my mum – superwoman in a cocktail dress

My mother is superwoman in a cocktail dress. Or at least that’s what my Chinese astrology book says, the one that I pull out at barbecues to make everyone groan. People may scoff but I think there’s a certain amount of truth to the little paragraphs in those pages, the tiny soundbites of peoples’ projected…

our house

My childhood home still seems such a huge part of my life. It has already shaped so many of my memories and I think in some small way it will stay with me forever, endless and omnipresent. We lived in the same house my whole life, a big red one on a hill, just like…

the shearing shed

Last night I dreamed about our old shearing shed.  I sat on the ledge of a pen, peaceful and watching, my hands resting on the splintered planks beneath me. All was quiet and lazy in the afternoon. It was not a shearing day but later, weeks after the last tufts of wool had been swept…

white rocks

When I was younger I did something bad. I think about it now and my stomach still swoops, clenched with guilt and embarrassment. I remember the rasp of the pencil against the rock, the satisfying shock of a dark line against the shell white of the virgin stone. Then I remember the way it wouldn’t…

the calm after the storm

We wait. Some patiently, some not so. The lights are dim, the conversation muted compared to a night full of dining chatter, Spanish yells and bell ringing.

cold appraisal

I can’t understand it. Is there love there? Through those aggressive stares and that aloof, cold appraisal, is there any true affection, other than that of a slightly amused, condescending uncle? Any respect, or trust? She smiles and shrugs, conveying nonchalance, unaffected by his tantrums. Is it real? Surely they must affect her on some…

palpable atmosphere

I can feel the thumping bass beating through my body. My eyes are wide, trying to take in every detail. The lights flicker, and above the crushing crowd the air is thick with fake smoke and the rising body heat. The bodies move in a hypnotic rhythm to the deafening beat, mouths open and eyes…

a chat with Gran

I’m just waiting for my eggs to boil. Eight minutes, rapid boiling mind, as I want them for my lunch tomorrow. Did I tell you about tomorrow? I’m sure I did, you must have forgotten. The Probus group are all going out to Matamata for Shirley Henderson’s roses. Beautiful white ones she has, I’ve never…

something heavy

I know how it feels. I remember it. I remember laying awake all night, my cell phone beside the bed, poised for an alert, for the physiological reaction my body would give to that jolting metallic tone when it finally came. It never came. I remember laying there, the tears seeping from my eyes, steadily…

hip hip hip hippopotamus

As I step over the threshold my breathing is amplified, my footsteps reverberate loudly off each wall. The air becomes dark and cool, the huge, tall paintings glowering down at me, towering over the stone floors. The scenes depicted are graphically violent, as expected here. I take a tentative step up to look at the…