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Monday, January 28, 2019

When School Holidays Are Over

After a long, enjoyable break, work at school begins tomorrow and the kids will arrive en masse, the following day.

I’m sure Scotto will be relieved to see the back of me. I’ve noticed him striding around the house with an extra jaunty spring in his step. He’s smiling more broadly and it’s almost as if a huge burden of irritation has lifted from his shoulders. It could be false bravado, I suppose. Maybe he'll miss me.

I, however, will miss the freedom.

I’m distressed I will have to revert to wearing a bra every day for a start. Sigh.

All of us teachers went into school last week for an update on our First Aid training.

The ambulance guy brought in about twenty mannequins in body bags which we were required to ‘resuscitate’.

“This is as close as I’m going to get to the real thing,” quipped my mate, Mrs M., as she bent over lasciviously in order to lock lips with the overgrown Ken doll.

As a longstanding hypochondriac, I always feel a bit dizzy and squeamish when ambulance instructors start on their spiel. This gentleman mentioned that when applying cardiac massage, one should aim for the area dead centre on the chest and aligned with the nipples. 

This would pose a snag should I ever require resuscitating as, if I happen to be lying on my back, my nipples will be located somewhere under my armpits and no one will be able to find them.

He also stressed that if the patient tries to push you away when delivering mouth to mouth, you should stop at once. This makes sense to me because, clearly, if the patient is pushing you away then they are conscious and don’t need the ‘kiss of life’. The ambulance man really emphasised this point though and seemed to focus on Mrs M. when he was saying it.

Later, after we’d stacked all the body bags up in the hallway, the ambulance man made us resuscitate some ‘baby’ mannequins. As he stood, patiently explaining all about how defibrillators should NOT be used on babies OR used to charge a flat car battery, there was an almighty bang and clatter in the hallway which made us all jump out of our skins.

“That’ll be my fella getting a bit restless,” remarked Mrs M. wryly.

Every few minutes, the menacing noise in the hallway would start up again. It was creepy. At least it wasn’t the baby mannequins coming alive though. That would have been beyond terrifying. I’d much rather have a zombie male torso eating me alive than a zombie baby. Babies are frightening when they have teeth.

After we finished First Aid, we popped up to our classrooms. 

I wandered into my buddy teacher’s room and noticed, in immediate dismay; the colourful bunting, the psychedelic, inspirational posters, the freshly sewn curtains, scented candles and a general ambiance which brings to mind a room Mary Poppins might have personally decorated.

Seriously, a laminator vomited all over her room.

In comparison, my room has no bunting, there are overflowing boxes everywhere and I can’t find my rubbish bin. It also stinks because someone left a banana skin in a desk which has sat in the closed up room, baking in a Queensland heatwave.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day but like most procrastinating fools, I work well under pressure.

I just hope I don’t work myself into a heart attack.

But if I do… remember, the nipples are under the armpits.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Keeping the Mystery Alive in a Marriage

On our way back from kayaking today, we drove past the Wallaby Retreat, situated on Bambling Road, Wonglepong. 

Is that a whimsical address or what?

Scotto was driving and we were listening to my playlist on Spotify.

One of my new year’s resolutions was to listen to more music instead of poisoning my mind with mindless podcasts about mindfulness. I've wasted two years listening to drivel.

In order to compile this playlist, I had to look up ideas on Google because I’ve forgotten about music and what my taste is.

“What music do I like?” I typed into the search engine.

It wasn’t very helpful. I knew there was one song I liked. When we were on holiday, I’d heard it blasting out of a hip café in Queenstown, overflowing with tanned, youthfully athletic people.

“Ooooh, I like this song,” I’d squealed at Scotto, swinging my pelvis around in a risqué fashion as we’d walked past the café. “I wonder what that song is?”

“It’s Justin Bieber,” Scotto sighed, grabbing me by the waist in an attempt to terminate my flashy, public swivelling before someone called the Queenstown zoo-keepers.

“How can it be Justin Bieber?” I asked incredulously. “It’s in Spanish!”

“It’s Despacito,” Scotto replied dully, his eyes frantically searching the horizon for a souvenir shop because he was on a mission to buy a cheap, waterproof jacket with ‘I’ve been to New Zealand’ on it.

I felt a thrilling sensation run across my caesarean scar when Scotto said the word, ‘despacito’. It made him sound extremely sensual. I find accents to be a bit erotic, especially Spanish.

‘Despacito’ was obviously the very first song I added to my playlist. 

But that, dear reader, was not the end of it. I got it into my head that it would be a good idea to LEARN all the words and surprise Scotto by suddenly singing the entire song in Spanish, dazzling him with my enigmatic, intangible qualities.

My daughter, Lulu, is a huge fan of Justin Bieber. She was in Japan on holidays with her boyfriend, Jock, so I Facebook messaged her.

‘Have you heard this song by the Biebster? I LOVE IT! You have to listen to it Lulu!’

She replied with a laconic, “It’s about two years old, mother.”

Anyway, I spent an entire secretive afternoon playing the song on repeat with the printed-out lyrics in front of me. As soon as I’d master one line, I’d move on to another. But by the time I’d memorised the second line, I’d forgotten the first.

Clearly, I am too old to be learning Despacito.

When it came up on the playlist in the car as we were driving along today, I did my best to sing along, just in case anything had sunk in. All I could manage was to sing out ‘CITO’ at the end of every line because every word at the end of a line does actually finish with the syllable, ‘CITO’. So that was something.

I don’t think Scotto noticed anything intangible about me though.