Archive for March, 2009



Eye candy

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Jailbird

So my father-in-law is going to jail next week. He’s not your average criminal. In fact, he looks disarmingly like Santa Claus and most of the time, acts like him too. Particularly with the kids. His white beard is soft and amuses S for hours. His belly is round and perfectly shaped for the two boys to perch happily together playing with his ears and repeatedly removing his glasses. He’s funny and as generous as his current circumstances allow him. Sometimes he’s quick to judge but I’m increasingly convinced that this is generational thing and all people as the move past 50 begin to haemorrhage their tolerance for things in general.

Anyway, four years ago, my FIL’s business went bust and it was revealed that its financial controller (my FIL’s brother) had stolen millions of dollars to fund his rather tragic and unsuccessful gambling habit (I know that’s a tautology but hey, I’m trying to picture the ‘dream’, the seduction). So, many, many customers who had entrusted their money (and pretty much their lives) with the company lost it all. Yes, that is totally crap I know. My FIL knew for a few years that something was going pretty wrong but is from a generation of men (‘country’ men I might add) who refuse to let anyone know how bad something is in order to try and save face. So desperate to keep his jovial and highly respected reputation intact, my FIL moved money around the business for a long time trying to make sure all staff were paid consistently and that money didn’t ‘appear’ missing. In fact, he put a lot of his own money in to try and keep things a float. He remained strategically blinded to his brother’s behaviour and conveniently forgetful of his brother’s two previous bankruptcies. Who the hell puts a gambler and a bankrupt in the position of financial controller – all holy ‘writer-of-cheques’. Mmmmm…I guess that’s family for you. Cut a long tortured story short, four years ago, there was no money left to move. All of it was gone.

We found out when my parents in law were overseas on a trip. My brother-in-law worked for the company and discovered there was no money left in the accounts to complete a settlement. He rang his dad overseas. The next morning my FIL was missing. He’d left the house of friends they were staying at in Sussex, England in the hire car. Two days later my mother-in-law received a note from him. For 10 days we had no idea where he was and to this day, I’m surprised we found him alive. He’d rung home to Australia and we knew he was safe. Just. He’d tiptoed that fine line between life and death when everything in your world comes crashing down and any pride you were clutching to, finally extricates itself from your bent fingers and floats too quickly away.

For four years the police have been doing their research to try and find out what the hell went wrong. My FIL brother was sentenced to a 8 years prison term, 2 years ago. Only now is my FIL finally going to be sentenced. And get this. This is the crazy, crazy part – he’s likely to have a more weighty sentence (meaning more years in prison) than his brother despite the fact (and the police have issued a statement confirming and acknowledging this) that he did not benefit financially in any personal way. There were no new houses, lavish holidays, fancy cars or classy meals. His brother gave his daughter a $35,000 wedding, bought a hire car franchise for her and bought his wife a complete renovation of their home. They went on plenty of holidays and spent up big time. My parents in law have been bankrupt for four years. Have lived on the poverty line and only manage because we (and my sister-in-law) give them money. Otherwise they’d be in commission housing and pretty much destitute.

But I’m not spinning a sob story. In fact, I’m resolved (and so is my amazingly clear-headed and rational husband) that he did something so amazingly stupid and weak that he caused many people to lose what they held most dear – their quality of life and their family legacies. All because he didn’t want people thinking he couldn’t run a business or that he wasn’t who he’d always appeared to be (he was). C and I lament all the time that he hasn’t learnt much from what happened. He still is so reticent to speak about what happened that I truly believe he’s forgotten many important details. He never at any point disclosed anything to my MIL despite the fact she is one of the company’s owners. I don’t know how they are still together. He has caused her so much cutting pain with this silence that sometimes she finds it hard to breathe when she talks about it.

Nevertheless, I am desperately unhappy that my beautiful boys who absolutely adore their Pa, will lose him for many years and that when they finally are able to properly be a part of his life again, he may not be able to pick them up or cuddle them or teach them how to ride a bike or help them build rock pools in buckets or cook them custard or read them Thomas stories or introduce them to their first beer or take them to Eastgardens or visit rock pool beach with the puppies. That saddens me so deeply. I will miss him terribly and I will miss the role he has in our family’s life. He adores Cam and has always been so warm and welcoming of me. He remains his usual jovial self but just with more moments of silence and sometimes tears. We’ll see him in jail. A is already talking about it. Apparently they even have a playground where he’s going so we breathe a sigh of relief it’s family friendly (WTF?! A playground – did you know that? They even get foxtel. Go figure.)

So I’m kind of writing this as a strange tribute to Pa and I hope that his years inside don’t take away his smile or the twinkle in his eye, the boys love so dearly.

Midnight hour

So, I was lying in bed last night planning my post on how improved I feel health-wise especially since my dear naturopathic-friend-in-training gave me some incredibly useful advice on improving my immune system. Then, pow, I woke up this morning feeling catatonically tied to the bed, unable to move anything but my head. I feel like it’s one step forward, two back but it’s made me more determined not to compromise on the guidelines I’ve been given to improve this shitty feeling.

It didn’t help that the boys woke at 540am. They are still in the same room and have been for a week now. It totally sucks. But I’m not allowed to say that – I’ll explain later. They’ve had one night of ‘sleeping through’ where we haven’t had to feed, move, pat, get-into-bed with either of them. Otherwise it’s like having two newborns. Did I say it sucks? Oops.

Every time I complain, I’m accused of being ‘negative’ about the whole arrangement. And even though I know I have a slight tendency sometimes to veer towards the negative, this time I’m merely stating it like it is – that is, the arrangement SUCKS. This is all so the boys can have their own ‘playroom’ (S having given up his bedroom) but really it’s so all the toys have somewhere to go and C can look around the house and ‘pretend’ he doesn’t have kids. Really, it’s all for the wrong reasons and guess who’s paying for the whimsical fancy? Actually I’ve pretty much refused to get up in the night now having made my feelings about the arrangement clear.

Don’t you think that’s fair? If C’s sooo insistent on keeping things as they are despite the fact our sleep no longer belongs to us (AGAIN) and in the knowledge that sleep-deprivation kind of sends me over that nasty edge we all hate, isn’t it fair that he does the hard-yards? I still feel bad every time he gets up to them and lay awake guilt crawling all over me even after they finally go back to sleep, so really I’m not benefitting much sleep-wise anyway.

Anyway, moan moan I know but hey. So what are your thoughts on my refusal to even turn over when the inevitable wail launches into the midnight hour?

Overhaul

So, I’ve decided, yet again, that an overhaul of my life is needed. This happens on average 3 times a month but I don’t blog about it as I tend to get over it in a couple of hours and go back to my brownie and double shot cappucino (extra choc). This time, the niggling realisation that things need to change has hung around more than a day so I figure it’s best to listen to the ‘body’ and do something about it.

I guess this is partly bought on by everything that’s been happening to me healthwise but that’s only part of it. All the things I want to change were on my new year’s resolution list so they’ve been hanging around a while.

I’m a pretty dedicated person. In fact, I am (or I was) a terrible over-achiever that couldn’t accept that life doesn’t have to be squeaky great and full on all the time. I never done ‘diets’ half-assed, I study in an obsessive compulsive way, when I start cleaning (might take me a while) I go into robotic overdrive and assume I can remove every last piece of kid lint from under the dvd player, I’m workout pretty much without taking a breath and when I’m out for drinks, I drink like it’s my last – always. You see what I mean.

So you think I’d be able to get this overhaul thing going in a productive way but I’m procrastinating. Not because it’s going to be so hard, not because I’m dreading it, not because I’m scared it will take up all of my tiny-wincy precious ‘me’ time. No, I think I’m scared because it’s going to cause me to become quite a different person – someone I need to become for a while. I guess I’m scared I’m going to lose a bit of myself in the process.

Anyway, to really get my body in working order again, I need to meditate daily, move to a wholefoods, dairy and meat free diet, cut out coffee (for a bit), drink masses more water and try and gently exercise each day. Not bad huh?! When I think about it, I actually look forward to it. I’m anticipating the challenge which I know I’ll meet and in fact, enjoy. It’s just starting it which for the first time ever, I’m finding hard.

Any tips on how to begin (that’s a good place to start) and then how to keep it going. I know, with these changes (which don’t have to last a lifetime) the glass will just keep filling up. I NEED HELP!

Bed time stories

So we’re trying to move the boys in together so that it frees up a room for all their goddamn toys – I know it’s a sad day when they get a toy room and we don’t, but hey, if it means that we can have the iPod going all the time in family room while Thomas gets his run on the dvd in the spare room, then I’ll do it.

So, the first night S went to bed fine and when A came in 2 hours later he was so tired that he fell straight to sleep – very unusual for him. We usually enjoy at least 45 minutes of stories he tells himself as he falls asleep. Last night was their second night together and my god, it was pyjama party central. Usually S goes to sleep and stays that way (mostly) for the night but when A when to bed last night, he sprang up from his normal tummy sleeping position and the party was underway.

A thought that S would appreciate a run down of Thomas characters which S enjoyed immensly, cackling heartily at opportune times which of course just fed A’s story telling fantasies. Truth be told, the stories are pretty lame, even by my poor standards. This moved onto an exchange of giggles as though they were passing a Playboy back and forward.

C and I were standing outside the door, trying to compose ourselves. C seems to think that we will all adjust to this arrangment soon and we’ll have the house we’re desperate for but I’m less convinced. Those two are bad for each other. The just g each other up and I can’t have 2 small people not sleeping in this house (and 1 big one)). So, anyway, S kept waking intermittently hoping to get the party started again but was greeted only with A’s (frighteningly) loud snores so had a whinge just to see if either C or I were up for some break dancing. Sadly we weren’t.

I slept so goddamn badly. I’ve been trying to convince C all day for us to lug that (stupidly) massive cot back into the other room but he’s determined to make this work, if only to provide us with some very engaging nightly entertainment .

brightens

I love the one which has gently fallen down. This is the flower version of the glass half full….dsc_00812