Pinky's Book Link

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Why Middle-aged Women are like Boy Bands.

I loved boy bands when I was young and I still do. If I had a dollar for every time my father belittled me as I (wearing a tartan scarf) bopped along to the Bay City Rollers whilst manically staring at a poster of Les, Eric, Derek and Alan, I’d be a frickin millionaire. 

Then there were the Backstreet Boys and all those lovely Irish boy bands like Westlife and Boyzone.

Boy bands have been around for decades when you think about it. Even The Temptations were a boy band in the 1960s with their harmonies and synchronised dance moves.

The thing is; they tend to disappear into obscurity after a short time, just like middle-aged women become invisible. 

People bump into us in shopping centres because they don’t notice us, we’re the last to be served at the bar and spiteful, young shop assistants in boutiques ignore us.

But, just like middle-aged women, the boys in boy bands aren’t as cute once they reach a certain age.

Inevitably a boy band’s record sales start to drop; just like a middle-aged woman’s boobs, butt and face.

Boy bands have a particular identifiable style which quickly goes out of fashion, as do middle-aged women who are still wearing the same coloured coral lipstick and hair style they wore twenty years ago.

The managers of boy bands move on to different products and lose interest just as fashion labels do to middle-aged females who can’t wear midriff tops but don’t want to wear floral tents.

Boy bands often become involved in drinking and drugs and lose motivation. Middle-aged women like their bottle of wine with a cheese platter and can’t be arsed getting off the couch any more.

Sure. Middle-aged women can’t usually write songs or play instruments but neither can boy bands.

As soon as a boy band starts marrying off they’re just not as fascinating to the opposite sex…

There is a strange logic to my summation of this paradox.

Middle-aged women should start up bands.

One Infection!

Who wants to join me?

We could be called; The Grey City Rollers, The Cramps, One Infection, Stressedlife, Five Seconds of Glummer, New Kids in a Frock, Not Quite ‘N Sync, 5ifty, Oestrogen 17, Take That A%#ehole… 

any other suggestions guys?

Who was your favourite boy band?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tell Me Your Secret Ingredient!

So... Scotto and I were sitting in the lounge room at 7:00pm tonight, sipping on our wine, waiting for dinner to cook when we heard twenty-one year old son, Hagar's ute, screech into the driveway.

And I was like...

What the fudge?????

I waited for the police sirens to follow.

“Hide the drugs!” I screamed at Scotto.

“What? The Mersyndol?” he queried calmly.

The police were a no show but Hagar came gasping into the lounge in a seemingly desperate state.

“Mum! I need to borrow your potato masher, please?” he panted.

And I was like...

What the fudge?????

“Of course you can Hagar,” I replied after I'd collected myself. “But you do know they cost two dollars from Coles.”

“Yeah, I couldn’t be bothered going there to buy one,” he shrugged as he headed in to pilfer from my kitchen.

Coles is at least one kilometre closer to his flat than my house.

“Why do you want to borrow my potato masher, Hagar?” I felt the need to inquire.

“Me and Kevin (real name) are having steak with mashed potato for dinner,” he answered.

“You know you can use a fork in a potato-mash emergency ,” I quipped.

“Yeah… not the same Mum,” he nodded wisely. “Can I borrow some milk, too?”

I was suddenly, and most inordinately overwhelmed with a matriarchal surge of pride.

My boy... my Hagar... knows that you need to put milk into mashed potato to make it extra nice.

I didn’t fail as a mother after all!!!

What extra things do you add to your mashed potato?
Please tell me!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

How do you know you live in Straya?

Croc Territory!

Apparently there’s a four metre saltwater crocodile sunning itself on the river bank and intimidating fishermen a mere 400 metres from my house.

We saw it on the news on the telly last night.

“Four metres is a pretty big mofo,” I commented to Scotto. “It would gobble Pablo the Chihuahua up in one gulp.”

“Hell, yeah,” he replied. “That’s about the length of this room.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I snorted. “This room is more than four metres long.”

“No, it’s not,” he said. “I measured it the other day.”

“I bet you it is,” I sniffed. “If I had a tape measure I’d prove it.”

He jumped up and leaped up the stairs two at a time to get the tape measure while I did a panicked recalculation. I hate to be proven wrong.

The room, by my reviewed estimate, was five metres.

Close, but not the same, I thought triumphantly.

Scotto came back down after perusing his measurements looking a bit sheepish.

“The width of this room is four metres, not the length,” he admitted in defeat.

“Well, that’s an entirely different story then. If the croc is only the width of this room it must be a bloody baby; hardly out of its egg really,” I crowed. “It’s barely a lizard. I’ve seen bigger geckos than that.”

“No, you haven’t,” scoffed Scotto.

“I have so!” I squealed. “In fact,there’s one standing right behind you!”

“That’s the oldest and stupidest joke I’ve ever heard you tell,” he said, frantically glancing over his shoulder.

We went down to the river to check out this so called ‘man-eater’ today... but he didn’t show up.

Naturally, some eejits decided to ignore the signs and risked being devoured by a giant gecko. There’re always a few dickheads who just have to flout the rules aren't there?

Some people can't be told.

That’s how I know I live in Australia.

Any dangerous wild life where you live?

Happy Australia Day everyone!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Are you Touchy-Feely?

So... we teachers are back at school but the kids aren't and we’re being subjected to the usual professional development torture.

We had a really dynamic, interesting guest speaker today but naturally it didn't go without a hitch. I happened to be sitting beside my annoying friend, Kyles and I began to feel a mite wary when the morning session began with a general atmosphere of overt bonhomie during the joyous introduction.

“They’d better not fudging make us hold hands or anything,” I hissed at Kyles. “I hate that schmaltzy feel good, 'love your colleagues' stuff.”

“I know! No way I’m holding hands with you!” she replied tartly. “Gawd knows what I’d catch.”

Sure enough, we had to do a sort of sweaty, hand holding thing… whilst singing to each other and gazing into each other’s discomfited faces trying desperately not to giggle inappropriately.

During the proceeds of the day several volunteers were called upon to get up and do stuff in front of the collection of our peer group of ninety teachers… embarrassing stuff.

I saw our P.E. teacher, Alan, two rows in front of me, shrinking down in his seat trying to be inconspicuous when several males were called up.

“Alan!” I shrilled. “Get up!"

He shrivelled even lower into his seat and I could see the top of his head turning a deep shade of scarlet. He turned around in his seat and gave me a death stare

“Alan! Alan! Get up! Alan! Alan! Alan! Al! Alan!” I relentlessly pursued him.

His face was buried in his hands.

“Alan! Alan! Get up! Alan! Al!”

I kept at him like that stupid squirrel video...

He didn’t get up to volunter after all my insistence. 

Just like me, I don’t think Alan likes being the centre of attention.

I’m expecting to get a really crap job at the swimming carnival in February.

How do you feel about touchy-feely stuff?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pinky's A-Z Guide to Menopause

NB: This is not a post by a medical expert, just a dreadfully, grumpy old woman.

A- Accept the fact you won’t be having any more babies. You will however, grow a plethora of small, bristly chin hairs you can nurture should you get clucky. I’ve named each of mine Rachel, Monica and Phoebe.

B- Bloating. This won’t be happening every month but will be a constant presence in your life. Embrace elastic waisted clothing and psychedelic kaftans.

C- Contraception. There’s now (joyously) no need for hormones to be pumped into your body or copper wire contraptions shoved up your clacker to prevent any unexpected, little Freddys arriving with the stork. Unless of course you’re one of those unfortunate women my Uro-Gynaecologist warned me about who don’t have a period for two years then discover the meno-bloating was in actual fact a six month old pregnancy. Shudder.

D- Disturbing Feelings. I have the recurring sensation on my left shoulder blade of a large insect/worm crawling around underneath the skin and I promise you I haven’t been taking hallucinogenic drugs. The insect/worm has been doing it for a few years now so I suspect it might be eating me from the inside out. My husband can’t see anything when he examines the area so I guess it’s all part of a medically recognised menopausal symptom called ‘the creepy-crawlies’. Either that or it’s an errant tapeworm who leaves my intestines occasionally to have a chat with my shoulder blade. I've named it, Gunther.

E- Eggs. Yours are depleted. You can no longer put all your eggs in one basket because you don’t have any, except you will have scrambled eggs for brains but because your kids are becoming independent you’ll be able to build up your nest egg again unless one of your kids is acting like a bit of a rotten egg, then you’ll end up with egg all over your face.

F- Follicle Fallout. Ever been standing at the check-out and found yourself staring in a horrified fascination at the grey strands of hair barely covering the bald head of the dear, little old lady in front of you? Oestrogen deficiency causes your hair to fall out which is perhaps why my Nana mysteriously wore a wig for all those years. On the bright side, hair falls out from the pubic area as well, so you’ll save on those expensive Brazilians.

G- Gums. Your teeth will survive the onslaught of menopause but the gums holding them into your head won’t. Floss as much as possible unless you want your teeth to flap around when you open your mouth in a slight breeze.

H- Hot flushes getting to you? As soon as you feel one coming on (and you’ll know what I mean because there is a particular ‘aura’ you feel before you get one) start overtly fanning yourself and complain loudly to anyone in the vicinity about how hot it is. Never suffer in silence. Come up with funny names for them and announce it to the world. 

“Community alert! Pinky is having a Tropical Moment!”  

If you have a hot flush (or ten) during the night, violently fling off the bed covers and swear loudly so you wake up your husband. Why the hell should he sleep when you can’t?

I- Impending Doom. The sense of impending doom is one of the symptoms in the aura before a hot flush. Don’t worry, you aren't about to die… you’ll just feel really fudging hot for a few minutes. You may gain some relief by scaring everyone else in the vicinity and shouting out the Hail Mary and maniacally blessing yourself over and over until the feeling passes.

J- Jumpiness. Anxiety was one of the early symptoms for me. When the phone rang I’d jump ten foot in the air and scream out, “Oh my fudging Gawd! What the fudge has happened now? I can’t take any more!”

Mind you, most menopausal women have teenage children. Do you see where I’m going here? What comes first; the Children or the Dead Eggs?

K- Krankiness (sic). You will find you develop an extremely low tolerance for voices calling out, “Muuuum” from another room in the house, people who leave empty milk bottles in the fridge and your husband’s toenails touching you (ever so slightly) in bed.

L- Leakage. Unfortunately, things start to sag during menopause (including your innards) which means urinal incontinence can occur when you sneeze, laugh, cough or lift heavy objects. That’s why they have those awkward ads for incontinence pads. Crossing your legs and assuming the crash position can stop it a bit but might alarm the passengers in your car.

M- Medication. If you buy over-the-counter menopause medications don’t read the warning labels because you might read that in very, very rare cases the herbal medication can cause liver failure so then you’ll just shove them to the back of your bathroom drawer and drink a bottle of Vodka every night instead.

N- Nausea. This is also part of the aura before a hot flush… or perhaps a hangover from all the Vodka you’ve been drinking.

O- Oestrogen Cream. This is perhaps the best thing about menopause. 

Meno stuff.

Warning: Read the label because if you apply it too often and in too large a quantity after you’ve been drinking it may cause you to have multiple orgasms in your sleep. 

Not that it ever happened to me but someone told me and not that I tried it out after they told me either because that would be silly and irresponsible. 

If you use the special applicator, you’ll be able to deliver the precise dose but if you find the applicator on the bedroom floor, all chewed up by the dog, go and get another one from the chemist, don’t just guess the amount you need to apply. 

Also check to see if your dog has grown boobs.

P- Pseudo Menopause. Nothing annoys menopausal women more than when their early-forties friend says they think they might be going through the change because they suspect they had a hot flush and they’ve been a bit cranky of late. Let me tell you right now: you don’t suspect you’ve had a hot flush. If you have one you’ll fudging know it.
Q- Quote about Menopause. 

Mid-life is when you can stand naked in front of a mirror and you can see your bottom without turning around." Unknown.

R- Racing Heart. Sometimes palpitations precede a hot flush. Personally I think it’s your body trying to run away from itself. Don’t worry about it too much because you’re about to feel like vomiting any second (see Nausea) which is much more unpleasant. 

Really when you think about it, a hot flush parallels the symptoms of an Irukandji marine stinger; rarely fatal but most unpleasant.

S- Savings. You will be saving a lot of money on tampons and pads unless you have a daughter who begins to menstruate just as you are finishing which will negate any fiscal bonus. It must be nature’s way of reducing the number of menstruating women under the same roof… or due to the fact you were already pretty old when you had her.

T- Tears. You will cry when you watch movies like Atonement, The Notebook and Frozen. You’ll cry when you see old people holding hands and when you see cute babies smiling at you from their shopping trolleys. You may even cry when someone wins Family Feud.

U- Unpleasant Smell. Because of excess sweating and hormonal changes some women detect a change in their body odour during menopause. I am fortunate in that I don’t sweat during my hot flushes except for a slight, Victorian shimmer on my upper lip. 

I’ve developed an obsessive, almost Tourette-ish swipe with my index finger to wipe away the moisture which makes it appear to an observer I’m sniffing something distasteful on my finger… fifty million times a day. Friends have even called me on it. For the record I am not nor ever have intentionally smelled my finger. Why would I?
V- Vulvovaginal Discomfort. I’ve always found sheepskin to be much more comfortable on that particularly delicate area than leather as it doesn’t get as burning hot in the sun… wait… what?... Ohhh Vulva! I thought it said Volvo! Well anyway, the same thing applies. Don’t wear leather undies.

W- Where the Fudge am I? What the Fudge am I Doing? Syndrome.

You’ll suffer the indignity of spotting your friends swapping surreptitious glances because you’re telling them a story you just told them the day before and they’ll be too polite to tell you and laugh again with less enthusiasm and sincerity this time. You’ll drive to work with a hair curler in your fringe or spray Glen 20 on your hair instead of hair spray; in other words you’ll lose part of your brain.

X- Xtra Weight. As long as it’s within a healthy range I figure I’ve earned the right to be a bit fat around the middle. One of the things I loved about my Nana was her big, soft arms and belly when she hugged me. It’s part of our womanly design to become velvety, squashy old carrots so we get more hugs as we get older.

Y- Youth and the Loss of. Some women like to have their faces plumped back up and their lines smoothed out and tightened in order to cling to a semblance of youthfulness. Each to their own, I say, but the truth is you can ALWAYS tell. Some women should have, ‘Do not place near an open flame’ plastered on their foreheads.

Z- Zzzzs. Many women complain they don’t get enough sleep during menopause. They wake up a lot or just can’t get to sleep in the first place. I think this is probably where the term ‘Nana Nap’ came from. Nanas need naps. Go take one, you deserve it my lovely.

What do you think? Anything I missed?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

We Have a Situation Virginia Woolf!

I’ve been rigidly sticking to my exercise routine and walking 5.2 kilometres on my treadmill every day. It’s too hot to walk outdoors but I miss it because walking on the treadmill in the spare room (with the dogs sitting on the bed, staring at me in googly eyed wonder at why Mummy is endlessly walking and not getting anywhere) is a stupefyingly, boring activity.

Lately I’ve been watching a Netflix streamed movie on my laptop, reading Why French Women Don’t Get Fat on my Kindle, checking my Twitter and Facebook feeds, reading emails and blogs and chewing Nicorette gum to combat the boredom.

My set up...

The only problem with this is that the steady whir of the treadmill drowns out the speakers on my laptop.

I planned to watch the rest of ‘The Hours’ during my walk this morning and I don’t know if you've ever seen the Nicole Kidman movie based on Virginia Woolf but it’s not the sort of movie you can comprehend without sound. It doesn’t have visual jokes like say, Dumb and Dumber or prat falls like those puerile Johnny Rocks in his Head, Jackass movies. 

In fact without sound The Hours just seems to be about a whole lot of women weeping.

“Do you have any headphones I can use?” I asked Scotto this morning before he left for work.

He gave me these.

“Look after them,” he said in a cautionary tone. “They’re the only ones in the house.”

“What do you think I’m going to do with them?” I retorted sarcastically. “Stomp on them and set them alight? Drop them from a tall building? Run over them in my car? I’m not stupid you know!”

He sniffed and left for work.

In hopeful anticipation I set up my little electronic nest and plugged the headphones in.

Somehow in my eagerness I forgot to attach the safety clip to my t-shirt. I love the safety clip because it means if I go into cardiac arrest and collapse then the clip will immediately shut down the treadmill saving us from wasting expensive electricity; and our power bill is high enough already, thank you very much.

In my excitement I also failed to notice a loose cord hanging down from the headphones which somehow became entwined around my foot leading to a plummet of cataclysmic proportion by the unsuspecting treadmill user: me.

The treadmill, sans safety clip, kept going, and there was a very inelegant scrabble which took place leading to a near broken arm and a very distressed Chihuahua who leaped off the bed and began whimpering and licking his unfortunate mistress who lay howling on the floor.

Distressed Chihuahua

After checking my throbbing arm wasn't broken by wiggling my fingers, I resumed my walk.

Something doesn't look quite right!

The headphones were well and truly stuffed after being ripped from the laptop in such a violent fashion so I had to watch The Hours without sound after all. I amused myself by covering up Nicole’s prosthetic nose with my ‘good’ thumb to make sure it really was her and not just a plain cousin the producers had hired on the cheap.

I’m pretty sure it was the real Nicole but I have no idea what the movie was about.

The only problem I face now is where to hide Scotto’s head phones.

Any suggestions?

Shredded arm.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Back to School Checklist for the Primary School Teacher

Annoying Classroom Toys
More Annoying Classroom Toys

It’s one more week before we Queensland teachers go back for planning and professional development meetings and two more weeks before we’re sent to the front line of rug rat warfare. Gahhh!

The kids will arrive with their carefully packed brown paper bags full of their new writing utensils and books, but what about us teachers? We don’t have an official back to school list so I thought I’d compile one.

1. Sanitising Gel for when you spot little Darius with his hand buried and vigorously scratching down the back of his pants just before he walks up and high fives you good morning.

2. A strong pair of scissors to cut every rubber/eraser you hand out in half; this will ensure the class supply lasts at least until the end of second term.

3. A set of tongue twisters you can run through religiously every morning before the kids come in so you don’t become tongue tied on names like; Kimeeka, Tameeka, Talitha, Shameeka, Shaquila, Shakeera, Brandon, Brendon, Braithan, Brayden, Jayden, Hayden and Jordan.

4. A large set of cards with answers to questions and statements you’ll hear 90 million times a day. It will save your voice in the long run and I guarantee you’ll use them over and over..

Some suggested response cards.

“No. Your best friend just went to the toilet. Wait until she comes back then you can go.”

“I’m twenty-one.”

“What letter did the swear word he said to you start with?”

“An ‘S’? Whisper it in my ear then.”

“That’s not really a swear word.”

“No, you can’t bring your Bandog for Show and Tell unless it’s only six weeks old.”

“No, the tuckshop won’t accept all that coinage your Nana brought back from her holiday to Fiji and gave you for Show and Tell.”

“If you keep making your Connector Textas into a gun I’ll put them in my drawer.”

“I warned you.” *

“I’m putting them in my drawer. You can have them back at the end of term.”

“If you keep using your pocket calculator to do your Maths I’ll take it off you.”

“I warned you” *

“I don’t care if your mother bought it for you.”

“I’ve told you before. You can’t save to your USB stick if it’s not plugged into the computer.”

“I said you can play Maths games on the computer, not Minecraft.”

“Thank you. It’s a beautiful drawing of me in a rainbow. I’ll put it on my fridge at home.”

“No. I don’t watch Big Brother and neither should you be.”

“No I didn’t go to watch Crusty Demons on the weekend. Was it fun?”

“You don’t need to go to sick bay. I saw you spinning around on that roundabout at lunch time. You’re just dizzy.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you felt like vomiting?”

“Your arm/tooth/eye/finger hurts when you touch it? Stop touching it.”

* Your most frequently used card so laminate it.

5. A set mousetrap you can keep in your top drawer for anyone who tries to illegally retrieve their connector textas/pocket computer/collector cards/toys.

Bloody Collector Cards
Connector Pens: Gahhhh!

More teacher posts to remind you what you've been missing:

Are you looking forward to the kids going back to school?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Would You Like a Cat?

The Buzz Club gals and I had an impromptu hive gathering yesterday to catch up on how our Christmas and New Year festivities went. 

They weren't very impressed when I told them we were moving at the end of the year. They sniffed in disdain at the photos of the house we’re buying and ignored me when I reminded them about the surprise going away party I’ve always dreamed of and I dearly hoped they were planning.

I told them about how Scotto dropped his phone on our holiday and had to fork out for another $300 specimen because his contract wasn't going to run out for eighteen months. Personally I would have bought a cheapo from Coles as a self-punishment... but not him.

“Didn’t it come under your household insurance?” asked one of the Queen Bees.

Sadly our household insurance has an excess of $500.

“So you’re moving to a place infested with paralysis ticks and taking four dogs with you. Do you have pet insurance for all the multitudes of animals you own, Pinky?” asked Shazza.

“Just one dog is insured,” I replied.

“Which one?” asked Lee-lee. “I’ll bet it’s that bloody spoiled little bastard Chihuahua.”

“It’s whichever dog gets hit by a car,” I answered.

Our insurance only covers a ‘male dog’ and it doesn't specify a breed so which ever dog is unfortunate enough to ever become involved in an incident shall be THE MALE DOG.

“What if it’s Celine who becomes ill?” queried Kyles.

“Well… we’ll just say we thought she was a boy dog when we bought her. Anyway, the insurance only covers injury not illness.”

“So…” continued Kyles, “if one of the dogs get a paralysis tick I suppose you could push it in front of a car and they’d have to fix everything up for free?”

“I suppose,” I shrugged.

“And what about your cat? Is she insured?” asked a concerned, feline-loving, Kaz.

“No, she’s not insured. I guess we could say we thought she was a dog when we bought her,” I pondered out loud. “We could say we were a bit concerned because we thought she was a kitty-kat but the pet salesman duped us and told us she was a Corgi.”

“I don’t think they’d believe you,” quipped Kyles draining her cup of Earl Grey. “She doesn’t look anything like a Corgi. She could pass for a rabbit, maybe.”

“There’s a $40 000 fine for keeping rabbits in Queensland,” I replied glumly.

There was a moment’s silence.

“Would anyone like to have my cat?” I asked hopefully. “She’s fourteen and won’t be around much longer.”

Everyone stared into their teacups.

“Maybe she’ll pass away before you leave,” Kyles finally said.

“Doubtful,” I mused. “She only cost me twenty bucks. She’s like a Bic lighter. Those moggies just keep going on forever. If she was an expensive Persian or Chinchilla she’d have died years ago from feline enteritis or something.”

So it looks like we’ll be driving down the highway at the end of the year with four dogs (three uninsured) on the back seat and an uninsured twenty dollar cat* in the boot.

Unless of course you’d like a cat?

*Of course she won't really be in the boot. Our luggage will be in the boot. She'll be in the glove box. Or in a fudging luxury pet pack in an airplane while the rest of us travel on the fudging Marlborough horror stretch. Typical bloody cat huh?

Linking up with Grace from With Some Grace for #FYBF

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pinky Goes Transparent

Do you remember the Mortein giveaway I did a few weeks ago when I said I'd draw a winner from all the comments on Christmas day and then I didn't? Typical Pinky huh?

Well, I finally got around to it and I thought I'd do the draw on video to show off our lovely North Queensland weather and for complete transparency.

What I didn't figure on was exactly how transparent it would be.

"Can you see my fliegal flop???" I asked Scotto hysterically when he played the video back to me. "You can see my bloody fliegal flop for God's sake!"

"No, you can't," he assured me.

"I dunno, Scotto," I carried on in my whiny voice. "What's that shadow? And it looks a bit narcissistic putting a video of myself on my blog, don't you think?"

"Don't other bloggers do it?" he asked.

"I suppose..." I said. "The Empress Blogger and the most famous in the world, Mrs Woog from Woogsworld does it sometimes. And plenty of others have done it too."

"There you go then," he trumped.

So it's on the blog.

You'll have to watch it until the end to find out the winner, and my sincere apologies if you can indeed, see my fliegal flop.

Congratulations to the winner and please send an address I can give to the company to send you your prize pack x.

Linking up with Jess at Essentially Jess for #IBOT

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Queensland Badlands

Horror Stretch

The 300 kilometre stretch between Rockhampton and Sarina is called the Marlborough stretch and is sometimes referred to as the 'Horror Stretch' because of a long history of murder, robbery and assault on the highway. Now it’s called the Horror Stretch because of all the fatal accidents in the fatigue zone.

Our family drove the Marlborough stretch every second year when we were kids and on our way to visit the grandparents in Sydney. We didn’t have air-conditioned cars back then… or seatbelts. Mum would sit with my baby brother on her lap in the front and my sister and I would draw lines on the back seat forbidding each other to cross. Mum would reach her hand back every now and then to slap us into submission. Or Dad would, whilst driving his unseat-belted, squabbling children.

Scotto and I drove through the Marlborough stretch today on our way home after our holiday.

“You know the Marlborough Man?” I said to Scotto. “He comes from here.”

queried Scotto. “The guy on the horse with the cigarettes?”

“Yeah,” I replied smugly. “The macho guy who’d come on the screen before a movie started. This is where he used to ride around rounding up cattle. My Dad told me when I was a kid.”
As I perused the monotonous panorama full of dreary eucalyptus trees, scrub and brownish grass it occurred to me the Marlborough Man probably smoked so much because he was bored shitless. 

The horse most likely smoked as well it was such a samey-same landscape. Hundreds of tedious kilometres of colourless bush and a mob of useless cattle to round up would lead anyone to chain smoke. 

The koalas probably shared a durry up in the trees. Maybe that’s why kangaroos have pouches… to carry their smokes in. I did wonder how the Marlborough Man avoided starting bushfires though with all the natural tinder around the place. Maybe he carried one of those portable ashtrays around in his saddle and shared it with the horse?
My mind wandered to the many unsolved murders committed on this desolate highway. 

Perhaps the dullness of the scenery coupled with the sticky heat led to murderous thoughts when wives had to sit as a captive audience listening to their husbands drone on comparing petrol prices at each town’s petrol station from Tweed Heads north to fudging Townsville? Who knows?
Anyway, I began to write this post and thought I’d do a Google search on the Marlborough Man and guess what?

He doesn’t come from Marlborough, Queensland. He comes from the United States and is called the Marlboro Man

My father lied to me. 

I must admit I always wondered why he rode around with a thick sheep skin coat on when it’s 40 degrees Celsius most of the year around the Marlborough district in Queensland. 

I wonder what other lies my father told me that I’ve spouted like a know-it-all for years?

What 'stories' did your parents tell you?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Pinky's cast and crew choose to stay at Tailwaggers Retreat

Improvised Selfie Stick

It’d be a bit slack of me to not post on the first day of 2015 so even though I feel a teeny bit seedy and one of the dogs just passed wind right beside me making me feel even queasier, I guess I’d better make the effort.

When we arrived at Tailwaggers Rainforest Retreat I thought I was in heaven. 

The clouds were sitting all around us and Celine the fox terrier and Pablo the Chihuahua assimilated to the northern New South Wales ambiance immediately.

Celine and Pablo

Naturally, we bring protection when we go on holidays.

Safe practise protection against scrub ticks.

One for me and one for Scotto… jokes.

Yesterday, I met Kathy from 50 Shades of Age for coffee at Burleigh. She looked exactly like her photos except even tinier and was as bubbly, vivacious and interesting as her blog. The blogging community has opened up so many genuine friendships for me with bloggy buddies all over Australia.

Kathy and Pinky

I bloody love it.

“So where are you staying, Pinky?” asked Kathy.

“Tailwaggers,” I replied, nonchalantly slurping my coffee.

“You’re really staying at a place called, ‘Tailwaggers?” she said incredulously. “I thought you were kidding.”

“Nup, we had to put the dogs in kennels so we thought we might as well stay with them.”

Seriously though, it’s an amazing place with views over the Tweed Valley and out to Coolangatta.

This is our kennel unit.

The dogs have their own private little fenced yard but can still say hello to the neighbours.

Even when they're butt ugly... though sort of cute.

We can bring them into the unit whenever we want and they have a doggy door flap to run in and out whenever they like if we go out without them.

While we were out yesterday, the retreat owner Tony, mowed our lawn and Pablo the Turducken went off his nut barking so Tony chased him in the doggy door by blowing the leaf blower up his bottom. 

I might buy a leaf blower.

There’s a winery around the corner where we went for a late lunch yesterday and someone may have bought a carton of Chardonnay even though one of her main new year’s resolutions was to quit wine.

Someone told them Pinky was coming.

Er...that's not for taking home, Scotto.

Today we spent all day driving around looking at real estate on Mt Tamborine with my parents.

Have I mentioned that we’re planning a move down to the Great South in 2016?

There’s only one house we liked: their house. They have a weekender up there and it’s perfect except for being just a smidgeon too small but lends itself to possible extensions.

Just think... if I was a writer I could sit up at Mt Tamborine like Judith Wright the famous poet did and pen the Great Australian Novel!

The glass observatory where I'd do all my very serious writing.

I’m taking Mum and Dad to lunch tomorrow and we’re preparing to make an offer.

But Dad can be a tough negotiator so wish us luck.