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Thursday, March 18, 2010

As Life Goes On

Time passes really quickly and I wonder what is it I really want out of this life of mine, I have two beautiful children one fantastic husband and of course we cannot forget the dog.

I have dreams of finishing our house, becoming successful in my job, traveling the world, seeing my children grow through teenage hood and into respectable caring and loving adults and spending quality time with my wonderful friends.

But I have now reached forty and have realised my life is already half gone, If I look realistically when I reach my eighties I could have all my faculties and be fit and healthy but then maybe not. So how much time do I really have and how am I going to fit all that I want to do into what seems like such a short period of time.

Now I know you are thinking I am reiterating what many generations have thought and felt before but how do you plan for the next forty years. I am open for suggestions.

This situation I have found myself in has also made me start to think what have I achieved in the first forty years of my life.

I was born in 6 weeks prematurely in the Sandringham Hospital Melbourne and lived in Cheltnanham before we moved to Boronia when I was approximately 2-3, I believe I reached all the milestones and achievements that any child was meant to meet at this time in in my life, nothing has ever come up in those family conversation to tell me otherwise anyway.

When I was about four we moved to Mt Gambier, where we lived in a caravan for eighteen months and at Nelson for a short period of time before we moved to Yahl and lived on a horse stud, our house was an old shearers quarters that I shared with my sister,The room was big enough to fit three average caravans in it (always thought that was a great bit of trivia to tell people when I was a kid).

I went to Yahl primary school and at this stage I cant remember much achievement in my short life except riding the three kilometers to school, along the dirt roads in the rain, hail and sun shine.

We then moved to Mt Schank where we lived in a little cottage made of the local stone, We had a volcano in our back yard and twenty acres which held our menagerie of animals.

This is also the time I started at O.B. Flat Primary School ( see other post memories from
a time gone by), I believe I achieved the notoriety of being a tom boy, was recognised as a potential long distance runner except I kept going the wrong way and would come second or third or worse, I also achieved my first goal in footy( lunch time footy) and played centre and wing attack in netball ( I could actually run then). I managed to get a first ribbon in the 100 metres running race at our school sports day.

Big achievements really did not come my way until we moved back to Melbourne.

I was sixteen. getting settled into a big city school was an achievements within itself. But I then managed to impress someone and was nominated for School Captain and yes I got it.
Not that I feel I achieved much there except the odd talk at assembly and representing the school on the odd occasion.

Nineteen eighty seven saw me leave school after completing year twelve and go on to qualify as a hairdresser, something I actually never wished to do but certainly have never regretted.
Once I had qualified I went on to run my own business for about ten years.

I met my husband when I was twenty and bought a house with him four years later, After two year of living together we got married had our two lovely children.

1999 was a big year for me I had Leshea in the August and turned thirty in the October, can I count that I stayed up until LeSheas 4'o'clock feed as an achievement in my life? I believe I will as I don't do that so easy anymore.

Whilst our children were young I worked casually when needed in whatever line of work I could get at the time( Not any thing untoward might I add)there was factory work where I pulled lollie pop stick to make sure they stayed in, delivered spare parts,went into more retail, starting off at the registers, then into special orders, in store trainer which has moved me onto where I am today as a workplace and industry co coordinator and coordinating a campus in Pakenham AHHHH!

So I suppose all through this working period I finally worked my self to where I am today and more in the line of work I wanted to be in, teaching, I did fancy the idea of becoming a Drama teacher but as I did not do so well in year twelve Uni was out of the question.

I am certainly glad that I have done all I have done as I have had exposure to many different experiences which is keeping me in good stead for my job role now. you never really realise the impact people and the environment you are currently working in has on your further endeavours or how we handle situations that you are faced with.

I would be remiss in saying that my jobs have been the only achievements in my life due to the fact that being involved in the The Country Fire Authority as a volunteer Fire Fighter for the past twenty five years. Has been the longest achievement so far, (other than survival).

I experienced so many challenges within the years that once conquered have been the greatest achievements I could note. And they are not necessarily going out and fighting fires, because unlike others I may have been in the C.F.A for a while I have not had the opportunity to go on many strike teams as others have done. This is certainly by no means that I have not had the desire to go with my fellow fire fighters and do what we train to do, I have found there has been other influences that have made that a difficult task to complete.

I have had many vast and interesting times over the twenty five year period and have found that all have contributed in shaping me to be the person I am today.

I have held positions of Secretary of the Dandenong Ranges Group, President of The Belgrave Fire Brigade for 8years and have been awarded Firefighter of the year, and a few others that recognised the contribution I made in other areas of the brigades I have been in.

I have completed The Chairman's Challenge which involved Abseiling down Little River Gorge, Hiking,White water Rafting,and caving, All done under the supervision of Outward Bound and C.F.A leaders.

After completing this course,it was an interesting exercise to see what people had managed to achieve, some of the group learnt that it was more important to help others than be first, other learnt tolerance and how to be a little more humble, other how important their families were to them.

Where as I learnt I have a great sense of Independence ( which I think I already knew but it really hits you in the face when you are dealing will difficulties and challenges)

I have had the opportunity to go on a couple of strike teams which in itself was a great achievement not only to go but to leave your family and hope they are alright for the days you are away is quite nerve racking especially when you are the main person who runs the day to day running of the house hold. Nothing to worry about really my husband did fantastically. And I was able to come home to everything intacked except maybe my emotions, amazing what adrenaline and the lack of sleep will do.

I would say my latest a greatest achievement of late was completing the Oxfam, this is a walk or run which you have to complete 100kms in 48hrs, I did complete this in 36 hrs and 14 mins along with my team mates, might I add I thought at times I was not going to get there, but the thought of not getting there scared me me more than anything else, failing does not sit well with me and I can be my worst critic.

So over all I feel I have made some fairly significant achievements in my life but the question still stands how do I fit the rest in.

Maybe I am not necessarily meant to know I have not really planned all the achievements I have laid down before you, so may be life will deal me what it knows I can deal with. But if I find the answer in the mean time I will let you know.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Door And A Whole Lot Of Magic

Once upon a time there were three children, their names were Chloe, she was the oldest, and she was thirteen, her brother Nicholas was ten years old and they had a little sister called Annabella, she was three.

They had just moved into the giant mansion a couple of weeks ago and were outside playing tag but after a while they got bored. Chloe came up with some great idea's to play but no one was interested, Hmmmm! sighed Chloe, l give up.

l’m going to have a look around said Nicholas
Where? Chloe asked.
Through the bushes over there. And off he ran.
Wait up shouted Chloe, she picked up Annabella and ran to catch up with Nicholas.
OOWWW! Yelled Nicholas.
Are you OK Nicholas said Chloe,
Yes said Nicholas, WOW! come over here look at what l've found.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

memories from a time gone by

I have recently caught up with a few people from my primary school through the wonderful world of face book.I resisted joining the throng for quite some time mainly due to lack of time and inpatients on my behalf.

I finally did bite the bullet and since joining last year or maybe the year before I have found myself in a routine that some of you may recognise, check emails, check face book check face book check face check face book.

So this leads me to my original point, of catching up with some old friends whom I went to a lovely school located in O.B. Flat all those years ago.

Where is O B Flat you might ask?

O.B. Flat is a little place outside of MT Gambier, South Australia.
The school is situated on a corner block with nothing but paddocks surrounding it and the old church next door.

When I first started going there, the school consisted of one class room that held all of the twenty students.
Thinking back, it was a fairly unusual experience to be in the same class as your sister who is actually two and half years older than you.

There was one teacher who taught all levels from reception (in Victorian terms prep) to grade seven.

Within the school grounds you would find the old school house which lent itself to being our library, teachers aids office and the kitchen which had varying uses from staff room, to where our cooking classes were held.
There was also a spare room which was where you went if you had music lesson's.

I would like to just take a moment to reflect on what it would have been like for the teachers aid who's office was situated down the hall from kids learning to play the violin, trumpet and the piano. No wonder she always seemed a bit grumpy.

There was one oval down the back which was lined with pine tree's along the far edge and a white picket fence dividing it from the main body of the school.
The pine trees were where many games of tree chasey were played.
You had to be careful not to fall, the barbed wire fence located under the trees posed a bit of a hazard.
As with many school ovals there were many footy matches played as well as tiggy but if a game of British bulldog was started the whole school would have to play, as you would guessed it just wouldn't work otherwise.

The toilets were an old corrugated and Mt Gambier stone building which were situated near the one and only netball court, the netball courts was also used for playing four squares,eight square or as many squares as needed,all depending on who wanted to join in at the time, there was hopscotch,and then the whole court could transfer into a roller skating rink, when that was the cool thing to do.

There was the old fort which comprised of a concrete tunnel leading up to the treated pine fort.
(Those were the days when playing on timber, that was most likely carcinogenic was deemed normal practice.)
The old fort was to be later out done by the new playground near the oval which was happily constructed on one of the many family working bees, where the dads put their hearts and soles into making what seemed the best playground ever was.

Pie and pastie day on a Monday and hot dog day on a Wednesday were a highlight,our little school did not have a canteen to a speak of, so these lunches were organised in the school house kitchen.
Orders were placed on our order sheet, which were produced by the teachers aid with the use of a coping machine in the hallway,I am not sure what it was called but it had a big drum with purple ink on it and you would turn the handle which rotated the drum and it would copy the work sheet,I vividly remember the smell of the paper when it came out.
Probably also carcinogenic, might explain my mental attitude at times.

You could have a hot dog in bread that was wrapped in wax paper and the paper would have advertisements of local business printed on the outside.
You could choose between chips or a cake (which were lovingly made by the mums of the school)if i remember rightly the cakes were five cents.

Pie and Pastie day was very similar except for your choice of mains.
What a treat for a child, that usually got sent to school with a round of sandwiches cut into triangles and a piece of fruit.

Excitement always grew leading up to our annual sports day where we would compete against the surrounding schools of the area, at the local oval in the Mt Gambier town ship.
Many hours were spent practicing for this event, there was tunnel ball, accuracy throw, sprints, long distance,high jump just to name a few.

All the schools would congregate at a park in the middle of town and line up ready to march down the main street, the street would be lined with all the parents, siblings and locals cheering us all on.

During the march O.B Flat had the greatest of opportunity's, we were the band, and to say we practiced, we practised our little hearts out,up and down the road, near the school left, left, left, right, left playing our instruments with much gusto, even if it was the triangle.

If you were lucky enough to be nominated to play the kettle drum or hold the school banner you knew you had made it in the world of O.B. Flat school ranking.
I had the great pleasure of doing both at different times but do not let me misguide you I had my fair share of the triangle, the stick with bottle tops on it and even the wooden tapping sticks.

The Christmas concert was one of the biggest highlights, It would be held at the local hall, we had to walk to the hall for final practices or if you were lucky enough to have your bike you could ride.

The stage was lucky enough to be the size a lounge room of a suburban flat, it had only one entry and no curtains that I can recall.
To get from the stage to the dressing room, you had to navigate your way around the out side of the building, to the back of the hall, and hope you missed all the land mines in the shape of cow patties along the way.

There would be a play from each grade, piano recitals, usually a dance performed by the girls who did calisthenics and if we were lucky the parents would put on their own play. Snow white and the seven dwarfs was one of the funniest shows I remember seeing.
Never knew the parents tummies could make such funny dwarf faces.

I always remember my last school concert, mainly due to the fact I was one of four girls in the school, two girls in grade 4 one in grade six and myself in grade seven, we featured quite a lot in the end of year concert, don't know why the boys were adverse to playing a female role.

I have many more memories of that little school on the corner next to the church and surrounded by paddocks but I will leave them for another time.

I hope this have given you a lovely insight to many years of my life that I am very fond of and memories of times gone by, with people I still hold dear, even though I may not have seen them in thirty years.

Best wishes and happy memories