Prawn Porn

I should be madly cleaning the house in anticipation of my youngest daughters arrival from Canberra. She’s the Clean Freak, the one who threatened to put me into an aged care facility if I didn’t lift my dusting game. One year she spent Christmas cleaning the grout on my bathroom floor, another was spent vacuuming dog hair out of her sister’s car.

Her cleaning phobia is/was an anxiety issue which seems to have eased now that she has her own home to maintain. In full time employment Cat Balou often bleats over the telephone, “Mo, how do you find the time to wash windows?”

I don’t, but that is no response for a Clean Freak. “Sweetheart, it’s all about priorities”, covers a plethora of circumstances, I have found.

The root cause behind her phobia can be dated back to the breakdown of her parent’s marriage. Fun Time Daddy moved into a sparkling new house with shiny accoutrements including a female play thing whilst Mummy, the Boring Responsible Parent, was ensconced in a sixty year old hardiplank surrounded by thirty year old furniture which had seen kids and pets through too many childhood illnesses to mention. And lets not forget the twenty two carpet snakes living in the roof space………

Several hours have been spent in meal prep however. Canberra is land locked and we are a family with a heritage steeped in seafood so it seemed appropriate to whip up some fruits of the sea. Do you know just how long it takes to remove the poo shute out of three kilos of prawns?

So, the bread is freshly baked, the mango and avocado salad is chilling, and the Tiger Prawns are in the fridge marinating in garlic. You can’t get more Queensland than that. Because said daughter is vegetarian for health reasons I’ve also made individual vegetable bakes. Yes, still playing the Boring Responsible Parent.

Sweets? We don’t do sweets in this family. We’re more cheese platter people.

The bubbles is chilling as is the chardonnay. Sadly, I have found another down side to ageing which means I also have to include a jug of cold water on the dinner table these days. My dear old Dad would be rolling in his grave in disgust.

So no books, no travel, no movies this week. Just some Prawn Porn.

And be careful where you walk, Cat Balou. Those pot plants are bunched in a group in front of the bookshelves for a reason. There are some things no daughter who does not like disorganisation has a business knowing about.


PS. Another feel good this week:

Saw Keith Urban interviewed . When asked the thing he was most grateful for he stated his ” willingness to pursue curiosity“. Oh, Keith, bliss….

What’s Your Funeral Song?

I’ve had my mind on music for my funeral this week. No, I’m fine, thank you. No impending doom and gloom – at least that I’m aware of. Health situation remains static. Sprained back muscle from carrying a bag of potting mix gives me the odd twinge but other than that I am fine. Fine and dandy.

I’m off to a musical performance on the weekend : Australian country singer John Williamson. Old guy, not to be confused with that other Aussie country singer, Keith Urban. * Be still, my beating heart….

There was a time when there was a rush on funerals and they all seemed to feature John Williamson songs. If it wasn’t True Blue it was Flower On The Water which Williamson wrote and performed for the first anniversary of the Bali Bombing. In Bali. Where friends, family and strangers gathered to throw flowers on the water. I appreciate his songs much more now that I’ve reached mature aged status -the simple structure allows me to remember all the words.

To hear your voice, to see you smile

To sit and talk to you awhile

To be together the same old way

That would be our greatest wish today

To hear you laugh, to hear you cry

Or just a chance to say ‘goodbye’

To say the things we didn’t say

That would be our greatest wish today

But all we can do is throw a flower on the water

Look for the sun through the rain

Lay a little frangipani gentle on the water

Remember how we loved you.
– J Williamson

Lists of popular Funeral Songs include many that you would expect:

Frank Sinatra : My Way
Vera Lynn : We’ll Meet Again
Sarah McLachlan : Angel
Ed Sheeran : Supermarket Flowers ( which he wrote for his Mum)

All good songs. Fine sentiments. But not my kind of music for a rollicking good Wake.

I am selecting a tune by Irish band Flogging Molly : If I Ever Leave This World Alive.A tune which works well with a glass of bubbles in your hand, in song, and on the dance floor.

What’s your funeral song?

P.S. Umm, not game to share the song I got married too. That might give you the wrong impression.

I Slept Next To Keith Urban

Shhhhh. Girlie Secret. I’ve got this thing for Keith Urban. Yes, the country singer from Oz who married Our Nic after that fiasco with Toy Man.

Keith is really, really cute. Like a kewpie doll on a stick that you used to be able to purchase from the Easter Show. Do you remember those? I never had a doll on a stick of course. Far too whimsical. My parents usually bought me the Nock and Kirby (Hardware) Sample Bag, and my sister the Shelleys Glue Sample Bag. That was back in the day when Show Bags were Sample Bags and contained exactly what the name suggests – samples.

So for the past three years my treat to myself for the new year has been to see Keith perform live at the Barn. Or as some call it, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. My friend Tash and I make a night of it with dinner and drinks and then fantasise about taking Keith home with us. Separately. Not together. No wrong ideas, please. This really is a positive way to commence the new year..

Keith and Our Nic bring the cherubs home to Sydney for Christmas with the fam, head back to Nashville for New Years Concerts, and then return to the farm on the Southern Highlands of NSW for rest and recuperation. Of course, our definition of farm may differ slightly but that’s okay……

Being interstate this year meant I missed young Keith Urban. I have to admit I’m impressed by a self made man who wagged Maths classes for two years.

But did I miss him?

Let me tell you about the night I slept next to Keith Urban.

Driving home along the New England Highway in the middle of summer and school holidays can be tiresome. I wish I could wiggle my nose like Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched and just “go” places.

We’d been on the road most of the day and it was nearing Wine O’Clock, so agreed to find a motel in the next town. Tamworth. Home of The Golden Guitar. Personally, not a big fan but the drive had been hard going. Ten klicks out the billboards are welcoming us to the Tamworth Country Music Festival. A big festival of ten days duration and starting that very day.

Holy Guacamole. CMF is Big Business and we know the town will be full of
Utes with bull bars, grey nomads, campers, line dancers, and God help me, yodellers. So we pull over at the first vacancy we come across : a newly constructed Conference and Wedding Reception set up. Suits me fine. No self respecting yodeller would be seen dead in a place so refined.

A good meal, local plonk, and we crash for the night thinking it odd that the car park is virtually vacant.

Up with the sparrows next morning and readying to exit a sexy little silver car drives in to the car park next to ours. Sorry, no further details about the vehicle. Cars are not my thing. But it is sleek, is silver, and is sexy.

Who sneaks in to a motel at 6am in the morning, I have to ask?

A country entertainer who has to perform that very night, that’s who.

And that’s my “ I Slept Next To Keith Urban” Story.

Don’t make me change it to a Chad Morgan (The Shiek from Scrubby Creek) Story, okay.