Pinky's Book Link

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

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Little Brother

                                             Dogwood Crossing: Video Website

Someone I haven’t mentioned much on my blog is my little bro, Damo. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s a reflection of my jealousy towards him when we were growing up as he was always our mother’s favourite. The ‘Golden Child’ with the ringlets (who set fire to the side of the house and still avoided getting into trouble).

Pinky, seven years older than the little brat, was a horrible older sister. My younger sister Sam and I would lock him out of our bedroom when I was about eleven and he was at that particularly insufferable age of four. 

He lay outside our bedroom door crying like a baby to come in. We just ignored him until, near hysteria and in a feverish lather of sweat, he’d go and dob on us to Mum and I’d cop the blame because I was the eldest. Bloody sook.

When he grew into a tolerable age I was about twenty-two and flew the coop to the big smoke for several years. By the time I returned he too had reached the age where he decided to move away and hasn’t really returned home since.

We’ve seen him every few years but sometimes I regret not having nurtured a closer relationship with him. Your siblings are the closest blood relatives you’ll ever have in this world; closer than your parents and closer than your own children and should never be taken for granted really should they?

I mean… who’s better to donate the odd kidney?

Anyway, the reason I’m bringing up the little terror now is that he seems to have aced me in the adoration stakes once again.

Whilst I’ve been fruitlessly churning out frivolous, inane blog posts for the last eighteen months in the hope that Oprah might ‘discover’ me (whilst surfing the Net beside Stedman in her diamond encrusted nightie) and order a major publishing house to sign me up, Damo has been busy pursuing his own aspirations.

His band, Dogwood Crossing.

The little bugger is the number one, number two and number four on the Triple J Unearthed Chart ???

What the ?

AND Dogwood Crossing are launching their tour in Damo’s home town (my home town too) so I suppose I’ll be obliged to go and support him.

Honestly! The things a big sister has to do.

Expect a phone call because I’ll be organising a posse to come along and support the little monster.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K - is for Kissing Cousins.

                 Mum holding little baby brother Damo, (L-R) Sam, Kimmy and Pinky.

A to Z April Challenge

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Kissing cousin- noun

: a person and especially a relative who you know well enough to kiss in a formal way when you meet.

I have twenty (first) cousins altogether but I only keep regular contact with two of them; via Facebook mainly as we all live in different cities.

Back in my childhood, every second year Mum and Dad would pack up the Citroen and at three o’clock in the morning we’d be dragged out of bed for the road trip up to Cairns to visit the cousins. Even now when I’m forced to wake up at that ungodly hour I have flashbacks of those trips.

Mum would make us eat a bowl of Weet-Bix before we left which would invariably be regurgitated by my little sister Sam all over the back seat of the car as we drove over the Cardwell Ranges.

I’d be sitting in the back beside her, complaining for the remainder of the trip about the stench of vomit. Mum would incompetently endeavor to clean it up in the dawn light with a box of Kleenex; whatever remained after the poodle had licked it up anyway.

Dad was adamant we had to leave early to escape the North Queensland heat because there was no such thing as air-conditioned cars back then.

As we drove into Cairns at eight o’clock in the morning my excitement would reach fever pitch. Jewel and Cheryl, my older cousins were my idols. Kimmy, the younger cousin, hung around with my sister Sam, but I liked to hang out with the worldly-wise older girls in their sophisticated caravan in the backyard, milking them for classified information about sex, boys and other mysterious phenomena.

                                 Cheryl and Jewel circa 1968

Who do you suppose told me how babies are made?

And who scared the willies out of me by retelling the urban myth about the bloke on top of the car bouncing the head of the girl’s boyfriend?

Both girls were set a punishing regime of piano practice every day by their musician father and I remember sitting patiently waiting for them to finish so I could hang around again like a bad smell; in a way only the quintessential pesky younger cousin is able.

In my eyes both girls were so gifted, beautiful, artistically talented and stylish. I was besotted.

One afternoon back in the late sixties, sitting under their old Queenslander style house they introduced me to my all-time favourite song; the song I've told Scotto I want played at my funeral.

They’d take me for a walk up to the shop and buy me an ice-cream and allow me to hang out when their friends came over. Even the boys.

When they were older they’d return from holidays in the big smoke looking all glamorous with long, auburn-dyed cascading hair, sky high platform shoes and the kind of sparkly clothes little Pinky would salivate over.

They related stories of meeting celebrities when they were in the big smoke and I luxuriated in vicarious pleasure.

Imagine meeting the stars of Skippy in real life!

                   Cheryl holding baby Thaddeus with her daughter Emily.

Cheryl has remained my closest cousin over the last forty years and from fitness camps in the eighties to funerals, weddings and family visits in the nineties and naughties, our relationship has endured.

                              Pinky holding Hagar, Cheryl seated, Kimmy on right.
                           Not sure who owns the rest of the kids!

                                And she’s still beautiful!

Do you have a favourite cousin?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Is Pinky a Bogan?

Q: How do you know if you're a Bogan?
A: You let your 15-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.

Every country knows the type.The United States call them 'Rednecks', the Brits call them 'Pikeys' and according to Google, in Europe they're called 'Gypsies'.

Fake tans, tatts, over consumption of Reality TV, unruly, undisciplined kids, uncouth dress style, holidays in Thailand/Bali, colloquial phrases and Eastern themed home décor are all defining aspects of whether or not a person falls into the “Bogan” classification in Australia according to Wikipedia. 

I thought I’d do a quick checklist to ascertain whether the Poinkers are or are not a family of Bogans.

1. I admit to owning Ugg boots which I've sporadically worn to the shops in winter with tracksuit pants on. I was very quick and kept my head down though and don’t believe anyone I know witnessed the event.

2. When they were young, I did on occasion allow my kids to run rampant in the Qantas business lounge at the airport. But there were five of them and only one of me and we don’t usually have raisin toast at home so the novelty became too much for them which was the reason they all kept going back to the servery about ten times each, especially Hagar.

             (L-R) Padraic 4, Jonah 6, Lulu 3, Thaddeus 7, Hagar 5.

3. I’ve never belted my children in public (or private because they were very athletic and can run faster than me).

4. Not only do I have a Buddhist ornament in my home I have several. The reason for this is that they’re very cheap.

5. I don’t have the Southern Cross tattooed on my arm although I do own a pair of shorts with a pattern of the Australian flag on them but my bottom doesn’t fit in to them anymore so they don’t count.

6. I’ve never bought a Zoo Weekly although I’m pretty sure I’ve seen one stuffed under Hagar’s bed.

7. I have indulged in a fake tan once before a trip to Airlie Beach but the spray ended up congealed in the fat rolls on my stomach giving me a Tasmanian Tiger like appearance so I gave it a miss after that.

8. I’ve never been on the mandated holiday to Thailand... although Hagar is headed there in two weeks’ time to celebrate turning twenty-one (with his girlfriend who does get fake tans).

9. I do call Brisbane ‘Brisvegas’ and say things like, “I got up at sparrow’s fart and I’ve been flat out like a lizard drinking all day so I’m buggered. Can you pour me a Chardy please luv?” but we only drink the more refined bottled wine from Dan Murphy’s.

10. I don’t have a nickname ending in “azza” or “o” but my husband Scotto does. (He also wears Ugg boots and follows Collingwood… just sayin’.)

11. We don’t watch a lot of reality television except for My Kitchen Rules but I do sit bra-less in front of the telly on Friday nights and hum along to the theme song of Better Homes and Gardens with a drink in my hand and a frozen pizza in the oven.

12. No-one in the family owns a Ute, although Hagar used to until he wrote it off when it was uninsured and still owed payments on it.

13. Sorry… I forgot; nineteen year old Padraic has just bought himself a Ute.

14. I’ve never finished mowing the lawn and discovered a previously concealed car, however Scotto did find a pair of unidentified board shorts once.

15. We’ve never kept an old couch in the backyard. There was one sitting on the front patio waiting to go to the dump for a few months but it made a lovely bed for the cat as long as it avoided impalement from the broken spring poking dangerously out.

16. I’ve never been on A Current Affair regarding a neighbourhood dispute but in the time I’ve lived here our neighbours have sold up and moved four times without saying goodbye to us.

So what do you think? Could we possibly be Bogans? What about you?

Or Shazza, Kazza, Pedro, Thommo, Davo, Johnno....etc.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

How Fathers Influence their Daughters.

This is my favourite photo in the entire world. It’s my father cradling a three week old Pinky, circa 1910.

He was only twenty-five at the time, having married my nineteen year old mother eleven months previously (so they tell me).

Nah… I’m only joking, but apparently my dear old Nana was upset Mum had fallen pregnant so soon after marrying because it ‘didn’t look good’. What would the aunties think? It didn’t help appearances when 6 lb. baby Pinky arrived three weeks early either.

But back to Dad.

It’s his birthday tomorrow and after much determined pestering on my behalf, he finally agreed to write a guest post which will be published on Pinky Poinker in celebration of the special day.

If I was to sum my father up in one word it would be “artist”.

A painter, cartoonist, writer, landscape artist, sculptor, sketch artist, bullshit artist.

                              The coyote finally succeeds!

We grew up in a house filled with Dad’s artwork. Some of it was bloody good, some not so great.

Back in the seventies he decided to build a pool in our backyard. Not just have a pool put in, but actually build a pool. 

Every night after he finished work he would spend hours in the dark sink hole, troweling cement and grouting tiles by the light of a single light bulb, his only company a massive great cane toad. 

Julius, the toad, revelled in the swarms of mosquitoes attracted to the light globe and appeared each night to cheer Dad on. This self-imposed hard labour went on for months.

The result of his monumental effort was a fully tiled swimming pool fed by an elaborate, landscaped waterfall. It was truly a work of art.

My father undertook all of the wall-papering (big in the seventies), tiling, painting, concreting, carpentry and of course electrical work in the house. I don’t think we ever needed to call a tradesman for anything except when our huge umbrella tree grew to mammoth proportions and one day we noticed its guileful root shyly peeking out of the toilet bowl. Council plumbers were needed to dig up every plant infested pipe in the place.

After a few years living in the house Dad decided to build another story on top with a shingled roof; each shingle lovingly hammered in place by our unstoppable father.

They just don’t make men like that anymore.

                               Dad's old Falcon.

One of my earliest most cherished memories of my father was at the age of five. I’d just been awarded honours in a ballet exam and I couldn’t wait for him to arrive home so I could squeak out the exciting news.

I recall with clarity, Dad shouting in excitement and lifting me up in his arms towards the ceiling in elation. We were standing beside the dining room table; Mum laughed at us and the sun shone through a window on our right. The forty-eight year old memory is crystal clear. 

I savoured his praise then and still do now. Daughters need that demonstrative love and appreciation from their fathers.

                       Pinky and little sister Sam with Dad.

Dad is a bit of a human oxymoron; a cultivated Aussie bloke.

He imparted a love for the Fine Arts to us kids by taking us to the ballet, art galleries, museums and the theatre as we were growing up.

My sister and I now invite him to the ballet when the opportunity arises. Not that it does very often because he and Mum have retired to a place over one thousand miles away.

My granddad Bert, was also an artist and an eccentric rascal who taught himself to play the piano in his late eighties.

This is a self-portrait old Bert painted when he was probably in his mid-seventies. 

                         Bert at his ninetieth birthday.

I’m thinking perhaps my father inherited some of his artistic ability from Bert.

At first I think Dad disapproved of my blog, primarily due to the over-abundance of personal information I freely distribute on the World-Wide Web.

When I visited him last year he brought out a plethora of humorous and engaging articles he’d written for a magazine when he was about the same age as I am now. Many of the articles described the antics of every day life enacted by his wife and three kids. 


And so… father and daughter in the more mature years of their lives are bonding over the written word.

I’m thinking perhaps Pinky may have inherited some of her minimal artistic ability from her father.

Happy birthday my darling father xx

                                     Being a Granddad.

Monday, November 4, 2013

My Sister Sam and Sibling Rivalry

                               Pinky at four, and Sam one.

My first memory of her was when I was about three and a half. “Come and look at your little sister, Pinky!” Cooed my mother from her bedroom where she was changing baby Sam’s nappy and playing ‘bicycle legs’ with her. I peered at the cherubic baby jealously. My mother never did that to me, I thought resentfully.

From then on most of my childhood memories involve me unjustifiably getting into big trouble, while little Sam was the source of the mischief in the first place.

For example, shopping with an eighteen month old Sam one day I passed her a pretty blue cellophane toilet deodorant cake to play with in the shopping trolley when my mother’s back was turned. Who got the blame when the dribbling baby unwrapped the packet and took a bite out of it? Pinky… that’s who.

When I was about six and she was three years old we always took a bath together. It was my job to look after her but one evening, bored with the tedious task, I drained the tub and spread soap all over the floor of the bathroom.

“Look Sam! We can skate all over the floor!” I squealed in wicked enticement.

Sam, unco-ordinated baby that she was, slipped over splitting her eye open. She was rushed to the doctor by my panicked parents. The gushing blood and gaping wound probably scared them a bit but it was ME who copped the blame after the event. Sam still bears the scar today… not that it mars her beauty at all. The scars I bear from the false accusations still gurgle on the surface of my fragile schema though.

To further denigrate my wrongly besmirched character, about a week later we were left at my Grandma’s place for a couple of hours. “Come into Grandma’s bedroom, Sam.” I coerced my sister. “I can make your eye look all better.” I smothered the bandage with Grandma’s thick, oily blue and green eye shadow. By the time I’d finished with her she resembled a grease-painted peacock in drag.

I was just applying the finishing touches to my masterpiece when our parents arrived to pick us up. 

“What have you done, Pinky?” cried mum hysterically. “Look at her…it’s all gone inside the bandage and into the stitches!”

Another late night trek to the doctors ensued and I was sent to my bed without dinner. “That’s it,” I thought vengefully. “They love her MORE than they love me.”

The day Sam shoved a glass bead deep into her nasal cavity and almost died from inhaling it was also apparently my fault. It was my glass bead, one of many I’d left carelessly on my bedroom floor after being told countless times to clean them up. I was mightily peeved after my mother bought Sam a toy for being so brave when the doctor poked a foot long pair of tweezers up her snout. Where was my toy?

But the worst thing I was blamed for was on Christmas morning when Sam was three. We shared a bedroom together and Pinky had woken at sparrow’s fart in typical six year old exhilaration.

Noting with thrill, the pillow cases stuffed with presents at the foot of each bed, Pinky went about clinically unwrapping all the gifts, setting them up and enjoying a good hour long play with each and every one before the parentals woke up and hit the roof. 

They said I ruined Christmas that year.

Many years have passed since those days and my dear little sister is about to celebrate a very significant birthday. Naturally, our parents are making a special airplane trip up to celebrate such an auspicious occasion. 

Did they make the same effort for Pinky?

Well… they didn’t have to because three weeks before my big event they were still living, gosh, around the corner from me. 

Instead, they deemed it more fitting to pack up, sell their house and move one thousand miles away just prior to my birthday. I told you they love her more than me.

All joking aside though, my sister is my closest and bestest friend and I love her to bits. Happy Birthday Sammy!

                               Sam at 16 and Pinky 19

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Grandad's House of Horrors

"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone."

I awoke in a lather of sweat last night, tangled in the sheets  breathing rapidly and heart beating wildly in my chest.
(No, I hadn't been dreaming that Kevin Rudd had won leadership of the Labor Party, it was even worse than that.)

I'd been dreaming about flies. Flies in my mouth and eyes and ears. Flies and bugs invading my orifices, buzzing and flitting around in my face like a plague of locusts.

What could have ignited this horrific fiery and hellish delirium? 
I believe it was the surroundings in which I am currently ensconced.
My parents cosy abode.
To say they are fond of art is somewhat of an understatement.
Sixty years of collecting bits and pieces here and there has led to a house full of some seriously disturbing and frightening pieces of art that a bogan (redneck) like Pinky finds a tad unnerving.  

For example; 'Satan's Goat'!

An aggressive and realistic duck about to take a chunk from your calf waiting patiently just inside the front door.

A  Norman Lindsay print in the foyer depicting a creepy monster seducing a virgin.

The print of a one eyed owl painted by a Tienanmen Square protester symbolising corruption in power.

A winsome gargoyle.

A bizarre half Japanese half Anglo-Saxon chick who stares at me as I drink my cup of tea!

Two nasty looking wolfie bookends.

Ned Kelly gone psycho!

Another scary Gargoyly thing!

Yet another weird goat!

A very scary wind chime ready to descend on your jugular!

Mandatory dragon in this house of fear!

An evil rocking horse that moves by itself when no one else is in the room!!!! (It did I swear!)

A collage of disturbing images!

Another unfinished weird owl (painted by Dad) with telescope lenses for eyes!

The skull of my childhood pet- a German Shepherd which dad accidentally dug up and glued back together!!!

A random wallaby skull Dad (said he) found on the side of the road and reconstructed!

I don't even know what this is or why it's on the wall !!!!

But this is the most terrifying of ALL!
Millie the cocker spaniel!
Named and shamed on the Dangerous Dogs register
for killing the neighbour's chickens!!!

Sweet dreams my lovelies x

Saturday, June 1, 2013

What to do when you run out of ideas for your blog posts.

                                             (L-R) Sam, Sinead, Greigor, Uncle Pedro, Thaddeus, Scotto.

Sometimes it’s a bit hard to think of what to write about every single day. Whilst messaging my friend Sinead, on Facebook this morning I decided to exploit her witty, razor-sharp intellect for some inspiration.

Pinky: What can I write my post about this morning. Give me an idea?

Sinead: Don't tell me you've run out of things to name and shame the children, dogs, husbands, relatives, friends and co-workers about?

....Must be time to adopt an eastern European orphan to add fodder to the blog mill.

I'm a middle aged, childless, pet free life isn't funny...but it's peaceful

Pinky: I write about other stuff, not just bagging people out. Like… lists. What can I write a list about? Come on girl! Throw me a fricken bone!

Sinead: Aggro blogger!

So now my sister Sam, Uncle Pedro, Sinead, Greigor and Thaddeus are all here for lunch and we are work shopping inspiring ideas for life changing activities Pinky could partake of, to inspire blog posts on subjects other than “adopting orphans from war torn countries”.

Here’s what the collective came up with…

“If you were audited you might have something to write about.” Very lame stupid suggestion from my sister Sam possibly motivated from her real life experience.

“Clone yourself?” came the really stupid comment from Greigor.

“Clone Eastern European orphans?” extra stupid comment from Greigor.

“Is this funny?” asked Pinky in a mystified and confused state reading it out loud to the bawdy entourage.

“What's this about Eastern European authors?” asked the distant and ‘special’ Uncle Pedro who had been drifting in and out of his own private Idaho.

“No,” sighed an exasperated Pinky, “Forget about a life-changing experience, I need a subject to write a list about. Can you manage that?

Manscaping?” suggested gay Greigor.

Can I write that you lisped that?” I asked him.

That’s stereotyping!” he screeched dramatically, “Won’t you offend people with speech impediments?” he frantically jazz handed.

Fun things to do with dog hair?” Sam remarked nebulously as she gazed around our back patio.

What do you want a list of?” interjected Uncle Pedro.

“Why Matt Damon is so hot!” added Greigor.

Can I migrate to an Eastern European country to get away from this bullsh#t?” said Uncle Pedro reaching for his Rum and Coke.

Name three Eastern European countries Uncle Pedro?” demanded Sinead snidely.

Romania!” came the chorus of Beer Quiz Trivia veterans.

Who are the five Catholic Prime Ministers of Australia? That’d be a good list!” asked renounced Irish Catholic Uncle Pedro.

Fiddlee-dee potatoes!” quipped Sinead in a mildly Scottish/ Irish accent.

Paul Keating, James Scullin, Ben Chifley, Andrew Lyons?” interjected a belated Thaddeus.

Right that’s it!” murmured a defeated and drained Pinky.

"You’re all a mob of useless gits. I’m going to get the party pies out of the oven".

PS: It's Emmsie's birthday today! Happy birthday dear friend!

                                                     Kyles, Emmsie, Tans(at back), Shazza, Pinky!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nobody Listens to Pinky.


“So as part of this unit we will be learning about Mary MacKillop.” I said to my grade four students today.

“Awwww!” came the collective moans of dismay.

“We learnt all about her last year Mrs P,” they insisted.

Hmmmm, I thought, that’s good, maybe we can get through that part of the unit quickly then.

“Okay, hands up and tell me what you know.”

Three hands went up. 

“She was Australia’s first saint.” 

“She started the first Catholic school in Australia.”

It was going well until the final enthusiastic answer, 

“She was there when they saw the rock moved away from Jesus’ tomb!”

At least it wasn’t as bad as Rach’s class next door who asked her if Mary MacKillop was the same Mary who appeared when you turn the lights off in the bathroom and say,’ Bloody Mary’ three times into the mirror.

In the middle session I gave a very comprehensive (even if I say so myself) science lesson about friction. We went out to the car park and examined the tread on the tyres, (by the way Mrs Robertson, you need new tyres) and even did an exciting experiment involving rolling canisters along different surfaces and measuring the distance they travelled. It was all written up, tabled and aptly diagrammed in their books.

“So guys, what did we learn about friction today?” I asked optimistically during the afternoon session. Little Jacinta tentatively raised her hand,

“Um… if you cut up a pizza then each piece is called a friction?”

The only way you can be almost sure kids are actually listening is to say, 

“Look me in the eyes and repeat after me…” Even then there’s only a slight chance it’s sinking in.

Not that I can talk. I was dreadful at listening and even when I was eighteen I recall an incident which sent my father into a well-justified apoplectic fit.

Mum and Dad were going out for dinner and my boyfriend was over for the evening.

“Pinky, I want you to listen very carefully,” said my father gravely. “A man is going to phone me tonight to ask if the job at the hospital is on or off. He doesn’t have a home phone so I can’t call him back. Please make sure you answer the phone and give him the message.”

“Yeah, sure,” I murmured, waving him off dismissively.

“It’s very important Pinky,” Dad stressed, “We are turning the electricity supply off to all the operating theatres at the hospital just so we can do this job tomorrow morning. You must tell him the job is on, okay?”

“Yep, sure Dad, bye.”

About an hour later, while my boyfriend and I were watching the telly, the phone rang.

“Just ignore it,” I flippantly remarked.

“But it might be that bloke your father wanted you to give a message to.”

“Oh yeah… that’s right. I’ll be back in a sec.” I was a bit annoyed at this inconvenient chore taking me away from 'The Sullivans', but I slouched over to the bothersome phone and picked it up.

“Hi… yes he lives here… he had to go out but he gave me a message for you,” I paused suddenly, realising I didn’t know what the hell the message was supposed to be.

“Well…?” the bloke on the line queried. “Is the job on or off?”

“Ummm… It’s off.” I blurted, hedging my bets, I mean to say there was a fifty/fifty chance that ‘off’ was the correct response.

Dad’s first anxious question when he walked in the door was naturally to ask if the phone call had been dealt with.

“Yes Dad,” I drawled indifferently, “I told him the job was off.”

The look of murderous fury on my father’s face would have sent Charles Manson scuttling away to hide under his mother’s skirts. Even my boyfriend (the traitor) just stood shaking his head at me in disgust.

After a volatile and vociferous sermon on how much of a f#cking idiot child I was, and how I was the reason they'd invented the pill, my father was forced to drive around the suburb the bloke lived in all night. Dad had to scan driveways for the bloke’s car so that he could inform him that the job was indeed on, not off.

I’d be a liar if I said I have improved my listening skills since then. Just ask Scotto. 

He often tenderly takes my pointy little chin between his thumb and forefinger, gazes into my face and says, “Now look me in the eyes, and repeat after me…”

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pinky pays homage to Uncle Pedro

Uncle Pedro giving Hagar a noogy!

I remember the grass rushing towards my face and the weight of twenty-three year old Thaddeus falling on top of me. He’d been attempting to give me a bear hug and in his inebriated state had lost his balance and taken me down with him.

“Thaddeus, you d#*khead!” came the catcalls from the crowd. “Go to bed for God’s sake!”

We were all at my sister Sam’s house last night celebrating my brother-in-law Pedro’s birthday. Someone had the brilliant idea of introducing cocktails into the festivities and Thaddeus went a bit silly guzzling them down with a little too much zest.

Pedro is a big kind-hearted Irishman who loves nothing more than a loud piss up with close friends and family… and when I say loud I mean really bloody loud. Sam lives literally around the corner and up the road from us and we’ve staggered home late after many of their gatherings, listening to Pedro’s booming baritone entertaining the entire neighbourhood with his rendition of “Seven Spanish Angels”.

I’ve never witnessed it first hand, but have heard that the neighbours have called the police several times complaining about a big party with loud music. When the police arrive they scratch their heads at the fact that there are only about four people in attendance at the residence and the only music is coming from a small ghetto blaster. What they don’t realise is that all the cacophony is coming from Pedro.

The inventory of mischievous fables ascribed to Pedro is of legendary status and he has had his fair share of run-ins with the law, but mainly for the right reasons. 

One night when leaving the Casino he came across some officers who may or may not have been overly rough in their dealings with a vagrant. 

“Excuse me but is there something I can do to help this man?” interrupted Pedro concerned for the poor bloke and hoping to diffuse the tension. 
He was promptly handcuffed and thrown in the back of the car with the vagrant for interfering with police work or some such other bullsh*t.

Mind you there is also the narrative of Pedro’s dramatic enactment of suffering an asthma attack to avoid being breathalysed on the roadside. Taken to hospital in the back of an ambulance the story has it that he then went on to feign a seizure to evade a blood test. 

“You should get a bloody Oscar for this mate.” The orderly apparently said while observing Pedro dribbling and jerking around in an epileptic fashion. How I’d have loved to see that.

My four boys adore Uncle Pedro but the jury is still out on whether he has been the most desirable male role model in their lives. Every Christmas the boys would knowingly wait for Uncle Pedro to get well-oiled enough for them to scam money from him, often walking away with twenty dollar notes in their pocket. 
“Did you get good marks on your report this year Jonah?” Pedro would bellow. If the particular child in question answered in the affirmative they’d be handed money. My kids aren’t stupid and Uncle Pedro would wake up the next morning fleeced.

When each of my boys turned eighteen Uncle Pedro took them out for a night on the town; drinking, gambling and no doubt visiting disagreeable establishments. Not nice for a mother to think about but a rite of passage according to Pedro.

One of the most charitable and family minded of Pedro’s undertakings has been employing nineteen year old Hagar as an apprentice. 

Apparently on a recent work trip out of town Pedro finally entrusted inexperienced (and on occasion thick as two bricks) Hagar with some actual responsibility. Hagar was to drive the big truck back to town and Pedro and the boys would catch up to him on the highway about fifteen minutes later. 

The boys still hadn’t sighted Hagar after the estimated time and after twenty minutes received an anxious call from him saying that the truck had a flat tyre and he was stranded by the side of the road.

“Well why haven’t we passed you on the highway then Hagar?” asked Pedro.

Apparently deep in a daydream, Hagar had turned off the wrong way and had been heading South instead of North; so it’s probably a good thing he got the puncture or he might have ended up in Brisbane before he worked it all out.

You have the patience of a saint Pedro… Happy birthday!

Monday, February 18, 2013


Even though I try to set a good example my five kids have picked up some appalling speech affectations and bad habits from somewhere. 

Jonah, who won debating and public speaking competitions when he was younger, now mumbles so badly it sounds like he’s talking into a paper bag.

Lulu has adopted that teenager vernacular where they all distort their vowels and speak in text language, LOL. 

Padraic, for some reason, speaks with a Tongan accent just like ‘Jonah’ from ‘Summer Heights High’. I’m hoping he’ll grow out of that one.

When my sister, brother and I were young our father was a stickler for the correct use of the English language. 

It wasn’t ‘orientated’ it was ‘oriented’, you don’t ‘have a lend’ of something you ‘borrow’ it, don’t end a sentence with ‘but’, etc.
Swearing of any kind was prohibited. My mother never cursed and even Dad didn’t swear (unless he was doing work around the house when he would direct his abuse at a hammer and use weird words like ‘pox-ridden’, that I’d never heard of). 
My kids laugh scornfully at me when I tell them that I wouldn’t have even dreamt of telling my old girl to ‘shut up’, let alone the crass expletives they freely and habitually fling at and around me. 

Times have changed apparently.

Many years ago when my fifteen year old brother Damo, was having an argument with my mother and sister, he turned to them and shouted in frustration, 

“Well f#%k youse then!” and walked off in a hissy fit.

Mum was outraged, “You wait until your father gets home, he’ll deal with you!”

When Dad came home from work my mother related the story to him. My father was furious and immediately went on the warpath.

Purposefully charging into Damo’s room he demanded,

“What’s this I hear about you saying YOUSE????”