Thursday, February 26, 2009

Resonant Words...NAME your city, town or suburb

This is not a book to take too seriously! For those of you who havent read it, its about a woman who searches for happiness in her life after a messy divorce, and her journey takes her to Italy, India and Bali. Its written in bite-sized packets of ideas (108 in all) and I find this structure appealing, it suits the way I read now: a little at night before falling asleep. Its a good book, well written, and certainly a great holiday read. I think I am perhaps the last woman on earth to read it, as its sold over 5 million copies, and there are probably lots of blog posts about this novel about it already, so wont go on about the spiritual messages,etc contained therein. It touched me at a simple level, as the book invites you to ponder a basic question: are you living the life you wish to live? A big question. And then there is the issue of choices, as the author's choices unfold through the novel, I found myself asking, have I made choices that are good for my life?
And Im still thinking about that :)

One idea i did find kinda nice in the book was that all cities/places (and perhaps even people themselves) have a word that sums them up, that resonates volumes about the spirit of the place. The author suggest that NYC's word might be ACHIEVE, and LA's might be SUCCEED, and also rather predicatably, Rome's would be SEX.
I was wondering about my own home town of Launceston: what would Launnie's resonant word be? Probably PLOD, i think. An agrarian verb, that would describe the sense that most people here just continue on the path they have always been on, unquestioningly. Maybe also SHY: its a shy town, certainly. It reveals its beauty slowly; behind the folds of its valleys lie surprises!

I'd love to hear the resonant word for your home town, be that a state, city or suburb! (Please dont feel that you need to locate yourself too precisely if you are at all worried about doing that in blogland)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

magic forest

A stolen day; the first day EVER I have had both children in school and no work to do (well, nothing that cant be put off until tomorrow!) and a plan to walk up Mount Arthur. My artist friend M shares a love of mountains, and alpine forests, so convincing her to come with me was not hard at all. Soft footfalls on the spongy forest floor, our echo less voices lost in the tangle of trees, filtered sunlight highlighting the profile of moss covered rocks that look like ancient turtles sleeping. Its hard not to be reverent in a forest such as this. And this is one of your newer forests (we think maybe it was logged 100 years ago, and has regrown?) Only the occasional tree over 80 meteres high.

After an hour and a half of steady climbing, a short steep struggle up boulders discarded by some playful giant, brings us up above the forest canopy and into the cloud line.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

House preening (continued)

I think i need to follow up on yesterdays post regarding the domestic duties that befall the stay at home parent.

After suggesting that I would try to resist the frantic pre-6pm clean up (preparing the house for the arrival of the bread-earning partner) as I was suspicious of the motivation to do this house preening, I DID end up dashing about and sort of mostly cleaned up before S came home (thinking "I said I wouldnt do this...but i cant help myself as its really ME that wants this clean, actually, HEY, GUESS WHAT, Im doing this for ME, not him" and then I did some yoga. And meditated on that thought. ANd I realised that husband's arrival is just a convenient deadline... and I do LOVE the motivation of a dealine.
BUT: The washing stayed on the line, and when S came home, i finished my yoga, chucked washing on a spare chair, gathered dinner together, asked the girls to clean their room, and S vacuumed. As he did this I realsied that S and I have the well rehearsed domestic dance that we have performed for years together when we both return from work. The 7pm shuffle? Not sure what to call it, but we get oodles done in about 90 minutes. It goes a little like this: I chop the veggies, then he cooks the dinner, I bathe the kids, he cleans the bathroom afterwards, I serve the dinner. Eating happens. He collates the plates and stacks the dishwasher while I read bedtime stories, sort through the piles of toys/washing neaten bedrooms, ready bags for the morning. Strangely, the routine remains much the same with me not working as much. Hmmmmmm...

It doesnt really seem fair anymore that Steve does all this, when I can do it during the day. I really must stop bloggin, and get the dinner on!


So my thinking now, after 2 posts and much pondering on the subject:
I think I will consider my domestic daytime activities as a kind of yoga seva (a service to others that is practiced with loving kindness) rather than a self imposed patriarchal role I need to adopt.

Monday, February 23, 2009

that record that keeps on spinning around in my head

My dear friend Kel was writing here, about the issues surrounding expectations of the 'stay-at-home' parent when the breadwinning partner must go out into the world during the day to earn a living. [Usually, yes, this stay-at-home person is the women, but in her case, at this stage in her life, it is her loving man]. Bizarrely, her tables are turned, and she finds herself in the position of returning home after a hard day at the office, and writes about how confronting this is to find a series of loaded emotions about the domestic duties (perhaps not always?) being performed. And yes, she acknowledges all the attendant variables of small children needing attention, and how hard it is to get much done with littles about.

What Kel's post brings up for me is that I now am that person at home, the "non-bread-winner", and my youngest child (now 4) is growing up fast. For the first time in my life, I dont have a great deal of paid, proper 'work' to do (only about a day a week which I squeeze in around my home-based life). So I can do more stuff about the house now. And I do. Theres lots to do too: washing, cooking, cleaning shopping, etc . The question is how much do you do?

I hate the tyranny of expecting the kids to put every toy away, making sure benches are clean, tidying surfaces. Its appallingly trivial in the scheme of things to get het up about this shit. And yet, this feminist mum finds herself at 5pm racing about the house, asking the kids to pick up toys, tidying piles of books, maybe even vacuuming before daddy comes home. I can almost feel myself wanting to find a highball glass for the G&T, slippers, and cigar as hubby pulls up the drive. WHY are these 1950's ideals of domesticity lurking in the recesses of the brain of a women who was spent years at university educating myself, and further years professionally deploying these skills??? DO these thoughts feed osmotically from some bygone cultural ether, cosmically, quantamly perhaps from another less liberated universe? [And before you think it, yes my mum probably did show me how to do this, as she was the 50's housewife reinvested in the 70's, and my dad kinda expected the "treatment" of wifely servitude, but now she is quite a different kind of woman, openly resisting this kind of attitude, and she certainly doesnt expect it of me. My hubby kind of thinks its funny that I do this...he probably thinks its quaint. Archaic, but quaint!

So time to change the record, this brain-tune is not working for me anymore! I'm going to try not to do the crazy-mad 'run-around' tonight. I will do some yoga instead! The house is (mostly) OK, dinner is easy tonight (salad and fritata) and well. If I do wipe a bench down, I will do it beacuse I want to, not because I feel I aught.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Plastic cup?

Dining out in Tassie is always a bit of a hit and miss affair. My hubby and I are FOODIES....yes siree, we like good food and we have been spoilt by living in Adelaide for many years where the reliability of restaurants is a given. You can be confident in Adelaide that if you spend $50 a head on food you are in for a pretty lovely dining experience, at a large number of establishments. Not so here in Tassie.

S and I had a belated valentines trip away to the east coast of this heart shaped isle, and spent the night in a rather lovely The view from the dining room is lovely: splendid even. But the food was a bit like my palette was staring at a neighbour's beige colourbond fence. Tasteless Sushi, poorly sliced sashimi, woeful tempura: and this was from a specialist Japanese restaurant charging much more than Adelaide's equivalent establishments.
For me, the saddest moment came when I asked for a glass of water, and the waitress suggested that I should get my own from a water cooler in the far corner. OK. I can do that. But when I looked for a glass, there were only plastic cups. I asked for a glass from the waitress (another traipse across the dining area) and she was shirty with me. Hmmm. Not only do I find a plastic cup awful to drink from (it reminds me of a dentist surgery waiting room, which is not a good thing if you read my last post!) but its totally environmentally mental too.

Wow, this post really is turning out to be a bit of a whingey rant, so I shall finish on a positive note:
Sleeping with the sound of the ocean entering my dreams, waking to the fantastic profile of cliffs below the cabins, and the morning sun shining in on the bed sheets (as well as being away with my lovely gentle and caring man) was uplifting, and restorative. Maybe there is other food for the soul worth blogging about!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cracks in the system

I am working for a dentist with an obsession about gaps. And cracks. He requires an absence of both in his picture perfect house. Its ironic that of all the projects I have managed, this project... the one that is meant to be gap free, seems to be attracting gaps and cracks at every turn. The builder, the engineer, all the consultants have worked so hard to try and deliver him perfection, only to be confronted with the reality of gaps between things, and, well, the consistency of imperfection.

I have a theory that the more anxious one is to create perfection (in anything) the greater the likelihood that impediments to this will come your way.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Head and house in a spin!

Still full house, and lots going on with my mum, sister and her partner all bunking in with us. Hubby is busy preparing Courses for students who are about to return to campus next week , and Im off to Adelaide for a short work trip. Whew!

And in the midst of all the comings and goings in the house, I cant believe I am sooooooooooo neglectful. For the first time ever, I completely forgot to collect my eldest daughter from school. Can you imagine how awful I feel? I looked at my watch at 3.16pm, after driving the 20minutes from town to where we live....and I thought hmmm..... Ive forgotten something..... hmmmmmm......FARRRK! I was 16 minutes too late to collect her, and the school is back in town!
So after a desparate and deflating call to the school I burnt rubber and flew back along the highway to pay penance at the school front office. Poor darling girl was sitting quietly reading a libary book. After a kiss she says "dont worry mum: I knew you would come!"

And now I will wait by the letter box for the speeding fine I know is coming. Sigh... and it is my karmic due. Strangely enough I am happy to pay it as I think, this time, it's deserved.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Watch

Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.

Jane Austen
quote from yesterday

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday haiku: Full house

House full to the brim!
laughter ring, walls bright with sound
cat slinks between beds

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gift debt

Nothing amuses me more than the easy manner with which everybody settles the abundance of those who have a great deal less than themselves.
Jane Austen

Again, a weird synchronicity between what the subject of my post today, and the auto-cue Jane Austen quote. Although, to be honest, I'm not entirely sure that Jane is on the money here; sometimes there seems to be a bit too much Victorian meanness, or soured sentiment in her holier than though messages from England long gone. But still, a resonance non-less-less with the idea of giving and receiving.

I have a new friend here in Tassie who has 3 boys kids under 4, and her life is full with the incredible task of juggling their needs. She is lovely, I mean really lovely, and keeps on giving me stuff. Shoes for my daughter that she has outgrown, vegetables from her garden, wool from her alpacas, and now her husband has offered to help us by trimming down some bar stools with his circular saw... Lots of stuff... Nice neighbourly stuff.

Ive been struggling with the idea of being given things,and not feeling like I have to 'match the gift'. Or conversely, the idea that you should give, and then 'you shall receive'. Either way their is an expectation that a favour must necessarily be returned. Why is it so hard to accept that a gift is in fact just that. A gift freely given, and needs not a gift in return? Is it the capitalist sentiment that expects a settlement of a kind of gift-debt?

I would like to just be able to accept a gift, without a feeling of obligation (and I'm sure that its just me feeling the sense of obligation in the case of my generous new friend). So how do we begin to retrain ourselves in the art of receiving? Does this strike a cord with you? Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First day of school

If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out.
Jane Austen

This is today's Jane Austen quote, which I am enjoying for its synchronicity with the material I would like to write about.
My youngest daughter was up before dawn, dressed in her school uniform, and eating breakfast with her sister when I stumbled into the kitchen at a quarter to seven. And I had thought there would be some reluctance on her part in going to school today, but no! This was something S was more than ready for. She had her bag packed and ready by the front door, and asked me if I wanted to make her lunch now, or later after my shower. Hmmmmmm....
(By the way this is a stark contrast to my eldest daughter who often goes to school minus at least one of the following: bag, hat, lunch box, library books, brushed hair etc...) So this is a new era of school life for my littley and I hope that school will be a place where her curiosity and creativity are encouraged. That's pretty much my expectation of the school system.

Anyway... reading the Austen quote made me reflect on what i could remember of my first day: a smell of solvo, the warm hand of my new teacher, my mum reassuringly beside me, the scratchy fabric of my jumper, and the first game of word fish we played. I felt scared, and I think I cried. (Mum, if you are reading this, do you recall this moment?)

But then, here is my little one nonchalantly waving me goodbye and tucking into a crafty making table (helping herself to lots of sparkly pipe cleaners) with her new best friend, and I'm no longer required. Until the bell goes at 3pm.

So, if you are reading this, how much do you remember of this pivotal moment in your life?Is it a memory that you need to dredge up from the recesses of your mind, or it freshly marked 'as if it were yesterday'? your thoughts and stories are most welcome!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Thai Yoga Massage

Ive had a house guest for the last 5 days. She's been studying an ancient form of massage: Thai Yoga massage, and I have been her guinea pig. A completely willing subject, I found no problems at all in being gently moved about between basic Hatha Asanas (postures). How delightful! All the benefits of yoga without the sweat, and more besides. Apparently this form of massages works on the 'Sen' lines, I think they are a bit like meridians, but its pretty powerful stuff.

I found myself (after 3x 1.5 hr massages over the last 3 nights) feeling not physically tested so much as emotionally opened. Yesterday I was close to tears most of the time, and this is not even my time of the month. I think this kind, or perhaps any kind of bodywork like this, brings the stuff one hasn't been dealing with terribly well to the surface! People tell me this is a good thing, but at the time it feels pretty raw.

If you want to have a look at some Thai yoga massage, have a browse through u-tube:

Sunday, February 8, 2009


My beautiful friends M and R have wed, and it was a marvelous thing. Intimate, considered, and most of all simple, this was a great day. A great wedding! (Actually I have never been to a wedding wasnt wasn't great, as they are all special and personal in their own way, so perhaps every wedding deserves a few extra epithets... an effusive and happy wrap!

But I reckon this one was extra special, as M and R are both over 60, have lead full lives (she and artist and he an academic), and have loved deeply and been loved before. There are 6 daughters between them, although none were present. They wanted this to be a wedding just for their close friends (and we feel chuffed to be counted amoung them) as the complications of a few blended families made it tricky, well perhaps impossible to invite everyone, but also as they had done the 'big white wedding' deal before; they wanted this to be a more private celebration without pomp and ceremony, beyond the basic and beautiful exchange of simple vows, rings, and the all important kiss.

After aquiring her shiny new wedding band, M dunked it unceremoniously into the sink and scrubbed potates to eat for lunch: joking that the ring needed to be christened. This is no ordinary bride! While R prepared the table for lunch and refreshed glasses with Tassie champers , the guests got to know one another, and their connections to the happy couple were shared. Friends, and family were soon lazing about on couches after dining on smoked fish and veggies, while the family dogs were lolling about on the floor, woofing up the crumbs!

A lovely afternoon!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Cool scaly grey skin
quick flick o' blue and then gone
as quick as a wink

(thanks to my eldest daughter Miss E for not only being brave enough to hold the lizard, but also helping me get the number of 'sillyables' correct!)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fig Jam recipe

Ive been on a bit of a jam drivelately as the fruit is just dripping off the trees where I live. The last 3 kgs of figs fully ripened in the few days we had of 35 degree weather, so it was another all systems go, get down and jam it, jam day. Heres the recipe, which im getting some great feedback on. Its an adaption of a David Pascoe recipe, which a quick search a-la-Google provided.

1 kg. of figs
750 gm. of sugar (I used soft brown sugar which tastes extra caramelly)
6 cloves and 6 cardamon pods
1 cinnamon stick
juice of 1 a lemon
zest from lemon rind

Weigh the figs after topping.
Determine the proportional amount of sugar required.

Mash or cut figs into chunks, you can choose how chunky you want your jam to be.
Ripe fig skin will soften nicely while boiling.
Add spices, lemon juice and rind.
Cover with sugar and allow to sit for 2 hours. (actually I didnt bother to do this and ts seemd fine)
Slowly bring the mixture to the boil over 15-20 minutes. Slowly boil for 1 hour. Cool and slowly boil for 15 minutes the next day. Cool.
Pour into air tight container that has been scorched with boiling water. Refrigerate.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Fascinating reactions to my post from yesterday, with friends telling me that they are a little surprised at my shifts in architecture tastes/ideology. I really just wanted to completely reassure you all that there is still a place in my heart for architectural indulgences! Ive woken up this morning with the realisation that there is still a part of me that appreciates beautiful spaces. How can I not, with 6 years of aesthetic training? It would be a bit like giving up chocolate. VERY Difficult.

This house is again a Peter Stutchbury awarding winning thing. Its designed to house the clients rather magnificent and x-large art collection; that is the individual pieces are large, and I suppose there are rather a lot of them too. I had the good fortune to go to a 40th birthday party at the house last year, and it really was a beautiful eerie, percehed high on the cliffs above Sydney's outer harbour. I do however still feel conflicted by the thought that its is only the very wealthy ( and those that are fortunately enough to know them!) that have access to this stuff.
I think also, my reaction against this high end "boutique architecture" is as I'm just in the final (death) throes of completing a 'high end' project in North Adelaide, which is getting pretty tense with time and budget over doesn't make my job very pleasant! And im looking at it, 3 years after designing it and realising my priorities have shifted enormously: I couldn't design something so over-sized, and energetically wasteful again.
Its an epiphany, and a timely one for me. There is a place I think in my architectural future for high-end residential work, but ill be so much more mindful of issues of material longevity, embedded energy, and just more persistent in pruning back spaces to be no bigger than they really need to be. (Less materials used up front, and less energy spent in lighting/heating and cooling spaces that are superflous to ordinary requirements). This is the biggest issue with clients as they often want homes to wrap around the once-a-year entertain 20 guests scenario!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Favourite Building

A bonus question: Offered as part of a Blogger Interview. Kel's final question cannot remain unanswered as its particularly thought provoking. This is a difficult thing: to isolate one building, among so many that is so fantastic I would love to be its author!
(spare question) As an architect, which well known building thats not yours would you most be willing to put your name to, or love to claim as your own?

Not much to look at perhaps, but this shearing shed near Wagga Wagga in rural australia I respect for its integrity, environmental commitment, and its expression of a contemporary Australian vernacular.

In the architects own words:

The Australian Shearing Shed has undergone marginal change throughout the history of its evolution. Sheep movement has been constantly refined; the shed was lifted to provide for undercover sheep storage and the shearing board was raised to ease the passage of wool to the classing table. In some areas technology has also contributed to the more efficient management of shed techniques. But fundamentally the shed as a building has become less decorative and more direct. Deepwater Shearing Shed has moved toward the integration and resolution of current concerns and functional requirements for such a building.

Another jury Citation, here.

More and more I appreciate the work of architects less and less. I'm finding myself drawn to projects that have a signficant public component, that are egalitarian, in the sense that the design can be appreciated by the public, not just enjoyed by the elite. So much of architecture is commissioned privately and commercially which makes the end product exclusive, unattainable by so many.

Im also loving projecs that use natural resources wisely.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Five Questions, five answers

Responding to Kel's challenge to submit to 5 curly, targeted questions that probe the inner most corners of your psyche, I volunteered to give it a go:'The Interview", blogger style.
It works like this:anyone reading this can volunteer to be subjects, then Ill send you five questions by email.
Here are my answers to the five questions Kel asked me:

1) besides children/pets/partner ( all living things) if you had to take one
thing from your home due to emergency circumstances, what would it be? why?

I'm trying to think about this as if I were in emergency circumstances: not thinking too much about it, and the first thing that comes into my mind is that aside from the children/pets/partner, I am not really terribly attached to the objects in my life. I mean I haven't worked to hard on the Zen approach to living, or indeed to Buddhist ideals of non-attachment, but there you have it. I'm just not that into stuff. I suppose that might be as I have had my house burgled three times, and my stuff stolen while traveling. Things (objects) that I have loved, have been taken from me before, so I guess I'm a bit ambivalent about jewelry, photos, favorite clothing items, etc. If I did think to grab something, it would be irreplaceable work files(those on my laptop), and photos therein. Boring, but this is the stuff that would be impossible or time consuming to replace.

2) currently, what are you loving most in life ?
The thing that is giving me the most pleasure in my life right now, apart
from children/pets/partner ;) is my renewed interest in yoga. This (almost) daily practice is allowing me to make some quiet places in my life for navel gazing, contemplating beauty in all things, get to know the limits and capacities of my body, teaching me a deep connectedness of all things. At the end of a good session of yoga, my own life's worries are pretty puny, and that lovely glow of loving kindness can last all day! Better than any drug I know of, or have tried! Im also loving experimenting with my life, shaking things up a little to see if I can break some bad habits, encourage some new life affirming ones, and enjoy a slower pace of living. In the last 12-18 months I have made some significant changes: shifted state (this has nothing to do with yoga
practice!), quit my job as a lecturer, focused my energies less on my career and more on nurturing myself and my children.

3) If you could choose to be someone famous, who would it be?
I have secretly always harboured a desire to be an actor, to be a vehicle for a story, an emotion, to perform and perhaps even entertain. It would be fabulous to have the skill to move between characters, to explore the range of human types by inhabiting a world other than the one you know intimately. Its not the fame and glory thing that inspires me here, its really a kind of Geminian interest in exploring aspects of self in a socially sanctioned way.
Which actor would I like to be? Hmmmm... Ive enjoyed the skills and presence of the great Aussy actors: Judy Davis, Rachel Ward, Cate Blanchett (of course) but especially Judy Davis. I loved her portrayal of Sybilla in 'My Brilliant Career'. She exuded all the passion and fire of a willful 16 year old, which inspired me.

4) the chicken or the egg?
Look, I don't know, you know? I have wondered how to answer this conundrum. I'd like to think up a funny answer, but this isn't my forte! Maybe I could squeeze out a pseudo-philosophical response, but this kinda bores me too. The very first lecture I went to at university was a logic lecture, and this was by mistake! I was meant to be in a biology lecture and I got the room, building, and indeed faculty completely arse up. I panicked, figuring Im just too dumb to even understand basic biology: gee University must be for extremely wise and knowledgeable people, and clearly I wasn't one of them! This experience put me off philosophy! The irony here is that my husband is a philosopher, and yes, I find the preoccupations of the profession irritating. At some level the constant picking apart of semantic understanding undermines the joy of life. Hmmm... but still I have a healthy respect for those that wish to do so. And, to be honest, there are some new braches of philosophy, ecosophy that do really interest me and are challenging my view of my profession.
Chicken? Egg? Both exist: one requires the other. Why is it an either/or

5) Looking at the various life choices you have made, which stand out and how do you feel about them now?

This is a biggie. With almost 40 years of life under my belt, theres alot of decisions there, and some have more resonance than others. The first one was one of those "Sliding doors" moments (terrible Gweneth Paltrow film, dont bother seeing it) where I made a decision to return home after 6 months overseas, just days before Christmas. I was 18, feeling more than a little lonely, out of money, and missing the sun, and my boyfriend at the time who had gone back to Melbourne. So instead of taking a few risks, I took the easy option and used my return flight, when what I really wanted to do was stay in London and work for a while, experience a bit of inner (big)city life. On returning to Australia I spent the summer working hard paying off my debts, but not really wanting to be back in OZ. I was listless, perhaps even depressed. My overseas fling with the melbourne boyfriend went sour. I often wonder what might have eventuated had I ripped up the ticket and stayed in London, even though I was a little scared. I would now have more courage to face my fears I think!

Another big one was filling in my University enrollment form, having received offers for several courses. I ticked "architecture" without really knowing much about the profession, what sort of life it would lead me to, indeed how hard a course it was, as it demanded a different kind of thinking--critical thinking--that secondry schooling really doesnt seem to prepare you for. My brain was dragged kicking and screaming from a world where rote learning was rewarded, to an environment where if you gave the'expected' or standard answer, this was considered banal, ordinary and
really rather boring. Architectural training has given me many things: an aesthetic training, an appreciation for literature/culture/human creative endeavour, a passion for black, and a chance to engage in a profession where you get to buy colour pencils and write them off as a legitimate tax deduction! Hey, not a bad thing at all. Cant do that as a biologist!

(spare question) as an architect, which well known building thats not yours would you most be willing to put your name too or love to claim as your own?

Ill answer this one in another post!

So, please feel free to let me know if you'd like to continue this fine tradition of the Blooger Interview, and Ill email you a set of personalised questions all of your own! Its like a session with your on-line shrink, and it doesnt cost a cent.

Thanks Kel, for some great, thought proviking questions!