Thursday, January 25, 2018

It's "Straya Day" Mate, and it has the smell of freedom all over it.......

This morning started like so many others start. The dog sticks her wet, beardy face in mine and says "I'm up, so you should be up". Seriously. Authentic, legit. That's what she says.

I then drag my decaying carcass out of bed, taking note of all the new aches and pains,  fumbling about (and sometimes falling over) as I try to get dressed quietly without waking the other inhabitants of the house (while still showing the correct amount of enthusiasm towards the slobbery tennis ball brought to me repeatedly by a very energetic Schnauzer named Schnitzel).

We then hop in the car and head to Victoria Park where there is an off-lead dog area where all sorts of various dogs with tennis ball of varying states of destruction, roam around and do their "doggy thing".

I suffer a mild state of naughtiness each morning on this three-block drive to the park, as I merely do not feel it necessary to place my licence on my person for such a short drive from home. If I get pulled over by the coppers, I can just say "oh, I left it at home. It's not far. Do you want to come in for a cuppa?"

Pffft. Waddayamean illegal. She'll be right mate.

 This "driving with no licence thing" made me think back to the days when Nev was out with his mate learning to drive, by doing just that. Driving. Illegally. Him in the drivers seat, underage with no experience, and his mate napping in the back seat. When they saw a cop car they just swapped positions. It worked for them and probably, if we looked into it, many other Aussie kids from that era.

My sister and I learned to drive slightly differently. We lived on a hobby farm and we had an old tractor. We used this tractor for many things but our favourite was pulling out the gorse bushes. Gorse is a vicious bastard of a weed that grows quite big and is covered with nasty prickles. We tied a thick rope around the bottom of the bush, attached the other end to the tractor and literally pulled those suckers right out of the ground.

It was messy and painful but it appealed to our sense of achievement and destruction all at  the same time. Good times.

Anyway, I digress. This morning at the dog park.

I walked along behind my mad, slobbering, ball-chasing companion and noted the smell of the gum trees, the mildly sad warble of the magpie family, the harsh "cark" of the crows, the golden grass and the rays of early sunlight bouncing off the leaves of the silver birch trees around the lake. It was all a bit peaceful and very, very beautiful.

Schnitzel had her tail up and wagging so I could tell she was happy. My family were all still tucked in bed asleep (half their luck) so I knew they were happy, and I was overcome with a sense of all the good in my little world.

"Straya" I love you! I love the freedom of living here and the freedom of living our lives to the best of our capabilities. Yes, as a country we have a bit of a dark, murky past that most people feel some degree of shame over, but this here and now is what we should be celebrating.

Life. Freedom. Naughty Licenceless Driving.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Things are not the same......

I've noticed this. Stuff changes.

Of course, the old adage "some things never change" also remains true, but on the whole, I'd have to say........well, it's all very confusing.

This thing called life. Not sure I'm up to it.

This musing has all come about because of another one of my dreams. Just this morning in my half awake/half desperately clinging to those last morsels of sleep while the dog is nudging me wanting a walk/breakfast/play time.

I was in a room - I think it was one of those removable cabins at a caravan park - and I had just cleared up all the children's suitcases and pushed them against the wall so we could all have tea together.

There were a lot of children running in and out as well as a dog called "Rusty" that I had apparently rescued from somewhere.

All my old friends seemed to be there and they were all sharing stories about how many things they had accomplished recently - one family had excelled at learning guitar and were now teaching small children to become guitar virtuosos. Another family had been travelling all over the place with their children in a bus together.

And what did I do? I got up and did the dishes and started telling people that I wasn't sure where I fit in anymore. Wasn't sure if I even like myself, whether I was worth liking and was sure as anything that God didn't like me anymore.


I don't think I like the part where my dreams bring out what's going on inside of me and I have to acknowledge it and do something about it.

Mind you, there's one easy thing to change in all of that. I'm getting a dishwasher installed in that cabin so I can sit down and eat cheese and drink red wine and talk to my friends.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Haiku kind of day.....

Placed on the table
a pretty cup in sunlight;
steams and smells lovely.


And then everyone woke up and wanted breakfast.

And here's Harri's effort.

Running towards me,
a giant black cloud of fluff,
sits and smiles, wagging.

Oh Schnitzel. You bring so much joy to our lives.

And hair. And poo. And bad smells. And things to roll in.

Good thing you're cute.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


When you think about it, we use the term "falling" to describe a lot of what goes on in life.

We "fall" in love, we "fall" out of love. We "fall" over ourselves to get to something or to achieve something. We "fall" pregnant, and we "fall" into debt. We "fall" about laughing when something is incredibly funny, and we "fall" in a heap when we are tired or unbelievably sad. Cities "fall" in times of war, and good people who have gone bad, "fall" from grace.

I have actually done a lot of "falling" in my life - from childhood, right through to the present.

Children fall over all the time, but my Dad sometimes likes to refer to me as "the girl who could fall over while standing still." He is generally referring to an age in my life where I could not stay still. I was full of beans and constantly on the go. One particular day, I was in the kitchen and Mum was telling me off for not staying still and paying attention to whatever it was she was trying to tell me.

I tried. Oh, how I tried. And then I fell over. And then everyone fell about laughing.

Admittedly, I have only "fallen" in love once, and I hope I never "fall" out of love and thanks to that love, I have "fallen" pregnant twice. I have "fallen" in a complete heap 15 months ago when my sister died, and still do every now and again. I quite often "fall" over myself to make a cup of tea (my last true vice) and I hope that for many years to come, I shall continue to "fall" about laughing at hilarious things that happen.

The other morning, I "fell" over in a new and different way. I am an early riser most days - if I don't wake up under my own steam, Schnitzel is a very helpful alarm clock. Her paw in my face.

So I had dragged myself out of bed feeling fairly bleary eyed from lack of sleep, and I was trying to keep quiet as everyone else was still sleeping. I leaned over to put my pj pants on (I had kicked them off during the night) and promptly put both feet into the same leg hole.

I lost my balance completely and was falling hard. I put my hand out to the chair in the loungeroom to break my fall, and my hand went straight through the chair and got caught up in the cushion. My head connected with the chair frame and then the floor.

I tried to right myself, but the strength had completely gone from my arms. Schnitzel, showing great concern for me, began to bark and run around thinking that this was a marvellous new game and she wanted to play too.

The only way to sort this out was to remove the pj pants, and begin again. I wiggled out of them, stood up, and put them on the right legs. I stood there shaking my head at myself.

Harri appeared from his bedroom enquiring as to all the noise, and as I explained what happened, he said "hmmm, how the mighty have fallen"......

Needless to say, I fell about laughing.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A family that laughs together, stays together.......

"There's one in every family".

Let's face it, we have all said that about someone in our husbands' family, or even the next door neighbours' family, but I would like to say it whole-heartedly about someone I have actually given birth to.

Our Ellie is an absolute treasure. Sweet, loving, kind, generous, thoughtful, a real encourager and generally quite smart, but Ellie is also the sort of person who can fall over while standing still.  And some days, when she opens her mouth, I'm all like - "what the....."

For instance, we were in the car and talking about the Indian meal we were going to make for dinner. We'd just go onto the subject of Naan bread, when Ellie piped up with " We don't have any bananas at home".

The silence was deafening, and then Harri and I fell about laughing. It could very well have been a "didn't really hear what you were talking about moment", but we all laughed until we cried.

Another instance of Ellie's mouth open without too much thought, was when we were talking about the backyard and what we would do with it if we had enough money for a re-design. A pool was high on the list and Harri said "we'd probably have to cut down the trees to make room for it", when Ellie looked at him, puzzled, and said "we don't have any trees in the back yard'.

We have at least two big one just outside and five others on the boundary. Every year when they drop their leaves, Ellie goes outside and kicks them around, last year we built a bird house and hung it from one of the bigger trees' low branches.

The other thing is, Ellie's brother is one of the biggest stirrers that I know - not in a mean way - but just to get some laughs. Not an opportunity passes him by. If he can give you a hard time about something dumb you've done or said, he will grab the moment with both hands. and with Ellie's natural gifts, he has plenty of material.

Generally, I try to discourage this from happening too often - I don't want Ellie's self confidence to suffer too much at the hands of her brother -  but it occurred to me the other day that she actually enjoys this attention - she gets as much of a laugh out of it as Harri does.

As families do, we tend to bring these things up every now and again and we all get a good old fashioned laugh over them. Harri firmly believes that these things should be written down for future enjoyment and I tend to agree with him.

Anything that gets us laughing together is a good thing. There's never enough laughter in the world. Keep laughing and it keeps the tears at bay.

Friday, November 13, 2015

This is getting Ridikkulus.....

Admittedly, the children and I have been reading/watching the Harry Potter series. And the dog does seem to be scratching a little more than normal and could use a dose of flea treatment.

But why, oh why, have these two things come together in my dreams last night???

So picture the scene. The good side and the bad side are frantically locked in mortal combat. There are spells cracking colourfully all over the place. It is mainly dark, though an even darker forest can be seen hazily in the background.

The view is from up above, and you can see that the fight is concentrated around two figures in the exact centre of the fight. (Somehow, you just know that this is Harry and Voldemort.)  The fighting seems to get more intense until one of the figures falls to the ground and disappears.

There is a cry of delight, and many other small figures seem to just disappear. The one remaining central figure, conjures up a broomstick and flies up very close to the camera screen. It is Harry Potter, and he looks very sincerely into the camera and says:

"We fight on the Frontline for freedom and there will never be a better product to use on your dog against fleas".

Hmmmmm. I wonder if I should contact JK Rowling and bring this advertising campaign to her attention. I mean, she could make millions............

Monday, October 5, 2015

Dogs and romance....

Close your eyes and picture this. It's almost sunset. A young couple stroll hand in hand along the beach. They are talking quietly, gazing into each other's eyes. They decide to take a rest on a sand dune where they can be even closer to each other.

The waves crash, the gulls cry, the gentle breeze is warm. The girl's hair blows softly across her glowing skin and the young man gently reaches across and brushes it away. Perfect moment, right?!!

Enter my dog.  She has been playing madly in the waves with another puppy. They have been rolling over each other, snapping at the waves and generally having a great time. It would be fair to say that way too much sea water has been swallowed by said puppy and although she doesn't look it, things are not quite right in her world.

She notices the young couple on the beach, and although her own peeps are close at hand, she decides that everyone should share her special brand of shaggy, wet love. I like to think she took a moment and observed the "calender-perfect love picture" before her, but I seriously doubt it.

Promptly, and without any fanfare whatsoever, she vomited up all the sea water, afternoon snacks, lunch and most likely breakfast, at the feet of the young lovers.

Signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours baby........

It reminds me of another touching moment that I witnessed many years ago on Valentines Day by a particularly loving couple. I was working as a waitress in a beautiful old hotel. This hotel boasted the most amazing verandah -  barley twist marble columns, arched doorways and windows, beautiful bougainvillea providing colour and privacy,  and tessellated tiles covering the wide, shaded floor. (note that the tiles were fairly uneven - little corners sticking up here and there - a death trap for high heels and the unobservant - but so much age and character!!!!)

I had served this couple all night, and their displays of affection were really beginning to get to me (please God, go get a room!!!). Dessert and wine were being served and I was counting the minutes before I could excuse myself from their presence, when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Bundy the hotel dog and almost fell about laughing.

Bundy was an ancient Beagle who belonged to the owner of the hotel. He was a permanent fixture by the fireplace in the bar at winter, and resided anywhere there was shade over the summer. He also suffered the occasional itchy, pussy, abscess on his backside. (I know, gross right!)

On this beautiful, romantic evening, in the prescence of one seriously, loved-up couple, Bundy chose to alleviate his itching backside on the tessellated tiles of the verandah. As he grunted, and scooted slowly past, the couple seemed to notice him (it was one of those classic "double take" moments) and decided they really did need to pay the bill, tip me ridiculously (yay!!!) and finally go to their room.

Needless to say, I felt a great deal of love for Bundy at that moment and took him on a Valentines date to the kitchen for  a suitable bone.