Saturday, 31 December 2011

Hello 2012

The Google letters are cleaning up after their party.

I haven't done a lot of research on this but I've heard that one theory pertaining to our supposed demise in 2012 has something to do with the earth's wobble. I think it would be wise to come up with a solution now before it's too late.

There are a lot of you crowded in up there in the Northern Hemisphere - 90 percent of the world's population and almost 50 percent of my new cyber friends are up there.
Most of the Earth's land mass is up there too.

What if we get half the people in the northern hemisphere to come down this way on the 19th or 20th of December this year, and like in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie 'At World's End' (only they were on a boat not a whole planet) it might affect the wobble. You could all hop on boats and sail on down, slowly so as not to tip everything too quickly.

Come on down. The southern hemisphere is a happening place - we have guerrilla warfare, drug lords, dictators, crooked governments and cricket. Just not much land though - so there isn't really anywhere to put you up and you might have to stay on the boat until the wobble stops then go home again.

I haven't mentioned that I have been home schooling my sons these last 20 years? Geography isn't my strong point.


Happy New Year 2012 to all!

I see Google is ready to party with all the letters doing fun party things.
I feel as though I should be setting a good example (and so probably won't) to my 11 followers for New Year since being in Australia means 2012 hits me first. I don't have any followers from New Zealand. Samoa will be first to bring in the New Year this year, having lost a day by jumping the date line. How cool, to be so close to the International Date Line that you can just hop over and hop back again whenever you want.

What will I do with 2012?

I can't face it and I'm going to make a cup of tea, have some Christmas pudding and play Terraria with my son. I will leave you with a picture to  ponder while I'm gone, to set the mood please sit and look at this picture for about two hours and imagine some elevator music...

Sorry I took so long.

The above picture is something I rustled up for one of my lovely sisters for her birthday inside ten years ago. I've passed the age she had achieved that year. I'm in the 30-60 bracket and still on one peg but this New Year's Eve I am feeling particularly old - like I need two pegs.
A lot of my generation, baby boomers, have been accused of faking it and holding onto youth, refusing to grow old. It's probably a jolly good thing too - since you young whipper snappers will have the job of looking after us all when we need it.

When I was in my late teens I spent New Years walking drunk through the streets of Sydney kissing gorgeous drunk young men. I remember back then I used to look forward to being old. In hindsight I realize I must've had some very positive role models that brought me to this conclusion. I believed that when you got old you knew everything and had done everything and then you put your feet up and dropped pearls of wisdom from a chair of humility, smiled all day long and were just sooooo respected.

Now I know it's all about aches and pains, crepe skin, sagging muscles, memory loss, bad eyesight (I just tried to rub a full stop off the screen of my laptop) and dryness - EVERYWHERE! and regrets for the mountains I haven't climbed...

How could I have looked forward to this?

I'm scared about next year. There are big changes coming in my life. My kids, who I home schooled, are grown. I will have to look for work. Hopefully I will learn something, find some wisdom and humility and pick up some muscle tone along the way. I still have mountains to climb.

If I was in Samoa I could jump across the dateline every day and be ageless.
Being one of the first to see 2012 feels like sitting in the first carriage of a roller coaster but I promise not to throw up and hit you all in the face.


Friday, 30 December 2011

Nony Mice

Have you ever wondered who was behind those scathing letters to the editor in the local paper - always signed by anonymous?
Or who it was committing dreadful unclaimed terrorism attacks on unsuspecting innocent people across the world?
Who threw the brick through the window of the supermarket down town and stole cigarettes valuing hundreds of dollars?
Unsigned comments on your blog?

I am proud to present today, a creature which has eluded discovery since the written word and perhaps longer.

This is a nony mouse

Identification - A nony mouse looks just like a common mouse, camouflage for sabotage.

Cute isn't it? Appearances can be deceiving. A nony mouse is the thing responsible for many horrific incidents, rude letters, vandalism and unsigned graffiti every day. Nony mice have infested whole countries especially in war time. And because of their innocent look they get away with it. Examples of their violent actions are documented in the following excerpts from news reports...

- A nony mouse hacking group launched an online strike against government websites today.....
- The governor stressed that 'a nony mouse killing “totally ignores the humanity of their victim,” 
- ...a nony mouse mass murder in Canada...
- ...a nony mouse letter claims responsibility for 18-year-old's killing and threatens further violence... 

My mum used to say the fairies must have done the unexplainable naughty occurrence in our house but now I realize it was probably the nony mouse.

Buuuuut, nony mice aren't all bad...

How often have charities received huge sums of money from a nony mouse?
People have been rescued from burning buildings by a nony mouse.
Every year thousands of valentines are sent by a nony mouse.
And beautiful poetry like the following has been written by a nony mouse...

I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
but it keeps them on the knife

A nony mouse

Yes, nony mice are quite erudite as shown in the recent film 'A NONY MOUSE'  which exposes the real author of Shakespeare's works.

So the next time you get an unsigned love letter from a secret admirer OR a burning paper bag of poo on your doorstep think twice - it could been a nony mouse.


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Doors and Windows

I was fortunate enough to 'stumble' upon a post in a blog recently that I enjoyed so much I cried. I lost the thread to it (too many tabs opened) and now I can't find it. It was a mummy type blog and the post was short and sensitive, The woman writing described how certain smells can trigger memories and feelings. She had lost her father two years previously and was driving home in her car one day when her senses were hit by his familiar smell. She pulled over and sniffed all through the car trying to find the source of the scent to no avail.

I have an odd memory that I go over from time to time. It's the sound and feel of the closing of each of the doors in my childhood home.

My mother and father moved into the newly built house in 1958 and mum lived there alone 20 years or so after my father died until the day two years ago when she followed him. We sold the house a year after she left us.  It was her treasure.

In my mind I open and shut each door in the house one after the other. I know the shape and feel of each handle, the weight and movement of each door in it's jam when it closes and I know the sound it makes as it shuts. There were eleven doors in our house.
Each one had it's own sound which is shaped by how much use it had seen and how it was opened and shut. Next time you use  a door, listen. We shape their character.

The windows in our house were the old-fashioned sash type and noisy, depending on how often they were used.
There was a window at the back of the house that was low enough to reach from outside with the aid of a chair from the back verandah. This window was loose with use and easy to open without making a sound.
When any of us were locked out of the house this was where we broke in. Every member of the family had climbed in and/or out through that window.

Most of us girls, as we grew into young women, would succeed to the single room at the back of the house. Alone and without little sisters to bother us we were free to enter and leave through the window after dark and when everyone was asleep.

Over the years as we each became too big to whack, stories of our teenage misdemeanors would leach out at family get togethers until mum had a dossier on each of us as long as a window sash.

Two years ago, after debilitating illness and hospitalization my mum passed away. When the daughters waiting at our old home received the call from the daughters on duty at mum's bedside we quickly locked up the house and piled into my sister's car. My brother in law drove like Jack Brabham to the hospital to the tune of 'Don't Be so Reckless' on the radio.
We were all in a hurry.
Mum wasn't going anywhere but we had to get there fast.
When we returned home I opened her bedroom window so she could get back into the home she loved almost more than her beloved husband.
It was on the high side of the house - but she would be flying, wouldn't she?

Mum would be a good ghost.
She would look after the family we found to buy her home.
She would soften their young children's falls so they wouldn't get too hurt.
She would make the oven turn off miraculously so the new mum's cakes wouldn't burn while she was busy in the garden looking at snails with her four year old.

But in years to come when the new owner's teenage daughter is climbing in through the back bedroom window at four in the morning will mum's ghost give her a leg up? Maybe...


Monday, 26 December 2011


Once there was a girl imprisoned in a billboard on top of a taaaall building in the middle of a vast city.

Her name was Beauty.

She had been trapped by a wicked advertising executive.

Beauty was forced to lie scantily clad on top of her cold skyscraper looking out on the city, her only hope that one day her prince charming would come to bring an end to her loneliness. At night the flickering lights beneath her added to her yearning as they told a story of lovers united below.

Many men would see her from afar and attempt to get to her and win her charms but on entering the buildings every morning at 9am would fall under some spell, then leave at 5pm in a sort of stupor only to repeat their struggle day after day.

The wicked advertising executive would climb Beauty's tower each day and taunt her with his balance.

One day there came a champion. He rode a giant red horse. Effortlessly he scaled the tall building next to her and placed himself at her feet. She was instantly captivated by his allure. She was saved.

They lived happily ever after, at least, until the next ad campaign.


Sunday, 25 December 2011

Nativity no 10 - mine

It's after breakfast Christmas Day here in Australia. The boys are still in bed, there's a 12 inch high Christmas tree on the coffee table and a present each under it. I see on the international clock that it's nearly ten pm Christmas Eve in England, after lunch Christmas Eve in America and very early morning Christmas Day in Russia.

I'm thrilled and honored to know I can connect in this way with people all over the world at the same time. It's amazing. Life's amazing. People are amazing. I hope you have a beautiful Dog filled Christmas Day with a walk, a bone and a nice scratch behind the ears. Love Julie.

This is my last nativity.
I'd like to finish with my own.
The first is son no 1 with each of us, his parents.

The second is son no 2 with both of us.

There are six years between the boys and apart from the baby experiments that any normal child performs on his little brother they have survived their life with us mostly unscathed thus far.

When I was 8 months pregnant with no 1 son my midwife said, patting my belly, 'You know, what's really funny is that everyone knows what you've been doing...'. I felt really embarrassed in public then, as if I was wearing a t-shirt that said 'Hi - I've been fucking a lot and now I'm having his baby!'- damn I can't write or say a lot anymore without thinking about the Alot over at Hyperbole and a Half...

Doing this nativity thing has been quite a trip. It was a bit like childbirth and a lot like buying a lime green car. You think you're the only one who has one, and then you see them everywhere...


Saturday, 24 December 2011

Oh my Dog

If Dog is God backwards then sticks are the devil because my God backwards is scared of them. It's not just a 'someone's going to whack me with one' fear either. If there is a stick on the floor in front of her dinner she will reconsider. Going for a walk is sometimes a problem, she'll cross the road to avoid a stick smaller than her big toe and don't take her for a walk off track - unless you take a broom. If she chases a goanna into the bushes and yelps we know it wasn't the goanna that bit her, it was a stick.

Here with my awkward drawing tablet images (I'm better with paper and a pencil) I illustrate how she sees live snakes.

And this is what the dog sees...

Well, which way would you go?

She can see dead snakes. Dead snakes are something to be rolled in.

We light fires with sticks and she loves a good fire and Hell has those - there, see - more clues to their evilidity.


Nativity no 9 - warning: contains anthropomorphism

I know it's probably common knowledge but...Dog is God spelled backwards.

Some people say Dogs don't go to heaven. I have to agree because Dogs are too loving to ever invent something like hell and heaven is right here if they have a dead snake to roll in and someone to scratch their back.

This nativity scene is scanned from a book by one of my favourite artists, Michael Leunig. He's brilliant and I love him.

Much has been said about the good qualities of Dogs...

- They are all forgiving. As evidenced in the following bad joke someone told me...
If you have to choose between your partner and your dog, you just lock them both in the boot of your car for an hour. The one who's pleased to see you when you open the boot is the one you keep.
- They are happy with the simple things - an afternoon kip, a meal at the end of the day, sniffing other dogs' bits.
- They like to do a good job - mostly in my son's room.
- They tell the truth and if we had tails we would too.
- They can heal the sick. I read somewhere that American Indians used to keep a dog in camp to lick the wounds of warriors after battle, their saliva was considered to have a healing effect. The other people in my house don't believe me. I think when I was little my mum thought she had healing saliva also.

Dogs have changed the world as this quote from Wikipedia says ' It is not known whether humans domesticated the wolf as such to initiate dog's divergence from its ancestors, or whether dog's evolutionary path had already taken a different course prior to domestication. For example, it is hypothesized that some wolves gathered around the campsites of paleolithic camps to scavenge refuse, and associated evolutionary pressure developed that favored those who were less frightened by, and keener in approaching, humans.'
If dogs hadn't befriended us we could all be walking the cow instead.

Dog is Love
All you need is Dog
May Dog be with you

If God is Dog backwards then maybe we could hear the voice of God if we play the sound of a dog barking backwards. And we could see God if we film a dog walking backwards, but it would be difficult to get a dog to walk backwards, and silly.


Thursday, 22 December 2011

Nativity no 8 with more Balls

I was in my son no 2's room last night and noticed these guys on the shelf above his computer.

I know it's a stretch of the imagination but these are my nativity scenes.

Of course if you know your Dragon Ball then you'll know that's Goku on the right and Super Saiyan Goku on the left with his progeny Gohan in front and a Dragon Ball as the star of Bethlehem - it's really quite deep. It's a sort of father, son and holy ghost nativity.

This one is coming in on tip toes since after yesterday's gay nativity I wasn't smote down and have no hate comments and have lost no followers.


Nativity no 7 with Balls

Happily, or should I say gayly, here I post forthwith a nativity scene from Jesus In Love with their permission.

I know I will have to deal with the wrath of God (or not) for doing so but I'd rather deal with the wrath of God than the wrath of some of the nutters they have to deal with over at Jesus In Love.

I've just learned how to make links and will do so willy nilly (note: good pun for talk of Virginal births) from now on - there's a joke in there somewhere.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Nativity no 6

I’m writing this at five in the morning and it’s mostly dark. Everyone else is asleep and the power is off- a drastic measure to make people sleep in this place. The first morning birds are singing and the rooster crowing as dawn's sneaky glow makes tree silhouettes outside my bedroom window. My laptop glares up at me and would say if it could that it wishes it didn’t have a battery.

Today's Nativity (minus Joseph) is a painting I did for our Christmas card a few years ago.

I also received a baby one Christmas sixteen years ago. It was an early present that came a week before we unwrapped the others...must..fight it…the urge to relate birth story…is strong …in me… I slap my face. No - I will tell you her birth story...

It’s Christmas Day. She’s feeling a little woozy from the bottle of wine she drank the night before. She walks down stairs to a morning chorus of cat-dog-bird and smiles to herself as she makes a cup of tea and then settles in a chair next to the Christmas tree where she has surprises for her beloveds.

After the seed treats and pigs ear and cat fun Christmas things are given she notices there is one more present, one that she had no part in wrapping.

She looks at the box under the tree and then around the room as if she may have a guest she wasn't aware of.
Sure there's no one else it could be for she lifts the parcel gently onto her lap. She slowly tears off the outer green wrapping and opens the lid of the cardboard box within, the animals craning their necks to see her expression. 

Inside is a baby.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Nativity no 5 plus slapping

This is one of the three Christmas cards I received this year.

It's from a girlfriend who lived two doors up from me when I was growing up.

I was raised a Catholic and each Sunday our family would dress in our best clothes including hats and gloves (early sixties) and walk to Mass. On Christmas day dad would come with us and carry the youngest child on his shoulders.
My friend was interested in what went on there.
'What happens?'
Being two years her junior and only seven I said, 'There are candles and the priest wears a dress and we sing and then there's smoke and everyone lines up for a biscuit.'
She tried to follow us to church one Sunday but her mother dragged her home by the ear, slapping her legs as they went.

I went to a Catholic primary school across the road from a public primary school.
We were 'Catho s' and they were 'Pubo s'. I wonder if today they call each other something else but I bet they still lob rocks at each other across the road and when they catch the bus home from school there is still the same bus race and competitive cheering and face pulling there was back then.

I remember a terrible day though. It was a scorcher of an afternoon and all the windows on the bus were open - yes we could open windows on buses and trains back then. The Pubo s had got away from us and the older girls were smacking their hands on the outside of the bus as if beating a horse into a gallop in order to catch up and overtake the heathens. We rounded a corner and saw the Pubo s bus pulled over to the side of the road and as we sailed past the cheers and jeers hushed to horrified gasps. The Pubo s' driver was out of the bus and walking toward a dog that was running round and round in circles on the road. I was young and at first I wondered why the bus driver was stopping to pet a playful pup, perhaps it was his and that was his house. I didn't know why everyone was upset until I overheard an older girl explain and it was said later that week that the driver had run over the dog and had to 'put it out of it's misery with a baseball bat'.

But we made up a lot of stories about things we didn't know anything about when we were young and we liked to believe the most tragic of them.


Of course Pubo s is pronounced Pubb ohs with a short u and not Pube ohs. But you knew that didn't you?

Monday, 19 December 2011

Into the Wild

Every day before I post I promise myself I won't check my stats to see if anyone loves me. Don't go there, it will affect the way you do things.
Like Alice I can't keep away.

The first time I visited the stat room I was shocked by the bare white walls and mocking graffiti. 

There was a sleeping white shape huddled in the far corner, the statistician. I tiptoed over to him, got down really close to where I thought his head would be and yelled.violently -

It was no use, inertia had taken it's toll and the poor fellow was in a coma induced by the boredom of a dull job.

The next time I looked in the statistician was hiding behind a spike reading a book.

I was thrilled to see a spike even though it was a small and easy to jump over spike, it was my spike. Someone, probably a frozen drunk Russian, was looking at my blog.

After a while there were more and more spikes and the statistician grew more and more busy measuring and calculating then re-writing numbers outside the stat room door.

The spikes were growing and, with adventure beckoning, I filled a backpack with apples and carrots (because they travel well and I might see a guinea pig), and then I set off into the wild. By the light of a pixalated moon I saw that I was being followed.

Even though it was by a faceless half naked man in a safety vest, I was still being followed and that's what counts.

My new friend and I traveled through the night and by the dawn's early rays we came upon what I now affectionately call the Julia Spike because it first appeared the day I followed Julia Gillard on Twitter.

 At 80 page views high it was an impressive sight among the smaller 15 to 30pv spikes. We drank in it's enormity.

Then we finished off the carrots, rubbed our arses and went home.


Nativity no 4

When my mother died in 2009 she left a list of beneficiaries and items to be distributed in the event of her death. She'd written it two years before on blue lined paper and in a multitude of  blue and black biros.

My younger sister and I were vying for the vacuum cleaner. It was a quiet top model Electrolux. We were dissapointed mum hadn't included it in the list to save us beating each other over the head with the rolling pin that we also each had dibs on.

What was on the list was beautiful unvaluable and invaluable things.

She left this nativity to me.

From as early as I can remember it came out every Christmas from the hall cupboard to sit in it's 'stable' - a gutted television cabinet shrouded with tinsel. An angel with real feathers sat on top. Among the animals in the stable was a ceramic cow that my grandmother had given me and that once carried salt and pepper shakers. Every year the stable had pride of place in the lounge room on the hearth in front of the fireplace. Mum's children grew into teenagers, left home and returned with their own children for Christmas Day lunch and each year the Nativity would be taken out to do it's thing.

When gift giving was at it's height in our family and everyone was giving to everyone else you could hardly see the tree for the presents. We were more than a dozen and spanned three generations. Twelve lots of twelve are a hundred and forty four right? that's a lot of wrapping paper.

My father died, more grandchildren were born and my mother had 24 years of being alone at the head of our family. Over this time we reduced gift giving to 'immediate family' and mum. We started to stay at our own home, 8 hours drive away, every other Christmas. Hosting the extended family get together was shared amongst the three daughters with large enough houses to fit us in.

The last time we all got together was the Christmas before mum died. There were 21 of us.

Edit: Oh and my sister got the vacuum cleaner and the rolling pin.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Nativity no 3

I know this is a cheap one, but I'm actually finding this exercise more difficult than I thought I would...and I really did have to use a public toilet yesterday, which inspired the following.


Nativity No 2 plus

Here's Nativity number Two.
I was playing Terraria with my son last night...

I've ignored his invitations to play it for some time now but found I really enjoyed it. It was a bit like going camping with him but on the computer. Not that we chop down trees and mine rock and build houses and shoot zombies and meet killer slime when we co camping...

Edit: Later that day...
Then, this afternoon, my son showed me he's much better at this game than I when he produced the following uber nativity in which he made a very nice baby J (some people might think I'm swearing, although I've found if you say Halleluiah after taking the Lord's name in vain you can get away with it, but you have to be quick).

Mary "Where did this come from?'
Joseph: 'Don't know but it's not mine'
- which is probably what they really would have said.


Friday, 16 December 2011

Nativity no 1

My mother died a couple of years ago.
It seems to me that Christmas died with her.
She made Christmas Christmas

My Children have grown into teenagers and adults.There is nothing in the house to say it's Christmas except the three Christmas cards lost in the clutter on the kitchen table. I just don't have it in me and I'm not the only one of my mothers daughters that feels this way.

I was in Spotlight a few weeks ago and the the abundance of Christmas prints and Children painting baubles  drove me to tears and I nearly smacked a Santa.

In an effort to rediscover Christmas I've set myself a challenge. 
I will create a Nativity scene each day from now until Christmas using whatever I see around me, 'cause God is everywhere, right?


      o      o     
  Q   {O}
  ^    ^  


Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Nose Pickers

This is a watercolour I did a while back which I've dragged out to show whoever is out there and not saying anything at all. My SOB (significant other body) says I need more pictures and as he's one of the five people that are following me I will take heed (I nearly wet myself with excitement yesterday on finding I had two new followers - people I don't know). Anyway I thought I outa listen to the SOB, since that makes him a 20 percent follower. Even though he has to follow me, because we're bound by marriage and big noses, if I had five hundred followers and one hundred of them asked for more pictures I'd feel the need to oblige - dream on Julie.

Nose picking is what us Aussies do in summer when the noses are 'running' which is a term we use for the massive blossom season from December to February.

I painted this picture on site at a property not far from where I live.

Nose picking is grubby, hard work, the hairs can stick to your hands, the noses are quite heavy and large and you can only fit a few in a basket at a time.
They are best picked when mature and full as they retain their freshness longer since the narrow stem makes it difficult for them to draw water once picked.

Noses in my area fetch a high price in Sydney so I'm told. We don't grow them ourselves because the soil on our property is too arid and doesn't hold enough moisture for this succulent type of flower.

A good time to view noses is in the early morning when all across the nose fields there is a slow and gentle but strong and deep sucking sound as millions of these curious blossoms take air for the day.. Hold on to your hat!

But the best time of all is at the end of the day just on sunset when an long exhalation flows across the whole valley as noses everywhere...sigh....


Yay I'm Rich!

My prayers have been answered. I don't have to worry about money ANYMORE  because yesterday I received the following email from a Mrs Ghayth Faiza, my new most gracious benefactor...

23, Hawley Crescent,
Camden Town, London,
NW1 8NP, England.

Dear Beloved,

Here writes Mrs. Ghayth Faiza, suffering from cancerous ailment. I am
married to Watson Ghayth an Arabian who is dead. My husband was into
private practice all his life before his death. Our life together as man
and wife lasted for three decades without a child. My husband died after a
protracted illness. My husband and I made a vow to uplift the down-trodden
and the less-privileged individuals as he had passion for persons who can
not help themselves due to physical disability or financial predicament. I
can adduce this to the fact that he needed a Child from this relationship,
which never came.

When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of Two Million Great
Britain Pound Sterling which were derived from his vast estates and
investment in capital market with his bank here in UK. Presently, this
money is still with the Bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that I have
limited days to live due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from.

Though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to the
cancer. With this hard reality that has befallen my family and I, I have
decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift which
comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of widows, widowers,
orphans, destitute, the down-trodden, physically challenged children,
barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped

It is often said that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this
decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and
my husband's relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy persons and I do not
want my husband's hard earned money to be misused or invested into ill
perceived ventures. I do not want a situation where this money will be
used in an ungodly manner, hence the reason for taking this bold decision.
I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am
going to be with the Almighty when I eventually pass on.

The Almighty will fight my case and I shall hold my peace. I do not need
any telephone communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health
and because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me, I do not
want them to know about this development. With God all things are
possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of
the Bank in UK. I will also issue you a Letter of Authority that will
empower you as the original beneficiary of this fund. My happiness is that
I lived a life worthy of emulation. Please always be prayerful all through
your life.

Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein. Hope to
hear from you soon and God bless you and members of your family.

Reply to my mail through my email address:

Yours Faithfully,

Mrs. Ghayth Faiza

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

10,000 hours

I found out the dreadful truth yesterday. That I will (probably) never be an expert at anything.
An unreliable source (who was backed up by a reliable one) told me yesterday that it takes 10,000 (, so...slow...and...tired) hours to become an expert at a task.
That means about...I'm not even good at using a calculator but I'll try - just to save you the trouble -

2.762430939 hours a day for 10 years.
5.479452055 hours a day for 5 years.
13.69863014 hours a day for 2 years.

And that's without weekends or holidays.
This means I won't ever even be a world class nose picker let alone a world class cartoonist. If I have enough time to become an expert I probably don't have enough time to achieve fame and fortune.
I don't know how many years I've got left but I don't think I have the willpower to stay up all night writing and drawing all day long.
When I was a teenager the thought of a two year art certificate course seemed forever, 'But I'll be eighteen before I'm finished!'

I simply haven't done enough of anything I thought I was relatively good at to become great at it.
Faced with the possibility of my SOB (significant other body) being out of work next year I'm being pressured to come out of retirement and do something that I'm good enough at and that people will pay me to do.

There's not many things...

I had a good long think this morning whilst walking the dog and started feeling pretty sorry and regretful and wishing I hadn't been such a damned learning slut all my life, flitting from one instrument to the next...

Harmonica - when I started 20 years ago I was playing a couple of hours a day for about a month except for that time traveling in Ireland when I played an average of three hours a day. I've picked it up a couple of times a year since and now am proficient at When the Saints come Marching In and Moon River is coming along nicely.
Violin - 25 years ago I had ten Suzuki lessons and completed Book One, practicing an hour a day.
Tin Whistle - Got one 15 years ago and played every day for a couple of hours for about a month and since then an average of an hour once every six months.
Guitar - I've had one for two years now and can play a bit of Romanza and Stand by Me is shaping up.

I wish my parents had forced lessons on me when I was young and didn't want them.

What have I become expert at?
There must be something.

I tell myself it's the simple things that count and start counting the simple things.
I'm nice to people, mostly.
If I've spent twelve hours awake I would be nice to people at least 6 out of the twelve - I should be expert at that.

There isn't even enough ideas yet to have bullets.

I know it's ridiculous (but I'm desperate) I have spent all my life breathing and that just came naturally. Isn't it a good thing we don't have to practice that for 10,000 hours before we're expert at it!
I'm not even good at vanity. When I was a teenager I would've easily spent an hour a day looking in the mirror. In twenty years I would've been an expert.

Expert...ex pert...

- What! - where did that word come from? If it means not pert anymore then hey! - I am expert and didn't even realize it!



Tuesday, 13 December 2011


We have a broody chook. I haven't told her yet, but if those eggs she's sitting on aren't cooked by Christmas Day they won't be seeing next year. They will be aborted (thrown against a tree a loooong way from our house). By Christmas she will have had way more than the three weeks it takes to produce her balls of fluff and I'm not even sure the eggs are fertilized.

I don't think I've ever heard the expression 'like a broody chook' before but it seems a fitting simile for a lot of occasions.
Depression - 'Cripes Jenny's been holed up in her room for days - she's like a broody chook.'
Determination - 'He won't give up 'till he wins - he's llike a broody chook.'
Laziness - 'Don't just sit there in front of the telly while I do all the work - you're like a broody chook!'
Stupid - 'Length times breadth multiplied by two, remember? - gawd you're like a broody chook.'
Buddha's friends would have said - 'All he does is sit under that bloody tree all day - he's like a broody chook.'

Chooks are amazing when they're sitting. I go down each day and lift her off, put her to one side and collect any eggs that don't have a cross on them. She doesn't mind, she's there for the duration. The other two chooks sit on top of her and lay their eggs, she doesn't care - the more the merrier. She doesn't eat or drink and the rooster doesn't bring her a cuppa or anything, not a worm, still she sits.
We can learn a lot from a broody chook.

The next time someone's annoyed at you because - no you don't remember the equation, just think of the broody chook. Would she be upset about that? No - she'd just relax and wait for the memory to come.

When someone is angry at you for taking some time out on the couch, remember the broody chook. Just concentrate on the show at hand and they'll go away eventually.

If someone doesn't appreciate the finer aspects of your brilliant personality, just think of the broody chook, would she mind if someone criticized the way she sat?

And when you're depressed or sad or even angry, pack up all your cares and woes and put them in an egg. Then sit on it for twenty one days, by the end of three weeks you will have forgotten all about them and you'll feel a whole lot better. 


Sunday, 11 December 2011

My Snow White

Just to prove my mind isn't all sunshine and roses this is my version of that story.

Snow White was an alcoholic.
She was drunk as a skunk the day the woodcutter took her into the forest.

The seven dwarfs were on their way home from tending their dope crop when they found her under a bush singing Halleluiah.
The dwarfs took her in and helped her dry out but her evil step mother disguised as a beauty consultant came by when they were out harvesting. She happened to have a crate of apple cider with her and it was a hot day. Snow White fell into a magic drunken sleep after only six bottles...

Snow White was history - after all, what prince in his right mind would kiss a paralytic house cleaner with seven husbands let alone marry her?

When Snow White came round she just said 'Whatever" - she had grass to last and a man for every day of the week!


When Santa died - woops, spoiler alert!

It's a difficult decision as a parent - To Santa or Not To Santa.
You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

If everyone else's kids have a Santa childhood and you don't follow the trend then you run the risk of depriving your child of a common belief and more toys.
If you become a Santanist then you could be a liar who has to fess up later on. If you don't kill Santa when they're old enough to forgive you for a truth they've found out about from almost everywhere else, then you have to take the pretense to the grave or worse - really believe it yourself. It's heartbreaking no matter which way you look at it.

'Sorry kid we had to give Santa the sack'
'He was delivering poor quality merchandise, his prices were escalating and he left skid marks on the lounge room rug'.
'We found a competitor in China who's hard to beat and who doesn't rip off elf workers with low wages and poor working conditions'.

I don't remember the day Santa died for me actually - and maybe he hasn't - I like to keep an open mind. I suppose Santa just got left behind with Barbie whilst I climbed out my bedroom window one night. I left them both in my room getting to know each other while I went off to experiment with alcohol and cigarettes in the park with my girlfriends.

I was brought up believing in Santa and Jesus - not that the two have anything in common...

If Santa and Jesus were in a race it's hard to tell who'd win.
If it was a sack race then of course Santa would win by default.
But if they both had a handicap, Jesus with his cross and Santa with his enormous bag of toys - then it's anyone's guess - unless of course the good Samaritan was still in play.
The good Samaritan would have a hard time choosing who to help though...
Crucifix?...Sack of toys?...Crucifix?...sack of toys...hmm which one would you choose?

I wasn't one of those kids who pretended to believe in Santa so they could go on forever in a sort of pre-teen limbo getting fuzzy felt until they were old enough to marry.

I wanted to grow up.

The first grown up Christmas present to embed itself in my memory was an EP (that's extended playing record) 'Chewy Chewy' by Ohio Express and I was pretty excited.

It was just after that time in everyone's life - the 'I'll show you mine if you show me yours' time - the time just before everything starts to get interesting down there and no-one wants to play that game anymore until they're sure everyone else has fuzzy felt down below as well.

That's about the time of life when the presents your big sister gives you become much more interesting than the ones from your parents. It takes them a little while to catch on that you've grown out of plastic ice cream makers and Enid Blyton and, because they're not sure what to give you anymore they watch you intently as you take the paper off, slowly, carefully, so that you can get a glimpse of whatever it is and adjust your face before they see your disappointment.

Well, your parents listen to The Sound of Music and grow vegetables and...
your big sister has a job and buys groovy clothes. She goes to see bands in night clubs where she probably talks to boys and she is soooooooo cool.

I was allowed to open one present before church on Christmas Day. Time in mass was spent wondering what else was under the tree for me at home and last minute prayers for what I wanted.

But I remember when my sister's presents to me became the ones I looked forward to, maybe that's when Santa died.


Friday, 9 December 2011

My Three Little Pigs

This is a cartoon I did that was part of a series telling a different sort of story to the one we usually see portrayed in fairy tales. This painting is called 'The Game'

This is what really happened....

See the wolf with his arms encompassing the pigs in a 'You're my only buddies in the whole world' type way?
See how the pig on the left is looking admiringly at the wolf?
See that the pig immediately to the right of the wolf has his left hand resting on the wolf's knee?
See the pig to the left of the Big Bad guy even has a 'Wolves' flag in his hand?
They trust the wolf.

You're thinking they're bacon! but not in my story, not this time.

The wolf was just playin' with the pigs. They knew he was all huff and puff. It was just a little game to fill in time before the bigger game on the box. And when it's over, no he won't eat them, he'll say goodnight and go out the front door, turn and wave as the piggies say goodnight and shut the door. He'll whistle 'this old man' while walking down the garden path and then, smiling and shaking his head slowly from side to side, he'll say with affection to himself, 'Damn they're sweet little pigs!'


Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Cat is a Bird!

For the last 5 days that damn bird has been flying at my bedroom window in the early hours of dawn - before I want to wake.
Not just once and knocking itself out - multiple times.
I've identified this stupid bird as a green catbird.
Just before it's attack it makes a sound like an annoying nasal child with a high pitched voice bothering it's mother with stupid noises maaaaayaaap maaaayaaap (well it's difficult to write a cat bird sound). It sort of sounds like a cat's meow.

I heard if you put a big bird shape on the window it scares them away, but Big Bird is so friendly looking I would just get more birds - maybe more Big Birds.
I hung a big shawl on the pane which scared it for about a minute.
I put a sewing box on the ledge and hey - it stopped! Seems the bird is scared of sewing...
I was just thinking I had it, when after five minutes of peace it started again
I know it's scared of cameras because every time I try to film it, it stops.

It's getting so I don't like birds anymore, all I can hear in my head is flutter flutter flutter and I want to cover my ears and curl up into a ball moaning 'make it stop! make it stop!', like someone who's been locked in an aviary at the zoo for a week - with thirty nasal pre school children with high pitched voices calling for their mother.

Daphne Du Maurier had a cat bird hitting her bedroom window every morning - that's why she wrote 'The (Cat) Birds'.

Other well known people who have had cat bird mornings are...

Mary Shelley - Quote: 'It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow red eye of the creature cat bird open'. From Frankenstein.
Paul McCartney - 'Black Catbird singing in the dead of night...'
Agatha Christie - She wrote 'The (Cat) Bird with the Broken Wing' in 1930.
Charles Darwin - He just did, you can tell.
Tennessee Williams - He wrote 'Cat (bird) on a Hot Tin Roof'
and Carol King- which is why she wrote 'You've Got a Friend' - she wrote that for a friend who had the same problem with cat birds...

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

У меня плохо с русским

С Рождеством 
С Новым годом
Будьте добры, пригласите Ольгу


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

In the Lap of the Gods

People don't use this expression much anymore.
When something too big to handle came along and was beyond our control or responsibility that's where it used to go.
'Ah - it's in the Lap of the Gods now my love'

All the things we worry about could go there too -
all those little niggling self doubts and bad cakes, all the terrible things that might happen or might not, everything we don't want to think about and wish someone else would take care of - right there, in the Lap of the Gods.

You wouldn't hear people say the Lap of God singular would you? I can imagine some of you - those down the back there - saying out of your bright smiley mouths, 'that's because our God's TOO BUSY and is never sitting down long enough to even HAVE A LAP nyeh nyeh!'

The Lap of the Gods would be a crowded place, full of some scary things and some nice things.

There would be good things like hearts and good news letters, football games and sunshine.
And some bad things like train wrecks and plane crashes, hurricanes and volcanoes.

Maybe the lap of the Gods got so full They couldn't even get up for a cup of tea. Someone else - another God who was TOO BUSY TO SIT DOWN LONG ENOUGH TO HAVE A LAP got Them a cup of Them lots of cups of teas...
The Gods tried and tried to stay put looking after all those things in Their lap - sorting them out, making decisions, putting the things in baskets next to Them when They were finished with each one...but They couldn't stand the pressure on Their bladder any longer and had to go!

They wet Themselves and there was a great flood!
All the things in Their lap were washed away onto the earth.
Then there was a huge bun fight...

All the gods were thoroughly pissed off with God and wanted to whack Him, but they were feeling tired, soooo...very...very...tired...soooo....sleepy.....

They realized too late that God had put something in Their tea and there was nothing...They...could

Monday, 5 December 2011

More cat Identification

cat impression of a guinea pig

cat whistle 


cat with Pina Colada

cat impression of a bird

'Twilight' cat


Cat Identification




hey there

I'm not telling...

hmph! see if I care!


trying to swallow Harry Potter


cat impression of a dog

I doubt it

+  \\
+  // 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Step on a Crack

Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......

It's 7am and there's a flying cat! - no it's a bird - at my window 
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......

I think it's trying to tell me to get up.
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
But why should I think its trying to tell me anything at all?
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Because it's so persistent that it has to be some sort of sign or message from the  
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Maybe it's telling me not to blog
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Maybe it's telling me I shouldn't have joined Facebook yesterday
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Maybe it's telling me I'm having a Psychotic Episode
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......

Between bird messages I deftly reach over to my bag on the floor and grab my camera from its case, hold it up to the mosquito net, push the record/movie button and wait...
The bird stops and I put the camera down beside me
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Snap up the camera, start recording...nothing, put the camera down.
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
You know what comes next.
Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
Maybe it's telling me I should blog.

I heard a show (it should be called a 'tell') on Radio National recently about how we humans are prone to belief in superstition all because it subconsciously brings us closer to the GREAT UNKNOWN. We like to gamble and take risks, in many different ways, because for a few seconds or minutes we feel an exhilaration that comes from connecting with (grrr must...not...use...three...letter...word) the mysterious 'whatever' we know nothing about. 

Being superstitious is probably a way of giving our risk taking lift off eg.'The GREAT UNKNOWN is giving me its blessing to jump off a cliff with a flying suit on because I had no traffic lights on the way to this big mountain'. 
'The GREAT UNKNOWN is telling me that I will get a cat for my birthday because I missed the bus after school and saw three of them (not two) on the walk home'. 
I'm old enough to remember 'he loves me...he loves me not...he loves me...he loves me not...' whilst torturing a daisy and then there was this one - 'Step on a crack – break your mother's back!' –  yeah I know, some people think kids today are troubled...

I don't know what the bird was trying to tell me but I counted over 30 flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flaps.
- don't tell me it was looking at a reflection in the window – that's no fun and doesn't connect me with the GREAT UNKNOWN.
And besides, it's stopped since I thought I should blog.
And now I'm finished...

Flutter flutter scrabble scrabble scrabble flap flap......
No kidding, I'm telling it like it is!
Grab the camera....nothing.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Getting Stoned

A friend of mine, into all things righteous, has been suggesting all month that I watch a certain movie. I always get suspicious when he does this because it usually means he wants to teach me something....

I'm not ignorant – I know there are things going on in the world that aren't right. I know there are people  (which include all the helpless such as women, children and elderly) in the world who are being bullied, robbed, bashed ,tortured, raped, sodomized and murdered... and there are women getting stoned – not in a good way. 

I know there are things that happen that shouldn't be allowed to happen and like everyone else in the playground I stand in the shadows watching and thinking quietly (so the bullies don't hear me) 'thank fuck that's not me'.

The stoning of Soraya M tells the story of a woman in a small village in Iran wrongly accused and convicted of adultery. Cue mouth watering victimization here. 

It's not that I don't care about people less fortunate than me it's just that when I watch things like this it doesn't help anyone. It makes me feel afraid of the world and I'm afraid of feeling afraid of the world. I like to think that people everywhere are like the people I know - kind, generous, thoughtful, smiling when they don't feel like it, returning wallets they've found (containing over a hundred dollars but with no ID inside) to people they had to track down using a doctors business card crumpled in the back behind Spotlight and Anaconda.
I like to think we have hope as human beings, hope in that happily ever after type of way - we're all nice inside really – aren't we?

My friend had to trick me into seeing this film. Whenever he mentioned the title he would say 'You should watch this movie I saw, Soraya M something or other”
Oh – It's really good

Next week...

Have you watched Soraya M yet?
You should.
Because everyone should.
Are you trying to teach me something?
No, it's just a really good story.
Does anyone get raped in it?
Not reeeally
Is it violent?
Only for a few minutes.

There are many clues there but the biggest is EVERYONE SHOULD.
Not just me - EVERYONE

The ironic thing is that I missed the opening title for grabbing a chocolate coated vanilla ice cream from the freezer and so didn't know what the film was really called until I was drawn in for five minutes and then took it back to the beginning. By the time we got to the stoning 'prelude' I was shaking and trying not to show it.

Oh no...
Don't watch it then
You can turn it off – you don't have to watch this bit.
I thought you said -
It's not really a person in this scene they used 'real doll' that looks really real.

I had just invested all my emotions into it being Soraya M real person in ground getting smashed to bits and he wants me to click to 'real-doll'-dummy in ground getting smashed to bits.
I didn't lose it, I told myself 'its a 'real doll' and they're all actors and I can see that child who's playing her sensitive son trying to keep a straight face as he lobs a rock at his mum - he's in his first ever movie and probably throwing it to an off-camera director'.

I controlled myself.
I had invested a goodly amount of my emotions in Soraya M – I had to see her get smashed to bits – I don't know why but the reason could be scary..
and I wanted to KILL the people killing her.
I wanted to put them in the ground and smash rocks on their heads. I wanted to throw rocks at my friend, and at the Television. I felt a rush of violent vengeance and hatred that was exciting and powerful.

When it was over and I had destroyed half the house and a good section of the front garden in my head and my friend lay bleeding on the couch I felt relieved it was finished. When she (Soraya M) was finally dead I was glad I'd watched it.

Can someone please tell me what happened here.


Thursday, 1 December 2011

A cure for OCD

To achieve the best possible result this procedure must be followed without reading all the steps below  first before carrying them out. Reading and doing each step at a time will allow a new way of thinking to impress itself upon your mind. Remember do one step at a time - DON"T read ahead!

Step 1: Buy one chocolate coated vanilla ice cream.

Step 2: Unwrap ice cream and throw the wrapper on the ground - yes the ground.

Step 3: Place ice cream on a table or other flat, clean surface.

Step 4: Make a fist.

Step 5: Sense the OCD rising in your body and rushing into your fist.

Step 6: Smash that ice cream full on - go on smash it!




Who do you ask when you need some honest input about something you've created?
Whose opinion should you seek when you want to know whether that cartoon is funny, whether that blog post makes sense or if you should take up singing?

Don't ask your family - or anyone else who knows you well for that matter. Ask an expert and preferably someone you've never met before because while your partner, with a strained look on his face, is bending over looking at your pretty picture (which is actually a CARTOON) wondering why the hell you think it's hilarious, or your teenage son, on reading the first chapter of your very first horror/slasher novel falls into a deadly coma, they have other thoughts about you on their mind.

Deep down in their subconscious are memories of...

the way you sometimes fart in public,
they way you lie hopeless in bed some mornings thinking you're a loser, or
the many things you've had a go at and given up on.

They live with the worst of you.

Their minds are tainted by the secret bad stuff they know about you.

Even though they say (with hesitation and in a barely audible and shaky voice)  'Hey...that's...great...' (because they don't want to upset you with the truth of what they see through their 'secret bad stuff' blemished lenses) they can't really see the VERY FUNNY pretty picture you've created clearly because the lenses of their eyes have 'I know you too well' blotches all over them, a sort of 'familiarmacular' disease, generated in the mind by their negative memories of you.

 Healthy eyeball before familiarity

The same eyeball after 'familiarmacularitis'

There is no cure for this.

Ask an expert.


It's Christmas - not!

If you look around you and keep your ears open you could be forgiven for thinking it's Christmas. Well hey - guess what?

Christmas Day is the 25th December!

I know they call it the Christmas 'season' but that's just an excuse to make it last all summer.
Who wants it to last all summer? - people who sell stuff do.
We don't - that's all of us here at 'we are'.

Having Christmas start so early for us just means the stress starts earlier, the pressure of loneliness for a lot of people starts earlier, and that, that, that music starts earlier. I know they've tried to disguise it over the years with people like John Farnham and other 'I've got no other gig' performers, but Silent Night Holy Night will never be anything else but Silent Night Holy Night and I don't want to listen to A Very Happy Christmas by John Lennon EVER again.
Actually it's probably made shopping faster - I have to hurry through the aisles crazily grabbing the weeks groceries in order to get out before I hear it a second time. I'm sure if I heard it a second time I'd start to mutter and drool and my eyes would glaze over. Then I'd wander around the supermarket in a stupor until January.

But Christmas is in trouble...

Do you know what will happen if it keeps creeping backward into October, September and maybe August?
Who knows what might happen it we let it slip away.
It might meet itself coming the other way - from Christmas past!

After Christmas we have the post Christmas sales and then a good month of Christmas holidays for the kiddies.
Probably another three months, if you're lucky, before the toys you bought them break, that takes us to the beginning of May just two months from the beginning of the new extended Christmas season.

There...a disaster just waiting to happen.

Christmas present backing up into the year behind it, Christmas past coming forward and then CRASH!
It would be carnage! Bits and pieces of Christmas all over the year...- the victims unrecognizable in the debris.

Little bits of Peace and Joy scattered all through the calendar.
We'd be nice to each other all year...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...