Snippets of Strife
I was born and raised in the 1970’s in the working class suburb of Altona North…
For three years I was married to Paul Keating. Not the actual Placido Domingo of Australian politics…
When New Year’s Eve with the kids doesn’t quite turn out as planned…
We don’t really celebrate Halloween in our family, and by this I mean we don’t walk around to our neighbour’s houses, knocking on their doors and asking them for handfuls of jellybeans and jubes. But a few years ago, my seven-year-old daughter asked if we could play a game…
Four weeks after the birth of my first daughter, I returned to work performing in a television comedy show three days a week. At the time it seemed like a perfectly reasonable plan; in hindsight, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for.
Everyone’s been to a funeral; Dolly just didn’t expect it to be her own.
I was about eight years old when I realised that humans could actually survive until the age of forty; a revelation that was absolutely shocking to me. Who would even want to live that long? Surely the unfortunate folk who fell into this ancient age bracket were well past their use-by date and completely incapable of contributing to society in any kind of meaningful way.
It’s been seven long years since I wrote and performed in my last Melbourne Comedy Festival show. Back then I was performing in a one-woman show at the Melbourne Town Hall, living in an inner-city suburb, was a mother to a placid and low-maintenance 13-month-old and had no day job to speak of.
There is no such thing as an off-limits area in a home that contains young children. A door could be locked and bolted 24/7 with a huge neon sign on it blinking “NO ENTRY” and it would mean absolutely nothing to the seven-year-old who is desperate to show you the cartwheel she has recently mastered, or the proud three-year-old who has just devoured an entire punnet of blueberries and wants to wipe the remnants of them on your white t-shirt
I like cleaning. Ok, that’s a lie…I LOVE cleaning. I love tidying and sorting my house on a regular basis and the feeling of satisfaction I get after a particularly productive spree. It’s not just my own home I enjoy giving a good spruce up to. I have been known to eagerly offer to clean friends’ houses’, and, more alarmingly, some of them have taken me up on it.
My daughter started back at school this week. It’s always an emotional time, the start of a new school year. It’s a time when we reflect on the fact that the little baby you vividly remember cradling in your arms as if it were only yesterday is suddenly a little person starting grade three and you wonder how the hell that happened.
On every newsagent’s shelf, every current affair program and in every terrifying scene in “Sex and the City 2” we are confronted with the gross generalization that all women would merrily decapitate their first born if it meant winning an entire day’s shopping spree at a department store. Well, I for one would rather have each knuckle hair plucked by a blind octogenarian than spend more than thirty seconds hunting around for the perfect little Prada piece.
I was recently asked to perform a show and to run some comedy workshops at my old high school. Apart from being a lot of fun and slightly surreal, this day also included catching up with my favourite all-time teacher, who, yes, is still there.
So here we are smack bang in the middle of yet another festive season where I find myself running around like a headless chook, trying to make sure I catch up with every person I have ever known since birth, buying presents for at least half of those people and feeding about a quarter of them.
Mother’s Day is around the corner and, as I wait with baited breath to receive the obligatory homemade bookmark and jar of potpourri from my two daughters, it’s a perfect time to reflect on my own mum.
When I was asked to write the “write tools” piece for Damon Youngs “darkly wise, rudely great” blog, I had to think hard about which of my all-important and indispensable writing tools is the most crucial to my process as a writer.
My daughter’s school recently had their annual Book Fair Parade…
My father and I have absolutely nothing in common. He is team manager at the Melbourne football club and I work in the arts.
“Bye, Dad! See you tomorrow!” Abbie shouted to her father as we drove away from the house and headed towards the Hume. Trying to explain the concept of time to my four-year-old is impossible at the best of times, and even if it wasn’t, I didn’t have the heart to remind her that she wouldn’t be seeing her dad tomorrow or for the next seven weeks.
I’m writing this week’s blog from the desk of a person I’ve never met, in an office I don’t work in, wearing clothes that aren’t mine. No, I’m not Frank Abagnale on the run from Tom Hanks. I’m on the set of a TV series I’m working on.
There is one moment from my childhood that stays with me to this day. It was the early eighties and the one night when our usually drab school hall was transformed by a magical mirror ball that twirled and twinkled above a colourful kaleidoscope of purple velvet cords, silver satin dresses with ruffled sleeves and patterned knitwear of all varieties; the St. Leo’s Primary School Grade Six Disco was in full swing.
At the age of twenty-three David was six foot two, built like a brick shithouse, with a deep fondness for beer and shepherds pie and slightly wary of any man who confessed to no interest in football or hard work.