Middle Aged Womens Stuff: Making the Most of Midlife

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French Chic with Marie-Anne LeCoeur

There aren’t many people who are willing to even consider chasing their dreams, particularly not when it entails giving up your sole stable source of income, but Marie-Anne did exactly that.   “You only live once, Ka-REN” (say in a strong French accent) “And, like most people, I felt like I had a book in …

Woop Woop!

“Hmm, where’s Karen got to? I haven’t heard or seen her online for months. Maybe she’s given up on the whole blogging thing?” I’m sure HEAPS of people have been saying EXACTLY that, I’m sure of it. I’ve been busy doing new stuff, in particular, learning how to podcast, and today’s the big day, the …

Menopause, Marriage and Motherhood

Kiss and Makeup

I’m going out to a special event tonight: my friend’s 40th birthday bash. She’s a high profile online entrepreneur who likes to dress in designer gears and who spends a fortune on makeup at Chanel. I don’t really do makeup. Mascara, yes, but that kind of doesn’t count as makeup. I keep trying to wear …

Menopause, Marriage and Motherhood

I Am A Hot Rock Chick

I found out something interesting yesterday. And I’m not very happy about it. Here I was, sitting back, smugly enjoying the fact that I can completely justify every single resentment that I hold, every grudge, every regret, when someone pointed out that (in the English language at least) we “harbour” them all. We pride ourselves …

Menopause, Marriage and Motherhood

Not much of a girl

I’ve always felt that I’m not really a girl. Or rather, I am a girl but I’m not a ‘proper’ girl, a ‘real’ girl, a ‘girly’ girl. Personally, I blame my parents, it’s all their fault. Their siblings had many, many male children and few female ones and when I was five, my parents moved …

I Just Don’t Like Music… Apparently

I love it when life presents me with new ideas, new skills to learn, new things. While I might get a bit scared at first, I love strapping on my big boots, picking up my rucksack and heading off into the Great Unknown looking for the Next Big Adventure. Which is why I’m now the …

Australia is big. I mean, really big.

Australia is big. That’s stating the obvious, right, but it’s all very well to know that in an abstract, classroom kind of way; it’s quite a different thing to experience it. Australia is big. The advantages of living in the EU When we lived in the UK, John and I would get in the car, …

My Family and Other Animals

My family and other animals When I was at senior school, back in the dim mists of time as far as my teenaged daughter is concerned, we were given Gerald Durrell’s book My Family & Other Animals to read. I remember quite clearly being offended by the title on behalf of his family. Personally, I …

(Potentially) Harmful Habits

Out of the blue A couple of months ago, an old friend, Jane, got in touch with me completely out of the blue. In one of the bizarre twist s that life likes to put on us, we discovered that we were both going through pretty much exactly the same things in our lives. The …

How to be playful

Regrets Between you and me, I’m seriously regretting certain of my actions right now. An old friend got in touch with me completely out of the blue and I was so impressed by her energy and attitude to life that, before I knew what was happening, I’d signed up to join her on a personal …

A moral dilemma

Moral dilemma The universe recently presented me with a very interesting moral dilemma. A big one. It’s really, really fascinating to see what went through my head. And, by the way, my kids are going to be mortified when they read this, but that happens sometimes in life, doesn’t it? I don’t want to name …

Little S**t of a Pony

I’ve always loved horses, so it was only natural when Kira expressed a desire to learn how to ride, that I enrolled the kids into riding lessons. I have to go onto a bit of a side track here: if one kid did something, then most of the time, they all did it. Extra curricular …

The beginning and the end of hormones

 I’ve just finished my first “Abs, Butts & Thighs” class. You know you’ve had a good leg workout when you have to hang on to the handrail to get down the stairs. Tomorrow is going to be interesting, to say the least. I love feeling physically fit and being physically tired, it’s one of the …

Not a country girl, then?

I could never quite understand my cousin Julie (I’ve changed her name. Regardless of the fact that she lives over the other side of the world, I’m still not going to invite her wrath). She is a week younger than me, we look similar – same height, same kind of weight (back then, anyway), same …

The lengths to which I go…

The lengths I go to to keep my husband alive and in one piece (and hence able to earn a decent crust for the family)… While my husband is unconcernedly swinging on the end of a rope ten metres up in the air, having gracefully ascending a climbing wall, making the whole thing look ridiculously …

Intolerant Old Bag

As I write that title, I’m beginning to wonder something: our bodies reflect our minds (so the new age, mindset kind of books say), in which case, is what’s going on with my body a reflection of what’s going on with my mind? Am I mentally becoming an intolerant old bag and that’s why my …

Pass the Valium, please!

I’m in this bizarre space where I’m flitting between pride, excitement, severe worry and sleepless nights. And we’re nowhere close to the time of The Event. Last November, Keeley asked if she could go on exchange with school this year. “Sure!” says I, keen for her to spread her wings and experience the world in …

Menopause, Marriage and Motherhood

When the Post Holiday Blues bite

I went to the laundry twice on holiday. Hoping to forestall at least some of the post-holiday pile of washing. But no matter how hard I try, no matter what hopeful strategies I put in place, a few hours after we’ve arrived back home, my laundry looks like a volcano. A volcano that’s spewing smelly, …

A bit of a breeze

One of the wonderful things about living in Perth is the Fremantle Doctor. Every afternoon… Actually, I’ll rephrase that. MOST afternoons he comes to visit the sweltering suburbs, bringing relief in the form of what the Sand Gropers (Western Australians) call “a light breeze”. It quickly became blatantly obvious that my idea of a “light …

A Masterclass in Losing Your Lunch Stylishly

I’m not talking about leaving your lunch behind when you head off for school or work here, I’m talking about vomiting. Puking. Barfing. Chundering. Praying to the Porcelain God. Regurgitating. Spewing. Upchucking. Throwing Up. Doing the technicolour yawn. I have been blessed with a child who can do all of these things WITH STYLE. The …

Christmas Cheer

It’s Christmas, the time of year when all my angst and anxieties about money are dusted off, dragged into the spotlight, dressed up in tinsel and baubles, and sprinkled with glitter. I buy too many presents for too many people who don’t really matter to me. There’s always those little (or not so little) things …

I just wanted to be a Mermaid

We’re on a diving course at the moment, as in SCUBA diving. John and I first learned how to do SCUBA when we first landed in Australia in 1991. I was always a keen aquatic and one of my biggest dreams as a child was to be a mermaid. More specifically, I wanted to be …

Stick with us weirdos

One of my great long-distance driving Stay-Awake tools is singing along to Robbie Williams. At top volume. I can’t sing for toffee, as Keeley so graciously confirmed once. I was happily squawking along to some swing tune or other, aiming for the high notes and missing by quite a long way. Busily trying to harmonise …

Being backstabbed

I’ve been thinking there was something wrong with me for the last few weeks. I’ve felt more and more listless, unable to sit at the computer and write, unable to get a string of words together. I make sure that I exercise and do all that stuff; after learning the hard way, I know that …

Big Bows and Sparkles

As I wander through Broadbeach, I feel like I need to give myself a good shake and wake up. This is a bizarre dream, right? Or some kind of not-so-scary nightmare? Surely I wasn’t actually awake and walking down the streets of a tourist-focused beachside suburb. Something weird is going on. I look around and …

Fire Walking

What do I want? I shook myself, trying to regain some semblance of control of what was going on inside my head and quell some of the more strident voices that are clamouring for attention. Get a grip, I told myself, these are my thoughts, I am in charge here, it’s time to stop. Just …