Monday, 31 December 2012

The Last Day.

Today is the last day of the biggest year of my life. It's been huge, in wonderful and terrible ways.

January I upheld my right to remain ridiculous, falling off my sons three-wheeler down a big hill and skinning my knees.

In February I drank coffee from this magic cup and I KNEW Big Things were circling. I coined the term Carbon Neutral Blogging and still believe in it very much.

March saw me turn forty years old. Forty. Dave made me a skull cake and the day was a miracle. Just a few short weeks later I climbed into five airplanes and made my way into Africa to blog about the West Africa food crisis.

In April I returned home and was a hero for four full days until an article was published in a national magazine misinforming people of my relapse. Shame burnt my eyes until I finally realised, for the first time ever, that it's none of my business what other people think about me. I know my truth. That's enough.

May saw Edenland take out the very top prize in the Sydney Writers Centre Blog Awards, named Best Australian Blog 2012. I buckled under that pressure and still do.

June was big. I was lucky to receive a makeover from the team at Maybelline NY, did a big Fresh Horses link-up on who the hell everybody is, met Prime Minister Julia Gillard and gave her some World Vision seeds, joined The Remarkables, and then my beautiful stepdad Jim took a funny turn.

In July I was published in some magazines, spoke at a blogging conference ... and then everything turned dark. I wrote a post called "Half The Moon Is Gone" while sitting in a public library hours after getting Jim into a cancer ward. My family, me, and some of Jim's very close friends stood around wringing hands while Jim died. That cancer ate him up like a baddie. I still, cannot believe he is gone. Every time I go to write about him here now, I edit it all out. It's too hard. My brain went TING after his death and I faltered a lot. I still feel strange and uncertain. (Thank you for holding our hands, Computer. Thank you.) The moon will never be the same again. Neil Armstrong died in sympathy. Today is the last day I can say, "We saw Jim this year!" Life is a series of loving and letting go. We miss him. Jim Jim Jim Jim. That's all it's been, in my head. He died, Rome burnt to a crisp and down came the moon and JIM DIED. Grief is like a tatty overcoat that you never know if you're going to wear on any given day. Some days I still keen at traffic lights, dumbfounded at all the hurt still there. My mothers eyes.

My wedding day 2005. I often wonder what it would feel like to have a real actual dad who was there for me ... Jim was the closest I ever came.

In August, Maybelline flew me to New York for BlogHer. Dave took the photos for "Who Are The People In Your Neighbourhood?" and we both ate a lot of cheesy fries. I came home out of my mind and wrote about "my hairy ballbag blowing in the cyclone." (Of course I don't actually have a ballbag. But if I did, I just know it'd be really big and really hairy.)

September I talked to Tim Costello about meeting Bono and then I wrote about being Jesus to Satans oxycodone but my best post was just one about buttons.

October Julia gave her speech, I went to the Problogger conference, and then told the world to kiss my mummyblogging arse. 

In November I was beyond lucky to get to meet my sponsored child in India, Rashni. Taking the tally of countries I visited this year to eight. All of the wonderful people who have sponsored children or donated money to World Vision this year .... YOU ARE AMAZING. My mum now sponsors a child in India. Her and Jim decided they weren't going to at the beginning of the year because they were too old and might die soon. She changed her mind.

Photo by Misho

December I came in at number ten with a bullet in the Babble Top 100 Mum Bloggers of 2012. A huge honour, and I was quite blown away. I met the PM again, spoke like a slick stallion on the late news then came home and collapsed in a heap. (Lucky Dave!)

So, goodbye, big year of 2012. If somebody like me can do things in the world, ANYBODY can. Saying yes to life makes life open up like an oyster. I'll be staying home a hell of a lot more in 2013. Waiting for the end of the world like I always do. Hopefully make a bit of a difference where I can, knowing when to fold them, when to fight, and when to eat cake.

Thank you for reading here, thank you for your support. I dropped a lot of balls, but I keep blogging because I need to. It's in me. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. I hope whatever you do is done with peace in your heart. We get a brand new day EVERY night, not just tonight. We get to start again whenever we want. Thank god.

Tonight I'll be hanging out with these three guys. No particular plans, hopefully doing something ridiculous. We'll just see where the day takes us. I'm all struggly with a head FULL of doom but they smell like sand and fart and hope and they're right in front of me, simultaneously pissing me off and forcing me to be a better person. I'm so lucky.

Love to you, wherever you are.

XX eden

PS I saw Jim this year!

PPS  Maybe the trick is to keep saying YES to life.

PPPS Also yes to cheesy fries.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

My Name Is Woman And I Sit Where I Please.

 Photo by Misho

I have become obsessed with Indian women to the point of wishing I WAS an Indian woman. They are the strongest, most tough and hardcore women I have ever had the privilege of meeting. I wear sterling silver toe rings just like them, have four saris, an assortment of bindis.

Walking through India as a white woman is hard. The stares, ogling, often blatant sexist and inappropriate behaviour from some of the men left me feeling pretty yuck. And angry.

Walking through India as an Indian women? You need a lot of strength.

When I was five years old I learned to dislike Indian people. I was living in Fiji for a year with my family ... some of the Indians HATED white people and would literally chase us out of their shops. Even back then, I knew it was unfair. I'm glad I had the smarts to know at such a young age that not all Indian people are like that. Just as not all white people are ignorant, racist, selfish idiots.

The women of India possess a strength borne from suffering. I was only there ten days but sensed a tide turning .... young girls are being taught they can say no to arranged marriage. They're studying, gaining independence, becoming businesswomen. It feels they are itching to stand up for themselves, their daughters, and especially their sons. (Because ingrained misogyny must be dealt with at the source.)

Photo by Misho

All of the women pictured above are part of a womens' group in rural Chhattisgarh founded and funded by World Vision Australia. These women came together and banned the men from drinking and gambling in their village. They are SO PROUD to have done that. They've started small businesses, opened bank accounts. Give an Indian woman an inch and she will take a hectare. Us white girls all sat in chairs like thrones, as our welcome ceremony went on around us. You know what the Indian women did?

HIJACKED IT. It was brilliant.  The women used the opportunity as a time to vent their annoyance at being charged bank interest rates. They thought they were getting ripped off ... the men officials were red-faced, kept apologising profusely to me, Kelly, Joy, Carly and Misho. None of us cared. We told them to go on, loving how fired up the women got.

I don't know her name, but I fell in love with one of the women from that village.

Photo by Misho

She is one of the toughest women I have ever met. We stood there talking to each other for a while, not knowing what the other one was saying but still seeming to understand. She liked me just as much. She pointed to my tattoos then to her tattoos, and we were same-same.

Photo by Misho

She was cheeky, so bossy, with the hardest leather hands ever. So hardcore she belongs in a Quentin Tarantino film.

One of my favourite times in India was going on the train. Waiting at the station I looked up to see a sign:

A women-only train carriage? Damn straight. We got on and it was SUCH a relief, everybody relaxed. The Indian women looked at us with as much curiosity as we looked at them. We were all as fascinated with each other, probably because we are all actually the same. Yet India is so many different things at once; a woman dressed to the nines in her best colourful sari sits next to a Muslim woman in a hijab next to a casually dressed woman in jeans and a t-shirt.

The train trip was hilarious. A tired, young female policewoman sat lounging on the seat and everytime a man got on our carriage - and they did, at every stop - she ordered them off. They didn't want to leave, until they suddenly realised they were being stared down by a pack of women with the law on their side so they'd skulk off to the next carriage. We all laughed, every time.

Watching an Indian woman in her power is extraordinary. Watching ANY woman in her power is extraordinary. But Indians - especially now, in the climate right there today, have a sense of not putting up with unspeakable things any more.

Six men raped a woman so badly on a bus in Delhi last week that she died. From rape. Women can die from rape. Especially when an iron rod is inserted into her body so hard and so far up that her intestines and lungs give way.

Despicable. DREADFUL. I hope change happens, real change. In attitudes, cultures, behaviours, and thoughts.

These girls, wearing fresh orange uniforms to school while living in a slum .. they deserve change. And action.

We also met a lot of beautiful, peaceful, gentle men in India. Men who are working in communities to educate, improve, and change things. It's so heartening, and hopeful.

Me and Sam ... our World Vision guru/hero/beautiful man.

My most favourite tough Indian woman I met over there is World Vision aid worker, Annila.

Annila translated for us, chaperoned us, aggressively bargained with taxi drivers, taught us how to cross the streets of Delhi and laughed when we all screamed like a bunch of lily-livered white girls. We watched her as she bought us street food, barged ahead, demanded, haggled, and helped. Annila moved through India in the most remarkable way. I'm still struck by it. I bought her a gift on the last day to say thank you, and I hope to see her again when I go back. (With Dave, hopefully. He can sit in the mens carriage while I kick it back with my girls.)

Violence towards women is a global issue. We need change.

The song they sang to us will stay with me forever. I wish I knew what the words were ... MAN I was intent on getting the dance moves right.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Blew Christmas.

Julian, Dick and Anne, George and Timmy the Dog.

I love these pricks. They are my pricks and I am theirs, all the dysfunction and bullshittery. We've made it through some hard things. I wish life was just smooth sailing here on in. We're exhausted.

Two things redeemed our Christmas.

EXHIBIT A: Mums salted chocolate caramel slice.

It took us a day to eat it. Dave called it "lethal." Mum promised to write up the recipe to share here. I'm sad for America who doesn't seem to have golden syrup? (Maya I will post you some!)

I imagined all the other people around the world with an empty chair at Christmas. There must be a lot - there must. (It felt like our empty chair was the emptiest of all time. Words can't express.)

My brother-in-law Jonnie found this and brought it home, thus ensuring our second redeeming Christmas feature.


Accordion to us, Christmas blew.

Jonnie listed it online to sell so I bought it. We MUST keep that accordion in the family. Have you ever played one? They are so majestic and real. I googled accordion teachers because I'm busting to learn. There is a whole Accordion Teachers Association in Western Sydney.

Accordion culture exists!

Do children still learn the accordion? Any parents buy one for their kid? I think accordions are vital for spiritual evolution. I'm an accordion person now. Accordion accordion. I'm all accordiony.

The fuzzy five survive: Eden, Cameron, Susie, Linda, Leigh

We all love each other, long after the raging fires of the past burnt out. That's a true Christmas miracle right there.

THANK YOU for the comments on the previous post for Neill. He and Rachel read them all. He is doing amazing. Unbelievable. Will be back playing music, just in a different way. There's something in that for all of us.

Friday, 21 December 2012

A Most Beautiful Love Story.

This couple? Neill Duncan and Rachel Besser. A couple of spunks. Amazing, creative, talented, incredible real and open people ... my husband Dave built a music studio for them recently. Whenever Dave does a job for somebody, he comes home with stories and snippets.

"Hon, they're the coolest couple!"

And they are. I first met Rachel a few years ago when she wandered with her high-spirited, exquisite children into the Leura shop I was working at, Mrs Peel.  The world often looks down upon highly-spirited, exquisite children. They played and laughed in the shop corridor until a random lady came in to tell Rachel to keep them under control. Rachel turned to me:

"Well, SOMEBODY could use an orgasm."

I replied with something so filthy I can't even write it here, made Rachel laugh so hard. Rachel is how all women should be .... open, honest, tough, loud, creative, STRONG. A firecracker. Her house overflows with colour and creativity. She is tattooed and speaks her mind ... can be found over at Painted Lady Productions. She takes my breath away. I want to be just like her.

So what of Neill? Well, that's the thing. Neill's had a bit of a big time in life, lately. Curveballs galore. He is one of Australias most talented musicians, a drummer and a saxophonist and a myriad of other instruments I can't even name. A member of the Snaketown Rattlers. A loving father. A beloved drumming teacher.

Neill noticed a lump in his arm about eight weeks ago, it was a sarcoma, he went on chemotherapy, it failed, so he had to get his arm cut off.

Cancer is a thieving whore.

Last Sunday night, Rachel and Neill held the biggest bash of a send-off. The Blue Mountains has a beautiful community. Hundreds of people came together to say goodbye to Neills tattooed left arm.

Only had eyes for each other. 

I gave Rachel a pink sari from India, told her how tough the Indian women are because they have to be. Rachel is being tough because she has to be. There is no choice. I teared up when I saw Neill only because I recognise that particularly fetching shade of chemo beige. I pointed to Dave and told Rachel that he was once half-dead with a forty percent chance of living. That he got so sick and beige that women didn't even perve on him in the street anymore. "But look at him now, Rachel ... fuck cancer, and fuck statistics."

We all watched and clapped and laughed as Neill and his amazing band of musicians played. It's a huge gift to allow others to witness your life, instead of shrinking, squirrelling your pain away. Doesn't do us any good. I've learnt that the very hard way.

Stood there with my remissiony guy with Neill in the background playing the biggest ode and Rocco hugged me tight and I was officially the luckiest woman in the world. (Until an ENTIRE BEER spilt into my handbag and everything smelt beer-y. Thing is, I didn't know it was beer I just thought it was water so I patted my face with it. A recovering alcoholic beerface woman. This is why I don't go to Christmas parties.)

Neill played for hours. He looked out to the crowd like he was a Spirit, probably because he was. Questioning your mortality does that to people.

Here he is just after his diagnosis, pensive.

Neill, reach out of your car window and snap off the rear view mirror.

Neill had his operation a few days ago. His arm is heavily bandaged .. I hope his cool tatts made the literal cut. He's in quite a bit of pain but he's up walking around, beautiful Rachel ever-present by his side. They are constantly in my thoughts.

I imagine Neill and Rachel travelling in a Michael Leunig cartoon car overflowing with love and Frida Kahlo images and music. Lots of music. Those blonde urchins of theirs in the back seat who help kiss Neills left arm, thank it for all of its help, and throw it out the window. No rear view mirror to look back.

There's only forward, driving ahead into a new landscape they didn't know was there but it's coming and it's AMAZING.

Sorry for the dark quality but it's been a dark time. Shed them some Light now, Universe.

2.37 minutes into this is spine-tingling. Can you feel what's happening? A man is saying goodbye to a beloved and vital member of his body, using that very beloved and vital member of his body. He does it well. It ends abruptly because he still has music to make and he's not done yet, not by a long shot.

You can send some love and beautiful thoughts to Neill and Rachel ... please feel free to leave a comment to them. It'll be a Christmas unlike any other, and they'll be reading this post sometime today on Rachel's phone, perched up on a hospital bed in Sydney together. Always together.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


"Mum, look at my ball."

I turned around, expected him to be pointing at his testicles but he wasn't. It was his planet earth bouncy ball, his finger on the east coast of Australia.

"Here's where we are right NOW."

He then points to Iran.

"And see that? That is called Lollipopland. There's just heaps of lollipops there."

I love it when he just makes shit up. Told him I bet all the kids in Lollipopland would have to brush their teeth a lot. He nodded, sagely. Then asked if Santa will go from our house to India? I told him yes even though I *know* Santa doesn't visit slums, silly.

Last week he sat up in his own chair and chose my pedicure colour in return for being "good."

When you have a baby, that's the main thing anybody wants to know:

"Is he a good baby?" Over and over again. Ended up telling the strangers in post offices no, no he was a BAD baby. Drinking, smoking, up all night. They looked confused.

For five seconds I worried that the sickening shade of green would look ridiculous. Then I realised - who cares?

So grateful that when I get lost, a small boy with the whole world in his hands tells me where I am.

"Here's where you are right NOW, mum. Right now. See?"

Monday, 17 December 2012

Hush, Little Baby.

Are my children more precious today than they were last week? Of course not. It just feels that way.

My children are precious every day. As precious as the children on an Indian slum pile. An African refugee camp. An Indonesian orphanage. A Connecticut school.

How do we get through the things that we can't get through? How can we make sense of the unfathomable? Can't. Just have to keep going, do what we can. Strip it all back. The most important things in life aren't things. We are more connected than we know.

For every one person who would walk into a school and start shooting babies, there are a million who would rush in to save them. Twenty sets of parents this week choosing a coffin from the small coffin section of the catalogue. The last thing they will ever have to buy for their children.

A heart is broken again and again until finally it opens. A moving spring has the purest water. At the precise moment of dreadful and horrific events, the human spirit inside us instantly begins to plot its own survival.

There's always a pause, a moment when all hope is lost.

Resilience is a powerful thing. Keep going.

A woman reads the words of The Nutcracker in a confined space to a frightened class and tells them it was just a drill. One day they'll realise exactly what the sound of all the booms represented. I don't understand life. But who says we have to? Googled "losing faith in god" and up came Mother Theresa. Huh. Prayed to a leaf, a cloud, and the Buddha on my back deck even though he's made of wood like Pinocchio. Not even real.

It's where you pray from that makes prayer so powerful. It's why I wept when I listened to the small Muslim boy sing his prayers at the vigil. I didn't understand what he was saying. I didn't have to. A deep essence of something that I don't know, I don't know. I'm just so, so sorry down here, wringing my hands. Trying to maintain some faith in humanity.

Just like everybody else.

Please consider donating to Noah's Ark of Trust - no amount too small. Noah was the youngest child to die in the shootings last Friday, he is the nephew of VDog

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Not The Christmas Tutorial You Were Expecting.

I had this bright idea to craft a Christmas tree out of some twigs and then paint it all arty-like. I usually don't do things like this .. battling mental health issues at this time of year is work enough.

Thing is, we have new carpet in the bucket-bong beach house so it doesn't smell like a bucket bong anymore! I wanted to make it festive. Dave told me he'd even help find some appropriate twigs. There's a few Christmas miracles at play here:

1) Dave and I aren't tearing each others heads off like we always do at Christmastime in this stupid stressed out world.

2) We are doing craft together.

He said he's grab his handsaw from his ute and came back with just a plain saw.

Me: "That's a plain saw."
Dave: "Yeah - you hold it in your hand. HANDSAW."

We took his "handsaw" down the back gully of the beach house. Three steps in, Dave wondered if he could pull the last of the lantana down because it was really giving him the irrits.

Our whole Christmas craft project was hijacked. Could we pull down this dead lantana eyesore? Eleven years ago we went to see the film Lantana, just days before Max was born. I couldn't get comfortable in my seat but man that film was good. About the complexities of relationships, parenthood, marriage.

Marriage is bullshit. It gets thrust upon us like some societal ideal. It's constant compromise, soul-wearingly difficult hard work. People don't talk about it out in the open like this. I don't know why.

Of course Dave got the lantana down. This guy can do anything. He is the strongest, surest, most capable and headstrong man I will ever meet in my life. He thinks in black and white. I may dream in colour but I think in grey.

There were a lot of dead branches to choose from. I kept laughing that we were doing craft together. Dave was fully into it and used the leftover aerosol paint from my blog header while I watched. Rocco took a break from fighting with Max to come outside and watch too.

Sad for the other branches that didn't make the cut. You were good too, other branches! You almost won! We threw them back into the bush. I wonder if they're down there all rejected, obsessing over their looks.

There was deft hammering to be done. (Euphemism.) And then the placement of the branch on the paint-tin just right.

Dave gave Rocco the name "Rocco" and I didn't really like it. I just gave Dave full naming rights because if he died from his cancer at least Rocco would be able to tell people that his father named him.

Of course, Rocco could never be anything but a Rocco. On his next birthday he will turn five years old, which means Dave moves from remission to cured.

I still haven't bought any Christmas presents yet. I'm trying to refuse to be drawn in to the bullshit and fiasco that always, always happens this time of year.

But it's hard. There's a lot of photos of alcoholic drinks around. Beautiful shots .... you can see the harbour or a freshly-made dessert straight through the glass of a nice red, or delicious bubbly! I don't think recreational heroin users ever Instagram their fully-laden syringes. My brain can't work out the difference.

The tree looked amazing when it was finished. We even put on the Bing Crosby "White Christmas" record that mum gave me. The boys were watching and eating candy canes, Dave and I kissed ... and if I tried hard enough I could have shed a tear. This is it! Marriage nirvana! And it was. It truly was, and I love my husband so much even though I hate the word "husband" as much as I hate the word "wife" and at this stage of my life I've just plain ran out of labels.

CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA: Labelmaker. With refills.

I forgot to take a photo of the finished tree, because this was never meant to be a tutorial. I was just so happy that we were all getting along that I had to document the occasion. A family is only as happy as its unhappiest member. We left the paint tin just as it was, because it looks rustic but also because our motto for most things is "Fuck it."

I used some candy canes and some of Cate Bolts buttons from Skull Buttonry to decorate the bottom bit.

It looked all beautiful, and then we had to leave. Of course.

On my way to the ute I turned around and snapped some photos from outside because it just looked so damn pretty. Dave ran in and slid on his knees to do that thing we've been doing in photos for twelve years.

How can one man wearing such silky sports shorts be SO macho hot and cool? And mine?

He is the devil I know. I am his. I love him so hard that I punch him. That we are still together and striving and trying after all these years truly is a Christmas miracle.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Ten Late News. And Catman.

My appearance on Ten News last night:

The host was Lachlan Kennedy - his first night in the chair. I think he was a little scared of me, because of the whole "renegade blogger I can go to town if I want to" thing.

Just before we started I leant over to him and asked him how old he was. Twenty-eight! Told him he was a switched-on dude who'll go far.

He stage whispered. "It's all a front." 
I stage-whispered back. "ME TOO!"

And that's how media works.

(Actually, that's everything works.)

Dave was there watching and told me he always knew he'd see me on a news desk one day. We went out for dinner to Made in Italy across the road from the studio to celebrate.

Bloody beautiful food. The waitress also had a skull tattoo on her forearm.

I took a piece of this home in a container for Max, who was allowed to stay up late and watch mum on the news. We made it back just in time to see it. 

As SOON as the piece went to air I received three emails in a row, all from weirdo political Hatey McHatersons. One was explicitly sexual (of COURSE it was!) but all three were pretty lame. Hate better, haters.

I was particularly annoyed at one suggestion that "Isn't the internet just for cat photos you fukn moron ... go back to your MUMMYBLOG."

Ok that was mean - but you do have a point.

Because look at this cat that looks like Batman.


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Prime Minister Julia Gillard Hosts Blogger Christmas Drinks at Kirribilli House.

Sparkling mineral water Christmas drinks with Prime Minister Julia Gillard 2012

Yesterday I asked the PM how India was. She said she really enjoyed it, it was a fascinating country and she'd like to go back one day to explore more. She laughed about the fall she took over there, when her stiletto got caught in the grass. I told her it was a good one .. that she falls as big as she does speeches.

I asked her if she knew she was going to say her famous "speech" that morning when she woke up. A firm no, the PM said she didn't even know she was going to say it when she walked into Question Time that day.

I went to India this year too, for World Vision Australia. Travelled out to some really remote villages, got stranded on dusty roads, slept with some really itchy bedbugs. Met some truly remarkable, strong, tough women. Indian women have something I still cannot put my finger on - a hardcore determination to get through, to look after their children, to make things work.

I wrote about the value and importance of sponsoring a child here:

This is the only blog post I came to India to write. 

Upon my return to Australia, I unsuccessfully tried to drum up some media interest in the blogger trip to India. Maybe the press were too busy camped outside the London hospital of one of the most privileged newly-pregnant white women in the world. It's funny what passes for "news" these days.

There's huge media interest in the blogger Christmas drinks at Kirribilli House yesterday. A radio show producer complained to me that hardly any of the invitees wanted to talk. I said that's probably because they're a bit hesitant of being ridiculed and spoken down to. Maybe end up on Mediawatch. He basically told me we all need to harden up. Then I went on air for a few "light" questions to be met with:

"Isn't the Prime Minister displaying signs of misogyny ... by not inviting men to the blogger drinks?"

I said Bruce I said mate .... maybe if there were as many communities and websites of men bloggers and writers in Australia, they could score an invite too? We laughed about the poor forgotten woodworking bloggers and I mentioned World Vision as many times as I possibly could.

The PM hosts a variety of Christmas drinks for various people. Why does nobody question the press gallery drinks? Or when she meets with sporting heroes? Or the school she went to today? Why is a female Prime Minister inviting a bunch of females over for a cup of tea SO bloody controversial?

Of course everybody has an agenda ... my four year old son is a master agenda and deal maker. He's just cleaned up all of his toys ... if I don't make macaroni and cheese out of a packet tonight there'll be HELL to pay.

NEWSFLASH: There are a variety of women online in Australia, doing all different things. News websites, fluff blogs, various articles ... we come in all shapes and sizes. Heaven knows there's a few I can't stand. We don't even all hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Some of us aren't even MUMMIES, for goodness sake! Our voices are strong and loud, in Ye Old Internet. I've been blogging in Australia for five and a half years now, seen a lot of things. This year has been the most pivotal, the most annoying, the most hard.

Julia Gillard's team invited me to Christmas drinks for the exact same reason World Vision Australia invited me to blog from Africa and India on their behalf. It's a smart, savvy thing to do. Sometimes I feel like gently taking the hands of certain ageing prominent baby boomers, stroking their sweaty fleshy.

"See this? It's called a "computer." We can do lots of things with these here contraptions!"

Naively, I'll be on Ten's Late News tonight at 10.30pm, to talk (even more!) about the Christmas drinks yesterday. (I stuck to sparkling mineral water because there isn't enough drink left in the world for me.)

I'll also be talking about the growing recognition and power of women online in Australia. Hopefully it won't be a stitch-up. Anyone got any media tips? Maybe I should just be how I am on this blog ... tell the truth out of my mouth-hole with wild abandon, because nothing actually means anything, I've far more pressing things to worry about, and the only real meaning to life is to help our fellow humans anyway.

Good evening!

I Am Mummyblogger
The 20 Most Influential Female Voices of 2012
The Kings Tribune
Helen Razer's twitter stream

Monday, 10 December 2012

And On The Eighth Day, God Invented Caffeine.

Post sponsored by Woolworths

The sad thing about going to my mothers house is that she has NO coffee machine. There's been many times this year when my sisters and I have slept the night, then woken up to no caffeine in a panic. We take it in turns to drive up the street for some takeaways.

(I've been known to double-fist a couple strong skim lattes. Slug one back straight away, then sit on the second for a while.)

It's been really hard to find a decent coffee in any of the local cafes where mum lives. I've found it kind of desperately outrageous. Some mornings it's made me angry. Once my sisters drove to the cafe at the local hospital, which is known for its good coffee. Desperados, all.

I've been pricing some coffee machines for mum for a while. Just wanted something simple, easy to use, that makes good coffee.

Caffitaly is Woolworths new coffee system.  There's even a matching electric milk frother.

Dave put it together in about fifteen minutes. Our own really ridiculously huge coffee machine is away getting serviced, luckily we had this to test out before we give it to mum. There's a whole host of different coffee capsules to go with it, all with different flavours. You don't have to worry about coffee groups, grinding, all the usual mess.

This is the first one I made. A healthy dollop of cream turns it into a "breve."

$99 from Woolworths and just $79 if you're an Everyday Rewards Member. I have TWO machines to give away to two readers. Just leave a comment telling me how far you go for a coffee. Best two answers each win a Caffitaly Coffee Machine, a milk frother, and capsule hamper.

Competition opens today Monday 10th December 2012 and closes Friday 14th December 2012. Winner announced here next Monday 17th December. (Open to Australian residents only, I'm so sorry!)

Mum, we're bringing your new coffee machine next week. No more panic in the mornings when we all come and stay!

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