Archive for the ‘Setting the record straight’ Category

Dear Readers,

Grief can be, for some, an extremely private process. So it is for me and my family.

I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t abandoned this blog. It’s just that I’m finding it hard to write amusing posts about arse worms or being called a Ukrainian Clown Whore at my own husband’s 40th birthday – not when people I love are suffering so much.

So please consider my silence to be an ellipsis. A pause in my speech.

In the meantime, while you’re all waiting for me to return, I’ll try make a weekly offering of either a photo for discussion or a post I’ve uncovered in the NDM vaults.

THIS WEEK’S OFFERING: “The Inadvertent Vibrator“.

Love from

The NDM.

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All roads lead to Goulburn. At least that’s what the sign makers of New South Wales would have us think. Within a 100km radius of ‘Centre Of The Universe’ Goulburn, Sydney and Melbourne drop completely off all road signs and it’s All About Goulburn.

Is it little wonder that I naturally followed the signs to Goulburn on my way out of Canberra?

In doing so, of course, I added a tasty 70km to our journey that day – a journey that was already overwhelming enough as it was at 665 km.

“Whoops!” I said to my husband, after we discovered our mistake. He had taken over the driving by this point and had been concerned by the number of signs he saw pointing to Canberra two hours after we’d left the place.

“Ah, well,” I said philosophically, “It’s only added half an hour to our journey.”

“Sure. If you were doing 140km an hour…” my husband replied. Which I wasn’t – you know, in case anyone from the Roads and Traffic Authority happens to be reading this post.

“Well, you were the one in the Navigator’s Seat!” I replied. “And you’re the one who’s actually driven from Canberra to Melbourne before. You should have known!”

“I was asleep!” he cried. “Or drunk. Yeah, that’s it: blame the Drunk Guy. Again.”

(I should stress here for my Roads and Traffic Authority reader that he was joking about being drunk.)

“I was only going on the assumption that all roads lead to Goulburn,” I said, before adding “Stupid Goulburn!” for good measure.

(Again, just in case my Roads and Traffic Authority reader is based in Goulburn, I was only joking. Goulburn is a mighty fine town from what I can tell from its surrounding signage.)

We sat in stony silence for a while, until my husband realised we were dangerously close to running out of fuel and hostilities recommenced.

“You’re the one in the driver’s seat,” I was quick to accuse him. “That’s your responsibility! I can’t even see the fuel gauge from where I’m sitting!”

“You, as Navigator, should have asked me about the fuel level,” he replied, angrily. “Anyway, should we go head to the next town or turn back?”

“Let me check,” I replied, pulling out my iPhone.

I tried to download a petrol station finder app through iTunes only to have iTunes inform me that they had changed their terms and conditions and I had to read 58 pages of legal jibber-jabber and click ‘AGREE’.

Yes, 58 pages.

Uh, what part of ’emergency petrol station finder’ did iTunes fail to understand?

In the end, I just clicked AGREE. I mean, really, does anybody else ever read those things, even when they’re not on the verge of running out of petrol on the Hume Highway? We could all be pledging our internal organs or our first born children to Steve Jobs for all we know.

(And for the record, Roads And Traffic Authority person, I would do neither of those things willingly. Although, really, the pledging of organs or children to Steve Jobs doesn’t exactly fall within your remit at the RTA, now does it? Sheesh.)

Anyway, we made it to the next town before I could even download the stupid app, filled the car with petrol and made it to our destination (many, many hours later) without further navigational or mechanical mishap.

On the outskirts of Melbourne, I turned to my husband to remark (over the din of screaming children in the back of the car): “If you hadn’t been asleep-slash-drunk when we left Canberra and I hadn’t been so obsessed with Goulburn, we’d be home now.”

It was a bitter pill for us both to swallow. Not that we were actually popping pills while in charge of an automobi— Oh, never mind.


Can’t get enough of reading about The NDM on the road? Feel free to read my guest post about ‘What My Children Have Taught Me About… Road Trips!’ over at ‘Maxabella Loves‘.

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The day before we left on our recent road trip, my husband mentioned something about getting an automatic fish feeder for Mr Justice’s fish.

“It’s all under control,” I said, waving my ‘To Do” list at him. “I’ve already organised actual people to feed our pets”.

“Oh, yeah,” my husband replied. “You just do all this stuff and I just get in the car and drive…”

Which is how it goes. I pack clothes, toiletries, bathers, towels, books and games for myself and the three kids and organise all the car snacks and drinks and for people to feed our pets and collect our mail and take out the bins.

And all my husband does is stuff three pairs of undies, a couple of black t-shirts and his toothbrush into a plastic shopping bag.

I’m being a bit unfair, of course. There’s some other minor details he attends to regarding car maintenance – you know, checking the oil, water and tyres and that – but that’s got to take him less than 15 minutes, right?

Anyway, the point is I really only have myself to blame about the bathers I packed for myself. Truth be told, I didn’t give them much thought because I only anticipated wearing them in the pool at a cheap Canberra motel…

I will say that it was entirely my husband’s fault we ended up at Bondi Beach on the first real beach-going day of spring along with half of Sydney. Our family stuck out a mile with our glow-in-the-dark bodies and our children wearing flotation vests even in the shallow water. It was the equivalent of carrying a huge banner that said “YES, WE ARE FROM MELBOURNE”.

The bathers I was wearing were a two-piece but not, I should stress, a bikini. The top was meant to cover my torso but because I’ve got the longest torso known to woman (to complement my short-arse legs), it kept riding up to reveal my crepe-paper tummy. Of course, I had also spontaneously broken out in pimples right across my decolletage, so I couldn’t pull the top down too much else I start making people worry I was contagious. And finally, any thought of going all “Harry High Pants” by pulling my bottoms up to cover my tummy was out because of the small matter of the neglected lady garden…

So there was my choice: should I showcase my crepe-paper tummy, my lady garden overgrowth or my plague-like symptoms?

It’s little wonder then that, when forced to walk along the boulevard at North Bondi in front of hundreds of sunbathing hotties, I chose to hold my bag in front of me to cover my multitude of sins.

Until my dad appeared out of nowhere to help me, that is.

“Let me take that for you, sweetheart,” my dad said, reaching out for my strategically-placed bag.

“No, Dad, I’m okay,” I said.

“No, really,” he said, trying to take the bag off me.

“Nooooo!” I said, trying to hold onto the bag.

It was like that scene in ‘Trainspotting’ where the goofy one is trying to take his soiled sheets to laundry. I need not go into any further detail about that scene but let’s just say, I felt that the horror unleashed when my dad finally wrenched the bag away from me was on a par. I ended up having to scuttle the rest of the way, with my hand on my chest, my top pulled down and my thighs pressed together, my head hung in shame.

But here’s the real shame: as I sat down and started to write about all this, I began to truly blush. Not because of my body, no. But because I had let my body down.  My body is a magical place – it has harboured three lives and fed them to independence. It has worked hard for me and my children, goddammit. Why did I have to get so highschool about it? I should have held my head up high and strutted my stuff like an entrant in the Smokin’ Hot Postpartum Mama Contest.

That said, however, I should probably take a leaf out of my husband’s book and give myself a 15 minute maintenance check before we set off on our next family holiday…

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