It’s officially been a big day.

A big day, a crazy busy week, a hectic month, and a hell of a year.

Perhaps by way of example, I can provide an insight into the busyness of the last week or two by describing the number of messes we’ve had to clean up this evening. Firstly, there was wine glass that smashed when the box of straws were being pulled from the cupboard. The straws were destined to go into the banana smoothies that the kids were having for dessert. Glass went everywhere. Quite possibly into the waiting smoothies, so not only did the bench have to be cleaned up but the shakes had to be remade.

Then there was the glass of port that was knocked over, all over the computer desk and keyboard. And lastly the dog knocked over a couple of pot plants, smashing one ceramic pot and getting potting mix in the basket of clean washing that was sitting below the coffee table upon which the plants had been placed.

We are supposed to be celebrating tonight, for today the final hard bound copy of my thesis was submitted this morning. Finally. For it has been a long, slow journey. (I started in 2001, close to ten years ago. I studied part-time, deferred at one point, had two kids. My thesis was a very stop/start enterprise. But, it’s done now, truly done and dusted). Apparently it will all be official next week when I receive the letter that declares that I’ve officially qualified for the degree of PhD. (Woohoo, WOOT! And all that jazz!).

So this morning while I was somewhat preoccupied with the lovely bound copies of my thesis that I received yesterday and had to get to the right office today, our dog was taken to the vet to be desexed. In the extra rushed morning rush I completely forgot to send with my daughter the music for the song she had chosen to sing in today’s audition. She was trying out for her school’s talent show that is being held next week. It wasn’t until I pulled up at school to pick her up this afternoon that it dawned on me that she’d gone to school without it. As she came out of the gate I apologised, but was complimented by one of the teachers on her strong clear voice. Apparently, she had gotten up and managed to sing “A whole new world” fairly well without any musical accompaniment. Phew. So she made it through the audition, and will be singing in next week’s show, with or without the music, the choice is hers.

So the beagle has been inside all evening (knocking things over due to his surgery collar) while he recovers from his operation, so we decided not to go out to celebrate the finally submitted thesis. Perhaps festive season fatigue is also factor in our decision to keep things low key tonight. We had the lad’s Christmas concert last night, my work Xmas party tomorrow night and my husband’s the following night.

So I’m sharing my news with you tonight. It still feels surreal at the moment. It’s kinda hard to get excited right now. I mean, I’m quietly excited. That’s the problem with being as laid back as I am, excitement is more of a slow burn than an intense flare.

I just said to my husband “I’m hoping next week’s letter makes it feel real. I still feel as if someone could pull the rug out from under me, like I haven’t crossed my “i’s” and dotted my “t’s”. ” He replied “There’s your problem, you crossed where you should have dotted and dotted where you should have crossed”. Oh Frack! 😉

Anyhow, enough from me. I hope that the silly season is not wearing you right out and that joy, friendship and love come your way. If you need some good reading, please check out the latest Down Under Feminists Carnival, its full (as usual) of feminist goodness and awesome writing. My current plan is to finish my glass of port and get a good night’s sleep. Night!

Rambling greetings from a neglected blog

Hello, hello, anyone out there?

*Cough, Cough* Hmm, dusty.

What’s been happening?

Is that…? –  Yes, I do believe that’s tumbleweed.

*Clears tumbleweed, chases down dust bunnies, frantically tidies*

Ok, here we are. So yeah, I have rather neglected this blog haven’t I? Turned my back on it, done other things, seen other people, been busy and all that. So what have I been up that has kept me so occupied that I haven’t summoned the energy to comment on the election? Which, incidentally has produced an eminently interesting result, even through at this point (two weeks post-election) we are still not sure what that result is.

Well there’s been a range of things occupying my time and my mind.

You may know that I started full time (paid) work in February. Well, this full time employment gig keeps you busy doesn’t it? Having never worked in a full time salaried position before I expected this to be a shock to my system but really the busyness has actually been less than the proceeding months in which I completed the PhD thesis. Yes, I don’t know whether I mentioned it or not, but I handed in the thesis on the same day that I started my job. Probably not the best way to start but there you go, that’s the way it happened.

So what was it like submitting the thesis, this thing that I’d been labouring inconsistently over for the better part of nine years? Anticlimactic, truth be told.  (It was handed in 6 and a half months ago, and I haven’t yet heard how I’ve gone, so that’s a little…annoying, shall we say).

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In other things you do that keep  you away from blogging, we moved house in June. It was the 26th of June. Two days after Australia got its first female PM. The house that we moved out off we returned to a week later and spent the next two weeks painting, renovating, removing junk from, and generally preparing for market (all the while I was still juggling the full time jig, it just doesn’t conveniently fade away when one has other priorities does it?). Anyway, in news to make you sigh with relief, that house was promptly sold (and settled yesterday actually, so yay, we no longer have pay two mortgages).

I may sound flippant about move and the sell but I’m quietly sad. It was our first house – a charming two bedroom miners cottage. A dump when we moved in, and nicely restored inside when we moved out. When we bought it, we intended to be there maybe five years. Then we thought we’d buy something bigger and start our family.  Well, of course, best laid plans and all that jazz. We ended up staying eight and a half years, and twelve months after we moved in I fell pregnant. So when we moved out it was with two kids and a dog and an excess of stuff. The kids and the stuff necessitated the purchase of, and move to a bigger place.

Been here in the new house for the last two and a half months and it still doesn’t quite feel like home, yet. I’m sure that’ll change. My daughter loves it here. She now has her own room and thinks that this larger house, with the nicer outlook and the handy proximity to a park is the best place in the world (Ahhhh, to look at the world with the eyes of a child – I look at this house and I see another house that needs major renovation work).

My son is not so happy. He keeps asking to ‘go home’. The morning after we moved in, we awoke to the sounds of his sobbing and he told his father that he was scared. Then he vomited all over me. And I thought to myself, “Yep, we are officially moved in now”. (Doesn’t everyone christen a new house with some sort of bodily fluid?, actually don’t think deeply on that question, it was silly and a bit dirty). It takes a drama to make a house yours, and our first drama arrived less than 24 hours after we did.

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There’s been other stuff too. “Issues” you might say. IRL deterioration of a precious relationship which has tainted blogging. So rather than blog, I’ve spent the last few months lurking in my fav places (see the blogroll if you can’t contain your curiousity),  and on twitter and improving my bejewelled stats. You know, concentrating on the important things. And keeping up with that shit is really tiring you know. Exhausting actually.

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In other news we got a puppy. This is Billy.

Cheeky mischevious hole digging not yet house trained Beagle

Billy

The Down Under Feminists Carnival is here!

And I do mean literally here! Because this month I am pleased to be your host for the 21st Edition.

So let me pour you a cuppa (how do you take it?) and let’s enjoy this over high tea, shall we?

Well that’s January been and gone. What has happened in the last month?

It seems to have been a quiet month on the blogging front, what with the summer heat and rain and holidays and back to school and the myriad of other things going on this time of year, but there is still plenty to enjoy in terms of feminist writing.

The New Year has been seen in:

And we’ve been wished a Happy New Year! by Capitalism Bad; Tree Pretty. And there has been some farewells too, leading Queen Emily to question The legacies of trans-exclusive feminism at her post at Hoyden About Town.

There has been some great discussion about things relating to the domestic sphere – the home, house and family concerns.

Tansy Rayner Roberts has been Writing While The House is Messy at tansyrr.com.

Parenting is a perennial topic, and January saw discussion of the added complexities when the parenting is being done by a step-parent. Stepmum Of The Year wonders Rights? What rights should step parents have? and Stef at A Touch of the Crazy is inquiring Does stepparenting = step-mothering?

Meanwhile, Sophie at 2 B Sophora paints a poignant picture of One woman and her guard.

As usual with feisty feminist writers there has been some great posts relating to Race, Rights and Identity

A shiny new coin muses on taxes and toilets. Tigtog, at Hoyden About Town, looks at Complacency, Indifference and Intent (or lack thereof) in terms of the discussion around the attacks on Indian students. Chally makes it clear that Disability is not your analogy at Zero at the Bone, and she examines The Privileges and Pains of Passing. Stephiepenguin examines her racial identity and muses and it looks like… posted at 天高皇企鹅远.  In examining identity and insults girliejones wonders Do some insults hurt less?

January 23 was Blogging for Choice Day  – this year with the theme of ‘Trust Women’

Deborah – In a strange land,  asks that we  Trust women, and Tigtog was also Blogging for Choice,  at   Hoyden About Town.

In addition to trust, respect was also a bit of a reoccurring theme this month.

Chally reminds us of The importance of women’s friendships at Zero at the Bone.  Deborah In a strange land sends a Note to Mike Rann: the title is “Ms”. Pharaoh Katt asks that we respect children and their bodies and not  Name and Shame them at Something More Than Sides.

The disrespectful and denigrating of image of the older woman as the ‘cougar’ seems to be an increasing presence in popular culture and thankfully this is being critiqued.  Fuck Politeness writes of Karaoke and cougars. Julie at The Hand Mirror suggests that there has been Vileness, and a bit of irony, from Air NZ and she gives us More on Air NZ’s cougar rubbish. The Luddite Journo asks why Those damn cougars just won’t lie back and think of England ?

Posts pertaining to politics and activism.

Deborah at In a strange land gives us A fabulous resource for feminists, womanists, disabilism activists, equality activists. January’s been an interesting month politically and Rachel Hills at Musings of an Inappropriate Woman has Sex advice for my future children… inspired by Tony Abbott. At the frogblog,  Catherine Delahunty asks Will Cathy Taewa get answers from Paula and Nick?

Posts pertaining to Body image and Sexuality

The bad news, according to The Dawn Chorus, is that Female Ejaculation Doesn’t Exist.   Also, did you know that Jennifer Hawkins does ‘real beauty’ wrong – In case you hadn’t realised blue milk examines the fallout from ‘that’ magazine cover.

Posts pertaining to fashion and rape culture – unfortunately paired together because all you need to know about rape culture has been encapsulated on some men’s T-shirt

(trigger warnings for the links to the posts in this section)

Chally, writing at Feministe looks at the offending and offense shirts in Today in selling misogyny and LudditeJourno has learnt that from said fashion items that It’s not rape if you yell surprise. If that’s what being sold and worn does the existence of such Virtual realities: Sydney University’s “pro-rape” Facebook group surprise anyone? It doesn’t surprise Chloe  at Feministing.

The dismissal from court of a particular gang rape case has led to Emma Hart at Public Address fantasising about chocolate mousse aerosol cans so that we can get All Together Now.

The rules of consent still apply in a group sex situation. Which is why it also doesn’t help when, at the other end of the spectrum, people say that women can’t consent to group sex, or will only do so under social pressure, or maybe only think they do because they’re buying into a male viewpoint. Both viewpoints assume that group sex is always one woman and a group of men. Both remove the emphasis from whether the woman said yes or no – because how can I have the ability to say no unless I also have a meaningful ability to say yes?

Of course, someone has once again blamed Feminism for the rise of raunch culture, but the news with nipples has been writing about Feminism and dolls in order to set them straight.

Posts pertaining to the Media and Movies

Rachel Hills presents Sex & The City and the great (feminist?) quest for love at her blog Musings of an Inappropriate Woman.

Lauredhel gives us Arsevertising*: Will You Be Ready For Your First Time? posted at Hoyden About Town. And she also examines That Homebirth Study in South Australia that was blatantly misrepresented in the media, also at Hoyden About Town.

Tansy Rayner Roberts  at tansyrr.com gives us a review of The Princess and the Frog.

Miscellaneous Musings

Kiwi back in Sydney! gives us a lovely walk through the Melbourne: CERES Garden. Jo Tamar at Wallaby has been Talking about mansplaining…. While meganwegan at Craft is the New Black reflects on Honesty, Anarkaytie gives us a Follow-up to academic feminism to be found at Anarkaytie’s Weblog.

Writing and Sci Fi

girlie jones not only looks at  the latest in female presence in SF ToCs but she asks do You know what’s fun to read in the debate on gender disparity in SF? .

And to see the carnival off, Whileawaying invites us to a Book Launch!

Well, its been lovely hosting you. I hope that you’ve enjoyed the tea and the writing.

Next month the carnival will be at Fuck Politeness‘ place. And don’t forget to submit (see here) – your own posts and those of other down under feminists that you’ve enjoyed reading this February.

I finally got something from my Christmas wish list!

So today I acquired a Honda Cub 90, which was the second thing on my fantasy wish list.  I’m going to use it to get my motorcycle license and slowly work up to the Cafe racer style bike of my dreams (in all that spare time I’ve got -Ha! ) Anyhow in the meantime this is my new theme song.

(Except I’ll be the one at the front of the bike, not gyrating most irresponsibly off the back like those women in the clip whose antics I totally don’t endorse).