Thank the ‘Lord’!

Oh dear, I couldn’t resist commenting on a closed Ancestry DNA Facebook group especially when the story I was commenting on combined two topics I’m passionate about  – adoption and atheism.

I try hard not to sprout my atheistic thoughts outside atheist groups and generally I don’t mix atheism with adoption but I couldn’t hold back this time, and it goes like this….

A well meaning Christian woman posted a link to a story she felt very touched by. Check it out here before you read on, just so you understand what ticked me off – Chloe – A Story of Infertility, Adoption, and God’s Love

The positive comments flooded in from “Beautiful, can’t stop crying” to “Made me cry. Her story is my story…” and my all time fav “God is great”. I just wanted to throw up, instead I provided my perspective via a comment:

I’m sorry this story makes me slightly nauseous for a number of reasons:

Firstly they seem to be incapable of realising they alone had all these thoughts.

Secondly, through some genetic makeup issue they couldn’t have kids so adoption was their last and only option.

Thirdly they are borrowing someone else’s baby to bring up and they will never be the birth parents and saying otherwise doesn’t make it true even if their ‘god’ tells them so – did he send his message by text or a tweet?  They didn’t say.

Forth and by no means last, that poor baby had to go through a separation from the moment she was born and now has to learn to adapt into unfamiliar territory.

And lastly,  the baby will be expected to conform to an unrelated and genetically different family and their religious beliefs otherwise she could face her second abandonment.

So let’s go through this at a high level:

  1. A kid who talks to God – I prayed to God as a little girl and as much as I waited for a response or some measure that my prayers were met, they weren’t.  Christians will say that God wasn’t in my heart even back then so of course my prayers weren’t met – to which I say ‘bollocks’.
  2. A kid has a premonition about having a little girl – I remember dressing my cat up as a little girl because I didn’t like little boys.
  3. Both of them coming up with the name Chloe – this is amazing – NOT.  Chloe was one of the most popular girl names in the 90s when the parents in this story were kids.  My name was popular in the early 60s and there were 4 girls in my class with my name for the duration of my schooling.
  4. After 4 years she was struggling with God’s goodness – let’s just pretend for a second there’s a God.  God’s an arsehole for not allowing her to have a baby since it appears to be one of her main goals in life.
  5. And of course claiming it all a miracle!  Let’s be clear, there is NO evidence that miracles happen – NONE!   However, a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances do,  these are known as ‘coincidences’.

The only other time I couldn’t keep thoughts to myself was after a birth family member thanked the ‘Lord’ that I was found.  I couldn’t hold back my thoughts and told her, nicely, that I thought the ‘Lord’ was an fucking arsehole as he watched me search for over 35 years and let me solve the mystery AFTER BOTH BIRTH PARENTS WERE DEAD!

Oh yeah, thank the fucking Lord!

They did take my remarks very well and told me that at the end of my birth mother’s life she too had doubts about ‘God’.  I love her for saying that!

Farewell yee thongs

Today my dear friend our 6 month relationship takes a new turn. I can no longer spend all day with you. I know we’ve had fun over this summer, we’ve walked many miles together, we’ve frolicked on the beach, we’ve painted together – I even have a few drops of paint to remind me. We’ve walked over rocky hills and you’ve even supported me when I’ve had to make a mad dash somewhere – I overlooked the blister you gave me because I knew how hard those dashes were on you.

I wore you out to dinner and I apologised for hiding you under my long dress but I couldn’t bare to cheat on you with an uncomfortable pair. But alas, from today I have to let go of our long days together but we can still be together in the morning and the afternoon, we can even spend the odd lunch together.

As much as I’d love to wear you to my new job, you know how those corporate snobs are,  all tottering around in their high heels. But don’t worry I’ll never give in to them, they are cold and heartless unlike your comfortable selves.

I can’t even wear a long dress to hide you but don’t despair I’ll hide you in my bag during the day and I’ll look in on you every now and then just to say hi and maybe a quick cuddle but in the not so distance future, I’m sorry to say that we’ll have to take a longer break from each other as the days will get colder but it won’t be long before we can be together again next summer.

Facebook, my Clayton friend

I like Facebook immensely.  I like that I can catch up with people I’ve known since childhood as well as people I’ve crossed paths with in some significant or insignificant way but time and distance ended the relationship.  Through Facebook friends are brought together and through Facebook friendships are broken.  The more sinister uses include to discredit, stalk and abuse.  It’s a powerful tool and not one to be used lightly. Caution is the key.

I try not to put anything on Facebook that would jeopardise my family or career. However, having said that I do have strong opinions on religion, adoption and politics and I have the odd opinion about child rearing and I stand by my convictions so if anyone is offended they can use the tools Facebook provide them to deal with me such as defriending.

In the days before Facebook, friends who fell out did so by either a face-to-face argument or over the phone or by text, my personal favourite is “the snub”.  These days Facebook is my preferred weapon of mass defriending.  For serious arguments you not only defriend someone but you can also block them from seeing your online presence even when you comment on a mutual friend’s walls.

However, after the dust settles on an argument,  there’s always the option of refriending as a form of making up.  I’ve defriended and refriended the same person at least 3 times and visa versa. We use it as a tool to chastise each other for one thing or another.  The last time was not so long ago. I couldn’t help but send a Facebook friend request after a couple of months with a little message saying how obviously childish we are.  I guess we can’t live without being Facebook friends – it’s kinda silly.

My most unusual friend request was a one by accident. Not long ago I received a request from a friend of a friend whom I didn’t know. I sent a message to him asking if it was a genuine request as it could have been one of those strange security issues Facebook have from time to time. He said it was in his pocket at the time, so no it wasn’t a genuine request.  We got chatting, well he was chatting me up and I didn’t say no (at my age I’ll take any attention awarded to me). By the end of our little flirtateous chat, I had my first by-accident Facebook flirty friend.  Another unusual friend request came again from a friend of a friend because he liked my photo and who was I to say no, one must be hospitible and patsy to my own ego.

Besides keeping up to date with friends another powerful feature of Facebook is the status update and I love the status update.  They can be used to brag, make you laugh, grandstand, lecture, support, encourage, enlighten. They are used negatively and positively.  I use the status update for all of the above but mainly to make people laugh and very rarely for negative reasons, religious rants being the exception to this rule.  I never use the status update as a personal abuse tool but I have been defriended for making comments that offend ideals, especially religious ones.  Generally I ignore status updates that I’m offended by especially when friends makes a religious comment thanking God for some lame deed all the while ignoring all the heinous things going on in the world. ***off soapbox***

We follow our favourite friend’s day to day activities through their status updates. Some provide us with a humorous look at life through their eyes, some make us think, some make us squirm and some make us roll our eyes. We may not agree with some and some make you cranky. 

Facebook is not compulsory and you have to take the good with the bad with the downright stupid if you’re going to use it but all-in-all for me it’s my Clayton friend – the friend you have when you’re not having a friend.

End note:  If you’re too young to understand the term Clayton friend, click here.

AAW baby

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average woman is a 37 year old Catholic sales assistant, 161.8 cm tall (around 5 feet 4 inches) and weighs 71.1 kg. Essentially the figures are telling me that I’m on the wrong side of the average age and weight but not by much, well maybe a little bit, ok a lot! I’m also on the wrong side of the average height but not by much, really, I’m only a smidgeon smaller. At 37 I was a Teacher not a sales assistant so I’d fall into the above average category on the job front and although I was christened Catholic, I denounced my religiosity long ago, an above average intellectual decision.

Although I’m not above average on all counts, the statistic tells me that I am an “above average woman”, or as I like to be referred to as AAW!  The journey to becoming an AAW has been through times of major lifestyle and cultural changes and as a result of these changes the AAWs have a rich and interesting story to tell and in my biased opinion AAWs of today are much more interesting than “below average women” or as I like to call them the BAWs.

AAWs are the baby boomers, the post war babies born into a fast changing world, especially for women. In 1961 the contraceptive pill became available and women won unprecedented control over their own fertility. This certainly helped the younger baby boomers going through their teenage years in the 70s – me being one.  My group are the younger of the boomers, born in the early 60s and the ones I talk about here.

Skyhooks 1974 – click to hear them

After the revolutionary 60s was the counterculture of the 70s bringing with it a big shift in the music industry in Australia. Aussie glam rock band Skyhooks challenged the norm with their flamboyant costumes and suggestive lyrics and many of their songs were banned from commercial radio. Pub rock music emerged with Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil and AC/DC along with international bands impacting the social mood of the day. Along with the music, the lives of the teenage baby boomer was changed by their willingness to experiment with sex and drugs – ah, those were the days!

Even with the more adventurous lifestyle the baby boomers still settled down and married in their twenties and had kids soon after. And now in the second decade of the 21st century the baby boomers are the AAWs and life will be taking on a whole other identity for them but in true style the AAWs will be up to the challenge as they took the challenge by the horns in the 70s as teenage baby boomers.

AAWs should be waving goodbye to their adult kids as they move out of home. For the AAWs whose adult kids don’t look like they’re moving out any time soon, my advice to you is move!  Move to another suburb or downsize to an apartment. Either way your kids won’t want to move with you.  If you move suburbs they’ll hate living away from their friends. If you downsize they’ll hate living in closer proximity to you and visa versa. Think of moving as a good spring clean – new place, new stuff, less people and less work to do and more time for you – happy days!

According to reports, baby boomers hold approximately 401 per cent of the nation’s wealth and worth an average of over $1 million per household2. Baby boomers are now enjoying a new era of unprecedented financial and personal freedom.  But a word of warning, don’t tell your kids, they’ll want your money and they won’t pay it back – EVER!

With all this disposable money in your pocket you’ll have the luxury of spending it on important things: clothes, shoes, botox and all things that make you feel and look wonderful. And of course, more money means more holidays – long holidays and first class all the way. Gone are the days of setting off in the four wheel drive with the kids, dogs, boats, bikes and tents in tow for a 2 week beach side holiday at one of the Big Four Caravan Parks. This is what the BAWs are doing now, poor darlings. Hotels with fluffy white towels, a mini bar, room service and a beautifully laid out buffet breakfast is awaiting your arrival – what are you waiting for, go book it!

Another positive aspect of being an AAW is having grandchildren. It’s wonderful to have little babies around. It’s like getting a second chance to screw up. Only this time you can hand them back when things go belly up. You also get to impart your kid-rearing knowledge to your kids – the parents of your grandchildren.  It’s the advice you were given from your parents and subsequently ignored as will your kids but when things don’t work out you get to say – “if you only followed my advice, this wouldn’t have happened” –  again, happy days!  Just don’t tell your kids you didn’t follow the same advice.

Of course there are some downsides to being an AAW.  It takes several days to get over a big night on the booze.  Two nights with the grandchildren leaves you in a vegetative state. You become forgetful and your eye sight goes as does your hearing. Although I suspect the hearing comes down to not listening as this was my recent experience. Getting up from ground level takes some energy, so does carrying 6 bottles of wine.  You become less nimble on your feet finding yourself kissing the pavement more often, even when you’re not drunk and you look for the stairs in the pool because your weak arms couldn’t pull your fat arse out of the pool to save yourself.

Forgetfulness, blindness, deafness and falling over aside, being an AAW in the 21st century is pretty damn good. We have more independence, more friends, more money and better social lives than our mothers. And let’s not forget more access to cheaper beauty therapies. We have better homes, travel more and generally have better health. We’re used to experiencing big change like we did in the 70s and we’ll face the challenge again in the 2010s. AAWs are a group for the BAWs to notice and learn from because one day they’ll be AAWs.  But one thing they’ll never be are baby boomers.

(1)   HILDA Report, waves 1 to 6 (Volume 4) 2009. Data analysed by Mi9 to provide an estimated value for Australian Baby Boomers (aged 50 – 69)
(2)   HILDA Report, waves 2, 6 & 10 (Volume 4) 2009. Data analysed by Mi9 to provide an estimated value for Australian Baby Boomers (aged 50 – 69)

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Finding my mojo

I have been slack of late with updating my blog, I haven’t even bothered to review comments, which isn’t a bad thing, they’re usually spam anyway. I know for a blog to have success one has to keep publishing. Successful bloggers spend many hours a week tapping away at their keyboard bringing what could essentially be a dull boring topic to life. I feel like I’ve lost momentum and certainly the passion for some of the topics I’ve published in the past: being a nanni, adoption and depression to name a few.

I have a theory of why I haven’t been depressed of late and therefore not writing deep and meaningful blogs on my dark days. I haven’t had any dark days ever since I had a minor operation to fix a medical condition known as hyperparathyroidism, which depression is one of many side affects – and quiet frankly I’m not amused. I believe I produced my best work when I was depressed. I can only hope it’s a passing phase as I’m not terribly fond of feeling normal all the time, it’s terribly draining and not to mention boring as hell. I was quite use to the swings and roundabouts of my mental state.  The ups from downs felt pretty damn good as I’m sure most depressed people would agree.  My favourite depressed person of all time Stephen Fry admitted his depression may have helped him be successful. He said he was driven by the energy his depression gave him to be creative. Not that I’m comparing myself to the great Mr Fry but he certainly does have a point.

My passion for writing about adoption has also waned. I can’t help but think it’s directly related to my recovery from depression as it was on my down days I’d reflect on my search and subsequent failure. Or maybe I’ve just given up after 30+ years, maybe I’ve just thrown the towel in the ring!

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here, maybe I’m not cured of depression, maybe I might have reached a point of acceptance in my life, acceptance that this is it. Oh surely not, the thought of accepting that this is it, is, well it’s slightly depressing. But alas only slightly!

And there’s my gandkids who have given me so much blog material but with a month away in Italy and their subsequent holiday in Fiji (with their parents of course) has meant I’ve hardly seen them in almost two months.

That being said I now find myself in a quandary, how can I get back my writing mojo?

For starters, it may also be helpful to get my fat arse off the couch and stop watching the Real Housewives series, all of them:  Orange County, New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey and Beverly Hills.  Yes I admit it, I really do watch them religiously.  I try to analyse why I, a somewhat intelligent woman, gets engrossed in these unreal reality shows. I can only conclude it’s pleasing to see beautiful rich women fight like feral cats over the carcass of rats. I wish I had friends I could fight like that with, how liberating.  My friends are just way too polite to behave so unladylike and I’m just way too polite not to reciprocate the same level of politeness – how boring!  Our retaliation is defriending on Facebook.

Back to my quandary!

I’m obviously not suffering from writer’s block because after all I am writing this blog, so the issue isn’t that I can’t write but what to write. I saw an interview with Jerry Seinfeld who said he finds material for his stand-up routines in every aspect of his life and when he gets an idea he’ll work on it day and night until he’s happy that it’s perfect.  And since he’s a very successful comedian, his work philosophy is certainly one to emulate and I’m sure the same word ethic would apply to writing blogs. Do I have that dedication?  Now this is where I should come out with fighting words but all I can say is “I’ll give it my best shot” – how lame.

I may not have my depression to drive my writing but I still have my crazy friends and family, especially my Grandkids who I’ll be seeing more of since we all have our holidays behind us. Surely with all this subject matter and my sarcastic wit and bold opinions I’ll be writing up a storm from now on. Now to work on my bone idle laziness and addiction to the not-so-real housewives!

To school or not to school?

Today’s modern families seem to be incapable of steering clear of the constant bombardment of information, all conflicting, on child rearing including when and when not to send a child to school. This most certainly applies to children whose birthdays fall between February and July. Children are eligible to start the next school year if their birthday is between 1 August and 31st July. By law, all children must be enrolled in school by their sixth birthday.

When I was young, you went to school if your birthday was before the cut off date. I don’t believe there were any conversations around whether or not to hold a child back from starting school if they were of the legal age. Children went to school, simple as that. In all my classes from kindergarten to finishing I’m not aware of any class mates being more than 6 months older as me given my birthday is in January.  I had several good friends  whose birthdays were in May and June and there is no evidence they suffered as a result.  On the contrary they are doing very well in their chosen careers.

Off to school
KityKate’s kids off to school. First day of high school, first day of primary and first day of school

When my daughter started school in 1986, it still wasn’t a topic of discussion and my daughter’s birthday is in April which is considered, by today’s standards, as on the fringe. My sons birthday’s were in March and January so I didn’t give it a second thought. Looking back, if I kept my daughter from starting in the year she turned 5, all I would have achieved was to have a bored little girl who would have ended up starting and finishing school one year later.  So nothing would have been gained.

I can’t help but feel that today’s parents take on board too much conflicting and confusing information from so-called-experts who want to inflict their ideas onto parents.  You have child psychologists, pre-school teachers, other parents and grand parents all sprouting their opinions by whatever media is available to them such as TV, radio, magazines, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and books.

I had one book giving me the run down on what to expect from conception to when the baby turns two years.  I knew the book was flawed from the beginning as my baby wasn’t following the book verbatim. So I figured is was time to take control and work it out myself.  And my first piece of advice to my daughter when she was pregnant with her first baby, my first grandchild, and who bought every damn baby book available – “don’t overload yourself with too much bullshit sprouted in the books or the internet or TV”. “Follow your instincts and don’t under any circumstances let the baby rule the roost”. For the most part she follows this simple advice but every now and then I have to remind her not to listen to others because it will only screw with her capability to make important decision for her children.

As I mentioned earlier, when it came to sending my kids to school I didn’t ask anyone for advice because it just wasn’t an issue.  However, today it’s an issue and I’m exposed to this through my daughter whose daughter (my grand daughter) is eligible to go to school next year and until now the topic of when she’s going wasn’t up for discussion – she’s of school age and she’s going, simple as that. But as the start of school is looming for my granddaughter it’s becoming apparent that many children of a similar age are being held back.  On the most part I haven’t heard a valid reason other than what they’ve heard or been told by others.

And here lies the issue – too many opinions, and on the most part not backed up by any supporting evidence.  This bombardment of information is taking away the responsibility of parents to make decisions based on the their knowledge and understanding of their own children.  With all the hype going on around this topic, even my daughter has questioned, for a moment, her decision to send her daughter to school next year given her birthday is in May.

I can’t help but wonder, if there are concerns in sending children to school before they turn five and there was enough supporting evidence to prove sending them was detrimental to their long term development, wouldn’t the school age be increased?

Holding children back from starting school will have the negative affect at the end of their schooling life because many child turning eighteen in year twelve have two things, possible three, on their minds – getting drunk, getting laid and getting high!  And there isn’t a thing a parent can do to stop their eighteen year old, who technically is an adult, from doing all three.

So before you make one of the most important decisions on behalf of your child, ask yourself one important question foregoing all that ‘others’ have said: is your child intellectually ready for school? And what good, if any, will come from holding them back?

Simple questions with simple answers.

Can I help you?

After spending most of the weekend inside, except for a trip into the city the night before to check out the Vivid light show in the pouring rain thanks to my daughter’s decision to brave the weather, and to avoid killing MOTH who was pissing me off for no apparent reason, I decided to hit the shops and partake in some retail therapy.  As most shopping centres in Sydney give you three hours of free parking, I figured that would be enough therapy time.

On raining days wandering around the department store on my own is very relaxing.  It’s nice to go with friends occasionally but you feel obliged to go into shops you wouldn’t normally go.  And on days when I’m agitated, I just want alone time,  left to my own thoughts.  Not only did I want to be left alone, I didn’t want to speak to anyone, let alone people I don’t know and especially shop assistants.

However, sometime in the last 10 years most shop assistants have been taught that customer service should start soon as an unsuspecting shopper enters the door.

“Hello, how are you today?”  or “Can I help you?”

To that I’d love to reply with a “do I know you?” and let’s be honest “do you really care?” And, “I’m capable of helping myself and you’ll be the first person I call if I need help”.

Then there’s the larger shops where at every turn there’s another assistant to ask the same question “can I help you?”  And there’s my personal favourite after you’ve alighted from the mini dressing room that you struggled not to smash your elbows on the walls and mirror and the two year old shop assistant tells you how great you look in that poo coloured top that looked yellow in the dull shop lighting a moment before when you picked it off the hanger. I wish they would shut their stupid mouths and leave me alone.

Am I being unreasonable?  Am I turning into a cranky old woman? – (don’t answer that).

After facing way too many of these mundane questions I quickly retreated to Myers. You’re lucky to see a shop assistant let alone asked how my day’s going or how can they help me.

The Myer shop assistants are generally older women who work part time for pocket money so they can afford make-up which they cake onto their tired sun-damaged skin.  Their hair is usually dyed jet black or platinum blonde and has that just out of the hairdressers look.   And let’s not forget the bling bling jewellery.  For some reason they feel the need to adorn every finger with rings, usually gold and expensive looking – not that I’m a jeweller and I can’t really tell an expensive piece to a good fake one.

These tarted up has-beens make you feel like the cat dragged you in – which is usually how I look on days like the one in question.  They look you up and down, head off in the opposite direction tut tutting to themselves, giving me the impression there’s nothing in the shop for me.

Anyway, on this day they predictably left me alone to wander from one designer clothes display to another, which is all well and good, but when I finally make a selection and head to the cash register, low and behold not a ‘shop assistant’ in sight.  When I finally track a couple down huddled together behind the watch display they looked at me as if I’ve just interrupted an important merger meeting.  I was waiting for one to say “what the fuck do you want?”

As they whispered something under their breath the least threatening of the two walked ahead of me towards the cash register, she took my money, threw my purchase in a bag and without a by or leave quickly retreated back to her huddle session behind the watch display.

I can’t help but think that the two year old shop assistants and the middle-aged shop assistants get together and find some middle ground. And that middle ground should be:

Shut the fuck up until you’ve been asked a question or finalising a purchase in which you should be nice and polite, make small talk about the weather and don’t under any circumstances tell the customer how they’ll look in their choice of clothing – it always sounds fake.  Follow these simple rules and we’ll all be happy campers (or shoppers as the case in question).

Speaking of Bogans….

While swimming with my grand-kids at Little Beach in Nelson Bay I noticed a power boat approaching a section of the shore just near us.  Although there are always boats around this area because of a nearby boat ramp this boat was noticeable because it was black instead of the usual white, and on the side of the boat in big gold letters was “PLAYER”, in caps no less. OK, they have my attention so I couldn’t help but follow the boat to its destination, the shore. As it got closer I noticed two blokes both wearing “men-in-black” sun glasses.  My initial thought was the boat was an advertisement of some kind and was half expecting two sexy blokes to jump out once it reached the shore. Wishful thinking because when they finally reached the shore two tanned large gutted blokes, complete with fags hanging out of their mouths, jumped out of the boat onto the beach. There goes my hunk, boat, disembark dream.

No sooner did their feet hit the beach when speeding towards them was a black jet ski with a driver who was also tanned but with a little less body bulk unlike his counterparts, but like his counterparts had a fag dangling between his lips. Needless to say they were acquaintances as they all linked up to finish their fags on the beach.  Of course I didn’t see any of them head for the nearest bin to throw away the butts.

Really, am I in an alternative universe?  Under what circumstances does one need a fag while driving a boat let alone a jet ski?  Do they not realise how bogan and feral they look?  I was thinking that either bogan is the new norm or maybe I’m a snob?

I would have to say “No” – bogan is certainly not the new norm, at least I hope not. However, I’m starting to doubt my hypotheses on this subject given my Australia Day observation.  And “Yes”, I concede that maybe I am a snob.

Besides whether I’m a snob or not (clearly I am) and besides whether one needs to smoke while driving a jet ski (this one I can’t fathom) the main issue that really bothers me about the bogans I’ve observed over the last couple of days is they treat their surroundings (our country) like a big rubbish bin. I loath to see fag butts on the beach, on the shore, floating in the water, or anywhere for that matter.  Does smoking give you a licence to throw it anywhere but a bin?   And would they question me if I dropped a used greasy chip bag on the ground in front of them? Which is essentially the same, it’s all littering and the last time I looked there is a law against littering.

And if you see someone throwing a butt out of their car, dob them in – I did a few years ago.  Sydney was experiencing some pretty wild fires within the suburbs and on the outskirts and on one particularly hot dry windy day while I was dropping into McDonalds for an icy drink I noticed a women in a large four wheel drive with a very distinctive number plate of which I can’t recall now but it was one word – reminds me of the ‘PLAYER” boat described above. Come to think about it they’re probably related as the driver, a female, looked like a real live bogan. Anyway, as she was pulling out of McDonalds with her kids in the back she flicked a lite cigarette out of the car window.

There are several aspects of this act that I have a real ‘big’ issue with:

  1. The feral cow was smoking with kids in the car.  Don’t get me started on this one.
  2. It was hot and windy and the air was filled with smoke from bush fires so how dumb was this bogan to add to the danger by throwing a lite smoke out the window.  Also every radio channel was talking all about the dangers of doing the very same thing.

Anyway,  I rang the radio station I was  listening too because just before this offence they gave a contact number where people like me (snobby dobbers) could call and dob in an offender, and I had missed the number. Immediately after getting the number off the radio stations assistant I rang the number and proudly dobbed the bogan fag thrower in.

Although I was aware they wouldn’t be fined I was assured they would receive a warning letter.  And low and behold a couple of weeks later I received a letter thanking me for my good dead and I was assured a letter was sent to the offender.

Ah, there should be more people like me – wonderfully snobby dobbers (if I don’t say so myself).

For more information on the damage butt throwing is doing our environment and the laws surrounding littering please nosey around the following sites:

Australia Day or America Day or Bogan Day – I was confused

My first Australia Day away from home was spent at Nelson Bay with my Daughter’s family. Within walking distance of our holiday house is Fly Point and it was here that Australia Day celebrations were held for the Nelson Bay area.

We set off around 10am on the 15 minute walk with the two kids in tow. I was rather looking forward to attending an organised event as I usually stay home and enjoy the time off work.  Fly Point has a wonderful outlook over Nelson Bay and the entire Port Stephens water way.

As we approached the venue we passed what appeared to be marching band members making their way back to their buses to put their various instruments away.  I confirmed with the venue timetable that said a procession was on at 9am.  I was glad we missed it as I loathe processions where all the local so-called talent hurts our ears with their horrible sounding instruments or maybe it’s their playing that’s horrible.

Please, leave the marching band format to the Americans, they love that sort of crap.

We veered off into the main park area where all the action seemed to be happening and the first thing I noticed were a bunch of old biddies dressed in blue jeans, chequered shirts and cow-girl hats and the load speaker confirmed my  fear – 10 minutes before the boot scooting dancers start their routine.

What the f*k has boot scooting got to do with Australia yet alone Australia Day? Oh my goodness, give me strength!

At Fly Point there is a large covered platform, an excellent venue for musical groups to perform under cover and it was equipped with all the gear for such an event. I could see the band was just making their way to their musical instrument or microphone, depending on their role within the band.  They looked rather country so I was looking forward to some Aussie music even though I’m really not a fan of country music but the likes of Slim Dusty does give me a spine tingle when I hear his classics especially on Australia Day.

However, when the music started it seemed to me that the songs were very much American country songs of which I’m not a fan. What the f*k has American country music got to do with Australia especially when we have our very own unique style country music. If Sweet Home Alabama came on, I would have blown my top!

Around the corner from the music stand was a long line of market tents selling all sorts of shit no one wants and no one uses. Of course there were numerous clothes stands selling all sorts of Aussie flag clad gear. I consider myself a very proud Aussie but do I really need to clad myself in cheap overseas made T-shirts, shorts, wraps, hats, tongs and scarfs to prove it?  No fucking way, not this little Aussie wombat.  I certainly didn’t feel very patriotic when I saw an obese bloke squeezed into a pair of Aussie flag clad board shorts.

I calmed down when a great modern version of Waltzing Matilda came on while the kids were having fun jumping on the castle, and after we helped ourselves to a snag sandwich. We’d had enough so decided to walk down to Little Beach, which is next to Fly Point Park to have a swim.

The narrow beach was full of shades, sun chairs and many people bathing in the only sun we saw all week. We found a spot and the kids were exited to go for a swim. I for once sat on the beach in observation mode.

As I looked from one party to the next and I noticed, along with every type of Aussie flag print clothing, most of the blokes and women were supporting multiple tattoos and not very good ones I might add, most smoking and all drinking excessive amounts of beer – I even spotted a cask of wine.   Most had no consideration for the people nearby with their swearing and flicking their butts anywhere but the bins.

We were surrounded by Bogans. All I needed to hear now was the bogan chant – Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Oi Oi Oi.

Can this be?  Are there really this many Bogans in Australia?  But here they are alive and well and out on Australia Day? And on our favourite Little Beach usually visited by young families.

I’m confused, is this Australia Day, America Day or Bogan Day?

To make matters worse we’ve come home to the news that our Prime Minister has tripped over while being carried away from an angry mob. Love her or hate her, she is Australia’s Prime Minister, she runs the best country in the world and we should respect the position she holds whether we agree with her policies or not.

On Australia Day we should celebrate what’s made this country great and it wasn’t boot-scooting, American marching bands or country music, or overseas made clothing and certainly not Bogans.  It was hard working convicts and our forebears who suffered great hardships trying to tame a harsh land and climate to build this country. And today we live in a wonderful country and let no man or women who come here take that away.

So how about next Australia Day we take ourselves to the nearest beach or bush, have a BBQ or picnic, listen to Austarlian music if you so desire, have a couple of drinks without disturbing those around you.  Don’t tarnish it with junk selling markets or cheap overseas clothing with the Aussie flag patterned all over them.  Think about the freedoms you have today, the five day working week most of us enjoy, the secular societly we live in (on the most part) and the wonderful country you’ve either been born in or have moved here by choice.

Reflect on other countries where women are second class or no class at all, where religion determines if you live or die and governments use their army against it’s citizens, where hunger is a daily feeling and clean water is a luxury, where the survival age is middle age for an average Aussie and where life is just one miserable day after another.

Never forget that this is a great country and there is no better country to live than Australia.






Freaks and weirdos

MOTH and I journeyed to middle earth last Saturday. Well actually it was deep into the inner west region of Sydney.  Our destination was a church – no I haven’t converted – it was to pick up some imported Tansanian and Indian coffee from the local preacher who provides a pick-up point for coffee addicts.  MOTH is the coffee addict, not so much myself.

Anyway, this pick up point was at Erskinville which is about 3 klm from Sydney CBD and a suburb I’ve never visited as it hasn’t been on my way to anywhere I’ve needed to go in Sydney. After we picked up the coffee we decided to go for a stroll, grab a coffee at one of the street cafes, sit and take in the delights of the passer-bys. We’d already started to see an array of colourful inhabitants as we strolled along the small main street.

Firstly there was a young man wondering around barefoot, it wasn’t that he was barefoot alone but he looked like he just got out of bed at 2pm and was heading to the fridge to get a drink of milk only to get lost on his way.

Then there were several older people whose ages was very hard to tell but I’d hazard a guess at around 65 but their lifetime choices, so it seemed, hasn’t been good to both their appearance and posture.  Both looked like they were well and truly under the weather and both holding a half smoked cigarette in between their yellowed fingers.  One old-timer who wanted past chatting happily to himself, which wasn’t too disturbing, but then he opened his mouth displaying a half-head full of charcoal teeth.  Enough to turn one off their lunch and dinner.

In the mix were the sterio typical gay couples:  The petite feminine woman with the big butch bitch who looked like she’d punch you out without touching and of course their male counter-parts consisting of an older man dressed in what straight people would consider regular Saturday afternoon casual street gear and his partner – tall, skinny and obviously the effeminate of the two with flowing bright shirt unbuttoned to his waist with short cream shorts and a tip-toe-through-the-tulips walk.

Then the array of people all ages, shapes and heights with an eclectic sense of styles of different, usually not matching, colours and a mix of eras from the 60s through to the 90s.  Now many people can pull off an eclectic style – fashion designers, professional dressers or someone with really good taste  but no-one of these talents had anything to do with the street fashion on that day.

And just when we thought the parade was over a middle age couple wandered by both dressed in white linen from head to toe.  Luckily it was overcast that day otherwise I’m sure the sun would illuminate them, and like the sun, we’d have to divert our eyes for fear of going blind.

MOTH and I settled in to see if the half-man half-goat would turn up to make the day complete.  But alas was not to be on this day.

I couldn’t help but think, besides the cliche gay couples and the co-ordinated couple in their white linen, how on earth do the others afford to live in what has become an affluent area?  The medium house price in Erskineville alone is just under $800K.

Maybe by night they work as the freaks and weirdos in a well paid job at alternate night clubs around Sydney.  I’ve really got to re-think my career choice.