Can We Say Goodbye To 2016 Now?

cars-1578513_1280I won’t point to anything in particular – Trump, Bowie, Brexit – but there must be few among us that will look back on 2016 as a great year.

 

Since boatpoo-gate a few weeks ago, NC says I’ve just been unlucky.

 

You see, you could honestly not meet a more stupidly honest person than me, and yet where everyone else manages to be camouflaged when they make a mistake, I must walk around in hi vis clothing.

 

I’m the one that gets stopped by the ratty old person and accused of littering the beach when some wrapper I’ve been eating from gets blown away in a mild hurricane. I’m that person who somehow manages to lose the dog’s poo bag which was firmly attached to her lead before she’s done her business and then gets caught by the curtain-twitcher when she has to dump her load on the pristine lawn in front of their house.

 

I must also hold the suburb record for parking tickets.

 

Which must be why it was me who got the surprise visit from two policemen as I dished up dinner on Saturday night. Two very handsome policemen, I should add, which was the only part of the nightmare to make my shame slightly more bearable.

 

‘We’re from Glebe police station,’ the more muscled of the two began with, ‘and we’re here about an accident.’

 

Now if you have a son like Kurt and two policemen come to your house on a Saturday night and begin with those words, they can’t expect a calm reaction.

 

‘What?’ I responded, spraying his face with cauliflower rice while the Princess continued to bark behind me – because she has an innate distrust of “the boys in blue” due to intensive training by her brother – risking a noise pollution charge as well as the potential loss of her mama into police custody.

 

‘Do you drive a car with the this registration number?’ they continued, and of course if I knew my car registration number I would have been able to respond immediately with an affirmative.

 

‘Maybe…’ I said, sounding as guilty AF.

 

Anyway, it turns out that whilst collecting clients a few weeks ago – and I remember it well, because no woman wants to be the gender stereotype caught parking badly in front of a group of men who are watching you like a convocation of eagles – someone grassed on me.

 

I was trying to get into a small space, which I’m normally good at because I live in the city, have a rear-view camera and very over-sensitive sensors on both ends, (something the old man insisted on treated me to when we bought it), but obviously on this occasion I was somewhat over-confident to the point that I burnt out all four tyres turning the wheel to get into the damned space because with my audience the challenge soon became a matter of pride and a step for feminism. And when I’d finished and got out of the car with a ‘and that’s how its done boys’ look on my face, one of the guys kindly informed me that I was touching the bumper of the car in front ‘so you might want to move it, love,’ and being the caring citizen I am I went through the whole torturous process in reverse.

 

Anyway, one of them ratted on me and put a note on the other car to say that I had banged into his car – ALL LIES – and helpfully added my registration number as well. And the scratch, (which I will deny to my dying breath), led two hot policemen – who should have been doing proper police work such as searching my son for illicit substances on the streets of Sydney on a Saturday night – to my front door in suburbia.

 

And that is why I’m feeling unlucky and why I want to start again with 2017.

Cook’s Cheat Sheet 2: Quick Fish Curry For Middle Aged Fatties

If, like me, you binge on all the wrong foods over the weekend and then justify your gluttony by pretending to go healthy for the rest of the week, as penance, you might like this easy little fish dish I discovered in NC’s Women’s Weekly book, Fast Seafood (that I might have put in her stocking with an ulterior motive).

 

Cook's Cheat Sheet 2: Quick Fish Curry For Middle Aged Fatties
Healthy yumminess!

 

Just about the only thing I have going for my health these days is that I love fish, but unfortunately the boys in the family see it as ‘girl food’. So even though I could devour grilled Barramundi or poached salmon by the bucket-load every night of the week (and probably have a very dangerous mercury poisoning level to prove it), I have to dress fish up for the boys.

 

Thai food seems to be the only genre of food we can all agree on as a family, as long as it’s not over-spicy, because then Kurt (who has an intolerance to anything with chilli in it) starts hyperventilating and dousing himself with tap water. 

 

Cook's Cheat Sheet 2: Quick Fish Curry For Middle Aged Fatties

 

Obviously, this recipe had to be super-easy-peasy to make for me to even contemplate and open the book, but it’s quick to put together too, so it makes a perfect mid-week meal when you’re knackered and want to get your head down in front of the tv for the evening’s dose of salivating over Tyson’s chest.

 

Cook's Cheat Sheet 2: Quick Fish Curry For Middle Aged Fatties

 

As you are aware, it’s extremely rare for me to try any recipe with more than four ingredients but since we’ve been living in the city and there are at least five Thai restaurants in our immediate locale (as well as obviously being Asian in a previous life), I feel much more relaxed about attempting to cook Thai food. It also helps having an Asian supermarket on nearly every street corner.

 

In terms of those sworn enemies of the middle-aged physique –UNNECESSARY CALORIES– you could probably replace the coconut cream with coconut milk and for the middle-aged fatties of the family, (like me and the old man), I replaced the rice with a simple Asian salad of tomato, cucumber, onion and coriander so I could save those extra calories for my bottle of wine.

 

Quick Fish Curry (For 4)

750g white fish fillets, chopped coarsely

1 fresh long red chilli, chopped finely

1 tablespoon lime juice

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon oil (not Olive oil like I used because I only discovered today that it is carcinogenic when heated)

1 medium brown onion, sliced thinly

4cm piece of fresh ginger, grated (I used the powdered version because I am a culinary heathen and can’t be assed to source and cut up fresh)

2 cloves garlic, crushed (from the jar, bee-atches)

140ml can coconut cream

½ cup fresh coriander leaves

1 lime cut into wedges

What To Do:

  1. Toss fish in combined chilli, juice and salt. (I added extra juice)
  2. Heat oil in a medium frying pan; cook onion, stirring until soft. Add ginger, garlic and curry paste; cook stirring, until fragrant.
  3. Add coconut cream bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered until sauce thickens slightly. Add fish, cook, covered for about five minutes or until fish is just cooked through.
  4. Sprinkle fish curry with coriander leaves. Serve with lime wedges, rice and green veg if desired.

Cheat Tips:

Dried ginger and jar garlic save on chopping time and increase drinking time.

 

Saving Money:

This dish would be absolutely orgasmic if you can afford fresh Barramundi, but in spite of being surrounded by ocean in Australia, unfortunately you require Gina Rinehart’s squillions to afford it these days so I used Aldi’s frozen Hoki (love you, Aldi), which worked out at about $1 per person – again, leaving more money for expensive wine.

 

Nb. I only put in half a chilli and extra coconut cream due to Kurt’s intolerance to ‘heat’, because as comical as it is to watch my son writhe around on the floor in agony, I didn’t want him off school the next day. 

 

Nb. Surprisingly, no family members were poisoned in the making of this recipe, although the old man did have a tantrum when he realised there was no red meat and that I’d replaced my usual sweet and yummy Asian salad dressing with lime juice because… well frankly… I couldn’t be arsed to make it.

 

Yummy Asian Dressing for those Skinny Bee-atches out there!

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tsp fish sauce

2 tsp peanut oil

1/2 tsp brown sugar to taste

 

Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

Why I Write

I’ve delved back into ‘the book’ with a passion over the last couple of days due to a ‘no screaming clients zone’ at the day job. It has been more orgasmic than watching the make-up sex scene in The Notebook. 

Why I Write
Found on ingridsgedichtenenverhalen.blogspot.com

 

Well, nearly….

 

I’ve finally finished the first edit and have checked the structure to see if the storyline makes any sense whatsoever and I’m quietly excited by it.

 

I think there’s something for everyone, unless you’re intelligent – flawed characters, human weakness, black humor, inner turmoil, sordid sex, social injustice and resolutions.

 

It’s a kind of realistic chick lit where real people are dealing with real problems yet still manage to forge and repair relationships along the way.

 

And did I mention that it still manages to be funny…in parts?

 

Best remind me not to market the book, personally.

 

But what I also rediscovered this morning is how much I FUCKING LOVE WRITING, whether it’s the book or this blog. It’s why you can’t stop me, even when I write those posts that no-one reads.

 

I love this little blog and over-sharing my opinions on just about everything to do with middle-age; although sometimes I do question who could possibly be truly interested in my boring little life and how I can make it sound more interesting than it actually is.

 

Why I Write
Found on imgfave.com

How can I put the Cosmo into My Midlife Mayhem?

 

Sure, I can be gross, I can shock and I’ve written a few posts about willies and vulvas because being mildly offensive comes easy to me but I need to keep the blog interesting for ALL my different readers and sometimes that’s a struggle – if you’re not my identical twin, say.

 

Whereas in the book, I can write about whatever the fuck I want. I can create the sort of characters I would like to meet and be friends with, describe the sex I’d like to experience and develop whatever situations I bloody well want. It’s like having a superpower, and published or not, the book will always be my legacy.

 

But back to this blog hop I was invited to – ‘Why I Write’ – by the absolutely fabulous Brenda at Mumabulous, who shares my far-from-healthy interest in hawt, young men – here are my answers to the questions:

 

 

What I’m Working On

 

See above.

 

How Does My Writing Differ From Others In My Genre?

 

It doesn’t, and I don’t see that as a bad thing, necessarily, because I want my readers to feel they identify with me. There are a lot of us women out there experiencing the delights (!) of teenagers, (in particular those lucky enough to have those of the wildly talented ADHD strain), the glorious symptoms of Menopause and the spontaneity that goes hand in hand with a long and tedious marriage or partnership.

 

But if you’re looking for intelligent or considered thought, My Midlife Mayhem is probably not the blog for you. If you’re looking for a belly laugh at the bitch-fest that is ‘getting older’ and can accept my impulsive, scathing style of writing, give it a go.

 

Why Do I Write?

 

See above, and….

 

Three main reasons:

 

  1. It saves me a fortune in psychology fees and stops me from bolting the minute I can’t cope, tearing my grey hair out or drinking three times the weekly allowance for women.

 

  1. I’m probably a complete narcissist and love the attention although I haven’t even truly admitted that to myself yet. I’ve always had trouble making and keeping friends. I think I’m funny – other people don’t. On the blog I can be ME without having to worry about offending people. Writing gives me a virtual friendship group of characters, fellow bloggers and readers and it takes the pressure off me to leave the house and be sociable.

 

  1. Creativity sates me. I need a creative outlet. When I can’t be creative, I wither and drink. I’m a far better writer than I was a furniture painter.

 

How Does My Writing Process Work?

 

My family is fundamentally my muse and triggers might include an off-the-cuff facetious comment from the old man (who can still be funny, VERY occasionally) or an impulsive act from my son Kurt. I am an overly opinionated person anyway and the blog serves as a very accommodating forum to air my misguided opinions.

 

There is a process of sorts – a note on my iPhone if something titillates me, a rough draft straight onto the page without a lot of thought and then I go back to it several times until it feels authentic and is funny. I add the humor after the first written vomit.

 

And there it is. Why I write. Bet you wish Mumabulous hadn’t asked.

Teenage Friendships and The Role Of Food

Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon) penalty kick in the H...
Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon) penalty kick in the Heieneken Cup (Photo credit: Sum_of_Marc)

Kurt has had a best friend for a while now.

 

 

 

He got to know him at the performing arts school he started at last year, just before the unfortunate series of events that led to the gaping hole in his classroom wall which escalated another fresh start at another new school this year. Those security cameras can be a bitch.

 

 

 

Apparently the school still hasn’t mended that hole in the wall, in spite of them demanding vast sums of hush money from us to pay for the damage, so that the good name of our son would not be tarnished.

 

 

 

One day we will laugh at these things. *reaches for medication*

 

 

 

Anyway, Kurt’s friend is a tall, rugby-playing, actor-type friend who physically and mentally is the complete antithesis of our son. And yet, mysteriously, they have made a connection.

 

 

 

They share an obvious passion for performance and playing the fool and they laugh at each other’s silly, sixteen year old boy-humour which mostly seems to involve farting. But what I find particularly endearing about their relationship is that this boy is not afraid to challenge Kurt and tell him when he thinks when he has crossed a line. And Kurt actually listens to him.

 

 

 

On a personal level, the second best thing about this boy, (which makes me sound uncharacteristically like Martha Stewart), is that he has a healthy appetite for food, and because his mum lives far away in Queensland, he has virtually taken permanent weekend residency at our house; so I get to feed him a lot.

 

 

 

Rather like the ducks they feed to make foie gras.

 

 

 

I’d like to pretend and say that the attraction of staying at our house lies with my home cooking, but alas, I’d obviously be talking out of my ass.

 

 

 

Yet in spite of the fact that I have never served up a home-made apple pie or rice pudding, this boy demolishes everything I put in front of him without complaint. Unlike my son who has no interest in food and makes every mealtime the equivalent of going ten rounds with Mike Tyson.

 

American cultural icons, apple pie, baseball, ...
American cultural icons, apple pie, baseball, and the American flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Sometimes I close my eyes and pretend that this boy is also my son and that I did something right. I would never exchange Kurt for this boy, because I know that Kurt has been sent to me for many reasons. My son may not eat anything with onions or cheese in it but he makes me laugh out loud at the quirkiness of his humor and swell with pride when he sings to me, and secretly I do suspect that there is some measure of genius within him.

 

 

 

But most importantly, I love him unconditionally and it seems that the more chaos he creates in our lives, the more I love him that little bit more, (although obviously, I would never tell him that).

 

 

 

But the way kids treat their parents is often different to how they behave with their friends’ parents. Just as I am certain that when Kurt and NC are at their friends’ houses, they remember their Ps and Qs, I know for a fact that when Kurt goes to this boy‘s house, he and the dad always have a massive jamming session together.

 

 

 

And so, when Kurt’s friend finishes every leftover from my fridge that I offer him with that big, goofy, appreciative grin and a ‘thank you, Mrs Simmonds,’ I’m ashamed to admit that my heart skips a few beats.

 

 

 

A little appreciation goes a long way.

 

 

 

There used to be a kids television programme in the UK called Swap Shop where you swapped a toy for something else you wanted. Sometimes I wonder if we could borrow Kurt’s friend for special events and do a sort of teenage swap for events like the school parents evening, which is looming perilously closer in my calendar; or when we have to visit family. Kurt’s friend’s parents could borrow Kurt for the end of term music show or if they needed some contraband.

 

 

 

Kurt told me that the other day his friend asked him if he thought he was my favourite of Kurt’s friends and I found myself blushing.

 

 

 

 

 

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Position Vacant: House Cleaning Fairy, Sydney

Fairy Wings
Fairy Wings (Photo credit: thor_mark)

Reaching middle age has affected my health in many ways. I am unarguably larger in size, most definitely losing my marbles, but I’m also mentally far less tolerant to…well, just about everything.

My biggest and most recent ‘intolerance’ is to house cleaning. The sheer banality of housework, when there are so many other things out there to ignite the senses, frankly gets on my tits.

This is not a new problem. I have implored the old man several times to release some of his secret funds for a cleaner (here), but apparently ‘wallet said no!’

Which leaves this particular house cleaning fairy no option, but to go on leave – indefinitely.

Cooking is the worst chore, and having to cook for a family who still sees Mcdonalds as a treat, has finally defeated me. These days, when I start to think about preparing dinner, I feel like curling up and rocking in my bedroom. That’s not normal.

I spend my days IN BETWEEN WORKING, clearing up after everyone in the family.

Kurt is obviously the worst offender, as NC tends to only extend her mess as far as her lab. But Kurt is more egocentric than even the most existentialist teenager and he lives in a bubble that revolves around his needs and his needs only.

He also hates to be alone, which means that he spreads his mess like disease, from room to room. Just as his personality is a dominating presence in our house, so is his stuff.

‘Did you move my shit?’ is a common accusation of the house cleaning fairy.

Kurt doesn’t know what a rubbish bin is. He evidently believes that a towel should only be used once and that cups and plates find their own way to the dishwasher. He also believes that every room has a secondary function as a recording studio.

So the combination of working from home and living with a child who likes ‘nesting’ in every area of the house, means that the ‘fairy’s’ old standards of household tidiness have had to slip.

The family is evidently quite happy to live in a pigsty as they’ve failed to notice my ‘superficial’ cleans since I went back to work.

These involve:

Pushing Kurt’s empty cans, chip packets and juice cartons under sofas

Using the towels to clean the bathroom floor

Folding towels neatly after cleaning the bathroom floor with them, so they look clean

Using the dog as a vacuum to clean the kitchen floor

Recycling school uniform and spraying it with deodorant so it smells clean

Hand dusting

Taking clothes out of the laundry basket that pass the sniff test and putting them back in cupboards.

 

There is no aspect of housework that fulfils me. Ironing is worse than watching paint dry, cleaning scum from the bathroom (even it is from the same gene pool) turns my stomach, and don’t get me started on the washing – although admittedly I have been quite enterprising in that department by outsourcing much of it to Kurt’s OCD – mental illness can have its benefits.

Do you ever find yourself scrubbing that brown grime ring from the bath (where the fuck does that come from?), thinking ‘is this really what life is about?’

Cooking not only bores me to tears, it exacerbates my anxiety levels too.

Maybe it’s because the kids have inherited the old man’s bland palate or maybe I’ve created food monsters by being too accommodating, but I have allowed myself to become a lackey in the kitchen.

SED (aka Fussy Eaters) goes with the ADHD territory, which is why we are all a bit finicky about food, but the fact is that we all want to eat different things, invariably at different times, and as we can’t afford takeaway every night, it makes my job as chief cook in the house wrist-slittingly frustrating.

Not a meal goes by where someone doesn’t complain about ‘what’s for dinner’ or my desecration of it. I’d prefer to have my wisdom teeth pulled without anesthetic than plan a meal for my family these days.

Imagine how awesome it must be for them to have the ‘fairy’ just call them to the table when dinner’s ready, rather than having to shop for and plan how many different ways the same piece of protein can be adapted to suit everyone’s dietary foibles.

I’ve had to become very deceptive creative.

Of course, the family would argue that I am the fussy eater, because (shock, horror!) I choose to eat healthily.

How very new-wave of me.

Sometimes the areas of mediocrity in my life appall me and I take all those inspiring words on Pinterest to heart – because no-one ever talks about achieving happiness while cleaning toilets.

No-one is going to put this house-cleaning fairy in the corner.

Position Vacant: House Cleaning Fairy, Sydney

Teenage Dating and Sibling Baggage

SUITCASES ARE USED FOR SEATS AS MEMBERS OF THE...
SUITCASES ARE USED FOR SEATS AS MEMBERS OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION WAIT FOR A TRAIN IN NEW YORK CITY’S PENNSYLVANIA… – NARA – 556705 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So Nerd Child casually slipped into the conversation that a male friend of hers would be staying over at Dysfunctionality house next week.

Just like that.

My Mumdar was alerted to something definitely very fishy behind that statement, but I initially ignored it – because I was busy. You know what it’s like when you’re multi-tasking? At the time, I was downing a bottle of wine in preparation for Kurt’s parents evening, and so couldn’t possibly be expected to think clearly.

Certainly not straight enough to grasp the obvious, underlying implications, anyway.

Kids can be selfish like that. They always choose the worst moments to dump something huge on you.

But then a sixth sense, (possibly the so-far elusive ‘parenting’ sense) sniffed out the teenage angst behind her words.

‘What did you say?’ I eventually asked, when it finally hit me that my daughter might actually be trying to ‘tell’ me something quite important, (and once again I was failing dismally in my role as confidante).

‘This friend’s coming to stay over,’ she repeated, looking in obvious pain.

‘But friends stay over all the time,’ I said, ‘so what’s the problem?’

‘Well…this one hasn’t met Kurt before,’ she stammered.

My fuddled brain finally began to make the connections Nerd Child’s already had. (To do this, I had to think of it how NC would be thinking, formulaically):

NC + potential boyfriend + good impression + KURT!!!!! = DISASTER!!!!

So before I could move into any potential mother-in-law mode, of planning extended family Sunday lunches, arranging their wedding, knitting booties and putting my grandchildren’s names down for Skeggs, it suddenly dawned on me why she might be a little anxious about this impending visit.

Her sibling baggage.

Kurt.

‘Okaaaaay,’ I started, my hackles beginning to rise in defense of our misunderstood (and quite obviously) mad-as-a-hatter son – her brother.

But then I saw it; the innate fear behind the usually cool, calm exterior. Nerd Child was actually terrified of Kurt showing her up – this guy must be a bit more important than the previous victims of her lair.

The siblings of kids with special needs are often forgotten about, even though they can be as affected as the parents by their sibling’s needs, and Nerd Child is no exception. Kurt is a tour de force in our house; his mood dictates the ambiance of the house; his noise is always in the foreground; he creates the eggshells that we all walk on.

For a more reserved, cerebral teenager like NC, her ADHD brother’s presence, the extreme way he lives his life and the way in which he manipulates the family, must be highly stressful. It’s not normal to see your 16 year old brother stomp naked through the house, to have to go out with him in just his pajamas, to miss events because he refuses to come at the last minute……

‘Tell me what I need to do,’ I asked her.

‘You mean, because sending him away to fight the war in Afghanistan or locking him in his room might not be considered humane?’ she joked.

‘Yes, because no matter how difficult life with your brother can be, he is part of your family and you must never be ashamed of your family,’ I replied.

The history of NC, Kurt and any of her potential suitors has been a little fraught. Kurt has three major loves in his life – having an audience, older male mentors and cigarettes – (this is quite typically ADHD behavior). So when a potential suitor bravely crosses the threshold of Dysfunctionality House, eager to please and bond with NC’s younger brother, Kurt latches onto him like a newborn to a nipple, often leaving NC out in the cold. If the guy plays a musical instrument, shows an interest in Top Gear or smokes, NC is doomed. Within 24 hours, her brother will be sharing the guy’s bed, discussing the merits of different bands with him, forcing earphones in his ears at full volume to MAKE him listen to them.

It’s going to take a certain type of guy to take on Kurt Nerd Child with her particular sibling baggage.

Her statement to me was about us needing to make some ground rules now for such occasions – to prioritize her needs for a change.

I immediately recognized that this would involve blackmail, negotiation and lots of money and/or Coco Pops.

She handed me her list of rules for Kurt:

  • No nudity
  • No jokes about her breasts
  • No sex jokes (in general)
  • No playing songs and forcing the poor guy to listen to them with threatening behaviour
  • No shouting, screaming, singing (especially the ‘Big Penis’ song) or jumping up and down for no tangible reason
  • No inviting him to smoke ANYTHING
  • No dressing of aforementioned victim suitor in Kurt’s spare Tigger or Eeyore onesie.

They sounded like reasonable requests to me.

But upon further consideration, we decided to arrange for Kurt to sleep over at the house of a fellow lunatic.

Middle-Aged Couple Trash Top Hotel

To Mr Bates, Manager of Wrinkly Lodge.

Dear Mr Bates,

Letter of Apology

I am writing to thank you for your letter which I received this week.

Middle-Aged Couple Trash Top HotelI would like to reiterate in our defence of your accusations that our celebratory, (I believe you described it in your letter as ‘immature’), behaviour in your hotel last weekend was not premeditated and due to the fact that we were celebrating our twentieth wedding anniversary. Although I do admit that after sitting for four hours on the Paramatta Road on the Friday night on our way down to your hotel, an inappropriate level of ‘silliness’ in attitude had unfortunately replaced our usual sense of responsibility.

Thank you also for the photographic evidence you sent from your security cameras. I can understand why ‘there is little doubt in your mind as to the identity of your ‘hooligan’ guests.’

Since our departure from your wonderful hotel and the receipt of your letter, we have obviously had time to reflect upon our actions and the example we should have been setting those fucking annoying kids who seemed to lie in wait to torture us in every area of the hotel to the younger guests.

We will of course pay for the damage incurred during our stay and apologize again wholeheartedly for the lapse(s) of judgment on our part.

As per the instructions in your letter we confirm responsibility for the following:

  • The score in the green baize of the snooker table which was unfortunately caused when my husband mistakenly presumed that he could still balance precariously on the edge of the table to take a difficult shot; to his dismay his lack of flexibility caused his back to lock painfully, causing him to fall into the table cue-first.
  • Filling up the wine bottles in the mini bar with water and replacing the Kettle chips with Woolworths Select.
  • The stain on the mattress, which was in fact massage oil (and nothing as sinister as your letter suggested), which was accidentally spilt when my husband slid off me whilst reaching for the remote control in a compromising position.
  • The wet footprints on the wooden floor from the outdoor swimming pool were unfortunately mine, after my husband dared me to jump in the outdoor, unheated pool naked for $350.00. Please apologize on our behalf to the wedding party that happened to be in the reception area as I re-entered the hotel lobby in only a couple of hotel towels.Middle-Aged Couple Trash Top Hotel Room
  • I believe that my husband might have been responsible for writing the C word on the white tablecloth in the ‘lounge’ restaurant after one too many whiskies and poor service.
  • I suggest that your staff search the gutter outside the bedroom window for the television remote control. It was unfortunate that during the weekend in question, Australia happened to play so appallingly in the Ashes.
  • The top stretcher of the ‘replica 16th century’ four poster bed did not simply ‘snap’ by itself,  but was the unwitting victim of my husband trying to prove his manhood agility in the bedroom.
  • Stealing bacon and sausages from breakfast, concealing them in the bathroom to eat later for lunch and then forgetting about them, was childish.
  • Shouting ‘shut the fuck up’ through the wall to the lovely young couple with the newborn baby in the next room, was rude.
  • The mud in the bath was a result of my husband bringing only one pair of shoes with which to walk the Blue Mountains and dine in.
  • Throwing pieces of bread at your piano player and pretending it wasn’t us, (especially during his awful rendition of ‘New York, New York’), was, as you suggested in your letter, ‘highly immature’.
  • Our lack of formal attire for the dining room was selected based on the temperature of the region and without consideration for the hotel dress code. We now fully appreciate that mountain boots and balaclavas are not appropriate clothing for the purposes of dining.
  • I take full responsibility for the red stains on the white bed linen caused by my attempt at re-creating a romantic American Beauty red petal effect, crafted from your very own red dinner serviettes. Unfortunately my ‘petals’ combined with the spilled massage oil overnight.
  • Parking in the No Parking area – I hope you will understand that it was the closest space to the hotel lobby and that night it was, (I think you’ll agree), FUCKING cold.
  • Hooning down the pebbled drive of the estate at 3am.

Upon reflection, we obviously deeply regret the decisions we made at your beautiful Lodge and any personal embarrassment caused by my husband’s juvenile reaction to your staff calling your name.

We await your bill for the damage.

Yours sincerely,

Mr and Mrs ………….

How Do You Stay Sexy In Middle-Age?

Two things made me think about sexiness this week – or rather ’being sexy’.

English: undercover
English: undercover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first was Mick Jagger’s 70th birthday. WTF that sinewy old rock god’s secret is, I don’t know, but I still would, if you know what I mean?

It made me realise that it’s actually quite hard to quantify sexiness.

For me, Mick Jagger just oozes sexiness no matter how many lines he has on his face or how skinny he is. It’s the same raw sexual appeal that Michael Hutchence had. There are a lot of men out there, (and I imagine the same is true of women) who are good-looking and nice eye candy, but there are few that are truly sexy, who you would just fuck go to bed with, given the chance.

I find George Clooney attractive, for example – but does he really turn me on? If I’m honest, not as much as Jagger.

Actually, I can’t think of another 70 year old who turns me on in quite the same way. But when I jokingly commented about him on Twitter recently, (I believe it was something typically mature comment like ‘wanting his babies’), my sister (who is seven years younger than me) was appalled; which only goes to prove that sexiness is subjective. Which is lucky really, otherwise we’d all be going for the same blokes.

So what exactly does makes Jagger still ‘sexy’ to millions of women, even beyond middle-age?

Is it a purely physical thing like his voice or his ‘moves’, or is it his reputation as a ladies man and the well-documented history of his prolific love life? It might be the ongoing urban myth about Mars Bars, or is it simply that ‘being hot’ is indefinable?

Different things turn different people on, fortunately.

For example, I find humor and intelligence sexy in someone who is potential marriage material, but in terms of raw sex appeal and lust, it has to be that element of naughtiness, that ‘bad boy’ appeal that does it for me.

Unfortunately we all know that lust and ‘sexiness’ don’t generally stand the test of time.

We age, our sexual desire becomes compromised; where once a simple touch could ignite the body and senses, as we get older it takes a few drinks too. And at times during long term relationships we have to fall back on on other character traits to hold things together.

The ability to laugh at each other and at our kids has kept the old man and I going for a while now.

It’s not even that the early sexual attraction diminishes necessarily, but it can get doused by responsibility at different stages in a long relationship – by the everyday shit like kids, work and bills.

But even harder to define, is what makes a woman sexy?

Because not all men are turned on by the Barbie stereotype of big boobs, tiny waist and no brains, no matter what they would lead us to believe.

The second time the issue of ‘innate sexiness’ came up this week was during a conversation with Nerd Child, who was talking about trying (and failing) to get the attention of some guy she ‘likes’. When I daringly suggested that a little flirtation might go a long way, (rather than just discussing the rock formation of the San Andreas fault), she looked at me horrified and said, ‘but I just don’t do ‘sexy’.

That’s true for a lot of us.

We’re not all Marilyn Monroe or Dita Von Tesse and it’s hard to just summon up sexiness if it’s not part of your natural persona.

Personally I have always felt absolutely ridiculous in sexy lingerie; rather like some bad hooker.

Some of us are more Bridget Jones in bed, and luckily there are guys out there who find awkwardness and being laughed at endearing – like the Colin Firth stereotype who falls for her in his multiple portrayals of the Darcy-esque character. Like Bridget, the sexual predator-types like Jagger and Hutchence would be way too much for us to handle, even though we might have their posters on our walls. Those men remain ‘fantasies’ that we would probably run a million miles away from if we ever actually had the opportunity to ‘go there’ – (well, maybe).

Bridget Jones, 25 year later
Bridget Jones, 25 year later (Photo credit: tripubad)

But being sexy doesn’t have to be about sultry moves, flirtation, suggestion, lingerie and Mars Bars. Sexiness can be about kindness, laughing at the same jokes and sharing stuff in common.

And in my experience, it’s often the ones you least expect who turn out to be the most sexy.

Now That’s The Way To Get House Insurance!

English: Lifebuoy from insurance company TrygVesta
English: Lifebuoy from insurance company TrygVesta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Admittedly the damage wasn’t quite on the same scale as the devastation in Queensland, but the Sydney ‘showers’ last week, propelled by the cyclone up north, fully exposed the more shoddy bits of workmanship in our new rental house; the ones the property manager forgot to mention in his copy when marketing it for some exorbitant rent.

I don’t remember the adjective ‘leaking’ being a commonly-used word to describe the beautiful old slate roof, for example.

The main victims of our deluge were the hire sofa and my very expensive and treasured (!) Ikea coir rug. Fortunately, the water did miss the ADHDer’s Ipad by about a hair, so in spite of the catastrophe, I did just about manage to maintain my sanity in the face of my first climate change crisis.

Always one step ahead of the game and an absolute professional at closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, I put my call into the NRMA for some contents insurance the following morning.

It’s not that I expected them to cough up money for damage that had happened twelve hours previously, (during the freak micro wild weather crisis that had lashed at the wobbly and decrepit old roof tiles above my rental sofa), but the situation I found myself in did prove two things: that sh*t does indeed happen, and as galling as it is to have to shell out dollar upon dollar in ever-increasing premiums, insurance companies really do have us by the proverbial balls.

However, fate occasionally does have a hand in creating a blue sky out of a grey one and my tail-between-the-legs call to the NRMA, (post domestic flood), was handled by the most extraordinary joker sales person I have ever had the good fortune to come across in a crisis. This is how my enquiry for a quotation for contents insurance went, the day after THOSE storms.

Judge for yourselves:

Him: NRMA, how can I help you?

Me: Can I have a quote for some contents insurance, please?

Him: Water still pouring in then? Is it the carpet, the sofa or were you really lucky and it destroyed both?

Me: I’m……..sorry?

Him: Simply assuming that like the rest of Sydney you’ve decided to get insurance AFTER the storm?

Me: Um, not exactly, there hasn’t been any water damage (LIE, LIE, LIE! Biting lip, which I always do when forced into a white lie situation)…it’s just that we have recently moved and I need some new insurance.

Him: Can I ask what type of house you live in, Louisa? Rich or poor? And how many floors?

Me: A terraced house with three floors.

Him: A T.E.R.R.A.C.E.D house, DARLING! With THREE WHOLE FLOORS! Anything else I need to know….not also hiding a meths lab in the basement are you?

Me: WHAT? (Now laughing).

Him: Only joking… and don’t quote me on that. What standard of furniture would you like me to cover you for?

Me: What are my choices?

Him: Band 1: Ikea; Band 2: Slightly better than Ikea; band 3: Wouldn’t be seen dead in Ikea – Band 3 covers antiques, designer furniture and posh sh*t like that.

Me: Definitely Band 1.

Him: SURELY NOT! Not in that suburb of Sydney! How terribly embarrassing for you!

Me: Erm….(I have a very ‘tight’ husband who actually thinks that Ikea is expensive)….we have teenagers….it’s not really worth investing in good furniture.

Him: And what security do you have at the property?

Me: Grilles, alarm, deadlocks….you name it, we’ve got it. But we probably won’t use any of them…they’ll act as more of a deterrent.

Him: Fantastic! The reassurance every insurance company and potential robber wants to hear…..

And so it went on. And as I was signing my life away with my credit card details twenty minutes later….

Him: (deadpan) And tell me, how would you feel about me adding my rent payment onto your card? I’m a bit short this month.

(Mouth wide open).

Now that’s what I call service.