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.
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
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.
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.
“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
When my TV acting work dried up, I worked at corporate presenting even though I had the wrong wardrobe.
I landed a presenting gig and thought I was ready to become an expert. I’d been booked to pontificate on a raised platform at a huge car stand at the annual glitzy Sydney motor show. On the hour for 8 hours, I had to deliver a heavily scripted 20-minute talk on a new zippy car aimed at young singles. In the land of the non ironic mullet wearing petrolhead I had to make the car sound attractive to 20 somethings who were buying their first brand-new car. I was 36, my de facto was sending secret late night texts to a younger woman and I’d been up all night breastfeeding my second child. Did I mention I know nothing about cars? And I don’t want to? And I don’t care about engines.
My first attempt at the talk was for 30 car dealers from around the country. Experts in their field. I forgot the script, couldn’t remember the key selling points, and didn’t know how to use the wipers. I lacked enthusiasm. I don’t own a car, I couldn’t give a rats about a piece of machinery but I had an unemployed partner with a dope addiction and our kids to support. I needed the money. An entertainment agent was paying me $800 for an eight-hour day. I could inhale fumes for 10 days.
On a break, I met a nice dark-haired man in the dressing room. He smiled and said hello.
“What do you do?” he said.
“I’m talking about a new car. What do you do?”
“I drive cars.”
“You race them?” I said.
“You get paid to drive? That’s cool. I love driving manual cars.” And I prattled on about being a secret rev head while he listened patiently. There was an awkward silence, then he handed me a bottle of water. We walked out together and I heard,
“Ladies and gentlemen the champion of motorsports. Marcus Ambrose.”
There were about 300 people waiting for him in a queue.
After six days, a younger guy who knew about cars replaced me on the podium. I’m surprised it took them that long.
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.