Monday, November 30, 2009

A friend once spoke of the differences between an old friend

A friend once spoke of the differences between an old friend and myself as such:

"Kylie was a single woman who lived like a single woman. You are a single woman who lives like a married woman"

I just thought of that as I popped a date slice into the oven, wrapped up some home-made mini quiches and made a cup of tea for my Dad, who is fixing the shower.

Yes. Yes. I can see that.

Last night I held my brand-new seven year old boy. Seven years

Last night I held my brand-new seven year old boy. Seven years old!

I pushed my nose into his hair and his neck and hung on tightly to him, my darlin', my baby boy.
Why do I need him so much? I asked myself. Because that seems to be the word I come up when I think about my feelings to this little one. I need him - he is my family's sunshine.

Seven years, and three days ago, my Nanna died in hospital in Melbourne. My Nan was also sunshine to my family, the kindest and most loving woman I have ever known - she adored me my whole life and we had a special bond. When she died I was in Perth, a long, long way away.
I was in Perth and I was going through a really horrible divorce and I was pregnant with little O. I felt like I had nobody.

Nevin pulled up that day, on my front lawn and left his 4WD engine running. My role was to go out with the two car seats and the overnight bags, waddling and struggling with a four year old and a two year old trailing behind. He would sit in the car and smoke and refuse to make eye contact.
What I should have done is throw the whole lot on the front lawn and say, "you arrogant, nasty prick, get out off your backside and come and collect your children and put their car seats into your car" but I never did do or say those things. I felt guilty and I felt ashamed because I was having our baby and I didn't want to be married to him anymore. He detested me.

So my Nan has died and I am 3000km away with my two children gone to their hostile Father. I am left alone with Nevin's Mum who, just like me, is bewildered and saddened by Nevin's behavior. She says she can't even look at him - that is not her son.

I cry and cry on the bed. I cry for my Nan, I cry for myself and I cry for my two little kids who are having a terrible, terrible time. And I cry for the baby who is coming into such a sad world with a Dad who won't acknowledge them.

But O is born and a page turns in our life. It is not a horrible world or a horrible place - when I was giving birth to him I heard my Nanna and in that trippy place of a pain so raw and heightened that my mind traveled to another land to get away from it - I got to hear Nan and talk with her again. She wasn't so far away after all.
O was born and I never looked back - I loved him instantly and fiercely and I hung onto him. He was the little bit of something wonderful for the kids and I to have in our family.

So last night as I wrapped my arms around this little boy's waist and I breathed in his hair and his smell, I remembered seven years ago how everything was dark until he was born and brought so much light. Happy Birthday, O.

The orange lamp that was free

There may or may not be some dodgy product placement stuff going on in this next post.

Sorry 'bou that. But I got this new lamp, you see. A big orange environmentally friendly LAMP from - in their lamp section.

I first of all ordered a rug but the rug couldn't come till late and I decided instead of waiting, I would choose something a big different and quite a bit spesh.

I got this giant orange lamp for my middle son, L. The one who feels like nothing in his room is his and nobody ever thinks to give him something just on his own.

I got him this giant orange lamp because he is scared of the dark. I got him this lamp because it sits atop a small bookshelf filled with his books and objects and it sits in the corner and gives the room a soft orange glow. It's like being inside a giant cocoon actually - quite lovely.

So this is a dodgy product placement post but with a happy ending. I'm glad I chose the lamp and I'm glad I gave it to my son who now loves it.

Thank you Maria from and thank you big orange lamp.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Slap

The Slap is written by Australian author, Christos Tsiolkas and I've just finished reading it...late last night actually.

God I was glad to be done with it and away from those characters. By the end of the book, I despised the lot of them and the sad, sly, dysfunctional, cruel and treacherous world they live in.

This book has been hailed as a definitive exploration of the modern, multi-cultural world in which I apparently now live in. Middle-class, suburban Australia.


The premise of this book is excellent and wondering what happens is why I kept the page turning even though so many things about it made me cringe (though not the writing - never the writing. This author is superb).

At a BBQ one weekend afternoon, where family and friends converge at Hector and Aisha's home in a leafy Melbourne suburb, a 3 year old child is slapped by somebody who is not his parents. The repercussions that follow are powerful and the ripple effect is alive and well, let me tell you. It may seem like a basic premise - nobody should slap a child and the person who did it was in the wrong - but there are so many shades of grey and jumping over deep-down cultural and traditional beliefs and our assumptions and ideologies about rights and power and abuse, it's a hurdle.
The one theme that kept popping out to me was entitlement. My generation has such different ideas about entitlement than my parent's or my grandparents believed. Entitlement. Respect. Power. Rights. All the big themes are explored in this book and it's a fascinating read, it really is.
But so frikkin' uncomfortable.

The book is a compilation of many characters who were there at the fateful BBQ. And I have to be honest, every character bar one made me angry and disgusted and annoyed and bored. Do I know any of these sorts of people? People who are supposedly representative of current day Australia? I don't know them and I hope I never meet them! Perhaps I've been too sheltered but if that's the big grown up world out there I'm glad I spend so much time indoors. The characters are vain and sneaky and the language is pretty full-on. The sex scenes can feel grotesque (and there are a lot of sex scenes).

Basically - I am glad I don't hang around people who talk the way these characters (bar one - a sweet boy called Richie) do.

Which sounds trite and prudish and precious when talking about an extremely well written book by an author who just blows me away with his human insights and oh, he must be like a human sponge, soaking up everything he sees, hears, feels and assumes. What a great author - his story kept me reading even when I was repulsed by his characters and felt so angry that my middle-class Australia was being portrayed in such a crude way.

Read it and tell me what you think.

Oh and here's a transcript of an interview with the author, which is also interesting.

Another review here...

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I've been in a right mood lately. Hot then cold hot then cold. My temper is flaring up to the point where I think my head is going to burst into a gelatinous mess of red hot lava, pouring down the slopes of my shoulders like a lazy volcano.

The doctor is testing my hormones and my thyroid. But I know it's not my hormones. It's my eating addiction - all that crap in my system making me crazy and my thinking fuzzy and my levels riding high then dropping down so fast. Awfully fast.

I have put on weight again, every week I grow another centimeter, and as such my bosom is positively heaving against my shirts. I am showing extra cleavage but it's not sexy. It looks like a fat man's arse crack showing through his shorts - I am repelled by it.
But others are not. I have noticed this. They gawk and they stare. Even my women friends - they look down at the flash of white padded softness and I feel self conscious and betrayed.
Don't look at my tits, love, I want to chide. It shits me.

So today I have dressed with a button up cardigan. Only I left all the buttons on it undone, but for the top one. The cleavage one. Everyone can keep their damn eyes to themselves today. I've also painted my eyelids in green shimmer make up so hopefully my eyes will be interesting enough to look into.
Everyone can just go to hell.

I hate having breasts that are out there. I hate the matronly feel of them. The way all my clothing decisions are based on what will cause me the least amount of attention. People make jokes about them to my face, which is only somewhat better than turning and smirking the way some husbands do as they look at their wives - cor, she's got a set on her, eh?
I know what they think.
Perving assholes.

I'm sorry I'm angry, and it sounds coarse and hostile to read. You might feel uncomfortable. But I'm uncomfortable and I really think people should keep their bloody eyes away from my chest. Even my friends. Especially my friends.