Author Archives: Dina

About Dina

Love to draw, using pencil and digital art. Have some graphic design experience. Work in the disability field, mostly creating accessible publications.

It was an autumn day in Melbourne, with unusually warm weather on the day I walked into the laundry room and saw mum bent over the washing machine – almost inside the barrel. She eventually emerged with what appeared to be the entire load of washing in one big large knot.

Not what she had expected.

I see this

I say to her

“Mum let me get those out for you.”

“No, I can do it” she says.

I made a conscious note to remain calm. There was no need for hysteria and yelling, I really needed to grow out of that, there’s a point where…

…I’m distracted by the sounds of grunts.

I look over

I saw mum tugging on that large knot hoping to loosen it. Clothes were not budging, instead seem to be clinging even closer together – as though they had a life of their own.

I lower my voice

I say to her

“Mother…. [note pause here]… please allow me…”

I place my hand on my chest to avoid any confusion of who’s offering the help

“… to help untangle this”

I gently rest of my other hand on her shoulder to maximise sincerity.

She ignored me.

She continued to try to untangle the stubborn knot.

And as I watch her I began to trace her face and saw an expression of sheer determination and will. She was going to get this knot undone – no ifs or buts or help from me thank you. Her arms, in comparison were letting her down.

And I felt a sadness deep in my chest.

And then something inside my head snaps.

“MA I’VE TOLD I’LL DO IT.

I TOLD YOU THREE TIMES I’LL DO IT.

LET ME DO IT.

YOU CAN’T DO IT

AAAHHHGGGGGHGHGHG” !!???!!?!?!!

Hands were now clenched fists and waving in outrage.

Perhaps through her determination, perhaps through the jolt she received from my raised voice, in an epic gladiator move she managed to detach a hand towel. She stood tall and proud clutching the towel.

She steps away.

Lowers her head and quietly says…

“Ok do it”.

 

At some point I made a deal with myself that I wasn’t going to be ‘that’ bitter 40 something year old without kids. That I wouldn’t distance myself from couples with kids and kids parties. And today, I find myself going to great lengths to avoid couples with kids and especially kids parties.

How did I get here? When did this happened?

It took me some time to unpack this, and thought just maybe I’m just bitter. But no. What it took was having to endure the many comments and assumptions made about me without kids.

Like the time a friend was cradling her swollen pregnant belly, rubbing my right arm, saying “It will happen for you too” her head tilted – her eyebrows all droopy.

It wasn’t

And another time when I opened an email from a work colleague apologising for talking about her pregnancy during lunch with the girls and how difficult it must be for me to listen to it.

It wasn’t

And more recently when another friend understood how painful it must have been for me to go through IVF.

I haven’t

At the time, my reaction to these were nothing more than annoyance. Annoyances which I now realise were the beginnings of ‘that’ forty something year old woman. I found those comments somewhat amusing – almost a game as I watched these women frantically search my face for some hint that will confirm their deep insightful and empathetic comments, where in reality, all I heard were stupid and insensitive words. And for the briefest time I was the winner of that game. But today I don’t feel like the winner and these comments have managed to wear me down.

So, deal broken, I am ‘that’ woman, but not bitter just a little tired and wants to hide from the world sometimes.

New links added to my blog:

Podcast

The Murder of Mollie Dean – runs for 50 min. [ABC’s Conversations with Richard Fidler]
A crime from 1930s Melbourne. Mollie Dean was part of Melbourne’s bohemian society. This podcast reveals a chapter of our history – while not pretty, in fact horrific in parts, tells us a little about Melbourne’s bohemian society and how Mollie Dean left her mark on it.

Video

How to photograph your artwork – runs for 8 minutes

 

I’ve decided I needed more flow in my life, and what better way to do that than with food. So I thought I’d share with you my cooking flow.

Saturday:
Make a plan
Make a shopping list.
Don’t check the pantry to see that I already have half the stuff on the list.
Go to the super market.
Buy ingredients.

Sunday:
Make stuff.

Monday:
Breakfast covered.
Lunch is covered. Everyone at work is wowing at my meal.

Tuesday:
Coffee for breakfast, and lunch is covered.

Wednesday:
Unable to eat my lunch cause it taste (and looks) revolting. Buy my lunch – usually deep fried shit.

Thursday:
Continue to buy shit and way over priced food.

Friday:
Add alcohol.

2 weeks later & 3 kilos heavier ….

Saturday:
Make a plan….

*****

Do you have a cooking flow?

**The receipt is taken from Sarah Wilson – I Quit Sugar for Life

 

 

This girl I just adored. She was just so beautifully herself. And Yes – she’s sulking. Which is why I called her Ms Sulky

I hadn’t really noticed Ms Sulky fooling around in the pool with (what appeared to be) her younger (and much thinner) sister. At the time I was blissfully content drinking beer and snorting hot chips, whilst spread(ing) on a beach chair.  I reckon Ms Sulky was about 10 years old – and her sister about 7 years old.

What did grab my attention was when the two girls started to argue. Great, I thought – some entertainment to go with my snacks. Ms Sulky was clearly outraged about something. So much so that she couldn’t bear to be in her sister’s company anymore and stomped out of the pool. And by stomp – I mean stomp – water flying everywhere – she really needed to get away from her – and very loudly at that. Then Ms Sulky found herself a spot on the edge of the pool, slapped her wet bottom on it (which sounded like it might have hurt) and with all her furry sank into her shoulders in protest – long enough for me to draw her.

I so admired her. How she expressed her emotions so openly and had little concern for disrupting (or in my case amuse) those around her. I recognised her. She’s a free and open spirit yet to be constrained by fear of other’s judgement. She hasn’t built herself a mask or set herself rules to conform to what is socially acceptable. I can’t imagine her to be a cunning person, not someone capable of plotting a murder that’s for sure. She simply cannot contain her emotions when an injustice has occurred. It also appeared that she’s unable to stay focused for very long. On anything I suspect. It wasn’t long before her body softened, she raised her head to find a way to re-engage with her sister. And before I knew it she very quietly entered the pool and started to fool around with her sister as though nothing happened.

Looking at that sketch always makes me smile. Here’s to those who show us their warts and all. You make it easier to know you and love you.

Australia: Confession & Canon Law

Commission-canon-law201217

In Australia, A Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was conducted over 5 years. Apart from highlighting major injustices that have occurred in our institutions it also made a number of recommendations.  One which was –  The ministry of churches (not just the Catholic Church) should not be exempt from reporting information discovered in religious confession.

References:
Royal commission: Celibacy and confessional overhaul proposed in child sex abuse findings http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-15/royal-commission-into-child-abuse-makes-almost-200-new-findings/9261286
Breaking the seal of confession could pit church against state http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-14/breaking-the-seal-of-confession-could-pit-church-against-state/8805126
15 recommendations from the royal commission into child sexual abuse you should know about http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-15/royal-commission-recommendations-you-should-know-about/9262758
Royal commission: Celibacy and confessional overhaul proposed in child sex abuse findings http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-15/royal-commission-into-child-abuse-makes-almost-200-new-findings/9261286

 

You know that rare morning, where you both wake up at the same time, and just chat away. No plans other than picking up your fav. book and sipping that first coffee of the day.

Even as I type this, I hear the voices of protests from others. “At least you can” – “You don’t have kids thats why I can do it” – “I would love to be able to do that just once” and on and on it goes.

And as I type away, I realise just how those comments have the ability to make me feel a little guilty to express those moments so instead I just draw them (and blog about them).

“Well you don’t know what it’s like to have kids”
“They are constantly demanding”
(can you hear that? that’s the constant eye role that comes with all the down sides to having kids).