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Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Power of One (Grade One)



A soccer ball whacked me in the back of the head on Friday when I was supervising on playground duty. It’s not the first time I’ve been hit but it’s been a while. 

Normally, I’m on the lookout for flying projectiles, marauding children who aren’t looking where they’re going and I always make a concerted effort to avoid inadvertently wandering, bleary eyed, through a rambunctious game of Bullrush.

On this occasion, however, I was discussing something with Mrs. M who was on duty with me. I can’t remember what we were discussing. I’ve lost some memories from the incident. Traumatic amnesia it’s called.

When the ball ricocheted off my head, all I saw, after the stars had settled back into my retinas, was a semi-concealed but highly amused expression on Mrs M’s face.

“Sorry, I should have told you that was coming but I didn’t see it until it was too late,” Mrs M tried to muffle her guffaws.

At next break, I complained about my injury in the staff room.

“Who kicked it?” asked one of my unsympathetic colleagues as she ate her ham and salad sandwich.

“A grade one-er,” I replied sheepishly.

Indifferent looks were passed around the table. If it had been a grade sixer I may have had grounds to whinge but a grade one-er booting a ball hardly has the power and capacity of Cristiano Ronaldo now, does he?

“But it was Seamus!” I added dramatically. “It was Seamus O’Toole who kicked it.”

A couple of staff members mumbled in reluctant acknowledgement. Seamus is definitely the toughest of all the grade one-ers. Seamus isn’t your average grade one-er. Seamus has swag. Seamus has a decent bloody kick on him.

Plus, it was at an extremely close range that my head intercepted the ball. It struck me a second after it had left the diminutive Adidas runner on Seamus’ tiny foot. The ball had lost no momentum and my head felt like one of those watermelons they use to demonstrate what happens when you don’t wear a bike helmet.

I might add that it was a morning duty and Seamus was most likely fuelled up on cake from the tuckshop, fully energised and in top form.

Seamus was noticeably upset about the incident and went all red in the face and teary. I had to give him a hug and tell him I was okay, even though I wasn’t.

I     had     to     give       HIM       a       hug!

Anyway, on Saturday my head continued to spasm and I was sure I was bleeding on the brain.

Scotto ignored my whining as soon as he heard it was a grade one-er who kicked it but he doesn’t know Seamus and his fancy footwork and the forceful thrust behind his twenty kilogram frame of steel.

This morning, the pain had moved to my neck and upper back.

Whiplash, my friend.

Whiplash.

I’m definitely going to protect my precious watermelon from now on and ask the boss if I can wear a helmet when I’m duty… and I’ll be carrying some yellow cards around with me too.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

How to Be Thin

Happy Celine visiting Nana 


“She’s too skinny,” the vet declared as she poked around my fox terrier, Celine’s ribs yesterday.

I sighed and shrugged helplessly. “She eats exactly the same as my Chihuahua and he’s fat,” I replied. “It’s just that she never stops running around chasing balls.”

But the truth is, I suspect her lack of padding also stems from a nervous and unpredictable disposition.

Celine displays a temperament which can only be described as highly neurotic. 


At times when her unhinged, psychotic personality traits emerge, we don’t call her ‘Celine’, we call her ‘Ethel’.

Ethel is deeply disturbed.

Ethel refuses to eat her dinner if I give it to her at 2:55pm instead of 3:00pm. Ethel refuses to eat her dinner if I put it in the wrong place on the floor. Ethel refuses to eat her dinner if it is not mushed up exactly right.

Ethel slinks around petulantly if a visitor sits on her spot on the couch. Ethel will sit on a windowsill like a maniacal stalker, glaring at the visitor with a look of murderous hatred or perhaps an expression of abject forlorn, depending on her state of mind.

“What’s wrong, Ethel?” we cajole, offering her a biscuit from the coffee table. She will sniff the air wretchedly and turn her head away in disgust.

When Scotto leaves for work, Ethel’s temper surfaces in a manifestation of furious bile. She cannot stand for Scotto to leave the house. Ethel would rather kill Scotto than allow him to leave the house. One day she might even do it. 






If Scotto has the presence of mind, he will throw the nearest ball and Ethel magically disappears and Celine is once again returned to us, wagging her tail and panting like a puppy.

Ethel might appear in the morning and evening, one can never predict it. Most times, Ethel prefers her own company and buries herself in a pile of pillows. 

Ethel in a mood


Celine, on the other hand, displays great sociability. She sits between Scotto and me, following our banter with bright eyes and an inquisitive twitchy nose. If one of us happens to swear accidentally in our casual conversation, Ethel suddenly appears, growling and snarling. Ethel detests swearing with a innate revulsion. We don’t know the deep-rooted cause of this. One can only imagine.

Sometimes, Ethel frightens our visitors when she appears out of the blue. They are drawn into a false sense of affection when first meeting the affable Celine

It only takes a word, one gesture, one carelessly moved cushion, for the wrath of Ethel to materialize and poison the occasion.

According to the vet, I should buy Celine working dog food to help bulk her up a bit.

Personally, I think I should have requested an exorcism.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

My Life is Like a Movie

Borat


I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix lately and I’ve noticed there are certain clichés in movies that never disappoint.

For example, if detectives arrive at a house and the front door is ajar, they will inevitably encounter a gruesome blood bath inside and often the killer is still squirrelled in a cupboard with a machete.

If birds start dropping from the sky in a movie, there is a meteor/mini ice age/geo-electric storm on its way. After that there will be very large hailstones and the Eiffel Tower will fall down.

If a wife/husband arrives home early, they will catch their spouse in bed with someone else and then they will turn into an alcoholic or solve a murder, or both.

But you know what? I have predictable clichés in my own life. 

For example, if I receive an unexpected windfall, I know for certain one of my pets will become ill thus incurring a vet bill which amounts to roughly twice the amount of the windfall.

Last Thursday night at about 9 o’clock, I called our German Shepherd for his evening treat. Usually he waits in anticipation, slobbering and slavering at the back window, but on this occasion he was nowhere to be seen.

After a short investigation, we discovered him reeling in the shrubbery and soon realized he was unable to walk or stand and his eyeballs were flicking from side to side in a very scary manner.

“Snake!” I blurted out as I dialed the emergency vet with trembling fingers.

We loaded him in the car and sped up to the surgery, praying we would get him there before he vomited all over the back of Scotto’s car, threw a violent seizure or expired in a death explosion of diarrhea.

It wasn’t a snake bite, though. He was diagnosed with a vestibular disorder (also known as ‘Old Dog Syndrome’) and with careful nursing, he should fully recover.

By ‘careful nursing’ I mean he must be carried out to the yard to go wee-wees and poo-poos and he has to be hand fed because he can’t keep his head straight or sit up properly. As I said, he's a German Shepherd.

Before we were able to bring him home, he spent two nights at the vet surgery on a drip and don’t ask me what the bill was because it makes me feel a bit like I have a vestibular disorder.

Okay, I’ll tell you this. I just celebrated a birthday and my children gifted me with a generous voucher from Myers which I was very excited about. The vet bill was roughly twice as much as the voucher.

So that is my life cliche and it never disappoints.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Kayaking Catastrophes

Wyaralong Dam


“We’ve never done this before,” I said to the rugged-looking bloke at the kayak shop. “Do you reckon we can just watch a Youtube video on kayaking for beginners and we’ll be right?”

He looked us up and down dubiously. He grinned, pointing the eftpos machine at me, “Sure. It’s easy. Anyone can do it.”

The rugged man helped Scotto load the two kayaks onto our newly purchased roof racks and signalled us off with a wave of reassurance (which I personally felt lacked conviction, looking back on it).

Our first outing last weekend was to Wyaralong Dam. I was excited about the dam because I felt secure in the knowledge that there are no sharks in dams, there are definitely no crocodiles in Wyaralong Dam and there was no chance of drowning because we were wearing our highly expensive life jackets bought from BCF that very weekend so even if I capsized I’d be fine.

As we drove off the highway down the turn-off to the dam, I spotted the sign that told you all the things you aren’t allowed to do in the water. “Look Scotto!” I enthused. “No water skiing… good. I don’t want to be run over by a stupid water skier. No motor boats… good. I don’t want to be run over by a bloody motor boat either. No fires, no bringing pets, no swimming…

Why do you think you aren’t allowed to swim in the dam, Scotto?”
I asked, not really expecting a sensible answer from him.

“Maybe because it’s used for drinking water, they’re worried people will poop in it,” Scotto replied, squinting into the side mirror to make sure the kayaks were still on the roof of the car and not smashed to bits on the side of the road somewhere between Beaudesert and the mountain.

“That’s ridiculous,” I scoffed. “Surely animals and fish would be pooping in it all the time anyway.”
Then I made my big mistake. My naive curiosity once again led me down a ruinous path of no return.

I googled, “why can’t you swim in dams” and was instantly plunged into a dribbling fit of terror.

The reason people can’t swim in dams is NOT because of pooping.

Oh no, my dear friend.

I wish it was.

Oh, how I wish it was.

The reason people can’t swim in dams is because of … the dreaded, horribly incurable and lethal, Naegleria fowleri amoeba.

Who’d have suspected a microscopic creature capable of boring its way into your brain via your nostrils, lurks in Australian dams waiting for unwary swimmers and first time kayakers?

One drop of dam water in your nose could result in this menacing, single-celled critter feasting on your brain cells like a fat dog in a sausage factory.

You won’t believe this but Scotto still made me go in the water even after I recited my findings on the Wikipedia page.



In order to avoid the brain devouring, dam-dwelling organism, today we went to the beach instead and paddled up Tallebudgera Creek. This is a picturesque waterway known for its popularity amongst bull sharks who are attracted to the bream, flathead, whiting and dogs (which irresponsible people take swimming right beside where vulnerable people  kayak).

When I expressed my concern regarding a possible savage shark attack, Scotto informed me that bull sharks are “gentle creatures that are more scared of you than you are of them”.

But later, after we arrived home, I googled it and Wikipedia state that “the bull shark is known for its aggressive nature, and presence in warm, shallow brackish and freshwater systems including estuaries and rivers.”

When I read this extract out loud to Scotto, he ordered me to stop reading alarmist websites and said I am spoiling everything for myself and I’m going to wind up having nowhere left to kayak.

“Did you see any sharks today?” he demanded.

“It’s the ones you don’t see,” I thought to myself. “It’s the sharks that are hiding in the warm, shallow, brackish water.” 


A link to a story from a year ago where a girl was knocked off a kayak. Notice the similarity between her kayak and mine!
Scotto reckons that we go hiking in the bush where we know there are poisonous snakes, so what’s the difference?

The difference is that snakes can’t push you out of your kayak, rip your leg off and eat it.

My quandary is this. Should I risk dying from a malevolent amoeba invasion or do I expose myself to the menace of a ravenous bull shark?




Saturday, September 8, 2018

100 Days without Alcohol: 27 Things that have Changed My Life



Yes. I am officially a wowser. One hundred days with not a drop of alcohol! 

Who’d have thought I could do it?

I could go on about the big changes in my life… no hangovers on the weekend, the blissful and unadulterated sleep, no guilty angst about my suffering liver and so forth and so forth. But it’s the little things I didn’t expect that have really sold me on this sober lifestyle.

These are the wonderful surprises I have discovered which have literally changed my life for the better… things I find I no longer need to worry about...



1. No shameful trips to the local bottle shop for the fifth time in a week

2. No having to look for new bottle shops because I am too embarrassed to go back to the local, AGAIN

3. No having to lie to the man at the bottle shop and tell him I am having another party

4. No wine glasses I have to precariously load in the dishwasher

5. No wine glasses to discover, smashed in the dishwasher because I didn’t load them properly

6. No wine glasses that I accidentally smash on the tap when I’m trying to rinse them to avoid putting them in the dishwasher because they keep breaking

7. No clanking wine bottles to take out to the recycling bin, every second day

8. No having to wrap wine bottles in cardboard so the neighbours don’t hear all the clanking when I put them in the recycling bin, every second day

9. No more frostbite from sneaking cardboard-wrapped bottles out to the recycling bin in the early morning before the neighbours are awake, every second day

10. No more watching a Netflix show at night and then having to watch it again the next night because I can’t remember it

11. No more watching half a season of a Netflix series before realising I’ve already seen it

12. No more watching an entire Netflix show and not realise everyone is speaking in French until the end credits

13. No more red wine stains on my teeth in the morning

14. No more red wine stains on the carpet in the morning

15. No more teeth stains on the carpet in the morning

16. No more waking up to check if I posted something stupid on Facebook the night before

17. No more waking up and READING the stupid thing I put on Facebook the night before

18. No more waking up and discovering that not only did I post something stupid on Facebook, but I also made several atrociously misspelled comments, I posted a Happy Birthday message to someone who wasn’t having a birthday and bought an expensive family of Sylvanian rabbits from eBay.

19. No more posting a cute photo of my Chihuahua online and noticing there is a half empty wine glass in the background

20. No more posting a cute photo of my Chihuahua online and noticing there is a half empty wine glass on my BEDSIDE TABLE in the background

21. No more posting a cute photo of my Chihuahua online and noticing there is a half empty wine glass AND a BOTTLE of Jacob’s Creek Merlot on my bedside table in the background

22. No more boozy lunches and coming home with a new chicken

23. No more boozy lunches and coming home with a new cat

24. No more boozy lunches and coming home with a new goat (didn’t happen but was on the cards)

25. More disposable income to spend on fripperies and gewgaws

26. More disposable income to spend on wholesome, beneficial and healthy things that are not going to drain my emotional and physical resources, (like chickens and cats)

27. More disposable income to spend on KAYAKS!

Yes!

I bought a kayak and so did Scotto. Instead of going on boozy lunches every weekend, we will be partaking in extreme water sports. 

Mine is the blue one (they didn't have pink)


What do you think of that???

Saturday, August 25, 2018

School Camp Cooties

Lake Moogerah


“You know what thing I dread most about the school camp?” I whined to Scotto on the eve of my departure on a three day foray into the wilderness with twenty-five small children and a nervous mindset. “I dread having a shower in the freezing cold, uninsulated shed.” I continued my whinging after a period of non-response from him. “The temperature gets down to below zero out there in the bush!” 



“Don’t have a shower then,” Scotto answered blithely. “Just give your moot a splash and use extra deodorant.”

After I googled what a “moot” was, I sat for a while musing on how typical this response was for a male of our species.

One little boy wore the same shirt for the entire three days. He slept in the same shirt as well because he’d forgotten to pack anything else. By the end of camp he’d cultivated and housed his own personal, interactive community of organisms.

On the second day, I spied another boy heading to the shower with only a towel draped over his arm.

“Where are your clean clothes, Othello?” I called out to him as he hurtled along the path.

He shrugged and beamed innocently.

“Well? Where are they?” I repeated.

“I’m wearing them, Mrs Poinker.”

“But aren’t they the clothes you’ve had on all day?” I asked, recalling the day’s sweaty hike up to a gorge, the muddy trek along the lake’s edge and the enthusiastic rolling around in the dirt during a particularly intense orienteering activity.

He nodded, grinning sheepishly and shuffling his feet.

“You can’t put dirty clothes on again after a shower,” I said. “Have you at least got some clean jocks with you?”

He vigorously shook his head in the negative.

I sent him, dragging his feet reluctantly, back to the cabin to retrieve clean clothes and watched him return with his fresh clothes clutched in filthy hands.

It was imperative that I sit outside the shower block while the boys were ensconced inside, ‘pretending’ to wash themselves, in case anyone did anything silly. There was quite a lot of boisterous activity to be heard from within.

Little Aloysius emerged from the building and sat beside me on the steps with his wet hair sticking up at all angles.

“Smell this, Mrs Poinker,” he shoved an opened, liquid soap bottle under my nose.

“Mmmm, it smells lovely,” I said politely. It was very… earthy smelling... with unknown undertones.

“Do you want it Mrs Poinker? You can have it!” he offered passionately.

“No thanks, Aloysius,” I declined with as much grace as possible.

“No really Mrs Poinker. You can have it. I mean it.”

“No Aloysius. You take it home to Mum. I have some soap already.”

“Just take it Mrs Poinker. I want you to have it.” He was most insistent.

Othello emerged from the raucous cacophony that was the shower block, barely three minutes after he’d entered.

His hair was slightly damp so I presumed he’d at least stuck his head under the shower nozzle.

“Smell this!” Aloysius thrust the soap bottle under Othello’s nose. Othello grimaced and shuddered, then vaulted down the stairs and bounded back to the cabin before I could do a proper visual inspection of his person.

“I really, really, really want you to have this soap, Mrs Poinker,” Aloysius resumed his sales pitch.

At that point, I heard the dinner bell and managed to shuffle Aloysius off to the dining hall without hurting his feelings.

After dinner, my school principal (who was on camp with us) decided to take the kids out star gazing. The bitterly cold air bit into my face as I tentatively picked my way along the rocky path to the lake with only the children’s’ torches to light our way. 

By this stage, an exhausted, feverish euphoria began to set into my brain and I had to muffle hysterical giggling as my principal attempted to point out the Southern Cross while simultaneously chastising the boys who were pointing blinding torches directly into his face.

“Do you see those stars forming Orion’s Belt?” he asked the kids with more patience than a saint. Some of the boys were doing ‘the floss’ to keep warm which made me giggle even more because they looked funny doing the floss in their pyjamas.

“Who was the ‘Orion’ that Orion’s Belt was named after?” my principal asked the group of flossing midgets.

“Windscreens Orion,” I whispered deliriously.

One of the boys overheard me. “Yeah! That’s right!” he exclaimed gleefully and whispered this revelation to two of his buddies. They all had their hands wriggling desperately in the air to tell the principal that Orion’s Belt was named after Windscreens Orion.

Disappointingly, he didn’t call on them so my extremely immature joke went unappreciated.

Despite arriving home with chapped lips, bright red, wind burned cheeks and a bruise on my forehead from being struck with an errant oar during canoeing, it was a great camp.

Nobody was homesick and we all slept soundly every night.

“Mrs Poinker, I can’t even really remember what my parents are like,” quipped one little girl in amazement on the third day of camp.

Now that’s proof that we ALL had a good time.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

A School Story...



One of my lunch duties at school involves conveying the preps and grade ones and twos down to the back oval in a semi-orderly fashion. One of the other teachers travels ahead of us to circumnavigate the oval in a golf buggy to investigate the malevolent presence of venomous snakes and rabid, undomesticated kangaroos.

Last week, while we were down on that very oval, little Aloysius inched up to me as I attempted to eat chunks of watermelon from my plastic container at the same time as I was untying a preppie’s shoelace which had fallen off his foot when he'd kicked a soccer ball.

Whenever I am asked to untie a preppie’s shoelaces, they’re always tied in multiple, unfathomable knots and sopping wet.

“Have you been trying to undo these knots with your teeth?” I always ask, suspicious about the presence of spit and possible cross-infection. They always deny it but I know the truth.

Little Aloysius coughed to get my attention. “Mrs. Poinker,” he lisped self-righteously. “Bronson is up on the hill playing with rocks and sticks!”

I glanced at him and choked down a hunk of watermelon. “Well… there’s nothing wrong with that, Aloysius. You’re allowed to play with rocks and sticks as long as you don’t throw them.”

Aloysius considered this for a moment, disappointed that Bronson wasn’t going to cop a serve from a teacher. “But Mrs. Poinker, Bronson said that I can’t play with him,” he whined.

My eyes scoured the top of the slope for Bronson. I could see the tiny six-year old crouched in the dirt, too far away for me to call out and much too far away for me to hike to, what with my watermelon and hands full of soggy, knotted shoelaces.

“Go tell Bronson to come and see me at once,” I said to Aloysius. “It’s against the rules to say people can’t play with you.”

Satisfied with this promising outcome and the thought of Bronson getting into trouble, Aloysius took off up the hill with his secondhand directive as fast as his pudgy legs could carry him.

Naturally, Bronson completely ignored the subpoena, but I caught up with him when the bell went and we were all trudging back to class.

“Bronson,” I demanded. “What’s this about you telling Aloysius he CAN’T play with you. That’s against school rules!”

Bronson’s eyes flickered like a fluorescent light powering up and I could see him calculating his careful response.

“No, Mrs. Poinker,” he drawled with the confidence only a practised Machiavelli can muster on command. “I said that Aloysius CAN play with me.”

Aloysius’ eyes lit up in gratitude. “Oooooh! I thought you said I CAN’T play with you!” he grinned, happy to hear that he’d made a mistake and that Bronson liked him after all.

I’m going to keep my eye on young Bronson.

I reckon he might become president of the United States one day.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

You Can't Lead a Cat to Water...or Anything Really.



Last night I snuggled in bed, clad in my cow-print flannelette pajamas, anxiously googling, 'Why doesn’t my cat like me?'.

It was a Saturday night and it wasn’t quite 8 o’clock which I suppose goes some way to explain why my cat doesn’t like me… But the information I gleaned from Google was fascinating.

Apparently, cats don’t like people who like them.

The cat adores Scotto. The cat treats Scotto like a god.

Scotto sprays it with water when it scratches up the couch.

Scotto yells at the cat when it swipes the unassuming Chihuahua as he casually saunters along, unaware of the insidious goblin hiding under the coffee table waiting to spring with whetted and extended talons.

Scotto pays no attention to the cat and only ever pats it when it’s passionately nuzzling up to him (which it does all the time with sickening devotion).

I (on the other hand) feed it expensive designer cat food bought with my hard-earned money. I tenderly sweep it up from the floor, cuddle its soft fluffiness and coo nonstop at it in a baby voice. It returns my affection with a bitey scrabble to escape my unsavoury clutches, leaving me with scratches, puncture marks and a full blown asthma attack.

I’m the one who lets it out of the bathroom in the morning when it proceeds to frenetically hurtle past me, up the hallway and into the bedroom so it can leap into bed with its truelove… Scotto. The pair of them have their own special little relationship of which I am excluded.

But of course the cat hates me. I’m clearly too needy, desperate and starey for its liking.

I read on Google that if you want a cat to like you, you shouldn't EVER stare at it. 


Catch a cat’s gaze for no longer than 3.02 seconds. You must then quickly look away and ever so slowly turn back to it, glancing at it briefly with a slightly twisted grimace on your face.

I’ve tried that several times and it hasn’t work. The cat merely turns it steel-blue eyes away from me in a superior manner as if to say, 'Idiot human, I fart in your general direction'.

I suspect a cat wrote that particular website just to prove how gullible some humans are.

“What are you doing?” Scotto asks when he catches me poking faces at the cat.

“I’m trying to get it to like me,” I bleat.

“Don’t try so hard. Just let it come to you when it’s ready,” he comments smugly as he strokes the cat like Dr Evil strokes Mr Bigglesworth.

“Well if it loves you so much, why don’t you marry it?” 

I retort shrilly and stomp out of the room.

It’s alright for him. He can’t sit down for five seconds without the cat jumping on his lap, head butting him amorously and purring so loudly it’s like there’s a tuned-up Jaguar F-Type SVR revving in our kitchen.

I know for a fact that Scotto would sell the cat down the river for a Jaguar F-Type whereas I’d rather have the cat. That's how loyal I am.

If only I could tell it that fact… it might not like you-know-who so much after it knew Scotto's true, shallow affection.

When a dog doesn’t like you, it’s probably because you aren’t a very nice person because dogs are a good judge of character.

When a cat doesn’t like you, it’s because the cat sees you as a non-challenge; a walkover, a pitiful and tragic loser.

The little shit is hiding in the pantry as we speak. Maybe I should lock him in there for a while and teach him a lesson about who the real loser is.

Criminal cat

Saturday, July 21, 2018

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



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

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

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

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

I wondered how I should respond.

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

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

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

Yes, I made that up.

Anyway, what my sister is saying is true. 

I’m not fun anymore.

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

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

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

I don’t even LOOK fun without alcohol.

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


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


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

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

Only people who drink are fun.

You can’t be fun if you don’t drink.

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

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Evil Travel Fairies

North Queensland weather!


There are three reasons I don’t travel.

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

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

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

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

Hardy ha ha, evil travel fairies.

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No,” I replied.

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

“No.”

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Battle with the Booze



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

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

Oh well.

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

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

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

Apples are unquestionably my least favourite fruit.

They’re boring and common.

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

Apples quickly became symbolic of parental neglect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hansel in camouflage 


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

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

Friday, June 22, 2018

Nineteen Days Sober



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

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

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

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

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

Who really cares about dumb potatoes?

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

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

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

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

I’m 19 days abstinent and feeling great.

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

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

So I've flicked it at last.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, June 10, 2018

How Lunch Can Kill You



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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I suddenly remembered I am allergic to cats.

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

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

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

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

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

However, I’ve finally learned a lesson.

No more wine lunches.

We go to breakfast now instead.

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


Saturday, June 2, 2018

When is a Petting Zoo not a Petting Zoo?



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

Apparently it was only for the kids.

Only. for. the. kids.


Sniff.

Anyway, back to my stomach.

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

That was half an hour after we arrived.

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

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

I think I might start my own bloody petting zoo.

What do you think?


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Deceased Estate



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

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

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

Here’s my ad… 

Luxury Gold Coast Hinterland Cottage

· Stunning views over the Gold Coast hinterland

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

· pets are welcome

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

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

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

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

· Open-air style bathing in fresh rainwater

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

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

· luxurious and healthy breakfast provided 



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

NB: No parties or events 
       No smoking



One review

Mixy     

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


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


Saturday, May 5, 2018

All Animals are Equal...



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

Hmmm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just so you know… they all get fed breakfast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 13, 2018

Free-Balling



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

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

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

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

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

Nobody would even know!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can never play it too safe can you?



Ever been out without a bra?

Monday, April 9, 2018

When a Man Gets a New Toy...



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Shopping with Pinky

New Boots!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They look nice though.

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was going in, baby.

Soooo… this is me in my new outfit. 



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