Friday, 13 January 2017

Is this too personal?

I was thinking just yesterday about dating. Not me actually dating but the actual doing of dating.

The last time I 'dated', I would have been around 19. I didn't carry around a mobile phone, let alone two back then.

I've heard a lot from friends about Tinder and all the dating sites and to be honest, those little apps turn into scary nightmares in my brain. Plus I'm so sick of my phone.

Is there still such a thing as sinking a few pots down at the local pub and having a conversation about Kenny and Warren G and significance of both in today's popular culture (or lack thereof)?

Oh hang on, it's a bit inappropriate for me to be sinking pots down at the local pub with my kid in tow.

So do single mums meet super rad people hanging at the local park, pushing their kid on the swing for the 81st time or helping their kid do a bush wee?

It's all just a little complicated, but then again so am I. Does this mean that every single person in their mid thirties has complications or dare I say it... 'baggage' or ghosts of relationships past?

I seem to be an over-communicator of all my problems which means I can chuck them in a bin once I've over-analysed the crap out of them with anyone who will listen. Does it still mean I have baggage if I've binned it? I'm hoping the only baggage I have remaining can be tucked into my bumbag.

It's such a huge world out there of super cool adventures with my kid and my cool-as-hell pals, Perhaps there will be a little bit of extra room in there one day for a hairy Blundstone-wearing gent?

One thing I know is that I just can't change my daggy ways - I think they might be pretty set, which means acceptance of my love of Ken Done, Australiana, John Candy movie marathons, non-stop chatter about pointless topics such as how much I dislike the design of the 'classic' toilet brush set (the brush never sits right in the cradle), and the fact that I have problems with sitting still, are all part of the package.

For the time being, the whole dating thing seems well and truly out of my daggy league. I'm super happy to look forward to my daily date at the dinner table with Alfred. Even if he doesn't yet understand the full complexities of Warren and Kenny G or how to use a semi colon appropriately (it's a moment, not a pause), he still provides entertaining conversation that can see me right into the evening ('what did you do at kinder today? I mashed the dirt mum and then I painted and then I used scissors and chopped it until it was wrecked')

I'm deeply in love with this kid of mine. And he loves me. So I think he's the best date of all.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Good Grief

It's the end of the year, as we know it. Thank fuck. I'm tired.
But hang on, it wasn't all that bad... it has only been crap for the past two months.
Wait. It actually hasn't been that crap the last two months. The last two months just had a bit of crap in it. Maybe a few crap weeks.

So 2016 didn't really suck, it just had crap moments. Like most years. Yes, it was the year of loss: Bowie, Prince, Sharon Jones, my marriage break up, Leonard Cohen, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and very recently my incredible 92 year old pa. But all of this loss was attached to great lives lived by radical people.

It's good to grieve loss, I've done it before - I'm sure most people have. But I do believe it's possible to turned grief into goodness. Good grief! It's healthy to cry, talk about your emotions (especially after a few tinnies), get cuddles from mates and family - sometimes strangers, weep at your desk (sorry colleagues) and feel lonely at the end of the day. It's just really bloody good to feel something because that makes you a decent human being.

I've had a little sparkle of goodness lately where I've discovered some really massive things about myself. I promise I will stop banging on about this one day, but it's the last day of the year so I feel the need to chuck in a bookend. Full  stop. New paragraph.

I have not been single or 'on my own' for close to 15 years. I was with my ex husband for 13 years, married for six. It was an excellent time, I don't regret it one bit. It just ended in a pile of shit, but I'm healing. We both are.
But here I am at 34, a single mum doing my bit in the world with an excellent tiny male-child at my side. And I'm ok. I didn't see this happening but hell, who knows what tomorrow will bring. I think that's kind of exciting. Perhaps I was a bit too much in control of my pre-separation life - or at least I thought I was.

I can't wait for this year to end as I'm looking for something to pinpoint a fresh start. The 1st January 2017 can be that moment.

As much as I don't know what tomorrow will bring, here's what I hope 2017 will have in store for me:

Adventures: bloody good, soulful, energetic, fresh, exciting, powerful, mindblowing adventures.
Friends: new and old, near and far. Just heaps of excellent humans around me.
Play: oh so many good times with my son. I just taught him the lyrics to Rapper's Delight.
Colour: I'm going to wear whatever I want - even if it is a bumbag - because that's how I roll.
Time: I refuse to use the word busy now. I will make time for my son, my pals, my family, you.
Music: I bought myself a record player for Christmas. Music sounds better with crackles. It's set up in my bedroom, like I'm a teenager. I'm thinking about putting up a poster of Johnny Diesel on the back of my door.
Food: I want people to come over and raid my fridge, let me cook for them while they sit along my bench and talk about 90s pop culture.
Good men: I've heard so many people say 'Men are hopeless/useless' lately since my husband and I split. Men are not hopeless or useless, just some people make mistakes. My son is certainly not hopeless or useless, he will grow up surrounded by decent, happy male buddies. As a society we really do need to change our gender-specific phrases. Men are excellent, ladies are excellent. Let's be excellent together.
Community: Gosh, I love living in Yarraville / inner west Melbourne. I want to write more stories about this fabulous area that I live in. Expect these soon.

And finally, I'm calling 2017 my year of winging it. If someone offers something rad, I won't feel uncomfortable about accepting. I'm excited about the adventures ahead!

Big love to all my beautiful pals for supporting me during the crap moments in 2016, but bigger love for just being super excellent people during my whole entire life.

Here's to winging it. Now crack a tinnie.


Rad pic of my son and I above by the sensational Paul Large.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The one month mark

It's been bang on a month since my husband left me.

Let's just say, I don't want this shit situation to define me and I also don't want it to consume me. It sucks that so much was taken away from me, but hey, life throws massive challenges at you and the best you can do is the be the best you can be.

In a sucky situation, I have discovered sooo many things about me and have actually found some positives:

I have a gorgeous community of friends who are neighbours, neighbours who are friends, old mates, new mates, a most delicious mother's group who are also splendid caterers and a whole village that is Yarraville taking care of me and checking in. I've never felt such support and I'm so grateful that I have so many sweet people around me and my son.

I'm a good person. This situation is making me a better person. I have goals and they are exciting. Being a better person is one of them. Growing my son into a respectful, kind and adventurous young man is another.

I bought a new bed. I've never owned a new bed. It's so heavenly and fresh and soft and sweet. I love it. I also love my little Alfie running in at morning time and giving me a big cuddle in my gorgeous bed. He gives me a reason to get out of bed every morning. He's the best.

I have all the space I want in my own wardrobe. All. The. Space.

I have gazillion of display pillows on my new bed. And I don't need to explain their relevance, my display techniques or the fact that I want more.

I have a raging battle going on inside my belly. It's an angry ball. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm seeing a counsellor. It's good to dump angry balls in the bin. Anger can be poison inside a human body. It makes you smell, it gives you crook guts and keeps you up at night. I'm determined not to become bitter and angry. Life is way too short for that. I don't even know if I can face drinking lemon, lime and bitters this summer. I don't want any bitter inside of me. My counsellor has wiry hair and wears a kaftan. She gave me a cuddle and she smelt like rosemary.

I am an excellent female.

Mindfulness is not just a buzz word. It's good to be present. I've put down my phone. Actually, I've turned it off (outside of business hours).

It's ok to be successful. It is also ok to be happy. Success and happiness are not threats, they are actions that I want my son to grow up knowing to be awesome.

I'm actually a really organised person. I'm also very good at my job. There is nothing wrong with big plans, I'm good at making them happen. My country house plan didn't happen for a reason, that's not to say that my next cool plan won't become real.

I watch romcoms on the TV every night. Because I can. Sometimes I eat chocolate while doing this.

I painted my son's toenails the other night, the same colour as mine. They look beautiful.

Alfie and I have created a map marking the places where all the lighthouses live along the coast. We've got adventures planned.

This is a pic of us on our last adventure together in Hobart. We looked at heaps of cranes. If I can take anything out of this crap time in my life, it's to look forward to the adventures my son and I will have together in the future. We've been doing things as a duo for over three years, here's to millions of years more.

I can do this. I am doing this.

As my mum said, don't let his failure, fail you.

Be kind. Be adventurous. Reach for the stars. Love Ali

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Random Acts of Poo-mess

You have a few coffees, it's natural, it's going to happen. You're aware that it will and you plan accordingly.

I know my kid is only 3 but the instant urge he has to take a crap right then and there is still a bit beyond me.

Yesterday in the supermarket. I've got a full trolley.
Alfie: "mum, poo's coming out my bum."
Me: "ok, let's pay the lady and get you to a toilet."
Alfie; "it's coming out now. RIGHT NOW MUM. I can feel it!"
We abandon the trolley. The poo was coming out. I throw the Paw Patrol undies in the bin. I shouldn't have waited. It wasn't his fault. I just assumed he could hold it for 2 minutes and 48 seconds longer. 

He couldn't.

Today in the main street of Yarraville. Alfie starts riding his bike standing up.
Alfie: "mum. I need to do a poo."
Me: "ok, let's find a toilet. The pub's open."
As I rush towards the pub carrying his bike I turn around to see him doing a poo in a shopfront with a garden. I pick it up with a doggy bag and turf it in the bin. Let us never speak of this again.

I think I'm becoming a lot more patient as a parent. I can deal with things easier as they happen, I'm  crap when it comes to planning. 

And that's how I had a rad weekend. 

We had our first open for inspection at our Yarraville house. Loads of attractive bearded men and chicks with patterned socks checking out our goods while we peeked at the house traffic from 50 metres down the street in the pissing rain. The three of us held hands while Cheef Dog weed on the neighbour's fence.

I was an anxious mess before it happened. The inspection was planned. There was lead up. There needed to be a result. There was waiting. Someone recently told me that having an open for inspection was like holding a massive party and not knowing if anyone would turn up. 

Once it was over Alfie and I headed to the NGV with mates to lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling. Today a random massive bike ride lead to hot chips in the park watching sprinklers turn on and off in places where 'ginger turtles' live. Splendid, rancho relaxo stuff.

Reg finishes up at work this week. That's a big milestone. Hopefully we lease out our Yarraville house this week. Another big milestone. Then we settle at our Trentham house on the seventh of November and from there... golly, who knows?  We don't even have daycare let alone an inside toilet.

So in the meantime, I'm liking the 'winging it' theories of life at the moment. Going with the flow seems to be the only way we can get a grip on this tree-change. 

I'm not saying that if you need to take a crap, just drop your dacks and do it in a shop front, but there's something to say about not over-thinking the big things in life and just letting them happen. Even if it is a poo.

Have a most excellent week.

Ali xx

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Eating for peanuts

Leading up to our big move, Reg and I are on a budget. But let's be honest, we're pretty big tight arses so most weeks we keep  the purse strings tied up.

What keeps our costs down is planning our meals in advance. A big part of our little home is centred around food. Alfie loves to help in the kitchen but like most three year olds, he thinks that most things we cook up for him are 'poo' or 'wee' or most recently (and he was sent to his room for saying it), 'shit'.

We eat mainly vegetarian food in our house - not just because it is more affordable, but because I actually don't really like handling meat. Every now and then though, I heat up the slow cooker with a cut of some beast and eight hours later I forget that I've handled meat and become distracted with the waft of a good curry or casserole in the house.

So I thought I would share what the Webb household is cooking up this week. Most of this stuff is in our pantry, fridge or freezer. I can't stand shopping at the major supermarkets, so much bloody packaging and the milk aisle makes me tear up - last time I went to Coles the whole milk section was ONLY Coles' branded milk. C'mon guys.

Monday:   Lentil Shepherd's Pie (the kid thinks the lentils are meat- I  swear!)
Tuesday:   Pea, mint and lemon linguini (you can chuck all the ingredients in your food whizz stick)
Wednesday:  Veggie fritatta. We have so many eggs in our fridge at the moment and I'm done with egg sangas.
Thursday: Schnitz and chips. If we have time we will crumb our own, otherwise our local butcher does a mean schnitz.
Friday: Egg filo pies. We will take the leftovers with us to the BMX track on Saturday.
Saturday:  The slow cooker will go on with either a casserole or corned beef. It might get frozen for a mid week meal next week.
Sunday: We eat all of our left overs or cook up something with whatever is remaining in the fridge. Free balling.

I'd love to know what your quick and easy mid-week meals are. We are starved for time at the moment, so cooking tea calls for 30 minutes or an episode of Octonauts.

Happy cooking!