Thursday, June 30, 2011


Yesterday Miss Q and I went for a run. A risky move you might have thought, given the high chance of rain, but every time I hang out clothes it rains and every time I kill the environment and use the dryer it doesn’t, so I put Gregory’s chef jackets in the dryer thereby ensuring myself a rain-free run.

Over the Anzac Bridge we went and passed an office building where a fire alarm had gone off so all the workers were standing on the street and footpath, strung out like Brown’s cows COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS to the woman pushing a pram, trying to forge a path through the throng, which forced her to slow her canter to a jerky stop-start walk.

While navigating through the HR directors and project managers, I had no choice but to observe their attire and became increasingly uncomfortably with their choice of attire.

Given my activity, I had dressed appropriately in running pants and an exercise top. (So had Q just in case I got to tired and she had to get out of her chariot and run).

Now I’ve never had an office job, so I can’t be sure, but I’m pretty certain what I saw wasn’t appropriate.

Here is how the women were attired:
Leggings – that’s fine. I was wearing them too…to run in.
Nine-inch nails – not the band. The heels. Seriously. The angle of the instep required was steeper than Sydney rent.
Shorts – short, shiny, black shorts that were so tight most of the wearers were sporting a lovely little camel toe.
Singlet – sparkly and frilly but a singlet none the less. It’s winter.
Scarf – again, it’s winter. Are you hot or are you cold? It’s like the women in LA who wear mini-skirts and ugg boots. I don’t understand. It doesn’t make any sense to me. These women had goose bumps on their exposed arms, but their necks were warm. Which would be great if they were singers, but I’m assuming that they aren’t.

I have worn an outfit like that.
But I was on the stage doing a production of Chicago so it didn’t look quite so odd.
Whatever happened to pinstriped skirts and crisp collared shirts?
Or am I showing my age?
If that’s what you have to wear to a real job, it’s looking less and less likely I’ll ever have one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I am very good friends with the carbohydrate. I always have been, but I’m particularly fond of her now during this breastfeeding lark.
She is steadfast, mixes with everyone and is always on hand when I need her.

Sometimes she’ll present in the form of a massive morning bowl of porridge, closely followed by homemade sourdough rye bread, (you can eat more if you make it yourself, that’s the rules) and smothered in peanut butter and boysenberry jam.

She’s usually a cake by mid morning, bread again at lunchtime – big doorstop sized slices filled with whatever I can find to fill her with.

Afternoons she often escapes me, but I search her out, travelling wherever I can find her – sometimes she’s hanging out with our friends the chips, other times she’s behind the tofu with the leftover fried rice, but usually I get her and my very best friend the cheese together and we while away the hours in contented bliss.

Trouble is, Miss Q is finally getting the hang of this solids gig. Before I know it, I won’t need to eat 19 meals a day and I’m going to have to tell Carb that we can’t hang out so much anymore. She’ll take it pretty hard I’m sure. After all, we’re practically inseparable at the moment.
Do you think she’ll understand if I tell her it’s not her, it’s me?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I mentioned previously that I will be interviewing guest speakers at this year's Women, Management and Work conference.
I think I may also have mentioned how intimidating their resumes and job titles sound.
That's ok. I'm an actor.
I shall pretend I've had a real job and know exactly what it's like to be in charge of big budgets, go to board meetings and fire people for not meeting their KPI's.
That's how you know someone is a Corporate High-flyer. They use lots of acronyms.
One of these fabulous women - Andrea Culligan - wrote a guest blog on Mia Freedman's website.
Have a squiz if you've got the time. She writes on a much talked about subject. Everyone from politicians to grandmothers have an opinion on this one.
For my part, I don't care either way.
Have one or don't.
But do it for the right reasons and make damn sure you don't have any regrets.
One way or the other.


At seven months into parenting little Miss Q I consider myself a professional.
A professional learner.
I am excellent at it.
I do it every day.
Because every day is different.
Today we've had two naps without a fuss, three poo-ee nappies (I blame the vegemite, but she's half Australian damn it, it's in her blood to love it!) and a walk up the road to buy baking powder (because I am a domestic goddess and baked coconut bread this morning, while simultaneously doing three loads of washing and tidying the house).

Yesterday we had two pathetic naps and a minor whinge at gymbaroo because of said pathetic naps.

So nothing like today. I am always learning.
Along the way, however, I've developed a few theories, opinions, statutes if you will.
They are as follows:
1.  She can fail her maths exam but if she is mean I will take away her lego collection and force her to scrub the bathroom floor with a toothbrush. A mean girl I will not have.
2.  I agree with the government's suggestion of exercise three times per week. Just not archery because it's boring and I don't want to watch that. Or grass skiing. Soccer, hockey and waterpolo are preferable.
3.  Learning a musical instrument would also be nice. I quite like the cello, but I hope she gets good at it fast. Listening to a learner play the cello is like nails on a chalkboard.
4.  You can't say 'I love you' too many times. Nor can you sing it too often. Even if it's a really bad tune and you can't hit the notes. Babies don't care, to Q it is as sweet as her mother's milk. I like to think.
5.  There will never be any discussion in front of Q (or any subsequent humans) about my weight or looks. I refuse to fuel the fire of contemporary society. It appears I'm not alone in my thoughts.
6.  There is only one Miss Q and there is only one of Q's mother. Therefore, for better or worse, we're the only two really qualified to do our jobs. Excellent, excellent news.

Whatdya reckon?


A few weeks ago I received an email from CP Communications asking if I would be interested in interviewing some of the women speaking at this year’s Women, Management and Work conference at Macquarie University.

At first I admit to being a little bamboozled by their choice of interviewer.
But then I realised that I am, in fact, perfect for the job.
Miss Q could be their guest speaker. She’s been leading me on a merry dance since the day she arrived.

Unfortunately, all of these women are serious over-achievers. It will be just like when I was at Sydney Girls High and everyone else in my year was planning on studying engineering or actuarial studies while I was busy playing the lead in the school musical.

I’ve read these women's bios and looked at the titles on their business cards – seriously, I have no idea what half of them do.

But once I’ve interviewed them I will.
And so will you.
Their words of wisdom and tidbits of advice to help us takeover the world (or at least our little corner of it) shall be published right here on this blog.

Stand by people.
Get ready to leeeeeeeearn.

Monday, June 27, 2011


On Saturday I took myself off to a Kids First Aid course that a friend of mine had set up.
People, get yourselves to one.
It’s a no-brainer.
It’s held in the comfort of the organiser’s place of choice – ours was the rooftop meeting room of my friend’s apartment building. 360 degree views of the city, swimming pool, tennis courts and instant coffee and Nice biscuits on demand. It reminded me of church. Sort of. The other women said it reminded them of their office, but since I’ve never had a real job I don’t know what they’re talking about.
It’s also only three hours long, you don’t have to pass a test at the end of it and you don’t walk away with a headache and a foul taste in your mouth from having to resuscitate that stupid dummy.

Originally I was going to take Miss Q, but my mother offered to watch her instead, pointing out that I may find it difficult to learn anything at all with my not-so-quiet, definitely-not-still baby in my arms. I was glad I took her up on it, as every other baby in attendance sat and played silently, a couple mewled quietly in their prams after a feed, and the baby next to me fell asleep sitting up in his mother’s lap!
Where do you get one of these kids?

But, as Sir Francis Bacon said, (and quite apart from being terrified out of my maternity bra - 375 kids drowned last year, every one of them within ten metres of their parents) knowledge is indeed power.

I now know the real reason behind putting babies in a washing basket while you hang out the washing. I was just doing it because otherwise Q thinks you’ve abandoned her, but it’s also a handy way of avoiding Funnel Web Spiders.

The blue ringed octopus only has blue rings when it’s mad and ready to attack. Otherwise it’s brown and blends in with the rock pool.
Her childhood is ruined before it even begins.

Never iron. I could burn myself and then I’d have to run the burn under water for twenty minutes and risk being placed on water restrictions.

The woman that ran it has 17 years in the biz as an ambo, so the training was peppered with real life stories, slightly more relevant than the usual tales trucked out by the typical geriatric volunteers running first aid courses.

And then at the end they give you a poster so that when you’ve forgotten everything but the gory facts (do not hold your thumb over the end of the EpiPen and administer it upside down. You will be shot full of adrenalin and writhe on the floor like an electrocuted fish) you can refer to the DRABCD poster and save your child’s life.

What could be better than that?

Friday, June 24, 2011


‘You deserve a break,’ my husband says to me when he comes home from work to find me folding the laundry with one hand and playing with Miss Q with the other, ‘why don’t you go and do the grocery shopping.’

This is what I’m dealing with.
This is the kind of delicate, tactful bloke I shacked up with.
I’ve got no one to blame but myself.

Now, now, before you pepper me with emails about how it’s not too late to walk away, (arguably it is, since I don’t have a job and I do have a human) it had been a Miss Q-is-very-demanding kind of day and as odd as it sounds, (and believe me, it sounds odd to me too) doing the grocery shopping somehow seemed like just the mind numbing activity I needed.

I think I got a little excited that I had the use of both my arms though, because I came home with bag after bag of groceries.
Two hundred and fifty dollars worth.
Items I’d never bought in my life ever before.
Things that mean you’re putting down roots. Setting up house. Staying put.
Things like golden syrup in case I want to whip up a batch of my grandma’s ANZAC biscuits.
A doormat. Desiccated coconut. Muffin tin.
A muffin tin for heaven’s sake.
Never before have I owned a muffin tin.

Now all I need is a cookbook.
I may be married to a chef, but trying to use one of his recipes is like having to translate Mein Kampf when you’ve only done high school German.
And if you did the kind of high school German I did, that wouldn’t help you much at all.

I am thirty-two years old and I appear to have entered the age of domesticity.
Next thing I know I’ll be buying an iron.
Still won’t know how to use it though.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Here it is people.

Not exactly a great shot, but that is definitely a picture of the Harbour Bridge as seen from the deck of our salubrious one bedroom apartment.

The two little white triangles on the right hand side are none other than the Opera House. Not bad huh? Certainly beats the 6th floor apartment I lived in in the arse end of Harlem.

I have a picture of me on my wedding day, my brilliant white dress offset by the bullet hole in front door of the building. That's right folks. I'm a simple gal.

All I need to be happy is a couple of rooms, my two favourite people, easy access to the outdoors and one high quality toaster oven.

It might be such a tight fit in the bedroom that I bash my shins on our bed every time I get Miss Q out of her cot for her nighttime feed, but I am ever the optimist, and have no doubt that one day soon she's going to decide she doesn't need a midnight snack any longer and will slumber peacefully until oh, say 8.30 am.

Either that, or I'm going to start wearing shin pads to bed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I’ve just got back from seeing Chita Rivera perform.
Dang that woman puts this thirty-two year old to shame.
There she is, 75 years old, two fake knees, three-inch heels and still owning the stage like she did 53 years ago when she originated the role of Anita in West Side Story on Broadway.

I left Miss Q sleeping at home…in the capable hands of her father, two brothers and a few other blokes, three of whom are members of the Australian Special Forces.
She was very well guarded. Nothing but Australia’s elite to protect my girl.

I went with my mum and it was so precious to sit there, holding her hand, whispering reminisces about my little New York in her ear and hoping I’ll be able to share similar things with my little girl.

I used to watch performers on stage with a wretched mix of envy and a sense of belonging.
Wanting to be up there, knowing what it feels like, yearning to be a part of their journey, while thanking them for letting me in just the same.

That feeling has changed now. 
Oh, I still get that secret smile as I recall the headiness of it all (the adrenalin, the costumes, the makeup, the applause at the end of your number, the post show parties…) but it’s not as desperate as it once was. It’s not as essential. It’s certainly not as painful.

Chita sang one song called where are you going now.
And it struck me that while I still don’t know quite where I’m going, at least now I know who I’m going there with.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Internet is up and running.
But I don’t mind saying, it's been bliss not having it.
I'm nowhere near as popular as I like to think evidently.
Usually it hits 7pm each night and I think ‘Buggar. I still haven't written back to so-and-so.'
Tonight I cleaned out the emails that had been collecting over the previous two weeks and discovered that most of them were either from those websites that sell you stuff for a discount (which I of course fall for) or the weekly email from the baby website that tells me what Miss Q should be doing. (Teeth, solids, rolling – she still hasn’t bothered to try that – and some nonsense to make you feel better when your child is a nightmare, that it’s actually a good thing as it means they feel secure enough to muck up around you, their doting parent).

There are a few disadvantages to having no Internet though.
I had no idea why Qantas had stopped flying, as I’d had no access to news and therefore didn’t know a volcano had exploded in Chile and I had no doubt missed several other comment-evoking gems such as this.


This morning I had raspberry crumble with cream for breakfast on the grounds that crumbles are made with oats and fruit – both of which feature in a healthy breakfast and cream is just like milk only thicker.

I also had it was because I was feeling sorry for myself as I’d caught a cold from my husband.

Except mine was a real cold with flu-like symptoms - terrible headache, runny nose and puffy eyes and his was a twelve minute man-cold which forced him to sit in front of the heater in nothing more than shorts and a t-shirt, chew on a packet of cold and flu tablets and indulge in a good old fashioned whinge.

All I wanted to do (after I’d eaten my dessert for breakfast) was sit on the couch, tucked into my bathrobe and ugg-boots and re-read Harry Potter in preparation for the final movie.
Six and a half months ago, this would have been possible.
Miss Q can’t read yet, so she didn’t get the memo that mama was feeling a little under the weather and was really hoping she could take care of herself today instead of relying on me for her every need and impulse.

I tell ya, this mothering gig ain’t for the faint of heart.
I know, I know, you can hear the violins playing a sad and sombre tune.
Good. Because I can’t.
My ears are still blocked from my real flu-like cold.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Yesterday I did an audition with Penny Cook.

Don’t pretend you don’t know her.
Even if you’re not Australian and have never heard of A Country Practice, the show she starred in for my entire childhood and the only tv show my brothers and I were allowed to watch growing up.
It was on twice a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we were only allowed to watch one night. Which meant you either knew what was going on but not how it ended, or how it ended but not what was going on in the first place.

It was very frustrating.
But such were our parents’ rules and I intend to inflict similar annoyances on Miss Q.

But I digress.

I was telling you about auditioning with Penny Cook.
By with I really mean she must have been friends with someone on the panel and had a boring day lined up, so agreed to abandon her plans and come along and be the reader at the auditions for the upcoming Australian Production of Annie.

I thought our scene went really well. 
I played one character while Penny read the other 6. 
But when you’ve been the vet in A Country Practice you can do anything.

It’s funny, I used to audition in NYC and it really was life imitating art.
I was just like those people in A Chorus Line singing ‘I hope I get it.’

Who am I anyway?
Am I my resume?
That is a picture of a person I don't know.

What does he want from me?
What should I try to be?
So many faces all around, and here we go.
I need this job, oh God, I need this show.

But here I was in downtown Sydney and my sentiments couldn’t have been more different.
Now these people behind the long, imposing desk couldn’t have been less intimidating.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still got so nervous my usual tic appeared (an erratic shake to my left leg that can’t be disguised as keeping in time with the music) but this time I knew exactly who I was and who I was trying to be.
The stench of desperation had been washed from my body.

We’d already sung for them once the day before, this was the dance call. So we danced, then a few of us were asked to dance some more and this mama in her leotard and tights was one of those four. 
The choreographer set us a bit of a leggy number and then kindly asked us to stop kicking our face and keep our kicks to knee height instead.
She had already commented that she’d forgotten to bring her glasses, and I suspect this must have been where the confusion lay.
My leg was nowhere near my face.
Mama is way too old for that.

The show doesn’t go up until early 2012, by which time Miss Q will be over a year old and may have fired me as her primary source of food.

Call time for shows is an hour before curtain, which means I wouldn’t have to be there until 7pm each night. Which (now that Miss Q has gotten the hang of this sleeping gig) means she wouldn’t even know I was gone.
It’s the perfect gig.

I may not need this show (not like I needed it when I lived in NYC – to meet the dual purpose of refilling my bank account and my self-esteem) but I’d like it.

Oh boy would I like it.


It might be in a small one-bedroom apartment, but Miss Q is about to get her very own cot. I just don’t know if she’s going to like being behind bars. She’s a bit of a free spirit, I think it may stifle her.

She’s used to sleeping on a mattress by my side of the bed, propped up on one side by a beach towel so she doesn’t roll onto the floor (sounds ghetto, but at least it’s not a drawer) and moves into our bed for the 3am feed.

And there she stays, hogging the centre of the bed while Gregory and I cling to the edges, because somehow it seems better to have my arse hanging out getting chilly in the frosty winter air, than to stay awake while she tugs on my nipple (it’s amazing what I can now sleep through) and put her back on her mattress on the floor when she’s done.

I’ve decided to continue with the prison theme, and put her on a prisoner’s diet after I bought her a banana today for $2.12. She was having it mixed with porridge lovingly made for her by her grandad, but buggar that. Now she can have it plain.
If gruel was good enough for Oliver, it’s good enough for Q.

Tomorrow is move-in day (although I’ve not started packing so I’m not sure how that’s going to go). 

Tomorrow night she will be behind bars. 

We will see if the inmates rule... 
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