The big ‘C’

Just when life is looking up, along comes some bastard to punch you in the pancreas.

Or left breast.

My mother-in-law has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  and since she has not had regular check-ups in the past 30 years or any regular cancer screening offered to Australian women, it seems that she probably has end-stage breast cancer.

The type that sends hospital doctors running to find colleagues to come look at the scary old boob that has pus and gangrene and weeping abscesses and smells.

The type that most doctors have only seen in medical text books.

The type with minimal life expectancy and no cure.


We are in shock here.

My husband is …bewildered.  I know I’ve got a job ahead of me to make him talk about his feelings in  a real way so that he deals with this.

I feel sad, sick … and angry.
I’m  furious with my mother-in-law at the moment.  I know this isn’t particularly fair but I can’t help thinking that she’s been so blinded by her hatred of the medical establishment to even consider that they just may know more about health than her beloved naturopath.  The fact that the naturopath has always said that he works in conjunction with medical science has fallen on deaf ears.
Instead she’s spent her life reading up on quack cures like  “How to Cure Cancer with Castor Oil” … or that pathetic @mway ‘glyconutirent’ product that can cure all ills (including Cancer … and Down’s Syndrome if the non-official advertorials are to be believed).


Cancer has become part of our family life for the past few years:
We lost my father-in-law to colon cancer in 2007.
I also had a cancer scare in 2007 which is now resolved, but which caused me enormous amounts of stress while “waiting” for various test results over the course of 18 months.
My Dad has had 3 surgeries for colon cancer last year.
And now 2009 looks to be yet another year of watching another family member fight that ratfucksonofabitch.


I’m writing this while my feelings are pretty raw, so I hope you’ll forgive my rant.  Based on the fallout after my father-in-law died, I know the next 12 months at least are going to be bloody awful ….


First Day #2

Hey my little man, it’s your first day at preschool today. The fantastic, loving learning place that your big sis went to.

You seem far more laid back about starting preschool than your sister …. but I wonder how you will feel when you wave us goodbye this morning and Mrs D and the lovely Ms C take care of you.

I know you’ve been desperate to go to this preschool since your sister went there.  The teachers have known you since you were very small.  I hear you talk excitedly about C&K.  You even excitedly told the people at your old kindy  that you were going to a “better” kindy this year.  I’m not sure what they made of that.


After we dropped your sister at school, we drove to preschool and Mrs D cuddled you as you walked in the door.  Ms C couldn’t believe how much you’ve grown and she took you  to see the peacock that your sister made two years ago – he’s still proudly sitting in the garden even though some of his feathers have been ruffled.

You knew most of the girls in your class, but none of the boys.


When you came home, you showed as a painting you’d done in blue and red.  It was a monster with a long neck.  He had big red eyes and a blue mouth and had eaten something that we could see in his tummy.


Ms C wrote a poem for Mum and Dad.  It made me cry.

I’m sure she won’t mind if I reproduce it here:

My Precious One

Today I’ll walk my child to kindy for the first time,
Where he’ll make friends, sing, dance and play, maybe learn a little rhyme.

Part of me feels so happy to see him bravely walk away
The other feels so sad – almost as if her grew up in one day…

For all the years he’s been my companion, my joy and pride,
Not to mention the special nine months I carried him inside.

Day by day his life unfolds,he’s growing right before my eyes
In life it’s true that there are times we  must day our goodbyes.

Today is a big step, not just for my precious one
It’s also a big leap of  faith and trust for his Dad and Mum.



I love you my boy.  This is the start of a wonderful education.  Enjoy it.

First Day

It’s your first day of Year 1 today.

You seems so small yet so grown up.

I could tell you were nervous about not knowing the kids in your class, not knowing your new teachers, not knowing what it was going to be like.

But you ate your breakfast quickly and jumped into your freshly-ironed-for-a-change uniform.  You even wore regulation socks and shoes even though you much prefer your purple boots.

We took your photo to remember how big you are today.  How small you really are at six.  You smiled your excited smile and pulled funny faces at the camera.

We took you to school and found your classroom.  But we couldn’t get in so we visited your Prep teachers who are just across the garden.  Mrs W gave you a cuddle and said how much you’ve grown since last year. She told you that Year 1 would be different to Prep. She said you’d love it.

We found a some of your friends from Prep and you were happy that you have a few familiar faces in your new class…. but not your best friend.  She will be in a different class this year, but you’ll still get to play together at lunchtime.

Then Mrs N and Mrs S opened up the door to your new classroom and you went straight inside, not waiting for Mum or Dad to follow.  We had to fight our way in, carrying your huge load of books.

You found your seat and excitedly unpacked your books.  You coloured in the Australian flag by checking the colours on the fake flag tattoo you proudly wore during yesterday’s Australia Day celebrations.

We kissed you goodbye and left you happily colouring in.  You were fine.  My heart was in my throat, even though its your second year at Big School and I should be used to this feeling by now.

It’s your first day of Year 1 today.

and you will love it.

See you at 3pm beautiful girl…. and you can tell me all about your day over a cup of milo and a celebratory lamington.



You loved school today.

You had Mrs N, our old friend from playgroup.

You saw your bestie at lunchtime and you played your old games.

You made a new friend in the new, mixed-up class.

You earned lots of gold stars and were chosen as class leader for the week.

I’m so proud of you.

A new kind of spider

Hubby’s favourite t-shirt  has pictures of large Redback spiders all over it.

(Redback spiders – Latrodectus hasselti – are considered one of the most dangerous spiders in Australia. The Redback spider has a neurotoxic venom which is toxic to humans with bites causing severe pain).


He loves this shirt, but hasn’t worn it for a while.

So when Mr H saw his dad wearing the shirt last weekend, he madly started  squealing and wildly gesticulating as only a 4 year old boy can.

“Maaaate” says Hubby “What’s the problem?”

“Arghhhh Spiders” says H.  “They are REDNECK spiders Dad – they are soooo dangerous”.


Henceforth at Casa del Corymbia, the humble but  deadly redback spider shall be known as a REDNECK spider.

That bloke that does the silly dance on the tele

Have you seen the add where the bloke does a silly dance in about eleventy-seven different countries?

We love that bloke at our house. He makes me want to renew my passport and travel the world.

It turns out that his name is Matt he’s now done that silly dance (apparently the only dance he knows) in over 39 different countries.  According to his website, he left Brisbane Australia in 2003 (why I don’t know – its a wonderful place) and travelled through Asia with a mate who suggested that he pull some dance moves in front of the camera.  Those bad dance moves got him noticed and  he’s in hot demand in the advertising world. Click Here for more information on his idea and his travels.

Here’s a version I found on Youtube:

But even funnier are the out-takes.  From 1000 m drops to jiggling man-boobs and dance-hating officials, its the best laugh I’ve had in ages.

Where the hell is Matt Outtakes:

And I’ve learnt something new.  Elephants DO NOT LIKE bad dancing.

I am a terrible mother

My kids are funny.

I laugh at them a lot.

Usually, they enjoy getting a laugh and tell Very Bad Jokes to try and get more laughs, never realising that I’m not laughing at the joke, but I’m laughing at them.    Its like watching Alice and the Vicar share a joke at the end of each Vicar of Dibley episode.

Today, I was teasing my daughter (normal) but she just WASN’T in a jokey mood.

So here’s what happened:

Miss K decided that I wasn’t allowed to hug her because I’m currently wearing a tank top and she was worried that my hairy armpits might touch her.  (Now there’s a note I have to add here – my armpits are NOT hairy as I was teased enough during year 9 to know that a lady always shaves).

Anyhoo, I did the unthinkable and mentioned the fact that she’d also have hairy armpits one day …. and maybe, if she was really lucky, she could have a beard like her father (and I said that with a straight face because I derive perverse pleasure from messing with young minds).

Now some of you have seen pictures of my husband.
He has a large beard and he likes to compare his looks with Ned Kelley.  I have to admit there are some similarities.


But Miss K is no dumb bunny, she laughed and said that girls don’t get beards.

Then I pointed out that her grandmother has a lady mo.

Her face went white and her jaw dropped.

She got hysterical.

Normally she’d think that being like her Dad was super cool, but apparently that doesn’t run to growing facial hair.

She started crying and shouting that she didn’t want to look like a boy and she didn’t want to have to shave because then she’d have “spikes” on her face when the hair grew back.

I started laughing at her which made her even more hysterical.

So now I feel very small for messing with the mind of a six year old…. *my* darling, beautiful, intelligent six year old … but I’m also wondering how bad I would be if I showed her this:


…and I’m laughing again because I am a terrible mother.

King Tide

This morning, I took the kids to the waterfront to observe a Natural Wonder.

King tides are a natural event which happen twice a year – once in summer and once in winter.  In addition each month there are spring tides which are higher than normal high tides and coincide with the full and new moon.

Today was the day of the highest king tide in 18.6 years and scientists have suggested that it will give us an idea of what coastlines may look like in 50 years in a changing climate.

It was certainly the highest tide I’ve seen in a long time given that the swell was relatively calm and so the water wasn’t crashing over the sea wall.  Rather, the kids had fun splashing in the water that was gently washing over the  wall.


I was also impressed to see someone pull up alongside the sea wall (about 1.2-1.5 m high that stretches the length of our suburb’s foreshore) in a tinny and take passengers directly off the foreshore.


The local public boat ramp was almost completely submerged (the wall the people are standing on is about 1.5 m high, and the people in the background are standing on a submerged rock groyne).


Many of the storm water drains along the foreshore are lower in elevation than the sea wall and so sea water had backed up and pools of sea water stretched across the esplanade in a few places.