1 Food, 1 Drink for the rest of my life

The topic for Writer’s Boot Camp is a doozy – Imagine for the rest of your life having only 1 food and 1 drink. Boring? Yes. Difficult to choose? No.

It just popped into my head.

Milk and potatoes.

This is definitely influenced by my Irish background, and a childhood that consisted of endless meals of meat and three veg, one of the veg being potato (I know it’s not a veg, but a tuber). I drank a lot of milk too.

I like the versatility of the spud, having it mashed, boiled, baked, roasted, fried. The milk provides protein, calcium and fat. Milk and potatoes were a subsistence diet for many an Irish family before the potato famine struck.

I do realise that it would be a subsistence diet, and I’m sure I would be craving green things- even brussel sprouts :)


The Best Advice

There are two pieces of advice which have stayed with me- one from my mum, and the other from a man called Ray.

When you are pregnant, you become a magnet for well-meaning words of advice. Eat this, don’t eat this, drink this, definitely don’t drink that. sleep on your left, put your feet up, sit up straight, and the silliest one of all- rest, because you won’t know what hit you after the baby is born, ha ha ha…

The best advice I received was in my last week of work before going on maternity leave, and speaking to  Ray, an older male colleague. He said the best thing you can do when you get home is to just be by yourselves- you, your husband and your baby and get to know each other as a family. We did and it was a great experience, seeing tiny Baby BG bond with his dad, and Mr BG insist on getting up his son in the middle of the night to play with him. There was also the return to hospital as I was having feeding difficulties and being slightly hysterical with the midwife about putting him on formula, and late nights trying to get him to sleep (he was a very windy baby). The first weeks were crazy, but having Mr BG there with me was what I wanted, and what Baby BG needed.

My mum also gave me heaps of advice about children and babies, but as the years have gone by, they didn’t stick so much as Ray’s did. She would always advise to “Be myself”, which is something I have tried to hold on to throughout my life. It’s not easy though!


Pining to run

I’ve been grounded and I hate it.

A recurring injury in my right hip has been diagnosed as bursitis with a tendinopathy in my gluteus minimus- or I have a tear in my tendon on my right hip which is causing inflammation when I undertake activity like running. In some ways I am glad I know what it is, after putting up with it for a long time.

The treatment plan recommended by my physiotherapist involves Pilates to build my core and strengthen my tendon, cortisone injections to alleviate the inflammation, and rest. Eventually I will build up to a stationary bike, and weights, but the rehabilitation program is set to last for 12 weeks. I am at week one, and it was so good to be exercising after a forced break, even if it was stretching and using my core muscles!

However, my plans to run at Run Melbourne (I had signed up for the half marathon, but was looking at completing the 10km) have been pushed aside. I look at the events my running posse are doing with envy. I see people running around the Lake, or up the street and wish I was doing it. Being told I can’t do something only makes it more desirable don’t you think?

I miss moving, I miss my friends and I feel left behind.

Dear 2.45am- a letter to my pet peeve

You were late this morning, it was nearly 3.25 when you finally showed up!My daughter started yelling “Muuuum!” from her bedroom, at which point I nearly fell out of bed, padded to her room and grabbed the cat which had decided to play musical beds.

I could almost feel you mocking me when I returned to my warm cocoon and snuggled down under the doona. I ignored you and went straight back to sleep.

I think I met you when my brother was a baby. He was a rotten sleeper and would wake up crying for mum. Broken sleep became something I never quite got over and it’s stayed with me.

When my children were babies, you were a repeat visitor, coming several times a night when I had two of them both needing my attentions, whether it be hunger, teething or simply ‘growing pains’.

You weren’t all that bad. When my eldest was a baby, I snuggled with him for night feeds, his warm little body nestled against me like a little hot water bottle. When he weaned off the night feeds, I almost missed you :).

Now they’re older and mostly sleep through, unless there is a wayward cat, or leg cramps, or nightmares. If you come for me, I am usually tired enough to roll over and close my eyes.

There are other days when I can’t ignore you, or at least my brain can’t. That’s when I toss and turn, mulling over the day that was, worrying over the day that will be, and trying not to think of the many things I have to do.
There are times when sleep doesn’t return at all, and I face the day as a grumpy zombie.

Sometimes in order for you to disappear, I will get up and write a list of all the things I have to do in the morrow. It’s somewhat cathartic writing things down isn’t it? It quells my mind somewhat and then I can relax enough to sleep.

Hopefully I won’t see you tonight :)

Love Bookgrrl

My artistic inspiration

Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life

Pablo Picasso

I had been travelling for 36 hours when I arrived in London on May Day 1999. It was my first trip overseas as an adult with my boyfriend, now the amazing Mr BG, and my head was swimming with new sensations- English accents! Red double-decker buses! The Battersea power station!

We arrived early and was at our BnB at 8am. After a shower and a change of clothes, we headed on the bus to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. I remember the crush of the crowds out enjoying the warm spring day, the feel of my boyfriend’s hand around mine, as we made our way across the iconic square to one of the most amazing art galleries in the world, made all the more amazing because it is FREE.

We go through a door on the right and step into a room of Degas, and then the next room, I see something which takes my breath away. My head spins and buzzes with adrenalin (mainly because I am running on empty and haven’t slept for ages), and all I can do is stand there with my mouth agape.

Sunflowers was the first piece of artwork which blew me away, and which has stayed with me for the last 15 years. That heady rush I experienced when I first saw it is something I have been chasing every time I go into an art gallery.

Art is my soul food.

Doors and windows

2014-06-03 18.33.54

A recent trip to New York saw us visit the Brill Building. My husband Mr BG is a musician and songwriter and visiting the building in which some of the 20th century’s most significant songwriter plied their trade was pretty special. It was a quick snap, taken in between pedestrians hurrying home, and in between rain showers. It’s also quite a rare snap as he doesn’t grin so widely :).

When I think of doors, I think of those that open and show you an opportunity that you may never have known would exist. Heading to the United States this year was one such door, and seeing how happy he is, I am so glad we went through.

wpid-DSCN1859.jpgWindows are not so much something you walk through, but look from, or into. This was my view from a hotel room in Bruges in July 2012. The canal, the bridge, the architecture- I know I’m not in Ballarat anymore. I could sit at our window at any time of the day and see people sitting having a coffee, tourists taking photos, boats on the canal, and people walking or biking over the bridge. Why have a TV if you have a window and a view like this?

I just can’t live without…*

Physically? Metaphorically? In a state of passion declare emphatically?

Initially you could look at something like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to determine what you literally cannot live without at the most basic level.

The Physiological needs are everything I need to stay alive- wake up, wee, have breakfast and so on. But there are other things…

Should I look at what makes me happy? Should I look at what puts me into a state of happiness, that state which everyone appears to strive for?

I have a very strong love for bread, and one of my favourite smells is fresh bread from my local bakery. I have however, gone long periods of not eating the stuff in attempts to modify my diet, before coming to the realisation that even if woman can’t live on bread alone, it’s still nice to have.

I remember being plagued by migraines when I was at uni and discussing this with my GP at the time. The advice was to avoid trigger foods, such as chocolate. Noticing my now very woebegone face, the doctor chided, “You know, you can live a life without chocolate!” My reply was, “Yes, but it’s not much of a life!” He’s no longer my GP, but I don’t eat chocolate every day.

I can live without alcohol (pregnancy and breastfeeding definitely put paid to that), cigarettes (never did understand the allure as it tasted horrible), ex boyfriends. I lived without sex for quite a while in my 20’s, but I am glad I don’t have to now!

Beauty in the form of music, art, a child’s smile, the smell of rain coming on a hot summer’s day, a loving look from MrBG- this is what makes life worth living.


*this is an exercise in the @writersbootcmp for July2014, and I am tagging along late!