Monday, 30 September 2013

Seasons. (Nothing More Than)

I snapped this shot of Leuras bare cherry blossoms a few weeks ago.


But they refused. I hate winter, and count down every day of it. Mother Nature takes her own sweet time with things. Isn't it funny how the older we get, the more Nature tells us? And the more in tune we are? Every winter I look up at those branches and imagine the soft nestlings of the blooms to come. They *have* to be in there. Just get through winter and you'll see.

I went to the exact same spot the other day and BANG.

The pink popcorn has popped! Photos don't do them justice. Takes ages to find a carpark up here at this time of year. Leura even has its own garden festival. When I lived in Sydney I was hardly reminded of each passing season. Up here they are so distinct, some of them so beautiful.

I wonder how all the magic happens. Everything's a dream within a dream, and if we live long enough there's four distinct seasons in our lives. All ending in winter.

But right now it's spring again. I got to see another one, and so did you. And it's pretty bloody beautiful.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Street Talk: Julia Gillard The Person.

Julia Gillard is one of the most cool, fascinating, smart people I know.

I met her four times. The first time I walked up to her like a smiling loon. She was SO pretty. She smelt nice like Oprah. Her skin dewy and flawless, she was charming and calm with everybody around her, all waiting for their piece of flesh.

At first I didn't know what to make of all those staged "meetings" at the time, and was incredibly wary. But very quickly I realised that all of the shit sandwiches she was made to eat every single day just weren't FAIR. Honestly, the things she had to just put up with during her tenure as PM were bordering on criminal. The vile sexual taunts, the incredible bias of the press, intense hounding by the Opposition. I decided to meet her whenever I got the chance and give her a good wrap. Because she was shaping up to be a BRILLIANT leader of this country and deserved support.

I saw her on the news the other night, and she was speaking freely! It was awesome. Losing leadership must be double-edged for her, hurting like hell but the freedom it brings must feel exhilarating. A lot of people are waiting to see What Julia Does Next. Whatever it is will be amazing. I can't wait to read her memoir.

The car ride down the mountain on the day I interviewed her at Kirribilli House was fraught with panic because I kept re-jigging my questions. I phoned my gorgeous and knowledgable friend Kim who talked me off the ledge. Every question I asked in the interview, Julia answered so well. SO many people said to me they wished she spoke like that all the time. The very big shame was, she was yet to reach her peak as a Prime Minister. She's truly excellent on the world stage.

There was a dinner at Rooty Hill with some bloggers ..... the intensity of the media interest was ridiculous. (And I notice there was no confected outrage when Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott went there together right before the election.)

When Julia is talking to a bunch of people and gets asked a heap of questions, she says her mind needs to "re-calibrate" to each one. SMART. She's so smart. She told me to not read any online gossip or criticism, because "Why would you do that to yourself? Keep doing your thing." So I did. We sat next to each other during dinner and she noticed my tattoos and just said, "But why?"

I said, "Because it hurts SO GOOD Julia!" (She didn't understand.)

The times I spent with her were quite surreal, mostly because of the person I used to be in the past; the things I used to do. And here I was breaking bread with the PM. (Sometimes I feel like I've tricked everybody I know because if you knew me then, you may not want to know me now.)

I was mocked so much because I have red hair and glasses the same as her, people thought I was some kind of fawning sycophant. Um, no arseholes I've been this way my whole adult life. Steve Price got me on his radio show and then tricked me into talking about Tony Abbott when his producer promised it would be about something else entirely. More fool me. I sounded like a blathering IDIOT in that interview because I was one. (I've still blocked Steve Price on twitter. That'll teach him!)

Got off the phone from him disastrous radio interview and thought, "Why am I defending this woman?"

Because she wasn't getting a fair go. And I hate unfairness.

Julia is feisty and funny, impeccably groomed, and just really, really lovely. After I interviewed her that day my husband Dave and I actually did see her on the street. We were walking through Kirribilli and her long white car with the Aussie flags drove past with Julia the PM sitting in the back seat all alone. Looking a tad vulnerable.

(Later that same day, I went to Kings Cross and interviewed a prostitute. Life is a trip.)


Previous Street Talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier
24. Teena, Saver Of Dogs
25. The Luna Park Face
26. Gary The Missing
27. Kristen at the Elephant Bean Cafe
28. Uncle Paul
29. Jess The Mama
30. The Two People At The Checkout
31. Alfie The Pourer
32. Breaking The Rules With Captain Starlight!
33. The Woman In Line At The Bakery A Few Weekends Ago
34. Dog The Dog

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Keeping House.

There was a day last year (I'm not proud of it, but it happened)  that I noticed a small bunch of mushrooms growing in-between my bathroom floor tiles.

Beige in colour, there was about four of them, all about 3cm tall. Yeah. I took a photo of them and text it to my sister with:

"Might make a mushroom risotto tonight."

(She didn't reply back for a while.)

I snapped the mushies off and then scrubbed the entire bathroom. With bleach. I try get all Buddha-like and be Zen about cleaning but it's just so soul-destroyingly boring. And apparently, some of us have special powers in the house because only WE can stick our hands into revolting cold chunky dishwater in the kitchen sink to lift the plug up. Only WE can notice when the bin needs taking out, the dust everywhere, the mess in little boys bedrooms.

Yesterday on my Facebook page I posted this pic:

This is the way my guys arrange a hand towel. (Come to think of it, I just took a photo and walked off. Stockholm Syndrome).

It set off a heap of comments and advice from people, we all just ended up agreeing and identifying with each other about out pet hates when it comes to being the main Domestic Engineer of the household. Another of mine is the bloated wet dishcloth at the bottom of the sink .... nobody but you rinses it out and hangs it back up again which means you're left with MANKY STINK-HAND ALL DAY.

Wet towels left on beds, crumbs on the cutting board, leaving your cup on the counter when all you have to do is open up the dishwasher for fricks sake how many times do I have to tell you?!

I went to my friend Naomi's house yesterday and she told me she HIDES her dishcloth where the kids can't see, and has a roll of paper towel within reach for them instead. Genius!

All of it left me thinking about this one scene I've never forgotten from Mad About You. And how it's never been more applicable than now:

(I still miss that show.)

Any pet peeves out there?

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

You Know You've Been Watching Too Much Game Of Thrones When Your Blue-Eyed, Blonde Haired Son Starts Looking WAY Too Much Like Prince Joffrey.

"Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you."
- Lord Tyrion Lannister

So I've just been on one of the biggest binges of my life - Game of Thrones. OH MY GOD. The best writing, best performances, best plots I have ever seen. So dark and brutal. I'm completely obsessed, watched the entire first two seasons in a week and a bit. The theme song keeps playing in my head. I look around at how humans live now and it's just so homogenised and BORING. We've got no fight left. Where's all the passion and treachery and bravery and honour?

My world has been changed from watching it. When either of my boys ask me something I answer with, "Yes my Lord?" And they don't blink an eye because mum is a bit odd.

I tried to watch a cheeky episode in the middle of the day last week and *just* when there was a graphic sex scene (it's rated R ... FOR RAD) Rocco bursts open the door, looks at the screen and starts in glee.


Instead of rushing for the remote I ran to him and tried to cover his eyes but he peeled my hands off. I CAN STILL SEE THEM BOOOOOOBS MUM!

He still talks about the boobs he saw, as well as the man on the ladies back. So now it's strictly night-time watching after the kids are in bed. Hopefully Rocco will forget what he saw before school goes back.

I won't do any spoilers for those who haven't seen it yet .. the characters are so intricate, not black and white at all. (I just googled "Is George Martin" (the author) a complete squillionaire?") He probably is. The first of the series was published in 1996. He'd have never have known how much of an impact it would have, seventeen years later. When he was a kid he used to write monster books and sell them to the neighbourhood kids for pennies.

The very first I heard of it was when Veronica was reading the series a few years ago. One of my favourite characters is Lord Tyrion Lannister, beautifully played by Peter Dinklage:

          "Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where is the god of tits and wine?"

Small-statured but one of the strongest, biggest characters in the entire show. With the best one-liners.

Someone I don't like very much is Prince Joffrey:

I started to look at Rocco and do a double-take. And realised I should probably take a break for a while so I am. The beauty is, series three awaits me ready for download. I know what a glutton I am so I'm saving it .... almost caved last night, then remembered I have no money in my bank account so can't buy it anyway. Nearly asked Dave to transfer four bucks over, you know, just for a taste.

Then I said the serenity prayer, got a grip, and went to sleep.

Do you watch it? Do you have the theme song running in a circuit in your head? Do you walk outside and expect castles and dragons and wars and it's just all blue skies and lawn mowing?

Most importantly, what the HELL else can you recommend watching because I'm already sad about when I have no episodes left.

Series 2 Episode 9 - ending song:

And who are you, 
the proud lord said, 
that I must bow so low? 
Only a cat of a different coat, 
that's all the truth I know.
In a coat of gold or a coat of red, 
a lion still has claws, 
And mine are long and sharp, 
my lord, as long and sharp as yours. 
And so he spoke, 
and so he spoke, 
that lord of Castamere, 
But now the rains weep o'er his hall, 
with no one there to hear. 
Yes now the rains weep o'er his hall, 
and not a soul to hear.

Monday, 23 September 2013

"Mum are you puffed now? Now? How 'bout now? I'm not puffed are you puffed?"

Last week I did something pretty big, something I haven't done in a while. Went for a walk. A long walk - a bushwalk. You look at leaflets for chronically depressed, bipolar people and right up there at the top of things to "manage" your symptoms is exercise. I have nothing against exercise as long as other people do it. I got really fit once, a few years ago. Doing cardio and pump classes and felt INSANELY awesome. My feet were light on the earth and I thought I'd remain fit forever.

Anyway, some days it's hard to go for a walk to the letterbox. But at least I'm still upright.

I put on my good runners and went to explore. Passed an honesty box for waratahs along the way.

                                              $3 each or $10 for four

Waratahs bloom once a year. They're one of my favourite flowers. About ten years ago there was a spate of people picking them off bushes up here, so council went around and spray painted them BLUE as a deterrent! It was so sad, made all the locals cranky.

I walked all the way down this track and was met with this.


I huffed and I puffed back up all the stairs. Had to stop three times because I'm dreadfully unfit. And a little overweight. But I did it, and bought some waratahs on the way home.

Later I told Rocco about my walk, he BEGGED me to take him.

"Mum you *know* I just love exploring!"

So yesterday we set out. Rocco said he would pack the picnic and I wasn't allowed to look. We saved a cicada just sitting in the middle of the road. (I HATE bugs, but if we didn't move him he'd get squished very quickly. Am now bug hero.)

Naturally, Rocco starts running the first chance he gets. I told him to ease up. He said, "Oh, are you puffed mum?"

No, no I wasn't puffed. (Yet.)

                                 Queen Victoria Lookout Point, Wentworth Falls

Rocco absolutely loved it. Just as I took this photo he started climbing up the wire fence for a better look. It was a sheer drop below.

"GET DOWN!!!!" My words rang out to the people behind us. Rocco always goes that extra mile. He's been like this his whole life, my adrenaline always on alert.

It was time for our picnic ....

..... five cherry tomatoes, an apple, and an orange.

"And I packed a knife mum."

Of course he did. We sat there for awhile, admiring the view and eating fruit. Until Rocco starts pegging the cherry tomatoes over the edge and I told him to stop.

We packed up and started up those long, long stairs. "Are you puffed yet mum?"

I didn't want to give my five-year old the satisfaction. He was so excited about me getting puffed. I told him I wasn't puffed. When he scampered ahead I huffed like a steam train because I was PUFFED. One thing I noticed ... SO many people were doing walks, in all different directions. I always forget how famous and beautiful the mountains are. Everytime people walked past I controlled my breathing and then I let it all out. Rocco heard me.


For the love. "YES mum is puffed are you happy now?"

He wasn't ... he'd actually pushed himself too hard and got a stitch, so we had to stop for a while. He was gasping but kept reminding me that I was puffed first.

We walked slowly all the home. Rocco said it was the best explore ever. And when we passed the tree where we put the cicada, it was gone.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Street Talk: Dog The Dog.

There she was, so well-mannered, just patiently waiting on the seat. I sat next to her and she looked over at me, a small nod. I asked if I could please ask her some questions, she looked startled.

"How did you know dogs could talk?"

I told her I found out dogs could talk many years ago, when I was a child. Maybe I've just kind of always known.

"Ok. You can ask me a few questions, my owner won't be back for a little while."

I asked her who she lived with, who her owners were. A beautiful, big grin.

"A mother and her three children. I get walked regularly, de-fleaed, cuddled, patted constantly. I'm SO lucky. And loved."

I told her I agreed, that she was very lucky, because a lot of pets out there don't get looked after properly at all.

"So, why do you guys all sniff each others bums?"


"We are not sniffing each others BUMS at all ..... we're sniffing each others TAILS. To see which tribe the other comes from."

She told me that every dog, large or small, rich or poor, is a member of a tribe. With their own belief systems and deities.

What's your name, I asked.


But .....

"All dogs names are just "dog". It's the humans who feel the need to personalise each one."

She leant in to smell me, gently.

"Oh. Oh ..... I am sorry for the death of your dog Mischka last year. Truly sorry."

I thanked her. Told her we're looking at getting a new dog soon, when we build a fence.

She smiled, again the most gorgeous smile.

"The dog you get will be lucky. I can tell ... you have fun loving people in your family who are full of boundless love for an animal."

We both said goodbye. I told her she was beautiful, and I left just as her owner came with some shopping bags. She lifted Dogs pink leash off the bench and they walked off, slowly.


Previous Street Talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier
24. Teena, Saver Of Dogs
25. The Luna Park Face
26. Gary The Missing
27. Kristen at the Elephant Bean Cafe
28. Uncle Paul
29. Jess The Mama
30. The Two People At The Checkout
31. Alfie The Pourer
32. Breaking The Rules With Captain Starlight!
33. The Woman In Line At The Bakery A Few Weekends Ago

Thursday, 19 September 2013

A Beautiful Video. And Some Introductions.

I watched this 2-minute video yesterday and wept. Watched it again just then and wept AGAIN.


Can't wait to show it to my kids. It's amazing how something so simple and short can provoke such emotion ... yet we all go to the movies and spend a hundred dollars to watch some crap smash-and-crash.


Ok I am ELATED to introduce you to my first ten advertisers. All neatly organised in that column over there ---->

When I got out of hospital I wasn't sure if I could still provide consistent, somewhat decent content here. But I think I can, so I put the call out for ad spots and some beautiful people came to the party. ALL women. All varied businesses, too. It is my complete pleasure to have them here with me. Technically I wasn't supposed to start until the 1st of October but I just couldn't wait.

There's Cate Bolts divine etsy shop, Cabo Pickles.

One of the Blue Mountains most refreshing, prestigious real estate agencies, UMI. (With the stunning Karen Lister.)

Flying Penguin  with its extraordinary, educational toys.

Beautiful blogger Always Josefa, with her false eyelashes and a unicorn.

And have you met Annabel Candy, from Get in the Hot Spot?

The Little Black Dress Boutique will be launching soon. (Watch this space: I can tell you more about it in October.)

There's the gorgeous Nathalie from Easy Peasy Kids (love you Nat!)

Check out these INCREDIBLE cakes at Love to Bake. (They service the Northern Beaches and all throughout Sydney. The sponges look *amazing* ... think I'll order one just for the hell of it.)

Nicole Avery from Planning with Kids ... man I wish I was more like her.

Last but not least, author A.D.Scott has a new book out called North Sea Requiem, a thriller set in the Highlands of Scotland in the 1950s .

So that's everybody, for October. I feel incredible grateful and lucky that such an awesome, varied mix of really talented women chose to advertise with me. It gives me a bit of self-worth in what and why I write here and we all need a healthy dose of self-esteem every once in a while.

(If you're interested for advertising in November please email me on There's only ten slots at a time.)

See you tomorrow for Street Talk! Xx

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Thick As Thieves.

These guys. FULLY wrestling in the library. Sometimes I add up how much longer I'm going to have to take care of them and do all their cooking and washing and shepherding and my shoulders sag and I think, wow, really? Will I EVER get time alone again?

Other times I add up how much longer I'm going to have to take care of them and do all their cooking and washing and shepherding and I think, no! They can never leave me, ever, ever!

This morning during breakfast, apropos of nothing, Rocco came out with,

"Mum what happened to your real dad?"

I don't believe in lying to my kids about true things like that. Not altered, not rose-coloured.

Max looked on, already knowing.

"Well mate, he drank too much and he died."

"What, cordial?"

"No sweetheart he drank too much wine and beer and kept falling over and hurting his head. He got a big bruise on his brain and he died."

Rocco looks up from his porridge, incredulous. "WHAT? Well, he should have just stopped. Maybe he just liked it too much."

I told him that yes, he liked it too much and would he like to see a photo of his "real" grandfather? I showed them. Max has my dads physique - tall, lithe, and strong. (Really, really hope my boys don't have his drinking gene.)

Then Rocco said that Ma must have married Grandad after that and I kind of squirmed and said, well mate, there was another stepdad before Ma married Grandad.

Then it was time to go to school THANK GOD because I really didn't want to explain suicide to a five-year old before I'd even had a coffee. He turned to me and said "Mum, what did grandad die of again?"

"Cancer sweetheart. Some people die from cancer, and some peoples cancer goes away."

"Oh ok. Seeya."

Skipped outta the house without a goddamn care in the world.


Recently there was silence in their room. GREAT they're obviously playing some contraband game left here by Tim. I did the stealth sneak and quickly opened their door to find ......... craft?

"I'm just making something for Rocco, mum."

I backed out, couldn't BELIEVE they were doing craft. After a long while, Rocco came out with this on his face.

A superhero mask! Oh my heart! It took Max an HOUR to make it, Rocco wore it once and then threw it off.

I picked it up. Might get one of those box frames for it, to remind me that my children used to be young.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Just A Sunday

HUGE day yesterday. We all got up at 5.30am to leave at 6, drive down to Sydney so Dave could spark up the spit for his mothers birthday celebrations. A whole leg of pork, and huge double legs of de-boned lamb. I was going to drive down afterwards, but my driving mojo is still lost so we all went in the ute. (Daves favourite radio station is Smooth FM .... haven't heard Total Eclipse of the Heart in YEARS!)

He'd hired a generator, the spit, bought the meat, and we got there early enough to get the BEST spot.

                           As usual, Rocco provided the ham

I bought my favourite crocheted blanket and swiftly laid it down in dog shit. NOM! There were SO many kookaburras around. I never knew they had blue wings!

We were at the same place Daves family have been coming to for celebrations for YEARS - under the Roseville Bridge. Phoebe, the boys and I just all chilled for a few hours, waiting for people to start showing up.

Dave took the meat very, very seriously. Here he is with the pork, which he tenderly just lifted clean out of the crackling. THE CRACKLING. That yummy, crunchy, pigskin. Phoebe and I were going nuts eating it and Dave shooed us away. It was the best pork, the best lamb, the best crackle I've ever tasted in my life. I still have a tummy ache.

There ended up being about fifty people there. Games of cricket, soccer, and touch footy galore. Dave leading all of them. He's just that kind of guy - the capable, slightly bossy person who brought everybody together.

His mum is so dignified. Dave said a speech! I couldn't believe it .... he's often too shy for things like that. He spoke about what an amazing woman Anne is, to have been through so much in life and to just keep going. He spoke of how when he and his two older brothers were kids, his mum used to put them all to bed in one big double bed in their house in Cammeray, and she'd head out to work the night shift at the Redfern mail exchange. And what complete TURDS those three Riley boys were. His mum never gave up on Dave, even during his worst, darkest times. (Pretty dark.)

And then Anne cut the cake and we all sang Happy Birthday and somebody tried to start up a rendition of "Why was she born so beautiful ..." and I told Tim and his beautiful girlfriend that that song had the same chorus of Advance Australia Fair. But they didn't believe me and Tim punched me and told me I was full of shit and MAN I adore that boy.

Later they all chanted for me to join touch footy so I did and stuffed up my calf muscle AGAIN but got some good runs in.

On the way home we stopped at Maccas drive through but I didn't order anything because crackling. Rocco got a Happy Meal and it was the Smurfs promotion. I told him I hope he gets Smurfette (as a joke) and he got Smurfette and I laughed, which made him FURIOUS. And he cried and cried until I told him to STOP being so ridiculous he has a mountain of toys at home.

When I turned back around he was fast asleep.

It was a good day.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Street Talk: The Woman In Line At The Bakery A Few Weekends Ago.

Ok so one Sunday when I took day leave from hospital I went home to help pack and sort through ... everything. I could tell Dave was stressed and overwhelmed, so I asked him what I could do. He asked if I could go up the shop and pick up the burgers and chips he ordered from the takeaway.

Sure! I can do useful things!

I took Rocco with me, drove my car (driving felt quite weird) ... and had some time to kill so thought I'd go into the bakery and buy some pretzels. Or as Rocco calls them, printzels. Got in line, waiting, waiting ... it's always busy there on the weekends. Just as I was at the head of the queue you know what happened?


And she knew it ... she and her friend turned to me and said,

"Oh, you were first?" ....and then proceeded to put their orders into the cashier. BIG orders. They were ordering pies and coffees and cakes, and I stood there trying hard not to lose my shit. One minute I was in the nuthouse and the next minute I was standing hemmed in with all these PEOPLE and I need to get out of there and she pushed in!

I abhor people pushing in. Here's the scene of the crime:

Schwarzes is a great German Bakery. Their white chocolate mud cake log is to die for, as is their pretzels. Rocco and I had waited such a long time, all we wanted was one of these:

                                      Re-enactment: just a simple stick printzel

We'd waited over ten minutes behind these two queuejumpers ordering every dessert in town. Rocco was fidgety. I was frustrated, and I'm a person who can't hide my emotions very well. You could clearly see I was pissed off. FINALLY, they moved aside and finished their transaction. I moved to the front of the queue, started to order .... and one of the women came barging back because she'd forgotten something. She tried to stand where I was standing but I held my place. The more she tried to stand where I stood, the more I had wings of steel. She was so completely rude. I didn't move .... so she started purposely elbowing and digging into my side. Unbelievable.

I was a statue. She got the cashier to serve her the thing she had forgotten and as she walked off, she gave me the BIGGEST SHOVE. I hit the roof. The place was packed with people - did not care.

"How dare you push me like that! You KNEW you pushed in front of me! YOU ARE A RUDE, RUDE WOMAN."

Every word she tried to say I spoke over her. She flustered her way out of the shop .... then I had to sheepishly order. I apologised, but the cashier said don't worry, she could see what was happening.

Rocco looked up at me in awe, but I felt awful - you know when you have a big ole' fight with, say, your husband and you hurl abuse and it feels good in the moment but afterwards you feel dreadful and now YOU'RE the arsehole because of your childish behaviour? Yeah.

That lady might be really nice. She might work as a nurse, or childcare teacher. One moment does not define someone. (But man she shit me on that day.)

I finally got back with all the burgers for the boys.

"Well, I had a massive fight with someone in Schwarzes."

Dave just opened his chips. "Of course you did."

And we all ate our lunch.

Anybody have any public fights? I had a public fight with Dave after we'd been seeing each other a few months and he nearly broke up with me.

(Please excuse me from not responding to comments properly lately, we still have no internet. I'm relying on this tiny portable wi-fi, takes about an hour and a half to upload a post.)


Previous Street Talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader
14. Jo the Podiatrist
15. Casey the Uni Student
16. Dream the Horse and Carriage Driver
17. Tamas the Hungarian Accordionist
18. The Dignified Trolley Ladies
19. Alex With The Studded Hot Pink Belt
20. Leaf The Fallen
21. Bel Of The Library
22. Jay And His Big Issue
23. Emma The Adult Shop Cashier
24. Teena, Saver Of Dogs
25. The Luna Park Face
26. Gary The Missing
27. Kristen at the Elephant Bean Cafe
28. Uncle Paul
29. Jess The Mama
30. The Two People At The Checkout
31. Alfie The Pourer
32. Breaking The Rules With Captain Starlight!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Art In Her.

My sister Leighs' daughter Billie is an artist. She was born one ... I don't know how that happens with certain people but it just does. Everybody around her knows it. She lives with her head in the clouds, almost in an alternate world.

                             Painted this blossom tree when she was SIX years old

                               Trees and Shrubs, aged nine

                                      Frida Kahlo by Billie at six years old

I don't know much about visual art and how it all gets categorised and learnt. I hope Billies raw talent doesn't get drowned out by teachers talking of structure and meaning. I hope Billie just draws what's in her heart for her whole life, because she is completely mind-blowing. SO talented. I would totally buy some of her work now.

I think that's what happens with too many of us, in life. We get sidetracked or derailed by what's expected of us, what we think we should do. Instead of listening to out hearts.

Leigh actually snapped a shot of Billie the very first time she ever held a paintbrush.

I asked Leigh to tell me about it. She wrote:

"It was the first time she ever held a paintbrush, the awe and wonderment in her little face, the hand on her heart. I knew it was a significant moment .... she wasn't even 2!"

Billie can even do ceramics - in the class, most girls did horses or something pink. Billie made a ZOMBIE.

Billie and her mum:

Now I know you shouldn't compare kids but I'm about to compare kids. See my boys do NOT do craft or colour-in very much at all. Max does when it's something to do with Minecraft, but that's it. I've tried, but I'm not very crafty myself so I've let it be. Recently Leigh mailed me some Day of the Dead cookie cutters, and the only bit of paper she had in her handbag to write on was this:

                                            You. Are. Awesome. At. Cooking.

She finds things like this hanging round the house all the time, little notes and pictures and carefully made dolls.

You know what I get? I get given things like this.

Rocco handed it to me and I know the rules. I know you're supposed to say, oh mate that's amazing! Which I did, then followed it up with, "What is it, sweetheart?"

"Oh, well that's just your black black black teeth."

And sauntered off. Apparently I have five black black black teeth? Ah well. I'm pretty sure he's a natural at footie so that cancels that out.

In the meantime Leigh literally trips over things like this.

And in the other meantime, Aunty Eden remains Billies most loyal and fierce cheerleader.

Monday, 9 September 2013

We Moved House And I Will Never Finish Unpacking.

"We" moved house. When I say "we" I mean "Dave." He's still pretty exhausted. Tim came up and helped. I was still in hospital and would get day leave to come and pack and move and you know what? I really don't recommend that. Dave packed, moved, minded the boys, tried to run a business. UGH. There was guilt, overwhelm, screaming matches, naughty children, and just so much STUFF.

Oh lord, the stuff we had accumulated. The CRAP that we didn't need. I cull with an iron fist .... Dave is a bit of a "collector" of items. I think I may even be a minimalist, but we'll never know.

We had to fit the belongings of a two-storey, five bedroom house into a smallish, tight, three bedroom cottage. NO PROBLEMS RIGHT?? I've learnt that I will never, ever move again without a professional removalist. And I've learnt how attached I become to stuff when I don't really need to.

                                             Didn't take us long to clutter it up

Technically, we're still unpacking. It got to a point where there were still piles and piles of boxes to move so Dave just left them all out the front, declared himself exhausted, and took Rocco down the beach for a week. By that stage I'd torn my calf muscle (so fit!) I decided to just read, go to various appointments for my dodgy mental health, and sleep-in. And try not to feel bad about it. (Why are we so mean to ourselves??)

I got a lot of it done over the weekend. Max and Rocco have to share a room. Rocco is STOKED, Max is all, really, mum? 

Yes, really. The places I have been to for World Vision ensures a pretty casual approach to my boys - you have to share a room? Well, some kids don't HAVE a room. Or clothes. Or food. (Max has actually been really good about it.)

The most exciting thing for me has been GRASS!!!! I've wanted grass for nine years!

                             Sad and weird clothesline

Dave renovated this house a few years ago, so it shows his usual trademark colour bond and open planning.

We've rented out our house, also the studio next door. Downsizing has been really challenging but worth it - I much prefer living in a smaller house. Ours always overwhelmed me with its space and constant need for attention. We were on 4 acres. It's going to take some time to get used to having neighbours. SO ODD. Like, I need to apologise if I catch their eye. (Mental note: tone down yelling.)

                                       From the back

                                 Dave and I have our own ensuite. SCORE.

                                    Too many paintings, not enough walls

I never expected it to be hard to say goodbye to our other house and it wasn't. Except the very last time I was there and I was incredibly emotional as I walked out to the back deck and threw my arms around Buddha and literally sobbed. When I walked back inside I had one last walkabout and found this on the kitchen floor:

It was just A Place. And the house we moved into is just A Place too. Made out of wood, colourbond, metal, gyprock. It's the people inside who are the most important part.

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