Thursday, November 26, 2015


The cat and I have a non-verbal relationship.  

He is able to bend my will with mind tricks and careful placement of his weaving body in geographic locations most likely to gain my attention by the sudden clarity of imminent danger.

Take tonight, for example.  Tonight I went out in pursuit of my electronic vessel of dictation*  and he desired me to attend a matter of some importance in the kitchen. 

 He herded me expertly over to the light switch before an imperceptible manoeuvre had me facing his food bowl.

 I eyeballed him and reached for the plastic flask of kibble.  He nodded his satisfaction.

Then looked towards the other bowl.

“Yeah” I managed to convey with a sideways-tilt and a “thxt”-click against the upper palate.  “I get that you don’t like the f’ing fish, but you’re not going to starve.”

I have the feeling that our next encounter will not be so silent, for as I was leaving the room I could see the thought bubbles floating up from his ginger head, 
plotting his pre-dawn revenge with the meow he reserves for interrupting me while working on the computer or when he is shut in – or out – of an unexpected room. 

 My money is on 4:12. 

 Too early to be a useful time to get up, too late for the remaining sleep to be of any value.  Some would call it abuse – we just call it being OWNED by a cat.

* my computer

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Sliver Tinsel Chritsmas Tree - or how my mother stole Christmas...

I do most humbly wish to beg your pardon for bringing the Yule traditions into this November offering - you who know me know that this is not my style.

I have long been known for my "Bah! Humbug!" attitude especially towards breaking the December 1 release date, but I remembered a yarn and it appears I am mellowing in  my dotage (well, it feels like it some days - I was putting this lethargy at the altar of "old mother young child (nyah, nyah we told you so)" but apparently "gestated-lactated-menstruated anemia*" gets to podium.  So nyah nyah back, some old mother young child combos apparently don't feel as exhausted as I)...

* I keep going to say amnesia - but I know its not - and then I laugh because that would indeed be amnesia

So yeah, really mellowing in my dotage.  

Anyhoo, I remembered the tale of the Silver Tinsel Christmas Tree and thought perhaps it should be written down.

We don't have Christmas tree memories that include warm cocoa and tree lots and the smell of pine oils. 

Ours instead are of mysterious boxes in the top corner of the office cupboard that were unearthed annually, the contents of which shone in festive delight in the the corner of the living room...

The first ever yuletide tradition that is in my memory is the Silver Tinsel Christmas Tree made of the fore-mentioned tinsel glued to wires that clicked into the trunk of steel.  It was a thing of beauty and engineering splendour - for a few years.  And then, sadly, it was no longer a thing of beauty and splendour - and it was the first item of importance that I ever recall the end of.** 
** Perhaps this was because most other items of importance that were attempted at ending were rescued by weekly missions I took to our dump.  

My mother was very canny in how she ended the reign of the Silver Tinsel Christmas Tree.

We were going down to the Sunshine Coast for the Christmas holidays.  Markets must have been up or the dollar good or something, but we were going down to the promise of the beach, the cricket, and rellos crammed into every spare space for a whole week!

My mum must have been feeling excessively wealthy, because she proposed that rather than do our usual tree, she would decadently lash out and get us a DIFFERENT tree for the holidays.  Maybe even - a REAL tree.

Two things.  

Firstly - perhaps it wasn't a part of your culture or background, but packing the Christmas Tree to put up at the end of your journey is not just a real thing for some people - but it JUST WAS.  

Remember how packed the car used to get going away on the holidays?  

Full Summer.  Pre-air-conditioned cars.  Packed to the roof-racks.  Knees around your ears and holding half the presents.  Now add in a few boxes for the tree and baubels.  It happened.

And secondly - there is a GOOD REASON why Australians - or more specifically, Queenslanders - choose to eschew real trees.

ReasonS.  Millions of the little buggers that parch and plummet as soon as you have exchanged money for the tree.  

And I can assure you, the smell of old, dry, flammable pine needles mixed with 35 degree day in a Queensland summer is not necessarily a fragrance that evokes positive flashbacks - and it may be why so many of us drink.

But yes.  My mother.  The tree.  

I have worked out NOW, forty years later, that she was prising our yearning off the Silver Tinsel Christmas Tree and attempting to pre-campaign a double-bluff to advantage her choice for the replacement - a more traditional green plastic tree that took up less acreage or cubic volume and required less vacuuming - than whatever yahoo concoction that may connect with my father's eye and was brought into the familial equation.

Well played, Mother.  Well played.

So - what was your first memory of such chicanery? 

Friday, November 20, 2015

The post in which some reflection occurs...

You know how you do when you sit down to write a post, stuff around, get distracted by the cat, a car, concern for the world - and then you think - well, nothing really.
I thought "I haven't taken any pics of late, and Paris",,, *

So, where was I?  Oh yes, dearth of pictures - and I thought...  Well, no, I didn't.  I accidentally hit the button that turned on my screen camera.  THEN I thought "hmmm, I might shoot a selfie."

I was then vain enough to STAND UP and turn off the kitchen light (because I need the lighting to offer "mystery" rather than "thriller") and sat, arranged myself and click-three-two-one- oh so very sultry.

Yes, one would imagine at this point of this blog, you would see the resultant shot, but bugalugs here then "clicked" on the button that she THOUGHT would ensure that the photograph would magically transmit FROM the machine on which I am operating TO the outside world which is right here inside the machine...


The machine is FAR TOO CANNY for that.  I am unable to locate where the blooming picture is of the above me, but I HAVE found where in tarnation it did send the photograph to.

That is right - forevermore (or the moment I remember how to change it to quaint Windows vistas again) I shall see THIS when I boot up...

I am pretty sure I have mentioned before that my most prolific commenters are those of the spam variety...

But I do have to also tell you, as much as they annoy with there "click me click me click me neediness", they are starting to get to me.

I mean, they are so flattering:

If only they never offered the "click me" and instead offered to entice me with more flattery forevermore.

I could bathe in that for weeks without ever resorting to having to spend for the pleasure...

(okay - the Vicki bit is weird, even I have to admit.  I don't think I want to have Vickis with strong Viking chief heritage to be involved in the flattery of moi...)

I can see my fellow marketing students rolling their eyes at my naivete and try to explain to me that that is how the capitalist system WORKS, stupid, more and more opportunites for extraction of moneys need to be acted upon for profit to continue to multipy for the hungry masses...

But I don't know...

I think I would quite like to live in a world where we all said nice, positive things...

Sure, it doesn't solve ALL the world's problems...

But it does make one tiny corner a little bit more pleasant.

* oh Paris  - suddenly the reality of some of the fear that parts of the world have to deal with far more frequently and far more real-ly than just through the television screen in the quiet voice section of "an in other news" - and it makes me so very, very sad that this is what so many people wake up to, day in and day out, fear of strangers, fear of sudden movement, reality of not seeing those around you every day stay around every day, knowledge that safely is so relative.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

If you cnolep, doo

Pretty indepth analysis of my state of mind right now, actually.

I'm dead tired.  

Fell asleep at Parisian bedtime, to be frank.  Got woken by a cat who, although surrounded by four humans, feels that the advisement that the feeding of him should be pronto should be shouted only to me.  He can walk past three other humans of this household with nary a glance, come right up to me, give me a swipe and say "sister, food, now!"

Still, I suppose he is only dominating one member of the household with his being a feline-a$$hole to the one member of the household who will put up with such and still feed him.

Hey, it works for the others.

(Said for humorous purposes and in no way reflect 70% of the truth in this household, your honour)

But as I said, completely knackered.

Nearly fell asleep in front of the detective show 'Salina is fond of (and received as her only other gift for her recent 16th.  That is right, a pretty average blog post (that ended up being more about me than her), her license, a cake, dinner out and a DVD of a television show.   We certainly know how to par-tay in Paradise.


(At least her other mother gave her a better blog post)

Still don't know the lay of the land for our detective in romantic turmoil.

Didn't fall asleep in the bath, although whether the fact that the "it" of the particular "whodunnit" 'Salina was watching involved a bath-drowning may have had any sway in that scenario I will never know.

Definitely didn't fall asleep while watching the most excellent episode of The IT Crowd that I inadvertently taped last night.

(I put the full episode on my Facebook Page)

And now - now that there is nothing on and it is the dead of night...

My mind is racing.

Organizing a birthday extravaganza for Paris.  Because I am so good at that.  

Realizing I am a pretty poor mother as I did only the above for my Sweet Sixteen. Good for a little bit of self-loathing.

Laugh again at the prospect of women's slacks I get over myself and review the weekend ahead - always a good policy to think of the absolute carpload of triviality my weekend has stuffed itself with...

I have paperwork to find that appears to have misplaced itself.

Really important paperwork.

So turning the house over in panic is on the list.

I need to buy a few things for - well, for life, really.  You know, just socks, knickers, bras (we have well and truly broken the rule of three here - desparate times, lord I need bras), shirts, trousers and shoes.  Could probably do with some fresh earrings also.

Paris has a birthday party to attend nigh on every free weekend day between here and the desert before Christmas that is her own birthday - so there are presents galore to gather.

And don't mention Christmas shopping, because if we both ignore it, I can remain in blissful ignorance that anyone expects any sort of song and dance around that.

And do you know what?  All this rocking in a corner just isn't helping me get to sleep at all.

So I thought, what the heck, offload to the internet and seek the solace of slumber.

Well, either that, or read The Bloggess...

So - how do you get off to sleep when you are whirring...

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The Best Thing (or sorry darling, Mummy didn't get around to buying you a birthday card this year - please forgive me)

Exactly sixteen years ago right now, I was in a room that I did not know – with a stranger, a sister, a lover, a mother – and a Being being brought into existence.

Except she wasn’t.
(Photo Credit - Bush Babe of Oz)

Well, not in the traditional sense that “being brought into existence” is a some-what timely and even progression towards the "brought" bit. 

More in a not "not-being", but in a "not willing to be" sense.

The stranger gave me a white pill and said “hours away yet, get some rest – you will need it then” and other ingratiatingly pat phrases that had no meaning in my suddenly decreasing world, where there was me-me-me around this being who was obstinately

Not. Going. Anywhere.

The stranger remained strange, and morphed into another stranger at set interals.   

The sister was trying to keep balance; me, looking within and not sleeping a doggarned wink despite the unwanted white pill; the lover with notebook in hand scientifically recording every physical detail of the evening and the mother conjuring up reasons to not be there yet to stay.

As a decent hour of morning approached, the big gun arrived.   

My Catcher, having risen seven minutes before the fart of sparrow and possibly already had a sustaining repast to break the fast after a cross-training session with a handsome hunk - advised drugs, good drugs, drugs that may well need to be administered should things take” - cue ominous music – “ much longer.”

She was quite nice about it, though. 

I opted for the softly-softly approach at first – gas.  Excuse me -

Ha ha ha ha ha.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.  Ha ha ha ha ha.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. 

Starters orders were – “suck on it until you no longer require it but beware - there is a delayed onset”.

So “suck on it” I did. 

Whee!!  It took you right away from the pain, to a faraway galaxy where birthing was not occurring and pain banished beneath a thick blanketing of bubbles and atmosphere – and then that little voice does its “until you no longer require it” and I thought "well, should be all good then, shouldn’t it?" 

because I feel no pain and therefore there IS no pain.

“but beware" I was not and the "there is a delayed onset” WHAM!!! Straight into a spine-grinder of a gird-gripping bands of pain-tightened muscles and my own body fighting against itself.

Good drugs suddenly sounded very, very good.

It took a slot available for the well-dressed gentleman - revived from his slumber by a lovingly-cooked exquisitely-rounded meal and a peruse of the headlines of the day – and his exorbitantly-priced injection of

I – N – S – T – A – N – T       R – E – L – I – E – F

I calmed down (it was weeks before I saw the bill). 

My muscles calmed down.  The being turned and headed out.  The sister was in awe.  The scientist was speechless.  The mother evolved into a Nana.

And we met.

And then she screamed pointedly at me for the next 6 hours, advising me that she was pretty unhappy with the way things were and what the heck was I going to do to make her life better.

But life has definitely become better – and it is all the better because of the being she has become.

Love my baby girl.

Definitely a best thing – and in a life of best things, something of a pearler – and I am often in awe of who this being has become.
Of course, there are other moments too, but on the scale of “How the heck did I end up with this outcome” through “Average teenager” to ““How the heck did I end up with this outcome” I am pretty chuffed indeed.

Happy Birthday, ‘Salina.

And thanks…