AND THE REST

So why, I hear none of you cry, has it been so long, and why, none of you echo, have my messages been so damn depressed-sounding lately?

Three weeks ago, I fell ill. No idea why, really, but it resulted in two weeks off work, and on the 27th, I spent most of my day in hospital being checked out for suspected appendicitis (it wasn’t).

The following afternoon, we received a phone call, and spent three hours driving to Bunbury to bail out Darth Barbie, who’d been arrested.

She’s been with us since then. To say it has been easy would be… wrong. Normally, I’d be all ranty and get it all off my chest, but this one is different, I think. This girl hs been allowed to go so far off the rails that bringing her back into a normal sphere of thinking is too important, and ultimately, too private. I feel like we’re fighting to bring someone back from the precipice, and it’s exhausting, it’s frequently devastating, and we spend almost the entirety of our time trying to keep our family unity together in the face of a child whose only recourse to dealing with the world is to spit hatred and anger at those trying to save her.

This family is going for a long walk. We may be some time.

10 SONGS FOR AN ALTERNATIVE XMAS SOUNDTRACK

You know, and I know, and that guy over there knows, that Christmas carols suck the farts out of dead pigeons. But you know, and I know, that for some reason known only to themselves, shopping centres and every relative you have that holds a party you’re forced to attend despite the fact you’re quite happy with the fact that you haven’t seen them since last Christmas don’t seem to understand the suckage of these vile and saccharine odes to Bing Crosby’s ongoing need to fund his child beating activities. (Heya, Bing. Don’t ever change, you lovable and heart-wearming dead guy, you, dooby-dooby-doo)

So, by way of a public service, and in an effort to get some rock and roll (not to mention discord) into your family drunken-street-cricket shenanigans this year, allow me to present Battersby’s 10 Songs to beat Rudolph to Death With list.

1. Apocalypso- Mental As Anything. Santa gets drunk while the world blows itself up. Yeah, baby!
2. Happy Xmas (War is Over)- John Lennon. So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Got shot? Wow, bummer.
3. Oi To The World- The Vandals. Smelly punks try to be sincere about playing nice at Christmas. Head-bangy and snurky all at once.
4. This is Christmas- Slade. Everybody else gets loaded and shouts Christmas songs at the top of their voice to cover up the fact they don’t remember the lyrics, why shouldn’t Noddy Holder?
5. Santa’s Beard- They Might Be Giants. Someone pretends to be Santa in order to move into the narrator’s house and prong his wife. Sounds like a lot of hard work to me.
6. Do They Know It’s Christmas?- Band Aid. Feed the world and destroy the ozone layer getting your hair ready for the film clip. Here’s a tip on how you can feed Africa- take the buffet table away from Simon Le Bon.
7. Detachable Penis- King Missile. Has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas in any capacity, but just watch Nanna choke on her plum pudding when she realises what it *is* about.
8. Men’s Room, LA- Kinky Friedman. A sensitive, soul-affirming song about a man having a conversation with the picture of Jesus he’s just about to use to wipe his ass. First time I heard it, I laughed an entire Christian out my nose.
9. Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis- Tome Waites. So all-encompassingly depressing it could be a country and western song. Suicides skyrocket during Christmas. Play this for your family and watch them join the statistics.
10. The Little Drummer Boy- Joan Jett. Leather clad lesbian rockers who make songs about innocent boys beating drums give Lee a hardon.

Let me know how you get on…

THE SHORTLIST OF THE YEAR

Congratulations to everyone who copped a mention in the Aurealis Awards shortlist for this year. You can see the full list here. Pats on back and manly hugs especially to pal and fellow West Australian Shane Jiraiya Cummings— a little validation for some struggles in the face thereof, I hope.

ANOTHER OF THOSE “IS IT JUST ME?” MOMENTS

Watching the ridiculous amounts of time and effort expended by work acquaintances (I shudder to use the word ‘colleagues’) in putting up acres of christmas decorations over every square inch of ceiling, cubicles, and filing cabinets, can I be the only one tempted to inform management that I’m a Satanist and demand equal representation…?

“Hey! Hey, you! The dumpy middle aged woman in the elf hat! Yeah, you! Find somewhere to hang this upside-down Jesus-taking-it-from-a-goat doll, would you?”

ON THE SUBJECT OF ERIN

What do you get when your six year old discovers the notion of iPod playlists, and begs for one of her own so she can listen to her favourites on the trip down to Nanna’s house?

In order of “this is my favourite ever!”-ness, the Top 10 Erin Battersby Favourite Songs Of All Time (typically, there are 11):

1. Chicago- Sufjan Stevens
2. Ballroom Blitz- The Sweet
3. Ca Plane Pour Moi- Plastic Bertrand
4. The Distance- Cake
5. Hunting Tigers- The Bonzo the Dog Doo-Dah Band
6. We Will Rock You- Queen
7. Tripping- Robbie Williams
8. The Urban Spaceman- The Bonzos, again
9. Bad Reputation- Half Cocked
10. 500 Miles- The Proclaimers
11. Stop The Cavalry- Jona Lewie

Make of that what you will…

Well, for reasons we’ll get into in a moment, it’s been a while. Let’s start with the positive, shall we?

6!

Happy birthday to our darling daughter Erin, who turned 6 on the 5th, which means that for the first and only time in her life she gets to be twice the age of her younger brother. Next year, of course, she’ll be exactly half as old as her youngest older brother, and the year after that she’ll be exactly half the age of her eldest older brother. Who says math can’t be fun? And, of course, if she’s on a train that leaves at exactly 3 o’clock and travels south at an average of 60 kilometres per hour……

Having dealt with the carnage created by Connor’s party the previous week, Luscious and I wisely decided to outsource Erin’s party to Dinosaur Jim’s, a playgym warehouse in Joondalup (6 months of begging by said daughter having had nothing to do with the decision….). And a bloody good time was had by all: cake and sweeties-fuelled games and playing, more Bratz/Barbie/fairy/girly merchandising than any pink-stained girlie could dream of, and all the parents sitting sedately in a corner watching someone else deal with it all 🙂

Next year, we’re just going to kill each kid a week before their birthday…..

Six years old, and beautiful

Some pictures speak for themselves