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?