Advance Australia Fair?

strayaIt’s Australia Day today. A day when we’re all supposed to feel patriotic and celebrate our ‘Australian-ness’ together. Cook up ‘snags (sausages) on the barbie’, eat meat pies (which have a dubious amount of meat content), shrimp (which we actually call prawns anyway) and generally be ‘Aussie’. We are supposed to beam with pride at being a part of this great nation, and remember (selectively) where we came from.
Unfortunately I do not feel this way, therefore this post will once again win me very few votes (but possibly more than our knob-jockey Prime Minister Tony Abbot).

To begin with I am not Australian. My Father was, but my Mother was not, and I was not born here. Despite the criticism and taunts which I have received for many years about it, I was born in New Zealand, and am proud of where I came from. It’s beautiful, green and NOT Australia. I had a good childhood there, walked safely to school and back every day until age 8, enjoyed the lush scenery, and have never felt ashamed to tell anyone such. We moved to Australia when my Mother passed in 1985, to be closer to my Fathers family, where I became the only female child among 11 cousins and a brother. Not super fun to begin with. We ended up in a relatively small North Queensland town, where I went through schooling and University, and then managed to escape.

Anyway, personal history aside, the whole point here is not that I am not FROM Australia, but more that…I am un-Australian. I don’t think I actually identify with anything from here, and I am glad of it. When you get down to brass tacks, I don’t much like any of it. The vulgar slang, disjointed drawly accents, sexism, racism, bogan culture, fashion, traditions, politics and history. It all leaves a bad taste in your mouth, right from the original settlement and treatment of indigenous people, to the way the country is run today.
12418044_878501592271577_7457626530465086941_nAmong my favourite dislikes are:
-The authority positions on Breed Specific Legislation for dogs, and the inconsistency of these laws through each State, or willingness to change.
-The succubus style, of drawing on other countries to try and establish an identity, rather than finding one of our own, yet at the same time presenting an image to the rest of the world that we are somehow uniquely Australian and wonderful.
-The huge amount of discrimination and small minded, bigot, loud-mouthed haters.
-Thongs (flip-flops), stubbies (awful shorts), nasty cheap beer (all of it), cringe-worthy abbreviated language (Straya Mate!), Bundaberg Rum.
-Lack of variety, progressiveness and vision.
-The useless cotton wool lined laws in place to quell fun and protect those who are prime candidates for Darwins theory.
-The abundance of poisonous, flesh-eating, man-eating, fast moving creatures.
-The lack of emotion, empathy, thought, or intelligence that is associated with being typically Australian.
bslAustralia day rolls around each year, and we are told it should be a time to celebrate, yet people feel compelled to engage in racist slagging battles, warn each other of the dangers of drinking related physical violence, and reminders not to get behind the wheel are administered. Barbecues are fired up and whatever meat products (or by-products) that are regarded as ‘Aussie’ that day, are promoted and eaten. Nasty beer, spirit or wine is swilled and the main thing that is actually celebrated is just a day off work. That may be the most authentically ‘Australian’ part of the whole day. I’d take a fairly educated stab at the fact that not too many people know what else they are celebrating, and the ones that do, don’t agree that it’s a good reason to celebrate. Conquest, oppression and slaughter. In stark contrast to our parties and firework displays, our nations indigenous people call it ‘Invasion Day’ or ‘Mourning Day’.

And then there’s the outdated anthem…Advance Australia Fair. At best an oxymoron, because I fail see how we have either advanced greatly or become (or ever been) fair? Sure, some of the living conditions and perks are good for some, but the equality and positive reinforcement for success and progression in most everything, business and otherwise, leaves a lot to be desired. It is still very much a Sheriff of Nottingham styled system, where the rich feed the rich, and take from the poor and/or hard-working to do it.

Sure, there’s a few nice places to see and we do have some pretty cute native animals, but unfortunately, it’s just not enough to weigh out the rest. Not by a long shot. For me, the only saving grace is that I’ve met some amazing people here. Ironically, at least half of them are either not Australian, or of the same mind as myself on the topic-or both.

So for me, today was simply a day where some of the shops were shut and my Facebook page was littered with a contrasted barrage of fighting, food, fun in the sun, and nerve-frayed parents thankful that school starts in the morning. Tomorrow is business as usual and Valentines day cards and Easter eggs are already on the shop shelves.

Tonight, I am not raising a dirty dishwater tasting beer to the day, but enjoying a smooth delicious coffee to the fact I stayed clear of it all.
Cheers Kids.
V

 

 

 

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The currency of F*cks

12115900_625813980894995_3197233795410273531_nYesterday I put this picture on my Facebook page. It seemed an appropriate theme for the day. That fourth monkey seemed not to have a damn care in the world, at a glance. Smoking, drinking and not giving a single gram of fuck. But that’s a lie. Giving completely no fucks, is utter bullshit.

I’d like to think that I could be like that. That one day I could just wake up and not have a damn care in the world, but the truth is, I can’t. I give fucks.
And the reality is that I give a lot of fucks every day. When I see animals being discarded and abused. For my friends who are hurting. For my dogs and their well-being. For this person, my person, who I love dearly and would seemingly give a limitless amount of fucks for, regardless of anything. For the pain of others, and lastly, a few for my own. Even when I wish I could turn away, for my own well-being, I give fucks.

In a recent discussion, I established a list of people (generally speaking) who no longer receive any fucks I have to give. Believe me when I say it was long in comparison to its counterpart which is growing shorter, and while I am not proud of it, I am proud of the strength it took to establish it for myself. The realisation that there are many people that can be excluded from your life to make it less energy-sapping, is quite liberating.
The friends who aren’t really friends, the enemies that are in your peripherals and the ‘extras’ that have always been there for no reason at all. These people no longer receive fucks. Nada.
sake 4So whether they know it or not, and I endeavour to make sure they do, the recipients of my fucks given, are the people who not only have said they are friends, but proved it true. My person, my people and my passions. They are for whom my fucks are reserved. It doesn’t matter if I have known you for 2 weeks, 2 months or 12 years, you will all know who you are. My bet is that if you are reading this, you also give out your limited fucks to selected people, and I may be among them, otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered.
For everyone else reading, maybe it will make you re-evaluate your relationships vs fucks situation…maybe it will just be moved to your trash, but no fucks are given there either. I’m not here to win votes.

We read/see so many things in a day, and can perceive them only in relation to ourselves. Just as we feel things from our own perspectives, and cannot be convinced otherwise. Regardless of what is said, drummed or beaten into our heads, it is always about you. Yourself.
“It’s not you, it’s me” doesn’t apply when it comes to emotion, it’s logical. So we try and switch off our fucks.
When we feel loss or grief or pain, we try and switch off our fucks.
When we feel hopeless, deflated or overwhelmed, we don’t know what else to do, so we switch off our fuck-giving mechanism.
sake 2Unfortunately, the first person to stop receiving those fucks, is usually ourself. And that just leaves us looking like a drunk monkey, who is simply ignoring the world and letting life pass us by.
11026263_708315655943575_3471427558231719657_nWhen it comes down to it, we all give fucks. We can’t help it. There are people in this world that we worry and care for despite everything. And inside of us, is a special reserve of fucks, destined for these people. We just have to decide who is important enough to us, to get them. You see, the sad thing about the whole usage for fucks as currency, is that it’s rarely a fair exchange. No matter how many you choose to expend on someone, they may never reciprocate in kind. Once again-It is all about You. YOU have to choose who deserves yours…The ones we truly love, sometimes without quite knowing from where, or why even.
ae535a079a1ac86ff4e94224ea0bdad4Though my list is short, the people at the top of it today, will be there forever. I hope I make their cut too.

Cheers Kids
V

 

Truths

b11f8b78b4835d640e40e2e56d2cdd0cThis morning I woke up. It may not sound like much, but that in itself was my first achievement for the day. I neither wanted to, or was sure of the fact I would…but I did. And in many ways, too many to count, I wish I hadn’t. Today, all waking up did, was set in motion the string of events that followed…resisting the urge to even look at my phone, and then numbly moving the length of my house, through a myriad of painful rooms, to end in a kitchen I didn’t want to be in.
The journey back to feeding my girls, no less painful, past a closet full of unopened Christmas and Birthday gifts, paintings and through a bedroom, to a table. Everything.
65966bf685d0d68c40d77ee535634cedI stared blankly past a hammock into a backyard while they ate, before even realising that my twisted my ankle was hurting too.
I got asked at the shops twice if I was okay, by strangers, who at second glance, knew they shouldn’t have asked, and fell silent. I walked halfway home before I realised I hadn’t got what I went for and turned back.
6501944db6e4349708997ea14703bffeA friend sat and listened while I calmly spoke about things that one shouldn’t speak about, because she knew that even if I didn’t say them, I would still be thinking them. And she watched helplessly, as I held back tears and focused on keeping my coffee down. I am grateful that she knew not to voice the pearls of wisdom, and ‘platitudes’ that run through a mind when they see someone in distress…’it will get better’, ‘time heals’, ‘you deserve more’… no. Just No.
12463864_1657797597804393_790195381_nI turned on my music player, but couldn’t hit play. I picked up my phone and put it back down, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to speak. I tried to reassure my girls that it would all be okay….but I know they could see it in my eyes and hear it in my voice, that I don’t really believe that. So they brought me their toys and rested their heads on my lap, because there’s nothing else they could do. There’s nothing else anyone can do.
9b09457f2a61ddb347fe6f4727965cf9I was supposed to start work tomorrow…but I’m not. I need to finish my latest work in progress, but I can’t. I need to start packing some things away where I can no longer see them, but I don’t want to. I should think, but there’s too many thoughts to even make sense of. I have to give up, but that goes against the grain of who I am. So right now, all I can do is be.

Because I don’t want to think past anything. That might take me forward to tomorrow morning, when I have to wake up and feel all of this again.

1382943_525521097608196_6785197187428196490_n

Thanks for listening Kids.
V

We’re walkin’…

So, I have these two amazing, high spirited dogs, my girls. They each have their quirks and bad habits, but I love them dearly. On many occasion they have been the main contributor to the reason why I am still here, and have one remaining shred of adult-like sanity.
They are total opposites and generally pretty predictable in their actions. Isabella (Issy) is a tubby, mother-like, sweet natured girl, whilst Zodiac (Zodi) is flighty, easily riled and possessive. They can both be total sooks too.
They got totally spoilt at Christmas and shreds of brightly coloured wrapper littered the floor around their mountain of toy and treats, which they happily lazed in, and have been recipients of since.


Today, they requested a walk, and as I had been working stationary for most of the day, I was only too happy to oblige. Walking them is not the most uplifting task, but it certainly gets the blood flowing and they just adore it…I think. No, they do. They REALLY do. This is how it goes…

You mention the word ‘walk’, ears prick and they then loiter around the lead area, hoping they heard right. I NEVER touch the leads until we are about to walk out the door (learnt that one the hard way), because once they are touched-ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. Seriously. It becomes a bouncy, bitey, tangly, whiney, whingefest of animal trying to jump on you and lunge at the still-closed door.

Then comes the socks. People apparently only wear socks for two reasons. When they are going out without the dog, or when they are going out WITH the dog. They figure it’s a 50/50 shot based on the shoes that follow, so socks are exciting things. The best way to ensure that whilst a human is putting on socks, you are not forgotten, is of course to try and remove them with teeth as they are applied, or simply get the hell in the way of the process.

Next, the closing of the doors and locking up. Obviously the dog IS going. It has now been cemented, that the doors would not be closed with said dogs still inside, if the dog was NOT going. This is done whilst two screaming dogs are barrelling up and down the hallway, nipping at each other in a flurry of excitement, barging  and almost tripping everything in their path.

At this point we’re all at the door, and it’s time for Zodi to sulk, because she has to wear a Halti lead, which she hates. While I put it on her against a slight battle, resignation and a huff, Issy screeches with excitement and glances at me, the door, me, the door, me, the dooooooorrrrrrrrrr!!!!

Then, they walk me.

Zodiac has one speed-ON, with an occasional pause to try and tear the Halti off her face…then ON again. Issy patters loyally along beside me like a honey badger. She’s just happy to be out with her human.
At the halfway mark we change direction and go alongside the water, avoiding other dogs and breathing in the wet, sea air. Zodi scent marks each grass patch like a boy dog, and Issy doesn’t miss a pitter-patter beat on the concrete.
issy doggles 1At the 2/3 mark Issy decides that she’s had enough and wants to sit down, which suits Zodi fine, as we’ve reached her soft, tufty grass patch to roll in. On we go, avoiding cats that skitter, hoping to avoid Zodi’s attention. People watch from cars, the sun goes down and the air is thick with salt.

Rounding the corner to home, the race begins for the driveway. Leads get yanked tight as dry, puffy little tongues yearn for water. There it is again…the DOOOORRRR!! They are as excited to see it, as they were when they left through it. Heads push it open like little battering rams and they squeeze inside together. Straight through to the water bucket, and two heads submerge. Heavy breathing, looking for the coolest tile, flop, and then peace.

It’s really quite an exercise, but they love it, so we walk.
Time for me to get stuff done while they catch some z’s Kids. Hope you all have a friend to walk (you).
secrets-texture-quotes

Cheers
V