Put it in mothballs

Autumn winds make me extra allergic to the online world of success coaches with glow in the dark teeth, perky personal fitspo gurus with Instagram famous bodies and shiny women with trout pout lips on an endless loop on Youtube. A generation of children are growing up with mothers who’ve had so much Botox put into their faces that these women cannot express the full gamut of human emotion on their dials. These zombie women scare me but I can’t stop staring, wondering when the fillers will stop working.

Then I get scratchy when I hear the words mastery, motivation, personal best, inspire, disrupt. Show me the leaders in lethargy, excellent examples of ennui, successful sloths, wonderful worriers. These are my people. To mangle Kerouac: the only ones for me are the crazies, the Bukowski drunks, the shabby, the borderline criminals, the drop outs, the dribblers, those grungy, suffering, unshaven cats who get thrown out of the best parties, the ones who always yawn out loud, the rambling, boisterous messes who convey every sloppy human emotion on their cracking apart faces. These are the people who make me feel good about myself, as I hide away at home reading, not wanting to face the world or climb any ladders.

Growing up into a cranky old cat lady, I’m pondering the autumn and winter of my life with a countenance that moves. As I slip under the radar with a face that loses its sheen every day, I think I like my mangy self best.

40 sparkling years

Here’s to the magnificent 78’ers, those brave souls who stood up for their rights and tonight celebrate 40 years of Sydney Mardi Gras. These civil rights champions were brutally bashed, arrested, taunted and harassed and still they marched for their friends, for the freedom to be their magnificent selves, for equality, for  ‘the love that dare not speak its name.’ Thank you to the warriors who fought for the freedom to love freely and to be equal citizens. Rainbow beauties I salute your courage. Your selfless actions made Sydney a more fun, more colourful and more inclusive place. I can’t imagine dancing on Oxford Street in 1983 without you.

As I hope for glitter not blood on the streets tonight, I’m shedding a few tears for the beautiful loved ones we lost when AIDS ripped through our lives in the 80s and 90s. I know tonight they will be there in spirit. I’m also thinking of the people who work so hard for Bobby Goldsmith and ACON and my friends decorating floats. Party on beauties. I feel nothing but love and pride when I see you shining.

Divine – You Think You’re A Man




This week a friend who is not a fan of social media asked me: Why do cute pooches and pussy cats have more social media followers than most humans?

Why? Because we love them. Pooches believe in unconditional love. Aspirational humans do not. Cats have attitude and don’t give a shit. I love dogs of Instagram because dogs are pretty. Dogs on insta don’t have bad plastic surgery, fake boobs and plastic nails. They’re not going to take cheesy selfies with trout pouts at monasteries and mosques. Dogs don’t take photos of themselves doing cartwheels at sacred sites. Dogs don’t pretend to be social media experts, they’re not trying to improve our lives, help us reach unattainable goals, sell us products or help their owners train to be ultra fit marathon runners and brag about it. Dogs just are. I love dogs.

Cats aren’t trying to mary football players, flog baby clothes or inspire us to upgrade to a better lifestyle. Cats hiss and bite when they’re pissed off. Cats are cool.

But I do wish dog owners would post more photos of mutts with fleas, mange and weeping eyes. Cat owners could oblige by sharing their scratch and sniff cat pee in the corner of the living room snaps more often too.

I’ll keep this rant short, I must dash, my cat needs to meet up with her personal trainer.

Wrinkles where smiles have been

Dementia is:

Adding water to plastic flowers in a vase
Putting the TV remote in your handbag
Storing cutlery under the pillow
Folding undies and carefully placing them in the fridge

Dementia is my mum’s gift to me. She can’t remember what my children are doing this week, but I’m hearing loads of stories of her long ago boyfriends before my dad.

Dementia is my mum in tears when she can’t remember how to listen to phone messages

Dementia is 4am phone calls when she can’t remember if it’s my sister’s birthday or her wedding anniversary today

Dementia is finding pleasure in patting a kitten for hours at a time

Dementia is not knowing about Facebook or Snapchat or being contactable 24/7

Dementia is driving to the favourite places of my mum’s childhood

Dementia is sitting quietly doing puzzles that aren’t challenging

Dementia is telling all the staff in her nursing home that she is Polish, when her grandmothers were Irish and Welsh and her parents were born in Australia

Dementia is keeping her here long enough to value and appreciate and say thank you and goodbye

Linda Ronstadt – When I Grow Too Old to Dream


We have been gay
Going our way
Life has been beautiful
We have been young
After you’ve gone
Life will go on
Like an old song we have sung

When I grow too old to dream
I’ll have you to remember
When I grow too old to dream
Your love will live in my heart

So kiss me my sweet
And so let us part
And when I grow too old to dream
That kiss will live in my heart




Zombies on YouTube

Lazy school holiday afternoon. Single mother folding washing, fruit rotting in the bowl, flies buzzing around the child’s cooking/slime experiment, cat eating the last of the bread, children glued to their screens.

“Zen, what are you watching?”

“Some highlights from the IT movie.”

“I don’t want you watching that movie, you’re too young, it will give you nightmares.”

“The boy in it is a Virgo.”


“He’s a Virgo like you mum.”

“NO, you are not watching it.”

“Worth a try, mum.”



Love in the time of blended families

A poem

We say I love you, and if we’re still together on Boxing Day, Easter Wednesday, the day after the kid goes back to school we may survive as a couple by detaching from your teen’s nightmare behaviour

Your son looks like Elvis but he sings like a drunk footballer

I adore you but your brother’s second wife’s extended family will poison me slowly with their frozen coleslaw

I’d really like to grow old with you but your son’s new girlfriend has a voice that curdles milk and I can’t bring myself to help you raise her kids

Your touch is tough to resist but the complaints from your mother and her coven of neighbours about my cooking have reduced my brain capacity

You soothe my jangled nerves but your child’s penchant for snakes is a reptile too far

I really like your daughter but another netball match will kill my will to live

I love you but I can’t add another mother in law to my collection

Shakespeare described step parenting best:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom

2018 aspirations

Suddenly all my annoying habits from 2017 have vanished. In 2018 I will:
Keep tolerating fools (they are my colleagues after all)
Drink only the best water (in my gin)
Become motherhood Zen master & remain composed always (cue teen eye roll)
Run, jump, hop, skip
Be a good friend
Kiss more often
Swim like a dolphin in an ocean I’ve never swum in before
Help someone kick cancer’s arse
Travel places I’ve never been
Hug old friends and make new ones
Eat lots of green vegies

Behave like a macro neurotic nun
Roller skate

Smoosh my cat
Boogie like a lunatic
Write my heart out

Attend fabulous rainbow weddings, dance on tables

In 2018 we must:
Dump Trump, Turnbull and the other greedy narcissists for the future of our planet
Stop using plastic bags
Stop voting for rednecks who only care about their own wealth (see RWNJ’s above)
End negative gearing
Find a cure for brain cancer
Eat more hot chips
Smash the patriarchy

Laugh like a drain

Donate blood

Speak up

Admire more abs, delts and pecs
Pat more pooches

Follow our passions
Cuddle more babies

Rise up and resist
What’s on your resolution list?