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gingerbreadhouse16

Proper homemade gingerbread house that I had absolutely nothing to do with. Grandmothers are where it’s at.

Good New Year to you, dear people of the internet. It seems to be week three of January. I haven’t written since well before that dark and dreadful time back in December when everyone was mainlining candy canes and behaving like juvenile Hunters S. Thompson, coming up with insane demands and changing their minds about what was on their Christmas list every eighteen seconds from dawn until dusk, which in December in Australia is about 16 hours.

This year I spent December dangling Santa over my children’s heads like a jolly fat stick shaped carrot. I punctuated the long idle hours with threats to inform on them to Santa for all their wrongdoing.  The irony was lost on me until now of the time I shouted at them that if they didn’t stop dobbing on each other I would tell Santa they were dreadful and that he shouldn’t come. After Christmas I had to change tack and I began threatening to throw away their presents if they didn’t behave. This threat was rendered entirely hollow by me spending the rest of the time complaining that there was no more room in the bins because of all the toy packaging.  Continue Reading »

Bedlam

iloveyouikea.JPGWe are finally a household with fully and properly assembled beds. Joy to the world and bring us some figgy pudding. Not that it was easy, because when you do something supremely lazy like pay someone else to build your IKEA daybed, you get to pay for it in so many ways as well.

The man assigned by IKEA to allen-key our flatpacked bed into a three dimensional format turned up when he said he would last Tuesday and told me he thought the job would take him about an hour and a half. An hour and a half later he was finished. In one corner of the room stood a bed, and in the other was a pile of cardboard. I thanked him and he left.

But that evening, as H went to take the cardboard out to the recycling, he came across a little hidden treasure. He found the bag the screws and bolts and bits of dowel came in. And it wasn’t empty. Oh no, not by a long shot was it not empty. Inside were were sixteen inch-long pieces of dowel, six important looking screws and four plastic stoppers. Continue Reading »

Yule Be Sorry

img_1639Hooray, December is upon us! Like a crushing weight in your heart! Upon us like a thousand years of late tax returns!

I don’t quite know what it is about December that makes me so down in the dumps every year, except oh yes, maybe I do. Maybe it’s the way the end of the year looms like a horrendous deadline for all the things you promised yourself you’d achieve this year and didn’t. Maybe it’s all the things you have to do and buy and attend and make a costume for and take a plate to. Maybe it’s because you have to decide on a Christmas tree.

Historically, choosing a tree hasn’t been a problem in our family. Because historically we’ve just bought a massive chopped down tree if we are going to be at home for Christmas, and used a large plastic tree if we are going away.

But this year, although we are home for the holidays, H has come over all Sting and doesn’t want a nice chopped-down pine. He’d rather we have a tiny potted facsimile of a Christmas tree that you decorate, leave inside for a fortnight, then banish to the garden, before you go to haul it out next Christmas and realize it is dead, just like the lovely big purpose-grown Christmas tree you passed up this year. He thinks he is saving a Christmas tree life, but he is wrong. All Christmas trees are meant to die. That is their purpose. They are the gladiators of the tree world. We kill them for our sport. Continue Reading »

je-2In a shocking turn of events, I have not written any more of my novel since last week. My idea now seems very slight and unimportant in light of world events. Instead, we have moved back into our house after the renovation, and I have spent most of my time dealing with an existential crisis that has taken root in the rich compost of all the stuff in our house.

I need to cull our belongings. This is a truth universally known. But I am also a sentimentalist at heart. I know how you’re meant to get rid of things: ask do I wear them/use them/need them? Could someone else benefit from them? One or two yeses and out they go. Well, that’s all fine in theory. But in reality? There are more questions than that.

Here are but two of the quandaries I have been wrestling with. Multiply this by a few hundred and you have an idea of why I am not achieving a lot.  Continue Reading »

img_1160Donald Trump is President-Elect and Leonard Cohen is dead. So, who’s for some hilarious anecdotes about funny things my kids said and my high school reunion, or some riotous home renovation mishaps? I thought as much.

Here instead is a list, which will show you how deeply embedded in my life is the music and lyrics of Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen Song Titles That Are Also Threats or Reprimands Made By Me To My Children This Week. 

  1. One of Us Cannot Be Wrong
  2. That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
  3. Is This What You Wanted?
  4. Why Don’t You Try?
  5. If It Be Your Will
  6. Here It Is
  7. That Don’t Make it Junk
  8. Going Home
  9. You Want it Darker?
  10. It Seemed the Better Way

Continue Reading »

 

sketchofme

Me, making a to-d0 list. Sketch by H. 

  1. Attend My 20th High School Reunion

This weekend I’m going my 20th high school reunion, an event that simultaneously makes me very excited and want to fake a bad case of gastro.

I’m curious about what the women I went to school with for six years have done with their lives, although a lot of it I already know because of the massive spoiler factory that is Facebook. For many people, the only revelations left will be what everyone looks like without several filters and when viewed front on, and not from an artfully high selfie angle. Speaking for myself, I’d recommend people come to the reunion in extremely high heels, or perhaps stilts, and with one of two extra pairs of contact lenses in, so I will look as svelte and dewy of chops as I look on the Internet. Related to the school reunion is the second item on my to-do list: Continue Reading »

fountain

Someone’s kid has an extendable arm that only comes out when there’s a chocolate fountain. Handy. 

May Blossom turned six on the weekend and her two requests for her party were:

  1. A chocolate fountain
  2. No siblings

The first request we could accommodate. We borrowed a device called a Sunbeam Choccy, melted together a kilo of chocolate and a cup of canola oil, and Bob’s your auntie’s live-in lover: there’s your chocolate fountain. Happy days.

The second request was more challenging, because I believe family should celebrate birthdays together. Even if some of the family are behaving like complete shits. I’m a big believer in encouraging children to be kind and loving, and to celebrate each other’s successes and happiness. Garnet’s beliefs are fundamentally opposed to that. Continue Reading »

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