Pinky's Book Link

Friday, August 29, 2014

How an Introvert Copes at ProBlogger.

                                Lee-Anne from Is it just me?

Apparently I’m an introvert. I’ve always been one but over the last 9 years I’ve been shielded from this fact by having the same job, the same friends, five of my own creations living with me and my wingman, Scotto. 

I’d forgotten how timid I am in social situations. Especially social situations where I can’t hide my reserved nature behind a chilled glass of Mexican fire water. 

The first session at the ProBlogger conference went off like a bottle of wine at an A.A. meeting; excellent speakers and a delightfully friendly event-management blogger by the name of Lulu Perez to sit next to and chat with.

I missed my blogging bestie, Lee-Anne from the famous Is it just me? blog (who couldn't make the conference this year) but I could make more friends... couldn't I?

When the crowd of 500+ delegates milled out to the lobby for morning tea my head pivoted around in desperation. ‘Where the hell are my blogging buddies,’ I thought.

There were groups of elegant ladies draped all over the chairs; a sea of unfamiliar, scary faces. Not scary because they were ugly or anything. Just scary, scary.

I bustled myself out to the hotel foyer in search of someone, anyone to talk to… I sat down on a chair in the foyer, alone and awkward… Mrs Nigel No Friends. Peculiar Poinker. Creepy Lonely Pinky.

Tears were but a blink away. 'What sort of sook are you?’ I growled at myself. ‘You’re a bloody grown woman. Get out there and mingle.’

Instead, I texted Scotto. ‘I’m sitting by myself in the lobby because I can’t find anyone to talk to. I want to buy a coffee from the lobby bar (even though there’s a complimentary morning tea provided next door) but I haven’t any money in my purse. I want to go home. Waaaah!’

He swiftly sent a sympathetic reply to his lily-livered wife, trembling in her melodramatic angst like a Chihuahua in a thunder storm.

‘Bugger it!’ I thought after smelling the tantalising aroma of coffee wafting around me, and dragged myself up, striding purposefully back to where the networking action was happening, the action I’d made the long trip down to the Gold Coast for.

“This is an awful place for introverts,” coughed a fit looking lady standing behind me as I nervously balanced my coffee cup and handbag trying not to spill it over someone like a complete loser.

It was Liz from the Fitter Liz blog and she was just the lifeline I needed.

A few minutes later Kathy from Yin Yang Mother popped her pretty head into our conversation and then the lovely Sophie from The Mother Load joined in.

Suddenly my forlorn and wretched disposition did a 360 turn around. I could do it! Pinky could pretend to be a normal person after all.

But next time I decide to attend a ProBlogger conference I’ll be bringing a friend… and not just a photo of one.

Janet from Middle Aged Mama , Pinky 
and Lee-Anne.

       Kathy (Yin Yang Mother), Emily (Have a laugh on me),

       Emily (YLSNED) and Denise (Denise Mooney)

                             and Lee-Anne!

                 Kathy, Pinky and Sophie (The Mother Load)
                               and Lee-Anne!

Do you get shy in crowds of strangers?

Monday, August 25, 2014

The ProBlogger Conference! Am I qualified to go?

In three sleeps I'll be there!!! On the Gold Coast, rubbing shoulders with some of the most famous and successful bloggers in Australia.

I managed to wrangle two days off work. 

Strangely, my Deputy Principal showed absolutely no interest as to where Mrs. Poinker might be jetting off to necessitating two days leave. 

She didn't even blink an eye.

One of my colleagues casually asked me why I needed time off when we were in the staff room one day.
"Oh!" I gushed, thankful one person at least had asked. "I'm off to a blogging conference!"
A few seconds' silence was followed by loud guffaws and heckling... "A blogging conference?" they mercilessly ridiculed... until they saw my crestfallen face.

Nobody takes my blogging seriously.

Even my kids looked at me skeptically. "Oh yeah..." they smiled. "So will you be going to the theme parks while you're there?"

They just don't know how important it is to me.

This is how I think my family and friends see the blogging confo...

What my colleagues probably think I'll be doing...

What my boss probably thinks I'll be doing...

What my kids probably think I'll be doing...

What my husband probably thinks I'll be doing...

What my parents probably think I'll be doing...

What my dogs probably think I'll be doing...

What I hope I'll actually be doing...

Are you going? If not... why not?

Thanks to Scotto for the excellent Photoshopping!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Would you hold an Eighteenth Birthday Party?

I like to live on the edge, push the envelope, and play by the seat of my pants. That’s why I didn’t bother with any party preparations until 9:00am on Saturday morning even though we were expecting roughly 70 teenagers to descend like bats at dusk in ten hours’ time.

I’d planned it in my head though. Vacuum filthy house, clean toilets, hose back patio, shop for party food, set up seating, wash hair and pour a drink… in that order. 

I’d brought up five wild and woolly kids you see, I rarely get in a flap.

Mrs. Unflappable Poinker, they call me.

Imagine my elation when, as I turned the vacuum cleaner on it blasted a hot hurricane of thick dust into my face. I checked for the bag inside; it had gone AWOL. Not only had the bag been removed but so had the plastic device whose job it is to hold the bag in place. Thrown in the bin with the bag by a negligent teenager I surmised. Again. Twice in the space of a month had Mr Nobody thrown the baby out with the bath water.

“Scotto!!!” I screamed calmly. “We have to go to fudging Godfrey’s to buy another fudging vacuum cleaner!”

I’ve had a few abusive relationships with vacuum cleaners over the last twenty-five years. At least one VC has been thrown across the lounge room causing electric sparks to cascade over the carpet because of its substandard suction ability. I’ve savagely bashed more than a few extension tubes on the floor like a shrewish, mad woman whilst attempting to extricate an obstructive article consequently cracking the offensive tool. 

I've had a colourful vacuuming career.

So it was with nervous trepidation when Scotto pointed out a bagless Hoover model on sale for $69. 

“You won’t have to buy bags anymore, Pinky!” he promised. “And they’re not cheap are they?” He was playing on my thriftiness.

We took it up to the counter.

“How often do I have to wash the filter thing?” I asked the salesman.

“Every time you use it,” he said as I rolled my eyes to the back of my skull. “But the filter is made of paper so it’ll break down after a couple of washes so I suggest you buy a spare one while you’re here.”

“And how much is a new one?” I queried.

“Twenty-nine ninety-nine,” he smiled. “Or you could upgrade to a more expensive model where you don’t have to change the filter and pay it off on a monthly basis.”

But, Pinky Cheapskate Poinker took the inferior model, knowing in her heart it was going to wind up being angrily flung from her bedroom window and smashed down on to the driveway one day anyway.

We finished the rest of the shopping and I set about my cleaning chores. My new VC and I made a pact as we hoovered our way through the house. If it managed to get through the entire house without clogging or overheating and conking out, I promised not to yank it roughly by the cord and sadistically drag it along the ground every time it fell on its stupid side or got stuck behind a corner.

The whole time diligent Scotto cleaned and hosed the backyard and I swore and ranted around like Cranky Consuela, the birthday girl, Lulu, was out shopping with her girlfriends.

When she finally arrived home with the sisterhood at about 5 o’clock I tapped on her bedroom door. “Um, Lulu. You know how you promised you’d help us clean the house for your party?”

“Yes,” came the muffled reply.

“Well… we’ve finished cleaning and you didn’t help us.”


“Do you think you could possibly blow up some balloons and stick them around the place?”

“What! I have to blow up balloons for my own birthday party? That’s lovely that is.”

     "Party? Does this mean I'm going to be locked in the laundry... again?"

In case you’re interested, the party went smoothly and the police didn’t even have to come once... which is more than I can say for the last party Scotto and I held here. The kids partied quietly and disappeared off to the nightclubs at 11:00pm.

                                     The wrist bands.

                                       Pinky with Lulu and her besties.

                                            Lulu's boyfriend, Jock.

                                              Lulu and big bro Padraic.

N.B: I brought the new VC out for another spin this morning to clean up the aftermath and although we're not friends we're tolerating each other, for the time being.

And there was a considerable mess... which we cleaned up...

while Princess Lulu slept.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Just Fudge It!


I was in a happy when I left work today. I had every minute of my afternoon planned; grocery shopping, a walk with the hairy dogs and a nice coffee and feet up for thirty minutes before wine time with Scotto at 6:30pm.

As I hurtled along the motorway at breath-taking speed on my way to Pinky Palace, I heard my phone ring.

“Poinker!” yelled a voice transmitting through the blue tooth device in my car. I recognised it immediately. It was my arch nemesis Rachael, ringing from the school staff room.

“Where’s your wallet, Pinky?” she said. I detected mischief in her tone.

“In my bag, Rachael. Why? Where else would it be?” 

I replied, wondering what the hell she was up to this time.

“No, it’s not,” she said primly. “It’s here in your pigeon hole.”

I fished around my bag in disbelief. There was no wallet.

“FUDGE!” I yelled at the dashboard. “What the fudge? Now I’m going to have to drive all the fudging way back to the fudging, fudge-wit school to come and get my fudging, stupid wallet. For fudge’s sake! That’s all I fudging need at this fudging moment!”

There was silence on the other end of the line. For a fleeting, sickening second, the thought that perhaps the staff room phone was on speakerphone flashed through my head.

I could picture in my mind’s eye our conservative school chaplain and even-tempered principal, sitting down together sipping on a nice cup of tea, listening in appalled shock at Pinky going off her ‘fudging’ nut. 

You see, I didn't really use the word fudge. I used a much more satisfying word. A word that inexplicably cuts through pain and frustration.

I really shouldn’t swear as much as I do. It’s crass according to my mother. The language of the ignorant according to my father.

'I’ll stop from now on,' I thought. 'I’ve learnt my lesson. I’ll use better word choices.'

“Are you there, Rach?” I squawked like a frightened bird.

“Yes.” she answered.

('Phew,' I thought. Seemed we weren’t on speakerphone after all.)

“Are you sure it’s my purse? Mine’s black and white. Is that one black and white?”

“Yes, it certainly appears to be, Pinky.” she pipped.

“Eeurghhhh! Fudgity fudge, fudge fudge!”

“But… guess what, Pinky?” Rachel interrupted my profanity. “Megan’s g…….”

The line seemed to cut out, crackled a bit and went completely silent.

“Hello! Hello! Megan’s what????” I screeched. “Rachael! Answer me! Rachael!”

The line miraculously came back.

“Megan’s going to drop it off to you on her way home. She lives around the corner from you.”

“Thank the fudge for that!” I breathed a sigh of relief. “Tell her I fudging love her. She's fudging brilliant!”

The reason my wallet was discovered on the staff room floor in the first place was because I was paying Lee-lee back the six bucks I owed her for a blue shirt. Tomorrow is the National Book Week parade at school and a bunch of us teachers are dressing up as the same characters.

We have blue shirts, white pants, shoes and caps. 

Bet you can’t guess who we’re going as?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Princess Lulu Comes of Age

This time eighteen years ago, I was a bloated Orca weighing in at least fifteen kilos heavier than my present state and boy, was I an unhappy little camper.

At nine months’ pregnant and carrying my fifth child within six years, I was like a gigantic, cantankerous bear with an undiagnosed mineral deficiency.

Whilst I didn’t suffer cravings for exotic food, I developed a deep, unrelenting desire for the smell of wet earth.

Every afternoon at dusk I’d waddle downstairs to stand for an hour or so with the garden hose, spraying patches of mud and inhaling the resulting mist like a three pack-a-day smoker. All I really wanted to do was rip all my clothes off and roll around naked in the mud puddles I’d created… but the neighbours might have called the cops on me.

I’m thinking an iron tablet probably wouldn't have gone astray… on reflection.

So enamoured was I with the smell of wet dirt, I would kneel for hours in the dead garden with a trowel, digging out weeds as a ruse for my unusual obsession.

This particular morning (eighteen years ago to the day), I planted myself down for a session of indulgent soil-sniffing directly on top of the entrance to an unsuspecting bull-ant’s nest. 

Taking offence at this home invasion the ants swung into attack mode, focussing on my hefty butt, upper thighs, bare arms and ample stomach.

Howling in pain like a wild animal, I thrust the trowel away, lumbered towards the stairs and tripped, taking the full brunt of weight on my right arm.

I was sure it was broken and limped upstairs crying, looking for ice for the aching arm and vicious bites all over my elephant woman body.

At my obstetrician appointment that afternoon the good doctor examined me with a pitying expression on his face, taking in the injured (not broken) arm, angry welts and my psychotic demeanour. 

The baby was still in the breech position.

“What would you like to do?” he asked, warily.

“What do YOU think I want to do?” I snapped back like a hoary crocodile ready to lunge at a chicken on a stick.

“We’ll check you in to hospital tonight and schedule a Caesarean for tomorrow morning,” he said, staring at me from behind his desk.

“Good,” I stared back with bulging eyes. “And just so you know…I love you more than anyone else in the world.”

So, here we are eighteen years later and my precious baby girl is about to come of age.

Here are three wisest snippets of 'Pinky' advice I could come up with for her (or any young lady on the cusp of womanhood really):

1. Always sit like a lady if you’re wearing a short skirt. Knees firmly together. No-one wants to see what you had for breakfast.

2. If you’re wearing a short skirt and the only seats are wicker or slats then choose to stand. If you don’t you’ll end up with ugly imprints on the back of your thighs and it will look as if you have an atrocious case of cellulite. Just like your mother.

3. If you’re wearing a short skirt never, ever sit on a bull ant’s nest.

P.S. It’s probably best not to wear short skirts at all, Lulu.

              Happy Birthday my Princess xx

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lend Me Your Ears!

My face blanched to a beyond pale, Julian Assange shade of Equadorian Embassy Ivory this afternoon when two of my boy-ling students casually sauntered up to my desk. 

One of the jaunty lads, pointing at his small comrade, cried “Look Mrs. Poinker! There’s something wrong with Hector’s ear!”

I stared in horror at the sight before me. A myriad of questions flashed through my panicked consciousness. Are my union fees up to date? Do I have personal insurance? What has this boy done to his ear for the love of God? Will I be culpable for whatever has happened when the shit hits the fan? Are there many jobs around the traps for unregistered, disgraced teachers? Educational supplies sales rep perhaps? I’d have to travel ‘on the road’ three weeks out of four… That wouldn’t suit at all… I’d have to travel to rural western towns and stay in motels and eat horrible breakfasts in service stations…

My mind was suddenly snapped back to the present at the sound of the raucous laughter.

And so did Hector’s ear. Snapped back like an elastic band. The entire class cackled even louder.

“Look Mrs. Ponker! I can tuck my ear in!” Hector chortled as he shook his head like a wet puppy.

“Do it again! Now!” I demanded, squinting at him through my glasses in disbelief.

The gifted Hector affably performed his unique talent once more with not a small amount of superior pride.

He can do it with both ears… at the same freakin’ time. I thought in barely concealed awe.

I remember the boys in my primary school peeling their eyelids back then tapping the girls on the shoulder and leering through pared lids. This would incite we girlie sooks to run, repulsed and shrieking, directly to our teachers to tattle-tale in outraged, shrieking voices, “Bruce Helmbright is being disgusting again!”

But I have never, in my twenty-five year career of teaching rugrats, seen anyone insert the top part of their ear into their ear canal. I didn’t know it was physically feasible.

As a dedicated teacher of promising younglings, it’s my assigned duty to recognise and acknowledge unique ability. We, as custodians of the future generation, are mandated to pinpoint any particular flair we notice, encourage and nurture this forte and play to its strengths.

I’m wondering what I can write on his end of semester report…

Hector has a great ear for flexible ideas.

Hector is competently able to block out the distractions of the world with ease.

Hector has potential in the field of niche gymnastics.

Hector has a real ear for everything.

Who knows how far this boy will go BUT… What I’m really wondering is... how many of you tried to squish the top of your ear into your earhole while you were reading this?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What does go on at the Poinker's? A Chilling Guest Post!

Last month, my adored sister-in-law, Maz from the notoriously controversial blog, The Conscience Vote stayed here at the 'Poinker Ponderover' for a week of luxurious indulgence (so I imagined).

I asked her if she'd lower herself enough to write a guest post for Pinky Poinker but warned her I'd only publish it if it was about me. Naturellment.
I needed her to proclaim to the world what a truly loving, warm matriarch I indeed am (as in the picture above).

To my surprise, I finally received her questionable writings in my inbox and with some reservations present her guest post to you now, below, just under this!

I've titled it myself...

'The Otherlings' by Crazy Jane.

It was more than a month ago, so why am I only writing about it now? It's taken me this long to recover from the horror of it all. Even as I write, my hands are shaking as the terrible memories well up. But the truth must come out, gentle reader. 

The world must be told what life is really like at Chez Poinker. I've led a sheltered life here in Melbourne. Since I was young, I came to understand that our weather was an ever-changing marvel, four seasons in one year - and sometimes, in one day! Deciding what to wear each morning meant I had the pick of my wardrobe. Imagine my shock, then, to be suddenly thrust into a world where the weather was exactly the same, day after day! Yes, it sounds unbelievable, but that's what happened. On the first afternoon, I waited for the warm, sunny climate to change abruptly to cold and rain ... and waited ... and waited. Three hours later, it was still warm and sunny - and it remained that way until the evening! What fresh hell was this? What terrible effects would living in such conditions have on defenceless humans? That's when I realised something was very wrong. 

Sitting with Pinky and Scotto in the evening, I noticed that, while I was still clad in short sleeves, they were rugged up as though they were about to brave a Melbourne morning dash to retrieve the bins! Huddling on the couch, they complained about the cold, and solicitiously offered me an extra blanket or three to ward off the 'chill'. I could only stare at them in utter disbelief. Were they having me on? Or - wait - could it be that this Ugg-boot-wearing, shivering pair were not all they seemed

 I was determined not to let them see that I was rattled. Instead, I resolved to keep a close watch on them. And so, my long vigil began. The weather continued to wear at my sanity. Warm and sunny every day, slightly cool at night. I longed for the unpredictability of home - but then I noticed something else suspicious about the inhabitants of the house. For instance, there was Hagar (twenty-one year old son of Pinky), the human revolving door. He was in and out of the place more often than a cat. Somehow - possibly as a result of living in this strange climate - he had acquired the ability to never spend more than a few moments anywhere in the house except his 'bedroom'. Ha. Bedroom, indeed. Although I was unable to explore it more closely, I suspect it's really some kind of weird science recharging chamber, almost certainly built by Scotto for his experiments on the hapless Hagar. (I've long thought my brother is an evil genius. Who else would build his own video games and collect Back to the Future memorabilia?) 

Innocent brother or mad scientist? You be the judge. Hagar's strangeness paled into insignificance when compared to the ... others living under the same roof. These creatures were truly horrific, clearly the result of experiments both unethical and sacrilegious. (Scotto, again? I think so.) There was Pablo, the chihuahua with the ability to cause a sonic boom when he barked. And there was Celine - no words can explain the dreadful changes wrought upon her, so I will let this picture speak for itself. 

                The camera lens burned out seconds after this picture was taken. 

 Now I must tell you the crowning horror - and here, gentle reader, know that I am taking my life in my hands to write this. But you must know! The world must be told! 

 In the midst of this weirdness ... presiding over laser-eyed dogs and evil-genius husbands ... was Pinky Poinker, Queen of the Damned! Each night she would ascend her throne and her subjects would pay homage to her. Celine would bring her rubber balls, Pablo would dare to offer her his slobber, and Scotto would bring her the 'wine' she needed to maintain her deceptively harmless, youthful appearance. The illusion was nearly flawless - until one morning, when I happened to wake just as she was leaving for her morning walk (no one knows just where she goes, but she always comes back glowing with health), and ... oh dear God, the horror, the horror! Now I know the truth, and I can only be thankful that I escaped with my life and soul intact. Except ... sometimes, at night, I see the gleam of laser doggy eyes ... and I hear Pinky asking innocently, 'More ... wine, Maz?' 

 Is it just me, or is it cold in here?

(Blog owner note: I suspect my sister-in-law thinks I'm a vampire. My children... it warms my heart to see you plotting against me.)

Got any weird in-laws?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Joe Hookey: Out of Touch Apology Speech.

"Joe's Apology Speech" accidentally emailed to Pinky...

Dear Public People of Austrailya,
I love poor people. I really love them a lot. I love them so much that I could even be friends with one if I was ever fortunate enough to meet one. Therefore it grieves me to think the peeps of Australia thought I was having a Marie Antoinette moment last week when I said that poor people don’t drive cars and shouldn’t be worried about the fuel excise; even though it’s true. 

They don’t fly helicopters either… or have private jets God love ‘em. But that's beside the point.

We won’t be reducing the fuel excise and it will not be affecting the poor unfairly because we will be making it up to them by penalising the Richie Riches in the following manner, don’t you worry about that codgers.

Firstly, poor people really don’t drive cars because they use the bus to do all their illegal drug transactions. They catch buses to Centrelink, they catch buses to the footy. In the interests of social justice we will not be raising bus fares. (Except in accordance with fuel prices, but that can’t be helped if the bus company deems it appropriate.)

Furthermore, poor people don’t have to buy as much fuel as rich people because they don’t have to visit relatives since they all live in the same rented house.

And as John Hewson said in 1992, you can tell which house in the street is the 'rented house' can’t you? It’s the one with the overgrown lawn because they don’t own lawn mowers so therefore don’t buy fuel.

(Actually the speech was written by his then press secretary, guess who? Tony Abbott)

Therefore, as youse all can see, this fuel excise will not affect the poor people, only the rich who have big lawns and have to visit their rellies in Majorca via a fuel guzzling Boeing 747.

In the interests of all the fine upstanding povos living in our fair land girt by sea, we will also be instigating harsher taxes on the Hoity Toities of Australia.

Financially challenged people don’t use spoons because they ingeniously save money on milk by eating their cereal with a fork. Therefore the government will be imposing a tax on spoons. But only silver ones… and those found in the mouths of babes.

Poor people don’t need NBN because they can’t afford computers anyway. (Thus, we will only deliver NBN to wealthy suburbs and up their rates. Fair’s fair eh?)

Poor people don’t need solar heating because they don’t have a roof over their head so we will be cutting out the feed-in tariff scheme to punish the rich. (I realise they fly to Majorca in Winter and Aspen in Summer, but the fuel excise they absorb for their private jets will bring them to their sun-kissed knees.)

Poor people don’t need to be able to pay house insurance. Let’s be honest, if a cyclone or flood struck it would essentially be a house improvement. (In order to slog those moneyed-up bastards we’ll allow insurance companies to go silly with raising their premiums). That’ll hit ‘em hard. Having to pay extra insurance on the luxury yachts moored in Majorca. No wait… Nevermind.

The Living off the Fatted Calf Pensioners: Gotta hate them don’t ya?

If they really are as poor as they make out then they should be at home with their lights out wearing fingerless mittens and eating cat food. The oldies don’t need to get the pension if they are seen to be living the high life. Grey nomad caravan parks and South Pacific cruises will be taxed accordingly. It’s time we clamped down on this rich, old people rort.

The fuel excise will raise the price of fresh goods due to transportation costs but poor people don’t need to buy fresh fruit and vegetables because they prefer cheap junk food so it’s a win/win situation.

It’s only the thin, rich people who eat fresh food. It’s gonna suck to be thin and rich huh?

University fees will go up and this will be a bonus for the poor. Once they leave Uni the poor kids can never get those good jobs anyway due to the ‘elite school’ old boys/girls' club so it’ll save them a step in their education. Let the posh buggers pay for their tertiary education and your kid gets straight into the nitty gritty of their hairdressing/painting apprenticeship, earning four years of pay before the Uni graduates even start on their $300 000 p.a. careers. 

Who’ll be ahead I ask you?

As I said, povos and all poor people hold a special place in my heart. And remember, when life gives you lemons guys… get up your chauffeur for not having limes cut up to go with your Corona instead.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What do you Call a Group of Bloggers?

What do you call a bunch of bloggers?

A Paragraph of Bloggers? A Hard Drive of Bloggers? A Word Cloud of Bloggers? 

Or to be more niche specific, A Clatter of Fashion Bloggers?... Or perhaps a Clutch Bag of Bloggers? A Brood of Mummy Bloggers? A Shelf of Book Bloggers? A Chortling of Humorous Bloggers?

I don’t know… but guess whatevereo, fiddle-dee-deedio? 

I’m going to be a part of one such group soon…in a rapidly approaching two weeks’ time at the... Problogger  Conference on the Gold Coast.

I typically missed the initial ticket sale which was released months ago and by the time I emerged, goomy-eyed, from the primordial swamp I live in (North Queensland) the tickets had all sold out.

In classic Pinkyish, self-pitying pathos, I sent out a grief-ridden Tweet asking if anyone knew of any spare tickets and lo and behold my Perth blogging buddy Rae, from I opened my mouth and it ran away without me!, tweeted me she knew of the existence of a golden ticket to the ‘Mecca of All who Overshare on Wordpress and Blogger’Problogger. The Conference.

“Thanks, but no thanks,” I replied anti-climactically. “I’m broke. Next year maybe. x”

But the small-minded story doesn't end there my friend.

Over the next few weeks I grew more and more restless reading Tweets, Facebook posts and posts from bloggers all over Australia, barely containing their excitement at the prospect of attending a conference at the heartland of the Bloggerati.

Jealousy raised its Pink head and I once more pestered my lovely Perth friend, Rae for any enlightening knowledge of the existence of a black market ticket.

Last night, Scotto and I created a whirlpool of beseeching Tweets, imploring Facebook posts and Potter-esque owls swooping the night skies in search of the Willy Wonka ticket to blogging paradise.

Eventually, we hit pay dirt. And now I have a ticket, God love me. 

I booked my flights and rang the oldies on the Gold Coast in order to book my bedroom for three nights. Scotto and I high-fived ecstatically, hugged in elation and did a little dance around Pablo the Chihuahua, much to his delighted surprise.
It's a fate of effrontery!

Now there's only one little thing I have to worry about... asking my Deputy Principal for two days off work for what some may label as frivolous reasons… and one more little thing... why the hell Scotto was so eager to be rid of me for the weekend.

What would you call a group of bloggers?

Linking up with Grace at With Some Grace for FYBF

Chapter 12 of The Man Who Ate Dog

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pinky's Near Death Experience

I was unforeseeably attacked by a ferocious splinter of broken china in the staffroom at work today.

I know that’s not a particularly exhilarating way to start a blog post (with me using the passive voice and all), but that’s the way it played out. 

I couldn't really write, ‘A ferocious shard of china attacked me in the staff room’ because that wouldn't make sense since china is an inanimate object.

I suppose I could have written, ‘One of the ferocious school groundsmen, with whom we share the staff room, attacked me with a shard of broken china’ and I’d be closer to the truth, even though our groundsmen are quite lovely and not ferocious at all.

I was standing in the staff room inoffensively dipping my teabag in and out of a cup whilst at the same time opening a can of oily yellow fin tuna to pour over my salad when I heard the china mug smash dramatically on the tiles beside me. 

I didn't jump nor even bat a mascaraed eyelash, so intently was I focussed on my culinary employment.

But as I felt the sinister splinter drive itself into my left ankle I screamed out in shock and pain, “I’ve taken a hit!”

I bent down to inspect my ankle and noticed a deep 1mm slash… but as yet no blood. 

I’m a slow bleeder. 

I don’t know whether that implies I’m a dried up old prune or if I’m lizard skinned. 

I squeezed the wound with stubborn determination until a satisfactory stream of blood spurted out.

“Worker’s Compo!” I howled. “I have to go home.”

“Is the bone showing?” enquired my colleague, O’Reilly.

The guilty groundsman was most concerned and fussed around me like a nana.

“No, there’s no bone,” I whimpered. “But I’m losing a lot of blood here, people.”

“Get a tissue, Pinky!” yelled my friend Bec. “There’s blood dripping into your shoe.”

“We’ve got a bleeder!” shrieked O’Reilly.

I was balancing my tea and salad in both hands and was far more concerned with grabbing one of the comfy chairs before the other teachers nabbed them all. Limping like Quasimodo, I dragged myself as quickly as possible to the nearest lounge chair and soaked up the blood by stuffing a tissue from my pocket into the mortal gash.

“Do you think I should go home?” I pleaded with my co-workers. “I feel faint. I think my blood pressure’s dropping… It might get infected. Maybe I need stitches?”

They went on ignoring me and eating their microwaved leftover pizza.

I thought about lurching backwards and forwards in front of the Deputy Principal’s office dangling the bloodied tissue in the air and waving an accident report around my head while she chatted on the phone… but I knew that wouldn't work.

She’d just get up and shut the office door.

Next time I’ll pay that groundsman to drop a bread knife straight into my foot. Surely they’d send me home for that.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

No Man is an Island

                                       Screen Shot

No man is an island… John Donne, 1624.

These wise words were reflected in Perth this week when a man whose leg was trapped between a train and the platform was saved when dozens of commuters banded together to push the train into a tilt. How awe inspiring was the community spirit?

Although not quite as dramatic I experienced my own share of uplifting community spirit last week at the Discount Chemist of all places.

This is my story...

“Can you check you have this in stock first please?” I asked the girl at the chemist. “It’s just that last time I came here I waited for fifteen minutes before they told me it wasn’t available.” I deadpanned. 

“Certainly,” she replied, and returned a minute later nodding her head in the affirmative. We filled out the script details and she passed me a buzzer.

I tried not to think about all the disgusting cooties crawling over the buzzer. I had a private bet with myself they didn’t wipe it down with disinfectant each time it was passed back to clientele. People go to the chemist and have scripts filled because they’re sick for God’s sake; dripping noses and wet, phlegmy coughs.

The discount chemist was fairly empty for the time of day and I wandered around the vitamin section trying to peer through the bottles of Horny Goatweed to check how big the tablets were. If they weren’t too big I thought I might buy myself Scotto some as a surprise. 

As usual the manufacturers of really massive, unswallowable tablets had encased them in non-transparent containers. It was too much of a risk to just buy them knowing in my heart they’d be the size of horse pills. Besides, I’d probably read the list of possible side effects and decide I’d be the one in ten billion people who’d develop liver failure and seizures so they’d sit unused on my bathroom shelf along with the menopause red clover tablets, the Echinacea and the Deer Velvet (Chinese herb for arthritis and sexual function).

Twenty minutes had passed and growing bored with the vitamins I stared at the buzzer willing it to alert me the script was ready. It didn’t respond to my attempt at mental telepathy.

I looked over at the three rows of chairs in the waiting area. They were empty except for one ornery old woman wearing a sour expression in the back row.

I plonked myself down and waited. Before long a thirtyish man sat beside me and we both sat clutching our buzzers and staring at the muted television showing a commercial for fish oil on a continual reel.

“Wouldn’t want to be in a bloody hurry would you?” 
I finally muttered to the bloke beside me after fifteen long minutes of checking phones, recrossing of legs, pointed sighing and barely suppressed frustration. Crowds had begun to infiltrate the waiting area by now and the rows of chairs behind us were full.

It was like I’d released the cork on a bottle of fizzy Lucozade. “You should have been here last week!” he enthused. “It was standing room only. You’d think they’d put on more pharmacists wouldn’t you?”

For yet another fifteen minutes we sat viciously conferring about the inevitable price you’re forced to pay in order to buy cheap medication. 

A doddering couple in their eighties shuffled into the seat beside me and immediately joined in the bitch-fest. Then the businessman behind us chipped in with his two cents worth.

“Must be afternoon tea time for the chemists!” grouched the ornery old lady in the back row. Everyone laughed uproariously and the pharmacy assistants behind the counter looked up nervously, probably in fear of a mutiny. The natives were restless and some of the oldies had walking sticks. The threat of a riot was imminent.

“The medication’ll be past its use by date by the time we get it!” I quipped caustically, drawing more mirth from the appreciative party.

Suddenly something exploded in my lap.

“It’s you!” Four or five people screamed at me. “It’s your buzzer!”

I stood up and flung my hands in the air bawling, “Halleluiah!” 

Twenty peeved pharmacy customers cheered enthusiastically; some even clapped.

After signing for my script and taking possession of my medication I turned to the crowd.

“Good luck guys! I hope you make it out of here!” I grinned bodaciously, granting my audience the triumphant thumbs up salute as I sashayed off. They cheered once again en masse, joyous to see one of their fellow prisoners of war make a break for freedom at the eleventh hour.

I streaked out the front door on a high. It wouldn’t pay to run into any of them at the front counter, I thought. It’d take the shine off my glittering encore performance.

The train story below!

Ever had a community spirit moment?

Linking up with the crew at Laugh Link!

Have A Laugh On Me |  Melbourne Mum |  Talking Frankly |  

Redcliffe Style |  26 Years and Counting