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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Giving up Alcohol: Why You Won’t Be Fun Anymore



“I told your sister you’ve given up alcohol and you know what she said?” my mother giggled, as she stood in the IGA aisle where I’d run into her. “She said that you won’t be fun anymore.”

Two thoughts ran through my head; firstly, why is my mother telling me this and secondly, why on Earth is my sister making inflammatory remarks to my mother, which she must know will be repeated ad nauseam at every given opportunity?

Sure enough, a week later, my mother brought it up again.

“Your sister said you won’t be fun anymore now that you don’t drink,” she chortled, as she sat on my couch nursing a glass of red.

I wondered how I should respond.

It’s not easy giving up the booze. It’s been seven weeks’ abstinence now and I’d been hoping my loved ones would support me.

The truth is, when you decide to do something like this, you have to do it for yourself. 

As someone old and wise once said, you're born alone and sober and you must die alone and sober. 

Yes, I made that up.

Anyway, what my sister is saying is true. 

I’m not fun anymore.

When I go to lunch and I drink ginger ale, my speech doesn’t ever begin to slur and I no longer sound like a sloppy, aging lush and we all know how bloody uninspiring and tedious that can be.

When people come over for happy hour and I’m drinking apple juice, I don’t start loudly pontificating about my political views or become gushy and extravagant over inane rubbish like I used to. I don’t sprout bullshit about crap nobody really cares about. Basically, I’m dull and sober and shouldn’t be invited anywhere.

When drinking non-alcoholic beverages, my eyes don’t go bloodshot and droopy, my nose fails to swell and my bloated face doesn’t flush so red that I look like W.C. Field’s long lost granddaughter. In fact, without booze I still look mind-numbingly normal.

I don’t even LOOK fun without alcohol.

After two glasses of apple juice, I don’t begin to walk with a slight, Johnny Depp-like sway and I don’t begin to stop counting my apple juices because my brain is numbed by ethanol and then proceed to wake up the next morning with a cloudy, pounding head. 


I'm here to tell you, mornings are particularly tedious with a lucid brain. It’s especially unexciting when you remember everything you said the previous night and you have no blackout memory to agonise over. There are no more hours happily spent wondering where that weird bruise came from. Where's the fun and mystery of life in that?


Ginger ale doesn’t make me think my jokes are amusing so I’m even exponentially boring and dreary to myself these days.

In short, I’m just not fun anymore in any possible way.

Only people who drink are fun.

You can’t be fun if you don’t drink.

Cheers to that... /raises a glass of apple juice.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Evil Travel Fairies

North Queensland weather!


There are three reasons I don’t travel.

I have too many beloved animals to leave to their own devices, I like my mundane, comforting routine and most importantly, I dread the evil travel fairies who love to throw spanners into the works in order to ruin plans and thus any possible enjoyment.

Naturally, when I planned my recent holiday up north to see four of my five kids, I anticipated the usual torment of plans unravelling in stressful and disturbing circumstances… and I was, of course, correct.

I set my alarm to wake up at 5:00am so I’d have plenty of time to catch the train to the airport and, as expected, my phone decided to randomly expire overnight.

Because I had foreseen this bastard act of fate, I’d requested Scotto set his alarm as a backup.

Hardy ha ha, evil travel fairies.

The 6:04 am train I’d meticulously planned to catch from Nerang station failed to turn up.

As Scotto and I bleakly perched on the train seat, shivering in the pre-dawn wind, I enquired about the train’s absenteeism to the grumpy, uniformed man who appeared to be in charge.

“That train doesn’t run on Saturdays,” he muttered as he walked past me on his way to do his morning poo. I’m guessing that was where he was headed anyway. He had a particular determination on his face that people get when they need to squeeze out a morning poo before the next train arrives.



“You might like to tell them to review the website then,” I called out shrilly through chattering teeth. “It definitely said the 6:04 ran on Saturday.”


“You might like to go and…,” his voice boomed back.

I didn’t catch the rest of what he said. It floated away on the Arctic draught whistling through the station.

“Bloody, constipated fat controller,” I whined to Scotto.

The next train was a twenty minute wait which meant I only just arrived at the airport in time for my flight.

Panicked and agitated, I annoyed two young men who were standing near me when I couldn’t get my luggage tags out of the machine.

“Can you show me how to put these on the suitcase?” I asked a third young man as I stood in the baggage queue.

The bearded hipster examined me pitifully and showed me how the A is supposed to stick to the B when you peel the back off the tags. I’m fairly certain he thought I was retarded but I didn’t care.

I did eventually board the plane which was filled with smelly, middle-aged men heading up for the V8s. But I had a lovely time with my children up north, eating, sight seeing and going to the movies.

On our last evening together, we went to dinner and just as I was about to hop into my stuffed mushrooms, a text came through from Virgin to say my return flight had been cancelled for the next day. The flight they’d swapped me to departed six hours later than the original.

This was exceedingly disappointing. What was I going to do for six hours when all my children would be back at work and I’d had to check out of the motel? The idea of sitting at the airport for six hours was not appealing.

I rang the airline to see if I could get on an earlier flight.

“Do you have a reference number?” asked the man on the other line.

“No,” I replied.

“Do you have the date you booked the flight?” he continued.

“No.”

“Do you have a bank statement that you can look at?” he persisted.

“No,” I whimpered. “Not on me. It's all at home on my laptop.”

“If you have no details I’m afraid I can’t help you,” he said sadly.

Finally, my daughter Lulu, snatched the phone out of my hand, put it on loud speaker and searched through the emails on my phone for the details. 


"If it's on your laptop it's on your phone, mother," she sighed.


I had all the information in my phone but I didn’t realise I could look through my phone at the same time without hanging up on him. And we all know that the chances of getting back on the line to the same person in the whole of South East Asia are remote even if you catch his name.

I managed to get on an earlier flight which was filled with smelly, middle-aged men heading down for the State of Origin. I spent the whole plane journey building excitement about seeing my animals again. I couldn't wait for the wriggling ecstatic bodies jumping all over me. I hoped Pablo the Chihuahua wouldn't wee all over me like he usually did when he was overly enthusiastic.

The Chihuahua ran straight past me when I opened the front door and chased the cat down the driveway. I get a better greeting when I arrive home after being at the shop for fifteen minutes. 

That's the last holiday I'll be taking for a while. I need time to recover from the stress.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Battle with the Booze



I’m sprawled on the couch with a headache, bloodshot eyes, a flushed face and rising nausea.

Although I look and feel as though I’ve just woken up with the ultimate hangover from hell, I haven’t imbibed in alcohol for 33 days and this is what I get for my angelic abstinence… a cold.

Oh well.

It’s better than a petrified liver, I suppose.

I went for coffee with three of my neighbours this morning. Mrs Bunny (my endearing and crazy neighbour), pulled out an apple and began munching on it while we sipped our cappuccinos. I’ve never seen anyone fish out an apple from their handbag in a coffee shop before and it amused me greatly.

I don’t know what sort of apple it was but it was very small and according to Mrs Bunny they come in packets of four which cost $5 each. This seems very expensive to me for apples but she insists they are extra tasty.

Apples are unquestionably my least favourite fruit.

They’re boring and common.

When I was a kid and complained to my mother that I was hungry she would always say, “There are plenty of apples in the fridge, little Pinky.”

Apples quickly became symbolic of parental neglect.

Sparkling apple juice, however, has established itself, in my mind, as nectar from the gods.

Chilled, effervescent and served in a jaunty wine glass, it has replaced the evil poison I used to intoxicate myself with on a daily basis.

It’s allegedly full of vitamin C and helps to ward off colds too, even though that’s clearly bullshit.

After a month off the booze, I can announce I’ve lost no weight, my skin is still not glowing in any measure and I haven’t saved any money because I’m spending it all on sparkling apple juice.

Also, I can’t watch scary movies anymore because I’ve discovered I was living under the fog of false bravado delivered through copious quantities of wine. Scary movies actually really terrify me when I’m cold stone sober; I mean, "can't go to the toilet by myself" terrified.

However, on the bright side, since my giving it up I am no longer afraid I will wake up with yellow, jaundiced eyes. I’m not worried about getting tipsy and accidentally sitting on the cat and I don’t have to wake up in the morning dribbling in fear as to what I might have posted on Facebook. 

Hansel in camouflage 


I think I might aim for the six week mark now this month is done and dusted.

Wish me luck guys!
Also... do you agree apples are boring?

Friday, June 22, 2018

Nineteen Days Sober



Imagine you're told you are never allowed to eat another baked potato with sour cream again for the rest of your life. 

Even better still, imagine you are told you aren't allowed to eat a baked potato with sour cream for the entire of the next week. 

Oh the hell with it, imagine you are told you can’t have a baked potato with sour cream until tomorrow.

I adore baked potatoes with sour cream but honestly, none of those scenarios would ruffle my fluff. I’d just eat chips instead.

I’m betting you wouldn’t be too phased either, would you?

Who really cares about dumb potatoes?

Now, change ‘potato with sour cream’ to ‘alcohol’.

The entire emotional and physical reaction to the scenario changes, don’t you think? Well, at least it did for me when I heard this analogy.

I suddenly experienced an epiphany that my intimate relationship with my dear friend, Winey McWine, has been playing far too big a role in my life.

It was clearly time to dump it. I needed to break up with alcohol.

I’m 19 days abstinent and feeling great.

That’s the longest I’ve gone without booze since my last pregnancy which was… let me see… oh yeah, twenty-one years ago.

For the last twenty-one years, I have definitely abused the safe drinking guidelines big time. I've never injured myself, missed work, neglected my children or animals but I've let my body down over and over by abusing it with ethanol.

So I've flicked it at last.

I noticed this morning that my eyes are clear and I’m hoping that soon they will be sparkly.

I’ve noticed that I’m not puffing as much on my hikes around the mountain.

By day five, I had an extra spring in my step and I felt much more chilled out.

By day nine, I began to sleep and dream normally. There was no waking up at 3 in the morning and grasping for my water bottle in a highly, agitated state of the dry horrors.

By day ten, I discovered my handwriting has improved. It looks like it did when I was sixteen.

That’s weird, huh? I always thought my handwriting was deteriorating because of arthritis but apparently not. What exactly was the alcohol doing to my brain to affect my handwriting? It’s terrifying to think about.

I’m looking forward to more positive things as the weeks and months go by.

The first night felt a bit weird but it became easier and easier as the days went by. I can only fancy what my long-suffering liver must be thinking at the moment? It must feel euphoric; like it’s finally been given a holiday after years of filtering a slow drip of toxic poison out of my blood.

I’ve discovered I love ginger beer poured in a tall glass of ice at lunch and sparkling apple juice is bloody delicious. Who knew? My kidneys must be rejoicing.

I wasted enough time on alcohol and frankly I’m sick of the guilt.

Nobody told me to stop. Something just clicked in my brain, at last.

Sorry alcohol, frankly you’ve become a bit boring and needy for my liking and I won’t be returning your calls.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

How Lunch Can Kill You



What’s snow white and hirsute, has eyes the colour of cold, blue steel and could cause you to die a lonely, gasping death if you have the dire misfortune of finding yourself locked in a room with it?

What can climb a flyscreen door in two seconds flat and remain spreadeagled near the ceiling like a deformed goblin? 

What can swing from the curtains with gay abandon; pull a lace doily from a table top shattering forty ceramic rabbits in the process then parkour from couch to couch, sinking its sharp claws into the fine upholstery as it goes?


Dearest reader, as you know, most of my stories begin with Scotto and I going to lunch and this story is no different.

There we were, casually sipping on our second glass of Chardonnay at the elegant and inexpensive Robina Tavern, when I suddenly said in a wistful tone, “Scotto… we should get a kitten.”

Scotto’s defences were down, his senses dulled by the dangerous elixir of cheap wine and quicker than you can say ‘There’s a Fancy Feast hairball on the carpet ’, Scotto was already scrolling through his phone in search of kittens for sale in the Robina vicinity.

You see, after the sudden demise of my beloved hare, Mixy, the house seemed empty, forsaken… desolate. But though our grieving was deeply profound, it was quite short; it was clearly time to move on.

Naturally, the pet gods were looking out for us and in a serendipitous twist of providence, there happened to be Rag Doll kittens for sale around the actual corner from the tavern.

Can you believe it? It seemed like fate. We were meant to have a Rag Doll kitten and nothing would stand in our way. We speedily skulled the dregs of our glasses and hastened to the Hyundai in search of fluffy adorableness.

…After we left the breeder’s house with the carry basket and a handful of instructions regarding vaccinations, worming and other financially draining mandates, the wine inevitably began to wear off.

All the way up the mountain, cat perched on my lap; I sneezed, rubbed my inflamed, streaming eyes and wheezed like a three pack a day smoker ascending her tenth flight of stairs.

I suddenly remembered I am allergic to cats.

That’s why our sixteen year old cat at home, lives outside on the patio in exile.

“Are you having kitten-buyer’s remorse, Pinky?” asked Scotto as he maneuvered up the curving road while watching me out of the corner of his eye to make sure I wasn’t turning blue.

“No,” I whistled through my closed up airways. “S’okay. If I don’t make it home can you tell the kids I love them?”

It’s been a month now and he (Hansel) still hasn’t killed me yet via an extreme asthma attack. I say yet because some nights I've had to stand outside in the freezing cold to get my breath back.

But I can get used to living with a constantly itching hard palate, red swollen eyes and an inflamed nose. It’s not a big deal.

However, I’ve finally learned a lesson.

No more wine lunches.

We go to breakfast now instead.

Hansel protesting at the vet
Hansel climbing the curtains
Hansel laptop-blocking me
Hansel getting his brother and sister in trouble
Hansel taunting Pablo and Celine
Hansel being cute
Hansel loving his brother


Saturday, June 2, 2018

When is a Petting Zoo not a Petting Zoo?



We went to a ‘petting zoo’ one recent Sunday for Scotto’s birthday.

When I say it was for Scotto’s birthday, it was my ‘birthday surprise’ for him which as you know was really a ‘birthday surprise’ for me, even though it wasn’t my birthday and it wasn’t surprising to me at all because I was the one who planned it.

I’d anticipated spending the morning cuddling curly-tailed piglets and bottle feeding lambs and then afterwards, shout Scotto a lovely lunch by the pond.

However, a series of unfortunate events prevented this selfless, sentimental gesture coming to fruition.

Firstly, the night before, we'd watched the royal wedding with great gusto and a few too many toasts to the newlyweds took place over the evening.

Secondly, we’d enjoyed an Indian meal earlier in the day on Saturday, and in my usual showy-off style, I’d ordered an extra-hot Vindaloo curry and eaten the bulk of it despite my eyeballs melting.

“It’s not hot at all!” I remember skiting to Scotto. “Try some you big sook!”

He just ignored me and sensibly ate his mild Lamb Korma, not to be tempted by my seductive goading.

At midday on Sunday, as we hobbled around the alleged petting zoo, the Vindaloo began its thundering journey through my lower bowels with decided retribution.

My stomach began to growl louder than the dingoes eyeing off the Japanese tourists’ children. 

There were a lot of Japanese tourists there because I’d been tricked by the advertising. It wasn’t really a petting zoo at all… it was a tacky theme park running under the umbrella of all the other horrendous theme parks on the Gold Coast. It cost $30 per person admission and the only animal you were allowed to pet were some very uninspiring guinea pigs.


I could buy fifteen guinea pigs for thirty dollars if I wanted.


But guess what! The adults weren’t even allowed to pet the guinea pigs.

Apparently it was only for the kids.

Only. for. the. kids.


Sniff.

Anyway, back to my stomach.

The spice induced stomach cramps were akin to third stage, childbirth labour. A fine sheen of sweat spread over my forehead. The streams of perspiration dripped all the way into my armpits and I didn’t know if I was going to vomit or explode from the opposite end so we were mandated to leave immediately. 

That was half an hour after we arrived.

I don’t know why they charge thirty bucks admission. We saw some chickens… I can see them at home. We saw some koalas… big whoopee. We saw some kangaroos… I see them dead on the side of the road every day.

When people advertise a petting zoo they should deliver baby animals to pet.

I think I might start my own bloody petting zoo.

What do you think?


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Deceased Estate



Last week our hare, Mixy, died. Scotto found her in the hutch. We don’t know what happened… possibly a heart attack because we just found out that hares are prone to heart attacks (which goes to show what eating too much kale will do to you). 

The highly expensive enclosure and hutch we bought for her, now stand empty and forlorn.

My neighbour, Mrs Nutty, suggested I put it on Airbnb because it’s barely been used.

Here’s my ad… 

Luxury Gold Coast Hinterland Cottage

· Stunning views over the Gold Coast hinterland

· sleeps two (relatively short-statured) people in a large, loft style, open, upstairs bedroom

· pets are welcome

· although there are no kitchen and laundry facilities, Wi Fi access is a possibility

· fully air-conditioned, well-ventilated and fully treated for fleas

· only 40 minutes to Surfers Paradise and 20 minutes to Dreamworld

· No microwave, VCR or TV but battery operated CD player on request

· Open-air style bathing in fresh rainwater

· Innovative and state of the art rooster-themed wake up service
. highly rated, ingratiating hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests no matter what your species or gender preference

· one recent guest has said that this home was sparkling clean

· luxurious and healthy breakfast provided 



Quiet surrounds with the sounds of frogs, crickets, cicadas, magpies, kookaburras, wasps, geckos, falling branches, possums, fornicating koalas, the next-door neighbour's Harley as he leaves for work at 4:30am, and the resilient neighbour who refuses to accept his lawnmower has died in the arse.

NB: No parties or events 
       No smoking



One review

Mixy     

Pinky’s cottage is comfortable and has fantastic views. Pinky was also welcoming and helpful, however, I felt that her host description was a bit misleading as it sounded like she was the only one in the adjoining house, and when I arrived, I discovered four dogs, a cat and twelve chickens. It was only when I saw the toys and bones all around the garden and asked her if she had a dog that she said yes. Having said all this, the bedroom was comfortable, and the views are amazing. Wait… I already said that didn’t I?… Oh well, the location is also very convenient, close to the beach, the tram and the centre of Surfers, so I would still recommend it – even though I’m a hare and I couldn’t go to any of those places because I didn’t have transport, which sucked balls big time. Anyway, have to go now. Must have eaten something that didn't agree with me... lol.


Jokes aside... R.I.P. My darling Mixy xxx


Saturday, May 5, 2018

All Animals are Equal...



Scotto is away for a few days in Melbourne. He went to his niece’s wedding. She held her wedding midweek... just like her sister did, and I’m beginning to suspect his family hates me and doesn’t want me attending family ceremonies and thus plan their weddings around my work schedule. 

Hmmm.

Anyway, I’ve been stuck here with the eighteen animals while Scotto is gallumphing around in the big smoke.

Juggling parent teacher interviews after school and making it home before dark to feed the menagerie, has been a challenge. 

One evening, just on dusk, I arrived home to find twelve chickens standing resolutely at the back door, pecking ravenously at the glass and staring at me with an evil gimlet eye. It was like a scene from The Birds. 

The twelve psychotic chickens at the back window were framed by the silhouettes of my insatiable German Shepherd (think a starving Cujo) and the Silky Terrier (think a very angry Benji). Their tongues slobbered onto the veranda in menacing anticipation of meat.

The usually resentful and elusive hare, Mixy, somersaulted around in her cage like an expert aerial performer in Circus de Soleil in an attempt to get my attention. The Chihuahua and Fox Terrier yipped around my feet whilst the cat clawed a chunk out of my ankles as I rushed past her in a desperate stagger towards the pantry and the canned food.

With trembling hands, I dithered about who to feed first, but quickly elected to appease the German Shepherd at once (in case he lost his Teutonic composure and tore my bloody arm off in a ravenous fit of savagery... or attacked an emotional  chicken).

Amidst a cacophony of cackling, crowing, barking, yipping and caterwauling, I somehow sated the crazed feeding frenzy without any of them eating each other… or me.

Just so you know… they all get fed breakfast.

One morning before work, I walked down the yard to let the chickens out of the coops and I saw about eight alien chickens foraging in the garden. The neighbours’ chickens had clearly heard rumours about the cushy conditions at our place and found a hole in the fence.

Pablo, the Chihuahua, immediately recognised the intruders weren’t ‘of our flock’ and chased them back through the hole, scoring some delicious plumage in his muzzle.

I wasn’t even positive they weren’t our chickens at first. They looked exactly the same. They were black with feathers… so I don’t know how the Chihuahua could tell.

Intra-species racism? Next he'll be building a wall.

Anyway, it's all been chaotic and I will be glad when Scotto returns home because I’m frightened it’s turned into Animal Farm here.

You know what I mean… all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than humans.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Free-Balling



Driving along in my car to my walking destination, I suddenly became aware of the fact that although I’d remembered my Nicorettes, asthma inhaler and sun visor, I’d forgotten to wear a bra.

I was three quarters of the way there already so I screeched to a halt and weighed up my titillating situation.

Do I waste petrol and go back home or do I air the girls in public in the nonchalant manner of a truly progressive, enlightened woman?

After peering down and acknowledging the twins were reasonably disguised by a black t-shirt with a large, all-encompassing chicken decal, I decided to save the petrol and free-ball it.

Every time I passed another jogger/walker, I pretended to scratch my opposite ear which provided a decent barrier between my nipples and probing eyes and also steadied any overt jiggle-jiggle. 

Nobody would even know!

Can I say the experience was liberating in the extreme? The cool breeze, the lack of diaphragmatic restriction and the absence of an errant bra strap slipping down my shoulder requiring constant adjustment produced a much more comfortable walking event.

At one point, a family of tourists pulled up beside me.

“Excuse me,” enquired a lady in the front passenger seat. “Can you give us directions to Main Street?”
I began to scratch my left ear with my right hand.

After the initial thrill of being tagged as a local (the lack of a bra probably helped), I delivered some complicated directions involving complex turns, knotty loops and obscure landmarks.

They smiled in a baffled manner and thanked me before driving off.

I felt proud of the fact that after two years living here, I finally felt confident to help tourists find their way around the byzantine roads of the maze-like mountain.

I felt proud that I did it without wearing a bra.

I felt proud for about three minutes, until it dawned on me that the road I’d set them off on with such self-assurance, actually led down and off the mountain and nowhere near Main Street.

I figured it would take them twenty minutes to realise and another twenty to get back up the mountain to find me and abuse the shit out of me so… I skulked back to my car, dodging from shrubbery to shrubbery and taking shelter behind large ferns.

You can never play it too safe can you?



Ever been out without a bra?

Monday, April 9, 2018

When a Man Gets a New Toy...



Golden Boy (my ex-Suzuki Sport) is sold... and all credit goes to Scotto, who vacuumed/polished and cleaned him up, arranged for the dint to be fixed and basically did all the Gumtree stuff I didn’t know and didn’t WANT to know about.

Scotto’s commission for the sale of this treasured car, was a Nerf Gun in order to fire at the chickens when they start eating our plants, as they do, frequently and annoyingly.

Sadly, due to the Weapons Act of 1991, there are no Nerf guns to be found in any toy store in Australia. I was very pleased at this because I assumed Scotto would just forget about it and I wouldn’t have to spend money on frivolous, silly things like ammunitions against poultry.

“Look!” I exhaled impatiently one day when I had returned from yet another fruitless attempt at buying a missile-like weapon from the two dollar shops. “I can only find water pistols. They’re the same as the hose as far as effectiveness in scaring off chickens goes. How about you look for a drone and then you can swoop on the unsuspecting victims from above.”

I never thought or even suspected Scotto would recall this conversation. I thought, well that’s the end of that then!



Today, even though I had long forgotten about my extravagant and insincere offer, Scotto came home with a drone.

He was clearly exhilarated, overly excited, intoxicated with a Bruce Willis type of innocent, inner aggression, and stood in the backyard with his mouth gaping like a six year old boy finally allowed to shoot his Grandpa's shotgun.

The Fox Terrier was so excited by the strange, electronic, flying object, she fell off the deck (she's okay).The Chihuahua, the German Shepherd and the Silky Terrier couldn’t have given a small shit about the whizzing machinery, and the chickens… well frankly they didn’t even notice it.

But Scotto… I probs won’t even see him until after winter.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Shopping with Pinky

New Boots!


“I need a new pair of jeans for winter,” I said to Scotto last weekend.

“Well, do you think you can buy a pair that actually fit you for once?” Scotto arched his eyebrows at me.

He knows I usually buy clothes about one to two sizes too big because I’m too lazy to go into change rooms so I round up to the nearest five kilograms when buying clothes off the rack.

It was with Scotto’s specific directive that I embarked on a shopping expedition with my mother yesterday morning. I needed to purchase a pair of 'sexy jeans', not a pair of grandma jeans with a slowly descending crotch that sometimes falls to my knees when I walk too quickly.

First we had to stop at the library. My mother loves the library.

The Gold Coast is currently hosting the Commonwealth Games and naturally the baton relay was taking place in the library car park as we pulled in. Some harried looking security officer kept yelling at all the elderly library patrons (including me) because they were parking in the wrong place. I’d hoped to avoid this scenario by a self-prohibition of driving down to the coast during the games.

Inside the library were a lot of very old people. While I waited for my mother to choose her books, I decided to read some New Scientist magazines but all the oldies had taken any available seating.

I waited until a ninety-eight year old man left his seat to dodder off for another newspaper then cleverly snaked into his deserted chair before he returned. Hmmmpf. I’m almost a senior too.

Mother came to fetch me soon after and we arrived at the mall soon after I’d managed to knock over several witches hats in the library car park on the way out.

As well as desperately requiring jeans, I needed boots, ballet flats and an asthma puffer.

I’m allergic to the hare. 
I know… that’d be bloody right, huh? I’m still keeping her though. I’ll just use my puffer when I my breathing hole closes up. It's not a drama.

After a carefully orchestrated operation involving the purposeful scouring of every single shoe store in the Robina Town Centre, I found a pair of cheap, suede ankle boots which are guaranteed to antagonise my bunion and elicit quite a lot of complaining during the winter months. 

They look nice though.

Finally, we reached the clothing store where I hoped to discover a pair of jeans which would ignite the lusty fire in Scotto’s loins and which I would not be able to just pull up over my hips without undoing them because they’re so baggy. (This does save time in the toilet, I must point out.)



“Oh, how gorgeous,” exclaimed my mother, holding up a highly desirous item she’d pulled off a rack.

I scanned the price tag. It seemed to be in my parsimonious range.

“Do you think the style is a bit young for me?” I asked, hoping she would say no.

“Well it’s too young for me but you could probably get away with it,” Mother assured me, rubbing the soft material against her face in admiration of the fabric.

She shrugged and tottered off to the back of the store to look for tea towels with chickens on them.

My mind struggled against its natural penchant towards frugality. I hate spending money on clothing.

Eventually, visions of my forlorn, empty wardrobe defeated the alarmed screaming from my inner penny-pinching muse and I tentatively made my way to the counter; wallet open and credit card clutched in my trembling fingers. 

I was going in, baby.

Soooo… this is me in my new outfit. 



What do you think? Do you think Scotto will like it?

Friday, March 30, 2018

Forgiveness at Easter

Moon on Good Friday 30/3/18 by Scotto (with a hand held camera)


We just saved Brienne of Tarth (chief chicken), from the jaws of our German Shepherd. Normally, they get along fine but Brienne must have poked her beak in the middle of his feed bowl while he gobbled his dinner and he clearly resented sharing with a farmyard bird.

She seems okay but now she won’t come out from under the deck and there are white feathers littering the lawn.

Never mind. I’ll be home to watch over them all for the next two weeks because it’s the Easter holidays!

My Stations of the Cross liturgy went well yesterday despite ‘Jesus’ not turning up on the morning. You can only imagine my utter panic and horror at this state of affairs.

I elected another unrehearsed, little boy to get dressed in the Jesus costume, pronto.

“You’ll be fine,” I coerced the trembling child. “You just have to walk around with the cross on your back for a bit and then die on the cross with grave sincerity and a great deal of solemnity. Don’t let me down, or else.”

The stunned little boy gazed at me dubiously then finally nodded in reluctant assent when he saw the desperate look in my pleading eyes.

Thankfully, the real Jesus turned up at the eleventh hour. Not the ‘actual real’ Jesus of course. That would have made a truly excellent Stations of the Cross though. Can you just imagine the kudos I’d get for pulling that out of the bag?

I must admit, this was the best class I’ve ever re-enacted this liturgy with. I screamed and ranted much less than usual during rehearsals and no one was sent to the office for being silly; not even once.

My Jesus didn’t accidentally clock anyone on the head with the cross and the technology didn’t break because I had my beautiful friend and colleague, Kath, operating it for me, as my hands were shaking too much to work the volume knob.

My husband, Scotto and my parents even made the hour long drive out to the school to watch it.

I think this is my seventh time presenting this particular liturgy and I finally nailed it.

Sorry.

I gave my class Easter eggs at the end of the day and someone accidentally left their eggs on the window sill.

Seamus, one of my ‘energetic’ students, spotted the abandoned eggs. “Can I have them, Mrs Poinker?” he asked wistfully, a curious gleam in his eyes.

“No,” I replied. “Go downstairs, Seamus.”

“Please?” he insisted.

“NO! You have your own eggs. Go downstairs and wait for your mother. Whoever owns them will probably be back in a couple of minutes.”

I walked back into the classroom and tidied up. Ten minutes later, I walked out and spied Seamus, still loitering around the window sill, staring longingly at the eggs.

I made him walk downstairs with me. He dragged his feet dramatically the whole way and kept glancing back at the window.

I went into the staffroom and said my goodbyes. As I walked to my car, I observed little Seamus, standing underneath the stairwell and scrutinising the windows in a doleful, forlorn manner.

“No one came for them,” he whispered to me in a sad voice as I swept past him. “No one came back.”

I’m pretty sure that as soon as my car drove away, Seamus snuck back upstairs and nicked the eggs.

But that’s okay. I didn’t care.

By that stage of the day I was like an amoeba reacting to stimuli. My brain was on automatic.

And anyway, Easter is all about forgiveness, don’t you agree?

Let me take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and safe Easter. I'll catch all of you on Facebook on Easter Sunday xxx

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Happy Birthday to Everyone Born after Ash Wednesday!


Tamborine Mountain Heritage Centre


I went to phone my daughter yesterday and noticed the option of using Facetime. I miss seeing her adorable face and immediately buzzed her. An image of her in the car wearing a seatbelt, manifested on my screen. I gathered she was driving home from gym or something. She’s so health conscious that girl.

“I’ll hang up,” I breathed urgently into the phone. “I don’t want you to have an accident, sweetie.”
“It’s okay,” she replied. “I’m in the queue at KFC.”

Hmmmpf… so much for the gym.

I think part of the reason my kids don’t like where I live is because there are no KFCs. There is no Maccas, Guzman Y Gomez, Domino’s or Hungry Jack’s either and I hope there never will be.

Can you believe Tamborine Mountain doesn’t even have a single traffic light? Actually, we don’t even have street lights. It makes driving in the fog around treacherous, curvy cliffs very exhilarating.

I love the rural atmosphere and have resolved to open a petting zoo here in my retirement. Scotto supports me fully and happily listens to me list the animals I will have in my zoo. He’s even promised to help me with all the mucking out of stables and pens. I’m not sure what ‘mucking out’ means but I’m positive I will like it.


We go walking on weekends and lately, we amble along a circuit that travels past the Tamborine Mountain Heritage Centre. We snuck in today (even though it was closed) so I could take a photograph and an older man frightened us by seemingly popping out of nowhere.

“That sign is spelled wrong,” I commented, pointing to the TAMBOURINE mountain sign in a know-it-all, teacher fashion and attempting to divert him from the fact we were trespassing.

“No,” he corrected me. “It used to be spelled that way until 1920 when this was built.”

He went on to inform us that as the legend goes, there was a local business back in the day which had a truck, and the sign on it said TAMBO on one side and URINE on the other. Apparently the general population took offence and changed the spelling of the mountain.

After our walk, we went to the Mitre 10 hardware store to look for stuff to make a crown of thorns for my little Jesus. My class is performing Stations of the Cross on Thursday and Jesus is currently sans headwear.

Unbelievably, there didn’t seem to be a Crown of Thorns aisle in the shop and we left empty handed.

We will have to fashion one from something in the garden. Naturally, we won’t use anything with real thorns because it’s only a representation and I don’t want my Jesus to bleed in front of the preppies. Nailing Jesus to the cross will be quite enough for the under-fives to witness, I feel.

On Sunday, Lent will be over and I can annoy people on Facebook again.

Even though I haven’t been ‘liking’ or commenting or posting, I have been taking a peek at it now and again. Of course, I was still private messaging as well because that’s the only way some people will communicate with me.

My teaching buddy, Catherine Mary, told me she thinks that it all sounds very dodgy and shouldn’t be counted as a Lenten sacrifice since I have pretty much been stalking everyone on Facebook the whole time.

Hmmmpf… I’d like to know what Catherine Mary gave up.

Oh! I forgot to tell you! We sold Golden Boy! When the mechanic checked the car for the roadworthy he told Scotto my six year old brakes were almost at 100% function.

“Does she ever slow down?” the mechanic asked Scotto in astonishment. Little does he know I never speed UP. I drive to conditions even when there are no conditions.
That was my week.

But, I have a question for you...

Will you visit my petting zoo?

and also...

Did you even miss me on Facebook?


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Autumn is coming... no wait... it's here!



“Can you smell that?” asked Scotto this morning, as he inhaled deeply and stretched out in bed like a languorous Tom cat.

“Do you mean the chicken poo?” I replied blinking vacuously.

“No,” he arose from bed and opened the curtains.

“Did you fart under the sheets again?” I eyed him suspiciously.

“No, not recently,” he answered, flopping back on the bed and making me spill my coffee.

“It’s not the neighbour’s septic tank again is it?” I croaked in dismay. (The neighbour’s septic tank smells like burnt pubic hair. It’s gross. I’d say it was our tank... but we don’t burn pubic hair so, nah).

“No, Pinky. Can’t you feel it in the air? Can’t you smell it? It’s autumn!”
I attempted to feel autumn in the air. I sniffed in a sincere manner. I cupped my hand to my shell-like ear to try to hear it. I used my Shaman techniques.

It didn’t feel any different to the day before.

Scotto is very sensitive to the seasons because he originally comes from Melbourne where they have seasons.

I come from the tropics where the only season we have is cyclone season and a brief two week window where you need to wear a cardigan until 9:00am.

Anyway, because it is autumn (apparently) I have updated my banner with cheeky chickens and a rambunctious hare.

No wait… that’s spring.

Oh well. My banner is updated.

Please thank Scotto.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Ten Reasons Why Owning a Hare is Not Boring!

Night Vision Camera on Hare



1. Even though they are nocturnal creatures, you can watch them sleeping for hours on end.

2. You can’t teach hares cute tricks because they are wild animals, but when you give them food they will creep down from their hutch and eat it long after you’ve gone to bed.

3. They like to be patted but you have to hold them very firmly or they will push their strong hind legs against you and scurry away and hide in a tight space where you can’t reach them.

4. They will never love you because they regard you as a predator, however, they don’t actually hate you; they’re just horrified by your presence.

5. They will NEVER get to like your other pets, however, your pets will be frenetically curious and strangely obsessed with what could be hiding all day in that mysterious hutch.

6. You can’t wear perfume if you wish to handle a hare because they will have a panic attack and scratch you to death in order to escape the pungent odour of your scent.

7. You can’t give them toys to play and frolic appealingly with because they will eat them and most probably die.

8. They will never answer to their name because they don’t want to have anything to do with you, so why the hell would they come when they’re called.

9. When they are frightened, which is any time you are near them, they flatten their ears and look like guinea pigs. In fact, they may as well be a guinea pig for what it’s worth.

10. When you tell people you have a hare, they think you are lying and that you are granting asylum to an illegal rabbit and you can see the person wondering about whether or not they should dob you in to the authorities.

(When Scotto went to pick up some pellets the other day, the girl serving him said, "Here are the pellets for your long eared-guinea pig!")

Should I get another one to keep it company?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

I'll Make You an Offer!

Source


For the last two Tuesdays, I’ve stayed at home because flood waters prevented me getting to school.

“You’re making it rain aren’t you, Pinky!” my deputy principal accused on the phone. “It’s because you hate taking the kids to swimming lessons on Tuesday!”

Whilst it’s true I hate swimming lessons, I haven’t managed to control the weather yet.

I say ‘yet’, because one day I might work out how to do it.

Both Tuesdays, I awoke to the 5:30am alarm, dressed, packed my lunch and drove for twenty minutes before one of my colleagues rang me to tell me the road was closed.

It’s only one bridge that’s closed and that bridge is five minutes away from the school. I can’t imagine why the council doesn’t raise the damn bridge. 


I offered to buy a rubber dinghy and park my car on the side of the road and row across, but my deputy started carrying on about workplace health and safety rules and kept saying ‘If it’s flooded forget it, Pinky’.

I offered to go and work at another school for the day but was informed it would be a ‘conflict of interest’.

This response afforded me a great deal of relief because I can’t think of anything worse than going to work at another school for the day and when I offered, I didn’t really mean it on a sincere level.

It was one of those ‘token’ offers, like the rubber dinghy.

Also like when your husband drops his ice-cream on the ground and you offer him yours. Or when your husband is going out with the boys and you offer to pick him up when he’s finished, really late at night. Or when the dog vomits on the bathroom floor and you say, 'I’ll clean it up, darling, you stay in bed'.

You don’t make a token offer and anticipate it will be accepted.

When you make a token offer you have to make sure the recipient knows deep down that it would be outrageously insensitive to accept it. You have to direct your prey into believing that what you are offering is a ridiculously extreme and contemptible expectation to ask of another human being.

When making the token offer you should make your body as small and pitiful as possible. You must use a childish, plaintive tone and compose your face into a timid, humble expression of servitude. That is a challenge when you are doing it over the phone but can be managed with practise.

Indeed, you can even do it via text messages.

Example:
Hi honey. Noticed we are low on milk. I’ll pick some up after our late staff meeting if I can find a servo that’s open on the lonely highway at that time of night. Love you xxx


Remember, you must make yourself the victim in order to engage your target.

Don’t worry; it’s mainly Scotto I use this skill on.

I would never use it on you...

What token offers do you make?

P.S. If my boss is reading this I'd totally LOVE working at another random school for the day.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Putting the Fox Amongst the Chickens

CCTV close up of criminal Chihuahua
Wanted in three states.


“Jon Snow is attacking the Chihuahua!” I commented to Scotto last night, sipping casually on my Chardonnay and observing the heady drama unfolding below the lofty heights of our deck.

Jon Snow is our tiny bantam hen and while she is basically the same size as the Chihuahua, she suffers from a dearth of carnivorous teeth, thus placing herself at a decided disadvantage when confronting a known chicken killer.

Fortunately, the Chihuahua merely gazed at her in curious fascination and no feathers were ruffled in the altercation. 


This week, Scotto and I embarked on a precarious experiment by allowing our four ravenous hounds to intermingle with our fowlish creatures. 



We held our breath as the thirty-five kilogram, lumbering German Shepherd energetically competed for scraps with the chickens. 

Yum! Bread!


We hung on tenterhooks as the Chihuahua fastidiously sniffed the bottoms of the Silkie Chickens and we drew blood digging our fingernails into palms as the Fox Terrier diligently rounded the flock of chickens into their coops at dusk. 

Chihuahua: Why am I smaller than a fricken chicken?


But there were no fatal attacks.

In fact, the chickens were utterly nonplussed by the presence of all canine, wolf-like creatures and to our amazement, we created a blissfully Utopian society where feathers and fur came to a perfect political and social realisation of harmony. 



Now that the happy chickens free range all day, you would expect an abundance of eggs. Sadly, the little bee-artches are too busy pecking around for worms to find any time to hop in their nesting boxes and squirt out a cackle-berry. 

Actual photo of Foxy amongst the chickens


Either that or a large snake is entering the coop during the day and eating all the eggs. .. or possibly a German Shepherd. 

Is that Chihuahua really pissing on our coop?


A trio of menacing magpies used to swoop-dive the chickens in an ongoing dispute over worm territory. It was like watching F-4 Fighting Phantoms in a dogfight over the skies of Vietnam, circa 1965.

Recently, Lyanna Marmont (the big black chicken), lost her shit and grabbed one of the marauding magpies by the neck as it swooped. 

The astonished infiltrator struggled and screeched for a good minute before escaping; leaving Lyanna standing triumphant; mollified, and sporting a beak full of magpie plumage.

The maggies still swoop but, shrewdly, never make direct contact anymore.

One day soon, our little hare, Mixy, will be big enough to intermingle with the others. 



Then I really will have a Beatrix Potter garden.

Of course, I will also need a badger.

And a squirrel.

And maybe a duck…

Anyone know where I can source a badger?

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Woodland Creature Arrives



Today marks the two year anniversary of our move to the mountain.

All of our original animals (the four dogs and the sixteen year old cat), are thriving and now we’ve added eleven eccentric chickens and as of today, a baby hare, into the mix.

This is why I’ll never be a millionhare. I spend all my hard-earned money on my pets.

My five children (the hare apparents) were very disappointed to hear about this latest acquisition as the small, woodland creature has further decreased their possible inhare-itance.

“What’s wrong with you, Mother?” was the typical comment, laced with an hare of hostility. “Why do you need a hare?”

The hare (or leveret if you want to be technical) has taken up residence in a hefty hutch in the lounge room and is currently snuggled up in the hay, far from the hare-raising attentions of the tenaciously curious Fox Terrier. The Chihuahua, in his usual Mexican lassitude, couldn’t give a shit about the interesting pungent fumes emanating from said hutch. 


Celine displaying inappropriate interest.


We’re encouraging the woodland creature to settle in quietly until early evening when we will coax it out and feed it milk.

Technically it’s weaned, but I desperately want to nurture it like a baby so it may end up as an oversized, lumbering and furry, Robin Arryn-like hare.

Naturally, I won’t be breast feeding it, though.

I bet you’re relieved about that.

It has its own, cutest-ever, miniature formula bottle. You have never seen anything so adorable as a hare latching on to a tiny bottle and suckling its head off. 


Someone with a really bony hand feeding my leveret...


You’ll also be comforted to know this animal will not be sleeping in our bed as it’s nocturnal and would most likely scrabble around in the bed all night as well as poop uncontrollably and likely be attacked by the fox terrier (which is a breed trained to hunt hares and that could trigger a very bad hare day for all concerned).

We’ve steered away from the Game of Thrones theme we use to christen the chickens and named her Mixy (short for myxomatosis), after the rabbit on The Ferals. Hares don’t get myxomatosis so it’s okay to call her that without jinxing her.

Whilst some of you might think there are possibly some harey times in store, there will be some delightful and hil-hare-ious stories and photographs in future blog posts and at least I didn’t buy a ferret (which would have been particularly hare-brained) so we should all be thankful.

Stay on hare for more exciting updates! 


* I promise there will be no more disgraceful puns.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

I'm Getting a Cryptid!



Podcasts are my new thing to listen to during my hour long commute every day.

I’ve been listening to rubbish like “Things The Government Doesn’t Want You to Know” and “Reptilians Who Live Among Us” and “Aliens and Cryptids: the Complete Guide”.
What? You think I’m an idiot? They’re very entertaining and quite educational, I'll have you know.

In fact, I’m learning things… like... what a cryptid is and how to hunt them down and capture them alive.

(Apparently they aren’t crossword puzzles like I thought.)

I’m learning that some people in the world genuinely believe there are evil gnomes living in their wardrobes and linen closets. These gnomes come out when people are asleep and execute unmentionable acts upon them, so they say.

I’m learning about will o the wisps, vampires and how Queen Elizabeth 2 is really a Lizard Person in disguise.

I’m learning there are a lot of very silly people in the world making podcasts.

The Internet has a lot to answer for, really.

Next thing you know, ridiculous, non-writer-like women will start publishing blogs about chickens and Chihuahuas and random Easter Bunny deaths in their own shower recess… 

Fact: the Easter Bunny is a cryptid.

…which leads me to my wonderful, delightfully exhilarating news… 

I happen to have been hunting a particular cryptid this past week AND... I FOUND ONE!

I’m adopting a baby hare.

She should be arriving tomorrow.

Here’s a picture her carer sent. 



I’m going to be a mother again, sob.

Stay tuned!