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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In the Neck of Timing.

The neck.

Since Friday morning until now, I’ve been in excruciating pain.

It’s felt as if I have a knife, gleefully twisting in my jugular region, every ten seconds, just for the spite of it.

Via Google I self-diagnosed shingles after a bubbly, red rash appeared on my collar bone… but then I realised that the rash was where I’d burned myself after over-exuberance with the heating pad I’d had permanently attached to me all weekend.

By Tuesday (this morning), the pain had crept up to the back of my head and behind my ear. It was unrelenting. Every ten seconds I’d get a savage stab of pain that would cause me to twitch in an unattractive fashion akin to a convulsing, box jelly fish victim.

“Are you alright, Mrs Poinker?” my grade six students kept asking when I repeatedly jerked and winked at them like an unco-ordinated drunken pirate.

It’s been a nightmare. Even driving to school with a painful pulsating throb in my neck was a trial. I was yelling at myself in the rear vision mirror I was so cranky.

So today I went to a proper physiotherapist and now the acute, intense and piercing sensations are only occurring every half hour and easing. It’s such a relief. I bloody love physios.

One thing I was really looking forward to when I arrived home today at 6 o'clock, was a hot shower and the sensation of scalding water beating down hard on the compacted muscular constriction that is the isthmus between my shivering torso and my pin-sized head.

Imagine my horror when Scotto (who’d had a day working from home), informed me that he’d lovingly replaced my shower faucet in order to bring me into the twenty-first century. 

He’d installed a fudging fancy one.

It takes me at least three weeks to acclimatise to a new shower faucet. 

It takes me at least three weeks to work out how to stand in exactly the correct position to maximise the benefit of the stream, how to adjust the taps to achieve the ultimate temperature and at least three weeks to get to know how the balance of temperature control and pressure works in order to be able to have a shower that makes me feel like a fudging Mother of Dragons, not a cold, bedraggled rat chasing around the intermittent drips endeavouring to get a bit wet.

If I have a bung neck, the last thing I want is a new shower faucet that looks like a model of an alien spaceship from the movie set of Independence Day.

But, I had to be nice because it’s the thought that counts.

It was sweet of him to think of me but… TIMING!!!

Hot showers and baths are a religious experience when you’re in pain.

How about you? Do you get to know your shower faucet intimately?

No rude comments, thank you very much.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

What the Fortune Teller Said...

As it was Scotto’s birthday, we’ve spent the entire weekend celebrating. Yesterday Mum and Dad took us to the Fox and Hound, a pub which was transported (like the convicts) all the way from England to Australia because some fella missed his local pub in England. 

I’m not even fibbing. Read about it here.

Outside the Fox and Hound

Half the pub is done up in the English tradition and the other half is Irish. There was a wedding happening in the Irish half so we dined with the Queen. I had beer-battered cod and chips served on newspaper.

The fox must have suffered a bit on the journey over I think because it barely moved the entire time.

Poor little sick fox.

Today, Scotto and I went to a winery on the mountain for lunch which was lovely, and then we went meandering down the street to seek out an adventure.

Tamborine Mountain Winery

Because I’ve had a vicious spasm in my neck for the last three days, I suggested we stop at a massage place I’d spotted on the way. Normally I buck up about strange people touching me, but my neck has been soooo painful, I was desperate.

We entered the establishment but there was no-one about, except that we could hear someone giving a Tarot card reading in a curtained off room just past the door. 

We waited patiently, scanning the books about angel visitations, chakras and admiring the dream catchers whilst eavesdropping on the boring love prospects of the person having the reading behind the curtain.

I noticed a trashy detective novel, a pack of ciggies and a lighter on the counter and hoped they belonged to the massage person who might have slipped off to the loo or something. My neck was killing me.

Finally the curtain drew back and a frightened looking person scuttled out, paid their bill and suddenly we were left facing the fortune teller.

“Any chance of a massage?” I asked hopefully.

“No. The massage guy didn’t turn up today. Would you like a Tarot card reading instead?” the lady rasped.

I looked at Scotto who just shrugged non-committedly. He always leaves the big decisions to me.

“Okay,” I sighed. “But feel free to have a ciggie first.” 

I’m nice like that.

She looked at me with a knowing smile and a wink.

After her ciggie break, we sat opposite her in the small room and she asked me to shuffle the cards.

Naturally I dropped them all over the floor.

“Did you get them all?” Scotto asked in an urgent tone, worried I could initiate an entirely bogus reading by accidentally missing a card under our feet which could possibly reveal a potential billion dollar windfall from Lotto.

The Tarot card reader laid the cards out in neat piles.

“Is there anything you don’t want me to tell you?” she asked, cocking her milky, glass eye at me in a diabolical fashion. (That’s made up.)

“Yes,” I said. “Please don’t tell me when I’m going to die.”

She picked up THE FIRST TWO CARDS, looked at them closely. “Okay,” she said and then hurriedly threw the cards aside.

What the actual fudge? It seemed this whole reading was a farce. If I’m about to die so soon then why was I spending twenty-five bucks to have my bloody fortune read?

Then she said that either Scotto or I have a psychic ability. She said that one of us is the type who answers all the questions on quiz shows and doesn’t know where they get the answers from.

Well that would be Scotto, but that’s only because when we watch The Chase, he shouts out the answers before I have a chance, he’s often wrong, and the answers he does get correct are from pop culture knowledge he’s acquired from watching the bloody Simpsons.

I reckon she really meant that I was the psychic one because I suggested she go have a smoke and how did I know that she smoked? (I could smell it on her as well actually).

Anyway, then she started telling me some very strange things.

1. One of my son’s girlfriends is about to have a white-haired baby. (Not entirely impossible.)

2. A middle-aged freeloading man is going to come and live with us soon. (Who? Please don't, whoever you are. I don't like freeloaders or random middle-aged men.)

3. I’m soon to be awarded with glory and recognition for all my hard work over the last thirty years. (About bloody time.)

4. And then she told us something else is going to happen that is really terrible and it made me cry and Scotto had to hold my hand and pass me the tissues.

She made us tape the whole session and gave us her phone number and said if all the stuff doesn’t come true we’re to ring her and get a full refund.

I don’t like fortune tellers anymore. And my neck still hurts.

Do you believe in fortune tellers?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ice Ice Baby

Sometimes, before I make my way up the mountain after work, I call in to the local Coles. It’s a colourful locale, full of a diverse cross section of the general society.

That’s code for, I think it’s full of people on ice.

I’m not a snob, you know that. I’m as rough as guts. I wear Ugg boots for God's sake.

But some of the people who frequent the shopping centre frighten even me. I don’t know if it’s the seventy year old ladies with full body tattoos, the men dressed in weeny shorts and nothing else except a pink, fluorescent beanie or maybe it’s the nine months pregnant teenagers walking around with no shoes on and a ciggie hanging out their mouths, swearing obscenities as they push the eight month old toddler in its stroller… but something unnerves me about the place.

Today, as I was buying my four dogs their three thousand dollars’ worth of weekly dog food, I saw a lady swaggering around the dog food aisle wearing a t-shirt with “ALL PEDOFILES SHOULD BE TORTURED” printed on it, right across her alarmingly swinging, massive boozookas.

I stood behind her later at the checkout, quietly pondering on whether I should politely inform her that ‘pedophiles’ was spelt incorrectly, but I thought better of it. She could have felled me with one vicious thrust of her upper torso.

Besides, maybe she actually meant ‘pedofiles’, as in, people who keep files on feet, or something.

Why she would want them to be tortured is a puzzle though.

Last week, after I’d just packed my groceries in the back of my car and had slithered into my seat, relieved I’d survived another shopping expedition in downtown Scaryville and was starting to back out of the park, I noticed there was a car which had pulled up behind me and parked, rudely blocking my exit.

“Here we go,” I thought in disappointment, “This is my first experience with road rage. This person is getting out of the car and will punch me through the window and I’ll be a vegetable for the rest of my life. I hope it’s quick and painless. I hope they’re not actually on ice and try to eat my face because that would definitely hurt.”

But the lady getting out of the car and coming towards me looked normal. Very normal actually, and she was smiling.

“Hello!” she grinned. “I thought I’d introduce myself. I’m Linda!”

It took me about five seconds of idiotic blinking with my mouth open before I realised who it was.


I’ve been in contact via blogging and social media with Linda for about three years but we’d never met in real life. She’d spotted my car, Golden Boy!

Wow. How miraculous!

She’s gorgeous. Just like I thought she’d be.

I knew we’d meet one day.

This is why I love blogging. I have friends all over the world and that world is getting smaller every day.

But tell me, are you frightened by the ice epidemic? I see weird, unpredictable people around a lot more. Or am I just being an old lady?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Footy Files

I took the grade six boys to the school boy’s footy fixtures, last Friday.

I’m sure my colleagues at my previous school would be rocked off their socks to hear this little fact, me being such a precious pernickety poof about standing in the sun for extended periods and all.

As a drama teacher (not a fudging footy coach) it was paramount I wear the correct costume on the day, so naturally I wore my one and only Cowboy’s supporter’s shirt in order to underline the fact that I am, in fact, a solid footy chick. It was the same shirt I purchased six months ago to bullshit to my former colleagues that I follow the footy. I’ve worn it twice now.

Me and the lads got on fine on the bus. I adopted the footy macho vernacular very well I thought.

I promised them if they won their game, I’d perform a ‘dab’.

I didn’t know what the fudge they were talking about but they promised me that a ‘dab’ wasn’t rude or humiliating, so I reluctantly agreed.

Before we left on the bus trip, I showed them a photo of me with the NRL grand final trophy the North Queensland Cowboys won last year and took on a progressive tour of local schools. 

Me and the NRL trophy.

One young man peered at the photograph and cautiously commented, “Noice one, Mrs Poinker. Is that a dancing trophy or something?”

“Look again, buddy boy,” I drawled. “That ain’t no fancy dancin’ schmancin’ trophy. What do ya think I am? A pansy or something?”

“Coooor!” he exclaimed when he finally realised. “It’s the NRL trophy!”

Why he thought I’d be showing him a dancing trophy is anyone’s guess.

When we arrived at the footy field I was relieved to see one of the Dads had turned up to do the warm ups because I would have had to demonstrate yoga or interpretive dance as a warm up and I don’t think it would have gelled with the young guns.

I was also extremely pleased to see that the other team we were playing were half the size of our boys. “Get on there and slaughter ‘em,” I hissed. “Throttle the little sooks.”
Anyway, our team won 46 to 10.

Their team was comprised of about 40 tiny ingénues whereas we only had 13 kids (albeit huge), so it wasn’t entirely unfair.

I did the ‘dab’ (in front of all the parents as well) since they’d won the game but I still don’t know what it bloody means. The boys all laughed their heads off so I’m a bit worried.

Any enlightenment? Will I be struck off the teacher’s registration board?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

How to Save Time in the Morning

I’m typing this out in my flannelette, sparrow-inspired pjs, snuggled under the downy quilt with the Chihuahua nestled at my feet because it’s 15 degrees on the mountain and I’m a tad chilly.

I’m very annoyed actually, because I just washed my hair and I used the shampoo twice instead of using the conditioner because I can’t read small print without my glasses. I wish they’d make ‘conditioner’ a much longer word like ‘conditionifieriser’ so I could discern the difference in my myopic state.

There you go, that’s a bloody brilliant marketing tactic for you Pantene! Someone should do it. Or maybe the shampoo companies could just use a larger fudging font. Now my hair will be even more witch-like than usual tomorrow.

It’s a bit like in the morning when I take my iron tablet. Is this my iron tablet or the dog worming tablet? I wonder as I squint at the packet, too lazy to walk three steps into the bedroom to retrieve my glasses.

I know I shouldn’t wash my hair at 9 o’clock in the evening and go to bed with wet hair anyway, because;

1. It can cause one to catch the Bubonic plague.

2. It makes your hair stand up on its roots like a cocky’s comb the next day.

3. A wet lock of hair flicked in Scotto’s eye/face in the middle of the night usually inspires the wrath of Khan.

It does cut down time in the morning though. There’s no blow drying rubbish, no combing out vicious knots created from the menopausal tossing and turning of the sweaty, discouraged head and no panicked situations with my long hair inescapably tangled in a blow drying brush and me hysterically screaming out to Scotto to come into the bathroom with a sharp pair of scissors at 6:30 in the morning.

No, instead it’s just me staring into the mirror thinking, “Oh well. I look like Donald Trump. It’s not that bad. I’ll just put a bit more eyeliner on.”

I have other time-saving, morning short cut routines which allow me a bit more shut eye.

I neatly lay out the Glad Wrap for my sandwich the night before which saves at least 3 seconds, I gargle my mouthwash at the same time I perform my morning ablutions, plus I have a list of things I need to remember to take to work on a piece of bright, orange paper which I check before I walk out the door so I’m not flustered and swearing, running back inside the front door fifty thousand times after I’ve already locked it and kissed the dogs goodbye.

The list says: Nicorettes, phone, lunch, keys, laptop, reading glasses, sunglasses, snack, extra snack, water bottle, diary, blue thing.

Scotto noticed it one day in his bleary eyed state and asked, “What’s the blue thing on your list, Pinky?”
I didn’t tell him because I like to keep our marriage in a romantic state of ‘mysterious adventure’. You know, keeping it alive and sexy after ten years of imprisonment.

Go on. What do you reckon the blue thing is?

Now that I've milked this silly riddle for as long as I can I will tell you it's one of those frozen bricks you use to keep your lunch from giving you food poisoning. I don't even know if they have names.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Help Me, Wayne Bennett!

Hey guys!

I started my new contract teaching Grade Six last week and I think I’ll bloody love it. These kids are so smart they could even recognise Bill Shorten on BTN as he swept by on the telly screen. I can hardly recognise him to tell the truth. I keep thinking he’s Stanley Laurel.

Come on! There’s a definite resemblance. He lacks the distinctive eyebrows necessary to be a proper Prime Minister but he has that comedic look about him don’t you think?

Not only are the kids at this school (most probably) a bit cleverer than I, they’re also very nice and placid. I dearly hope I don’t ruin the calm ambience their awesome teacher has created in the classroom. I’m going to try my hardest not to anyway.

One disturbing thing I have to do over the next four weeks is to chaperone a dozen boys to football every week. 

I attempted a trial run last Friday.

What do I know about footy? I know that when you chuck a fake ball at someone it’s called a dummy pass. That was my only legitimate comment at the end of the game.

“Hey buddy! Great dummy pass!” I limply enthused at the biggest boy in the sweaty enclave of eleven year old behemoths after the game.

All of the little ingrates pointedly ignored me.

I patted a few of the boys on the back and mumbled stupid things like, “You were awesome, buddy!” But they just shrugged me off.

I stood on the sideline with the coach for the entire game asking mummy questions, like,

“What happens if someone gets hurt?”, “Is it safe to tackle around the throat like that?”, “What exactly does ‘offside’ mean?” and “When do they do the Haka?”

My entire footy knowledge comes from having a boyfriend when I was 19 years of age who played rugby league and from owning a North Queensland Cowboys supporter’s t-shirt and complimentary bread and butter plate with the Cowboys emblem on it.

That’s it.

Not exactly Wayne Bennett, am I?

At least I know who Wayne Bennett is, I suppose. That’s got to be worth something.

Anyway, I sent off a frantic message to my old buddy teacher, JB, who used to do all the footy stuff at my old school and he’s sent me some great stuff for training the team. 


I just need to harden the fudge up, hey matey buddy.

And in the words of the great Wayne Bennett, “I’ve always been able to live with failure but I’ve never been able to live with not doing the best that I could.”

Fudge. HELP ME RHONDA!!!!!!!!!!

Would you be up for the challenge? Any tips?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day to All Neglected Mothers

My darling Mum at about 5 years of age.

I love mother’s day now that my five kids are all in their early twenties.

Back when they were little, they’d fight about whose embroidered face towel/secondhand Beatrix Potter statue/Engelbert Humperdink CD/ avocado soap/ toxic, fluorescent bath salts, was the best present… but now there’s no fighting at all.

Mainly because there are no presents to speak of.

But that’s okay.

I know. It’s my own fault because I left my all kids back in Townsville. I abandoned them for a new life on the mountain, so why should they bother with me anymore?

There is one son working in Brisvegas at the moment, so Scotto and I made the onerous trip up on a train to that hideous place yesterday so I could shout my son lunch for Mother’s Day.

God I hate Brisbane. I don’t think there’s a worse place on Earth (aside from Bowen). The only good thing about Brisbane is the bus drivers. I know this because the train line was under repair so all the cranky commuters from the Gold Coast had to disembark the train halfway through the journey and catch a succession of fudging buses to get to Southbank.

It was very confusing but the bus drivers took pity on us and one driver even let us on for free. It may have been due to my limping what with the blisters from all the walking and everything.

But despite the irritating bother of travelling that inconvenient distance, it was okay because I was so looking forward to seeing my bonny baby son.

My last born babe promised to let us buy him lunch to celebrate my special day at 1:00 pm, you see, and I was quite excited. But as Scotto and I sat patiently drinking our wine at 2:15 with rumbling tummies and he still hadn’t turned up, I sent him a text enquiring as to his whereabouts.

“No sorry,” he texted back very politely. "No buses until 3:10pm, mother. Can’t make it.”

But that’s okay because it meant I didn’t have to pay for his lunch and saved myself some money. It’s all good. Please don’t feel sorry for me.

I thought it was odd that the buses from his location in Brisbane were so infrequent, but never mind. I’m sure he tried his hardest. It was a mother’s day celebration after all and I knew he’d attempted everything in his power to get there.

It probably had nothing to do with hangovers or apathy or anything. I shouldn’t let my imagination get the better of me.

So I decided, after my bittersweet disappointment, that instead of worrying about myself this mother’s day, I would enjoy spoiling my own dear mother. We have to grow up and realise it’s not always about us some time, I suppose.

Scotto took portraits of Mum’s beloved spaniels and we had canvas prints made of them to give to her. Plus, for the first time in years I can have her around for lunch since she just lives down the road now.

I think it’s time I allowed my chicks to flutter from the nest and time for me to spend more time with my own parents. It’s the circle of life really. I just hope my kids are there for me when I get older. 

Like when I’m on my deathbed... I’d really like them to show up.

As long as there are no buses involved it should be okay.

Happy Mother’s Day.

P.S. Thank you to Thaddeus for the surprise parcel and the salt and pepper shakers in the shape of terriers and the dog shampoo. They are very lovely. You are still in the will. xxx

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Strange Things Said in My Drama Classroom

John Cena
 Image Credit

Teacher: Right. Does everyone remember which fruit they’re supposed to be?

Students: Yeeeeeesssss, Mrs Poinker!

Teacher: Good, let’s start the game.

Teacher: Wait! Stop! You’re supposed to be a mango, young man. Why are you being a nectarine?

Boy Student: John Cena!

Teacher: What did you just say?

Boy Student: John Cena! John Cena!

Why do you keep shouting, John Cena?

Boy Student: Because he’s a WWE champion.

Teacher: So what? Don’t yell out silly things in class. Now be sensible and act like a mango like I told you to.


Teacher: Well you have to do well in school, be respectful and get good marks to be a WWE champion, so for now you have to be a mango.

Boy Student: (wrestling another student to the floor) Can I be an orange instead?

Teacher: No. Get off the floor. I’m writing your name on the board. You can stay with me at lunch time.

Boy Student: That’s not my name.

Teacher: (confused as not quite au fait with all 700 children’s names yet and pauses with whiteboard marker in mid-air)

Well, what is your name?

Boy Student: John Cena!

Other students: His name is Rasputin, Mrs Poinker.

Teacher: (finishes writing ‘Rasputin’ on board then turns back to the class)

Why do you have a tissue sticking out of both of your ears, Lillith?

Lillith: (shrugs).

Teacher: Take them out and put them in the bin.

Lillith: (coming back from the bin and wailing loudly) Rasputin just called me an idiot.

Rasputin: No, I didn’t. She called me a loser first!

Lillith: You took my chair!

Teacher: Go back to your seat and I’ll talk to him at lunch time. Are you supposed to be a banana or a watermelon, Lillith?

Lillith: (Picks leftover tissue from ear) I fink I’m an apricot.

Teacher: We didn’t have any apricots. Does anyone remember which fruit Lillith is supposed to be?

Students: Nooooooo, Mrs Poinker.

Teacher: Does anyone remember what fruit they are?


Teacher: Okay. Forget the fruit. We’ll start again and be vegetables, and this time, try to concentrate. If I tell you you’re a cabbage then try to remember that you’re a cabbage.

Rasputin: This game’s boring. Can we play WWE Championships instead?

Teacher: It’s only BORING because you keep interrupting and we can’t get started, Rasputin. Go and sit in the corner. I've had enough.

Rasputin retires to the corner of the room and wrestles happily with himself until the end of the lesson.

The rest of us play the game of Fruit Salad in the guise of vegetables.


Could someone please send me a large sum of money so I can give this game away? If not, why?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Pinky and the Penii

Sorry about the photo.

It was too hard to resist. We went for a walk from Kirra to Greenmount yesterday and the path was resplendent with glorious penis trees. One can’t merely walk past a penis tree without capturing the beauty. They’re circumcised and everything. Penises galore! Or is it ‘penii’?

I’m not sure, but Scotto became so sick of me gushing over the penises, he threw me over the railings and if it wasn’t for my superior upper body strength I’d have fallen to my death on the rocks below.

Sometimes on Mondays, I ask the kids at school what they did on the weekend.

“Aw… went to Dreamworld… Seaworld, Wet and Wild, Movieworld,” they reply in a blasé manner, as if going to a magical theme park is becoming a boring activity for them.

The kids on the Gold Coast are spoiled for choice but so are the big kids.

Scotto and I have embarked on a weekly luncheon date, touring the surf lifesaving clubs down here. So far we’ve been to Burleigh, Kurrawa, Coolangatta and Kirra. That’s four out of about seventeen. The meals are cheap, tasty and generously proportioned and the views are undeniably spectacular as the surf clubs are built on prime real estate. 

I love watching the surfers and wind kiters burning off the calories I’m eating, the delicious surf club chips which are crispy on the outside and mushy and salty inside.

Scotto likes the thin, crunchy ones but I prefer to get my mouth around the big, meatier type with a decent circumference. (Chips that is. Not talking about penises anymore, guys.)

Once we’ve eaten our way through the surf clubs we’ll start on the fifty million restaurants down here.

Back in Townsville, we mainly went to the same places. Actually, we mainly went to the one same place, the Yacht Club. The staff would watch us swanning in and roll their eyes, exchanging furtive glances and stuffing a few extra bottles of Chardonnay in the fridge.

Nobody knows us here which is an excellent state of affairs.

Two travel blogger friends, hello Kathy and Jan, suggested I do review type blogs of all the surf clubs on the Gold Coast and it sounds like a good idea what with me being an ex-Surf Girl and everything. I think I owe it to the life saving association, really.

Grilled Haloumi and salad.

So far Burleigh is my favourite because the fried Haloumi melted in my mouth but Coolangatta was nice because of the great shops close by. 

Coolangatta SLSC view

We picked up this beauty at an antique shop in Coolangatta. Ideal for the guest bedroom!

I really enjoyed my calamari and chips with aioli at Kurrawa, but Kirra gained extra stars due to the random penises around the place.

View from Kurrawa SLSC
Kirra SLSC (Yep, we drove the tractor down from the mountain)

Stay tuned for more in the series of Pinky and the Penii  Surf Club Reviews, next week.

What's your favourite pub style meal and what's your ideal chip?