Tuesday, 28 June 2016

School Holidays YIPPEE!

I remember clearly dragging my sorry tired arse towards the end of term, racing through report cards and parent interviews and sometimes school performances and all manner of office bullshit. Sure kids need holidays too, they get ratty and impatient and tired and sometimes naughty and sometimes they just slowly shut down until nothing but the promise of the latest video game and a lifetime supply of sweeties can peak their interest.

So the teacher / kid household was a very quiet place for a couple of days as we both eased into the PJ mornings and the movie afternoons and the odd meals and the general finger up to all the normal schedules.

But now I look forward to the hols so much. I am one lucky Ma. My girl works and so Zig comes to visit. Ah what wonderful company he is, and this time with Stevie on his jolly, we are just kicking back and being patiently silly and hopefully we'll be a little productive too, cos Zig has been watching kids' cooking on the tellie and wants to have a go.

His first project was blueberry pies.

Yep we found a recipe, still seems a bit odd to me, like maybe something is missing, and we cheated a little cos we bought the frozen pastry, but everything else was all US.

He wanted to have a go at a lattice pastry top and I reckon he nailed it.

We have pies for pudding!

But shit aren't they expensive? This must be why people so rarely bother. Without the cost of eggs or sugar or electricity, these little suckers cost more than $5 each and they took a good chunk out of our afternoon.

I reckon cooking like this is all about confidence. Being sure about trimming off the excess pastry with a sharp knife flourish and swinging the strips over and under and splashing around the egg wash - all this is better done with certainty or at least with no fear of failure.

He is very proud of himself and being a bit anal about my tidy kitchen, I was happy that he bought into the need to clean up as he went along. I know it's necessary to make a mess but I do like to see the sparkle at the end.

Tomorrow he wants to make cake. So as I am not much of a baker I will need to find a recipe that we can adjust with whatever additions the pantry can provide. Zig's not made a cake from scratch before and I reckon the biggest draw card is him being able to use my mixmaster but we will see. It will be lovely for him to be able to treat his mum with some home made goodies on thursday, so long as we don't make a complete pig's ear of it all, but even if we do, we will fall about laughing as we chuck it into the wheelie bin cos really some disasters are inevitable in cooking, aren't they? Or is that just me?

I remember one very inauspicious evening soon after my girl was born when I obviously thought, 'DATE NIGHT' was a good idea. I had spent all day making food, in between nappies and feeds and baths and fighting sleep.

I had made some slow cooked thing that I was gonna use in a pie of sorts, except I didn't have a pie tin, so I thought I'd make cornish roll over things instead.

That was the night I learned that pastry does not like hot fillings. Nope! In fact I would say they are mortal enemies. As I stuffed the pastry and folded it up and tried to slide it onto a baking tray the fucking thing shit itself. I was up to my elbows in pie filling and melted pastry. I was not best pleased.

I picked up the fucking lot and threw it at the wall, just in time for the husband to walk through the door and clean it all up.

It was a lesson well learned and the closest I have ever come to a food fight.

Chucking food about is a bit of a fantasy of mine, but this memory reminds me that it would have to take place somewhere else, where there would be people happy to clean up, cos that certainly would take the edge of the splattering joy.

What's your biggest disaster in the kitchen? 

Monday, 27 June 2016

The Philadelphia Chromosome by Jessica Wapner.

Science passed me by when I was 15 and though I studied Geography at UNI and so had a little look see at climate and geomorphology and biology and stuff like that, really what I know about science wouldn't cover a pin head. I am a science idiot!

So when I was diagnosed with CML (Chronic Myeloid  Leukemia) last november, I did what most idiots do and that was mostly as I was told. Well except that the Blood guy, Greg, wanted a bone marrow biopsy and I told him that he'd better stick his own hip out cos I wasn't going to. He admitted that the blood tests were almost as accurate so he settled on my NO and that was the start of a wonderful relationship. I would do as I was told until I wouldn't. Seems fair enough.

So I did some rudimentary research and found out about the mutant little suckers that were filling up my bone marrow and my blood and I took the meds and we have all watched as the numbers have fallen. Bloody wonderful bit of magic really.

Then by accident, I saw online this Jessica Wapner, chatting about her book about the development of the meds for CML and she seemed to be talking a language that even a science idiot could understand so I bought the book.

It's not fucking easy at all. A lot of time I have to read stuff twice and sometimes 3 times to decide if I need to read it again and do I really need to understand that bit at all. I am a quick reader, but this book is taking me for bloody ever - I am still only 68% through it, not that I am counting, but I am bloody counting.

When I was seeing the breast bloke in January for the annual laying on of hands, we of course discussed the new diagnosis - what fun! He said that I was lucky it was 2016, cos the turn of the century would have seen me dead lickerty-split and so he would have said no need to do any more mammograms, but as my luck would have it with the new meds, I had better make sure that I kept up with the boob shit and continue to take all reasonable health care and be mindful of buses. I figured he meant mammograms and to eat plenty of chocolate. So I will do that with a double scoop of caramel ice cream please.

It's all very well for people to make these little fly away remarks, but it wasn't until I started wading through 'The Philadelphia Chromosome' that it all became a bit more real.

The science behind the meds I take is long and complicated and careful and clever, more so even than when Meryl Streep was explaining to Ann Hathaway the origins or her blue synthetic jumper, in The Devil Wears Prada. Yep that's the parallel I can draw cos I am a science fool.

Brian Druker and all his mates, and there is a large possie of 'em have been bloody brilliant, bloody minded, blinkered and bleary eyed in their pursuit of the meds that will halt the development of the evil little suckers. No the meds at the moment will not CURE the CML but they can and do bring about a return to normal blood work and so normal life, and seriously, who's to say what the next few years will yield?

And whilst I am not even a tiny bit sciencey, I have always had a bit of blind faith that scientist will find a cure for whatever ails us or the planet. Soil erosion? Climate change? Infertility? Is your reef fucked? Well get some scientists on board and give them some cash and get out of their way.

Yeh I know some people prefer to pray to their god of choice, but me - well I'd rather support the science that might find a remedy for whatever is giving me the shits.  Horses for courses I call that.

Anyway if you have CML and an interest in science or don't mind getting bogged down in details that might see you reach for a dictionary, or if you just fancy a good look at how modern medications are researched and trialed and approved and the economics and politics of it all then maybe you'd fancy reading this book.

But please, if you are faster than me, and that will be just about everyone, please don't tell me how it ends, cos I want to find that out for myself.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Aerobic workout = domestic sweating = YUK

My laziness has been well documented. I will lie down instead of sit, I will sit instead of stand, I will stand and shout instead of walk and talk, I will walk instead of run, except I guess unless there is a fire and then I reckon I could get it moving and watch out if you are between me and the door cos you know how hard it is to stop a bulky object once it gets going. I will stack up shit  in my arms to precarious tottering and tilting, instead of making more than one trip- drives Stevie mad. Yeh stuff has spilt but more often than not I have made it intact and I reckon the welts on my hands from overloaded grocery bags toted from car to kitchen are worth the fewer trips.

I do not like sweating. I go beetroot red in the face, my eyes bug out, and look like I am mid way into a heart attack, long before a bead of sweat appears on my top lip.

Today I sweated!

Winter came today and the kids are due on Tuesday so I figured that I had best make up some beds and because of the chill that meant DOONAS.

Yeh fucking DOONAS!

I don't like blankets and that's a shame cos they are a hell-of-a-lot easier to manage, but they are boring and expensive and so I have discovered when I threw a small one in the washing machine and it came out as a felt square good only for a craft project, you can't wash 'em. So doonas - duvets or whatever you call 'em, that's what I have.

We don't need 'em here very often cos of the stinky heat and all, but for the week or so that is winter, it's good to drag 'em out.

There are a variety of TOGs - the Queenslander in me thinks that means something that you wear to the beach, but I have no idea what it really means, some are a good for mumma bear and pappa bear and baby bear too, except that I don't remember what the numbers mean so it's all a bit of luck of the draw. By the time I get it sorted summer will be back and I will just put 'em away to irritate me again next year. Yeh I told you I was lazy.

I have 'em all folded up in various cupboards and some of them are labelled with size and some are just freewheeling. And my linen cupboard is labelled with areas for various sized bedding - single, double, queen and king. Except that the dog sitter last time decided to relieve her boredom by re-organising the whole fucking house, so she re-folded the bedding and then popped it anywhere, so today when I was making up 3 different sized beds, I managed to drag out the wrong sized sheets again and again and only noticed after it was too late for this lazy cow to go back. So I have a double bed with a single top sheet and a king sized doona shoveled into a queen sized cover and 2 queen beds with the right sized sheets but with doonas shoved into the covers with tops to the side and so lumpy would be a reasonable description of how they look. FUCK.

I hate making beds.

If I was really wealthy I'd would pay someone to pop in everyday with clean beautiful sheets and other bedding and make up the beds. I do very much enjoy a well made bed. I love sliding into clean fresh sheets with just shaved legs - it's one of life's simple fabulous pleasures I reckon.

But I am not much fond of a bed with clumsy corners or less than flat, pulled tight sheets. This means that making the bloody things is a job in itself. Shit!

And to add to the facial glow, I needed to sort out the DOG issue.

She has taken to sleeping on my bed, instead of in her bed. I reckon she is missing her Dad and it might be that she is a little cold so is just slutting up to me for warmth. Anyway I noticed that the coverlet and the light doona had a Dog shaped grubby outline on 'em. So the machine has struggled through both of these today too. Those suckers are heavy when they are wet, so the face was glowing again.

But we are sorted now.

I found a little dark cloth to put on Dog's side of the bed so that maybe she won't smudge up the clean bedding too much, but the up side if she does is that I will be forced into stripping it all off again and maybe next time I will get it all flat and lovely.

Either that or it will be summer.

What is your least favourite domestic chore?

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Lazy 'n Easy Food and Opinions

As I waved goodbye to Him Indoors, I settled into 4 weeks of pleasing myself, and I reckon that might be a bit  of a dangerous habit to get into.

On his first night away I treated myself to a bowl of yoghurt for supper and then sank in front of the tellie, hand on remote and happily watched 3 shows at once. That flicky flicky flick flick really gives him the shits, but I hate suffering through the ads and sometimes I see the multi-view as an exercise in keeping the mind sharp, well the finger is sharp at least.

The next night I cooked myself some cheese potatoes and broccoli and baked mushrooms. Yep all very lovely and not a bit of meat in sight. I ate at silly old people o'clock cos that was when I was hungry and then plopped off to bed early.

The next day my frozen stuff from Lite 'n Easy arrived and I chucked something in the nuker and chewed it up. 9 minutes and no clean up or messing around, bloody wonderful.

Then there was some chicken Tikka. And that was ok, but I reckon the best part was the rice and the best part of that was the chick peas. Then last night I had spag bol.

I must admit that this was pretty shit. I looked at the ingredients, after I had shoveled it down of course and the fourth most abundant ingredient was ONION. So there was some tomatoes, some pasta, some mince and then a shit load of ONIONS. I don't much like onions and they really don't much like me.Yep I have been repeating this rather shitful experience all last night and still today. It's probably just as well I am living the single gal life, cos I have been farting up a methane cloud, and belching for Oz. If I order again I will have to ask 'em if they can tell me a dish that does not have onions or capsicum or chilli.

So as it's saturday, I might treat myself to some take away calamari and chips... well seriously you didn't think I was gonna actually get the pots a-rattling did you? But that will all depend on my state of mind come dinner time, cos traipsing across the park to the chippie is His job and I might not fancy it, so I might instead nuke something else from my Lazy 'n Easy box. We will have to wait and see.

Of course Dog is not best pleased with any of this cos there is very little in the way of left overs, and whilst she has happily licked and gummed her way almost right through the cardboard containers, it's not the same as getting to chew up a lump of steak or something with a delicious sauce. She's a Manu type Dog, 'Where's the Sauce?'

The wind wreaked havoc on the pool as the palm fronds and debris from next door flew right on in there, and most unusually I had to have a go cleaning that up. The fibrous stuff from the trees and the pool vacuum are mortal enemies and so three times today I have pulled the head thing out of the water and unclogged the wheelie things and then I emptied the overflow leaf thing and then got it all up and running again cos air had filled the system and the only way to fix it that I know of, is to tickle it and tickle it, on off and on off and on off - prossie's knickers come to mind. I am gonna have one more go this afternoon and hope that the wind fucks right off, cos I quite like the lazy-enjoy-looking-at-it approach, not so much the arse-up, head-down grunting approach.

And then there is the Brexit vote. Now hasn't that just been contentious. I understand that it has the world divided, but what I don't get is the meanness of it all.

I have been called stupid, racist, fearful and other stuff. That would be a pisser if anonymous opinions ruled my world, but as they don't, I just find it vaguely noteworthy. In the main part I have resisted the urge to comment back, cos I rather doubt it would do anything except to inflame the discussion.

It's a shame that these folk who are happy to criticise have seemingly forgotten that this is how democracy works, and if they would prefer a less democratic approach to life in general, well then I am happy that their wishes have been thwarted.

Better get back out the pool. I am trying to avoid the need to call someone in cos really it is just bone laziness that is between me and getting it right and I reckon the frozen food has used up just about all the laziness I am entitled to this week.

Friday, 24 June 2016


God knows I am not a financial genius, shit I don't even look at bank statements, so I could imagine there are people lined up around the block to question how it is that I even get to have a say in the UK referendum about the EU. I can see how lots of folk would question my right as an out and proud Aussie of financial idiot status but as it happens I did have the right and I used it.

For 7 years I worked in London schools and because I was there long enough and because I stumped up the cash and because I passed the entry exam, I was granted British citizenship. I had studied for the test cos I am a high achiever and didn't want to get any questions wrong and cos I didn't want to have to pay to sit it again. On the day, I admit to being a bit nervous. But pass it I did. 100% - what a smart arse huh? I was surprised that on the day there were all sorts of folk sitting the test, but not the same test, cos it came in as many different languages as there were participants, and I just thought that was a bit rich. Surely some basic language skills wasn't asking too much in exchange for a passport?

But I had become aware that being familiar with the language was not a requirement for anything much. In the school system, anyone from any country in the EU who had regional qualifications, whether or not they spoke English, were automatically able to apply for and get a job in the state school system. Aussies and Canadians and Kiwis and South Africans had to gain further qualifications in basic literacy, numeracy and IT shit before they could be employed for longer than a year. Their qualifications were also tested up the wazoo and I remember having to go back to my Uni from 1979 and beg for a transcript of my results and then again for my second turn at uni '92. The certificates were not sufficient. And fair enough too, cos it pays to be careful with the futures of your young people. But the EU did not encourage a level playing field, and I can say hand on heart that some of the language barriers and quite possibly the less rigorous qualifications did the British kids no favours. Oh sure there were shit teachers from OZ who were there for a jolly time but most did a pretty good job.

So this isn't a financial argument. It is a questioning of how long should a country continue to just do as it's told? The rules and regulations as far as I can tell, which as we have already established is not far, are just not in Britain's favour. The rules and regulations are designed to bring a 'sameness' to the whole of Europe, and if that means robbing Peter to pay Paul, well that's more than OK it's morally just and fair. Except that I don't think it is.

I don't think it's wrong for British people to wave their own flag. I reckon when the English fans are singing at Twickenham and waving the St George flag, and the same goes for the Welsh and the Scots and the Irish and as a union they can all proudly sing 'God Save the Queen', well that sense of national pride is something worth bottling. There should be absolutely zero shame involved in being proud of your country.

I don't want to see a homogeneous Europe. Countries aught to proudly wear their differences.

If poorer countries need help then they aught to ask for help, the EU should not mandate that those that have stuff need to give it to those that don't. 

The very mantra of 'FROM according to ability and TO according to need' is just tiresome and ineffective.

If the kid who brings a big hearty lunch to school every day, has it ripped from their grasp and it's handed over to some skinny hungry kid, then I can understand why the 'lucky' kid might  instead go home for lunch, or hide away until they've finished it. They might well be all too happy to share, but the sharing by force or dictate or mandate understandably will wear thin. And I reckon this is why the vote has come down in favour of leaving the EU. British people are just sick and tired of being told how to be and what to be and how much to give away and to whom.

No this is not a lefty position. No apologies for that.

I am sure that there will be great disagreement with this post. And that's OK, cos that's the beauty of a democracy, we all have a voice and a vote and today that comes out loudly in support of leaving the EU.


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Lite 'n Easy

Doesn't my freezer drawer look lovely? 

I was pretending that my ridiculous laziness today was due to playing the waiting game. I was waiting for my FOOD delivery.

The possibility of dragging something out of the freezer and nuking it for dinner for the next few weeks drew me to the Lite 'n Easy website. I have bought stuff from them before, but so long ago that I don't remember what it tasted like, and being the lazy in the kitchen cow I am, I just couldn't help myself.

It was to be delivered today and I had given them permission to pop it on the fence near the front gate if I wasn't home. 

BUT, since the WE MOW lunatic incident in the park when the crazy Council fella got all aggressive, little bits of irritation keep happening, like some fucker twice now has cut the wires from the little solar panels that were operating the garden lights and not happy with that destruction they then ripped 'em off the top of the fence and launched the panels back into my garden. Once - maybe some kids, but twice I am pretty sure that it's the fuckers who front up at silly o'clocks to whipper snipper down the parkside fence and then bugger off. This was the big finale threat from WE MOW. He and his boys were gonna make it their duty to irritate me with noise - my insomnia makes this all rather futile, but I suppose it keeps their tiny minds amused. And then there are the fuckers who keep posting tree branches through the letter box. The Council has finally put in some temporary CCTV cameras for security surveillance but I rather doubt they will let me see the faces of the people doing this stupid shit at my place. A shame really. I would like a sneaky little camera at the gate, but that is just getting altogether too paranoid isn't it?

Anyway, because of all this shit, I didn't want someone to steal it or tip the whole lot over the fence and make a big mess, cos after all, I was being truly lazy so why would I want to run the risk of making more work for myself?

So I stayed in all day waiting for a knock knock. 

Yeh... NO. Cos I said it was OK to leave it on the fence, that's where it was put, no knocking and lucky for me I got there before any damage was done. WHEEEW!

So that's the second bit of crossness I have swallowed down before I have eaten any food. The first required a definite 'suck it up princess' as I argued about the necessity to REGISTER and then leave on file my credit card details. What the very fuck is that about? But the girl on the phone didn't see the difference in the semantics of REGISTERING and USING, and I didn't want to cook and there is no Marks and Spencers food hall near by so REGISTER I did.

I bought 5 lunches and dinners. Yeh I am a fat cow, but mostly I am a LAZY cow, so if I manage to chomp up the food and not put any weight on in the next little while well that's all a bonus. 

I will let you know if the food passes muster.

What is your 'go to' lazy dinner?

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Boys' Jolly = What am I gonna do today?

Woof Woof Daddy!

Well I managed to stay awake long enough to drop the Boy at the airport last night. Lucky for us but not so much for the folk involved, that the smash on the M1 was south bound as we tootled up to Brisvegas. Their tail back was bloody dreadful, about 35km of standstill cars just trying to get home. People slowed for a look see cos they just can't help 'emselves I guess, but otherwise we made good time.

Checking in was a little fraught what with the cheap end of the plane ticket and a weight issue. He took out a jumper and a coat out of his carry on cos it was too heavy and when everything was all squared away we walked around to the bench seating and shoveled it back in. Obviously!

But it is no surprise that we were in a conundrum cos we knew that on the way back the baggage allowance is doubled, and we know this cos we have talked about bringing back a new cooktop as part of his checked baggage.

Anyway he juggled all the paperwork that usually sits in my handie and we settled in for a beer and a toasted sanga. I downed a diet coke to keep me awake, gotta love that caffeine. The sangas were truly shitful, could it really cost so much more to toast BOTH sides of the bloody things? I do wonder why they go out of their way to provide such rubbish food. They just could not possibly be so far in the red by making a proper snack.

While we choked down the food, it became clear that Stevie thought he was sitting in an exit row. I think he was a little shocked to realise just how much of a 'back of the plane' experience he was in for. As I am writing I imagine he will be descending into Abu Dhabi and I hope that it hasn't been too awful. I sent him a text saying that I hoped he was the only snorer on board.

Anyway, once in the Middle East, he is almost 'home', so I reckon he will make it, even if only just.

I said last night that I was very pleased NOT to be getting on the plane, cos it always takes some time and effort to get into a mood ready for flight, and as I wasn't going I hadn't bothered to find that sense of calm, and whilst flying is definitely not his favourite thing to do, Stevie manages it so much better than me, except for the boredom. That I can cope with easily, but it just makes him cross.

I pulled off the road as soon as I left the motorway to wish him a quick painless flight, but I missed the phone turn off by minutes. Bugger!

And then I was home with Dog who had gone a bit nutso as she watched the suitcase being popped into the car. It's a shame she doesn't speak perfect English, cos she just didn't understand when I told her I would be back. I think her abandonment issues rear their ugly head every time she sees a suitcase, poor sausage. She hadn't eaten her dinner and climbed into the car with me as soon as I opened the door for her. Her relief was palpable.

We shared a little yoghurt and watched some shit tellie and then fell exhausted into bed.

Cos her whole evening had been upturned and she hadn't eaten as and when is normal and cos of the anxiety, her system was a bit fucked and in the dark before 4am she let me know that she needed to use the facilities. It's delightfully chilly at that hour, delightful if you are snuggled up in bed, less so if you are wandering downstairs to let the dog out and then standing there wrapped only in a towel, waiting for her to finish up. Sometimes she is really fucking slow.

Back to bed and she decided that it was chilly enough to use me as a hot water bottle, she climbed in and didn't move except to shove me over a little and then a little more, until about 7.30am. Bloody lovely sleep in.

We shared an omelette at Avril's and now she is asleep on the couch, with nary a worry in the world. The radio is loud and I have cleaned and tidied and washed and folded and the usual shit is sorted. I did have to put on my superwoman cape to get the pool sorted cos the wild winds had brought down some palm fronds and shit that had all got wound up in the vacuum thing and it had stopped dead in its tracks, so there was a bit of water sploshed around but I didn't have to get naked and wet, and the debris was collected and ripped and then chucked out. It's purring away like a new one. Shit I am good.  

I haven't got many grand plans for my little Boy-free holiday, except to catch up with some girlies and entertain Zig for the hols. He wants to do some cooking. How bad could that be? He doesn't want to use a recipe and he can't cook and wants to do it on his own. Lucky I don't mind waste huh?

Here's hoping that Blighty's arms are wide for the return of her prodigal son.

What do you get up to when you are on your own?

Sunday, 19 June 2016

How Does Ita Buttrose tolerate it all?

Oh Dear! Horizontal LINES and a freckly chest and is that an adolescent pimple to boot?. Shit! 

I am not a morning TV kinda gal, which is a little surprising given the hours I spend stuffed into my chair eyes glued to the thing at other times during the day and night. I have never been a fan of all the noise and the hype and the bullshit with a side of Wheeties, and when my Girl was smaller than me there was enough to do to get us both out of the house with all we needed for the day without having to take a timeout for a bit more of the ol' square eye routine.

Back then, my days were filled with kids and noise and movement and my share of craziness, so perhaps I just wanted some calm to start the day. Ahhh a little bit of silence before the onslaught of 200 kids all bringing their own slice of  upset or joy. Reckon this is why the house was always pretty quiet for a while in the arvo too cos I needed a space to file away all that chaos.

Anyway the habit has stayed with me. I very rarely turn the tellie on in the morning, exceptions of course are world crisis news coverages, even though this is just on some loop of various lengths depending on the film footage available, and if I am doing the IRONING.

I used to mostly iron in the afternoons, perhaps because the tellie was better then or perhaps because I used as much imagination as possible dreaming up other things to do instead, and if I managed to dream up enough stuff then I could put it off altogether.

But now the mutant crunching Poison requires mostly morning activity cos the afternoons are for sleeping, or at least wandering in a bit of a daze, and I am sure that somewhere on the box the iron came in, it said, 'Do not to operate this equipment when under the influence of drugs', so yesterday with an Everest of Stevie's ironing needed for his London bag, the tellie was on for company.

Even on Saturdays there is panel bullshit morning TV - but I thought that would be better than saturday cartoons - are they even still a thing?

I just don't know how Ita manages it.

She sits in that studio with a bunch of folk with whom she seems to have a tenuous at best connection and she speaks words of wisdom. Her face never hides her reactions to the banal or the stupid or the PC bullshit. She's pretty honest I reckon.

And then to pay the bills Channel 10 pops in Jonno with some 'Infomercials'.

Yesterday Jonno buggered up the simple art of scrambling a couple of eggs in a frying pan so that dullards who are obviously even more drug affected than me, will fancy parting with 40 bucks to buy some container to shove shit in and cook in the nuker. The eggs it made, looked pale and anaemic and unappetising and I was pleased that I could not smell 'em cos I might well have lost my Special Ks.

I reckon Ita might have wanted to throw something at 'em both.  She knows that you can make scrambled eggs with any sort of extras in about the same amount of time as it takes the toaster to make the toast to go under 'em. Timing is everything!

Then there was some more newsy stuff and and then another 'infoshit'

It was for some shit to slop on your turkey neck to get rid of all those horrid horizontal lines. For fuck sake! It was just so much crappola, like the old fellas in the travelling circus selling snake oil or shit to make you taller or shorted or fatter or thinner or grow a penis or a smaller nose or whatever. The testimonial photos were clearly bullshit, doctored rubbish with before and after shots separated by megawatts of bold lighting and acres of thick thick makeup.

The panel desk can only be separated from the bullshit desk by a few metres.

I reckon if the camera operator had panned back to Ita, we might have been treated to some excellent footage of her really winding up ready to hurl the heaviest thing she could lift - perhaps the whole desk, cos she is invincible, right at those 2 fools carrying on about how ugly the natural signs of ageing are.

She is a fine looking older woman and I am sure she does make an effort to look the best she can, but she doesn't seem to want to look like she is 20, or even 30. She is happy in her own skin.  

I know she must rationalise that the commercials pay her wages and that without them she might have to apply for the pension, but I am certain that this shit would not be her choice.

Marketing gurus must sit and decide that the demographics of morning tellie watchers is old ugly stupid - nah brain dead, lazy, did I mention STUPID, wealthy women who are ironing and therefore not paying much attention, so they programme the ads for the most useless expensive shit for that time slot.

I wish they imagined pitching to Ita when they decided on the Ad formats, cos I reckon there would be a huge improvement in the pitch and the products.

What ads are giving you the shits?

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Last Minute Bits and Pieces

This bloke is doing so well juggling stuff while his nether regions swing close to the ground. Clever fella!

Him Indoors - AKA Stevie, is going back to London for a late birthday jolly, next Monday, and so there is a bit of a list of things that need to be ticked off before he goes. And today has been a ticking off sort of day.

There are 2 pretty big elections while he is away - the referendum about Britain leaving the EU and of course the Aussie National election.

I take voting pretty seriously. I know lots of people whinge cos it's compulsory and that gives 'em the shits, but I reckon if you don't vote then you don't get to whinge about stuff that goes on. No I don't enjoy walking the gauntlet of yokels thrusting paperwork at you, and I have not got much patience for the too often foolish and officious folk who's job it is to tick your name off. But today when we took off and voted in person early what was fun was trying to balance the Senate ballot on the strange little cardboard benches in the second or fifteenth hand voting boxes. The boxes were wonky and the paper long. There was just no way to read the whole of the ballot paper at once....be prepared - it is long! about a metre long. So we had a bit of a giggle about that as we discussed the whos and the whats without any concern that the overseers were gonna frog march us outta there for talking. They were all too busy having a chat with mates and other punters. Yep it is just a big old country market meet up here at the Goldie.

So then off to the Police Station to let 'em know that some girl with a 4 pronged name who had given NSW Police our address when they booked her near Dubbo, doesn't actually live here. She was being booked for not displaying her L plates, so I imagine she was a youngster. What is worrisome is the presumed ease with which she just rolled out our address. The Queensland Police computer could see that her last address was in Victoria and we were told to call the NSW Police, which I did. He really didn't give a shit. He said that I should just post the infringement notice back with an explanation. Ho Hum. At least the Queensland fella had a good look and went and asked his sergeant and looked us in the face as he said he wouldn't worry about it too much.

I am in fact not really worried that we will become embroiled in some sort of criminal activity, but identity fraud is a possibility. I don't expect to answer the gate to a burly drug lords brandishing a knife, but it wouldn't shock me to see someone racking up charges on my AmX account.

Steve worked through the NSW online system and let them know that the girlie doesn't live here and nor has she ever done. This was an extra cross off.

We got gas bottles filled cos in the middle of BBQing the steaks last night, the gas ran out...Isn't that always the way? Why does the bottle not fizzle out just as the steak hits the perfect medium rare?

We grabbed some extra virgin coconut oil from the health food shop. The Bioglan stuff I bought in Adelaide was all sort of lumpy with bits of coconut flesh and not pleasant to slather all over my now crepey skin so I was after some stuff for skin not cooking. People have been looking at me like I am more than a tiny bit crazy when I say I want to wear it not eat it.

And we ventured into a Chemist Warehouse twice where we managed to get some vitamins for Dog from the chemist. Am I the only person how goes into melt down in these shops? The aisles are narrow and the shelves are stacked high, anyway I just can't bare to be in there.

I rang the Vets chasing a quote for some treatments for Dog, and I fired off an email to the Grandie's Head Teacher suggesting that there be some rotation into and out of the composite class.

We mowed the grass and Stevie waved the blower around and has now popped off for the last of his needling before he gets on that plane.

We wound our way through the regulations involved in the British postal votes which arrived in the mail today. Yeh it was simple enough to put an x in the box of choice, but you had to fill in the outside envelope and pop you ballot into it and sticky tape it closed and then tuck the whole lot into another envelop and then you are meant to stick the correct postage on it and cross you fingers that between Oz post and Royal Mail that it gets there in time. We are lucky that Steve is gonna deliver them in person, cos I was not at all sure that faith in those systems would be well placed, so because of Stevie's junket, they will definitely be counted.

The pool water is chemically perfect after Stevie slopped in a bit of acid. Now I just get to enjoy the look of it while he's away. I suppose there is a small chance that Zig will bravely go where I sure am not going to, and if he does the water will not kill him.

And I still had time for a little zzzz off. It's not been hectic but quite productive.

It's impressive how many bits of nonsense you can get done in a day.

And yet that old saying of 'I don't know how I ever had time to work', was true today.

What is the most banal thing you do before you go on holidays? 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Open Letter to Primary School Principals

Image result for education qld logo

It will shock you to hear me admit that I am not a patient person especially when it comes to education and doubly especially when it comes to issues with my lovely Grandie. Yeh yeh yeh, I wasn't any more patient with issues around my girl's schooling either, but let's just live in the present shall we?

I am not one of those parents who is intimidated by, or afraid of, or in awe of Head teachers or in deed any teacher, so at the start of the school year when I found out that Zig's school had shoveled him into a composite year 5/6 class, the only composite class in the school, and in defiance of the school ethos about composites, I rang the Head Teacher.

I was not happy.

He began happily discussing things until I asked difficult questions, like, 'How were the kids selected? Did the teacher volunteer?' And then he rather oddly shut down and said that it was not proper that he was speaking to me, he should only be speaking to the parents. Ho very HUM. He couldn't speak to me but it was OK for me to run Drama workshops every week for a year, without ever having to show qualifications or a blue card, just because I was the grandmother.

I have never spoken to a teacher who is happy to teach a composite group.

I have never heard of a composite class where the educational or social needs of the different groups are equally well met.

So here's the update.

The teacher of the composite 5/6 class was away more than he was there for term 1.

The teacher of the composite class seems to be the school's Philosophy expert so is away to attend in-service and to deliver lessons to other classes. I can't help thinking that this was the trade off he negotiated when he was told to take the class. This may be a cynical view.

There are I think, about 25 kids in the class, only 9 of 'em are in year 6 and of those 9, only 3 of 'em are boys, and of those 3 boys, only one of 'em is friendly with Zig, and by that I mean the other boy and Zig, have a 6 year history of animosity that the school is more than aware of. How they both ended up in this group is anyone's guess.

The Head Teacher said that the year 5's are all very bright but he refused, as I said before, to explain how the year 6 kids were selected. One can only surmise that it was because the school predicted that these kid's parents would kick up the least fuss.

I believe, though do not know for certain as I am not in the class,  the 2 year levels do the same work, cover the same topics, spellings, maths, social studies etc, and I just don't know how that works when surely the subject matter and complexity of understanding must be sequential at this age level. If you read the criteria statements for assessment items it certainly implies that year 6s are expected to achieve different skills and levels of understanding and complexity of thought, ah but the year 5s are very bright, so maybe they are working on the year 6 criterias... I wonder what happens to 'em next year when they are all flung back into the main stream, only to be doing the same old things again. Either that or the year 6s are doing the year 5 work, who knows.

I do know that Zig does not do any homework and there is clearly no downside as a result, and neither does he feel he is missing out on any treats for doing well. He just doesn't do it, maybe it is not set. Maybe it's last year's and he's bored, maybe he's a little turd and needs to disciplined.

I do know that in spite of being told a number of times (teachers / head teacher) there are on going problems between Zig and this other boy which are escalating. Zig says the teachers don't notice.

I have been worried about this all year, and have tried to be sanguine about it admitting that everyone has to expect in the public system, that their kids are gonna have one shit year in primary school, and that it is just a shame that it happens to be Zig's last year there.

But there are intricacies that are now really troubling me.

The year 5s do NAPLAN testing and there are practice sessions too and for this the year 6s are farmed out to other classes.

The Year 5s are going on camp next week and so the year 6s are farmed out again. according to Zig,  'The 4 pretty girls go to one teacher, the 2 naughty girls go to someone else and the 3 boys go together.'

The preparation for the year 5 camp has clearly brought back memories of his own sad experience last year where he was always on his own. He sat on the bus on his own, he did not have a bunk buddy and while all the other kids paired up in the canoes he paddled on his own. He was ALONE. The teacher either didn't notice or didn't care. He is a shy kid. He doesn't easily play with other kids. Anyway this memory coupled with the fact that he has only 2 boys ( one of whom pulls his hair and puts shit on him and teases him and encourages all the class to laugh at him) to pal around with on camp cos all the other year 6 kids have already formed firm friendship groups, has now left him feeling very doubtful about going to the year 6 camp later in the year. He imagines he will be on the bus, all the way to Canberra, on his own and that will just be that start of the loneliness.

See I thought that a part of the Primary school experience was to teach kids to be social beings. Yeh they need to spell and add up and know about other stuff, but they should be taught how to interact with their peers, and this can only be done by practice and encouragement. With only one boy in his class to knock around with, how much can we expect Zig has learnt this year?

I realise that Zig can be a little smart arse, and I can just imagine that he has back chatted more than one teacher. He does not always tell the truth and can be sneaky about getting what he wants in the face of being told NO. My vision is not rose tinted.

But he is not certifiable, and he doesn't punch kids or intimidate them. I rather imagine that he is very much like every other shy kid. He needs to be coaxed into joining in. He needs to be fed the actual sentence to say when introducing himself. He needs attention to be paid. He is extremely confident in adult company but with children he needs some hand holding and really a little spoonful of that isn't asking too much during his primary schooling.

I am worried that without these social basics, he is gonna spend a very lonely time at high school, and for a clever kid to shrivel before being given the chance to thrive, that is a shame.

Shame on his school.
Shame on the Head Teacher.
Shame on the system.

Fingers firmly crossed that he will prevail in spite of, or to spite Holland Park SS.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Live Sport

It's THAT time again and the push is on.

Last season we were lucky enough to be at Twickenham for a number of the games and apart from a the dickhead who saw fit to try to intimidate me like he was in the real front row, instead of being some cock with too many beers under his belt, the atmosphere was wonderful. The singing and the good natured banter, and the fact that we could and did walk to and from the stadium all added to a fine experience.

The Poms, under Eddie Jones were out to redeem themselves and the Aussies as ever just wanted to throw the ball around and rub their oppositions' noses in the grime.

We hopped onto a train at Nerang and for no additional cost caught a train all the way into the big smoke. We had a beer with the young fella who stayed with us for a few days a while back and then caught a bus into Suncorp Stadium, where we followed the arrows to our seats even though it meant that we almost circumnavigated the place, Captain Cook would have been so proud. The lift wasn't working so we trooped up a gizillion steps and found our seats.

They were good.

We were amid a little pommie enclave which was fine.

Then all of a sudden there was this dickhead reving up another dickhead who tried and failed to engage the crowd to sing out 'Fe Fi Fo Fum' ...you know from that highbrow fairy tale, 'Jack and the Beanstalk' Blessed be that they left off 'I can smell the blood of an Englishman' and all this played out over the loud speakers and on the large screens, while the players were doing their warm up yoga on the field.

This chant for want of a better description was just such a lame try-on...England fans sing 'Sweet Chariot' and maybe that doesn't make any good sense either, but it does seem to be effective in channeling the fans' energy and the players willpower.

The Giant's cry was even played out on the bottom of the large screen during the game, presumably to get the crowd involved, except that they were WATCHING THE GAME LIVE cos that's why they paid their money.

So the gee up was a fantastic failure.

I suppose some committee had voted to add some music to the proceedings. They elected some masturbatory DJ who dusted off his collection of old CDs and cued up 10 or 12 seconds of some well known but not necessarily well loved tune and then they played it at high volume any fucking chance they got. Line outs, scrums, penalty kicks, kick offs, injuries, any time there was a brief break in play this thunder of shit music blared out. The same tune was not played, the choices were like those at a shit Karaoke night, you know where everyone picks something they think they might know the words to even if they have no chance of getting the high notes. The songs were not inspirational or energy charging, it seemed like they were chosen by committee from a selection which would not require royalties to be paid.

Well what the very fuck is that all about?

The fella next to us said that the music shit had been included in just about all live sport.

You can hear it a little on the tellie, but it is just so very 'in your face'  or ears at the grounds.

It truly gave me the shits.

I'd have liked a chance to discuss the penalty or the try or what ever but there was no chance of speaking over the din.

The Aussies lost and that was a shame. Stevie would say, 'The Poms won, Yippee!'

We walked out along with a 50000 others. Not all the exits were opened - not even close. What is that about?  Wouldn't you think it wise to let folk out as fast as possible? Why would anyone decided that it would be cool to funnel 50000 people out 2 exits when other exits exisited? Perhaps another committee decision.

It was pretty choatic.

We had little choice but to follow the crowd to Milton Rd Station, even though I fancied walking to Roma Street Station.

I managed to avoid a panic attack in the crowds cos Stevie insisted that I keep breathing.

We made the train, and then we ran and made the Goldie train. Yeh I said we RAN. I fucking RAN!

How lucky that we managed to get the express train! It only took us 90 minutes to get back to Nerang. I cannot remember being on a slower train, unless it was the one we caught back from the airport once, which stopped at every fucking station, no, that was not good through the jet lag haze.

I don't understand why the trains go so slowly. Yeh there are level crossings to be wary of, but in between times it just doesn't seem to pick up any speed. The trains seem modern enough and the rails don't seem to be hung together with spit and bobby pins, so why so slow?

Anyway, we arrived home at midnight. 4pm to midnight, now that's a long fucking time for a 80 minutes of rugby.

This morning I made pancakes and strawberries and Stevie got village coffees in and then we watched the game on the tellie.

Much better idea! No fucking music, no stairs, no crowds, no beer down your back, no shitful trains and more than $300 cheaper!

The old Lang Park brings instant smiles to my face, but I will not be back to Suncorp Stadium, at least not until that committee fucks off and someone decides that the punters are capable of entertaining themselves with thoughts of sport during the brief interludes of the game. Seriously someone should mention industrial deafness to that committee....ah maybe that's a good idea. Oh and it'd be cool if someone opened the fucking gates at the end of the game.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Do Overs

I don't know why the floor and the skirting boards look like that, but here is our chosen Girl.

I think I have unfortunately seen some shitting ad on the tellie for some reality 'Do-over' show and, no I do not want to watch it, but I do wonder if I had a magic wand what stuff I might have done differently. Cos god knows I am a gobby bitch and it could be that if just occasionally I had kept my gaping gob shut, life would be better.

I suppose I could have not said, 'You're a fucking liar' to the deputy at the school where I was doing my last ever contract. Yep I could have definitely sucked it up and bent over and taken it up the bum, so that she could have continued to feel all powerful, and so she might have daned to employ and exploit me again. And the upshot would have been that I would have developed an ulcer because of the unfairness and the lies, but the kids would have benefited, though there is no proof that me not being there did them any harm so maybe not.

And I have always been perhaps a little too brave with my fashion choices like the Bay City Roller pants I made to wear on a school excursion when I was 17. They were so much wider in the leg than were the fashionable store bought jobbies and I made them from such heavy fabric, that when I decided to go swimming in the little lake, fully clothed, just to give the teachers the shits, well I very nearly drowned as the pants filled up and sank down. Lucky that A. I was a good swimmer, and B. I didn't have to kick 'em off and climb out bare arsed, cos even at the ripe old age of 17 no-one really needed to see that.

It's true that many of the things I have fashioned tapping away at my sewing machine would not win any awards at the Aussie Designer awards, but I have learnt to stare down the many detractors and scoffers and fall about laughers, and now at 55 for the third time I really just don't give a shit what people think. It just doesn't factor into my choices at all. SO that can't be a bad thing can it? Well not for me anyway, cos apart from fleeting glances into a mirror I don't have to look at myself. That's for others to worry about and possibly agonise over.

I imagine that being forthright about problems with restaurant meals might well have seen a line up of kitchen staff falling about giggling as I chowed into their second attempt at dinner which hit the table with a dollop of their spit or piss for good measure, but as I have not been sick and generally the second go has been an improvement I reckon I must have come out ahead. I do wonder why people are happy to part with good money for bad food when a polite complaint so often sees a big improvement. My interest in yummy is greater than my fear of spit.

We could have chosen NOT to go with our Dog choice at the pound because she was not perfect. In fact she was more than a little flawed. Her back end was oopsie and she had abandonment issues, Now as she is getting on,  her hind bits are becoming more of a concern, but really we would have been far the poorer for not having our gorgeous girl in our lives for the last 7 years. She might have been a dodgy choice but certainly not one we would change with the hindsight chance of a do-over. She has brought us such joy and tears of laughter over her 7 lovely years and we are pretty sure that she has been a happy spoiled dog while she has been part of our family.

Of course stuff goes on that is truly shitful, but that is not through choice or active decision making and so sometimes it is necessary to get out your paddle and wade through the mire. Suck it up and just do it I reckon. And before you spend too much time lamenting your choices, spend time imagining what your losses would be had you not gone down your chosen path.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Jury Duty

The Green Eyed Monster has taken up residence in the Big House this week, cos Stevie is lucky enough to be a player in a John Grisham scenario. This of course does in no way parallel with his opinion of his week which he might best describe as a bloody nuisance and a waste of good golf weather.

But I am jealous. I would love to be called up to have a turn on a jury, especially if it was some murder or anything that involved CSI investigations.

I don't know how the process works. People who don't want to serve on a jury, seem to get called up with monotonous regularity and I have only ever been lucky once.

I was but a girl, living in Brisvegas and got the NOD letter. I sprinted into the court precinct in George Street and sat around waiting for my turn. I got close to those revered seats once but the 12 lucky sods were already in place before my name was called, so I didn't even have to go through the indignity of walking across the prosecution and defence tables for any sort of scrutiny. That was as close as I got. BUGGER.

So every day Stevie has checked at 5.30pm to see if his number was called for the following day and today was the day. Seriously I nearly choked on that green monster, but I got up and drove him to the Court House.

He doesn't do well with being bored. He can read a book quietly for a couple of hours but then he needs to 'DO' something, so I worried that he might end up on the wrong side of the system if he had to sit for too long. Texts went back and forward and finally I got one that said he was, 'On' Bloody lucky sod.

It was a Rape trial.

The jury selection proceeded pretty much as it does on the tellie or in a legal eagle novel, and unfortunately his name was not picked out of the lotto barrel.

He was dismissed for the day and so I went and picked him up.

It was all over bar the shouting before noon.

He was pleased that the trial was carrying on without him, but I would have been so disappointed, close but no cigar.

He isn't expecting to be called again.

I want to know how I can let the courts know that I want to be called up.

I could sit there for weeks at a time waiting my turn.

I would not hassle them with shit excuses about why I should be excused.

I would not argue with them about getting my transport refunded.

I would listen to evidence carefully.

And then I'd find that old shitting man who raped the young girl, GUILTY. Stinking turd! And if I was on the jury for the fucking swimmer in the States who raped the young woman who was out cold, I would shout 'GUILTY' and  look on incredulously as the Judge sentenced a rapist to just 6 months jail. Maybe that Judge has more in common with the swimmer's shitful father, who thinks rape is a euphemisim for '20 minutes action', because he has no daughters.

Yeh maybe that's why I am not called up.

Fuck it.

Monday, 6 June 2016

When is a sale not even a sale?

I have been buying my knicky-noos from Marks and Spencer for what seems like forever, and even though I now live back in Australia, once or twice a year I go online and they kindly deliver me a little package of exactly the same bits of cotton and lace fabric. Well for honest full disclosure, the package is not so little and neither are the bits of fabric mere whisps cos let's face it, it has to stretch over my rather substantial arse. But I have been buying the same stuff for years and have always been pleased with the reliability and sameness of it all.

Except that this last time the noos arrived and the fit wasn't quite as good - my arse and belly not quite as snug and comfortable as in years gone by. Yeh I know I could have piled on a bit, or maybe changed shape, so I persevered, until one day I happened to look down and see a big red ring around my middle and as it went ALL the way around, I knew it was not shingles related, even though it was the shingles that made me look in the first place.

I shimmied out of the noos and had a bit of a look see.

What I noticed was the waist elastic was very narrow, not quite sherring elastic but thinner than it used to be and the discomfort of the red raw rash shingles shit, was making it even more noticeably un-fucking-comfortable. It was as if I had tied a bit of string around my middle and pulled it tight. Ouchie!

I imagine that M&S must have saved a motza by reducing the width of the elastic even by a little smidge. Good luck to 'em I reckon, except that I won't be going back to buy anymore.

So I popped into Target to pick up some knickers that might be kinder on the rash and the felt like slapped bits.

I did not do well, so a couple of weeks ago I went to Myer to hunt out my old - long ago favourites and bugger me they were still there and so much the better, cos they were ON SALE - buy one pair and get the second pair half price!

So I bought 4 pairs. $19 plus 3x$9.50, and even with my rudimentary maths that is I think about $11.80 each. What a bargain! It might have been that the woman made a mistake and that she gave me the sale price on every pair after the first pair, but that was the price I paid. I have only just done this 'working out' as I am sitting here with a piece of paper and a pencil.

So I was at Myer again on the weekend and they are having their big end of financial year sale so I though I'd grab a few more pairs. Never could resist a sale!

The signs had changed.

Now ALL  the knickies were $14.....Big SALE! HUGE!

At the time I wasn't certain that my last week's purchase was cheaper and I didn't have a piece of paper or enough fingers to do the calculations, in the middle of the store, but I was pretty sure that that was more than I had paid a couple of days ago and so it wasn't so much a sale as a big load of signage bullshit.

I pointed out to the sale's woman, that I was pretty sure the noos were cheaper before they went on sale, and she said, 'You don't have to buy them.' Yeh she was right but I could have done without the snark.

My point is that just cos there is a sign saying SALE, doesn't mean that there is one.

This degree of let the buyer beware bullshit is very disappointing. After all, Myer big notes itself as being a world away from the third world markets where everyone is on the hustle. Unfortunately it seems,  the differentiation between souk and the Myer sale is pretty slim. At least at the markets there is good natured banter and a universal awareness that things are not always as they seem, that slight of hand is expected and if you do run out of fingers to do the maths then you are better off walking away.

Do be wary of the SALE signs at Myer.

Sunday, 5 June 2016


So yesterday I was 55 AGAIN.

Yep in real person numbers I am now 57, so that makes it the third time I have had my 55th birthday. I like this cos you know, it keeps your mind sharp doing all that complex maths as you get older, so I am not gonna get any older than 55 but I will of course keep a track of how many times I make it to that nice fat shaped - looks like me, number. See I reckon if I admit to being 60 when I get to 60, then I will expect to be that shape, and I don't want to be either 6 shaped or 0 shaped.

6 would be all bent over on the head and shoulders and I would have to get around looking like I was looking for spare change on the ground, and 0 shaped would mean that I had put on so much weight that I would have no neck or shoulders, I would just balloon out from the top of my head, and I am not sure I would give a shit about that except that I wouldn't know where to tie my scarf.

So 55 it is: plump bellied and looking straight ahead. The number 5 looks friendly and determined to me. I like it that's why I am sticking here.

For a very rare year it rained on my day. And not just a little pissy English misty rain, it bloody bucketed down. The tellie was calling it a 'Weather Event' and we all know just how much I can't stand that EVENT word, but in all honesty, EVENT perhaps was well used for yesterday's storm, mostly perhaps because it so very rarely rains like that in June.

The predictions were unusually accurate. All too often the authorities make a silly big deal of expected weather and people close up shop and move thousands of kilometres inland to avoid flood damage and the collapse of their roofs, only to find that a dog peeing in the street made more of an impact on the overall water levels, and that they could have more usefully used their umbrellas for sticking up wealthy passers by than keeping themselves dry.

Politicians too often carry on. And it must be good for the ratings cos the tellie covers it like it is the Armageddon.

A couple of tree branches came down in the park and apart from that no damage was done around here. My girl's friend's carport is a casualty but so far as I know that's about the worst of it.

I have been well and truly spoiled with parcels and wishes, and Stevie took me to a 7 course mini meal place for dinner - yeh I know it's called degustation, I just don't know how to spell it and and my spell check is not being helpful.

It was pretty bloody marvellous but the highlight was that I managed to have a couple of drinks and eat and  be merry and we had a little dance when we got home, and I was still vertical after 11pm which almost never happens these days.

I wont mind in the least bit being 55 again next year.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Boys vs Girl, Males vs Females, Culture vs Biology

Tuesday is Brisvegas day, and I love it.

I get to spend time with my girl and her boy and watch 'em play and fight and just generally get on with things.

I don't remember much fighting going on when Belly was a girl and that might be because I am wearing my rose coloured glasses now I am older or it might be that we had 2 girlie brains in the house and so had more compatible ways of doing things and areas of interest and all that stuff, or it could be that I have just forgotten, ho hum, the result of old gal brain.

So yesterday my Lovely Boy said, 'Teachers always give girls an easier time. They listen if the girl has a little scratch but they tell boys to harden up.' And then he said that he and a girl finished a task quickly and the teacher gave them some tables to write out. She got 3 lots and he got all 12.

Now that all sounds like a punishment either way, but the ways of primary teaching are foreign to me.

I asked him why he thought that had happened and firstly he decided it was because she was a girl, and he was a boy.

We talked about whether not there might be other reasons.

She writes more slowly and neatly.
She knows her times tables better than him and so needs less practice.
He knows his better than her so would be faster than her.
He was likely to get up to mischief when he was finished so the teacher wanted to keep him busy.

Who the fuck really knows the reason, maybe the teacher just spat out the first thing he thought of to each of them, unaware that they were keeping score, maybe Zig had given him the shits and he wanted to punish him without putting him on detention, or maybe the kids got it wrong altogether or the girl just told a bitchie lie. It doesn't matter a damn.

What is interesting is the discussion we had about how differently girls and boys are treated.

If you google gender differences, the smarty-pants of the research world have plenty to say.

**The Male and Female brains are the same - Cultural v Biological - we make 'em different cos of the way we treat 'em.

**The brains are physiologically remarkably different and this means that girls are good at words and boys are good at maths.

I am not a scientist.

But I will say that the way I managed an English class of 30 year 9 boys was so far removed from the way I managed the class of 30 year 9 girls.

The furniture was stacked up for the boys. They liked to be on the floor and moving around and when they got rambunctious which they did a lot, they took turns running around outside. Their problem solving happened physically and in a great hurry as the timer counted down. They were competitive particularly against the clock. From the outside it probably looked pretty chaotic, but there was good stuff going on. So long as I didn't expect them to sit on their bums for 90 minutes and keep quiet and write neat little notes and do plans for group work, they did well and I didn't go too nuts. Perhaps because I can easily read a map and still know my times tables, our brains were simpatico.

The girls I had more trouble with. . They happily sat on their bums and chattered and pointed at each other and me and were just bloody mean to each other and ME. They lied and cajoled and did nothing in class, but handed in stuff finished at home, so authenticity was always a worry. They competed for attention, not mine of course, but the meanest coolest girl's. It didn't matter what I tried they just turned on me. They were hideous. Wouldn't you think if the common brain theory is correct that I would have been able to second guess 'em, but I failed, spectacularly and completely. Perhaps my brain is just not female enough for a group of year 9 girls. This possibility does not upset me.

I don't want to spend time chopping up brains or doing phsycho cultural nurture testing to discover the truth, but I do find it interesting.