All posts filed under: Columns

Is it really that important?

I was walking along a country lane near my home recently, mulling over all the things I had to do that day when in the distance, I saw an elderly man rummaging through his refuse bin. As I contined to agonise over the business of life, finances, career, children and schooling—all the issues that can consume and overwhelm, my dog dashed ahead and gave her customary golden retriever greeting. There was no avoiding this encounter; the apparently important tasks would simply have to wait. As I paid more attention to the elderly man, I could see he was looking for a lost piece of paper—clearly something he had thrown in the recycle bin in error. He appeared to be taking his time and was still dressed in pyjamas—rumpled striped pants up to his ankles, faded dressing gown and comfortable old slippers  – long, silvery hair giving him a slightly eccentric stance. In spite of his early morning attire, he greeted me graciously and appeared to have all the time in the world to chat. I thought how wonderful it was …

Covertly Corporate

It’s raining as I step out of the train and onto a sodden city central platform. I marvel at how I choose to go corporate on the very day the heavens open in Queensland. I commend myself on my choice of outfit—in essence, my spare wedding ensemble from my niece’s recent nuptials—the sensible attire I rejected in favour of a frothy, frivolous dress. Fashionistas Trinny and Susannah would be proud.

Lost Soles

The family wedding was set to be an exquisite occasion. Our wedding outfits were carefully chosen weeks before the event. My two sons would be handsome and smart in their crisp white shirts and neatly pressed black pants, all bought especially for the nuptials of their precious aunt. As a sensible mother, and realising that children’s wedding outfits were generally one-off affairs, never to be worn again, I’d applauded my recession-savvy ways of borrowing shoes for my youngest son.

A calculated confrontation

Don’t cause a scene. These were the unspoken words I grew up with. Cultured women don’t lose their decorum and tell shop keepers what they think of them. They maintain their dignity and they leave. They remain in control. Not this time. There was absolutely no forewarning. Nothing spectacular that led to the demise of the said decorum. It was simply a case of returning things and a string of very unhelpful shop assistants. And here, perhaps is a little sage advice. Never return two things in one day – especially if you don’t have the receipt docket with you. The first return, or rather request for the replacement of a certain snapped wash line toggle, was to a major national hardware shop. This hardware shop prides itself on its customer service and has a variety of jolly assistants starring in its television ads. With homely, cheery smiles, they tell the public about the wonderful store and lull viewers into such a sense of false security, they can almost imagine these cheerful souls as being …

Leading a Blonde Astray

I took my dog for a walk this morning. I snuck out the back way, through the bush and along the fire track. I was rather hoping to avoid Slater. Slater is the neighbourhood vagabond. We live in a picturesque little enclave where most properties ramble into each other without the concern of fences. This is not sensible suburbia, neatly fenced and gated where the neighbourhood dogs are restricted to their allotted area. In spite of the general lack of confines, however, most local dogs stay on their own turf and have no interest in roaming further than the postbox at the end of a rather long driveway. Slater has changed all that.