A Week And A Half

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you go: Well, that was a week and a half? Where it was actually just a week in length but felt like longer? Like a half a week added on top. Or a month. Or a century.

I had one of those weeks last week. I blame the stars.

My friend, Jules, before she moved to England, got an astrological chart done for me. I was really excited about it because I thought that surely there had to be a bit of good news in there. I tend towards the skeptical with astrology but occasionally am staggered by the accuracy of the readings I have received.

Anyway, the chart Jules got done for me was like the lost chapters from the Book Of Revelation that have been lying in the Dead Sea for the past three thousand years crystallising and festering. There couldn’t have been more omens and portents and coming across people all dark and moody if I had picked up the latest vampire novel on the market and started reading. I think there was actually mention of a raven or two. Watching me.

I tried to laugh it off. I mean, everyone knows astrology is a load of baloney, right? Just because some astrologer who is high on too much elderberry wine and frankincense sticks says one or maybe two of the lords of the underworld are going to come knocking on your door at some stage during the year doesn’t mean it will happen. Does it?

It’s like those talk radio pyschics who say they are channelling your Uncle Arthur and that he has a message for you. They can see him wearing the green cardigan you knitted for him with the tortoiseshell buttons. He is saying : Watch your eyes, Watch your eyes and you have a few brief moments of panic thinking you are going to go blind; a panic that is reinforced by the ravens that appeared in your astrological chart which might pluck out your eyes as you are going to the shops.

You start to hyperventilate, reaching for a paper bag until you realise that you don’t have an Uncle Arthur, there is nothing wrong with your eyesight and that in actual fact, you don’t even know how to knit anything, let alone green cardigans.

Talk radio psychics are one thing. Apocalyptic astrological charts are another, particularly when they say that for the past fifteen years – FIFTEEN years – you have been in a cycle of bad luck and that you have been thwarted at every turn with regard to achieving your aims.

Fifteen years is a long time. You only get seven years for breaking a mirror. The gods alone know what I must have broken to get 15 years of misfortune.

I must admit I was a bit shaken up by that chart. I couldn’t take a step without hearing the soundtrack from The Omen in my head. I got in trouble a few times from irate mothers when I came across pale-faced dark-haired kids and started checking their scalps for the mark of the beast.

And then I read the final paragraph in the chart. Your 15 year cycle will end in January 2011. After a few bumpy weeks things will settle down and you will enter a period of stability and personal and financial success where long term aims will be achieved.

Well, hooley dooley.

Last week was bumpy and this week things are already looking better. So maybe, just maybe that astrological chart was halfway right. Maybe the 15 years of bad luck is about to end.

Cases in point –

* Last Wednesday I celebrated my 20 year wedding anniversary. As many of you know I hit a rocky patch last year. As it turned out the infidelity I thought happened, didn’t.

However, there were floozies involved. Floozies in their 40s who really are the worst floozies of all because they are mad at the world for turning them into floozies. And single men in their 40s who I should probably call boozies because what else would you be if you can drink 12 alcoholic drinks in an hour? And the boozies are mad at the world for turning them into boozies.

So the boozies and the floozies hang out together and occasionally drag along a few of the married people they know. And try as hard as they can to behave inappropriately. Boozing and floozing.

Boozies and floozies piss me off because you know what bruthas and sistahs? I am mad at the world too. Everyone is. We all have something that we wish was different. We all search through the mire of existence day after day with a magnifying glass and a sterilised swab looking for a sign that all is not lost. And most of us – the grown up ones, at least – try not to take our mad-at-the-worldness out on everyone else.

So the law was laid down. The boozies and the floozies were told to grow up and shut up. And I celebrated my 20th anniversary in peace.

* One of the things that can crucify small business owners in Sydney (and probably everywhere else in the world) is the exorbitant rent charged for commercial sites. In the CBD a space as small as 90 square metres can cost you up to $3,000 per week. That is a big commitment under normal circumstances but when the economy starts to tank and you have 50% less people going by your door you can very quickly find yourself in trouble.

Two and a half years ago my husband negotiated a reduction in his shop rent. It was a verbal agreement later confirmed by email. We have since learned that the age of chivalry is indeed, dead because in the business world such an agreement counts for nothing.

My husband has been paying the reduced rent for 2 and a half years. The rent has been accepted every month without question. Nothing has been said. He has not missed a payment. He is not in arrears.

Last week he got a bill for $100,000 (yes, that is five zeros) for back rent. For the balance between the reduced rent and the original rent. Apparently, it is perfectly legal to do this because an email agreement is not legally binding. I pushed and pushed to get a hard copy of the agreement but the owner said it wasn’t necesary. And he accepted the reduced rent for over two years without saying anything so I thought it was OK.

How stupid am I?

Obviously, we don’t have that kind of money. We don’t have ANY money. The good thing about not having any money is that when someone threatens to sue you for paying reduced rent they actually agreed to you can say :Go for it, mate. Go for it. I am poorer than that guy washing windscreens at the traffic lights.

So we have to dissolve our company. And move to different premises. Without telling the owner. Desperate times, desperate measures. Sounds like the opening line for a novel, right?

Desperate times, desperate measures.

Melinda knew she would look back in a year and know she had learned from this. She also knew that a poker face and strategic cunning did nothing for you if your legal representation was inadequate. She also knew that in spite of the crush of her disillusion and the last few relationships she’d had ending up in a trip to the emergency room that she would find love again. And it would be real.

Sometimes life is stranger than fiction.

* My final point is that on Friday I had a major fight with my neighbour. I called him all sorts of names. He is obsessed with the birds in our garden. Last week we had a whole family of lorikeets in our jacaranda tree and he went on and on about it saying we are encouraging them to be there blah blah blah.Β  What a dickhead. I really abused him. It was really bad. I completely lost my temper. There are some things I probably shouldn’t have said. Like how I was going to beat the crap out of him if he didn’t start minding his own business. Now he has said he is going to get us evicted for abusing him. Of course, he can’t do that but it is stress I didn’t need after a very stressful week. Some people really need to get a life. Desperately. And that is the truth.

When you’ve had a week and a half there is only one thing that helps.

Good sounds.

These guys really cheered me up last week.

Took me back to my youth.

Hope you are all having a non-week-and-a-half week.

21 thoughts on “A Week And A Half

  1. Oh Lord Selma! Sometimes all one can do is laugh at the absurdity that life is and what it brings our way. Yes, I’m sure you keep $100,000 in your cookie jar, and you attract all kinds of birds to your yard just to annoy your crazy neighbor. The only good part to a week like this is realizing that the follow up weeks have to pale in comparison. I’m truly hoping your astrological chart was right and that things will start looking up for you, it’s long since your turn!


  2. Well, there’s this:

    “Your 15 year cycle will end in January 2011. After a few bumpy weeks things will settle down and you will enter a period of stability and personal and financial success where long term aims will be achieved.”


  3. Oh. My. God. Selma, Im sooooooo sorry things have been so crazy in your life for the last week and a half, or century. That is certainly way too much for anyone to tackle. I for one am hoping and praying the final paragraph in the chart comes true for you. STAT!



  4. Jesus!

    Your neighbour picked a fight for encouraging birds into your garden? If I had issues with everyone I know who had feeders, bird-baths and bird-friendly plants in their garden, I wouldn’t have any friends.

    Wouldn’t worry too much about the astrology chart; those in magazines and newspapers tend to be ‘one size fits all’ kind of affairs, and I wouldn’t think personal ones are much better. They only fit if you make them.

    The other month, the National Geographic Magazine ran an article about the Maya prediction that the world would end in 2012 … and in the same issue was a 3-year subscription offer! So, prophesy … hooey!


  5. Here’s to the next 15 years of good karma and prosperity! And if you ever want to re-join the world of boozies and floozies, Bahrain’s the place. Swimming with mutton-dressed-as-lamb women draped over pot-bellied blokes who wouldn’t get a look in back home. Ah, the expat life!


  6. As I read this I laughed… and cried a little. Sending you hugs and hopes that the cycle is indeed over.

    Boozies and Floozies… *snerk*

    Love you, Selma. Let’s hope this is THE year (maybe the first of many!)


  7. Oh boy! What a shock. I think that sounds like enough bad news for a whole 15 years. But I am glad you have got over the panic and realised they can’t have what you haven’t got.
    I never know what to think about these Astrological things – logically I do not believe they are more than coincidentally accurate. However, when I had mine done (and it was probably a little over 15 years ago, a lot of what it said was remarkably accurate – it was more about the kind of person I am than what was going to happen). I don’t think I could deal with a “what is going to happen” type thing cos I’d worry it would start to influence my actions.
    Stupid neighbour. What an idiot.
    Here’s to the future eh? I think 2011 is going to be good – I can feel it in my water!!


  8. Oh Selma- that is the very reason I will NEVER go into business again. Loyalty and integrity mean nothing, it’s all about the money. If I can screw you it’s fine as long as I put more money in my pocket. I was in business for 10 years and I swear I’d look ten years younger if I’d of given that whole thing a miss! So sorry.

    But happy anniversary- 20 years is a fantastic acheivement. Congrats to both of you!


  9. Ahhh…crap Sel, this is not what I was hoping to read after your recent absence here. I am so sorry about this rent bs, I learned the hard way and too many times: GET IT IN WRITING! If possible, get a lawyer to check it out too. It’s cheaper in the long run and the world is full of people NOT playing by any kind of moral code (well maybe a code, but definitely not a good one). I wish there was an easy way out of this mess but you and your husband WILL find a way. It might be a start of a whole new direction that will be even better. Another thing I have learned the hard way, be careful what you wish for. I’ve gone from being impulsive and rather careless making major decisions to nit-picking them to death,before any decision is made. Cautious (boring at times) but easier on the mind and body over time.

    About the chart, take it for what it is, a person’s interpretation of your future, NOT necessarily what it will be. I place some credence in astrology and similar arts but not the be all and the end all. Life happens, sometimes the curve ball comes out of nowhere. I do know that what we think about has an enormous effect on the day. It’s something I am working on and it does help. Giving the dickheads of the world power by dwelling on their actions never helps. Try to focus on the good things and people as much as you can. Again, small measures but they do add up.

    If I had the Mooola, a nice cheque would be on the way to you to help with your current situation. I wish I could write that cheque. For now, know that I truly care as do all your friends and readers. And collectively, we are sending good vibes your way for seeing the shift in January that you need and deserve. HANG IN THERE Sel. Many hugs, G


  10. Hi JOSIE:
    When you have a week like I’ve had you realise phrases like ‘It never rains but it pours’ were coined for a reason. And you do have to laugh because the whole thing seems quite absurd. Life is a funny thing. Surprisingly enough, I’m feeling OK about the whole thing. 6 months ago I couldn’t have coped, but now it’s fine. I am so grateful my mind is in a better place!

    Ain’t that the truth. Never a dull moment. I will drink to the next 15 years. They certainly can’t be any worse πŸ™„

    Hi JONAS:
    I hope so, I really hope so. It’s an exciting thought!

    Hi MELEAH:
    I guess that’s just life, isn’t it? Everyone has crazy stuff to deal with. I’ll just be glad when things settle down. It’d be nice to have a quiet life for a bit!

    The whole 2012 end of days thing just cracks me up. Can you imagine a sane person actually giving it any credence? I think it falls into the same category as the Millennium Bug or Jesus coming back to earth in a spaceship. Hilarious.

    The thing that bothers me most about my neighbour is that he is obviously watching me all the time. That is my bone of contention. I have assured him over and over that I am not that interesting but he doesn’t seem to get it. It can be a little annoying. Some people, eh?


  11. Hi KATE:
    That is funny about the pot-bellied blokes. I know EXACTLY what you mean. It is nice to know however, that there is love out there for everyone. Hahaha.
    I am looking forward to that good karma and prosperity. I wish the same for you. So great to hear from you!

    Hi KAREN:
    I laughed and cried too. Especially when I was writing the opening lines to that novel. That was so silly. But it has promise. A woman being chased by the tax department who is accident prone and keeps putting her lovers in hospital is what people want to read, right? Hahaha πŸ˜‰
    Love you too xx

    Hi RELUCS:
    That’s the thing. I think that even if you don’t believe it, it does influence your actions somewhat. I’m glad I got the chart towards the end of the cycle. If I had been told about 15 years of bad luck before it started, even if I hadn’t necessarily believed it I would have been a little worried. Thank goodness I didn’t know. Whew!

    I am continually shocked by the unscrupulous ways people conduct themselves when it comes to business. I couldn’t sleep at night if I behaved like that. When money is the only thing that counts people seem to lose their sense of humanity. It’s frightening. Thanks for the kind wishes!!

    I’m going to get a tattoo that says: Get it in writing so I am constantly reminding myself not to be an idiot. Taking people at their word just isn’t enough these days. I would send money to you too if I had it.

    I completely agree with you about focusing on the good things. Thinking about the negative people all the time seems to create some kind of emotional vortex that you keep getting sucked into. The good stuff is the only way to go. Thanks for your support, G. It means a lot xx


  12. β€œIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way.” Charles Dickens, The Tale of Two Cities. (He could have been talking about our times.)

    Congratulations on the 20th anniversary. See a solicitor about the rent. May your neighbour be reincarnated as a bird.


  13. I had an Uncle Arthur – he used to do this trick on New Years Eve where he hung his false teeth off an appendage and told everyone Aunty Muriel had left them there.
    Hope the rent things works out for you – I’m over from JTSs blog πŸ™‚


  14. Happy New Year Selma! And happy new life when that 15 year streak ends. I hope it turns fabulous for you.

    My take on the Mayan 2012 thing: It’s the equivalent of “December”, i.e., when you buy a new calendar… The Mayans just never got around to doing a new print run πŸ˜‰


  15. Oh good grief girlie what a horrendous week!

    I love DavidM’s wish that your neighbour be reincarnated as a bird! lol Now THAT’S poetic justice!! I mean really does the guy have nothing better to do? Weirdo and good for you for freakin the f**k out on him lol
    He should consider himself lucky that you DON’T have control of the birds or you could command them to SHIT all over his house…maybe get them to follow him and dump on him at every chance?…heehee

    Congrats on your 20th, hub and I celebrated our 30th last year…we are a dying breed!

    It can’t get worse so it has to get better!

    Hang in there hon and laugh at the absurity of it all!


  16. Hi DAVID:
    Dickens could have been talking about our times. Isn’t it incredible that he could be when you really think about it?

    That comment about my neighbour being reincarnated as a bird has made my week. No, my year. I can’t stop laughing about it. You are awesome!!

    Hi LOZ:
    Hahaha. That is hilarious. I have had one or two Uncle Arthur types as well who did tricks with their false teeth. My Uncle Neddie had so many tricks every time he came over all the kids would gather and say: ‘Take your teeth out. Take your teeth out.’ It was very funny.

    It is lovely to see you. Welcome.

    Hi DAOINE:
    Hahaha. The Mayans were a bit slack regarding their print runs. I love that!

    Oh yeah. I only want 15 years of good stuff now. I want to see all those omens and portents disappearing in a puff of smoke. Rainbow smoke. With sparkles. πŸ˜†

    Hi CATHY:
    When these things happen the only thing to do is laugh. Life is never dull, that’s for sure. David is awesome. He has such a great sense of humour. I can tell you though, my neighbour has nothing better to do. He fights with everyone. When my neighbours on the other side of his house go out into the garden and the kids kick a ball around he complains. If they kick the ball over the fence he punctures it. Can you imagine being like that? It’s crazy.

    Congratulations to you on 30 years. That is fantastic. We are a dying breed, for sure!!!


  17. Selma,
    The best thing about this piece is that you sound good. All I can say is to walk purposefully out of this 15 year period. Use this as a mantra, really:
    “I am entering a period of stability and personal and financial success where long term aims will be achieved.”

    When you walk purposefully and openly, the universe has a way of putting life into your path. I’m rooting for you my friend! xoxo


  18. Oh – and your neighbour sounds like my old landlord – nothing to do, nothing to focus on but their little world and the people who walk in and out of it. I felt like I was living in a fishbowl – as you must. Live your life. If he seeks to control the birds in the neighbourhood, then he’s a nutball.


  19. Hi JENNIFER:
    You are right. I do feel good. Which surprises me. It is a relief to not let a situation like this send me into a panic like it usually would. Whew. I am going to take your point on board and walk as purposefully and openly as I can. Thank you.

    Oh yeah. My neighbour has nothing better to do. I also feel like I’m living in a fishbowl. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were surveillance cameras somewhere. That guy needs help.


  20. Astrology is a bunch of bullshit wrapped in a layer of dogpuke and flavoured with some elephant dung. Its so crap.

    Honey I wish the bad things would just get over for you and that you and your family can just enjoy life. Want me to beat up that neighbour of yours? I’m sending him bad thoughts. Let him get the runs for 10 days straight; that outta teach him.


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