Sunday, May 29, 2011

DEAR ME







Maddison went on the mandatory year 7 Sydney/Canberra trip last week with her school.  To put into a word the look on all of the expectant, waiting parents at the airport on Saturday, I’d use excited.  The word to describe my eleven year old daughters face when walking across the tarmac – weary.   Her teacher – Rooted. 




It seems she had a great time, with stories of Questacon, a crossed eyed bus driver and friends farting in their sleep amoung the many, but in the last few hours, she had a fight with her very best friend. Maddison claims they are no longer even friends, let alone best of ones.  She was teary, moody and very unreasonable.  In fact, she must have been working on her sulking skills whilst away because if it became an Olympic sport, I do believe she’d be a contender to take out gold for Australia.  




Ahh, the memories. See, I can remember the me of grade 7. Grade 8.  Hell, I vividly remember the graduating year 12 version of me.  These are the tween/teen years and Justin Bieber is only the very start of what is oh so wrong about them. They are angsty. They are full of confusion, and as was my case, chock full of spiral perms.  So if I could go back and whisper in my teenaged ear, what would I say? Maybe this: Dear Miss Bernadette Clarke:




SPIRAL PERMS DO NOT MAKETH THE GIRL:  The year was 1988.  If you didn’t have a spiral perm you were basically dead to the rest of the school community.  Put it this way, with my already half frizz ball/semi curly head of hair and the outright denial for any hairdresser love from my mother, I was at rigor mortis stage.  So to my tween self I would say, don't worry baby, you get your curls.  Sure, everyone else will be straightening theirs by that stage, but don't worry, at some point in your life  your hair will come into vogue. Wait it out.




BOYFRIENDS ARE OVERRATED:  God I wanted a boyfriend.  Desperately.  See I had gotten the entire way through primary school, kissed DAVID and that was it. Meanwhile, my friends were peeling off left right and centre and “going out with” boys.  I wanted in.  And I got in. And I got my heart broken.  Actually maybe I shouldn’t deter my 13 year old self from doing this. I mean, it makes you tougher right?  Being invited to Dreamworld, dropped within the first twenty minutes and then being forced to endure the whole day with the group only to be ignored  by your ex all day is good for you right? No.  In hindsight, having my heart smashed to pieces and listening to Extreme’s “More than Words” on repeat for 24 hours was EXACTLY what I needed to do.  It was fantastic practice for what was to come in the future.




LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER: Oh, you know how you think your mother is an old troll who knows NOTHING?  Yeah, well, she’s more switched on than you know.  She knows that if you go to that party unsupervised you will spew your guts up when you drink too much Malibu and smoke too many cigarettes.   She also knows that when you say you are “sleeping at a friend’s house” you are really going over to a boyfriend’s house.  Either learn to cover your tracks better or don’t be a dirty little stopout.  OK? 




BE NICE TO YOUR BROTHER: You will need him later. To introduce you to your future husband.




APPRECIATE YOUR FIGURE: Because it is the best you will ever look.  You are not fat.  In fact, don’t join that gym in three years time.  It will completely fuck with your interpretation of your body.  Oh, and if for some reason you ignore this advice, hear me on this: do NOT wear the G-string over the unitard.  This can never be undone.




LISTEN IN CLASS: This should be point number one, but I know how you young kids work, you tune out. So here it is. Listen in class, study, work.  Oh and whatever it is that you enjoy doing now, writing, adding, looking after animals, reading about aeroplanes, whatever the hell it is, that’s probably what will make you happy in life.  Gear yourself into subjects that will get you there in the long run.  Nothing is more soul destroying than being 40 years of age and being in a job you cannot stand.  OK. 




IT WILL ALL BE OK: No matter how badly you think you have messed up, no matter how bad it feels when the “love of your life” dumps you, it will all be OK.  Ride it out.  I know. today, it seems like the end of the world.  In ten years time, it will all be but a memory.  A fond one at that.   Seriously, believe me on this. 


LISTEN TO MUSIC: Constantly.  Don't let the top 40 dictate your selection.  You have no idea how much music will influence your life.  Keep continuing to seek different sounds your entire life. 




That's it I think.  




Any advice you’d give yourself as a kid starting out in the big wide world of high school? Stay off Facebook? Moisturise? Don’t touch Pro-Active?  Love to hear it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

BROTHER FROM ANOTHER MOTHER










I am adopted. My brother is adopted. No, we are not "blood" brother and sister as is often asked. I used to think that a weird question. Like, did people think Mum and Dad found some baby making duo who  had my brother, handed him over and then 2.5 years later, gave them me as well? But now I realise people thought we came as a package.  That Mum and Dad took the two of us on, me at birth and Les as a toddler. I get that now.


But no, my brother has his own story and I, mine.


In 1974, my mother fell pregnant to her boyfriend and being the “good Catholic girl” that she was, had me in June 1975 and immediately put me up for adoption. I am unsure whether she ever got to hold me. Or see me. From what I gather, she wasn't given the option to keep me. She wasn’t married, she was barely 19 and she had parents who wouldn't have it any other way.


I wonder what it must have been like. To feel me kicking inside her, to go into what I’m guessing was a painful labour, and then to hand me over to the nurse without even being granted a glance at the baby she had just given birth to. I feel so incredibly sad for her. After having given birth to three babies myself, I can't even fathom how she would have coped with her grief. Her pain.  Her loss.


But life goes on. Hers and mine.


My childhood was a typical Australian one. It involved being forced into playing backyard cricket with my older brother, riding bikes, playing in the local creek, recycling cans for pocket money.  The usual.


I grew up, stuff went down as it does with all families, but one thing I remember vividly was that Mum was extremely open with us about being adopted. She made absolutely no secret about it and I guess that’s why it never felt like a massive deal to me. Well until I hit 18 that was.


I got this sudden urge to find my "real" mother. This wasn’t because I suddenly didn’t want Betty as my Mum any more or love her any less, it was because I wanted to know why I looked like I look. Curiosity. But you know what they say about curiosity don’t you? Yep and I didn’t even have a cat to kill. As it turned out, it certainly was not the right reason to interrupt established lives and luckily I was counselled out of going any further before I did. I truly am grateful for this.


I did manage to get identifying information which gave me some details about my mother and father.  Their country of origin, their eye colours and builds. I also learnt some medical history (double mastectomy in grandmother – eek) that is terribly important. I can’t tell you over my life how many times a doctor has asked me if anyone in my family has say for instance, a heart condition, and I’ve just had to say “I don’t know, I’m adopted”.


When I was about 19, I received the following letter from Lyn, my biological mother;


Hi,


Wish I knew a name to call you, I don’t feel I have the right to call you daughter. I have thought often of writing but didn’t know where to start.


I often think of how you are, my biggest worry has been that you have been safe and happy.
It’s funny when I fell pregnant with you I was still so incredibly naive and went through it all in a blur. Ian, your father, and I , had been going out for years but it’s funny, I just never thought of marrying him. I haven’t seen him for a long, long time but I hear that he became a wanderer and isn’t married now.


I’ve been married to a great guy, Rod for 14 years now. He knows about you and has been at me for years to contact you. We have 3 beautiful boys, who do their share of fighting. Ryan is 12, Luke, 10 and Joshua is 6. I guess I’ve been punished in a way because we would dearly love a girl but..



My family, my parents mainly, never spoke of you. I had the apple of my father’s eye and it took many years before he spoke to me again – Good Catholics!


I’ve gone back to work after twelve years and so far am really enjoying it.


Belinda, that’s what I named you at birth, I hope with all my heart that you have had a happy life and forgive me for giving you up. I still believe in my heart it was the best for you.

Hope this finds you well and happy,



Lyn




After that I had no questions. It was like I was, and excuse me for being a bit wanky for a sec, at peace. I no longer had the urge to know more.  Sure, I found it interesting to know I had three half brothers out there somewhere and yes I did wonder about them for some time. But time passes, I have my own family to care for and to be honest, I have a mother and a brother. And they were the best that anyone could ask for. Love was on tap - what more do you need?


I recently found this letter after going through my mums stuff (after she passed away). My brother and I agree, it’s like we were puppies in a pet store. Plus I cost 5 bucks. Bargain.






It reads:


Dear Mr. and Mrs. Clarke,

There is now a baby girl born XXst June, 1975 available for adoption. The baby weighed 8lbs 4 ozs at birth.

The mother of the child is a single girl aged 19, a Student Nurse by occupation with Junior standard education. She has brown hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, is 5' 7" in height and of medium build. She is of Australian nationality.

The father of the child is aged 22, single, a motor mechanic by occupation with Junior standard education. He has blond hair, blue eyes, fair complexion, is 5' 8" in height and of slim build. He is of Australian nationality.

If you would like to see this baby, would both journey to Brisbane as soon as possible. Please call this office between 9am - 2:30pm on any week day so that the necessary authority to see the child may be given to you.

If you do not wish to see the infant, kindly communicate with me immediately so that I may offer her to someone else.







Would I be different today had I been raised by Lyn? Hard to say. Nature over nurture? Would I still be me but with different friends and family? In a different job? Who knows? All I do know is that I wouldn’t change a thing.



On 4 June 2010, the Community and Disability Services Ministers' Conference (CDSMC) announced that Ministers had agreed to a joint national research study into past adoption practices, to be conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies.
The focus of this study is on understanding current needs and obtaining information to support improved service responses for individuals affected by past adoption practices, and is the largest study of past adoption practices ever conducted in this country. 

If you think this study could relate to you, click HERE to participate.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

WHAT IS THE ONE BOOK EVERY PERSON SHOULD READ BEFORE THEY DIE?











I appreciate how difficult this question is to answer. I understand how being consumed by and adoring a book is influenced by numerous factors.  Age. Maturity.  A death.  A broken heart. The circumstance of life.


So it was quite presumptuous of me really to even ask this question. Especially when I was asking people who live and breathe writing.   How can it be narrowed down to just one?  Something you read that blew your tiny mind 10 years ago may have little affect on you today.  Or vice versa.  And then sometimes reading a book the second time around, makes you appreciate and understand it more.  


Now, considering I topped my English class in year 12, I am woefully ignorant to many of the classics.  I think this was fairly evident when my 11 year old asked me if I had read Little Women.  When I replied in the negative, I think what I witnessed was what can only be described as pity.    She walked into her room, returned with with the novel, lay it on my bed and said "You should read this Mum, it's totally awesome".  Jesus.  My 11 year old has more of a clue than I do.


It was about at this point that I decided I needed to make a list.   A list of books I need to read before I eventually disappear forever. To get me started though, I wanted to ask some of my favourite authors and/or people in "the know".  These are all people I greatly admire and respect. 


So, in no particular order, please enjoy these recommendations:


KYLIE LADD.  Now this lady is smart. And witty.  And attractive. No really, I don’t think you understand.  She’s not only an incredible writer of fiction and non fiction including Naked, After the Fall and the soon to be released, Last Summer, but by day she’s a neuropsychologist.  We bonded over our mutual disdain of Nickelback and our love of eating 4 day old leftovers. Her novel, After the Fall, is one I have read three times.  She is constantly relevant. You can check out her website HERE

Buy it here

According to Kylie Ladd, the one book you must read before you die is: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald because “It is just perfection.  Melancholy has never been so beautiful”.



~~~~



JOHN PURCELL.  Now here is a guy who knows his shiz. He is the guy behind booktopia.com.au, one of the fastest growing companies in Australia.  His life has always and still does, revolve around the written word. You can find Booktopia HERE and more than likely purchase any book we mention here today with what I can vouch for, is incredible ease.

Buy It Here
According to John Purcell, the one book you must read before you die is Clarissa by Samuel Richardson.  He admits “Few will enjoy it and I will probably come off looking like an elitist snob.

The good news is, John is anything but “an elitist snob” and is probably one of the most helpful and savvy booksellers around today.  But you know, if you are overcome with the urge to send him a strongly worded letter, I will be sure to forward it on.


~~~~




DEE MADIGAN: Perhaps Dee looks familiar?  Well she should, especially if you watch The Gruen Transfer. And let’s face it, if you don’t, you are probably missing out on the most intelligent and funny half hour of Television in Australia.  To quote the Gruen Transfer website “Whenever there was a tampon ad shot on an exotic foreign beach, there was a very good chance Dee wrote it. And attended the shoot.”  When not writing award winning adverts, you can catch her tending to her three children under 6 and forcing them to watch Baby Einstein and flashcarding the one year old.   I totally made that last bit up.  Seriously though, Dee is one super intelligent, gorgeous human being.  You can check out her website HERE




Buy It Here
According to Dee, the one book you all must read before you die is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy because “There are writers who write beautiful prose, and there are writers who are brilliant storytellers. But very few who can do both.”

She also went on to recommend  The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons because  “After reading this piece of crap, death won't seem so painful.” 

~~~~




FLEUR MCDONALD: You know what?  I could bang on about how Fleur lives on an 8,000 acre farm with her young children and husband 110 kms out of Esperance and that despite that, she still found the time to write fabulous novels such as Red Dust and Blue Skies.  I could even tell you she’s about to release another book shortly.  But I won’t because to be honest, I just want to tell you how she’s one of the most lovable people, let alone authors I have dealt with.  She genuinely gets involved.  And she is remarkable.  You can check out her website HERE


Buy it Here
According to Fleur McDonald, the one book you must read before you die is The Poet by Michael Connelly.    “I chose this because I read a lot of crime/detective/courtroom fiction and I usually work out who the 'badie' is by about half way through. I have great enjoyment turning to the back of the book, when I think I've worked it out, to see if I'm right! I didn't pick this one until basically he was revealed by the author. It a high tension, gripping, thrilling drama and I loved every word!”


~~~~




KATE HUNTER:  I have been lucky enough to have dinner a couple of times with Kate and her family and I’ve come to the conclusion that I want her to adopt me.   With over 20 years advertising experience under her belt, Kate wrote the AA novel (Advertising Adventure, yep that’s a new made up genre) Mosquito Advertising: The Parfizz Pitch, to rave reviews.   Mosquito Advertising: the Blade Brief will be out on June the 1st.  She rocks at what she does and oh, remember her name, you’ll be hearing a lot more of it.   
Buy It Here




According to Kate Hunter, the one book you should read before you die is Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding because “It slapped me and woke me up about how FUNNY fiction could be.  I wanted to be one of Bridget’s mates.  I felt I was.”


Ditto Kate, ditto.






~~~~




KERRI SACKVILLE:  So.  Been living under a rock?  Then you won’t know this lady.  Let me break it down for you.  She’s only the hugely successful author of “When my Husband does the Dishes” and an uber-blogger.  Oh yeah, she’s a nothing.  If nothing in your world means freaking massive.  Her book, When My Husband Does the Dishes, is basically the Bible for modern marrieds.  Kerri’s best attribute however is that she engages. She does it often and she does it well.  And I guess the thing is, she does it genuinely.  Get involved people, she is ace.  You can find her website HERE.


Buy it Here




According to Kerri Sackville, the one book you should read before you die is Catch-22 by Joseph Heller simply because “It’s a masterpiece in every way.”  






~~~~




LISA HEIDKE:  This lady is one of the most accessible, down to earth and successful authors I have come across.  Oh and she has a WICKED sense of humour.  Let’s not even mention lady caves Lisa.  Let’s just not.  So far, she has released Claudia’s Big Break, Lucy Springer Gets Even and What Kate did Next. Perhaps not in that order, but anyway you cut it, she’s bloody well made her mark in the Australian writing scene.  You can find Lisa HERE and I suggest you do.


Buy It Here


According to Lisa Heidke, the one book you should read before you die is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte because “Heathcliff and Cathy on the moors – a tempestuous love story – ah.” 










~~~~




ANJANETTE MORTON: This lady blows my mind. Smart, strong and extremely funny and she may very well be that one person who determines whether your manuscript gets that one step closer to being published.   She has the eye. The one that discerns.  So I wanted her opinion.  And I value it.  You can check out her personal blog HERE




Buy It Here
According to Anjanette Porter, the one book you should read before you die is The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo because “It changed my life.  It woke me up to pursue my dreams, travel and find my own way.”  










~~~~






BENISON O’REILLY: God.  Where to start with Benison.  Her inner and outer beauty? Perhaps.  No, let’s talk about her smarts, because she has them in spades.  I first found Benison when researching Autism and I came across The Australian Autism Handbook written by herself and Seana Smith.  But that’s not all this savvy mum of three has written. Happily Ever After, her first foray into fiction, was relatable to me.  Well not the marrying a Pilot bit, but so many other parts.   Oh and the unusual name Benison?  It means ‘A Blessing’ How very true. You can find her website HERE.




Buy It Here 
According to Benison, the one book you should read before you die is Catch-22.  Although she found it hard to pick a top one.  She also liked The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas but understands it polarises. 


Note: I’ve started reading The Slap this week and am really liking it.  I wonder when and/or if it will make me jump the fence into the hate camp? 




~~~~




ANITA HEISS: I’m sure I don’t need to introduce you to Anita.  With a mountain of published work under her esteemed belt such as Avoiding Mr Right, Who Am I? The Diary of Mary Talence and Token Koori, she is a well established and respected author in Australia.  She too is one of these wonderful, approachable people who is more than happy to help.  I am always blown away when an author will not only answer but happily chat with someone like me.  It blows my mind.  You can check out all of Anita’s works HERE


Buy It Here


According to Anita, the one book you should read before you die is Journey to Stone Country by Alex Miller.






~~~~




RICK MORTON:  You may know Rick from such things as the Guiness World Book of Records for being the most spectacularly successful 24 year old.  Well, that’s not actually a real title he holds, but he should.  His incredible, wit, compassion and intelligence is why he is the News Editor at Mamamia.com.au.  And if that’s not enough, he’s quite fond of sloths. It doesn’t get much more tops.  Rick was one of my very first friends on the interwebs. He's a total keeper. You can follow his personal blog HERE










Buy It Here
According to Rick, the one book we should all read before we shake off this mortal coil is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.  He went on to say “I cannot over-state how much I want everyone to read this book. Not only is Adams a genius with words, his books are at once absurd, philosophical, deep and hilarious. These books not only made me want to write, but they set me on my present course of reading about the universe itself. It might be a work of fiction, but when you begin to read about the cosmos, it is so utterly bizarre and awe-inspiring you'll think it, too, cannot be true. Do it, for the love of all that is good, read this book. And then read the other 4 books in the trilogy."


~~~~



Robert Zappelli is one of my good twitter buddies.  His handle is @outbackexpat and was with him that I originally starting discussing this "One Book".  "I don't have a background in literature like the others, but I'm a people person and I like to read. Usually those two things are not compatible because generally one tends to read alone. A good book is almost like having a conversation with the author though you are listening and they're telling the tale."

Buy It Here
According to Robert, the one book you should read before you leave the earth is Tandia by Bryce Courtney because it is "Sad, compelling, moving and paints a brilliant portrait of the human condition"


~~~~




REBECCA SPARROW: I didn’t mean to leave Bec until last. Well I kinda did.  See, Bec is the first and only person I’ve ever written a fan letter to.  Well fan email.  And she replied. Sure, this could sound like I’ve been stalking Bec since oh, 2004 , but so far she has chosen to take the high road and *not* get an AVO. Seriously though, I truly believe it was my very good fortune to randomly stumble across her book, The Girl Most Likely at a  Big W one rainy Sunday afternoon all those years ago.  The Year Nick McGowan came to Stay and Find Your Tribe are amoung her other published works.  


Buy It Here
According to Rebecca Sparrow, the one book you should read before you move on to the other side is Bird by Bird: Some instructions on writing and life by Anne Lamott.  “I'm not a huge fan of how-to-write books but Lamott's book is different. It's laugh-out-loud funny and so very wise. My battered, dog-eared copy is like an old-friend and I often dip into it for a pick-me-up or to be reminded of Lamott's refreshing take on the neurotic life of a writer. An award-winning novelist and respected creative writing teacher, Lamott's advice about character, about plot, about writer's block, about professional jealousy -- is all true.  And oh-so- very-funny.”


~~~~




And as for me, and I know this won’t win me any highbrow friends, but Marian Keyes, Anybody Out There.  I laughed and literally cried distraught tears reading this.  In fact it made me feel quite down in parts.  A book that does that to me, well I take notice.  A mention also has to go out to The Stand by Stephen King.  It was a massive part of my late teens.


So there you have it.  Now comes the interactive part: I want you to tell me what book I need to add to my list.  Your recommendation.  It doesn’t have to be from the Literature section, it just needs to mean something to you.  

Friday, May 20, 2011

HOUSEKEEPING





I desperately wanted to have a very exciting post up last night, but then some dickhead went and threatened to blow up Central Station and I couldn't get home.  So instead, I'll do some very quick housekeeping. As usual, this has nothing to do with my actual house.

A couple of weeks ago I had  piece on Mamamia about acceptable swearing.  You can check it out HERE


In fact, a couple of weeks ago Kidspot.com flew me down to Sydney to attend the launch party of the Kidspot Top 50 Bloggers which was amazing. I got to catch up with some lovely bloggy friends and to meet some I'd longed to.    I have an entry in to win a car for a year.  You can check it out HERE

And, although the official day was yesterday, Witchery's White Shirt Day Campaign which raises money for Ovarian Cancer is one I wanted to draw your attention to.  100% of the profits from the shirts you can see HERE goes to research.

Last night I attended a Freelance Writing Seminar held at the QLD Writers Centre in Brisbane.  3 wonderful and knowledgeable editors and writers, clued us newbies in on some industry secrets and shared many anecdotes about the process of submitting a story.  The QLD Writers Centre are marvellous and have many great courses.  You can find them HERE


OK, So that's it.  Normal transmission resuming soon 


And even though I'm a bit shit at replying to comments, I read and love each and every one.  You'll probably be better off trying to talk to me on Twitter.  @Bern_morley

Sunday, May 15, 2011

TASKING. MULTIPLE STYLE





So we women are meant to be bandits at the multi-tasking.


Apparently we are regular MacGyver’s with the ability to whip up a croquembouche whilst extracting a Lego man’s head from an air-conditioning vent and simultaneously painting the door jams.


I’d like to think I’m fairly adept at this.  I mean I’m extremely good at hearing my husband even when listening to the news. “Hmm, what’s that?  Yep, I’ll pay your rego that was due last week, sure, but oh look, look it’s a panda riding a rocking horse!”  Why, just yesterday, I found myself unloading washing into a basket at the same I was sitting on the toilet.  Now that takes skill people.


But then I got to wondering. In this day and age where we are time poor yet busier than ever, do you think it’s the man or the woman who should be considered the better multi-tasker?


In fact, is this really even a gender thing?  I mean I’ve watched my husband mow the lawn, take a phone call and scratch is nuts all at the same time.  I’ve seen him shoot his mate a text while eating his lunch and again, scratch his balls.  In fact, come to think of it, pretty much anything he does has the signature nut scratch.    


I myself start lots of lists.  People to Call.  Bills to Pay.  Appointments to arrange.  Stuff to look up on Google.   Blog Ideas.  Ways to make Phil Suffer.  Kidding.  Mostly.  But I rarely, if ever, make it to the end of those lists.  


And add to that, even though I start a lot of tasks at any one time, I wouldn’t say I successfully finish any of them.  I get stuck into folding the washing while having a chat to my friend on the phone, but abandon that midway through when the conversation ends.  I will check my emails while listening to the 9yo read out his spelling words to me, but to be honest, I’m not 100% sure he spelled  the word cuckoo   correctly.  I can cook dinner, make lunches and clean out half a cupboard but more often than not forget the rice I originally started cooking on the gas hob.  Who burns rice?  Me, that’s who.


So even though before I started writing this I thought I was an ace multitasker, now I’m not so sure.  Maybe guys have the right idea.  Do one thing, do it right and finish it.  And maybe, just maybe I need to take time out to scratch my metaphorical nuts.   


What’s your experience?  Are you a great multi-tasker or steady as she goes kinda person?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Win a New Ford Territory for a Year and $5,000









As part of the Kidspot Top 50 bloggers, I am required to write a blog post about driving.  Bianca from Big Words Blog thought it might be fun if we treated it like a road trip.  Road Triiiiipppp.  I however, jumped the gun and posted this too early, so here it is again, but with links to my compadres funny and wonderful blogs.  


Bianca from Big Words Blog will be telling us the Road Trip Rules


Nikki from Styling You will get you kitted out with the ultimate road trip accessories


Jodie from Mummy Mayhem vlogged about her virtual roadtrip in the way she does best.  And she manages to totally embarrass the shit out of me in the process.


And Carly from Tune In To Radio Carly has our song playlist all lined up.  Good news, no Nickelback, it's safe to come along.




Here is my entry...




It’s been just over 17 years since the Queensland Transport Department handed over my provisional licence and gave me the green light to take to the mean streets of the Gold Coast solo.   To be honest, they really had no business doing this as a) I will openly admit that even after 35 driving lessons (I shit you not) I still really didn't know how to drive and b) I mounted two gutters during the driving test after running a red light.  




I’m happy to tell you though, I have improved over time and have only had two at fault car crashes and been warned to stop the speed racer antics once.  I’ve been good now for over 10 years.  Hang in there Ford, I do have good news.




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




And, I guess if the people on our roads who don’t indicate,  cut people off and refuse to use a roundabout correctly are from Queensland then yes, this is quite true. But they aren’t. In fact the majority of the Gold Coasts' population wasn't actually born here. To be fair, they were probably conceived here though (being a great place to get loose and all) so I can see the connection.




That being said, driving to two schools, a kindy and a workplace each day I often encounter the following:





  • People who straddle two lanes going through a roundabout. Seriously, choose your lane and stick to it. I am in a little Honda Jazz with a family of 5. We are just one erratic move away from being crushed under a Landcruiser. Granted, to select a Honda Jazz with 5 people plus at the time, a Golden retriever was not my Mensa moment.  
  • 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. a) you have no business being out at 8am and b) pay attention! Because when you do 40 km’s an hour up to traffic lights and then gun it to leave me behind at the red light, it kind of gives me the instant shits.
  • People who don’t indicate. See, as I haven’t activated my crystal 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 they 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 douche in a 911’s giving me the finger, but it's so very worth it.
  • Cars so low they can’t get over a speed bump. We’ve all seen them. They lower the bejesus out of their shitty commodore Utes and then have to take those speed bumps at a massive angle. Well I’ll let you in on a secret. You look like a fuckstick. Did you ever think if you can’t hit a 20cm pothole at speed, it won't be long until QLD Police find you and defect your arse?
  • Last but not least, people who don’t thank you for letting them into traffic. I make a conscious effort to let people in.  Whether it is letting them in after coming out of the Servo or just generally merging. When people don’t acknowledge my courtesy, you don't have to be gifted in lipreading to see my response to their arrogance.





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




This post is my entry into the Kidspot 2011 Top 50 bloggers.  The prize this year is $5,000 cash and the use of one of their new Ford Territory’s for a year.  A whole. Freaking. Year.  




After having re-read through my post above, I’d like to say to Ford and Kidspot, that the whole two car accidents; speeding, ramming stuff etc was a little exaggerated.  I’m really a great driver.  No really.  


How about you? Good driver?  Know where the worst reside?   Shameful driving history? Spill