Pinky's Book Link

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Horn Birds

To pass time on my 75 minute commute to work (other than gasping at the gloriously, bucolic scenery at every turn), I’ve been listening to audio books. I’ve exhausted the entire works of Bill Bryson and, filled to the eye sockets with history and science, I thought I’d switch to fiction.

I’ve been meaning to read The Thorn Birds for the last thirty years and despite having it on my bookshelf, never got round to it. It seemed a bit thick and small-printed for an intellectual pygmy such as myself.

At the first ten minutes of the audio version, I was hypnotised. 

It’s rivetting. 

I was vaguely aware the plot had something to do with a priest and an illicit affair because I saw previews of the mini-series but never fancied the gaunt and slightly effeminate Richard Chamberlain so didn’t bother watching it.

Clearly one of the females in the book gets raunchy with the priest and I’m still unsure which one at this stage.

I began investigating the matter on Wikipedia but quickly snapped the computer closed with a great deal of willpower and restraint before I could spoil the story for myself.

I asked one of my colleagues, Deb, if there were any ‘passion scenes’ in the novel.

She raised one eyebrow at me and an enigmatic smile passed her lips. “Yes, Pinky, there are some ‘passion scenes’ in it, I suppose,” then she seemed to go off in a bit of a reverie, staring into the distance, her cheeks glowing with a rosy hue.

I must add that Deb told me she reads the book every six weeks or so.

The reason I asked her though, is that I tend to drive with my audio turned up so high it would make most people’s eardrums bleed out. Scotto can hear me coming from five kilometres down the road. Whilst reading Bill Bryson’s ‘Down Under’, people at traffic lights were laughing along with me at the jokes.

There are at least three sets of roadworks on my journey to work where I’m mandated to pull over beside a jaded, high-vis-jacket-wearing traffic controller. I’d hate to be sitting in my car, wantonly enjoying a particularly titillating, bodice-ripping scene whilst a burly, bearded traffic controller stares at me curiously through my windscreen.

It would be … awkward.

There was one scene in the book where the priest was dancing around naked in the rain and the word ‘flaccid’ was mentioned but that’s as bawdy as it’s been so far which is disappointing. And also the narrator is American so they pronounce 'flaccid' in a very non-sexy manner. She said it like, 'flak-sid'. That's not how it's pronounced is it? I've never been 'flaccid' so it's never been important before. Not that I think being 'flaccid' is in the slightest a sexy thing... but, anyway I seem to be getting off topic.

The truth is, I’m really looking forward to the passion scenes more than I should be but I might have to get some ear plugs to protect the traffic controllers and random livestock dotting the fields.

Have you read the Thorn Birds and did you love it?

P.S. Just to ease your mind I looked it up and you can pronounce 'flaccid' both ways.

  1. (of part of the body) soft and hanging loosely or limply, especially so as to look or feel unpleasant.

Who knew?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Advice to my Daughter on her 21st Birthday

#1 Don’t be like your mother

Last Friday it was Grandparents’ Day at school. Grandparents are honoured with a special assembly and get to visit the classrooms where each grandchild has fashioned a little gift depending on the whims, fancies and creative prowess of the classroom teacher.

We grade four teachers had decided on cardboard teapots which the students would laboriously, but lovingly, colour in and cut out. It was up to me to merely purchase the teabags to plop into the completed articles.

Five minutes after the kids had left for the day on Thursday, I poked my head into my buddy teacher’s classroom. There were beautifully decorated teapots littering the desks and it suddenly hit me like a metre ruler to the face that I had failed to remember to get my kids to do their teapots.

“Please tell me Grandparent’s Day isn’t tomorrow!” I screeched desperately to my buddy.

She just looked confused for a moment, doubting herself, so strong was my panicked conviction that she’d been the one to get the date wrong, not me.

So I lugged home the stencilled sheets and a handful of colouring pencils and that evening I fastidiously cut out the fiddly things while Scotto sat, tongue sticking out the side of his mouth, happily colouring in like an eight year old.

“These pencils aren’t very good, Pinky! They keep breaking and I need more pretty colours!” he complained, going off in search of my eye liner sharpener.

He was very slow. I think he was having trouble staying in the lines. I fought back an urge to rap him over the knuckles.

In the end I told him to stop colouring because it was taking too long and I found a Better Homes and Gardens magazine and pasted flowers and cakes all over the teapots instead.

I managed to get them all finished and the students presented them to their grandparents with an air of unwarranted pride.

My beautiful daughter turns 21 today. She is in her third year of an education degree and in about 12 months, she will be a primary teacher.

Imagine how proud that makes me feel.

Hopefully, she will more aware of her surroundings than I am.

I have no other advice for her because… well… she’s perfect.

Happy birthday gorgeous Tweetie-Bird xxx

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Facebook Misunderstandings

Sometimes I feel guilty about my Facebook posts and the things I inflict on my friends; relentless photos of my spoiled, hate-filled Chihuahua, obscure and irrelevant observations on the meaning of life and the occasional, tipsy, angry rant at the government.

Last week I wrote an unintelligible comment about me suffering the ill effects of a head cold accompanied by a random photo of a decidedly sick, but arbitrary chicken I’d sourced from Google.

Everyone thought it was my chicken who was sick so I received no sympathy but lots of lovely messages directed towards the unidentified chicken.

I was a bit upset about that… but I brought it on myself, I suppose.

The truth is that one of my chickens is actually mortally sick now. He’s been quite off for about six months and I’ve been researching the symptoms on the Internet. 

He’s stumbling around like me on a Saturday night after a long lunch with Scotto and yesterday he performed three, very feathery, dramatic forward rolls and then couldn’t get up again… just like me on a Saturday night after a long lunch with Scotto.

It was very upsetting to witness.

Today, in a last ditch effort to reclaim an innocent and virtuous, galline life, Scotto and I headed down to Uncle Tom’s Chicken Establishment in order to acquire some chicken antibiotics.

“Is that the same sickly rooster you asked me about months ago?” asked the incredulous lady at Uncle Tom’s.

She was probably wondering why we haven’t taken an axe to it.

“I think he might have an ear infection,” I stammered nervously. “I’ve looked it up on all the chicken forums.”

She looked at me with a sense of benevolence and leaned in confidingly. “You know he might just be a special needs rooster,” she whispered. "Inbreeding is a common thing around these parts," she added supportively.

“No!” I barely stopped myself from shouting at her. “He’s not special needs! He just has an ear infection!”

So anyway, tonight he is locked in the cat cage with the (expensive) antibiotics fizzing malevolently away in his water supply and I’m expecting a miraculous recovery by tomorrow.

If not… (fx) sound of axe being sharpened.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I'm Not Judging...

It's not my foot but it could be...

Scotto and I were standing in the queue at Aldi on Saturday, when I suddenly noticed a guy in front of us wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt, circa 2005.

‘Cool,’ I thought (even though I would never say the word ‘cool’ out loud because it’s 2017 not 1967 anymore). 

Scotto and I recently had an argument because he kept saying ‘cool and I became irritable with him and in defence, he accused me of saying ‘True Dat’ which apparently annoyed him quite a bit and we promised never to say either vapid phrase again in each other’s presence. We made passionate make-up love after that argument. No we didn’t. We may have done a fist- bump to celebrate, I can’t recall.

Suddenly I noticed the Pink Floyd gentleman’s son was sporting one of those geometric haircuts; his hair appeared to be sliding off his head it was so triangularly cut. I couldn’t help staring. I don’t care about kids with startlingly geometric haircuts but I do wonder about the point of them and if the hairdressers that can still do them are becoming a rarity because they are all either retired or dead because they spent their heyday in the 1970s taking drugs and having parties with Vidal Sassoon at Club 54. Apparently some people think angular hairdos are still fashionable. Good for them.

Anyway, for some obscure reason I glanced down at this man’s feet and noticed he was not wearing shoes.

That’s okay, I mused serenely. Jesus Christ, our very own redeemer, went around the Middle East on those dusty, stone-bruising, possibly leprosy-ridden roads, sans shoes. 

Besides, we were only at Aldi... and it was Nerang after all, where pretty much anything goes. Gah, people in Nerang wear t-shirts that say things like…

Remember that woman I spotted in Nerang with a t-shirt that said, “Kill All Pedofiles” (sic).

I don’t negatively evaluate people who walk around the shops barefoot, though. Who am I to judge with my deformed left toenail and my inferior, cheap, bargain-basement footwear from Shoe Barn?

My left toenail is a particular disgrace, frankly.

I have to keep a scrupulous eye on the feral thing, let me tell you. It spends most of its leisure time burrowing up through the top of the upper segment of my shoe. Every closed-in pair of shoes I own has a hole in the left toe. I’ve had three pairs of shoes patched professionally in the last three months because my toenail has wormed its way up through the tough leather exterior of my boot/sandal/shoe.

“Mmmm,” the cobbler chuckles as he peruses my shoes with a certain bewildered amusement, “it looks like someone might have a toenail like a hacksaw, huh love?”

But, I did notice this man’s big toenails were about three centimetres long and curling over like talons.

Clearly, he had the same problem as I have and he’s just given up the ghost.

Weary of lugging his toenail-pierced boots into the shoe-repairer business people, he has just decided to fuck shoes off altogether.

Good for him I say.

If I didn’t have a job that required me to wear shoes, I’d do the same.

I wonder if there are any jobs going for a new Messiah, or even a mere disciple? Or even a job in Nerang?

*No offence to people who live in Nerang. I'm sure you're lovely.