Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Yesterday, I was listening to a radio interview with an American woman who was talking about language. I was interested in what she had to say, but utterly fascinated with her voice.
In my head, her words came out as a string of pearls -- round, hard, perfectly formed, polished.
By contrast, the Australian interviewing her sounded like a flow of water -- the words run together, even and flat.

I tend not to notice Australian voices (unless they're.... you know.... obvious) but with 'foreign' accents, I often really listen to how the words sound, as well as what they mean.
I have a girlfriend with a French partner, and his words sound like liquid. You ever heard a Frenchman speak, you'll know what I'm saying.

It's quite accepted that colours influence mood, and we understand when people are described as being grey or beige. But can you imagine if a letter was always blue? or a number was always associated with the taste of carrots?

There's a condition called synesthesia, where sensory areas of the brain 'cross-talk' - so people might hear a colour, or taste a sound.
You can read a little about it here.

This fascinates me. Our brains are truly amazing.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

grade three

Allison over at The Pink Fibro has asked us to post our 3rd grade school photo.
I don't have any individual photos from school at all, so here is my Year 2/3 photo from the unbelievably Long Ago 1973.

To save you the effort of trying to find me, I am sitting next to my teacher, and wearing a kind of sailor dress that my Mum made (which I loved to bits).
(Clearly the uniform policy was not strong at my school).
Note the squinched up smirky smile. Thus began my glorious tradition of spoiling photos with stupid expressions (mostly accidental, honestly. I am just ALWAYS the one who is blinking or sneezing or licking my lips)

My teacher is Mrs Cahill, and I adored her. She used to read us The Faraway Tree sometimes. She always asked after me if she ever saw my mum anywhere, even after I'd grown up and moved interstate.

So what about YOU? care to drag out YOUR grade 3 photo? link up with Al, if you do.

Friday, October 26, 2012

some advice i really need to listen to myself.

Seems like you can't check Facebook or read a paper these days without hearing about the latest 'outraged offense' or insipid apology for some offense someone may have caused.

You know what? Bullshit.

Most of the time, offense is TAKEN, not forced on us.

Seriously. I'm guilty of this. It may not be a conscious or deliberate choice to feel offended, but I do make a choice to allow it to affect me, I do make a choice to respond, I do make a choice every time I play that remark or image over in my head.

The Outraged Offense Game is being played everywhere -- by politicians, by the media, by social media -- and we're buying into it, by being offended and then demanding the object of our disgust or anger should apologise. Then we feed each other on our outrage, and the next thing you know, there's a full-scale brawl and people are getting more and more offended, and feeling hurt, and attacking one another, and most of the time it's ABOUT CRAP.

Let's just STOP.

If you feel offended, OWN IT. Say, I TAKE OFFENCE -- not YOU HAVE OFFENDED ME. Stop being a victim. Take back some power over your own emotions.

And let it go, unless it's truly worth fighting over.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

design faults

You know how sometimes you go to swallow and your spit suddenly develops corners and tries to choke you?

And how after you have a baby you pee a little every time you sneeze or cough?

And how every month you have emotional holocausts raging inside your head and heart, where you want to stab everyone on Facebook and you cry because you're so depressed you can't take another day?

Seriously.... Creator? you need to review Your plans.

Friday, October 19, 2012

can't kids just be kids?

The other day, I saw an article that left me feeling very perturbed, in which a mother claims her son openly identifies as gay.

"So what?" you might be thinking.

Well, the child in question is 7.

Now, I'm not gay, but I don't imagine that 7 is a typical age at which to discover your sexual orientation, regardless.

7 year old children shouldn't know what sex IS, in my view. My daughter is 7. She believes her stuffed cat is real, and makes faces with her food.

So I have to wonder if the mother of that child has been influencing him?

I know a number of little boys who wear tutus and high-heeled shoes, who prefer to play with dolls and little girls. They don't self-identify as gay. They just play.

I know a number of young men who played with 'girl stuff' as kids, liking make-up and Barbies. Most of them are actually straight (not that it matters!), and believe me, they didn't grow up with strict gender stereotyping.

Personally, it's none of my business if you're gay or straight. I have friends of all kinds, and I like them for who they are, not what gender they prefer or what colour skin they have, or even what politics they espouse.

I just wonder, why can't we leave the whole issue till our kids hit puberty, and let them just be kids?

PLEASE feel free to discuss, and even disagree. But be warned -- if you leave comments that claim hommasexshals are evil and will burn in hell, I WILL delete them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

picture, thousand words, you know the saying.

Most Aussies around my age would have a photo like this stashed away someplace.

Note the stylin' fashion of 197... umm... going out on a limb here, maybe 73?
The haircuts, where we all look like we had a bowl plonked on our scones and someone snipped round it with the kitchen scissors.
The very politically incorrect gun slung round my (boy) cousins' neck.

Pictured here are cousins from 3 families. Our dads were brothers. We grew up fairly close geographically, but not always close emotionally.

The two 'big' girls sitting in front are my cousin Jo and I. We are only a few months apart in age, so we grew up together, and though we had childish spats from time to time, she was an integral part of my childhood.
{In FACT, she taught me to SMOKE, so perhaps I should have been a bit more careful.}
We went to roller-skating and discos together, we went to the footy and perved on Boys, and swimming down the 7 foot (local waterhole).

See the house behind us? that's Nanas' place. I loved that house, adored the windows (one day I'll put some into my own home) and the house was all unpainted timber inside, high ceilings and friezes, and gorgeous old furniture.
There was a massive mulberry tree on one side of the house, which we loved even as it stained us purple, and she had a water-tank turned into a wood-shed down the back that fascinated and terrified me because of spiders.

There was a free-standing wooden garage at the side, with the first car-pit I ever saw. The floor was all timber, and stained with oil and various other mechanicalish fluids. It had a mysterious smell and feel to it, that shed. If I close my eyes, I can almost smell it.

And the car, that apple green ute belonging to my uncle (and apparently it was his pride and joy). That brings back the most memories. My sisters and I often talk about that ute.
We used to go camping a lot when we were kids. Camping always involved that other great Aussie pastime, fishing. Dad and Uncle Bruce were mad fishermen, and they would chuck all of us kids in the back of the ute, and squash us in with a heap of camping gear and some blankets to wrap ourselves in, and off we'd go.
Five little kids, unrestrained in the back of a ute, roaring along skinny little bitumen roads and then bumping along rutted, dusty tracks to some place in the middle of absolutely nowhere, to set up camp and fish for a few days.
Uncle Bruce used to make us sing. If we stopped, he'd eventually notice, and bang on the roof of the ute, yelling "SING! you kids. SING!"
We'd arrive with parched throats and half a ton of dust in our hair, but totally happy. And none of us ever fell out.

How different things are today! I wonder what my own kids will feel nostalgic for, when they look at photos from their own childhoods?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

a vocabulary lesson

In the car yesterday, the kids were chatting.

The Princess said something which I didn't hear, but her brother corrected her with all the weight and experience of his almost 11 years.

"It's not 'BRANG'," he said. "It's BRUNG."

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I live in a really beautiful part of the country.

I know people who've lived in PNG and Africa who call this LegoLand, because it's so clean and neat and pretty.

Even people in the lower socio-economic bracket live comparatively well, housed and fed and dressed.

Today, on my way into the chemist on a Good Deed trip, I saw a man sitting on the pavement holding up a sign, hand-written on a piece of cardboard.


it said.


The man was clean, sober, friendly, well-spoken. I handed him all the money I had, which wasn't much, and he looked me in the eyes, and said, "Thanks, Love. I appreciate it."

I guess some of you have seen this before. I haven't. Not like this.

And yeah, I know, maybe the guy was scamming. Maybe his thing is to sit around in the streets and ask strangers for money, but in itself that's still terribly sad, and to be honest, it doesn't matter to me.

I can be plenty judgy, don't get me wrong. I am not Mrs Big Heart, and I have a deep reserve of cynicism for much of the human race.
But sometimes, the value of money doesn't lie in it's dollar value.

Monday, October 8, 2012


I'm feeling quite flattened by the nastiness in the media at the moment.

I'm looking for things to make me smile.

This sure does the trick....

I really love Batman. Mostly because I would love to be Batman.

Which is your favourite?

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I am knackered.

For the past 3 or 4 days, I've been weeding, mulching, pruning, potting and re-potting.

The front garden is almost done (more mulch arriving today) and out the back (in pots, with no room for a herb garden) I have

garlic chives
4 kinds of basil
2 pots of chillies (which I don't even eat!)

Here is my recipe for a deliciously refreshing drink made with basil and vodka:

a couple of sprigs of basil
a tspn of sugar
a lime wedge

in the bottom of your glass.

add ice

add vodka

add soda water


This is really best with home-grown basil. And a comfy deck chair.

Saturday, October 6, 2012



do not blog while fridnking tequila.

Dont attemp tot Facebook weither.

That is all.

Friday, October 5, 2012

rental blues

This is a ranty feeling-sorry-for-myself post. Just so you know. I won't think any worse of you for clicking away now.

We live in a rented house. We pay quite a lot of money to live here, partly because it's a 5 bedroom house, and partly because if you stand in the driveway, you have a glimpse of ocean. So that's really nice.

What isn't nice is the maintenance on the house. Which is non-existent.

Our guttering has sprouted grass and is rusting through in places, because the gutters haven't been cleaned in at least 2 years, and we aren't allowed to do them.

The light-fittings are breaking, and because they're early 90s, I can't get replacement parts for them.

The huge hedge at the side of the house needs to be cut down, but we're only allowed to trim it. So that's an on-going battle, as is the grass growing into the unedged garden beds.

When we moved in, there were no net curtains at most of the windows, and the drapes are in poor condition. I can't replace them permanently, so I'm putting up El Cheapo nets and taking them down when we go.

The shed won't lock, and it floods in moderate rain. We can't keep anything in there, even though it takes up half the back yard.

The gates need replacing, the front of the house needs re-painting, the tattered awnings need to be replaced, the paving needs lifting and re-laying, and the interior needs painting as well.

In general, this poor old house, which I actually love, needs care and attention.

I've been hoping to win Lotto, so I can buy it, but my plan falls in a hole every week when I forget to buy a ticket.

I want to paint and re-fit lights and take up the hideous carpet, and make it feel loved.
But I'm not spending lots of money on a house that isn't mine, so all I can do is small things here and there, while the house falls apart around me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

foot in mouth

Have you ever said something stupid?

Something that, even as the words were coming out of your mouth, had you scrabbling in the air to try to drag them back in?

I suffer very badly from foot-in-mouth. You would be horrified by some of the stupid, insensitive things I've said and done in the last 45 years or so.
In fact, if that was all you knew of me, you might not want anything to do with me.

Have a little quick think over some of the dumb things you've said. It's OK, you don't have to tell me (I REALLY don't want to know!)

Now, imagine that after you've said that stupid thing, an acquaintance begins to tell everyone what you said. She gathers a group of people together who call for you to be sacked from your job, and begin a campaign to force your boss to sack you.

Someone tells you they wish you had arse-cancer. Someone else rails on your husband and wants to know why he didn't stop you from saying that thing. Now the group lobbies for your husbands' boss to sack HIM for not shutting you up, or divorcing you for your comment.

Your name and face appear in the local paper, and your children are humiliated at school.

You apologise, but your apology is lost in the clamour and the person you've apologised to refuses to calm the matter down or even publicly accept the apology.

Imagine if all that happened to you. And all you'd done was say something stupid, you hadn't even broken a law.


I long for the day when the media in this country grows up. All this shrill, confected outrage over apologies and fake offence is bullshit. I'm sick to death of people being forced to apologise and then their apologies being sneered at.
I'm sick of the lies, the hypocrisy, and the drama.

There are real issues affecting ordinary people in this country right now. Can't we hear about them, instead?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Facebook. Friend or foe?

Facebook warnings, man. I'm so over them.

How many times have you see this on your Facebook page?


or this:

I cannot believe that you can see who is viewing your profile. ! I just saw my top 10 profile stalkers and I am SHOCKED that my Ex is still viewing my profile :O ! You can also see WHO VIEWED YOUR PROFILE here [Link Removed]! Its Super Cool

or this:

request to all FB friends - I want to stay PRIVATELY connected with you. However, with the recent changes in FB, the public can now see activities in any wall. This happens when our friend hits "like" or "comment", automatically, their friends would see our posts too. Unfortunately, we cannot change this sett
ing by ourselves because Facebook has configured it this way. So I need your help. Only
you can do this for me.

PLEASE place your mouse over my name above (do not click), a window will appear, now move the mouse on “FRIENDS" (also without clicking), then down to "Settings", click here and a list will appear.

REMOVE the CHECK on "COMMENTS & LIKE" by clicking on it. By doing this, my activity amongst my friends and my family will no longer become public. Paste this on your wall so your contacts would follow suit too, that is, if you care about your privacy.


I see these and other warnings at least weekly. Many of my friends and rellies don't really know how Facebook works (do any of us?), and they mean well by sharing such messages.
I've re-posted stuff like that in the past, too -- now I've become very cynical and check everything through or Facecrooks
and I do it for several reasons -- firstly, some of these warnings are in fact dangerous.
You can pick up viruses or worms from clicking on these things, and suddenly your computer is affected.

Secondly, a lot of these hoaxes come with so-called 'fixes' attached. But the problem is that the fixes often don't work.
That last message I posted above? about 'hover your mouse over my name etc etc'? that doesn't make your wall private.

If you want to make your information private, you need to go into your privacy settings and manually set everything yourself. Try using a good guide, and make sure that you have everything locked down as securely as you can.
And encourage your friends to do the same.

Having said all that, you should know that sometimes the warnings are real. Yesterday, I saw a post from someone I trust to give me good information (let's call her J), warning that old private messages can be seen on your public Timeline.
I checked a number of sources, all of whom insisted that those were in fact not private messages, but that people had gotten confused between private messages and old wall posts.
I checked my Timeline. Nothing untoward showed up.
But I trust J to know the difference, so I've been checking sources, and some are now saying that they're pushing the matter further because they don't accept the Facebook explanation.
So the lesson is, BE CAREFUL! and when you think you've done everything you can, be EVEN MORE CAREFUL!

Remember that everything you post on Facebook is ON THE INTERNET. It is potentially open to theft or hacking or privacy violations, because it's the INTERNET. There are a lot of bad people out there, and they have the same access to Facebook that you do.