We’re goin’ a Feudin’

worse than this

So it’s war. Little Big Sister and Big Brother are going head to head in a battle of wills in a contest that is shaping up to be bigger than Ben Hur, and I am not even kidding. The past couple of days has been an emotional roller coaster that has no harness, no emergency brakes and a complex network of rails that come to numerous dead ends that will send you flying to your death in a blazing trail of carnival music and cotton candy. Essentially, it is not a good season to be alive if you’re dabbling about in my gene pool. My family tree is about to be hacked down, made into sawdust and shipped to pet stores all over the country to collect mice droppings.

I’m not exactly wanting to hang all our dirty washing all over the blogosphere. The ammunition used by both sides is not PG and thus, unsuitable for publication. Needless to say, my esteemed family is not above the odd low blow and they are coming hard and fast in this death match.

So if I am not at liberty to discuss this online then why oh why am I mentioning it at all? My blogging has been sporadic at best lately, why start with this unsavory bit of family headline? Well Dear Readers, I am doing this because, I am stuck smack bang right in the middle of it. As the only member of my family that is unbiased and coherent at the moment, I have been wrangled into position as impromptu mediator between these warring factions.

Yep, it's this bad

So far there has been no bloodshed (touch wood) but apart from that we are entering into a no holds barred Clash of the Titans and no-one knows just how this chapter is going to end. If anyone happens to be in possession of plate armour please be a chum and send it on over to Mumsy’s house and I’ll be eternally grateful.

In other news, I’ve finally booked my semester one classes. If anyone is interested to know more about them please ask. I didn’t want to bore the rest of you with details.

Well I’m off to try and trick myself into going to sleep. Pleasant dreams 🙂

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Moving home

Never enter into a battle of wits with an automated program… you will come off second best. Today I had the happy news that I was offered a place at Griffith University on the Gold Coast studying a Bachelor of Communication. DRINKS ALL AROUND!

Student Concession Prices!! BOOYAH

I was a jubilant character for the next half hour until I decided that I was going to go ahead and enrol in my classes for first semester. You need a flippin’ degree just to sort out your timetable. Two phone a friends, one busted screen and several words that I am not at liberty to publish later and I still have a hole in my schedule… and while I am sure I will need the spare time to catch up on reading or whatever uni students do while not being uni students, I’m thinking that missing an entire subject is probably not a fabulous idea. Tomorrow I will make some very heated phone calls… stay tuned.

In other news… guess who is moving back home. BINGO. I am packing all my worldly possessions, along with my independence and my dignity into several large boxes and moving everything back to Mumsy’s house. That woman should really be in sales because when it came to selling her product (the spare rooms) she really made it hard to say no.

Roughly this is what it looked like:-

Are you tired of bills? Sick of wondering how you’re going to pay your rent? Don’t you just wish that there was some way to avoid all those hassles and just get on with living your life? Well here at Mumsy Inc. we believe that we’ve found the answer to all your problems. Move back home. This charming package comes with the large back bedroom next to the kitchen. The fridge being less than 10 steps from your bedroom door makes midnight snacking times even easier. But that’s not all folks. Move in before the end of the month and we will throw in the main bathroom, the other spare room for a study and all rights to the kitchen. Call now and we’ll waive the curfew and throw in free taxi service.

Clare: SOLD! Where do I sign.

But seriously, Im really going to miss my antics with my housemate. We really do make a lovely team. I am consoled however because I’m thinking of the amazing blog fodder living with Mumsy is going to provide. It’s going to be epic.

So I’m going back to school and back home all in the same month… wish me luck

Egor… Fetch me my Bum-Bag

Good morning dear readers, seeming as I am a horrible blogger and no doubt you have all fled to greener pastures (blogs that are updated less sporadically) I will post anyway and cross all my fingers and toes that there are still people in the world who care about me and my mundane life.

Update: So you already know that I quit my job (confetti explosion), and that I have applied for a university course in mass communication (trumpet fanfare). I am currently completely out of money, contemplating a possible relocation to Chateau de la Mumsy and waiting rather impatiently for the next round of Uni offers which will decide my fate for the next few years. In other news since joining the ranks of the unemployed I have been spending oodles of time with Little Big Sister and her husband, and my inbuilt instinct to be where the free food is has also thrown me into spending oodles of time with Dear Mumsy.

 Those of you who have already been introduced to the maternal donor of half my genetics will roll their eyes and wonder what on earth the poor woman has done this time to grant a mention in my fabulous blog. Well, hold onto your hats bucko for I am about to spill the beans as it were.

A few weeks ago Mumsy and I were out and about having coffee (Mumsy’s shout) and lunch (Mumsy’s shout) which was all rather pleasant untill it came time to pay. Now the money side of things was no trouble to my revered mother, instead, the item from which the funds emerged had sparked my immense disapproval.

Mumsy, to my horror, is in the habit of going about her business with a bum bag. Indeed you have read correctly. Now this is no ordinary run of the mill bum bag that can be worn discreetly around the waist without the general public being made glaringly aware of it. It is a behemoth of grotesque proportions that she endeavors to hide under her blouse worn at the back and making it look like she has either a monumental derrière or some sort of Quasimodo-esk hump going on. Needless to say it is not a good look.

Now for all of you who are fans of the bum bag and are right now phrasing in your brain-space how you are going to word your rebuttal in refuting my claims on the evils of the device, I am speaking only of the bum bag worn by my Mumsy. You have to look at the full picture, of all the is Mumsy if I may. Picture now if you will, a tiny little lady, about 5 foot tall, with crocs, mum jeans, an oversized multi-hued blouse, pig-tails and the bum bag from hell. It is not a good look.

My revered siblings and myself have all campaigned both individually and en mass to stop this luggage menace to no avail. The bum bag lives on, blighting the landscape which is Mumsy and spitting in the eye of every fashion conscious person who crosses her path.

 I will soldier on in my mission to rid the world of this present evil, wish me luck.

Laugh Kookaburra Laugh

I stayed at Mumsy’s house last night, which is always an adventure in itself. Last night I had music practice which is just around the corner from where I used to live with Sister Dear. Since Sister Dear decided to relocate to the beach, I have lost my place to crash and my guaranteed breakfast the next morning. Mumsy, who providentially lives just around the corner from Sister Dear’s old house, has offered me the use of her pull out sofa bed for whenever I have need.

Given how smashingly Mumsy and I get on, you would be surprised to find out that this arrangement, while handy, is rather lacking in certain desirable features.

The Pantry at Chattel de la Mumsy is a sad excuse for a celestial larder. Mumsy is convinced that she is lactose intolerant, and gluten intolerant which means her victual stores look a whole lot like some sick and twisted health food shop wherein people force feed you lentils, polenta and freaky things floating in  purple coloured goop. After numerous raids into the depths of her freezer I finally returned with a packet of frozen veggies and some meat I hope came from a cow. Huzzah!

Secondly, Conversation isn’t exactly one of my strong points. I can Facebook chat with the best of them and MSN until the cows come home. However the bitter truth of the matter is that I prefer my own company and with the exception of a few people, I find it a tad onerous to carry on a fully fledged conversation for any length of time. Sister Dear and I had a fabulous arrangement. If we wanted to spend some quality time together, we would put on a movie and watch it together. We talked if we wanted to and when we didn’t want to, we didn’t. Mumsy does not understand this. In a bid to force us into conversation she sold the television so we have no choice but to sit there and exchange niceties about the weather. Gah

Thirdly, I am all for getting out of bed nice and early but Mumsy is taking early bird to a whole new level. I was camping out on her couch, blissfully unaware that anything existed outside of the land of sweet dreams and cotton candy. I was in that limbo, post sleep / pre wake place where you’re sort of aware of what’s going on but still semi sleeping, when into the living room shuffles Mumsy in her noisy slippers. I squidge open one eye and look at my watch. 4:30am?! I close my eye hoping Mumsy will see her sleeping daughter and, having pity on her, will shuffle right back into her room, shut the door and stay there until a more reasonable hour. No. The shuffling continues into the bathroom, followed by the sounds of showering.

By this time I have the blanket pulled up over my head and am trying to burrow my way into the couch. Devil Birds who live in a cage on the patio wake up and start squawking away. Mumsy emerges from the bathroom and shuffles into the kitchen where she turns on the noisiest kettle in the history of kitchen appliances. Cups rattle, every piece of cutlery is emptied onto the bench, tossed around the room and then one spoon is selected to clatter against the side of the mug a few times. The patio door is opened and Devil Birds are let out, the door closes and Mumsy shuffles back in. By this time I am wide awake and glaring at a spot on the ceiling waiting for Mumsy to come around the corner before I let lose the full force of my crippling gaze.

“Morning Sweetie”, she says all cheerily
*Growl*
“Did you sleep well?”
*Another Growl*
“Would you like some breakfast?”

At this point I sit up, hair looking like I’ve stabbed a paper clip into the power socket and pillow imprints all over my face and say rather forcefully, “It’s not even 5 o’clock in the morning! I should be sleeping! And for the love of God could you please shuffle softly!”
*Stunned Silence* From Mumsy

After this I flop back down onto the couch and pull the blankets up over my head. I peak out and see Mumsy trying her hardest to shuffle quietly back into her bedroom, tea in hand.

Last but not least we come to Little Brother. The greasy haired cretin inhabits the back bedroom. Seeing as Monday night was his Formal and after formal party, I suspect that the boy was suffering from something akin to a hangover. *Rubs hands together gleefully*
Mumsy shuffled into his bedroom at 6am and calls out all sweet like that the time has come for him to get out of bed. There is nothing but silence and boy smell coming from the depths of his bedroom. Since I had been awake since 4:30am and was in something of an unpleasant mood I took it upon myself to extract said person from his bed. Anyone who hasn’t tried getting a seventeen year old boy out of bed when he is inclined to sleep until noon has no idea of the epic effort that this was.

On a brighter note, I was walking across the car park toward the office this morning when I saw a Kookaburra sitting on a lamp post teaching its baby how to laugh. It kind of made my morning.

Another one bites the dust

And so we come as we inevitably must to Little Brother’s graduation. Last night, Little Big Sister, Big Brother, Mumsy and I all got our formal freak on and journeyed down to the Gold Coast to watch the kick off of our youngest’s Grade 12 Formal.

Observation 1:
Invitations should not say hors d’oeuvre will be available if there are no hors d’oeuvre to be had. I did my hair and makeup, squished myself into a dress and heels and braved the throngs of glittered seventeen year olds under the impression that I would at least be treated to sub par finger food, and all that was to be had was orange juice with too many pips, apple juice, lemonade and Pepsi. Who even drinks Pepsi anymore?

Observation 2:
High Heels should not be worn if the wearer is unable to walk in them. During the 45 minutes I was there, I witnessed no less than 5 girls who were teetering about precariously in fickle footwear while negotiation the perils of hooped skirts in the confined of a cluttered dining hall. I had to restrain manic laughter every time I saw a girl grab at the nearest chair back/passer-by in an effort to remain upright when her shoes upset her motor skills.

Observation 3:
I don’t care how much Hollywood Tape you’re using. Dresses need more than an Iron Will to stay in place.  To the girl in the silver strap-less dress with the train that stretches a meter behind you. Someone is going to step on your dress and when that happens, I sincerely hope your dress stays where you put it.

Observation 4:
Teenage boys are hilarious. I was standing in line with Little Brother and various family members waiting for our photo to be taken and overheard the boys talking about their suits and exclaiming over the awesomeness of the inside pocket. Obviously for most of these young men, this was their first encounter with ‘The Suit’ and despite their best efforts to appear all nonchalant and sophisticated, they all looked rather a lot like kids playing with their cool new toy.

Observation 5:
Elevators are potential death traps. For some reason unknown to me, this particular formal committee felt the need to have their formal at the top of an 80 story hotel. Which meant that my family and I, along with 5 or 6 other formal going strangers, were stuck in a small box, hurtling up and down an elevator shaft at speeds previously not experienced in elevators during my lifetime. I’ve never been one to be afraid of heights, but it turns out that this particular elevator gives me the heebie jeebies something fierce.

Observation 6:
Strangeness runs in my family. I have realised that I am not the only odd ball in my gene pool.

Behold... Little Brother

Little Brother it appears either has some sort of repressed fetish for Kermit the Frog or he wanted to look like a Leprechaun on Acid. He pulled it off splendidly and turned more than a few heads. No-one even seemed to care that with the exception of one abominable dress, he had the brightest outfit there.

Friday is his official graduation ceremony *I am not crying… I have something in my eye* and then he’s initiated into the real world. He is going to be in for the shock of his life.

How’s that for Spontaneity?

I am caught somewhere between euphoria and blind panic. Once again Clare has jumped out of the frying pan and straight into the fire. Lets just hope that this time I don’t get burnt.

I resigned yesterday. After working for this company for 28 months, I came back from my lunch break, took a look at my desk and decided that I didn’t want to sit there anymore. So I wrote my resignation letter, sent it to the business owner and went about my business.

I’m a planner by nature. I make lists, I consult these lists. I write out more lists of pros and cons and then ask everyone else what they think I should do. After that I call both my mothers asking them what they would do in my position and then I will make a decision, sweat about it for a month before following through.

Only once in my life have I made a life changing decision on the spur of the moment. June last year, I printed out 4 different hair styles, got the girls in the office to vote on their favorite and ended up with hair like this

oh yes... a bob with bangs...

which was fine until everyone I saw told me that they just mistook me for my mother. I look back on it as a life lesson, and it will live on forever as one of those crazy things I did in my youth. I will store it away with my other life lessons and bring it out only when I need to prove to my children that I was young and reckless once too.

This time thought I decided to take my life into my own hands and do something that I want to do, based solely on the fact that I really want to do it. I’m not going to be a receptionist for the rest of my life. I have no idea what exactly the rest of my life is going to look like, but sitting behind a desk being at the beck and call of every man and his dog is definitely not it.

So my genius plan for the future? Your guess is as good as mine. Something fabulous will come up and I will love it. I will wake up and want to go to work for once. Wouldn’t that be nice?

 

Like Mother Like Daughter

Sister Dear’s Husband and I are currently engaged in a battle of wills. He claims that I am turning into my mother and I claim that my weirdness is totally unique to me. If I am turning batty it is on my own merit and has nothing to do with Mumsy, thank you very much. Coincidence, dear readers, is what it all boils down to. Just because Mumsy and I share a hat fetish, a book fetish, and the tendency to burst into tears at any given moment for no apparent reason is no reason to assume that I am morphing into a Mumsy replica. Pish posh I say.

 Yes I will admit (albeit begrudgingly) that Mumsy and I do have similarities. We are splashing about in the same gene pool so some traits were bound to be passed along. I just don’t see how two people who are supposedly so similar can repel each other as forcefully as Mumsy and I tend to do. I can’t spend an afternoon with the woman without day dreaming about stuffing her into a sardine can. No-one can rub me up the wrong way quite like Mumsy and if I was stuck on a desert island with her I would try my luck with sharks, and I’m not even kidding.

 Maybe it’s because we don’t really know each other very well. Between the ages 12 and 18 I didn’t see Mumsy more than 3 or 4 times. I went to live with Dad and his wife and for those teenage years Dad’s wife was my Mum. There are people who are not going to like hearing this but in many ways, my step mother is more a Mum to me than the woman who gave birth to me. I may be living closer to Mumsy now and spending time with her, but as far as the Mother/Daughter relationship goes, we will always be missing some key… something.

It’s not like we can even really talk about it because every time I try to bring it up in conversation she looks at me like I broke her heart. We’re stuck in this hurting guilty vortex that neither one of us can get out of. I refuse to take the blame in the situation. We didn’t have a functional relationship to start with. Those last months with Mumsy before I left were hell. She was so caught up in her own issues, real and imagined, that she couldn’t or wouldn’t see her children falling apart around her. While her older children got into all kinds of activities of questionable legality Little Brother and I were left to fend for ourselves.

 Well this isn’t where I imagined this post going at all. I am going to hit publish before I think better of it and promise to be jolly next time.

I know I left my sanity somewhere

Firstly blogging world, I feel like I should apologise for my extended absence. I have been on holidays and as such have had nothing particularly to tell you… Well nothing that I want published on the interweb in any case for my enemies to use against me. Moving on.

Confined space + (Mumsy + Clare)= Pig

Now that’s out-of-the-way… HELLO!!! How are we all dear readers?I am curled up in a ball hiding under the linen in the laundry closet after spending an afternoon with Mumsy. Now I am aware that I may have painted the dear woman in a less than favorable light and feel that I should just point out that I do love her quite a lot. I do however break out in a rash, start hyperventilating and weep uncontrollably when left alone with her for extended periods of time.

Since I’ve been on holidays starting two weeks ago I had managed untill yesterday to avoid the ‘quality time’ thing with Mumsy. I had also managed to avoid the inevitable ‘I won’t be around forever’ talk which usually follows the ‘sorry Mumsy, can’t today I’m busy’ routine. So yesterday I caved and seeming as I’m back to work on Monday I figured that I would spend my last weekday of freedom with her. Now spending time with Mumsy is not as easy as you may be led to believe. Movies are usually out of the question because as soon as the male and female leads kiss she is up in arms. The bad guy swings at the good guy and she is up in arms, and someone slips an F-Bomb in and she has an aneurism and is carried out by ushers. So after browsing the Now Showing listings I gave up and went in search of something else to whittle away an afternoon. Then… EUREKA!! A trip to the Queensland Art Gallery followed by a romp in the Gallery of Modern Art. I danced a jig, called Mumsy, listened while she danced and jig and then we were on our way.

After a 30 minute train ride, Mumsy is still in high spirits and I am trying not to strangle her. Deep breaths, count to ten and we’re right to continue. A few close calls with road crossings and we amble into the gallery. We were browsing through the Victorian art when it started

This guy will eat your children

Mumsy for all of you not intimately acquainted with her, has a sight impediment. One of her eyes is long sighted and the other severely short-sighted. So half the time she was looking at paintings from half way across the room and the other half of the time she was so close you would think she was trying to lick it. Which is where Security Dude comes in, we shall call him Hank. While Mumsy has her nose all but pushed up against the picture trying to decipher how many bristles were on the brush at the time of the painting Hank runs over like he is about to do murder and asks her to kindly step away from the priceless antique artwork. My self-preservation instincts kick in and I turn away and try to look like the lunatic trying to get a whiff of ancient oil paint is not the donor of half my genes. Needless to say I was mortified.

Following this were a handful of other encounters with various other security guards who told her to not touch, to stand away from and one lady who confiscated Mumsy’s cappuccino. If I wasn’t being otherwise occupied blending into the walls I would have been rather impressed with her rebellion, whether it was intentional or not.

The train ride home was another adventure in itself. She seems to believe that being in close proximity to creativeness will make the creativeness rub off on her. This resulted in her trying to find art in everything she saw. The graffiti on the walls along the train line became works of art by misunderstood artists. The picture on the girl’s bag across the aisle was something to take apart and analyse. By the end of the trip I was sizing Mumsy up for the space in the boot of her car and praying to God to MAKE THE BAD WOMAN STOP!

Did I mention that I love my Mother?

Archers to the ready

Magpies, the root of all evil

 

Alright everyone. As you are all aware September is upon us. Spring has unleashed hell and parks everywhere are under threat from the Magpie Menace. 

As one of those crazy people who are terrified of birds at the best of times, September is a particularly unpleasant month for me.

They're on to us... RUN FOR YOUR LIVES

This is possibly stemmed from early childhood memories of being forced to parade about the place wearing an ice-cream bucket on my head with eyes painted on the top to keep the black and white beasties at bay.  School play-time rules changed from No Hat No Play to No Ice-Cream Bucket No Play. Tag is so much more fun when your being chased by whoever is it and being bomb dived by the resident Mummy Magpie as well.

 

Mumsy, bless er heart used to buy us safe passage from the magpies who lived in a gum tree in our front yard by leaving dried dog food on the veranda railing all year. That worked a treat untill the boy down the road decided to use their nest for target practice one year with his new sling-shot. The cease-fire was over. Bloody battle ensued. 

The hero in this sorry tale is my brother Ickle. He used to hide in ambush with this knobbly piece of a tree and wait for one to swoop him. He would then leap from the shrubbery with an awful cry and clobber the bird on the head. 

When he wasn’t doing this, he would ride about on his bike wearing a re-enforced bike helmet. He would scope out where the magpies were swooping and then ride about in the late afternoon. He would stand up on his peddles, crouch his head down into the handlebars and when the magpie was flying over head, he would swing his head up and using his helmet like war hammer he would knock the bird out cold. The bird would recover after a minute or so and stumble drunkenly off the road before they can see straight enough to fly so no permanent damage was done. I do suspect that there is a price on Ickle’s head. I tend to avoid him in September. 

All our technology and this is the best we could come up with?

 

Everywhere people are fixing zip ties all over their bicycle helmets in a freakish looking attempt to ward off magpie attacks. Dog walkers all over Brisbane have branches that they walk around with, hoping that the birds will mistake them for walking trees with pet dogs and not go for the kill shot. While these methods may seem adequate in protecting people from this epidemic. I think more drastic measures need to be put in place. 

I would like to see Magpie Patrols all over the greater Brisbane area. People should be able to hire an armed guard to protect them from this menace. The government should hand out helmets with rear view mirror attached. For a small fee you should be able to have a missile launcher installed with sights and in Magpie problem areas giant clear fly paper should be stuck up to catch them mid-flight. 

Say hello to my little friend

 

Also everyone should be given a Nerf Gun. Just because I really really want one. Plus I would like to see any birds come at me while I lie in wait with one of those. 

So dear readers. Stay safe this Swooping Season and if there happens to be any animal right activists who have stumbled across my blog and have been offended by anything that I have written, please email me and let me know. I might want to offend you again later.

Ode to footwear of old

Could they be... MUM JEANS?!?!? *doom music*

Today it seems I have finally slipped into the abyss of old age. That dark place where your jeans are held up by elastic, your hair by plastic combs, your gums by dentures and your breasts don’t stay up at all. Why you ask is a spring chicken of the tender age of 20 thinking herself to be part of this aging demographic? Read on dear readers, all will be revealed.

I am a receptionist for all of you who were not previously savvy to this little gem of personal information. I get up in the morning, and in accordance with my contract get myself all pretty which lately consists of slapping on some foundation, running a comb through my hair, pulling on the closest semi-clean outfit, grappling with a pair of panty-hose and finally slipping my feet into shoes with a 5 inch heel.

not this bad

I love shoes, I adore shoes, and next to my books my most prized possessions are my range of fabulous footwear. Among my collection you are likely to find an assortment of high heels ranging from about 3.5 inches to a teetering 5.5 inches. Since moving offices and catching public transport to work every day my shoes have been taking a beating. In the past 9 months I have gone through about 5 pairs of heels because of all the walking I’ve been doing between office, bank, post office and bus/train stations not to mention the occasional 20 minute walk home from the train station when my trusted car driver (Mumsy) is otherwise occupied.

usual shoe choice

 So in light of my shoe abuse, this morning after pinning back my hair, zipping my skirt and giving up on the panty-hose I was faced with a dilemma. I had no shoes to wear. I have plenty of shoes, just none that I fancied forcing myself to endure for the next 11 hours with the inevitable wearing down to the heel untill I turned them into flats.

So I begrudgingly strapped on a particularly tall pair that have a tendency of slipping off my feet and made my less than merry way to work. It was coming up to lunch time and I found myself thinking of Mumsy. Mumsy has teeny tiny feet and is always gallivanting about the town in these hideous sandal type abominations with about 2 inches of padding to help her footsies be nice and comfy all day long. Not only are they fashion faux pas but they are so sturdy that they will live FOREVER!

 So I’m sitting here in my little reception bubble dreaming of the sandals of doom and I find myself googling comfy work shoes. One thing led to another and half an hour later I find myself in Rivers purchasing what Mum (not to be mistaken for Mumsy) would call ‘sensible shoes’. They are some of those rubber soled, padded leather inner grandmother affairs that 17-year-old Clare vowed she would rather die than be seen dead in.

Traitor shoe

You heard me correctly dear readers. Clare has forsaken fashion for comfort. I am now gallivanting about the town in flat, rubber soled padded leather lined shoes with a buckle on the toe. I might as well get in while the sales are on and stock up on mum jeans and button up shirts made of that sturdy material that will never wear out. Goodbye mini skirts, singlet tops and bedazzled shoes. It was nice knowing you.

For the record, let it be known that since purchasing these shoes, my right heel is now sporting a very impressive blister. That’s what I get for cheating on stilettos.