About Me

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Single Mum of teenage chef, affectionately known as The Brat. Have started a new life at the tender age of 44, embarking on a relationship with my childhood sweetheart... I know cliche central, but so far it works for us! New job, new friends, new challenges. Life's GOOD!

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Debut Novel

Settle down folks. Put away your credit cards and piggy banks.... it's not written yet! But it could be.... SOONish.

Okay I'll explain. Remember my last post, with the insane idea that I could quit smoking purely with the aid of willpower, bubble wrap and a few cut veggies???? YEAH RIGHT!!!!

Well anyhoo, The honourable Dirk Flinthart offered to ghost-write my bestselling How To  book, and we would make squillions. Hmmmm sorry Dirk my friend.... ain't gunna happen. BUT!

Now that I've accepted that I was born without willpower, I'm travelling another route. Thass right... DRUGZ!!!! Now anyone who's used this particular Quit Smoking Drug (Havock) will know what I mean when I say OHMIGOD THE DREAMZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Crazy, weird, mixed up dreams. I wake up exhausted. This morning I actually remembered some of those dreams, and I'm sure I read somewhere that many an author has received inspiration during their slumbery travails.* So Imma gonna bore you all silly with (daily?) recollections of my nocturnal adventures. (I hate people who try to tell me about their dreams, but suck it up princesses). Hopefully, this whole mess will someday magically morph into a novel. Are you in Dirk? So settle back and read the tale of the hour between my alarm going off this morning, and me finally staggering out of bed...

In one hour.... I rescued my neice from a humungous mud puddle in the back yard (No idea whose backyard), seriously, that mother came up to my thighs. Now I'm not tall, but my 6 year old neice is the approximate height of your average 3 year old.  YAY AUNTY MAYHEM!!!

I followed up my heroic feat, by promptly losing said neice to a pair of of officious, yet stylishly uniformed female security guards. At the time I was arguing with a ticketing agent at the airport. In all I argued with 3 ticketing agents and a gaggle of skimpily dressed teens who tried to queue jump. NOT HAPPY!!! Still don't know where my neice ended up.

At some point uber author JB entered the fray. By this time I was back at (someone's) home. There was a contretemps involving JB, my older sister and some lollies and possibly patty cakes. There was an unpleasant incident involving water... lots of water... all over me, courtesy of my brother. Then towels. I had heaps of clean fluffy towels with which to dry myself off. Then I had a bath.

Now remember, all of the above happened in an hour. (And I have mercifully condensed the various scenarios, in the hopes that you'll come back). Prior to that, my recollections are pretty hazy. I'm certain that I was visited by a number of Burgers, including (but not limited to) our own Big Bad Al. My Mum made an appearance as well, and my younger sister.

What do you think? Is there a novel in this mess? Maybe we'll have a better idea after a few (dozen) more installments :)

*Requires confirmation

Friday, June 8, 2012


Okay, I'm putting it out there... FINALLY making a serious attempt to quit smoking!!!!

I've tried many things over the years... Drugzzzz, Patches, Cold Turkey, Cutting down... and so far haven't succeeded. I HATE to fail at anything, so it's always difficult to get motivated to do this.

STILL, needs must, I know I have to do this, and I just need to persevere until I find what works for me. This time, I am trying the cut down by degrees method. Small, specific, achievable goals, one day at a time. Five less day one, ten less by day four... you get the idea. Probably the most important thing, is to remember that if I have a bit of a setback on any one day, it's NOT FAILURE, it's a HICCUP, and tomorrow will be better.

So, the question was, how will I keep myself busy, to stop myself focusing on the ciggies??? I've been doing a lot of baking lately, which is great for filling time, unfortunately also great for filling the tummy. My greatest fear is that I'll put on all the weight I've lost, so now I need to replace eating AND smoking with something that I can do while sitting at the computer, or reading/watching telly. It came to me last night, so OBVIOUS....


I LOVE bubble wrap, can happily sit for hours popping those little plastic bubbles. Unfortunately J hates bubble wrap, he's going to be THRILLED (not) when he gets home tonight and I'm sitting popping bubbles all night.

Now, I've noticed over the years, that you're either a POPPER or a HATER!!! So lob in, tell me which you are, and why, and regardless, would you support me in using this to help me QUIT!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jenniki in BrisVegas.... In Melbourne

So... We all know that Jenn is visiting BrisVegas, and would love to meet as many Burgers as possible.

To that end, some of the Melbourne Burgers have decided that, if we can't be in Brisbane to meet Jenn, we should have our own Burger Bash, at the same time, and meet her via Skype.

The date is 2nd of June @ 7:00pm. Location yet to be decided. Suggestions welcome!!! This could be the biggest and best Burger bash in history!!! Partners more than welcome, so organise your babysitters folks.

Please RSVP and let me know your location suggestions here.

Edited to note confirmed attendees:

Mayhem and J
Havock (and Mrs H?)
Albion Love Den (and Satomi?)
Melbo (+1?)

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Well it IS about time....

Finally, some 3 and a half months after the big move, I am reconnected, other than via the iPhone. Many of you have a rough idea from Twitter, of the twists and turns of the last little while, however for the non-twitterati, a recap.

Trip down was fine, very rushed and a straight through drive. One day to recover then into the new job. A bit tiring, but I gradually regained my equilibrium and all was going well. The job is great, and I really feel I can finally have the career I want with this organisation, but more on that later...

J and I are still adjusting to living with each other. He had been living alone for about 15 years, while for me it had been roughly 20. When I say alone, I mean unpartnered, I have always had The Brat, and at various times my sister and brother, whilst he has lived with his sister's family, as well as with his Dad. As is to be expected I suppose, we've had a few little issues, but at least this time around we are mature enough to discuss them, compromise and get past them. I don't for a second believe it will be smooth sailing all the time, but from my (admittedly limited) experience, I don't think any real relationship is! Suffice to say that we are both happy with our current arrangement, and don't see that changing any time soon.

My health has been the major issue since the move. As was necessary, I investigated the options for my continuing Cancer follow-up. Arranged a referral from my GP to The Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, and liased with them about retrieving my records from The Mater. Also made arrangements to have my first annual Mammogram. That's where the fun started. Doc reading the mammo decided that there were a couple of grey areas, and an Ultrasound was called for. The report indicated that he was merely being thorough due to my history. Okay, gotta be happy that he wasn't being casual with my health, but mildly concerning. Then the Ultrasound a couple of weeks later. This time a little more concern. Two distinct areas of suspicion, biopsies of both strongly recommended.

I received the Ultrasound report only the day before my scheduled appointments to meet with my new Surgeon and Oncologist. It was supposed to be just a general checkup, but instead my poor Surgeon was thrown in the deep end, with immediate investigations to be arranged. She cancelled my Oncology appointment, and instead raced up to Radiology (herself), to BEG for immediate biopsies. This was accomplished, and a nervous wait for results began. J was amazing.... dealt brilliantly with my mood swings, constantly reassuring me that it would be okay regardless of the results, getting me to appointments as often as he was able, and just holding me as I cried!

My sister actually accompanied me to the Surgeon for the biopsy results, J had planned to meet us there, but was unable due to a work situation. He was still on his way, when I phoned to let him know that the results were good, but to be completely safe, my Surgeon wanted to remove the offending lesions anyway. Again, fantastic commitment by my medical team, my surgery was scheduled for two days later, and the fun began again. I always knew that the likeliest outcome was that everything would be alright.... but that little niggle of doubt and worry just doesn't go away! Until you get that final result... ALL CLEAR!!! Have continued to have some minor issues, a mild infection, followed just this past week by a fluid buildup, but problems easily rectified, and non-lethal. Just PAINFUL!

My employers have been FANFKINGTASTIC throughout. I have been paid for every hour I've been away from work, and there have been many of them. On two occasions, managers have arranged cab vouchers to get me home when my ambition exceeded my capability. (Total cost $120.00). I've had training in areas that will take me off the phones, so that if I'm a little off-colour I can continue working without actually interacting with clients. I have been offered support, counselling, extra break time, shoulders to cry on, and basically anything I need. When I express my gratitude, they tell me that I've earned it, just by doing everything I can to show up and perform my role to the best of my ability at that given moment. That's wonderful to hear, but doesn't stop me feeling somewhat guilty...

So health-wise, almost back on an even keel. relationship-wise, steady as she goes. My finances are still  slightly out of control, but light at the end of the tunnel. The Brat has had some issues, a licence suspension due to DUI, then loss of another job, and his girlfriend moving away to Ireland, have all contributed to some rocky times for him. Luckily Mum has been there every step of the way for him, and things are improving. He has steady work at two restaurants owned by the same guy, and he is scheduled to be qualified on the 25th of July, a week after his 20th birthday. I miss him terribly, but hope he can get down for a visit fairly soon. I'm also thinking about heading up to Brisbane late November or thereabouts, as I won't be there for Christmas.

So that's basically it! A rambling post to be sure, but I figured a catchup was needed. I'm having thoughts about the direction I will take with this Blog from here on in... I'm going to keep it, and maybe even the other one as well, but I may tinker with the content. Either way, I'm back..........

Thursday, February 24, 2011



  • Get a job
  • Find a GP
  • Find Specialist to take over my cancer follow up care
  • Find a hairdresser
  • Move end of March / early April

  • Got a job (Official once references checked).
  • Got a GP
  • Finding specialist being undertaken by GP
  • J's sister is a hairdresser
  • Job starts on 15th of March so planning to arrive on the 14th.

So what now? Welll I'm nervous (terrified actually) and excited at the same time. I'm also incredibly proud of myself for going after what I really want. I'm concerned about The Brat, he's been out of work again since the floods, but now that situation is looking up, with a trial at one retaurant tomorrow night, and an interview at another if that doesn't work out!
I have a little over two weeks to pack up my stuff, and arrange transport for one or two household items. I have to try and sell some things, I'm tempted to donate it all, but the extra cash will be very necessary I'm afraid! J plans to fly up on the 12th and we will drive back to Melbourne with any items I can fit in the car.

Last, but certainly by no means least.... a final catchup with all my Brisbane Burger friends. Of course I'll be back to visit, and we'll have the odd Mayhem Day (Sorry to steal that Chaz)! It's possible that lunch is going to be difficult, so I'm thinking Friday the 11th for drinks/dinner????

Oh! And I have to tell my parents. They know I had interviews while I was away last week, and Mum at least, is NOT impressed! Once the reference checks are completed and I have an offer in writing I will let them know....

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I've just read a story (read it here) about medical students here and in the UK, performing intrusive examinations on anaesthetised patients without their consent. Comments on the story ranged from "outrageous" and "Rape" to "how else will our Doctors learn?"

It got me thinking. As you know I've recently undergone extensive treatment for Breast Cancer. That treatment included surgery. Does it bother me to think that there may have been a number of students lining up to palpate my breasts whilst I was unconscious? Not really... if nothing else, they may have learned that not all lumps are detectable by physical examination. Mine wasn't! Even with scans providing a roadmap for him, my surgeon was unable to feel the cancerous lump in my breast!

But what if I found out those same students performed an "internal examination" which had no bearing on my current condition? You know what? I still don't think I have a problem with it. I mean, I line up voluntarily every year for these procedures, more frequently if there's any kind of issue. What if one of these "unnecessary" examinations uncovered a problem? Am I going to sue the hospital for allowing the medical student to perform this "sexual assault" (thus potentially saving my life)? Not a hope. So why would I have a problem with the student ascertaining that there's NO problem. Short answer... I DON'T!

I've had experience with medical students in potentially embarrassing situations. While in labour with The Brat, the OB doc and I were at odds over whether or not I needed a Caesarian. (For the record, I was right, I didn't, The Brat was born naturally, if painfully). Anyone who's given birth knows that there's no dignity in childbirth anyway, and I've read the opinion that a labouring woman is in no way fit to consent to anything (you might be surprised!), but honestly, I REALLY didn't have any issue, and still don't, that The Brat's arrival was witnessed by a somewhat larger audience than originally planned. If nothing else, I hope those students left the room appreciating that it's always a bad idea to ignore a patient when he/she suggests that they have half a clue about their own body.

I think for me, and you may have a different view, it's the assumption that performing these procedures does NOT provide any form of sexual gratification for the Doctor, or the student Doctor. with no motivation to acheive sexual gratification, can this be considered sexual assault? Sure, I know we read about Docs being disciplined for inappropriate conduct towards their patients, but seriously, these are in the minority. I just can't imagine that there are too many people out there who are so twisted that they are prepared to spend thousands of dollars, and years of their lives, looking for an "easy" way to indulge their sick fantasies.

An element of trust is necessary when we ask virtual strangers to take such intimate care of us. I just can't be bothered believing that everyone out there wants nothing more than to do me harm. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Monday, January 10, 2011

OH FFS....

Within a couple of hours of my publishing the previous post, The Brat arrived home to announce that he has once again joined the ranks of the unemployed!

In their wisdom, his latest employers have decided to can ALL of their apprentices, and staff the kitchen with only their 3 qualified chefs, and a casual. He's gutted! He was really enjoying this job, and they were paying well too. He has a plan though.... The head chef had previously let him know that he was leaving, moving to Darwin. Given that he is one of the 3 qualified chefs, either he will have to delay his plans, or the restaurant will need another qualified chef in a hurry. The Brat will ask them to keep him on, help him qualify early, and so become their 3rd chef. We'll have an idea today as to whether or not that plan will fly.

Wish us luck, after last year we had both hoped for a better start to 2011.