Magic monkey

Happy birthday to my brave, hilarious, whacky little stunt woman, the girl who told me just the other day, “You don’t actually just grow mum, fairies help you grow.” I’m so glad I am your mama.


Aussie Code of Conduct

Apparently the English cricket team and the Indonesian President are calling for a code of conduct for all future dealings with Australian cricketers and politicians. I think this is a great idea for anyone who has to deal with us Oztraylians, so here it is, The Official Aussie Code of Cultural Conduct:

1. One must learn to speak Australian, consonants are optional. Oztraylian is our national language, by order of Ken Oath

2. One must learn to eat like an Australian, we’re partial to a bit of goanna on the barbie in the arvo, so rip into it cobber

3. Saying ‘one must’ is very unAustralian, it sounds like you’re an up yourself Pommy bastard. Try not to sound like you learnt your English from the BBC.

4. Apart from the first Australians, we all came here by boat, so any visitors must wear a boater (even if you flew in) and we will call you a ‘boatie’

5. We have a rich oral tradition, sledging is very fashionable in Australia. If you want to fit in, call your new Aussie acquaintance a wanker or a bastard, it is a term of endearment. We also throw the C word around to describe our friends. If you’re gay you can call a friend a faggot, and I’ll answer with a smile if my girlfriends call me an old tart

6. Respecting our language means abbreviating everything, barbeque is barbie, afternoon is arvo, Anthony John Abbott is shortened to utter tool

7. Respecting Aussie culture means giving thanks to the first peoples of this land who have a rich history. The posh parts of Australia like Sydney that were developed by the whities are a little different to your country, but they are filled with kultcha. We have historical buildings that are 10 or 15 years old

8. Spying is a part of the Australian national ethos. We have bloody big backyards and if we didn’t spy we wouldn’t know when we could drop in on our neighbours to use their pool and have a free feed

9. Many Australians get pissed (it is practically compulsory) and say things we regret the next morning, and we often forget the time difference between our sunburnt land and other countries, so please forgive us for our big mouths and time delay. Drinking on an empty head and spinning a yarn in the hot sun was passed down by our fore fathers and mothers.

10. Our only truly national sports are naked backyard cricket mixed with drinking competitions. We would be honoured to compete against your country


We leave our patients in stitches

It’s the start of the silly season and even in the hospitals I work in with really sick kids we love to celebrate at this time of year with a party or three. We visit children who become really sad when the medical staff tell them they won’t be going home for the holidays. They’re far from family and friends and need a lift. We’re often by their bedsides with Santa, TV celebrities, sports stars and various super heroes trying to divert and distract them with songs and giggles and presents. I will never tire of making kids laugh with smiles and silliness. Every time I see a child’s sad face light up my heart sings. I am so lucky to meet these marvellous families, doing my job is a privilege that I don’t take for granted.


If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books…

Shakespeare said we must, “unpack our heart with words.”
My name’s Lou and I’m a reader-holic. Reading keeps me sane but I don’t have enough time for all the books I’ve fallen in love with because I let trivial things like work and child rearing get in the way of my devotion to great literature. I’ll read anywhere; it’s not a problem. I take hours at the supermarket because I read every label. I scan the back of the cereal box at breakfast because I’ve taught my children it’s rude to read at the table. But really I’d be reading that too if I didn’t have to talk to them about their day.

My writer dad fostered my devotion to great books, when I was 11 he gave me Hemingway and Steinbeck to read and we talked about their writing. I still remember talking to Dad about the ocean being a character in Hemingway’s book The Old Man and The Sea when I was 12 years old. Books kept my dad’s mind alive through his deprived childhood and he treasured the craft of good writers.

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This is a photo of the current to read pile beside my bed. The book at the top is what I’m reading right now. The one at the bottom is by my dad. My dad wrote or edited over 100 books. Reading is my family’s addiction of choice. There are so many books and so little time. When I’m really, really old I’m going to live in a house filled with furry dogs and books and an open fire. The dogs will force me to get out of the house to walk them otherwise I’d stay inside reading and never see the sun. You’re never alone when you have a great book to read. Henry David Thoreau said,
“Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written.”

But my favourite quote on reading is from Lemony Snickert:
“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”

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World Records

Today is Guinness World Records Day. Today is the day single mothers must dare their children to set the world record for fastest bed making, most dinners cooked or the world record for the longest time a child of a single mother has ever gone without whinging about anything. Come on, I dare you


One hit wonderland

Even when I mature I will never grow out of my tragic obsession with so bad it’s good music. And the hits keep on coming. Who could forget The Ferrets Don’t Fall In Love or Smokie’s Living Next Door To Alice in 1977? Samantha Sang’s Emotion and Dave Warner’s Suburban Boy were highlights of 1978. But my current fer-sure favourite from 1982 totally is:


I promised I would write about him some day

A brilliant story

I decided I would walk back to my Hotel that day, even though I had spent all day and most of my money shopping and my shoulders were aching from the weight of the bags. Flagging down a tuk-tuk would made the trip quick and easy and with the unbearable heat rising up from the sidewalk and bouncing off the city walls and radiating down from above it is a wonder I chose to walk that day but at the time I decided that I would like to wander through the alley ways and stalls and nod my head in greeting to the people of Sukhumvit Road and thats all it was at the time. But it is only in retrospect that we see the significance of seemingly small decisions such as these. We don’t realise how our preferences, no matter how small, act as the fingers and the palms and…

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