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