Yesterday I learnt (from the discovery ranger at Mt Field National Park) that wombat poos is square so it doesn’t roll away when a wombat leaves their little pile (usually on top of a rock or stump) to mark their territory. Ain’t evolution amazing. Anti-roll poos. Maybe one day evolution will lead to anti-skid poos in humans. Then mothers wouldn’t have to clean the shitters all the bloody time. Or soak the undies. Undie soaking is one of my least favourite things.
Anyway, that’s just one of the things I have learnt in this extraordinary year called 2014. I can hardly believe I am writing 2014. It still looks like a futuristic year number. When I dreaded the cold war in the 80’s I was convinced we’d be in an eternal winter by 2014. Maybe that was a cryptic prediction of the massive smash hit film, “Frozen”, which has (through no choice of my own) played a large part in my life this year. And most developed world parents I suspect. I won’t miss it next year, but still I learnt ALL the lyrics. Perfectly.
I also learnt these small things:
- A thing called Mastocytosis can lead to itchy, swollen skin and can be controlled by eating very bland boring food and no wine or champagne. This may at times cause food related depression, a need to carry a hip flask of plain vodka (no lime) to various events that render you akin to a dirty drunk and then the bill is split and you pay for every one else to enjoy the classy beverages you wish you could #can’tcomplainasIhavenohivesanymore*
- Teenagers these days prefer the music of the 80’s and 90’s #it’soursgetyourown
- A hashtag, when used best, is like a wink with extra info. When used badly they will make you look like a wankery tryhard. #Iamclearlynotawankeroratryhardevnthoughmyhashtagisverylongandboringandwankerytryhard
- A 70g egg is perfectly soft boiled after 5 minutes of simmering. The 4 minute rule is for smaller eggs.
- If a mulberry tree falls over, don’t rip it out of the ground in an effort to clean up the place. It will often keep growing and bearing fruit.
- Don’t paint a brand new weatherboard house yourself unless you want to go bonkers and lose hard earned brain cells. Ask for a painter for your birthday.
- And while I’m on building, if you want fancy cornice and skirting boards, get ’em. You will lament their absence if you don’t. Ditto anything you want, within reason. Tradies will always whip out their tape measures with impressive flair and tut-tut in convincing ways likely to dissuade you. But don’t let them fool you. Your gut knows best.
- Sponge cakes are impossible to make if you are a short-cutting-cook. Those spongy suckers demand time, attention and utmost care.
- If you pull those little toggles on an airplane life-jacket, it will inflate so quickly you will possibly wee your knickers in fright. Never mind the exit policy. I did that this year. Pulled the toggles, not wee’d my knickers. That was last year.
- Cabbage Patch Kids are 30 years old. Top Gun is 29 (that one I learnt just tonight thanks Muz). #Iamold
- Basic requirements of a half decent chairperson is to remember to go to meetings and not to overload the agenda.
- Never wear socks with thongs, even if you’re just nipping out to the clothesline. Someone will turn up and see you, probably a beautiful person.
- Good singing is all about breathing, diaphragm, placement, posture and vowel sounds. Training to sing is like training to do high jump. It’s a life’s work.
- Madeleine St John is a wonderful writer. She just nails it without bells, whistles, suspense, structural games, twists or fancy language. Read “The Women in Black” to see what I mean.
- To say “I am nauseous” means that you are making others feel sick. The correct term, if you are feeling like having a chunder, is “I feel nauseated”. I learnt this from my favourite fictional character this year – Don Tillman. He is the protagonist of the brilliant books, The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion. If you haven’t read them, put it on your list for 2015.
- Number 16 is from my daughter Lucie, who received a reduced amount of presents from Father Christmas on account of being grumpy with everyone for two weeks. She learnt this year that it’s not a good idea to ‘do the rude finger to Father Christmas’, which explains to me why they were all laughing their heads off in Centrepoint as we passed the Santa photo thingy. It’s true, give the bird to Santa and you’ll get knickers, socks and an onion.
- This one from my son Ted: Don’t wear your knickers in the pool. This was met by a rough “undies, not knickers” from my husband, who is worried that all the female influence in the house will render Ted a bit on the pouffant side. So there are a few lessons here – indeed do not wear your knickers in the pool, don’t call your knickers knickers in front of your mates if you’re a bloke. And probably I shouldn’t use words akin to poof in my blog. Sorry poofs, I love you all very much and wouldn’t mind a jot if Ted was one of you.
- From Bess – I learnt how to tell the time. Ah darling, you’re lovely.
I think I may have learnt more than that (although probably not) but my hooligan children are galavanting around the house like they do on windy days and I have to go and shout at them and stop them victimising the dog. This morning when I asked one of them to make her bed she shrieked, “Why do I have to do YOUR WORK, you have to do it”. The other two had a biscuit and cheese fight in the kitchen. Altogether it has precipitated a general strike in which I do NOTHING AT ALL for them until they see the error of their ways. No food prep, no entertaining, no playing games, no driving them to the beach, NO THING. It’s brilliant. I get to do whatever I want like shut myself in the study and eat lunch before anyone else.
A lovely end to a very busy year.
Anyway, what I most wanted to say is thank you again for your support of me and Megoracle this year, it’s been crazy and overwhelming and fun. You’re all brilliant.
Lots of love, keep safe, be your best, laugh a lot, stay kind and have a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR. See you in it.
*ON account of just running after a helicopter (long story) in long grass wearing thongs, I now have hives all over my legs. #grassisnotmyfriend. Dammit I should have worn socks with my thongs.