Pinky's Book Link

Showing posts with label Pinky's Past. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pinky's Past. Show all posts

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Things Our Kids Have Missed Out On!

                                          
If I could sum up my childhood in one word it would be… BORING. So much has changed in our world for the better but after hearing of the imminent demise of our postal system this week it started to concern me what things my grand kids will never have experienced.


Indeed, there are certain things which stand out in my mind I’m sure my own kids are ignorant of which may have been… challenging, fun, character building aspects of life assisting them in their later development which they'll never even know existed.

For example:

Making prank calls from a public phone when there was no caller ID and only the police could trace calls and that was only if you stayed on the phone for a really long time. Remember the old chestnut, “Is that the Wall residence?” "What? You mean there are no Walls living there? How is your house standing up then?" Hang up giggling and running away.

Or ringing the number which told you the time just because you were bored.

Or ringing the free call directory assistance number just to annoy them with questions like, “Do you know who won the Melbourne Cup in 1967?”



How sorry I am they don't know about going to the movies and having to stand for “God Save the Queen” before the first movie commenced. There were always two movies featured and the first one was a guaranteed shocker.

What about being the first up when the milk man delivered bottled, unhomogenised milk to your door every weekday? I was always first up and would pour the creamy bit on my cereal leaving the bland, watery whey for everyone else. Dad would crack a mental.

How sad they missed out on when really friendly young guys would come out at the petrol station, fill your car up, clean your windscreen and check the oil.

Or when you could buy 20 cents worth of lollies and they’d last all afternoon.

Or when the naughty boys who mucked up in class would be sent to the office and come back crying with “the cuts” marks on their hands and were well-behaved for the rest of the year.

Or when the school tuckshop sold “Cream Horns” which were delicious and decadent and no-one thought to make a dirty connotation out of it and nobody got fat because we all walked or rode to school.

Or when we would all spend fifteen minutes repacking our Cuisenaire Rods back into the boxes in Infant School… back when it was called Infant School.


Or when you had to have your shoes properly fitted with one of those medical-looking metal contraptions at the beginning of every school year. You couldn't just pick a pair of Nikes from the shelf.

                                                   

Or when television didn’t start until 4:00pm and there were only two channels anyway but you’d still sit and stare patiently at the test pattern waiting for it.



Or when at eleven o’clock at night the telly would close down and God Save the Queen and the test pattern would come up.

Or when every local television station had an afternoon show hosted by a pretty young woman and a clown and you wouldn’t miss it for quids.

Or when the highlight of the year was when “The Show” came to town and you’d get a new outfit and money to spend on Sample Bags that cost two dollars and had actual ‘samples’ in them not cheap confectionery from China.

Or when your father wouldn’t let you go out with boys who owned a Panel Van even if they came in to the house and shook your father’s hand.

Or when smoking an Alpine cigarette on the way home from school was de rigueur but in the holidays you’d keep the packet in your school bag until next term when they’d be stale but you couldn’t afford to buy a new packet even though they only cost $1.80 so you’d cough your way through them anyway to impress your friends.

Or when you could buy a brand new release 45 single for $1:00 and an LP for $6:00.



Or when your stay at home Mum would pour herself a Bacardi and Coke at 6:00pm and put lipstick on because your Dad was coming home soon.

Or when you’d spend Saturday night listening to the local radio station and request songs for your twelve year old girlfriends and you’d have to sit with your finger in the last number’s hole and patiently wait for the right second on your rotary dial phone to get through.

Or when a treat was to eat last night’s leftover rice with sugar and milk or to eat Milo out of the tin whenever your Mum went out and left you for ten minutes.

Or when your rite of passage was to have your ears pierced when you turned twelve not a sleeve tattoo when you turned eighteen.

Honestly… I could keep going with my trip down memory lane but I think the ambulance has arrived to take me away to the old people’s home.



Is there anything you remember you think your kids need to know about?


Linking up with Sonia at Life Love and Hiccups.

Friday, April 25, 2014

V- is for Veuve Clicquot

                 Champagne courtesy of our lovely friend, Mark!


A to Z April Challenge

Some people should not be allowed to drink French champagne and I’m fairly certain I’m one of them… mainly because I don’t pronounce the names properly.

Despite having learnt French at school and having a Francophile father who’s always correcting my gaffs, I still persist in calling Moet & Chandon, Mow-ey, in a distinctly Australian twang (upwards inflection included when I’m asking someone if they’d like one).

Apparently one is supposed to pronounce the ‘T’ in Moet because of the little umlaut which sits on top of the ‘e’. Even though I've spent twenty minutes looking for an umlaut on my laptop keyboard it doesn't appear to be present and I’m not searching through my wing dings for it but…. an umlaut looks like small two dots.

Moet is a word derived from the Dutch and unlike the French they say the Ts at the end of words so yes… you definitely have to sound out the T.

Veuve Clicquot however, is not pronounced Verve Click-ot, because it was named after an actual French man and as you know the French do NOT say the Ts at the end of their words.

It’s all too confusing so I’ve decided I’ll keep on saying “Mow-ey” and “Verve Click-ot” because some people (Scotto) think my uncouth vulgarity is cute.

Another reason I shouldn't be allowed to drink French champagne is that I DO get a hangover from it. 


“Oh! But you can’t get a hangover from good French champagne!” I’ve heard so many times. 

Well, yes you can.

Many years ago, when I was in my twenties, I worked as a sales executive for a hotel chain and one evening my arduous task was to represent the company at a Moet & Chandon product launch.
The bubbles flowed (freely) all night and by the time I’d finished my laborious duties and caught a cab home to my rented terrace house in Woollahra, I was a bit too wobbly to wrestle with our dodgy front door lock.

I hammered loudly on the door in an unproductive attempt to awaken my slumbering flatmates.

After thirty minutes of futile pounding the only thing left to do was sleep in my hatchback parked out the front and wait until daylight.

I woke up sweating like a small pig with the Nissan Pulsar’s gear stick grinding into the small of my back and the piercing sunlight accentuating my blinding headache.

Slowly I extricated myself from the Japanese rotisserie-on-wheels and after glancing both ways down the street to make sure there were no muggers around, resumed my (by now painful) pummeling until finally, both of my livid flatmates thrust open the door.

“What the hell’s wrong, Pinky?” they yelled, one of them standing in his pajamas with a cricket bat in his hand ready to fight off a home invasion.

They didn't believe me that the lock was jammed (probably because I reeked of ethanol urgently escaping my liver via my pores) and consequently neither flatmate spoke to me for the rest of the weekend.

The moral of the story is this; French champagne by any other name still reeks as badly as cheap wine the next morning and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Tastes nicer though.

*Most unfortunately, this is definitely not a sponsored post.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pinky Crosses that Bridge.


Hanging in a kind of limbo as I wait to go to my call back appointment at the Breastscreen clinic tomorrow must be making me a bit nostalgic because instead of taking my usual circuit around the river this afternoon, I strolled across the footbridge and walked through the streets finding myself heading towards the house I grew up in for seventeen years or so.




Walking along the street towards the old house was a strange mix of familiarity and reminiscence. I must have walked that street thousands of times after catching the bus home from school, staring at the ground, counting my dreary steps in boredom. It seems so small now; such a short street of only about a dozen houses.

I wanted a photo of the house and fortunately when I arrived at the front there were two teenage girls playing Frisbee out the front.

They stared at the weirdly gawping woman as their Boxer hurled itself against the fence barking menacingly.

“I used to live here when I was a little girl,” I croaked, possibly coming across as the type of suspicious, peculiar old hag whose presence they should immediately alert their mother to… which of course they did.



I apologetically repeated my mantra to the mother when she came out to the gate. I’d clearly interrupted her dinner preparations.

“Were you from the Poinker family?” she enquired pleasantly.

“Yes! I was a Poinker!” I replied, happy that she knew the name of the very first owners of this house and that even though she may have lived here for twenty years it was really still OUR house.

“I dream about this house all the time!” I rabbited on. “That was my bedroom when I was a little girl.”



If some wild-eyed stranger rocked up to my front door and told me they’d once lived in my house I’d probably smile, say ‘That must have been nice for you!’ and close the door in their face; especially if I was in the middle of cooking dinner. 

But fortunately for Pinky not everyone is that grumpy and the affable Sue, invited me in to have a sticky beak around.

Everything inside the shell of the house has been completely renovated, retiled and remodelled. There was no trace of anything familiar; even Dad’s masterpiece of a pool had been renovated.

But that bedroom window I sat at staring out of hour upon hour, hoping to catch my boyfriend doing a drive-by, was still in the same spot. 

The bedroom window my sister Sam and I precariously hung out of while smoking Benson and Hedges and trying not to get caught was still in situ. 

It was the very same window sill I sat on when I was seven, waiting for my father to pull up in his work utility every night so that I’d be the first one to greet him. 

The same windows all my Daryl Braithwaite and Sherbet posters were sticky taped onto.

Then I saw another forgotten window which brought a deeply buried memory flooding back. 

                              There was no screen back in the day!

When I was about twenty years old, I arrived home after having been out partying all night. I was a horrible, selfishly thoughtless young lady and my parents, fed up with my inconsiderate ways had deliberately locked me out and gone shopping. 

My jittery hangover didn’t stop me shimmying up the drain pipe though. Hoisting myself onto the roof and squeezing my body through Mum’s bathroom window like a cockroach I managed to infiltrate the lockout.

Mum hit the roof when she arrived home and found me lying on the couch lethargically eating coffee ice cream out of the tub. 

Then, after she discovered how I’d broken in, she was incredulous.

“It’s a wonder you didn’t kill yourself, Pinky Poinker!” she fumed, with a badly disguised undercurrent of disappointment in her voice.

Hagar has broken into our house many times in a similar way over the years. Now I understand in hindsight, where he inherited his break and enter tendencies from.

So thank you to Sue for welcoming a Nosey Parker she didn't know from squat into her house and for not thinking I was casing the joint when I took photos of her bathroom window with the easy access. 

It brought back some precious memories.

Do you ever dream about the house you grew up in?

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Fatty Boombah Photos



I’m linking my post up to Kirsty from My Home Truths today and the terrifying prompt for the week is an expose of our worst photos.

Cripes! I thought. So many to choose from...

When I turned a certain age ending in a zero, my hubby Scotto made a slide show presentation of my life thus far, and he created a special folder entirely made up of Pinky Poinker images. 


He thoughtfully named the folder, “Pinky Through the Ages”.

Through the fricken ages?? What am I? Seven hundred years old?

Perusing the photos in order to write this post, it suddenly occurred to me that the most unappealing photos of me were taken just prior to giving birth to my five kids. Let’s face it. No one is at their best when they’re at their fattiest boombahish.

It might also be cautiously observed I am no longer married to the photographer concerned.

Just saying.


So here is what I was able to discover among the ruins.



Please do not be alarmed by the beer in one hand and wine glass in the other. This was taken about a week before I gave birth to Jonah and he has just graduated in law, so if you don't believe me that the photo was a joke then at least the child concerned didn't suffer any permanent brain damage. N.B. None that interfered with his academic ability anyway.


This was in the delivery room about an hour before the pugnacious Padraic, pushed his blonde head out into the world. The calm before the storm.


Two days before Thaddeus was born, my face and ankles were puffy and sitting on that hard concrete step made me feel as though my innards were about to fall out, hence the wince. I'd put on twenty kilograms with my first pregnancy through a steady intake of chocolate coated raisins.


And just as a treat I'll finish off with this weird scared little guy expression I'm wearing right after Hagar was born.

Though it just goes to show how photographs lie...
giving birth to my five children were the happiest times in my life.
My Home Truths

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pinky Writes a Letter to her Sixteen Year Old Self (Part 2)


Dear Pinky,

Stop staring at the Vinnie Barbarino look-alike in your art class. The pensive expression on his face is not actually one of brooding reflection…it’s one of vacant futility. Those soulful brown eyes are NOT sweet guy and come to beddish… they’re bad boy and rev headish.

What EVER you do, no NOT tell your friend Pip to tell Vinnie you ‘like’ him. It will mean two years spending every Saturday night at the drive-in nestled in the EH Holden he's devotedly restoring.



You’ll be nestled in however, on your lonesome because ‘Vinnie’ will be outside of the car in the carpark checking out what’s under all of his mate’s bonnets.

You'll be forced to watch Steve McQueen chucking wheelies in ‘Gone in Sixty Seconds’ at least eighteen times and will be compelled to listen to interminable exchanges between Vinnie and his mates about carburettors, spark plugs and cracked radiators.

He’ll proudly ask you to scrutinise his brand new drive shaft and huge diff and I’m not using euphemisms.

When Vinnie finally dumps you it will be a relief of sorts but, do not then ask your friend Kaylene to tell her spunky neighbour you ‘like’ him.
                                   

This will only lead to another two years sitting on the sidelines during his weekend footy games watching your very own ‘Russell Fairfax’ get tackled, stand up, play the ball, get tackled, stand up, play the ball, until you want to rip your eyeballs out, douse them with kero and light a match.

But there’s worse yet to come. 

When ‘Russell’ finishes the footy season, the CRICKET season will commence. Whilst footy games last about one hour; cricket goes on for three long, hot days

It’s not that you’ll feel you would rather watch paint dry… it’s more like you’ll rather watch paint dry while being forced to listen to the loud version of the Crazy Frog on a loop while being flayed by a cat-o-nine-tails and fed tripe.

Sadly Pinky, you will attend all of these games watching loyally like a pathetic Labrador until one day Russell just stops calling you.

It will be about then that you finally realise it’s time you found your own passions, preferably not including boys… at least for a while.

                          Tripe...yum yum!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Pinky’s Letter to her Sixteen Year Old Self. (Part One)



I know how trite, overdone and egocentric this genre of writing is but I DON’T CARE!

If Ita Buttrose can do it then so can I!

Dear Pinky,

Stop! Put that Schwarzkopf Nordic Blonde hair dye down at once! Listen to your bloody mother when she tries to warn you for once. When you peer under the shower cap after only ten minutes you’ll panic, imagining you’re turning into Malibu Barbie and rinse the bleach out prematurely.

The result will be a bright, pumpkin orange mane which will take two years to grow out. You’ll look like a King’s Cross hooker for the entire of Grade 12 and the boys will assume you’re up for it.

Please run for the hills when your mother feels sorry for poor Pinky and her tangerine tufts and employs Auntie Gloria to bestow one of her ‘special’ home perms on you. 


The double chemical whammy will initiate a mass exodus of hair with clumps falling out at the roots occasioning an 
“I’ve just been on a holiday in downtown Chernobyl” appearance.

It won’t be pretty.

When you are nineteen, thinking you have it hand, you’ll visit a hairdresser who will streak your hair ‘professionally’. The resultant streaks will take on an unappealing, brassy, yellow shade except for when you desperately attempt to disguise the tacky hue with Magic Silver White when the streaks will be deep purple.

You are never going to be a blonde. Your Scottish heritage has granted you with auburn tinged tresses and the red hue can never be bleached out even if you submerge your head in a bottle of 100% hydrogen peroxide overnight.

I’m dreadfully sorry but you will NEVER look like Agnetha from ABBA.

Alas, after giving birth to your first baby, needing a fresh change, like a moth to a flame you will again go down the perilous peroxide path… but this time you’ll go the whole hog and your entire head will look like you’re wearing a jaundiced Big Bird wig.

There will be tears.

By the time your third baby is about to be born the sickly locks will have finally grown out… but only after you’ve endured some decidedly repulsive haircuts closely resembling Prince Valiant...

Or David from Psychoville...

“There you go!” the hairdresser will say the day before you check yourself in for the Caesarean, 
“I call that my hospital haircut.”

You pay her at the counter… holding back the violent sobbing whilst staring out the corner of your eye at the mirror, noting with deep dismay the striking similarity you have to a ten year old boy.
Please listen to my advice, Pinky. Blondes don’t always have more fun.

Love, Pinky xx


Friday, September 13, 2013

Eight in a Mini Minor


“Here Mrs. P... this is for your birthday,” smiled one of my favourite students ‘Care Bear’ this morning, as she handed me a handmade card and the (badly photographed) elephant in the picture above.

“Thank you so much, Care Bear! It’s beautiful! And look, its trunk is in the upwards position which means good luck!” I gushed. 


Unwrapped, and just a little bit worn, the tiny statue was clearly a treasured belonging of hers which she’d sacrificed from her dressing table. (At least I hope it was from hers and not her mother’s.)

I really was touched. A very timely gift on such a day, I mused.

Many years ago when I was seventeen, soon after completing grade twelve, I was jolted awake at two in the morning, overcome by a horrible sensation of crushing nausea. As my bleary eyes opened into dazzling light I felt my head being forced down towards a kidney dish into which I painfully heaved a river of blood; more than the insufficient kidney dish was able to contain anyway.

Bewildered, frightened and with a head that felt it had been wasted by a wrecking ball, I looked around to see my friend Pip and her father standing beside me. Pip’s dad began to yell at someone in a panicked voice, “Quick, you need to come over here! She’s vomiting blood!”

A white clad nurse bustled over, “She’s okay,” she tittered, “It’s probably just the blood she swallowed from her broken nose.”

“You’ve been in a car accident but you’re okay,” comforted Pip’s father. “We’ve rung your Mum and Dad and let them know.”

I was in Brisbane on a holiday staying at Pip's with a group of girlfriends. We’d gone to visit some boys at their house for a small, innocent gathering. No alcohol was consumed but when the evening drew to a close one of the lads offered us a lift home and we made the stupid decision to pile into a Mini Minor. 

Three in the front and five in the back, no seat belts and with Pinky fortuitously hemmed in the middle of the back seat.

The driver of the Mini failed to notice a red arrow at the traffic lights and the mobile can of sardined teenagers was rudely collected by an oncoming vehicle, forcing the Mini Minor to roll three times before finally coming to rest upside down on the side of the road. 

One of my friends had been flung through the windscreen, face first into a light pole. She managed to break every bone in her face, knock out all her teeth and required a complete facial reconstruction. 

Another of my girlfriends broke her neck and spent the next nine months locked into a rotating bed in intensive care.

Thankfully, no one died.

I had no recollection of the accident as I'd been unconscious for about three hours during and after the crash, but in the days afterwards I experienced eerie flashbacks. I’d hear sirens in the distance and suddenly recall terrified screaming and the memory of my head thudding over and over inside the roof of the Mini.

The collision occurred on Friday 13th and I guess you can view it from two perspectives. Either we were in the wrong place at the wrong time and very unlucky, or we were all miraculously fortunate no one was killed.

Either way… I’m always nervous on Friday 13th.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pinky's Beauty Tips! What works and what doesn't!

Look... you can stop laughing right now! Okay!


If I can give tips on raising a daughter…click here

Tips on how blogging can be bad for you…click here!

Advice to men…click here!

And tips on how to deal with teenage boys…click here

Then surely I’m qualified to present my accumulated knowledge of what does and doesn’t work in the cosmetics industry… yeah?

Pinky aged 9 years

                             What's with the fringe, MUM??

Bitterly unhappy about the shape of my pointy, largish nose I took to sleeping with a headband stretched over my conspicuous proboscis hoping to restrict its growth. It didn’t work… and the rest of the kids persisted in calling me cruel names such as, Witchy-Poo

Lemon juice squeezed all over my face to fade my freckles did nothing for me either... except get me into trouble when Mum went to make her evening Gin and Tonic and there were no lemons left.

Pinky aged 16 years


The focus was on developing a deep tan via vegetable oil. Not recommended as thirty years later a very deep sun cancer was removed from my right cheek.


Pinky aged 21 years


Wearing copious amounts of thick makeup was the name of the game during my twenties. Leaving it on after a big night partying was de rigueur and sometimes I’d just slide it around the next day to fill in the gaps. They say every time you sleep in your makeup it ages your face by two days. Okay… by my calculations I must have the face of an eighty-seven year old...
Read this terrifying article!

Pinky aged 31 years

                          If I look frightened it's because I was.
I’d had two kids and was destined to give birth to another three within the next five years. There were NO beauty routines during those years aside from accidentally rubbing some zinc and castor oil cream onto my face whilst changing the baby’s nappy.

Pinky aged about 39 years

                           Pinky with Padraic and Hagar.
Panic set in! I was nearly FORTY! 
La Prairie night cream costing a fortune was purchased, trips to the plastic surgeon for micro-dermabrasion treatments, spider vein treatments, lip fillers and Botox injections for the deep gorge running between my eyebrows ensued. Nothing could stop my attempts to halt the clock ticking.

Pinky aged 50 years

    Pinky on her fiftieth and Thaddeus' twenty-first birthday with nephew Heinrich!

I've grown wiser over the years and I'm not falling for fancy packaging and false advertising anymore. Just the basic no nonsense, inexpensive 
QV range does it for me now. 

                                  My all time fave!

Let’s face it… it’s what’s on the INSIDE that counts anyway.

When I look in the mirror I may look like this…


But the best beauty tip I can give you is this... 

Take your glasses off when you look in the mirror... 


                            It's a bloody miracle!

Photoshopping by Scotto at Scottos World

Monday, August 26, 2013

Girls!!! Get thee to a clairvoyant!

                                Pinky and Scotto 2004

When things aren’t going well in life many people turn to spirituality; they’ll go to church, a mosque, a temple or whatever is pertinent to their faith. 


When there’s a man drought happening, women go to a clairvoyant.

Many years ago, having divorced her first husband three years previously, Pinky was sad and lonely. Who would ever want a middle-aged woman with five kids?...she speculated gloomily.

Then she saw the advertisement in the paper; 
Miriam the Clairvoyant, doing readings from her home for fifty bucks! Cheap as chips!

I timidly made the appointment and when the fate-filled day arrived enlisted fourteen year old Thaddeus to babysit eight year old Lulu and her brother Padraic for the hour I’d be gone.

“Do you have a piece of jewellery I can hold while I do your reading?” the very ordinary looking Miriam requested. I passed over the gold cross I wore around my neck feeling like an idiot and wishing I’d never committed to this foolish rubbish.

Miriam informed me that she ‘channelled’ guides who relayed all the information she would pass on to me.

“Are you married?” she asked in an odd tone of voice while she fingered my necklace, “How many children do you have? How old are they? What are their names?”

‘Shouldn’t you be bloody telling ME that,” I screamed inwardly, “And forget about the kids I want to know about any prospective whoopy that may be headin’ ma way.”

Shallow Pinky? You bet!… after Miriam finished with the boring stuff about the kids, she finally began to get into the juicy details.

“You will meet a man,” she slurred, with her eyes rolling back in her head (no she didn’t, I’m exaggerating for effect).

“This man,” she continued, “lives in South Queensland. He’s a bit of a character and loves to dress up. I can't quite picture him... but he has a young daughter.”

Alarm bells went off. Noooooo…. I have enough kids already.

“You will meet him around your birthday and he will immediately fall hard for you. He is a big softie and VERY romantic and you will marry him.”
Well, THAT sounds alright. I urged her on.

“He will see you as… the complete package.”

Aaaah, that must mean my beauty, wit and enforced thriftiness, I thought.

“This will definitely happen around your birthday… within the next five years,” she concluded.

FIVE BLOODY YEARS! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!...my impatient temperament seethed.

When I arrived home fifty dollars lighter, I discovered Lulu lying on the couch with her foot packed in ice. Despite my warning to remain in the house she’d gone out the front, climbed a tree and jumped down breaking her foot. The damn clairvoyant didn’t see THAT coming DID SHE???

Ridden with guilt I angrily threw the recording of the reading she’d given me in the trash, and that was the end of that. I promptly forgot the whole episode.

Two months later whilst on holidays in South Queensland, I met Scotto a week before my birthday. We instantly hit it off. The next week (my actual birthday) he invited me to his house for dinner.

“We have to go and have some photographs taken first,” he said when he picked me up.

Huh?? Whaaaat sort of photos? Nudey photos??? I was scared...

But it was okay… his mate was a bit of an amateur photographer and he took some romantic photos of us in the garden of his bushland property.

It transpired that this unexpected activity was also a bit of a stalling ploy. While we were having our photos taken, Scotto’s flatmate had been employed to light one hundred tea candles for me to espy as I walked in the front door, as well as putting the champagne on ice and heating the oven for dinner. Aaaaah… a true romantic (Scotto, not the flatmate).

Scotto does have a gorgeous, young daughter who lives with her Mum but is constantly up here on holidays joining in the insanity of Chez Poinker.

It wasn’t until Scotto leaned towards me many months later while we out to dinner and adoringly whispered,

“I love you Pinky… I see you as… the complete package,” that the penny dropped and I realised how right that clairvoyant had been.

But the tingles really went up my back about four months later when Scotto and I were buying engagement rings. We stopped into a coffee shop and I noticed an ordinary looking older woman staring at us, even more intently at Scotto. It was Miriam. She had a look on her face that clearly said, 
“Ooooh, that’s the bloke I saw that woman with, in my vision."


                         
                     Scotto just LOVES to dress up!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Sugar and Spice... and that's what Little Girls are Made Of.

               Two year old Lulu and her birthday cake!

Like most mothers my kid’s birthdays make me a touch sentimental and tonight; the eve of Lulu’s birthday, is no exception. I recall a time about three weeks after she was born; I was nursing her whilst slurping tea and chatting with other Mums at a playgroup.

“Oh, my daughter just loves her dress-ups box,” commented my friend Marilyn.

Suddenly I felt weird… strange… something didn’t feel normal. Then I abruptly realised what it was. I hadn’t been jolted by the involuntary stab of jealousy I’d been subconsciously feeling for the previous six years every time someone talked about their daughters. It wasn’t until that precise moment I realised how much I had yearned for a baby girl for all that time.

And wow, what a daughter she turned out to be.

I’ve never tried to be her friend. I don’t believe that’s being a ‘good’ mother. Besides she has zillions of friends already. So different to myself and yet in some ways similar, Lulu retains three main attributes which continue to amaze me; her leadership qualities, her sporting and athletic talent and her ability to talk to boys.

It is the latter proficiency (probably an aptitude strengthened by negotiating life with four older brothers) which particularly staggers me.

To say I was painfully shy around boys at sixteen would be a gross understatement. All my friends had boyfriends and at one stage I even sunk to the shameful depths of inventing a boyfriend in grade eleven.

“What’s his name then, Pinky?” asked my friend Wilhemina.

“Gary… Gary Dubois,” I responded with sincerity. (Gary Dubois had been a guest actor on the Partridge Family the previous night and I thought the name sounded exotic enough to be credible).

“Where’d ya meet him then?” she persisted dubiously.

“At the pictures,” I answered, quick as a fox. I don’t think she bought my story but thankfully she dropped the subject and my reputation remained intact.


By the middle of grade twelve my lack of male companionship was getting to be ridiculous. 


I sort of fancied a boy called ‘Farcus’, even though I deemed his hair to be a bit too fuzzy for my taste and I’d never spoken to him or even looked him full in the face.

“Do you want me to drop a hint?” asked my friend Pip encouragingly.

She was tentatively granted permission and a few days later Farcus rang the home phone. He was a bit of a jock and captain of the volleyball team so of course I was forced to feign an affinity with physical exercise.

“I play squash every Saturday morning if you want to come along and watch?” I suggested, dicing with death. (The truth was, it was a squash coaching clinic for little kids.)

Farcus, true to his word, turned up at the squash courts on Saturday morning. Now I was never a Heather McKay on the court but the minute I sensed him standing at the top peering down I completely lost any modicum of coordination. 

I must have ineptly swung the racket fifty times and missed the ball on each and every occasion. You could have taken a bite out of my humiliation it was so tangible. But like a true gentleman, Farcus withdrew in pitying embarrassment and waited for me to finish outside.

“So what’s wrong with your leg, Pinky?” he queried, pointing to an unappealing bandage on my leg with a brown blood stain the shape of Tasmania seeping through.

Now I could have said it was a sporting injury, or anything glamorous really, but instead I answered a bit too truthfully.

“Oh, I had a huge wart removed a couple of days ago. It was right on my shin bone and the doctor said the roots were really deep.”

I never heard from him again and by the next week he was already ‘going with’ another girl (who had fuzzy hair as well) and eventually married her. I joke not. Good Luck Chuck… that’s what I was!

Happy Birthday darling Lulu!



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Perils of Pinky Poinker Part Two

                                             

When I was four my parents erroneously believed I was a genius largely due to the fact that at the age of three I could recite the poem Vespers by A.A. Milne. A tape recording of my lisped recitation was made by my proud Grandfather and sent to all of our relatives over in England. 


(It later became clear to everyone that wee Pinky was not in actual fact a prodigy of any kind, but at the age of four I was still managing to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.) 

Kindergarten was deemed too low-brow for an intellect as lofty as Pinky’s, so a suitable school was sourced and before long a diminutive albeit fraudulently-gifted Pinky was accepted into a private Anglican school complete with terrifying nuns dressed in long black habits.

(If you have read this post 
Are We Mollycoddling Our Kids? you will recall that my mother removed me from the Kindergarten I was attending because the Kindy teacher had threatened to chop off my fingers due to my mucking up a succession of paper lanterns with my lame fine motor skills. Perhaps my mother merely wanted to get rid of me for five days a week and didn’t really believe I was a genius at all.)

If you look at the photograph in yesterday’s post you will notice a cheeky little girl sitting two to the right of me. Her name was Heather and she was as naughty as me and my best friend at school. She was five years old and worldly-wise in my four year old mind.

Pinky! Mummy said I’m allowed to have a friend over for a play on Monday afternoon. Do you want to come? I have a caravan in my backyard I use as a cubby!” Heather asked me one Thursday at recess.

I knew very well my overprotective mother would never, even if hell froze over, allow me to go on a play date, especially when she didn’t know Heather’s mother from a bar of soap, but all I said was, “Okay! I’ll ask Mum.”

The next day as soon as I saw the excited Heather she asked me, “Did you ask your Mum? Can you come over?

Yes. I’m allowed.” I replied positively.

I spent the weekend silently agonising over what I should do. I desperately wanted to see that caravan more than anything in the world.

Monday afternoon quickly arrived and Heather and I sat on the concrete school steps waiting to be picked
up. 

Heather’s mother arrived and we eagerly jumped into the back of the car. Although I pictured my mother arriving at the steps in our Citroen and finding me missing in action I didn't give it too much thought.

As Heather’s mother drove along the main thoroughfare I saw my own mother’s car parked outside the shops.
I didn't say a word.

There’s your Mum!” shouted Heather espying the easily identifiable car.

Yes,” I replied indifferently, “She’s probably on her way to pick me up from school.

There was a screech of brakes as Heather’s Mum (somewhat dangerously) pulled over to the side of the road.

Pinky!” she shrieked in alarm, probably contemplating the ramifications of kidnapping. “Does your mother know you are coming over to our place this afternoon?

So anyway… Heather’s Mum urgently swung the car around back to the shops, accosted my shocked mother and apologetically explained what had happened. Put on the spot, my mother begrudgingly agreed to my going on the play date. 

 Heather and I had a delightful afternoon drinking cordial and eating ginger nut biscuits in Heather’s caravan. 

But the entire visit was marred by an underlying certainty I would be getting a stern talking to when I returned home.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Perils of Pinky Poinker- Part One

               Pinky at four years of age at the convent.

My first boyfriend’s name was Kevin and from vague memories he was red-headed and extremely freckled. You know how in a relationship, sometimes one person is often much more in love than the other?

Well Kevin was more in love with me, than I in him.

I was four going on five and he was five going on six. He lived down the road from me and was to be reliably found knocking gently on our front door for a play every afternoon after school.

I don’t think Kevin should be encouraged to come over and play with Pinky so much,” said my mother one day to my father (whilst Pinky’s ears flapped maniacally). “You should hear the way she bosses the poor, little buggar around.”

It was true. I used to make agreeable Kevin stretch one of my father’s big socks over his head and pretend to be 
Davy Crockett. My own head was adorned with a length of Christmas tinsel and I portrayed the Indian Squaw.

It was the fantasy role-play I indulged in at that age. (Things haven’t improved much. You should see what I make Scotto dress up in… jokes.)

Every afternoon, earnest Kevin was sent out of the tepee in search of wild buffalo whilst I stayed at home and mixed a concoction of dirt, dried leaves and twigs in an old, empty petrol can. When he returned from the hunt (always disappointingly empty-handed) we would share the ‘Indian Stew’ I had lovingly created.

Our short romance did end quite quickly when my mother found me slyly washing large amounts of dirt out of my mouth into the bathroom sink (I’d inserted a plastic tube into the can and innocently sucked hard not thinking about the consequences) and she banned poor blameless Kevin from coming over any more.

Why did your mother overreact in such a harsh way? I hear you ask.

Well, about a month beforehand my mother and I had shared a conversation that went something like this.

Do you see that tree with the yellow flowers over there, Pinky?

“Yes, Mummy.”

Well you are never to go near that tree. It is POISONOUS! The leaves are poisonous and so are the flowers. Do NOT go near it.”

At that stage my sister Sam was still a baby and I was often bored stupid; an only child wandering around our swing-less, cubby-less backyard looking for something… anything to do. Espying the alluringly, seductive tree one day I thought I might have a taste-test on one of the leaves. Why the hell not? What did my mother know anyway?

I can remember my mouth immediately burning up and running frantically screaming to my mother. By the time I was raced to the doctor’s my lips had swollen monumentally and were completely numb. Thankfully nothing had been ingested.

“If I hadn’t mentioned the bloody tree she wouldn’t have bloody well gone anywhere near it!” I remember my mother crying to my father on the way home in the car.
Too true, too true.

Oleander poisoning occurs when someone sucks nectar from the flowers or chews leaves from the oleander or yellow oleander plant. Poisoning can also happen if you eat honey made by bees that used the oleander plant for nectar.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pinky: Proof that Fairies are Real!



When Lulu was about four years of age and her brothers were busy at soccer training I would take her for a little stroll down to the river to watch the ducks and turtles. There was a little inlet in the banks of the river.

Fairy pond


“You know that fairies live here, Lulu!” I told her one day. There was even a tree with a ‘fairy door’ for the comings and goings of the pixies. 

Fairy door
                     Yes! (sigh) I know. It looks like a vagina. Grow up!

I would hide a tiny present wrapped in tissue paper in my pocket and secretly drop it on the ground for her to ‘discover’: a present from the fairies.

The ‘fairy gift’ was usually something akin to a sparkling bracelet, a pot of face glitter or a spangled hair tie.

After a few weeks of this Lulu eventually turned to me lisping kindly,

“Mummy, I don’t like the presents the fairies are giving me. They’re ‘girl’ presents.”

… so much for my elation at giving birth to a girl after four boys; little tomboy.

I’d like to share a short home video my creative father made of my sister, Sam and I when we were about four and seven years old, respectively (circa 1967). I clearly remember the entire day it took Dad to film it.

It’s about a bossy fairy (Pinky) who assists a dysfunctional and possibly intellectually impaired bee (Sam) to find some honey; because the bee for some inexplicable reason can’t do its job properly.

You must pay particular attention to the creative improvised dances by both the fairy and the bee. Also note the preoccupation with scratching, due to a prolific amount of mosquitoes hanging around on the day!








And if you are reading this Lulu, I went for a walk down to the river today and guess what I saw in our favourite tree!!!

 I told you fairies are real!

Fairy at the fairy door!
                                 Click on the image to get a closer look!

PS: I still LOVE my little sister xxxxxx

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Queen and I - my connection to the Royal family.


Obviously as an inhabitant of a British colony, it would be improper to not write a post remarking on today’s birth of the future King of England, Prince No-Name-As-Yet.

I’m sure Katherine will read my blog and the accompanying excellent parenting tips I frequently publish. I wish her and William my hearty congratulations and good luck with it all.

I feel a certain closeness to the Royal family as I’ve actually met the Queen you know! Well… I haven’t in point of fact formally met her, but I’ve looked her directly in the face and she looked back at me.

Way back in medieval times; 1970, Queen Elizabeth II, visited our city to launch the Education Department at our new university. Our primary school was situated on a main thoroughfare which the Queen was required to be driven down on her way to the academic institution.

Can you imagine the exhilarated excitement oozing out of all our little bodies.

The Queen, who we stood in the torturing sun every day on Parade singing our lungs out for God to ‘Save’ was going to cruise by our povo State school. 


I couldn’t believe it.

I eagerly informed my father that the entire school was proposing to line up along the (still unsealed) road and wave to Her Royal Highness and wasn’t it all too thrilling?

“Really?” he scoffed. “I wouldn’t be bothered walking to my front lawn to see her.”

Dad said that about a lot of dignitaries and celebrities who visited our city over the years.

Normie Rowe, Johnny Farnham, the Seekers; even the Pope! I don’t know who he would have walked to the front lawn to see. 

His comment dampened my spirits and I went to school the next day telling everyone how I couldn’t give a fig about the dumb Queen and wouldn’t walk to my front lawn to see her.

This was relayed to my teacher Miss Lang who, from her reaction, happened to be a fanatical royalist.

“Everyone in the school will be lining up and waving flags Pinky, so you’d best keep quiet about your silly opinions,” she sniffed huffily.

The day arrived and we were all lined up along the edge of the road with the Infant School standing in front of the older grades on account of their lack of height.

The black Rolls Royce slowly approached and everyone screamed hysterically like a thousand feverish One Directioners. As the limousine drew closer to me I was overwhelmed with unanticipated Queen-mania.

I shoved the little kids aside and pushed my way to the front screaming in adulation and knocking the tiny tots to the ground.

I clearly saw Queen Elizabeth’s white face staring out the car window at me in alarm, her waving, gloved hand paused for a few seconds in apprehension, her smile was frozen on her face but the light left her eyes. 

She looked frightened.

I remember Miss Lang giving me a blast about pushing the infants over but I didn’t give two hoots.

I saw the Queen and she looked right at me!” I told my mother when I arrived home.

“Yes Pinky,” she sighed indulgently, “I’m sure she looked right at you.”



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

State of Origin or Cultural Decay?

                      

Lulu’s netball game has been cancelled tonight. Why? … because of the bloody State of Origin Rugby League match of course.

Our nation stops when Origin fever descends; the pubs are insanely full for a Wednesday night, the electricity grid is strained to the limit powering all the big screen televisions and everyone in Queensland is wearing Mighty Maroon even though the colour makes even the more attractive zealots look sickly.

This morning as I sat in the staffroom eavesdropping on the mind-numbing discussion centred on tonight’s game and feeling a bit left out, I pitched in my two cents worth.

“So who is Queensland playing tonight?” I queried feigning interest.

There followed an appalled silence as they stared at me as if I was some sort bizarre extra-terrestrial.

Then came the uproarious, mocking laughter and I quickly realised my blooper.

I may as well have asked who Australia is playing this year in the Ashes.

Oh well… we can’t all be rabid footy fans. Someone has to uphold the cultural element in society.

Crap… now I’ve done it... I’ll be copping some flack tomorrow for that statement. But on the other hand no one will read it because they’ll all be watching the damn S.O.O. eating meat pies, screaming abuse at the referees and swilling beer.

Back in the eighties when I lived in Sydney, I shared a house with four other people including one of the New South Wales State of Origin players, Michael O’Connor, and his fiancé Suzy. Our house was always full of elite football players but the game still didn’t manage to hook me in.

Occasionally I’d accompany Suzy and go to watch Michael play a game but I think I annoyed her by asking questions like, 
“So who are the ones in the stripy costumes again?”



Cameron Smith is a bit of a spunk though! Don't tell Scotto I wrote that.