This happened.


So. We went out.

Shopping. At a shopping centre which one will not name.

As one does, one needed to use the facilities.

One entered the stall to find the following written on the back of the door –


Jesus Christ is Lord. God sent Jesus to die for you

This was disturbing to ones mind. As one sat and considered the meaning of life as one is wont to do when one is peeing, one wished that one of the ten commandments was one shalt not graffiti.

Then again, one knows that interpretation is everything when it comes to the Bible. One could likely twist any random bible quote to suit.

Having the internet presently at hand and not currently on the throne, one has found this random bible verse generator with which one is certain you will get a verse that taken at its core and broken down truly means one must spread the word of God all over the back of toilet cubicles with a purple Texta.

One got the one about thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wife, or his ass. One would have to work really hard to twist that one into it is fine to graffiti as long as it is the word of God and not the work of the devil, though one does not doubt there are religious nuts who can manage it.

Previous to completing ones tinkle, one remembered that one had a sharpie in ones handbag. One forgets why twas there. One is sure one had a good and decent reason and not criminal intent.

Obviously this did not end well.

One has never in ones lifetime done a graffiti but Jesus or whatever deity inspired one this time.

So, one wrote “God does not approve of your GRAFITI. You are going to HELL.”

You know what they say. Photos, or it didn’t happen.

Well, either because one was now a criminal and on the run, or just sheer lack of talent, ones photos of the end result are either blurry or with a huge flash in the middle. Here’s the best one could do with what one took while on the lam.



It happened, all right. One certainly cannot explain *how* it happened or how one suddenly chose to become a Not Good Person Who Writes On Things With A Sharpie at the ripe age of nearly 40. Something just grabbed one and made one do it.

One is inclined to blame this one squarely on Jesus. He made me see red, your honour. One does not wish to be tele-marketed to in large purple letters whilst on the throne. This interrupts ones happy and random toilet thoughts.

Jesus also made me mis-spell Graffiti, your honour.

One would normally have spell checked it on ones phone, but in the heat of the moment and all that, Snoskred committed crimes against spelling as well as crimes against toilet cubicle walls.

The moral of the story, I believe, is simple.

Do not carry a sharpie in your handbag.

Annoyed Snoskred, embarrassing stories

Halloween? I Don’t Think So! This Is Australia, Right?

I live in Australia. Contrary to popular belief, Australia does not = America. Halloween is not something that was ever celebrated in this country as I was growing up. It was a virtually unknown about holiday other than seeing it on US TV shows.

One day around this time last year, I was sitting at home waiting for my Mother to come and pick me up. The doorbell rang and expecting it to be her I answered the door. I was surprised to find several children who immediately said “Trick Or Treat. No, surprise doesn’t quite explain it. I was SHOCKED. So shocked that I had no idea what to do other than say “wait a minute” and I ran to see if we actually had any lollies in the house.

We are not big fans of lollies at all. There was nothing in the cupboard. Faced with the prospect of disappointing these kids, I looked in the fridge to see if maybe we had any chocolate. I found a bag of snack size chocolate treats that we kept winning in these chocolate machines – the skill tester ones? The other half loves those but neither of us eat the chocolate you find in there – they don’t put Lindt in for those of us who cannot stand the common “Cadbury” chocolates. There was probably $10 worth of chocolates in there and I figure we don’t eat it, I’ll give it to these kids.

It wasn’t until my Mother had picked me up and I was telling her the story that I realised – these kids didn’t have costumes on! They were just wearing normal clothes. I had been SCAMMED by trick or treaters who didn’t even bother to put effort into making a costume – and the same kids had got lollies out of my Mother too! You see how easy it is to get yourself scammed, people? ;)

It’s ok though, the other half told me later he thought the bag of chocolates I gave to these kids had been in the fridge for about a year, so.. Parents, do you know where YOUR children are or more importantly, the origin of the treats they might receive this Halloween? Hopefully they’re not ringing my doorbell – I won’t be answering it today.

embarrassing stories, scams

A Day Out, In More Ways Than One..

Recently The Other Half and I went to do some errands. It was the first day of his holidays and as usual when he goes on holidays, he gets a cold or flu. So he wasn’t feeling 100% but well enough to do a few chores.

First we went to a hardware store because they had sent us a catalog with cheap pots and many of our plants needed re-potting. Of course when we arrived there none of the cheap pots were anywhere to be seen. This is country law – send out a catalog, but make sure you don’t have what is in the catalog. It generally turns up a couple of weeks later.

Then we went to the bank to deposit our bond check from the old house. The Other Half still used his credit union from Adelaide – which usually means an hour long drive to bank a check because there is no branch here. This time we had been told we should be able to bank it at the National bank. And we should have been able to, but of course when we got there we were told we could not.

We ended up dropping into St George to see how hard it would be to open an account – it was simple and we both ended up with one. And the scammers had been asking me to open an account with them for a while. Of course I won’t be telling them I’ve done it because rule number one of scambaiting is – never do what your scammer asks you to do.

Next up was my favourite store – the animal feed store. They have our kitty litter cheap and in bulk. They also have bonsai, feed for every kind of animal you can imagine, plants, and now organic foods. I could spend three hours in there no problem, just looking at everything. Not today, we got the kitty litter and some pest spray for our plants and we were off.

We decided to go to the up-market garden centre – which is actually cheaper than Bunnings just quietly but they don’t want to tell anyone that. Lets keep good value things a secret, ya’all. We ended up spending over $100 there on pots, some herb plants – and I got me a Tahitian Lime Tree! YAY!

Then we stopped at the Motor Registration to change our address. By this time we had been out for four hours. Just before we walked in the door, The Other Half looked at me and said “Your shirt is on inside out.” I said “Why didn’t you tell me before?” He said “I thought it might have been one of those shirts which was meant to be inside out, but just now I spotted the tag.” So then I had to sit in the motor rego with my shirt inside out while we waited to be served and he laughed at me the whole time while I told him he’s going to hell, and that I was going to stab him while he was sleeping! :)

The wait was made worse because I had some time to remember how many places I had been with my shirt inside out during the day. This represents a worrying trend – I am embarrassed to admit that I often wear my underwear inside out. This is generally due to me not wearing my glasses when putting them on. I know why this happened – I ironed this t-shirt inside out and I didn’t fix it before putting it on the hanger.

At least I was wearing clothes, I guess. Now that I am hopeful he *would* notice, if I went out with nothing on!

Just so you know, tomorrow is probably the Big Day of changing to WordPress. I’m looking forward to it, I hope you all are.. ;)

embarrassing stories, The Other Half

Goodbye To A Good Thing.

There was a day in May, 2005 when I simply could not get out of bed.

I thought everything was fine in my life. I had a great job, one of the highest paying jobs I’d ever had. I got that job after I was treated very badly at a previous job. That’s a story in itself. The bottom line was, without knowing it I was very depressed and also without knowing it, I was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. That’s what my psychologist diagnosed, several months later when I finally managed to get some help for myself.

The day after the day I could not get out of bed, I found I could not get out of bed again. This went on for three weeks, until I finally had to admit I couldn’t go to work anymore. I resigned, and the dark hole I know as depression sucked me back in for the second time in my life. It is painful to think about that time, and it is painful to think about how I dealt with it.

I needed something to make me feel good about myself. I looked for reassurance in the wrong places. It was a huge mistake. It went on for several months like a roller coaster, until finally I hit rock bottom. I made up my mind. I was going to complete the one task I had to do, and then I was going to return home and take my own life. Whoa, that is hard to admit to you guys.

Please note, I am fine right now. ;) Though I am well aware that I could find myself back there again in the future I am better equipped to deal with it now, and I would seek help rather than keep it to myself in the future.

How it is that I am sitting here now? A very good online friend of mine from Ireland who knew what I was going through and what I intended to do had the guts to call my family and ask them to get me some help. My family was shocked and I don’t think they believed how bad it was, because on the surface I seemed to be functioning fine. I was just keeping up appearances – and there might be someone around you right now who is doing exactly that.

After that happened, I got help. I started seeing a psychologist often at first, then dropping back to once a week. Another good friend of mine saw that I was in trouble, and thought that asking me to help with a project might be a good way to drag myself out of the hole I was in. He asked me to help out with an internet website, and I threw myself into it, heart and soul.

Honestly, that person literally saved my life at the time – though they did not know it – by giving me something outside of myself that I could concentrate on. I firmly believe that, and though they won’t like me saying it, I credit them with saving my life.

Looking back on it now, this was not a wise idea for me. I needed to take care of myself before I took care of anyone else or anything else. It was easy to bury my own problems and issues in order to worry about the problems and issues of a new website. I wasn’t well. I should have said no but it was something I believed in and something I wanted to be involved in. So I said yes, and got to work.

My life started to improve and one thing that helped greatly was The Other Half and I making the decision to move interstate. We had been stuck in a rut for a long time and we needed to shake things up. We began to look forward to that. The new website had been launched and was a big success but I needed to take some time for me and moving, and so I tried to get other people to fill the hole I would leave while I did that. Unfortunately people felt I was being pushy – well of course I was, there was a lot of work to be done and I knew I could not do it, so I had to ask other people to make a commitment to doing it.

It is infinitely easier to do something yourself rather than ask other people to do something. If I could have done it all myself I would have. Simply because to ask someone – can you do this by this date – and then watch them NOT do it, and then have to ask them if they are going to do it and if so, when will they have it done by is one of the most difficult things to do. I sucked at it.

I won’t lie to ya’all. There were a couple of times I honestly went way over the top in how I reacted to people not doing things they had promised to do. It would be easy to say – it wasn’t me, I was sick – but that isn’t the truth. I have to own my part in this. I have to take responsibility for what happened. I was at fault.

It *was* me – me under a lot of stress and pressure, me in the middle of a move interstate which I had never done before, and me not in the most mentally healthy place. Me also – who in early December right in the middle of all this stress and pressure – got kicked off a website I was a huge part of. Me who was trying to deal with that on top of everything else. I did not have the tools to deal with things in an appropriate way.

So I was told by my life-saving friend – go and move, we’ll deal with everything, when you come back everything will be fine – and I trusted and believed them, and did as I was told. However when I did return, nothing was fine. I soon found myself kicked off that site as well, none of the people I thought were my friends would talk to me, including my life-saving friend.

In fact many people had changed their contact information so I couldn’t even get in touch to ask – what happened? I couldn’t see what happened. Once I’d moved didn’t have a new psychologist I could see right away, I had to wait, so I couldn’t talk about what happened to someone who knew the situation like my old psychologist did. It was too fresh, too open a wound for me to see it with any clarity at all. I could only see that I was bleeding and in pain. It was only later that I was able to see my faults.

I was hurt, upset, angry, confused, so many things. It set me back quite a bit as far as getting better was concerned. I said some things out of hurt and anger which only made the situation worse. Then one friend said to me – forget all that stuff. Focus on scam-baiting. You’re good at it. I took that advice and ran with it. I got involved in a few baiting projects and this time I wasn’t so pushy. I didn’t ask anyone to do anything, if I couldn’t do it myself it did not get done.

Time passed. A lot of time. I got over it, got better, got plenty of therapy, got healthy again. I thought other people had built the bridge and walked over it but they had not, and they kept proving it to me by writing some very hurtful things to me that had nothing to do with what was being discussed. When they wrote their words were designed to wound, to hurt. However it didn’t wound or hurt me because in the wounded place I had a healthy scar.

It seemed to me that a lot of people were stuck back in January 2006 and instead of becoming less angry with me as time went by, they became more angry with me. It also seemed that some people were taking delight in playing people off against each other. They would tell me something that someone else said, which I would later find out that person didn’t say – and vice versa. Only nobody ever came to me and asked me – did you say this? They just assumed it was the truth.

I became the person who caused all the problems. Anytime something went wrong, the blame was put on me though most of the time I wasn’t involved in any way! At first I tried to fight it, defend myself, but after a while I realised there was nothing I could do about it. I just let it go over my head and I kept baiting.

Other friends of mine were upset by it, and many of them walked away from the websites where it happened as a result. They kept telling me – leave, you don’t need that kind of stuff in your life. But I hung in there, hoping that by showing these people I was not angry at them, that I didn’t hold a grudge, that I had built the bridge.. maybe one day they would forgive me for my past mistakes and accept me as a useful member of the community. After all, I never killed anyone, right? Everyone makes mistakes, right? Surely people would get over it in time.

Early this week something happened that I did not agree with, and I said so. The amount of anger that came to me as a result of expressing my opinion totally shocked me. It should not have shocked me because it had happened so many times before, but each time I was naive enough to think “It will be different this time – more time has passed, surely they have got over it by now, surely they can see that it is not them personally I have a problem with but their actions”.

It was then that I decided the only way these people I once loved so dearly (yes, loved, though I never told them so) were ever going to get over this was by me removing myself from the equation. So earlier this week I said goodbye to a website I believed in and loved as much as I would have loved a site I owned myself – a site I had promoted, driven traffic to, and a site where I wanted very much to be an active part of the community. I will not deny I shed tears over it. I asked them to close my account, and they did so.

It was not an easy decision to make, but I had to do it because I couldn’t stand to see the people I once respected so angry at me. Still, after all this time. And if any of the people from that site are reading this now, I just want to say – I’m sorry. I hope my leaving means you can heal that anger and hurt that clearly I caused you to feel. I hope one day you can see that I cared about you and I miss you, my once-good friends. I wish you all the best but most of all I wish you peace. I wish that you will take that anger and throw it away, rather than transferring it to the next person who makes a mistake.

I remember the good times, not the bad. It was a good thing for a while there. I have forgotten every unpleasant thing ever said to me, and I forgave the people saying those unpleasant things a long time ago.. As it says in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – “But in such cases as these, a good memory is unpardonable. This is the last time I shall ever remember it myself.” – And this is the last time I will mention it here on the blog. The book is closed, and I won’t open it again.

I’m not the same person I was two years ago. In fact it is almost the exact anniversary of when I made my decision to take my own life. I am so glad now that I did not, and that is one reason I have written this, as difficult as it was – because if there is anyone out there having those thoughts I want you to know that help is out there, you only have to ask for it. And it does get better. Honestly, it does. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

It is time for me to move forward. I’ve put the depression firmly behind me now and I know the warning signs to look out for so I don’t go back there again. It is time to look to the future, and I do that with open arms and an open heart.

It is time to focus on the good things I have in my life, and there are so many of them – including all of you who read this blog. I thank you for being here, it means a lot to me.

It is also time to begin the work to move this blog to WordPress. I have put aside next week for learning to use it, basically a week of WordPress training. Hopefully within two weeks I will have made the switch, but I’ll let you all know more about that as the time gets nearer.

embarrassing stories, people talking about you, scambaiting

My Fears Come Back To Me As A Surprise.

Last week when I wanted to go to the beach I had a car to get there. I’ve given the car back now and this means in order to get to the beach, I have to walk 1.2kms along a couple of roads. I would have absolutely no problem doing this if I did not have a major fear of dogs.

I have this fear for a very good reason – I have been bitten twice already, and one of those was a major mauling that left me on crutches for a week. Yet people seem to think it is fine to let their dogs wander around without a leash or even without an owner present at all. They trust their dogs. I do not, and I do not think they should either.

If you have a fear of dogs, that can be enough right there to encourage them to bite you. No matter how wonderful Fluffy might be to your kids, your family and other animals on Fluffy’s own territory, when a dog is out on their own in the world, Fluffy can turn into a growling, snarling, biting beast in the right circumstances. If they feel threatened.

The first attack was so traumatizing and terrible that I still have trouble thinking about it – and you may have trouble reading about it. I apologise for that in advance, but let me write it and get it out, I’ll feel better.

I was 16 years old. I had a friend (yes, he was only a friend) who needed to drop back home and grab a couple of videos to return to the video shop before we went out somewhere. When he opened the front door the dog came running to me and I said to the dog “Hello, are you going to be nice to me today?” My friend said “No, he is not” right before the dog grabbed my thigh with his teeth.

He was a huge dog, well over a metre tall, a cross between a Labrador and German Shepherd. He knocked me to the ground and then he began attacking my left calf. I have to say I didn’t truly understand what was going on, I couldn’t feel any pain at all and I guess I was in shock.

My friend had the dog by the tail and was trying to pull him off, but the dog was far too strong. He told me to kick the dog with my other foot to help him get the dog away from me and I did what he asked, kicking the dog as hard as I could. The dog let go of that leg and proceeded to grab the ankle of the other leg.

Now it became a tug of war – my friend had the dog by the tail, I was trying to scrabble backwards away from the dog. You can see in the scars where the dogs teeth were, and where trying to get the dog off me only resulted in tearing the skin and making the bite marks worse.

After what seemed like forever, my friend managed to pull the dog away from me, and told me to get outside fast because he did not know if he could hold onto the dog. Stunned by the attack, I went outside and sat down on a wall. I was completely dazed but I could feel something cold in my shoe and something made me take the shoe off. I was once wearing white socks and I was shocked to see they were now a different color. I honestly could not believe I was bleeding because I felt no pain at all.

I could hear my friend yelling at the dog, and then I saw him get a rope and tie up the dogs mouth so the dog couldn’t open it. My friend came out with the videos and said “Let’s take these back”. Can you believe that? Seriously? He had just seen his dog attack me.

I said “No, I think you better take me to the hospital, because look at this” and I showed him my foot. We got in the car and all the way to the hospital he tried to convince me his dog was not dangerous and I should not say what happened or how I got the wounds. He knew something I did not know – his dog had attacked before.

When I got to the hospital I was starting to feel some pain. I hadn’t looked anywhere else for wounds. I only knew my foot was bleeding and I was too scared to take the sock off and see the wounds. I couldn’t put my shoe back on because my foot had begun to swell. They took me straight in when they saw my foot – leaving my friend outside – and asked me what happened. I told them the truth – a dog attacked me, but we all thought it was just my foot.

They had me on a bed and were looking at my foot (I couldn’t look) and then they wanted to cut my jeans but I didn’t want them to, so they asked me to get up and take the pants off – when I got up we saw a huge amount of blood left on the bed where my calf had been and then I began to freak out and asked them to call my parents. I could not look at my legs. The nurse began to clean the wounds and that is when the pain came to me as a surprise. I asked her to give me something for the pain and then let that kick in before she went back to cleaning the wound.

They gave me a shot of morphine. Now I understand what all the fuss is about with that drug. It was totally wonderful. They took me for x-rays and they’d given me a bunch of magazines which, my mother tells me, I tried to give out to all the other patients waiting for x-rays. I do not remember it. In fact I don’t remember anything after they gave me that shot.

The next day I woke up in a world of pain. This had happened on a Friday so I had the weekend to recover, because my mother thought I should go to school on Monday. She was obsessed with not missing a day of school. The trouble was, I could not walk. The hospital had sent crutches home and I needed them but the trouble was, both legs were injured. I had to pick the least painful one to walk on. That was the leg with the injured calf because the ankle was less damaged but a lot more painful. Walking on it caused the puncture wounds to re-open themselves. My scars are a lot worse because I couldn’t miss a week of school. ;(

I had not seen the wounds due to the morphine shot but the police arrived to take photographs and a police report on Saturday – the hospital had reported the attack. So Mum took the bandages off and I was horrified at what I saw. My left calf had four large holes in it. My right ankle was twice the size it should have been, and there were long scars around it. I had a large puncture hole in my right foot and a large puncture hole in my right thigh, where the dog first bit me. My shoes which were leather Dr Martens had a big hole in them, my jeans had a lot of holes in them.

I had to fight my friend’s family for months to get that dog put down. I did it because I knew there were a lot of little kids who lived in the street this dog lived in, and also just a short walk away there were many elderly people living in a retirement village and nursing home.

My friend left long, sad messages begging me not to have his beloved pet murdered. His mother left nasty, threatening messages which I also gave to the police. That woman was a real piece of work, threatening a 16 year old who had been attacked by her dog!

I did not have to fight the council – they agreed that the dog should be put down because it was very dangerous and had attacked two other people – and one other dog – previously. Usually with the council it is a three strikes and you’re out policy.

When I found out one of the previously attacked people was an elderly person from that retirement village, and the other was a young girl who was in her own yard bouncing on a trampoline and the dog got in there and attacked her, I knew I had to fight to have that dog put down.

Even worse, I now discovered I had a real fear of dogs. People gave me all kinds of stupid advice – for example, if a dog is attacking you grab its front legs and pull them outwards, it will kill the dog. I just did not want to go near any of them. I would not visit friends who had dogs.

If I saw someone walking a dog when I was out, I would turn and go the other way. If someone walked a dog without a leash and the dog approached me, I would be terrified. Dogs can tell. They can pick that up – and that alone can make them attack you.

If they are on their property and someone they do not know is walking (or cycling) past, they can take off like a rocket and attack them. That’s what happened to me on the second attack. A dog who had not previously hurt anyone did not like bicycles, and I was delivering mail for the post office – on a bicycle.

When I saw that dog – a blue heeler cross kelpie – running towards me barking, I decided I didn’t want to stick around and find out what it wanted. It chased me and bit me, I’m embarrassed to admit, on the butt, it then retreated a little and was barking and growling. My bike and I fell over, and I started picking up mail and throwing it at the dog to keep it away from me.

The owners arrived, grabbed their dog and apologised deeply. They took the dog inside and then told me to go inside while they called the post office to collect me. As I walked in the dog had somehow got out from where they put it and it ran towards me barking. I opened the first available door and it was a bedroom – I ran in there and jumped on the bed.

Had that dog attacked me, I was now ready to attack it right back, I was terrified but also furious. The owners retrieved their dog and locked it away. The post office was called, I was picked up and taken to the hospital for more wound cleaning and more shots. I never went back to work for the post office again. I was just too scared.

So this left me in a place where I could not be around dogs at all, for quite a while. Then some good friends of mine had a huge big dog that scared me just to look at it, but he was such a puppydog. If you approached him he would lay down and wait for you to rub his belly. He was also a lap dog and if he liked you he would sit on you. I loved that dog but was still fearful of other dogs.

I still find it difficult today when dogs I don’t know are wandering around off the leash. It is not fair when people do that. The first thing they will say to you when their strange dog who you have never met before walks up to you is always “Don’t worry about him/her, he/she won’t bite you.”

How about they give a seconds thought to worrying about me and how I might feel? How about they give a seconds thought to what would happen if their dog did actually attack someone? How about they be a responsible pet owner and put their dog on a leash? It is possible for your dog to attack someone. It can happen. It does happen.

So I have thought of ways I could protect myself in case a dog did venture too close and there is no owner to be seen but so far I have not been able to think of anything other than getting a gun, or mace, or something loony like that. I mean I would probably hurt myself more with a gun than a dog ever could hurt me, and I would not be comfortable owning one or learning to shoot.

It is insane that I have to sit here and try to come up with a way to protect myself, just in case. But I won’t feel good about walking or cycling near houses until I have an action plan for this, I think.

I am less scared of snakes than I am of dogs. That is mainly because I know they’re not going to attack me unless provoked and I have a plan of how to deal with finding one when out on a walk.

Any ideas? Other than pulling the dogs legs apart which causes bones to break and pierce their heart, I mean. Cos I don’t think that is true at all and I don’t want to be in a position where I have to find out..

Angry Snoskred, embarrassing stories

Snoskred finally gives in and puts a photo of herself here.

Did you know there’s actually a photo of me in that header graphic? I think a couple of readers might have guessed it because my crazy egg shows people clicking on that plane photo up the top there. I’m going to show you a bigger version today – in essence a picture of me, but it’s from the back, and it would be very difficult to recognise me from it and there is two of us in the photo, so.. I am feeling ok about it.. The Red Wunala Dreaming was taxi-ing down to the take off point in front of us.


While we were there on the beach, the big specially painted blue Qantas plane known as Nalanji Dreaming landed. This was such a huge thrill for me and my friend, we had no idea it was going to happen and no idea the two planes would be in the same spot at once. Also, two of the Customs dogs were being taken for a walk and a swim at the end of their work day – they were beautiful and happy to be there.


You can read more about the Qantas Flying Art here. The Red plane is known as Wunala Dreaming and the Blue plane is known as Nalanji Dreaming.


It is no easy feat to paint a 747 in a special color scheme like this. The result is incredibly moving when you see it in person.

embarrassing stories

The Worst Year At School

When I was 9 years old, I was very excited about the next school year. Two weeks before school starts they would put up the lists of which kid was in which class. There was a teacher who I adored and I had been assigned to his class. For the next two weeks, I was floating in a happy daydream of the school year ahead of me.

On the first day of (Grade) Year 5, I was nervous and excited and I had butterflies. These had settled down somewhat by 10:30am, which was recess time. I happily headed out to play, not knowing what unpleasantness was looming like gathering storm clouds.

When I returned to the classroom, the headmaster was in our room and he said “I need these 5 students to follow me to my office”. My name was one of the 5. Not knowing what was going on, I was very surprised to find my Mother waiting in the office, with 4 other parents. We were told as a group that the Sunney Twins had enrolled late – on the first day of school, and this meant they had to do some shuffling of classes.

The five of us were considered the most “brainy” in the class, so they wanted to bump us up to make a Year 5/6 class. The tears began not long after this – for all five of us. None of us wanted to change classes but our parents were then told – in front of us – that if we refused to change classes we would be expelled from the school as they would be unable to fit us in as students.

Even worse, we would be made to do homework – Year 5 was the last year of freedom in this country back then, Year 6 was when they started sending work home after school. This made me fall to a crying lump on the floor and not long after that I was utterly hysterical.

The headmaster was not impressed or sympathetic, and he said we had to go to our new classroom now. The parents told him to wait until the kids had time to get used to the idea, or even let them take us home and start fresh tomorrow but he was stony faced and said no. All five of us were still in tears.

I do not recall anything about leaving the office but I do remember right in front of my new classroom there was a fence. When I got near it, I grabbed on to it for dear life and refused to move any further, crying, screaming. When the headmaster came over to dislodge me from the fence, I kicked him square in the face. Yes, you read it right, ladies and gentlemen. I kicked the headmaster in front of all my new classmates. This I did not live down.

The girls in the new class were pure evil. Beeyotches of the highest order. I hated all of them – and they hated me equally as much. I only had one friend in that class, my Chinese best friend Ellen. We tolerated the other three only because we were forced to stick together – they were boys and therefore not the kind of people we hung around with. Everyone else was an enemy.

Even the kids I used to be friends with became distant – we tried to play with them at recess and lunchtime but they were talking about things that happened in their class and we were not included in that – we had not been there. The frames of reference were completely different.

Homework was an enemy too. I refused to do it at all. When the teacher gave me homework assignments, I would scribble all over the page as soon as she gave it to me, grade it myself with a fail mark and hand it back to her with a smirk.

Mother was called in many times to discuss this, and she was enlisted in the war to make me do homework – so she soon became an enemy as well. I felt she should have told them I wasn’t going to do it and they should not expect any of us year 5’s to do it when nobody else in the other Year 5 class had to do it.

I remember many nights where she made me sit in my room until I finished my homework. I never did any of it. Not once. I would just sit there and scribble holes into the page. I was so angry. With her, with the school, with the beeyotches, with the inferior teacher I hated, with everything. I believe now this is the point at which I just gave up on caring about success or good grades – I hated everything about school. The only thing I liked was reading and the minute my Mother would leave the room, I would open a book and escape.

Mother said to me years later that she felt she should have taken me out of that school that day – I wish she had – but she didn’t know what was the right thing to do. The results caused long lasting effects in my school life, my relationship with her as a parent and my personal life. My grades went downhill and never recovered. I became angry with being smart, and decided I would simply refuse to be smart. I ignored maths completely because that was supposed to be a smart subject – and four years later in Year 9 I failed maths because I never had that solid grounding in the subject.

I was one of the brightest kids in that school but I decided to become unbright. You know what they say about use it or lose it? I lost a lot of my skills in various areas. Art was another one. Sport was when the year 6 kids got to push us around and beat us up without getting into trouble and they took great delight in it so I found excuses not to play. I began to put on weight as a result of this – and the long nights spent refusing to do homework when I should have been out playing with all the other kids my age.

The next year, I thought we would be placed back in our normal years – but no. They put us in a split 7/6 class – the five of us who clung together like rats on a sinking ship, and the same people I’d hated for the last year. This caused already shaky friendships to become non-existant with the students of our year level – so the following year when we were all in the same class, the five of us were outcasts, ignored, and teased.

This post has been a Hump Day Hmmm post. Feel free to join in the Hump Day Hmmm anytime!

bitches, embarrassing stories, family, growing up

Like A Rat In A Trap..

While we’re all getting naked here, or at least I seem to have been, I feel there is something I need to mention. Telling you this is not something I ever intended to do.. but I think I should be honest with you now..

I don’t sleep like normal people.

There. I said it. Now we can all move on, right? Err, probably not. What does that statement – I don’t sleep like normal people – mean? How did it happen? Is something the matter with me? I’ve asked myself that many times but never found an answer other than it is possible that I am actually a vampire, without all the teeth and blood sucking stuff. I prefer the night time. I function better at night time. To try and stay on a schedule which involves getting up at 7:30am and going off to work has always been a nightmare for me.

I have been struggling with this situation like a rat in a trap, for years now. I ask myself when am I going to stop struggling, and just accept? It’s not like I am working right now. I have no reason to keep banging my head on this particular wall, other than the disapproval from my Mother. Which there is a LOT of.

Being on the night time schedule actually works out ok for The Other Half and I. I’m awake (or waking up) when he gets home from work. I’m awake when he gets up in the morning. I go to sleep when he leaves. I sleep while he’s at work. It also works out ok as far as the Internet is concerned.

I sometimes seem to function best on a up for 16-18 hours then sleep for 7-12 hours. Right now I’m apparently stuck on a 12 hours awake then my batteries run out and I sleep for 12 hours, and the 12 hours I am awake seem to be the daylight hours. It is almost as if the daylight sucks more power from my batteries like some rabid power tool.

Wednesday and Thursday morning this week, at 5am my brain woke up. When my brain wakes up, it is like a marching band just turned up in the bedroom. Going back to sleep is impossible. I could lie there and toss and turn but I’d only wake The Other Half up. So I get up, quietly put together some warm clothes, sneak out of the bedroom as quietly as I can, turn on the coffee machine, turn on the computer.

When I am on the night-time schedule, this could happen anytime between 4-6pm. I might not wake up till the other half actually gets home from work. On Saturday nights we go to dinner and I may have only been awake for an hour. I never tell my Mother because if I did she would go all berserk and stuff. I just pretend like I’ve been awake all day, and this meal I am eating is not breakfast for me.

This week I am worried I might not even make it to dinner time. I have to try and stay up longer today just so I can go to dinner tomorrow and then my batteries can run out after I get back.

This is yet another reason I do not want to bring people under the age of 18 into my life. Well, it’s not exactly normal, this vampire-esque lifestyle I prefer.

I’m looking forward to the day I can simply say – that’s the way it is – and stop fighting it. I hope that day comes soon, but only I can say that to myself. The Other Half and I have already talked about it and we’re agreed that I should stop fighting it.

In other news, I heard that my Dad’s new car has arrived and he should be picking it up today. I wish I could share pictures of it with you my blog friends but the paint job is pretty distinctive, a bit too recognizable.

I might have a bit of an arty day today, considering I am now back to only one West Wing episode a day.

embarrassing stories

Accident of birth – the SCARY country.

Inspired by this post by Julie Pippert and also the Wednesday Hump Day Hmmm thingy she’s got going on, I am now going to tell you about my fear of snakes.

I live in Australia. It’s a nice place, but look at it from the point of view of a parent with a child they want to protect. In the sea, we have great white sharks, the blue ringed octopus, stingrays, many things which can kill you. On land, we have several extremely poisonous spiders, and many of the most venomous snakes in the world.

I remember only once putting more than a toe in the sea before the age of eight – I went in up to my knees, but not for long. When I was eight I saw the movie Jaws, much of the footage of sharks was filmed where I lived, in the ocean I could swim in! So you can bet, I never went NEAR the sea for a long, long time.

And now an embarrassing story I’d love to forget but my Mum loves to tell it to everyone. When I was 2, I was making very good progress with toilet training. I also was a sneaky little child who liked to be put to bed and then sneak back out to watch more tv. My parents were watching a comedy show called “The Paul Hogan Show” – containing the Paul Hogan – and there was this skit where a snake flew up out of a toilet and bit someone. I refused to go near the toilet for the next six months. In fact I would not walk past if the toilet door was open. This set the stage for me to grow a very healthy fear of snakes.

As I grew up I never encountered a snake myself, other than at the zoo from time to time, and then it was only to scream at it. There was once a red bellied black snake in our street, but one of the ladies who saw it went and got their car and then ran over it until it was dead. The canteen lady had a red bellied black snake on her doorstep, she called in a snake catcher. I heard stories but never SAW one, even so my fear never went away, and it stopped me from doing a lot of fun things like bush walking. I was too scared to go near anything that resembled nature.

I think all parents in Australia make a choice at some point between scaring their kids so much they will keep away from our dangerous creatures, and teaching them to have a healthy respect for them. I think one of the major factors in this choice is whether *they* are scared of them, or have a healthy respect for them. There were kids in my class whose parents kept snakes, and taught them all about snakes. If I could choose one way or the other, it would never be to make a child fear something, because fear is not an easy thing to get rid of.

So how did it happen that I now have a deep love for reptiles? How can you take such a fear, and change it to adoration and fascination? Education, knowledge, love and time my friends. That, and a partner who grew up in the country and knows all about snakes, an interest in photography, a zoo membership, Steve Irwin (and the snakes all seemed to want to get away from him), the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, and one very wonderful reptile keeper who I am sure was terrified of me at first because of my enthusiasm. But he loved cameras, and he often invited us photographers to get special shots or he would set them up for us. He and the other half would talk cameras while I would watch snakes.

It all began with the zoo membership. It was just over one hundred dollars and we both could go to the zoo anytime we liked without having to pay. We started going every weekend, sometimes both days, to walk around. The grounds were gorgeous, and we began to make friends with the animals. I was still a little scared to go into the reptile house, but the other half talked me into it one day, and I walked inside to find one of the most beautiful snakes I have ever encountered.


He’s a green tree snake. That picture there is one of the *very* rare times he ever sat still. Each snake does have their own personality and this guy was so endearing and so cute.. I really fell in love. I could stand in front of his enclosure for hours at a time with a daffy looking grin on my face.


His enclosure was supposed to have a waterfall and a pond in it, but the pond had sprung a leak and it hadn’t been fixed yet, so he would swim little loops in his water bowl.

So as I’ve mentioned before here on the blog, in the life of a zoo volunteer there are days when you get to the enclosures of the animals you love to find them empty. One day I arrived to find a different tree snake in the enclosure. Completely different color, different personality. I bit my lip hard trying not to burst into tears (and I’m doing the same now writing this) and went to find the reptile keeper to ask what had happened, I was certain he was going to tell me my favourite snake was dead.

So I found him and he could tell by looking at me, I didn’t even have to ask. He said “No, your snake is fine, another reptile park had a female the same color and we wanted to mate them, so I sent him off there”. I still miss my favourite snake more than I can tell you, but I soon fell in love with the Forest Cobra because one day he did the Cobra dance for me, and the Taipans became my good friends, and I lost my heart once again to the Taiwan Beauty Snake at Mogo Zoo.

I could tell you many facts about snakes. I could go on for days. I have books. I have information. I have knowledge. I can tell you about each kind of snake. I can tell you about the snakes I have seen and where I have seen them and what I thought of them. I can tell you about the snakes I have held and touched. I held an alligator – what a moment that was for me! The reptile house is now one of the FIRST places we go when we get to a zoo. I have seen snakes in the wild now and not been terrified. I would still be scared if they got into the house, because I once lost a cat to a snake bite years ago, but I would know what to *do*.

What it really boiled down to, what stopped the fear was learning –

– Snakes would do anything rather than bite you. They’re only going to bite you if they feel so threatened that they have no other choice, or if you accidentally step on them, or if they are in the process of shedding their skin and they can’t see as well as usual.

– Most snakes have a limited amount of venom and they would much rather use it on their next dinner than a human.

– If you give them a chance, snakes will avoid you. Stomp your feet, walk noisily and they will go to find a hiding place.

– If you do encounter one, stand still and let them go their own way. They want to get away from you – watch the Crocodile Hunter, you’ll see what I mean. ;)

I am still scared of spiders, but I am learning more about them.. it’s only a matter of time. ;) I recommend you check out how much membership to your local zoo would be and if you can afford it, get it. I miss my zoo time now that we’re too far from a zoo to go every weekend.

embarrassing stories, Hump Day Hmmm, zoo