Storm In A B-Cup

Family History and the Skeletons in the Closet

Today marks the start of NaBloPoMo for June.  I swear I’m going to do better this month.  Seriously.  So here’s today’s prompt:

Monday, June 3, 2013
How many generations can you go back in your family?  What do you know about your oldest ancestors?

My family history – my Nanna would have me believe – is a long and interesting one.  Except that I don’t know anything about it, really.  I know that Nanna has researched back many, many generations, but I couldn’t tell you exactly how many.

What she has told me is some of the more…colourful, perhaps?…facts about my family’s past.  An example of this might be that on my Dad’s side, I have an ancestor who was a Duke in England and was sent to the colonies (ie here, Australia) for being a drunk.

I have many different cultures in my heritage.  My mum’s side is German, mostly, and English.  Dad’s side is mostly Scottish, but we also have English, Scandinavian and who knows what else.  My sister is fond of saying that we are vikings, but I’m not so sure about that.

Wow, I really thought I knew more about my family’s past than that, but it seems that I don’t.  Time for a visit with Nanna to learn more about my heritage!

Are there any skeletons in the closet of your family’s history?

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Playing Catch Up with NaBloPoMo

I’ve been really really slack with keeping up with NaBloPoMo so far, so today I’m going to catch up the last few days’ posts, all in one post.

What is your biggest comfort food?  Share the recipe if you have one.

My biggest comfort food is anything chocolate – really.  But especially my mum’s caramel slice, something she always made around Christmas and birthdays.  And other h0liday times.  I guess it’s a comfort food because it reminds me of good times and happy memories. I’ve never tried to make it myself, and I don’t have mum’s exact recipe, but this link is to a recipe that looks very similar.  When I was a kid, that slice made my world go round.  Only kind of kidding.

What makes you reach for comfort food?

Unfortunately for me, this is a loaded question.  I have a terrible relationship with food.  One I am trying to fix because my weight is out of control (but coming back under control, slowly).  For a while there, almost anything could make me reach for comfort food and indulge in a veritable binge.  Sad? Comfort food.  Happy? Celebratory comfort food.  Stressed? More comfort food.  Bored?  Better eat some comfort food.  I think it had something to do with a phase of depression I was going through, and just kind of escalated from there.  Luckily, I’m doing a lot better now, and I try not to reach for the comfort food.  Instead, I try to redirect.  I read, or play the piano, play a game, write a blog post.  Anything that isn’t eating, because I don’t want to slide down that slippery slope again.

Do certain smells make you instantly comfortable?

Yes!  The smell of Jasmine blossoming in the summer takes me back to my grandparents’ place.  The scent of ocean and frangipani flowers to my childhood home.  New carpet takes me back to my favourite school teacher and my kindergarten classroom, and the smell of car oil and grease to my Granddad’s workshop where he tried to teach me about cars and engines and I listened diligently, but without comprehension (or real interest).  Smells are entwined with memories, and it is always nice to go back to a place that might be long gone, or missed.

What song do you play to bring yourself comfort?

There is really nothing specific that I listen to for comfort, music is much more of a doing thing for me in terms of comfort.  I love to just sit at my piano and lose myself in classical music when I need comfort.  Beethoven is my sanctuary, Chopin my saviour and Bach my best friend.  I can sit and play for hours, and forget the world if I need to.  Music is always there, always constant, and always a release.  An escape.  Can you tell I love music more than life?

What is your biggest comfort food? Smell? Song? 

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Pillows vs Blankets

Which would you prefer: a super-soft pillow or a warm, fuzzy blanket?

It’s a close call! But I have so many blankets with sentimental value that the blanket is definitely my choice.

The blanket my mum crocheted for me in my teens.

The blanket that came from my grandparents’ place.

The scratchy wool blanket that is a part of my earliest memory, a vague warm fuzzy feeling of a scratchy blanket pulled up around my ears in my cot as a toddler.

The blanket I’m making for T and I, that my dog tries to sleep on top of every time I work on it.

The picnic blanket that T and I used to stargaze on and eat our barbecued food at the beginning of our relationship at the lake that T ended up proposing at.

So many blankets have a type of special meaning in my life, whereas pillows are much more of a practical consideration.

Where do you fall in this debate? 

Thanks for visiting!!

Nat xx

PS. This post is in response to a NaBloPoMo prompt, check it out! Registration for NaBloPoMo May 2013 is open until May 5th, but if you miss out this time, it happens every month!  Why not join in?


(Not So) Strange Bedfellows

Normally, like most married people, I sleep next to my husband every night, and our dog sleeps at the foot of the bed (or if she’s feeling adventurous AND lucky, snuggled up with T or I).  We have lived together since we had been engaged for around a year, and now I find it really really strange and actually uncomfortable to sleep alone.  

That’s where my confession comes in.  When I first went to stay with my grandparents in Sydney (in order to make my commute to uni easier), the timing coincided with 6 months of T and I dating.  And he bought me this GIANT teddy bear.  I kid you not, it is huge.  I adore that bear.  It doesn’t have a name, but I just love it.  When I moved up to Sydney, I had a much much bigger bed than I was used to.  So, the bear slept in the bed with me.  Yes, I just said that the bear slept.  I know.  I am not ashamed to say it, I cuddled a teddy bear that slept in the bed with me.  So there.  

teddy bear

That was ok, when I still slept by myself.  Now, once T and I moved in together, my poor old bear got retired from the bed.  He sits on top of a chest of drawers looking sorry for himself.  So, whenever T has to go away for a night (though it’s rare), my bear gets bumped back up to the bed.  I’m not ashamed to admit it.  I love cuddling my teddy bear.  It’s comforting, in a way.  Even though T may be away, I’m not alone, and I think that because he gave it to me I’ve always associated it with closeness to him.

The NaBloPoMo daily prompt for today asks “do you still sleep with a stuffed animal now?” and while my immediate response is no, I sleep beside my husband, the real answer is: not unless I’m in need of some extra comfort.  That’s where my much loved giant teddy bear comes in.  And I’m super thankful for him.

Do you have a secret stuffed toy that sleeps with you when your partner is away?  Or a not so secret one that sleeps with you all the time?


Favourite Toys

Apparently most kids have favourite toys or “lovies”.  I must have been a strange kid, because I’m pretty sure I never had a particular connection to any one toy in my childhood.  I remember my younger sister absolutely loved a few of her toys more than the others, and always gave them such creative names.  She always seemed to take a lot of comfort from her toys.  But me? My toys had such “creative” names as a dog named “doggy”, a teddy bear named “ted” (ironically, my husband’s name), a lizard named “lizzie”…I’m sure you get the gist.  I wasn’t the sort of kid to sleep with one toy in my arms (or even any in my bed), or be distressed if any of them broke.

Perhaps this has something to say for my mental health? Maybe I’m not normal?  But I always preferred people to toys.  And books.  If the NaBloPoMo prompt had asked the same question of books (the question was ‘did you have a favourite stuffed toy or lovey as a child?), I would have had a very different answer.  I loved my books, and would read every single day.  At my nanna’s house, there was always one book I would have her read, and at home I read a variety.  But I always knew if one was missing, or broken, or just not the same.  Maybe all of this speaks to the several years I spent as an only child and only grandchild on both sides of the family – there was always an adult willing to talk to me or read with me, so maybe I didn’t feel a need to form a particular connection with a single toy.  But nonetheless, the simplest answer to the prompt “did you have a favourite stuffed toy or lovey as a child? Tell us about it” is no.  I didn’t.  What a boring answer.

Maybe you have a more interesting answer.  What was your favourite toy as a child?  Why was it your favourite?

Thanks for visiting!!

Nat xx

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