You might’ve noticed I haven’t been around much for the past two months or so. Although I did drag myself out of exile to do a post for Mosey’s birthday. I had to; she’s my sister! I couldn’t miss her birthday. …She knows where I live.
It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say – there was too much, if anything. But I just couldn’t bring myself to write my silly blog when it seemed like the whole world was turning to shit, you know? Where every time I turned on the news we’d lost another cultural icon, or there’d been another horrific mass shooting or terrorist attack, or that ludicrous tangerine ball bag and his goose-stepping moron followers had once again lowered the bar for sub-humanity. I really appreciated being able to read other people’s condemnations of such shitty behaviour and be reassured there were still rational, good, tolerant people out there but didn’t feel up to the task of writing about it myself; it would’ve been one long rant of THIS IS SUCH BULLSHIT WHY ARE PEOPLE DOING THIS TO EACH OTHER WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD instead of anything eloquent and helpful.
And now that I feel like writing again there are way too many things I want to write about and my brain is all wadded up and I don’t know where to start. So, like the last time I was blogstipated (I invented that word yesterday and someone liked it so I’m running with it) I am going to attempt to dislodge some ideas with pictures. As well as some GOOD news, because there has actually been plenty to celebrate!
Five-and-a-half Year Old Loses First Tooth: Mum Conflicted
After brushing his teeth one morning Rory walked over to me wobbling it and suddenly there it was in his hand. He was very surprised and chuffed. Mum! It fell out! AND the Tooth Fairy actually remembered to put some loot in the cup before she went to bed too, so there were winners all round.
Sport-Mad Aussie Lad Finishes First Season of Junior AFL: Gets Cool Medal
Finn has really enjoyed it and wants to play again next year. We’ve enjoyed it too! It’s only the second year of our club’s existence and we don’t have an official home ground or clubhouse or anything yet, but we do have a kickarse trailer with logos on it, flip-up sides, barbecue plate, sound system, TV, lights and gear storage. It rocks!
I love the culture of Aussie Rules; girls as well as boys are encouraged to play, sportsmanlike behaviour is actively encouraged from junior levels onward, and hooliganism is not tolerated. At the professional level there are still instances of racist abuse and spectators being complete dropkicks but the League is making a concerted effort to stamp it out. Seeing the opposing team’s supporters in the train on the way to a game is not cause for a punch up; rather a chat with a fair bit of good-natured piss-taking. Seeing the kids and parents getting out there, having a laugh and just enjoying their sport gives me hope.
And in non-sport-related cultural news…
Young Artist Le Roar’s Stunning Debut: Pastel & Watercolour Painting Features Owl
We finally found Rory an after school activity he enjoys! He’s not that into footy so Auskick wasn’t a huge success, he loves cricket but In2Cricket isn’t until fourth term this year, and we were crushed to discover the art classes at school weren’t open to his age group.
Happily, a friend told us about the fantastic Artable studio in Robina which has classes for all ages! Adults too. Everyone brings their own supplies and is taught about different media and techniques, and shown step-by-step how to create their weekly artworks. Rory absolutely loves it.
He troops excitedly off to class every Monday afternoon, trailing his mini Elmo suitcase behind him. All I had to buy was an A3 art pad as I had most of my teenage-years art supplies still squirrelled away in the cupboard. Pastels, fancy pencils, watercolour pencils, 2B lead pencil, rubber, watercolour set, textas, crayons and felt tip pen – they use it all! When I gave it to him he tunnelled through it with the level of excitement usually only seen on Christmas morning.
Spring Comes Early to South-East Queensland
Neighbour’s Knee Predicted Long, Cold Winter: NUP.
Spring has arrived! I saw the first batch of Aussie Wood Ducklings the other day and today J was attacked by Masked Lapwings on his run. (Despite the name, they are a native bird, not an outlaw gang. Although they do have sharp spurs on their feet that they try to shank you with as they fly, shrieking, past you… the Hell’s Angels of the bird world.)
You could argue winter never fully arrived; we had our first heat wave in July – JULY – and our mulberry tree has been sprouting for over a month already. Still, for Queensland it’s been wintry; we’ve had the fire going most nights, and it rained all day last Saturday. It’s been hell.
I’m not generally a fan of winter unless there’s snowsports involved (we’re off to New Zealand next month! 😀 :D) but there are some good points I’ll miss…
I have a thing; I only have hot drinks when the weather’s cold. And the best way to have a hot drink is by sucking it through a Tim Tam. For those of you not in Straya, this traditional Aussie method is known as the ‘Tim Tam Slam’, the ‘Tim Tam Bomb‘, or, when I (as usual) misheard it one time, the ‘Tim Tam Bong.‘ (Well, there is sucking involved!) Nibble off two opposing corners and suck your drink through it like a straw, then eat it enjoying the melty gooeyness but before the biscuit disintegrates and splashes into your drink… it’s a skill. Requiring a lot of practise. As much as possible, in fact.
Our awesome Queenslander has unheated, uninsulated wooden floors and no central heating so our fire stops my socked feet from turning into lumps of ice for the 1.5 months of the year that the temperature dips below 10C. We don’t really need it, but it’s nice and cosy. We also like to light fires in our garden. In our fire pit. But soon there’ll be heatwaves and total fire bans and caveman TV will go off the air.
And I’ll miss cuddling the boys in their fuzzy winter pjs. And how they wrap themselves in their fleecy blankets and bolt to the couch by the fire on chilly mornings. And how Rory jams his cold feet into my thighs to warm them up… actually I won’t miss that. Same as J won’t miss me putting my icy feet so close to his toasty ones that he can ‘feel their aura’.
In other not-quite-as-local news…
They wrapped scenes in Brisbane a few days ago but they’re based at Village Roadshow Studios, just 20 minutes down the road, until November. Which means Thor, Loki, Odin, Hulk and Taika Waititi are here, IN MY CITY. I could even conceivably run into them down at the shops! Though… hopefully not in the carpark. Like, with my car.
Chris and Tom have been really awesome on location, graciously taking selfies with hundreds of people and just generally being charming and lovely Aussie boys. Oh yeah we’ve totally adopted Tom.
The Hayne Plane Has Landed!
If you were wondering what happened to Jarryd Hayne after he left the San Francisco 49ers (American NFL) then tried unsuccessfully to join the Fijian Rugby 7s Olympic team to Rio (a variant of Rugby Union), well, we’ve got him! He signed with the Gold Coast Titans (Rugby League) and is back to playing the code of footy he first went pro in. I like rugby – I’m married to a New Zealander and live in Queensland and seem to have learned a fair bit via osmosis – but it’s not solely as a rugby player that I admire him. He went after his dream, did his best, failed, tried again, failed again. Got back up again. He just goes after what he wants, works really hard, has a crack, and through everything has kept the most amazing positive mindset unlimited by fear of failure. I want to be more like that. He’s copped a fair bit of shit for what some people consider disloyalty for not re-signing with the Parramatta Eels, but the Titans were the team who offered him a contract so those sooky babies can just shut the hell up. Carn the Titans!
And now for some mindblowingly awesome news –
Cancer: Getting Its Ass Kicked in Australia and Overseas
Left Hook – Dr. Phoebe Phillips and her team of superheroes at the University of NSW in Sydney have created a new drug to treat pancreatic cancer and engineered nanoparticles to get it through the pancreatic scar tissue that typically blocks other chemotherapy drugs. w00t!
Right Hook – Legends at the ANZAC Institute in Sydney have developed a vaccine that totally murders prostate cancer cells in test tubes. Using a patient’s own blood, they isolate the dendritic cells (part of immune system), reprogram them with genetic material from the tumour, then return it to the patient. It’s like firing a targeted torpedo at the bastard. And the vaccine prevents relapse! It’s hoped human trials will happen within two years, and that the technology can also be applied to other cancers such as leukaemia and brain cancer. Ye-hah!
Roundhouse Kick with Ninja Stars – Associate Professor and full-time Superstar Matthew Gdovin at the University of Texas at San Antonio has patented a new, non-invasive way to kill cancer cells dead. All kinds of cancer cells.
…Inject chemical compound nitrobenzaldehyde into a tumour, let it soak in for a bit, then shine a beam of UV light at the mofo and watch it turn acidic and DIE. (*DIE MUTHAF*CKA DIE!!*) About 95% of targeted cancer cells are dead within two hours. And this method works on all different types of cancers, and would be particularly helpful to people with inoperable or hard-to-reach tumours, like Dad, with none of the side-effects of chemotherapy because it targets the cancer cells only.
Holy shit, that is unbelievably awesome! All of these champions are going straight on my Christmas card list.
And they’ve all been plugging away, quietly making the world a better place even as madmen try to tear it down. That’s something that will probably never end, but I’ll try to remember; focus on the good in people, and the world becomes a wonderful place again.