Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Time Travel

This week my youngest will take off to Vanuatu on her first independent holiday. I say independent because it is without any of us, her nuclear family, but she will be travelling with her beau to his family home.
Naturally, I am remembering my own first trip away. I had been dating my boyfriend for almost a year when, without any warning at all, he announced that he had overstayed his visa and immigration had been to his shared accommodation looking for him. I don't remember how long it took but his stuff was packed and a ticket home purchased in double quick time. With great generosity and huge naivety, I accepted that he hadn't known how to tell me his status and all was forgiven. He left and I stayed here to work and pursue my studies.
After six months or thereabouts, I got myself a ticket to go and see him while we waited for the immigration process to allow him back in Australia.
The airport queues were long and by the time I made it onto the plane, I was being paged, one of the very last to board. It was all a bit excruciating for me as a green 19 year old.
Some well meaning person had suggested that I should dress up for the long awaited reunion. I was leaving a cool Sydney spring and arriving in the tropics so I had worn the skirt from a summer suit with an angora jumper, swapping the jumper for the suit jacket in the plane toilet at the end of the flight. It was a special kind of madness.
I will never forget the moment I stepped into the air bridge in Kuala Lumpur. The air had a particular smell about it and the humidity was a stifling force. There were many, many security men lined up through the airport, they were mostly shorter than me (Australian men- in- uniform are almost universally taller than I am) and they all carried a very obvious shotgun.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Better than the scalpel

Years ago my mum had what she thought was probably a skin cancer. The details are blurry for me now but I think it was behind her ear. At the same time there was an herbalist who attended our church and Mum must have mentioned this skin lesion to him because next thing (or as the kids would say nek minnit) she was off to his clinic to get the thing treated.
The herbalist applied a magical ointment, slapped a band aid on and told mum to wait. It stung a bit and came up red and inflamed, a scab formed and later dropped off and the lesion was gone.
This was my introduction to what I now know as black salve, also known as bloodroot salve, after the herbal ingredient.

At the time I wondered why mum had to go to the clinic to get an ointment put on and I still don't know for sure what the answer to that question is but it is illegal to sell black salve in Australia so I have to assume that our friend was taking steps to stay within the law.

At some stage we got hold of a teeny tiny vial of black salve and I have used it to remove a number of very small skin cancers myself. After a few uses the teeny tiny vial was empty and, no longer in contact with the herbalist, I went on a search for another source. One supplier has found a clever way around the legal situation, supplying an instructional dvd and kit for making your own. Another supplier I have heard of will sell ready made salve for use on pets. I find it all rather ingenious.

I once removed a small cancer from my nose and from the reaction of my skin, I knew that there was a lot of pre-cancerous sun damage there so I recently decided to treat the other side of my nose, just in case. Again, there was quite a reaction. The salve doesn't do anything at all to healthy skin, just sits there looking black. Where there is something abnormal, the salve initiates an increased immune response so the body cleans up the weird cells it previously missed.

My kids think the photos are "gross" so those with a weak tummy can look away now but it's really pretty tame and for anyone who is interested, I thought the photos are worth sharing.

Day 1
Day 2

Day 4

Day 6

Friday, 11 November 2016

Tell us about Yourself.....

I have come across this question a few times lately and it's not a question I like, so open ended you can answer with anything or nothing and who knows which bits to talk about?
Savvy job hunters probably have a prepared answer for it but if I was a recruiter I wouldn't put much value on a prepared answer, designed to look good. I think I would find out more if I asked a person what they like to read or what their favourite TV show is. I would certainly make some snap judgements (rightly or not) based on food choices.

Of course, job interviews are not the only place where a catchy profile or condensed biography are used, loads of bloggers have an identity statement: some witty, some factual.
I never wrote one because I thought that anyone reading here often enough would know what they needed to and nobody else mattered much but I have, over the years, wondered how to describe myself.

Today I read a profile saying "Home schooling, Jesus loving mama" and didn't care to look much further. Even though I was once attracted to the idea of home schooling and identify as Christian, "home schooling, Jesus loving" is just too....too... Christian right? Bible belt? wholesome?
Then there is Ursula, defining herself right up front in her blog's title "Bitch on the Blog" and immediately attractive for taking the piss out of herself.
There are a lot of bloggers who describe themselves by their relationships and while I love relationships, (some of them) I always think it's good to define a person by their self: what do you like to do? how do you relate to the world? what would define you if you were alone in the world?

Next time I face the "tell us about yourself" question I probably still won't have an answer but I will know what I don't want to say.