Saturday, January 27

What animal was I??

You Were a Praying Mantis

You have the still power of a legendary warrior.

You are able to manipulate time - or at least, the perception of it.


Thursday, January 25

A bit of blogging peace please....

Something I'm learning about this whole blogging thing is that it ain't that easy. I need time to put my thoughts on paper (sorry, on screen). I can't just rattle off a few words while the kettle boils. I seem to be developing a desire to get myself 'all set up' before I start, you know clear desk, beverage of choice, peace and quiet. My desk is 'clear' about twice per millennia so I won't be expecting anything too regular if I stick to that one. As for peace and quiet, HA! If I want to only write when there is peace and quiet then I might as well quit now. The only peace and quiet I get is between the hours of midnight and 6am, if I'm lucky and the kids are drugged and Mercury isn't retrograde.

I don't need an alarm clock, my morning begins with a certain little nearly 4 year old 'clock' calling from her bed 'muuuuummmmy, is it time to geddup?' This happens EVERY MORNING. This morning I tried something new 'no, it's not, go back to sleep'. Then the wailing ensued 'geeeetttttt uuuuuuupppppp' this went on repeatedly for 30 minutes. I let it continue for 30 minutes because in some childish (and yet enormous) part of my brain I wasn't going to 'give in'. By now the wailing had even penetrated my beloved's slumber and his ear plugs (yes, I said ear plugs, don't even get me started on that one). We lay there side by side, eyes bulging, staring at the ceiling and gripping the quilt close to our chins. Each of us in our own private hell, fighting the urge to throttle the little darling and seriously considering the benefits of separation (only having kids half the time). I have to admit there was also an element of holding out to see if he would cave first. He didn't. So I wearily got up (if you can call flying from the bed, feet barely touching the floor in a rush of cursing and blasphemy 'wearily getting up'). My day had begun.

So how an earth can I expect to regularly blog if this is the dilemma I face. Well, I've decided it will have to be done the same way I do everything else, bribery, television and developing the ability to not join in with all the kids TV theme tunes that are penetrating my concentration...bananas in pyjamas are coming down the...oops sorry about that. Clearing my desk has become ‘clear enough space for my cup’ and let’s just say my ‘beverage of choice’ may not always be one that is considered appropriate for day time ingestion but what the hell, if it works….

Tuesday, January 23

Life at the Ashram

Ok, so it's nearly a week since I created my blog and decided to become a serious, bona fide blogger. Note the lack of updates since day one? And day one wasn't much to speak of. One thing about me, when I commit to something I commit with total apathy.

I feel I should now fill this page with the daring exploits and adventures of the past week but as there weren't any really I might just stick to the facts. I suppose the highlight, if you could call it that, is my decision to cut out meat and dairy from my diet. It's been a long time dream of mine to live the kind of healthy existence normally reserved for hippy types and yoga teachers. I have a mental picture of myself eating my organic, wholegrain, biodynamic, soy lettuce while maintaining a difficult balancing yoga position before retiring to my private Ashram for a 3 hour meditation. The reality is quite different. The only contortions I’ve managed have been the ones I get into while retrieving veggies from the vegetable crisper in the fridge (yes, I’m spending a lot more time with the vegetables than I used to, not counting the ones I work with). There has been no meditation to date, but it is only day 4, although as I am a meditation teacher that’s probably not a good thing. My excuse is that trying to meditate and commence a vegan type diet is like being tied to the railway tracks, looking at an oncoming train and trying to contemplate what heaven will be like, that train is just too damn distracting. On the food side however I am proud to announce that I have been totally meat and dairy free for the last 4 days. The amazing thing is that it has been surprisingly easy. Years ago I was vegetarian for a while, that was ok, but I still craved chicken and fish, in fact to be honest I craved all face wearing flesh. The idea of being meat free and giving up cheese was beyond my comprehension (and capabilities) for a long time.

What changed? First of all my health changed, a series of tests revealed some boring and potentially life threatening health issues. Then a vegan friend spent a couple of days giving me tips on how to live an easy vegan life (I just couldn’t see myself spending the rest of my days absorbed in the intricacies of soaking lentils – see earlier apathy comment). At the same time I was reading ‘The China Study’ by T Colin Campbell. A fascinating and terrifying look at an enormous study of nutrition and it’s affect on health. I have to say that was the clincher. I won’t do a book review, but trust me, you really want to read this book.

So here I am, 4 days into an almost vegan existence. I say almost because there is one small problem. Chocolate. If I ever had to give up chocolate with all its cocoa dairy goodness I might as well die. Sure I know there are ‘dairy free’ varieties (as if) and one could always just have tofu instead but somehow that doesn’t have the same appeal. So my dedication to Mr Cadbury and all his friends shall remain. It will be my dirty little secret, without it in my life I’d be a lesser person, the world would be a dull and boring place and my husband would have nothing to buy me off with. Anyway, if I stop eating chocolate I’d have to change the banner on my blog and I so don’t want to do that.

Wednesday, January 17

Well, I'm here...

At last my own blog. Here it is, day 1. However, I'm now so exhausted from the effort, frustration and stress of setting up my blog that I don't feel able to write anything. And since it's only you two reading this first entry (and perhaps any entries) I'm not too worried. Winky

Perhaps I'll try again tomorrow.

P.S. Those little emos are everywhere aren't they?

Tuesday, January 16

Why Bridget’s Flame?

People sometimes ask me why this blog is called Bridget’s Flame when my name is clearly not Bridget. I would like to set the record straight and confirm that ‘Bridget’s Flame’ refers to the sacred and eternal fire of the Celtic Goddess Bridget.

In Kildare, Ireland, only women lit Bridget’s sacred fire, opening the door to spring. Bridget herself is a triple moon goddess and is connected with the turning of the seasons, she is the goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft - among other things.Bridget of Kildare Later when Christianity came to Ireland she – or at least a Christian nun who probably took her name became Saint Bridget, when it was common practice to Christianise pagan figures to encourage the locals to take up the religion. She became Bridget of Kildare (pictured) and her Feast Day is celebrated on 1st February – the same day as Pagan Bridget (Imbolc).

St Bridget’s Cathedral in Kildare is thought to be on the site of the original pagan shrine to Bridget. St Bridget’s fire house is in the grounds of the cathedral.

Bridget is also the goddess of the hearth and home, children, motherhood and childbirth. I have always identified with Bridget and here I blog about many things, but the most important of them all is my family – the people around the hearth, especially my children. I like to think that the eternal flame of Bridget is represented here in some small way.

Bridget's cross

100 things about me

1. I’d like to be an archaeologist.

2. Instead I’m a college lecturer….at least I was, until I quit.

3. Now I’m some kind of business consultant or something.

4. I don’t know what I am (see no. 3).

5. I was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland, last century.

6. I have spent more time living in other countries than I have spent living in Scotland.

7. I live in Australia now.

8. I hate the heat.

9. Hating the heat is problematic when you live in Australia.

10. I have had grey in my hair since I was about 25. It’s not even grey, it’s pure white.

11. I colour my hair back to it’s natural un-grey colour.

12. My great grandmother had long, beautiful, pure white hair that shone. She wore it in a bun and I loved to see her take it down and brush it.

13. I think I have inherited that hair but I’m not ready to live with it yet.

14. I don’t like Aubergine/Eggplant. Blech!

15. I like chocolate.

16. I love animals a lot, in fact I like them better than most people (except for my nearest and dearest family and friends – you know who you are).

17. I have always had pets, mostly dogs and cats but there are some rabbits, lizards, guinea pigs and a duck or two in there too.

18. I have a 16 year old cat called Sophie.

19. I miss my dog Max, he died three years ago.

20. I desperately, desperately want a dog. Just a little one.

21. Tom won’t let me have a dog.

22. I’m a bit cross with him over that.

23. I have two sisters.

24. They are bloody fabulous.

25. I am the oldest.

26. But I’m not bossy (am I?)

27. I don’t like Christmas very much.

28. Easter’s ok (see no.14) especially the chocolate chip hot cross buns.

29. I like to try new things but often lose interest pretty quickly.

30. I enjoy a drink. I love wine, gin and tonic and cocktails – but not all at once.

31. I also like beer sometimes, my favourite is Corona, with a bit of lemon stuffed in it.

32. I can only have two drinks without getting a hangover.

33. It wasn’t always this way.

34. I’d like to learn web design – it’s a long story.

35. I will only learn web design when they develop that method of learning sometimes featured in Sci Fi movies where they plug you into a computer and you sleep through the whole thing and wake up fully conversant in the skill.

36. I LOVE Sci Fi.

37. Except ‘2001, A Space Odyssey’. I loathe that movie with a passion normally reserved for loathing politicians. What a pile of utter shit that film really is.

38. I also like horror movies and books. Phil Rickman is a favourite horror author.

39. I once lived in Paris for a very short time and when I am feeling elderly and frumpy or like a boring old fart parent of small children I torture myself by saying ‘I once lived in Paris’.

40. I say ‘living in Paris’ when it was really a very, very extended holiday. But I had to do normal things like washing and shopping and cooking so I call it ‘living’.

41. I can be melodramatic (see no. 39).

42. I stretch the truth for maximum effect (see no. 40).

43. One of my all time favourite books is ‘Candide’ (Voltaire) and for some reason some people find that odd. Why? It’s a good book isn’t it? Isn’t it?

44. I swear quite a lot.

45. I am addicted to stationery items, especially pens, diaries, journals and organisers.

46. One of my least favourite jobs is putting petrol in the car. I will hold out as long as possible even when the ‘fuel low’ light comes on.

47. I also hate making packed lunches.

48. I don’t mind ironing. Apparently this is somewhat unusual. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go looking for ironing to do, it’s just if something needs ironed I don’t mind.

49. I am the world’s worst photographer and only mildly interested in taking photographs but I would still like a Nikon Digital SLR.

50. I have a secret desire to play one those online games, the ones where you become a character and go to war against (or with) evil armies.

51. I think people who write ‘100 things’ lists have huge egos, why do we think anyone wants to know or cares? I dunno.

52. I teach meditation.

53. I have experienced depression in my life, been medicated for it, had therapy for it and occasionally still struggle with it.

54. I am always surprised when people that I don’t know comment on my blog, but I like it.

55. I can cook but I don’t like cooking, I do love watching cooking shows and I like receiving cook books as gifts…, I don’t understand that either and Tom is totally bewildered by it.

56. I enjoy candlelight.

57. I drive a Toyota but would really like a Jaguar. S-type.

58. I can swim quite well, but don’t like swimming in the sea. It frightens me.

59. I would like to have a long, long bath every single day but don’t have time, so I shower instead.

60. Showering is much less relaxing, but it gets you clean.

61. I have profiles on Twitter and Facebook.

62. I struggle with my online identity – should I tell or shouldn’t I?

63. I have a huge collection of books.

64. I haven’t seen some of my books for over 3 years.

65. They’re in the shed waiting to be brought in after the renovation.

66. The renovation isn’t happening.

67. My photos are all in boxes too.

68. I drink too much coffee and tea.

69. I hate drinking water but try to because it’s supposed to be good for you.

70. I am totally neurotic about my age and never tell.

71. I have 3 enormous willow trees in my garden and I talk to them and hug them (a cliché I know).

72. I also talk to another tree and frequently ask it what kind of tree it is because I don’t know.

73. So far it hasn’t told me.

74. I believe in ghosts and aliens.

75. Despite number 74 I’m quite intelligent.

76. I hate shopping, especially for clothes.

77. I am quite short of clothes.

78. I love Shakespeare with a passion (not him – I’ve never met him – but his works).

79. I am totally, completely and utterly TERRIFIED of spiders.

80. There are a lot of big spiders in Australia.

81. That’s another problem with living here (see 8 & 9) – why do I live here?

82. My oldest daughter was 11 weeks premature. I was very sick.

83. I am obsessed with weather…all kinds…and talk about it too much (boring).

84. I am sometimes superstitious and it annoys me, I want to believe it’s all crap but I won’t risk it.

85. My favourite colour is blue.

86. We looked after a friend’s snake for while, I like snakes, except the poisonous ones.

87. I have strong opinions about politics, which I really try not to talk about on the blog.

88. Sometimes I talk about politics on the blog. I can’t help it.

89. My mother once told me I was a communist (based on my political beliefs) but she was ok with that.

90. I was 12 at the time.

91. As you can see I’ve always had strong opinions about politics.

92. However, I am not a card carrying member of the communist party.

93. I also have strong opinions about religion.

94. I never talk about my religious opinions on the blog. Ever.

95. I have an eclectic mix of personal religious beliefs. All bases covered.

96. I read a lot of blogs, but only some favourites do I read every day.

97. I like handbags more than shoes.

98. I find thinking of 100 things about myself quite difficult.

99. Hopefully this means I’m not as self-obsessed as I seem.

100. I can count to 100.