Monday, 31 December 2012

From the start


I knew I wanted to write when I was eight and a car was stolen from our street. The police came and I interviewed the neighbours, my mum and dad, my six year old brother and an indulgent policeman and wrote it all up in my own newspaper.

I studied, got a cadetship at a country newspaper, became a journalist. Learnt to observe, question the obvious, convey a story. Learnt to question and try not to be too intrusive except on those occasions when hard questions had to be asked. No Google then to conveniently help out, facts had to be sourced and it was often a hard slog.

I learnt to write impartially, factually, concisely, accurately. I learnt to keep myself out of the story. I learnt from a hard editor who would throw my story back across his desk and say "do it again" but often wouldn't tell me where I'd failed. I learnt to question my own work, and became a better writer for it. His name was Murray Tucker and behind his back we called him Motherf...think you can guess why. As in many things, it's in looking back you see the gift of that training.

And then, many years and three children later,  I left the world of newspapers, went to the "dark side" of corporate writing, media releases, speeches, opinion pieces. Other people's voices and thoughts conveyed by my words.

I think this has made me struggle with this blog. Finding my own voice has been a challenge, all those years of disciplined writing about others and for others. The voice that tells me to pull back and edit, not to overshare.

I'm going to try to do better, for myself. I guess it's like another cadetship. Learning as I go, letting those thoughts in my head breathe.

This year, I've jokingly said it's The Year of Jo but in saying that I'm talking to myself. I want to pull back from my work and rediscover some parts of myself that I've had to put away to get the job of work and life done. Writing for the love of it, not for work, is part of it. So is taking better care of myself, living in the moment, observing and recording this life. Wish me luck.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Swings and roundabouts

It's been a month of change.

My mum has moved from her home of 35 years and this weekend, my eldest moves out to share a house with a girlfriend.

She sort of left home once before but not really. At 18, she went to live with my mum and stepdad for two or three days a week during her first year of uni before transferring her course back to Melbourne.

This is different. But I'm okay. Living at home has meant she's had the opportunity to travel but now she, and we, are ready for her to go.

It will be weird, no doubt. Of my three kids, she is the messiest and can be pretty feisty when the mood strikes her. She is loud, sensitive and the least confident despite being the eldest.

She is her 16 year old's sister's biggest supporter but also her staunchest critic. Of late, there's been a bit of clashing between them as the 16 year old, in typical teenager fashion, is asserting her own personality. The bickering annoys the crap out of me.

We'll see her a few nights a week, I expect she'll need a good feed - don't thinking gourmet cooking is on the agenda!

It will be strange but it's true life goes in swings and roundabouts. I will finally be getting a Room of My Own, to quote Virgina. For writing and my craft, finally not having to pack up the kitchen table and put things away.

My fingers are crossed it is all going to work out okay.

Thursday, 4 October 2012


 I am celebrating a milestone birthday this weekend. I had hoped to be here * sigh * but not to be. So I am bringing a little bit of Paris to my celebrations.
  • There will be a daiquri machine...or two..
  • Eiffel Tower...gotcha
  • Chanel themed cupcakes....stat.
  • Moreish finger food...oh yeah. Some created by my little hands, others purchased from lovely gourmet shop.
  • A croquemboche...let me at it.
  • Fancy LBD (Little Black Dress).....locked in.
It's not a big bash, I have always been a less-is-more kinda girl when it comes to friendships. Two of my oldest and dearest mates will be there...the girls who were my bridesmaids all those years ago and who were my co-conspirators in my teenage years. Can't wait.

But before my party there is a funeral. Today. Of an old friend of my mum's, a man small in stature but with the biggest heart.

This man was an important person in my younger years, when my brother and I would stay with his family as our own was crumbling. He had a wicked sense of humour, loved a drink and a laugh, was an enormously generous soul.

His three children have, in the past month, buried their stepfather of many years and now their dad. It's heartbreaking. As can happen in circumstances where two families have come together following a divorce, there was some angst with the new wife and despite it being many years ago, old problems have resurfaced in the grief of his passing.

They'll get through it, but the loss of's a hole that will never be filled.

Life goes so fast. Today I will say goodbye to this lovely man and hug his children. And tomorrow I will celebrate another day.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Moving on

It's been the busiest time I can remember.

A large chunk has been taken up moving my ma out of her home of 35 plus years. She was mad keen for it but then had a bit of a meltdown about it all.

I found it really hard to deal with. Sometimes we butt heads - we are very different people - but I've found in the last few years that I tend to be more the calming voice whereas before I would get upset and be offended by some of the thoughtless things she'd say. I'd arc up about something she'd say, she'd get defensive and shut down and all the old wounds would be lacerated open to bleed out again.

This time I didn't bite. It was plain that she was struggling, seeing her house in chaos and frightened a little by the prospect of change. Her husband  - my second stepdad - had never moved house before and was out of his depth.

The thing was, she'd been at me to come and help (we live an hour and a half away) so in the midst of a crazy month with work and other stuff my husband, son, his girlfriend and I had headed off to pack, clean, move. When we got there, she wouldn't have a bar of it. Didn't want us to do anything, didn't want any of us taking over. Aaaghh!

After a bit of negotiating, we were able to help out - my strong 6ft 4in hubby and even stronger but equally tall son did some heavy lifting and things were accomplished.

It was a bit sad, my capable ma so flustered. When I went back again a few days ago with my youngest Blossom on moving day, to unpack at the new place and then clean the old, she'd turned the corner and was looking ahead, not back.

I took a last walk through the house, where I'd spent some of the best and worst times of my life, where I'd learnt about love and fear, heartbreak and honour, betrayal and beauty. The house was quiet and waiting for its new life. My mother had already begun hers.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

In the blink of an eye

I'm working from home today and I'm a little anxious.

Blossom (my youngest) has scratched her cornea. She doesn't know how she did it, possibly something was in her eye - a piece of grit - and she's rubbed it. I sent her off to school yesterday, bad mother, though it was sore but we'd eyedropped and she wanted to go. Still..... bad mother.

School rang of course and I bundled her off to the doctor. The doctor thinks it's not too deep and she applied some ointment and whacked on an enormous eyepatch which is totally mortifying to a 15 year old. We had to sneak out the back door of the clinic, lest anyone see her pirate look.

                                    Daryl Hannah can carry it off though.

It was itchy and hurting last night and she lurched between laughing about it and being in tears. Teenage hormones are a challenge! The Man is, of course, away so it's just me. And one of our dogs, Harry, opened up a sore behind his ear where the dog clipper nicked him so I had to patch him up too.

Florence bloody Nightingale I'm not. In these sorts of emergencies, only wine and chocolate will suffice.

We're back to the doctors at noon, am hoping it will be good news.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

What's on

It's been a full on couple of weeks. Eldest has headed to the US on her first trip overseas alone although she is joining up with a tour and will make friends there. Much effort beforehand getting her sorted.

So this weekend I'm looking forward to finishing putting in the new lovely handles on my kitchen cupboards - have about six to go - and giving them a touch up with the white paint.

Pruning the 20 rosebushes in my front yard. It's an annoying job but I cheat a bit and get the MoH to chop them down roughly and then I do the "proper" pruning. It's worth it in Spring when they bloom so beautifully. I chose all my roses for fragrance and colour so it just smells gorgeous when they are all out. Must keep thinking of that when I'm mopping up the scratches.

Also have been commissioned (oohaah) to make two baby blankets by a friend at work. I'm making two lion blankets with an adorable lion and lioness appliqued in supersoft velour. Will post some pics when I'm done, hoping to finish one off this weekend. This is one of giraffes I did recently, was very happy with it.


Harry and Ralph (our two maltese shitzu fluff balls) will be given a wash this weekend. I hope. Harry's excited about the idea.


In between there'll be coffee, wine, chocolate, walks, movies, some yummy comfort food ( lamb shanks, roast chicken) and some missing of my big girl. There'll be some delight in her bulletins from overseas and hopefully a chance to just linger and chat in front of the fire.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Just because you can't see me...

I don't really like to talk about work on my blog but today I'm making an exception.

I've been involved in a campaign that was launched today at the fantastic Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. For those of you who don't know, this hospital is staffed by amazing people and has been helping care for children in Victoria (and sometimes other states in Australia) for I think 40 plus years.

A major overhaul of the hospital has taken place and it is fantastic...there's a massive aquarium in the foyer for kids to look at and even a meerkat compound! There's a lot to see and do, providing a distraction for sick kiddies and their often bored siblings.

Anyway, I was there today for this campaign warning people about the risk to children when they are playing in driveways. We hope this campaign will save lives. There was a family at our launch whose little boy had been run over by his dad in the driveway. The dad thought the little boy was with mum, mum thought the boy was safely with dad.

They were so lucky. His legs were injured, foot fractured but a couple of centimetres and he would have been much more seriously injured.

For those of you with children, grandchildren, visitors to your home with children please have a look at this and be aware of what you need to do to make sure this doesn't happen to you and yours.

                                                                     Driveway safety campaign

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Fangs a lot

Can you hear that?? Champagne corks popping, yeehaing and celebratory racket.
Today - oh happy day - the smallest one was told her loathed braces were finally to come off next month after FOUR years of having devices and braces and stuff jammed in her mouth.
Oh, and a cool $8000 handed over, thank you very much.


Her orthodontist is a fairly stern bloke, not big on the conversation, much of it is "open wider please" and "make sure you brush thoroughly"...that type of riveting talk.

Today when he told her we could make the "get em off" appointment, she thrust her arms in the air and said "it's a dream come true."
He smiled (the first we've seen) and said "well, I don't know if it's that exciting."

It's taken an age because when her teeth came in, one grew from the roof of her mouth, smack dab in the centre and had to be gently coaxed into its proper spot at the front of her mouth using a device that widened her mouth and pushed it down.

Took an age and the original dentist we saw was a disaster. Disorganised, allowing too much time for little one to think about what was going to happen (she was then 11) and, the final straw,  ripped out a device that had been glued in her mouth causing littlest great trauma.

Now there is bite - hahaha - at the end of the tunnel. Just in time for her birthday.


"This is the best birthday present" she said.
"Great, does that mean I don't have to buy you one" said her everloving mumma.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Thank you for the music

Wednesday is a favourite day of the week.
After work, I head to a local community hall and meet up with a group of people who were strangers to me months ago. Some of them are people I probably wouldn't come across too often in my daily life.

The hall we meet in is big and plain, with old net curtains and a stage jutting out at one end. There's a faded old piano on the stage, a little battered around the edges.

Many of the people that go to this hall on Wednesday nights are also a little battered around the edges. Some are refugees, a couple of them Sudanese woman with velvety ink skin and amazing hair and smiles. There's a few in the group that have obviously suffered great hardships and come for the food as much as anything.  Some are struggling with illness or depression. Others are just lonely and wear it like a cloud around them.

Then there's the rest of us, in our black workwear with lives full of family, love, purpose.

We are there to sing together. Sometimes imperfectly but more often richly, voices soaring, bodies swaying.

Some of us - me included - have been told we couldn't sing. To "sshh" while the song bubbled inside.
Now we sing loudly and we sound beautiful.

I've been coming to choir for most of this year. It's a release and a joy and the enormity of that took me by surprise.

Initially I barely squeaked out the words, miming when the song went high and I lacked belief. But now I let my voice go where it will and those around me take me with them.

After we sing, sandwiches and fruit, doughnuts and cakes are bought out. Some in our choir fall on them like they haven't eaten for days and they probably haven't. Those who have food at home hang back, and those that need to put extra in their pockets.

There is such courage and beauty in the coming together of our voices.

It's a beautiful experience. On Monday, I will sing in my second public concert. And it will be joyous!


Friday, 22 June 2012


Last night Youngest and I headed off to the movies (I know, twice in one week!) to see "Snow White and the Huntsman."

It was better than I expected, more the Brothers Grimm than the Disney version.  The effects were fantastic, it was very absorbing.

Youngest is not a great fan of Kristen Stewart (who plays Snow White), didn't rate her at all as Twilight's Bella but she was okay in this movie although a little passive for a character that is ultimately so powerful.

But Charlize Theron, OMG. Fabulous. And the outfits....amazing, so detailed and clever. The crown of spikes and the cloak of raven's wings. Gorgeous and malevolent.

After, we went to a favourite restaurant that has just opened a indoor/outdoor bar area. It was chock-a-block so we grabbed a table in the bar area and despite the cold outside, it was toasty warm. Two guitarists were singing some of my favourite songs (Daryl Braithwaite's Horses, Crowded House, Cold Chisel as ballads).

Youngest was singing along, enjoying herself immensely. It was the perfect start to the weekend.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

I felt the earth...move...

Literally. Last night had grabbed a couple of mates and gone to the movies to see "Friends with Kids" (funny, especially if you're a parent). Halfway through, the guy behind me starts kicking me seat (or so I think). Then all the seats start shaking back and forth and the screen begins wobbling in and out. Ummm, those screens are big and there's only one way for it to come down - forwards, on the audience.

The earth had decided to quake - a 5.2 on the richter scale type of shimmy. It seemed to last a long time and it was pretty hilarious because in typical Aussie fashion, we all just sort of looked at each other and when it ended, went back to watching the movie. No panic, no drama.

Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim prompted me to think about blog readers this week. My husband and kids  know about this blog (youngest helped me tweak it).   None of my other family or friends do. I deliberately haven't told them about it because it's my space to write freely.

I started this blog not to build a business though it's great that many are. I wrote from home for magazines as a young mum and the flexibility was fantastic. I've been a "corporate" writer now for a few years, speeches, media releases.

In my career I've always had to write about certain subjects, dictated by editors or the needs of the publications I was writing for. There was some latitude but not total freedom.

My blog gives me space to write what I want, to hopefully flex those writing muscles that have been squirrelled away. To think about what I want to say. I don't want to feel constrained anymore and so while I'm glad if someone notices it's more about my self expression than anything else.

The joy of writing - it's been there for me my whole life and now I want to give it wings.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

10 things I have done today (already)

1. washed mountains of clothes

2. purchased more clothes for second daughter, off to work experience this week

3. purchased new boots for second daughter (see above)

4. had coffee and croissant

5. fielded three work calls (it's Sunday peoples!)

6. Ate some hot chips (see above)

7. Planned menus for week

8. Went food shopping (roast chicken for tea yum)

9.  Drilled holes for new kitchen cupboard door handles (so gorgeous, pics to come)

10. Dreamed about sitting in front of the fire ...*sigh

Friday, 15 June 2012

A confession

I have a confession to make.  I love Bunnings.

It's my not-so-secret obsession. Most weekends, there I am, wandering the aisles, picking up paint colours, fondling door handles, musing over mouldings.

I love the blokes in their aprons chatting to each other and everyone else about drill bits and leaky taps. I love that they have heaters blasting hot air over the tellers right near the doorway where cold air is blasting in.

I'm off there again, to pick up handles for my kitchen cupboards. Replacing the stainless steel knobs that I've had for the past ten years with some sleek and sexy long numbers.

I may be gone a while

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Long time coming

Can't believe I've been away so long but I'm back. Some of what I've been doing in the interim:

* upcycling, one of my favourite things. Inspired by Letitia at The White Shed, my kitchen table is now black and my chairs white

* becoming engrossed in Once Upon A Time

* cooking Bill's food especially his coconut chilli chicken (thanks for the headsup BabyMac)

* knitting and trying to remember how to crochet

* building fires and toasting marshmallows

Have also been thinking a lot about the Chamberlains. I can clearly remember all the anger and shouting about Lindy and the conflict this case caused. I was in my late teens and just beginning my journalism career and I believed her to be innocent. Never ever thought that what was said about her - that she cut her child's throat with scissors and put her body in a camera bag - was true. I can remember vividly the shock when they pronounced her guilty. So many people celebrated, it was awful.

What was forgotten in all this was this little child. Lindy's powerful words in the trial when the prosecutor was describing his theories _ "This is my child, not some object."

I hope Azaria's family slept easy last night, that those awful voices accusing them over the past 32 years finally shut up.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Mouthing off

I have a big mouth and sometimes, it gets away with me. Like today. Indulged in a little gossip and probably shouldn't have. Not someone I know really but just something I passed on. And I wish now I hadn't. It happened because I was tired and jaded with work and got carried away.

It's left a sour taste. I've apologised for running off at the mouth to the one person who cares and all is good but...I wish I hadn't said it.

It's probably my worst fault. I blame an adult lifetime of working in newsrooms where anything goes and where black humour is sometimes the only things that get you through when you come across the vile, indifferent and callous horrors that can pass for our society.

And of course, teenage years spent growing up in a bowling alley of all places where life resembled a very poorly written soap opera where restraint was a rare commodity.

It's another lesson learned for me. Censoring's a theme for today - hello Maxabella who is questioning in her insightful way our community of bloggers and where it's heading.

 At the end of the day, we answer to ourselves and more often than not, we're our harshest critic.

Monday, 28 May 2012


I've been spending a lot of time this year thinking things over. Thinking about what's gone before, what is ahead and also what lies beneath my surface.
I've had a life that for a time was complicated and at times frightening and out of control, when I was younger and had little choice but to accept what was happening around me and to me.
Times when I was dizzy with trying to keep on top of things.
What those times did was to make me focused - on a different life, a strong family, a steady job that meant I would always have my own money, always have control.
I began taking care of my younger brother and myself when I was 13 - cooking dinner, washing clothes, making sure we were okay. Adults were there but not reliable.
I now find myself thinking about what I want with the rest of my life, wondering about moving away from the full time work and the responsibilities I've carried for myself and others.
I've been a mother half my life, caring for others.  A privilege but also a responsibility. Not a burden, but surely a weight.
What for me now? I dream of a life near the beach, walking along it every day and hearing waves crash and lulling me to sleep. I want to go back to France, and to Italy where I've never been and drink wine in the sun. I want to write my stories, not just words to enhance the company I work for. protecting and building "the brand".
I want to drink deep from life, not eke out the days.
I want to understand who I really am and find out the hidden parts of my story.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Black cats and voodoo dolls

I've been doing Zumba for a whole 12 weeks. This is a significant thing. I love the idea of exercise, of walking the dogs and going for a run but I'm a complete useless lump about it.

I run out of time, it's cold blah blah. But...Zumba comes to my work and I just walk out the door into the gym and there it is. And it's fun, even though I'm a bit hopeless at keeping in time and the boob pushing, hip wiggling thing is just not my strong point.  But the laughter among the women in my group soothes my soul after a day of crappy work almost as much as the exercise works off my tension.

We have a teacher who was on Dancing with the Stars as a backstage trainer...sadly for her she's now Dancing with the Duds. She is just what you're imaging - dark tan, long limbs, big hair, and big smile. She'd be lovely if she wasn't quite so attractive.....

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Big girls do cry

Tonight we head to Bloss's school for an extravaganza of culinary delights in their own My Restaurant Rules event. Consequently, have only eaten a few banana lollies (fruit!) and copious coffees so I can squeeze every last bite of the three course menu in. She's highly excited and nervous, it is a full restaurant kitchen and she has loved this part of her year 10 studies.

This week we've looked at her maths blog, a clever little thing she and a mate do in maths class. It's hilarious - she set receiving her maths test marks to the theme from Chariots of Fire and had them slo-moing high fives.

This is like heaven to me after the crap year she had last year and the bullying and isolation she experienced at the hands of "friends". I remember the phone calls and the tears. When they'd arrange to meet her somewhere and not show. Lunches in the library to avoid them. The facebook updates so she knew she'd been left out. The tears that I'd cry and the anger that would rise up in me and have my itching to call mothers and scream at them. The school helped and listened and we huddled around her to help her weather the storm.

She's moved on after bravely confronting the girls and one in particular, one who had been a close friend but basically didn't like Bloss broadening her circle of friends and moving out of this one girl's controlling perimeters.

Tonight we will sit at the same table as this girl's family and it will be okay, although our friendship - reasonably close but not best mates - has altered. It's complex when friends fall out, even more so when one is being a total cow. I've wanted to hurt this girl for the pain she's caused mine but that just causes more pain. But we mumma's don't forget.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The real world

I've been busy with the real world and it's taken me away from this space. Two Budgets in one week, having to decipher what they mean for those struggling to put food on the table, petrol in their cars and educate their kids. I've missed this space.

But I've been dipping in and out of the conversations swirling about what blogs mean, the word 'writer' and the weight it's given by some and what all this means to me.

I've been paid to write my whole working life, from when I started out as a wet behind the ears journalist to now when I write for a corporate organisation.

I remember first writing a story as an 8 year old when a car was stolen from our street and taken for a joyride and the police came and I pretended to be a newspaper journalist and wrote my own article about it. I was bitten and there was no going back.

I've always written for myself too, but it's been secreted away. Blogging puts it out there. Very few people know I do this because this is for me, this is my space and I'm still coming to terms with peeling away those layers.

When you're a "professional" writer, it's about removing the personal, being objective. You can't do that with your blog. I like that the blog is challenging me, I like that something I've done for a long time - and pretty well, without getting too far up myself - still holds surprises for me. I like discovering unexplored worlds within myself and being prodded by others out there to think about new things or see them in a different way. i'm not free yet of the constraints of my professional life, but I'm stretching those muscles a bit and seeing where that takes me. thanks for the push.





Thursday, 26 April 2012

The chilly chill and the lovely warmth

So, today's been all over the place. Started at 6.30am with work calls from media, I write that and think 'how crazy is that?' Nature of the beast I'm afraid with the job I do. And it continued with media calls and usually I would make an effort to still get in the door of the office before 9 but today I thought "bugger it". I called in, said I'd be late in and got a coffee on the way to work. Before I went in, however, chucked a beef roast in my beloved slow cooker for tonight. Knew there would be the B-Boy, his lovely girl, the man and the small darling at home for dinner - planned on making pasta ragu using the slow cooked beef.
And decided to leave earlier after a full day when calls continued and I had to juggle multiple tasks for most of the day. What I struggle with, and there's no end in sight to the struggle - it's been going on for more than a year - is a lack of recognition of the time and effort that goes into a working day that starts at 6.30am by a particular person at my work who should recognise it. When I said I was going to head off at 4pm after starting at 6.30am  the comment back was pretty ordinary - ie "I didn't ask you about how many hours you've worked, I asked about outcomes". Oh, thank you. Therefore it was lovely to open my door to the delicious smell of slow cooked meat and the welcoming hug from a 15 year old who still loves her mumma and tells her about her day!
It makes up for the other stuff and is the reason why I do it.

                                        Mother And Daughter - Edward Verschaffelt

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Yes Virginia, there is a tooth fairy

I have a mortal fear of the dentist, with good reason. When I was a teenager, my gums became ulcerated (ick) and my darling ma sent me to a dentist who had clearly been trained by this guy. I am still recovering. So this week, I had a toothache. Seems a piece of my tooth decided it was going to have its own little party without the rest of the gang and broke off. Steadily the discomfort grew and steadily I attempted to ignore it. But the pain...not childbirth like but still enough to make me want to punch something and rip my head off. Saturday night I threw back some sleep meds but on Sunday I rang the dentist pleading for an appointment. Here's the weird bit. Woke up this  morning after another night of medicated sleep and there was the rest of the tooth, in my mouth. No pain, no bleeding, the tooth was out baby! thank you thank you tooth fairy..


Thursday, 19 April 2012

A parent's worst nightmare

In another life, I knew Roger and Joy Membrey. I never met their daughter Elisabeth but I came to feel like I did. I came to know her parents because I wrote about her disappearance and suspected murder and their  kindness and integrity in the face of  a parent's worst nightmare has remained with me and the many others who shone a light on Elisabeth's story in the hope of finding out what happened to her. Today, a Supreme court jury has retired to consider a verdict in the trial of a man accused of her death. And I'm thinking of Joy and Roger and hoping they will finally, after 18 years, know what happened to their lovely girl but more importantly know where she is and give her the goodbye they have so desperately wanted to.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Lay down your guns

So, it begins again and I confess to feeling a bit pissed off about it. What is it about women that we have to sit in judgement on each other about our choices? As someone who has given birth (three times), stayed home with babies, worked from home with babies, worked part-time in an office and worked full-time I reckon I'm qualified to comment. Caring for children and working outside the home is hard sometimes. Staying home with kids and scraping along on one wage is also hard sometimes. NEITHER ONE IS BETTER/WORSE THAN THE OTHER. I'm so sick of women judging each other, competing to be the winner. In these kinds of wars, we all lose and end up looking like a pack of sniping cows. Can't we just all play nice and share the sandpit?

the day my friend's dog got shit-faced (and not with Ben Cousins)

Think you've had a bad day?  Think on this one. And warning...toilet humour ahead. My friend's toilet blocked up today, it happens. Apparently her son does big poos. Only thing is, he's 20. V.big poos. But he's a plumbing apprentice, so handy when his big poo stuffs up the loo. However, this time his magic bag of plumbing tricks couldn't fix the loo. There was some overflow to the outside valve. Let's skip that part.
Anyhoo, he needed a bigger sort of rod-thingy (intense plumber talk) to shift the pile of doo stuck in the pipe. A job for later in the day.  So off he skipped to work. But....there was still some "residue" in the back garden courtesy of the valve spillage. And there was their dog, the deliciously named Muffin, whose gastronomic tastes are a little...lowbrow. A barricade was built but Muffin is a tenacious mutt and in a twinkle (did you like that?) fulfilled her mission to plunder the poo to her heart's delight. She got shitfaced. It wasn't pretty. Neither was the cleanup.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Glory days

Today has been one of those gorgeous days in Melbourne that start out all fresh and crispy and morph into the most glorious of days - warm, golden with that smell of grass and autumn that is just delicious. This weekend I'm getting out the camera and going to head up the hills where the trees are starting to turn. We'll stop at a favourite shop that does Lindt hot chocolate - oh yessss - and I'll buy some more wool to add to my dimishing stock. Was at Chaddy today and saw a gorgeous pom pom scarf selling for squillions and thought "I can do that for a few bucks". That's the plan anyway.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

I love rock and roll

The One Direction screamfest has got me thinking about my first concert. I was 13, had a mad crush on a 17 year old that worked in our family business - a tenpin bowl - and he'd introduced me to the bone thumping sound of Bon Scott and Angus Young as I hung around the back of the lanes pretending to clean bowling pins. They were coming to town but there was no way mum would let me - it was the "Lock Up Your Daughters" tour, fat chance in hell I'd be there. But my crush and his mate, who also worked for us, wanted the night off and could have it if they chaperoned me. Deal. So there we were at the Morwell Town Hall, flannies on, me beyond excited. The boys met some girls and we quickly agreed that they would watch out for me from a distance and I'd keep quiet about their friends.  I didn't see them until the end of the night. Me? I was up front, right next to the speakers, watching Bon in his too tight jeans prance around the stage. It was magic..

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Ha! Did both. Gave the bathroom the first coat then had me a bit of Ms Streep and bad boy Alex Baldwin in It's Complicated. That house, that garden, that shop...mmmm.
I find when I paint my mind tends to zero in on stuff I wish it wouldn't. Memories as clear as yesterday but also muddy and sometimes disturbing.  Maybe it's the putting on of something fresh and clean that dredges up the dirt. A long time ago I drew a line in the sand about some aspects of my life, for my own sanity no-one elses. It's built walls with some in my family but those walls protect me. I don't trust them coming down, i won't let them come down. I've painted my own colours on those walls and they're okay. Not perfect but okay.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Dilemma

The walls are washed and I'm working my enthusiasm up to paint the bathroom. I love to paint...I love that just putting on a different colour can transform a room and I've already got my new London blind made from an old tablecloth ready to go up when it's done. But it's raining and cold for the first time in whenever and the idea of lighting the fire and watching a chick flick is nibbling away in my mind. What to do?

Saturday, 7 April 2012


For the first time there was no Easter hunt this year, though we did hide some of The Star's in the lounge room. No putting dirt on the fingers and leaving bunny tracks through the house. Instead we had a feast featuring Bill's French toast with Fresh Berry Sauce, pancakes made by B-Boy, bacon and hot cross buns. Oh and chocolate..just a smidge of that!
Been thinking about what BabyMac and others have said about blogging being a radical act or not. Years ago when I was a stay-at-home mum with my first born Bloss, mothers counted for nothing. Invisible. An older female friend told me to tell people I was writing a book and looking after the babe but I've never been good with the lying. So I wrote for myself but there was little feedback, little connection. A lonely business, as motherhood could be as well.  Now bloggers have the world coming to them, sponsors calling and laying siege to them because the power has shifted and those mum's behind the computers, writing with honour and truth, are credible and no longer invisible. That's radical.