Archives for posts with tag: family

There’s a show I watch, one that I love, but that Fitty cannot stand. It’s produced and filmed in Canada, and it’s all about a series of home-owners choosing whether to stay in their unsuitable “bought it on a whim 10 years ago” homes, and have a Designer renovate their house to suit their current lifestyle or at the same time, a competing Realtor shows the family homes that suit them right now – no reno required.

The key here is the renovation – sometimes the Designer does such a good job the home-owners fall in love with their old home all over again and choose to “love it” rather than “list it”.

There’s a list of must-haves for both the renovation and for the new home. The show follows the same plot line each episode. *Gasp* the budget is too small for the list! *Gulp* the new home is out of the preferred area!

The other shit thing about the show is the simulated hatred and competition between the Realtor and the Designer, but I deal because I love the home transformations. Fitty can’t deal with any of it, but will sit beside me and watch it seething and making irritating comments the whole time.

Anyway, this show has got me thinking…what if there was a show….

“Love It or List It – My Life”

Must-haves to stay in my life:

  • A Nice Boss:  Having lived with Fitty for 10 years, I’d say shock was an understatement of the feeling I had when I finally met the man who inhabits his body 9 – 5. Brat, Dick-face, Prince of Darkness – a few names that would suit his work persona nicely.
  • A smaller ass: One of the secret symptoms of giving up smoking is that your ass enlarges. (If you add in the menopausal stomach augmentation commonly experienced by women in my age group), you soon find you can no longer fit into your clothing! It would be nice to have the ass I had prior to giving up smoking. It’s not like I’m doing anything *stuffs chocolate slice in mouth* to cause the expansion of my middle region, *eats bowl of peanuts*  I just can’t understand the weight gain at all? *inhales bag of chips*
  • A sister-wife: I do  try to keep the house clean, it’s just that by the time I’ve endured a 40 hour work week with Fitty, the last thing I want to do all weekend is hang around the house (with him) doing the housework! I’d much prefer to visit friends/family/woodland animals, or go to the movies with Magoo. A sister-wife would be a friend and a handy helper at home. I see her washing, cooking, cleaning, and playing with my hair!

Must-haves to buy new life:

  • A Palace of Gleaming Surfaces: Plus a family with put-away skills that would blow your mind! Nobody would leave anything anywhere and everyone would shit bubblegum scented rainbows. I tire of the routine scolding and teaching of people who are too old to still be learning how to put things away and look after their own stuff.
  • A 10 Hour Work Week:  I love my job, but I reckon if I cut away all the bullshit hours I spend tidying up after the toddler (Fitty), arguing that I am in fact RIGHT and giggling over stupid shit, I could do the work I need to get done in a couple of hours a day. Then I could get back to the important aspects of my menopause healing like retail therapy and remedial sleep treatment.
  • Total Remote Control: No more News Marathons, no more four straight hours of science, or watching the dude from Ancient Aliens justifying his research grant. No more Mythbusters, Air Crash Investigation or random world current affairs. No more “Ways to Hate Donald Trump” on CNN! A little of the above is fine, but you can’t constantly watch serious. It kills your soul.

 

Related Fun – Because he was initially terrified I would actually sign my work emails “Boomshanka”, or tell jokes to the clients, Fitty used to make me read emails to him before I sent them. (Okay, yes I may have definitely created this problem for myself by repeatedly threatening to punk the clients and by always whispering “Boomshanka” at the end of his dictated emails.)

One day at work, I was reading an email to Fitty, (As I read the words ‘new home’ Fitty the Satanic Boss shrieks, “This isn’t some flowery Canadian Reno show ya know, this is a Business!  Call. It. A. Dwelling!” God help us if some non robot-like humanity sneaks into our work correspondence!

I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. He can be such a funny fucker at work, but most of the time I just want to staple his lips together with the industrial stapler…

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Have you ever been so busy and exhausted that you couldn’t afford to stop for a moment? Have you ever spent all the hours of every day with your true love? Have you started a challenging new job in the midst of  a menopausal-nightmare of hot sweats and anxiety?

Did I mention hosting two Christmas functions, my son’s 21st birthday, a 12 hour wedding shoot, and a freaking ‘Santa Photo’ job, in the midst of that?

Living. The. Dream.

Fitty’s parents always go away together for Christmas, so we plan a special Christmas on a date that suits family members (either the weekend before or after the 25th).  It’s a great plan for getting everyone together for Christmas regardless of the actual date but.. every year?

Two Christmases.

MIL and I had established the date months earlier, me forgetting at the time that the Saturday before Christmas was the very same day as 5’s 21st birthday. So we did both on the same sweltering hot day. At the time we made the date, I also wasn’t working at all back then, so had no idea what December had in store for us!

It’s typical for Fitty to book a band gig on one of our birthday’s, or a rehearsal on the day we’re supposed to visit folks. He’s got too many hobbies, and we frequently have to save him from himself when it comes to agreeing to do stuff – then spending 5 nights a week doing the stuff, and complaining bitterly that we are all doing no stuff.

That’s because you agree to do the stuff, dick!

Not content with keeping my weekday’s busy at the office,  Fitty had also agreed to photograph a wedding one Saturday in December, and taken a phone call at some stage about doing “Santa Photos” locally. When I overheard the Santa plan I immediately started shrieking at the top of my lungs about how busy we were going to be for the couple of weeks before Christmas..

“I love you,” I spy camera equipment over his shoulder, “but I fail to understand how I can so deeply and thoroughly despise you at the same time.”

I’m receiving a crash course in photography. Fitty needs a back up for the “girly bits” of the wedding, and to increase the balance and variety of the shots. Fitty insists I learn about apertures, and focus and shit. I insist I can point the camera (set on auto), and shoot – so shut up and go away.

In the end I get both a crash course, and an argument.

“If you make this too technical I will shut down and refuse. Stop talking about exposure, we covered that yesterday, and I still don’t understand so just give up okay? Why is this so heavy? Where’s the little lens you had on it yesterday? This heavy thing will break my wrist, and I’ll be drooping on the ground with it! Do you want all the pictures to be of feet?”

Was going to the wedding anyway – had no idea I’d be seeing it through the lens of a camera! Had even less idea I would throw myself into the task so thoroughly that I would forget I am a cripple and start crawling around on the beach on my knees, looking for perfect light and framing. Up and down on the sand I sprang, snapping the bridesmaid’s as they walked onto the beach, the bride, the ceremony. Never for a second imagining that I wouldn’t be able to walk for four days afterwards…

It was thoroughly good shit. I’ve never had every single guest at a wedding smile at me so winningly every time I walked by with the camera in hand.

The bride was 4’s long time childhood friend, which meant a flying visit from 4 – in which she impressed upon her father and I, how much growing up she’s done since she moved away. There was no shred of apprehension as she managed the task of “Bridesmaid and Beyond”. She was her usual dynamic-creative self, and she managed so many tasks that were exquisitely and joyfully undertaken.

In some quieter moments at home, she helped me to untangle my frustration with her father, his ability to overload his schedule, resulting in the need to ask for my help. She unpacked him in two seconds flat..

4  –  “Don’t help him.”

Me – “But then he will fail?”

4  – “Let him fail – it’s the only way he’ll learn.”

This is why I love 4, she is way more grown up than us.

With the wedding over, I spent Sunday screaming in silent agony every time I had to use my legs. Excruciating pain. (*Note to self, never knee-walk in sand again.) Wished solidly for one of those stair-chair-lift thingies to whiz me up and down the stairs because I had to wash clothes, and do the housework with two solid clumps of ouch hanging from my hips.

In the days leading up to 1st Christmas, I tidied up every loose bit of crap that wasn’t nailed down, putting away most of the clutter left from redecorating. Created a sleek looking space with clean, dust free surfaces. I was inspired by some minimalist Christmas decorations.

How to Stick Tree: See stick tree on Facebook. Think “I can do that”. Rope in help from 7. Avoid tick bites while collecting huge pile of sticks from undergrowth. Drive Pooh dog crazy with huge pile of sticks. (Pooh dog love sticks.) Move sticks upstairs to outdoor area away from dog who is screaming at sticks. Notice vine curling naturally around one of  sticks. 7 agrees this is a beautiful thing – this vine wrapping naturally around the stick. Go back into the undergrowth to find more “special vine wrapped natural renewable Christmas tree sticks” with 7. Dump 3 kilos of ugly sticks back in bush. After several minutes of listening to 7 complain about the lack of beautiful sticks with vine in her search area – find perfect stash of vine sticks. Lug sticks upstairs, tell dog she is a whiner. Tell 7 she is a whiner. Gain complete control of the project and don’t let 7 touch anything until I am ready to let her help me saw the sticks. Get a ruler? Fuck the ruler. Guess. Cut stick lengths with 7’s exceptional saw skills. Praise 7’s saw skills!  Hastily tack string in a tree shape on back of sticks after laying out in order of size. Pick up top stick and hold your breath??? When nothing breaks scream at Fitty to put some fixings on the wall to hold up your stick tree. Spend way too much time decorating the sticks. Notice how much extra space you have with no big pine tree looming out of the wall. Be grateful for your sticks. Be smug about your tree.

A few days later I walked in late one evening after picking up one of the kids from work, and 50% of the living room was full of photographic gear. Two studio lights with reflective umbrellas, two tripods (for each), two cameras on huge tripods of their own, and all the associated bags and cases.

“You’re a fucking maniac, I can’t believe you’ve done this. When am I supposed to cook and clean with all this?  What are you doing with all the bullshit and batteries on the table? If you ever do this again I swear to God…!”

Remember the Santa shoot that I was shrieking my head off about? Because ridiculous timing?

He’s taken the job. Against my advice. He’s set up in the middle of the room to work out how the Santa shoot will work. At this point in time I am so sick of him I could spontaneously burst into flame. Flame with intent.

– I go, I help, I do the freakin Santa shoot! I take the names, and the money, the orders for the pictures. I am the happiest fucking elf in the Kingdom of Santa.

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Fuck you this IS my happy face.

Fortunately for me, the Kingdom of Santa was set up in my favourite furniture shop. I have purchased whole rooms in this store! In between helping Fitty snap kids – in varying degrees of distress – being forced to sit on a bearded red man’s knee – and be flash-blinded by space lights, I managed to take several laps of the stock, finding many things to my liking. At the time, I’m thinking – the money Fitty makes from the pictures, pretty much matches the amount of money I’m willing to spend right now in the store!!  And that’s how Karma works.

1st Christmas occurred on the hottest day ever. Cheese melted! We did manage to have a lovely family day, despite the heat. I made 2 huge batches of everything, one for lunch and one for the 21st, so it worked out incredibly well in terms of catering, and provided endless fun playing  fridge Tetris with all the food!

My kid’s 21st birthday’s are celebrated in their father’s paddock with loud music blaring until morning. This is a family tradition. Fitty and I sleep on a mattress in the back of our car like all the kids do, (because drunk and really comfortable anyway).

This is the first time the Police haven’t shown up at 3am telling the kids to turn down the music. My kids like their music loud. This is why they have parties on their dad’s  property out of town. I spend every minute after midnight turning down the volume of the music myself, or nagging a kid to turn down the volume. Because I don’t want to have to visit with the Police about the noise.

I was impressed by 5’s friends, an incredible bunch of  young people, even though they look like a bunch of  new-age smelly hippy children! These were great friends with long histories – everybody laughed and had fun all night, despite the searing heat of the evening.  Apart from the need to destroy each others ear drums with loud techno-bullshit music, I have no complaints about my son’s choice of friends.

When I stuck my head out of the car window at 7am the next morning, (having passed out from drinking sheer exhaustion around 3am), the music was blaring and a few scraggly drunks were staggering around still pretending to be human. These kids were drunk and tired enough to cheer “oooiiiiiieeee” just because I had woken up. A more realistic shout of “here comes trouble” from one as I moved deliberately toward the volume control. I cut the music right down to a mystical hum and crept toward the coffee…

Fitty and I worked together irritably until social events and work responsibilities blurred together. That’s how I spent the lead up to our Christmas holidays – I was irrational and emotional when I was awake .

2nd Christmas (the 25th), was much cooler, more casual, with an air of “didn’t we do this just a week ago?” about it.

Fitty and I got drunk together into the late afternoon, (when all the kids had gone), and I realised something. “Fitty! I’m sick of your face!” I said. “For the last 8 weeks or so, I have spent almost every minute of my life either next to you at work, in the car, at the meal table, in the kitchen, with your camera’s and so on, sleeping next to you…”

He looks at me and says “get over yourself will ya?” And with that we retire to bed and eat a box of Belgian Biscuits.

Now, on the first day of 2016,  we sit on the balcony in the cool breeze watching the lake, hearing the sounds of the bush, soaking in the peace. The water is calm here.

We have had all the people we love around us constantly, helping, supporting, there’s much to be thankful for coming into the new year…

A new year which began, I might add, with Fitty awakening, poking his head straight around the doorway to observe me tapping away at the keyboard, the wild look in his eye announcing his intention to crack a really bad joke: “MORNING! I’ve only been happy for ONE minute this year!”

Wait until he reads this?

It’s gonna be a long New Year’s Day people!

 

Many years ago in a math class, I told my teacher the following statement during a lesson on Pythagoras, “I will not need Pythagoras, (or his Theory), in order to fold nappies!”

This – at the end of a long argument between he and I about whether or not I really needed to learn mathematics. I’d have to say that my obnoxious comment was spur of the moment. I was willing to say anything to get out of learning maths.

At that point in my life, I could make change from a note, do basic maths fairly quickly in my head and had no desire to learn the relationship between letter’s and number’s in algebra, (or formulas for working out the area of a triangle.)

To this day I have no clue about algebra? (I once tried to do some very basic algebra homework for 5 and I got every single sum wrong.) I wasn’t surprised at all – I just don’t get why the alphabet had to get all up in maths’ face in the first place?

I did need some mathematics in my life in order to bring home money, but it was the kind of math I was already good at, so for years I convinced myself that I was right, (Mick Green – math’s teacher to the clueless – could eat my shorts!)

I have no ambitions to be clever beyond stringing words together in a fashion which promotes people to want to read them.

I never have had any real career aspirations, just a desire to  earn enough money to eat, wear clothing and occasionally get legless drunk….

Don’t think I wasn’t interested in learning, my intolerance belonged only to maths. I was a very keen history and English student, and science was fascinating for many reasons – I’m still hooked on reading, learning, taking in facts.

So – now you have a credible history of my feeling’s toward anything remotely hard to do with numeracy, you can completely commiserate with me about the following….

Work is Hard.

I’ve had to use my brain in my previous jobs a few times over the years, (not much.) Getting people pissed is not rocket science – mostly I pulled beers and processed sports and racing bets through a machine that did all the hard work for me. I spent time working with Poker Machine’s and paying people a tiny percentage of their money back. (Maths, see?)

I work efficiently and very quickly. Like someone on crack – which works behind a busy bar, but doesn’t translate to the office environment.

I haven’t worked in an office since I was pregnant with 3, back when we did everything on paper/ in ledgers/ on typewriters. I have just started working in a 2015 office…

I am like a dolphin in a sandpit.

There’s that, and then there’s the nature of the business – Building Design is what “they” do.”They” being Fitty and his father, (let’s call him FIL, as we do here in blog-land when referring to our father’s-in-law.)

When I agreed to “help out at the office”, I thought along these lines; filing, data entry, emails, answering phones, being friendly to the clients, being cheerful, cleaning up, wandering around the street “getting the mail” etc. (I find it hilarious every day when I go to the Post Office to get the mail and see all the other office-bots!)

When I first started “work”, I sat beside Fitty learning how he does what he does. I cleaned the office areas I could get to, made cups of *gender stereo-fucking-typical* coffee, ate cake and made numerous funny references about Fitty and I working together, (which cracked us both up.) Fitty is Satan at work, but those first few days were pretty smooth nonetheless.

Week two saw me sitting at FIL’s desk learning about what he does...

Now in the ten years Fitty and I have been an actual “thing”, I have enjoyed FIL’s company – we share a love of bottles.

Bottles with wine in them.

We have polite conversations about the children, Fitty, the house renovations etc. Not once have I let on that I am Stephen Hawking level intelligent! In fact, FIL once jokingly called me out on incompetently made toast at a family breakfast!

I cannot fathom the amount of confidence he has in me to even ask me to do some of the things he expects me to do in his office?

FIL stands there speaking to me like this: “Can you get the <insert acronym for yet another form/standard/requirement>” that I don’t yet understand, so speaking in capital letters is not really helpful?

I’m just standing there like ——-? Wot?

But I go, and I get the forms, and I pretend to fill them out, and then I ask him to check them, and lo and behold?  I get a bit wrong, because I am not a building designer with a college education who has been doing this since Jesus was a baby!!

His expectations are like, high!

My anxiety is flourishing in this environment.

Fitty thinks it’s funny, because he has been dealing with wavering level’s of my anxiety since the beginning of time our friendship 30 years ago, but let’s just ask my sick to the stomach, non-stop hot flushing, sweaty-panicky-heart-racing body if it’s funny Fitty?

“You’re doing great!”

Nope. I’m not. I’m holding my head above water. I’m learning on my own curve, which is not even close to the curve Fitty and FIL can achieve or expect, but it’s a start. Ya know?

“I know what I’m doing! It feels awesome!”

Some days I feel like that – then FIL asks me to establish things like – area, lot size, dimension’s, square root’s, finding the scale, figuring out the directions/slope/lay of the land – that’s MATHS!

Fucking hell people!! It’s like every time I identify or admit a weakness, Fitty will lure me into a situation where I have to step up and face it, or humiliate myself.

I hates him right now. (But only at the office), as evidenced the other afternoon where the process of walking out of the office door together changed our dialogue from “fuck I hate you“, sticking his foot out at the bottom of the stairs threatening to trip me – to us both bursting into loud laughter as we passed into the afternoon sunshine on our way home where we immediately fell into giggling and cuddles on the bed!

I don’t know how I’m able to put up with his stress-driven snappiness at work, but so far I just imagine smacking him and it’s working. I have not yet accepted the fact that me being gullible enough to “help out at the office” has resulted in a full time 9 – 5  actual “Job”.

Cool for me huh?

Fitty thinks I should end this blog with something hopeful like, “one day this dolphin will cease to feel like it’s flopping around in a pit of sand and fly gracefully through the waters”, but I snorted and said it would be more realistic to end it like this:

One day I might cease to feel like a dolphin in a sandpit and instead feel like a slightly overweight walrus flopping onto a rock saying with an exhausted sigh… “made it!”

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Nathan Edwards / Newspix via Rex USA

 

 

 

 

 

I have to admit, there’s nothing quite like realising you have absolutely no fucking idea who you are anymore.

I think one of the best places to start to explain this is with a vague branch of “Criminal Law Science”- that of handwriting profiling or analysis.

I’ve always known something was up with my handwriting. Doing cursive or even printing required so much concentration to keep all the letters conforming to those around them.

I could start out a paragraph sloping forward with my letters, and by midway the letters would be leaning backward, or standing straight up. There was nothing wrong with my word formation, I knew which letters I wanted ahead of time, and knew how to form them, but the act of doing so was difficult and often my hand would run away with itself and create a sloppy looking text with letters that were awkwardly different from each other in style. A fat “d” followed by a pointy slash of a “y”. Circles and triangles and thick lines and elegant curvy loops.

I’ve largely ignored the problem since I learned to type in high school. (I learned to type on a manual typewriter with a ribbon, like Steven King’s Paul in “Misery”, and I’d love to be typing on one now, just for fun.)

The thrill of flinging that return arm across during the class speed-typing test!

So my point is, if I believe what the FBI says about handwriting analysis, I’m probably a criminal and most certainly have more than one personality.

I’m just too damned inconsistent to trust – lock me up – prob’s gonna go postal at some point.

At the other end of the spectrum is my suspicion that my problem is physical, caused by Magoo or an older sibling crushing my hand in an attempt to control my habit of sprinting into danger.

I once jumped out of the car, and ran full speed to the edge of the swimming hole in which my parent’s planned to take the family swimming. As a four year old non-swimmer I probably should have stopped there instead of jumping in to the deep water.

The car was still running, Magoo still undoing her seat-belt as I sunk slowly to the bottom, looking up through the crystal clear water.

Suddenly Princess appeared at the edge! Looking down at me with that same look she always had for me –

“You fucking spastic…”  she told me with her eyes, as she leaped, shaping her long elegant limb’s into a perfect safety jump and dragging me up out of the water.

Whatever the reason, my handwriting is suspect and 9 out of 10 FBI agents would shoot me on sight as a preventative measure.

For now I don’t think about that. Sometimes I imagine some random picking up a birthday card I have meticulously printed and smudged with fucking ink, thinking what a great effort some five year old has put into printing the card…

So this obviously relates back to me not really knowing who I am, right?

As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about all the “Magooism’s” that have shaped my beliefs. Magoo is one of the many wonders of the world, baffling her children time and time again with her radical dives from far right into ridiculously left territory.

She is grey matter. There is no end to the convoluted logic that shapes her thinking. You cannot win. You will not win. You may as well just live with it and enjoy the good times? Luckily Magoo has the ability to laugh at herself, but only if she gets the joke, don’t even bother with sophisticated wit, she will eat you.

So Magoo believes that women her daughter’s are basically tarts who enjoy sex too much. (Women didn’t enjoy sex back in her day, they used it as commerce to get the lawn mowed and the garage cleaned out.) If you enjoy sex there must be something wrong with you, she didn’t raise any of her daughter’s to enjoy sex, and how dare we?

This from the woman who once held up seven fingers when I boldly asked her “..when was the last time you and dad had, you know….. sex?”

“7 months?” I said, incredulous that it had been that long, but then, as a young teenager, I knew their marriage was in trouble, and I considered that to be about right.

Shakes her head, “no”.

Turns out the dirty mongrel’s had been at it just seven minutes before I arrived home.

I reckon I get my honest nature from Magoo, I’ll give her that, she’s mostly very open and honest with me. (If it suits her. I’m sure you can see the enigma I grew up trying to understand?)

You can’t dress like a tart, you have to be charming and elegant and only wear colours that don’t make you look “sallow”. “Sallow” is Magoo’s favourite colour. She will tell me I look sallow all the time if I don’t stick to the colours she knows suit me.

You can’t be a slut. Only virgin’s can live a virtuous life and find a good man to marry.

Thanks to the Universe for providing me with my father, who took one look at Magoo’s stunning beauty, disregarded her inability to settle in one place, disregarded her many complexes and insecurities, and continued to disregard her until well into his later years when he finally admitted he might have paid her more attention if she hadn’t whined so damn much.

I think Magoo whined so damn much, because he always had his head stuck in a book and a haze of cigarette smoke clouding around his head – which pretty much describes who I grew up to be. “Smokehead Bookpants.”

He also had some fairly liberal views on human sexual relations. He talked about the fact that women in different cultures are sometimes brought up to value their sexuality and that the onset of menstruation was seen as an indicator of sexual maturity. Which meant that I was already “sexually mature” in some cultures, both ancient and modern.

He told me that our cultural evolution had shaped social behaviour in a way that made it difficult for a young girl to experience all the feeling’s of puberty, and observe the rules of her society at the same time. (My dad was a lot like Fitty is now, in that if you ask a question, you are going to get four hours of answer!)

My dad was brilliant, and not a month goes by when I don’t wish I could phone him and run a problem by him just one more time to hear his three point response.

  • What he would do?
  • What you will probably do?
  • What a complete dickhead would do?

It was genius, and you always knew what to do by the time he ran through his points! Of course sometimes I did what the dickhead would do… that’s why we do “teenager” isn’t it? To learn how to not dickhead?

I’m now a couple of year’s shy of my 50th birthday. Probably time to figure out that what my parents did or didn’t do, or said or didn’t say really has nothing whatsoever to do with the person I am capable of being now.

It’s amazing how many people who are around my age are having similar thoughts. Looking backwards for the answer to today’s issues or problems.

So to sum up, basically I believe that the opposing personalities of Magoo, added to the intelligent and thoughtful way Dad “adjusted” her theories, has resulted in me growing up with two complete sets of ideologies constantly asking each other “Are you for fucking real?” – As evidenced in my handwriting!

– Just your common garden variety confused person, who’d really like some more time to think about why I forgot to think for myself for around forty years, and does red really make me look sallow?

I talk a lot about procrastination, but there is an exception to my need to prolong tasks, and that is when I get a creatively-crafty idea that humours me.

Inexplicable desires to create explode in my brain, causing me to cease all other activity and research said idea. If things are looking good at budget/wise.com I’m gone quicker than you can say “what the fuck are you up to now..?”

I have had so many unfavorable flashes of fantasy! Like that time I spent a whole day stuffing pantyhose with newspaper so I could go to a fancy dress party as a spider. I even sewed all the eyes on a headband and wandered blindly around all night with 8 arms wildly waving and a headband over one eye.

Fitty knows.. He puts up with a lot. He can leave a perfectly ordinary house one morning and arrive home to a fondant fountain of fuckery.

See my blog, "Have a Sex Toy Party they said" for more details..

See my blog, “Have a Sex Toy Party they said” for more details..

He may glow with pride as he takes in this charming scene of his grandchildren creating seasonal sensations with Nanny M.

He may innocently be sitting at the office and receive the following text:

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I think this could be my most popular idea yet… I know the kids will be on board, just not sure about the Pooh dog, or the hoards (at least 5), of people who run, walk, ride or drive past our house..

I can’t help being just a little bit evil. My very first victims will prolly be that gang of cyclist’s who terrorise the quiet morning’s with their upbeat banter. I can see it now…

“…and then I bench pressed 250, went for a hundred kilometre sprint and washed it all down with a protein sha… what was that noise?”

*From behind the tree at the bottom of our drive..”…C C R AAAARRK……GRR RR  OOWWL..” (this will be the sound activated recording that plays)

Then BOOM, out swings a perfectly horrific paper mache Zombie Scarecrow!

*Takes bow.

Fitty will try and tell me how this is a bad idea. Fitty will not be successful because 6 will lawyer for me. (He is so darn good at lawyering, it makes me wonder about the Pizza shop job? Why waste a god-given talent being a professional, when you could be Doughboy?)

Anyway, I think we all know this is gonna happen. You know I’ll be in touch when it does…

You might think that Fitty and I live in such a small town that we can’t have relationships outside of a 4 friend radius, but it’s really not like that… There are over 33 000 people in this area, comparatively few in worldwide terms, but large enough for the circumstances we shared to have an unusual synchronicity.

Fitty’s band played at my wedding to Catshit. I asked Fitty to be in charge of the music for the wedding ceremony as well, (he pressed play as I walked down the beach toward insanity).

We’d all remained friends. We didn’t visit each other any more the way we used to, but we still saw each other at functions and parties. As far as I know, nobody was holding any grudges..

I knew how OM felt because one night (just a few months into her relationship with Fitty), I went out to see a band and returned home with a group of friends to have a little after-party at home. My kid’s were with their father, and it was a fun night. Just a few friends, including OM. (Fitty must have had his kids as he wasn’t with her.)

OM and I for some reason decided that sitting under the table with our drinks to have a quiet chat was a reasonable thing to do, because alcohol.

We spoke about my feelings for Fitty. She asked questions, and I answered them. I asked questions, and she answered them. (We’re so fucking functional sometimes, her and I.) Anyway, I pretty much told her I was in love with her partner, but had kind of “got over it somehow really quickly”. I was being honest with her – this was exactly what had happened. I’d accepted the feelings and the reasons why they were never going to eventuate and then just pushed them aside and got on with life. Such a typical thing for me to do.

Have you ever been haunted by a song? You put some music on one day, some of your old fave’s by Carly Simon. (Some musical tastes you inherited from your older brother’s and sister’s growing up.)

A song starts to play, and although you’ve heard it many times before, all of a sudden it has a meaning that crushes the very centre of your soul?

I have.

(Lol at the pictures LOL! – it’s the lyrics I want you to listen to.)

When this song began to play I listened to the words and knew I had some deeply hidden feelings that I hadn’t paid any attention to. For fuck’s sake, there I was mourning my stupid loss of 5 years to Catshit, and suddenly I’m trying to process the Fitty thing again?

I’d been feeling a little vulnerable in the new house with the boys. I knew Catshit was out there somewhere, (and considering that he’d somehow gotten our last address from the electricity supplier!!), I wondered if we were safe. I’m pretty sure he drove by the house a lot, but apart from the odd nasty phone call and those sightings – he was quiet.

I began to relax.

I’d met some amazing girls at the Golf club working, and we often used to pop into the local pub after a busy Friday night shift to wind down with a drink and a dance. I had every second weekend free of the kids, and was enjoying my social life without Catshit’s constant jealousy and interrogation.

T, Donna and I headed out one night when Fitty’s band were playing. We caught up during a break and hadn’t seen each other for a long time. We hugged. Spoke briefly, and Fitty informed me that he and OM had split. I was really sad for them, but I didn’t dwell on the information. I didn’t really think about it. We’d all seen it coming.

I went home with the girls that night, and didn’t think about Fitty again until I played the song.

You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you how messed up my brain files are? I have boxes and boxes of files that are hidden away and chained together in the dark just waiting for their opportunity to surprise me. Sometimes I have absolutely no idea which box of snakes is going to winch itself onto the conveyor belt of my consciousness and present itself for opening?

When the file hiding all the Fitty inside opened during that song I was in full denial mode. “Yeah so you love him, and you didn’t really want to, but you do. Forget it! No more love.”

But I couldn’t deny the absolute misery I felt when I listened to Carly sing those words!

My internal dialogue was right. At the time the last bloody thing I needed was a relationship.

 Confession: I tried really hard to sleep around when I left Catshit. I even tried to have sex with one of my work mate’s who was a bit of a smooth operator. I thought “why not?” I’d been accused of everything under the sun anyway, may as well be guilty of something? ^^revenge slut^^

It didn’t go as planned and somehow work dude got me confused with a nail he was trying to hammer in. “Hell no! Outta my vag dude, like right now?” (Poor guy had to work with me for months afterwards…)

The other time I spent the evening spilling Bailey’s Irish Cream all over my duvet with a huge Maori man visiting from New Zealand. (Of course I was drunk!) Divorcee’s do some stupid fucking shit when they’re trying to wash that man out of their you know where!

We never even got it on – we laughed and drank and spilled drink and had a chaste kiss at 5am before he walked off into the sunrise…

It had been just six weeks since I had left my marriage, I was going out for the evening with the Golfie girls. We hadn’t planned on going to the local pub, but we ended up there anyway and of course Fitty was there with his band. The girls and I had planned to walk home to my place. Fitty offered us a lift. We invited him in for a drink.

I was being careful, (I was also drinking) and couldn’t help wondering what twist of fate had brought us together again, both single, both drained of any reason to want to love?

We spoke about our break up’s that night. There was a lot we didn’t know about each other. I was telling him about my messed up attempts at being a slut, joking and being honest with him. I said something like, “So all this slutting around and I still haven’t even had a proper root!”

“Please let me make love to you tonight?” Said Fitty like a freaking idiot!

What the hell? What the bloody, stinking, filthy, shitty hell kind of animal are you?

We fell upon each other on the couch, (the girls had long ago passed out), and I led him up the stairs to my bed.

I can’t even begin to describe that night. Every single part of us connected in an entirely different way than I’d ever experienced. We were both a little overwhelmed by the physical power of our connection, and just looked at each other in disbelief.

Fitty left his beanie behind, (a man will do that sort of thing when he’s not sure what’s next.)

Sure enough a few days later he called to organise to come “pick it up”. This was my opportunity to be strong and say so long, and thanks for all the sex. Instead we fell into a tangle yet again.

It took me six months to admit to Fitty that I loved him. He had told me he loved me in the beginning, and his reaction to my words made me laugh.

“OH no! Now it’s gonna get serious…”

He was quite happy to love me and have a casual relationship with me, as long as I was keeping my feelings restrained. After I told him I loved him, shit got real for him. He could be hurt again. He could be left behind again.

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If you look through the window into our home today, you will see a couple grown comfortable with their love. We’ve been through some turbulent times and come out of them together.

We’ve weathered teenagers and bitter ex’s (FW) who wage an unfair war using their children. We’ve talked our way through some pivotal moments in our relationship, dealing with our insecurities and fears. We’ve grown a new family together which includes all of our children. They’re ours, and we’re damn proud of every one.

We had advantages. There is not a single person alive I respect more than Fitty, and I don’t have to ask him if he feels the same way because he shows me every day. That respect was built on many years of friendship and sharing. Our older kids grew up together as our younger ones do now, and all of them get along so well it actually surprises us.

We’ve done the sickness and the health, the good times and the bad. We’re still here, still in love and still happy!

I hope you believe in happy endings, because I can vouch for them. They’re real if you believe you deserve one.

I’m continually questioning my reasons for my ongoing withdrawal from life outside the house. Rather than stopping at weariness and Menopause, I looked deeper for the root cause. I have found the following reason to be the most compelling one to stay home yet.

Every time I do go out, I am surrounded by people who seem to be Assholes?

It’s not just when I go out of the house either. Assholes can sometimes call you on the telephone at home. Unbelievably, your own family members may contract the Asshole Virus from time to time as well.

More about the home-strain of Asshole Virus later. First I want to tell you about the Assholes I meet from time to time in my travels “outside”.

You know when you’re heading to the shops on the highway and the speed limit is 80km’s, and you’re just moseying along, minding your own business when around 300 metres ahead of you an Asshole in a truck decides to pull out onto the highway?

To add insult to injury, the motherfucker slows right down and turns off again 500m’s further down the road?

He’s got the Asshole Virus for sure.

Shopping locally I was astounded and disgusted when I saw a woman emptying Strawberry punnets into each other at the counter. She was putting together the fattest, plumpest, most ripe and attractive Strawberries for herself, and leaving a trail of squashed and loose Strawberries everywhere. Not even bothering to repackage her rejects.

Asshole Virus!

It isn’t that I don’t think Assholes have a place in society either. Politician’s, Medical Receptionist’s and Pet Psychiatrist’s wouldn’t make a penny if that were the case, but there’s a time and place to be an Asshole.

My personal rule is that if you are an Asshole more than 10% of the time, you are a waste of time and can Fuck Off.

This tiny percentage allows that in the following instances it’s ok to be an Asshole.

1. You didn’t sleep all night.

2. You are sick (because an Asshole gave you the flu.)

3. Somebody runs you over.

4. You kick your toe, (that hurts!)

Despite continued vigilance against the Asshole Virus here at home, it remains a threat.

The virus can manifest in many different ways, so it’s vital to try and protect the home on at least a few fronts. One of those I protect vehemently is not letting the kids have Asshole friends over to stay.

The kid who looks down their nose at you, refuses to answer polite questions with more than a shy few syllables, giggles in conspiracy with your child each time you turn your back, and then shrieks and squeals with laughter all night keeping you awake.

Asshole!

The other thing I do to protect the home is make sure that every time a Telemarketer or Scammer calls my home phone, I present the most ludicrous scenario possible. This attempt to stop them from calling is more an attempt to amuse myself, but don’t tell them that okay?

Some get to enjoy Gospel songs, others are instantly engaged in a make believe domestic drama, others I respond to as if my best friend has called and begin filling them in on all the fun I just had at my “Freestyle Flax-Weaving Class”.

So far it hasn’t deterred them. I suspect they have begun to use me as a Training device, but I will continue fighting the good fight so people everywhere can be safe from Telephone Assholes.

Some of the Assholiest of all, have committed heinous Crimes Against Hygiene right under my nose. Because I have a Smart Phone that follows me around the house all day like some kind of stalker, I have from time to time snapped shots to use later as evidence.

There was that time I was packing 7’s room up to paint, and found 5 apples in various stages of decomposition hidden strategically around her room?

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That time some Asshole was too freakin special to open up the bin and put the rubbish inside.
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When you can’t be bothered with bins at all?
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Missed it by…. couldn’t give a fuck….
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I would show you the dirty fingerprints on the slice of white bread, but that never happened, it’s just something I live in fear of….

Obviously spending all this time with myself, I have been able to search deeply into my own Asshole.

I have discovered the active virus, though happily I mounted a sufficient immune response in order to maintain my usual defense against Assholes in general and not break anything.

I continue to observe outbreaks of the virus on a regular basis here at home such as when someone loses their phone, or the wi-fi connection drops out. The virus can also make itself even more infectious by being contracted by Wankers.

If you come across a Wanker infected with the Asshole Virus, your best bet is to run fast, or before you know it you’ll be discussing Self-Actualisation and Spatial Awareness with your pets.

I was chatting to Other Mother this morning on Facebook Messenger, and the subject of work came up.  I revealed to O.M. that I felt I was Not Safe For Work anymore. I was always too stressed. Too angry, too tired all the time. I had no extra energy.

I could never sleep. I would sit up all hours of the night, and struggle in the mornings. I rushed everywhere. Everything was hurried, and disorganised.

Weekends felt ruined when I had to start a shift at 4.pm on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Working nights, and days on a rotating roster often left me finishing work at 12am, to start work again the following morning at 8.00am. With so many kids in the house every other week, it was insane just trying to keep up the washing!

So I resigned. After the worst year of health I’ve ever experienced, struggling through surgery and recoveries, all the while struggling at work.  I finally Put Myself First.

Behind the scenes, Peri-Menopause had already begun to wreak havoc.

I was emotional, and would cry during the “The Ode” at work each night. We had a Soldier (2), over in Afghanistan at the time, and each time I heard that line, “They shall not grow old”, I would hold my breath, tears streaming down my face in the dark.

I was resentful.

Piles of dishes, clothes, dirty bedrooms and bathrooms. Why can nobody else in this house clean a toilet?

I would return home from work at night to Fitty idling in neutral, waiting to see which “gear” I required of him. Would I be in tears of pain? Would I be cranky and tired, grumbling about how they had “all night to wash the dishes”?

I resented everyone. Cars on the road were just ‘blocking my way’. Other shoppers were ‘ignorantly slow’. The kids and Fitty alternately brought me comfort and joy, or immense frustration and exasperation.

I had pain killers, and would only use them sparingly, as they were serious drugs. Ones the doctor has to ask nicely for from the Government. This left me struggling through the “gaps” in my pain-relief awkwardly. Pain would suddenly come upon me at work, after hours of standing on my feet, and it was almost impossible to relieve that pain at work. I needed a bath, and quiet space until the medication stepped up again. I was doing it all wrong.

I’m pretty sure my work friends who read the blog will identify strongly with what I’m saying here. I must have been incredibly hard to work with at times.

So, how have things changed?

Instead of shouting from bed at 9.00am Saturdays for everybody to “Shutthafuckup!”, I’m up every single day by 6.00am. Smiling, happy, with the kids lunches made on weekdays.

I rarely leave my house. I only go out when I really need to, barely ever for social reasons. If I do drop in on T, or meet up for lunch with friends, I try to do at least one other errand while I’m out. Efficiency and Economy are my new middle names.

I drive slowly now, never in a hurry. In fact I don’t think I’ve been in a proper “hurry” since I finished work! I’m cruisin. Usta be a road-rager, now I create it!

I used to shop on the way home from work, buying useless items spontaneously. Now I have a list, and know what I need. I have time to make sure I don’t waste food. I can plan meals, and we actually eat a lot better, healthier and far more economically.

I have time to bake. Saying “I love you” to a child by baking a warm batch of cookies for them when they get home from school. I love baking. When I’m happy, I bake.

It’s taking me time, (as I am a procrastinator of the highest order), but I am slowly re-decorating our house, and will be renovating bathrooms, the kitchen and helping Fitty build new stairs in future months. I’m excited by the work I do now.

I’ve systematically gone through every cupboard in the house making space, getting rid of junk and creating space for new junk to live.

My relationships have changed.

I’m going to be achingly honest here….

One of the most significant changes I’ve made is just being fucking quiet.

It’s a subtle thing as much as it is obvious. I no longer have to be the one talking. I listen more. I hesitate before I offer my opinion. I walk away from things I used to nag about.

All because I have spent so many hours here in this beautiful, tranquil spot, just soaking up the “relax”.

This is my medicine. This home, this family, are my healing.

This lake brings me peace.

This lake brings me peace.

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MATERIAL OF A HIGHLY SENSITIVE AND MISLEADING NATURE. SERIOUSLY, DON’T READ THIS.

“Hi. My name is Peri, I’m here to signal the end. The end of all you once held dear…. Like peace of mind, and clean underwear. I’m outrageously behaved and will make you so hot! Wanna get fucked up together?”

It’s a New World. A world of significant change in your body and your soul.

It’s like puberty, but not anywhere near as exciting. No pimply boyfriend waiting to hear if your late period has arrived yet? (In fact, nobody seems concerned about your late period at all anymore?) You just go through all the motions, the cramps, the bitchiness, the waiting….

You decide, (with all your Google inspired research) that *last month was in fact YOUR LAST PERIOD EVER.

*A menopausal month may last anywhere between 2 weeks and 6 months.

In celebration, you dress in your newest underwear, and white skirt. As a nod, you might wear a pretty red blouse, signifying your respect to all those still under chains.

You might make it a good 3 feet before your uterus explodes. (Trust me. Peri loves a good joke.)

Recently, someone suggested the use of a Moon Cup? “Moon Cup?” I google to myself. “What is this sorcery?”

Having checked it out and guessed my requirements, it turns out that I need a cup roughly the size of the of the 30 oz cup peri-diabetics use at MacDonald’s.

Now I may have had a few children push their box heads through my sacred passage, but as to whether I want a giant goblet shoved up my deepest resource?

I say NAY.

Talk about Big Gulp…. how does Big Heave sound? There is no way, just no way I’m going to thrust a cup into my Vajajay, trusting it to just hold there, full of my womanliness. What happens when you sit down? What happens when you bend over?

I think you can imagine without me having to “go there?”

I don’t care what teenagers with Lovely-Lady-Passages say, these “Moon Cups” are not for serious contenders. Obviously.

A lot of people may think that dry skin is a symptom of ill health, or old age (in a woman of 47 such as myself). In truth, it is simply a bi-product of spending 90% percent of your life scrubbing stains out of clothing, underwear and bed sheets. There is currently no sanitary product on earth capable of containing my visits from Aunt Flo.

Along with all these pleasant effects? You also get to develop the personality of Linda Blair in “The Exorcist.”

Your head spins, you spew out obscenities, and stabbing is the new cuddling. You wake up in the middle of the night with hot wax poured all over your legs, torso, neck and face.

“Oh? It isn’t hot wax?”

“It’s a HOT FLUSH you say, Dr VagSmiter?”

Let me tell you where you can flush it then?

Try this if you want to know how it feels:

1. Have a shower and go to bed all cool and temperate.

2. Toss and turn until you achieve level 1 sleep. (That which can be disturbed by a moth-wing flutter.)

3. Cover yourself in flames that build slowly from the top of your thighs, through your middle, spreading upwards to the chest, neck and face.

4. Rip your face off, scratching and clawing at the invisible crawlies creeping on your skin. (Achieve Level 2 Crackhead)

5. Have dream you are afloat in liquid.

6. Wake up afloat in liquid.

7. REPEAT NIGHTLY.

HA HA HA HA – kill me?

Of course Peri isn’t just for YOU – Peri is here for the WHOLE FAMILY to enjoy. He knows how much your husband and kids depend on you to be a psychotic mother and wife. He won’t stop until he has undermined your relationship with every single member of your family. He enjoys conflict, anxiety, discomfort, instability and many more fun activities.

Let’s have a look at Things I have said this week.

“Why don’t I just BUY UNDERWEAR WITH FUCKING BLOOD STAINS on it?” – To Fitty.

“I’m not a bitch! It’s hormones coming out of my mouth.” – To anyone who will listen.

“So help me if you even look at me like you’re going to talk during this show? I’m going to stab you.” – To Fitty

“Why don’t you EVER LISTEN TO ME?” To nobody, obviously!

“I was listening to you, but you are so fucking boring I just stopped.” Yup – Fitty.

“I’m not the only clumsy fucker around here, so for fuck’s sake, pick that shit up before somebody DIES!” – To shit left on floor. (Nobody was even home!)

“What in the FUCK do you think you’re DOING?” – To anyone doing anything.

It’s okay though. I’m fine….. really!

I just know that in another 30 years or so, I’ll  be dead, and I won’t be bothered by any of this anymore.

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It’s been an exhausting and wonderful few weeks. And now it’s all over. Princess has gone, and I’m feeling empty and sad. I’m all alone here at the Lake today for the first time in forever. It’s a little weird to not have lots of people around actually, and I’m feeling quite dislocated. I miss Princess already. I know she’s busy continuing her travels, catching up with her kids up north, but I wish she was still here.

Magoo’s doing well, she has her moments of extreme sadness, but overall she’s such a strong lady, and she knows she’ll never be alone while she has us around her. But she’s adjusting to not having her partner, her one special person, her husband Pete in her life. I can’t imagine how broken that must make a person feel inside. She is truly an inspiration when it comes to dealing with pain and loss. We’ve had many laughs and many cries together these past weeks. Probably more laughs than tears, which is a good thing I think?

I’ve been so busy since Princess arrived. I imagined I would progressively blog her visit, but I didn’t count on being so busy and exhausted constantly. Magoo’s home is only 10 minutes drive from mine, and we have had 7 and 8 these past two weeks as well as having 4 and her very nice boyfriend here to stay. So for me it’s been a lot of driving to and fro. Staying over at Magoo’s and then coming home each day to make sure everyone had enough to eat here. (Not that Fitty isn’t capable of feeding everyone.)

We packed a lot into the time we had with Princess, she lives so far away and we don’t see her often. Lunches out, day trips to local beaches and long cuppa sessions at Magoo’s sitting around the table talking family nostalgia. Ending up doing things we never expected to do, like touring the local Orchid Show. I think I channeled a bit of Fitty and took about 50 photos of those beautiful flowers.

 

Look at all the Pretty!

20140816_142048 Look at all the Pretty!

I did get Princess to myself for 3 whole days and nights, and I am so truly grateful. During those days we were more than content to just sit at the Lake Shack and talk. Spending time together catching up on all the years we lost when we were younger, and didn’t get along quite so well. I have such a huge respect for Princess, the way she cares for us and for her insight into my personality and relationships in my family. She is one astute lady when it comes to achieving what she wants in her life. I can only hope that she’s rubbed off a little, (a lot) on me.

One particularly sweet thing that came of her time in our house was her bonding with 8. Those two hit it off like rockets. By the end of Princess’ first day with us, little 8 was enraptured. Literally laying at her feet on the couch totally absorbed in every word she said. She’s playful and kind, fun and loves games. What more could a young boy want in an Auntie? 7 was not quite as quick. She can be a little quieter and takes a bit more time to ensure she’s on safe ground before she dives into new relationships. They both loved having Princess around and really enjoyed playing board games and the sense of humour Princess brings with her everywhere she goes.

Princess is a Scrabble fanatic and was always up for a game. Enjoying helping the younger ones and thoroughly enjoying more competitive play with 4 and her clever man.

Scrabble again anyone?

Scrabble again anyone?

I took Princess for a walk to our favourite beach at the end of our road. We had a lovely walk and I will always treasure sharing this special family spot with her. The day was cold and windy, but the company was perfect.

The special beach

The special beach

 

There were so many wonderful moments during her stay with us. The funniest was when she asked me to read her “Carrot Tards”, (Tarot Cards, so named by Princess’s husband Mikey. L-OL!) What a hoot. I doubt the Tarot are meant to be a vehicle for humour and hilarity, but oh boy, did we have some fun with that reading!

One memorable thing we were able to do with Magoo was to fulfill a wish of hers. Her 25th Wedding Anniversary went uncelebrated a couple of years ago due to Pete’s ill health. The plan was for them to go away for a night in a flash hotel, go out to dinner and enjoy a huge buffet breakfast the following morning. Every time they even got close to creating a plan, Pete would fall ill, ending up in hospital, or some other medical/family drama would emerge preventing them from going. It’s so sad that they never got to celebrate the occasion together, but Magoo had a wish to do it with him in “spirit”.

We organised a night away in a lovely hotel in Canberra and went on a Mother/Daughter road trip. Imagine a car with 3 women, all talking at once…. I have no idea what we all said, not a mile passed in silence. We arrived and luxuriated in our surroundings. Coffee was required and taken in a lovely indoor garden.

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The plan was to head into the city for dinner. I had my doubts about how to decide where to eat based on history. Get 3 people together trying to make a decision about anything and see what happens. Usually there is one Alpha person who takes charge and decides what and where. We thought it would be easier to let Magoo decide on a place, as she is fussy and has more “requirements” than we do. Tablecloths for instance. Good service and appropriate language for another. One must never address Magoo and her dining company as “guys”, as one unfortunate server was to learn one day when Magoo and I had a light lunch in a local cafe…

“How are you guys doing? Do you need anything else?”

Enough to drive Magoo into convulsions! She’s not a “guy” ok?

So off we went for dinner, parking the car in a position I thought would be easy enough to locate again after extended wanderings in the labyrinth of Canberra Civic. Have you ever seen ants scurrying around trying to decide on a restaurant? No?

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I imagine that’s what we must have looked like, but more bumping, deliberation and conversation. From one place to another, no one game enough to commit. Finally I had enough, was wearing my shoes out, and took matters into hand. We went to a lovely Italian place Fitty and I had been to once before, (with tablecloths), and there I encountered the most delicious dessert I have ever had. Strawberries and cream and puff pastry and Amaretto and Almonds and lush gooey sauce – demolished.

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Seven months pregnant by the end of the meal, I was not relishing the walk back to my car…. Car?… Where the fuck are we?

Filled with confidence in her ability to find the car, we followed Princess’s lead and headed off in entirely the wrong direction. I am a self confessed loser when it comes to these things, however it was my direction that saved us from walking an extra 3 blocks touring the “no car here district” Princess was leading us toward. My survival instinct had kicked in. I really didn’t want to walk any further than I had to.

The next morning we all enjoyed a huge breakfast. Magoo bringing a framed photograph of Pete along with her. We sat him (the photo) on the table and made sure to get him the sausages for breakfast he so looked forward to. There were some tears again, and some funny looks from fellow diners, but we all felt as if we’d done what we set out to do.

Later that day we put Princess on a train to continue her journey. Sobbing in the car Magoo and I lamented not running along the platform waving hankies, like they do in the movies. We wanted to, but a very emotional Princess wanted us to leave her there on the train and not extend the misery we were all feeling at parting.

Driving away from the station was sad and I felt so immediately bereft. I wanted this visit to go on and on.

So I sit here today, tears streaming down my face, and wish she was still here.

GOODBYE PRINCESS. May the days pass quickly til I see you again face to face, and may our Skype connection be reliable in between…