There is only one guarantee in life: Everything changes

Some people are resistant to change – particularly from middle age onwards – while others embrace it. Some of us want to cram as many crazy, new experiences into our twilight years, while others take comfort from what they know.

On a personal level, I have always embraced change, which explains my itchy feet, numerous house moves, and embarrassingly full resume, but for many others change signals a threat to their safety. It explains (not justifies) the reaction of some people to immigrants or women in more powerful positions in the workplace.

I stole the title of this post from a piece written by Zach J.Payne on Medium. It seemed appropriate to discuss the comment as we race towards Christmas with its obscene display of overspending at the same time as bush fires rage around us and tv series such as Years and Years keep us awake at night.

But it is not only Australia’s archaic approach to climate change or our problem with overspending that has taken the bang out of the crackers this Christmas. It is also a tiredness caused by the never-ending murders and abuse of women at the hands of the patriarchy – in the last few weeks, another woman was burnt to death on the way to her rape trial whilst another died in a menstruation hut. It is a tiredness caused by the increase in mental illness in our children – that no one seems to be tackling with any seriousness, and a tiredness caused by tragedies such as the White Island eruption with its timely reminder of the fragility of our lives.

But perhaps the biggest source of my fear is what is happening on the political world stage right now, with the terrifying rise of the right, the possible impeachment of Trump, and the British election today. The scariest truth to come out of this year for me is that even democracies can be governed by self-serving lunatics.

It is really not surprising that the tinsel and fairy lights have done little to assuage those fears, when it is increasingly hard to feel any positivity about the state of the world – even from my position of privilege. The only thing that keeps many of us going is hope. It is the belief, however far-flung it feels right now, that everything does indeed change, and that in general, good beats evil. After all, the Berlin Wall did come down, fascism was beaten in two world wars, Irish women now have the right to abortions, and there are continued improvements in our treatment of serious illnesses – which means that in the west our longevity improves all of the time. That is, if we still have a world to live in, of course.

And on a micro level, we experienced one of those changes last Sunday, when our son joined us at our Christmas party.

As you know, Christmas is a special time for me. It represents everything I aspire to in terms of family, togetherness and belonging – even if our reality isn’t always that chocolate box version. But his arrival was a surprise. Why? Because we have organised many family events over the past few years that he has promised to attend and then been a no-show. He is, after all, a young man in his early twenties who is not comfortable with large groups – especially large groups of Boomers and Gen Xers who are aware of his struggles. So much so, (was it) only a few years ago that I truly believed that one day we might end up estranged, to be reconciled in twenty years time on one of those cheesy programmes on tv, or (worst case) at visitors time in prison.

Actually, that’s a lie, because my worst case scenario was when I thought he might not be here at all.

And yet, if anyone asked me twenty-two years ago if I thought I would find myself in this position, I would have laughed in their face. I mean…I’m far from perfect parent material, but I am a middle-class woman with privilege who tried (desperately) to tick most points off Dr Spock’s checklist.

But I had a child who was and is (very much) his own person. One who only now is growing happier in his own skin – although it is obvious he will never embrace the “system” he was born into – who also suffers from a neurological condition that makes life that bit harder for him. And while I may be a tad prone to catastrophizing, (which my friends will confirm), those fears about his future felt very real at the time. And so, even now, (and we’re far from out of the woods), it takes only the smallest gesture of love from my son to throw me into an emotional tailspin of gratitude and relief – much to my daughter’s disgust.

But as time moves on, I have seen that shit happens to everyone – it’s just that most people don’t feel the need to write about everything that happens to them :). That’s life. The good news is that (in general) we learn how to cope with the holes in the road that try to fuck up the suspension on the car. And as the journalist Jan Fran said when she was a guest on the Wilosophy podcast and was asked about the thing she is most proud of in her life – a huge measure of our personal success has to be how we REACT to situations and change.

It never ceases to amaze me how capable we human beings are in the face of pain and tragedy. Right now, in Queensland and New South Wales, homeowners are risking their lives to save their properties alongside volunteer fire fighters who will be giving up Christmas to help them. Those homeowners don’t know if their houses will still be standing tomorrow – all they have is hope. But they are coping, because they have to. Today, the families of those killed on White Island will feel utter hopelessness as the bodies of their loved ones are retrieved to be laid to rest, but one day they will find some meaning to their loss – because what else is there?

Everything changes and not always for the better, but we are more resilient than we think. 2020 is another year that will bring new change and challenge. That lunatic Boris looks like he will get back in, I have no doubt that Trump will find some corrupt way to out-manoeuvre the US judicial system, and Scomo will continue to pray to his god to put out the fires. The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer.

So all the rest of us can hope is that other changes that come out of next year are for the better, and that more activists like Greta Thunberg and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez don’t give up and stay angry enough to lead them.

Every Cloud…And All That Claptrap

Muslim woman looking thoughtful.
Photo by kilarov zaneit on Unsplash

Sorry, sorry, SORRY for being so lax about updating you with my own particular brand of mayhem over the past few weeks. You know what house moves are like, and then there’s the day job, and an overdue revisit to my fiction writing. Added to which, some weeks it is just so hard to pull the words together, particularly when I strive (honest!) to make good news the focus.

I know that my ramblings sometimes pertain to my personal frustrations about bad news, but on the whole, my medication and a desire to live a more harmonious life for the sake of my mental health, lead me to try and see the brighter side of life.

However…it’s impossible to ignore the dark cloud over NZ at the moment. I’ve been ruminating about it, and I’m still not certain what we are supposed to take from this shocking act of terror, other than (the fact that there are c..ts out there that don’t deserve to breathe the same oxygen as the rest of us), to acknowledge the incredible ability to forgive of those most directly affected by it.

I assume that in the wake of crises such as these, there is little choice other than to pick yourself up and go on in the best way you can…if you can. But let’s also not forget that the magnitude of some acts of evil is so great that those left behind find it impossible to forge a path ahead. No one can fail to have been moved by the recent loss of a mother to suicide after the murder of her children by their father and of the two fathers who lost their children in school shootings.

But we are given one life, and our job here is to make the most of it.

Forgiveness takes courage, faith and maturity – particularly in the face of such a terrible act of depravity as the one in Christchurch. And while I’m not a religious person – nor particularly forgiving – I do see the ability to forgive as an upside to religion – even if it does find itself so often at the core of these atrocities.

Fortunately, however, not only do such tragedies offer a reminder of the bad in this world, they demonstrate the good and the generosity of spirit in most humans, as well – no matter what their beliefs. And I am certain that the stoicism and forgiveness shown by the bereaved relatives and friends of the victims will have an influence, and ultimately makes us better people.

Obviously, I can’t move past what happened without mention of Jacinda Ardern – my poster girl for all that is wonderful in this role – and her role in picking up the pieces of those broken hearts in NZ. A woman who epitomises great leadership, Jacinda has proved once again the value that women have to offer to politics and positions of authority. And let’s hope that when Gladys Berejiklian takes up the mantle of NSW Premier formally, she follows Jacinda’s lead. We need more women like these to represent us. While Gladys’ politics may not be to everyone’s taste, she appears to be a woman who is capable, fair, and with the right amount of empathy to tackle sensitive tasks – even if, at times, her spending habits are questionable.

Perhaps, more significantly, she appears to be a politician who listens.

But back to forgiveness – a process I am struggling to extend to the scientists who admitted this week that they don’t really understand the extent of the danger of eggs on our health. Although, thanks to Egg Boy, they have been given a new purpose. And while I’m on the subject of the often questionable work of scientists and their research – space, anyone? – allow me to also extend my personal thanks to the researchers who discovered the benefits of cheese this week.

Every cloud…and all that claptrap.

Royal Baby #3

I like to think that I am a good person, but fundamentally, I must be a bitch, (as well as a hypocrite if you look at my last post about women supporting women), because I can’t help feeling a tad jealous about the way Kate squeezed out another heir, seemingly without a perfectly-coiffed, soft-curled hair out of place. Which leads me to suspect that they’ve legalized marijuana in the Lindo Wing.

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I’m certain that in the past twenty-four hours, every loaded, heavily pregnant woman in London has added herself to the hospital’s cancellation list and is hastily changing their birth plan to ‘whatever she had.’

I mean, you look at the woman (who, in a less privileged life could have been a successful catwalk model), and you have to question where exactly in her body she stored that eight-pound baby, and where she found the energy to push him out. I bet she never got accused of having child-bearing hips – thanks, Granny.

I’m sure many of us women have watched Kate’s pregnancies with the same tinge of (well, let’s call it) admiration. And some of us might even have felt that there was a touch of karma involved in her hyperemesis gravidarum. Just me, then? Because the term ‘all bump’ was an exaggeration for a woman who has never really looked pregnant until the last hour of any of her pregnancies.

I struggled to keep both of mine under wraps until the twelve-week scan. And frankly, I still get asked if I’m pregnant. 

And how fricken amazing did the woman look when she left the hospital? Bearing in mind that most women teeter out gingerly with that lumpy pad between their legs, rock-hard boobs and the sort of soreness down below that makes contemplating ever sitting on the toilet again an impossibility. Yet somehow, Kate managed to look like the baby had been airlifted out of her, or at worst, removed via keyhole surgery. I looked like I was on the way to the morgue.

I couldn’t show my face in public for weeks after the births of my two babies. I lied about them not feeding – I think I used the word “starving” – to extend my hospital visit for as long as possible, until eventually, they wheeled me out onto the street, screaming, ‘But I’m not ready.’

And I wasn’t.

I know she had help. Presumably, a Royal medical SWAT team that would have climbed in there and pulled the heir out if push came to shove. And I understand that, in general, each birth gets that bit quicker and easier. But I can’t decide if the speed of her recovery and her styled appearance has done us a favor by highlighting the incredible strength of womankind in the face of one of the greatest tests that nature throws at us, (apart from men), or if she’s set up any woman that needs a few years weeks to recover, to look a bit lightweight.

 

 

Time to Tear Down Mia Freedman

I needed to write this piece in defense of Mia Freedman of Mamamia, because she has been an inspiration for my own writing. Whatever her detractors accuse her of in connection to the debacle yesterday with Roxane Gay, I refuse to accept that her intentions in her approach to their interview were anything but respectful and professional.

“You don’t have to knock anyone off their game to win yours. It doesn’t build you up to tear others down.” (Mandy Hale)

 

I feel for Mia Freedman since yesterday’s very public condemnation from writer and feminist, Roxane Gay, in which the author accused her of being ‘cruel and humiliating’, appertaining to comments the editor made about her weight. IMG_6039

 

For some time, Mia has always been a target of abuse that she doesn’t always deserve – some might even accuse her of setting herself up for it. When you put yourself in the public eye and work with and for women and women’s rights, you open yourself up to the firing line and some days there will be sunshine and other days, a deluge of rain.

 

To be a good writer, you have to take risks and Mia wouldn’t have reached the echelons of journalism she resides in now without thought-provoking and incendiary commentary. Most of the time, I enjoy, learn from and share her opinions. She has highlighted issues that many women face, both in society and on the homefront. From mental health, work/life/balance and parenting issues to relationship and body image issues, there are very few topics that Mia won’t touch, and I have identified with several of them at different stages of my life. Although I am not naive enough to believe that Mia’s life is similar to mine, I enjoy her quirky style, her honest approach, and her ‘close to the mark’ opinions on sensitive issues.

 

As I dip my own toes into the murky waters of journalism, I can see how hard it is to always get it right and know instinctively the location of “the line”. Sometimes I struggle to find the balance between the truth and the level of hyperbole I want to use to make a story funny or compelling enough to get noticed, even though I know that if I step over the line, to betrayal and disloyalty, a good news story can go bad very quickly.

 

The competitiveness of the media and rivalry among writers, some of whom are prepared to disclose everything, can cast a shadow over that line. And perhaps Mia, with her experience, should have known better. She doesn’t need to write click bait headlines, sell herself, or compromise her integrity at this point in her career, especially when her magazine attracts the interest of high-profile writers of Roxane’s caliber, who Mia has the utmost respect for, clearly.

 

Yesterday, I think Mia made a genuine mistake, but I don’t think her intention was to ‘shame women,’ and she has since acknowledged publically her error in judgment. I believe it is time to stop casting stones in her direction and the predictable loser’s behavior of tearing down those that succeed.

 

Sensationalism will always sell, which is why I realized a while ago that I had nothing more to contribute to Mamamia anymore unless I was prepared to sell my soul. Although I share my family’s story on my blog, it is a censored version, but I know how easy it is to make mistakes when those bright lights first begin to shine; and I have done so many times – fortunately without the ramifications of Mia’s.

 

We all make mistakes – they’re how we learn and grow and they are endemic to human nature. If there is any lesson to learn from here, it is that the only non-fiction story we are free to embellish is our own.

 

Has The World Suddenly Gone Mad?

One of my most special childhood memories was when I would fall asleep in the car after a long car journey and my dad would carry me into the house and put me to bed. 

This image was selected as a picture of the we...
This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 6th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes I would pretend to be asleep. I loved that feeling of happiness and safety created by his strong arms carrying me up the stairs, the familiar smell of his aftershave and the blanket of security such a simple act of parenting afforded me.

But for even us privileged people of the western world, who sit in our ivory towers moaning about our first world problems, today feels like no one and nowhere is safe anymore.

In spite of the numerous advancements in science and technology over the past few decades, it feels as though progress has sadly augmented our vulnerability in the face of terrorism.

Just me, or does it feel to you as though the world has suddenly gone mad?

From random high school shootings and racist attacks in the US, an increase in suicide rates worldwide, kidnappings, mass genocide and rape – where did the good news go?

Is it just because we have immediate access to the news and its daily atrocities that we feel more exposed, or did such heinous acts in the name of politics and religion always go on?

Sadly, you only have to look back to the battles in Europe before the World wars, Hitler and Germany, The American Civil War and the war between Palestine and Israel to know that they did. The fact that most of the world remained immune to the genocide of Europe’s Jewish population until close to the end of the war proves it.

Innocent bystanders have always been the pawns of political and religious idealism but you’d think that progress would have taught us that war and violence solve nothing and that communication is a better way. And when the innocent are enjoying a simple night out, to be savagely targeted by cowards, without any means of protection to defend themselves, it feels all the more shameful and inhumane.

That is the work of butchers.

What has caused this decrease in the value of human life, and increase in the entitlement of extremists to push their personal idealism on others via physical force, rather than through the modern channels of communication and democracy.

No-one is safe anymore.

I lived in France for three years in my twenties and I would never have considered any deep-seated threat lurking there, or felt afraid that religion and politics – social groups that are supposed to hold and bring people together and create communities – could kill.

Not that historically anything has really changed – the innocent have long been persecuted by power-hungry dictators or small factions of self-serving murderers. Worse still, we know that our instant access to world news most likely propels the perpetrators to kill in the most public of places, to attract news coverage. As seen during the siege in Sydney, when the media had to be reminded to stop filming their minute-by-minute account of the events to protect the people still in danger.

Which leaves us in a conundrum. We cannot live in fear. We cannot let the terrorists win. We need to bring about awareness of terrorism and it’s small-minded idealism without sensationalizing or propagating it so that innocent people – that include the majority of Muslims and refugees, feel safe again.

Our thoughts are with you, Paris.

Just Another Week In The Life Of My Midlife Mayhem

  • Broke off my love affair with Zara this week when my body outrightly refused to get into their size 12.

    A Zara store at Liat Towers, Singapore.
    A Zara store at Liat Towers, Singapore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Discovered that the serious chink in the old man’s domestic cleaning armour is DUSTING. Training begins this week.
  • Another arrow straight to the heart of my sinking female self-esteem this week when Kurt told me to ‘sort my tache out’, LOUDLY, on the train.
  • Due to another of El Nino’s mood swings – which is some super-important weather front that even the meteorologists don’t truly understand – we’re in for a long hot summer here in Australia. So get ahead of the pack, my menopausal sisterhood, and BUY YOUR FANS NOW, before you end up massacring someone over the last one left in Bunnings.
  • Promptly ordered myself a new bikini online. Yes, I said ‘bikini’, and no, I haven’t tried it on. *Living dangerously*
  • English: Red rose
    English: Red rose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Still working out who exactly Kayne was on The Bachelorette, but stoked Crazy Davey bowed out leaving the way clearer for Alex to reach the finish line.

  • It’s getting humid as fuck at night here now so safe to assume weight loss will come from hot flashes for the next few months?
  • Finally conned found someone to go and see Stephen Fry with me in November. So I might have bent the truth a little when I told Kurt that it’s stand-up rather than the actor’s experiences with Bi-Polar Disorder...

    English: Stephen Fry at Nightingale House,Dece...
    English: Stephen Fry at Nightingale House,December 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Kim K hates being pregnant. *violins*
  • The old man bought a new iPhone 6s with the household budget set aside for my new dining table *spitting* and found that he can still make telephone calls, text and take photos with it. *Hope it was worth it.*
  • Another diner moans about a screaming baby in a restaurant and is crucified for political incorrectness. Another woman leaves her newborn for a night out and is accused of being a bad mother.
  • Scarborough wine has yet to approach me to become a brand ambassador in spite of keeping them in business for the past ten years. *What are they thinking?*
  • Sydney jumped to the naive conclusion AGAIN this week that one Moslem’s actions are representative of the majority.
  • Thought about buying a Fitbit; realized you probably have to exercise.
  • Français : Macarons, Paris, France
    Français : Macarons, Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Macarons remain one of the biggest disappointments of my life so far. *children excluded.*

  • My 10k walk on Friday burned 1000 calories. SCARBOROUGH FUCKING WINE earned =ten glasses.
  • Renewed my love affair with the dumplings (the Asian culinary equivalent of cunnilingus) at Din Tai Fung at the Sydney Noodle Markets.
  • Being able to stop at five rice crackers with a vat of hummus remains a life goal.
  • Boo, hiss, the Aussies got through to the next stage of The Rugby World Cup, which means the invasion of my FB homepage by sports news and commentary continues to plague me and inertia on the sofa for the old man again this week.
  • Turns out I am the only person in the world not to see Justin Bieber’s enormous penis online, and not for want of trying. For an embarrassing, middle-aged technophobe, learned how to delete the history on my computer pretty bloody quickly.

How was your week?

Weekly Mayhem News – Change

It has been a week of change here in Sydney. We’ve been feeling the effects of a new prime minister and cabinet, a dramatic change in temperature in what is usually a temperate Spring, and the change in my husband becomes more pronounced and worrying each day.

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Martha Stewart, aka House Bitch, continues to go from strength to strength in terms of his domestic prowess. He woke me up with cookery book in hand the other morning, to consult with me about meal plans for the coming week. He is going to try out four new recipes – a welcome change from the fajitas, spag bol and curry that we have been served on rotation since he took over kitchen duties. We have put in a request that each meal contain at least one vegetable, before we all die of the scurvy.

I think he responded with something along the lines of, if we didn’t like it, we could lump it. Between you and me, House Bitch is getting a bit above his station so I may reluctantly have to issue him a warning. He also shrunk another of my jumpers. Just saying.

I was conned into buying Kurt some new trainers for him to impress some girl. Any other mums freak out about the cost of trainers, or is it just tight/living in the past/sounding like my mother, old me? I wouldn’t care quite so much if the new styles were vaguely innovative, but they’re nothing new. This generation has stolen our music and now they’re walking around in trainer designs we wore in the seventies. ‘Who’s Stan Smith?’ Kurt asked innocently, salivating over these old white tennis pumps I used to have. I gritted my teeth and reminded myself what a saint of a mother I am and how I will definitely be rewarded with 5 star accommodation including spa treatments in ‘good mother’ heaven as I parted with $120 for a pair of Adidas Superstars (whatevs), gritting my teeth.

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There was just no way I could persuade him into the Kmart equivalents – apparently they’re called Super Losers.

Hating buses and traffic lights with a passion this week. I do a lot of driving in my job and I can’t tell you how often I sit at red lights and wonder how much of my life I’m wasting. And while I’m on the subject of driving, I’m beginning to have psychopathic thoughts about those bully-boy buses who have their own lanes, yet still drive like they own the fucking road.

And as I mentioned, that general sense of loathing has not been augmented by the weather in Sydney, which has been truly revolting this week.

It has meant that I’ve only been able to leave the house when absolutely necessary. It’s been really windy and I have enough bad hair days to contend with, without increasing the odds. I’ve missed my walking therapy sessions with the Princess, though, who jumps up every time I get off the sofa, hoping that I will take her out. It breaks my heart to disappoint her, but obviously not enough to make me do anything about it. Dog-walking is something I will do if it coincides with my exercise regime and suits me, otherwise it falls under the duties of the House Bitch.

And talking of exercise, I’ve done bugger all. Again. And because I felt so guilty about doing nothing, and because the weather has been so shit, I’ve eaten a shitload. Especially Maltesers. Favourite meal of the week had to be a wicked Thai green curry packed with real vegetables that made me froth at the mouth due to the ongoing vegetable embargo at our house.

English: Thai Green Curry (แกงเขียวหวาน) as ea...
English: Thai Green Curry (แกงเขียวหวาน) as eaten in Ikebukuro, Japan. (グリーンカレー) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unfortunately, all that chilli aggravated my Rosacea, so I’m back to walking around town with a bag over my head.

Wasted even more of my life watching the Bachelorette mid-week; mainly because I’d been reliably informed that the boys get their shirts off every few minutes. I’m still unsure about the whole premise of the series, although being the hypocrite that I am, I feel much more comfortable watching the Bachelorette knock those boys into touch than watching the bachelors work the girls.

Is any man who says ‘cool bananas’ really attractive, though?

Saw Julia Morris, one of the funniest Australian female comedians, at the theatre last night. In spite of the height of ridiculousness and on-the-floor disappointment of every bar in the State Theatre only taking cash when all I had was a measly $5 in gold coinage in my purse, I haven’t needed Tena pads quite as urgently in a long time, due to so much combined laughter and predictable bladder leakage. She would definitely make my list of perfect dinner guests.

How was your week?

I Don’t Give A Fuck About Packer’s Street Brawl!

The misrepresentation of the news is seriously pissing me off at the moment.

 

Grumpy Cat
Grumpy Cat (Photo credit: Scott Beale)

You can call me Middle-Aged Grumpy Cat if you want, because if the shoe fits, that’s fine with me.

 

But does the news seem more depressing these days or is it just that with social media it’s in our face all the fucking time?

 

It’s probably just ANOTHER sign of age that I even care, but one of the few great bits about getting older is being allowed an intolerance to JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING. I also get to mount my soapbox now and again.

 

Well, all the time.

 

I’m sure there was a time when I used to get up in the morning and be excited about reading the newspaper. These days, my enjoyment of what was once a relaxing pastime is clouded by fear of what terrible atrocity I’m going to read about next.

 

I firmly believe that one of the reasons behind the increase in depression in young people these days is the link to them having too much awareness?

 

OF COURSE WE NEED TO BE INFORMED, but whenever I surf the net these days, the news is always so terrible. And Monday mornings are bad enough.

 

What’s worse is that I feel helpless to do anything about these awful things. So I did share a post about the plight of the Nigerian schoolgirls this morning, but what’s that really going to do to help them other than increase awareness or appease my social conscience?

 

In the last few months we’ve seen the loss of a plane, a ferry of children and two hundred school girls. We’ve experienced sink holes, flooding and mud slides and we now know for certain that kids all over the world have been sexually abused without anyone lifting a finger for decades.

 

Yet the media decide what they want us to know, even if it’s just about some wealthy tosser getting himself involved in a street scuffle. 

 

I am appalled at how much I found myself sucked into the death of Peaches Geldof recently, as well as other celebrities who have died from drug use. THIS, WHEN INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE THE INNOCENT VICTIMS OF WAR AND NATURAL DISASTER. But that’s what the media wants us to invest in – celebrities get views.

 

But morally-speaking, should a minor celebrity’s death really take precedence over the kidnap of two hundred innocent schoolchildren?

 

Don’t we run the risk of becoming blasé in our reaction and passive about action?

 

Remember in the good old days when the bad news was tempered by good news stories, occasionally? Remember the stories about talking dogs and women who played spoons to make music?

 

I want to read more about survivors and the positive effects of scientific research, or newly implemented laws that have come about because people got behind them.

 

A miracle or two wouldn’t go amiss, either.

 

I don’t want to stick my head in the sand but I want some balance to the news. I’ll say it again – I don’t give a fuck about Packer in a street brawl.

"This looks like some good sand in which ...
“This looks like some good sand in which to bury my head” (Photo credit: quinn.anya)

 

I was at a meeting about Kids on Speed, a series shown on the ABC about medicating kids with ADHD, recently. Several groups of parents and professionals were there to challenge the producer about his responsibility towards the choice of the sensationalist title for the series. He admitted that if the series had been called something more banal like “What IS ADHD”, for example, the network wouldn’t have drawn the necessary viewing figures.

 

To my mind, that is clear-cut misrepresentation? And worst of all, it’s misrepresentation that plays with people’s lives.

 

Why do the media get to play God? And does anyone give a fuck about Packer’s street brawl? 

 

 

 

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Diary of A Middle-Aged Woman Part Two

This was my diary for last week.

There was THE GOOD

  • Out of all the potential for things going horrendously wrong when you force your non-conformist ADHD teenager to the school formal (where drink and drugs are not allowed), Kurt only forgot his date’s corsage. U-turn on the Harbour Bridge in rush hour – too easy; Valium taken – nil.
  • Bought tickets to fawn over the legend that is John Legend at the Opera House.
  • English: Freestyle skiing jump
    English: Freestyle skiing jump (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Ski team quarterly meet at Starfish restaurant in Avalon, which is still my absolute favourite restaurant for fish in Sydney. Melt-in-your-mouth breaded whitebait followed by the freshest Snapper in some zingy Asian marinade and then the climactic Chocolate Lava Cake, that beats orgasm hands-down every time. It was my turn to drive, but the food more than made up for having to tolerate the company of drunks. Of course when I say ‘the ski team’, a more apt description might be the Fair Weather and Schnapps Ski team. That’s not to say that there are no serious contenders for the middle-aged winter Olympics in our group, but the majority of us will only don our Aldi ski wardrobe in perfect conditions. Ie. sun out, kids in, and the waft of mulled wine greeting us on the final slope.

  • NC tidied her room and her sheets walked themselves to the laundry. I have questioned her continued misrepresentation of her tidiness to NB (Nerd Boy), but even she realises that exposing him to her special level of  ‘cockroach-fest’ mess might threaten their relationship.
  • Kurt carried his dinner plate from the living area, identified what that funny white machine in the kitchen was, and placed it inside.
  • Bought Kurt a set of drums as part of yet another negotiation package. (Sort of). If the sound of Kurt banging away to Nirvana all hours of the day does compete with the neighbours yapping dogs, revenge will be all too sweet.

    The Drum Kit
    The Drum Kit (Photo credit: Rossco ( Image Focus Australia ))
  • Inspiration – if you didn’t catch this video, watch it and weep and be thankful that these angels exist…

    ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL VIDEOS YOU     WILL EVER SEE.

And THE BAD

  • An hour of torture in the dentist chair just to get half my old bird teeth squeaky
    clean with the aid of (what I am certain was) illegal quantities of anaesthesia to prevent me from leaping out of aforementioned chair and adhering myself to the ceiling. Only I could be stupid enough to organize a meeting two hours afterwards. I had sorely under-calculated the size of the invisible rugby ball that would be lodged in my gums afterwards as I attempted to verbalise what was in my head. Thank God for my talent for ‘charades’. Unfortunately, I also chose to ignore the hygienist when she told me not to drink or eat anything for 3 or 4 hours. I didn’t spill hot coffee down my chin but the sound effects of my slurping can’t have been attractive.
  • Typewriter
    Typewriter (Photo credit: higginskurt)

    It was a week of very little sense of achievement. I fear that I am in danger of ‘cruising’ mentally as my day job becomes seasonally quieter and my personality-type struggles with the lack of structure to the day. I work best in ‘manic’ gear. When I cruise, I struggle to get out from under the covers and then flit about like a fly under a bright light, becoming distracted by anything and everything until I reach the end of the day and question where the fuck the time went. I did, however, make some progress with the next Booker Prize winner (my book) but am editing and re-editing my opening chapter. Would this make you want to read on?

She sensed that something wasn’t quite right as she turned her key in the lock of the front door.

 

She noticed the heavy silence immediately. It hung uncharacteristically in the air, almost as choking as smoke.. Usually there would be the comforting cacophony of ‘home’ noise inside.

 

James did shift work, so he was often at home when she arrived back. He enjoyed his own company and could usually be found mowing the lawn or surfing the net for new music. He spent a lot of time on his own these days. She suspected that he was in the middle of some sort of midlife crisis.

 

Will would normally be at home at that time too, now that he’d been kicked out of school. He would be belting out a very different genre of music to James, and typically unsociably loudly, with scant regard for their neighbours or anyone else. That was one of the reasons they’d concealed him away in the room at the very top of their large terraced house – like Mrs Rochester in Jane Eyre.

 

One of the reasons.

 

But everything was very still on that Monday afternoon, except for the hum of the refrigerator and the pervasive tick of the kitchen clock.

 

She couldn’t have understood the implications of that silence then, as she pulled the door closed behind her. In fact it would be a long time before she would fully appreciate what closing the front door that day would come to symbolize. That she was shutting the door on her old world, and entering the next phase of her life.

 

And then there was THE FUGLY

  • MYLIE CYRUS, WTF possessed you to don that white body suit in public? I don’t want to see your labia while I’m eating my dinner and furthermore, it has been proven by scientists this very week that pubes have a function and we need to leave them the fuck alone. For the sake of the sisterhood, please let them free to do their work.
  • The house is a permanent shit pit in spite of me carrying the vacuum all the way down from the attic and looking at it pensively for two whole days.
  • The baby belly continues to grown at an alarming rate and for no apparent reason, but most probably because it knows that it is almost bikini season. I would calculate that my due date is sometime after Christmas.  When the dental hygienist asked me if I might be pregnant, I nearly punched her teeth out.

How was your week?