How the silly old coot failed his license

Old man on Harley Davidson

I couldn’t believe that my Dad failed his motorbike license.  He had been riding motorcycles for as long as I could remember.  When he was in his 60’s he bought himself his dream bike – a Harley Davidson! – and as his license had expired, he needed to renew it. This is what the silly old goat did …

To get his motorbike license he had to ride around the streets (on an agreed route) with a motorbike license “tester” following him (on another motorbike) and grading him on how he handled the bike and whether he obeyed the road rules.

The scene was set for his perfect day … the sun was shining, the birds were tweeting, and the beautiful roar of the motor bike was bliss in the old man’s ears.  Oh, his dream was about to come true.  Not long now till he could mount his own Harley and feel the power between his thighs on his first long ride to Glasshouse Mountains!

Everything was going extremely well … until he saw the “tester” quickly overtake him at high speed.  Dad didn’t want to lose him, so he swerved into the next lane, throttled the bike, and followed him, making sure he “stayed on his tail”!

He couldn’t believe the speed and remarkable swerving skills the tester displayed.  He presumed it was part of his motorbike road test.  Maybe he needed to do exactly as the tester did to pass and get his license.  So he increased his speed to match that of the tester, weaved in and out of the traffic (ensuring he used his indicators of course) knowing he would be impressing the tester with his previous years of experience at handling motorcycles.  Nothing was too hard for this old bikie, he could keep up with these young bucks!  He would not be outwitted or outridden!

Dad wondered why they seemed to be taking a different route to that agreed to, but he didn’t care.  As long as he got his license so he could ride his dream bike, that’s all that mattered.  The tester slowed down and turned into the long road leading into a cemetery.

The tester finally stopped his bike.  Dad stopped behind him.  The tester dismounted and started to remove his helmet.  Dad got off his bike, undid his helmet, all the while wondering why the tester made him ride into the cemetery, a funeral obviously happening not too far from where they were parked.

Dad walked up to the tester – and looked into the face of a complete stranger who said  “Are you running late for the funeral too mate?”  Oh crap.  He had no idea who this bloke was, but it certainly was NOT the tester from the licensing authority.  What had he done?  Who the hell had he been following?  He looked around perplexed.  What the???  Where was the motorcycle license tester?

He quickly donned his helmet, hoofed his leg over the bike, revved it and rode back to the testing office.  He found his particular tester and asked “Well mate, did I get my license?”   He replied “No!  I don’t know what happened, but one minute I was behind you, then you took off like a speed demon and I bloody well couldn’t keep up with you! So no … you didn’t get your license!”

 FAIL

PS:  He eventually got it!

© 2015 CEW

 

We terrorized her with an earthquake hoax

Cracked groundI’m a horrible daughter. And I have a tendency to lead my nieces and nephews astray.  I’m the bat-poop crazy aunt that all the kids love; the same aunty that terrifies their parents.  I’ve written blog posts about the atrocious things my children have done in the name of fun; and I’m starting to realise they may get it from me! If it’s genetic, it’s my parents fault, not mine.

One holiday weekend we were staying on my brother’s cattle farm in the Australian countryside. My mum has a caravan on his farm that she sleeps in when we visit.  It gives her peace and quiet away from all of her grandkids, as she’s now in her 70’s.

I took the kids shopping one day, and on the way back to the farm, I told them stories about how Nanny was “absolutely terrified” of earthquakes. They were all roaring with laughter.  It was during this trip that I hatched a clever scheme … one that would give us all a good laugh if it went according to plan.  I devised that when Nanny went for her afternoon nap in the caravan, I would gather the kiddies all together and we would surround the caravan, then start gently rocking it from side to side.  I had them convinced that if it woke Nanny up, she would think it was an earthquake!  I had them in hysterics in the car, and they were begging me to “do it today Aunty Cath!”

It just so happened that as soon as we arrived back on the farm … you guessed it … Nanny was in the caravan, fast asleep.

I gathered all the children around me like a mother hen and told them that even though they were laughing hysterically, we had to be very quiet or Nanny would know it was us!  One of the oldest children’s job was to hide behind the car and use their mobile phone to film Nanny coming out of the caravan. The rest of them then surrounded the van, and I had my burly strong sons on the corners to get that van a rockin’.

I counted … one, two, three, GO! … and they put their shoulders to the metal sides and put all the strength their little bodies could muster into starting a rhythm. It began to gently sway, then the biggest grandkids got that van shaking from side to side.  They were red-faced and having the time of their lives.  We heard a noise inside, but true to their word, they kept that van rocking.

Suddenly – the caravan door burst open, and Nanny flew through the opening screaming “E A R T H Q U A K E!”.  She ran down the steps and bolted for her life, completely disoriented.  By this time, the kids were screaming with laughter.  Nanny saw the older child duck behind the car with their camera in hand, and as she looked around and gathered her bearings, noticed her beloved grandchildren’s heads popping around the caravan, all roaring and screaming with laughter and love, having the time of their lives.

She put her hands on her hips, and bellowed at the top of her lungs … “CATHY!”

Why do I get the blame for everything? And how did she know it was me?

© 2015 CEW

When you lose your beloved dog

Beautiful cavalier king charles spanielA dog is not just a dog.  And if you are a dog-lover, you will know what I mean.  This is George, my little boy. My baby.

I was shocked when he jumped on my bed one morning.  He hadn’t done that for a few months and his health had declined through the week.  Oh, he’d had such a hard, hard life.  Before he was one year old he’d had his first major leg operation.  He ended up having 3 leg surgeries over the next few years, 2 of them were major reconstructions.  He developed an auto-immune disease which caused large scabs to break out on his face.  He had a severe allergy to all proteins, so was on a special diet.  And because he was on cortisone, as well as other pain killers twice a day, we knew his life would be shortened.  But we loved him, and to us, being pain free and happy meant more than anything.  It meant he wouldn’t live a long life, but it would be a good life!

So, he jumped on my bed for a morning cuddle, which really shocked me.  I stroked him lovingly.  I’d had him at the vet the night before as he hadn’t eaten for four days – since our house flooded from a burst pipe.  Like I loved to do, I leaned over him and kissed the top of his head.  I buried my nose in his fur.  How I absolutely loved the smell of the top of his head!  After five minutes he tried to jump down but couldn’t, so I gently lowered him to the floor.  He still wasn’t well but at least he ate something the night before.

I went to work after checking him and left him asleep on the couch, head nestled on his favourite cushion.

At work I noticed I’d missed four calls from my son.  I quickly rang him.  He said he’s just arrived home from fishing and George was really sick.  He’d vomited all around the house and had severe diarrhoea.  I rang the vet to say George was on his way with my son.  He was put on a drip and admitted to hospital for tests.  I rang the vet throughout the day and kept getting updates.  I prayed for him, but just couldn’t leave work early as we had international visitors.  I was in a dilemma.

Our George was a fighter and he’d come through everything life had thrown at him so far.  I knew he’d pull through this too.  The vet rang me when I got home from work to say he was sedated and comfortable, but he was a very sick boy.  They were closing so I couldn’t pop in to see him until morning.

I waited for the vet’s morning call to say I could go and visit my George.  I just needed to know he was ok.  I ran to the ringing phone and couldn’t wait to hear about my baby.  “Hi Cathy. {pause} George didn’t make it through the night.  I’m so sorry.”  I sat on the end of my bed.  Stunned.  It couldn’t be true.  I didn’t get to say goodbye.  I wasn’t prepared.  But like all mothers do, I pulled myself together so I could tell my husband and my sons.

I went to the vet to bring my boy home, where he belonged.  The vet nurse lovingly laid him in my arms in a little white body bag.  I drove him home from the vets for the last time.  With a face covered in tears I kissed the top of the bag where his head was and breathed in deeply.  I just wanted to smell his head, just one last time.  I couldn’t’ smell him.

My husband, sons and I stood together around the mandarin tree and laid our boy to rest.

I now live with the guilt that I didn’t say goodbye to my little man.

“I’m so sorry Georgie.  I didn’t realise that last cuddle you gave me that morning on my bed was you actually saying goodbye to me.  I will treasure that moment forever.  I will see you again one day.  With Max, Winky, Kizzy, Chrissy, and all my little boys and girls that I’ve loved over the years.  RIP my little brave man.”

George died on 24th January 2015.  Forever loved.

 © 2015 CEW

Originally posted on my old blog site

 

I caught fire in the kitchen

blue flame on gas hot plateSo I’m a kitchen disaster. It’s not my fault that my kitchen hates me!  Some old crone must have cursed it. If the old adage is true that you can win a man’s heart through his stomach – mine would have run for the hills years ago, or be dead by now. Which would have saved him from the next few decades of culinary mayhem.

I’ve cooked a sausage casserole that looked so X-rated that my boys refused to eat it, and when I posted the photo of it on social media, Facebook reminded me not topromote sexual enhancement products as it was against their policy.  I’ve cooked a lemon meringue pie that tasted like ear wax, gingerbread men that my children spat over the back fence to the neighbour’s dog which fed the mutt for years, and steaks that damaged teeth and fattened up the dentist’s wallet!  And that’s just to name a few.

Unfortunately I’ve also started two fires in my home. I wish I could say I haven’t caused psychological and emotional fear in my husband and boys {sigh}, but that would be a lie.

The first fire I started was when making a cup of tea for my husband with our new kettle that sat on the gas hotplates. The water had boiled and the kettle was whistling away its new tune.  I reached over to pick up the kettle – but didn’t turn the flame off.  My not-so-sexy too-big flannelette pyjamas had dangly sleeves that touched the flame.  I watched a pretty blue flame jump onto my arm and I was hypnotically mesmerised as I stared at the flame running up the length of my sleeve to my shoulder. Then I realised I was on fire! I screamed and Husband came running into the kitchen.  I did the “drop and roll” manoeuvre in an attempt to put myself out.

He found me horizontal on the cold tiled floor, thrashing around, flapping my hands all over my body. He couldn’t see the flames, just heard me screaming that I was on fire!   He just stood there, wondering what the hell I was doing with a perplexed eyebrow look.  He thought I was doing some sort of german-zombie slap-dance. “Why didn’t you help me” I squawked?  He was stunned silent.  Obviously I impressed him with my Australia’s-Got-Talent kitchen performance.

I put myself out and noticed that my floral pyjamas had brown patches up the sleeve where the fire had caught.

Husband looked at me and just rolled his boggle eyes.

The 2nd fire was because I didn’t know I was supposed to pierce sausage skins before I cooked them. (Oh no, bleedin’ sausages again – no wonder he’s banned me for life from ever cooking them.) Anyway, I put sausages under our grill and turned it onto high.  Part way through the cook I could hear a “whooshing” and “sizzling” sound, so I bent and peeked inside the grill.  It was so pretty!  My sausages were bulging as they heated up, they swelled and then the top burst like a balloon and an arrow of fat squirted straight up onto the electric elements.  I kept watching – then the fat caught on fire! Oh hell – the grill was on fire! I screamed, and Husband ran in and saved the day.

Husband looked at me, didn’t say a word, and rolled his eyes. Again.  If he rolls his barney-googles at me one more time I will poke the bloody brown orbs out with an ice-pick!

At least the house didn’t burn down. He could have at least been grateful for that small miracle.

© 2015 CEW

When heroes have to be rescued by heroes

A superheroA true story about two brothers and their idiotic plan to attract girls … 

Two young men (brothers – and NOT my sons!) were on the beach, conspiring about how to attract girls.  They came up with a plan; an allegedly brilliant and fool-proof scene they would enact, that would have the young women flocking to them.  I will call these brothers M and B.

The plan:  B was going to swim out quite far and pretend to get into difficulties.  He would call out to his older brother, M, to help him.  Both of them would be quite loud to attract the attention of the girls around them, and when they had an audience, M would power-swim out, save his brother and drag him back to shore.  Who could resist a real hero?  The rest would be history, as they say.

How the scene “actually” played out:

B swam out into the beautiful sparkling azure waters of the bay; and when he thought he was far enough away from the shore, turned and called out to his brother for help.  M made a point of calling back and said he would be there soon.  When M noticed some of the bikini-clad girls watching, like a superhero’s call to action he puffed out his bronzed Mediterranean chest, jogged into the water and dived into an oncoming wave.  Unfortunately, M wasn’t very coordinated.  When he saw the wave, he attempted to dive under it (like he envisioned), but instead belly-flopped onto the top of the wave.  He began his “power-swim” slightly winded.

As M was free-styling out, he had no idea that his uncoordination meant he didn’t quite “look” the part.  Most free-stylers can coordinate their arm strokes and breathing.  M couldn’t.  So he had to free-style towards B with his head flicking from side to side as he breathed above the water.  His mop of pitch-black hair spun from side to side and looked like a long haired dog shaking itself after a drenching.  After a few more awkward strokes, M began cursing in his head that his “bloody brother” had swum out too far!

B was watching his brother’s head swivel from side to side, water particles spraying wildly.  And his not so graceful freestyle-arms were not gliding through the water at all like they were supposed to, but were now splashing through the water, causing him to look like an uncoordinated imbecile.  B was cursing under his breath now, because he was getting bloomin’ well tired of treading water.  How much longer would he have to wait for his idiot brother to get there?

M exhausted himself before he got to his brother.  He was only at the half way point when he realised he was starting to take mouthfuls of water in; and as much as his short Maltese legs were kicking at a hundred miles an hour under the water like duck’s paddles, he seemed NOT to be getting closer to B.

B was in real difficulty now too.  Bloody M wasn’t going to make it at all!

The girls on the shore were now pointing at them both and yelling something as the crisis began to unfold.

Luckily for the brothers, there were “real” life guards on the shore.  Within minutes, both M and B were rescued by the real heroes, and as they say, the rest is history.

 © 2015 CEW

Originally posted on my old blog site

 

My first big, bold and beautiful tattoo!

beautiful tattoo of rose and clock

I did it!  MY FIRST TATTOO

Big, bold and utterly beautiful … I love it!

What it means to me …

  • The clock represents time … the most beautiful “times” in my life, when my two sons were born
  • There are 4 hands, representing the times my boys were born, 4.32 and 11.40
  • The one red rose represents one family, and “Love”
  • I have my sons names tattooed on each side of the clock {which I Photoshopped out to protect them, as they would hate me broadcasting their names on my blog}

Did it hurt?  Oh yeah, it hurt like hell

Would I do it again?  You betcha

Where’s my husband’s name?  Well, if he ever trades me in for a younger model I don’t want his name on me!  Okay, I will get his name somewhere … soon

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?

© 2015 CEW

 

When you see a ghost in your photo …

Family Christmas dinner with ghost in backgroundGhosts, spirits and the supernatural have fascinated me for years.  I grew up with a psychic Dad; and stories about his dreams coming true and “knowing” the future were my norm.  As I grew up it became common knowledge in my family that I took after my Dad.  Yes – it seemed I could foresee the future also.

A few years back I took my sons on a ghost tour in Ballarat (an old town in Melbourne), and since then, the boys have been captivated by ghost stories.  Son 2 even took his girlfriend for night visits to closed down lunatic asylums in Melbourne, but they were too scared to venture inside.  One particular night they heard a loud bang and ran for their lives.  They never went back.  It prompted me to tell them about the ghost who came to Christmas when their Dad and I were younger.

When I told them we had a photo of the ghost somewhere, they insisted I go find it.   I dug it out of an old archived box of forgotten memories, and told them the story in a quiet spo00oky voice.

close up of ghostIt was 1983.  I was having Christmas dinner at my boyfriend’s (now their Dad’s) house.  The dining room  window looked out onto an above ground swimming pool in the back yard.  There was a flat lilo floating in the pool.  When we had the photos developed we discovered what appeared to be a “ghost” laying on the lilo, looking at us through the window.  We had the photo checked by people at the photo shop and there was no problem with the developing of the image.  You will notice that the ghost has a reflection in the water and the curtain is in front of the ghost, showing that the apparition was most definitely in the back yard.  You can certainly see that it was in the swimming pool – on the lilo.  The ghost is pure white with tonal differences where his facial features are.

It is quite an amazing photo and it has generated much discussion over the years.  The boys still bring it out to show their friends, and some of them have been quite creeped-out by it.

We always get asked about the history of the house, which we are not sure about.  My husband’s family didn’t build the house and we don’t know if anyone died there.  The swimming pool was new and nobody had drowned in it.  So, we don’t know who the ghost may be, or why he came to Christmas that day.

Around this time we did have a strange night in the house.  I was sleeping over and I heard a tinkling noise in the middle of the night, but I fell straight back to sleep.  When I awoke in the morning I saw that the glass lamp-shade was not on the lamp.  It was on the other side of the bedside table directly over a small jewellery box.  I had no idea how the lamp-shade lifted into the air without breaking the globe to then move across and lower over a jewellery box.

I believe it was our Christmas ghost letting us know that he was still there.

To this day the ghost remains a mystery.

© 2015 CEW

Originally posted on my old blog site

Shocked by the call girl who rang me

Lips with bright red lipstickThere’s one thing a woman never wants to hear when she picks up the phone …

“Hello, I’m Jenny and I work for an escort agency. I’m sorry to ring you but I need to speak to you about a call I received from your phone number last week.”

I was speechless. I had no idea how to respond, so I just said really slowly “Okay.”

I withdrew into my bedroom and shut the door so my children wouldn’t hear the call. Then she told me the news.

She received a couple of calls from my phone the previous week asking the prices of certain services. She said she is a mother too, and when she realised it was a “little boy” on the phone, and there was another one in the background giggling, she decided to let me know. Lucky for me, our phone number was displayed on her system.

She finished by saying “I just thought you might like to know.” Bless her little cotton socks – I wanted to know alright! I’ve never met a call girl or escort or prostitute or brothel worker, and I was so very, very grateful that she cared enough to ring me. She sounded absolutely lovely on the phone. I couldn’t thank her enough.

Now it was time to deal with those two rascals of mine.

I called the boys together and sat them down, and told them about the call I’d just received from the nice lady on the phone. They both confessed and said they were just joking and promised they’d never do it again.

However, Son 2 tried to win some brownie points and show how intelligent they were and said:-

“Don’t worry Mum, we didn’t use our phone. We used your work phone!”

WHAT???? They used a Government phone! To ring an escort agency! And now there was a record of it!

I was shame-faced as I reported my boys’ actions to the CEO of the Government Department I was working for at the time. He couldn’t help but bellow with laughter – because he has sons – and knows all too well the antics they are capable of.

Disaster averted.

© 2015 CEW

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The evil prank that stopped my husband’s heart

Terrifying black deadly snakeYou DON’T want to hear from your child … “Mum, if we tell you something, will you promise not to get us into trouble?” Oh Lord, what had my 12 and 14 year olds done when I was out shopping? The boys and my husband were extremely quiet, and there was a tense atmosphere in our home. Something, not good, had definitely gone down.

I thought for a moment, looked at both boys, and slowly said “Okay. I’m sure if you’ve done something wrong Dad would have dealt with it. What have you boys done now?”. {When I came home from shopping I asked Husband what was wrong as he looked like a grizzly bear that had eaten vinegar. He put up his hand and shook his head. I knew he wasn’t able to speak. Ohhhh; it must be REALLY bad and I’d find out eventually. It looked like the time was now.}

Sons sat opposite me at our kitchen bench and told me what they had done to their Dad … this time!

We live opposite a lot of land that has cattle on it, and in the summer we must be careful of snakes coming into our residential estate. In Australia in summer, we can get days as hot as 40 degrees (which is 104 Fahrenheit), and a week of this weather can be very stressful. This extremely hot day, sons went for a ride on their scooters around the block and found a dead snake on the footpath. They explained to me that they used the front wheel of their scooter and “sawed” the snake’s head off so they wouldn’t get hurt with the dead snake’s fangs and venom, put the snake’s body on their scooter, then sneaked it home. Just so you know, Australia has some of the deadliest snakes in the world!

I started to break out in a sweat, because when their colluding little heads get together it usually means one thing only – trouble!

Son explained that when they got home, they put the snakes body around the paint tins in our garage, so that when their dad went outside he would think there was a snake in the garage. They thought it would be funny.

Our garage is a bit like their man-cave. When the garage door is up the view is incredible, looking over the green wedge; and as far as the eye can see, there are no houses to block the beautiful panoramic view of the mountains in the distance. It’s the perfect place to contemplate the day, or even just relax in a peaceful space.

Son continued to tell me the story: “So dad went into the garage and we followed him. He saw the snake and put his arms out so we wouldn’t get close and he yelled out “SNAKE!” We said “Don’t worry Dad, we’ll save you” and we ran past him into the garage.”

Apparently Big brother picked up the snake by the tail and swung it around like it was a lasso then let it go and flung it into the paddock across the road.

When they turned around, laughing their noggins off, their father looked like he was having a seizure! He couldn’t even speak to them as he was stuttering, and grasping his chest. He couldn’t comprehend what he’d just seen. Sons, still laughing, said “It’s alright Dad, it was dead! We cut it’s head off before we bought it home!” They burst out laughing before realising their Dad did not find it one bit funny. All he could think of was his boys put themselves in grave danger and he couldn’t fathom it was another one of their pranks.

They sat in front of me and finished their story. Both of them were shame-faced.

I looked from Son 1 to Son 2, and couldn’t speak. I kept my lips clamped together and the pressure build up caused my face to turn bright red. I couldn’t hold it in any longer, and roared with laughter. How could I get them into trouble.

It was sheer brilliance!

© 2015 CEW

Originally posted on my old blog site

 

What the hell is that on the floor?

Long brown balancing rock formationMaybe we had altitude dementia? Or maybe not. But at 3.00 am at 36,000 feet on a long flight back to Australia, my sister and I went absolutely stir crazy. Huddled under our little blankets giggling our noggins off, we woke our Dad sitting in front of us, as well as other passengers in our vicinity. We couldn’t help it. Have you ever tried to stifle hysterics? It only makes you laugh harder. That was us.

My sister needed to go to the toilet, and if you’ve ever used an aeroplane toilet and you are female, it’s not fun. If you are a male, I suggest you try this so you know what I’m talking about …

  • Grab a cactus in a pot and put it on the roof of your car on a gravel road, and have your mate ready to accelerate behind the wheel. (Not that a toilet seat is a cactus, but the pain of sitting in someone else’s urine puddle comes mighty close for a woman!)
  • Climb onto the roof of the car.
  • Now pull down your pants – no part of your clothing can touch the floor or it becomes soaked in a complete stranger’s filthy DNA. So you need to balance the clothing between your knees and ankles.
  • Now squat backwards and hover your nether-region just above the cactus, trying not to let your dangly bits touch the prickles.
  • Now … yell out to your mate to hit the accelerator on that bumpy road.
  • Then stay in that position for 30 seconds!

Now you know what it’s like for a woman going to the toilet in an aeroplane. Anyway, back to my story …

So my sister goes to the toilet and the “occupant” forgot to lock the door. She walks in to see a poor Indian lady “hovering” in the above position. She looks at my sister with sheer terror on her face as Sister quickly reverses and shuts the door. She scurries to the next toilet.

Now it’s my sister’s turn to be in the “hovering” position. Whilst suspended in that state she notices a vile stench permeating the cubicle. She can feel bile bubbling in her innards, but manages to hold it in. “What is that smell? It’s not coming from me”, she thinks. She looks around the tiny room and her eyes focus on an object on the floor. She focuses on the “log”. It’s a big brown turd! Just resting there. On its lonesome. She can’t help it and she starts laughing uncontrollably. She pictures this …

A poor soul high above the midnight clouds. Hovering over the same toilet in the same cubicle. And just when their “object” was about to leave their body, turbulence strikes! And the “object” starts swinging like a pendulum. Left. Right. Left. And all of a sudden it’s hanging by a point mid-swing, and then it’s released! It flings off and somersaults over the top of the stainless-steel bowl and lands on the floor. Intact.

My Sister runs back to our seat with her hand over her mouth. By the time she tells me her story, we are both out of control. We have gone mad. We are over-tired!

It was the funniest way to end our 4 weeks abroad.

© CEW 2015