Saturday, December 31, 2005

Whistling up the Doctor

Bums slam down on the
dinghy seat. Eyes snap shut just
too slow for the splash.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

(Affects nonchalance)

But really, we haven't seen the eldest of the two furkids since we got back and I'm worried. Not that I'm a "Mom-blogger" or a "cat-blogger" either, mind you.

But, oh.

Doctor Who?

Have you tried this? When I used our... other names... (cough) ... we got between 19% and 67%, depending on which middle names/ surnames we used.

Love Calculator results

These are the results of the calculations by Dr. Love:

Overkill Bill loves Quirkie Sanctifiable

22 %

Dr. Love thinks a relationship might work out between Overkill Bill and Quirkie Sanctifiable, but the chance is very small. A successful relationship is possible, but you both have to work on it. Do not sit back and think that it will all work out fine, because it might not be working out the way you wanted it to. Spend as much time with each other as possible. Again, the chance of this relationship working out is very small, so even when you do work hard on it, it still might not work out.

Best match I could come up with?

Romeo and Juliet at 98%.

But that was a bit melodramatic, n'est pas?

Christmas is as Christmas does

So yeah, I'm back. Miss me? Even notice that I was gone? Bah. I was originally intending to be full of light repartee and suave anecdotal repast but Overkill Bill just intruded on my delicate sensibilities and has totally ruined my mood. Such is my artistic temerament. Very temeramental. The most temeramental temperament I've ever met. He was whinging about work. He was actually whinging about me being on the computer and not coming to bed, but he pretended to be whinging about having nothing to read. I suggested he try Jaspers' The Great Philosophers Vol. IV but he said "Too much like work". What rot. I said "Try to find something you like about work. Make it your hobby, too." Infidel.

Anyway. Christmas. Spent it with the Inlaws. And Their Inlaws. Which makes them Outlaws. Had numerous one-way conversations of which I was not a part. I am now truckload-full of all the red-neck opinions this side of Balga. And hardly a sense of humour left to balance it all with. Which is fine, considering my opinion on the boongs, the bludgers and the biblebashers wasn't required anyway.

On the upside, I ate a rather large quantity of rum balls, white christmas and prawns.

You know what really pisses me? I fully intended to be totally counter-culture and specifically and deliberately look forward to and enjoy this Christmas. I was going, in other words, to not be nasty and cynical about consumerism and having to spend time with otherwise-avoided rellies.

I'm actually still hanging on by a thin thread. Highlights?
  1. Watching my three kids poach marron from a dam. Innocently, I might add. They thought they were gilgies. But golden moments of childhood, particularly for Polly, are etched on my internal scrap-booking system.
  2. Making cheese straws, a la Lady M. The actual batch burned to an unidentifiable crisp, sadly, but the prototype batch, which no-one but me tasted, was brilliant.
  3. Texting many friends with a Merry Christmas message and getting many replies. Christmas cards be buggered. Haven't sent any in years. But this made me feel instantly connected, and made me smile more than you'd expect.
  4. Exchanging gifts and hugs with a devoutly Bhuddist friend. I don't know what this means, but it's definitely Christmassy.
  5. Receiving the gift of my sister-in-law's smile. I didn't realise how much I missed it, nor how much I am fond of her, and wish for her to smile at me.
  6. The rest was largely forgettable. Just didn't want to end on a sentimental note and ruin my sulk.
Also, I'm looking forward to meeting the newest addition to the Grump-Berry household, Violet Crumbleruff.

Happy 29th of December.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


I don't remember how or why I ended up at this site, but it's just charming. For instance, did you know:

... that a can of cola mixed in with the wash will take the pee smell out of kids clothes? (I don't know how "Sabrina" Michael Matthews figured this out, but I, for one, am glad that he did.)

... washing up liquid can be used as a lubricant to release a dog stuck in a rocky crevasse? (Submitted by Axel Klystron.)

... one shouldn't mix cut daffodils in with other cut flowers as the daffodils produce a toxin that kills off the other flowers. (This, understandably, was submitted anonymously. The Daffodil Conspiracy, while pooh-poohed in broader, and sadly naive, society, is a force best left untampered. With.)

And I, humbling as it is to admit it, have no idea what Susan Carter means by this:

Instead of sneakers, use a can of new tennis balls.


Friday, December 16, 2005

I'm feeling particularly un-funny at the moment. Just so you know. Just so you can look a little awkward for a microsecond before you flip your hair and pretend to see someone you met last week over on the other side of the room and then dash over to the punch bowl and start maniacally jabbering at a complete stranger just to get away from me.

Because this could be catching, you know.

Oh, hi there! Welcome to the oh-shit-its-holidays-and-I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-myself Quirkland Borderline Antisocial Personality Conduct Disorder Show!

Grab the prawn crackers and a UDL, sit down, and make yourself unfathomable.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Mayday was just wondering... any other children write blogs? She'd like to visit them so they will visit her, but I'm a little nervous about setting her completely loose in the Blogosphere. Let me know if you know any, so I can pass the information on.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Friday, December 09, 2005

Mayday! Mayday!

I feel it's only right that I give fair warning. A new Day has dawned in Blogdom. You May link to it here.

In which Quirkie unashamedly brags about her kids who are the best in the entire galaxy.

It didn't even occur to me til I read Rodney's post about his kids. (Such is my commitment to frivolity and nonchalance). But I'm really proud of my kids and I don't mind blogging it.

Having gone to a really little primary school (there were only six graduating year 7's) Polly was concerned that the academic achievement certificates she used to win were just for show; her great fear was that when she went to a big highschool she would fail miserably (or worse, be mediocre) when compared to her peers. Well, she and her old primary school mate tied for dux in one core subject, and she was nominated for another one. Not a bad show for our little primary school kids. Ha! In your face all you critics (who don't read this blog anyway) who said I was 'limiting' my kids by sending them there. Ha!

Even better, this same Polly rounded up her old year 7 class to go back to the primary school's final assembly to bid farewell to their old retiring Principal (who was really touched). Then the little gang took themselves over the road to the cafe (this was so sweet - they're only 13) where they decided to form a band over this school holidays. She's such a great kid that sometimes I think I'll bust and I don't know how we could be related.

At the assembly, Mayday was required to sing a solo. Mayday, who, you may have heard, actually you haven't, because, unbelievably, I haven't blogged about it, battles endlessly with anxiety, particularly about going to school. This is partly becasue she is highly strung. Also, she is the middle daughter of three, which immediately set her up to be unusual by necessity, in order to distinguish herself. She looks like Nikki Webster, talks like Wednesday Adams and does better impersonations than Robin Williams on acid. However, she is torturously shy on stage which resulted in a humiliating disaster earlier this year (how did I not blog about that? I wanted to kill people, I really did). So Mayday sang her solo (which I fretted about behind her back all week, and couldn't stop myself from checking "Are you sure you want to do this? Because you don't have to, you know?" at regular intervals). She grinned all the way through it, apparently because the teacher and secretary kept winking and waving at her, and she did it by clutching onto a little crocheted cross which the secretary had given her. (This cross is doing the rounds. The secretary was given it when she needed courage, under instructions that it was to be passed on. Mayday will hand it on next, and I wonder where it will end up.) SO Mayday sang! She sang like a little bird. I wept through the whole thing, but thankfully I was far enough back in the crowd that she couldn't tell, so I didn't put her off. She was disappointed that she didn't get the academic prize this year like she did last year, but I told her that just proves there are two brilliant kids in her class now.

So with Polly, as the oldest child, carrying the heavy burden all my hopes and ambitions, and Mayday, carrying the weight of my terrors of being an awful parent, Noisie, as the cherished and pampered baby of the family was free to have fun and run amok. But she took out the academic award for Pre-primary anyway.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Does my bum look big in this?

So how's this profile pic? It feels more like me today.

Also, I'll link back to everyone when I remember how to do it.

The old "changing-the-template-stuffs-up-all-modifications" trick. Fiendish Blogger.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Three things that have made me laugh this week

Noisie (after fuming in the back seat for some minutes) : I'm sooo jealous. Ooooh! I'm so jealous!
Q: What's wrong, Noise?
Noisie: Ooooooh I'm so JEALOUS. I can't be STILL I'm so jealous of all the people with Christmas lights on their house. NNNNNNNNnnnnnnGggah! (pant, pant)

Polly (wistfully) : Do you think they have theology camp for thirteen year olds?

Mayday's Bathroom Towel Fashion Parade. I was particularly impressed the 'Indian Show-offish', inspired by cowboy chaps, covering everything but the bare essestials. There is also 'Baby on a hunger strike', in which the nappy falls off, 'The Turbanulator', which kind of speaks for itself, and 'Those nun-guys in Monty Python which keep wacking themselves over the head with their Bibles'. All this followed by a rousing chorus of armpit farting. Excellent.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Happy unbirthday to me :)

I've nearly been blogging for a whole year. So I thought I'd treat myself to a little profile picture makeover. What do you reckon? Too pink? I think I'll road test a few. The kids picked this one out.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Word Verification made me do it.

All I have to do is write "smenita".

It sounds simple, doesn't it? I want to comment on people's blogs (because that's just the kind of girl I am. I comment, alright? I commentate.)

But WV tells me I've got it wrong. I've tried "srnenita" and "_smenita" and "smenita_" and "sme_nita" and nothing works.

So if you think I've suddenly become an overnight lurker then you're absloutely right.

But it's not by choice. Bah. Any ideas? Bah! I can't even ask in a comment!

I feel so alone.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Right. Let's get one thing straight. I don't normally get sucked in by pass-em-round emails, but this one has me stuffed.

Lift your right foot off the ground and rotate it clockwise.

While doing so, write a number six in the air with your right hand.

After school. Snacks.

This is what I make for my kids. (Well, not me, the Lord, you know, but I arranged them.)

And this is what I make for me (well, not me, you know, Baker's Delight.)

Is this self-abuse? Or is it self-gratification? I just can't decide.

Do it. You know you want to.

I just discovered this thing via Rodney. Apparently it increases your blog traffic. I mean, who's interested in that? Not me. I write purely for the joy. But I thought it would be an interesting experiment, you know. And I know you do too. But I thought you may have a friend who was interested in a little free advertising so their paltry writer's ego could be tended by having more awe-struck and appreciative readers, you know.

And the cool thing is that you get credits! I have no idea what this means, but I'm hoping I can use them at the supermarket.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Plagiarism alone doesn't make me a bad person.

But it helps. I thought you might enjoy this anyway.

Monday, November 21, 2005

You got nuthin I want

I got this idea from Rodney. You google "your name needs" and write down the first ten results. Well, Google didn't seem to recognise my name, so I googled what Mum would have called me if I'd been a boy.

  1. Quirkie needs money for art supplies.
  2. Quirkie needs help.
  3. What Quirkie needs right now more than anything else is for the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series.
  4. Quirkie needs your help.
  5. Quirkie needs no bell to silence Pacers.
  6. Quirkie needs a ride home.
  7. Quirkie needs to learn to play purposefully with toys.
  8. Quirkie needs to develop step-by-step approaches to academic work.
  9. Quirkie needs a home!
  10. Quirkie needs a Smock.

Thank God I'm a girl. Apparently I would have been a complete wanker otherwise.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Parenting theologically

Polly had already snapped at Noisie, hurt her feelings, felt remorseful and said 'Sorry' by the time I got into the car to take them to school this morning. Noisie had told me all of Polly's crimes by the time I had my seatbelt on. Polly rolled her eyes at me. No fear there; she knew I understood.

Q: Noisie, have you forgiven Polly?
N: No. [Eyes stubbornly downcast]
Q: You know Polly loves you. She did the wrong thing, and now she's sorry.
N: I don't know where that spot is in my heart to forgive her.

Hmm, I thought as I pulled out of the driveway. The pre-primary teacher must have introduced this idea.

Q: I think it is in the same place in your heart where you love Polly.
N: I'll check. [Closes eyes to concentrate] Deeper... deeper... deeper... deeper... deeper... deeper... I think I've got it... Nope, that's my skeleton. Deeper... deeper... deeper. Nope. I can't find it.
Q: Mmm. Maybe it's in the part of your heart where you remember all the things you have done wrong.
N: Oh I don't remember them. I don't hold those grubs in my hand. I just give them to Jesus, and he takes care of it for me.
Q: Rr...right... Umm... Where do you think Jesus looks in his heart to forgive you?
N: It's probably in his love words.
Q: ...
Q: ...?
N: I'm sorry Polly, and I forgive you.
P: That's OK , Noise. Thanks.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

20 ways to purge blog material

I haven't responded to Kranki's tag yet out of the firm conviction that Fluffy is on the money.

But since I've got nothing better to do than study for an exam and drive to work, and since I'm sure (certainly?) that there must be at least a few more than 20 things you don't know about me yet, I thought, what the hell?

1. Kranki said I've usually got something pithy to say. What he doesn't know is that that'th only when I'm pithed.

(Sigh. Yet on we go.)

2. I have a birthmark on my right shin, and ever since I was little, I have always crossed my legs so it doesn't show.

3. I like to sing "As long as he needs me" in a Cockney accent. I think it makes it more tragic.

4. When I was 6 I nearly suffocated my little brother by locking him in a suitcase so I could perform a magic trick on him.

5. When I was 9, my little brother nearly suffocated in a wheat truck because my Dad thought I was just screaming 'like a girl'.

6. I'm not as close to my little brother as I'd like.

7. My second toes are not as long as my big toes, and when I was 10 my friend told me this was a sign that I was not beautiful.

8. When I read a book, I can't start it until I've read all the publication details, and I always imagine that I know what the person to whom it's dedicated looks like.

9. I'd rather get the piano restored than cap my tooth, but since a can't afford to do either, that's probably moot.

10. I love the smell of passionfruit, but I don't eat them because of the seeds.

11. No one got my sense of humour until I was a grown up, and even now my husband looks at me funny.

12. I really hope cats and dogs go to heaven. Mostly cats.

13. I love swimming naked, but I haven't done it since I was a teenager.

14. Oddly, I have more sex now than I did then.

15. I'm not afraid of the dark anymore.

16. You know, of course the things in the dark still bother me somewhat.

17. I'm pretty sure I'm not an alcoholic.

18. I took up smoking cigars when I was thirty, because I've always liked the smell of them.

19. I got a tattoo the same year, on my ankle. It didn't hurt a bit.

20. I feel really comforted by the fact that my husband is going grey early.


Now, five unsuspecting genii: Hazel Blackberry, because she's got a way with trivia, Jellyfish, because she's back in town, Fred Austere, because I dare him to do it without once bitching about clothes or music, Rodney Olsen, becasue he's the world's most dedicated blogger and I don't know how he keeps coming up with stuff, and TJ, because I love her sticky notes and her last post about her uncle must mean she's got heaps of family secrets.

Luv yers all.

Oh wicked, bad, naughty Zoot.

You can tell I have an exam coming up on account of I'm blogging.

I handed my assignment in this morning on the way to school. I got there really early, as one does, to slip the assignment under the lecturer's door, in the hope that she'll think I handed it in yesterday after she went home. But then my conscience kicked me and I wrote today's date on it. But then I made it look like it had been finished yesterday, and I just hadn't caught her in time.

I sometimes wonder how many marks my soul is worth.

Gifts from the Negotiator

All Morning Tea posts will hitherto be renamed as Gifts from the Negotiator.


You didn't think I bought myself doughnuts and stuff every Tuesday and Thursday morning did you?

This morning's offering is lemon rice. Fried oil, dhal, mustard seed, shredded coconut, peanuts, lemon, plenty of salt and a leaf of unknown identity, mixed through rice.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The cybergurus have spoken

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

Actually, I can't believe they are so inaccurate. I mean, yeah, I feel pretty good. I drove home after dropping the kids at school and I felt that weird glowing feeling you get that tells you something good, nay, something cosmically wonderful, is going to happen, has happened. The sun was making everything pretty and the morning radio was chatting in the background with its buddies. I went to turn it off, so I could focus on the good feeling and figure out where it was coming from or what it meant, so I could pray and figure it out. But then I turned it back on because that seemed too much like hard work. And I drove home feeling cosmic. I wondered if God was communicating something to me, something very specifically for me to share with the world, or about the world, which God wanted only me to know. Then I stopped thinking that because I think that's just how schizophrenia starts.

And anyway, didn't the cybergurus *know* I have to write a 4000 word assignment this morning? There should be a section in there to uncover exactly how many methods of procrastination people have used in the last week.


Do you reward yourself with coffee and/or chocolate everytime you sit down at the computer, before you do any work?
Do you get up from the computer before you start writing to make yourself another coffee?
Do you check your friends' blogs before you start writing, just to get yourself into the mood?
Do you then begin responding to tags because, well, now you've *seen* them, you should really strike while the iron's hot?
Do you decide that would be irresponsible, and then write your own blog anyway?
Do you sit for 30 seconds pondering whether to continue this innane list, or to make another coffee?

I know I do.

Monday, November 07, 2005

By way of explanation... my brain has imploded

(Such as it was.)

As the increasing appearance of doughnuts at morning tea time may have indicated, I've been a wee bit, er, distracted of late. For one thing, I failed an exam. FAILED. An exam.

This shits me no end.

Such is the degree to which I hang my raison d'etre on being a high performing nerd.

Re-read that sentence. I am a failed nerd.

A nerde defuncte.

A nerd who invents french phrases whenever she's annoyed with herself/ other people/ whole systems of people/ systems of systems of people.

A nerd who irreverently uses the solidus/ oblique/ slash/ diagonal/ separatrix/ shilling mark/ stroke/ virgule/ slant and/or forward slash without any consideration of the sensitivities of her readers.

Hence the doughnuts.

By the way, to any Americans reading this, the correct spelling of 'dough' is D O U G H, not 'do'. Just so you know, that really annoys me. It annoys me so much I feel justified in permitting myself to incorrectly, and, furthermore, hypocritically, punctuate and grammarise that last sentence.


I have an exam on Saturday, and a 4000 word assignment to produce on Wednesday.

Also, I have more counselling clients than I thought I would have at this time of year, and one of them in particular is a child that (who? whom?) I cannot get out of my head. I want to adopt this child and perform a joint double bypass decapitation and/or sterilisation on it's parents. Never allow me to counsel your children. HA! and now you know why I don't use my real name here.



So, yeah, I'm off to see my supervisor about this one. Transference issues, unresolved conflicts... yada yada.

PS: Thanks for the vote of confidence Fred.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Morning Tea #5


So it's also lunch.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Visiting with Lady M

You may have heard me mention my maternal grandmother, Lady M, before. Wit and Genius does, of course, tend to run in families, so it's a wonder she doesn't appear here more often.

Anyway, I always learn something when visiting Lady M. I mean, among the circular conversations, and reminders about where we're going and why, and disgruntled commentary on the silly old fool of a man who keeps pinching her daily paper, and where did these glasses come from? They're not mine. I've never owned a pair like that.

Anyway, did you know what dandelions used to be called?


Go ask yer own Granny. She should know.


Isan Sticky Rice and Reheated Roast Beef Pan Drippings.

It may not look like much, but I can't take another picture because it is ALL GONE.

Achingly salty.

Like touching your tongue to the end of a torch battery.

Only much, much more satisfying.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Be Bold With Bananas

If anyone doubts that a cookbook with this title actually exists, follow this link.*

If anyone doubts that I own a copy of this cookbook, get a load of this. They call it Banana duck in orange sauce.

Mayday calls it Substitute Turkey. Either way, the advertising executive that ok'ed this travesty should be taken out and beaten to within an inch of his worthless life with an oversized organic banana.

*The Banana Candle dessert is just so lewd that I couldn't bring myself to publish it here.

Morning Tea #4

Morning tea occurs early this morning, due to the resumption of school term.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Amazing Psychic Children!

(Curled up together, watching Du Rififi Chez Les Hommes, but that fact is irrelevant to this post.)

Noisie: Do you know what you are?
Me: What am I?
Noisie: Warm.
Me: Do you know what you are?
Noisie: Soft.

I love school holidays, generally.

Well, the school holidays have progressed. I love school holidays, generally. Normally the kids' teachers get the best of them, all their milestones, all their lovely malapropisms and solecisms, their witticisms and commentaries, all their smiles. I get them early-morning bleary-eyed and after-school exhausted. On the school holidays I get to pretend I'm on holidays too, and wear my pyjamas all day, eat junk-food and play computer games. Normally, I mostly am on holidays too. But this time, the university calender doesn't quite synchronise, and instead of pyjama days I've been siting exams and writing assignments. Bother. Also, Bill is in South East Asia, although I could have told him the answer sure ain't there.*


I lost a client last week. Terribly clumsy of me, I know. This bothered me more than it should have.

Also, my computer has been in for servicing, so I have been lost to the blog world. (I'm using Miffy's at the moment - don't tell her.) Lost, I tell you.

* This link for anyone concerned that this throw away comment is a reflection on the state of my marriage, or suggests any extramarital contingency plan on Bill's part. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

In lieu of genius (2)

I have been off studying for an exam, hence the lack of inspired commentary. I intend to continue in this vein for some hours longer. Meanwhile, you may like to pop over to Polly's spot. Fancies herself a bit of a poet. I fancy she may be right.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Morning Tea #2

I swear I do not remember why kids pick out the raisins.

Reasons why I like being a Mum (in no particular order) #2

I can pretend (you know, for their sake).

Words apart

I wasn't going to say anything about the Katrina debacle, but I just couldn't help myself (unlike these lucky fellows):

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Morning Tea

Huston, we have touch down.

You may recall, last time we spoke, I mentioned an overdue essay I had to write.


Well, yes, it became that way.

I have this little problem, whereby I can only think straight when under extreme pressure. Lately, however, the line between enough pressure and too much pressure has become rather crepuscular. A little fuliginous, if you will. On one side of it, I'm not motivated enough to start and have insufficient circulating adrenalin to force the neurons to connect; on the other side I am too paralysed with terror and self-contempt that I cannot breathe properly, let alone effuse genius.

However, the Dalai Maharishi had some very helpful advice, which I am not loathe to share here: He suggested that I was a rotten little sinner, and I should stop it.

He also suggested that I pray like Paul for the Ephesians, repent like a Galatian, and also set an alarm clock. So I did. And by golly it worked! For some reason, simply asking God to show me how much he loves me, (rather than trying to convince myself of it) has taken the terror out of the whole thing.

Now, I really don't know how much of that is psychology, and how much is God being particularly nice. As the bishop said to the actress, "I don't mind, so long as it works."

Reasons why I like being a Mum (in no particular order) #1

Exotic After-School Snacks

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

In lieu of genius

Ok, just a quick whinge, and then you can all go back to what you were doing before.

The washing machine blew up (I mean, that is to say, without the noise or the smoke, id est it stopped working) on Saturday, as did the computer.

On the up side, my new mobile phone has a camera, so as soon as I can figure out how to get the pictures onto the computer, we shall have pictures, and pictures we shall have.

Now, I must be off, for I am about to set a new land speed record for writing a 2000 word essay on a topic about which the author knows next to nothing.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Falling-out bits, uneaten.

Young Noisie is home from school today with a virus. I knew she had one coming, because she usually really loves school, but she's been trying to get out of it for the last two days. Last night she hopped into bed with me. Her temperature was really high (I don't know how high. When Polly was little we used to rush her off to the hospital becasue her head felt warm, only to wait three hours to be told there was nothing wrong with her and that she had no temperature. I think that's something to do with only checking their foreheads when I think they're sick, so I've really no idea how hot they're supposed to feel when they're not. But because I'm a far more neglectful parent than I used to be, I no longer subject myself to the eye-rolling of hospital staff whenever I think one of my kids has a temperature. So when I say the kid had a temperature, just take my word for it, ok?).

So anyway, Noisie had a really high temperature last night. I know this because she was speaking even more nonsense than usual. All night she was muttering things like "That timing's not right", and "There's a matter". I mostly managed to ignore her.

(Really, the child does require ignoring on a regular basis. Last night, in exasperation at the high number of juvenile voices ranting at one time and at maximum volume, I made the understandable suggestion that "Will you all. Shuuuuut. Uuuuuuuuup?", hopefully in a voice not completely devoid of maternal affection. Noisie said aghast, amidst the downward-winding roar, "Oh. Mum. You said the F word."

Q: I what, dear?
N: You said the F word.
Q: Er, the F word? What F word did I say?
N: (soto voce) Shut up.
Q: That's the F word?
N: It's one of them.

You get my drift. Sometimes it's best just to ignore them.)

All night I mostly just shoved her further down under my armpit, until morning when I acquired enough consciousness to find the fridge and rattle a bottle of panadol out of the back of it. She's been fine, since, except for being rather pink around the edges.

However, and this leads me to my main point, lunch at home, consisting of a Hungry Jacks baguette, of which I did not eat the falling-out bits, replaced an otherwise planned and brightly anticipated lunch with the delightful Ms Blackberry, at which I most certainly would have eaten the falling out bits, if her recommendation of said unrequited luncheon, at the recommended luncheoning establishment, was up to scratch, as to the veracity of which I have no doubt.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Attention, class.

I would like whoever "accidentally" took my mobile phone to please return it. It is important that the telephone is returned immediately, because I need it to receive business calls, and also to contact my friends and family. Not having it is causing me a great deal of inconvenience.

Just put it on my desk, and no more will be said about it.

Friday, August 05, 2005

A Hiroshima A-Bomb victim, Ms. Kurihara Sadako, once wrote the following passage in one of her poems:

It was night in the basement of a broken building
Victims of the atomic bomb
Crowded into the candleless darkness

Filling the room to overflowing
The smell of fresh blood, the stench of death
The stuffiness of human sweat, the writhing moans
When, out of the darkness, came a wondrous voice
"Oh! The baby's coming!" it said

And so, a new life was born
In the darkness of that living hell

We shall give forth new life!
We shall bring forth new life!
Even to our death
Last night we felt like celebrating. We had nibbles for dinner: nachos, rice crackers and dip, marinated chicken wings, chilli-fried chicken giblets and chocolate icecream. The girls had orange juice in champagne flutes, I bought a bottle of better-than-usual red, because life really is too short to drink bad wine, Bill had a jug of water, and we toasted each other and our esteemed invisible guest. Lolek came over and we emptied the bottle of red while screen printing peace flags, and the kids stayed up way too late for a school night.

This morning I was interested to learn that Bill believes Douglas MacArthur had no choice but to bomb Japan. I told him I thought there was always a choice. For instance, they could have all agreed to call it a day, and gone home to be nice to their kids. He refused to discuss it further with me until I'd read up on it. He said "There's no point having an uninformed discussion."


So, at the exact time that the other people in Perth who believe that everyone should really make a bit of an effort to be nicer to each other are waving their homemade peace flags at:

Forest Place

because they saw it advertised here,

Bill and I will be resuming our own peace talks, under the watchful eye of the Dalai Maharishi.


I've lost my mobile phone and, for those who came in late, that really irritates me.

Friday, July 22, 2005

I'm ho-ome!

So anyway, Bali was very relaxing.

The food was good.

There was nothing to do.

The kids lived in the pool.

(They got their hair braided.)

We cooled our heels,


and (mostly) got rid of the monkey.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.

"What am I doing up at this hour?" you ask?


I'm doing my second last task before I go to bed. Tomorrow, very early in the morn, we go to Bali. I have not yet packed anything for self or children. The kitchen is gutless, awaiting the warm and soothing caress of various talented tradies; the washing is piled in enormous baskets, hidden away and awaiting folding when we get back; the cats have been relocated to the back landing, where they are complaining loudly and pitifully; I have finished all last minute writing and financial accounting; and now I'm going to go to bed.

Am I the only person alive on the face of the Earth who is suffering from this rotten cold? Everywhere is warm except in my house. You Eastern Staters are all cosily sleeping in your ducted air-warmed shelters, thoroughly prepared for the winter. Everybody else on the planet is having summer, and half of them are having it in the daytime. All except me. And the Russians. Not the Russians. Poor bastards.

So I'm going to bed. But not before I have a ridiculously hot shower so that I nearly pass out with heat exhaustion, just so I can battle my way through the ceilingless kitchen, down the freezing corridor, and into the unsuspecting presence of my beloved, where I will shove my stubbornly warmth-resistant toes under his delightfully cosy buttock.

I'll try to take photos.

Of Bali, silly.

e-you when I get back :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

It is cold.

Oh it's so cold. We have no ceiling. We have no ceiling because I kicked it out. Most literally. From above. Kick kick kick kick kick. Til it was gone. And now we have no ceiling, and it is cold.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Remember; you heard it here first.

After years of painstaking research, and, in the interests of animal welfare, of submitting myself to gruelling experimental trials, I can now proudly declare:

I have done it.

I Have Invented Hot Chocolate.

Growing up in Australia, I, along with every other Australian child, read British stories in which, far away in that fantastic place of snow at Christmas-time, coal fires and elevenses, the children would snuggle up with their Nurses and drink hot chocolate. Only ever having tasted cold chocolate, I naturally imagined that hot chocolate was made by melting milk chocolate bars until, somehow, it was runny enough to drink from a cup, but not so hot as to scald. Oh, the decadence! Surely only the wealthiest British children would have hot chocolate to drink. This was confirmed in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in which Charlie, the poorest little boy in all of England, only gets to drink hot chocolate when he wins the prize and visits the marvellous Chocolate Room, where he drinks it from the Chocolate River.

I was somewhat disappointed when the movie came out and the Chocolate River looked exactly like water with brown food colouring added, but I decided that this was because movies can't really capture the reality of a river flowing with melted chocolate, mixed by waterfall.

You can imagine my disapointment when I discovered that what the Brits meant, when they talked of hot chocolate, was cocoa. Cocoa, in hot water, with sugar added. This, of course, looks exactly like the water with brown food colouring added.

Oh, we had cocoa, alright. And Quik. And Milo. But nothing ever even approached the wonderful heavenly beverage advertised in the books.

Anyway, my point is coming, and my point is this: The awful truth of the matter is that, until recently, hot chocolate did not exist, except in the minds of Roald Dahl and myself.

Until, as I said, recently.

This morning, in fact.

It is indeed a fact that, this morning, as I was making my morning cup of coffee, I did notice that on the bench had been left a jar of Nutella. Ajar. Further, it is also a fact that, after I had poured boiling water into my cup, and was sleepily stirring my teaspoon of coffee in that cup with a teaspoon, I noticed that I had a teaspoon in my hand.

Although I was as yet unaware of the fact, history was about to be made.

For, although outwardly my appearancewas that of a person barely able to connect two logical thoughts in sequence, inwardly the neuronal networks were already connecting and firing, dancing a mad, frenzied electronic tarantella. Subconsciously, and without even thinking about it very much, I removed the teaspoon from the cup, steered it toward the Nutella jar, scooped out a teaspoon full of Nutella, and guided it swiftly back to the cup. All of this in a matter of seconds. Thereupon, I rapidly stirred the sticky substance until it was fully disolved. Rapidly, I mention, because I knew I was onto something. Then, in one crazy, serendipitous moment, it occured to me that, only steps away, in the refrigerator, I had some milk. Quickly, and without stopping to process the monumental significance of the moment, I dashed to the fridge, poured a standard quantity of milk into the cup, stirred again, had the rare forethought to remove the spoon, lifted the cup to my parched, yet hopeful, lips, and tasted the concoction.

Yes! Hot Chocolate had been discovered.

My life's work was complete.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bali Hi!

We're off to Bali soon.

[Contemplatively places fingertips together. Observes index fingers tapping.]

You know; Bali, Indonesia. Famous for its terrorist bomb attacks, tsunamis, and drug smuggling detainees. And its shopping.

Not unlike Mexico.

(This last comment, for my US readers. West Australians are often tripping off to Bali, just as your Statesiders are fond of nipping down south, and for much the same reasons. The beaches are nice, the food looks foreign but has all been appropriately doctored, and the locals are really friendly even when we get drunk and throw up all over their sidewalks.)

Yep. Swap the pigs in Mexico for monkeys, and you've got Bali.

Actually, I must admit. This jet-setting lifestyle to which I so casually allude is a fancy. The Quirkie Clan is only getting to Bali because Miffy and Par Two are paying. This is because they took Polly when she was nine, and now Mayday, being nine this year, is having her turn. Except Mayday, bless her, was too anxious to go alone, so we all get to come and keep her company.

Hmmmm. A fortnight with my parents. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

[Contemplatively places fingertips together. Observes index fingers tapping.]

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Well, golly. I didn't think it would take *this* long to get over a stint in paid work. I've been all of a dither. You see, Paid Work, being far more credible and useful for society in general, (compared to my usual self-indulgent passtimes of lazing around at home with the children, pointlessly soul-searching in successive university courses and generally being a drain on the honest, hard-working taxpayers that make up the backbone of our nation) was also a rather convenient and respectable excuse for not working on a project that really should be much further along than it currently is.

Now I have no such excuse. Except for the one that goes "But I'm really actually stupid, far more stupid and incompetent than you could ever have guessed. And I'm ugly."

But I'm saving that trump card for when I really need it. And, knowing how these things can string out, I may have to hold that one for some time.

However, and this leads me to my original point: I'm in a dither. Which is not such a bad thing when you have a glass of champagne in one hand and a well-built fisherman in the other, but I tell you it's a bugger when you're behind on your assignments.

What one really needs now is some chocolate. Then, I say, one should flick through one's Favourites menu once more and read some blogs, just to get one's mind into a, er, thinking mode. One should then remind oneself of one's inestimable worth in the eyes of the Creator, and not base one's sense of identity on the success or failure of the aforementioned project.

One should do one's best to believe this.

Then eat some more chocolate.

Then, when one feels one is really ready to spurt forth with effervescent perspicacity, one should immediately, and without hesitation, throw oneself fully and bountifully into the ...

...task of opening the front door. Sigh. The kids are home.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Eye strain, you strain, we all strain for weevils.

Good grief.

I've been a temporary part-time public servant for two weeks and I haven't blogged about it. Not because I didn't want you to know.

Heck no.

It's because I've been so bloody exhausted. How about that. Not that I ever thought people in the public service didn't work hard. No, seriously. I hate snide remarks about government employees about as much as I hate snide remarks about Christians. Or school teachers. Or hunky men who will only give you the time of day if they're wearing a digital watch. (Actually, that one I don't mind too much.)

I'd like to say the government called me in to do crisis counselling with some high-ranking officials who wouldn't speak to anyone with fewer than three undergraduate degrees in unrelated fields, or to do some quick code-breaking on a communication they had just received from their double agent in Belchistan, or to lend my expertise in evaluating the program theory for their next excursion into pico-technology as it lends itself to intra-office diplomacy.

However, their need, at this time, was for someone willing to stare at a computer screen for seven hours a day, and who knew how to use the cut and paste function in Word documents.

I feel I have conducted myself thus far with aplomb. It has certainly been an aplombinable job.

It has, however, left me with a wretched case of eye-strain. Fortunately, a very good friend of mine, Bronzewing, had a knee operation on Tuesday, and so could share her prescription- strength ibuprofen with me when we had lunch together on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, the effects of this wonderful little mothers' helper had worn off by Friday evening, and this, your Honour, is how I found myself lured into the seemy netherworld of Insurance Fraud.

Oh yes.

With a brain functioning only from the medulla oblongata downwards, I calmly and unhesitatingly reversed Bill's jeep into a brand new commodore ute, which was parked half a kilometre away from me in a carpark stunningly well lit by 10,000 unflickering, naked, fluorescent light tubes.

I briefly considered telling myself there was probably only a rubber-smear from my very soft tail-gate, and driving away. Then my curiosity (or was it my conscience?) got the better of me, and I got out and had a look. I briefly considered telling myself their insurance would cover it, and driving away. Then I noticed someone sitting in a nearby car. They hadn't noticed me yet. Then, yes, it was definitely my conscience this time, got the better of me, and I went back to the jeep, pulled a piece of paper out of my diary, and blurrily wrote my phone number on it (the eyestrain) and stuck it under his wiper.

Then I drove away. I added up all the money I had been making which I was going to put towards the kitchen renovations, and mentally redirected it towards paying for a new front panel on the commodore. Then I felt good. I mean, I felt really good. I was so pleased with myself, and immediately started drafting sermons on how once, many years ago, I had been tempted to drive away after dinging someone's brand new commodore, but had decided that the cost to my conscience would have been more than it was worth. I was really relieved, thinking I had narrowly escaped feeling my heart grow hard with self-justification.

Then the guy rang up and, when I told him I wasn't insured, basically because I'm nationally recognised as an insurance risk, he offered to use his insurance and just get me to pay his excess.


And I also accepted his kind words of thanks for leaving my number.

There. Now you know. I'm a complete fraud*.

*Any comments to the contrary will be gratefully and shamefacedly received. Any comments to the similar will be tersely ignored.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Appropriate sources of firewood on a desert island (Part II)

Fred wanted to know what's wrong with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Instead of ranting in the comments section, I think I'll do it, in the words of Fritz Perls, in the HERE and NOW.

Now, here this:

Something wrong with the DSM?! Sheesh, nawwh. It's great reading and very useful if you want to be able to diagnose everyone you know with a mental illness. We all fit in there somewhere.

The DSM is basically a categorised list of symptoms. I don't even like to use the word 'symptoms' because that reeks of the whole medical model.

This is how the medical model works: If you fit one of the categories, then you must be 'sick'. Now, if you have diabetes, that is useful to know, because then you can go to a doctor, and the doctor can prescribe insulin, and you'll feel rather a lot better and you'll stop passing out.

But if you feel really sad, then you figure 'oh, I must be sick, I'd better go to a doctor'. So you go. And the doctor gives you some medicine, and if you take enough of it, you don't notice how sad you are anymore. Your father can ignore you for the rest of his life and you won't care.

Or if you get dignosed with schizophrenia, you take your medicine, you poor sick puppy, and you walk around feeling like you've got a vice clamped over your brain, and you don't have sex anymore, but at least you don't offend as many people.

What sucks about this is that:

(1) people believe the labels they're given and these labels stick (despite the fact that people who hear voices often just grow out of it as they get older, without any drugs or therapy at all)

(2) the book, and the whole medical/ pharmeceutical establishment that goes with it is making an obscene amount of money by making up these labels

(3) the labels in the book aren't even based on scientific reseaarch, they're created by political and market pressures

(4) the book reinforces society's notion that people must all conform to 'normal' as defined by the powerful

(5) the book reinforces the thought that a suffering person is a broken machine that can be tinkered with and fixed, rather than a hungry, sad, afraid, disconnected soul who needs vastly much more than a shot in the arm and a change of attitude.

Friday, May 13, 2005

A tricky thing to do

HB has suggested I list, for your general critical amusement, my favourite books. This is quite impossible because I'm the sort of person who repeatedly blows her clothing budget on books, so much so that the clothes I am currently sitting in are: a floor length cardigan knitted for me by Miffy, a long, blue print sleeveless summer dress two sizes two big that I bought for $1 at a Good Sammys clearance sale, a pair of sandals I inherited from my grandmother who died five years ago, and ... hang on... yes, the knickers, although not new, were new four years ago when my mother-in-law gave them to me.

Ah have ahlways relahed on the kahndness of strayngers.

However, this wicked habit has left me in the helpless position of owning too many books. My procrastinatory nature also means that most of these books, I could still technically say, I'm "currently reading". Nevertheless:

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be saved?

Does the Bible count as one book? If not, then I'd pick Romans. It's the most systematic presentation of the Christian faith and I think, if pushed, we could get by on just that one.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Shaddup. Jesus does NOT count here. And, being an astute readership, I don't need to own up to you about crushes on the many and varied hommes d'amoureux of Mills & Boon fame. Let's just say Mr Darcy and leave it at that.

The last book you bought was…?

A whole bundle in one hit from Koorong. (Well, there was a sale on and there were heaps of bargains I wasn't expecting.) But one that I paid full price for was Liquid Church, because I've been meaning to get hold of it for ages to see if my latest experiments with doing the faith community thing are anything like what he's talking about.

The last book you read was…?

You mean, in it's entirety? Well, that takes me back... I think it was the Wind on Fire series. These books are just three of the zillions that remind me that most of the best writing is done for kids.

What are you currently reading?

Knnff. Knnff, she snorts again through her one unblocked nostril. How about I just list four of them:
A Step Further (the continued theological reflections of a young quadriplegic woman, which has been oddly comforting to me lately)
Evaluation: A systematic approach (an eye-gougingly boring book, with a cover the colour of baby poo. I may have to take up cocaine to help me get through the first chapter.)
Lemony Snicket's A series of unfortunate events (bed time reading with MayDay, who finds morbid consolation in watching the tragic lives of the three orphans go from bad to horrendous. She was particularly fascinated by Aunt Josephine's fatal encounter with the Lachrymose Leeches.)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (in patient anticipation of the Half Blood Prince)

Five books you would take to a desert island…

Anna Karenina because I bought it on special and STILL haven't found time to read it.
The NIV Bible because I'd have time to read it propoerly, despite it's English awkwardness, and do hermeneutic analyses of the bits I don't get.
The Chronicles of Narnia (for when I find it too hard to understand the Bible, and so I can read about Aslan and be reminded what of God's like)
Pride and Prejudice (because it's the only book I've finished three times.)
The DSM (any edition) so I could use it as fire wood.

Who are you passing this stick on to and why?

Sweedums, because it's about time she started a blog, and Polly Waffle, because she does tend to.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Mothers Day

Nick thinks he's got it bad. Hah. Last week, Bill asked me what I would like for Mothers Day. Being the self-indulgent type, I shamelessly put in an extravagant request for a dust buster for my office. You know, one of those hand-held, cordless, conveniently rechargeable vacuum cleaners that you can take anywhere. On Saturday morning, Bill took Noisie and MayDay shopping, and, naturally enough, came home with a DVD player. I heard Bill explaining the necessity of secrecy concerning the DVD player in the hallway to Noisie. MayDay rushed out the back to tell Polly about the DVD player. Polly rushed inside and said "Mum! Have we got a DVD player?" I mumbled something into my coffee about it being news to me, and politely ignored MayDay's frantic attempts to silently silence Polly behind my back. Polly retreated with embarrased haste back to her computer game, and MayDay jumped in with excellent impromptu skill...

MayDay: Mum, do you know what we got you for Mothers Day? It starts with 'K'. Do you like karaoke?
Me: Umm... yeah? Yeah... I guess I like karaoke. Yes, of course, karaoke! I love karaoke.
MayDay: I'll whisper it to you: it's a karaoke machine.
Noisie: (mystified) I thought it was a DVD player.

On Sunday morning, I was woken up at 6am, so the tribe could drag me out of bed to watch them open my presents. MayDay got me three ferrero rocher chocolates. Conveniently, one for herself, one for Noisie and one for Polly. Then they opened the DVD player, which I set up for them. Then we went to my Mum's place, where they told her all about their new DVD player.

It's a good thing Mum made me a roast lunch and bought me a bottle of red, or Mothers Day would have been a complete washout.

Friday, May 06, 2005

This is probably silly...

... but I'm going to attempt to write this post while supervising five primary school aged children. They are home today because Bill accidentally took my car key to work, as I discovered when I packed Noisie, MayDay and Polly into the car for the school run, along with thier cousins, Braxton Hicks and Brightly, and found that the car key was missing from my keyring. Why Bill chose to remove it, I do not know. Neither did he, when I called him at work. He was, however, deeply apologetic, which was gratifying if somewhat UNHELPFUL.


I now have the dubious companionship of five bored children until four o'clock today. We have done the dishes, rotated computer time, made icecream, decorated Mother's Day cards (oh! the cruel irony) and survived, relatively injury-free, the inevitable war between MayDay and myself which eventuates when either of us is any more than slightly frazzled and/or excitable. Today MayDay, with all the extra company, is excitable. I am frazzled. She is currently reviewing her situation from the cosy position of her bed while I procrastinate scraping the remains of a melted plastic jug and chocolate sauce from the inside of the microwave.

The other little poppets are keeping their distance.


Now I suppose I really ought to return to responsible parenting.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

So sue me

OK this might be completely politically incorrect, but I'm going to just come right out and say it:


I mean, I could be fashionably cynical. I could be beatnik and savvy. I could be witty, dammit.

But, just for today, I think I'm going to enjoy liking people. Don't get me wrong; lots of people annoy me, or make me feel uncomfortable. Some people I would rather not spend too much time with. But really, when I'm forced, for whatever reason, to spend time with them, and if I pay attention, it's just really hard not to like them. I think people are just plain likeable.

I bet if I was forced to share a cell with the Burnies, or Osama bin Laden, or George W Bush, or even Oprah, I bet I would like them.

And don't think I'm being all special or anything, because, hey, if I was sharing a cell with ANY of them, that would just prove I'm a criminal. Obviously.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Poem: Delivering Newspapers

Starts out skipping, delighted with the role

Discovers bright numbers and a furry caterpillar; notes flowers and passers-by

Look at him. He’s flash.

Complements each letterbox in turn and checks for a backdoor

Paper tucked under one arm, head high and smiling

This one is slithy. You know what I mean when I say slithy. It’s feels smooth. It goes in smoothly.

Warm little hand like a kitten in mine. Like a kitten curled up in the sun.

Runs ahead

Haha I’m cheating!

Dancing away, within reach. Dancing in the breach, and back.

Suddenly slowly, the delivery girl dragging, the papers run out just in time.

Paralysed by dithering

Here's the thing: I totally have things to blog about. Oh yeah. But I *caaan't* (whiny voice) because: Two of my four readers either (a) know who I'm talking about or (b) are who I'm talking about. So I'm left talking about people who I don't even know (and therefore have very little to say about) or don't matter to me (ditto). Actually, the people I talk about don't actually read this blog, but THEY MIGHT oneday, and this thought horrifies me.

What do all the really worldly, older, more experienced bloggers do about this dilemma, I wonder?

Do they throw caution to the wind, and discuss the intimate details of their closest relationships and bugger the consequences?

Or do they instead keep abreast of all the latest global and local political happenings and blog knowledgably on those?

I suspect it's a bit of both.

However, being both a coward and an ignoramus, I am a little stuck.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Dear Old Bill

Life's good. Bill is fishing somewhere down south, and we lasses get to take up space. This is no small thing. When Bill walks out the front door, it's like a whole tribe goes with him. Bill really is larger than life. He's the sort of bloke that walks into a room before you actually see him. His personal space is acres-big. This would be a bad thing if he still drank a bottle of rum a day and lacked discernment as to whom should be beaten up for insults flung from three people away and so generally just made things easier for himself by collaring any available chap within arm's reach.

However, he was always nice to women, children and dogs. And thankfully, even in his most inebriated state, never confused the three. A menace on the dance floor, however.

Sigh. I do miss him.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Just another manic Sunday...

I love Thursdays. This is because Fridays don't matter - the week is so done by the time it gets to Friday that it really counts as part of the weekend. There's no point in starting anything new on Friday.

So Thursdays are really the last day of the week, filled with the glorious plan that everything that one has been postponing for the last three weeks will, indeed, be performed on the weekend.

Ah The Weekend, that mystical realm where every day has 36 hours, where sleeping in until 10 o'clock still leaves time for a day full of family outings, household renovations and focussed, effective study and genius-level completion of university assignments.

The only problem with The Weekend is that it has a Sunday. Sunday is a terrible day. All of my good plans are cheekily jay-walking across the boulevard when Sunday comes gunning its modified engines like a demon. Like a possessed demon. (Sunday is so evil, it requires several metaphors, in combination.) It bears down on the startled Plans until they are caught in its headlights. The Plans' ears twitch this way and that, their little round eyes fill with terror. The fiendish Sunday roars with laughter "HARHAR! You can run, little Plans, you can hide! But You Will Not Escape!" The Plans squeal helplessly, but it's too late. Sunday runs them down, smashing them mercilessly into the bitumen, reversing, then running over them again and again until nothing is left except for a pile of scribbled papers and an empty chocolate wrapper.

I hate Sundays.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The drive to Bunbury

The sky sobs and shrieks
and tormented trees toss their soaking heads.
Car after car rolls silently over the bridge.
Everyone is going to a funeral today.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

I hope the sins of the fathers are just visiting upon the children...

Noisie: "All my stuff I make looks stupid to me."
Quirkie: "Really?"
Noisie: "Yep. Really bad."

Thursday, March 17, 2005

On poetry, or the lack thereof

So I basically haven't been blogging anything because of this general sense of malaise for which I mostly blame Sweedums. Sweedums asked me to write an ode. Within the same week, the Dalai Maharishi, coincidentally, suggested that I write a happy poem, helpfully suggesting that happy poems are really difficult to write without being sentimental.

Coming from the Dalai Maharishi, I naturally believe this.

And to prove him absolutely wrong, I thought I would write an Ode to Happiness.

My plan was to look for moments in my life when I feel really happy, and then distill those moments into poetry.


Monday, February 28, 2005

Poem: After the Hens Night

The little nursemaids are covering me with their love

I am lying on the couch, in their middle

The littlest is rearranging my eyebrows, smoothing, crooning
My eyes shut-in a wandering headache; wavelets of quease wash around
Warm little fingers are poking apple muffin crumbs into my mouth

“I peeled the apples and I cutted the apples. Dad helped me peeled the apples and Dad helped me cutted the apples. He’s very nice. I mean really. He’s really nice.”

The oldest is posing in her flower-girl dress,
breaking away with Kelly Clarkson,
delighted with herself

The middlest is missing

Charlie Rich rolls in with the flow, dismissed

The littlest is off-duty, sitting on my hip, eating muffins in my ear

The oldest weaves in and through all morning, filling the room with Sunday and the sweet sound of twelve

The middlest waits with a crazy face, nose to nose
She presents a get well card, vigilantly carelessly made, pleased with my dopey surprise

Everywhere is warmth, music, movement and headache
and I cannot stop smiling

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The best part about being a twit

... is that I gets heaps of new stuff whenever I lose stuff. Whose stuff? Sue's stuff. Sue's new blue stuff. (Er, Suess moment.)

So, casting aside all memory of that ungrateful assortment of personal effects, archived only in the previous blog, I pick myself up, dust of my sandals, and head for the nearest Strandbags store. Next week, that is, when the family payment cheque goes in.

I shall have:
1. a new handbag, bigger and better,
2. a new mobile phone, smaller and better,
3. a new wad of cash (allow me this fantasy),
4. a new diary, even more sensational than the last,
5. a new set of car keys, with extra jingle
6. a new frontal lobotomy (that should take care of any future creative placement of personal items)

(Of course, we shan't be eating next week.)

But, kids, what's food compared with a happy mummy? Think about it.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Through A Glass Darkly, or Where the Hell is it This Time?

Drat the whole universe I've lost my purse again. The one with my keys attached to it and which also contains my drivers license, bankbooks (yes, the old fashioned ones that don't involve plastic, number-of-the-beast-inscribed cards or the convenience of 24-hour withdrawal facilities), DIARY, oh my God its got my DIARY in it, and every other thing that makes my life BARELY FUNCTIONAL.

I've been tossing up between:
1. re-re-re-re-tracing my steps of Saturday for the forty seventh time, or
2. warmly and humbly embracing my absent-mindedness as the gift of a thorn-in-my-side to me from God, and celebrating that His power is made perfect in my weakness, or
3. forcefully and repeatedly plunging a fork into my eye.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Heart warbles at friend’s
email. A wattlebird mocks

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Deja vu

Do you know that feeling when you meet someone and you both click? It's mutual and tangible, and you can almost hear the sound clungk! when your eyes meet. It's like you've known each other forever, but one of you has been out of town and a single cup of coffee doesn't make enough time to catch up on everything you've been missing from each other's lives.

I just had one such cup of coffee with two mums from my kids' school. I kept looking at them, thinking Where do I know you from? Except one is just visiting for the first time from Britain, and the other I'm sure I haven't met either (although Perth is such a small place really that you often do see the same people repeatedly without ever meeting them).

I feel so lucky.

Monday, February 07, 2005


The receptionist at Centrelink has intriguingly large hands. As he types in my details, finding me an appointment space, he curls his thumb under (only one) so, at first, I think it has been amputated. This momentarily explains to me why a strapping young basket-baller in any other clothes would seek employment behind a welfare office desk. A sticky-deep voice, and friendly. If he had Down’s syndrome, he could hardly be as friendly. But his confidence fills more than his desk; it extends all through the reception area and into the carrels behind (though not out the door). He is little-world confident, and smooth. He enjoys his job. I resign myself, unnerved, to his care.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Notes on the achievement of personal perfection

Oh man, what a week! I thought I'd be completely into my timetable by now. You know, the taut, well oiled, evenly bronzed timetable that is to be written RIGHT AFTER THIS POST. The kids were supposed to be skipping off happily to school, and I was supposed to have written my carefully balanced weekly schedule of exercise, reading, studying, writing, housework and personal cosmetic enhancement.

Things have not gone according to schedule. But not too far off the mark, I guess, if by exercising I can count maternal mental gymnastics, if reading includes analysing overdue booklists for shortcuts to actually having to buy everything new, if studying means sending nasty emails to uni about my lack of enrolment advice, if writing means this blog, if housework means getting Bill to dispose of the SECOND bird the blasted cat caught this morning and tormented in front of an already distressed Mayday, and if personal cosmetic enhancement means managing to almost, but not quite, meet the generally accepted standards for healthy personal hygiene three days out of five this week, then yeah.

And as for kids skipping happily off to school:

Mayday has been, naturally, on red alert since Monday. Her first day at school, on Tuesday, went limpingly. "You're doing SO much better than last year", I kept reassuring her. "You haven't thrown up at all, and last year you vomitted every day for a fortnight. This is a terrific improvement!"

Polly has, to all appearances, been on another plane since her first day on Monday. Going from a very small primary school (less than 80 kids) to a normal sized highschool has been a culture shock, to say the least. The timetable she was given is a nightmare to read (I've been decifering it each night for her, using a map, a calendar and a list of subject codes for which there is no decoder). It's some ridiculous new system under which no student will ever have the same subjects in the same order on any day for the whole year. Perhaps they thought it would be more interesting that way. Perhaps they've stacked the curriculum. Perhaps they are complete doodleheads who don't give a flying toss for the sensitivities of a twelve year old who just wants to get everything right. Furthermore, a twelve year old who is a decent kid who actually wants the teachers to like and respect her and will bend over backwards to see that that happens, and who doesn't need to be read the riot act at every turn by teachers who have all obviously been given the drum by the new Principal that the key to a good education is DISCIPLINE, DISCIPLINE, DISCIPLINE! Grrrrr. FASCIST NAZI PRAT.

Deep breath... Calm... In with the love... Out with the jive...

Fortunately, Noisie has managed to secure the lucky bag hook every day this week.

OK. I'd just like to say that I'm glad its Friday. Tomorrow, we shall eat pancakes. Today I shall write a timetable. Perfection is still attainable, surely? I can still be the world's greatest mother, student and wife, (ooops, note the order), and write a mindblowingly intuitive, insightful and financially succesful novel before the year is out. Oh God, am I forgetting anything?

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Disconcerting Fact #2

You're supposed to drink two litres of water every day, not one.

Friday, January 28, 2005


Last night Bill and I went anniversarying (for the thirteenth time) and just as we were paying the bill, and nibbling on a little (what I was later to learn is called) sonf, my old school buddy More Toast came up and tapped me on the shoulder. Having not seen nor heard of her since the mid-eighties, it took me all of 3 nanoseconds to go "Oh! More Toast!" and have flashbacks of sitting with her in the park behind my house in the middle of the night wearing only pyjamas and a Mum's-Cognac-infested giggle, reciting Eddie Carrot punch lines. Or is that Jasper Carrot? Oh hang on. Was it actually Kenny Everet? Bugger. See, that's the problem with memories. You think you've got them, then when you focus too closely, they get all vapourish. Anyway, there was definitely cognac (or was it cointreau?). I'm certain of one thing though, Lady M and Ferret were NOT impressed. They were looking after me and Bones while Miffy was in Europe. "How difficult teenagers have become", I'm sure they were thinking. They demanded to know who we'd been with. As in, "Where are the boys?". Sheesh, now that was embarrasing. There were no boys. Like boys would be interested in a couple of tipsy, fluffy-pyjama-clad, park-grovelling squares like us? Actually, now I think about it, the only thing that would stand in the way of THOSE kind of boys would probably be the pyjamas. But never mind. Long time ago. Oh, here's the really spinny thing: More Toast distinctly remembered walking (pissed and pyjama-clad) to school and rampaging (or stumbling) around the grounds like a couple of gits. Well. I certainly have no recollection of that event. Still, who'm I to argue with a dodgy thing like recollectability?

Friday, January 21, 2005

Disconcerting Fact #1

My bathers are the exact same colour as the toilet block.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

After twenty years in the (match)making...

Well whaddayaknow! Miffy's getting married. She and Par Two came around for lunch to celebrate her birthday and there on the appropriate digit was flashing her latest jewelric acquisition... the engagement ring. The three offspring were bafflingly (to my mind) unmoved by the news. Presumably, in their world, maternal grandmothers are always dropping by to announce their engagement to someone or other, and such an event calls for no further comment than "Oh? Oh... Mum can I play The Sims now?"

Now if MY maternal grandmother had swanned in and declared, "Oh look what I got for my birthday. It's an engagement ring", I would have been a little more excited. For one thing, it would be completely out of character. Not to mention contrary to her stated opinion on the prospect of future matrimonial involvement, specifically, "What? Spend the rest of my life washing and darning some old man's underwear? Couldn't think of anything worse." Oh, she's had a few offers, don't you worry. I have it on good authority that that retirement home is a seething mass of desperate but dateless old geezers trying to find some foolhardy woman to stich up their undies til death do'em part, but Lady M wants no part of it. And I don't blame her.

Miffy, on the other hand, has no skill whatsoever in the haberdashery department, so she can be reasonably sure that Par Two's motives are genuine.

And I'm absolutely delighted. Furthermore, even though, by comparison with her previous marriage and his previous two, I've been married the longest (though, admittedly, to only one person) I will not interfere in the slightest with the wedding plans, nor will I offer any unsolicited (though perfectly useful) marriage advice.

Just so long as I get to be flower girl.