Stuff and nonsense

Just some stuff and nonsense.

The brain has not been very still of late. Ways I know I’m not firing on all cylinders include an unquiet mind, a sense of “why do I bother” and “this is fucked”, poor sleep, worse diet, and then the panic attacks arrive. Last week I sat staring at my computer screen with my mind racing in chaotic circles turning in on themselves then swinging way out wide. I’d read something and none of it would make sense and the panic, it hurts.

I keep reading stuff written by people about their depression and realise that what I think is my resting state of normal is actually a resting state of depression. It kinda sucks realising that. Depressing even.

I went to TEDxSydney, did I tell you that already? It was fabulous on a number of levels but mostly because I got to be with Eden, met two awesome Sarahs and reconnected with a Kate I went to uni with and always got on with extremely well. She’s living in Darwin. Could you imagine?

The oddest thing has stuck with me. One of the speakers told us about how scientists have studied some beetle that lives in the desert to work out how it gets moisture from the air. They’ve used that knowledge to develop better air conditioning systems and to help communities in arid areas. Isn’t that cool? Out of the whole day that is the thing that keeps popping back into my head. The scientist was also the guy who discovered that eyes developed 512 million years ago. In a troglodyte. Apparently.

I’ve decided I’m going to make butter.


I’ve stopped eating gluten. I know, you’re on the edge of your seats (as Blackbird would say). It’s been two weeks with only two transgressions. The difference in the size of my gut and the behaviour of my bowels (aren’t you thrilled) is telling.

Gluten, it appears, is the tobacco of the food world and it was with great desperation that I decided to stop eating it. The dodgy thyroid is an auto-immune disease. Gluten is a big fat waving red flag for any auto-immune disease. Apparently. So, I’m giving it a month. But I’m already half way and it’s really not been that bigger deal. I once did a gluten free diet with Oscar when he was wee during one of our more expensive snake-oil salesman allied health professional straw grasping phases. I am pleased to report that the gluten-free offerings now are vastly improved on the gluten free offerings then.

Scintillating stuff.

I’m currently getting up at 4:50am in the morning to go walking with my friend B. We are friends because both our lives lurch from one melodrama or catastrophe to the next and we know neither of us will tire of such NONSENSE. We cover just over 4kms in 45minutes with a whopping great hill and a little sneaky one at the end. We’ve been threatening to do this for the last two years. Good things time…

There was lunch with friends this week – I got there an hour early because if I’d been at home then I would have been cleaning.

Today I did the grocery shopping to avoid the cleaning.

Mum flew out to Hawaii tonight. Chef’s parents are getting ready to fly out to Paris.

I’m almost back in control of the washing.





smile and wave boys, smile and wave

Well last week was quite a week. The media storm following dinner with the PM was quite something. Is there really that much anger and hate in people over something so inane? Really?

It occurred to me that perhaps more people would be swinging by for a look see so if you have, hi!

Of course, the next thought in my head after “smile and wave boys, smile and wave” was don’t fuck it up. I mean, it’d be nice if you did swing by that you’d like to come back again.

So naturally I have the most spectacular case of performance anxiety. In fact, my inability to think of anything erudite to write has only been outdone by my ability to scoff hot cross buns with lashings of butter as compensation. What, it’s a symbiotic relationship. Clearly.

My brain is now in that awkward place normally reserved for parties at which you know no one and join a conversation just as it ends and a painful silence ensures. Just.say.something.

Behold a bigger crisis than a busted back:


broken stove The oven door has been “clicking” when it opens for a few weeks. I totally busted it on Sunday night and then broke it some more on Monday night just for good measure.

Someone’s getting pretty plum tuckered with this five days a week of school:


Felix has confirmed that playing rugby professionally is something he wants to do. He’s also mentioned heart surgeon so you know, he’s keeping his options open. This announcement and wanting to play rep footy means I now have somewhere to unleash the Show Mum in me. Part 1 of this involved this:

rugby trainingOh yes I did. Chef and I attended a 3.5hr evening learning the ins and outs of being an assistant referee (an AR if you don’t mind) for rugby union.

Safe to say, I will never EVER be an AR. Not without at least 20mg of valium under my belt.

God FORBID if I had to try and comprehend whether a ball was “in touch” when the player was in the air/on the field/off the field/in the dressing room/running straight for me while the ball was moving/not moving/had touched someone or someTHING.

OR grasp what constitutes foul play (note for fellow rugby lovers – rucking, you know, where you ram your studs into an opponent, is TOTALLY legal so long as you are clearly looking to “progress the ball”. Stomping however is not. So get your leg action right to get away with it.) AND how to report it to the referee.

Seriously, I’d be lying down playing dead within ten minutes of the first whistle if I had to fulfil AR duties. That or yelling at the crowd for someone to find an adult.

Do NOT get me started on the arm gestures or USE OF A FLAG.

Apart from the stress of it, I now proudly own my limitations and well, give me a list of rules and I will implement them to the letter. Handy if the world’s ending and we need to keep order for the survivors camp upstate but probably not ideal in a game where the whole purpose is to keep the ball in play.

This tendency to love a rule and carry it out no.matter.what was no better illustrated than my role as a School Monitress and then as a Prefect. Yes, I capped those two titles. I attended an exclusive private girls school in Sydney and would, by today’s funding model, be the aberration that allows an exclusive private girls school on many many acres on Sydney’s Leafy North Shore to claim it was educating children from family’s suffering financial hardship. That’s right, my presence at that school was doing them a favour and I said thank you by carrying out the rules to.the.letter. Let’s just say part of the school uniform was wearing a hat and well, if you didn’t have that hat on I would write you a blue slip quicker than you could say what a dork. No matter your year or social standing. I was stupid dedicated ruthless.

So yeah. I have realised my limitations and accepted my ideal role is that of Field Marshall.



I just ate an entire packet of SAOs with butter and vegemite in the space of two days. Note to self: do not buy what you can not control.



Words tumbling, life rolling on

A vignette

As we hurtle towards Christmas I am tripping over the words in my head. So much to tell you all, so little time and volition to sit and get them down.

When I was in 4th grade we did a project where we had to write down what we wanted to be. I had a plane, a skyscraper, a limousine and piles of money. I didn’t know of him then but clearly I wanted to be Donald Trump.

That refined itself over the ensuing years. I wanted to be a police office for a while – handing out all those uniform blue slips only served to fuel my authoritarian urges.

Then there was politics. I wanted to be a politician for quite a while with an underlying desire to be Prime Minister. This sits alongside my desire to be an actress complete with Oscar’s acceptance speech. It seems quite a skill of mine to go straight to the glory shot, forgetting the hard yards getting there. Somewhere in there I fell in love with words.

It’s almost biblical

I was 40 on Saturday. My pathetic attempt at counting my blessings here as I counted down to the day, foiled by work and family. I always thought I was so mature and now I see me for the infant I was. I am wiser, more patient, happy. I am learning to enjoy the process while still yearning for the result. I appreciate the hard yards are indeed hard but I realise now that is OK. That without those darkest of days the sunshine on my face would never feel so sweet.

This year, in fact much of the last 15, has been an absolute bastard of a year. An endurance event. And yet as it comes to a close I see it as one of my best.

I realise I am a little bit policewoman, a consummate politician (a benevolent dictator if truth be told) and a writer. I don’t have the jet, the skyscraper or the piles of money. But I have a life so full of love and laughter. I am loved. Treasured even. And that’s all right with me.

The jam hand-over.



The income layover

Chef and I are currently in an income layover.

You know, that wasteland of lost hope when your last pay runs out, the kids bank accounts are run dry and it’s a couple of days – which might as well be years – before the next pay day shows you the money.

Chef’s work situation changed abruptly three weeks ago and he’s still owed a couple of weeks holiday pay – that, school holidays and not getting paid from the new gig yet has been taxing. I get paid monthly and that’s due to fall into our account “any day now”.

The income layover is like the worst airport layover when you wander aimlessly refusing to buy exorbitantly priced bottles of water or a boxed dozen Krispy Kremes because you know none of those puppies is going to make it out of the uncomfortable waiting lounge chair alive. That and you eat enough  cheeseburgers to trigger a listless state of  maudlin and mild panic about just how backed up you’re going to get.

Yesterday I bemoaned on FB  how hungry I was and that there was nothing to eat in the house a friend said I could make something good out of “lego blocks and tomato sauce”. Sure, she had a point but seriously, once you’re left with some butter and wilted celery even I am sorely tested. As it was I salvaged a half dead avocado, found a tomato of dubious age but passable softness, an onion and some seriously iced-up dark rye bread from the recesses of the freezer. Emma called me the “Macgyver of empty pantry food”. I’ll take that.

Last night we were saved by a moment of impressive freezer meal  preparedness I’d clearly had when I was high – some marinated chicken wings I then roasted with potatoes – recipe to come.

It’s grim but not forever so my level of income layover anxiety is manageable. So you’ll excuse me now while I go and rustle up some school lunches from split peas and tinned beetroot.

How do you survive the income layover? 



Open wide

I have quite the dentist phobia. When I was a child our dentist was a man who looked remarkably like John  Howard which probably explains a lot. He was mean and intolerant of children who were nervous of the dentist so naturally I found the perfect opportunity to vomit all over him. Sure, the whole reclining nature of visiting the dentist meant I covered myself in vomit but it was so worth it. What? I have a very sensitive gag reflex.

These days the phobia operates on a number of levels:

– it is NEVER ‘just  a clean’

– the drilling

– the needle in the gum hurts like a BITCH and never works

– the drilling

– Dentist Condescension – you know, where they tell you how to brush and that you should floss and use a flouride mouthwash – in THAT voice which says, ‘yes, I really do think you are an idiot’.


In the midst of the last few weeks both Jasper and Grover developed toothache.

Both have had to have a molar pulled. Grover has an abscess.

I’ve made Chef deal with it.

Then last week my lower jaw on the left hand side started to ache. A lot.

It was unavoidable.

We thought it was because I’m clenching and grinding my teeth.

That – of course – was just a part of it.

There was – of course – the pesky issue of the two back teeth on the lower left in my mouth that had been broken for years a while.

In fixing them he found decay going into the root of one of them.

Of course he did.

So on Thursday I had a root canal and now have the ultimate Mood Killer Mouthguard as part of my nightwear.

On Tuesday I get to take Oscar in for day surgery for dental work.


Not enough drugs people, not enough drugs.