Thursday, February 12, 2009

What a Palaver

Esteemed blogging buddy
Baino has recently done a Letter Meme (hers was ten things starting with M) and, I couldn't help it, but asked - yes asked, instead of politely waiting to be 'tagged' - for a letter. My only excuse is that well, I needed an excuse to write about something other than the bushfires: far better people are doing that and doing it much better than me. Donate, shop at the right stores (like Coles) and give blood when they ask you to.

In the meantime instead of telling me to Piss off she gave me the letter P.

Punch - A well-timed punch saved my life. At least I think it did. It was way back in 1991 and I was quitting my nanny job with relief and taking a mini-cab to a job interview in Finchley during the January snowstorms. Like the naive nincompoop Aussie backpacker I was, I sat in the front alongside the driver, chatting inanely about only having been in London for two weeks; how I wasn't sure where Kingsgate Avenue was and what sort of adventures I hoped to have. It was nearly 4pm and already pitch black. The driver muttered something about being lost and pulled into a side street. For once, my internal-alert-system switched on, stopped my chatter and, when he reached over to grab at my chest, I punched him one right in the face. BAM! He was clutching his nose in pain, screaming as I leapt out of the car into the snow. ...... Wouldn't you know it, but Kingsgate Avenue was right around the corner, so I took a deep breath, walked up to their front door for my interview and got the job. Nervous shaking and crying occurred a day or two after that when the enormity of my stupidity and lucky escape sank in.

Parachute - I did a solo parachute jump as my 21st birthday present to myself. I was newly single, still trying to come to grips with the utter let down and disappointing misery of working as a graduate trainee loans officer during the 1989 interest rates of 17.5% and needed to do something fun and pointless. None of my friends were game enough to join me, but Dad turned up to the Goolwa airport to see me nervously climb aboard a very small plane. At 2500 metres, when indicated by the instructor, I climbed out of the open door, put my right foot on the tiny rubber landing wheel as I reached for the wing strut, hang limply for a few moments before throwing my arms back wide as if in joy instead of terror as I dropped towards the earth. The beautifully-reassuring flappity-flap sound of the chute opening above me was something that returns to me still and the view below was amazing. I steered myself using the left and right toggles that hung from strings and landed on my feet. Dad, by this stage, had taken a range of photos to document the jump but still needed to lean up against the hangar until he felt the queasiness disappear.

Paint. In my last year of high school, I wanted to be an artist. A painter in particular. Of the five subjects that needed to be completed for matriculation, art was where I put at least 95% of my time and energies. I was probably the best drawer of my year, but realised during the interviews for Fine Arts that I'd be one of dozens who'd study for three years, turn into weirdly-dressed alterna-zombies with less chance of finding paid work than a paedophile at a petting zoo. I ended up choosing to study English, history and psychology instead with almost (but not quite) the same outcome I'd predicted for painting.

Parent. My hardest job ever. It is scary, puzzling, worrying and often prevents a decent night's sleep from occurring and yet still makes me smile when I realise that 'Mum' is another title that sounds a helluva lot better than Mrs Lockett or 'Hey Lady'. It came as a complete surprise that it was possible for me to be one (ask the Endocrinology Department at the Royal Melbourne Hospital), and not a day goes past where I don't look at Sapphire and wonder, "How in the hell did something as beautiful as she come about?" It even makes listening to her play her full, screechy repertoire on her brand new viola - when a migraine was fearfully looming last night - worth it.

Plump - I run and am pretty fit for an old gal (my resting heart beat is 60 and I can do 8 kilometres in forty minutes) but my body certainly doesn't resemble that of a runner. No, mine has the padding earned from daily chocolate inhalation, sitting on my arse at the computer for most of the day and (usually) eating more chocolate in the evenings in front of the telly with Love Chunks. If it wasn't for running and power walking I'd resemble a Lindt Ball wearing Crocs. This has an unintended bonus for any person I happen to stand next to at barbeques or outdoor parties. Mosquitoes are immediately attracted to my sweet, soft flesh and leave all of the other guests alone.

Potential - We all have it, regardless of our age. In my own case, I reckon I still haven't quite worked out what I want to be when I grow up and am now - after a few years of struggle, self-doubt, false starts and stress - am at least learning enjoying the discoveries made along the way.

Photography - My camera isn't fancy or new and I've never done a class or a course, but my trusty Canon is always with me. Yesterday for instance, I earned a few curious glances as I snapped at intriguing graffiti in the Bourke Street Mall, Wellington Street and when staring up at the Housing Commission block nearest our house wondering just what that pale blue squiggly thing was that sits on up on the very top of it. Despite this, I always end up kicking myself for neglecting to take photos of friends and family during social and fun occasions- either competely forgetting to or not wanting to 'ruin the moment' by asking everyone to stop what they're doing and smile.

- This is one form of human behaviour that I particularly despise. Persecution, domineering, bullying, oppression, torment: whatever you want to call it, it is the lowest form of behaviour for someone in power or a higher position to stoop to doing to someone who relies on them for work, assurance, security or a future. I will do my damnedest to stop it from happening from now on - no longer will I be that nervous teenager feeling afraid that the bullies will move to her, or the anxious co-worker too afraid of the boss's wrath so that it prevents me from sticking up for others. No-one deserves to feel worthless, frightened or as though they deserve it. No-one. And for those who have persecuted others - Karma will come, be sure of it.

Pilgrimage - Really this is just another word for travel in my book. After being thisclose to living in Geneva, the idea of travelling around Europe with Love Chunks and Sapphire for company would be a wish come true. As would a lenghty sojourn in various Asian countries, a fun-packed, kid-friendly trip to California and Hawaii or spending Christmas in New York with a nice juicy credit card. Not to mention Canada, Japan, the South Island of New Zealand and to finally get off my butt and find out what's in Canberra to see....

Pepper - On everything. Even in dark chocolate (especially good with lemon and/or salt to enhance the flavours). All I ask is that restaurants give up trying to stinge on the black stuff and leave the friggin' grinder on the table for us customers to use when and as often as we want. I mean come on - how many of us are going to try and walk out of a cafe with a wooden grinder the size of a pine tree shoved in our pockets?

So many other Ps to mention - my Partner Love Chunks, Patting Milly the dog and Skipper the rabbit; occasionally acting Pompous; avidly reading Paperbacks; receiving Praise when least expected; finding Presents for people that I know (or at least hope) they'll love; eating Portions of foods (especially evening meals) that are far too large; having mostly Peasant tastes; being too Pale for the Australian sun and yet feeling so Privileged to live here.


Radge said...

Excellent work, and what I would give to have something the size of a pine tree...

OK, I'll stop there.

squib said...

I feel the same way about the parmesan cheese - they come over and sprinkle half a teaspoon on your spag like it's gold nuggets

When I was in London they started a cab service where all the drivers were women. Dodgy cabbies were quite a problem at the time

Kath Lockett said...

Radge, for that comment, I'm nominating the letter W for you!

And Squib, you're getting B.

Franzy, you need 'S' for Sennheiser.

....anyone else want to be given a letter?

River said...

Well done on the lucky punch. I hope that cabbie thought long and hard about trying that again. And did you foreverafter sit in the back seat of taxis?
A lindt ball wearing crocs eh? That description applies to quite a few people I know.

I donated blood today as I said I would, wasn't the pleasant experience I remember from previous times. You see, I forgot to drink extra water before going in, and after the donation I got nauseous and dizzy. Had to lie down and get some oxygen I did. Plus they made me drink a full bottle of powerade sports drink before sending me home in a taxi with a second bottle to be drunk before nightfall and strict instructions to go to bed and not do any work.
So, to anyone out there planning on donating blood, PLEASE drink extra fluid on the day, before the donation. (I should have remembered, it's not my first donation).

Baino said...

PERFECT! See I knew you were a 'P' kinda girl. And for goodness sakes, you're far from plump? I heard that pepper is also very good on strawbs - kudos for the solo jump, I would NEVER do that. And I'm with you all the way on the Parent thing. I look at mine in amazement every day. Very clever I was and without even trying. @ River, twas a great thing you did your royal dizziness!

delamare said...

Love the list Kath. I was planning on art too, but switched to ... English and History (now that's a surprise, isn't it?!). And totally with you on the parenting bit! (I'll take a letter too. I need some bloggy inspiration. But not z please...)

Terence McDanger said...

Paedophile at a petting zoo! Lol!

And I could hear 'Land of Hope and Glory' playing in my mind when you got going about persecution. Go Kath!

Miles McClagan said...

And I love it because one of the options wasn't Powderfinger...

Thank GOD...I'm terrible at these kind of things...I end up way off track, yours was great!

Kath Lockett said...

Yeah I've said it before and I'll say it again - River ROCKS (even more so after giving blood...)

Baino, I'm 70kg and that's after I've dropped a couple of John Howards' off at the pool, had a shower, clipped my toenails, cleaned my teeth and set to my lug holes with cotton buds.

Delamere, you are hereby given D.

Miles, you are given M. I'm nothing if not underendowed in the imagination stakes.

Terence, you get a - wait for it - T!

lc said...

Purity - of spirit - and in a good way. That's you.

Word Ver: Strota - As in, don't be such a Strota!

Miles McClagan said...

There you go - done...need nap...