Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Yesterday at work, a customer said what is categorically the strangest thing any customer has ever said to me. I was phoning her up to let her know that her glasses had come in.

Me: Hi, is that Mrs Customer?
Her: Yes?
Me: Hi, it's Christine here from My Workplace in Suburb. I'm just calling to let you know that your glasses are ready to be collected.
Her: Oh, you're working today are you? And just after I've turned my wireless off.
Me: ...
Her: Okay, I'll come in and collect those on Monday. Thankyou, dear.
Me: No worries, we'll see you then.
Her: Bye now *hangs up*
Me: WTF?!

The only hypothesis the five of us (4 girls and a male optom) could come up with was that she meant that she'd just turned her mobile phone ("wireless"?) off and thought I might have tried to call her on that, but we didn't even have a mobile number for her. And that doesn't quite sound right anyway. I say again . . . WTF?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmassy Goodness

And so this is Christmas,
And what have you done?
Another year over,
A new one just begun . . .

I’ve had such a lovely Christmas. I got some very nice presents, but even more important than the presents has been the feel of the whole thing. I’ve had fun times with my family, warm and loving and merry, and S has been by my side through most of it. I’ve given gifts that made people happy and excited, and generally had a pleasant and fulfilling festive season.

The compulsory gift wrap-up:

What I got:

From Mum and Stepdad: A silver St Christopher medallion (I wasn’t supposed to get anything from them as they’d spent my Christmas present money towards the camera I got for my birthday, but Mum couldn’t resist!)

From 24yo brother and his girlfriend: “Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl” DVD.

From 11yo sister: Lithium batteries for future use in my camera.

From 9yo brother: Champagne flutes (Mum helped him choose them, but he still had the final say, and they’re very elegant!)

In my stocking from Mum: A dynamo torch (it never needs batteries, you just wind the handle for a minute and it lasts for hours), a battery-operated camping lantern, various chocolates, and a pack of fudge, nougat and marzipan goodies.

From Dad and Stepmum: A $150 Coles Myer Group gift card (Coles Myer Group own a whole range of stores including supermarkets, department stores, liquor stores, Officeworks etc. One of the things I’ll get is a new desk chair, mine is broken).

From 15yo stepbrother and 14yo stepsister, but purchased by Stepmum: A silver necklace with a purple stone in it apparently called charoite (I looked it up and apparently it’s a hard mineral rather than a stone, and reasonably rare, so that’s pretty cool).

Also from 15yo stepbrother and 14yo stepsister, but purchased by Stepmum: a calligraphy set with three pens and 14 inks and an instruction booklet. This is kind of a WTF present – it’s cool and all and I’ll probably have fun using it at some point or use it in my classroom, but it bears no relationship whatsoever to anything on my Christmas list, my known or extrapolated hobbies, or in fact anything I’ve ever said or done lol. Nonetheless I was very politely ecstatic about it when I opened it!

From an aunt and uncle: $50 in a card.

From workmates, variously: A box of chocolates, a mini bottle of a Cabernet Sauvignon, a pair of thongs (flip-flops) that fit me perfectly, and some nourishing hand and nail cream. The thongs are a real hit – I didn’t have any but felt defeated every time I braved the huge stands of thongs in the shops trying to find a good pair. These are perfect and I didn’t have to go to any effort whatsoever to get them!

From S, the most important present of all: a bottle of the perfume “Byzance”. It’s GORGEOUS and I’m over the moon about it. So happy!

I also got a $25 voucher to most stores at any Westfield shopping centre (Westfield is a shopping centre (mall) chain that owns several of the biggest centres in Perth). That wasn’t a gift but a reward from work’s Head Office for selling 5 of a particular range of frames for a $5 reward each! Having lost my watch last week I know exactly what I’ll be spending that $25 on.

What I gave people:

Mum: A $15 Spotlight (fabric, craft, homewares store) voucher; and went halvies in S’s present for her which was a bottle of crème de cacao.

Stepdad: I bought him a cheap version of the iTrip, a gadget which broadcasts the sound from your iPod or other mp3 player through a frequency on your car radio. 24yo brother conspired and got the double adapter for the car power socket which he needed to run this. He was totally blown away – really impressed as he’d never heard of one so the gift was a total surprise. Yay!

24yo brother: “The Court Jester” DVD

24yo brother’s girlfriend: A frosted glass tealight holder with a stars and moons motif, and a pack of 8 blueberry-scented tealights.

11yo sister: One of a particular set of small plastic horse figurines she’s currently collecting, plus a packet of paddlepop sticks (popsicle sticks) from which she can make fences for the toy horses.

9yo brother: A “Mars Mission” lego pack.

Dad and Stepmum: They didn’t want presents as such but S and I got them a bottle of their favourite wine.

15yo stepbrother: $10 Coles Myer or Kmart gift card (can’t remember which lol)

14yo stepsister: Silver dangly earrings (stars on chains)

Workmates: Boxes of chocolates

It’s been such a lovely Christmas, despite having been frustrating and upsetting at times – I think I’m finally starting to learn acceptance and serenity (Siri, you have helped so much with this, thankyou again). I’ve let nothing spoil the mood, no matter how negative other people were being – something I’ve never mastered before. ‘Tis good!


I started looking for a car to buy today. I can spend $1000 but no more, so I’m looking at the very basic end of the second-hand range. Unfortunately the best car yard for cheap cars (about 30 at that price range!) is closed for holidays this week, and the other places only had one or two at that price. It was a hot day and S and I both got exhausted and sunburned (him a little on the face, me bright red on one arm and the back of my neck – I missed spots with the sunscreen apparently). Not the best start but we test-drove a couple so we have an idea of what I’d bee looking at. Next Thursday is our next opportunity but they’re forecasting 39 degrees so it looks like a definite no-go! 33 degrees today was quite bad enough.

I’m feeling happy, peaceful, humble, very much in love and very positive about the new year. Thanks be to God.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Thoughts

To begin with, a disclaimer . . . I had a very long day at work and I had a glass of wine with dinner, so I’m a bit tiddly, not quite typing straight and feeling oddly mellow. And I’m rambling and blathering on.

I have so much to be thankful for this Christmas. I’m incredibly thankful for S and the wonderful relationship we have. I’m thankful for the bits of my brain which know how to get distinctions at university – damned if I know how they do it, but I’m grateful nonetheless. I’m thankful for my lovely family, particularly including my supportive mother, my awesome sister and my gorgeous cat. I’m thankful for my friends, through whom I learn so much, and who also have been incredibly supportive this year (I particularly have to mention Siri and Tassiegirl who always have something kind to say when I’m in need; and Sonia and Matthew, who have been a much-needed source of sanity in my life). I’m thankful for the ways in which my life is coming together and heading in the direction I want it to go. I’m thankful for my faith, which I find growing stronger and more peaceful as I settle in to a more stable frame of mind. I’m thankful for my sense of humour, which keeps me going. I’m thankful for life, the universe and everything :-)

"Loving Father,
Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting."
Deliver us from evil by the blessing
which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning
make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds
with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven,
for Jesus' sake.


Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I’m strangely happy at the moment. It’s a weird sort of a feeling, I’m just floating above anything that might really worry and upset me.

There’s been a few things that would normally have riled me up (silly people!) or upset me (other peoples’ babies, everywhere) but while I’ve still felt those emotions, I’ve felt amused and merry over the top of them. I know that doesn’t make sense lol. But I guess I’m just finding that life at the moment is good and pleasant, and no matter what goes wrong, things will be sorted out somehow. I’m coping with difficulties wonderfully, and finding that some things just fail to bother me. Almost as if I can’t be bothered getting annoyed and refuse to spoil my mood by doing so!

It’s a good feeling.

Check out this neat video: it’s a house right here in Perth. Must be watched with speakers / headphones on as sound is essential.

PS: Dad and Stepmum have apparently patched things up, and all seems okay on that front. I'm glad . . . Christmas is not the right time for that!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wobbly Universe

So, this afternoon, Dad phones me to ask about a few things on my Christmas list and to ask what he should get S for Christmas. We discussed that then hung up. About 20 seconds later, Dad called back and said something like "by the way, I thought you'd better know that Boxing Day* might be off because I'm not speaking to your stepmother right now and I may walk out before then".


He then went on to tell me that he's been dissatisfied for a year and a half, but my stepmother had just done something that was serious enough for him to call the whole thing off (he didn’t tell me what it was) and he’s just trying to work out what to do.

Now, my Dad is no drama queen. He doesn’t parade his emotions around – particularly not negative ones. He was brought up to keep a stiff upper lip and pretend that everything’s fine, and that’s what he does. So for Dad to be telling me that . . . he’s not just blowing off steam or being melodramatic. He must be serious.

I can’t honestly say I’d be sorry to see my stepmother out of our lives. I’ve never felt she was good for Dad, and she’s jealous and petty towards my brother and I. I don’t dislike her nearly as much as I used to, because I’ve grown out of reacting to her behaviour, but I still don’t particularly like her. So in that sense I wouldn’t be sad if they split.

But I’m hurting dreadfully for Dad. He was devastated when Mum left him, and for his second marriage to break up too . . . he must be feeling horrible. And it’ll be devastating financially for both of them, which is difficult too. And for Dad to have to try to rebuild a family and a social circle a third time . . . oh, it hurts.

And then there’s my 15yo stepbrother and 14yo stepsister. I care for both of them, even though I’m not close to them and find them both a bit annoying. Dad would be the third father figure / male role model to abandon them (the first being 15yo’s biological father, who chose not to have a relationship but sends money occasionally; and the second being 14yo’s biological father who also adopted 15yo, whom my stepmother kicked out for being violent with 15yo when he was a toddler, and who has now married a Filipino woman who doesn’t like the kids very much and tries to keep their father at arms’ length). Not only is Dad the only really decent male in their lives, but he’s the only truly intelligent and intellectual person in their lives. It will be very hard on them to lose the only man who has been a stable part of their lives for the last 10 years.

It may not happen. They may patch things up. But . . . it’s a wobble, and I don’t like wobbles!

* We celebrate Christmas with Dad the day after Christmas, which is known as Boxing Day here.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


So. Ahem. After worrying secretly for weeks that I hadn't passed two of my units and would be in real strife because I wouldn't be able to teach next year . . . these are my results:

First Semester Units:
Intro to Teaching: 65%, Credit
Mathematics Curriculum: 75%, Distinction
English Curriculum: Haven't got the mark yet (disorganised ****s!), but I think it'll be a credit
Soc & Env and Science Curriculum: 74%, Distinction

Second Semester / Whole Year Units:
Arts and Phys Ed Curriculum: 63%, Credit
Schools in Context: 71%, Distinction
Special Needs: 77%, Distinction
Learning and Assessment Processes: 78%, Distinction

May School Experience: Ungraded Pass
Preliminary Internship: Ungraded Pass
Professional Internship (Prac plus coursework): 63%, Credit

All credits and distinctions, excepting the Ungraded Passes . . . I'm so hugely relieved I can't say how good it feels! It's over and done, and I not only survived but did so with an average I'm actually not ashamed of, given the trials and tribulations I've been through this year, moving and working and chopping and changing and falling in love.

I'm proud of me! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Raging hormones

I don't know what to do with myself today. I woke up this morning with a splitting headache, a powerful craving for chocolate, and a strong feeling that I was going to bawl if anyone even mentioned the word "baby". All this equals hormones on the rampage in my book, but it's left me with a frustratingly restless and aimless day in which I've achieved nothing and spent a fair bit of time wandering around the house like a bored ghost hoping that something would shake me out of my mood.

Bah, humbug!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sooo clucky!

Happy birthday to me!  27 today! Yikes

Birthdays aside (or perhaps, because of the annual reminder of that ticking clock), I've been awfully clucky lately - the really bad, burst-into-tears-at-adverts-featuring-kids type cluckiness. S and I won't be ready for kids for a few years yet - we have to afford a wedding first and we want to do at least one overseas holiday beforehand (Egypt, we’re thinking). It’s going to be a while. But the hormones think otherwise! They’re saying I’m still youngish, fertile and in love, so what’s the hold up? *sigh*

Apart from that, I'm enjoying my birthday and have got lots of nice presents - full wrap-up later.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Birthday Coolness

The first of my birthday celebrations happened today (two days early). At lunchtime we had my grandparents over for lunch (baked ham, yorkshire puddings, roast veggies etc . . . with Black Forest cherry cake and icecream for dessert, yum).

My grandmother gave me a lovely hardcover edition of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", which is something I wouldn't buy for myself, plus the Folio Society diary, which she's got me three years running - they're illustrated diaries and they bring out a completely differently themed one each year. 2006 was the Orient, 2007 was about significant moments in art and history, and 2008 is about literature illustrations, with a huge range of illustrations drawn from Folio Society editions of classic books. It's cool :-D

My brother and his girlfriend, who won't see me on my birthday as they don't live here, gave me the board game Balderdash, which is a vocabulary and bulldanging game which has the motto 'Learn, Laugh and Lie'. I’ve wanted it for years so I was pretty chuffed.

I also got my main combined-birthday-and-Christmas present from Mum. She had decided to get me a digital camera, but she wanted me to hold the one she’d chosen before she bought it, to make sure that the weight and grip were alright for my dodgy right hand. The local shopping centre had special Sunday trading this week (they often get the few Sundays leading up to Christmas) so we slipped down to the camera shop after everyone left, and got my camera. I decided that it would be a bit silly for Mum to then take it and wrap it after I’d already held it, so I got it today. And I have to say, it’s AWESOME. I played with it in the garden this afternoon and took some lovely shots, particularly with the Macro close-up setting. I can’t wait to spend more time playing with it!

Some of the pictures:

Mint leaves


Some sort of berries!

Pretty hanging purple flowers lol

I ought to know the name of these, but it's slipped my mind

Our outdoor entertaining area at the back of our house. Gorgeous, huh?

I love my camera :-D

Friday, December 7, 2007


I took 11yo-Sis into the Perth CBD this evening for late night shopping, so that she could get Christmas presents for everyone. This is her first year with an allowance rather than pocket money, so she wanted to purchase the presents herself.

We had a lovely time getting presents for everyone except me lol, and also got her some jeans which she badly needed (Mum is unfashionable and doesn't really dress the kids in anything other than tracksuit pants or shorts and t-shirts and jumpers/jackets, so Sis literally had NO smart trousers of any variety!). She looked awesomely cool in her new jeans :-D

Anyway, we had a great time shopping, got cakes from a cafe as we were leaving, then drove around the city centre several times looking at the various different lights and decorations, then sang Christmas Carols all the way home. We didn't manage to get all of the lyrics right, Sis had a giggle fit during Jingle Bells, and we both cracked up repeatedly while we tried to remember all of the later verses of The Twelve Days of Christmas, and we just basically had fabulous sister-time.

In the car on the way home, Sis observed: "I wouldn't be surprised if this is the happiest I've ever been".