The items I most want to tick off my chuck it in the bucket list:
1. Find a single 97-year-old billionaire outside a Las Vegas wedding chapel
2. Earn enough money for cask wine, Prozac, Phenergan & 2-minute noodles
3. Post about single motherhood money challenges without being contacted by a self-employed pyramid scheming guru wanting me to invest in their ‘incredible once in lifetime opportunity, don’t miss out, fast-growing’ business
4. Finish a sentence without being interrupted by a chatty child
5. Block well-meaning women on social media whose side career is marketing anti-aging cosmetics, life-changing cleanses and other ‘green’ products of dubious nutritional value
6. Get thrown off a mechanical bull into an enormous foam pit full of cash
7. Strip without grimacing
8. Skydive into a ginormous bucket of French champagne
9. Do a poo in peace in a toilet that has been cleaned by someone else
10. Get ex to pay for kids (dreaming)
11. Dare to live fully while sleeping 16 hours a day in a room with a view
12. Draft legislation to outlaw the word ‘panties’
13. Have a holiday that doesn’t involve child-friendly parks
14. Fly a hot air balloon into a massive pot of gold
15. Children shoplift without getting caught
16. Doze on a beach for 12 months while servants cater to every whim
17. Hear the sound of silence in my head
18. Smile because I’m not worrying about bills I can’t pay
19. Snorkel with old friends in an Olympic-sized pool of gin
20. Outlaw bucket lists
Today I want my loud, laughing dad back from “death’s dateless night,” so we can guffaw, have a whiskey, eat too much food, carry on and argue. We’d have the cricket on and talk about the current parliamentary debacle, the Wallabies, travelling in Europe and the heartbreaking turmoil of the people trapped on Manus and Nauru. My dad would be wearing his heart on his sleeve, we would fight about something important, cry, forget about it an hour later and have another wee dram. I want to talk to my dad about his painful childhood, about growing up without a father, about how lonely he was and give him a huge hug because he survived and created a life for us that he could only dream of as a child growing up hungry.
I inherited your devotion to books, your sense of humour and your belief in the beauty of our fellow humans. It’s been 16 years and I miss you today and every day Jack Ernest. Wish you were here…
“Your love will live in my heart…”
This week I woke up dressed in a diabolical fashion, with unflattering lighting overhead and inedible food by my bed. No, it wasn’t Mother’s Day. When I walked into the main hospital building that morning, the first thing I noticed was the drab decor; so hideous that the caring lovelies working there had tried to patch up the dullness with bright paintings, but I could feel the bacteria and sadness in the walls.
But we do have incredible care. When I came to after my anaesthetic, I had the most lovely pregnant nurse and I couldn’t get over how grateful I felt that we have great health care in Australia. Everyone was so caring I shed a few tears, I felt blessed that this was my first thought. I looked around and noticed that the hospital staff represented every corner of the universe, Africa, Asia, alien, Australia, America, Pacific Islands, Europe and bogan. Despite the racial hatred pollies who’ve received very few votes are trying to stir up, Australians are a mixed bag of nationalities who want to work and live together in harmony without politicians telling us we can’t.
I had a general anaesthetic so I could have Botox injected into my bum muscle (I speak fluent doctor yeah) to try to repair nerve damage from an operation I had in April. I did ask but the doctor wouldn’t do a 2 for the price of 1 Botox deal on my arse and my face. Bloody Medicare. Before I went under, my colorectal surgeon told me to eat soft foods, when I awoke I was served beef so tough it could have been used by our defence forces. And the doctor wouldn’t let me go until my blood pressure and pulse rate went up so I sat in a chair scoffing non-hospital food until I was allowed to leave. I’m happy to be home. On my return, there was a two-stage political coup erupting to change our Prime Minister. Here comes the revolution: We’ve changed to a conservative god bothering white male from a mega-rich white male. Plus ca change. And now that the weekend is here, and our right-wing politicians have finished throwing tantrums and travelled away from the Canberra bubble, I’d like to help those boorish pale males think about something other than themselves, perhaps the nation’s healthcare, education, domestic violence, babies dying in detention centres or even a treaty with the people who were here first.
Politicians, I can’t believe I have to spell it out for you, but most of you are ego driven and need Commcar drivers to help you get to work at Parliament House because you couldn’t find the place by yourself. You are public servants, we voted for you to serve us, not to watch you cower before opinion polls, you spineless idiots. Walk into the hospital, STFU, listen and watch how a diverse group of people co-operate, learn how they carry on their jobs without petty squabbles, working as a team to achieve incredible outcomes for the good of all humanity. This may help as most of you couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery. If you still don’t get it, be careful the door doesn’t hit your unBotoxed bums on the way out.
This week the NRL, AFL, rugby and soccer boys are wearing a new strip on the field. It’s magenta polka dots, lightning bolts and zebra stripes, with olive and puce armbands, which stands for raising awareness week and making sure caring and giving back is in the headlines with a few high profile footy boofheads adorned in the right colours.
In a profound press release, Lina Tell-All White a publicist with a certificate in marketing and an educational background that includes being expelled from most upmarket Sydney schools revealed,
“We’re raising awareness of raising awareness. There may be a fun run. We had seven different marketing committees choosing the palette and pairing it with matching wines and food served in gumboots at an overpriced invitation-only dinner at an exclusive inner city hotel. What it means is that we stand for making instant Instagram stars of the people wearing the well-chosen outfits and hoping their media profiles will raise awareness of a thoughtful charity drive that will make money so we can show that we’re thinking of lots of issues on right-wing radio, commercial television and all the socials. It’s really important for politicians, influencers and even ordinary punters to know what we stand for. Even if we don’t.”
“We are also running another timely campaign, we desperately need funding to buy more açai smoothie bowls for girls who went to overpriced schools who now can’t afford to buy homes within 20 kilometres of the expensive suburb they grew up in. It’s a national tragedy and we need to fix it,” said another spokeswoman from a massive yacht on Sydney Harbour. “They may not be homeless but their needs are great. Raising Awareness, reality TV ‘stars’ wearing exorbitantly priced clothing and building fame, that’s really all we want from a charity appeal, Australia just doesn’t have enough of it. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the celebrities with less than 100K followers on Instagram.”
My dad would have been 92 this week, but his body didn’t want to stay around that long. He was a devoted da and a workaholic. He taught me:
*To do what I love for a living (he wrote/edited over 100 books)
*Travel opens your mind
*A sense of humour will help you in the darkest days of your life
*A good swim in the ocean can clear your mind
*Hard work is good for the soul
*A tough childhood doesn’t define the rest of your life
*Even if you haven’t had your own dad, you can achieve a lot
*Dancing a slow tango in the kitchen is magical
*Kids raised by single mums are tough
*A full fridge means you are doing really well
*Stray dogs are worth rescuing
*Some days we must get up and go to work even when we think we can’t
*Singing love songs is great for families
*Lovingly made freshly squeezed orange juice is better than an expensive restaurant breakfast
*Taking your kids back to your old childhood haunts opens their eyes
*Listening to the stories people tell you will help you learn about the world
*Love is a verb
*Singing to your kids at bedtime may soothe them or freak them out
*Saying yes to new opportunities is scary but worth it
*Never let the truth get in the way of a good story
16 years without him have gone by in a flash. I would sacrifice a few of my toes to see one of his cheeky smiles, hear his laugh and have a hug.
My dad was the Prince of Kings Cross