Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wax on, Wax Off

I realised the other day that none of my 3 children do any extracurricular activities. None. They go to school, after school care, come home, do homework, vedge, eat, vedge and go to bed. In that order.

Saturdays and Sunday are made up just of the eat, vedge, eat, vedge, sleep bits.

Not from lack of trying mind you. In the space of ten years we have tried:

Swimming: Child one, we were the chirpy parents down at the pool every Saturday morning, taking turns getting in the pool, doing the Monkey monkey and generally doling out $10 a pop willy nilly. Then child number 2 came and it all got a bit too hard.

Karate: We decided in the way all good decisions are made, on a whim, that Sam, our lovely yet bit vague 7 year old, could do with the discipline that is Karate. Or Jujitsu. I wasn’t real diligent on the research. So off he and Dad went to the local community hall and he lasted, oh, one class. Not because he wasn’t a black belt in the making. No what stopped us from continuing our potential ninja was the dramatic Tony Award winning curtsy he gave at the end instead of the subtle head nod. Yeah, we got told ever so politely that “perhaps he’s just not quite ready yet” (or ever was kind of inflected)

Soccer: I decided along with another mum at school, that my 7yo at the time, daughter, needed to get active. We went to the netball sign on day. We didn’t sign on. It could have been the fact that they wanted just under a million dollars for fees and uniform or the fact that they looked like they wanted to devour our children because, as they kept repeating zombie like, they are “very tall”. Whatever it was, we happened across mixed soccer. Which well, she sucked at. Maddison was often spotted having a good chat with her friend on the field or bitching about “how unfair it is that the boys just hog it all the time, like oh my god” It was equally fun for me too, getting up in the fricken freezing cold, having rampaging morning sickness and intermittently spewing behind the trees for all the hot soccer dads to witness. Let’s just say we made HEAPS of friends. We did soccer for a season.

NIPPERS: Aussie tradition. I’ve always lived on the Gold Coast but as kids, we never had any surf training. Our parents used to just let us run wild on the beach, swim out as far as we pleased and get 2nd degree burns that resulted in us having the “who can peel off the biggest piece of skin of their back” competition. Again, clearly I was little demented when I was pregnant, because I decided every Sunday of my third trimester would be best spent, hot as fuck, at Cudgen Beach, watching our kids chase sticks and eat their body weight in sausages on bread. Left after one season.

GYMNASTICS: Sam has low muscle tone. We have been told the best way to get this strengthened is gymnastics. Which he did and he loved. But I think I need to find a less, shall we say, intense gym class for him than the one we attended. Sam has little regard for personal space and often forgets to line up. This coupled together makes him look like a creepy pusher-inner. And then well, the term ended, I got a shocker flu and we just never went back.

I think you’re getting the gist here. We try stuff; we just don’t stick it out. I want to stick it out. I want us as a family, to be a member of a club where a dad dresses up as a dodgy Santa and hands out presents at Christmas time. I got to experience this. As kids, we were members of the local footy club and most Sundays we collected cans, drank coke and played pacman, all whilst the parents got tanked and watched the football from their car bonnets. None of us actually played football but it didn't matter.

So this summer, I will attempt again. Maddison, after doing netball at school, wants to join a club for realz. Jack the juvenile delinquent will be put into a swim school. I have a feeling he may model himself on Michael Phelps - the ADHD, bong smoking side. So I might try and head that off by wearing him the fuck out. Swimming seems a good way to do this. Sam, well Sam may revisit some of his past attempts. Hey, Ralph Macchio had a lot of practice at wax on, wax off before he found his groove. I just need to find his Mr Miyagi.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


So Vegemate never made the grade. And I mean, why would it? Clearly I’m not hip or cool enough. I wasn't aiming my pitch it at the right generation apparently.

Well guess what Kraft, you unAustralian owned company. I buy for the next generation because at the moment, unless child slave labour makes a comeback, they don’t have the coin to go grocery shopping and choose the spreads in this household.

Sure, this may sound like a bitter attack just because our awesome name, Vegemate (see it was so clever because we kept the Vege part, but put mate in it, all Australian like) arggh forget it. Clearly it sucked.

What about the new jingle for this new Vegemite related product?

Will it go like this?

(Sing this to the Vegemite Jingle) “We’re happy little iSnack2.0 mites as cool and edgy as can be. We all enjoy our iSnack2.0 for breakfast but that’s about it because now it’s got cream cheese with it, it’s not longer fat free”

The name iSnack2.0 just weird’s me out. It sounds like a robot. I totally understand its reference to all iPod and iphone related gadgets. I also get the cool factor of all things Apple. It is my equivalent of how rad I thought the Commodore 64 was in the mid 80’s. I also thought teasing the bejesus out of my fringe and wearing a midriff top with a massive YES emblazoned across the front in fluorescent pink was an awesome idea too. Not so much.

And let’s face it, if this unnecessary vegemite half-cast is anything like the iphone, it will need an upgrade in 2 months, explode in a random persons eye for no good reason and then have to be released as iSnack3.0 in a year’s time with tons more features and leave all of those who bought a 12 month supply of the original version with a bad taste in their mouth.

Friday, September 25, 2009


My beauty routine goes something like this:

Brush Teeth

Granted I will not make the New Weekly’s page for Beauty Tips this week and sure I will never make Who’s most beautiful list. One thing I will make is Ordinary woman’s least high maintenance list.

See I notice the wrinkles and I despair. And I go and buy an anti-aging product which I productively use for say oh, one whole week. Then I, to be blatantly honest, can’t be bothered anymore.

I look at my feet. They would scare even the little Asian ladies who do the mass pedicures in the shopping centres for a living. I bought a ped-egg. You know the one. The object shaped like an egg, flogged on late night TV and basically grates dead skin off your feet. Oh how we ridiculed this at work. Laughing at the ads on YouTube. But then I tried it and sweet Jesus, I was reborn. I had baby soft heals. I no longer ripped up the sheets when I went to bed each night. My husband wasn’t physically repulsed by my feet on his lap watching TV. But then I get lazy and right now, let’s just say you wouldn’t want to be standing behind me on an escalator and view these suckers up close.

My fingernails, well they just don’t even rate a mention. Sure I could go pay for someone to give me some awesome French tips and I would look like I deserved to rock up to the Versace buffet on any given night, but within 3 days I know I would either chip them, lose them in the potato salad or just be unable to type come work on Monday.

My makeup regime too, leads much to be desired. Sometimes I wear foundation to work. More often than not though I don’t get a chance to apply it in the morning. What between cleaning up the spilt weetbix and finding poo nuggets left on a Hansel and Gretel styled trail down the hallway, it just doesn't get done. Lipstick doesn't last longer than 2 cups of coffee. ie. past 8am. I wear glasses (and no I hardly ever wear contacts) and therefore I don’t wear mascara. Or eye shadow.

Last but not least and most important is my hair. I have hair that can only be described as Ronald McDonald on Crack.

Ok, maybe that’s overboard but my hair is curly, frizzy and if it were orange I could don big red clown shoes and sit on that that park bench in Maccas and kids would gleefully sit on my lap (or try and punch me in the guts depending on said child)

I colour the continuous greys with hair dye from the supermarket. I have had my hair coloured once on a holiday in Melbourne. They charged $280 for some streaks that I couldn’t see. Mad experience sure, but think I got the gist of further treatments to come.

I didn’t grow up with a beauty regime. Perhaps if I did the above admissions would disgust me, however Mum wasn’t a big talker when it came to makeup or perfume or being girly. So sure I could have wigged out and went apeshit on the blush as a teen but I just didn’t get the chance.

So I now think, heading towards 35 it’s time for me to slowly but surely start taking care of myself. Starting with some beauty sleep...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I caught up with my good friends Brooke and Taylor this afternoon. Ridge too made an appearance, though not for long because Brooke told him to leave. Well actually she told him to “get the hell away from me” Kinda awkward. Good thing, his mum Stephanie was there to passive aggressively calm everyone down.

It’s not often I get to see them all these days, with working and all, but it doesn’t seem to matter because the same scenario or a very close variation always plays out.

If you haven’t yet cottoned on, I am of course not talking about my real friends here. The friends I have, possess faces that emote expression and don’t live in Santa Barbara running, and I use this term loosely, Fashion Houses. That’s right; I’m talking about the daytime soap that is: Bold and the Beautiful.

If you have never seen Bold and the Beautiful, you are doing yourself a total injustice.
Originally it started off all about the fashion. Sally Spectra and Forrester Creations in a furious fashion war. These days it’s more about the intricate family tree and the writers desperately trying not to inadvertently have brothers and sisters sleeping each other.

In the old days though, it was about Sally Spectra and Stephanie Forrester.

Sally Spectra was a sight to behold. She of the red bouffant hair, the manlike voice and features had the cunning of sewer rat. Darlene Connolly gloriously played her until she passed away. Stephanie is the Forrester matriarch. Having married and divorced Eric numerous times, she still would kick any of those young little hussy’s butts any day of the week. And she often does.
Sally and Stephanie were arch enemies. And if Sally were alive today, they would still be having stare off’s across a banquet hall corridor.

The best thing about B & the B is that you essentially need to know so little. It’s not like Home and Away, where there’s a new cast member every week to replace the one that got blown up in the previous weeks catastrophic event.

You just need to sit back and expect to see the following:

Ridge: Ron Moss plays the delightful manwhore Ridge,who at any one time will be screwing either Taylor or Brooke and staring at the back of one of their heads from the far side of the room. He achieves all of this whilst deftly arching his eyebrow and wearing oddly placed scarves.

Thorn: Ridge’s brother. I know right? Ridge, Thorn, what sort of weird arse drugs were Stefanie and Eric Forrester taking when they named these boys? “Hey I know my darling, let’s lead these guys into lives of eternal ridicule. We shall call them Ridge and Thorn”. Thorn is not nearly as much good value as Ridge. He’s bordering on normal. Sure he and Ridge take turns in sharing and marrying Brooke, but he doesn’t have the stare perfected nor does he seem to ever be any woman’s first choice.

Brooke: Resident bike. Brooke is now the longest running member of Bold and Beautiful. She’s been around. To her credit, she hasn’t gone nuts on the Botox. She has though, had more children to more men that I can even begin to gather information about, even having children with her ex-husbands son effectively making them, ok wait, this is doing my head in, I can’t even work out what sort of inter-breeding fucked up relatives that makes them. Last I saw Brooke, she was telling Ridge to “let her go” and go back to Taylor. Then she went out the door and sobbed, really loudly. I was waiting for them to yell out “We can hear you Brooke; for Christs sakes, take it out to the car”.

Taylor: Hunter Tylo who plays Taylor is far more interesting than her character. In the show she’s had a history of being an alcoholic and murderer, but oddly enough no mention is ever made of her gigantic lips. Clearly addicted to Botox in real life, she has also had her fair share of plastic surgery and that’s what makes her so fascinating. I just can’t help but ask every single time I watch “What in the fuck is going on with her face?”

I cannot explain how or why this essentially poorly made daytime soap continues to keep people watching. It just does. It’s ridiculous, absurd and just what viewers obviously need to zone out to at 4:30 every afternoon. Channel 10 tried a 6pm timeslot. Programming fail. What they didn't realise, was that nothing else is on at 4:30 and therefore Bold and the Beautiful is still better than nothing.
Don’t they know? Don’t try to fix what’s not broken. Unless it’s Taylor’s lips and then for the love of god, pull the pin on those suckers.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I love Gossip Girl. There I said it.

It is awesome and I think I may be a little obsessed. But I love it when a show sucks me in to the obsession stage.

Rush’s first season (Channel 10) had the same appeal for me (the second series - not so much) and I found myself scouring discussion boards for talk about the characters and what will happen next. I felt a little ashamed of myself for doing this as I have often stumbled across similar chat boards discussing Home and Away and people declaring their undying love for Irene. OK, well maybe not Irene, but at least Martha, pre bikie moll hookup, and I have felt kind of sorry for these people. It’s just a TV show right? Right?

But I digress.

Gossip Girl has started on Channel Go! Another new found love of mine. A word to the wise at Channel 9/Go! though, lay off the Seinfeld. You are going to turn it into Go!’s version of The Simpsons.

Granted it can be funny, but in the same vein as the Two and Half men repeats, you risk the wrath of the general public when you become lazy with your programming.

Right, where was I? Oh yeah. Gossip Girl. I had seen all of these actors often in New Weekly (Not that I subscribe to such rubbish – much) but I've never really known who they were. Yes I do live in 1984. But I know now. And how.

The three red flags that told me I was officially hooked on GG,

1. I went and got the first series on DVD after watching the first episode.

2. I still sit through pretty much episode when I see it played on Go! Even though I’ve already seen it.

3. I sat through an episode that wasn’t even an episode. It was just a “look how we found the cast” and “let’s hear what all the cast have to say about making the series” type of episode. And I sat through the entire thing and LOVED it. How else would I have learned that Kristen Bell voices Gossip Girl. I wouldn’t have. See I’m well aware that this shit is irrelevant in day to day life, but sometimes day to day life sucks balls.

For the uninitiated, Gossip Girl revolves around basically a bunch of spoilt, old money teenagers and the blog that reports the scandals, secrets and happenings in the lives of the “Beautiful people"

Originally a book series by Cecily von Ziegesar, the show takes us into the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the elite families from old money. It allows us to see it from the not so wealthy Humphrey family who seem to have a long history with getting close to the fortunate side of town. I believe the TV series strays quite a lot from the books.

Series one Characters to note:

SERENA VAN DER WOODSEN – (played by Blake Lively) Hot, tall blond. Previously known as the party girl – read slut – who has been mysteriously absent but comes back into the fold with serious secrets to reveal.

BLAIR WALDORF – (played by Leighton Meester) is the Resident Bitch. But you come to like her and oddly feel a little sorry for her. Her mother is a world class designer (a stretch) and her dad has run off to France to live with another man. She begins the series as a virgin. She leaves the series anything but. Her boyfriend Nate Archibald is smoking but a bit of a non-entity.

CHUCK BASS – (Played by Ed Westwick) freaks me out. Bordering on creepy potential rapist, his father owns a hotel chain (Paris Hilton much?) and he is pretty much left to his own devices. And that is where the danger lies. He blackmails, he schemes and he roots around. A lot.

DAN HUMPHREY – (Played by Penn Badgley) The Best and most likeable character. His dad is a good looking musician (who looks suspiciously young to have two teenage children) and has an errant mother who has left her family to “go find herself” pay for him to go to the most expensive school in New York . Unrealistic? Yes. Do I care? No.

JENNY HUMPHREY – (Played by Taylor Momsen) Is Dan’s younger sister who is desperate to get into the “it group” and does virtually anything to get there. She’s a good girl who I fear may turn quite bad.

NATE ARCHIBALD – (Played by Chase Crawford) Poor Nate. He’s always just that one step behind. He’s definitely hot, but just can’t keep up. He and Blair are the star couple. Both from the best families and equally clueless when it comes to each other’s feelings.

There are other recurring characters and for me essentially, more story lines involving the “older” mums and dads that make it all the more juicer.

One name to remember for the newbies: Georgina Sparks.

If you were a fan of Melrose Place, 90210 when it first started (Please take Tori Spelling out of the equation) or The OC, you’ll love this. It works on Go! On the uncool grandpa that is Channel 9, I have a feeling it would have tanked

Gossip Girl: Go! 8:30pm Thursday nights

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Mum went home today, just for a couple of hours whilst we cleaned out her house. It gave her the opportunity to stop pretending she will be returning there.

Mum to date, will have lost at least 12 kilos. Not much left when you only start at 65kgs. She gets exhausted walking from the lounge room to the washing line. Which of course, she insisted on doing while she was back home. Washing all her clothes, hanging them out, making herself a cup of tea (the total amount she ingested all day) and pulling palm fronds off the palm tree out the back.

No amount of “sit down and relax” would subdue her. We were warned about taking her home to her house. About the effect it may have on her.

We knew this but she wanted to go. She wanted to have her last bath in the bathroom that has been her home for the last 20 years. She wanted to make her last cup of tea and look out the window at the same view that has been hers for as long as she could remember.

But even she admitted today, she could not have come home and been independent. And that must have really hurt.

And, as far as I can tell, Mum has given up. I kind of knew this, but after a discussion today with her nurse, one who I see a lot and is very caring, I started to admit to myself that the mind is the ultimate downfall.

After enquiring about the fact that mum is no longer eating, she said to me very matter of factly “Well, you’re mother is giving up”.

I don’t want her to. I want her to be hearty and full of willfulness and just well, enjoy the time she has left.

Our family has had a bit to do with depression in the last couple of years. It’s hit extremely close to home. Too close.

I think I’ve always been the “suck it up” variety of person. I’ve often said I don’t have the luxury of being depressed and not able to “get on with it”.

When you break your finger you go to a doctor and they fix it. When you split your head open, you go get stitches. That sort of illness I can see. That sort I can believe.

What happens when your mind is no longer well? It is so incredibly frustrating not being able to fix something that doesn’t appear, on the outside, to be broken.

My husband, some years ago, totally out of the blue, told me he was incredibly sad. Then he started to cry. And he cried. And cried. And I went inward, motherbear like. I had two children. I had to think of us. He told me he was depressed and nothing much meant anything to him.

I just couldn’t fathom why a strong, lovely man with two healthy children, a wife who loved him, who had a house, a job, friends and no financial struggles (more than any other young family with a modest mortgage) would suddenly feel he could no longer go on.

It made me angry. It made me want to run. It made me turn into a mother bear where all I cared about were my children and what was best for them.

I like most people not touched by mental illness or ignorant to it, just couldn’t or didn’t want to understand.

But I had to. And I had to understand fast. See there appeared to be no catalyst as to this change. We didn’t have any tragedies. We weren’t suddenly faced with a challenge to life as he knew it.

What he did do though was take some pills to stop his untested stomach complaint. Which, upon further investigation, we discovered, wipes out the bad stuff, ie the bad bug in his stomach but also pretty much zapped his serotonin. I was about to realise serotonin was pretty important in life. It ‘s your happiness. And his was gone.

That coupled with saving a complete stranger who was knocked out by his surfboard, whilst being the only guy surfing with him one early morning, culminated in this, what can only be described as a maker or breaker or our marriage.

The surfer survived, was a paraplegic and went back to teaching, but has never once contacted my husband to thank him. My husband didn’t want a ticket tape parade, he didn’t want anything. But I did and I would like to think that if someone saved my life, I’d at least have them over for a BBQ to say thanks.

Long story short (really? It’s been pretty fucking long so far, I hear you saying) we worked through it. It took years. I had to regain my respect for him. I know that’s not right or fair, but that’s the way it was. I still flinch when I hear the word depression. I still associate bad times with depression. We have two more close associations with Depression in the last two years. For one person, it appeared to be from nothing. For one, it was from losing everything. What I was though was more understanding. I hope it appeared so anyway.

So what does this have to do with my mother dying of cancer? Everything.

Your mind is so important. If you don’t have it, you have so very little. Even though her body was failing on her, I guess I thought she as a person would remain the same.

My mother has never been one to dwell on stuff. If shit happens, her motto was “you get over it and stop whining” This is not an ideal way to live life, not by any stretch, but sometimes self-pity and pandering is also a waste of time.

So I guess the happy medium is to have compassion. To try to understand depression and don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t.

As far as mum goes, all we can do is tell her we love her, we want her around and to keep going. We still need her yet.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


It’s fair to say I do a fair bit of driving on the good old Gold Coast. Gone are the days of coasting down Smith Street alone, unflanked by a wanker in WRX but alas, time moves on and we are now a city approaching 600,000.

Often, we hear that Queenslanders, Gold Coasters in particular are the worst drivers.

Well if the people on our roads who don’t indicate, cut people off and don’t know how to use a roundabout are from Queensland then yes, that is true. But they aren’t. In fact the majority of our population weren’t born here. They were more than likely conceived here though (being a great place to get loose and all).

So driving to 2 schools, a kindy and workplace each day I often encounter the following:

· People who straddle two lanes going through a roundabout. For gods sakes. Choose your lane and stick to it. I am in a little Honda Jazz with a family of 5. We are just waiting to be crushed under your Prado dipshit. Granted, to select a Honda Jazz with 5 people plus at the time Golden retriever in the family, not my mensa moment. That however, does not give vague 4WD drivers a right to sidewipe me off the road. And yes, our other car is a 4WD, so this is not a 4WD hatefest.

· The vague couple who go slow, then speed up, then look around, then have a chat, all whilst driving their Volvo in front of me on my way to school. 1. You have no particular reason to be out in peak hour. 2. Pay attention. Because when you do 40 up to lights then gun it and leave me behind at the red light, it does not make for a good start to the day.

· People who don’t indicate. See as I haven’t activated my crystal fucking ball yet, I don’t know which way you intend to turn. Why do people not indicate? Are they too lazy? It doesn’t get much easier people. It’s a flick of the wrist. Really. Is it because they are above indicating? Do you not have the brain capacity? I simply do not understand this lack of courtesy and this in turn makes me want to ram people. Clearly in my Jazz I would come off second best, but it would almost be worth it.

· It’s a Bus Lane. Not a Wanker Lane. Seriously, It says BL. It’s for Bus’s (and taxi’s) not for tools who are in a hurry. Newsflash dickhead, we’re all in a hurry. We’ve all got to wait our turn. I make it my mission in life to straddle those bus lanes with my car when I see them coming in my rear-view mirror. Sure, it often leads to a douches in a 911’s giving me the finger, but that’s the price you pay.

· Cars so low they can’t get over a speedbump. We’ve all seen them. They lower the bejesus out of their commodore ute and then have to take the speedbumps at an angle. Well I’ll let you in on a secret. You look like a fuckstik. Harsh I know, but if you are scared of your car going into a pothole because it will rip off the front bumper, it is only a matter of time before the QLD Police defect your car, genius.

· Last but not least, people who don’t thank you for letting them in. I make a conscious effort to let people in. Whether it be letting them in after coming from the Servo or out of the shopping centre driveway. When people don’t acknowledge my courtesy I usually think a) they are an ungracious bastard and b) makes me want to jump out and scream in their windows telling them as much.

And in all honesty, I am generally a calm, easygoing person. Inside my car bubble though I turn
into Judge Judy on heat.

So if nothing else, I hope this makes people stop and think, geez, maybe she’s talking about me. But then again, that would mean these people can read and articulate.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


It’s been a while since I caught up with Neighbours. No, not the real life ones. The ones that grace our televisions for half an hour every weeknight at 6:30pm on channel 10. Those neighbours who become good friends.

Which is a bullshit premise really. I mean how many of these murdering, scheming, sometime bogan emos who live in each others back pockets are actually good friends?

See Ramsay street is action packed. I’ve lived in a few different streets in my time and sure, I’ve heard gunshots, seen nudists and had our roof used for personal driving range practice, but never, ever have I been invited to a wedding where Angry Anderson sang “suddenly” whilst Kylie Minogue walked down the aisle to a waiting Jason Donovan donning a heavy duty mullet.

So, not seeing it, I’ve missed such plots that included the Brown family who named their boys after the Beatles. I shit you not. I could not make that stuff up, nor would I try to. The premise being that, all of the Brown boys were named George, John, Ringo and Paul. Christ. I don’t know why, nor do I care why the writers of this show would dream up this shit, but they are also the ones who produced the actor who went on to do this:


So, as you can see, Neighours is music fest. It’s really all about the music. A place, if you will, to launch yourself into bigger and better things and frankly, just never look the fuck back.

Let me name you a few:

Natalie Bassingthwaite - The Bass. Her character, Izzy in the show was kind of mental but even I tuned in to see her back then. Now days, she is the Eddie McGuire of Channel 10. Wherever you look, there she is. Although having said that, she has talent and is lovely to look at, so really the only thing she has in common with the Edman is overexposure.

Kylie Minogue – No explanation needed. Well other than she really came to Australia’s attention when she rocked out to “Sisters are doing it for themselves” on Young Talent Time. She totally took the spotlight from the then, more well known, sister Dannii. (Note the double i) I notice she never returned the favour to her sis and got her a guest spot on neighbours. Oh no, Dannii went on to be an early day emo on Home and Away. Kylie Minogue went to the UK, where they are much kinder to our soap stars and went on to be massive. Not in stature but in celebrity status.
Delta Goodrem – Well Delta was born to try. Try she does. Look, she seems lovely. She’s been dealt a cruel hand in the sickness department with cancer some years back. My biggest gripe with Delta is her fling with Mark Philippoussis and the song she wrote and sang for him. You know the one “Out of the Blue” Watch it here.

Remember it? Her on the beach, playing the piano kind of sideways? He then left her for Paris the whorebag Hilton and she pretended it was never intended for him. She is now with Brian McFadden and keeping busy.

Natalie Imbruglia – Easy to forget she started as a little tomboy (tried and true storyline) on neighbours. Best known for marrying Daniel Johns, lead singer of Silverchair and then divorcing lead singer of Silverchair, Daniel Johns. Another Ex-pat. Again the UK treated her better than we ever could.

Let’s not forget - Craig McLaughlin - Where to start. Mona. One word. If you don’t know the song, see it here:

This song sucked, yet it gets me oddly nostalgic for being a careless teen. I actually think CM is tops. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and although he was a shitty stand up comic, he will continue to be actor that pops up in each and every Australian made production in the future.

Musicians have also reversed the trend to appear on neighbours after already being successful musicians include Andre Rieu (could care less) and Lilly Allen.

Of note lately though is not the appearance of the musician, but the song accompanying the passing away of Bridget Parker, Didge to her mates. You know, the tomboy teen who was on with Declan, had his baby and died after a seemingly harmless car accident. See when she died, there were many trailers leading up to this. I clearly paid zero attention to this. My nine year old, however, did. Because when I played the Kate Miller Heidke song “Last day on earth” to my daughter in the car today, she said, yeah that’s the song they played when Bridget died. So it was.


Well played Channel 10. Well done.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I once did a total Nanna thing and wrote a letter to the editor of our local paper here regarding the absolute waste of money and space that are personalised number plates. You know, the $3,000+ plates that say such fabulous things as BMWX5 (Really, really? Didn’t you just spend over $100,000 for a car that has that very thing stated on a badge on the car?) Or SMINE (Yes it’s yours, who the fuck else’s is it?)

The reaction wasn’t all that overwhelming; in fact I only got one response. And it was a karate Sensei. Is that what they are? Karate Master? A pretty radical karate dude anyway. His numberplate is KARATE. His argument was that he increased business because his already very obviously plastered car that had his business name XXXKarate all over the doors, bonnet and boot, generated more business because his $3,000 (coincidentally, depreciable on his income tax) numberplate. Sure dude. What evs. Although due to my lack of self-defence skills, I of course would never say that to his face.

I live quite close to Sovereign Island. Which if there were a mini-Olympics for the most ridiculous and pompous personalised number plates, it would win hands down.

I dare you to sit at Paradise Point on any given Sunday afternoon, face the street have a coffee and watch the parade of wankers go by. I bet you would see some variant of the following:

DEEVA – Obviously she was never Spelling Bee champion and clearly high maintenance.

WAZ HIS – He cheated on her. So, she’s taken him for everything, including his shitty Commodore and then got a numberplate more expensive than the actual car is worth, as revenge. Money well spent dipshit.

$110,000 – The amount of money spent on the fake boobs, lips, thighs, hair, eyebrows etc etc, that is ensconced in car displaying said tacky numberplate.

SEXY1 – Really? Let’s hope to god when he/she steps out of that beema, they are freaking hot. If not, foolish is about to get a new image in the dictionary.

IM 2 HOT – Small Penis on board

OWZATT – Warney. Avoid if you are female.

GOODGRL – Doubtful

LMFAO – What exactly are you laughing your fucking arse off at? The fact that you just gave the state gov another three thousand bucks you didn’t have to?

The good news is, BIARTCH, at time of writing is still available. So hop to it Queenslanders.

Get in there and give the government more of your hard earned dollars to show everyone else how truly great you are.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009



Taking out the bin was never meant to be my job.
Nor was taking rubbish bag to said bin.
It was an unspoken rule from day one. He Tarzan, me Jane.

But lately there’s been a shift. See there are only so many fruit bar packets and apple cores you can shove into a flip top bin. I can’t tell you exactly how many that is, but if you're me and you push it, it's somewhere in the vicinity of a shitload. And I have no choice of late but to get off my fat arrse and take it out myself.
I make lunches 5 nights a week which I DETEST. I do it. As Mr Harts housekeeper used to say, “I no complain”

I wash the clothes, I dry the clothes, I change the beds, I vacuum the floors, I mop the floors and I clean the toilet that sees action from 3 males on a regular basis.

But the bins get to me. Can’t tell you why. I will now go play myself the worlds smallest violin and get over my first world problem.

Monday, September 7, 2009


So an update of Mum and her hospital saga.

With some fantastic support from friends, both on the internet and “in real life” Anna Bligh has requested a meeting to discuss my letter. Fantastic step in the right direction and very impressive. I will let you know how that goes.

The other positive step was, after making a not harsh, but strongly worded phone call to the surgeon, we were granted a meeting that afternoon with the doctor, the physio, the Occupational therapist and social worker. Mum, probably got no further than hearing she would more than likely have to give up her house, which has devastated her, but my brother and I got a lot of answers to a lot of questions.

Like what’s next. Like what are Mum’s care options. Like where we go to from here.

The system is still having major suckage issues.

Like how prior to her operation, the nurse wanted to double check that she definitely didn’t want a blood transfusion should she need one during surgery. Um, no Mum never said that. How in the fuck do you get something like so wrong? What if we weren’t there with her? What if someone couldn’t respond?

Like why mum was being given anti-depressants that included a sleeping table component (which wasn’t made known to us) first thing in the morning, which in turn made her very sleepy all day and basically, off her face.

When I came to visit her on Saturday morning, she was both sleepy and disorientated. She said the social worker had been to visit the day before but she was still confused and didn’t take a lot of it in. No fucking wonder. She was off her head.

After asking the nurse about this, they agreed that the doctor should have prescribed them for night time. HELLO geniuses.

In our previous family meeting, the doctor had advised there would be no reason to do an invasive colonoscopy after getting all the test results needed from the brain tumour.

But then, I turn up Saturday, Colonoscopy prep written on her board. No information regarding this was or has been passed on. Keeping in mind we only just found out her stent has been put in tonight. I imagine this is fairly major. We (my brother and I) have had no information relating to this matter.
Basically jelly and soup since Saturday morning until Sunday then nil by mouth until tomorrow. Tomorrow.

Today they took her from the ward at lunch time but didn’t do the colonoscopy and the stent until 4pm. 4 hours whilst 10 people went in before her. When Mum had the “gall” to ask why she was being overlooked, she was reduced to tears when a nurse said to her, “You’re lucky you don’t have to pay for this Mrs Clarke. Do you have any idea how much this equipment costs?” I Shit you not.

Mum then, in tears, scrambled to tell the nurse she will make a donation. Needless to say, I cannot begin to tell you my anger right now. Um hello bitchface, she did pay for this equipment. It’s called 50 years of working and paying taxes.

As do I. As does her son.

When I spoke to her an hour ago, she still hadn’t eaten nor was she allowed to until tomorrow morning. Not even a cup of tea.

So when I do get to see Anna Bligh, I’m going to remind her about her boss’s promise. It went like this - if the states couldn’t fix the health system by mid 2009, he would. So come on K Rudd. As you said, the buck stops with you. Fix this shambles.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


40 or 50 years ago if your child got a cold, the following problem would not have been an issue.

See our 7 year old is still sick. It’s Sunday evening and there is no chance he’ll be good to go come Monday morning.

Last Thursday he had a special athletics day at Griffith Uni and although he’d been looking a little pasty, I still packed him, smothered him in sunscreen and sent him on his way to the all day event. Phil went to pick him up from after school care that afternoon and before he could even ask about the medal tally, S greeted him with a technicolour spew at the front door.

So, off we go to the doctor again. Yes the SAME doctor who has seen the myriad of black eyes, school sores and bum boils that have presented themselves to him on at least one of my children in the last three weeks. This time it’s tonsilitus, ear infections and conjunctivitis. Cool.

Which Chinaman have we run over? Any big stories I’ve been too busy cleaning up vomit to catch on TV?

So, now we do the mum/dad dance. And it’s not the fun dance Dad likes to do most. No it’s the “Who stays home with the sick child Dance”

If my husband and I don’t work, we don’t get paid. So when it comes to who stays home with the sick child, who, well, stays home? Well more often than not - me. But seeing as our family is seeing more medical action than the Home and Away hospital of late, we are at a crossroads.

After a bit of discussion and seeing as it feels as if I haven’t had a full days’ work in three weeks, husband is staying home with S. He did the advising to his boss and then sat down and said “geez it sucks I feel so bad having a day off”. We both know our respective bosses are very cool and very generous when it comes to family, but it doesn’t mean we feel better about doing it.

I know, I’ll go get out my own violins.

It’s funny because I guess 40 or 50 years ago, they had bigger issues. Like whether the simple virus would turn into something far worse. Yet they still had more of the one thing we all want but can’t buy at the shops – more quality time with our family.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Thank Christ.

See my dear husband is off right now, at his end of Season Cricket function slash drinks slash getting so blotto he will more than likely be refused entry to the bedroom tonight. This also means I cannot be sure he’ll be up to bacon and eggs at the lovely cafe up the road in the morning for Fathers Day.

I’m totally cool with this end of year deal. I mean, he’s played 8 full Sundays under gruelling conditions, blistering heat, treacherous rain and oh who am I kidding? They just played cricket in winter and talked bloke stuff. Like how my husband got three golden ducks in a row. Fourth was a duck, but not a golden. Shit – they talk it.

We are one of the those modern fan dangled families that share parental and domestic duties. I’ve always worked and therefore, he’s been on afternoon pick up since we had kids. I do the mornings, which often leaves the house looking like we’ve set off a nail bomb and bolted. For that I have no excuses other than I am more worried about getting a late slip than I am of leaving vegemite toast wedged into the couch.

Priorities – I think I need to work on mine.

Friends say I’m lucky I have a husband that helps out and whilst I’ll admit that is true - they are his kids too. Just because I’ve given myself perpetual incontinence birthing 3 of the suckers, doesn’t mean all duties relating to them are mine.

Three nights a week, he cooks dinner as he’s home first. Most days of the week, he cleans up after the kids. At least once a week, he gets angry enough to discipline.

On top of all that, he’s a great dad. He’s the fun half. He’s the one they wrestle on the ground. He’s the one who chases the kids through the house pretending he’s Casper the Angry ghost. He’s also the one who doesn’t know when to stop and more often than not, these activities end in tears. That’s where I come in. Whinge whinge, nag nag, “you never know when to stop” nag some more.

At the end of the day, my husband is a simple man. He doesn’t ask or want for much. He likes a beer with his mates, loves his kids beyond belief and I’m pretty sure I’m still his favourite gal despite his on the side floozy, Bunnings. If you met him, you’d say he’s a good bloke.

So even though my computer illiterate husband will never read this, not even read it if I print it out, We loves you Honey. Happy Fathers Day Xxxx

P.S. I reserve the right to amend this should I require copious amounts of Spray and Wipe at 0200 hours.

P.P.S I was inspired to write this after reading one of my favourite blogs : http://notdrowning.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, September 1, 2009



Today was the low point in my mother’s Queensland Hospital Experience.

Today she was let down by Queensland Health.

My Mum, not three weeks ago was living a normal life. Unbelievable as it sounds, my 75 year old mother, apart from having limited sight due to Macular Degeneration, has barely had a sick day – she was as happy and healthy as a clam.

Then she lost strength in her hand. The grim news of a secondary tumour in her brain that had spread from cancer in the colon, liver and lungs caught us all by surprise

The speed of admission into hospital was to be admired. It was immediate. What a great start to our Queensland Health experience.

Please know from the outset, this is not a letter of criticism about the nurses, the doctors or support staff. This is a plea to you, the politician, who in all honesty will never experience a day as a patient in a public hospital, to listen and to fix the overcomplicated system.

A hypothetical if you will...

Imagine your mum, being 75, gets the most devastating news of her life. In lightening speed her normal old life of hanging out at home babysitting her grandson once a week and going down to the local shops, is no longer a reality.

Instead she is incredibly frightened and fearful for her future. Imagine now she is given no details regarding the course of action that is imminent. Instead, she is admitted to a hospital ward, fed 3 meals a day, shares a ward with not one but two violent junkies and sits around and waits.

With me Anna? Next, imagine, you as her family, after repeated requests to be kept in the loop, hear nothing.

Next imagine Anna your mother is advised she requires a major brain operation to remove a large tumour. You as her family, as her child have still been told NOTHING. You are not even allowed to stay with her the hour before her operation. The operation she is, to be blunt, scared out of her fucking mind about. Think about it Anna, this might be the last time you may speak to your mother or she to you, ever again.

So now imagine your mother has come out the other side, is in ICU and finally, the surgeon is telling you that you will now be supplied with a meeting with all specialist doctors involved to discuss the future and what services will be available. Imagine your relief that you are finally getting some answers and that you mother is alive and relatively well.

I need to you concentrate now Anna because this is where the system that is QLD Health is redundant.

Imagine now, your mother goes back to the general ward and she is seeing a doctor daily. Fantastic you think. Not so. See, being the recipient of a major brain operation, she cannot retain the information that is being delivered to her. You, as her child, still cannot make sense of what the outcome of her operation is nor what her future holds, because no one will tell you anything.

Imagine then Anna, your mother wakes up during the night, two days after having her operation and she cannot stop crying. She can’t tell you why. A rational person Anna, understands this is depression and is perfectly normal. Imagine then Anna, being her daughter arriving to visit and your mother sobbing and not being able to stop and your hopelessness at the whole situation. Imagine your frustration after 3 repeated requests for a social worker to see your mother, she still is being left alone to sob at night.

The worst though is still to come. See today the rehabilitation worker comes. Something your mum is looking forward to as she is expecting to receive some exercises instructing her how to improve that hand that has regressed since the surgery. Imagine now, how she feels after the rehab worker tells your mother, alone, with no support to understand her words, that there is “no point” working on her hand and basically giving her no hope.

Thirty minutes later, your mother is addressed by the oncologist.

Keeping in mind, your mother is almost blind, cannot now move by herself and has been basically told to give up and is sobbing, once again alone. At this point she is told she will have to have a colonoscopy and could she "possibly" tell her usual doctor next time she sees him?

So a 75 year neurologically compromised patient of QLD Health who is basically blind is being told to pass on a message, she may not remember, to a doctor she cannot see . A very important message that will ultimately make a huge difference in her cancer treatment.

Did I mention your mother is still crying at the drop of hat, has been given zero incentive to be positive and was given the devastating news of possible life expectancy ALONE due to a lack of a simple phone call to you, her only family?

I’m well aware the hypothetical above means nothing to you. You would get the best care. You would not be dicked around with bureaucracy and the hierarchy of a public hospital.

But see, our frustrations stem from the lack of communication. The lack of courtesy. We are not numbers. Our mother is not simply nothing just because she is older and has advanced cancer. Your duty of care is to do the very best you can. You are failing.

If Queensland Health were my own personal business and it was consistently failing to provide the services I was offering and the complaints were outweighing the praise, I would either be arrogant, ignorant or just plain stupid to not try and find the fundamental faults in my system and change these.

When you read this Anna, I expect your first reaction will be to fob this off to your Health Minister and his general area. I don’t know his or her name and I don’t care. I expect there will be a generic response generated that generally appeases the minions.

But see when you put your hand up to be Premier of Queensland; you took the healthcare of all Queenslanders in your hands. If you think of it any other way, then you shouldn’t be the Premier of Queensland.

What I do expect as a federal and state and local tax and medicare levy payer is for you to organise and delegate qualified staff to fix the Health Care and its archaic systems

Myself, my family and my mother have the right to this “free” service. At no time should we feel as if we are mooching off a system because we, the people of Queensland deserve equal service for what we have paid for indirectly for all of our working years.

A system needs to be set up that informs patients and family of vital information. Information to resources and available services both in and outside of the hospital.

At the end of the day, what I want for you is to stop the bullshit.

Create a system where the mountain of red tape is removed. A system that creates a circle of care.

A system where I can ask once and I get a response to my request. At the very least.

I know your answer will be that the hospitals are understaffed and under resourced. FIX IT. I would rather our sinking ship of a state be in debt due to you fully subsidising the education of nurses and health professionals than a new footbridge or another motorcar race.

Bernadette Morley