CUWAM……In summation

In looking back on the Month that was June I hope to move forward…to the months to come, to the friendship to be enjoyed and the catch up still to happen….

The last day of CUWAM month was kept catch up free, I was open to suggestions, and whilst I was expected to turn up to work for my day job, the rest of the day was left to run in course…

There were no was no end of CUWAM party celebration drinks or awards night….It was a normal day, spent doing, some might say, abnormal things….data entry, speadsheet maintenance, and student consultations.

Lunch was a bit special, a spontaneous meal with my work mate and friend, Elena, and a vegetarian buffet in Newtown…filling our plates sky-high with meat free goodness, we ate with chops sticks, drank from Coles water bottles and generally looked very pleased about the situation!

Leaving work at 5pm, I headed home….to spend time with one of my most treasured friends Flora the cat. I walked into my apartment to find that she had been sick on the floor…spew was my welcome home present that evening….Thank you my love!

After cleaning up the mess and attending to Florence, we sat down for a good chat ( cat style)….We pondered over the gift of friendship, the trials and tribulations of being a women whilst watching youtube videos of Lady Gaga and Aretha Franklin.

In preparation for my Melbourne trip, I then headed out for supplies at the Royal Randwick Shopping centre, ran a few errands like getting some petrol to ensure I actually made it to the shops and back and dropped of two overdue DVD’s.

And home, to a dinner of cheese on toast and a glass of red wine…

CUWAM month has taught me that it is important to make the time to catch up with those near and dear, to put in the effort to maintain the gift of frienship….but it cannot be forced, and if you find yourself expending too much energy, it just ain’t worth it.

So to the future, and one of the true joys of CUWAM has been the flow on effect, my social calender has never looked so healthy….and so the desire to keep blogging about catch ups is strong…and god willing, I will do it!!

And whilst June is over and I have another 11 months till the next official CUWAM month is upon me…till then I guess I will just being writing about CU ( catch ups)…

So to future catch up and whatever they may hold…Que Sera Sera

p.s I never did finish the novel I was carrying around with me as my CUWAM comfort blanket, ‘ The Time travellers Wife’…I guess my life just became more exciting than that of a man with faulty 24 hours body clock!! Yay for me!!

CUWAM…Who’s that girl?

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I moved to the beat of an imaginary tune on Wednesday. I awoke at  7.30am, presented myself at my local cafe for the usual cappuccino, boarded the bus city bound, got off the bus on Crown Street, Surry Hills, and decided on a whim to go to the Bourke Street Bakery for breakfast….

Tune I would have been humming along to had not relied on an imaginary tune

Ever so please with myself, I ordered only items displayed at eye level…a cherry and sour cream brioche and macadamia and honey sticky bun….the blog entry should really stop here…for it can’t get much better mid week…but alarmingly it did!!

Bourke Street Bakery…Do yourself a favour and treat yourself once in a while

Well, between the hours of 9am-5pm, things were quiet subdued… just the usual office admin scenario’s, data entry, student complaints, student concerns, student ponderings…..a staff birthday thrown in for good measure, a lunch of zucchini and pasta eaten at desk…and fingers back to the  keyboard, looking up from the desk to find was closer to  4.57pm than first realised and therefore….time to go home…

Or for some lucky people, time to meet up with mates…I boarded a cityrail train bound for Wynyard station..instead I chose to get off at Town Hall station and walk amongst the masses down George Street…Just to get that CBD feel!! I was pushed and shoved to my destination, Max Brenner…were I was meeting up with a favourite friend, Ms Suzanne Alders, a pioneer of the great escape movement from the Flight Centre Direct LTD company circa 2004….

Over hug mugs of hot chocolate, Suz and I reminisced about all that was ‘ Rancid’ and all that was ‘ SEN..sational’ about out high-flying career in a call centre…We laughed till we cried ( had the wounds of our sales career ever really healed….who can say…Maybe we should ask the Captain?!)

We the joy of a catch up with the Suz, the last being May 2010, is that you can pick up the friendship was from were we last left it….and carry it forward to the present moment…and beyond…There will be more catch ups with Suz, and our partner in crime, Lisa Farrer…that is a CUWAM promise…

A brief stop at Coles to get some dinner tips from Curtis, then happy goodbyes and back on the 339 bus home…

Dinner was the humble rice cake with tuna and corn ( not so sure about that one Curtis) in front of the tv program, Offspring, rather entertaining….but it had nothing on the evenings catch up.

Cuddles with Flora…sinking into sleep…CUWAM last day tomorrow….I can’t bear to close the chapter on such a wonderful month of friendship…..

CUWAM….Not happy with your current prospects ? Book an international holiday!!

Not happy with your current prospects? Book one of theses!!

Yep, I am back for more..

Fingers to the keyboard, recalling the day that was Tuesday…another day spent with the company of an excel spreadsheet and student applicaitons….this time though, without a lunch break….Don’t know what I was thinking….Not taking a lunch break is not conducive to life OR blog writing as you can’t say that you spend 8 hours of your day in front of a computer screen….How does one make that a readable entry?

Spend $3300 on an international airfare might we one way to add a bit of spice to the entry….I had had a flight on hold for some time, though I have not doubt the seats had long since faded into the airfare Bermuda triangle, I contacted my wonderful friend Kate Scott, who quickly constructed an airfare to suit my taste and budget….First stop Paris, followed by Copenhagen, NYC, London and home via Singapore…what a way to spend a day…Constructing a dream itinerary which a travel agent, who kept asking me….’ Can I do anything else for you?’

Seriously, if you need a travel agent,Ms Kate Scott is the agent for you…

Kate Scott…the wonder Travel Agent

So yes, that was how I got through Nine- Five, whilst simultaneously keeping on top of my day job ( I guess Lunch was sacrificed in order to get the job done!!)

I also managed to book tickets to a play coming up in July, which stars my friend, Ms Melle Stewart ( who featured earlier in blog) If you want to see a true craftmanship, you must see Melle on stage…The show is on in July at the NIDA playhouse…get in quick to get tix…

Melle’s new play…Tick, Tick, Boom

So much day time fun, surely something had to go wrong in the evening…well a dinner planned at the Norfolk Hotel, Surry Hills with a Lee, of the Brendan Lee variery, was…cancelled….But back on the wagon and homeward bound on the 339 bus to Clovelly….And back home to Florence and a glass of red that has been poured on Sunday night and was due to be finished.

A quick chat to Ms Jenny Kline about upcoming Melbourne adventure, with the click of a few buttons and the swipe of a credit card, accommodation booked….Followed by another , with the glorious Suzanne Alders, a coffee date arranged for tomorrow evening….

A quick meal whipped up and a bit of tv watching…Winners and Losers ( in black and white as the tv reception was poorly)….It must be bed time….I was starting to feel more like a loser straining to see the screen!!

CUWAM….Loosing the will to blog

Them some would say…give up, you’re said what you wanted to say…call it a day…the month is nearly over….

But I knew that I was just suffering from a bad case of Monday-itis…a condition that is only treatable by long lunches, coffee breaks and lots of good office conversation ie sledging, whining and salacious weekend gossip.

So that is how I approached the morning….Sure I updated an excel spreadsheet and answered a few emails but I made sure that my morning was balanced…With my boss returning from a 5 week overseas trip, the customary duty-free chocolate nibbles took care of that…my mid morning I could barely see my computer screen through all the lolly wrappers!!

I was learning life lessons on Monday morning at work…that is it wrong to assume in any given situation…I thought I had got a grasp on that old chesnut….But no, and things of high importance ie my impending trip to Melbourne was viewed in a more uncertain light….no accommodaiton, no transport…but my attitude, poorly though it was, was ‘ Who cares!’

To lunch, a shared Chicken Schnitzel lunch at Essen, Broadway, with a fallen work comrade and fellow office inmates….If Chicken Schnitzel can’t solve your problems, nothing else can…well, 3 plates of cabbage salad may solve certain problems….

And back, ever so briefly, to office admin, more work on excel spread sheet, numerous hits to facebook and the smh.com.au site and it was just about home time…well gym time…

The day, apart from Schnitzel had been rather ghastly, too many student enquiries, I had almost done a Jane Fonda aerobic workout the number of time I had been called to the customer service counter to partake in yet another Q & A session….but I felt that my workout needed more structure…so to Newtown Gym for 20 mins on a treadmill, 4 mins on a bike…and from there to the supermarket…to buy…one capsicum….

And home sweet home, a chicken soup dinner ( with out capsicum…that will feature in tomorrows meals!!) a quick phone call to a mate to line up $3 taco night at the Norfolk in Surry Hills ( excitement!!) and retiring to bed to watch a DVD, ‘ The Sweetest Thing’ starring Christina Applegate, Selma Blair and Cameron Diaz…outrageous movie…all I could think whilst watching the film was that two out of the 3 main stars were now Mothers….are Mothers meant to act like that.?…my new attitude gets the better of me…’Who cares!!’

CUWAM….A street party in a bowling club and cuddles with Mae

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Sunday, Sunday ,Sunday….Tomorrow will be Monday, Monday, Monday…So aim was to make the most of the day!!

A sleep in, early morning gym session and then short stroll to my local cafe, Parc, on Clovelly Road for the mid morning kick start….And then behind the wheel, and beginning the journey south for a street party farewell being held, not in a street, but a bowling club.

My good friend Colleen, mother of two, friend to many, after 25 years residing in Asquith Street, Austinmer, was selling up and moving to the far South Coast,  to Calalla Bay to be prescise…I have found memories of Calalla Bay as a child, and family holidays spent in a fibro shack on a large block of land that was directly opposite the bay…the sand and surf seeped inside our small cottage, we transported it there in our swimmers and beach towels…

A favourite memory of Calalla was being barely 5, and reminding my parents that it was my brother’s birthday, he would be turning 2 and there were no gifts, no cake and not even the faint suggestion of celebration in the air…And then the mad dash to Nowra Fair Shopping Centre to buy what ever gift would suffice…..from memory a Fisher Price Helicopter was purchased…I don’t think my brother had any idea what the commotion was all about…

Well Colleen was moving to Calalla and her children, friends and neighbours had gathered at Thirroul Bowling club to farewell the great lady….Colleen will be sadly missed, the street not the same…but Calalla should be advised that they are inheriting one of Austinmer’s finest, and her new four bedroom home, ensures that many of those who celebrated with her yesterday will be eager pay her a visit!!

And then onto Berkeley ( or Bezerkely as my friend Jess prefers to refer to her home town) to hand over the little red coat to its rightful owner, Mae Patricia Bremner…what a cutie pie! The coat could not be going to a more deserving owner, for someone who is that beautiful deserves beautiful things….Cuddles with Mae and an afternoon of fine delights…Chicken Twisites, Peanut M & M’s and Coca Cola….Devine….A couple of cheese  Twisties would compliment such a spread, but it would be inappropriate to be critical of the shortcoming of the hosts!!..Thank you Jess, Wade and Mae for your company…it cannot be beaten and I love spending time with you.

And homeward bound…..a quick dinner snack and a quick status update on facebook declaring to the world that my hope to awake tomorrow to a day not called Monday….One can only live in hope, without hope you have nothing!!

CUWAM…A Parisian approach to Saturday

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It is a glorious feeling, waking up to a day that is entirely schedule free, or if it does contain a schedule, one that you have personally devised to bring up maximum contentment….And that is how I awoke on Saturday….to a schedule that would bring much joy.

I ate a small breakfast, a petit portion of toast…then went to the gym for a workout. It was the first time I had ventured into the exercise arena since returning from Toowoomba ( where I am certain that bowls of coffee and buffet breakfasts/ lunches and dinners are not the everyday persons dietary requirements!) And boy did I feel it…those additional kgs made it a punishing session on the treadmill…..I lasted 19 minutes, 27 seconds…

A coffee straight after my ‘ work out’ got things back on track, and I got in my car and headed west…to the Inner West….To Rozelle were I would catch up with some great mates for a lavish lunch at the French restaurant ‘ Le Grande Bouffe’….

But it is important to documents the roll call of attendees before I seat you at the table….Yes that morning there had been a spectacular fall out of lunch guests…

 Jess and Mae, from the South Coast had fallen ill and were unable to attend the 12.30 lunch date

Sarah Love, former flatmate, was still battling the winter flu and despite confirming her seat at the table on Friday night, was a no-show for Saturday lunch

My former boss, Kirk Doyle, had shown facebook commitment to the date, but in reality had double booked, and was watching a tennis match instead….

To put it mildly, it looked as though catching up with mates would involve a table for one…But then the phone call…Steph Lee, in true Lee fashion, was running late, but was committed to the idea of French fine dining…

And fine dine we did…Served by a waiter whose French accent was so thick it was hard to tell what indeed the specials were, Steph and I decided on Twice cooked Lamb and Pork Belly respectively….Once we have devoured that course we set off on foot to another French cafe, C’est Bon, were we had coffee and cake…Picture perfect way to spend a Saturday…Thank you Steph!!

The afternoon was spent with my former flatmate Sarah, and in true French style, I got to play with the newest resident of the house, Ollie, the miniature Maltese puppy( I wanted him to be a poodle merely for the sake of this blog)

 I arrived home from the West at about 5pm, and was slowly working myself up to vacate my apartment for a few drinks at the Clovelly Hotel with some friends from down South who had journeyed to the big smoke for a night out…Alas, another cancellation occured….4 in one day, kind of rough….But that is the risk you take with putting it out there, organising events, plans change, pubs undergo renovations, people get sick, the sun does not always shine….

But in true French style, I did not let it bother me, life is too short to lose yourself in the trivialities each day…So I opened a bottle of red and toasted my fabulous day ( that is actually a lie, I just went to bed, but that sounds rather boring and not very Parisian Chic at all….)

CUWAM…Dreams can come true

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It is irrelevant what took place before 12.15pm on Friday the 24th of June….you know, same old story…got to work ( which somewhat a different approach to the previous day..I admit it!!), logged onto a computer only to be faced with a barrage of emails that would take days, maybe even weeks to answer….

I look around my desk and smiled in the knowledge that in my absence from the office yesterday all my ‘problem’ students had surfaced, and my most level-headed colleague, the wonderful Hilary Camarda had dealt with them. Hilary exudes calm, and I knew that my ‘problem’ students ( and accompanying parents) would have walked away feeling that their worlds were once more in order…thank you Hilary….

An office morning tea, were I showcased my corn fritters only to realise that they were not entirely cooked through…oh well…In an attempt to redeem my self and presented a plate full of lemon butter tartlets…homage to my late Nan, Mary Boyle…cook extrodinaire….

And then it was 12.15….a time when dream really did come true…A long lunch…using time accrued during a month of administration madness, my friend and colleague Kenny, set of on the M30 bus to Circular Quay..The sun shone and we both smiled….A smiles turned to frowns when it was realised that the M30  bus did not go past Circular Quay, rather straight over the Harbour Bridge….In unision Kenny and I had the same thoughts…should we just stay on this bus and end up somewhere on the North Shore….The answer was no, and we got off the bus at Wynyard Train station and made the rest of the journey on foot….

From this point on I feel it would only be fair to let the pictures do the talking…the images are breath-taking and our delight evident on our faces….I will give a brief explanation of the seagull shots, I coined this Seagull the EYL seagull..EYL for those in the dark is a foundation started up by Kenny and I in June 2010,  the Enjoy Your Life foundation. It was clear after close observation that this seagull was the EYL seagull, why else would he appear so happy about his day-to-day existence and perch so close to EYL members…..rumour has it he was a close friend of our office’s pigeon courier ( the speed that our office delivers documents is ever so good!!) who took a promotion last year to chief fruit picker in regional NSW….

Ah yes, pipe dreams of long lunch can come true…

The rest of the day….not important, just more data entry and I worked till 6pm to make up for the additional hour spent basking in the sunshine…a truelly great day!!

CUWAM…the one day silent retreat

Whilst it may go against the grain on CUWAM month, Thursday was put aside as a day of silence…

I awoke with an over whelming sense that the office did not need me, and that me bed would be a far better place to reside on this cold winters day….A headache and a blocked nose ( well a sniffle anyway) was all the ammunition I needed to call my boss and announce my departure from the office ( for the day at least)

And back to bed…under the covers, Flora snuggled up close……free to indulge in some much needed rest and relaxation, herbal tea and Vegemite toast ( expect I was out of bread and only had red wine on the shelf)

I tried my luck with the Ticketmaster pre-sale of the Dylan Moran comedy show and came out in front, 2 A-Reserve tickets in the stalls, row P for the 1st of September…my credit card was a bit worse for wear but I can deal with that in July or August…the cost of the tickets will not dampen the CUWAM spirit!!

And then of to the Doctor,  or therapist,  code word ‘special friend’,  a person who has made me see life through a clear lens, for whom I an eternally grateful for the advise, guidance and recommendations….Though it costs me dearly…it is worth everything cent…I came away from the session feeling again sure of the path I am treading and all the more sure that I will book that 5 week holiday to Europe and America…first stop Paris…it just has to be done!!

Returning home, I once again pulled back the sheets and drifted off into ‘ La La Land’…I awoke some hours later to find that I could still follow the day time soap ‘ Days of our Lives’ though not having the pleasure of viewing this soft film lensed trash for 8 years…Oh Hope and Bow….it really is true love isn’t it.?!….

Feeling decidedly worse from my afternoon nap, I drank a can of Coke Cola, and got into my car and drove to Clovelly Beach…for a look…I did not get out of the car…I just stared at the ocean and was thankful for the beauty that is the sea…And then onto the video shop, for when one is unwell, DVD’s must be watched…I hired out ‘ Black Books’ series two and the comedy ‘ The Sweetest Thing’

To further bore you with the one day silent retreats itinerary, I then went grocery shopping, buying the ingredients to make corn fritters for the Friday office morning tea…I watched 3 episodes of ‘Black Books’, ignored all incoming mobile phone calls ( sorry those that called…but it was a day of silence) and retired to bed, a place I had scarcely left that day….

A day of restoration, a day of silence, a quaility Flora ignored but that is ok….after all, she is a cat…

CUWAM…..Mid week reflections

Arrived at work with fashionable head scarf…turned on computer and sighed…

Changed focus to impending lunch time catch up with my Aunt Elizabeth and cousin Liz….watched the clock tick tock its way to 12 noon and vacated my office seat, only to re-seated in the Law Building cafe’ Taste’ at the University of Sydney.

We  sat next to the window and toasted ourselves in the midday sun….splendid…Converstation trapezed across an array a family members, my brother, the family cat Alice, my new second cousin Benjamine ( my Aunts first and much treasured granddaughter who resides in Melbourne)….Liz and I had a whine about work, but kept that to a minimum as our lunch required our full attention!!

And back to the office, where I indulged in more sighing and more catch up planning…A car was booked for the July 1st Melbourne trip, a quote that was originally priced at $140.00 ended up being rounded up to$236.60 by the time I had proceeded to booking stage…what are credit cards for!!

A conversation with friend and colleague Kenny Lowe, the Zenmaster, about our pipe dreams that appear to becoming a reality about a Friday long lunch. The phone conversation was as follows:

Kenny to Kate ‘ Where do you want to go?

Kate, unenthused to Kenny ‘ I don’t care’

Kenny to Kate ‘ How about the beach’ ( please keep in mind that our office is inland…I loved that suggestion!!)

Kate to Kenny ‘ If I go to the beach I won’t want to come back, compromise, how about Darling Harbour/ King Street Wharf, there is water there’

Kenny to Kate ‘ Ok’

And then there was the failed attempt to secure Dylan Moran tickets at the ‘ Just for Laughs’ Comedy Gala at the Opera House in September, and I had even signed up for the Opera House pre-sale, which was being held before the ticketmaster pre-sale and the general sale…How could I fail…

And then it was time to go homw…had I really been caged in an office block for 8 hours? Apparently so!! I drove home, via the Royal Randwick shopping centre, were I gathered items for dinner…I would feast on roast vegetables….

Flora greeted me with her wails for food and we ate together, with the heater on and the Masterchef program in the background….

Yawn…it must be bedtime, and it must be Wednesday….half way through the working week…thank the good Lord for the small blessings…Amen

CUWAM…Step by Step…Oh Baby!!

Recovery is a slow process, and to allow the healing process one must be open to change…so I went work with a band-aid on my head injury and minus a head scarf….Step by Step…

I felt the need to update my facebook status to ‘ I am over administrating’…but instead of announcing my disdain of data to the world, I buried myself in the mundane tasks of the 9 to 5 slog…

Whilst writing in retrospect it was fair say that Tuesday was quiet dull, I am sure I put it out there in email format, and the odd phone call that catch ups were still the focus of my June exisitence…I was making decisions with my buddy JK ( Jennifer Kline) about our impending Melbourne trip ( which will take place 1st of July…not part of catch up with a mate month…rather a continuation of the theme…it is hard to cram everything in!!) Car hire and accommodation is a luxury apartment in St Kilda, credit card swiping and giggles over fun times ahead…But that is about July…the focus here is June…

To conversation with my colleague and friend, Kenny, or the ‘ Zen Master’ as I prefer to call him, a man so over office administration that all student applications are received with intent to ‘ Reject All’, and emails are considered ‘ Deletable’ before reading…all paperwork to be filed in that special filing cabinet ie the bin or better still,burnt….Yes I had a coffee with Kenny at Cafe Ism in Newtown and we discussed our pipe dreams of a long lunch this coming Friday….

To the evening, a storm clouds filled the Sydney skyline, I rang my tennis buddy Scott, unenthused by the looming tennis match at 5.30pm….’ It looks like it will rain’ I wined to Mr Duncan, hoping he would say ‘ Ok, lets not play, why don’t you go home and eat a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate and some KFC’…But he didn’t and under a ominus sky we slogged it out, ball for ball, racket to racket…

Dinner took place at the one and only ‘ Bon Gusto’ Italian Restaurant in Darlington, where they bring you examples of the specials on plates, containing the said meal uncooked and covered in glad wrap….who could ask for more…Garlic Bread, a man-sized lasagna meal and an entrée Spag bowl were consumed…10 out of 10…Happiness restored.

I drove Scott to the train station and then headed for home….Once I entered my apartment / bed sit/ room I feed Florence and then in record time ( under 5 mins) was under the covers and ready for b.e.d….Tuesday you exhaust me!!

Step by Step…Oh baby!!

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