Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Things that make you go ... (3) "mmmmmmm :-)"

Because, dear Readers, it would be unkind of me to leave you with the lasting mental images of cockroaches and my leg-waxing extravaganza, I thought I should finish up this series of entries with something a little more pleasant.

This morning (whilst in the process of the aforementioned waxing experience) I received a text message from my Hobart friend Rosalind, who happened to be in Melbourne and had some free time before an engagement this afternoon. So I met up with her, and dragged her (kicking and screaming, of course!) to the East Brunswick end of Lygon St to introduce her to the GeloBar.

We enjoyed a healthy, salad-based lunch, followed by an indulgence in some of the gelati for which the GeloBar is renowned.

And a good time was had by all!

Mmmmmmmmmm :-)

Things that make you go ... (2) "OUCH!"

WARNING: The following blog entry contains references to pain, violence and female body parts which some (especially male) readers may find disturbing, offensive or just downright bewildering.

It has been a long time since I last had a full leg wax.

Today I remembered why that is so (and also that the last time I inflicted this torture masquerading as a 'beauty treatment' on myself, it was because I had just missed out on getting a job I applied for, and was wanting to feel pain in an immediate and physical way).

Because the weather has been rather warm (see my earlier post on temperature issues) I have found myself wearing shorts on a fairly regular basis, and have also found that my usual (although grossly overdue) "half leg wax" (ie from the knees down) doesn't help much when one is wearing shorts... I seem to be 'blessed' with very hairy thighs, which become very noticeable when sporting shorts. So today to mark the first week of the academic year, I decided to do something about this.

And now, after enduring 45 minutes of feeling every hair ripped violently from its bed in the various parts of my legs (and for what it's worth, the most painful region was from the back of the knees, ripping up the back of the thigh.. followed closely by the bikini line) I can confirm without any doubt that I am definitely not cut out to be an ascete.

Yes, I know: "too much information!" Just deal with it.

Things that make you go ... (1) "URGGGHHHH!!!!"

This morning, whilst lying abed, I was rudely awakened from my slumbers by the sensation of something crawling across the back of my left hand. My instant, unthinking reflex was to sit bolt upright in bed and brush the offending thing off my hand.

By this time I had gained some semblance of cognitive consciousness, and noticed a dark shadow on my pillow; presumably the offending object. Upon turning on the light, I was alarmed to note that it was a nasty, big, brown cockroach... and (again, another unthinking reflex response) grabbed a tissue, and dispatched the creature to the great cockroach haven in the sky, depositing its earthly remains in my bedside bin.

The mind boggles to even contemplate where else the little vermin might have crawled before rousing me from sleep.....

URRGGHHHHH!!!! Have I mentioned before how much I hate these creepy crawly mainland vermin?

PS- since my return from placement and holidays, the tally is: Caro 8: cockroaches 0
(gotta love the effect of a good spray of Baygon around the kitchen floor!)

Monday, February 26, 2007

And so the year commences...

Yes, I know, we are almost two full months into 2007, but the 'year'; ie the academic year, has just officially commenced for me, and my fellow ministerial candidates.

On Tuesday and Wednesday last week, all faculty and candidates from the Uniting Church Theological College had our annual Commencement Camp at the lovely Pallotti College in the Yarra Valley.

(Don't ask me where that is. Those of you who know me well will understand that I am directionally challenged, and even though I drove my car to the camp, I only got there thanks to the directions of one of my fellow travellers, who seemed to enjoy taking me up on the invitation to "tell me where to go".)

The Commencement Camp was a special time especially for the new candidates joining us this year, to get to know the rest of us candidates and the faculty who will be teaching us and travelling with us socially and pastorally on the journey of ministerial formation. At last year's camp, I was very excited ("what a surprise!" I hear you say- you cheeky thing!) I had just arrived in Melbourne from Hobart, and was still getting used to the idea of being on the Big Island again... as well as the excitement at the newness of the whole Theological College experience, and wondering what the year would hold for me.

This year, there was still a strong element of excitement, but it was tempered with the knowledge that I am no longer a wet-behind-the-ears-first-year candidate, but a big-grown-up-second-year, and so this carries with it some responsibilities. Firstly, to empathise with the newcomers to our community, to try to help them feel welcome, to understand the bewildering jargon and TLAs* that seem to be bandied around at every turn (and of course, to help them understand the arcane and complex mysteries of how the UCATC relates to the UFT, which relates to the MCD (see what I mean about TLAs?!)

I also experienced a sense of grief (albeit a mild one), that some of the key people who were present at Commencement Camp last year weren't there this time round, as they had exited from the college during 2006 (in fact the rest of my carload of fellow-travellers from last year: Avril, Sally and Kylie, were all absent from this year's camp). But I suppose that just highlights the fact that life is full of changes, and whilst we need to value and honour the past, we also need to live in the present, embracing the change, and also looking ahead to the future.

Academic classes start for me on Tuesday, and my semester is looking interesting and a little busy although the timetable itself is reasonably civilised:
Tuesday morning: Making, Housing & Feeding Christians
Tuesday evening: Contemporary Christian Ethics
Thursday afternoon: Christology
Intensive unit over 4 full Saturdays: Educating and Ministering Through Life Passages
Friday all day: our usual Friday Program, which in first semester includes the 2nd year Worship and Preaching unit.

I am also hoping to keep my Hebrew language from atrophying by doing weekly informal reading sessions (1hr per week with Prof Howard Wallace and a couple of other students)

During first semester, I am also exercising the other side of my brain by taking a Story telling course which runs on Thursday evenings during March and May. This will be a very practical and creative course, so hopefully will also be fun (and help me in my continuing journey to become more proficient and confident at giving children's talks in church).

So, my timetable will be full, but hopefully manageable, and of course, very exciting.... I can't wait to get stuck into the reading and study (yes, I know, I am a sick, twisted puppy)

So- bring it on! I can't wait! :-)

*TLAs = Three-Letter Acronyms

Sunday, February 18, 2007

hot... Hot... HOT!!!

... and I don't mean in a good way (like, "that green chicken curry was hot," or, "Jamie Durie will win Dancing with the Stars because he is hot")

As I sit in my upstairs study, with the blinds down to keep the heat out, and the overhead fan on the landing going full belt, the thermometer reads 36C.

I am sweating.

My wrists are sliding along the wrist-rest of my keyboard and leaving slimy patches when I lift my hands to wipe the sweat off my face.

I have been having trouble sleeping because of the heat, but last night was worse than the previous couple, as one of the residents of the house next door decided he was unhappy about something... and expressed that unhappiness in no uncertain terms... very loudly and with much profanity... at about 4am... for about half an hour.

Not... happy... Jan !

Hopefully, he will cool down (and the weather will too) so we can all get some sleep tonight.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On this Day...

Exactly one year ago, I arrived in Melbourne, off the ferry from Tasmania.

I was a blubbering wreck,
crying at the drop of a hat, and resembling a sleep-deprived zombie.
(which of course, made a great first impression on staff at the theological college when I finally arrived there to collect the keys to my flat)

Ahhh... memories! :-)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

People are strange

Well, yes, I'm sure we all knew that already, but in recent days I have seen evidence that is truly mind-boggling.

Where my parents live in Sydney, the local council has regular kerbside clean up days, where people can put all their larger rubbish, that doesn't fit into the regular rubbish collection, out on the nature strip for collection.

Most people start putting their junk out a week or so before the appointed date, and once the piles of junk start appearing, the scavengers come out from the woodwork. The neighbours across the road from my parents have been doing some renovating, so their collection of junk included various building materials, including a vanity unit from one of their bathrooms. Needless to say, the vanity disappeared very early in the piece.

The nextdoor neighbours put out a small picnic chair, with an aluminium tube frame, and yesterday a man in a big van pulled up, produced a trusty hacksaw, and cut up the frame, took the al tubing, and left the seat and back panels (which had also disappeared by this morning).

Now my parents and I had also put some stuff out on the kerb, but so far it had not been touched. We had seen people doing slow drive-bys in cars and vans, checking out what was on the lawns, and a couple of people had actually come over to look at our pile, but nothing had been taken. I wasn't quite sure whether to be relieved, or offended that our rubbish wasn't as good or worthy of scavenging as that of our neighbours.

However, today, the family ego was assuaged, as a man in a silver sedan car, came and had a good look at our pile, and ended up carting off an old mirror (which had been a bathroom cupboard door at one stage), and a large green felt pin board which many years ago had hung in my bedroom.

But as I said, people are strange... both those who scavenge amid the piles of discarded waste, and those who get some sort of satisfaction from the knowledge that their rubbish is worthy of salvage.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How sweet it is!

I have finally succumbed... living in Hobart, and then Melbourne, meant that for many years I have been safe from the scourge of Krispy Kreme donuts, which has been mostly a Sydney icon. Hearing all about the addictive qualities of Krispy Kremes from Jo was quite enough for me, without the need to ever eat them myself.

Well, today, I said goodbye to my "Krispy Kreme virginity" when lunching with a friend at Macquarie Centre.

Mmmmmmmmmm..... traditional glazed..... mmmm... lucky I'm heading home on Monday... and the Melbourne Krispy Kreme outlet is far enough from Brunswick to be safe.

Thanks so much for that, Josh... just what I need, another sweet addiction!