Daddy’s girl

Dear father who art in heaven

Happy 93rd birthday. Today I wish your body had stayed around longer. You were a devoted da and a workaholic. I love you Jack Pollard. You taught me:

*To do what I love for a living – Dad 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 adventures is scary but

worth it

*Everyone looks good in a snappy suit

*Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

17 long years without you have gone by in a flash. I would sacrifice a few of my fingers and toes to see one of your cheeky smiles, hear your laugh and have a hug.

My dad was the Prince of Kings Cross


Tell me Kondo, Kondo, Kondo

Marie Kondo san

Vinnies and Salvos may not agree but I’d like to say,

Doomo arigatoo gozaimasu

I hugged my teenager and she didn’t give me joy so I sent her to live with her father

I spent Christmas with my relatives and they didn’t bring me happiness so I moved away

I laboured through a summer party with pill popping friends who became obnoxious, so this year I won’t be answering their calls

My daggy trackie dacks don’t spark joy but the fact that they still fit me after three kids does so I’m keeping them

Folding up Dutton, Morrison and Abbott at the next election will help my thoughts become clear

Parking cops don’t speak to my heart, out they go

Throwing out “joyless” items originally struck me as a first world problem. But the end result may be that the world is made better


2018 – The Year of the Plonker

2018, the year that cannot end quickly enough for me. What a clusterfuck.

This truly was the year of the tools coming out from under their rocks.

Trump
Israel Folau spreading hate
Julie Asbestos Bishop behaving like the hypocrite of the century, acting like a martyr when she let Bernie Banton die in agony waiting for compensation
Barnaby Joyce
Lleyonhelm
Lindsay Lohan and her “women look weak” bollocks
Malcolm Gunning from the real estate agents group who thought that people should get a second job to buy a home
Steve Smith and David Warner
The Wallabies
Potato Dutton thinking he had a chance at the top job. The man has a head like a dropped pie
The guy who wanted to ask me out on a date but then mansplained the term ‘mansplaining’ to me
Too many women and children murdered by men they knew, including beautiful Olga and her kids
Scott Morrison’s embarrassing moments happening almost daily from October

Extreme weather conditions worsened across the globe and still moron politicians deny climate science

There have been 94 school shootings in the US this year

 

The year when the two most powerful comedy shows weren’t funny; Nanette by- Hannah Gadsby and Sascha Baron Cohen’s documentary on America

We lost beautiful artists this year, too many to suicide

Aretha Franklin, Neil Simon, Tom Wolfe, Mirka Mora, Dolores O’Riordan, Richard Gill, Stephen Hawking, Charles Blackman, Judy Blame,, Anthony Bourdain, Kofi Annan, Penny Marshall, Penny Cook, Liz Jackson
Eurydice Dixon was taken from us

Heroes

Robert Mueller
Emma Gonzalez and her classmates
Jameela Jamil

Tham Luang cave divers
Chrissie Foster

Christine Balsey Ford

Saxon Mullins

Sisto Malaspina

The year I learnt to say no more than yes

I was ghosted by a friend

This year a school bully told my child that she should kill her self, my two other kids suffered health problems and I went to hospital twice, but we are blessed to have our health system and we have held onto our sanity (just)

Shakespeare wrote about Donald Trump in All’s Well That Ends Well:

“A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality.”

May 2019 bring wisdom and a strong wall to keep the idiots at bay

 


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…”


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?


Memento infantia

There comes a weekend in every mother’s life when we have to put on bad music, trample on the walk on wardrobe AKA floor-drobe, cough our way through crusty bits of rubbish and throw out the last remaining bits and bobs of our offsprings’ childhood. That weekend has come for me. There will be no more Hello Kitty pencils, no more craft that comes home saying I luv u mummmy and no more genuine joy at seeing me at the school gate.

I am emptying the unfinished projects into the bin and opening old One Direction pencil cases and finding handwritten notes from their friends. These painstakingly produced jottings were all written at the age when my kids were discovering the magic of writing a heartfelt letter to a beautiful new friend:

Dear Senny, I thik youre really specil and I reallly lik your shoos. I had funn wen we went to the pak and i now we wil be freinds forever. lov you

I’ve been a single mum for 10 years, so there are many jobs in my house that are being tackled well past their use by date. Despite our multiple moves, some special stuff was placed in boxes and carted from new address to new address. The perfectly unused birthday present textas from the seven-year old’s best friend in the hole world that were saved in the back of the cupboard for special occasions have been dug out, the lolly wrappers that she didn’t want mummy to see, beside the half-dressed dolls with real nail polish on their hands. I put together a box of nostalgia, thinking that my last teenager would be remotely interested in the lost cuteness and innocence of her childhood. She came home from a day out at the hideous local shopping trauma centre and said,

“That’s my stuff, what are you doing?”

“Cleaning.”

“Don’t.”

“We need to chuck out.”

“No, I’m too busy.”

A few short weeks ago she sobbed because the Easter Bunny hadn’t left her an elaborate trail of eggs in our shared yard on Easter Sunday. But now she’s watching make up tutorials on how to copy the subtle facial contouring of the Kardashians on Youtube. She actually wants to look like a Jenner. I’ve failed as a mother. What the hell will I keep from this phase?


Duck off 2017

As I prepare to be disappointed by New Year’s Eve celebrations and charge my teen’s phone so I can nag her home at some ungodly hour, I say good riddance to 2017. What a bastard of a year.

There were many lowlights of the numpty kind:

Nivea white purity ad campaign
Orange moron in the White House
Spaghetti donuts
Potato Dutton spending billions on locking asylum seekers up on Manus & Nauru

Text messages auto-correcting to duck

Vegetable yoghurts

Abetz, Bernardi, Blot, Abbott, Kenny, Not Devine, Credlin

Ads featuring Kendall Jenner
Chicken flavoured prosecco

Fine artists Mary Tyler Moore, Sam Shepard, Malcolm Young, David Cassidy, Chuck Berry, John Hurt and Tom Petty left our world

More white male shooters became killers in the US

Too many beautiful souls died of brain cancer

But there were also many heroes of 2017:
Magda Szubanski

Jacinda Ardern
Father Bob
Father Rod

Larissa Waters breast fed her baby in parliament

Victorians elected the first-ever female indigenous MP, Lidia Thorpe

Kon from the ASRC
Mums 4 Refugees

A people-powered movement stopped Adani’s $1Billion loan

Same Sex marriage finally became law
War on Waste campaign

Women’s Marches across the world

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse ended; brave souls who’ve endured so much can hopefully begin to heal and churches will be forced to offer compensation

J.K. Rowling

Angela Merkel

Penny Wong

Lee Lin Chin

I graduated from primary school after 15 years

#MeToo ladies

Weinstein and other predators were named and shamed

Political leaders of the resistance

2018 is the year of the Earth Dog. According to Chinese astrologers, dogs sniff out the truth, corruption is exposed and the underdog is championed. Happy joyous New Year, may the dogs of 2018 pee on the legs of mansplainers, bring us a break from the political insanity, and bless us with more women in power, especially needed by those of us with a vagina.