Aside

some Favourite Foreign moments

Some of my favourite moments from “France” thus far, that I have remembered on the spot. There are surely more, which from now on I will jot down so that I can re-tell. There are also some photos down the bottom, of various things both pertaining to this post and also unrelated.

  1. Shane, wanting to keep up his fitness, spent the first two weeks in Paris assaulting anything he could with exercise. The exposed beam holding up the building in our apartment was a chin up bar, the Nike shop floor was a push up arena whilst we awaited service – can you please take a moment to imagine this: me, being normal, in a store. I turn to say something to my husband and he’s banging out 30 pushups AT SPEED, whilst people continue their shopping around us. This happened again on the outdoor basketball court at Jardin de Luxembourg, where a group of teenage boys were shooting hoops. Suddenly, there’s this Australian weirdo doing pushups just off to the right whilst his wife pretends not to know him.
  2. Obviously, the duck incident in Paris.
  3. Shane holding Arlo over the toilet to do a pipi (boy style) and Arlo not telling him he actually needed to do a number 2 – so that ended up on the bathroom floor mat.
  4. Drinking a coffee at La Dolce Italia, speaking to the owner Karine, who called her Australian friend on the spot and with whom I spoke with and then met the following day. Eve introduced me to her two American friends, Audrey and Daria, and they were both a wealth of information and friendliness; I felt like I’d known them for yonks. Arlo and I ran into the latter two later that afternoon and he loved them both instantly, asking them if they were coming to the park with us and giving them each a “yuddle” before storming purposefully off up the street, stopping 15 metres away and calling out “au revoir” and “ByyyyyyE” multiple times as they both waved and did the same. Upon walking a little further, Arlo stopped, looked up at me and said, “friends gone,” whilst shrugging his shoulders, palms facing upwards. I’ll look for a photo of him doing this to add so you can see it in action.
  5. Having any sort of interaction with a French person who naturally assumes you know what they’re saying, until you actually don’t, and you give an unexpected response. You receive a priceless look of “…huh?” on the face which cannot be rectified, instead you cover the errors up with “bonne journée!” or “bon weekend” and “au revoir” and quickly scuttle away.
  6. Spending the extremely valuable afternoon time (after Arlo wakes up) looking for a circus for which Shane had spotted signs around town several days beforehand. With Shane and I being natural performers (lol) and each coming from families filled with talent, we feel a certain connection with such events and love attending them. We searched for this circus for what seemed like hours (it was definitely over one hour and under 1.5), asking for directions and driving through unknown villages and tiny streets, we saw the big top (medium sized). The gate was shut and there were llamas grazing about the place; it looked like nothing was happening. Then, Shane somehow summons a lady (from where she came, no idea) and she opens the gate and ushers us in, saying the show is about to finish. Instead of 5 euros each, she tells us we can pay 5 in total. We go through the flap and there are quite literally FOUR PEOPLE in the audience, seated on fold up chairs, dirt floor. The performer? A woman in her sixties all dolled up, upside down and balancing and throwing balls and cylindrical shaped thingies on her feet. It was absolutely very impressive! And she was in great shape! Her performance smile never faltered, despite there being almost nobody watching the show. Bittersweet – these people spend their lives practicing and performing, and even on a day when there are less than 10 in the audience, the show must go on. Kudos to them. Shane ends up paying the 10 euros after all, and Arlo gets his hands sniffed and snuffled by some very cute ponies (see previous post for photos).
  7. Walking through le marché and seeing that Shane had been granted the honour of a ginormous bird poo on the front of his black shirt. I have thought in depth about the size of that poo, and I honestly can’t think of what bird would have ejected it. A pigeon is only a small bird (although they are very puffy here, is it the winter feathers or are they overweight?) and the size of the poo is evidence of a larger type of flying species. This question of whodunit still plagues me today.
  8. Asking Arlo if he knows what my name is and him replying with “GABBY-GOO!!!” I die.
  9. Arlo walking past (any, random) children on the street and saying “friend?” As it would for most, this also breaks my heart and prompts me to reflect on the importance of children being around other children for healthy social and emotional development.
  10. Attempting to purchase a baguette (“tradition,” of course) and two croissants, but realising too late that I only had enough change for the baguette. I said I would gladly come back later for the croissants, but was urged to take the croissants, and bring the money back another day. What a gem of a woman!
  11. A lot of children (and adults, actually) ride scooters around cities here. In fact Arlo received one from the Easter Bunny, who found us in Chamonix this year. What luck! On occasion, we have walked and not scooted to the park, which means that obviously Arlo’s scooter hasn’t come with us. Arlo does this quite hilarious thing where he will be playing in the playground when a child with a scooter OR a bike enters and drops it, deserting it to scale the ladder instead. Arlo spots the abandoned two wheeler, renouncing his upward assault on the slide. He runs (fast) until he is close, then within a metre and half of the trotinette or velo, he moves more slowly, steadily breaching the periphery of safety and stepping inside the circle of another child’s possession. Then, he’ll do one of two things. Either he will patiently wait for one parent to notice him, whereby he will point at the object and say “this Arlo’s.” OR, he will go straight in for the kill and take it. Both are hilarious and test my skill as a parent in giving reason for why it’s not okay to take someone else’s belongings without asking. Once he rode another child’s little bike for 20 minutes straight before saying “I park it,” and backing away from it, eyes fixed incase of other predacious children. Photo attached of this in action.

These are certainly not all of the moments, and there will be more; of this I am sure. Feel free to share your comments and thoughts : )

 

 

Aside

an ode to mums –

This is dedicated to full time mums/single mums/mums who have partners doing FIFO/mums with no family support/mums who are partnered with arse holes and all other mum-style caregivers, directed at anyone who underestimates the duties of the above.

You think that because I spend time with my child, the days are easy and wonderful, and in every sense of the word wonderful, they really are. I am grateful that I get these extended moments, but I am acutely aware that they are punctuated with the woes of daily life. Such as:

Getting the dirty washing on at the right time so that it’s ready to hang before the day gets away, stacking the dishwasher and unpacking it before the baby is asleep as the clang of plates is sure to wake him, cleaning up the kitchen, cleaning the floors, bringing in the washing, folded, making sure there is fresh food in the house for that day and more for later, making absolutely sure that our child’s breakfast is a nutritious, brain boosting meal that will not be refused, spoon tossed aside.

Cleaning up the food he throws, the clothes he dirties and his hands and face whilst also being on high alert to give comfort at any moment and dropping what I’m doing when he holds up his little hand to take, whilst also basically following him around with a wet cloth and the vacuum so that our home does not turn into a hovel and also wiping his forever running nose with tissues that are soft enough not to graze it, and playing with him when he so requests whilst also making sure he has enough time playing independently.

Cleaning dog poo from the garden whilst hanging out the washing and making sure he isn’t picking up said poo with a peg whilst also ensuring he doesn’t give the dogs internal bleeding with his foot and trying to teach him loving kindness for all animals at the same time, making sure he gets exactly the right amount of sunlight so that his melatonin production is on point and he can sleep well at night, being sensitive to long periods of sitting in a pram or trolley which lead to escapades around the supermarket which then prolong the trip to the shops by 30 minutes as he explores and restocks the shelves, trying to make sure dinner is ready at an early enough time that the family can eat together and the bedtime routine is not disrupted or delayed and the dinner is yet another original, delicious and healthy meal shared and loved by all, followed by bathing or showering him in water that is exactly the right temperature whilst also having remembered to boil the kettle so that the water is cooled and ready to make a bottle with for bedtime, whilst not even turning my head whilst he’s in the bath and too bad if you forgot the soap. The dirt under his fingernails from the pot plant he emptied earlier will stay another day.

Ensuring the kitchen is clean for the 17th time in a day and the baby is in bed with no tears because if there are tears then what kind of day has he had to get him so upset? And then using up any “spare time” by tidying up incomplete remnants from the day and then showering and trying to remember if I had any goals of my own that need attention, because, personal growth.

This is not in any way a complaint, nor is it in any way directed at my amazing husband. But, like most women in history I believe the duties of a mother are absolutely under appreciated and undervalued. This is a tiny snippet of a day, really, and it’s only with one toddler. It is time to honour mothers for every bit of work they do, and give them a break for sporting activewear. We need the Lycra to be able to move fast, to catch a child falling from a height, okay.

Aside

A ballad for dad.

Second in line to the Gassin throne and best looking of them all,

great at sports throughout his life until one day, a major fall.

He’d come across the ocean seeking opportunity;

but man did he get more than a fixer’s job for Audi.

A talent on the guitar; one that still lives on,

A shame he’s not still doing Yoplait – it’s French for mmm, yum!

It was his skill at singing that brought him to his lady,

though it took some real convincing, she finally said maybe.

Just arrived from Greece, Deb was looking European,

And seeking what she’d left over there – yes, Gilbere was steaming!

His French accent irresistible, his hair a soft jet black,

he swept her quickly off her feel and she’s not since then looked back.

A job at Shell, the next big thing to help the couple by,

Then one by one the children came and my, the time did fly.

First Sasha, who was early and won’t let anyone forget that –

She’s still at home, saving cash while working as a wharf rat.

Gabrielle was next, a little surprise – that happened a bit too soon!

She kept them up throughout the night, the naughty little moon.

Then alas, the Golden Child, along came Perfect Blaise.

Thank the gods, Gilbere then thought, and gave them lots of praise.

A man who’s shouldered more than most, over these last years –

The term Detective Sergeant doesn’t come without its tears.

That’s the burden we slug our coppers

Upon sending them out to work,

They deal with more than we could ever know, and on top of that,

The jerks!

And to “bricoler” around the house is what Gilbere likes best,

A man who’s extremely handy, to that I can attest.

He’ll pot a tree or fix a lock or rip out a rose bush,

As long as it’s followed up with some time spent on his toosh.

The cheese and wine flow freely, when Gilbere is host,

And if your red is as good as his, you’ll get a special toast.

A kind hearted, selfless gentlemen; two of his major traits,

And his devotion to his wife is definitely second to his mates.

He’s the definition of “hero” from his kids, all three –

But we really have to emphasise dad, no more sugar in your coffee!

A husband, brother, father and friend, is what he is comprised of

And any time you spend with him results in growing wiser.

A grandpa now, how good is that, definitely your calling.

The only downside to this fact is distance; it’s appalling!

We love you dad, for all you’re worth, and then a whole lot more –

If there was a competition, you are the winner, that’s for sure.

As the years, they roll on by and your family grows,

Our hearts are always open but we’ll keep you on your toes!

Aside

Is This You? A Millennial Rant.

I believe that people who cut down trees are a certain type. The type who have no issue with using 20 plastic bags when they do their shopping. The type who eat meat for dinner nearly every night and their daily vegetable intake is in the frozen peas. A person who can end the life of a living thing is the same person who grunts as they lump their overweight body into the car, having forgotten that key to increasing life expectancy is exercise. This person drives to the shops that are under a kilometre away on a perfectly sunny day and when there is no rush, and their daily coffee is a huge, non-recyclable cup filled with an animal based milk that should really be in the mouth of its offspring.

They might be the person who still hasn’t realised that smoking cigarettes exists for the benefit of major cooperations and no one else, and because they put their plastics in the recycling bin, they believe they are environmentally aware. This person might have a pet that doesn’t really get the attention it needs, and inside their house you won’t see any potted greenery. Their diet is based on the outdated food pyramid and the idea of a person being vegetarian is “rubbish.” This person is not open to learning; they did all of that at school and there’s no need for any more. They know all they need to know and that’s that, thank you very much.

One of my new neighbours cut a giant gumtree down from her front yard this week. That tree was home to so many birds; particularly magpies and black cockatoos. Today my son pointed from our home as we watched the magpies bounce around on the dirt where that gumtree stood just a few days ago. The birds were no doubt pleased with all the upturned earth providing many worms, but also displeased and wondering where their nice tall dwelling had gone. Upon entering our street now, one has the awfully unobstructed view of a high voltage power line.

The reason for the destruction of this life source remains that the gum leaves were too untidy on the neighbours driveway. It was going to be too much maintenance.The homeowner? A nice enough lady who certainly doesn’t fit all of the above criteria, however there is no doubt that a little more environmental awareness might have saved that tree, and hundreds of others like it. This is one of the reasons our society has huge planetary problems. People don’t care enough about what is happening to the living things around them…to the point that they are willing to destroy the very thing that is providing them with clean air to breathe; providing them with life itself.

You see, making a difference is down to us. It’s the task of us “young people,” to be educated, and in turn educate our children. Kids are often a product of their parents; of their values and morals. It’s what we instill now that is going to make a difference to their future. Let’s heed Michael’s advice… “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change.”

The Science.

It seems cliché to describe the classroom as a microcosm of the world. Like it’s been done before and those words are nothing new. But as I stroll around this science lab, I see that it is truly as depicted. No matter how many hundreds of these rooms I enter, the same traditional stereotypes mostly live on, ceasing to challenge the evolving nature of time. Flickers of moderations on these conventions are here and there illuminated, briefly lit before a gentle smothering overcomes them.

Some things have, however, changed. Students seem not to be any more afraid of the front row as of the back. The confident ones even approach it as though a challenge and with the same manner as they address the authority figure in the room. They shy away from no verbal challenge and answer provocations candidly. The following is a little piece on a select few archetypes that are ever-present in the classroom, as I’ve observed.

She enters the classroom attempting to manage a semi-smooth walk that displays her sense of self, that doesn’t betray the burden of the luggage she carries. In the true sense of the word, she dumps her belongings on the table. She comes from wealth, so the treatment of her stuff shall not depict such consideration for material things, despite their value. She thinks she’s a cool girl, but little does she know that the world will chew her up and spit her back out, denying her the entitlement she such “deserves” under the pretense that knowledge is not power. She’s been raised in a family where somebody else had to grind away for the flow of money to remain unceasing, and the sense of “working hard” sits somewhere in the peripheral vision of her parents, with no legacy remaining for herself and her siblings. She opens her technology and begins a deliberate and crucial discussion about some teenage concern that could certainly not hold more importance than working on the Periodic Table. Inserting  an earbud, she upends the fixed idea of a traditional classroom in one fell sweep. She converses with her company in a manner which portrays both her lack of interest and motivation for science, but conveys her fascination with having spelled her friends name incorrectly one time when she wrote it down. Her vanilla state of being perpetuates, and changes tempo only when she sucks another contender into her menial dialogue, her exasperation at the concept of sitting in a classroom looming over the middle part of her mouse brown hair.

There is another student based across from the last who seems to already understand that smart is cool. You might assume this girl will glide more fluidly into the outstretched and welcoming arms of the world; for her it will be a good place, though still she will apply herself as if it isn’t. She manages to conserve a balance which will pay dividends to her future; she converses with ease – both the boys and the girls she is surrounded by find her mellow and friendly. She remains “on-task” with her attention undivided…it’s purely The Science she is here for. She’s got straight teeth and blue eyes, and her self confidence allows for her to pull faces with no concern for her image. Other kids are attracted to her self possession but they do not yet know it; there’s just something that makes them want to be around her.

Behind and diagonally across from the real cool girl sits a student who won’t reach the peak of her poise until university or beyond. She overhears discussion on the Periodic Table and mumbles answers, the other kids not hearing her or choosing not to acknowledge her. Either way, she lacks the self-assuredness to give a correct response, or to challenge others that do not. She is swimming at the carnival today so did not have to come to class…she did, however, for The Science.

A step above the seriousness of our predetermined geeky girl is one for whom there is no other option outside of the labour of classwork. The repressing force of her parents edicts are like a perennial weight on her bony shoulders. Her concentration, her focus and attentiveness, though, go unobserved as she sits, neck beginning to ache from the sharp angle at which she holds her head. Her legs are crossed tightly, furtive glances at the ticking clock signifying her fathers insistence that she not waste a second. You’ll miss the scintillating dance in her almond eyes when she’s talking about Art, because of the tilt of her shiny black hair over a thick, tired textbook. bit wordy?

This piece of writing is not meant to be provocative. It’s not meant to get you, The Reader, thinking about the deeper, moral “meaning” behind the words. It might resonate with you if you are a teacher, and you “know” these students. You might be a teacher, and you’ve never met any such students. Maybe you are one of those students. Maybe you’ve been a combination of each of them. You might like the portrayals, or you might not. This is just a piece of descriptive writing that showcases my observations during one school lesson last week.

THE END.

The Chocolatey Truth

This is a piece I wrote last year and didn’t publish…for some obvious and shameful reasons. It ends rather abruptly – probably I got caught typing it up (haha). Needless to say, I don’t remember abstaining for four weeks…Enjoy.

There’s a certain fact about me that some would say I am in “denial” about. Ha! Denial, me? I am a person who is capable of admitting her mistakes and accepting her imperfections (this did take a very long time to put into practice, though). But this little fact has been gnawing away within the realms of my mind for some time now, and is particularly evident now that I spend a lot of time at home. You see, when I’m home, I am at the mercy of myself. And it is this that has helped me realise that I am my own worst enemy.

I have an addiction. Tell me I don’t after you’ve read this, and I’ll advise you to research the definition of the word. It really came to a head one afternoon when my husband took our little boy and two dogs out for a stroll down the street. I knew I would have 15 minutes absolute maximum to go and grab the washing from outside, clean up the kitchen from the lunch I’d made, and do a quick tidy up of everywhere else. However instead of making the most of these minutes straight away, I became possessed. Some invisible force took over my legs, and walked me into the pantry. This same indiscernible energy forced my right hand from it’s dangling position, to surge forward to the shelf. Unknowingly, my fingers latched onto something silver in colour and retracted to safety, in front of my stomach. My legs reversed the rest of my body from the pantry and before I knew it, I was at the kitchen bench again. On it, were the remains of a block of 70% dark chocolate, and a small plastic jar with a chocolate hazelnut spread inside. NOTE: This spread was NOT Nutella; I do not condone the use of palm oil in any products because of the devastation the production of it causes. I don’t recall collecting said jar from cupboard, but it obviously happened at some point.

Now, like an addict working hard not to be caught, I got started.

Two pieces of chocolate into ceramic dish. One teaspoon of chocolate spread dolloped onto chocolate pieces. Microwave, 30 seconds. Check with teaspoon. Microwave, 30 seconds more. Check…perfect. Add broken up biscuit, mix.

EAT. How long before they’re back?

The moment I knew I had a serious problem was when I checked out the kitchen window more than three times to see if my family were returning. What was I even worried about? It’s not like I would be in trouble for indulging in this little treat. That’s when a second realisation occurred…it was judgement I was hiding from. Did I enjoy my little treat? Yes. But it was tarnished by the fact that I was working to a clock, like a sneaky criminal doing a nasty deed. What even, is that dessert? And, how about this for some accountability. I have done this more than once. Last week it involved some cream mixed with the chocolate to make a ganache. And you may well be wondering, (as am I) why I would choose to share such a shameful and hideous truth. Why not maintain the wondrous façade that some people believe, that I am indeed perfect in every way. It’s because I know that change needs to occur. I can’t live like this, secretly wishing there were no forms of chocolate in the house as I pile a fourth tablespoon of milo into the milk.

Husband suggested we take on Dry July this year and I succumbed. But in fact, there is no challenge for me in abstaining from alcohol for four weeks. I have an eleven week old baby, for crying out loud. I can’t exactly go crazy on the drink anyway… I think we all know what I really need to do.

That said, I am going to attempt a whopping four weeks without ingesting a modicum of chocolate or anything chocolate related. When I think about this challenge and the fact that it will actually be a test, I know I am doing the right thing. I have shared this information with you in order to hold myself accountable. Why else would I allow myself to be seen in such a light, likened to a junkie feeding her disgusting little addiction?

– unfinished –

The Nail Experience

It’s a Monday afternoon, and I’ve decided I deserve a treat. How friendly of me. Well done, self.

This “treat” is going to come in the form of a renewal of my toenail shellac. I walk purposefully through the mall and stand, paradoxical to my walk over, awkwardly in the shop entrance.
“Kai help yooh!” The lady says at me.
“Oh, I’d like my toes shellacked please.”
“Have seat.” She flicks her head in the direction of five wheelie chairs and four massage chairs. Perplexed, I wonder where she actually wants me to go. I take a seat three chairs away from the head-flicker.
“Choose colour.” I am dealt two plastic containers with a million colours on painted plastic nails. After much deliberation, (would I dare to have blue again?) I have decided on a turquoise; number 101. The usual routine transpires…envelope the nails in acetone saturated cotton buds and aluminium foil those bad boys until the shellac is curling off. After five minutes, my lady comes over and proceeds to unwrap and grind my previous polish away with a machine that I feel, if I make any sudden movements, will take the skin off my foot. By this stage, she has obviously examined my toes and decided that I need a pedicure.
“You want pedicure?” I am too afraid to say no.
“Um…yes. Yes I do need a pedicure, actually.” So easily persuaded, I amble over to the aforementioned massage chairs. Naturally, I sit down. I get comfortable, and then have to relocate; my chair is broken. Repositioning complete, I settle in for the pedicure. At this time, I whip out my laptop with the very responsible aim at getting some reports written (“do all the things!”). Unfortunately, I am appropriately pre-occupied by the Disney Classics piano soundtrack playing, and continually catch myself smiling obtusely as my back is pummelled by the chair. Inherently, I wonder if the assault this chair is hurling is going to cause the loss of skin and/or the entire foot in front of me. It doesn’t. I survive.

I sit, quietly. I ponder on the likeliness of my lady enjoying her job. It seems always to feel, like in fact; it is unmistakeably rude that I have come here. I don’t just mean me, personally. I think the ladies that work in these nail shops, hate us all. The only communication exchanged between us is through the selection of polish colour, the ankle-tap that occurs each time she needs the other foot, and the thank you that I have no doubt, she sees as blithe and insincere. I wonder what she is thinking, as a corporately dressed, alleged professional sits in front of her, her supposedly judging gaze on the woman who is gainfully addressing the cuticles and callouses of her feet. I can confidently say I speak on behalf of nail-shop clientele about tending to feel especially categorised when the language barrier takes hold. A quick exchange of something foreign (to me) between the women forces The Ego to make hostile assumptions…what could they possibly be saying about me?

Of course, they probably aren’t talking about me at all. And really, it’s characteristic of me (all of us, really) to believe that I’ve made a big enough impression on these people that they’d have to have a discussion about me. There goes The Ego, again.

Recently, I have struck up a bond with my very local salon. I was impressed, when upon sitting down to have the toes re-done, the owner wanted to do my hands for free. She struck up a conversation and was extremely pleasant to chat with. Since then, I am loyal to her services. No more free cosmetic treatments, but I leave each time feeling like it was. It’s a wonder what a good attitude and a smile can do.

avec l’âge

And so finally, the nature of time has exposed itself directly unto me. And here I was, thinking I was one of those lucky young women who would defy it; one who would sidle through unscathed, unaffected by the hideous truth that time changes everything. This is not a realisation of the alterations in my psyche, though it truly is a beast that devours change and thrives on it. In a far better way than what the body does. The mind grows with time, it adopts and adjusts and allows for external happenings to influence it. Without growth and change, it would trap us. If humans did not embrace change, we would not be here today, we would have suffocated under the reluctance to expand the mind and thus the earth. A mind that rejects change is not one that is fit for a world that is developing at such an expeditious pace.

But the vehicle within which we transport ourselves undergoes a far less meaningful, far more unsightly change itself. Actually, let me rephrase. It most certainly is meaningful change. When one has long espoused pride, and established a sense of self-identity based on the way her body looks and functions, it can provide a source of amazement to realise that no longer is it the body it once was. I mean this in the least egoistic, narcissistic way possible (is that possible? The mere expression of this concept implies my ego has taken control; though that is another notion all together).

It was a slap in the face for me to realise on Monday night that after two to three months of wondering why my healthy eating and regular exercise routine, that has always been one of my strongest suits – “you can eat whatever you like and still have a body like that!” {jealousy disguised as a compliment; obvious to the naked ear} no longer seemed to be working. Was it my recent adjustment to no longer eating mammals? {It can’t have been, that was a year ago} So my brain took hold of this perpetual question *what is happening to me, I haven’t even given birth to any babies yet* when on Monday night the answer arrived during shower time. Shower time is a sensational time for thoughts to take form, I think it’s because we step inside a one by one rectangle and everything that keeps us contrived and cluttered throughout the day ceases for a few minutes, as hot water cascades the ripped soft lines of our bodies. It’s no wonder the concept of “short showers” is often ignored.

This realisation was that, like many before me and more to come, time affects the human body just like it does to anything else that is not manufactured by a machine. The vital, superbly-functioning organs begin to slow, and the body begins to react accordingly. It’s a funny feeling, to have to acknowledge that something beyond your control is taking place. At the same thing, it’s empowering to accept that change can actually occur. It’s empowering because it has to come from me, though. Taking control is the next step in making adjustments… enforced change. And that is better than having a saggy butt.

The Matriarch.

It was obvious from the beginning, exactly the type of person she was. She’s the matriarch. The one who has been around for so many years that they’ve turned to a blur. She’s previously been the head honcho, so feels a sense of entitlement that is so obviously present when she speaks to others. She is predictable in other ways, though. She wears the navy blue trousers of a 60-something year old – tight around her bottom, but for no good reason. Exercise is a thing of the past, so her behind itself is barely existent. The worst thing about the pants is the line of her knickers; plain to see as it cuts into what is left of her butt cheeks. The top half is usually clothed in a knitted cardigan of some reticent colour, nothing exciting, and most definitely nothing provocative. The neck remains concealed behind a scarf of the same genre – dull, monotonous, etc, etc.

Upon consideration of her mouth, thoughts opposing luscious transpire. It seems that reflection on this most important aspect could draw, at most, the notion of an older lady who considers anything and everything below her, and “young people” fundamentally rude. We all know who she is. The same woman who looks down her nose upon you in the bank line, the one gripping her bag and making judgements – her silence but a whisper; her verdict loud and clear.

Her attitude is not at all surprising, in fact she conforms perfectly to the stereotype assumed by her very nature. Plenty to comment on, her opinion is eternally valid. Especially to the younger ones. The newest one – but a girl!, obviously needs it. Being young, apparently, is in line with having little knowledge of the world. She is the matriarch – self-righteous, discerning in her years of experience. Little does she know how out of touch she truly is.

it was all a dream

I woke up this morning at 4:15 hyperventilating in sadness. I grabbed my notebook and scribbled down the images in my mind that had caused me so much angst, even in my unconscious state. It has only been altered slightly in terms of syntax.

…And with the realisation of what had transpired between the Russians and the Americans – a deal gone sour and the loss of fortune and a way of life, in slow motion the lives of the people present diminished in front of her eyes. And it was something that happened quickly – one minute she was at the help desk asking for someone who spoke English to assist her brother with booking a room for the night, the next she was watching from the peaceful position of a train window, overlooking the bridge and the river, and all that happened down below.

The men from both sides climbed down the stairs and merged at the dock. The detectives traced their every move – one step in front yet physically one step behind. As the snow began to billow furiously and the wind began its winter course, the train jerked forward unexpectedly, those who remained lurched to grab something to steady their bodies; they truly needed it now. Through the front window the wind and snow altered her perception of everything, but it wasn’t too late – the snow hadn’t yet fallen enough to submerge the figure of a little white dog trotting happily, unprepared for the fate about to befall her. The girl screamed from the depths of her very soul as the little dog was left behind – the train pulling away unknowingly from all that connected her to what was once a beautiful life. IMG_9848