Another Craig one, this time earlier. #blogjune 17

I met Craig at the start of high school. We were kindred spirits, weird and silly. What I liked about him on the first day we sat together in class was that he had a sellotape dispenser he called “Super Snail”.

We got close enough as friends to hang out at each other’s places. There were weird rules at his place. For some reason he wasn’t allowed to be inside the house until his mother or stepfather came home from work. I remember long afternoons sitting in the sun on his back deck, mostly bored. It’s probably where his overactive imagination developed.

Other times, if we had money, we’d go up to the local shops and play videogames. Further afield lay Lynnmall, what we thought of as a big shopping centre in the pre-Westfield era.

We were there one day when Craig had a bright idea for fun. The Farmers there had a set of pick-and-mix bins. If you were quick, you could enter the shop, grab some lollies and be out the door before they could stop you.

The first time was a rush. We got away with a couple of lollies apiece and ate them quickly, proud of our wicked bravery.

The second time, we were followed by a security guard and apprehended outside the door. He asked us if we still had the lollies, which we did. He told us how very serious our behaviour had been and that we had to come back inside the shop with him while they decided whether to call the police or not.

On the way into the shop he said, “Nice day, isn’t it?”

“It all depends on whether you’ve been caught shoplifting or not.”

Mum doesn’t get the kids, twice. #blogjune 16

From Mum:

Once I heard [my brother] Edward roaring with laughter in the backyard of Marshall Laing Ave.

I went out to investigate and he told me you were so funny and asked you to tell me the joke you had just made up. It was about a worm or an insect and after you told it you both broke out in fits of laughter while I stood bemused as it wasn’t funny to me.

It had no punchline that I was aware of but you both excitedly looked down on some creature on the path, that was the subject of the joke, and kept laughing.

___________________

One of Edward and my favourite stories of Mum is from a family Christmas with my father’s brothers and their families.

She looked around the table and said:

“Why on earth are these kids using this new word, ‘wanker’ all the time?”

There was that one time. #blogjune 15 makeup post

I’m walking to Grey Lynn supermarket on a sunny Saturday morning when along the footpath towards us comes my flatmate, Craig. He’s still dressed in his work clothes and it’s apparent he’s been out all night. Well, well.

“Hi Craig.”

“Hi guys.”

Big smirk on his face.

“Guess where I’ve been?”

“No idea.”

“I’ve been out with a bar girl.”

“What’s that then?”

“It’s something they do at some of the Asian bars* in town. They’re not like prostitutes, but if you buy them drinks over the course of the evening you get to spend the night with them.”

“Oh! Uhhh… good for you then, I guess.”

Well, well.

*At this point in time recent changes in immigration laws had resulted in a very large influx of immigrants from a number of Asian countries as well as businesses that catered specifically to them.

Wake up, Dad. #blogjune 13 catch up post

Róisín is finding it hard to go to sleep, calling out after being put in her cot. As is often the way, it is on me to rectify this situation.

I go to her and lift her up.

“It’s alright, darling, we’ll just cuddle for a bit and then you’ll be ready.”

That tends to be all I’ll say to her most of these nights. I’ll sit on the chair in her room with her on a pillow across my lap. Sometimes there might be short protests or a bit of playing and I’ll soothe or gently play along as needed. Mostly I’ll nap and she’ll fall asleep.

Last night was different. I was woken by a hand whacking me on the chin. Remaining wordless, I decided that she wasn’t quite ready yet, and return to my dozing. A short time later, more whacking. I barely open my eyes before I close them again. Still more whacking and my brain kicks in.

“Do you want to go to bed now?”

Róisín doesn’t make a sound but moves in my arms so that she’s lying flat in the way she would in the cot. I take her over, put her down and that’s that.

Another from Mum. #blogjune 12 makeup post

Another thing I remember about when you were young was driving across the Tauranga causeway, from the Mount (where we were holidaying).
We drew up at a red light and suddenly a chapter of the Mongrel mob in black leathers on motorbikes roared up and surrounded the car.
Much to our horror you looked out the window and shouted delightedly, “Dad the apes! The apes are here!”  It was a time when “Planet of the apes was our serial highlight of the week.
I have never seen your father take off so rapidly on the green light before or since.

Monday meme. #blogjune 11 makeup post

Yes, I know the 10th wasn’t Monday.

Bucket list

Have you ever?

Been Married – sure
Fell in love – yes indeed
Gone on a blind date – nope
Watched someone give birth – from a very close distance
Watched someone die – no
Had children – and I can’t stop talking about it
Stayed in Hospital – yes
Donated blood – definitely
Lived on your own – in Caboolture!
Had a pet – numerous

Travel destinations (your home country doesn’t count)

Been to North America – no
Been to South America – no
Been to Europe – no
Been to Asia – no
Been to Africa – no
Been to Oceania – yes
Been to Antarctica – no

Experiences

Flown in a helicopter – no
Been on a cruise – no
Rode an elephant – no
Got a piercing – yes
Got a tattoo – five
Been skiing – no
Rode on a motorcycle – no
Jumped out of a plane – no
Driven over 100 mph – yes
Been scuba diving – how about snorkelling?

Entertainment

Been in a movie – filmed for a movie that didn’t happen
Been on TV – yes
Been in newspaper – yes – a short story in a schools feature section
Played in a band – any number of times
Sang karaoke – happily
Laughed so much you cried – I think so
Been to a drive-in movie – no

My most Australian thought. #blogjune 10 makeup post

I’m out and about, and I spot a person wearing a sweater with an outline of the US containing that country’s flag.

Curious, I read the message around the image:

“I live in Australia but I’d rather be back in the States.”

My immediate thought was that if they didn’t like it here, they could always go back.

Please don’t think I’m anti-immigration. I was about to say that would be lunacy, but then I recalled until recently our country was led by an immigrant who was anti-immigration. Perhaps it’s still lunacy after all.

I also don’t really think that people who are unhappy here should go somewhere else. For a start, there are people having a hard time who are from here in a way few others are.

This thought, as much as it was conscious or directed, was one immigrant-by-choice looking at another. Both moving from relative privilege to relative privilege.

I like it here. The climate is great and there’s a hell of a lot more interesting stuff going on. I get that there are some complications… but why be here if you don’t want to be and have a choice?