Friday, 26 April 2013

War! What Is It Good For?

Hello there. Anzac Day is upon us. While I've never actually attended a dawn service, I do have some very deep thoughts regarding war, and have had ever since I was a little girl. In fact, I wrote a poem about it, when I was a mere ten years old. It is truly heartfelt. That, or just a woeful example of exactly how much Enid Blyton I was reading at the time.  I'm sure if it had been about a cheery subject I would have managed to put in the phrases 'smashing' and 'jolly good' somewhere. Here it is, complete with my spelling mistakes:


War is a disastrous sight,
War is a beastly fight,
You can hear the blasting,
Oh war is so everlasting,
War is gloom, its such a doom,
I hope it stops very soon.

War is death, it takes away your breath.
War is blood running in a stream,
War is being strictly mean,
If you think war is not a fight,
It's a awful,disatrous, terrible sight,
War is blood pouring, guns roaring.
War is hand grenades flying,
People crying, also dying,
You work all day, in a blood-thirsty way,
War is madness, but if you think
deep down, it's only sadness

Now the war is gone, I hope it's gone
for good because I don't want it back so soon after
all this awful gloom. People
die, cry, fight. Oh I don't want
that destructive sight!
Guns roar, blood pours,
You can't think how people cry,
because their beloved friends did die
Oh I hope the war doesn't
come again
For I really must think of the
lives of those men.

My year 5 poem, dated 28th April, 1981. At the bottom
the teacher wrote: 'Some deep thoughts, try not to
repeat yourself.'  Hmph. Didn't she recognise
my brilliance?

Yep, such brilliance. I'm not sure why I didn't become the next Sylvia Plath after that effort. It's hard to pick out which is my favourite line, with such stunning observations as: War is death, it takes away your breath. Yeah, that is kind of what happens when you die, dear.

War! What is it good for? Absolutely NUTHIN'!! According to Bruce Springsteen and myself, at the mature age of ten.  Genius. I mean, just check out that rhyming: War is gloom, it's such a doom, I hope it stops very soon. Why did I stop when I was on such a roll? I could have went on:

Those guns keep going
I'd rather hear a happy tune,
Before I am a total loon!

OH MY GOD! *gasp* I've still got it! I'm a poet and I didn't know it!! I need to get back to it immediately. Otherwise I am completely wasting my genius. And what does a ten year old, budding,  tragic bogan, genius poet look like? I'm glad you asked. Observe.

My Year 5 school photo, when I was still cute. Sigh.

Thank God my Mum had the foresight to keep my old school books. She must have know I was going to be broke and aimless rich and famous one day. She always said I was special. Now I see why. There is nothing more to add after the blinding brilliance of that poem. I've already left you stunned.

Linking up an oldie but goodie for Life This Week.

What do you think about war? Have you written any awful brilliant poetry?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Lifestyles of The Broke And Aimless

It occurred to me that other day that I should be utterly appalled and horrified by own monumental laziness, but then I just couldn't be BOTHERED. In fact I have been so aimless and idle of late, that I haven't got a single interesting thing to tell you. Which is the same as usual, so let's press on.

At the beginning of April, Mr 9 was scheduled to have day surgery for some dental procedures. I worried endlessly about telling him, thinking he would FREAK. In the end it turned out that I was the one freaking. He was quite pleased with the idea of having a day or two off school and happily bounced around and beamed. The more he bounced and beamed, the more I paced and panicked. I am tragic. Pathetic.

We arrived at the day surgery at the scheduled time of 2.30pm by which point Mr 9 was ready to chew my arm off. He wasn't nervous at all. Just RAVENOUS. He finally strolled nonchalantly into theatre, while my heart pounded a chorus. Micky Blue Eyes and I then went to a nearby cafĂ© to wait and have a coffee.  I then realised, I hardly ever frequent Cafes, which is, of course, in keeping with my classy bogan lifestyle. But, for somebody who considers herself the Queen of Cakies, this is just WRONG. Then we were booted out of the place when they were closing at 5pm, which was quite rude. After all we had spent a grand total of seven bucks sixty on two coffees. Hmph.

As we still had some time to fill in before Mr 9 would be out of theatre, we then decided to go on a lovely trip down memory lane and walk through the hospital where Micky Blue Eyes had had his Cancer operation and then endured six months of chemo therapy. These are the kind of memories that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. In fact, I did feel extremely grateful, as it could of turned out so differently. We both remembered the day when Mick's brother, Rob, visisted him at the hospital and took Mr 11, then a digger obsessed Mr 3, for a walk outside to see all the diggers at work as there were buildings under construction there at the time. Little did we know, that Rob would also be diagnosed with Cancer shortly thereafter, and pass away in 2008. It was a sombre reminder of how lucky we are.

Arriving back at the day surgery, we trudged back in through the car park. At this point there were only 3 vehicles still parked there. Ours and the two belonging to the surgeon and the anaesthetist. A shiny, new BMW, and an equally shiny and new Mercedes-Benz - and, a beat up corolla with a Carpenters sticker and a Western Sydney Wanderers sticker on the back. I'm sure you'd never guess which car was ours. Can you spot the bogans car?

We were then ushered back in to see a pale Mr 9 who was unfortunately rather ill from the anaesthetic. The dental procedures went well, however. Consequently, it was another hour or so before we could leave. Eventually we headed home where Mr 9 was able to sleep it off.

The following week involved going to yet another one of the 'mini' Fetes at the boys school. I am still waiting for them to have a 'massive' Fete. Not really. Mini Fete is tedious enough. Lining up for a sausage on stale bread. Yum, yum. But, as Mr 11 had seemed really keen for me to attend, asking me repeatedly "Are you coming, Mum?" I felt I should go. The real reason, he had been so anxious for my presence soon became obvious when he asked if he could go home early. It was the last week of term and less than an hour until bell time, so I agreed.

In no time at all school holidays were here, which means the boys mates have been over here nearly every day. One of them, in particular is proving quite difficult to extricate from the premises. The other day, Micky Blue Eyes had no sooner finished telling him he should probably go home after being here for several hours, as his Mum might be wondering where he was, then five minutes later I turned around and there he was in the kitchen, helping himself to a Nutella sandwich. Nice one.

So, instead of succeeding in getting the boys friends to leave, we decided to leave the premises for a day and go for a drive to Megalong Valley last Thursday. Up the mountain we meandered, finally stopping at a bakery. Cakie things! Then, we headed down the winding roads to Megalong Valley, where we went on a bush walk. We certainly did not stop in at the Tea Rooms there and have scones with jam and cream afterwards. No way. I never do anything like that. Ahem. It was, indeed, a delightful day. Five very contented bogans headed back to Boganville and our wonderful lifestyle of the broke and aimless.

In fact, I have realised there is alarming evidence of my slack-arsed, lackadaisical approach to life all around me. Such as:

  • I have lots of charming baby photos adorning the walls. The 'baby' in question is turning 12 in July.
  • The wardrobe in one of the boys rooms has one door on it that does not close. It has been that way for several years.
  • We decided to look into the possibility of getting a brand new kitchen installed. After getting one quote, we haven't bothered pursuing it any further.
  • We pondered the idea of perhaps going to New Zealand for our next holiday, then realised we would have to get passports, at which point it all seemed like too much effort. No doubt we will end up somewhere like Dubbo, where I will bitterly regret my lethargic ways.
  • Similarly, I see friends photos of their overseas trips on Facebook and am jealous for a grand total of five seconds before realising, I couldn't actually be bothered schlepping overseas.
  • Micky Blue Eyes suggested looking into getting a new phone. I should be excited about it, instead, I haven't bothered.
  • I am finally catching up with some friends this weekend. I haven't seen them since February. I think.
  • I am a 42 year old P Plate driver, after procrastinating for years from going for my license. I had the perfect opportunity to progress off my P plates to a full license, as my license expired a week or so ago. All I had to do was take another Driver Qualification Test. Instead, I didn't bother and renewed my P2 license until October 2015.

In fact it was just the other day that I had to go the RTA to renew my license. Micky Blue Eyes announced:

"I think we should walk there."

 I decided he is demented. Then, I realised I am even more demented, as I allowed him to talk me into it. We set off. It was quite a considerable distance, through various streets I'd never walked down before in my life, in spite of living in Boganville for 14 years. At one point we walked past a house that looked like something off an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive. Two doors down, another house resembled some sort of spaceship. I'd never noticed it before even though I must have driven past hundreds of times. Interesting. It was actually a very enjoyable walk.  The only problem was that, after we got there, went to the RTA and bought a few groceries, that we realised that walking all the way back wasn't going to be quite so enjoyable. We had to walk back up the hill which we had walked down, carrying a shopping bag in each hand. This proved quite tiring, so we stopped and rested on a bench.

It was there that, Mick, who loves trees, plants and all nature, commented that he suspected there were marijuana plants growing right there. Only in Boganville, right?  Ironically, I wouldn't know a marijuana plant from any other plant, being totally clueless and inexperienced in all things narcotic, despite being a born and bred bogan all my life. We finally made it home, where I scrutinised my new license photo and then wished I hadn't. Naturally.

In other news, I am seeing a counsellor at the Women's Health Centre in yet another attempt to make some sense of my Ass burgers thing and all the issues I have that go with it. It is going well so far, and will be ongoing for a while. In addition to this, the counsellor suggested I could join a group she is running called Fifty Shades of Purple. It is meant to be about self-esteem and mindfulness for women. I certainly hope there is no bondage involved. I also saw the Naturopath there and started taking some of her 'Witches Brew'. It tastes like ...actually I don't know what it tastes like because I've never tasted anything so fucking vile in my life. But hopefully it will work.

That is all for this edition of Lifestyles of the Broke And Aimless. Never fear, I will be back to bore you again very soon.

Should we have taken that suspected marijuana plant home? Will I ever progress off my P plates? Who really cares, anyway? Certainly not me, I'm going for a good lie down.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Sundays With Laurie

Linking up this oldie but goodie with Denyse for Life This Week. 

Almost every weekend of my childhood, we all piled into the old Datsun 1200 and drove to the Inner West suburb of Leichhardt, and Leichhardt Oval, to watch the then Balmain Tigers play rugby league. We were 'Westies' from the outer western suburbs of Sydney. Logically my parents should have followed the Parramatta Eels or Penrith Panthers. But for some inexplicable reason they loved the Tigers and supported them passionately. 

Mum always packed our food, often including the classy old hot dogs. The frankfurts were kept in a thermos flask to keep them hot, and placed onto the accompanying rolls once we got there.This saved spending a small fortune at the kiosk.We sat in one of the old grandstands. Once the game started my parents were on the edge of their seats. I tuned out. As I've mentioned before, sport bores me. 

Luckily, I could bring a book. I was even able to read amongst all the shouting and commotion. But my brother and I never really sat still long. We were off playing. Climbing trees or sliding down the hill, behind the bigger grandstand on sheets of cardboard. We loved it and would return to the grandstand, happily exhausted and putrid. Once I ruined a whole new outfit that Mum had sewn for me. I can't remember the finer details as I was quite young, but Mum still remembers it.

Me with my brother in his full Tigers get up.  I'm
pretty sure I did have a jersey, but couldn't find a
photo of me wearing it. But my pink number
with the skivvy is quite cute anyway. This was
September 1979 according to the writing on the back.
 I was 8 and my brother had just turned 11. We were
SO CUTE! Awwwww!

Another time, I remember being at a game of the Tigers against The Rabbitohs. An obnoxious bunnies supporter was sitting behind us. Every second she'd screech "COME ON BUNNIES!!" her shrill voice piercing our eardrums. She'd barely pause to take a breath before she was screeching again. 

After annoying us with the come on bunnies chant for the duration of the game, she then commented: "Some people even dye their hair the same colour as their team." A snide reference to my brother and I's red hair. See above. 

In those days there were always people smoking in the stands too, which I loathed. There was no choice but to breath in the vile stench of clouds upon clouds of thick cigarette smoke. The smell clung to you and your clothes and hair, even after you'd left the premises.

Dad took the Tigers performance on the field rather seriously. If they weren't playing very well and it looked as if they might lose, he'd start glowering. Then pacing. Then he would decide to leave abruptly before the end of the second half, interrupting our tree climbing, hill sliding fun. We'd be whisked off, sulking, back to the car.

The long drive home would be made in tense silence. Nobody dared to speak or turn the radio on in case he heard the dreaded results. Of course, it often turned out that the Tigers managed to come back during the second half and even win the game after we'd left. If they did actually lose, Dad's grumpy mood continued for several days.

"I'm not buying the paper anymore," he'd announce, not wishing to read the sport reports.

This would then escalate to saying he wasn't going to anymore games or, in fact, supporting them at all anymore. However, the weekend would roll around and we'd inevitably pile into the car and head back down to Leichhardt.

It seems like if footy is in your blood, it's in your blood and can't be helped. Footy fever never really caught on for me. I've tried over the years to go with the old 'if you can't beat em, join em' mentality. This seemed to work out well for my Mum. But I couldn't seem to drum up any interest.

I briefly had a crush on Tigers player Wayne Pearce, but even this devotion couldn't hold my attention for a full game. I did meet him, however, at a function for Dad's work. He shook my hand and I blushed as red as my hair. I was only twelve at the time.

One of the most vivid memories of those weekends, is seeing the Tigers most legendary fan Laurie Nichols in the crowd. He'd be wearing his infamous singlets, his passion and intense love for the team emanating from every pore.

Nobody would dare to say a bad word against the Tigers to this dude. If you did, you would fear for your life. He once allegedly wanted to fight an individual who criticised the team, according to this article. Despite being advised that he should not fight him as the person had a plate in their head, Nichols apparently shot back: "I don't care if he has a full dinner set."

Laurie Nichols: The Tigers most intense fan.

Even though his intensity bewildered me, even scared me a little, I certainly remember him all these later. His presence was all a part of the experience of following the Tigers in those times. By the time the Tigers reached the Grand Final in 1988, I was a teenager, so I stayed home.

My parents sadly witnessed their two consecutive Grand Final losses, that year and the following year in 1989. They reported back to me that there were grown men sobbing, something I've never really understood. Proving I'll never be a real footy fan. Supposedly my father wasn't one of them. If he was, he's not admitting it, anyway.

Today, my parents still follow the now Wests Tigers, but don't attend games. Mick and the boys follow the St. George Dragons. I don't follow footy at all. But I do remember those days at Leichhardt Oval.

When the game was over, all the kids were allowed to run onto the field. That part was fun and exhilarating. Of course it's a shame that the enthusiasm I had for such a thing is completely non-existent today. I could certainly benefit from a spot of running!

Whether I like it or loathe it, there is no doubt that all things footy and soccer have certainly been a presence in my life. And so it continues, as I now have three sons. I can never get away from balls.

That last line was so juvenile mature. You're welcome.

Linking up with Cathy from The Camera Chronicles for Flashback Friday.

Also linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

Do you get footy fever? What are your sporting memories?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

2000- A Bogan Odyssey

Before we get to the year 2000,let me take you back even further. Far back, to a time and place where men were real men, women were real women and clueless, tragic bogans from Boganville were real clueless, tragic bogans from Boganville. The early 1990's. 1993 to be exact. The announcement was about to be made about which city would be hosting the 2000 Olympics as I headed out to a bush dance, where I actually sat in the corner and didn't dance at all, being the wild and crazy party animal that I am. But clearly I looked stunning, sporting a poodle perm, way too much make-up and wearing a gorgeous combo of dark purple jeans and floral body suit. Yep, stunning. I'm absolutely postitive that look stunned people.

1993 Ness
Later that night, the announcement that (almost) everyone had been waiting for came.

The winner is - Sydeney!!

I recall my friends being gleeful at the news, excited that the Olympics would be in their city in seven years time. Meanwhile, I stifled a yawn. You see. sport bores the bejesus out of me. The Olympics = Yawnfest. I honestly couldn't have cared less. In fact the most exciting event of 1993 for me wasn't the announcement of the Olympics coming in 2000, at all,  but the release of a biography about the Carpenters entitled The Carpenters: The Untold Story. I still remember my trembling fingers reaching for it from the shelf at Dymocks and triumphantly purchasing it. I was temping at the Taxation Office in the city. Rushing back from my lunch hour I breathlessly lifted my book out to show several bewildered colleagues.

"Look what I got!" I exclaimed, eyes shining. They looked up, surprised to remember that I was even there, as I rarely spoke. Spotting the book, their surprised looks turned to ones of dumbfounded incredulity. "Oh, isn't that nice?" mumbled one person in the same insincere and dubious tone one would reserve for a lunatic as they slowly backed away and out the door, before fleeing for their life. My excitement dissipated. I sheepishly shoved the book back into the bag. You can imagine the joy it is to be me and feel so well liked and have so much in common with other people. NOT.

Fast forward 7 years and I was now a sophisticated and mature married woman, having swapped the poodle perm for an elegant, short bowl hair cut. Style icon extraordinaire. That's me. Don't even try to emulate me. You'll never pull it off. I'm unique.

It was New Year's Eve 1999. So naturally, Micky Blue Eyes and I were about to party like it was 1999. Because it was 1999. Until midnight. When it would become the year 2000. The 21st century. So futuristic. I expected we would all be wearing those jump suits they wear on Star Trek before the year was out. Such a shame that didn't happen, isn't it? Just like that Y2K virus thingy that everyone was freaking out about. It was reported on 60 Minutes after all, so how could it not be true? *gasp*

Bogans partying like it's 1999,
until midnight..when it was 2000
The count down to the Olympics began. Not that I cared. At all. While the city buzzed with Olympic fever, I remained as impervious as ever. Micky Blue Eyes wanted to attend some events. I didn't. So he got tickets. I stayed home.

Then we also heard that the Olympic torch would be coming through Boganville at Stupid O' Clock in the morning. People actually planned to get up at such a time to see it. Meanwhile, the only way I would have woken up for it is if they had literally jogged into my bedroom and set my arse on fire with it. No thanks.

Micky Blue Eyes attended several events and took some photos.

I think it's soccer. Is soccer even in the Olympics? Meh, who knows. Or cares. Okay, millions of people do. Clearly I'm not human. Who knows what species I am. Some sort of curious Carpenters loving,bogan creature from the planet Zorg. Or something.

We also possess some 2000 Olympics memorabilia, including cans of beer that are still in the cupboard unopened. Yummo, 13 year old beer. As if it isn't disgusting enough, when it's fresh. Then we also have an alcohol flask, a commemorative plate and mug, in addition to wine glasses. All unused and proudly on display in a cupboard. Micky Blue Eyes out did himself. He is still unnerved by my alarming lack of interest in all things Olympic and sporty.

 That is just the way I roll. I'm apathetic and disinterested cutting edge and different. Deal with it.

Linking up with Cathy from The Camera Chronicles for Flashback Friday.

Do you get Olympic fever? Or is all sport a cure for insomnia for you? Ahem.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Devoid Of Devices

Here we are in 2013. The 21st Century. In a time and place where devices reign supreme. There are gadgets and gizmo's galore. Okay, I don't actually know what a 'gizmo' is, I just liked the sound of the word. Oh, alright, it's not actually a word. But I still like it. So ner.

These are my only tablets.

Disclosure: This is not even
remotely a sponsored post, though
I probably should be
sponsored by Nurofen, since
I keep them in business.

I must confess, I just don't have any devices. Apart from the ubiquitous lap-top. Nothing. We use a pathetic old Nokia phone. Between the two of us. It doesn't even have a camera on it.  Pathetic.  I possess no Ipad, Iphone or Ipod. The only tablets I have are Panadol or Nurofen.

I keep the Nurofen company in business. Yep, plenty of those kind of tablets. None of the other. It's too bad really. In fact, I'm not even entirely sure of what a tablet device even is. Ahem.

Actually, I don't even have a GPS. I still rely on the good old Gregory's Street Directory. Am I a dinosaur, or what? It's just not good enough. I simply need to get with the times. What on Earth is WRONG with us? We still have not become Cashed Up Bogans who text each other from separate rooms of our gigantic McMansion.

The McMansion we don't match
all the devices we don't have..

It's bad enough being technologically challenged in these times by a lack of gadgets and devices. It's clearly unforgivable if you call yourself a blogger. I'm a phoney, guys. I'll be disowned by the blogging community after this confession.

 Furthermore, I supposedly have Asperger's Syndrome. I know. Perhaps my diagnosis should be questioned? It's not possible to be 'Aspie' and a technophobe, is it? As I have previously stated here. Yet, somehow I manage it.  You know, just to be different. Such irony. I could accept being a quiet, introverted Aspie if I was a technological genius along with it.

I'm not really sure how we have managed to survive such a serious lack of devices without exploding and dying.  I haven't even managed to take a selfie ever in my whole life, which is just all kinds of wrong when you're a blogger.  After all, I need to take my narcissism to the next level. You're all dying to see artistically lit photos of the bangers and mash we have for dinner, right? See what I'm depriving you of?

Since I have no devices to confess, for  the sake of further confessions, I will confess that I forgot to put out the Easter eggs for the boys yesterday morning. I simply slept in and when I awoke Mr 9 wailed: "The Easter Bunny didn't come! Ripped off!"  Then he burst into tears. Oops.

Some time later, I convinced the boys to check outside to make sure he hadn't hidden them out there, then Micky Blue Eyes hastily grabbed the eggs and shoved them in various spots around the house. That bloody Easter Bunny. He had better get his act together next year. Hmph. Ahem.

Then, Mick decided to take the boys to the Easter Show and I decided to stay home. I must confess I only felt a little teensy bit guilty about it. It was a tough decision. I could go to the Easter Show where there are rides, which I detest. Crowds, which I loathe and the lovely aroma of animal shit interspersed with Dagwood Dogs. I could trudge around dodging said shit, while the boys moaned about every single thing they wanted OR I could stay home. By myself.  Tough one, eh?

 I couldn't actually remember the last time I have been home completely alone. Just quietly, I revelled in the solitude. Does this make me a bad mother? I think it makes me an Aspie who is also a mother and I have to do the best I can to cope and having quiet time helps me cope. Quiet time that I rarely have. So, I tried very hard not to be guilty.  Deciding a glass of wine may help me with that, I poured one. Then another. Suddenly I didn't feel guilty anymore.

Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

What devices do you have? Go ahead, make me jealous...