Beyond the picket fence

not quite as it seems…

A Literal Reprieve

I have nurtured you for the last six weeks, gazing at you and your little penguin icon: its symbol the promise of my re-education.

We had our first encounter in high school. You mocked me, and my ignorance. I read your words but failed to understand their meaning. Continue reading “A Literal Reprieve”

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”

A road to nowhere

‘Let’s go for a drive,’ he announced across the family dining table. ‘Better get you home, it’s getting late.’ he winked.

The car was a novelty. It was part of the package, along with his good looks and a well-paying job. This was teenage love and those four wheels were our ticket to freedom. He had just turned eighteen and recently got his drivers license. On the downside he still lived at home and so did I.

The passenger seat of his father’s Corolla smelled of citrus and tobacco, his mother’s signature scent. He squeezed my hand in anticipation as I buckled up. I imagined that we too were husband and wife as he pulled away from the curb. Time in the car was our only time alone. At this hour the suburban streets were dimly lit and deserted, we were heading to our usual parking spot: a dead-end street in the middle of an industrial estate, seeking privacy in the most public of places.

Continue reading “A road to nowhere”

High Five!

A colleague recently suggested that you are a reflection of the five people that you spend the most time with. My first thought was to be alarmed and run. Continue reading “High Five!”

And you may ask yourself – how did I get here?

Jamie was seventeen: two years older than me, yet he seemed to be so much wiser and more worldly than the boys of my age. He wore a leather jacket and black ripped jeans, not hand or manufacturer ripped, but rips that came from his work at the building site; a life that seemed worlds apart from mine. In fact our lives were so different that we were destined to be together. I was into Culture Club; he was into Talking Heads. I went nightclubbing; he saw live bands. He had already left school to apprentice in a trade. He smoked. He drank. He was every private school girl’s dream and their parent’s worst nightmare. He was my first love. Continue reading “And you may ask yourself – how did I get here?”

Teens and screens

What would you do if your teen had their Facebook profile open on your computer? Would you look through it? Read their private messages? Look at their friends’ accounts? I confess that’s what I did.

Continue reading “Teens and screens”

There is an I in Team!


“And your major assessment will be a group assignment.” My tutor announced. I looked around in horror, this was the first tutorial for the semester and she was asking us to choose a group. Now if I was twenty this would be easy, I would be hanging at the back of the room, feasting on Facebook, oblivious that there was an assignment. Fast forward twenty years and there I was in the front row with my hand up.

My group was formed by geography, basically who sat where. Seated in the front row, were we the outliers of the class? Continue reading “There is an I in Team!”

Not such a dummy

2tmanYesterday a friend and I caught up for a well overdue lunch. She’s been divorced from her husband for a few years and it’s always fun listening to her recount some amusing tales of trial and tribulation on the dating scene. Licking fresh wounds, from yet another soured relationship, she confessed that she has been sharing her bed with a new companion. Continue reading “Not such a dummy”

Groped on Public Transport


During Melbourne’s busy peak hour it is not uncommon to find oneself, nose to armpit, pressed up against a couple of random strangers. Squeezed together like cattle at the sale yard, we stand there, acknowledging our uncomfortable situation by choosing to ignore it. There is one time though that I wish I hadn’t chosen to ignore my unfortunate predicament. Continue reading “Groped on Public Transport”

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