Friday, 26 October 2007

A Pain In The Neck

Over the last couple of days I have developed a pain in my neck, radiating from my right shoulder. It is too much time at the computer studying and perusing the big wide world on the web. Actually it's not enough time studying and too much time perusing! This morning it was quite bad, so much so that I resorted to some medication. While I was out and about today I dropped in on a Chinese massage place in a shopping centre. These places seem to be becoming quite popular here in Melbourne, where you can pop in unannounced and have everything from a five minute neck massage to a full body massage. I asked for a twenty minute neck and shoulder massage. It was pure and utter HELL. It was AGONY. It almost got to the point where I had to ask him to stop. I did come out feeling less tight, but the pain was still present in my neck. I might have to have more concentrated therapy. I have moved my computer mouse to my left which I do from time to time. They say that is good for the brain as well as the body.
I finish study for the year in a few days time. I also need to spend less time perusing. 

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Attend the Tale.....

.....of Sweeney Todd. This is Johhny Depp's latest film due out early next year. He plays these sort of roles so well don't you think? A perfect match with Helen Bonham Carter in such a setting. After whilstling a happy tune all week I'm now swinging my razor wide. Those around me had better be careful!
I really need to learn how to upload videos on to this blog. May have to call upon a learned  friend for assistance. Call now made and video now uploaded!! I'm impressed.....I hope you all are.

Uploaded by IMLX

Friday, 19 October 2007


This is a British TV programme set in working class Manchester. It revolves around a family called the Gallaghers. The patriarch is the perpetually inebriated Frank. He has six kids who are basically brought up by his eldest daughter as his wife ran off with another woman. It has quickly become a favourite of mine and when it was on here I used to dissect it with a work colleague the following morning. This particular colleague ended up getting the first three series on DVD and leant them to me. I find the show hilarious as well as frequently poignant. I think part of the attraction is that it is so different from my middle class experience of life. I find it alluring and at the same time scary. Initially I thought of it as hyperbole, but I think that it is probably reality for many people in various places around the world.
Having borrowed the DVDs, I didn't want to have them for too long, so I have been immersing myself in them for the past couple of weeks. That in itself has been an interesting experience, to watch so much of a particular show (about 30 hours worth) in such a short period. It has been good to catch up on some episodes that I missed and have some of the missing links explained.
Apparently series 4 & 5 are also now on air in the UK. Well worth a look.

An Actress To Remember

I woke up this morning to hear of the death of Deborah Kerr. She was the star of such films as From Here To Eternity, The King And I, and An Affair To Remember. I was saddened to hear of her death. This surprised me and I wonder why. I enjoyed the films she was in. She could always get me to 'whistle a happy tune'! In many ways her death is part of the death of an era. The actors and actresses of the 40s and 50s, and perhaps even 60s, had a different style to today's stars. (OMG I just realise how OLD that makes me sound!) Will we remember Sharon Stone, Johnny Depp and Kate Winslett in the same way?...........OK, so we may well remember Johhny Depp!

Friday, 12 October 2007

Sport, Sport, Sport.

We're just past mid-way of son's tennis season. The benefit of Friday night tennis is that we don't have to choose between tennis and cricket for that couple of months when they overlap. Cricket starts tomorrow. What joy! What bliss! Can you taste the sarcasm?! Tennis I can actually quite enjoy, cricket is more of a struggle.
Tonight, at tennis, a couple of sisters joined us after being overseas for a couple of months. I hadn't met them before. I placed them together in the girls doubles. They asked me not to do that again as they don't play well together because they fight all the time. The classic line of the night: One said to me, "She annoys me and she thinks I annoy her!" The joy of teenage girls!

Thursday, 11 October 2007

A Matter of Quality

Today and yesterday we had surveyors come through our workplace as part of our accreditation process. The system we use has something significant happen each year, but every four years is the major survey, where every aspect of what we do is scrutinised. We've had two surveyors over two days. Being a small organization, everyone is involved in some way. There has been heightened anxiety over the past few weeks. As a generalisation we know we do a good job, but there is still some anxiety in making sure we have the evidence to prove this.
We passed with flying colours, although there is always room for improvement. It was a positive experience for us. Two years ago, when we had our mid –cycle survey, the two surveyors we had were very business like and not particularly effusive. Working in health care, palliative care in particular, we can be (a bit too?) warm and fuzzy and like to be treated in similar fashion. So some staff found that process to be a negative one. So today, whilst being given areas for improvement, we were also praised for the many areas in which we are doing well. For some staff it was a healing experience.(!) (See what I mean about the warm and fuzzy!!?!)
In theory we should have our systems and processes all in order so that surveyors could come in at any time and be satisfied with what we do, without the mad dash to have all our i’s dotted and t’s crossed in the weeks prior to their visit.
It never seems to work that way however!

Monday, 8 October 2007

Father-Son Relationships

Son arrived home this morning. He had a great time. We learnt a bit today of his time away, but as is his wont, information will come out in the days and weeks to come,. I have a feeling quite a few sentences will begin with “In America they……”. I’ve had a full couple of weeks, with mostly good things, but I have missed having him around.
I was over at my parents yesterday. I have mixed feelings about being with my parents. I like spending time with them because they’re getting older and who knows how long they will be here. When I do spend time with them however, it is highlighted for me how little they know of my life and how close we’re not. I know this is as much my doing as theirs. I grew up feeling that my parents didn’t listen to me and so I slowly withdrew. They’re now at that time in their lives when they are more able to listen (and have been for a while), but over the years I’ve withdraw so far from them that I don’t know how to let them know something of what’s going on in my life (and I’m not just talking of what I had for breakfast and the latest movie I’ve seen). I feel that if I did open up to them there is nearly 30 years of catching up that would be needed to occur.
I feel particularly distant from my father. I think part of that is because there is nothing we ‘do’ together. When I’m over there I help Mum in the garden, something that Dad isn’t into at all. So because I can’t ‘do’ anything with Dad, it makes ‘being’ with him difficult when there is little of any consequence that passes between us.
I used to be arrogant enough to think that I would have the ‘perfect’ relationship with my son, that we would have flawless communication and a ‘smooth’ relationship. I’ve gained enough wisdom to know that that won’t be the case. The difference I hope for in my adult-adult relationship with him over the relationship I have with my own parents is that he will be able to talk with me not only about what’s going on for him in his life, but also that we would be able to talk about our experience of him growing up, from his perspective as a child and from mine as a parent.
Learning from experience, that sort of adult-adult relationship requires open communication in the adult-child relationship. I’m hopeful for an ongoing positive relationship with my son.