Monday, December 20, 2010

I Believe I can fly...

My grandparents live on a golf course. 

That's right you read it correctly, you open their back garden fence and walk right onto the grassy, well mowed lawn of a respectable 18 hole golf course. A very handy happen stance if it's your hobby, and it was, or is rather. With two metal knees, a bad hip and extremely well permed hair my nanny still manages to do her 9 holes or so every weekend with the girls (that is ladies of her between 60 and 75 age group). What's more she's still extremely good at it. I still remember the time she attempted to take me out for the afternoon and after almost continuous swings and misses decided the golfing gene had definitely skipped a generation. A fact she was happy to tell me in a statement that went something like - "Well your rubbish aren't you" shattering any delusion I had of it simply being a bad day. 

My golfing dreams aside, it's not all "rubbish" when it comes to my skills in activities on the green. For example I can walk around the course whilst dodging golf balls quite successfully (I haven't been hit yet), I am rather skilled at spotting balls in the long grass when shots go astray… careful to avoid deadly brown snakes that may be living in the vicinity and after a few years of driving experience I am a relatively accomplished golf bugger driver. Ok so I wouldn't say this was always the case - no I haven't been hit with a ball or bitten by a snake, but I have had a run in with some plants. A black boy to be exact - back when it wasn't politically incorrect to call them such, I think they're now referred to as Grass trees. 

It was christmas night, we were celebrating at our grandparents, when all the kids (that is all 6 of us) decided we would take the golf buggy out for a spin. There's something about driving any sort of moving vehicle that is incredibly thrilling when you don't yet have a license and are still too short to reach the pedals. Well after years of pleading with my oldest cousin Paul we agreed that having grown an inch or so over the holidays, I was finally ready to have a go. I took my seat in the drivers side and slide to the edge in order to get my toe on the pedal, noticing quickly that I could barely see over the steering wheel. 

Call it the christmas spirit but my cousin either didn't or pretended not to notice and continued his brief instructions. right is go left is stop - turn the steering wheel slowly in the direction you want to go and take it easy on the pedals. I nodded, feeling excitement well up inside of me… I lightly put my foot on the accelerator and got a laugh from the passengers behind me "you have to press harder than that Lesley" So I did, I think it was the joy of going fast for the first time in my life combined with the fact that I had a steering wheel in the way and bad night vision but within a minute of feeling the wind on my face we felt the car slam into something and I went flying out. Cue "I believe I can fly" as you imagine a skinny little 8 year old flying through the air onto the freshly mowed grass. I lifted my face from the dirt, spiting grass clippings out, and marveled at the fact I had no serious injury. Everyone came running over to see if I was ok, some genuinely concerned, others attempting unsuccessfully to hide their laughter.

In fact Paul was the most concerned… that was until he saw the damage I had done to the buggy. For those that have never known someone with a short temper let me explain it. imagine a very fast car that can go from naught to 200 in 30 seconds… that's what it's like for a person quick to anger - you could see the emotion well in him, like a red tidal wave advancing from the bottom of his neck to his forehead. I remained on the ground hoping that if I still looked helpless and disabled he may direct his eminent torrent of abuse on something or someone else. I sat waiting… and waiting, but nothing happened. "Get in the back" is all he said. So piling back into the buggy we headed back to the house, scared and wary of Paul's eventual outrage but even more so of what Granddad would do. 

This is when the story takes a surprising turn, something to this day I am still baffled by. We were right about one thing, Granddad was not happy - we waited in another room the next day while he sat with Paul furiously explaining his disappointment. I could hear yelling and table fist slamming, waiting with dread for my name to be called to join the barrage of reprimand. After about 15 minutes Paul walked in, steely faced and tight lipped. "Does he want to see me now" I gulped, worried that I may actually wet my pants. Paul just looked at me, a sort of sadness in his eyes and just shook his head "Come on" he answered "Let's go to the garden and play". So we did, I don't know if it was the shock or the fact I was easily distracted but I forgot about it after that. I found out later that Paul had taken the wrap for me, something he neither owed me or was better off doing. If anything, as a bit of a goody goody, I probably would have got off quite lightly compared. I never told my granddad it was me, and when he died it's the one thing I regretted (however mum is sure he knew), maybe he did, maybe he thought I would punish myself enough (which I did). I don't know, all I know for sure is that, people will surprise you, and that when others say you are still too short to drive, they really mean it. 


Drive safe this holidays ^_^ 

Monday, December 13, 2010


When your a kid, going to a restaurant can be really boring, especially when the company is comprised mainly of adults. The idea of a child being better seen than heard tends to apply and you end up forced to sit there amongst clinking cutlery and plates listening to the 'grownups' of the table go on about work and commitments and many other topics that have absolutely no relation to you. They may as well be speaking in another language, which can seem the case if your parents have jobs that tend to involve a completely ludicrous amount of jargon. The KPG's and the CPI's, investments in BMO's and SJ who apparently was seeing MR behind PK's back. The amount of acronyms the average work environment can come up with is actually quite startling, in fact I'm sure if this creative energy was funneled into something more constructive, productivity and idea generation would abound. Alas, I digress, my point was that adult conversation can be really really boring! 

Even now I found myself stuck in the middle, no longer young enough to be amused by the romance of my knife and fork (yes I used to pretend they were married, with the smaller, entree set becoming their children) but I'm not yet old enough to have succumbed to the average pressures and annoyances of being an adult and working a job you either don't like or aren't particularly happy with.  Not to mention I haven't accumulated enough life experience to be annoyed by most of the things around me that fail to meet my expectations or high standards. 

So being at any table with adults, or even just people you can't relate to, can lead to mind numbing, comma inducing boredom! Thank goodness I managed to think on my feet, so when the prospect of yet another night spent moving my knife and fork around the table avoiding the spoon and keeping up with the smaller yet equally shiny silverware sent me into fits of narcolepsy, I decided I was going to occupy myself. This had to be done strategically, I couldn't appear to be 'acting up' neither could it seem like I was bored with the parents, insolent, or that I had disappeared. A parent can sense these things quite expertly, unless of course the conversation moves onto politics or problems faced by their respective industries, a case where they tend to spend the next hour one upping each other. I thus want to share with you, my lovely readers, ways in which you can occupy yourself discreetly and thus maybe keeping you from empaling yourself on your fork after having to 'actively' listen to topics that are as interesting to you as watching paint dry in a white room with no furniture. 

1. If your in a pizza place, elect to help them fold takeaway boxes - not something for my older readers but great for you kids, it not only gets you away from the table but the parents are usually so enthused by your eagerness to be helpful and you are in 99% of cases offered dessert. 
2. Ask for dough, this can work at any place that make's bread or pizza, while away the hours making cute little snowmen and unflattering effigies of your boss. If anyone asks, you can better concentrate on conversation when your hands are occupied
3. Make up stories about the people sitting around you on other tables, highly amusing and can entertain for hours - just be careful, if you start laughing at an image you've conjured about a particularly strange couple next to you be sure that the laughter matches the conversation of your friends. I have often placed giggles or comments in highly inappropriate topics of conversation due to lapses of concentration, not something I enjoy being remembered for. 
4. Fold napkins, hard when dining at a more fancy place where linen has been chosen over more disposable materials, but still a great way to work on your origami skills.
5. Go to the 'bathroom'. In other words, excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, and go and find more interesting people to talk to instead. If asked why you took so long just say you got locked in. If you are somehow caught having a conversation with someone else, quickly imply that these are the people that saved your life and exit the situation quickly. 

Good luck bloggers, 
and may your meals be filled with interesting conversation


I just entered a competition and could really use your help! 

All I need is for you to go to the address bellow and vote for my portfolio -
no sign up required, just follow the link and click on the 5th star ^_^ 
Thanks everyone! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Honest truly I do

I have pretty strict parents. Not mean, or cruel, but definitely strict. Report cards were often littered with margined comments of - "need to improve". My school bag would be graded at the end of each day with gold stickers rewarded for organization and cleanliness. Bedtime was strictly adhered to and most shockingly to my classmates, there was absolutely no tv on a school night. "Not even when you eat afternoon tea?"
"How about the morning??"
"No cheese tv?" (apologies to my international readers for this unabashed  Australian reference) 
This would continue until boredom availed and a sense of hopelessness crept in. You may now be thinking along the lines of my peers. "What? No TV, not at all??" but to be perfectly honest, the 'saying ignorance is bliss' is true to it's meaning. I really didn't know what I was missing out on. 
The only thing I was aware of that need changing was my bedtime. Bedtime was 7:30, no I wasn't 4, it was a time set well into my high school years with the only difference being that later on I was allowed to read for an hour once under the covers. I quickly discovered that the well placed timing of reading lights being switched off and on meant that this could be extended to at least 11. That is unless mum stumbled in earlier and switched them of for me, grumbling about waking her up. I became hooked, hooked on the feeling of staying up past your bedtime. I longed for new years eve where beds weren't laid in till after midnight. I loved the sounds that came with the night, the scurrying of possums on our tin awnings, the loan cars crawling down the street and the faint clinking of glasses from the people next door who, like me, appreciated the late hours of the day. 

You can now fitly Imagine my delight when we received the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on one particular christmas day. I didn't really know the movie, in fact it's live action contents didn't thrill me at all at first. Our video library comprised 90% animated films with the exception of mums creepy 80's workout instructional's. That was until I read the back, there in tiny black font, right beside the barcode, was the number 144. I realized with a surge of excitement that it meant the movie was over 2 hours long. 

Do you know what that meant?? It meant that if I timed it right, when mum said "you can watch one movie before bed" this baby could take us into hours WELL after our bedtime. How could they be so naive I thought with glee, this movie was my ticket to late nights, to staying up, to being a grownup. I must have watched that movie at least 52 times that year. Every week when given the choice of what movie we'd like to watch it was out of it's case and into the VCR before mum even finished the sentence. Alex and I even endured the disgustingly sappy "lovely lonely man" by Scrumptious so we could stay up 3 minutes longer. Although sometimes the thought of her swinging and running round her garden on fast forward was too much of a temptation to resist. 

That year it became our mission to stay up. Something Alex gave up soon enough when the thought of going to bed with lights still on was more comforting then the impenetrable darkness of being the last one in bed. For me though, it was just the beginning. As time wore on I came up with new and more elaborate ways to push back my bedtime. Homework commitments, tidying my room, I still remember the night I took out all my clothes from the drawers and convinced mum I wouldn't be able to sleep till they were all folded neatly away.. . I realize this doesn't exactly make me a night time rebel to be idolized by small children looking for ways to escape bedtime, but it was never about not doing what I was told - something I couldn't really conceive of due to what I'm sure was elaborate brainwashing techniques by my parents. No, staying up offered more than the thrill of being up when you shouldn't. It was an escape, a time when I didn't have to be anyone, or talk to anyone. There was only blackness, and in the blackness, the opportunity for my imagination to create worlds. 

Happy imagining everyone 


Speaking of movies I love, if you haven't seen Coraline yet you need to! in fact, stop reading right now and go and get it and watch it tonight! ^_^