Just for one day

Today I want my loud, laughing dad back from “death’s dateless night,” so we can guffaw, have a whiskey, eat too much food, carry on and argue. We’d have the cricket on and talk about the current parliamentary debacle, the Wallabies, travelling in Europe and the heartbreaking turmoil of the people trapped on Manus and Nauru. My dad would be wearing his heart on his sleeve, we would fight about something important, cry, forget about it an hour later and have another wee dram. I want to talk to my dad about his painful childhood, about growing up without a father, about how lonely he was and give him a huge hug because he survived and created a life for us that he could only dream of as a child growing up hungry.

I inherited your devotion to books, your sense of humour and your belief in the beauty of our fellow humans. It’s been 16 years and I miss you today and every day Jack Ernest. Wish you were here…

“Your love will live in my heart…”


Smothering Sunday

Today I’m thankful that I still have a mother, but if we’re going to have a day to celebrate mothers, please don’t ask me to:

Bake a cake for a fundraiser

Select a nanna scarf for me before I’m a grandmother

Volunteer for any initiative to improve the lives of already well-off people

Mend garments or

Clean up after babies

Also please don’t:

Buy me ugly socks

Make me a ceramic thingy that I’ll smash

Give me any more craft

Advise me to take vitamins, colonics, miracle cures or go for a run

Rescue another animal for me

Suggest helpful ways to brighten my floors

Today I don’t want to grow, inspire, achieve, strive or nurture, I’m cranky and I’m having a day off. Please quickly bring me a bottle of gin, tonic, lemons and an obedient bar man, then close the door on your way out. Your best present for Mumma is obedience and a big dose of shush.

Mother and Child Reunion Boney M


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

 

 


Dogstagram

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.


Growing old disgracefully

My oldest childhood friend is about to turn 50 and realising I have elderly friends has made me think about what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. Middle age can be about making time for personal growth and wondering what sort of human you want to become in the second half of your life. Once my kids have moved out of home, I want to inspire people, live well and have fun, so when I grow up, hopefully I’ll still be young enough to:

Care about my fellow humans like Sam Newman
Be open-hearted like Prune Macsween
Dance like Peter Garrett

Have the compassion of Miranda (Not Really) Devine
Pop pills like Ben Cousins
Manage my hair like Donald Trump

Tolerate people like Peter Dutton

Possess the humility of Malcolm Turnbull

Be open-minded like Andrew Blot

Be submissive like Eddie Maguire

Be as sexy as Bronwyn Bishop

What’s on your life goals bucket list?

I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

 

 

 


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