Sunday, April 24, 2011


Ah, don't we all know someone from our past or present with a nickname?  Well double the chance of that if you're a male. They seem to love em. Age seems to be a factor too, the younger you are the more people with nicknames you know. I knew plenty of people with nicknames when I was young, not any more. The only people with nicknames I know these days are through my husband or son. Then again, there are the affectionate (?) nicknames one gives to their children. With all these in mind I present some of the types of nicknames one might conceivably come across.
Children's nicknames : we've given our own a variety of bizarre nicknames over the years. For example my son. He copped Chucky (after the possessed doll in the movie, well he had the haircut and the name stuck). He got dork boy (don't ask me why, but he answered to it). He tried on a rap style nickname for a while in primary school (can't remember it, but it didn't stick after his friends moved away).
My husband sticks bear on the end of the younger girl's names, they seem to tolerate it. The oldest didn't seem to cop it too much.
Friend's nicknames: I got Faybian as a teenager and have been quite happy to carry it ever since. It's been good compared to some. For a time I had friends with some very interesting nicknames: Bam Bam (he in no way resembled the Flintstones character), knew a couple of Snakes, a Skull, Bowie the embarressing list goes on. I used to get foul looks from my mother if they ever rang up our home (these days they'd just call my mobile). I had a friend we used to call Delerious (Dolores), it said more about the state she was usually in than anything else. I also had a friend called Darky (he was a full blood aboriginal), he was quite happy with that. Also had a friend called Deaf John. Guess what, he was blind?? Not really, deaf of course. He used to love that I could sign (even if it was only alphabet). Mr 20 brought a kid over a few years ago (for the first time) who introduced himself as Abo as he held out his hand. I just cringed. He tried to insist on it, but we eventually settled on Chris. Why I was so insistent I don't know, I had a friend called Darky for crying out loud!
As adults the nicknames got minimally better. My husband was called Smiley (he smiles a lot, even if it's a forced grin). He says that you can say anything you like as long as you say it with a smile on your face. We had a friend we called the Terminator. He was built like a brick shit house. For a party trick he would say "I'll be back".  Of course there were the usual suspects which are below.
The usual suspects: surname as nickname (talk about imagination), sometimes with a Y chucked in for good measure. Eg; Smitty/Smithy. Adding the letter O to a name. Eg: Dicko, Tommo. Then there's just the inexplicable. Eg: Blue (for a red head, WTF?)
I'm sure there are others that people can contribute. Let me know

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Aaah yes, the dreaded lurgy. Gastro, the thought of it sends shivers down your spine doesn't it! Obviously we've had a bout of it recently. As a great start to the weekend I was up from 2am Saturday morning with it....repeatedly. To top it off my husband snored peacefully away the whole time. Really I should have "accidentally" kicked/bumped him. Needless to say, I've spent the interim recovering. Miss 10 has been off school with gastro and in a karmic payback, hubby has had a very mild bout of it. It has just brought to mind some legendary episodes in my life. They are
1. Date night at the movies: picture this, Sicily 1912 (no, actually Melbourne 1992). We saw the Unforgiven. About 5 minutes before the movie ended I had that horrid watery mouth that comes before the old heave ho. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of the row and I knew I wouldn't make it to the toilet in time. Picturing myself staggering, vomiting up the aisle, I did what any reasonable human would do; lifted the lid off my empty soft drink cup and delicately vomited in that. Lid on, in bin on the way out, no dramas, except for needing a bucket all night.
2. The sickie. We had friends staying (from Melbourne) with us Xmas 1998 and for new year's eve we decided to have a bbq. Seeing as I was rostered lates (2:15 - 10:45pm) despite a request to the contrary, yet again, I foolishly decided to ring in sick. As we were getting ready for the bbq I ate a woolies/coles salad. Yes... By 3:30pm I was feeling windy. By 4pm I had cramps. By 6pm I had vomited. By 8pm with the sound of other people enjoying themselves, I was stationed on the loo with a bucket in my hands. Oh, happy days. At 11:30pm (gotta admire my persistence/sheer bloody mindedness) I resurfaced and nursed a single drink miserably for about 2 hours and then just gave up and went back to bed. Still felt seedy when I called in the next day to an unbelieving manager. She changed her tune the following day when I turned up still fairly pale. Ha!
3. The cascade effect. One day (2005) I was at work when I started feeling rather sickly. My boss just happened to walk by about an hour before finishing time and I abruptly said I was going home. She took one look at me and wisely moved out my way. In those days I had a long (about 1 hr) drive back and forth to work. I roared in the driveway and basically ran into the house into the toilet to projectile vomit. I stayed in their and in my room until the next day. Fortunately hubby was home, so he got the kids ready for school, daycare, tafe etc. About 10am he got a call off miss 23 (then 17) to pick her up from tafe, as she'd tried to get a bus home feeling sick and had vomited behind the bus stop (almost funny). He put misses 10 and 7 (then 5 and 1) in the car and drove off to get her. On the way there miss 1 vomited all over herself and had to be taken home screaming and covered in vomit with miss 17 & 5. Miss 5 spewed on the lounge room carpet when they got back, miss 17 went to bed and miss 1 had to be cleaned up. Master 20 (then 14) came home from school and stumbled into the toilet to, you guessed it....wee. No, vomit of course. So there were buckets, vomit bowls and towels all around. Then hubby collapsed onto the couch. "Oh, I don't feel too well" he stated to the room in general and wondered why I looked at him in horror. So, of course, he too started vomiting, loudly, explosively, constantly. It went on for so long that at one awful stage he  started twitching and became non responsive to my increasing attempts at stimulous (bugger the sternal rub, I would have happily bludgeoned him just for some sort of response). I briefly considered calling an ambulance. All in all another happy day.
Happily, this one doesn't seem to be that bad, but I bet I'm not the only one with legendary stories of gastro am I???

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The military, grrr!!!!

What can I say. Mostly I try to keep this blog light hearted, with only a few serious posts, but this has just gotten me wild!
In case you've been living under a rock for the last week, a young cadet (female) had sex with a recruit who had set up a webcam from his computer and broadcasting it to six of his mates from the military academy, as well as sending around still photos. Apparently, it is not illegal to do this in Canberra, noice! So, of course, the males involved have not been charged and the female (Kate) has had her room defaced etc. She went to the media and has shone a spotlight on the whole ugly incident. Her support? She was told off by her commandant told her off and she was expected to apologize to her fellow cadets...apparently. The minister for the defense has since gotten involved, all sorts of media, even the PM has weighed in and Kate has finally been given stress leave and offered counseling.
Kate, you are such a brave, strong young woman. I admire your spirit and determination and hope you achieve some lasting change, whether in the ridiculous laws in the ACT (with regards to the filming of sexual acts and consent), or (dare to dream) attitudes or policies within the military in regards to sexual misconduct of cadets/recruits.
On a side note my oldest was accepted into the army at 18, but due to a medical condition she never ended up going, at the time I was happy enough, but now I'm extremely grateful.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

House fire

I really think my life is a bit (or a lot) like a soap opera sometimes. Really, we've had it all. I thought life would just get nice and boring well into my 30s and beyond. Ha! We had a fairly decent house fire about 6 years ago now. Our end of the house was completely gutted and much of the rest was smoke and water (from the fire hoses) damaged.the smell was horrendous fire has it's own peculiar smell, I guess just like after floods. Even now if I smell it, the memories come back.
The insurance rep was fntastic. We had been completely paid out within 3 months, enabling us to get on with just rebuilding our home and lives.
The bad side. I thought I was going mad, the stress was unbelievable and the heartache. My beloved cat misty died from smoke inhalation. Unbelievably I got sick of shopping. It's ok for a few things, but a whole house and contents?? Losing things that have sentimental value and you know can't be replaced is sad.
The good side. We saw just how kind people can be. All our stuff is relatively new. We made some new friends that had gone through the same thing a week before. We are still friends today.
It was one of those things that I'd always dreaded. I saw a show on tv as a kid showing how to survive various emergencies, one of them being a house fire. It gave me nightmares! With the number of bad things happening to me or mine that I've dreaded, I'm now scared to voice any of my fears, ever! Pity I can't stop thinking them, oh that's right, there's alcohol.

More surgery

If you've read my previous blogs you would know by now that I have a meningioma. Doctors feel compelled to tell me that 'it's the brain tumor to get if you're going to get one'. Gee thanks for that! Don't actually want mine. Others have told me 'a lot more people probably have them than know about them and they only got found if a post mittens done and usually it hasn't been the cause of death' also thanks.
Last year I had a 12 hour marathon day of surgery from which it took me months to recover. I was in hospital for 9 days post op and did a lot of sleeping and staring at the tv when I came home. I have a massive scar running from the bottom of my head to just above the front of my ear (nearly 50 staples). I couldn't drive for 3 months post finishing my anti epileptic meds (in hospital), even longer if I'd had a seizure. I had to see: a physiotherapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, neuro psychologist and I continue to have MRIs every 6 months at this stage and get reviewed by the skull base team at the PA hospital in Brisbane. I took nearly 6 months off work.
Unfortunately and apparently unusually, they left some in there (20%). it went from 5.8cm X 4cm to 2.4 X 1.3cm (roughly). I believe that I bled a lot and my blood pressure became too unstable for them to continue. So, unlike the others I have since encountered, I still have to keep worrying about this and face further treatment. The choices, none of which are particularly attractive, are more surgery or radio therapy/surgery.
I probably sound like I'm ungrateful. I'm not. I now appreciate that I'm still alive and can sit out in the sun, can finish raising miss 7 and miss 10, may live to see my older kids get married, graduate uni, have kids, buy their first homes etc and mostly that the tumor didn't get bad enough to paralyze me, or cause me to pass out and crash my car and that I live in a country where I got timely and free treatment. It's just unfinished business, that's all.
So, off we trotted to Sydney to see dr teo. I could feel my pulse jackhammering as I sat in the waiting room, even though I knew nothing bad would happen today. The verdict? " it's a simple case. We want to operate sooner rther than later, while you're still young and it's still small. Radiotherapy won't get rid of the adctual tumor, just stop it growing."
There was more, but the upshot was that in December I'll be trotting down to Sydney again to have keyhole surgery on my head again. Technology is amazing isn't it? We will make it a family affair and take the girls, do some touristy stuff first, then I'll get operated on and hubby and my parents can do the rest. I guess I won't start shitting myself until just before we have to go. Last year I had to take serapax for a few days pre op to calm myself down, lucky I've still got the bottle.