern side. Thank you, guardian angel! I hate to think what might have happened if it had sputtered to a stop 30 seconds earlier… rolling backwards into oncoming traffic may not have been the nicest way for my life to end!
  3. My husband taught me to drive while we were dating, and bought me my very first car. A little red Suzuki Hatch. What a sweetheart!!!
  4. I’ve been on only three planes in my life. Once in the cult, going to the Phillipines for an international conference. Once on my honeymoon on Fraser Island. And once from Brisbane to Proserpine, holidaying with hubby on South Molle island back in 2003. I love plane travel. Wish I could do more… but the presence of three kids in my life tends to place some restrictions on wish fulfilment, I’ve noticed…
  5. I have owned four boats. Two currently reside in my shed. I don’t have a boat license.
  6. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to own, or part-own, a horse. And, of course, go camel-riding!
  7. I absolutely ADORE my caravan! (Might have to sell it though, if I don’t get a job soon…)
  8. We currently have another caravan, and a campertrailer, residing on our property too. Storage for the in-laws. Recent occurrence – we didn’t look like a used car sales yard til just before Christmas. Wish that I could sell THEM! Hehe, wouldn’t that be funny! (not…)
  9. My eldest asked me this morning when she could go up in a rocket. Got quite discouraged when I informed her. But she also wants to drive a tractor when she is 20, so I guess some goals are still within her reach…
  10. My husband and I owned nine different cars in the first nine years of our marriage. Silly, I know. Kidless, double income… lots of fun!

Well, that’ll do for now. More randomness tomorrow, I wonder? Have a lovely rest-of-the-day, dear readers!

 

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momentous events places to visit Random thoughts

When the fun has gone…

There’s a little bit of a tinge of sadness in the air. A greying. Cool mist. It’s as though the laughter-filled ‘honeymoon stage’ has passed, and the vision of ‘hard slog’ has just started to inch towards me over the far horizon. Ho hum.

Today is the 23rd of January. Exactly one month ago, I set up this blog, in preparation for @fionawb’s #blog12daysxmas challenge, which would start on Christmas Day of 2010. So that’s it. Been blogging for a month now. How sad – I can’t really class myself as a ‘newbie’ anymore. Well, not really.

Generally I find milestones exciting. They signify the culmination of something. But that can mean the end of something, too… and in my experience, when something ends it is never repeated again. Which can be sad, I find. Today also marks the end of my 6 posts on ‘momentous events in my life’. It’s been an interesting challenge I set myself… I had NO idea when I started, just how confronting it would be. Bearing my soul and my innermost thoughts at the most emotional experiences I’ve had! And only a brand-new blogger! So this week’s been rather a soul-searching one for me, deciding how to best present the stories of my life, pitting the ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ against the ideas of privacy, discretion, and of course a pretty massive word count when I get all rambly!

Still an’ all… today’s event, number six, while still extremely emotional, was one which still leaves me incredulous. It goes like this…

It was the latter half of 2010. August, maybe? Or September? It was a warm day, and it must have been a Saturday because hubby was home. So we decided to swap the baby seats into our Pajero and take the 5 of us to Bribie for the day. So we did. On the way, I noticed that I was still wearing my watch and rings (I never take them to the beach, as I don’t like the potential that sand has for damaging them!) and was about to take them off and put them safely into my handbag, when I was distracted (probably by two fighting daughters in the back seat!) and so didn’t. And it wasn’t until we were actually ON the beach, the car unpacked, the kids changed into their swimmers etc that I remembered that I was still wearing them.

I should probably pause and explain… I’m not into jewelry. I wear my engagement ring and my wedding ring and my gold watch. That’s it. And I only wear them when I’m out somewhere – as soon as I’m home, I take off the rings and store them on the watchband; do up the watch again, and presto! Safe. I probably started the habit when my eldest was born, as I didn’t want the stones to scratch her when I was picking her up so constantly, but now it’s a bit of a habit.

Anyway, we got home from the day at Bribie tired and happy. And the following morning, headed off to church. I opened the section of my handbag where I usually keep the watch / rings… and they weren’t there. Back home, after church, I check the box where I leave them… and they weren’t there. I go back out to the car, check the glovebox, the floor… no. I go to the Pajero, check the glovebox, the floor, the centre console… no. I panic. They’re gone. Completely. Gone.

Questions, guilt, more questions, more guilt. Why can’t I remember! I must have taken them off at the beach… but maybe that was just before my youngest crawled head-first into the water and got knocked over by a wave?

A week goes by. A very very very sad week. I was coming up 15 years married and had lost my rings. Worse – I couldn’t even remember when I had removed them and where I had put them. Hubby suggests calling the Bribie Police Station. Sure, I say, but don’t. (I’ve mentioned how depressed I get, haven’t I.) The following weekend it rains, or we’re busy, or something. Anyway, we don’t go back to Bribie. I don’t think I would have handled it too well, if Hubby had even suggested it. He keeps reminding me of the Bribie Police. I say, ‘Stop nagging.’

Monday after lunch. The eldest is at school and the younger two have gone down for their naps. I can’t put it off anymore. I call Bribie Police. Teary, I tell the constable my story. She asks me to describe them. I do.

She them says, “You’re not going to believe this. They’ve been handed in, not half an hour ago. A lady found them on the beach this morning – well, her husband did – and she wanted to hand them in straight away because she knew that whoever had lost them would be devastated.”

I die. (Well, not literally, but pretty darn close!) I bundle the kids into the car, rush down to Bribie Police Station, and reclaim my beloved watch and rings. Oh my GOD!!!!! How absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! I had been praying, and praying, and praying, all week. And here they were again – back on my ring finger; back on my wrist – without even any extra tarnish for their eight days in the sun, wind, rain, exposed to the salt and the sand!

How awesome is my God?!! Pretty darn! I was completely blown away. Incredulous. And so, so, so grateful. I had thought them gone literally forever, and been in various stages of mourning and denial. But they had been preserved somehow… heck! The watch hadn’t even lost a minute! How absolutely INCREDIBLE is my God!!!

Anyway, that’s it. The sixth, of six ‘most momentous events in my life’. The list is complete. A little sad, in a way. A little grey. But touched with golden around the edges, for a challenge completed successfully. And as for the next? I haven’t decided yet. Might go sleep on it.

As always, thank you for allowing me to share my story with you. And, dear readers, have a lovely night!

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momentous events

It’s party day…

I mentioned in last night’s post that hubby and two daughters had birthdays in the past week.  So today is party day. Yay – I think! (The rain’s just started, and it looks like it’s setting in.) Wish I’d had more sleep last night, rather than waking up every few hours, having dreamt about (yet more!) ant invasions.

Still, the point of this post is to reminisce the fifth momentous event in my life to date. And that was another celebration – much quieter though. MUCH. Internal, as a matter of fact. That ‘want to jump out of your skin because you can’t contain how happy you feel’ kind of celebration. And the reason? Gaining full-time employment for the first time ever.

From memory, it was January 27, 1996. I was in the Principal’s office in Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia. I had spent the better part of my mental and emotional energies over the past fortnight being concerned that schools were going back. I had been offered the position of Music Coordinator of Mt Isa State High School since finishing my B.Ed a few months earlier, but, being only a few weeks married to a NAB Lending Officer based in Brisbane, had turned it down. So now I had found myself unemployed, with the schools going back. And with nervous energy to burn, had applied for and been given an interview for the position of Music Coordinator at Chisholm, a Term One replacement for Peter Shaw, who was on Long Service Leave.

So I sat in Mike Ashton’s office, explaining who I was and trying to demonstrate how enthusiastic I was to have the opportunity to finally have my ‘own class’, rather than the classes of supervising teachers. I guess it must have worked, because Mike asked me to wait outside while he called my referees. Then he called me back in and offered me the job. I could hardly contain my excitement! I was engaged to start the very next day, and he took me for a quick tour of the school.

I think I may have impressed him that very first day. The students had returned, and he hadn’t yet organised the relief for the Music classes that would start that afternoon. So I offered to take them. To start that day. He agreed, surprised yet probably relieved. And so my first day’s (well, half day’s) work was that same afternoon. What a ride! And what an excellent school! And when I left at the end of Term Three, (a Maths / Science teacher had taken maternity leave in Terms Two and Three, so Mike had rearranged the timetable so the classes were covered internally, and so I could stay there, teaching English and Music classes,) I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career. I learned so much, grew so much, and gained far more than I thought would have been possible. Even now, I’m smiling.

I’ve been thinking about that quite a bit this week. Again, I find myself in the position of being ‘unemployed’, with the schools going back. And again, I find myself with huge amounts of nervous energy to burn. I need a job. No, really, I NEED a job. Know of one I could have?

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momentous events Random thoughts

Here we go again…

It’s been a big day. Woke up to discover my dream job for 2011 had been advertised on Monday, with submissions of applications by close of business YESTERDAY! (That’ll teach me for having a husband and two daughters all having birthdays this past week, and so not turning on my computer as much, won’t it!)

So I applied anyway. And then felt depressed all day. Youngest is teething (and whingy), middle child has a rash over her entire back from the neighbour’s over-chlorinated pool (and MEGA whingy) and eldest is… well… she’s just too like me on every day of the week, so we butt heads anyway. A LOT!

Hubby has been out at a staff retreat for the last few days, so he arrived home tonight. Just as I discovered a colony of ants were playing at falling out of the lovely home they had made in my cathedral ceilings, all over my lounge room. Over chairs, over cushions, over the inevitable collection of toys that accumulates throughout the day. Over literally everything. Yay. But thanks to my lovely twitter support group, a #virtualtweetup, and a pretty massive #sugarhit, I feel as though I can focus enough to blog for the day.

Hmmm… that’s right. My topic: momentous event in my life number four. The first time I felt ‘released’ from the emotional prison that was suffocating me. And again, I should probably fill in some details as to how I arrived in that prison in the first place. So settle in… this may take a moment or two…

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post, once upon a time, I helped to lead a cult. Really? Yes. Really. In my second year of my B.Ed at Griffith, Mt Gravatt, I was sitting on the grass near the bus stop when a girl several years older than me walked up and, out of the blue, invited me to a Bible study. Shocked? Yes! Because how was she to know that, not 30 seconds earlier, I had just finished praying that I might be more committed to my Saviour, and that I would find the way to do this.

Long story short, I ‘studied the Bible’ with her – and her fellow “church” members – for the next ten days, a couple of hours at a time. (Wow! I must have had SO much free time on my hands back then!) By the middle of the studies, I could see where they were heading. Verses from the Bible had been chosen, and were studied in detail, in such a way that the proof was irrefutable – I was NOT (as I had thought all my life) saved, I was NOT a Christian, and only by joining this “church” would I then become a Christian, and be saved. Tell me tell you – I fought this and fought it! What they were saying was absolute anathema… but in all of it, I had to keep going back to the Bible. Seeing the words. And agreeing with their point of view, even though I didn’t want to, because, really, there was no other explanation. So I joined. And a few months later, moved out of my parents, into a “sisters” house, renting with other girls from the “church”. By Semester One of my third year, I was ‘in deep’. I had virtually lost all contact with my non-“church” friends, and my family. By the end of that semester, I was one of the two Interns. As in, the leader of the “church”, Jordie Barham at that time, and his wife, Paula, had one assistant (Intern) each, and together, the four of us led the whole of the Brisbane “church” – almost 200 members at that point in time. I had decided to postpone Semester Two, in order to devote 22 hours per day to my ‘work’, and I joked how I would tell my parents that it was just for the rest of the year, rather than (as I had planned) for the rest of my life.

But by September, I was completely burnt out. I had not yet succeeded in ‘being fruitful’ (converting someone through to “church” membership) and the Internship was stripped from me and given to another. A month or so later, I feigned illness on Sunday morning, and while everyone else was at church, put through a distress call to my parents. They picked me up, drove me around to the three different “sister’s houses” I had lived in and left possessions at, and then took me back to their house, before the others in the “church” were any the wiser. And then we all ignored the phone, which rang off the hook 24 hours a day for the next 4 days or so.

Still, I had left physically, but not left mentally or emotionally. I knew that when I had left their “church”, that I had walked away from my salvation. That I had turned my back on God. That I was going to hell. And I remained utterly convicted of that fact. Nothing could convince me otherwise. After all – I had seen it for myself, in the black and white words of the Bible.

I finished Uni and got married. I then fought constantly with my husband, as he, a Christian, couldn’t understand how I could be that ‘stubborn’ about my opinion. And then the inevitable happened. After just one and a half years of marriage, we split up.

A week later, he came back. To find me as unrelenting as ever. I KNEW that I was going to hell, and nothing he could say or do would change that. He virtually begged me to go to marriage counselling. I agreed, but with the attitude that ‘nothing will change. They can’t convince me otherwise. I know it. I’ve seen it.’

So anyway, we went to counselling. Another couple, Graham Ballam and his lovely wife, the Baptist pastors at Victoria Point (where we were living) had one session with us. Just one. And then said, “You (two) don’t need marriage counselling. No – marriage counselling won’t work. Instead, you (Ceridwyn) need counselling. To get this wrong way of thinking out of your head. Because you’re wrong. What you believe. It’s wrong.”

My response? Sure. Bring it on. We agreed that I would go through ‘studying the Bible’ with them, each and every session, and I knew, I just KNEW, that by the end of it, I would have convinced them that they too, were not saved, not Christians, etc.

So it started. And it continued. And for every SINGLE verse, I explained the verse how the “church” had explained it to me. And then we would go back to the original meanings of the words themselves, in Hebrew and Greek, to the nuances of the verbs, to see whether the explanations provided by the “church” matched up with the reality of the original Hebrew and Greek words. And while the majority of them DID match up, there were one or two discrepancies. Maybe just in the ‘present continuous’ form of the verb being used, rather than what I had been taught, but it was enough. I saw a chink. A glimmer of light. And that was the beginning.

It took the best part of a fortnight. Hours and hours of debate, intense scrutiny of those same Biblical passages that had so convinced me of my hell-bound future. But it was worth it. By the end, I could smile. I could feel a peace that I hadn’t felt in years. And I felt, again, some hope. Again, just a glimmer… but it was a start. A release. I emerged from that prison a stronger person for being in there – and even more convicted of my God, and my salvation. So although I had endured quite a few years of being ‘bound and gagged’ (to quote the title of one of my brother’s movies), there was an end. A wonderful, wonderful end. Which, as it always does, resulted in a new beginning. Phew.

Well, that’s probably it for today. And I’d say that long enough too wouldn’t you agree?! Thank you for reading, and I’m heading back to say goodnight at that #virtualtweetup now…