Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dear Susan,
Doesn't feel much like Christmas. The temperature is climbing towards zero and I have the heater on. So I thought I would recycle an old observation or two. Think this one was around 1995.

Dear Susan
I'm dreaming of a quiet Christmas, just like the ones I've never known. And so far it looks promising. Rosie and Calvin have bought their own brand new unit and moved away. They came to live with us until they saved money for the deposit. They saved $45,000 in two months and Ivan and I are now in liquidation. The unit isn't quite what Rosie had envisaged. It lacks four bedrooms, three en suites, a rumpus room, a media room a swimming pool, tennis court and indoor gym. But she said she's willing to wait twelve months for those.

Calvin is in seventh heaven because the unit does have an L U G or lock up garage in real estate/ese. The garage is`strictly Calvin's domain and Rosie is only allowed to use it between two and four a.m. His sanctuary is more organised than my kitchen ( don't say a word). It boasts play girl centrefolds in chronological order, a hook for his hard hat, many many double adaptors (it's a male thing) an extension cord and a supersonic all purpose 205 piece tool kit.

The balcony is also his domain because it houses THE BARBECUE. Not just any old barbecue. This one cooks better than any other one on the planet and only Calvin knows its secrets. We are all very aware that barbecuing is a man's job and certain rules have to be observed. The gas, sticks, electricity whatever all have to be at the perfect temperature to ensure that the meat is black on the outside and raw in the middle. The Esky has to be a little to the right of the right foot and the tinnies have to be touching the lid. All cooking utensils including the multi purpose super barbie mate have to be within arm's reach to save him having to scream out and ask you where he last put them. He has to wear a silly apron usually with a drawing of a woman's breasts on it, and the little woman should be inside, making the salads, setting the table, heating the rolls, feeding the dog and helping the kids with their homework. Calvin is really great with the barbecue but it's hard to go wrong. It cost more than an entire kitchen.

Anyway Rosie and Calvin have left. Denise who came to stay for a fortnight last June has just moved out. Neville who strolled in three weeks ago has gone home to Adelaide. Josie is outside mending her mosquito nets before she heads off to the Solomon Islands and Eloise is sleeping off the last party before she gets ready for the next one. So everything here is sort of settling down.

But when I say I want a quiet Christmas I don't want one like last year. Do you remember? Ivan had ruptured his back and had been prostrate on the loungeroom floor for three months. Nothing in the house felt very Christmassy so I built a manger around him, surrounded him with straw and tried to convince everyone he was part of my Nativity scene. No one bought that.

On Christmas morning Rosie, Josie Eloise and Calvin came to open their presents and Ivan blinked at us to convey his excitement when he opened his back brace and neck collar. Then R,J,E and C took off for parts unknown and turkey and ham and pudding while I reflected on my Christmas joy
By that stage of the morning, (11am) Ivan had consumed enough pain killers to render him comatose, so I was really having to make an effort to HO HO HO!! I put on my pretty white dress, my Christmas tree blinking earrings, my red sequinned shoes, draped tinsel through my hair and skipped up and down the hallway singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. What a dork!!!

At about 12.30 I sliced up some devon off the bone cut up a tomato spooned on some cranberry sauce and sat down to Christmas lunch. Do you know how hard it is to break a Christmas bon bon by yourself? At least I got the half with the silly hat in it. As Christmasses go it was one of my least favourites. All the others have been great.

Wow I wrote that soooo long ago. but I may as well finish the story as it was that year.

This will be Josie's last Christmas with us for two years. Next year Rosie and Calvin might have cooked up another little guest for us. Eloise might wear a dress to lunch and Ivan might be vertical again.
But one thing is certain. As soon as I hear the first strains of Silent Night sung by a choir of children I will get goose bumped skin and moist eyes. It's magic. Hoping yours is the same.

And of course I hope it for this year too.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dear Susan,

Long time no blog. Been busy, book signings, public appearances, public speaking, oh and I went for my annual mammogram today. More action than my boobs have seen for years. It was good for me but I think the mammographer thought it was as boring as bat shit. Strange job eh? Squashing women's boobs into a two centimetre space, squeezing tight and saying things like "just put your arm here, now drop your shoulder put your chin up and say sexy undies" Is she a wannabe Playboy photographer? At least she had a G.S.O.H. As I was leaving she sang "Thanks for the Mammaries." In all the years I've been having these intimate moments not one of them has called or sent flowers afterwards.

At least my "pap" is normal. I had that test about a month ago and that experience verged on orgasmic. Well it has been a while; some of us have to get it where we can. No really it is not the most dignified of procedures is it? But the guys complain about a prostate probe (or if you are over 65 a "postRate" probe). Like for goodness sake, Childbirth. Helllooo. Periods Erky Perky. Menopause. Don't know yet. What in heaven's name possesses a person to become a gynaecologist or a proctologist or a dentist for that matter. Oh that's right the Porsche.

Anyway your renovations seem to be coming along quite well. Did you fix the broken pipe under the pool? Is the crack very big? Shame the roof had to be completely replaced. I thought you might be able to cover the hole with a sky light. Did they find much dangerous wiring in the ceiling? At least you should be installed by Christmas. Is it still at your place?

My open house visits are going well apparently.I piss off when it's open to avoid people's 'aaahhing' about my housekeeping prowess. I must admit it takes its toll; vacuuming weekly instead of weakly; I haven't cooked for two weeks in case I splash the splashback. As for showering, let's just say the recess is cleaner than I am. Although the showers at the surf club aren't too bad if you wear your thongs and take some Mould Blam.

The estate agent leaves me a message after every visit. It says "Four groups today. Very interesting" What tha??? I then take the crystal glass bowl of granny smith apples off the dining room table and put them in the fridge until the next open house. I was using oranges for a while but Eloise's kids came over and wanted to eat them. I tried to tell them the oranges were for decoration but they just laughed. I only sleep on top of the bed and usually straighten it out fairly quickly. Must admit I was a bit worried when the agent advertised the unit open between 9.30 an 10am, but so far no one has walked in on me asleep and snoring. Oh except for Bronwyn that weekend that Rosie's kids were sleeping over. She crawled into bed beside me at about 11.30pm. I had my mouth taped closed to stop the snoring and my eye mask which reads "Only Wake Me For Sex" (I live in hope).Just as well my grandchildren have a sense of humour. They saw the irony in it immediately.

Well gotta go. Josie and Tallulah are coming next week, so I'm making their beds up in the garage so that the spare bedroom doesn't need cleaning again.

Give my love to Adrian

Love Janet xx

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dear Susan,
Sorry for all the typos in the last blog. Forgot to 'save' the edited version. For translation, if needed, phone me.
Love Janet
Dear Susan,

How was the Empire State building? I imagine lots of women walking around looking for Cary or Tom. Must be very exciting to be in New York; I mean with subway bashings and Central Park muggings and everything. Did you and Adrian 'make it' there, because if you can 'make it' there you can make it anywhere.

Everything here is just the same,oh except for Dulcie. She has to have grommets in her ears and her adenoids out. Poor little pet is apparently nearly deaf in one ear. and we thought she just shouted to be heard above the other four.

Any way i sort of feel sorry for Eloise. She hasn't had a full night's sleep since 2003. Of course most of it has been of her and Aaron's making. If they'd gone to bed and slept through the night they wouldn't be in this predicament.

Remember the fist full night's sleep you had when Alexis was a baby. Boy I remember mine.

I woke with a panic at 2.30am. I knew it was 2.30 because after eight years of broken sleep i had learned to tell the time by the posion of the stars.I listened. Nothing.Silence. Something must be wrong. I raced in to their bedroom and woke them one by one "Rosie do you want a drink" Josiecan I get you another blanket" Eloise do you want me to go out to the sand pit in my bare feet and collect Teddy" They all rolled over grunted and went back to sleep.

Could it be that my nights would never be interrupted again. The very idea caused me to spend the rest of the night contemplating the ceiling with my bloodshot eyes.

No more would I pour myself out of bed to the screams of a banshee whose pillow had fallen on the floor. Rosie was the worst. She would come into our room, stand at my bedside , lift my eyelid and say "mum I'm going to the toilet"

"Ok, Rosie go"

A minute later she would come back repeat the performance and say "I've finished"

The interruptions to my nocturnal inactivity were endless. Their father (and I use the term loosely) was completely oblivious to my midnight meanderings to fetch a pail of water, re-upholster an unclad five year old, cuddle a nightmare away or change the spewed on sheets. If however I had stood out in the front yard and whispered some obscene suggestion pertaining to conjugal rights, his hearing would prove infallible.

Someone in our day , probably a man, perpetuated the myth that a father lost his masculinity if he saw to his child's needs during the night. Utter rubbish. The "attendee" wouldn't notice it the "attender's" face was covered in cold cream or stubble and for that matter could care less. Apparently it's different now and dads get up to their kids at night all the time. I've heard Ivan say that our children were so perfect he never lost a wink of sleep, which I guess is half true.

Before I had children (and since they've left home) I couldn't have been woken if a 747 landed in the driveway. AK (after kids) i would wake up if Eloise's eyelids fluttered out of unison. I think once in a fit of desperation I offered to sell my soul to the devil for a full night's sleep. But even old Nick knew that was no bargain.

The absolute worst time for a mum is when one of them is sick. I remember when Josie had a cold and had been crying with pain, fever or whatever it is they cry with. I put her down to sleep and went straight to the "Home Medical Guide" (the old time Google search engine) Fatal. By the time I'd digested the symptoms side effects and treatment of every disease known to man, she'd progressed from a cold to yellow fever, athletes foot and galloping fluff in the navel.

I lay in a heap outside her bedroom floorwaiting for her to draw her last breath. I looked in on her every five minutes to see if the fever had gone up or down and every time I looked she was sleeping loke a baby. It's shattering to realise you are the only person awake in the whole of the southern hemisphere.

At 6am I decided it might be safe to go to sleep. I crept into bed cuddled up to Ivan and drifted off to the land of Nod.

At 6.07am the little darling who'd been at death's door all night clambered on top of me, lifted both my eye lids to reveal cavities which used to reveal my soul and demanded Brekkie.

I really feel soory for young mums who are going through those bad nights but at least it does get worse. You know when they hit eighteen and you lie awake until 3am waiting for them to come home.

Anyway have a good flight home and don't leave your hearts in San Francisco.



Friday, August 6, 2010


Just been to the acupuncturist. Paid the therapist, (let's call him David) (because that's his name ) $70 to stick long sharp needles into various parts of my anatomy.

You see I have this problem with my neck and back. It feels like a bar stretching across my shoulders and another one stretching down my spine.I guess it's just the cross I have to bear. Apparently stress and tension only increase the pain. So by the time I get to 'lets call him David' each week I'm pleading for a needle full of morphine. Instead he sticks pins in me like a human voodoo doll. Speaking of which I must get the Ivan doll out and see how it's going.

Anyway, last week when I went to see 'let's call him David' he did the usual pins and needles thing and then his apprentice (or is that term only used for sorcerers) stuck a needle in my belly and proceeded to set it alight. An odour not unlike the smell of sneakers smouldering on top of a pile of burning tyres rose from my tummy.

I've had this treatment before. I remember I looked down at my legs and there was a column of smoke rising from them. I knew I hadn't waxed in a while but this was turning into a small scrub fire. 'Let's call him David' strolled into the room and I asked him politely if spontaneous combustion was imminent. No, apparently it was all ok. So that time I escaped virtually unscathed.

This week however the burning old sneakers on top of the tyres were beginning to smell like burning flesh. Not wanting to cause a fuss, I lay on the table, needles in place, tears running into my ears, my neck and shoulders tensing into rigor mortis and my belly on fire. When 'let's call him David' walked in he said "Oh dear maybe a little blister there for a while.

I like acupuncture. It does cure things; like fear of needles. And I like to think the proceedure is helping, but I'm not sure how.

I lie on a bench in my knickers and cami top.

I let 'let's call him David' stick needles in my fingers, knees, cheeks, spine, head, ankles and belly. Then let him set fire to me

I freeze to death because I'm semi naked and the window is open to gale force winds.

If I try to relax, I slip off the bench and all in all it is a masochistic exercise beyond comprehension.

So why do I keep going back? For attention I guess.

Hope you Adrian Aaron and Caroline are having a great time in the States. Went around to look at your new house the other day and only one tree had fallen on to the garage in that big storm.

Miss you HEAPS



Monday, July 26, 2010


What a choice. The grand final, finale, farewell of Master Chef or the Trunks and Juli (a) show, otherwise known as the mass debate. I'd invested so much time in M C already, I couldn't not watch the end. So I spent the hours between 7.30 and 9.30 on Sunday night watching Callum cauterise a carrot and Adam agitate an aubergine. They were the longest 11 hours of my life.

What is it about M C that makes it so 'apeeling'? I mean four million people tuned in to watch it!!! It can't be the challenges, eg "taste this Beef Burgundy and name the ingredients". Easy ..... Beef, mushrooms water and the Maggi packet. "Name these three cheeses"..... Soft, hard and 'smells like vomit'.

Then the invention test and the core ingredient is a CHICKEN. OH NO not a chicken. Whatever will I do with it? Well here's a thought, put it in a saucepan of water with an onion, boil the s..t out of it, take out the bones and serve the remaining meat and liquid to someone with bird flu. A complete no brainer.

Speaking of serves, the economics of their plated up dishes really messes with my head. They use a pantryful of ingredients, a pig and four dozen eggs and come up with enough food to feed an anorexic. If a waiter placed that 'portion' in front of me I'd use Adrian's old standby "Yes that's it I'll have some of that"

I loved the dessert Callum and Adam 'put up' though. A cumquat creamy, granita, meringue, ice cream burnt biscuit encrusted, 'egg', loosely called a Cumquat May. AND they were given FOUR HOURS to complete it. Hell I've dished up a three course meal to fifty people in less time using a primus stove and a jaffle iron. Anyway I was glad Adam won but Eloise thinks Callum is the perfect man. "Mum he cooks awesome food and he comes second" Guess she has a point.

How are the plans going for the fibro shack renovations? At least you'll be able to forget about it while you are OS. I'm going to be so miserable. Who will I play with? Josie says I can go down to Melbourne and hang out with Tallulah. Rosie has invited me up to taste her creations from chef school and Eloise has offered me any two of her five kids at any time should I get lonely. And of course I'll be able to use your SVU to take mum and dad to their doctors' appointments. So I should survive. But I will miss you.

And by the time you get back I might have hooked up. I mean my cyberspace courting is going really well. I almost replied to Bruce the Brave who is a "professional with bad breath and body odour". He just wants a bit on the side because he lives with a woman. But when I thought about it I realised I'd been there before. Probably won't pursue that one any further.

I did actually go out for lunch with a guy I met through the newspaper dating service. You know, you ring his number, if he's interested he rings your number, and you play telephone ping pong until one of you suggests coffee. Well when I heard his voice I had a hot flush. He sounded like Sean Connery only sexy. We arranged to meet at a restaurant. He would be wearing jeans, a sports coat and the compulsory rose between his teeth. As each guy walked in I held my breath. Then "Please God not him". He was a six foot four inch Woody Allen clone. His voice almost did it for me except that he only used it to talk about football, motor racing and what a bitch his last girlfriend had been. I excused myself to go to the ladies room. I hope he's not still there waiting for me to come back.

Love you heaps. Stay safe have a great time,give my regards to broadway and bring me back a pressie. I like small, gold and expensive.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dear Susan,

Congrats. Hear you and Adrian are the proud owners of an asbestos lined fibro shack on the edge of Slumville. You must be over the moon! I guess you might miss the 360 degree view of the bay from your old waterfront , double brick, 5 bedroom, swimming pooled mansion. But these tough economic times are causing everyone to downsize. Wish I could bloody downsize to a 22 or a 20. Anyway even Rosie and Calvin had to opt for the 65 inch flat screen plasma instead of adding on a "media room".

Well I went out to the airport on Thursday night to pick up Josie and Tallulah. The plane was coming in at 9.30 so I got there at about 6.45. Well you know what I'm like. I have to be on time. I sat outside the labour ward for six months before Eloise was born.

Anyway airports are a great place to people watch. I like to make up stories about their comings and goings. For example there was this very friendly man in his late thirties pacing up and down waiting for a plane to unload. In my story he was waiting for his wife and 2 kids to come home from their school holidays in Dubbo. As it turned out he was actually greeted by his partner Justin who gave him a big bear hug and an open mouthed kiss that involved a lot of tongue.I wasn't shocked. Just jealous. Justin was a hunk.

I had to go through the security gates and put my bag/phone/bangles/shoes and teeth in the tray.

"It's really quiet tonight" I remarked.

"Ssshhh" was the response from the six security guards who were making me feel less secure by the minute with all their 'ssshhhing.'

Having survived the scan I went to grab my stuff when the man in front of me with the uniform and the badge said "Excuse me madam, this is your lucky day. You fit our profile of a terrorist so well that I just need to run my wand over you"

As you know it's been a long time since I've had an offer like that. I stood trembling with anticipation as he waved some sort of electronic device about six inches away from the surface of my entire body.

"Thanks,"he grinned with a smirk which said it had been good for him. Come to think of it, it was just as I remembered it too. Anticlimactic.

I appreciate your advice on getting my life back on track after Ivan's departure last millenium. But I'm not looking for someone to settle down with, marry and live happily ever after and all that rubbish. All I need is someone to do 'nothing' with occasionally. Of course it wouldn't hurt if he was into casual meaningless sex.

This week I did make a start on my 'get a life project'. I went to one of those stores that have 'furniture to suit your lifestyle'. I asked the salesman if he had a lifestyle to suit my furniture; you know, sort of eclectic , second hand, broken and worn around the edges. Then I realised that is the lifestyle I've got already. I went on an on-line dating service where they match desperate, dateless, ugly, losers, figuring even I might find someone. The Bottom of The Barrel Bachelor Bonking Service matched me up with a 78 year old who was looking for a petite blonde between the ages of 29-37. He was quite up front, admitting to having his own hair and 'tooth' I sent off my reply immediately. Back came his rapid response, "Sorry, am looking for someone young, nearby. attractive, slim, intelligent and amusing. I don't think it would work out between us"

Talk about a blow to one's self esteem. But I'm persevering and will be updating on cyberdating. In the meantime I'm proceeding with my campaign to find a life. Next week I'm taking up lawn bowls.

Hope you and Adrian have a great time in the states. Give a big hug to Aaron and Caroline for me. Don't worry about Alexis. We will get together while you're away and do some macrame.


Janet xx

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dear Susan,

It's been thirteen years since Ivan left and it just struck me the other day, maybe he's not coming back.I mean thirteen years is a long time. Maybe he's found someone else.

Knowing me as you do , you'll understand that this revelation came as a bit of a shock. His razor is still in the bathroom along with the stubble in the sink. I have a freezer full of his favourite dinners, just in case. There are a few bottles of red maturing in the cellar, and I've taped every episode of Top Gear in case he's missed a couple in the intervening years. I turn his side of the bed down every night and put a chocolate on his pillow. Then I eat it.

OK. I'm going to have to come to terms with the fact that I am a single mum with three daughters aged 39, 37 and 34. I have nine grandchildren and I'm fast approaching 52. Yes I admit I have let myself go a little; alright a lot. But I maintain good social habits. I don't eat with my fingers, and I hardly ever expel wind even when I'm home alone. And you know some people who live alone for lengthy periods of time, occasionally let these social graces slip.

Back to the matter at hand. I'm just going to assume that Ivan has found a new life and I must too.. Like I've hardly done anything in the last thirteen years except sit around and wait for his knock at the door.

Of course there was that road trip to Tin Can Bay about eight months after he left. I mean that was a bit out there. Driving 1000 kilometres from and to Sydney by myself , hoping to pick up a hitch hiker here and there. Staying in one star motel rooms; strange moaning sounds and things that go bump in the night (and day for that matter). Lots of comings and goings. Busty blondes who checked out any time they liked but who could never leave. They had lots of visitors. No one ever visited me.

It was liberating in an " I've got no one to travel with" sort of way. It was about then that I discovered that men who dine/walk/sleep alone on the highway of life are successful business men on trips visiting one star motel rooms. Women who do the same are "Oh you poor things". Strange couples ask you to join them for dinner. Yeah right. Single women treat you like a leper because you are "competion" . Competition moi? Yeah well that was thirteen years ago and I was a little less "let go".

Oh. And that was the trip where Alec told me I had the arse of a twenty six year old. Ah Alec. Yes, well he was a guy I met in a resort on the way home from my road trip. He wasted three words on me when he could have had me at "Hey you". When I think about Alec with his gold chains and pin striped suit and secret mobile phone calls he may have been a real life Underbelly character. Either that or he was very glad to see me. Not prepared to be a gangster's moll I patted him gently on his balding head and said "Sorry I've got a headache".

Anyway gotta go now because Judge Judy is about to start. Don't you just love her?

Now that I've had this realisation about Ivan, I'm going to do something about my empty shallow existence. I'll let you know what as soon as I work it out.

Hope all is well with you and Adrian. Aren't you going to America this month? Well at least you have a husband.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Dear Susan, 3rd July 2010

Dear Susan,

I'm confused. Josie has just told me that because we didn't massage our children as infants with a mixture of apricot oil and banana leaves, we've probably done irreparable damage to their mental, physical and psychological well being. More guilt. How can my girls do that to me when they are thirty somethings, with guilt of their own they should be dealing with?

When they were little I read every authoritative book on what I should be doing for my husband, children, pets, potplants and freezer in order to keep them happy well adjusted and frost free. In the process of absorbing all this information I became unhappy, mal adjusted and frozen over.

How can I justify the fact that I didn't give birth to my children underwater? Not only did I put them through a birth trauma they'll never forget ,it didn't do much for their swimming prowess either. Funny though. I don't remember my birth trauma and I know I didn't come into the world at the bottom of a spa tub.

And discipline is so confusing. If we spare the rod we spoil the child. If we spank the kids they can put us away for ten years for abuse. Mind you ten years away doesn't seem too bad sometimes. How do you discipline children these days? Reason with them? By the time children are old enough to reason with they are totally unreasonable. I guess you could give them "time out" in their rooms where they can watch their 3D TV, play with their X boxes or download music on to their i phones etc etc.

If we correct their spelling or grammar we "suppress" their creative urges. We are raising a generation of creative adolescents who can't communicate unless it's on a building wall with a can of spray paint.

I'm sure that mothering was once instinctive. If not, how has the human race survived for so long ? Like a mother cat with her kittens we knew when children needed to be picked up, fed, consoled, cleaned and disciplined. Now we can consult a book to see if we are wiping their noses properly, or indeed if we should wipe them at all. Instinct has been drowned in an ocean of psychological brainwashing.

I've been watching kids grow up for a while now and I've noticed that only a very small percentage of them become sociopaths, politicians or worse. Yhe majority of the population seems to consist of fairly normal individuals either in spite of, or because of their upbringing.

To those of you who are confused like me, may I make a suggestion.; ignore any book or article which begins with"How To......" "Do You......" "Why Don't You...." and "Where Did You Go Wrong..." Believe in your basic instincts and if you can't find them, there's this great little paperback I've got called "How To Get In Touch With Your Basic Instincts" Let me know if you would like to borrow it.

Janet xx

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dear Susan 1st July 2010

Dear Susan,
Rosie's baby started school this year . Do you remember when our babies started school? I never realised how traumatic it would be. I' d dealt with the cat getting its tail caught in the blender, there was no panic when some weirdo rang me at 3am and offered to perform strange sexual acts in the phone booth while I hummed Bolero. I was more than well equipped to handle most of life's bad serves. But packing Eloise's lunch box really broke me up. I mean how can you send a kid off to school with a sandwich consisting of devon ,Smith's crisps and tomato sauce.

Anyway I left her in charge of Miss Smith, a child of indeterminate age who was now responsible for Eloise's well being between the hours of 9 and 3. She didn't have the decency to cry, protest or even kiss me goodbye, (Eloise , not Miss Smith.) Off she went as though she had lived her whole life for this moment.

After nine years of being followed to the clothesline, the toilet and up and down the aisles of the supermarket, I just couldn't adjust to being on my own. I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to see someone... anyone. For the first hour I sat by the phone waiting for the school to call and say she needed me. Apparently she didn't . I whipped through the housework in record time and thought "what do I do now?" I came up with some suggestions which have helped many mums cope with this crisis.

You can spill orange juice over your newly polished floor, so you have to wash it all over again. You can search under mattresses for chewed apple cores. You can replay recordings of your children's voices fighting over the last Tim Tam. You can look through old photo albums so you won't forget what the kid looks like when you go to pick him/her up from school.

I remember surviving that first day and I thought the next one would be a breeze. I went shopping. Alone. By myself. Without anyone else. Halfway through the expedition I looked around and Eloise was missing. I reported a lost child to the manager. "Five year old girl lost in the store, wearing blue skirt and top and carrying a school bag." Suddenly I remembered where I'd left her.
The manager suggested I seek some sort of professional help.

Without a little hand reaching out to topple the baked beans, or a little voice yelling "but I WANT some Twisties," I just couldn't concentrate on the shopping. I kept looking longingly at other mothers pushing their pre-schoolers around in their trolleys. It all became too much for me, so I approached a young distraught looking woman who was struggling to control her groceries, a three year old and a new born. I asked her if I could borrow her three year old until I finished my shopping. She looked puzzled, then frantic, then threatened to call the police.

It was about then that I realised I would have to adjust my lifestyle. I would have to organise this novelty called "freedom".

At the time I thought I would paint my nails ,shave my legs, read books, paint pictures ,write novels.

Now here I am with my fourth grand child starting school and I just remembered my legs need shaving. I hope Rosie is coping better than I did.

Trust all is well with you. When does Anthony start HIGH SCHOOL?

Love Janet xxx

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dear Susan, June 27, 2010

Dear Susan,
Here I sit with a blank screen in front of me, staring at it until my eyes bleed. I mistakenly
thought that I had something to say

In a week that saw an Australian woman not only break through the glass ceiling but stab her predecessor in the back with its shards, there seems little else to talk about.
There was the story in the paper about a south African man who was jailed for thirty days because he stole a blanket from a German tourist at the World Cup. The blanket in question had been given as a gift to the tourist because he had enough money to buy a ticket from Germany to South Africa and a ticket to watch his team play. The South African on the other hand merely lived in the country that was footing the bill for this extravaganza while its citizens fell about from Aids and malnutrition.

God I'm getting so old and grumpy. Remember when I used to write funny stuff? Can you please remind me about it? I know. I could resurrect an old poem;

I think I'll write a "pome" she said
So down she sat, and to her head
Rushed visions of her unmade bed.

She tried to think an inspired 'think'
Then saw the dishes in the sink
And Rosie who required a drink.

She saw the floor that should be waxed
An ironing basket overtaxed
And plants that looked just too relaxed

The rhymes ran quickly from her dome
She cried "a fool can write a pome"
And so could I, if not for 'HOME'

Maybe I should stick to bleeding eyes and blank computer screens.

Love Janet