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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It's a Myth Sex Keeps You Warm, Jon Snow!

Jon Snow looking very pissed off.

"It’s a myth that sex keeps you warm, you know nothing, Jon Snow."

That's what I said to Scotto this morning.

Since moving to the mountain the cat has doubled in size. I think the cold weather agrees with her. Even though we’ve been accidentally feeding her twice as much as normal she still seems insatiably hungry.

Murdered in the Battle of the Bastards

Three of the dogs have gained kilos of extra weight… as have Scotto and I. I tried to use the excuse that I was just fluffy because my winter coat had come in but you can’t lie to yourself forever.

My daughter, Lulu, is coming to visit next week and I’m sure she’ll notice our double chins and pudgy cheeks. She won’t notice the fat anywhere else because it’s swaddled in tracksuits, large coats, Ugg boots and beanies.

As Jon Snow said on the telly last night, winter is bluddy here.

I’ve been putting a hot water bottle in the dogs’ bed before I call them in at night.

Willy the Silky Terrier goes straight out into the yard and sunbathes for hours in the morning.

I’m sleeping with undesirably pilled, matted with dirt encrusted soles, bed socks on.

What I wonder is how anyone procreates in this sort of weather. I know people joke about having a nooky to keep themselves warm but how does one have a nooky without taking one’s snugly tracksuit bottom off?

Even when Scotto gets up to go to the loo in the middle of the night, I swear viciously at him under my breath for allowing freezing air to get under the covers. How people could think about rubbing their shrivelled, frigid feet together (let alone other bodily parts) is beyond me.

How did Iceland ever become populated?

I suppose if there was a fire and a bearskin rug and maybe some Vicks Vaporub involved…

Mum and Dad have a fire place. We turn up on Sunday afternoons like a pair of Dickensian urchins rubbing our fingerless mittens together and staring in at the window at the hot scones and jam and cream Dad bakes.

Sometimes they let us in for a crumb or two. Sometimes they just pretend to be bumbling, old, deaf folk and ignore the doorbell. Bastards.

I always thought cold weather would entice me to dress up in romantic flowing scarves and knee-length, sensual leather jackets but instead it’s turned me into a dirty old bat who’s too shivery to wash her greasy hair and get out of her three day old tracky dacks.

If I shaved the hair on my legs I could collect the remnants and create a convincing toupee for Donald Trump they’re so long. He’d be a brunette but that might be an improvement anyway. You can’t trust blonde politicians.

Anyway, back to the bonking thing. Does anyone have any tips about cold weather and sexual relations? Are there special under garments with strategically placed holes and flaps us Northern Queenslanders don’t know about? 

Can you purchase onesies with poop holes while we’re at it? 

If so where do I buy them? Breast and Less? David Mones? Blowes? KTart?
Otherwise, I’m sorry to say the Poinker family tree stops here. It’s a no nooky zone until winter is gone.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Teacher's Magical Last Day of Term

I was miraculously asked to work a relief day on the last day of term yesterday. Teachers are rarely away on the last day of term.

The schools down here, all do a thing called Munch and Crunch.

Munch and Crunch is a mid-morning, ten minute break where the kids are allowed to bring a piece of fruit into the classroom and eat it in order to refresh their lagging brain cells. 

Whist the concept has some merit; I find the fermenting stench of mandarin peel and apple cores festering in the bin for the remainder of the day to be appalling. The fruit-ingestion after effects involving heavy, silent farts don’t help improve the general classroom atmosphere much either.

I watched a little girl eating her banana as if she was eating corn on the cob. She took little nibbles around the circumference until there was just a long, greasy, brown banana core left. I can’t tell you if she eventually ate it or not because I had to turn away and gag in the corner.

We ran a show and tell session while they were munching and crunching.

Someone had brought their magician kit in.

I’ve always hated magicians ever since I was a kid and discovered they weren’t really magic AT ALL.

At the age of ten I was gifted a magician’s kit for Christmas, read the ‘magician’s manual’ and quickly realised that there was no authentic magic involved and it was all trickery. My faith and adoration of the world of magic was sullied in a most grubby and corrupt manner.

Since then, whenever a fraud in the guise of a magical person such as David Copperfield, appears on the screen, I spew out abuse at the telly, much to the annoyance of everyone else in the lounge room. I rant incessantly at the duplicitous and deceptive tricksters and how disappointing the entire magic bullshit thing is until someone finally changes the channel.

So when a seven year old wanted to deliver a magic show with his brand new magic kit yesterday, I was understandably contemptuous and cynical.

“I hope he pulls a rabbit out of a hat!” enthused one of the audience of seven year olds in the classroom.

“I hope he doesn’t,” I snarled. “There’s an $80000 fine for having a rabbit in Queensland.”
Harry Potter flaunted his magician’s hat around the class for inspection. There was much oohing and ahing.

There was nothing in the hat, I swear, but the next minute, after a wave of his plastic wand… out comes a bloody rabbit.

Don’t worry it was a stuffed rabbit. Nothing the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries would get their knickers in a twist about I can assure you.

It was a bit impressive for a seven year old though I must admit even though I knew it was indeed, chicanery.

Or was it?

Then little Harry put on his cape and did something deceptive behind his back for a few (uncomfortable) minutes and transformed a red and yellow scarf into a blue and orange scarf. WOWSER!

“Say, abracadabra,” he instructed a bug-eyed seven year old in the audience.

“Abracadabra zoo-la-moolooty-tooty-frooty-schmooty!” screamed the over-excited class member who was perhaps attempting to steal the limelight.

And guess what? The trick still worked. Even though the incantation was altered, the scarf STILL CHANGED COLOURS!

I was beginning to doubt my sceptical view. Perhaps this child really did possess some true magical powers.

But just as I began to succumb to the mysticism of the supernatural, Harry Potter began showing everyone in the class the false bottom in his magician’s hat and the spot where the squished, stuffed rabbit resided. This so called magician was flagrantly revealing to all and sundry how the scarves turned inside out and basically giving away all his bloody secrets.

Just as I thought.

Another faker. A very honest faker, but still a faker.

I still detest magicians.

And circuses. I hate circuses. Filthy things they are. They smell of cabbage.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What's the Worst Job You Can Imagine?

When I was a kid the worst job I could imagine doing was working as a garbage man. Back then the garbage men were up before dawn, had to run from the truck and pick up the stinky, overflowing bins from the gutter before manually tipping the rubbish into the truck. I completely understood why Dad left them a six pack of beer at Christmas.

These days the garbos work pretty much normal hours and sit in the cab of an air-conditioned, fully mechanical garbage truck which does all the work for them.

Now I’m older, I think the worst job in the world would be a portable toilet cleaner, a roadkill collector or one of those traffic controllers who holds up stop signs in front of you when you’ve spent too much time faffing your hair in the morning and you’re already running late for work.

Traffic Controllers: the people we swear at under our breath for making us wait impatiently on the side of the road whilst a tractor does a pointless reverse pirouette in the dust.

Firstly, I couldn’t bear all the standing, especially standing in the sweltering sun or the freezing cold wind for hours on end. Secondly, I couldn’t bear the tedious boredom of it all.

Over the last six weeks I’ve had to drive to work passing through some roadworks and bizarrely, the traffic controller guy and I struck up an unanticipated rapport.

For some reason Mr Traffic Controller thought my canary yellow Suzuki with the PINKY P number plates was hysterically amusing. Every time my car, Golden Boy, rolled past him at forty kilometres an hour, he’d start performing a royal flourish as he ushered me past, waving flamboyantly and doing a little jig.

Whenever he spotted Golden Boy waiting in the queue of cars his face would invariably break into a huge grin of recognition and a few times he even yelled something out to me as I crawled past. I’d just laugh in an over exaggerated manner, wave back flirtatiously and give him the thumbs up in a cheeky Pinky P style.

I began to really look forward to seeing Mr Traffic Controller; he was part of my morning routine for six weeks.

On Friday, Scotto and I both had the day off so we drove through the roadworks in his Bat Car on the way to do some errands. As we drove past Mr Traffic Controller, I rolled down the window and Scotto stopped the car.

“Hello!” I beamed. “I’m Pinky P!”

“PINKY! One of me regulars!” he shouted with gusto. “I wondered where you were today!”

We had a little chat and he told us his name was Paul. He told us he recognised Scotto’s car too.

Paul is the kind of person I’d like to be, someone who embraces life and finds the positives in a every situation, a human who makes an effort to connect with other humans.

I suppose it’s not the job that matters… it’s what you do with it.

Golden Boy

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Dab

My four week contract teaching year six finished at the school last Friday but I was called back for two days this week for some relief teaching. That meant me scooting from grade to grade in my highly inappropriate high heels and dragging my Mary Poppins-like bag everywhere.

On Tuesday, the words, “You have to teach grade twos sport in the afternoon session” struck fear into my inner soul and I felt my loins shudder (not sure what loins are but something deep inside me shuddered anyway).

Teaching sport is not my forte. Especially teaching sport to people who are less than three feet in height.

As it turned out, I serendipitously (made word up) happened to be in possession of a pool noodle at that exact moment (what sort of teacher doesn’t travel with a fudging pool noodle) so I was able to adapt my drama game of ‘Fruit Salad’ into a game where everyone ran around hysterically whilst being chased by a ‘pineapple’ with a pool noodle… thus getting exercise.

Exercise= sport.

The grade twos bloody loved it too. There were accolades all round from the minions.

“We LOVE you Mrs Polinkish!” they screamed.
The parents picking up the preps probably weren't all that impressed with all the screaming and violent activity but you can't please everyone.

I turned up today expecting to be in charge of a year five class but was told that my morning was to be spent in year one.

OR MOR GORD. I bloody love grade ones. There was this one little flitterby gibbet with no teeth and freckles and I just wanted to hoik him on my shoulders and take him home. So cute!

I don’t know how grade one teachers ever get cranky with them they’re so adorable those little fudgers.


I have a fan base at the school now. When I’m on duty all these small critters come sidling up to me and whisper in secretive tones, “Hello. Are you Mrs. Poinker? I’ve heard you dab. Can you do it for us?”

Apparently I’m a hero because I ‘dabbed’ in class one day for the grade sixes.

It’s a rumour that’s been circulating throughout the school, perpetuated through older siblings and cousins and now I’ve been labelled as ‘the teacher who dabbed’. I’m a veritable legend.

Either they think I’m cool or an idiot. I still haven’t figured it out. I won't do it for them of course. Got to keep the mystery alive.

But that’s the end of my booked work at present. I’m in limbo which is a weird feeling. I wonder if I’ll ever work again?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pinky and Mr Stiffy

You know how I had a month’s contract at a school and part of that contract involved taking sixteen, eleven year old, rabid boys to an interschool football match every Friday, right?

Remember how I was justifiably freaking out about it?

Well I thought I’d use my nous and employ one of the dads who I’d seen coming along to support the team. This particular dad was helping the teacher with drills and stuff so, being the opportunistic lush that I am, I used my radar skills and honed straight in on the unsuspecting victim's son.

“So, will your lovely dad be coming to every match?” I needled Horatio, the son of the man in question the next week.

“Yep,” Horatio piped back, his head cocked winsomely to one side.

“What’s your Dad’s name?” I wheedled. “I’m thinking of getting him a thank you present, you know, like some beers, for all the work he’s been doing.”

“Mr Stiffy,” Horatio replied. “That’s his name.”

I gulped. “Mr Stiiffy? Did you say Mr St-i-ff-y?”

“Yep, and he likes Lowennbrau.” Little Horatio responded without missing a beat.

Anyway, despite the name, I still hoped Mr Stiffy would turn up to each of the four football games this fool of a woman was left in charge of and the six pack of Lowenbrau would be totally worth the financial outlay.

The first week, Mr Stiffy turned up and coached the team and was bloody awesome… but the second week he was a no show... which was monumentally disappointing and I failed as a footy coach and we lost the damn game.

The third week, the match was cancelled due to inclement weather and by the fourth and final week I began to doubt the value of my promised investment.

“Dad’s coming tomorrow! Don’t forget the Lowenbrau!” shouted Horatio on the Thursday of week four.

So I bought the bloody Lownbrau and made the boys make a card of gratitude (from themselves).

God forbid Mr Stiffy would think I was trying to crack on to him or something. I mean to say, he’d only actually helped me with one fudging game when you think about it. Why was I even giving him a fudging present?

And then I had to check his name was really what it was

“How do you spell Stiffy?” I asked the team captain as I did the bubble writing on the card.

“S-T-Y-F-F-E-Y,” the captain pronounced carefully.

I suppose that’s a bit of an improvement on STIFFY, I thought despondently.


Anyway after the presentation of the Lowenbrau (when I sort of coughed as I said his name), Mr Styffey was super keen to put extra effort into his coaching in that last game and our team won the match and now they're in the finals.

My work is done.


I’m a fudging footy legend.

What's the worst name you've had to deal with?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Power of Valuing People

Scotto and I have been down here on the Gold Coast for three (and a bit) months and although I was worried about securing a job, I’ve actually managed to work for almost the entire of second term. 

The first school, where I spent a month teaching drama, was lovely (albeit stressful), but the second school where I’ve been teaching a grade 6 class for the last month has been positively amazing.

Despite having to hide the fact I was suffering the agony of shingles in the neck and head (of which I think I’m finally at the end of that dark tunnel of hell by the way), the entire experience has been absolutely wonderful.

The school had me sitting in professional development training workshops for twelve hours (during school time) while a relief teacher relieved the relief teacher (me).

How amazing is that? They were paying me to learn.

The teachers are friendly, the students are intelligent, capable and caring and the tuckshop food is indisputably the best I’ve encountered.

There’s a coffee shop in the carpark that sells real cappuccinos. I could get a take-away if I wanted for my drive back up the mountain. 

I have a multi-million dollar view from my classroom. 

Instead of a dusty old car park which I would previously have stared wistfully at, seeking out my car, wishing I was in it driving home at high speed, I now look out at a lake with swans and pelicans and other water loving birdies gliding over its pristine surface. I feel like I’m in a fairy tale princess palace set on a verdant and majestic hillock (whatever a hillock is).

There’s something VERY different about this school.

Not only do they seem to have a strong sense of value and respect for their students’ mental, physical and academic welfare, they also seem to deeply care about their teachers, even the scabby old relief teacher who’s staggered in from North Queensland with her piece of paper from Yokel's 'R Us University* and a handful of dodgy references**.

It was because I felt so appreciated right from the very first day at this school that I suffered through the torture of errant, shooting nerve pain and turned up every day with a twisted, agonised smile on my face. 

It was because I felt respected as a professional that I didn’t just call in sick and be done with it. It was because of the faith my employer had put in me that I didn’t let them down.

I believe this school follows the philosophy that if you value people, they will live up to your expectations.

It makes me wonder what else I can do for my students to show them how much they’re respected and what results it might produce.


*Actually a normal university I was just being silly.
** References are not at all dodgy except for maybe one.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Mingling with Shingles

Whenever I’d thought about shingles (the illness, not the chalet-style roof tiles), I’d picture Albert Steptoe and his raggedy, grubby, fingerless gloves. I thought it was an older person’s disease; the type of older person who was a rag and bone man and lived in festering filth and had various, named rats as pets.

The nurse from the medical practice just rang and said that according to the results of the swab, that excruciating pain in my neck, head and ear and the itchy rash across the right side my chest, neck and back is most definitely the result of the shingles virus.

Enter… filthy, old, festering woman.

I cried when the nurse told me on the phone because my head was hurting so badly at the time. I cried when I walked in the door yesterday after work because I’d been barely surviving a living hell, all day. I’d take some painkillers and they’d dull the unbearably vicious stabbing for an hour, but then I have to wait for three more hours before I could take any more.

I cried again last night because even three glasses of red wine and two Mersyndols couldn’t completely settle the rogue ganglion of nerves on my right upper torso.

I’m actually conversing with the pain… abusing it in fact. “Fudge off!” I yell at it every time I get a particularly brutal spasm. “Fudge off, ashmole! Nobody asked you to chime in!”

Scotto just came home with some ointment.

I’m spreading ointment on my shingles. How attractive does that sound, Harold?

The ointment contains capsaicin which works by burning the nerve endings and somehow tricking them into not hurting. The trouble is I can’t put it on my scalp because of that stuff on my scalp called hair. Oh bugger it. I’m rubbing it in anyway. But the label says it will take four weeks to work anyway. I’ll be in the nut house by then for sure.

It could be worse, I know. I could have a tummy bug. There’s nothing worse than feeling nauseous. Or I could have the flu. I hate having a fever and that feeling of not being able to breathe. Or I could have something terminal.

What’s a bit of vice-like agony between friends, eh?

You can get a needle to prevent shingles.

If I’d only known about it.

Anyone who’s had chicken pox can develop shingles and it’s especially likely if you’re over 50 years of age. My advice is to go and have the vaccine because it’s a bloody horrible thing.

Plus, I just found a new red lump on my chin. Soon it will creep insidiously onto my face and people will think I have leprosy or just plain old school sores.

Things ain’t cooking in my kitchen, a strange affliction has come over me (told you I was going nuts).

Feel free to send flowers.

Have you ever had shingles or do you know someone who had them and survived?