Single mother fruit cake

Christmas Dessert Ingredients:

Packaged, dried, past it’s best fruit from cheapo supermarket

Icing sugar

Gin

Lemons to taste

Eggs close to use by date

Flour sifted for weevils

Valium (quantity as required)

AC/DC on loud

5 kilos of family arguments regarding timing of food serving

7 phone calls from mother with dementia about how she will be forgotten at Xmas

Orphans popping in with their relatives who you can’t stand

Mix all ingredients, leave to rot and go to the nearest pub on Christmas Eve


Dishy Washy

I am in love with an inanimate object. She cost me $150 on eBay and she is cheap to run. I love my dishwasher. She is my comrade in the war against grotty kids. As a single mother with children who have lost the use of their legs and their ability to put socks in the washing machine, my dishwasher is my best friend and one true love.

My friend calls dishwashers the marriage saver, perhaps only if you marry someone who doesn’t have substance abuse issues. My DW is addicted to tablets, but she stopped me doing the dishes. I hate fancy plates that don’t fit in her warm wet insides. Anything delicate is banished from my kitchen. If I bribe my youngest hooligan she sometimes unloads my dishwashy friend.

I adore taking my kids to the park knowing that my dish pig is hard at work filling my flat with the pong of detergent. When we return home I open her up and my face is hit with a blast of her wonderful wafting steam.

She has great rhythm, I love the way she hums at night; I go to sleep in my living room to the soothing sound of the white machine slaving over my cutlery and pans. Bliss in a box.


You know you’re a single mother on Boxing Day when

You let your kids watch cute cats doing stupid stuff on the internet all day
You open a beer at 9.30am
You can’t see the living room floor and the presents were opened nearly 2 days ago
You think left over, dried out potato salad is all kids need to eat all day
The sun is shining but the couch and TV have reserved a place for your fat bum
The brandy custard in the fridge has your name and ‘do not touch or I will send you to boarding school’ written on the label
Your drunk redneck neighbours call your name and you think climbing over their fence for a drink at 10pm is a wise decision
Your youngest child complains about a stomach ache and you pour her a shandy
You steal your children’s Christmas presents so you can regift to the neighbours’ kids because you forgot to buy them anything
Your children are still eating Christmas candy canes at 8.30pm
You let your kids play with sparklers unsupervised in the street so you can watch endless hours of cats doing mindless funny stuff on the net


I like driving someone else’s car

It’s not quite a Jaguar.

Ancient Chinese proverb: Those without a car may have to walk

Call me a freak but when I tell people I’ve got three kids and I don’t own a car they gasp. Australians adore their cars and are very reluctant to give up the idea that city dwelling means not driving all the time. The citizens of London and Tokyo know that living in big cities and driving are not compatible. I love driving, I just don’t love visiting mechanics or car dealers or changing tyres or anything that involves engine parts. So I share cars. I belong to GoGet and Green Car Share. I also have truly lovely friends who have let me borrow their cars when they’re away. Car share is pay as you go, so as a single mum on a tight budget there’s a lot of merit in paying as you use a service. I’m not racking up huge debts to a bank or a finance company. I walk more than I used to and catch buses, and I hardly ever pay for parking (I’m allergic to it).

The only problem I have with car sharing is the owner’s poor taste in radio stations. I have to remember if I book a car to turn off the radio before I start the engine, so I don’t hear rednecks moaning to right wing chauvinistic talkback shock jocks at full volume. Luckily Go Get put CDs in their cars for borrowers to listen to.

Car sharing is good for the planet with so many cars sitting idly on the street not being used. You may have seen me on Today Tonight talking about car sharing but Channel 7 axed the show before my story went to air. Beep, beep.


The email plague is spreading

Buying presents online makes me happy. I type in my order and the parcels get delivered to my house. Single mothers crave simplicity and we are happy when life is made easier. I would say we are a growing demographic but that piece of marketing speak makes me throw up in my mouth a little. What doesn’t make me happy is the growing demand for reviews from said companies. Click the link and tell us how we went, your feedback is important. No, it’s not. My daughter telling me she is pregnant or my best friend telling me she has cancer is important, filling out your online survey is not. Your product will not change my life, unless it can give me back the arse I had when I was 16 or the complexion I had on my 20th birthday.

Run away from me if you have the word ‘marketing’ in your job description, or you use the words social and innovation, or on-trend together, or you regularly describe food as ‘textural’. Marketing speak makes me retch. I don’t care about your jargon or your plans for your product. Like many modern working parents, I am overwhelmed, over worked and pressed for time, emails about how a product can enhance my life or make me happy don’t help, they clog up my inbox. I don’t want to hear from your company unless you are telling me about your discounts. Shazam-Wow marketing people can voice their opinion on stuff they have no knowledge of that doesn’t matter to anyone and I’m not going to read the emails. Newsletters are an increasing plague that cause despair. In 2014 I am deleting emails before I read them so I have time for far more important things like helping my children with their homework or looking at hot celebrity photos online.