INTERROBANG

Musings on life, the universe and an elephant named Flobo

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Wedding plans are in full swing and so far, not casualties. To date, we have chosen wedding bands (picking them up this evening from Jewellers…eek), organised venue, picked dinner menu, organised DJ – so glad I work with one… made things a lot easier and found a photographer with the help of Airtasker since neither my fiance or I could justify spending a small fortune on photography when a lot of the best pictures usually taken at events are the sneaky pics snapped on phones and tablets.

I managed to find a hotel within 3 minutes walking distance to our wedding venue and have now booked 2 rooms for the night before and night of the wedding. It will be strange not going to sleep with my fiance next to me but I think it will add to the day a little bit with him not seeing me til the ceremony. I for one plan to relax and partake in some wine and perhaps a pedicure before the mad rush to be ready on the day.

The main point of concern will be finding a dress that I like. That, and hoping the celebrant that we want confirms soon – I really don’t want to find someone else.

With this being my second trip down the aisle, I have found myself making comparisons. Yes, I know that humans do tend to compare events and people to see how things stack up based on past experiences or in some cases, others experiences, however I have always attempted not to do too much comparison. Everyone has a different life and things happen at different times. That being said, this time round certainly takes the awards. Last time (and no these memories aren’t tainted by the knowledge of how that marriage turned out) it was horrible from start to finish. My family caused issues, his family caused issues, I was completely left out of all decision making and talked into wearing a dress that I absolutely hated. To top it off, on the day my makeup made me look like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show, my mother turned up late to help me get dressed, my older sister wore white (thanks sis… yes we get you have to be the centre of attention) and the bridesmaid turned up late and stoned.

This time around, I am not taking any shite. My older sister is off the guest list so has zero say in anything that is happening. My bridesmaid won’t turn up late or stoned and I am able to plan the day that my fiance and I deserve. It is a joint effort (although I am taking lead on the logistical stuff) and we are both going to have the day that we want to celebrate our love and start of the rest of our lives together.

 

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For better or worse, I have found a man who can handle both my craziness and the added craziness that he is stuck with (my family). He listens to what I want and does what he can to make all my dreams come true although, as long as I get to be with him – my dreams are set.

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Well, the wedding plans are in full swing and I have 6 months to get my butt into shape so I am not rolling down the aisle.

Easier said than done. Yes, I know that I am certainly capable of weight loss. The thing that concerns me is the maintenance. We office is considering taking part in a marathon (I draw the line at 10 km) a couple of months before the wedding. What happens if I randomly drop a bit of weight in noticeable areas after a dress fitting? Yes, I suppose this all depends on me having selected a dress by this date but it is still worth the thought.

The main struggle is that when I get either a) bored or b) too lazy to eat properly since I am distracted by other things I either skip meals or eat too much. It is a vicious cycle.

At least I can make sure I get my butt out of my seat during the day and go for a long walk during lunch. I attempt to use as many of the hills as possible in Brisbane, however on a scorching summer day I do have to force myself.

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The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. People can become so obsessed thinking that others have it better, have things easier however that isn’t always the case. Living in a world dominated by social media and rather devoid of privacy, we can feel that we know every little thing happening in each others lives however, behind closed doors – when the snap chat filter is off life can be completely different.

I know first hand what it is like to be envied for having a great relationship (speaking past tense, present relationship is actually fantastic) and to be putting on a brave face for everyone since I liked my privacy.

I have heard quite a few stories about seemingly well off people who are out living the life who have in fact been laid off and have a marriage on the rocks. You can’t judge a book by its cover and you can’t tell a life by a smile. Smiles can be just as fake as anything else in this world.

So, the next time you find yourself envious of someone else and thinking that everything goes right for others and nothing goes right for you. Just remember this – we each have our own struggles, scars and stories. We are all great pretenders. Geez, the whole concept of “adulting” is basically faking it til you make it. Bullshit your way through life until things hopefully fall into place. So instead of staring at someone else’s grass. Why not try watering your own…

 

 

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Moving day now seems like a million years ago. We have settled into the house nicely, there was only one problem and its name is Flat Pack Furniture. Supposedly, I have a  Mr Gillis Lundgren, a Swedish draughtsman to thank for this since he apparently invented the stuff in 1956. Thanks a lot dude. Yes, it may be simple for some people and I suppose depending on the furniture, it will take up less room if flat packed however this stuff is pure evil.

You purchase a couple of items and expect a couple of boxes to arrive. Easy, right? Wrong. The house seems to be filled with boxes and then you have the joys of trying to dispose of all the rubbish generated from it. I would be able to handle it if it were all bubble wrap however Styrofoam is just messy and the bloody squeaking noise it makes it enough to drive even the sanest among us to shove something sharp through their ear drum. It is also completely horrible for the environment.

The simplest looking pieces of furniture somehow manage to have what seems like 100 pieces to assemble and the instructions, if possible to follow at all, will leave you wondering who the bastard was who thought the middle of the TV unit should be assembled first so that it wobbles back and forth in a precarious position (risking breaking completely and causing the amount of people required for assembly to be at least doubled if not tripled).

I am glad to report that all within the household have now taken a vow to avoid flat pack furniture. Our battle scars are still fresh and luckily our relationships remain intact.

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It has been a rather full on couple of weeks. Firstly, moving house which is thankfully pretty much complete. Should receive the new bedroom suite tomorrow and then after the joys of flat pack assembly are out-of-the-way, I can kick back and relax.

The house really does feel like a holiday home. It really does feel like a home. We really must be feeling comfortable here since, after being engaged for 2 years we have gotten around to selecting a date. So, since weddings are usually fraught with drama and the planning of them can be rather interesting and amusing – I have decided to log my wedding planning efforts for your amusement.

The date has been set. End of August and oh how the time already seems to be flying. I have been back at work for 3 days and already it feels like I never went on break. My next decent break won’t be until the wedding and honeymoon so luckily we have a scattering of Public Holidays in the early months of the year in Queensland.

So far, we have selected the date and confirmed the venue for the wedding and reception. All will be held on the top deck of a paddle wheeler on the Brisbane River. The budget has been set and I have been looking around, ticking things off the list as I figure out vendors and start to work out the costing for everything from invitations to makeup. The plan is to have a rather simple wedding. At the end of the day, the marriage is the important bit. I just want my family and friends to come together for an afternoon and evening, share our moment with us and then let the hair down and have fun. Finding a DJ is so far proving to be the trickiest.

I have not yet decided whether I should have real or fake flowers in my simple bouquet. I can see the plus side to both and having a single made of honour instead of an entire ensemble of bridesmaids does make the floral element of the day a bit cheaper. I know quite a few who have been quoted over $1,000 for bouquets and then manage to assemble lovely fake floral arrangements themselves for around $100. All just depends on where you want to spend the cash. I am happy that my favourite flowers will be in season so more than likely I will have tulips.

Keeping with the spirit I hope continues through to my wedding (I certainly won’t be a Bridezilla. I am already giving people random looks when I am asked what they should wear or how they should do hair). I plan to include a wedding / marriage / love pun throughout each post.

 

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So far, the closest I am getting to being called a bridezilla is being firm with how I want my fiance’s and my day and who we wish to invite. My older sister decided to get pissed off and try to take me on a guilt trip when I told her I did not want all 6 of her kids to attend. I love my nieces and nephews but seriously, when you are only having around 30 to 40 people in total, you can’t go inviting every single child. Plus, it is on the top deck of a boat and they are kids who will get bored and want to run around. I do not want any kids going overboard and I do not want money and food going to waste because we were forced to invite every kid in the family instead of filling seats with the adults we wanted to attend. I warned her ages ago that if she started any drama she would not be welcome. Dear old, older sis decided to hang up the phone on me so found herself cut completely from the guest list. It may sound harsh however we don’t get along anyway and I and our younger siblings can do without the constant drama that she feels the need to have in her life.

One way or another my family is going to realise that I am not the pushover that I always was. May as well be for a special day when I really dig the heels in.

That’s it for now. This bride to be needs some beauty sleep.

 

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A poignant poem dedicated to those who have served.

Parade of the Fallen

Slaughtered lambs
Littered lands
The children of the poor
Like cannon fire,
We admire
The heroes that came before.
Battle worn
We see the dawn
Another year has passed.
Ranks unknown
Medals shown
Our bravery is set to task
To mourn our friends
A bitter end
Their memory not betrayed.
Solemn, silent
The bugle plays
Echoes across the day
Wreaths lay bare
Tears are shared
For comrades
Lost to time…
A prayer is read
We bow our heads
To remember forever more
The men who walked so proudly
And answered the call to war…
© Copyright 2017 Robert Hayes

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“All that we see or seem. Is but a dream within a dream.” Edgar Allan Poe certainly seemed to know what he was on about with this line.

I have been contemplating the ideas of dreams over the last couple of days. Trying to figure out why some people crave dreams, long to fall asleep at night and surrender to the unknown. Even nightmares can be less scary than the reality that awaits us when we wake. There is a comfort to the unknown in the dreamscape. Anything can happen and yet, at the same time, what does inevitably happen seldom feels out-of-place. It feels as if you were waiting for it all along.

I have heard that humans actually dream in black and white and it is our waking brains that supply the vivid colours in those few brief moments between when the dreams recede and our eyes open. Our brains love to play tricks on us and the dreamscape is no exception. Our deepest fears, desires and wishes are laid out before us. Our temptations seem right within our grasp. We can be anyone that we want. It can be difficult to pull away. When we wake, into our own personal realities, we may be met by happiness or disappointment or fear. Most of us spend a large portion of our time trying to find ourselves and define ourselves. We long for freedom and yet seem to do everything possible to cage ourselves in. We are our own worst enemies, our own slave traders and dungeon masters.

Those that know us, know many of our secrets, however it is only the moon and the stars and the dreamscape that sees all that we are. It is the pillow that hears the echo of these secrets as we lay our heads down at night. The same pillow that soaks up our tears, or muffles a laugh. It is our nighttime companion.

The judgement slips away from our own minds and we seldom heed that of anyone elses when caught in the other world. Our lives become easier and we find ourselves able to love deeper, stand straighter and smile bigger. Why is it that we are not able to do this in reality? Not to go all conspiracy theorist on you, but how do we know that what we currently experience is in fact, reality. Not even taking into account multiple dimensions or anything like that, how about we just look at how everyone’s perceptions can change. Do you see things the same way that I do? I highly doubt it. We are all individuals after all. On a cellular level, my body will allow me to do things that yours does not, and vice versa. Maybe I think too much… maybe, I should just have another nap.

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New things don’t always start with a bang. Sometimes things sizzle, pop, float, sign or laugh into existence. It is a new year and although many will have been coming up with a list of resolutions which will be most likely forgotten halfway through the year, for me, I prefer to use the time to think about what is most important to me.

Yes, I could do with losing some weight – my healthier lifestyle crashed and burnt over the last month of so with the lead up to the house move and the festive season. It is no real excuse and I will get back on top of my shit soon. I am not too worried. I would like to learn some new languages, however like with all scholastic endeavours, I simply don’t have the time to devote to these things. Well, I do have time. Time is what you make it. However I do not currently wish to subtract time from other pursuits so the end result is essentially the same.

My goals for this year are more personal than that. Firstly, I hope to continue to count myself lucky with the family and friends that surround me. They all play an important role in my life and some in particular, I would be completely lost without. I hope to laugh more and cry less. I hope that I don’t hurt anyone, or feel pain myself. With all of us having free will, it can be rather impossible not to hurt someone else, whether by intention or not, however, I do hope that my actions and words do not cause others pain. Life is hard enough without making things harder on each other.

I hope to breathe more and worry less. I can become a little ball of stress and I really do have to get better at controlling it, instead of  allowing it to control me.

I hope to laugh until it hurts, and then laugh some more. Laughter really is the best medicine and I believe we should all have a dose of it every single day.

I hope that those that I rely on, know that they can rely on me. The world can be a lonely place, however when you have someone special in your corner, all things seem possible.

I hope to love freely and deeply without the fear of being hurt. I wish this for everybody.

I wish for peace. Not world peace, I do not think that is something that I can personally strive for – I will leave the wishing for that to contestants of beauty pageants (although it would certainly be nice). I wish for peace within my own heart and mind. I always have far too much racing through my head, too many feelings weighing down my heart. I need to let go.

I hope that this year is better than the last. Not that last year was bad, it was full of ups and downs that kept me guessing.

We shall just have to see what 2018 brings.

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It has been quite some time since I have written a post. Yes, I know that a lot of people have been busy due to Christmas however for me, Christmas this year was a bit of a blip. A short break on a sweltering hot day, a recess between moving house – just long enough for the ache in the muscles to set in, not long enough for any proper relaxation.

I don’t mean to complain. Overall, the move has been rather non eventful. Apart from hoisting some furniture over the balcony, everything has gone quite smoothly (the hoisting did as well in fact).

At the moment, I am sitting on the deck, looking out at the bay and enjoying the cool breeze. It has been stinking hot in Brisbane over the last couple of weeks, and I relish any time when I get to relax in the gentle caress of the breeze. The smell of salt clings to the air and I am transported, in my mind, to summer holidays spent at North Stradbroke Island where I would lose myself traipsing along the sand at the water’s edge. This house has allowed me to be the most relaxed I have been in years. Being near the water has a calming effect that I only find in special places.

Now that the move is largely finished, I can sit back and count all the wounds. I have some rather impressive bruises to my arms and legs and my arms in particular have gotten slightly crispy at times (good thing I have skin that tans so easily).

It is at moments like this, that I like to cath up on what has happened over the previous couple of days. Due to the exhaustion I have felt, most days were a bit of a hot, sticky blur and it is at times that these, when I have no one around me, that I can think back on what actually transpired. Christmas Day itself was rather eh, probably no better way to describe it. The magic of Christmas is all for the young. With every year it gets further diluted. Breakfast was at my Mums. The nieces and nephews crowded around, and my sister managed to be nearly 2 hours late for Breakfast. Not that I was surprised by that. Once Breakfast was eaten and the mountain of presents distributed (no kids were lost amongst the wrapping paper – somehow), it was time to load into the cars and head to my Great Uncles’ house for the Christmas lunch. The menu has been the same every year and the weather can either be rainy or sweltering – this year, it was sweltering. The usual Christmas attire in Queensland is to wear the least amount of clothing possible. I thought I was safe with shorts, a top and my hair in pigtail (courtesy of my little sister). I still think I dropped a couple of kilos in sweat – although I have no doubt put all of that weight back on just from sucking down Frappes and Slushies to try to keep the heat at bay. Christmas afternoon and evening was a more relaxed time, no kids around. We were able to sit around the table with my mother-in-law and her parents and enjoy a rather casual dinner and a couple of drinks to wash the days stresses away.

In true Queensland fashion, the hot weather made for a gusty summer thunderstorm and we got to enjoy a light show from the balcony while the heavens opened. All in all, not a bad way to end a day.

So, here is a belated Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope you all had a wonderful day shared with people you love.

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As a writer, I think this is something my fellow writers can certainly relate to…

 

The Word Smith

In cryptic rhymes, I walk a path
Revealed to all, a twisted art
In timeless verse, I bear my soul
To speak of things, I can’t control
Bound in verse, I free my mind
With pen and paper, lost in time
Torn In thought, words play their game
But what spills forth, is to no one’s gain
In writer’s ink, like tears before
I lay in trust, to be no more
In words fall prey, thy criticism
Yet reveal an inward vision
What it is to be held true?
To give to some a different view
Wisdoms price, in dues I’ve paid
A crippled mind now rests betrayed
My works repent, now spoken true
Hidden scripts, in plain view
Twist you must to understand
The wordsmiths curse
Will shape the land.

© Copyright 2017 Robert Hayes