Monthly Archives: August 2013

Thank you, mate. Thank you.

Our car battery died in the parking lot of our local Flower Power.  Man went out on foot to find us a new battery and I sat in the café, watching my rug rats eat banana bread with their grubby garden hands and dirty fingernails.


The older man seated by me was lunching with his 92 year old mother.  They sat next to a table where there was another man, a very old-looking man, who was eating alone.  I was close enough to hear the entire conversation.  He was 89.



The very old-looking man had his walking frame in the way and the younger man asked if he could move it slightly.  It began a conversation between them. After they discussed hearing loss tidbits, the older man told the younger man that he needed his walking frame as he was injured in the Borneo War.


The younger man turned his body towards the older man, reached for his hand and he shook it firmly, with sincerity.



The younger man said, “Thank you, mate.  Thank you.  Thanks for everything you’ve done for our country, mate”.



The old man’s eyes, already swollen, red and watery, brimmed with tears as the younger man held onto his hand.



They spoke for a while but I couldn’t hear them.  My own eyes were full and my heart was heavy.



My quick sniffle caught my son’s curious young eye.


“That old man”, I leaned down into him, whispered and pointed.  “He’s a real hero”.




My Man returned promptly.  He was sweaty and angry but he had found our new battery.




Happy Father’s Day to all our heroes.




Robo X

I miss my pre-internet brain

Linking up with my Lizards at The Lounge, this week over at The Very Inappropriate Blog.

I look back at my own teenage years at school and I smile as I remember where I fit in.  Sports group, definitely not.  Nerds, no.  The Intellectuals, uh-uh.


I was just an all-round nice kid; friends with most people, enemies with no-one.



I wish kids were as simple as I was.


Now as a teacher, I yearn for the plainness of the good old days.

Back in the days when school work was Hard.



Classroom.       Best handwriting.       Local library.        Cardboard from the newsagent.

Perkins Paste.        The neighbour’s set of World Books.      Scissors.      Illustrations.

And the covert operation of tearing relevant pictures out of the mags down at the doctor’s surgery.



That’s a fair bit of running around.

But simple.



One or two biros, a set of Faber Castell’s from Jewel and an annual unbranded pencil case and bag from Venture.


The days when a thick black texta, Liquid Paper and glitter were serious currency.





Those days.



When imagination worked harder and when finding inspiration was elusive but so worth the wait.  The days when we used what we could, valued the little we had and considered the information we discovered for more than just a fleeting moment.



Those pre-internet days.



Now that I am a teacher and parent, I yearn for my kids to slow down and think for themselves.  To find out answers by asking a question, turning a page.  To respond to a stimulus by physically moving, researching and developing a considered reply.







Who got better quality teaching and learning?

Us back then, or the kids of today?

Gen X or Gen Y?

Are you a teenage dirtbag?  Show your age at The Lounge this week!


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Apologies in advance for this one

It feels like ages since I’ve #IBOTed.

I miss my Tuesdays terribly but life is running at one hundred miles an hour.  Time gets away too quickly.

I have been marking junior narratives since last week and I think I’ve finally lost my marbles.

Feeling a bit cray cray.






So I thought I’d take a break, write a quick post, say hello and impart some late night/early morning useless information.



Did you know this?


The Greek word for torch is φακός pronounced, fuck-oh.

Greek lentils are φακή. That’s right, fuckee.

An envelope is a φάκελος.  Say it with me, fuck-el-os.


Γάμo, that’s Gahmo, is the Greek word for ‘wedding’ but with the accent on the ‘o’, as in Gahm-oh, it means fuck.


Incidentally, Hollywood actor Charlton Heston had a hard time in Greece.  His name, Χεστον, that’s Heston…

It means to shit on someone.


His publicist advised the name Charlton Easton for over there.



Please.  Move along to all the other posts over at Essentially Jess.







Robo X

The Very First Post

Here it is Loungers… Be kind.


Welcome Loungers

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Add your First Ever Post link below



I haven’t written in years.  Truly written. I haven’t sat down with pen or paper and poured out my mind out onto the page. I haven’t chosen words carefully for effect.  I haven’t punctuated for impact.  I haven’t drafted, edited, re-read or re-drafted in so many years.



I used to be a writer.  A strong reader and a strong writer.  I had an appreciation for poetry, comedy, parody, dialogue, monologue, fairy tale.  Any tale.  I’d write in any mood, any location and any time of the day or night.  I’d write for courage and for comfort.  I’d write how others might pray.  With unadulterated honesty.  I’d write to organise my thoughts and to make decisions.  Clarity.



It’s ironic.  I graduated university in 1999 with new letters after my name.  An Arts degree.  An Arts…

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Anti Antibiotics

Coming out of my blogging hiatus to link-up with The Lounge about passions.

This week it’s over at Slapdash Mama.



Today I hit the medical jackpot.


Since moving house last year, I’ve searched the burbs for a doc who is on my page and I finally found him yesterday.



As a kid, Robo was pretty snotty and sickly.  I frequently suffered with acute tonsillitis, and my mother would take me to our local family doctor who would prescribe antibiotics to make me better.



Of course the antibiotics would work, but Mother Nature’s a tough old biddy, so the tonsillitis would return, bigger and badder.  I’d be sicker during the next bout, much snottier.


What I needed was not antibiotics, it was a tonsillectomy.  My non-English speaking parents were frightened of an operation, thinking they were doing the right thing by avoiding one.

Regrettably, as an adult, I had my tonsillectomy.

The pain, my friends…  The immense, intolerable pain of a tonsillectomy is up there with labour. No exaggeration.



I’m dead set passionate about avoiding antibiotics.

Antibiotics only kill bacteria.  They don’t kill a cold.  People don’t know this,



My first parental experience with antibiotics was when, as a toddler, my son got sick.  I took him to the local medical centre where the locum prescribed him antibiotics within a couple of moments of us arriving.  Two days later I took him to my GP who freaked out at this doctor’s diagnosis. He instructed me to stop the antibiotics immediately and try lactose free baby formula.


That afternoon my baby was better.

That afternoon I learnt my lesson.



This week, that same child, now five, has been running a temperature and a cough.  After two days of staying quiet at home, I couldn’t get his temperature down, so I visited my last-ditch doctor in my new suburb.




Instead of prescribing antibiotics and showing us the door, he took the time to listen. He checked my child, talked with him and talked to me about my views.  He respected my thoughts on antibiotics, and shared his own.



This new doctor wrote me an antibiotics script and instructed me to go home and take care of my baby.  He told me not to fill it until Thursday, that is, if Mr 5 was not better by then.



I know in this day and age of quick fixes, antibiotics are a god-send.  I know we work long hours and lead busy lives and I know with more than one kid at school, germs can spread like wildfire.


But antibiotics resistance is serious shiz.



In our global village, where you can be on the other side of the world within the day, you don’t want to mess with your immunity.



I draw a careful line at antibiotics.  They are miraculous and they are a god-send but they should not be taken for granted.



Check out Dr John D’Arcy in this clip:


And whilst I’m on the topic of germs, I don’t even bathe my kids every day in the winter.



Putting my parenting out there again…


Mother of the Year or Bad Mother?

Where do you stand on antibiotics?




Robo X


PS.  I filled the script this afternoon as Mr 5 took a turn for the worse.  Like I said, antibiotics are a gift but we need to be careful.