Brains or Brawn?

I am currently riding high on exercise-induced endorphins.. I have strapped weights to my feet and done a crazy amount of lifting. My arms are throbbing with the thrill of being used for something strenuous. My hips ache and I am feeling muscles that I never knew existed. My diet is exemplary. I am a walking skin bag full of super-foods with names like Maca and Acai and Chia and Noni juice which sounds vaguely erotic. I have energy up the wazoo...literally and I have just spring-cleaned the entire house and ripped out entire forests from my back yard. I now feel like going for a run although suspect my boobs would knock me out, so I will sit and sip a mug of nettle tea and contemplate my next physical hurdle.

Problem?

I can't write a word. I don't understand what is happening here. I have more vigour and enthusiasm than I have had for a while but it's all being directed toward being a muscle-bound health freak. I've switched on my warrior brain and I can't activate my creative, wordy cerebral brain. It's as if I can only operate on one setting in 'high'.

When I'm on a word roll I can bang out about seven thousand words a day, like a tapping dervish. But to do that I need to be at the computer with copious amounts of coffee, wine, chocolate and other comfort food. It seems that caffeine and sugar fuel my writer's brain and healthy fare and exercise stimulate the gazelle, the Olympian, in me.

I think I'll ride this exercise thing for a while and just try to tap a few words when I can and wait for the mania to subside. I can't seriously operate as a health nut forever. It's just not me. By Friday the lure of champagne and canapes will call and I'll spend the weekend alternating between tapping on my computer like a woodpecker and partying like it's 1999.

I've decided you can't have brains and brawn. Not at once, anyway.

P.S For the record, on a different note, my prayers and solidarity go out to my girlfriends in Pussy Riot, a Russian all-girl punk band who are facing trial for speaking out against Putin. Keep the faith gals. Good luck. Miaow.

Up, up and away........

Okay. I have been in winter schlumpiness for too long and today, being Monday, is the time to shake off all malaise and become a highly effective human being. I have started the day by snuggling my seven year old son while he pitched a kids book to me. It's called, 'Poop' and is an educational exploration of faeces... Written by me and illustrated by him. He wants a brown cover. He will draw goat pellets, manure, guano and soft serve dog-poop piles. We will explore the various ways people have disposed of poop through eras and cultures and discuss the differences between meat-eaters and vegetarian poops. It's a magnificent idea. But that was only the start of my day.

By seven I was busy with breakfast.

A smoothie made of -
Maca Powder (super food with pure cacao)
Almond milk
Blueberries
Raw egg
Dollop of super yoghurt
Sprinkle of ground flaxseeds
Teaspoon of brewer's yeast.
Two drops of stevia

Hahahahahahahaha. Who am I????

I plan now to write five thousand words - today. No facebook for distractions (I'll just check in now and then not again until tonight).
I have Tracy Anderson on the screen ready to put me through a mid-morning torture session of exercise. I will have a post lunch walk to the post office to send my book to an Adelaide radio guy. I will buy some weights because I am starting a twice a day weight routine that I read about on the weekend.

A cool shower while I wash my hair with Argan oil and rub safflower into my skin. A Manuka Honey face mask and some light meditation.

If I can pull this off I am truly wonderwoman.

I'm already hungry but I am telling myself that is just my body's gentle way of teling me that it is beginning to eat itself. And there is plenty to go around.

Man, even the teenager got out of bed and was out the door by eight.

Today is truly the first day of the rest of my life. Things are looking up....now if someone would just offer me a contract for any one of the four books I have in various publishers hands, my day would be complete. That or an offer of a film option on my memoir, a royalty cheque or a lotto win and my day would be completely completed.

Nurturing cures addiction........

I woke up at three a.m. and tossed and turned, thinking about addiction. My years as a rock and roll chick meant that I was constantly around drugs. During those youthful years I drank vodka like water, smoked a little pot, snorted cocaine, dropped acid, injected heroin and popped pills. Drugs are funny, sometimes fun and more than often chronically addictive. Not everyone who tries drugs will become addicted though. I know some people who have a manageable relationship with their drug of choice but for millions of others, the toxic dance of substance abuse can be devastating.

I have a loved one who is struggling with heroin addiction and it breaks my heart. I have been there with cocaine and alcohol and in my long and beautiful conversations with my dear one, I  have had something of an epiphany regarding the demon of addiction. She's a jealous lover craving affection. And I have done some soul searching and realised that my chronic promiscuity as a teenage girl was a desperate attempt to find affection and nurturing. To be held, to be wanted by someone of some importance was my drug. So many teenagers crave affection but as parents we often slip into the very damaging thing I call 'puppy parenting' which is when we begin to withdraw our intimacy, our affection and our respect for our children as they grow from cute little things into teenagers. I see it all the time. I am convinced that the distance between adolescents and their parents contributes to affection-craving behaviour which is often destructive and misdirected.

Alcohol, drugs and sex and food all feed us some comfort in the first instance. We feel all warm and fuzzy and happy - a little like being in love. Everything seems better, brighter and the possibilities endless. The next day though, reality comes crashing down and we are all alone again in a hostile and cold world - with a wicked hangover, downer, shakes and the horror of remembering some shameful decisions made while under the influence. Mega shame, humiliation and a lot less in the bank account than there should be.

But the call of the bottle, the needle makes the shame go away ever so briefly.

Addicts often drive loved ones even further away but that is counterproductive. I read Kate Holden's memoir about her heroin addiction and the thing that stood out for me was the pain and power of her parents' love and unconditional love at that. They realised they were powerless to stop or control their daughter's drug use and yet they 'got it', the understanding that the more love you give an addict the less need they have for a surrogate nurturer. I am using this strategy with my darling friend. The more love I give him, the little care packages and gifts, the sharing of my time, my shoulder to cry on and my overwhelming belief that he is strong enough to wrestle this beast and snap off its head - these things are helping him make progress. There is no judgmental attitude at all from me. He gets enough of that from everyone else, including staff at the clinic where he is receiving drug replacement therapy.

No-one but someone who has been in the jaws of addiction can possibly understand the power a drug can wield over a person. There is still a lot of negative discrimination against people with this disease. It is a lifestyle disease as much as diabetes. But it is not being treated in many people because they are too ashamed to ask for help, too afraid of the further humiliation that will be inevitable. To tell a junkie or alcoholic that they are weak and disgraceful is to drive the user to greater lows.

All the women I know who drink excessively have nurturing issues. Most of the addicts I know are incredibly intelligent and artistic and deep thinking. They are also nurturers whose balance is out of whack because they don't get back nearly as much as they give. The drug gives them warmth and shelter.

If I can share this message with one person who knows someone with addiction problems it might save a life. Random acts of kindness, true acceptance, intimate conversation and hugs go a long way. I am going out to buy my friend a teddy bear today to hug when I can't be there.

I propose a special awareness day for addicts and suggest that everyone wear a tiny teddy bear pin. It's an idea. Hug-a-junkie day. I like it.

How to create your perfect man.

Hey there. Here is an excerpt from a diary of mine from 2002. It is now included in the sequel to 'One way or Another.' My working title for this next book is ' A Wreck with Spares; the story of a single mother who loved anyone who'd have her.'  It's a bit wordy but I'm working on it.

I am often asked how I found true love after all those dashing rock-stars and here's the answer.....magic. Voodoo. I summoned him from nothing.....true. Here's how.......


GIRLPOWER

‘Read it again,’ Gemma is laughing so hard that champagne is frothing out of her nostrils. She is clapping and rocking on the edge of her chair.
‘What’s so funny?’ I smirk.
‘That is the most hilarious thing ever,’ she says of my diary.
After four glasses of champagne I am reciting passages from my journal for her amusement.
‘Read me that passage about Bill the bike rider again.’
Oh, Bill the bike rider. He was young and cute with fantastically smooth thighs. Just passing through town on a bike trip around Australia. He’d pulled a hamstring and ended up in the surgery. Fortuitous.
‘Or the bit about that old fellow, Dorian.’
He is another man I’m juggling. He’s twenty-six years older than me, a producer of porn films and has some interesting ways of entertaining me.
‘Or that fellow who visits you from Sydney.’
He’s just a ship in the night who passes through on golf trips. An old friend with benefits.

I am feeling so very powerful and independent these days. I’m making good money, living in a lovely house, the boys are settled, I belong to a close-knit community and men are falling out of the sky for casual fun-times. I am driving my own life and it feels like a sleek sports car. I have energy to burn and have started taking drama classes for the local kids at the C.W.A Hall on Friday afternoons because the surgery is closed on Fridays. The kids are keeping me on my toes. I love their energy and feed off it. 

My friendship with Gemma has helped me to see how toxic some of my other girlie friendships have been. Gemma likes to hear my wanton tales but she is a girl with fairly high standards for herself. Gemma and I are connected by cords of absurd laughter and Harry likes playing with her girls. Harry and Lola start school after the holidays. My last little baby off to school! Both big boys are now at high-school. The kids are becoming so much easier to deal with as they mature into young men.
‘More journal, more journal, more journal!’ she chants.
I flick through to another bit and read.

‘You are such a man-hater!’ she shakes her head.
‘Are you not listening to me? I love men. I love them long time.’ I giggle. ‘I just don’t want to love them looong time. You know what I mean?’
‘What sort of guy would it take to make you fall head over heels? Seriously.’
I think about it hard. I try to steer clear of answering, but Gemma guides me back,
‘Come on. We’ll make a list. Like witches. We’ll create him.’
‘Like Frankenstein.’
We decide through our popping tipsiness to embrace the occult and voodoo up a perfect man for me. She grabs a bowl.
‘What’s that?’
‘A spittoon. We need to write all this down put it in the bowl, spit on it and then burn it.’
I raise my eyebrows.
‘How do you know that?’
She explodes into great gusts of laughter.
‘You idiot. It’s ridiculous. I’m just making crazy shit up.’
‘Well that sounds like a good plan.’
‘You have to be very, very specific,’ she adds far too seriously.

Here is the list I come up with……..

My ideal man must -----
Have a great sense of humour.
Be impeccably honest
Be flawlessly faithful
Be tall (about six foot).
Have dark hair, preferably curly.
Be between thirty and forty.
Have an interesting car. (I’m not into expensive cars but interesting cars are good)
Have an interesting, creative job but not a professional clown..
Not like golf (too boring)
Love my kids (but not in a sexual way)
Have a huge….libido.
Have hair on chest (not too much and none on back)
Be musical but not a rockstar (over them now, bad news)
Not have a gambling problem.
Like a drink (within reason) but not heroin.
Have olive complexion or darker.
 Have been married before (just not living with his Mum). Men often learn from their mistakes!
Not be rich, just generous with his heart. (rich guys are arseholes)
Come from good family stock
Be an atheist or maybe a Buddhist which can be the same thing.
Not ever be violent.
Be highly intelligent.
Like my friends but never in a leery, creepy way.
   
‘How’s that?’ I ask Gemma.
She nods and looks at the piece of paper that I have scribbled on, folds it once, twice, three times and puts it in the bowl.
‘Now spit on it,’ she says.
‘Seriously?’
She holds it toward me and I hack up a gob of spittle. We both begin to laugh. She ignites her lighter and goes toward the paper. I touch her arm, stopping her.
‘Shouldn’t we say something? Like an incantation?’
‘Yes. Of course. Shut your eyes.’
I do.
In a stupid low, oomie goomie voice, Gemma begins.
‘May the great goddess of …things…listen to us now. Poor Nikki needs you to create this man exactly how he is written. We honour you great goddess and ask this respectfully and in return Nikki will love and honour this man for the rest of her natural life.’
‘Wait,’ I open my eyes but the paper is already alight.
‘I didn’t agree to that…forever thing! I forgot to add that he mustn’t smell of cabbage!’
‘Hahahah.’
The paper is well and truly alight, dangerously so. Gemma grabs an oven mitten and flings the bowl into the sink.
‘What are you doing?’ Harry asks as the kids come in from outside.
‘Magic tricks,’ I laugh back at him.


POSTSCRIPT!!!!

A month later I met Zeus. Drove a chariot. Dark curly hair. Tall. and all the rest....next month we will have been together for ten years...and he only smells like cabbage briefly, in the mornings. If that's not magic, what is??



The Postcard Tour

All my life I have been an avid collector of postcards, those little rectangular, colourful cards with exotic scenes and finger flipping comments on the back like 'wish you were here' to which I always thought 'stuff you! I wish I was there too but only if you were here. Thanks for rubbing it in.' And I would ever-so-breifly hate the sender for reminding me that there is a big world out there that I haven't seen.

Due to one thing or another, maybe raising five children, twelve years of which was on my own, maybe just because I was always struggling with this or that, I haven't traveled all that much. Well....I've done Australia. I've trudged over her length and breadth with an Akubra atop my head and a Crocodile Dundee attitude. And I sent postcards to those I was pleased weren't on the various trips with me.

I tipped my collection of hundreds and hundreds of postcards all over the bed the other day and categorized them into continents. What I noticed is that although my friends and family are globe-trotting more than ever, the postcards have dried up. I think that's because I can talk to them on Facebook, seeing up to the minute photos. I can almost live their journeys in a virtual sense. That really just makes me more discontent and miserable but it seems our online life has killed the innocent charm of receiving a heavily, foreign stamped postcard in the little metal postbox down the front garden path.

I had a sudden idea. All those postcards said 'wish you were here' so I will honour their wishes and go to every destination on the cards and replace the postcard at the exact spot where the front photograph was taken. I will call it my Postcard Tour. I can start when I head into town this afternoon, as I have a postcard from Brisbane that someone sent me in 1982.  Actually, better still, I'll send the postcard back to the person who sent it with the tag - 'So, I'm here. Where are you?' If I've lost contact or the person is dead, I'll send it anyway. When it ends up at the dead letter office, that will be somehow appropriate. But if I can track down actual addresses that will be more supremely creepy!

This has now become my new bucket list.

To visit and replace every postcard in my collection. Perhaps I should pitch that to a documentary team so that they can follow and film (and fund) the trip!

So begins a unique journey...the Postcard Tour. I clearly have too much time on my hands.....

Facebook

I got to thinking about Facebook this morning. What a bizarre phenomenon. A magical virtual world where you can catch up with all your friends and virtual friends, read inspirational quotes and revel in idiotic pictures of small, cuddly animals, preferably in ridiculous human-like poses.

You can be bullied, fall in love, organize parties and protests. You can stalk and talk and unfriend dorks. It's like Adventure Island, the television show I watched as a child. It's Hogwarts and Tron and everyone's locker room. Up to the minute, live news coverage and no-one on the planet can die without Facebook knowing about it first. Crimes have been solved using Facebook. Fugitives caught. Cheating partners busted. You can share your music, your art, your thoughts and your family snapshots.

Today there has been a shot from the new t.v show 'The Shire' next to a cartoon of a fellow stabbing himself in the eye. Visual puns abound in Facebook land. The latest fad is posting pictures of magical looking bedrooms, houses, dens, libraries and nooks, cottages and such.

Books get promoted (yes I plug mine mercilessly). Tunes get shared and forwarded to ears around the globe. Sweethearts from thirty years ago tell you their incredible life stories and new friends say hi and become close without ever meeting.

It's also addictive.

And impersonal and slightly unnerving.

We are beginning to live a lot of our lives online and perhaps reality is suffering for it. If I don't check in regularly, the Facebook notifications can be overwhelming. People post photos of you that you'd really rather not share with the world. A child can be murdered and a page can be hacked to spew filth and abuse. It is as dangerous as it is entertaining.

People have been groomed, lured and assaulted/raped/murdered. An off-hand remark can lead to losing not just friends (who are collected like trading cards) but also real family and jobs. You can stalk just about anyone despite the 'securities' in place. You can share in the lives of some truly remarkable people and also be bored shitless by those late night boozers who post things about loved ones past and try to engage you in a mindless chat.

The witty postcards full of profanity were funny but they are getting tired. If someone mentions Fifty Shades of Grey again or posts a kitten snuggling a lion one more time, I am going to unfriend them. It's so easy to drop deadwood now. It used to be months of ignoring phone calls, cutting conversations short...but now you just click a button and like an eject button, they're gone.

Sometimes Facebook is the only way I can reach my kids. One of them keeps unfriending me when I comment on his posts but I hack back into his account and send myself a friend request which I then accept. It's duplicitous and thrilling. Hacking into accounts is fun. Posting embarrassing comments when there is even more fun.

We are probably being watched eagerly by the sinister Big Brothers of the world but what the hell. In many ways it is wrapping us all into one big playground. It's unifying and lovely to collect friends and bring the long lost back to your bosom.

But it is sure making concentrating on working at a computer much harder. I'm sure while we are being uber- friendly, we are being ever so less productive in other ways. My word count daily has dropped as my friend list has increased. But at the end of the day it is so nice to find lost mates and it brings a smile to my face to read some pretty funny things from time to time. But I can live without the Hallmark pics. Really. A monkey in a jumpsuit feeding a lamb by baby-bottle is not cute. It's abuse!!!



Madonna - my mentor

I've been thinking this morning about Madonna. You know, the famous one not Jesus' mother. That sums it up. What a remarkable human being to have the same name as the mother of God but to have gouged out a public profile that is bigger and bolder.

In my memoir I talk about the power and sheer awe that the arrival of Madonna on the music scene gave to me. She was everything I wanted to be. Sexy. Bold. Funny. Shocking. She even had the gap in her teeth that I had, only she made it look good.

For the entire span of her career I've grown up with her. I used to say that we were sides of the same coin - she was the successful disciplined side and I was the unnoticed, undisciplined side. I have read tales of her childhood and youth and find certain parallels. She lost her mother physically and whether through my own selfishness or some other force, I felt disconnected from my own mother at a similar age and grew up with 'mother' issues which might be why I became a compulsive baby-making machine. Five kids later and I still haven't mastered motherhood!

Madonna and I were both little Catholic narcissists.

Now she and I are middle aged. It's a tough time of life. Hormonal. Tiring. But still she soldiers on while I am just finding my career feet for the first time as a writer. She has been more inspirational than any other celebrity in my life. I dreamed of having a foursome with her and Sean Penn once (and my boyfriend of the time). That was quite a few years ago now! She is reportedly a control freak. I am a control freak and freakin' proud of it! Isn't that better than being an out of control freak? I am always wary of people who use 'control freak' as a term of abuse. I think it's a compliment.

My story of running away to the big smoke, chasing my dream of fame and fortune, canoodling about with rock-stars, mirrors her own youth. We both lived on popcorn for a while and I collected rosary beads (still do). But her determination was stronger than mine and I fell into the trap of partying instead of promoting myself. I had talent. I had ambition but I lacked discipline. She became addicted to health and fitness and I discovered champagne and cocaine. She took the smarter path there.

Our society views the word 'discipline' with a severe caution. It sounds hard and sharp. But discipline does not restrict, it gives you freedom. It's taken me until 46 to truly understand that. It was my persistence at writing, the belief that I would get there in the end that won out, but it started with the discipline to sit at a computer and write the thing. That was the first step to my creeping success. I am just starting to be lured into a military 'make-over', a personal boot-camp if you will and suddenly find the word 'discipline' awfully sexy.

Today I woke at 2 a.m. and lay awake for hours wondering why I feel so out of sorts these days and it is because I am consumed by abject sloth. I'm tired. Depressed. Morose and unable to pull myself up out of it. It's become a quicksand, a quagmire of laziness. But it's not easy to get out of bed on cold mornings....blablabla. I remember reading that Madonna once said - 'easy doesn't make you grow' or something like that and it was those words of hers that got me up this morning, more motivated than I've been for ages.

She's a few years older than me, a mother, a career girl and she looks amazing. None of that comes easy. I'm going to go and find a pic of the Lady Madonna and stick it above my desk. I'm going to haul my sorry sack of flesh up and onto the treadmill. I'm going to give up booze and Tim-Tams and eat like the legend. The poor woman cops flak for being too muscly, too fit, too brazen with her middle-aged sexuality. Sounds like jealousy to me. I want her arms. I want her butt. I want her Madonna-ness.

Some journalist asked me the other day who I would like to play me if the movie version of my memoir was ever made - and I have had a sudden brainstorm. Madame M can buy the film rights to the book and produce and direct and her daughter can play the teenage me! Of course, in a weird and disturbing twist - I will play my own mother!!! It's a brilliant idea. But how to get my book in front of Madonna.........

Lights. Camera. Action. So mode it be.

Moshi Monsters

My seven year old son just jumped into bed with me, nearly crushing the lap top and kissed me with his deadly morning breath while demanding to be allowed to play Moshi Monsters online. I suddenly realized that my previous post was a little heavy and that maybe I need to lighten up a bit. I solved it you see. The meaning of life is my son. And Moshi Monsters. And all my other children. And the husband. And my morning cup of tea.

I'm going to reboot my morning and lighten up.

The Meaning of Life

It's five a.m. and I've woken up with the very odd question burning in my mind - 'What is the meaning of life?' It's because I'm feeling a little directionless, unmotivated, unhealthy and exhausted. 'What's the point of it all?'

I have much to be grateful for - a loving husband, five quite nice children, a comfortable house, food in the pantry bla bla. My health. In truth, just having all of those things makes me one of the luckiest people on the planet. To be listless and unfulfilled is just plain ungratefulness. I know that and yet I can't help but feel like I'm living in some kind of Matrix - like it's all a big illusion. Beneath the happy, happy, joy, joy family life I feel an undercurrent of discontent and a disturbed suspicion that nothing is quite as it seems.

I read the newspapers and see that we really do live in quite an ugly society. An eighteen year old boy was recently randomly punched to death on an innocent night out. People murder their own children. Stand-over men. Lying politicians. Women are still being stoned to death...primarily for being women.

In the twenty-first century, we Westerners pride ourselves on our evolved social conscience. We are an enlightened people. Civilized and polite. We do not tolerate racism or sexism.....what a load of crap!

Our society is still consumed by sexism and racism, we just pretend it isn't. Underneath the designer suits and the Jimmy Choo shoes we are all still savages. We don't even exercise our free will but are infected by the media and the pack to believe whatever is fed to us.  Humans are completely duplicitous and fake and it is this that fills me with a constant simmering dread.

'Brokeback Mountain' can win Academy Awards but we still argue about gay people's right to have a legal union with their beloved chosen partner.

 We say that we are not racist, that racism is in fact illegal, but our Indigenous people in Australia and elsewhere are appallingly over-represented in prisons and health statistics.

Feminism was supposed to have liberated women and we are now 'allowed' to compete with men in the labour force, run countries and have equal voting rights. But we are still viewed by a majority of men and other women as inferior objects. We are lying when we say otherwise. A woman is defined by how she looks.  We are forced by society to wear painful shoes that do long-term damage, we must dye our hair with toxic chemicals and plaster make-up on our faces. We must strip ourselves of body hair and splash on perfume. We must work and do the lions share of housework and childcare. We must accept that our non-sexist mates will ogle younger, thinner, prettier things because they are hard-wired that way.

Cops still target the 'coloured' guy when looking for suspects. We still make comments like 'It was the token black Oscars' when Denzil and Halle won the gold statues in 2001. When Barrack Obama became President, all we could talk about was the colour of his skin.

If deep down we are all still full of hatred and fear of the 'other'....what hope is there? The whole sexist, racist thing is just lip service. We're living in a crazy Stepford Wives movie. Like in Monty Python, 'It's only a model'.

How can we become authentic? I can't change the world but I can change me.

I look at my first published book, a memoir 'One Way or Another' and I suddenly realise that even as a teenage girl I felt the dangerous undercurrent of hypocrisy in my life. Being brought up as a Catholic I had plenty of opportunity to witness this hypocrisy up close and personal. When I became a rock and roll groupie it was out of defiance. It was my own little rebellion against a society that still viewed women and girls as sex objects. As a backstage tart I saw that up close and personal as well. But my 'collecting' of rock-star bed notches was a form of pay-back. I figured I could give as good as I got. If we could be used and discarded by musicians, I could use and discard them back. My promiscuity was a choice and a sexual protest. Of course though, I didn't have the centuries of sexual superiority behind me in order to pull that off and found myself continually heart-broken.

As I dyed my hair the other day, covering the ever-spreading grey, I was struck by the stupidity of it all. I was covering up the real me. Pretending to be something, someone other that myself which was a sad way of saying 'I'm not good enough'. I have now made the commitment to myself to never dye my hair again. Rebellion. Protest. And that scares me because it will be an acknowledgment of my age and we live in a society that no longer respects the natural ageing process. Our society is consumed with the need to fight against nature.

I don't know what the meaning of life is. I actually don't think there is a meaning other than to treat yourself and others well. Survive. Procreate. Love. But I think if there is something to strive for - some nirvana, some spiritual awakening - it is simply to be authentic. If I let myself be myself and let others be themselves there should be no boundaries, no 'others'. Just tolerance. We need to stop fighting reality and embrace it.

I'm sick of feeling inferior and somehow 'wanting'. Too old. Too fat. Too grey. Too emotional.  Today I am going to be real. Really, truly real. Honest. Tolerant. Loving. It's Sunday. If the meaning of life really is 42, as suggested by Douglas Adams then I'm four year past the meaning of life. Oh dear. My husband is 42. Maybe he is the meaning of life.........perhaps I should have a cup of tea and then go back to bed. This is way too much 'thinking' for a Sunday morning.

The literary hooker.

I've just had this totally brilliant idea. I'm going to take up prostitution!! I like sex. I'm good at it and I've had heaps of practice. There isn't much I haven't or wouldn't do. So why not make a quick buck out of it? I just told my husband and he almost had a stroke and choked on his hash brown, spluttering, 'What the hell???'

Of course, once he'd calmed down, I explained that I didn't actually mean hauling my ass out onto the street to turn tricks for random, sweaty, perverts. I'm forty-six with a gut that looks like wrinkled dough and tits that sway like tired bloated pendulums. My knees are crumbling. The doctor told me the condition is colloquially known Clergyman's Knee due to the fact that it is common in people who kneel a lot. That makes sense because as a rock and roll groupie I certainly did get to kneel a lot!! Worshiping my idols, shall I say? But these days vigorous bed-play may result in a knee fracture or the dislocation of a hip....so no...I do not plan to make my body available for random pleasures for strangers, BUT......

I am a writer and the current almost nauseating trend toward erotic fiction...has made a sudden light-bulb explode in my brain. PERSONALIZED erotic fiction. I will spin dirty tales for cash. My plan is to set up a website ...maybe called Fifty Shades of You. For ...say..fifty odd dollars you get your own personalized fantasy starring YOU and whoever else you would care to bonk. 2000 words of erotica. It might be your husband (great birthday gift) or your favorite celeb. Imagine a personalized romp with Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt or both at the same time. You give me the details...names and fantasies, setting and some background description and I'll write you up a stormy scene as hot and horny as you want it.

Brilliant! I'll be a literary hooker.

I think it's an inspired idea but my husband isn't convinced yet.

Oh..there is the possibility that this might attract some serious weirdos. Hey ...but that could also be hilarious.  I will state at the outset that I won't take on anything that involves children or animals (perhaps with the exception of a unicorn).

 I'm  off now to seriously think about this. That Fifty Shades of Grey series has opened the flood-gates and I'm shameless enough to want to grab my surfboard and catch the wave.

Oh, shit! I just googled 'personalized erotic tales' and there are other sits doing this. Are there no more original ideas left! Damn!


The Perfection Myth

Ohhhh....bum! I crumbled. I bit the proverbial apple only this time it was three squares of 85% dark chocolate and a couple of glasses of Cab Sav. I could beat myself up over that this morning but that would be doing what I always do when falling off the wagon. Hell, the wagon hadn't even left the station though!

But anyone who has ever dieted will tell you, after you've had that first biscuit, it isn't uncommon to kick the door down and eat the whole packet. Then you dust yourself off and say I'll get back on the horse tomorrow. But, the psychology of that is all wrong. If you step off the path for a second, just step back on, don't run off into the fields to get lost again. I let myself indulge in some late night decadence but I have factored that into my program. The occasional slip is to be expected and embraced for what it is. I still drank less than I usually do and I didn't eat the apple pie and ice-cream that everyone else did.

Yesterday was better than most days and today will be even better. I'm not perfect and that came as a rude shock to me when I first woke this morning. We would all do well to remind ourselves of that now and again because this moronic society that we live in is constantly raising the bar of perfection and expecting us to dance, bitch, dance. Perfection in anything, anywhere, is a myth.

I'm never going to look like Nicole Kidman and frankly that's a good thing because I hate her passionately.(It's not jealousy....really....well not much). I am short and round, like a cuddly hobbit. I can become fitter and less round but I like to be cuddly because I like cuddles.

I can't have the house in immaculate condition all the time because I live with a pack of slobs. Running around chasing my broom tail is just stressing me out. The place is tidy and it looks good. That's enough. I don't have enough money (yet) to buy my New York loft but maybe my life can still be happy and functional without it.

When fashion models are anorexic and/or thirteen years old, what hope do I have of being a physical ideal. The ideal is idiotic.

I just want to be healthy, happy and loved. Not perfect.

But every day I will lift my own personal bar and strive to be a better, stronger person.

I did get up at 5:30 today and bounced out of bed after a particularly nice cuddle with my best friend with benefits. I fed the minions. I drank a bizarre concoction of almond milk/blueberries and cacao/maca powder and scoffed down some exotic supplements. But I let myself have a coffee. Just one. Because I deserve it.

I have straightened the place up, sent the children to school and will now begin my physical workout and then settle down to write. I have moved my office out of bed, into the den where I will be surrounded by books instead of pillows. It is possible I will get more work done that way.

I have read some of Germaine Greer's 'the whole woman' this morning because I love that woman's mind and she is like a spark plug that jump starts my own brain.

Today there will be a kick-ass article on addiction finished and a few more chapters of the ludicrous escapist novel.

I would really like something surprising and wonderful to happen today. But if not, just having today is enough.

Peace. Joy.

So healthy I feel GREAT!

Well. Today was the day that I was going to turn my life around and become fabulous. How's it going? Umm..it's GREAT. (I am supposed to answer that to such questions, more to convince myself than anything else). I woke up at 6:15 a.m. I had planned to get up at 5:30 a.m but I forgot to set the alarm and it was raining and cold and well....I have decided to add in some fine print. When it is raining and cold my get up time is 6:15.

I had a freshly juiced drink of carrot, apple, celery and ginger with some Super-Green powder stirred in. The thing looked like pond slime and I knocked it back fast. For a second I felt like I'd face-planted into a grassy  knoll but it wasn't as bad as it looked. It was, however, not very filling and my stomach played some horrific pipe organ music until lunch time.

I walked. I actually got out of bed and put day clothes on and went for a walk to a shop where I spent lots of money on junk I don't really need but I did also pick up some good books so it lifted my mood. Sedaris and Greer.

During my walk I came up with a plan to write a piece on addiction. Something I know a lot about but not enough to have all the answers. I've been a sex addict, a cocaine addict, an alcoholic and a shopaholic and a food addict. I do not say this lightly. It's all true. I have an obsessive streak that can and has gotten me into trouble. I have two people very close to me that are currently struggling with quite serious chemical problems and they are never far from my mind. So....it being mental health awareness month or some such thing, I will focus on addiction because contrary to popular opinion, it is not a character flaw but a serious illness. And if you are not mad before you get addicted to something, you sure as hell will be before too long.

I had planned to do my Tracy Anderson DVD but I ran out of time by the time I had cooked up a piece of salmon and made a huge salad with the lot. I am going to be predominantly vegan on this program with just a bit of oily fish now and then. The mix of fresh beetroot, avocado, sprouts, carrots, spinach, radicchio, walnuts and ground flax seeds was a taste sensation. Who needs chocolate? Shit. I wish I hadn't said because now evil Nikki is out of the box. She is whispering that dark chocolate is laden with anti-oxidants .....as is red wine. I am cooking a roast for the rest of the family tonight and she is poking me in the brain telling me that a nice bottle of Shiraz is downright necessary to accompany a roast and that I would be remiss not to buy just one bottle and share a glass or two with my darling husband at the end of the day. The resveratrol  is life-prolonging and anti-ageing, she argues. Get thee behind me Nikki-Satan. Crikey, she's always doing this, whenever I try to detox and clean up my act and my life. Bitch!

I am now reading David Sedaris' 'Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim.' My make-over insists that I take time to read as well as write. I am not allowed television apart from one family movie a week. Instead we will be playing board games, reading, playing cards and doing that strange thing known as TALKING, although I suspect the teenager will balk at that.

I have switched milky black tea for organic green today and I must say at......almost three in the afternoon.....I am feeling quite energetic and lighter already. I haven't crawled into my p'j's or bed all day. I haven't even done anything but a tiny bit of slavery/housework. I will go over the road to the shops...no...I will jog over the road to the shops, race home, hang out that washing, vacuum the zebra patterned rug that is covered in....outside things and I will shower, shave my legs, rub magical oil into my skin (without getting too distracted) and then sing like Snow-White as I cook up a perfect roast for the family and a Miso, Tempeh, sprout, seaweed combo for myself. I had lawn-clipping soup for brekkie and fish and a garden for lunch so it's a mouthful of briny seawater and floating curd for dinner.

I plan to drink soda water with a twist of lime and sit for the evening at my desk where I will write three thousand words on my novel and then a deep dark article about addiction just to scare me off doing a late night walk to the bottle shop.

The first day is always the hardest. Dusk is always the demon time but I'm blogging these days and will look like a weak, slack liar with her pants on fire if I can't do twenty-four hours.

One day at a time the recovery groups say. I will, I can and I must do this day. My name is Nikki and I am a slothaholic. But I will be a ball of energy....if it kills me! I look at Madonna's life - fame, fortune, freaky muscles and fucked-up attitude and I want she's having.

Day 1.....half-way there and I feel GREAT! Really, really I do...........  

One Perfect Day........

I was reading an article recently, about what a successful, happy person's day looks like. Apparently there are certain things we can do to help ensure an amazing life on a daily basis. It's not a new concept in 'positive thinking' culture to suggest that we visualize what a perfect day might look like for us and then set about trying to live it.

After reading more blogs on the idea of a perfect day, I sat down today to paint my own and then I compared it with reality. I married my own fantasies with the daily traits of successful people.

1. I would be in New York....Upper West apartment near Central Park.
( I am in suburban Brisbane in a creaky house with a swamp for a back yard)
2. I would do some long stretches/yoga and breakfast on a freshly squeezed carrot, apple and celery juice, followed  by an egg-white omelette with wilted spinach.
(I fall out of bed and scream at everyone to get ready for school while sucking down milky teas...four or five in a row and then have three slices of plain toast.) And a latte.
3. I get everyone out the door.
(I get everyone out the door).
4. I work at home and have a nice warm shower and settle down in my office.
(I go back to bed and think about whatever project I am writing about)
5. I check correspondence and begin work.
(Eventually when it warms up I do get up and check emails and begin to tap some words but I get distracted by any number of household chores.)
6. I do productive work making sure I prioritize. Creative fulfilling work.
(I go shopping for things I don't need from bargain thrift shops)
7. Eat a healthy lunch of protein and salad.
(Leftovers or a quick sandwich)
8. Go for a nice long walk.
(Sit on facebook for a while)
9. Have quality family time around the dinner table.
(I cook three different things for fussy eaters and we eat it all over the house while watching mindless television.)
10. Evaluate the day and check off  things achieved.
(Drink too much wine and fall asleep feeling like I drifted a little bit backwards in the achievement stakes today.)


Clearly I need to get my act together if I want to win an Academy Award and become mindlessly wealthy while juggling a successful writing/acting career and a sane family. I need to make some changes.

Scientists have suggested that it takes 30 days to form a new habit (With willpower) Small changes gain momentum and just by deciding to overhaul your life you begin to set positive changes in motion. So I have decided to start tomorrow morning. I will get an early night so that I might wake up refreshed and I will plan ahead. I'm not in New York but they say you have to fake it until you make it so I will pretend I am in NYC. If my house was in the Upper West it would be worth a fortune. Funky, three bathrooms and four bedrooms. A renovated kitchen. Close to public transport and shops and close to the CBD. I'll sit down tonight and write a set of goals. I'll get healthy food ready and the exercise tights out. I will be nice to everyone for a whole day. I will read motivational books and listen to soulfully uplifting music. Everything I do I will do as well as I can with a positive attitude of gratitude.

I will ban facebook for a day and not let  myself go near my bed all day. I will not wear p'j's all day and I will produce at least four thousand words on my new blockbuster.

Tomorrow is the 11th. I am determined to become a powerful success machine in the next thirty days.

Believe. Conceive. Achieve. Bring it on..........

My God!

I've just read 'God is not Great' by Christopher Hitchens and I think it should be compulsory reading for every high school student being educated in a religious school. Just to balance out the argument. When it comes to religious debate, I am astounded that people in this day and age still buy all the mumbo jumbo clap-trap that churches of the world promote. And then Biff came down from the sky with his magic, golden wand........

Don't we have enough problems with physical survival without messing up our minds with nonsense? Religion is such a huge distraction from mental wellness. It's actually quite evil when you think about it. Hitchens suggests that teaching children to adhere to some religious creed is actually a form of child abuse. He has a point!

Just look at the Catholic Church. If any other organisation was as corrupt, it would have been abolished and outlawed.

I don't think many of the people who call themselves Christians really believe in the Virgin birth, the star of Bethlehem, the resurrection. For most it is a social club where everyone can talk about being nice to one another. I am all for being nice to people. I think treating others as you would have them treat you is actually common sense and is a fundamental element of human survival. I reckon I could have thought of that all by myself. It really wasn't necessary for some celibate guy in a fancy dress with a silly hat to explain it to me. Almost every day I self evaluate and find ways to be a better person, wife, mother and friend. I like to do little kindnesses. It makes no sense to me that I should have to go to a special man-built church on a prescribed day of the week. I do not believe that fasting for one hour before eating a blessed bit of wafer is going to do anything at all for my soul.

Religion promotes 'otherness'. It divides people. It promotes racism, sexism, bigotry, hatred. It is dangerously judgmental and small minded. Religions teach intolerance.

When Ghandi was asked what he thought of Christianity, he answered quite smugly, 'I think it would be a good idea.' That sums it up. Christianity is a good idea. But I've yet to see someone pull it off perfectly.

We live in a world that struggles with the gay marriage debate, that still has women being stoned for adultery and that teaches children that contraception is evil....all in the name of religion. This world has also put a man on the moon and discovered how to make nuclear weapons. We have evolved and learned that the world is not flat, that the sun does not orbit the earth and that we are all genetically related despite the colour of our skin. Why are we still so archaically attached to mythical, fantastical fairy-tales? It's a hangover from our prehistoric days. We no longer need to create Gods of thunder and lightning to explain the weather.

It's as if we grew up to discover that the tooth fairy was not real but still check the glass of water with the tooth in it every day just in case it has been replaced with a golden coin. Humans would still like to believe in Heaven and Hell and immortality and a big loving Santa-like dude in the sky but we know that's silly, if we are really honest with ourselves. Unfortunately it's a bit like the Emperor's New Clothes. Until enough brave, intelligent people stand up and be counted as atheists the boat will not be completely capsized.

I don't doubt that there is more to this world than meets the eye and I believe in the beauty and depth of the human spirit. Perhaps we have a soul. I don't know why we are here. I don't know if we even need to know the answer to that. It's kind of irrelevant. Above all things, I believe in love. But I do not believe in God.

If anything God is a word that might describe life. God is life. Therefore we are all God.

But there is no more life in a church than there is in a forest and there is nothing more holy than a newborn baby. The Pope is just a political guy in a dress. No better or worse than the next fellow. Celibacy is stupid and imposing it is dangerous. Men are no better or worse than women. Children need to be taught truth and kindness. Chopping off bits of genitals in the name of religion is a form of mutilation and torture. The only real miracles are the ones we create by overcoming adversity. Life is pain and it wasn't meant to be easy.

When Kerry Packer had a heart attack in 1990, he was clinically dead for six minutes. When he was revived he famously said, 'I've been to the other side and there's fucking nothing there.' I'm with him. It would be nice to think we will all be reunited with the dear departed in a perfectly wondrous magical spirit land or that we'll be reincarnated as another person or that we'll be taken to a palace and be presented with 40, 000 virgins...but I don't think so.

I may be wrong. It's happened before. Maybe babies really will burn in hell if they die before they have some water that has been made magic by an incantation by a magic man, sprinkled over their heads. Maybe only 144,000 Jehovah's Witnesses will inherit the new earth. Maybe pigs or cows are sacred. Or maybe the pig is evil. Who can say? Apparently such things make perfect sense to millions of people. Just not to me.

The fact that the story of Jesus had already done the rounds in previous cultures is purely coincidental I'm sure. He probably was a God who came to earth and he was also his own father. He probably did die on a cross to give us eternal life. We might be immortal and just don't know it. Purgatory might be a faraway planet and it is perhaps a good idea to wear undergarments with velcro crotches when married to be symbolic of Adam and Eve. Perhaps God really does check to see that the end of a penis has been hacked off before letting blokes into heaven.

But until I have evidence I will continue to believe that we are organic and yet lovely. We can create opera and fall in love. Heaven is snuggling my family under a warm blanket. Hell is losing loved ones and war and racism. But in the end I believe that we really do just end up as fertilizer. No psalms or hymns or swinging incense can conjure up a pantheon of magical creatures. We are made up of particles and atoms and that is actually quite miraculous enough for me.

God Bless. Peace out.

School's back!

The school holidays are over and I have the house back to myself. It is quiet. I am waiting to see whether the teenager will be sent home from school for having bright orange hair. It is far from regulation and is very 'Mad Hatter' but I've given up fighting the crazy boy. If he wants to look like a tamarin monkey, who am I to stop him?

I forgot to put money in the tooth jar for the seven year old who lost a front tooth last night but he knows the tooth fairy is a myth and thus just helped himself to my wallet, so that was only a minor hiccup in an otherwise quite smooth morning.

So after four school lunches and a fry up of beans and sausages, I can sit down with a cup of tea and plan my day.

1. Go back to bed to meditate or just finish that last hour of sleep that I missed.
2. Morning green tea and clean house.
3. Tracy Anderson work-out dvd (yeah right)
4, Write two thousand words.
5. Lunch - big healthy colourful salad.
7. Nana nap.
8. Write two thousand words.

or
1. Just go back to bed and sleep all day.

There really is no contest. It's been a long two weeks and I've earned a little rest.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Hanging up my carnivore teeth....

I have toyed with the idea of being a vegan for a couple of years now. As I'm approaching that midlife crisis known as fifty (a number that has recently become synonymous with sexy!!) I have decided that the creaking bones, the odd discomforts that stab me and the grumpy old bitch attitude, might be best tackled by foregoing the animal fats, booze and slothful existence in favour of super-foods, meditation and exercise.

For periods of time I have been an Atkins advocate, living on meat, eggs, fish and cream; a Paleo eater, meats, fish and veggies; a strict macrobiotic...lots of seaweed and vegetarian, vegan, completely raw and pig. But I have been reading widely about the Western pandemic of cancer, heart disease and diabetes and I have been inspired by friends who are vegan and look great. I am also developing a conscience about animals. Me! Who would have thought? But most of all I have lost family members to bowel cancer, leukemia, and various other horrible things and have decided that I want to hang around to see my children grow up.

Basically, I am sick of feeling like shit every single day of my life. I wake up like an old woman. I am overweight. Hormonal and hateful. I drink too much. I eat too much. I don't exercise enough and I don't look after myself much at all. I nag everyone in the house to 'do more', 'work harder', 'be disciplined' but while I'm pointing the finger at them, there are three pointing back at me.

Ghandi said - 'Be the change you want to see in the world.'

So it starts with me.

My research shows that a vegetarian diet can significantly reduce the likelihood of getting those awful diseases. I know that dairy aggravates my gut. Wheat and gluten make me bloat. So I am going to do the vegan thing...but without bread and pasta.

I will have fresh vegetable and fruit juices for brekkie. A big salad with the lot for lunch and steamed or roasted veggies for dinner. Maybe some nice soups. I will do a Tracy Anderson workout (torture hour) every day, except Sundays. Sundays will be a family sabbath. I'm not one for organised religion and believe in people not Gods. I have been taking my family for granted and will devote Sunday to getting to know them all again.

I will find time to meditate and start pampering myself a little. I'll start by shaving my legs.

Today I look terrible. Bags under eyes. Prominent lines on my face and dry skin. Greasy hair. Bloated. Crampy and my toenail is falling off. I've just googled cancer symptoms and I'm still in bed at 10.00 a.m.

I've told the kids to be quiet about a hundred times.

It's July. By Christmas I want to be a spectacular version of me.

I'll just finish this coffee and then I'll get up and have a shower, washing off the old me. I'll brush the carnivore off my fangs and go and buy a box of organic fruit and veg.

The animals of the world will thank me. I am vegan. Hear me roar!!!!



Lip Service Liberals


Most would agree that the word ‘slut’ is a offensive word. It is thrown at women with such venom and derision that it could well be more offensive than any other derogatory term used to attack women.
 The word ‘bitch’ has become kind of cool. To be a ‘bitch’ carries an element of power. Madonna. Margaret Thatcher. There was that wonderful quote from Stephen King’s Delores Claybourne : ‘Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman has to hold on to’ These days being called a bitch has some street cred. It’s kind of hip. But being called a slut is still extremely uncool.

This tells me that true female liberation is not anywhere near complete. When Rush Limbaugh called contraception advocate, Sandra Fluke, a slut, because of her views, women around the world were aghast.  A group called ‘Sluts Unite’ was formed in response, a group of women who felt that to be shamed as being a slut for expressing her sexuality in a way that differed from the patriarchal expectations of females was a heinous thing. They advocated for a paradigm shift around the word, suggesting that it be haloed with pride instead of shame. The saddest aspect of this story is that their greatest opposition came from other women. 

This brings me to my memoir, ‘One Way or Another; the story of a girl who loved rock-stars,’ which was recently published by Black Inc. It tells the story of my own sexual awakening and lust, not only for life, but for rock-stars. I was quite honestly a little teenage slut. I believed that sex was about more than procreation. I believed that I had the right to choose who, how and when I had sex. And I believed that embracing my sexuality and expressing it as I saw fit was my right as a human woman.

While I have had much positive feedback from readers who understood and championed my candour, I have been surprised by some negative lash-back from other women who have not read the book, but have read about it. There has been a distinct tut-tutting coming from some so-called liberated women. I was sexually active at fifteen, almost sixteen. In many cultures that is a very marriageable age. I was not groomed or taken advantage of. If anything, I was the seducer, the predator. I knew exactly what I was doing and it felt healthy and natural. Some feminists have thrown up their arms shrieking that I was molested by a pedophile. I say ‘bollocks’. That is disrespectful to me. It infers that I was a stupid, clueless child and that was simply not the case.

Other women suggest that as a rock and roll groupie I was used and discarded by my musician lovers, letting myself be degraded. ‘Bollocks’ again. It was always a consensual transaction and I used as much as I allowed myself to be used. I enjoyed myself. My sexuality was really one of the few areas I felt in control of and empowered by.

People are constantly asking my ‘poor’ husband how he is handling the public disclosure that his wife was a rampant slut in her younger days. The inference is that he must be ashamed and mortified. But my husband is one male who truly embraces the idea of women’s lib. He gets it. These same people are always shocked and surprised when he tells them how proud he is of me and my past.

Naomi Wolf, in her wonderful book, Promiscuities explores this attitude and she points out that there is always a furore surrounding the so-called bad girl memoirs.
‘Despite the rhetoric of freedom that surrounds us,’ she says ‘women’s reclamation of the first person sexual is filled with the risk of personal disaster.’ She goes on to suggest that some factions of feminism quite hypocritically think that it’s okay to do it, just don’t write about it for heaven’s sake!

I know where she is coming from because I have felt the icily dismissive hand of uncomfortable critics. Women who do not like to be reminded that their young daughters are sexual. Women who resent their own inability to embrace their inner ‘slut’. Women who resent other women who dare to.

Does having sex make you a slut? No, it seems to the lip-service liberals. But enjoying it and talking about it does. One critic said to me, ‘Your book makes you sound slutty!’ My response. ‘I should hope so!’

When the word ‘slut’ becomes as affectionate as ‘playboy’, then we will be truly liberated.

My Bucket List

Once upon a time, as a teenage girl, I kept a list in my underwear drawer. It was a list of rockstars I wanted to molest. There was Peter Frampton, Sting, James Reyne, Michael Hutchence, Simon le Bon, Steve Kilbey, Ian Moss, David Lee Roth, Jim Kerr, Nick Cave, Rick Springfield, David Bowie and of course Rod Stewart. I even managed to cross a couple off the list.....

But now as I notice more grey hair and begin to think about hormone replacement therapy, I am writing a bucket list. That is, the list of things I want to do before I die....I got to thinking about this as I heard that Nora Ephron had died, because she was one lady I really wanted to meet and now I never will. When I was young I had a premonition that I would die at the age of 57. Goddamn, that's only eleven years away and I think I need a few more years than that to get the whole bucket list ticked off.


Here we go.

1. Win an Academy Award. (that is not negotiable.)
2. Die before my children and husband (though not any time soon)
3. Sail on Loch Ness
4. Renew marriage vows in Vegas dressed as a showgirl with Zeus done up as Elvis.
5. Have breakfast at Tiffany's in New York.
6. Buy a brownstone in Brooklyn.
7. Swim in a cage with great white sharks.
8. Lose ten kilos.
9. Learn to speak Spanish.
10. Have a New York Times bestseller.

That's for starters. I am a chronic list-maker and my actual bucket list has over three hundred goals. The above are just the top ten. The main events.

Today's list is less challenging.

1. Walk to chemist and buy a kid's birthday present for party this afternoon.
2. Buy rice.
3. Track down the errant teenager who hasn't been seen for three days.
4. Write an article about something.
5. Weed the front yard.
6. Wash my hair.
7. Ring my big boys in Sydney.
8. Go to a party.
9. Try not to embarrass myself.
10. Get everyone home intact.


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