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What a suitable title for my blog post - the mate my son has just been staying with in Sydney has been an extra in "Home & Away" of late. His mum sent me the link to the cage fighting scene he features widely in, but sadly I'm not allowed to watch it here - would be giving too much away about what's going on I guess.... Anyway, the point is that my son has just uploaded a few photos to Facebook. Designed exclusively to make me feel a little bit sick. HOW can anyone be somewhere so beautiful? Why don't we all live in Australia? Every time I did a FaceTime call with them I thought that - problem is I should have sorted my visa many years ago when I still had wrinkle free skin and less body hair and could do useful things. Now what can I offer them? Pilates taught by a late 40 something single mother of three? That would get me some minus points I should think. What could I say I can do that is really required in Australia but they don't know it yet? Just look at these photos:- How can they be having such an awful time? Dreadful weather. Crap sand. Murky waters:- They've got swimming with dolphin pictures, boat pictures, dancing pictures...watching everyone getting stoned in Nimbin pictures:- Whereas I on the other hand have photos like this to offer:- NO. It's not a shark attack or a false teeth attack - this is what happens when you wash your son's rugby shorts with the mouthguard still in the pocket. THANKFULLY my mother was here and came to the rescue. Cut and sewed. But still. You get my drift. About the unacceptable divide.
My son and his girlfriend are safe and well and partying in Byron Bay. Even better news is that he did well in his re-sits and has got into the university of his choice. Now all I need to worry about is that he gets through the next three months unscathed and happy. He has already turned into the consummate traveller - all conversations with him amount to "yeah, it was really amaaaaaaazing" as he describes swimming with dolphins. Jealous? Moi? Daughter on the other hand is working hard. Here she takes a brief moment out to enter a cupcake competition she and some friends devised at school. She decided on "rainbow" cupcakes. They couldn't be more rainbow, I have to say. I've just eaten one. Delicious. But so many additives that I think I might be about to have a heart attack:- and the centre looks like this:-
I can't locate my son. He sent a brief text saying that they were stuck on the East Coast of Australia owing to flash floods and now I have a vision of him dangling from a tree waiting to be rescued. He is not answering his phone and hasn't texted in the last few days nor done a Facebook update. I am quite sure what he means is that he isn't able to travel to where they were planning to go next but still....it's all a worry. Up until then he and his girlfriend had been having a spectacular time on a boat swimming with dolphins. Now though, I just don't know where they are. Haven't been able to find much information other than "We've got a very serious situation developing in New South Wales, about 75% of the state is flood-affected or in flood watch," State Emergency Services spokesman Dieter Geske told ABC News a couple of days ago. Trying not to worry too much. Yet.
In a "be careful what you wish for" sort of moment, having pined about the thought of not having my children about all week and worrying about being bored and lonely I was unexpectedly given the chance not to be - suddenly overnight, I had the responsibility of looking after an 18 year old spectacularly gorgeous Aussie male. He's been touring about Europe and staying with me most of this week - it's a huge shame my son hasn't been around for him to play with. They used to go to nursery together - haven't seen each other since they were 5, but I know they'll get on. Luckily he hasn't been bored - it wasn't at all difficult to enlist the help of my son's girlfriend and her merry band of friends to "look after him". His parents are very good friends of mine who moved back Sydney a long time ago now. I love that we're going to be able to share our kids as they go global. I'm sure it's the start of a long line of youths from around the world needing a bed in London (and I'm sure my kids wouldn't turn down the offer of a bed in Sydney either!). Perhaps I should make it a business. I could open a hostel.....Nope. Bad idea. Being new to this game it's a little difficult to know just how to treat them. Should I be taking him out every day sightseeing? Or simply leave him to his own devices? Should I wake him before noon? Involve him in everything that I'm doing? Seduce him? (joke). He hasn't been a problem at all. Great company in fact. I took him to see my brother and his wife last night. We had a BBQ and although he was meant to go and see some mates, he seemed to be having so much fun he made them join us. Late. By which time we were all talking bollocks about rude and inappropriate things in an effort to show off (felching and Bukkake - sp? pronunciation? were mentioned I recall, as was why my brother chose to wear a minor's light on his head to cook the meat and so was shagging). Pathetic really. We felt a bit sorry for his friends because all three of them appeared to be relatively sober, until suddenly, just as I was trying to work one of their accents (is it Scottish? Or Australian? Or American?) he discreetly announced he was just popping off down the road for a TC*. Came back and carried on (no then, accent not relevant - just pissed and slurry). Anyway, I'm not taking my duties too seriously. I suspect my job is simply to ensure that he enjoys himself, doesn't die and gets on a plane home some time soon. He was previously travelling around Greece on a moped (sadly 3 of his friends had a very bad accident on a quad bike and one is still in hospital with a ruptured liver). He survived the chance of being gored by a bull in Pamplona (is it just Australians and a few locals who are mad enough to do that? Sadly an Aussie died this year I gather) and he has survived arriving in London during the riots. When his mother and I met all those years ago with our gorgeous little boys, we used to sit and watch them do ballet performances together, play Firemen Sam together, poke each other with sticks and we honestly couldn't have dreamt that we would be having conversations like the following just a few years (well 14 years) later.... Here is some of the email correspondence I've had this week with his mother:- HER Hi How are you? Hope you’re having a nice summer break although I did see that the UK has had some rain recently. Unexpectedly J is booked on a flight to London (Gatwick) and arrives in London tomorrow at 6pm. I don’t know if he has rung you at all but I was wondering if you were around and was there any chance of him staying at your place. Don’t know if that will suit. If not, that’s fine he can book himself into a hostel. He’s due back in Sydney next Wednesday 17TH so his flight must be leaving on Monday 15TH. Hope he's not too smelly. ME Of course it's fine. No problem at all. He hasn't called me but I'm sure he will. Sadly R is not here until Saturday. But I'm sure I can find him some friends to play with in the meantime. ME Just to let you know yr son is asleep in R's bed and safe from the riots - I think his lip pirecing looks cute!!! HER Thx so much for letting me know. Glad he's tucked up safe in your house. I was a little anxious when I read that Clapham Junction was one of the places hit and he was having to stop there. And then read that they hit a Restaurant in Notting Hill. It's unbelievable. And thanks for that bit about the lip.......I'm sure I'm going to think it's cute too......Not!!!!! Just as long as his teeth don't rot and fall out. That would be $7000 of Orthodontic work down the drain! Thanks again. ME All good although i have temporarily lost him.... Bought him a razor and a toothbrush and he is looking positively human! We had dinner on Wed night with my Aussie friends and of course they all knew the same people!! R's girlfriend took him out for a HUGE night after that - right into riot land (although all calm now) in Tottenham Court Road to "Cheapskates". God. 99p shots I gather and he got in at 4am. We had a brief chat when he got up about midday and then he went to see his mates. He stayed there last night so I am waiting for him to get up and return my text. Not sure what his plans are today but we'll talk. I am hearing mumblings about an extension on his flight? That is absolutely fine by me if it works for you. He's just lovely. No problem at all. Lxx HER Thanks for the update and so glad to hear that R's girlfriend clearly let him astray by "dragging" him into the middle of riot land.....I bet he's annoyed he's only just discovered this place at the end of his journey with shots for 99p. His friends would have loved a place like that. Insider information certainly does help! I hate to think what he looked like when you first saw him. Was it bum fluff on the chin? And did the piercing fall out while he was shaving?? Thanks for being flexible with him and his plans. Hope he's not getting in your way at all. And isn't it a small world with who knows who. Haven't heard from him at all so I have assumed he's been out and about (or asleep). Will try and call tomorrow. It's 11pm and I'm going to bed for 3 hours before I have to get up again to pickup daughter from an "after's" Party after their school social. Does that happen in London? For their "formals" they have "pre's", the formal and then "after's" at someone house. I didn't even see her as she got changed at a friend's house but all I know is that the dress is ridiculously short and she is wearing 10 inch heels. And then I have to set the alarm for 6.15am as she has an early netball match. Don't think the goals will be going in tomorrow somehow after only 3 hours sleep! ME Ha ha - couldn't see any fluff on his chin - he just mentioned he needed a razor - perhaps for his chest hairs then? I guess it's a bit difficult to shave around a piercing? Although it's on his lip - don't think he's got hairy lips? - OK will stop thinking about the logistics of that now... He's texted so now I'll just wait another three hours for him to respond to my second text - R's GF (oddly) very happy to lead him astray again tonight - think they're going clubbing. He suggested I go with them??? Is he mad??? Tempting though. The local girls are all pretty impressed with the Aussie boys I think. An "AFTERS" party?? - thats just taking the piss. He should be here after being out tonight but don't call before 2pm ME He's still alive..... R came back late last night so they went out for a bit, but don't think they got in anywhere as it was all "over 21's" rule - so came back quite early. He's been hoping I would spill the beans on some stories about you guys - the only acceptable one I've told him was about our New Year's eve party in Scotland and about how the men wore kilts and then took photos of their testicles underneath the table!! (Sorry - think I might still have the evidence somewhere). Not sure of plans in next few days, but he'll just hang out with R now - we'll probably do a BBQ here tonight if I can locate my other two children now they're all back from Portugal. * TC = Tactical Chunder
Today is better than yesterday because I haven't got vomit raining down on my head from a great height (or from a bunk bed anyway). My son was feeling completely better yesterday and consequently went to school - he had a concert - "Young Voices 2009" at the O2 that he really didn't want to miss. I on the other hand, although not wishing him ill was quite hoping that the Norovirus would at least do me the favour of rendering me unable to go to a two and a half hour concert of children singing. In theory, it is always my idea of hell on earth. However, actually, once there, in reality, what better way to lift one's spirit than to hear the sound of 1000's of children's voices all singing in unison. Just gorgeous, spine tingly, tear to the eye sort of emotion. It gives you hope for the future - well, they are the future and look what fun they think that future should be:-