Pinky's Book Link

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pinky's Guide to How to Eat a Banana.


It was the last day of school yesterday and I sat in the staffroom ten minutes before the first bell, wishing the day was already over and pontificating about bananas.

We see a lot of bananas (and cans of tuna) in the staffroom because everyone pretends to be on a diet.

They’ll eat their can of tuna with crackers and their lonely, bruised bananas… then they raid the fridge for leftover cheesecake pretending those calories don’t count because they didn’t come from home.

“I cleaned up the half banana you left on the table yesterday, Pinky,” commented my colleague, Rach with a disapproving tone in her voice.

“It’s not my fault, I'm tired. Besides, I can’t eat a whole banana,” I declared. “They’re too big these days.”

Eyebrows were raised. Teachers become open to dirty connotations at the end of term after being sledged for ten weeks by maliciously clever, ten year old rapscallions. 

We’re worn down. 

Depleted of cunning comebacks. 

We descend into a low form of toiletty, Benny Hill type of humour.

“I hate bananas to tell the truth. They are a common sort of food, no class,” I added superciliously. 

“People look ridiculous when they’re eating bananas. It’s something about the chomping away on a mushy thing with the peeled skin dangling down,” I continued, dicing with death considering the stony stares emanating from the bulging eyeballs of my co-workers.

“Actually, you all look like a bunch of monkeys when you're eating them!” Pinky daringly broadcasted.

Pinky's colleagues stared at her in silence. She’d blatantly slighted them by comparing their eating habits to the insulting image of a bunch of hairy apes squatting inelegantly, scratching their heads and dribbling over a pointy banana.

Sooo… it was with no small amount of astonishment I happened upon this in the staff room at morning tea.

                                   Kyles the Music Teacher

See! People do sit up and take notice of Pinky… occasionally! About bloody time I say.

Happy school holidays everyone! 

What do you think about eating bananas in public?

Linking up with the girls at Laugh Link
Have a Laugh on Me

Melbourne Mum

Talking Frankly and

26 Years and Counting!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why I Write


There sat little Pinky; balancing her lap top on her knees, delicately eating an afternoon tea banana and chortling her head off at another highly amusing post by the razor-witted, Mumabulous, when she suddenly noticed the wickedly sassy blogging princess had tagged her and Louisa from My Midlife Mayhem, in the (rapidly proliferating) “Why I Write” Blog Hop.

Despite what you think, I really don’t like to write about myself. I’m an introvert, diffident, fearful of attention, reticent and… well, full of false humility and bulls#*&.

I tossed the now obsolete banana over my shoulder and immediately began to tap out my response to the prompt.

How does my writing differ from others in my genre?

When I was a kid my ABC loving, higher-order-thinking father, banned my siblings and I from watching commercial television (in his presence) which meant I grew up on a nourishing diet of ‘Monty Python’, ‘Fawlty Towers’, ‘The Goodies’ and ‘The Young Ones’, which has resulted in my writing an overabundance of what some would describe as a pile of silly twaddle.

For example, posts about subjects as inane as; my very large bunion, whether or not I should have my sons neutered, how I did an interview on myself and another with my parrot.

Many of my colleagues dislike this type of absurd and frivolous writing intensely and have made sure to inform me of this fact when they see me the next morning at work. They seem to forget that Pinky has feelings too.
I’m a primary school teacher which provides me with plenty of unusual fodder, most of which must be handled with a great deal of care and discretion, especially considering two Deputy Principals at my school often check in to read what fallacious exaggerations the Pinkster has posted this time.

Why do I write?

One day a friend sat patiently, tapping her fingers on the table and pretending to listen, as I blustered on about the latest outrageous exploits and adventures enacted by my four teenage sons (and the resulting fallout which was costing me large sums of money)… again.

“You should write a book, Pinky,” she yawned, openly.

I could have taken this in the true sense it was meant and realised she wanted me to shut the hell up and get lost. But what I heard was, “You should write a book.”

Now, anyone who has read Pinky Poinker knows what a lazy so and so she is and there is no way she possesses the mental fortitude, resilience or commitment to write a book, edit, edit again, edit one more time, send it to a publisher and then withstand anything unpleasant such as brutal rejection.

So I did what I thought would be a lazy way out and decided to just write a little bit every day. Not a book, but something to save me from earbashing unsuspecting victims caught in my bitter spider’s web of grievances and whinge-fests.

Once that was all out of my system I realised I enjoyed playing around with this writing business and rapidly became dependent on that giddy rush when I clicked the publish button on a post.

How does my writing process work?

Angles are more important to me than subject matter. Coming up with an unexpected approach which is entertaining and scaffolds a post that's able to ‘stand alone’ is what I strive to achieve.

In case you haven’t noticed my mixed tenses, superfluous adverbs, disgraceful abuse of tautology, crass metaphors and inappropriate adjectives sourced from the Thesaurus, this blog is not about high quality literature.

It’s about shallow, inconsequential trivia presented in the most engaging way I’m capable of delivering… solely written for your enjoyment my dear reader.

After writing and publishing a post, I sit in nail-biting dread, suspecting that this one, this obscure and pathetic piece of tripe will be the lead balloon that fails to take off, tumbling down to the ground and shattering my fragile ego into a zillion pieces. But it only takes one person to ‘like’, comment or ‘favourite’ the post and I miraculously re-inflate, knowing there is at least one person in the world who ‘got’ it… ‘got’ me.

Insecure narcissism is not an oxymoron.

What I’m working on.

Apart from having recently finished writing twenty-six school reports I’m not working on anything at all. However, a certain ‘someone’ is gently urging me to write a book. A light hearted mystery novel is what I’d like to dip my nib into. 

I’m thinking of hanging around the magistrates court in the school holidays in the hope of gathering inspiration but I’m slightly nervous I’ll see someone I know and they’ll think I’m up on drink-driving charges… again (jokes).

The time has now come to pass the baton to two other bloggers in this blog tag.

I would love to introduce you to two of my favourite bloggers;


Both of these clever ladies excel in their very different genres and personally, I can’t wait to read what they have to say.

Linking up with Grace at With Some Grace

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Husband's Mistress.


The alarm bells rang with piercing disharmony last Thursday evening as we sat on the couch together watching the telly.

Scotto's phone rang. He looked at the number and stood up nervously.

“I’ll take this outside,” he said quickly, wearing a guilt-ridden expression. “I don’t want to interrupt you watching Masterchef.”

The fact he wanted to slink out to the garage to take this phone call was fishy to begin with, but Scotto knows I hate Masterchef with a vengeance and only watch it because there’s nothing else on and I like to ridicule the fancy food which I could never cook.

I waited, seething with jealous suspicion.

Ten minutes later, I crept to the garage door. Just as I pushed the door open I heard his cruel laugh.

“Well the wife’s just informed me she’s going away with her girlfriends this weekend so I’ll drop by on Saturday,” he snickered.

His words sliced through my body in a shock wave effect and I silently shuffled away like a kicked puppy.

“I should have been more alert to the earlier signs,” I thought in agony later, as I lay on my bed staring at the black ceiling. “Why was I so blind? Was it just denial?”
I recalled our trip to the shops last weekend. Her name kept coming up in the conversation. No matter how many times I tried to change the subject, he persisted in bringing up her maddening name over and over. 

It was almost as though he was a man obsessed.

Then there was the inexplicable, but familiar scent I’d smell wafting around his person when he arrived home (late) from work.

The receipt I picked up from the floor last week was surely a sign I’d dismissed too easily. I noticed the large sum… a figure in the hundreds. He snatched it from my hand before I could see where it was from and urgently stuffed it in his pocket.

“What was that?” I enquired, innocently.

“Nothing,” he snarled cagily, turning away from me to avoid my plaintive gaze.

So… after all of these harbingers of marital doom, like any dedicated psychopath would do, I set a clever trap. 

Instead of going for my walk at 5:00pm as is my usual routine, I sat on the couch waiting for my treacherous husband to come home in order to spring the rat by surprise.

Hearing the crunch of tyres in the driveway I stalked out bravely to confront him once and for all… and there she was... my arch nemesis, standing in the garage in all her steely glory.

She taunted me; bejewelled and adorned with new expensive trinkets, as my husband proudly gazed down on his adored beloved mistress.

Newly recoloured wheels, red highlighted front lips and side skirts, coloured wheel nuts and brand new personalised plates.

Then, suddenly the dawn of realisation settled around me like the comforting, luxurious, expensive velour car seat covers in my husband’s Hyundai Veloster Turbo.

My husband doesn’t love his car more than he loves me!

My husband is Batman!!!

Happy Wedding Anniversary Husband xx

Is your partner obsessed with anything?

Linked with Kelly at A Life Less Frantic. Maxabella Loves
Life Love and Hiccups and Sonia Styling for the Weekend Rewind!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ermahgerd! I'm on Mrs Woog!

                           Pinky and Kaz (Worse selfie ever taken according to Kaz.)

I was champing at the bit in excitement last Monday when I received an email from one of Australia’s top bloggers, the hugely popular Mrs Woog, informing me that one of my posts was to be published on her blog the following Sunday.

I was so thrilled I didn’t tell anyone in case I jinxed it.

I was so overwrought with titillated anticipation that when I reread my submitted post for the nine hundred and seventeeth time and noticed an alarming and conspicuous spelling mistake, I was too scared to email Mrs Woog and ask her if she could please correct it for me in case she decided I should be put in the too hard basket and cancel the whole shebang.

Here is the link to click on… Woogsworld

I was over at Magnetic Island with the inimitable Buzz Club all weekend and forced all the girls to check out my guest post on their phones.

“I’m going to be FAMOUS!” I shrilled.

“But hang on Pinky,” cautioned Kaz, as she screwed her nose up at the screen

“This post is by someone called Pinky POINTER. You’re Pinky Poinker with a "k" aren’t you?”

I snatched the phone from her hand and stared at it in dismay. The story of my life flashing up in my face; the countless disappointments of people getting my name wrong, the forgotten invitations, the bittersweet, successive runner-up ribbons and participation awards I've received over the last few decades.

Mrs Woog, my idol, had called me Pinky Pointer.

Poinker is a stupid name anyway, Pinky!” scowled Kaz. “You do realise ‘Poinker’ means ‘dickhead’ in Russian.”

                                    My Russian translator, Kaz.
Normally, I would pay no heed to any of the rubbish that comes out of Kaz’s mouth, but rumour has it, she’s part of the Croatian Mafia so she’s probably correct in this instance.

Anyway… I DON’T CARE! 

If the Gorgeous Mrs Woog wants to call me Pinky Pointer she can…and that’s all there is to it.

Please leave a comment on Woogsworld to make me seem more popular than I am... even if it's just to point out my spelling mistake.

Linking up with Emily at Have a Laugh on me! for Laughlink!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Are You Mentally Strong?

                                         Pinky Starkers!!!

According to the Mind Unleashed website, one thing mentally strong people don’t do is expect immediate results.

“Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.”

With that piece of advice in mind I’ve come to the thunderously sinking realisation… my mental fortitude is as weak as a weak little kitty-kat kitten.

Of course I bloody well expect immediate results!

If I order a Game of Thrones t-shirt from the United States online, I expect it to be here within 24 hours... max.

I did such an outlandish thing a month ago and waited… and waited… and waited for it to arrive.

It was to be sent to hubby, Scotto’s work place, as there is never anyone home here (except for a huge, savage, unrestrained German Shepherd in case you’re a burglar who’s happened to chance upon this blog and is still reading… although I doubt you’d still be reading because you probably have 'places to case', or you’d be bored already, or trying on ski masks you’d purchased online… if they’d ever turned up in the damn mail that is).

Anyway… in my anxious wait for the much lusted after t-shirt to arrive, I’d violently spear tackle Scotto every time he walked in the door demanding, “Did it arrive yet? Huh? Huh?”

At which he would shake his head sadly in the negative (after picking himself off the floor, popping his shoulder back in its socket and spitting out a bloodied molar or two.)


We live in the age of aeronautical transport. I’ve flown to the United States in a day, why did it take my t-shirt a whole MONTH to get here.

“Can’t you track it like you track the stupid computer parts you order?” I challenged Scotto.

“It’s only a t-shirt, Pinky. It cost twenty bucks. It’s coming via surface mail. You can’t track that,” he replied huffily.

I was desperate. I wanted to wear it when I went over to my sister Sam’s place because she’s in the Lannister Camp and I am clearly out and proud, “Camp Stark”.

Now the fourth season of Game of Thrones is finished on the telly, I’m very anxious about the health and well-being of its genius author, George R. R. Martin.

In fact, I’ve never been so anxious about the welfare of any American author in my entire life. 

The guy is sixty-six and still has two books of the series to write and I’m sorry to be the one to say this but he’s not looking the picture of robust health.
                                  No offence George.

Put it this way, I’m pretty sure he doesn't follow a vegan diet and run 10 km a day followed by yoga/meditation and a wheat grass shot.

What if he… you know, doesn't get to finish the books? What will we all do?

Why can’t he just… write the bloody things. I want to know what happens next, NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW!

Have you ever waited for an inordinately long time for something you bought online?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Are Teachers Lizard People?

I’m sure some kids think their teachers are a species of alien life form. Whenever I run into one of the little munchkins in the shopping centre they look as shocked and alarmed as if they’d just spotted Big Foot loping down the aisle with a packet of Rice Bubbles under his arm.

They hide behind their mother’s skirt and grimace nervously as I greet them, probably wondering if I’ve furtively escaped from the school where I surely must abide in the lonely evenings; bundled up in a cobwebbed pod in the corner of the dark classroom like a horrible, giant spider.

Or maybe it’s just me they react to in such a way.

I accidentally scratched a cut on my arm one day and made it bleed.

“Look! You’re bleeding blood, Mrs Poinker!” they screamed in revulsion, eyes popping out of their small sockets. Anyone would have thought I was oozing green plasma the way they carried on. 

What? Do they think teachers are bloodless, inhuman, anaemic creatures akin to White Walkers?

Or perhaps it’s just me.

Today, I was sitting checking my emails as the class was finishing off a task and I leaned back in my chair and sighed deeply. 

I felt it immediately. 

The slow, annoying fly which had been buzzing around my head had spontaneously resolved to investigate the back of my throat.

At precisely the very next second, little Pontius stepped up to my desk, pleasantly proffering his book work for me to check.

I gave one sharp cough and the fly flew out in triumph, relieved at having escaped an imminent death via my esophagus.

Pontius stared, the whites of his eyes showing and his bottom lip noticeably trembling. 

"Was that a fly, Mrs Poinker?" he whispered in dread.

"Yes, Pontius," I murmured grumpily.“It was just a fly. Now give me your book.”

As I said, it’s probably just me.

What do you think?

Linking up with Grace at With Some Grace

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Things Our Kids Have Missed Out On!

If I could sum up my childhood in one word it would be… BORING. So much has changed in our world for the better but after hearing of the imminent demise of our postal system this week it started to concern me what things my grand kids will never have experienced.

Indeed, there are certain things which stand out in my mind I’m sure my own kids are ignorant of which may have been… challenging, fun, character building aspects of life assisting them in their later development which they'll never even know existed.

For example:

Making prank calls from a public phone when there was no caller ID and only the police could trace calls and that was only if you stayed on the phone for a really long time. Remember the old chestnut, “Is that the Wall residence?” "What? You mean there are no Walls living there? How is your house standing up then?" Hang up giggling and running away.

Or ringing the number which told you the time just because you were bored.

Or ringing the free call directory assistance number just to annoy them with questions like, “Do you know who won the Melbourne Cup in 1967?”

How sorry I am they don't know about going to the movies and having to stand for “God Save the Queen” before the first movie commenced. There were always two movies featured and the first one was a guaranteed shocker.

What about being the first up when the milk man delivered bottled, unhomogenised milk to your door every weekday? I was always first up and would pour the creamy bit on my cereal leaving the bland, watery whey for everyone else. Dad would crack a mental.

How sad they missed out on when really friendly young guys would come out at the petrol station, fill your car up, clean your windscreen and check the oil.

Or when you could buy 20 cents worth of lollies and they’d last all afternoon.

Or when the naughty boys who mucked up in class would be sent to the office and come back crying with “the cuts” marks on their hands and were well-behaved for the rest of the year.

Or when the school tuckshop sold “Cream Horns” which were delicious and decadent and no-one thought to make a dirty connotation out of it and nobody got fat because we all walked or rode to school.

Or when we would all spend fifteen minutes repacking our Cuisenaire Rods back into the boxes in Infant School… back when it was called Infant School.

Or when you had to have your shoes properly fitted with one of those medical-looking metal contraptions at the beginning of every school year. You couldn't just pick a pair of Nikes from the shelf.


Or when television didn’t start until 4:00pm and there were only two channels anyway but you’d still sit and stare patiently at the test pattern waiting for it.

Or when at eleven o’clock at night the telly would close down and God Save the Queen and the test pattern would come up.

Or when every local television station had an afternoon show hosted by a pretty young woman and a clown and you wouldn’t miss it for quids.

Or when the highlight of the year was when “The Show” came to town and you’d get a new outfit and money to spend on Sample Bags that cost two dollars and had actual ‘samples’ in them not cheap confectionery from China.

Or when your father wouldn’t let you go out with boys who owned a Panel Van even if they came in to the house and shook your father’s hand.

Or when smoking an Alpine cigarette on the way home from school was de rigueur but in the holidays you’d keep the packet in your school bag until next term when they’d be stale but you couldn’t afford to buy a new packet even though they only cost $1.80 so you’d cough your way through them anyway to impress your friends.

Or when you could buy a brand new release 45 single for $1:00 and an LP for $6:00.

Or when your stay at home Mum would pour herself a Bacardi and Coke at 6:00pm and put lipstick on because your Dad was coming home soon.

Or when you’d spend Saturday night listening to the local radio station and request songs for your twelve year old girlfriends and you’d have to sit with your finger in the last number’s hole and patiently wait for the right second on your rotary dial phone to get through.

Or when a treat was to eat last night’s leftover rice with sugar and milk or to eat Milo out of the tin whenever your Mum went out and left you for ten minutes.

Or when your rite of passage was to have your ears pierced when you turned twelve not a sleeve tattoo when you turned eighteen.

Honestly… I could keep going with my trip down memory lane but I think the ambulance has arrived to take me away to the old people’s home.

Is there anything you remember you think your kids need to know about?

Linking up with Sonia at Life Love and Hiccups.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why I Love the United States

I had an American boyfriend once. He was a Major in the U.S. army and had been sent to our garrison city for twelve months on a kind of swap deal with an Australian Major or something.

In truth, I think my main attraction to him was his American accent, which was mid-western so he told me. All I know is that he sounded like Weird Al Yankovic and that turned me on.

He was an engineer and extremely introverted as many engineers are…you know, looked at his feet a lot, but it was fun to quiz him about his life in the States.

But it’s not just the accent I love about Americans… there are other things.

I love the fact they have free speech over there.

I love the fact that even though they RUN the Oscars they still usually give many of the accolades to the Poms and Aussies.

I love their sense of humour; the smart talk, the Jewish humour, the unexpected.

I love the fact that their idea of a slice of pizza is the equivalent to half one of our large pizzas.

But more than anything I love the fact that they sometimes get Australia and Austria confused.

I travelled to the United States with my then-husband back in the late Eighties. We flew directly from our city in North Queensland to New York. It was a long, long flight... against the turn of the Earth and we arrived at 6:00 am.

I’d recently given up smoking and was in a foul, evil, pugnacious mood, whinging and complaining about anything and everything. 

Thinking we’d have a couple of hours sleep and hit the sidewalk for some tourist shenanigans at about midday was the unlikely plan.

At 11:00 am we woke up, showered and lugged ourselves downstairs. Within minutes the jetlag hit me like a Boeing 747. It felt as though I’d been poisoned and I immediately spun round on my heels angrily and staggered back up the elevator and into bed. When I awoke it was midnight. Our first day of a three day visit in the Big Apple we had spent sleeping in a musty hotel room.

We ventured out in the city they say 'never sleeps' and found a little Irish bar. We sat there for a few hours making friends with the barman, who bizarrely had an aunt who was a Catholic nun who lived on an island just north of our Queensland home town.

I remember walking around that night with the surreal feeling I was about to fall off the world. It was something about having arrived at pretty much the other side of the planet in such a short time.

At one stage in Time Square we became disoriented whilst looking for Little Italy. Naturally, in my nicotine withdrawal rage, I blamed my then husband. There was a police station set up in Time Square back in the Eighties.

“Go in and ask the cops where it is!” I ordered my then-husband, Ralphie.

“No, you go!” he cringed.

So up I marched to the (very good looking) NYPD cop behind the counter and using my most flirtatious toothy smiled enquired, “Excuse me but could you give us directions to Little Italy?”

I can’t remember what he said but I do recall he wasn’t very impressed with the Austrian tourist who dared to ask such a bloody stupid question when he was urgently dealing with murders and heinous crimes on Fifth Avenue or wherever they happen. We were smartly sent on our way.

Ralphie’s Australian accent was so strong no-one in the United States could understand him.

I’d listen to him on the phone ordering room service with a sense of growing irritation.

Me, getting irritated with him, that is.

“Ken oi ev a cup a tay en a hairm sairn-widge?”

“Oi sed, ken oi ev a cup a tay en a hairm sairn-widge?

This would go on for ten minutes until he’d finally give up and hand the phone to me.

“Can he have a cup of tea and a ham sandwich?” I’d snap, squinting my eyes threateningly at Ralphie. “Right! Room 504 then… thanks.”

I’d glare at him disparagingly… why couldn’t he speak properly?

We fought our way around the country, arguing publicly on the tourist bus in Washington DC… much to the amusement of the other passengers.

We had a fight in New Orleans when I realised I couldn’t buy Nicorettes in the United States without a doctor’s prescription .

We had a huge barney on a visit to the Smithsonian Museum and a massive, explosive hostile situation in San Francisco when he accidentally drove on the wrong side of the road.

Disneyland put me in a vicious mood when I realised I could not purchase a glass of wine on the premises for love nor money and then we had a few harsh words after I found a long black hair in my donut in Tijuana. It was clearly his fault the hair was manifestly entangled in the dough.

Don’t even get me started on what emerged when we went to see the Spruce Goose.

In retrospect I should have just bought a packet of cigarettes.

Even on the way back to Australia, when we were upgraded to a luxurious suite at one of the Hawaiian Sheratons, we had the biggest brawl of all and wound up sleeping in separate rooms for three nights.

But despite all that... I still love the U.S. I plan on going back there with Scotto one day.

But this time I’ll pack the Nicorettes.

Linking up with Grace at With Some Grace

Monday, June 9, 2014

Things to do when waiting for your husband to come out of the hardware store

Look in rear vision mirror and count your open pores.

Pluck long black hairs from behind your knees which you missed when shaving that morning.

Search through handbag for runaway barley sugar.

Pick fluff off barley sugar and eat slowly.

Closely observe people entering and leaving store and .give them an original Game of Thrones character name like; Petyr Baygon, Polish the Bannister, Jon Dyna-Gro and Eejit, Various Tarpaulins, Stains of the Bathatheon, Hoe-dor, Neon Spraytoy.

Push cuticles back on fingernails whilst acknowledging to self how unfunny those names are .

Count up how many calories you have already eaten today. Calculate if you refrain from eating for the rest of the day and go for an hour long walk wearing ankle weights you can possibly afford to eat an entire Dr Oetker pizza that night.

Recalculate possibility if you up it to a two hour walk.

Stare at the sky until you can see the white cells moving through the capillaries in your eyes. Watch them for a while.

See how many signs you can read whilst holding your breath.

Do twenty pelvic floor exercises.

Calculate calories you just burned.

Take reading glasses out of case and clean them thoroughly.

Put them on and look in rear vision mirror again.

Pull out spiky chin hair you didn’t see before.

Watch owner walk funny looking dog past you.

Make mental note to buy dog food.

Add up in head how much money you spend on animal food a week.

                  (Weekly purchase: not counting 8kg bag of doggy biscuits)

Try to remember why you bought so many animals.

Check phone to see if any of your kids who failed to come home last night have answered your numerous texts.

Notice there are no replies send more texts. Angrier ones.

Suddenly remember why you bought so many animals.

Jump in excitement when you see husband coming out the door.

Notice in alarm there is nothing in his hands and he is wearing disenchanted expression.

Brace self for another exhilarating wait outside next hardware store.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mystery on the Moops

                                                             Image credit

“A police car just pulled up in our driveway,” observed Scotto dryly, as we were sitting on the couch watching “300 Rise of an Empire” yesterday afternoon.

It’s not the type of movie I would normally enjoy but I’d loved the surreal quality, the cinematic splendor and the artistic integrity of the first “300”; plus the fact it featured more six packs than the refrigerated section at Dan Murphy’s.

The hair on my head stood to attention. 

The kids! Where were all my kids?

I knew Thaddeus (24) was round the corner at my sister Sam’s place. Lulu (17) was working at the Donut shop. Padraic (19) had texted me ten minutes previously to find out what was on the menu Monday night and Hagar (21) had only just walked out the door. Jonah (23) was the only one unaccounted for. 
I began to hyperventilate.

“It’s alright,” Scotto eased my anxiety, “they just used our driveway to turn around.”

As we’re on the cusp of a crescent shaped street people are always corroding our driveway in their efforts to turn around in the street. The surface is falling to bits it’s so ground down. Scotto wants to sue the council.

With a sigh of relief I turned back to the six packs.

Barely minutes later the same police car drove at a crawl past our house again, this time followed by an unmarked detective car. We paused the movie and silently watched as three more police vehicles arrived, jumping the gutter across the road and snaking down towards the riverbank and coming to a stop at the edge of the moops.

The ‘moops’ are what we call the swampy, grassy riverbank (resembling what I presume a moor looks like) extending out towards the actual river. It’s full of snakes, wallabies and itchy, bitey things and personally I’d never venture out there, though lots of people do.

Naturally I did the first thing I always do when anything remotely out of the ordinary happens and immediately took to social media.

I posted on Twitter first.
There are five police cars on the river in front of my place right now.Should I go and ask them, "What's goin down dudes?" Or maybe not?

The response was instantaneous.

One of my favourite blogging pals, Kimberley from Melbourne Mum, was most encouraging. 

Are you wearing a bra? was her cryptic comeback. 

“Get down there without a bra on and you should get some answers, girl!” was her intriguing advice.

Now if I was a hot little mumma like Kimberley, this strategy might have had some viability... and as it happened I wasn’t wearing a bra and the twins were swinging wide and low, like something distasteful you'd find in an issue of National Geographic.

So I sent Scotto out on a reconnaissance mission instead.

But then another vehicle arrived. Two official-looking guys in long sleeved white shirts and ties stepped out. 

It was the coroner. Shite!

Abandoning any sense of modesty I stumbled down to where quite a collection of neighbours had gathered.

“What do you reckon’s goin’ on?” asked the old bloke from two doors up after he’d stared at my chest in dismay for a few seconds.

“A drug bust?” another curious neighbour chimed in. "Could be a crop of mary-juana."

Somehow, I suspected, a drug bust would not necessitate a coroner's presence.

Then we all saw what we’d dreaded. A tarp being thrown around and then four policemen carrying a body up from the riverbed.

We all left the riverbank and wandered back to our homes.

Scotto and I didn’t bother watching the rest of the movie.

There was no crime scene. We assume it was an accidental death or even more likely and sadder; that someone had just found things in this world to be too full of hopelessness and despair and had taken their own life… three hundred metres from our house.

It was somebody’s dad/mother/brother/sister/son/daughter/friend in that zippered bag.

I wish they’d knocked on our door.

We would have bundled them up in a blanket with a warm cup of tea and called for help.

I wish they’d reached out first before taking that irrevocable step.

We are here on this Earth for each other. We should try to remember there’s always someone we can reach out to.

If this post has upset or distressed you in any way, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or head to Beyond Blue.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Hey! Geronimo! Hey! Geronimo!

Remember how I used to complain about my teenagers relentlessly nagging me in an excruciatingly annoying, high whining voice simulating a Boeing 747 about to take off?

 "When will dinner be ready?" they'd whinge.  And how my stock answer was always, "Twenty minutes love!"

And how they'd come back an hour later and ask the same question and I'd reply, "Oh... about twenty minutes, sweetpea." 

And how they'd always accept it without question.

They'd just sigh and walk away mumbling about how I loved my blog more than I loved them blah, blah-de-bloody-blah.

Well those teenagers aren't around anymore. Now they're 'independently financial' and have their own wheels, they're off in 'fast food land' with all their mates. 

It's like living with the Phantom. I see a flash of a fluorescent tradie shirt as the front door is slammed, shaking the house to its core, or sometimes a spectre of grubby gym bag flashing past me in the hall, or I sense a whiff of Brittany Spears' perfume as I meander past the bathroom...but other than that, it's as if they don't exist.

But before you imagine my life is blissfully peaceful take a look at this.

This is what I have to contend with at 6:00pm every night and believe me... these guys can tell the time!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Little Brother

                                             Dogwood Crossing: Video Website

Someone I haven’t mentioned much on my blog is my little bro, Damo. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s a reflection of my jealousy towards him when we were growing up as he was always our mother’s favourite. The ‘Golden Child’ with the ringlets (who set fire to the side of the house and still avoided getting into trouble).

Pinky, seven years older than the little brat, was a horrible older sister. My younger sister Sam and I would lock him out of our bedroom when I was about eleven and he was at that particularly insufferable age of four. 

He lay outside our bedroom door crying like a baby to come in. We just ignored him until, near hysteria and in a feverish lather of sweat, he’d go and dob on us to Mum and I’d cop the blame because I was the eldest. Bloody sook.

When he grew into a tolerable age I was about twenty-two and flew the coop to the big smoke for several years. By the time I returned he too had reached the age where he decided to move away and hasn’t really returned home since.

We’ve seen him every few years but sometimes I regret not having nurtured a closer relationship with him. Your siblings are the closest blood relatives you’ll ever have in this world; closer than your parents and closer than your own children and should never be taken for granted really should they?

I mean… who’s better to donate the odd kidney?

Anyway, the reason I’m bringing up the little terror now is that he seems to have aced me in the adoration stakes once again.

Whilst I’ve been fruitlessly churning out frivolous, inane blog posts for the last eighteen months in the hope that Oprah might ‘discover’ me (whilst surfing the Net beside Stedman in her diamond encrusted nightie) and order a major publishing house to sign me up, Damo has been busy pursuing his own aspirations.

His band, Dogwood Crossing.

The little bugger is the number one, number two and number four on the Triple J Unearthed Chart ???

What the ?

AND Dogwood Crossing are launching their tour in Damo’s home town (my home town too) so I suppose I’ll be obliged to go and support him.

Honestly! The things a big sister has to do.

Expect a phone call because I’ll be organising a posse to come along and support the little monster.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mrs Poinker and the Lolly Jar

Containing twenty-six exuberant, animated ten year olds in a smallish classroom every day whilst coercing them into the partaking of dreary desk work for five hours isn’t as easy as it sounds.

The kids don’t all magically decide that Mrs Poinker isn’t like Mum and they can’t whinge, squabble, answer back, throw tanties, draw on furniture and shove things up their noses anymore. We teachers are required to set boundaries, establish expectations and provide a safe environment while at the same time remain calm, caring and … calm.

Over the last nine years I’ve employed a failsafe technique in order to ensure a tranquil, pacifying milieu in my classroom.

Captain Silence and the Lolly Jar.

Each day I appoint a select member of the class to be ‘Captain Silence’. The Captain is nominated at several times during the day to coast around the classroom giving the ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ sign dependent on what the recipients are up to at the time. 

Turning around in their seat firing spitballs through an eviscerated ballpoint: thumbs down. 

Working diligently with no annoying humming or poking their neighbour with a thumb tack: thumbs up.

The authoritarian Captain then writes a specially elected student’s name on the board under a smiley face crudely drawn by their artistically inept teacher.

At the end of the day, every lucky candidate with their name lit up in distinguished neon on the whiteboard is rewarded with the holy grail of all peoples under five foot tall… a lolly from the lolly jar. 

Captain Silence also gets to dig his hand in, have a good scrape around for the biggest marshmallow and contribute his own personal breed of bacteria as a reward for his/her work during the day. 

I’ve established a meritocratic society based on sugar.

On occasion, the lofty rank of Captain Silence is abused. For example, sometimes if Captain Silence is a girl there will only be girl’s names up at the end of the day. 

Occasionally I will observe the names on the board are exclusively the names of Captain Silence’s shady amigos who probably didn't warrant accolades at any stage of the day.

But lately, another problem has raised its troubling head.

If Captain Silence is not as silent as his job description defines, then he is instantly demoted to civilian status and Mrs Poinker takes over the commanding position.

Poor little Darius has had three goes at Captain Silence so far this year and has failed to hold down the station past morning tea on any of his distinguished appointments.

“You’re standing on your chair and yelling out the window, Darius. This is the third time I’ve warned you Darius! You can’t be Captain Silence anymore!” I declare in exasperation as he gazes at me with big, brown guiltless eyes.

“Okay,” he replies, shrugging his shoulders. “But can I be Captain Silence tomorrow?”

“No, I’m sorry you can’t Darius.”

“Do I still get a lolly?”

“No, Darius. I’m sorry.”


“No Darius.”

"Pretty please? I'll be good!"

"No Darius. Go back to your seat."

Darius wanders back to desk and Mrs Poinker feels like the most evil, wicked witch in the world. 

Mrs Poinker slips Darius a lolly as he walks out of the room at the end of the day. 

This is why Mrs Poinker failed as a parent.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Would you be jealous of your son's girlfriend?

Scotto and I sat in the near blackness of the cinema waiting for Maleficent to start when I gave a sudden, startled squeal whilst digging around in my bag in search of elusive butterscotch lollies.

The two little girls sitting in front of us turned to look disapprovingly at the silly lady behind them causing a ruckus.

“What is THIS?” I continued, after glaring at the judgmental brats and extricating a long evil-looking orange, plastic coil from my bag. 

“A skipping rope?” I choked in disbelief holding the malevolent object up to the light. “Why does this keep happening to me Scotto?” I pleaded, tears welling in my eyes. “Why? Why?”

The mystery cheese which had bafflingly appeared in my bag on Wednesday had rattled me to my very core. Now this!

“Maybe your bag has become a vortex… you know, and it’s pulling things out of another dimension,” commented my geeky husband.

“What’s more likely, is some smarty pants at work put it in my bag to see how long it would take me to find,” I thought smugly. “I’ll get you my pretties.”

It is strange though, don’t you think?

I don’t mean about the skipping rope in my handbag… I mean that Scotto would accompany me to the movies to watch a little girl’s movie.

Last weekend we sat on the couch together and watched “Frozen”.

I think he liked it even better than I did.

Two Disney movies about princesses in a row…
In his defence he did bring these home from Dan Murphy’s this afternoon just to prove he’s still a bloke.

                            I just hope he doesn't start acting like Homer.

Speaking of blokes; my blokey-bloke son Hagar, won a very special award on Friday night. 

                 Most Outstanding Second Year Electrical Apprentice of the Year

His girlfriend Meggles, sent me the photo from the gala event (which I was not invited to) and apparently he even thanked the sweet girl for all her support in his acceptance speech.

Not that I’m jealous about the fact Meggles got a mention and I, the mother who slaved after him for twenty-one years, failed to come up in any conversations at all.

Remember Mitchell Johnson the cricketer's mother? 

She audaciously stirred up a big fuss in the media because he took his girlfriend to watch him play cricket in England instead of her; the mother who’d dedicated her life to making sure his cricket whites were white and sat around for a zillion hours watching the most eye-gougingly, boring sport ever invented… the very same mother who no doubt sacrificed buying herself nice things in order to pay for his play away games and coaching clinics.

No wonder women end up bitter and twisted.

NB: I speak in jest. I’m very proud of Hagar and I’m thrilled the adorable Meggles has stepped in to wrangle his wild and woolly ways.
It's not like I'm about to curse their first-born or anything...