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Dear brain, please explain

24 Mar

I’m not going to bore you with the details of it, but walking up the stairs and back to my desk just now, I remembered that last night I had a dream, the upshot of which was that I made a commitment not only to myself, but to a strange David Brent type person, that I would write a symphony. According to this David Brent type person (and I promise this is the only detail with which I will regale you), anyone who is anyone has written one by the time they’re forty.

In my dream, I seemed to believe not only that I should add ‘write a symphony’ to my list of things to do, but that I had the skills to follow through.



I can’t think of a suitable title

23 Mar

I have just been reacquainting myself with some research and statistics, during which time I have reading the Facts and Stats factsheet on the White Ribbon Foundation‘s website. The report says, amongst other things:

Australian women’s experience of violence in the last 12 months
The Personal Safety Survey also provides data on Australian women’s experiences of violence over the last year. In the last 12 months:
Over one in 20 women (6%, or close to half a million women) were the victims of violence;

That is half a million reasons it is not okay to call a woman a bitch. If you read the report, Tony, you will find that sadly, there are many, many more.

I keep telling myself it won’t get worse, and then it does

23 Mar

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We were all sitting around the table just now, the mister, the lads and the I, eating our lunch and the conversation was civilised, but stilted, because we all had our heads in books or screens. Some of us were reading Asterix, some were clicking through their blackberry, and I was flicking through news from home, and I was all, ‘Listen to this’ and ‘Can you believe?’ and then I saw that photo.

Seriously, Tony Abbott, how dare you take democracy and do that to it? Especially now, while so many people in so many places are sacrificing so very much for democracy. How dare you? We go to school every day with families whose hearts are heavy with fear and uncertainty, but also burning with hope. I check my email constantly for messages from friends in places I’d rather they weren’t. And while they are doing these things, showing courage beyond imagination, this is your contribution.

‘Look at this,’ I said to the mister when I first saw that photo, and I turned the screen his way.

‘Can I see?’ Eldest lad asked, but I said, ‘No,’ and turned it around before he could see. I don’t actually shield my children from much of the news. We don’t watch graphic images on the television, but we talk to them about most things.

But not that, I’m not letting them see that, because I come from a time and a place where such attitudes need not be explained. I come from a time and a place where our leaders respect women, respect people, respect democracy and take the responsibilities of freedom of speech seriously.

Eldest said, ‘Mum! Don’t cry! Think of a happy thing.’

Right now I can’t.

Morning tea at work

23 Mar

Yesterday, at eleven o’clock, after thinking about it for over an hour and making the perfect amount of coffee to accompany it, I realised that I had left my cake, a slice of the best banana cake I have ever baked, at home. And the only thing on my desk was the banana I’d bought in the day before.

Today, I did not forget to bring my cake to work, and I will be having morning tea at ten thirty, not eleven.

Movie of the year (imho)

22 Mar

Walking into Rango, knowing nothing more about it than that the kids want to see it and it stars Johnny Depp is like picking up your drink thinking you are having lemonade only to find that you are drinking soda water.

Once you have adjusted, you will realise the treat is not sweet as you were expecting, but it is something better. You are left, not with a sweet cloying in the back of your throat, but a bubbling sharpness and a single thought. I am more alive than I used to be.

I bet that’s what it’s like having an actual relationship with Johnny Depp (in relation, I mean, to the relationship I do have with him which is limited to simply repeating, ‘oh, yes, Johnny Depp’ everytime someone mentions his name and then trying to look like I still care what the other person is saying). And don’t I wish I had the chance to take that ‘I bet’ from the realms of speculation into lived experience.


21 Mar

At school, the families from Japan have organised a stall selling handmade Japanese craft. Thanks to our eldest child, we have a house that is overflowing with paper cranes and frogs and lilies and balloons, but their sign says, ‘Even one dirham will help us.’

On the way to the final birthday party of the weekend, youngest said, ‘I’ve just realised, I’m the only one in my football team who comes from a country that has English as the main language’. On the way home, he said, ‘Amir didn’t come. He’s from Libya. They don’t feel like celebrating.’

I tried a new hairdresser. Eldest’s teacher’s hairdresser. Eldest’s teacher always looks beautiful so I asked her where she goes. The hairdresser asked the normal questions. ‘Where are you from? How long have you been here? You like it here?’ And when I shrugged and smiled in answer to the last, he smiled an almost-laugh in return and said, ‘You are like everyone.’

I wanted to say, ‘Every day I live here I believe that less than I did the day before.’

At home, the mister said, ‘You look beautiful,’ but eldest said, ‘Oh no, you look just like Miss. I won’t know whether I’m at home or school.’

Lucky for that dermatologist, he doesn’t live next door. He’d never get any peace.

19 Mar

I have spent quite a lot of this weekend standing in the light of the window twisting my head towards the back of my knee and my knee towards the back of my head, trying to work out whether or not that mole is new, whether it has grown since I first noticed it two weeks ago and whether said mole it is itchy because it’s got a bite coincidentally and randomly next to it and, in so doing, comparing said possible bite to another left on the front of that thigh and another on the back of the other. (Another being bite and other being thigh).

I am trying not to spend too much time on the internet googling around for images which will freak me out. I’m sure you can guess how successful this latter (in)activity has been.