I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired


My mother has always been one for a good adage. “Better an old man’s darling, than a young man’s fool” came forth when both my sister and I married men almost a decade older than we were; though neither groom probably considered themselves old. “Go to the doctor and you will get sick” is another one; not so much for the germs you might pick up in the doctor’s waiting room, but for the other ills they find along the way.

I experienced that first hand this week. Investigations for the root cause of blood pressure issues resulted in some incidental findings. Incidental was the doctor’s choice of adjective. I prefer mind numbing, or while not immediately catastrophic, certainly has me contemplating that my goal to live to 102 might be a wee bit optimistic.

Drama Queen that I am, I feel like a ticking time bomb! The doctor mustn’t think so however, as he has sent me off for more tests with instructions not to return to his office for eight weeks! So, I am trying to refrain from lurching through the day, clutching my chest moaning, my heart, my heart! Though it isn’t likely in the short term I have asked Minerva, my erstwhile Library aide, that should I clutch anything between chest and stomach before collapsing to the floor, to be so kind as to not ask the front desk to phone for an ambulance, but to dial triple zero directly. She has solemnly agreed, though I suspect there may be days when my behaviour may influence her to walk very slowly towards the phone to make that call!

Now I am on enough tablets to make me rattle like a child’s shaker toy. I have to take a half tablet of this or that, every day, then every second day, but at the same time take a half of something new, but only on the days I am not taking another tablet. I am sure there are instructions to stand on the west side of the hill, wait for the sun to be at a 30 percent angle to my right foot and to twirl twice before taking a quarter of some pill.

I am feeling old and very mortal. I have taken to wearing purple.

No, really I have. Purple is a colour I have not worn very much since the 1970s, when I was oh so glamourous, but a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a purple tunic. I wear it with black leggings, and every time I do I receive compliments. One gentleman colleague told me I was looking exceptionally lovely in my purple and I giggled like a sixteen-year-old. I didn’t think I was capable of such frippery. Didn’t matter that the colleague is gay, I was all a flutter.

Speaking of colour, the doctor’s office has fire engine red walls. This week’s visit was my second visit, accompanied by Mr FD. Mr FD sat in the office at least 90 minutes this week, reading on his ipad, while I was poked and prodded. Later, I said, that I thought red was a poor choice for a medical office (blood and phobias etc.). Mr FD looked very puzzled and said, “Red? There was a red wall?” More than one, actually.

Obviously, the purple is lost on him.

a dog by any other name, would not be ours.


Our dog loves me so much that I have no doubt that should I fall down dead on the floor that he would eat my face. Love with an animal is a strange thing. Augie Dog is a stately four year old blonde Golden Retriever who weighs about 45 kg. Basically, Augie does whatever Augie wants; and most of the time he wants to eat.

Each morning I make two pieces of toast for my breakfast and one piece for Augie. Buttered, I cut it into four squares and perch it on top of his bowl of dry food. At the weekend if we fry bacon, Augie also receives a piece. His payment is to do a “bacon dance” dashing about the kitchen in a circle as he smells the frying bacon.

Once he has had an elegant sufficiency of his own food, he then eyeballs any family member still eating. If I am sitting in my favourite chair he will place his head in my lap and look up at me with his big brown eyes, so soulful that it is obvious that I must have forgotten to feed in for at least a month and he is obviously suffering dreadfully. Feeeeed meeee.

If this tactic fails, Augie will sniff about the house, looking for things to barter with for food. Grass that has dropped off a shoe, a tuft of hair that has dropped from his thick coat, or a small stick from his exercise yard are all potential gifts that he will drop into my lap.

Should I manage to survive this onslaught without reciprocating with more food, he will resort to his evil bags of tricks and grab a tissue from a forgotten place or an open bin and either masticate this until sodden to drop into my lap, or if he is feeling very vexed about being ignored, he will shred the tissue across the floor.

Mr FD has a habit of opening the mail and leaving the discarded envelopes on a low table that is just Augie Dog height, so as his penultimate act he grabs an envelope and starts to chew. Of course, we can never be sure that the envelope is indeed discarded and doesn’t contain that million dollar check from a forgotten lottery, so Augie has to be bribed with a treat to release it. No idiot is Augie Dog.

Perchance he can’t find an envelope Augie will try physical attack. No not teeth and claws, he will stand on his hind legs and place his front paws in my lap attempt to place his head on my shoulder. A 45 kg dog in your lap trying to hug you cannot be ignored – one, because he is incredibly heavy and all that weight balancing on my legs hurts like hell, but the fact that he is trying to give me a dog hug just melts any remaining  resistance.

Here, Augie, have a schmackos – have the packet.

Lady Karma, I kiss your cheeks.


Karma, I love you so. Today we heard on the gossip line that a former principal who had made my life miserable and destroyed the careers of some very good people, has received a massive kick in the butt from Lady Karma.

After chewing up and spitting out a number of people he broke his contract to leave our school  early for what he thought was going to be his ticket into the upper echelons of education. Well, the people he had to work with mutinied, revolted, and just rose up against up on mass – he always plucked his victims off one by one – and he was fired!

Sadly it is not total revenge as he has enough clout to be assisted into a principal’s position at a nearby school – but not ours!

He’s still on my stick list [the people I am going to hit with a stick on my last day], but at least I know his ego has been trimmed. I smiled all day. I am still smiling.

right place


Do you have a favourite writing place? So many writers say they love writing in busy places. I have read that J.K. Rowling and John Green both wrote in cafes. I don’t think that would work for me. I suppose being an introvert to start with, I seek quiet spaces.

I have imagined two scenarios of writers writing – one that would not suit me, and one that certainly does. I am writing this in that very spot!

Venue not suited to me:

She sat in the shopping mall café, surrounded by the pell-mell of human existence. The notebook was open before her, but her attention was focused on the coffee cup beside it, more that the blank pages. Every time someone walked into the café she looked at them, perhaps searching for inspiration, but finding none she would return to the coffee cup. Lifting it to her lips for the umpteenth time she discovered it was now empty. Lifting the hand with the unused pen in it, she signalled to the waitress for a refill. Obviously, this was not to be her writing place today.

Venue suited to me:

The bed was wide and she was the sole occupant. The day stretched before her and she has nowhere to be but there. One, two, three large pillows were lifted from the floor beside the bed and placed, just so, behind her back and head. Then the laptop and tray were placed, also just so, upon her lap as she lay back against her pillow bed throne. She knew she would get lots of work done today.

facts and some fiction


I have registered for a short online writing course through the Open University as part of my being creative year, my Red Shoe Project. I hope also that it will assist me in teaching my students creative writing.

The first task was to write a paragraph with three fiction elements and one fact.  Then, the task was to write a paragraph with three facts and one fictional element.

FICTION Paragraph.

I find peace in the rain. It drowns out the voices, and the memories of what went before. It is only when the rain falls that I also know that they won’t be searching the streets, sniffing the dark spaces where I might possibly seek protection. Chasing me. The rain is the one thing that halts their progression. I pray for rain, every day. Today, I rise to blue skies and sunshine. The pursuit resumes.


FACT Paragraph.

I lost my eye on Friday the thirteenth. By lost, I don’t mean that I forgetfully left it on the bus, or sitting on the bathroom shelf. I mean that it my eye was surgically removed on Friday the thirteenth. The next day, propped up in my hospital bed, a mile of bandages covering the right side of my head, a religious minister appeared at the door of my shared room to visit the old woman, slowly dying in the next bed. The sight of a young girl, for I was only eighteen, head swathed in bandages, must have prompted him to think he had to speak.

“Did you lose your eye on Friday the thirteenth?” he chuckled.

“Yes,” I replied.

He turned and fled the room.

“What about my dying?” asked the old woman.

just 45 days at a time


The rain falling today has been very symbolic for the way I am feeling, facing the last day of vacation before the school term starts. Just 45 school days but its approach feels like 45 years approaching. Maybe something wonderful will happen in those 45 days.

If not, I was able to increase my income protection insurance if I am finally driven to total collapse! Actually, just completing the application form to upgrade my coverage almost drove me to a mental breakdown.

What is it about forms that bring out the worst in us. No sooner do I open the online application and I start swearing and become a person even I don’t recognise. I had to open the link to the form, but the form has to be printed and completed by hand as it can only be mailed. Then I had to reset passwords and retrieve membership numbers, plus find my plastic membership card, and print out several payslips. It was a three cup of tea job, with a side dose of yelling at Mr FD because he was not answering my questions the way I needed them answered. Mr FD also had the temerity to act as those I was just randomly making up queries just to get my big Monday jollies.

Eventually, the paperwork was completed, then I had to source an envelope and a stamp. Do you know how long it is since I needed either? Luckily I had one sad, soiled stamp in my purse, though I am not sure if it is the right denomination. I am not sure how much a letter costs to post these days! How times have changed – I can remember when we purchased stamps in rolls of 100!

Now to remember to post the letter – and to get out from under my bed tomorrow and front the school day.



letting the clouds go sailing by


I’ve been away forever, haven’t I? We have just arrived home from 10 days in Western Australia, combining a visit with Peppercorn and her parents, with a few days touring the wine area of Margaret River. A little piece of paradise, especially with the spring flowering of the wildflowers.

A public holiday tomorrow, and then the last term of our school year commences – a nine week term. I feel like self medicating at the very thought, but since we have toured the wine area, I am not so confident in my choice of drink.

I mean before, I just ignorantly drank what I liked. However, now that I have tippled my way around numerous wineries, I feel like I should have an educated opinion, but I don’t. Drink anxiety, I am sure it is a real condition.


“Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe
Rain may fall, and wind may blow
And many miles be still to go
But under a tall tree will I lie
And let the clouds go sailing by”
― J.R.R. Tolkien