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Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 27. Day 331. Hailing

Bohemian Rhapsody had that line about "thunderbolts and lightning very, very frightening indeed".
This is true. But my experience today tells me howling winds, driving rain and giant hail stones peppering your car are bloody terrifying.
I had the bad fortune being out in it, almost home when the storm struck. Fortunately I was outside the Convention Centre and was able to escape into the underground car park and wait it out. When it blew over I found it impossible to drive the short distance home because of power lines down and roads closed so I walked and got to see the destruction up close and personal.
I arrived home to find out house pretty much untouched but neighbours with scores of broken windows between them,
But the silver lining in this storm cloud? The community spirit. Ignoring their own damage, the neighbours converged on the house of 87-year-old Margaret to help her clean up glass, find torches and get settled. That's what neighbours do come rain, hail or shine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 26. Day 330. Feed me

So the way to a man's heart is though his stomach. That's just soft. You won't get to my heart with food. You will get to my soul. It's an emotional thing. It's a comfort thing. Some times it's about hunger. Some times it's about taste. A lot of the time it's about so much more. It's instinct right? From the time we are babies we are driven by food. These three where practically climbing over each other in the nest to get their fair share and more and making a right regular noise about it too. That's me when I'm hungry,. Try and come between me and food and you won't hear the end of it. Like a wild predator, I'm much easier to deal with when I'm well fed. Even more so if I'm well rested. Those signs about not feeding the wild life? Ignore them. Some wild life are a lot tamer when fed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 25. Day 329. You'd better not shout

November 25 and I'm prepared to call it - the day the count dawn can officially begin. So folks "You'd better not shout. You'd better not cry. You'd better not pout." And if you think you know why you are most likely wrong. It has nothing to do with the tragic case of the grown woman who chooses to dress her dog like Santa Paws. Nor is it because Christmas is now only a month away. The countdown to which I am referring is the end of Year 11. There has been enough pouting and shouting and crying in this house as we approach the end of this school year to last a lifetime - and I'm just talking about me. And I'm over it. And while I shall hold off on popping the champagne corks until 3pm on Thursday I'm starting to get a tinsy, tiny bit hopeful that the end is near and if we've all been good Santa might bring a half decent report card to make it all worthwhile.

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24. Day 328. Open wide

 I have no idea what the birds were up to at the University of Queensland Lakes this afternoon but I suspect it was some kind of mating ritual. There was a lot of puffing up feathers, flapping about, screeching and beak to beak action. All in all not that unlike a Valley nightclub in the early hours of Saturday morning if my very dodgy memory serves me correctly. The thing is, while these types of rituals doubtless look very sexy for those involved, they look somewhat ridiculous from the outside. Just look at the behaviour of drunken teens on a night out. Most unattractive to those of us too old to ooze sex hormones. And so it was with these birds. I can not say for sure why there would be meeting of beaks but it looked kind of unappealing - much like going to the dentist and trying to have a conversation while someone prises open your mouth. Perhaps because I spent the morning taking my neighbour Margaret to the dentist, that's exactly what the bids reminded me of what with lots of flapping about and mouths open wide, Didn't stick around to see if they got to spit out afterwards.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 23. Day 327. Who me?

OK, I confess I have been known to watch Super Nanny. This I can assure you has nothing to do with getting parenting tips and everything to do with reassuring me that I am not the worst parent on earth. Nothing like Super Nanny, Wife Swap or Dance Mums to give you every confidence that no matter how many parenting mistakes you may make, there are others out there who are far worse. Anyway, while parenting pointers may not be the goal of Super Nanny viewing, I have picked up some pearls of parenting wisdom along the way (and not just the naughty corner and how not to pronounce "acceptable").  Such as, some times a child will behave in a very, very naughty fashion because it is the only way to gain attention. When little Johnny or Jimmy feels he's been overlooked he's learned there's no surer way to get back into the spotlight than to act up. I'm wondering if Little Rumple has also learned this. Let's be clear, this pampered pooch has never and will never be neglected. He's pretty much the centre of attention of everyone in the house and we are all quite happy with that arrangement. But with the deluge of assessment related stress flooding the place on occasions he may be left to fend for himself. So he's been getting up to no good and I'm pretty sure he knows it. While he does have the run of the house there are rules and not climbing on the table and sitting on the weekend newspapers is one of them. I know, how mean? But really he knows he can get away with it if he really wants to. Just give me those big sad puppy dog eyes and all is forgiven.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 22. Day 326. Going under

Sunday is meant to be the day of rest but as a woman who always tries to keep ahead of the game, I decided to get in early and declare today "Slacko Saturday". We all desperately needed a catch-up day after what has been a "difficult" week (where difficult is a euphemism for words that would have my mouth washed out with soap in years gone by). I cancelled all appointments apart from taking the dog for his Santa photo. Turns out Santa Paws is next week. Again a woman ahead of my time. There was much sleeping and much kicking back by the pool. Funny how after a week feeling like you are drowning, a day spent largely under water is a pleasant relief. Drama Teen, who I always said could talk under water, certainly seemed to enjoy letting off steam. Yep, the world is a better place for fresh air, sunshine, a long dip and binge sleeping. My vow is to be doing a lot more of it in the very near future.

Friday, November 21, 2014

November 21. Day 325. It's as easy as ABC

 Somewhere in the great unpublished collection of parental sayings and wisdom there is a chapter that deals with dishonesty. Every parent knows it. Every parent tries to instill its lessons in his or her young.
The rules are like this. If you steal the last Tim Tam from the biscuit jar I will be annoyed and rightly you will be punished. But if you lie and say you did not take the Tim Tam and I find the evidence on your crumby fingers, the crime of the lie well outdoes the original breach. Try and cover it up and you might find yourself grounded for life. Lying and failure to take responsibility for your actions are poor displays of human ethics and thus can not go unpunished. This is what I think about the ABC cuts. As a journalist and consumer of the ABC I am deeply concerned and saddened by the ABC funding cuts. But what makes me mad as hell are the lies and the cover-up. You can not stand up before the Australian people the night before a general election and sat there will be no cuts to the ABC and then do the exact opposite. This is the sort of act that gives politicians a bad name. But to really lose respect failing to acknowledge the cuts and insist on calling it an efficiency dividend is holding the electorate in utter contempt and should be treated accordingly. I don't think you've heard the end of it. Not by a long shot.