Monday, 28 December 2009

Let Me Explain...

No, there is too much. Let me sum up:

So, I didn’t win NaNoWriMo this year. It was always going to be a struggle, what with no plot and no unexpected inspiration. Still, I tried to cobble together the hastily-gathered scraps of derivative storyline and clichéd characters into something that could pass for a 50,000 word novel, until it became all too much like hard work, and I was terribly behind on my daily word count, and then…

Mr. Lonie’s dad died. Yes, died. He survived heavy smoking, heavy drinking, Maralinga and Vietnam for 77 years, but the reaper finally caught up with him. I’m not going to be hypocritical and pretend I’m heartbroken, but despite our lack of affection for each other, he was never unkind to me, so that’s something to be grateful for. His death had been coming on for a while – it was just an unfortunate coincidence it happened early in the morning of my very important job interview…

Which, despite being dog-tired from the strains of death-watch and subsequent death, I apparently did really well at, and got the job! Hello, extra $36.00 a fortnight! Woohoo! Now, flush with my new riches, I’ve pretty much decided that…

I will go on official blogging hiatus. An indefinite sabbatical, if you will. It’s not that I don’t have anything more to say, I just don’t have the time or the energy to say it right now (I’m too busy contending for the title of Worst Mother of the Year again. These awards don’t win themselves! There’s screaming to be done! Tempers to be lost! Bad examples to be set!) Anyway, as Mutley delights in reminding me, you, Dear Reader, are not really here reading these words, but are just a fond imagining of my deluded brain. So, you won’t mind if I effect my cunning plan, which involves going away, writing hundreds of posts, then returning to blogging and posting one every single day, thereby pretending I’m a conscientious blogger. So…


Saturday, 31 October 2009

Can't blog now. NaNo-ing.

Not that I expect everyone to hunch over their computers until I publish each new post, but you might want to lower your expectations still further. NaNoWriMo starts in under two hours and my insides are beginning to clench and churn and froth in a panic reminiscent of that horrid night-before-exams belated cramming I put myself through every year of uni.

I've been trying to figure out a mildly humourous way to finish this post, but I just don't have the energy or the brain power to spare. With ninety minutes to go, I kind of need to save that stuff for things like, oh you know, COMING UP WITH A PLOT TO SUSTAIN ME THROUGH 50,000 WORDS!!! I have no plot, no title, only one character, and a few vague, disjointed ideas that are floating about in my empty, echoing skull, as insubstantial as gossamer and about as difficult to weave into something that could be loosely defined as a novel. With the usual disclaimer about maintaining perspective in the knowledge of multiple, vastly more important global issues, I'm feeling rather sorry for myself.

See you on the other side of November, if I don't come here to cry about it before.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Looking on the Bright Side

Or: My Weekend

1) The trauma of being covered in someone else’s pooh is usually short-lived.

2) Based on current progress, it should only take me another hundred hours to finish my job application. But when I do, I’m told I’m a shoo-in!

3) A painful injection in the arm can often be somewhat of a relief – particularly when one has impaled one’s foot on a rusty nail.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Because I’m puerile and can’t resist

My sweet little three year-old, Master Lonie, has been learning about the planets.

“Does Uranus have a ring around it?” he wondered.

Yes, my son. Yes.

The Sound of Abusic

Well, our new team member arrived and she seems quite normal. Knowing how important it was for her to feel welcome and accepted, we slipped a frog in her pocket and a pine cone on her chair. Perhaps next week, if it all works out well between her and the handsome sea-captain, we'll skive off work and hike over the mountain to freedom.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Meat Product Roulette

I have to get up in about five hours, but I can’t fall asleep. The reason I can’t fall asleep is because I feel anxious. The reason I feel anxious is because a new colleague is arriving at work tomorrow.

I used to be pleased and excited when new colleagues arrived; we’re a small team with more to do than we can usually handle, and it was always nice to know our burdens would be lessened by the arrival of another doughty, meat-wise worker. Yes, I used to be pleased, until Delicate Flower turned out to be, well, a delicate flower, who then blossomed into a bat-pooh crazy flower. I used to be excited until Padawan revealed his true colours as an incorrigible, arrogant upstart. I used to be optimistic until Gimme was found to be the sort of ‘worker’ that can only ever be referred to in ironic quotation marks.

Now I feel the worms of dread eating at my stomach. What will be wrong with this woman? Bossiness has been suggested by one. I’m betting on fussy anal-retentive behaviour to the point of neuroticism, manifesting in an intense dislike of everything related to my desk.

But, one never knows. Maybe, just maybe, this one will be normal, likeable, hardworking. What are the odds we get four duds in a row?

Monday, 5 October 2009

The Insanity Returns

It does seem somewhat strange that someone incapable of posting even one blog entry last month would seriously entertain the idea of writing a 50,000 word novel in one month – next month, to be exact. A perfectly rational conclusion that one might draw is that I am, in fact, insane, but it would be a ho-hum old-hat perfectly rational conclusion, because everybody already knows I’m crazy as a loon.

Are thoughts of NaNoWriMo meant to distract me – in ways only a self-destructive procrastinator can devise – from more important things on my plate, such as completing a very important job application (due frightfully soon and with frightfully little actually done), or the small matter of trying not to be such a godawful mother of the kind therapists dream of while rubbing their hands with glee? Probably.

Am I making less and less sense as this post goes on? YES! It is LATE! And I am TIRED! But that, my friends, is what NaNo is all about, n’est-ce pas? One must accustom oneself to such things.

While I technically ‘won’ NaNoWriMo last year (ie: I completed a 50,000 word novel), I considered it somewhat of a Pyrrhic victory, accompanied as it was by demoralising realisations that my writing was rife with purple prose, Mary Sues and eye-rolling stream-of-consciousness narrative that would no doubt have bored the pants off anyone had I been silly enough to let them read it. Of course, my NaNo novel was written with quantity rather than quality in mind, but still, one hopes to see evidence of phenomenal talent in all of one’s endeavours and is understandably downcast when abundant evidence to the contrary is presented instead.

I tried to encapsulate the disappointment in a December post which, ironically, or perhaps portentously, I never finished. It began:

“And…exhale. Ease hands out of the clawed typing mitts they have stiffened into. Confront the draft of your very first novel and despair.

It’s surprising to me how little my actual experience of NaNoWriMo resembles the experience I imagined. On one hand, I wasn’t nearly so busy writing as I expected. Of course, that’s a good thing since I have plenty of other responsibilities which are more than enough to fill my day (especially since Mr. Lonie decided to nick off interstate for four weeks of costume balls and Sunday drives, nominally known as ‘work’). Besides, I quickly discovered that two hours a session was as much as I could mentally handle, and one session a day was as much as I could temporally afford.

It was also somewhat easier to…”

To what? I can’t even remember how I meant to conclude that interrupted thought. To spew forth crap from my crappy little brain, I expect.

So anyway, wish me luck. No, not with the novel – with finding a plot for the novel.

Yes, I know. I’m doomed.

Sunday, 4 October 2009


I knew she was dead before the phone call came.

It’s not that I have premonitive powers, it’s just that, while ambling about my office building minding the Department’s business, thoughts of my friend intruded persistently into my mundane musings, unbidden and apropos of nothing. It was then I knew that she was gone.

Three days later it was more with dread than shock that I accepted the phone and heard the words, delivered with so much gentleness and compassion, which confirmed my awful suspicions. She had died the day before my sudden inspiration.

At the wake, speaking to her mother who was so kind and so gracious even in the midst of her own grief, I told her how the inexorable thought of Mel had come to me that day. She smiled and grasped my hand and said I’d given her a wonderful thing.

The sceptical among you may deride or pity me for my foolish notion of messages from beyond the veil. You may argue that such things as an afterlife or spiritual communication simply do not exist. What you describe is just one of those millions of coincidences the gullible and the ignorant choose to interpret as fate or divine intervention or evidence to support their own crackpot theories, you may say.

So you thought about someone you know, those more willing to believe in unexplained sympathetic links may respond, brows furrowed over my assumption. So what? If every person who popped unexpectedly into our minds were to die, the global population would be decimated!

Regardless of your opinion on the possibility, I’m sure you’ve all noticed the glaring illogicality of my story. Why on earth would you conclude she was dead? you will think. And if you thought so, then why the hell didn’t you call her? Why did you do nothing for days until her poor brother had to ring you with the terrible news?

I can’t bring myself to articulate the answers to these questions, to see them in black and white, to release them into the ether whence I will never be able to recall them. In truth, I’m not completely sure of the answers myself, although I don’t deny that they involve a lot of shame on my part. I’ve known her for over 15 years and I never stopped being her friend, but I was obviously a crappy one. I don’t ask for forgiveness or absolution for my part in her death, because I know I deserve none.

The point is, she sent me a sign she was gone. I also, as I’ve written before, bought my Babo after (so it makes me smile to think) she arranged for him to appear in front of me, on sale. Scoff if you please, wonder how a disaffected Catholic or any intelligent, rational person can believe in that sort of thing if you must, but the truth is it gave me comfort and it gave her anguished mother comfort to know she was still present in some form even after her body was no more than an empty vessel. I’m not the type to fall prey to charlatans claiming to pass on messages from departed loved ones (for a fee), I’ve not joined some strange cult encouraging me to drink their tainted cordial, so where’s the harm?

Of course, a fleeting visitation does not ease all the sorrow of a friend gone before her time. Not long after the funeral, I wrote to her family. This is fucked up. Depression is the Devil and you were all robbed, is what I wanted to say, and I knew they’d understand exactly what I meant without further explanation. But that’s not the sort of thing one writes on a card for a 31st birthday that will never be celebrated. Instead, I settled for a lame sentiment expressing their continued position in my thoughts and prayers, and hoped they’d know I was sincere.

It’s been more than six months now, and the constant burden of sorrow is lighter. I take this as both a blessing and a token of my unworthiness. But I know she forgives me for neglecting to call, to write. I know she understands I never forsook our friendship. I know because, as strayed from the flock as I am, I still believe in a heaven, and in that heaven one is free of the base instincts and unbecoming motivations of us mortals on earth. There is no anger, no accusation, and no disappointment in the failings of others. She wasn’t like that anyway – her mother told me how she thought of me fondly even at the end. Most of all, I know what I say is true because, a few days ago as I cried over her needless death, I felt a touch on my shoulder from a hand that wasn’t there.


Friday, 28 August 2009

Birth Control

For someone who, a few months ago, tearily packed away outgrown baby clothes, wailed that my youngest would soon be all grown up, and calculated the optimum time to conceive my fourth child, I now find myself scandalously content to remain a mother of three.

It’s not that I don’t love my kids, and I had plans for another, but by the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I’m tired. I’m tired every moment of every day. I wake up tired and I go to bed tired. I go to work tired and come home even more tired. There’s no period of being refreshed and energised, just brief intervals of being less tired than during the rest of my tiring day.

Unfortunately that’s not the only item on my mental list of Reasons to Stop at Three. I don’t wish to grumble too much because I know there are many people in the world who would love to swap their cross for mine; you, Dear Reader, must therefore infer the reasons I found myself crying in bed last night, wishing only for a padded cell and a soundproof screaming helmet like Jane Jetson’s.

And so it is that the prospect of my brood growing up and attaining some measure of independence and self-reliance is quite cheering to me in this serotonin-addled state. I suppose Mr. Lonie finds the possibility of another baby daunting, too, as he’s done the unthinkable and seriously considered letting some hairy-handed doctor fiddle with his goolies and slice bits out of them.

But do not let your hearts be troubled, squeams and vas deferens lovers! Perhaps the dreaded snip won’t be necessary after all. You see, the other night in bed, Mr. Lonie snuggled up to me in a way that might be construed as a precursor to further canoodling.

“Mm,” he said, his voice husky with what I like to think was desire but was more probably the result of loudly hawking up phlegm seconds before. “My groin is full of fungus.”

Ah, Jock Itch, that’s the stuff. Who needs vasectomies when abstinence will do?

Friday, 7 August 2009

The Other Man

I’ve cultivated a very close relationship with another man, and I can no longer hide it from Mr. Lonie. It’s been developing so slowly I didn’t even notice how intimate we had become until recently.

The realisation that we are practically inseparable hit me today. It was not a comforting thought, because the kind of closeness that we share is not a healthy one, particularly as I’m a married woman. The worst part is, Mr. Lonie knows. The man I married has discovered I let him down and I let myself down, yet he still loves me.

It’s time to put a stop to it – it’s time to say goodbye. As painful and as difficult as parting with him will be, I have to do it. There’s just not enough room in a marriage bed for me, Mr. Lonie and Mr. Hugh Jarce.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

My Daughter the Heretic

“Everyone has nostrils except Jesus.”

I see I’ve got a lot of work to do before Miss Lonie starts Catholic school next year.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Another Year Older, Another Year More Horrifying

With age comes wisdom and acceptance of the inevitabilities of life. I therefore knew my endeavour was unlikely to succeed, but made a brave attempt anyway. Unfortunately my plan to draw the poison of vitriolic thoughts and words before they spilled out to an annoying colleague was not altogether successful. Though I filled sympathetic ears and wasted valuable internet space with what I hoped would be cathartic rantings, alas, I fear I may have injured the Delicate Flower’s feelings with an incautious (but justified) outburst in response to her disquieting behaviour. Ah well, just as other workmates have before me, I’ll make my forced apology and continue to work unaided while she takes more stress leave. Why meddle with the status quo?

Happily I’m not as highly-strung as some, or I’d be on stress leave too. Unlike certain others, I can usually take jests and remarks in the spirit they are offered, rather than stewing for several sleepless nights about the hidden meanings of punctuation in an email. Were it not for this trait shared by all normal, rational human beings, I would surely be a quivering wreck, and consequently unable to complete my riveting report on the latest synthetic sausage casings.

You see, now that I’ve celebrated another anniversary of my birth, I’m on the ‘wrong’ side of 30 (as my obstetrician so tactfully implied), and due to recent staff turnover I’m in the ‘old’ half of the team. I’m not rushing out for botox and collagen just yet, but I have been wistfully admiring the youthful skin of our new graduate and wondering if I appeared that impossibly young when I started at the department.

The other day, I was laughing with one of the boys (five years younger than I, but it may as well be ten. Egad! He’s never heard of Monkey Magic or The Goodies!) over an amusing anecdote he was telling about being set up with an eager girl.

“So why didn’t you like her?” I asked. “She was pretty, wasn’t she? And she has a good job?”

He stared incredulously at me. “I couldn’t go out with her!” he said, horrified. “She was as old as you!”

I briefly considered what the Delicate Flower would do were she confronted with such a remark, but immediately pooh-poohed her natural course of action. Why bother with the red-tape of stress leave when old-age retirement is just around the corner?

Friday, 31 July 2009

Bitchin' Blog

This is going to sound horribly mean and spiteful, but sometimes, there are some things that have to be said. I’m afraid that if I don’t spit these poisonous thoughts out now, they’ll accidentally blurt out during my first encounter with a long-absent colleague tomorrow. These are lessons that, based on recent data, I’ve learnt from the Department of Meat Products:

* Apparently it’s alright to appear for a mere total of three weeks at one’s desk even though one has been employed in the team for 18 months. You see, even after secondment interstate, practically every training course available and a six-week junket to a delightful tropical isle, one can always find an extra five weeks of courses to go on in order to avoid that pesky little thing called work.

* When one is at one’s desk instead of away doing unnecessary training, one should while away that tedious time on the most superfluous tasks one can reasonably pretend are related to the work one is actually employed to do.

* If one is going to take indefinite stress leave over trivial non-incidents, one should time it to ensure a smooth transition into the above-mentioned six-week junket. There’s no sense in being at work when one can be out shopping for bikinis and sunglasses.

* One needs at least five days at home to recover from nearly two months in an island paradise. Those twenty-hour working weeks and business class flights are terribly taxing, you know.

Yes, I know jealousy and bitterness are ugly things. It’s just that, for the last several weeks I’ve been shouldering a heavy workload on my own while others are off padding their CVs and enjoying themselves. Then I discover that instead of coming back and helping, or even allowing the team to share in the results of tens of thousands of dollars worth of brain-stuffing, the beneficiaries of this uncharacteristic Departmental munificence are not expected to help out in any useful way. How silly I was to make the logical assumption that the training which cost so much time and money would be applied in a direct and appropriate way! Clearly, I still have a lot to learn about fathoming the decision-making processes of recruitment officers and upper management.

I wonder if they offer a training course for that?

Saturday, 4 July 2009

You Know You Want To

Please don’t embarrass yourselves and me with any more fruitless denials. We all know you’ve been dying to read my responses to the meme of Eight, kindly forwarded on to me by Little Snoring. Very well, Dear Readers, I shall grant you your hearts’ desire:

Eight things I’m looking forward to:
1. Having enough free time all at one go to be able to do something worthwhile. When I’m not at (paid) work, I can usually find a couple of minutes here and there to amuse myself with reading blogs of a short and instantly-gratifying nature, but settling down to my own blog, or some other project, is pretty much out of the question. That my time is spent with my children is as it should be, so I’m not complaining, but there are days when the self-loathing arising from doing nothing creative or active at all almost drives me to become one of those organised, multi-tasking, hard-working supermums who can do it all. Almost.

2. Being slim and fit again. It’s a shame that merely looking forward to something doesn’t make it so.

3. All my children being completely toilet trained and able to wipe their own bottoms. I feel a bit guilty saying something of that nature, because as all mums and dads know, parenting is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. But I’ve been wiping bottoms and changing poohey nappies continuously for over five years now, and it would be good if that were taken off my daily ‘to do’ list. Then again, having another little baby would be nice…

4. Long-awaited and much-needed training for my job in the Department of Meat Products. Now that every other person in my team, including my juniors that have been with us all of five minutes, has already been on this training, it looks like it might finally be my turn. You know, next financial year and barring unforeseen circumstances and taking into account the spending cuts necessary to pay for the Department’s new whizz-bang gadgetry and after some other underling turns up and has their turn…

5. The end of winter. I grew up in the tropics. I was never meant to be this cold.

6. Finishing this post. Good God, people, I started it weeks ago! (See point 1)

7. My sister and her family visiting in December. As delightful as the religious hatred, the suicide bombers, the constant threat of rockets and missiles, and the necessity of armed guards at the children’s school must be, I think we’re all selfishly looking forward to having them home from Israel for Christmas.

8. NaNoWriMo. The exact period of time has elapsed since my first attempt at NaNoWriMo last year, for me to feel pleasantly nostalgic about the whole experience and to start fondly planning my next 50,000 word crap-baby. I’m sure in five months’ time I’ll be cursing myself for my crackpot schemes.

Eight things I did yesterday*:
1. Tried to fool myself that joining in with the kids while they warmed up for their tiny tots gymnastics class, constituted an aerobic workout (see point 2, above).

2. Proved to the unkind television programmers that I will stay up ridiculously late to watch Heroes.

3. Cooked home-made sausage rolls. These are a lot like frozen sausage rolls in that they have no real meat in them, but as opposed to those filled with snouts and woodpulp, they’re actually reasonable healthy – I got the recipe out of a self-proclaimed healthy cooking magazine and everything. But don’t tell Mr. Lonie and the kids that. It’s our little secret.

4. Made the mistake of checking my email too late at night to call someone about a message they sent. She wanted to meet me and the kids at 10 am the next day. Oh! How I laughed. On days when I’m at home with them, we’re lucky if we’ve eaten breakfast by then.

5. Pashed a tall, dark and handsome man. Let’s hope Mr. Lonie doesn’t find out (wink, wink).

6. Very nearly called (what I think was) a man, ‘Madam’. The funniest thing was, the music playing over the PA system was Dude (Looks Like a Lady).

7. Ran out of fuel for the Gulfstream midway to Paris. We had to stop off in Dubai and make do with last-minute accommodation at the Burj Al Arab for the night. Next time you feel like complaining about your day, spare a thought for me and my troubles, eh?

8. Decided to make up an outrageous lie. My second-best Rolex to the first person to guess which part of this post I fabricated.

*By 'yesterday', I do of course mean at any time in the past few weeks since I was handed the baton of this meme. If you didn't realise not much of interest happens to me in one day, you haven't been reading my blog long enough.

Eight things I wish I could do:
1. Afford to fly a private jet to Paris, with a stop-off in Dubai.

2. Be completely fluent in several languages. A dozen would do.

3. A chin-up.

4. Write a book. A good book. One that would be published and become a bestseller and make millions. (Private jets don’t grow on trees.)

5. Be a better parent.

6. Finish this damn post.

7. Sing (in a way people find pleasant, O maliciously literal genie)

8. Exhibit fine artistic talent.

Eight shows I watch (or have watched):
1. Heroes. Yes, it’s well past the peak of enjoyability, comprehensibility and decent timeslotting. Yes, nothing ever seems to be permanently and satisfactorily resolved. Yet I keep watching – perhaps I feel some resonance of similarity, what with my very mild superpowers (of which, more later).

2. How I Met Your Mother.

3. Futurama. Surprisingly sweet and poignant ongoing storylines, and in many ways superior to The Simpsons.

4. Spicks and Specks.

5. Pride and Prejudice (, The BBC’s 1995 mini-series production of). Mr. Lonie gave the DVD to me for Christmas one year. Love it.

6. America’s Next Top Model. I couldn’t care less about Tyra or the bitching or the so-called real-life drama, I just like to look at the pretty (or not-so-pretty, as the case may be) pictures. I was rather disappointed when its run on free-to-air here was abruptly terminated.

7. Monkey, aka Monkey Magic. Who didn’t watch and love this as a child? Who didn’t play at summoning magic pink flying clouds, or creating clone warriors from a single plucked hair? I even had the soundtrack. If anyone would like to buy me the complete DVD boxed set, please do.

8. Iron Chef. Yah boo sucks to crappy rip-offs; only the real crazy Chairman Kaga will do.

Now, I'm supposed to tag eight more people to participate in this meme, but I'm pretty sure everyone I read has either done this already, or is too loftily high up in the blogging tree to take any notice of what the plebs rooting around down here in the dirt are doing. Besides, as grateful as I am for being included like one of the popular kids, I've spent so long on this (embarrassing, isn't it, given the result?) that I'm heartily sick of it. So, a big wet raspberry to the sacred internet meme. I FORBID ANYONE ELSE TO DO THIS!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Rumours Of His Death...

As I write, the death of Michael Jackson has yet to be officially confirmed, although it’s widely reported as being an unquestionable fact.

The reaction of the hard-hearted cynic in me, upon hearing such news, usually goes something like Pshaw! Where’s the body, then? I want conclusive DNA tests!

As distasteful and shameless a stunt as it would be, I’m half hoping that the whole story has been concocted by Michael and his publicity agents to ensure an extended sell-out concert run for his upcoming tour, if only to enjoy watching Karl Stefanovic – drunken tv host unextraordinaire – squirmily back-pedal his way out of another lapse of professional standards. One can’t deny Michael has involved himself in many an ill-advised publicity situation before – think baffling marriages, dangling babies and naively candid documentaries.

On a different tack, if anyone were likely to be a client of Lisle von Rhoman’s, surely Michael Jackson would. Anonymity would be a high price for someone accustomed to revelling in fame, but surely for immortal beauty ’twould be gladly paid by a deeply troubled man dogged by repeated allegations of unsavoury criminal conduct, universally judged to be unfit to care for three innocent children, and addicted to cosmetic procedures beyond the ability of his mortal body to endure.

Am I the only crazy conspiracy theorist who thinks it suspiciously convenient that the very rich seem to die when personal scandal catches up with them? Christopher Skase, Rene Rivkin, Hansie Cronjie – oh yes, they’re all living it up on some exotic tropical island that mere plebs like us are too poor to even know exists, laughing over cigars rolled on virgins’ thighs and brandy distilled in the bellies of unicorns about how they fooled the world. Ol’ Wacko is on his way there now, giggling effeminately and admiring his alabaster skin in a diamond-bordered hand mirror. It all makes perfect sense…

…Except that now it’s been confirmed the reports have not been exaggerated. His three poor, maladjusted children are now to be exposed to the cruel real world with which they doubtless have never been taught to cope, and some slimy opportunists will make millions off the whole affair.

Whaddya know, it is a bloody tragedy after all.

Monday, 8 June 2009


I don’t think it’s terribly healthy that I’m developing an aversion to my own blog. I mean, it’s supposed to be a cathartic outlet for my pent-up rantings, right? But if a palpable dread pulsates in my guts at the mere thought of logging on for a look, let alone writing a new post, then it’s not really fulfilling its raison d’être, is it?

Anyone who studied psychology in high school, or ever watched an episode of Dr. Phil, can tell me that it’s some sort of associative aversion stemming from the focus of recent posts on my friend’s sad and untimely death. Understandable, you might say (if you were making generous allowances for the special Lonie brand of irrational mental processes), until I reclined on your leather consulting couch and told you that now even thinking of turning on the laptop gives me the collywobbles.


While I needed to scoop the last few entries out of my bubbling brain and deposit them somewhere before they boiled over and caused a messy accident, I can’t let this blog become like my teen-angst-filled diaries: too painful to read, silly and self-absorbed though it may be. This is supposed to be a refuge from polite conversation, a bastion of unrestrained ranting on topics which cannot be visited in real life without unpleasant consequences. If I can’t come here anymore because of psychosomatic gut-churnings, then I may as well sew my mouth shut and administer my own lobotomy to enable me to cope with the petty trials of my family and work.

Besides, though you’re all too kind and polite to say it, you must be getting tired of my morose and downbeat blogging. I’m sincerely grateful for the support I’ve received from my readers during this and other low times, but there are enough personal and communal problems in the world without me contributing to compassion fatigue with my endless and futile musings on her death.

Let me then pour into my blog’s wounded bosom the balm of a humorous song:

Hee hee. I feel better already.

Sunday, 7 June 2009


"Babo will protect you. Having a bad day? Someone giving
you a hard time? Babo's got your back. What Babo lacks in
mind power, he makes up for in love. He's everybody's best
friend. He will stick with you to the end and when something
scary happens, he will send you a nice greeting card from
wherever it is he runs away to.

A very curious, mischievous creature, Babo may need some
guidance and parenting, so make sure to bring him with you to as many places as possible. Leaving him at home is fine, but
please put all cookies and money on the highest shelf."

He helped her through some bad days. He even went to the funeral. I happened upon his twin while wandering aimlessly around the shops, and he happened to be on sale.

When it suits me, I choose to believe in signs – of which, more later – and it makes me happy.

Another She

"So if you wanna burn yourself remember that I LOVE YOU,
And if you wanna cut yourself remember that I LOVE YOU,
And if you wanna kill yourself remember that I LOVE YOU,
Call me up before you're dead, we can make some plans instead.
Send me an IM, I'll be your friend”
From Loose Lips by Kimya Dawson

In a parallel universe, that’s just what happened. The thought makes me smile.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

The Party Guest

She stepped uncertainly into the ballroom, smiling shyly as bystanders turned to regard the newcomer with mild curiosity. She wasn’t the outgoing sort who could easily jump into conversation with complete strangers at such a large and crowded function, so she stayed by her parents, with whom she’d arrived, until she felt confident to leave their side and mingle with other guests.

As the evening progressed, her confidence grew and she wandered freely throughout the many rooms of the spacious mansion. Some she merely passed through, perhaps exchanging a word or a smile, sometimes even unheeded by the busily chattering occupants. In other rooms she lingered with new acquaintances and, over laughs and shared interests their initial rapport developed into friendship. In small giggling bands they’d roam the house filled with so many guests from all walks of life, dropping some people off here and picking others up there like a virtual bus offering room to room service.

She hadn’t been at the party long – certainly not long enough to have tasted each dish in the magnificent feast nor inspected each artwork gracing the walls – when she became aware of a dull and persistent pain. Her head began throbbing with a migraine that grew continuously worse despite the medication and distraction she employed to ameliorate it. However, not wanting to complain or spoil anyone else’s night, she endured the pain as best she could. She continued to talk, to laugh, to enjoy the revels the host had provided, and very few of the other guests at the party noticed anything more than a brief grimace of pain on her face when she thought no-one was looking.

The night wore on, but alas, despite the otherwise wonderful time she’d been having, the pain grew too much for her to endure. Her parents begged her to stay, promising unimagined delights yet to come that would banish her torment. Seeing the distress the prospect of her retiring early caused, she relented and agreed to stay longer. She excused herself and promised to return soon, smiling fondly at how happy she’d made everyone she cared for, by concealing the extent of her distress, and her true intentions.

Slipping upstairs, she wandered about the living quarters opening this door and that until she found a beautiful room to soothe her ailing body, and a soft, warm bed to lull her to sleep. Gratefully snuggling under the covers, she closed her eyes and her breathing slowed. Her last thought before she floated gently into oblivion was of happiness because finally, after such a long night of endurance and pretence, her pain was seeping away.

When the other guests realised she’d gone, they were sad and regretful. They’d enjoyed their conversations with her and wished she would return to grace them with her smile, her knowledge, her humour and her kindness again. For some, the food tasted like ash and the drink like vinegar without her there to share in it. The music was tuneless, the conversation dull, and suddenly remaining at the party until its end seemed not a delight, but a chore.

But the swirling human currents of such large gatherings soon brought these downhearted guests into contact with other people who had met her in different rooms, chatted with her on other topics. And through the sharing of fond remembrances and recollections they came to realise how many facets this enigmatic party guest had, all of which she never displayed to any one person. Though all who met her that night wished she’d stayed longer at the party, they came to understand, by piecing together the clues each person offered, that she could not remain at peace if she stayed.

Through understanding came the consolation that, after all, the party would soon end and everyone would have to leave. Eventually they’d all wander sleepily up to the guest rooms their host had prepared, glad to place their tired heads upon the pillows and rest their aching feet. And in the morning, when sleep had cured a magnitude of woes and the bright sun streamed through the opened curtains, they’d all be together again.

Sunday, 3 May 2009


I’m sorry, Internet. It seems dreadfully self-indulgent of me to still be sad and crying more than a month after she died. The truth is, my honest self-assessment is that I’m coping with her death and how it came about, but in the times when I’m alone, the times when mundane tasks leave my mind free to wander, self-punishingly, back to painful reflections, the grief and bitter regret return.

It is self-indulgent. After all, nothing will bring her back. And, disaffected Catholic though I am, I still believe she has found peace and contentment in a so-called ‘better place’; how could I wish her back in a world in which she suffered more than she could bear?

But the regrets will always be there like scars on my soul.

I should have been flying to her wedding, not her funeral.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Still here.

Hello. I'm still here - I've not gone into a lifestyle tailspin and taken to drowning my sorrows or anything. I'm not contemplating (my own (imminent and self-caused)) death. I just don't know what to say, that's all.

There are so many things I feel like I want to write but, as usual, my clumsy interface between synapse and concrete syntax is letting me down. The aftermath of tragedy deserves more skillful handling than I can currently provide.

This will shock all of my regular readers, but for once, when I figuratively utter the following, I'm not moaning about my own petty problems: sometimes, life just isn't fair.

Thursday, 2 April 2009


Now I understand how people can blog at times like this. The mechanics of typing, the whirring of one’s brain focused on something so trivial are a blessed distraction.

Earlier today I learned a friend of mine has died. I would say a good friend of mine, but obviously I was not a good enough friend, or I would have called her more recently than…when? I can’t even remember. It must be about a year ago. Yes, I’ve been busy and time certainly does fly by with a life like mine, but a year?

She killed herself.

I don’t know what to say or do that isn’t wallowing in self-pity for my own culpability in her death. I’ll settle for goodbye.

Peace, Mel.
xxx L

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Killing Me Softly

It sounds like the most arrogant kind of ingratitude, but when my boss told me that I write beautifully, it really didn’t fill me with the delight that it should have. Please don’t think I wasn’t happy to hear that my work is appreciated – who doesn’t like hearing praise? It’s just that for fifteen years I’d nurtured the dream of being an author, but I’d just returned to work after the crushing post-NaNoWriMo realisation that I was even worse at creative writing than that small voice inside me had been droning for some time. I’d confronted the dashing to smithereens of my dream, no less shocking even though I knew it was built on the shaky foundations of a conspicuous lack of talent and drive. So, praise for reports produced for the Department of Meat Products, though gratifying in its way, was killing me softly: a dagger slid between my ribs during a friend’s embrace. I felt rather as I imagine a classical pianist who aspires to concert fame would, on being congratulated for the most technically correct scales the auditor had ever heard.

Worse, now my reputation for ‘beautiful reports’ on inspiring subjects such as the relative qualities of lard and suet has spread. Despite becoming somewhat of a joke among my peers, my commonplace ability to pen informative and concise reports with acceptable grammar and spelling has grown into exaggerated mythical proportions, and I tremble like an overgrown poppy on my too-slender stem, waiting for the humbling blow to fall. Will it be a noun-verb disagreement? Bad syntax? An unfortunate reference to Mr. Willy Dick’s delicious sausage?

As sensible as I am of my own inherent failings, I must be allowed to plead the oh-so-slightly mitigating circumstance of my compounded and extended case of baby-brain. Almost fifteen months after the birth of Neptune (baby number three), its effects on my powers of retention and recall have barely abated. My brain still feels horribly slow and stupid and foggy and completely unfit for applying to higher-order skills. Words elude me like butterflies flitting from my clumsy grasp, to the extent that attempting to draft a simple report on 'Worst Wurst' has driven me close to tears for want of a simile. Needless to say (though say it I will) my attempts at story writing are more painstaking yet noticeably poorer than they were five years ago. I even consulted my doctor about my distressing condition, and although I passed the dementia test with enough conviction to avoid being bundled off to the Alzheimer’s ward just yet, I wasn’t comforted by her assurance that my former brain function (such as it was) would probably begin to return in five years’ time or so.

The alarming thing is, a mot juste is no longer the dearest thing my motherhood-addled brain is costing me. Last week I was nearly cleaned up by a truck when I momentarily forgot who had the right-of-way at a four-way intersection. Perhaps my language centre is not the only part of my brain inhibited by post-natal hormones, because instead of being cautious during that time of uncertainty, I swung out on the road, confident in my erroneous judgement, and was lucky the truck driver was paying attention. I got away with an angry and well-deserved blast from the truck driver’s horn; cheap punishment indeed, considering my children were with me and could have been injured or maimed or killed. Of course I am now determined to drive like the most frustrating old granny if that’s what it takes to get where I’m going safely, but given that in some alternate universe Mr. Lonie’s entire family died due to his wife’s unreliable brain, taking disproportionately long to slave over a piece of unfulfilling writing doesn’t seem that important. Between killing me softly with words and killing me dead with a ten tonne truck, I'll take the pain of a, "Beautiful report, Lonie!" any day.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Back Where I Belong

Yes, yes, I’ve come crawling back, though not, I’m afraid, with any measure of epiphanic wisdom or hard-won increase in writing talent. (And yes, nearly four months after the end of NaNoWriMo, I am still moaning over the confronting lessons it taught me about the similarities to actual crap of my verbal evacuations, and the sheer laughability of my career aspirations.) I’m not sure that announcing a comeback to the ol’ cathartic outlet for my pent-up rantings is a good idea, seeing as I really don’t know whether I have it in me to make a decent go of it. More than 14 months after baby Neptune I’m as tired as ever, and still as thick as a Palin sandwich. (Don’t know what that means? Neither do I. Point illustrated.) However, I’ve been languishing in an internet purgatory of sorts, and finally decided I’d had enough.

Do you remember the bouts of infidelity I confessed to last October? Well, the latter relationship turned sour, as these things always do, and I huffily flounced away from Yahoo Answers, never to return. Like the most despicable kind of cheater, I ran blindly into the arms of the closest willing substitute and found myself embroiled in an unfulfilling relationship with Answerbag. As chagrined as YA left me, Answerbag was positively yawn-inducing in comparison, and long past the time I should have left (ie: at our first meeting) I stayed, perhaps out of a subconscious belief that intercourse with idiots was all I deserved. But now I’ve realised that life’s too short for dalliances with shameless ignorami and blustering morons. I’ve come back to the cosy surrounds of my own little nook in this vast and indiscriminate internet, made happy by this knowledge: there’s only room for one shameless ignoramus and blustering moron here.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Pathetic Apathetic

*Sigh* I know I've sorely neglected this poor little blog, and I'm sincerely regretful.

It's not that my fondness for blogging has diminished, more that my occupation with real life has grown. Of course, in the hands of someone more capable, my paid and unpaid employment and decidedly non-cyber hobbies would pose no barrier to regular blogging, but in truth I haven't the heart for it. Oh, I'll begin composing blog entries in my head, flattering myself that someone among my kind readers or poor lost internet wanderers cares to read my latest whinge, but these days the whole process of drafting, redrafting, editing and publishing all seems too laborious.

As eye-rollingly wannabe-tortured-writer as it sounds, I think NaNoWriMo has ruined me for creative writing, for now at least. I know everyone's NaNo novel is supposed to suck, but I'm pretty sure no contestant who entertains hopes of a career in writing ever produced anything as cringingly woeful as my particular bucket load of crap.

I can't bring myself to lay bare the shocking revelations of last November's novel experiment just yet. In the meantime, I will resign myself to writing reports on bratwurst and delicatessen statistics in my capacity as lowly minion at the Department of Meat Products. You, Dear Reader, must content yourself with reading the millions of other blogs which are better written and more entertaining than mine.

Until my reserves of self-delusion replenish themselves, au revoir!