When a couple of eight-year-old mouthy boys starting fighting around my four-year-old, I watched intently –through the camera lens– to monitor exactly when I needed to sprint over and save him. Bob, unaware the big boys could pummel him to a pancake, put a hand on each arm and commanded, ‘Freeze!’ It has been his … More Summer Of Lovin’ And Not Being A Dick.
Dear ‘Dactyl (daughter). Loud. That’s what the midwife said when you first popped out. So loud, apparently, the maternity ward hadn’t heard a newborn yodel like it in months. I refused to put a label on you – so soon – however, after your brother started to say, “Girls are loud, aren’t they?” your Father … More Girls Are Loud.
Dear Shaun Apparently, you can get a gun quicker than a book out of the library, in some US states. Everyone we know here – all five friends – have told us to get a handgun, for protection. After a visit at 2am from a carload of drunken rednecks (down our 8 mile windy driveway) … More City City Bang Bang
Dear Susan In the interests of remaining mysterious, I may have been remiss with some facts. You’re not the only one to ask whether we live in a teepee. My expectations had been lowered to a ramshackle cabin – thanks to a game the Dimple likes to play called Wind Her Up – so I … More I’m Coming Back As A Pig.
Dear Tracy Broken, according to Ruth the gardener, is the state of many who first come here. ‘Camp heals people,’ she mused, alarming me. You’ve known me longer than any other friend – I don’t need fixing do I? Oh, the heels of my feet resemble dried mangos and the Dimple has a gammy knee … More True Bliss.
Dear Dad You made me believe I was good at mathematics and chemistry. Academically, you convinced me I could achieve anything, thank you. Great job. However, there’s one area where you failed – you didn’t tether me to a field and force me to play sport. I’m about as agile as a footstool; my arms … More Butter Fingers.
Dear Son. I see you go up to strangers and say ‘a pool fell on my head’ and they look at you sideways. I know what you mean. A droplet of water fell from the tree and landed with a plop on your head didn’t it? I know your every move and watch you try … More Living In Your Head.
Dear Justine. The Virgo in you wouldn’t like the distance required – one hour over a dusty, windy road – to get fresh supplies; I know how you are about expiry dates. Fortunately, the Gemini in me likes to dabble in the-day-after-the-deadline to get my kicks. Plus I know if I get sick there will … More Swallowing It.
Dear Olivia Remember when we were in Zambia and became obsessed with helping the street kids? We felt guilty about our safe, warm, upbringings in lovely houses. Guilt, I’ve always thought, has been a driving force behind philanthropic behaviour. Rich cats shed cash to charities and relieve themselves of a few kilos of greedy guilt. … More Not Guilty.
Dear Steph. I was relieved to read you’re studying other women to figure out whether they look older or younger than you. I’m doing it too. It must be a turning 40 thing as we never used to care how old we looked – except when we wanted to get into clubs at 16. It’s … More Does My Nose Look Forty?
Dear Carmel My favourite children’s book at the moment is Piggety Wiggety Jiggety Jig by Diana Neild. Terrible title, but great rhyme, and there is a line at the beginning about, ‘His Mum very proudly looked after their nine (piglets) and would finish the day with a small glass of wine.’ Every time I read … More What Paradise?
Dear bro. We might be in California, the most plastic of all states but Mendocino County is full of happy, healthy hippies: wrinkles smile everywhere, living off the grid is normal, the organic supermarket is the same size as the big chain one and salons offer Bio-Energetic Sensitivity & Enzyme Therapy Massage. It’s even legal … More Harden Up With Toxins.