The game of life

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.”


Spring fashun for style-ish single mothers

It’s that time of year again, when the most important issue keeping us awake at night is not that the madman in the White House or Turnbull gifting multi millions to bogus charitable foundations, but what the hell are we style queens on a budget going to wear when global warming makes us suffer stifling summer weather all year round. Remarkable fashion looks like these are on my mind:

Bare feet are more affordable than ballet flats for running around after little monsters

Basic black is timeless when it comes to stained T-shirts

Add edge to your look with UGH boots, they do the trick paired with undies

’90s style is making a serious comeback, flanelette underpants give us grunge chic without sacrificing comfort

A fashionable recyclable Coles shopping bag is the perfect weekend skirt, pair it with sleeves made from the excessive wrappings off your fruit

Coconut halves, with a nod to equestrian style, are now the ubiquitous spring shoe to pair with everything from cut-off shorts to a floral sundress

Add polish to a t-shirt and jeans by wearing your old wedding dress over the top

Through snow and ice, gum boots are a must have, especially when you can’t bear to put on clothes for the umpteenth time

Add sultry style to your look with no bra

Brenton Wood – The Oogum Boogum Song 1967


Dear Father who art in heaven (I think)

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

 

 


7 must-own single mother fashion items

Aside from prescription medications, a home and a large cask of fruity leg-opener, here is your essential guide to the seven must-own style items for single mothers:

 

  1. A leopard cougar dress adds class to any event, including school canteen duties or my kid doesn’t deserve another detention meetings in the principal’s office
  2. A large slobbering pit bull wearing a choke collar is mandatory for surviving early weekend morning netball games courtside with only happily married power couples for company
  3. A timeless, barely-there I can’t pay the rent ripped t-shirt emblazoned with I am the patron saint of deadbeat males goes with just about anything and is perfect for last minute call ups to the school father’s day breakfast
  4. Flannie shirt and work boots, for that crucial menswear-inspired look to confuse the hell out of the parents who can’t guess which side of the sexual fence you’re sitting on at the school fete
  5. Add polish to your 3pm pick up look by combining a no-brainer plunging neckline with the quintessential single mother chunky snakeskin stiletto
  6. Sneakers found on the street outside charity shops lengthen your pay packet and mean you can run from your children when they embarrass you at the shops
  7. A basic toy boy dressed in suede or leather is the ultimate go-to handbag for school parent-teacher meetings, he will add instant sophistication

 

Jeannie C. Riley – Harper Valley P.T.A.

 


Farcebook

I will never understand why people apologise for not posting on their Facebook or Instagram pages for a few days or weeks. It’s a photo of your dog giving up carbs, or your breakfast or an opinion on your dog having breakfast without carbs, and God knows the world doesn’t need any more opinions. If Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Insta, MyTwitFace, Snapchat, LookAtMe, SelfiesRus whatever all closed down tonight nothing would actually happen. No one’s life would change if a minor young celebrity missed a few days posting on YouTube and actually went out into the real world and achieved contact with their fellow humans and didn’t document every fart. If Tumblr folded tomorrow that may push a lot of awful angst-filled young poets slash artists slash waiters offline but I can live with that.

Facebook as a platform has become like an old high school friend who keeps sending you invitations to pyramid selling parties disguised as fun-filled reunions. You kind of want to stay in touch but then you remember that the drama and the detail and the requests to buy from their brother’s online vitamin business have become so annoying that you wonder why you bother. I check my news feed and think, yes I’m guilty as charged, I’ve bored people to tears with descriptions of my eating habits, or family or 500 too many photos of a holiday, but some days I can’t face reading about someone I last saw in person four years ago doing the same. In the political sphere, Farcebook has become a redneck wonderland and I just don’t have the energy to deal with it.

Yes, I love the witty people, and the connection with dear ones who live overseas and the camaraderie of groups of people with whom you share a passion or career, but for the love of the goddesses, can we filter out the passive-aggressive questions aimed at god-knows-who, the ill-thought-out spelling of your/youre/Ur, the I’ve lost six kilos today, conspiracy theories and the humble bragging?

We need editing filters on all our social media accounts that say, This post is dull or derived from an uninformed and uneducated view of the world, are you really sure you want to post this? This post will be muted for the good of humanity.

Ah, the irony. Of course, I’ve linked this whinge of a blog post to publish on Facebook and Twitter. Hope to see you living in the real world one year soon.


The best prescription

I had surgery in April. On Wednesday I went back to my surgeon to find out why I’m still in pain in late June. While I’m grateful that it’s nothing sinister, I’ve learnt that doctors who are skilled at operations aren’t always the best communicators. Maybe they could learn these kinds of skills at University.

Dear medical schools what teach mere mortals to become doctor gurus:

Is there a class in communication, bedside manner, and answering patient questions without attitude during the long years of a medical degree? Is there one lesson about asking your patient what they actually do at work? Is there a sentence in any of the science books about mentioning to your patient that their surgery and what a doctor has prescribed may affect their ability to carry out their job or basic tasks like not passing out behind the wheel?

I have low blood pressure. It’s a hereditary condition, my grandpa had it, my mum has it and I’ve been asked numerous times by medical people if I’m a marathon runner (not a humble brag, well maybe a bit) because my blood pressure is so low. Perhaps telling me that the local anaesthetic cream I’ve been using BEFORE work (to get through work without scratching my bum incessantly) will lower my bloody pressure to the point that I may faint and get headaches; would have been helpful before I drove for over an hour, worked in emergency beside stressed families and tried to be cheerful. Telling me only to use it before bed would have assisted me to get through April and May lying down. By mid June not so much.

I have developed newfound respect for people who live with chronic pain and life changing health issues. I don’t think I’m mentally strong enough to deal with a medical condition for years. When I’m a patient, I can feel weak, vulnerable and anxious; so I forget to ask vital questions, like what are the side effects of my medication, and whether I should be worried, and can I wash my pills down with gin and tonic. Yes I can be neurotic and babble on at length (that’s also hereditary), but no one would be harmed by a few well-timed reassuring words from my surgeon. I’ve forgotten how to play the three chords I used to know on my ukulele for years, so how about you ask me if you need to repeat anything?

How about medical schools teach doctors not to rush patients out the door? Doctor I’m paying for your time so how about you give me a teensy bit of it? I was only asking for a few more minutes to answer a few pressing concerns. Like why is my wound healing so slowly and can I use champagne to stop the muscle spasms and why can’t I find a hunk to give me a free daily massage with oil?

I don’t want to leave my physician’s office with a list of unanswered questions that pop into my scatter brain at 3am, I need to save head space for remembering the real names of dead celebrities. Doctors can you please use a checklist for idiots like me? It may help your receptionist/gatekeeper later because she (99% of the time they’re female) won’t be asked silly questions and you may also become a deity worshipped by your patients.

Thank your for your time. One question for you: Are you practising to be a doctor or has your real recital started?


Thank you goddess Doria

After 10 years of single mothering with a few token attempts at financial assistance from the casual father, I’ve been feeling really tired and uninspired. Then a magnificent photo of Doria Ragland sitting on her own in a church pew, glowing with adoration for her daughter, appeared online. This image gave me the strength to keep going. I can’t recall seeing the essence of gold standard fierce single mothering captured in a photo before. Love is a verb, and Doria you have obviously been a woman of action.

I love you Doria even though I don’t know you. Lovely lady, no matter what happens you have given so many of us permission to shine, to keep going when we feel we can’t and to press on with the daily chores of mothering alone. Thank you oh divine goddess mental health social worker yogi free-spirited amazon mother, we needed you more than you will ever know.