Inspir-rational

There are many joys being locked in with a teenager for an extended time. Extra Lockdown 3.0 has given me the time to go on exciting endeavours like delving through my junk mail folder and scoring lovely new online connections. I received this beautiful comment on a Facebook post:

I must confess and thank you so much my friend request. Although I translated to your language and hope you don’t mind, you are beautiful? My new best mate is clearly a high ranking, good looking Army General based in Texas.

I’m filled with happiness when complete strangers with expertise in marketing or real estate sales in their bios try to add me as a connection, and nothing makes me feel more soothed than the comments written by professional networkers on Scotty from marketing’s LinkedIn posts.

I’m revelling in reading long essays by conspiracy theorists with obvious expertise in epidemiology commenting on health professionals’ social media posts; relaxing reading that I highly recommend in the middle of a pandemic.

I’m deeply moved by the inspirational quotes obviously written by Gandhi, Jesus and that lady influenza who promotes yoga pants on Instagram. I feel so motivated now that genuine celebrities are following and messaging me on Twitter. I am focused on success instead of endless hours of TV watching.

And I’m humbled that I’ve secured a large sum of money from long-lost distant relatives in far-flung places who only want what’s best for me.

I can’t tell you how exciting it is to know that I can buy healing anti inflammatory lollies from one of my online mates who did extensive research on YouTube. Honestly, I can’t tell you.

Like, I’m really, really, really like energised by social commentary online, like for reals totes legit like, as the people I gave birth to love me to exclaim regularly in front of their friends in enclosed public spaces while I’m hitting the chardy. Sorry. Like I forgot about the pandemic pandemonium for a second there.

No really, I’m thrilled by your business opportunities, I haven’t left the chat permanently, I’m just having a nanna nap for a couple of years.

https://youtu.be/dKdJhL6WEgUhttps://youtu.be/dKdJhL6WEgU


Visions

I wrote this list of predictions for 2020 on the 31st of December, 2019:

The Pollard definitive guide to enjoying 2020:

Pat puppies and kiss kittens

Don’t vote for morons

Eat, drink and be merry

Don’t buy ‘beauty’ products

Stay off the internet

Help a refugee family

Read books

Unsubscribe

Stop buying plastic crap

Thank firies, ambos and nurses

Check your emotional baggage

Get fresh on the dance floor

Support the Uluru Statement

Be kind, even to dickheads

Don’t use the words onboarding, textural or disruptor

Buy the Big Issue

Sing every day

Bring home the facon (don’t harm piggies)

Love your friends

Swim in the ocean

These words are still accurate, but I’m adding:

Thank teachers, wear a mask, donate to your local food pantry, talk to a wise creature (preferably a furry one) stay home (if it’s safe), become a pirate and beware of deep, dark internet rabbit holes. Tell your people you love them. And please don’t use the words unprecedented, pivot or disrupt ever again.


Shiver me timbers

Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day and also my 450th birthday. In order for my day to have meaning, I’m harnessing the power of celebrity (raising teenagers and eating their two-minute noodles will do that to your brain). Growing up near Crows Nest I was obviously born to plunder. Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum, hoist the mizzen.


I share a birthday with Twiggy, Mama Cass and my spiritual guru, chocolate maker and philanthropist George Cadbury. I work for a charity that was sponsored for years by Cadbury chocolate. As Oprah would say, I found my destiny; I was born to consume chocolate, preferably the expensive stuff.

aaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I’m no longer a child and I still want to be, to live with the pirates. Because I want to live forever in wonder. The difference between me as a child and me as an adult is this and only this: when I was a child, I longed to travel into, to live in wonder. Now, I know, as much as I can know anything, that to travel into wonder is to be wonder. So it matters little whether I travel by plane, by rowboat, or by book. Or, by dream. I do not see, for there is no I to see. That is what the pirates know. There is only seeing and, in order to go to see, one must be a pirate.” Kathy Acker


Totally biased mothering

I miss my mum even though she’s still here. Dementia has taken away her speech and her legs, but left her with a sparkle in her eyes whenever my children walk up to her chair. She glows when she sees her grand kids. When I hold her hand, she smiles. She could still pick me out in a police line up. And some days she tries to feed me. Even if it’s the crust from her sandwich or a spoonful of watery soup.

Barbie was a totally biased mother. She cut people out of our family photos if they were mean to her children. She stood up for us even when we probably didn’t deserve it. The older I get, the more I appreciate her bias in the face of evidence that proved her children were occasionally wrong. Not me, of course, but my siblings.

My kids were also blessed to have a wonderful indigenous grandmother who survived, built a family on her own, fed us, made art and laughed with us, and taught me resilience with her protective, fierce mother energy. She loved her family and actively gave her all to us. She never wanted slippers; time, cake and loving care was her greatest gift. She left us too soon. We miss her.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, especially those without their mothers and grandmothers, and those whose children have gone or didn’t get to be born in this life. Today can be tough. Let’s all spread mothering love to our friends and chosen family, whether fur or human. Wipe dribble off your friend’s face, help them tuck in their shirt, make them toast and tell them off for their messy car. Your mother would be proud.


‘Ucken see ya rona

As we prepare for a new world order after the first wave of corona, I’m reflecting on life in lockdown.

I will NOT miss

Updates from the CEOs of every company I’ve ever shopped with

Seeing Scummo’s smug face on my screens every five minutes

Pointless health and wellness videos

Over-medicated Zoom calls

Online conspiracy theories from whackos who I thought were sane people

Nauseating we’re-all-in-this-together messages from celebrities

Remote learning with teenage beast

I WILL MISS

Sleeping in

Cuddles with my cat every day

Reading multiple books

Afternoon naps

Carbs

Clean air

Day time TV

Day drinking

Bin isolation Facebook posts

Tracky dacks every day even though I wear pyjamas to work

Laughing with goth child over mad cat vids on TikTok

Bye rona, don’t come back…


Sanity is over rated

Ways to help ourselves in the time of covid19:

Avoid expert guidance from wealthy influencers who live in massive houses when you’re stuck in a small flat

Turn off the TV when the corona virus celebrity advice special comes on

Avoid listening to politicians who talk endlessly about the economy. We’re a community

Borrow a dog or a cat or a rabbit and stroke their fur to lower blood pressure

Wear your pyjamas all day if it helps

Send a postcard to a nursing home wishing the locked away oldies and nursing staff well

Check on your neighbours

Burn your bra

Enjoy your sleep in

Shop local

Cherish your time off the treadmill

Dream a little dream

Watch Gene Kelly dance in Singing In The Rain


Ay Corona

Call me a bloody hippy, but much good will come out of this time of corona madness. A whole new world is waiting to be born

We have stopped buying plastic crap we don’t need that is shipped here from overseas

All children may get access to good schooling and new technology

We will stop working in jobs we hate to buy crap we think we want

People have stopped injecting their bodies with botulism toxin

Maybe we will finally close the gap and have good health outcomes for our first nations people

Kids who aren’t neurotypical and don’t fit into our one size fits all school system will have other options for learning

Neighbours are looking after lonely, elderly folk because they’re not at work all the time

Billionaires and foreign companies who make massive profits may actually have to pay some tax to put money back into society.

People have stopped adding plastic to their fingers and breathing in solvents painted on their toes

Foxtel may go bust with no live sport being played; good riddance Rupert

People will wake up and realise that housing is a human right, not an investment opportunity. We may get rid of over blown rents, negative gearing and have housing that is fair for all

Families will spend quality time together; eating, arguing and singing

The planet will breathe while we’re not stampeding through every river and canal throwing plastic bottles into the sea

We finally appreciate and give thanks to doctors, ambos, nurses, teachers, garbos, shelf stackers, child care workers, aged care lovelies, check out chicks and roosters and start to honour how they keep our society going with their hard work

We will stop buying too many clothes, and not prop up an industry that exploits too many underpaid workers in countries that have no labour laws.

We will grow our own food, share with our neighbours, distribute goods according to need

We will live according to the seasons and honour the ebb and flow of mother nature

We may start to fund our scientists and actually listen when they impart their knowledge

We will swap clothes with our friends, mend and repair broken bits and bobs and remember that compulsive shopping doesn’t fill our hearts

We will crave our connection to nature and appreciate every blade of grass once it is safe to be back in the world

Without organised religious gatherings, people will start to question their beliefs and maybe not hide the paedophiles

We may realise that we don’t need the latest technology to be happy

200,000 poker machines are now sitting idle

We will discover we don’t need to pollute the planet with balloons at gender reveal parties, we can actually live with surprises

We will wake up and stop listening to and voting for greedy mad men who can barely turn up to do their job and finally decide to elect visionary leaders

We can no longer queue and panic buy phones and shoes and other stuff that we really can live without

Huge floating Petri dishes have been stopped from polluting precious cities and oceans across the world

We will have time to dance and sing together (online) and tell our stories and have time with our babies without having to rush off to feed the planet destroying capitalist beast

People will find out the real value of a dollar or a euro and realise that the share market is a house of cards, favouring only the fortunate

And the dolphins and the fish and the worms and the birds will come out of hiding and say ‘what took you so long silly humans?’

This revolution will be televised


Appetite, a universal wolf

Dear corona peppers, welcome to the world of living on a very tight budget AKA single motherhood.

Even though I’m busy preparing burnt offerings and microwave friendly salads, I’m offering you my FREE tips on feeding your family on a VERY limited budget.

Suggested menu:
1. Take it or leave it

2. ‘Imaginative’ recipes from ‘150 Ways With Baked Beans cook book

3. Repetition is king; 16 year olds love the same boring dishes; I’m a monster of the mash, a shaman of the sauce bottle, a magician with mince.

4. Tell your kids your family has been invited onto a reality TV cooking show, then vote yourself out of the kitchen. Hide.

5. Now is a good time for your kids to learn to cook

6. Teenagers are expensive and cat food is cheap; making a ‘special meatloaf’ is not wrong.

7. Like it or lump it

8. Borrowing herbs and veggies from your neighbour’s garden to feed your kids is helping your neighbour harvest.

9. Remember the child standing in front of the microwave gets the most.

10. It is not a crime to send your 16 year old to the local RSL with a fake ID to win the meat tray because the slab of dead animal will feed your family for a week. Do it tonight before the government closes all clubs.

Vive le revolution


2020 vision

The Pollard definitive guide to enjoying 2020:

Pat puppies and kiss kittens

Don’t vote for morons

Eat, drink and be merry

Don’t buy ‘beauty’ products

Stay off the internet

Help a refugee family

Read books

Unsubscribe

Stop buying plastic crap

Thank firies, ambos and nurses

Check your emotional baggage

Get fresh on the dance floor

Support the Uluru Statement

Be kind, even to dickheads

Don’t use the words onboarding, textural or disruptor

Buy the Big Issue

Sing every day

Bring home the facon (don’t harm piggies)

Love your friends

Swim in the ocean

 

 

 

 


The greatest of these is love

When I tell people my mum has dementia they invariably say,

“Does she still know who you are?”

She does when I hug her and hold her close and tell her I love her. Her brain may not remember my name but her body can feel that she loves me. I know it.

The gift of dementia is that I have had four years to say goodbye to my beautiful mama. Four years to create new memories and remember some of her old ones. To hear the same stories again and again so the family history is firmly locked in my brain until it is my turn to fade away.

Four years to hold her hands and tell her that she is still a devoted mother. Four years of visits to calm the madness rush of single mother life in my head while I put her hand in mine. Four years of quiet afternoons to sit with her in silence while I rub hand cream into her old dry hands. Four years of cups of tea and bickies. Four years of running away from the nursing home in tears with a broken heart while remembering all the small ways she loved me. Four years to be reminded how she cared for our dogs, yelled at me over homework, washed our clothes, fed us endless dinners and sang in the kitchen.

Mumma loved her career before kids but she loved us more. Her four kids and seven grandchildren were her life’s work. Having our family was the greatest joy of her life.

Four years of stories shared with whoever else came to visit. Four years being able to take in her I am your mother and I’m not going anywhere fierceness, and four years to realise that I don’t care any more about our differences, fights over my clothing and hairdos and politics, I feel grateful that she cared enough to argue with me.

Four years to look at old photos and realise what she built for us. Four years to be reminded that she introduced me to Stevie Wonder and Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald and taught me how to sing.

My mum interviewed Squizzy Taylor and met Frank Sinatra and talked to colourful Sydney racing identities and was invited to all the best parties when she wrote the social pages. And still my dad, my brothers and sister and I and our kids were the best part of her life. Not all kids get to have a mumma like mine.

Some families have their loved ones snatched away in an instant, but I’ve had time to be with her and hug her tight and tell her how much she means to me.

In the past year she has wet her pants and worn her clothes backwards and spilt dinners and tea all over herself. She has let her hair go and not worried about matching her top with her skirt. All the petty little problems of life have slipped away and all that remains is that my mum’s face lights up when my kids and I walk in the room. That is love.

I know my dad is coming to get her soon, they will get to be together again and I have to remember that on the days that I’m missing her so much that I can’t breathe.

My mum was from a family of godbotherers, devout Anglicans who often quoted the bible. This is the only verse I remember from years of reluctant Sunday school attendance (Corinthians)

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.