Flamingo Files – drive by style

car drive 1

Thoughts during a long drive home :

Why do so many old ladies wear huge glasses that cover the entire top half of their face? Is it so that they have a better chance of finding their spectacles if they mislay them?

 

If a shelf talker claims a book is “unputdownable” it really means the bookshop staff have either not read it at all, or can’t think of anything to say about the book. I know, I used to write them.

 

Why do people ask “are you eating your lunch?” when they find you sitting at your desk eating your lunch?

And then, why do they still ask you to do something?

 

Colleague, He Who Never Ceases Talking, keeps walking into my office to watch the new school block being built adjacent to the library, as my window has a perfect view of the construction site. By 11am this morning he was in severe danger of winding up under a digger. How many weeks until holidays?

 

Why do they think that people who work in libraries do nothing all day but drink coffee and read books? I drink tea.

Why does the car that holds everyone up in the 100kph zone always have to be the one that speeds up in the 60kph zones?

Why do students believe everything a teacher says? For example a student was having problems logging onto his laptop and asked me to help. I told him to retry his password to as expected it worked. “Wow” he said. “Don’t you know everything when works when a teacher stands behind you?” “Really?” he asked with a look of wonder on his year 8 face. “No!” I confessed. “Oh…” the sound of disappointment in his voice was matched by expression. Sometimes it is like kicking a puppy.

Why is it that as soon as the water gets switched off everyone needs to go the the toilet?

 

The deceit of our lives

honest

More than once recently my daughter has voiced her concern about how much, and how often, the young mothers of her acquaintance lie about their babies, or their lives. Perhaps lie is not quite the word, maybe pretend or self-delude are more appropriate descriptions of what she feels is taking place.

Their babies all sleep through the night, never cry. Mothers are all coping wonderfully, and life is just perfect. It is only when Daughter opens up and declares that they have sleep issues, or some other life hiccup that the truth tumbles out. Or, the mother that is obviously not coping, but refusing to ask for help, or even discuss, disappears from the group as her world closes down.

The same thing happened when our children were small. Everyone had a child that graduated with top marks, they were all perfect sleepers, no behaviour issues; on and on the list of the many attributes of the wonder kid went on.

It isn’t just about our children that we deceive though is it? No one has credit card debt, they all “own” those latest model cars that they replace every two years. No one ever applies for a job, they are all head hunted and offered three times the salary normally attached to that profession. Romance abounds in the marriage, date night is fantastic, never a night of falling asleep on the couch just glad to have time to sit in the same place for awhile. The sex, oh my, the sex is unbelievable! Unbelievable all right, especially when their visiting 8 year old tells you that they still climb into Mum and Dad’s bed every night!

No one buys take away, we all bake our own bread, grind our own spices. I spin my own cotton and weave our linens from organic cotton grown on the eastern side of the Himalayan Mountains by a small group of celibate Tibetan monks.  Of course, I can only do this between 3 and 4 am on a Thursday, because the other nights I work as a telephone counsellor for men who had their Teddy Bears taken from them at the age of eleven. The Blogosphere is a great perpetuator of such deceits.

Why do we feel this pressure to present a perfect front? When did it become shameful to admit that life is tough, that our children struggle sometimes, that relationships need work? Why do young couples expect to start life together in a house with everything?

Why do we do this to ourselves, and why do we do it to others? We do judge others don’t we? How many of us have not momentarily delighted in hearing that someone is having work issues, or their husband is cheating on them, or their child has actually spends more time with the school counsellor than in the classroom? It makes us feel even better to appear as though we never have such issues.

But we do, everyone does; at sometime and somehow real life hits bumps. It is reality that most of us are a “have not” rather than a “have” in some area. Maybe we would all feel a lot less stressed if we were just a little more honest with others, and maybe with ourselves as well?

I ponder upon Flamingo Files

caged woman On my drive home through the city last week I passed a shop that had a pressed letter sign declaring, You will never know how much I love you . All I could think was, well tell him/her stupid! No one should have to guess, it should hit them in the face like a cream pie every day.

A billboard declared that the business could solve “In grown toe nails”, In fact it was branded an “ingrown toe nail clinic”. More ponderings. Does this mean our thong/sandal wearing Australian population is a nation of ingrown nail growers, enough to support an entire clinic, or clinics catering to just that? Or more worrying, does it mean that our literacy levels have dropped so much that few know what the word podiatrist means these days and we have to dumb down the language even more.

[Remember, Australians wear thongs upon their feet, not flip flops. Thongs are not underwear. Well, they are underwear, but they are also footwear. We had the word first, I swear.]

I am thinking of implementing this design feature to my revenge stick. Form, function, but not quite sure about beauty… picnic stick I just don’t want to disturb the balance function as one smites those who have angered me. It would defeat the ants though.

Our dog moped about during my absence last week. He perked up dramatically when I returned. Then Mr FD and Son went away for a few days, and Augie Dog is back to moping, lifting his head at every car noise, sitting by the front door, searching Son’s empty rooms. If he missed me, why aren’t I enough now? I am the one who feeds him most of the time, surely belly love should trump all!

Mr FD and Son left on a day long drive to visit Mr FD’s 90 year old bachelor Uncle. Two hours into the trip I received a phone call. Mr FD had left his wallet at home! This was after I had suggested that he leave said wallet in the car in the locked garage (part of the house) to ensure he not leave it behind. No, he had to bring it inside for no reason… Luckily, Son has his wallet. Obviously, Mr FD needs a wallet that goes ding as well! [See previous post]

If you are a maker of dog toys, there is an untapped market for industrial strength toys for LARGE DOGS. Poor Augie Dog has a rope, a frisbee and a Gorilla Kong on a rope that would snap the neck of a lesser dog. All other toys are for those teeny weeny lap dogs that travel in handbags. Wimps. Augie needs man dog toys. I will be your first order if you take up the challenge – no dings required.

We top dressed the lawn inside Augie’s yard and ever since mushrooms have been popping up. The obvious answer is that there was a lot of mushroom compost in the mix. We think the mushrooms are safe, but don’t trust our mushroom identification skills, so each day we go out and pick the mushrooms before Augie is allowed out. As I rise earliest, this falls to me most mornings. A few times the neighbours have driven out their drive as I do so, and I wonder what they think as they see a bleary eyed Flamingo Dancer with night sleep hair, in her PJs picking mushrooms in the early morning light. Needs must in more ways than one?caged woman 2

hill and dale and this place we call home

Queensland

Not a day goes by, on my drive to school that I don’t consider how lucky I am to have been born in this country. Okay, maybe not every day, most days. Well, maybe not most days even, but often, lots of days.

Today on my drive to work I contemplated how lucky I am to have been born in Australia.

I was driving over the and through the hills, a mix of heavy rain clouds and fog hugging hills, snaking low into and along ridges. It was a delicate and beautiful countryside and I get to live within it.

Just by an accident of birth, this is my land, this is where I can live safe and secure. I don’t have to fear that at any moment my life will be turned upside down and perhaps my family torn from me.

I wish others would remember this when they label others “illegal immigrants” or “boat people”. There but for good fortune could go any of us.

finding pen and voice

opinion

Since moving to the country I have noticed a slight change in my mind set in that I am becoming more community minded. Not just in our endeavours to shop locally when we can, but also in adding our voice to other initiatives.

This morning, I was at a nearby shopping centre where the local council had set up to canvas opinions on what the community considered important for the future. In the city, I probably would have walked by, not probably, I would certainly have walked on by. Today, I set my groceries down, took up marker pen and added my comments to the paper boards they had set up.

A young woman who was staffing the area came over and asked me more questions about what I had written. I was advocating wifi and fast reliable internet access, and I explained how it would be  of benefit for the local hospital to have access so that patients could have time online with specialists instead of having to travel to the city for some appointments. The government is committed to a national broadband system, but they are picking and choosing areas, and their plans go right to the end of our street and miss the local high school and the small regional hospital that is in the Village. Stupidity at its governmental best.

I have no expectation that anything will change, but it did make me realise that our sense of place and belonging does shape our thoughts and actions. I expect that growing older also makes me more community conscious, and I did hear myself declaring a double barrel comment, “The older generation will be able to stay in their homes longer if they have reliable and affordable internet access, and I am a teacher I know how important the internet is to education now!” I almost looked over my shoulder as this public voice was so not me – was someone actually speaking behind me and it wasn’t in fact me? Nope it was me.

I’ll be carrying a soap box next! An elegant, one of a kind, soap box, of course.