Alice Shaw

Ciao for Now

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2011 at 4:07 am

It will be obvious for those of you who pop by on a regular or even semi-regular basis, that I have not been particularly consistent in my blogging for some time now.  I like having a space where I can write about things I’m feeling quite strongly about and hopefully I can engage a few passers by in a bit of banter.  I have another blog, Romance 101 which I had to close down for a while, for reasons I won’t bore you with now.  But it is where I find I do my best writing, and it is where I am going to be for the next little while.  I am closing down The Shaw Daily for the time being, I might be back, I might not.  But I really hope you will join me over at Romance101.  Thanks for dropping by.  Alice.


If I Had My Time Again…

In Opinion on July 15, 2011 at 6:35 am

I had a disturbing dream last night.  I dreamt I had gone back in time.  I think it was to the early 80’s or thereabouts.  In the dream I was running around telling people about all sorts of things to come.   HIV/AIDS, John Howard becoming Prime Minister, global warming and so on.  I was clearly in a strange mood when I went to bed and may think twice before consuming the better part of a family sized block of fruit and nut chocolate that late at night in the future.  At one point in the dream, I was surrounded by strangers and feeling a bit panicky, so I grabbed my mobile phone out of my pocket to call for help, but it was completely dead.  No phone towers and wireless internet back then!  I think this freaked me out the most. 

But it did get me thinking about whether I would want to have my time over again.  In the film “Peggy Sue Got Married”, Peggy Sue is transported back in time, to her teenage years in the 1950’s and although it seems she goes back to sort things out with her husband, she is smart enough to also use the time to try an invent pantihose.  No entrepreneur am I it seems as it didn’t even occur to me in the dream to try and invent Google

The questions I asked myself when I woke up was, if I had the choice to go back to the start and do it all again, would I?  The answer is no.  I have worked hard to get to where I am today, a place of relative peace but I went through a lot to get here, including some pretty serious heartache and I just don’t think I could do it all again.  But what if you could be given the chance to go back, armed with the knowledge you have now?  I mean it’s tempting when you think about it.  You could go back and break up with that wrong person, before they broke up with you first.  You could ace that interview for that job you desperately wanted but missed out on.  You could be clever with money (or maybe that one is just for me).  You could use all those fantastic come back lines that you only thought of long after the person antagonising you walked away.  And maybe could keep the one that got away from getting away and you could live happily ever after.  But would it really be worth it?  There are a couple of things I would change if I could but not if I had to re-live my whole life.  One thing for sure is that I would have left a very bad marriage a lot sooner, but not if it meant not having my children.  And so there are always “buts” attached.  Sometimes, when things seem very bad indeed, and the universe keeps throwing up all kinds of unpleasantness, it can be tempting to ponder a clean slate.  But messy as some of my life has been from time to time, that dream last night made me realise that everything I’ve been through has brought me to a pretty good place today, and I am not sure I would have been here had it not been for the adversities that life has thrown my way.

 So would you do it?  Would you wipe the slate clean and start over again?  Would you do it with the knowledge you have now if you could or would you start afresh?  Or is it better to leave well enough alone?


Reality Bites

In Entertainment on July 3, 2011 at 4:11 am

I’m so over reality television.  Every time I turn on the television I see another ad for a reality show.  The latest is where Jamie Durie gets people to turn shipping containers into liveable houses, or something like that.  I didn’t pay a huge amount of attention.  I am sick of Masterchef, Hot French Chef in the Kitchen Rules, The Block (blockheads more like) and the truly awful Australia’s Got Talent – judged, ironically, by three people with absolutely no talent at all.  Those are to name but a few.  There are more out there but I am exhausted.  And although I will admit to devouring every second of the recent SBS offering “Go Back To Where You Came From”, if that sort of thing only comes along once a year then that’s okay with me.  To reality television I say enough already!

 When it first started, it was kind of new and exciting.  The Brits have been doing “fly on the wall” documentaries for years which were always fascinating, and a lot of the time spectacularly cringeworthy.  And that was okay.  But I have enough reality in my life and I don’t want to come home and watch it on television.  In my day job in human services, I am hit with the full force of reality every day.  Whilst some wannabe chef on the television is crying because they couldn’t satisfy the CWA ladies with their rock hard sponge offerings, I am confronted with a crying woman who is terrified of having to give up her children because they simply have nowhere to sleep that night.  When a couple desperately cling to each other because their made over room didn’t win, again, I see parents desperately clinging to their children who they hope to be able to feed the next day.  I don’t want to see first world problems via reality television anymore.

 It seems that the people who make television are just too lazy to come up with decent drama anymore.  They just stick a whole lot of incompatible, moaning people together, give them an almost impossible task, film them having the inevitable meltdown and call that entertainment.  Well it’s not.  And I’m done with it.

 This is why I love Offspring.  Funny, smart, well dressed, pretend.  Firstly, it is filmed in my beloved Melbourne which is always a plus for me.  Melbourne looks edgy and cool and just the place to be.  Of course, it’s only filmed in cool suburbs, with gorgeous houses but it’s pretend you see, that’s the fun of it!  We have the gorgeous Nina (Asher Keddie is my ongoing girl crush), who dresses brilliantly every single day.  I’ve never seen Nina in an outfit that I don’t covet.  She just does not get it wrong.  She is an obstetrician so she clearly has to be a little bit clever, but that does not get in the way of her occasional lack of social grace and her unlucky in love ways.  Offspring went off track a bit midway through the first season.  I don’t think any of us could really believe that Nina would sleep with her sister’s boyfriend, no matter how hammered she got.  But it is back on track in this new season and I say let’s just forget that little transgression and move on.

 Last season we had the impossibly handsome Don Hany as Nina’s love interest and gorgeous as he was, his indecisiveness drove me nuts in the end and I’m kind of glad he’s out of the picture.  Now we have Nina will a succession of good looking doctors available for her choosing.  First we had Baby Doctor, the student with whom Nina did the dirty and then realised her massive mistake.  He got drunk and cried but he behaved with dignity in the end.  Next we had the divine Dr Hotty McStubble.  I actually can’t remember his name in the show, so transfixed am I by his five o’clock shadow.  Now Dr McStubble it turns out, may be very easy to on the eye but he appears to have some demons, and so Nina will have to deal with a whole heap of crap yet again.

 But I love it!  What’s not to like?  Nina is fantastic!  She has cool fantasies, she stumbles and stutters in social situations, she picks the wrong blokes, she lives in an impossibly chic apartment – this is the kind of thing I want to see on television.  Whilst we can relate to Nina on many levels, who among us has not made a total idiot of themselves in front of a bloke we fancy?  We can also recognise this show for what it is – a pretend, made up, a television show!

 So I say reality begone!  I’ll take a divorced female doctor in her late 30’s whose best friend’s baby is also her half-brother, whose sister is a screaming banshee recently impregnated by her boyfriend’s gay brother and who has an endless stream of dreamy yet broken inside men falling at her feet and giving her amazing sex, over butterflying a lamb carcass and matching drapes to doona covers any day of the week.