Beyond the picket fence

not quite as it seems…


Friends and enemies

Sweet Greek

This post is dedicated to my beautiful friend with whom I have shared many years filled with joy, love and sadly, heartache. I do not write in judgement of her, instead I am honoured to be included in her life. Her strength is an inspiration, and her honesty is brutal and refreshing.

I arrived at her home to find her already waiting on her porch. She was expecting me, and she had dressed for the occasion, radiant in a sundress and kitten heels. Her corkscrew curls were coiled tight and a shiny slick of hairspray had secured any strands that threatened to disrupt the perfect image of the woman, mother and wife who stood before me. What does one wear when they are being admitted to rehab? I wondered. Continue reading “Sweet Greek”

A Physical Education

I knew that I had fallen in love with Lolita forever; but I also knew that she would not be forever Lolita.’ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

It has been over twenty years since we last saw each other, though there is no mistaking that it is him. He still has that same shock of wispy blonde hair, his legs are still tanned and toned, and his biceps still bulge from his sleeveless tee. He jogs by me and our eyes meet. The pureness of their blue is deceptive as I know what lurks behind them.  I find myself swimming against the riptide, nearly drowning in his gaze as I remember that moment in his office. Continue reading “A Physical Education”

Culinary Catastrophe

When asked by my Japanese hosts what I liked to eat, being an ignorant and over-confident twenty-year-old, I replied: Everything. At home in Australia, perhaps the most avant-garde dish I would face after answering as such, would be tripe, trotters or tongue, but I was seated in a small eatery in Tokyo, and I was the only gaigin among its local customers. Continue reading “Culinary Catastrophe”

The Universe has responded

Universe Shouting Have you ever felt as if the Universe has listened to your inner-most wishes and desires and responded?

A few months ago a friend told me about a free, twenty-one day meditation; Energy of Attraction: Manifesting Your Best Life, a collaboration between Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra. The essence of the meditations is that you can attract negative or positive forces in your life. I cannot disagree with such a sentiment. On a personal level I took it mean that if I stopped and listened, others would listen in return. And it seems that they did. Continue reading “The Universe has responded”

Of groups, games and shame


I am standing in a borrowed sports uniform and tatty Dunlop Volleys on the white line of the harshly lit gymnasium. The two jocks of the grade were asked to captain and choose a team for dodgeball. For a fifteen-year-old girl who was known at the time to be athletically inept* – largely due to my absences during sport – this was a moment filled with fear and dread. For the un-athletic amongst us this would be a test of our strength of character. Continue reading “Of groups, games and shame”

‘She paraded me in panties’



‘Let me show you where it you can find it…’ my fellow student pulled my computer towards her and tapped the words ‘happy ending’ into my search engine.

The drop-down menu from my previous searches popped up, it included some rather embarrassing websites. Continue reading “‘She paraded me in panties’”

Brace Face

‘Can I talk to you about something?’ my mother-in-law’s voice dropped to a raspy whisper, ‘It’s quite personal.’ She beckoned me to her side.

‘Sure,’ I said, thinking that this could be our breakthrough, our chance to finally connect. What was she was about disclose about herself?

‘Have you ever considered fixing your teeth?’ Continue reading “Brace Face”

I am a mother-buffer

aaaEach week I meet up with friends for a ‘walk and talk’. We are all parents and our kids range from the aged six to sixteen. I cherish this catch-up; this is where I get all of my parenting information about what to do and what not to do!  Over the years we have discussed everything from teething, tantrums and toddlers to sulky, sexting sixteen-year-olds.

On the last walk a friend confessed: Continue reading “I am a mother-buffer”

The games we play; a rotating dinner party and an Italian priest


Last night I was at a thank you dinner for a committee that I have been involved with. The committee is made up solely of women and we were invited to bring our partners. Our host suggested that the gentlemen move seats with each course (only three, thank goodness). Continue reading “The games we play; a rotating dinner party and an Italian priest”

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