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I was going to leave to space to others to comment on MIQ a little longer. So much being said. And when all is said and done, the arguments for both sides are fairly reductive:
The trolls: You shouldn’t have left. Oh really? The phrase ‘bodily autonomy’ renders that one redundant from the outset. Humans have flowed back and forward across borders since the beginning of time. The concept of citizenship recognizes the rights and privileges’ to the individual and likewise the benefits to societies and communities accrued by the exchange of ideas and commerce back to the home nation.
The Government: ‘No need to go around lighting matches with a bonfire burning’. Ardern. Or from NZ Health Minister Chris Hipkins came the phrase: Returnees via MIQ are gauged as, “cumulative risk”.
Oh really? As your resident Enlightened Gen X Housewife and microbiology student I went looking for this phrase in reputable publications to see how this position might be informed. Nothing has yet been published in the field of virology with regards to how travel across borders increases ‘cumulative risk’ to the growth of viral outbreaks. ‘Cumulative risk’ is a phrase that has been largely coined in the medical field to apply to an individual’s risk profile. It has also been used in the arena of social justice to apply to risk factors to under privileged communities. As politicians do, Hipkins made shit up, to keep us out.
Why would he do such a thing?
One: They, the Government doesn’t know what to do. The most likely reason. At the time this phrase was bandied around, Labour hadn’t got their act together around the Omicron response and the rapid testing required for greater circulation of the population. It was easier just to make shit up on the fly.
Two: The polls. Incumbent governments poll really well in wartime if the enemy is losing. The enemy in this instance being Covid. Make no mistake about it, The Government could have declared a victory of sorts after Delta numbers fell so quickly and border numbers incoming were outweighed by numbers infected in the community. Delta and Omicron are different enough that this was a clear chance to unite all New Zealanders. But the Government was worried about it’s polling in light of National rolling former National Leader Judith Collin and replacing her with the more publicly palatable, rugby club type persona; Christopher Luxon. So the obvious way to regroup and bolster is to revert to formerly successful tactics and encourage a cancel culture around the inadvertent carriers of the enemy. Us. You and I. (Only relevant if you are outside of the borders. But this should cause everyone pause to think. Even the trolls)
Except. It’s not really the same enemy anymore.
Omicron is not a death wave waiting  in the wings. This skirmish is more of a pesky excursion courtesy of attendees to events arranged or encouraged by the Government.
And this is where the Government realized it had to change it’s messaging and approach from Keep It Out to ‘Let It Rip’!
Omicron came in on a Welcome Mat laid out by Labour. They won’t admit to this of course. But it did. The first DJ didn’t let it in. But you have to question. Which event organizer, or performer might have tested positive after arriving here. There were an awful lot of events that we know about organized thanks to the activity of the Arts portfolio under Ardern. But lets not blame the musicians and artists. I drop that sector in for a sense of perspective.
How about those diplomats and Government Department workers who were unable to complete all business by Zoom. If you think no-one working for the Government moved across the border in the past two years then you were born yesterday. They were sucking up MIQ spots faster than a hooker giving a blowjob.
And the business people. This sector also had to compete with the above and expats. But the Government could not afford a completely unfriendly business approach less the job layoffs get completely out of hand.
Exclude for now the Expat MIQ contingency. Do you get the sense that the inn is bustling with a whack-ton of people coming in and out of New Zealand at the Governments behest or with the Government’s blessing? What is the chances of all those people retuning without some being infected? That’s right. Slim to none.
So at some stage we were softened up for the arrival of Omicron and lo and behold Omicron has arrived and it was no surprise when we were told that it was too tricky to continue to trace the virus via whole genome sequencing.
For two years the sequencing has been done religiously. The Delta was sequenced right back to the walkway or lobby it potentially transmitted in and all of a sudden: “Yeah nah this shit is beyond our best labs and so we as a nation have to start preparing for the circulation of Omicron”.
Do you follow my housewife logic?  In my household, if the behaviour has been going on for a while and then appears to stop: Either there is drugs or money involved or that person really doesn’t want to get caught!

How then to continue to fight the war when we’ve conceded a defeat of sorts and we’re actually having a toast to the fallen and laughing at the other countries fallen numbers on the battlefield but we don’t want to get roasted by other political parties or bleed out in the polls?

You make someone else the target of public focus. And that’s usually the most vulnerable group who has the least comeback to the Government. They already have every reason not to fight back (who would listen to them) and probably have a good dose of Imposter Syndrome where they feel like they’re just nobody anyway and as soon as someone points this out everybody will know. You can put up a reasonably light defense and it will act as an offense to those who are seeking to assert their rights but have imposter syndrome. As someone who used to be afflicted with this I should know. It goes with the territory of being a Mum. Disabled, or on your own or other factors.

In a foreign country.
So The Government instead of reuniting expats with NZ after united efforts to borders tight to keep out Delta decided to take on pregnant ladies seeking space in MIQ.


A lot of Kiwi babies have been born oversea during the past two years.

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New Zealand does not yet have Omicron circulating in the community. While the rest of the world is boiling over with lysis and recombination (Cell death and transmission plus mutation).
This is a the result of a combination of luck, strict border measures and being surrounded by ocean.
The only thing you can predict is that when Omicron does get into New Zealand. Someone will die with it. And there will be much gnashing of teeth and chest beating and politicians will count their allies. And maybe call in a few favors to stay in or out of the press. And we must not have that. Ever! See, this is not about health outcomes after all this time. This is about political opportunism. This is what happens when an unprepared governing party is caught on the hop by an ever evolving virus. Kiwi Jaime Ridge who was caught out in LA and unable to return to New Zealand called the Government, “Muppets”, in a cute youthful way.
If so, the opposition is comprised of the Fraggles and the Doozers: (National and Act) who been caught out too with a dearth of trusted advisors. Computational scientists and exponential modelers are probably fairly thin on the ground and most of the talent has been hoovered up by Labour. And that is why all political parties are now singing from the same song sheet. It reminds me of shoals of fish. Except for a few principled individuals. They are easy to spot. Even when Parliament is in recess they are working for the dispossessed and in need. Their play is more about where is the system failing people than point scoring or: “Look at Me”. Such as National’s Erica Stanford.
Those scientists and politicians in the limelight aren’t helping by trilling over and over: “Get jabbed”. Those who haven’t, won’t.” There are still those who feel uncomfortable with what they see as unnecessary medical procedures. And won’t shift. Even if these people have no hard and fast scientific argument against vaccination. But when the heck was every citizen expected to defend their views and personal physiology with knowledge requiring a Masters in Biological Sciences? Now, scarily it seems individuals are demanded to go one step further and exhibit their loyalty to Vax constantly, or be excluded and de-platformed. More about that later.
Thoroughly gaslit by now, the unvaccinated may be less scared of the actual virial entity than the specter of social control and ideological forces underpinning the mass vaccination campaign. I get it. I went into my pharmacy the other day and there was a line up of people waiting to get jabbed by my pharmacists. All these pharmacists are familiar and I know all by name. But it was so surreal watching the mass vax action unfold with everyone moving like automatons. I felt like I’d stepped into the Twilight Zone.
And although vaccinated, I would put personal freedom and the right to choose for my body over whatever the majority of the population has decided is sane or reasonable. Basically. You can think I’m mad but if I live within my values I’m good. Mmmmkay?
My conscience still bothers me a lot. Its a tough gig.
Something goes up on YouTube that gives the 10% unvaccinated a tendril of hope that there is a voice to unite them. Dr Robert Malone on Joe Rogan. Then it goes down. News abounds about curfews for the unwaxed around the world. Utter madness.
Re Dr Malone’s concept of “Mass formation psychosis”? I’m not a fan of boxed debunking of accepted medical practices. But I can tell you exactly why Malone pulled the disunited and cynical crowd. They are the kind of folks who might take what works and discard the rest and are brutalized by cruelty towards the unvaxed for having a different set of values. Mass Formation Psychosis is absolutely a thing and there is another word for it:
The cultural divide of ‘pro vax’ vs ‘anti vax’ has got to be the biggest Cultural worldwide explosion since the Beatles! ‘Blame’ culture on steroids. All built around keeping safe.
But New Zealand is safe because the only play in town is having the drawbridge up and it got emphatically pulled up two years ago. On the 18th March 2020, Kiwis were encouraged informally to get home now. I say informally because the only way they might know would be to be apprised of the interviews of the New Zealand media with Foreign Minister Winston Peters. On the 24th March 2020 an official edict was issued for foreign nationals to Shelter in Place.
New Zealanders Overseas Encouraged to Shelter In Place

But how do you account for the misery that has caused in the Ledger of Human Suffering since March 2020 otherwise known as Ground ZeroCovid?
The cost of no tolerance for Covid is high. Businesses fail. There is money in health being spent to keep Covid at bay that is not keeping operating theatres going at optimum throughput. Elective surgeries are deferred and health screenings delayed.
The media seems to have little to offer in the way of holding either the Government or the opposition to accountability unless they are willing to piss Ardern or the cabinet off. That is the litmus test. Going somewhere different. People and economic systems reach the limits of tolerance. You  can only meaningfully reliably gather and rely on data in a closed system to adhere to Scientific Method. But people and economic systems are not by their nature Closed Systems.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over in a system that is made of human parts and hearts that yearn to be connected. For growth and for warmth. For youthfulness and healing. But Labour wants to keep doing the same thing over and over. To keep Brand Ardern going like a stubborn pack mule. The economy and the New Zealand culture cannot keep taking on the strains of being separated from the outside world forever. Businesses are going over and inflation is rampant but as I’m not an economist or a statistician I can’t comment. But people unable to thrive are leaving and a surfeit of New Zealand citizens are unable to easily enter the border, contravening the spirit of the nation’s Bill of Rights (1990) If not the law which will be tested later in January by the group Grounded Kiwis representing the rights of expatriate Kiwis.
A purported 1/5 of New Zealand’s population residing outside the borders at some point in 2020 was not guaranteed easy passage inwards. Safe. Yes. Your patience (two years and counting) is required) But Easy? Hell NO!
Not all of them wanted in at once. A good portion have travelled back via MIQ facilities. The Government’s response has been that they (Labour) are doing a good job. I don’t believe it. A good job would be to weight equally the health requirements of all citizens inside and outside the borders. This is what us hardy Kiwis forget. Humans aren’t automatons pulling a wage and putting food on the table and tithing to church and the unions. TAB & a jug at the pub Nation. Though it suits the politicians that we fall into this liver spotted wallpaper of a life. Once downtrodden (as a result of too little money in the household kitty and this as a casualty of little education and inflation) we tend not to question authority.
We need to remind the leaders we have mental health needs too. The Prime Minister neglects to focus on the ties of family and mental heath and this extends to Kiwis beyond the border. You can’t ignore the health of offshore or onshore Kiwis without affecting the mental health of the other group. Poor mental health can be just as deadly as physical ailments. A border solution needs to balance compassion with pragmatism.
Bring up that Ledger of Human Suffering. Think of all the birthdays, births, deaths, cancers that develop and spread and husbands and wives kept apart in that population of one million.
But close the leather bound ledger. Slide it across the desk to the Labour Ministers of the New Zealand Government, (Grant Robertson, Chris Hipkins, Andrew Little) because all that suffering matters naught. Compared to the handful of Covid deaths and the tens of thousands of Covid deaths that were imminent since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Yes. Like dominos. Bound to happen. Makes sense doesn’t it? Omicron is as scary as a cold on steroids but will overwhelm the health system and Maori. Makes sense.
It’s as though there is a sense of inevitability about a wave of Omicron devastation but this need not happen if the breakouts are ring-fenced and well managed?
Why are music festivals still happening? Because infection can be well managed now the bedrock is down and they give Labour a win directly within Arden’s jurisdiction. She is the Associate Minister for Arts. Covid turned up at the festivals that went ahead (the deadlier Delta version)
In Sydney it’s reported over fifty percent of cases that turn up at hospitals are Delta. So any music festival still has the potential to be a super-spreader event. This is conveniently ignored while Brian Tamaki drags the pox wherever he goes.
Instead of freaking out about Covid give it to locals to manage.
The best example of Covid control occurred in my hometown of Eltham, Taranaki which had an outbreak of Covid. It even mentions my former marching team! Stuff reports In a good example of regional response:
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said the iwi had copied the model of Te Whānau o Waipareira and were able to respond “really fast and understand really, really quickly if we have Covid in our community.”


In any case. The balance of scientific evidence is on the side of vaccinating communities: Yale recently came out with a study showing that vaccinations are your best defense against both infection and mutating stains:

5 Things to Know About The Delta Variant

And if they are fully vaccinated. Why are travelers being kept for up to twenty days in MIQ uninfected? A slow transition into prepared communities desperate for tourism and equipped to vaccinate and test and welcome home weary travelers is better  than what New Zealand has now. A pile on of Fear. And say what you will about any of the political parties. Any one of them could be leading. Quite frankly it seems to be the workers. the public servants, the PR agencies, the TV channels, the MIQ and the Armed forces putting in the hard yards.
The Prime Minister couldn’t have chosen a better time to get married. And I commend her on going on honeymoon first so she appears in the best light to overseas media come the Omicron outbreak.
I am after-all a proud Kiwi. If all anyone around here knows about New Zealand is that we have bugger all Covid. “You’ve done sooo well keeping Covid out of New Zealand. You must be sooo proud”! 🙂 I’ll take credit.
Over the Winter Break, I looked at the phylogeny tree of the Nebraska outbreak that showed a shorter incubation period of omicron. My Professor who got his doctorate at Berkeley had this to say:
“As far as the incubation time, I wouldn’t be surprised if what we’re seeing is evolutionary pressure towards higher transmissibility and more rapid incubation (since variants that can’t do that are having a harder time finding viable hosts to continue their “lineage” due to us approaching herd immunity through vaccination) and lesser severity (since killing your host also makes you unable to survive).  I think it might be a “chicken vs. egg” question as to whether we’re seeing more mutations because the virus’ life cycle is being compressed vs. the mutations leading to that more rapid incubation cycle; tough to know for sure, but I’d lean toward the former.”

Ie: 1. Virus spawns more frequently in a shorter lifespan (more offspring leading to more recombination events) as for Natural selection to occur more offspring must survive than are reproduced.
2. A mutation has occurred that has been favored and passed through the population which has favored transmission and decreased incubation period.
Hard to say. Hard to say. Probably the former and that is why MIQ has an abundance of omicron cases at the border. It’s due to the forces of Natural Selection. And codon substitutions at the S1 spike protein. (Mutations)
But it’s not due to lack of effort on the part of your neighbor vaccinated, skeptical, offshore or quarantining. Keep holding your Government to account as a pandemic needs to be actively managed. Saying “We’ve done well”, but keeping mute or muzzling every sector of the population that disagrees or could show the Government in poor light with shush money while stirring the pot around the Pile on of Fear is causing irreparable economic and societal damage to Aotearoa New Zealand. All the best in your navigation around the vax issue.
Love love.

PS Where is Luxon. After coming back and taking the helm has he gone travelling? Like Uncle Gobo?

Uncle  Gobo

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Elon Musk did it. Hosted Saturday Night live and geeks and haters and Late Night aficionados world wide tuned in to catch his SNL debut. I did. I was excited to see how he presented. There was so much offhand hatery presaging his appearance. People were outraged he was invited to host. There were spurious accusations of mistreatment of staff and the odd article appeared impugning his character while falling short of defamation.
Thank You Texas For Taking Elon Musk
I think most of the rumblings of discontent were generated by pissyness that he recently moved to Texas and wasn’t too happy about the spectre of unions organizing on his shop floor.
What else? Oh. He thought Coronavirus was a well-perpetuated hoax or it was a myth that it was as contagious as it was. “The Coronavirus panic is dumb” Musk tweeted on March 6th. He criticized lockdown encouraging his workers to continue to work and advocating for an approach like Sweden’s which initially pursued a no lockdown herd immunity approach it later abandoned.
Which actually makes him not that much different from, well many people who were popping up all over my Facebook feed that time last year (March through May). No one wanted to wear a fucking mask and many thought it was a sign that our freedoms were being eroded. That it was a cunning plot by the Democrats to steal the election. Turns out the Democrats didn’t need any help. Either they were well organized ahead of time to do it on their own or Trump shot himself in the foot enough times over and over it was a walk in the park. Masked up of course. The two men showed some similarities in their beliefs and behaviors last year One word. Chloroquine. Musk wondered on twitter if it would be effective in the fight against Covid after it was used to treat him when he fell ill with a deadly form of Malaria: Falciparum in 2000
But while Trump would double down and lash out on Twitter and in real life: thus ensuring his Megalomania ego part would dominate and take charge of the rest of his personality, Musk has an endearing ability to pause in the aftermath of any misstep, impulsive tweet or action  and self reflect and take ownership of his presentation to the world.
He makes a comment in the opening SNL skit about being reduced to “the dumbest thing they ever did”! (He smoked a suss cigar on a Joe Rogan podcast in November 2018. ) This caused Tesla shares to drop and two execs to walk. “one time I smoked weed on Joe Rogans podcast. It makes makes me look like I go from podcast to podcast lighting up joints”, said Musk last Saturday!
“I reinvented the electric car and I’m sending humans to Mars on rocket ships. Did you also think I was going to be a chill normal dude?” He laughed on SNL

He talked about having Asperger’s. By taking the mickey he did something wonderful. He freed up the topic of atypical intelligence and linked it to behavior which brings it up for discussion. If a billionaire Wunderkid can take the piss out of himself and acknowledge the odd pratfall but, get this: Not apologize for his actions because. Really? Where’s the harm? He got a little stoned once on air. So what. He mostly adds value to his company and what CEO doesn’t get up the nose of some of his execs or directly impact on the value of the company stock. They can’t rise in a straight line forever.
He’s not friendly to unions. The unions are one of the checks and balances of life but Musk isn’t obliged to see eye to eye philosophically or politically with anyone. No-one is.

He’s certainly comfortable with who he is and what he believes in. That is far more enviable than the billions. I must photoshop myself into a photo with him and osmose off that confidence.

Speaking of neurodivergence. I did some neuropsyche testing recently. The results came back. I found on top of, well. Everything 🙂 Like the 5cm hole in my head from the stroke. I have ADHD. Essentially I have a great idea and I can’t pay attention to it! OR I just get bored and you won’t see me for a couple of years. So anyway. A schedule is a key for ADHD and right now I am getting ready to write a book and the only way to do that is consistency and a calendar. I think the lesson that can be learned in the case of Musk is that self awareness is key, be non apologetic and then use your neurodivergence to your strength. Because if you’re at all atypical your brain has immense untapped potential.


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Meghan Markle delivered! Isn’t she fantabulous!

Meghan Markle

I picked it as a boy. The bump was so high. How could it not be a boy!
It was the baby delivery we were all were waiting for! We all wish her and Harry the best. I remember my oldest son was difficult from the get-go 🙂
I didn’t get the natural birth as he was breech. His legs came out kicking after the doctors tried to turn him (an inversion)
He was so tall! I ran interference for him continuously! Oh I could tell you the stories. And now he’s 6ft”3 and playing American Football. Defensive on the Line. The first time he played he took out the Tackle and the Guard and the Coach said you’re gonna take us all the way to the NFL with this aggressiveness! 🙂

Anyway, I just shared on Instagram how my blog was about the Beauty and Pain!
I have taken this from a blog: Drugs over Dinner.Org:

People don’t know how to deal with consciousness. We’re programmed to believe that the only thing real is what we think and believe. Our culture doesn’t teach that there’s an alternative to living in our heads, so we’re stuck in these thoughts and they torture us. People who’ve been hurt so much that they can’t stand it anymore have to find something to do. Otherwise, it’s like sitting in a fire. It’s completely understandable that people struggle with addiction.

he stories we replay in our minds about our lives are so painful. That’s what drives some people to drugs. The stories are painful, and they just keep playing, and we keep reacting and reinforcing them. My best solution after being though a lot is to get out and garden! 🙂 And draw lots of smiley faces! And keep up with current events!

From my garden. Just to show that not every rose has a thorn 🙂

Yeah that’s shit. Everyone knows every rose has a thorn. But our boys grow and surprise us 🙂

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Did I tell you what else hurts! The stories people leave you with.

One of my favs was honest Kev! Did I talk about 9/11? I think I did. When I hung outwith honest Kev, my heart broke for him. His dad cleaned up in the aftermath you see; his Dad was dying because of this.Mesothelioma.  His Dad is dying after cleaning up post-9/11. Kev had a coke habit. Kev was such a good guy and he always treated me like a lady!
One of the guys; people who love you will love you and sing your praises!

This one is for Kev! 🙂

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Write hard and clear about what hurts.” ~ Ernest Hemingway


It’s all very difficult to front up and say this: I’ve been on a journey. If you know me personally, you will know this.


Scroll to see the back story! It’s been six months in the making! Now I have some peace of mind. After an arduous journey, I find peace and simplicity in my garden and walking my dog 🙂
The hardest task is to write hard and clear about what hurts! I could say that I had fallen down the rabbit hole of addiction, again! I was well aware that I was physically compromised at the age of 26. I gave up drinking for an entire decade. All my children were born when I was sober. For a decade. Did this protect me, No! Asshole alcohol!
I moved to California after giving up abstinence and at first , my excitement and love of life protected me. Then I found myself on a roller-coaster. I was completely honest with my friends. I’ve had to sometimes medically give up alcohol in case I suffered bad events from giving up too quickly. This is hard to admit to. In America you are expected to be a cookie cutter Mom! On one level it is fabulous! Who doesn’t want to live on a screen set! And on another level I feel like I’m set up for high expectations This is not an excuse. This is me. I’m in my early forties, a driver today said I looked around thirty.  Even if I have a booze habit (receding behind me) I’ll take the compliment!

From now on, once I lose the stupid craving and depression from giving up alcohol, I will strive to give you tips on living well.
I have met so many people. I have met fellows with PTSD. We sat around a table once and we were all shaking. I learnt that one had been airlifted from 9/11 to Kabul with five days notice. Thereupon after digging limbs from the rubble in 9/11, and upon arrival in Kabul, they were confronted with a canteen that had bullet marks head height.  A rain of them. If this guy had been there a day before, he might not have been alive. Another guy had to refuel bombers in midair. There was no room for mistakes.
I learned that PTSD can be caused by an absent Dad with mental health issues. My Mom was awesome by the way. But it takes one person in the wrong place to cause indelible harm. I want to speak to all of you. There are so many hurt and injured. From the girl who took off from treatment (trigger) to the Tenderloin and was raped at gunpoint.
It’s such a struggle.An everyday struggle. I love you all. (Trigger) My hairdresser who was raped at the age of four and all of the numerous friends who have recounted straight faced  their time when the big bad wolf got them. This includes guys. The Catholic church hung crosses around the necks of boys ho were vulnerable. They were marked as prey.
Dear friends. There is peace. And hope. The road is worthwhile.


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As most of us aren’t. I’ve cocked up in recent years but the kids are happy and doing well at school. I guess were I’ve gone wrong is from going from sober back to drinking. I have to say here that I have never drunk while pregnant or breastfeeding. Hubby is taking three months off work so I can be a cock-up in style bless his heart. 🙂 I am lucky to say I have so many people that down right love me or wish me well 🙂 I’ve just had my French cousin Chloe visiting and she is such a dote. And my Mom is arriving on Tuesday. To hold the fort lol I’ve twisted my ankle and to be honest am still fighting the battle with the booze but not as bad. Mostly I’m sticking to the beer and mucking around on the internet. I might have to go into Hospital for a few days on Monday. For my ankle and to get benzos to get orf the booze. Wish me luck. I’ll update. I’m fairly fucking resourceful when it comes to getting booze. Ha I managed to Uber down to get for bottles earlier. But I do want to get off.  I have my heroes Rob and Paddy. And Shaun from AA. I was the NZ poster girl for AA but got bullied. Other than that I loved it.

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I’m judging the idiot that Ubered me last night and couldn’t speak English. I was desperate for a piece of cake, some ice-cream and a bottle of booze. It was my birthday So I get an Uber down to Safeway as I’m old enough to know when I shouldn’t be driving.

I’d had three beers for lunch  At this stage, let others do the driving for me.
This wanker pulls up in a twenty year old Honda. Yammers all the way in down in pidgin to the Supermarket and then he fucking bails on me outside the trolley park. I told him I’d give him a tip if he waited and he drives the fuck off.

Mom made me edit this post. Hope you got the chance to read the first version 🙂

I’m gonna hunt out my male friends who can take my cussing. As my addiction doctor says when doing the rounds: “Are you eating pooping, cussing and praying 🙂 ”


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What is with brats these days. I’m losing the battle. 🙂 My loin-fruit, (beloved offspring) won’t move from the bed without charge. For the mobile phone.

I never had a cellphone until I was 23. Then I was mocked mercilessly for being a try-hard. Within weeks everyone had one and we were texting each other from one end of the dinner table to the other. Bit of harmless fun. We knew it was a novelty. We still had a phone connected to the wall and one fucking screen.
As I type this, every brat has a screen and a phone. The phone is connected to their hand and Fuck knows how they play Fortnite with the extra appendage, but they manage. And if I tell them to lose the screen time, they bitch about how awful a Mother I am.
Cockheads, the lot of them but they run as a pack. They’re all on the same page. Currently I have one son playing with a friend in Tahoe. His Avatar name is Deeznuts.
This kid yells so loud I feel like I have another child in the house.
My son’s Avatar is Lickmaballs, BTW. 🙂

And this morning,  oldest called me on his mobile to bring him a towel!
A fucking towel! From the other end of the House. While I was enjoying my morning cuppa. Couldn’t drip his way to the linen closet. Gobshite.

The girl is as bad. She’s almost always flat out like a flounder on the couch with her eyes glued on a screen. She can hold her own in Roblox and Fortnite though. Small mercies.

At least I got these guys out to the sand-pit today and away from screens. 🙂 My youngest. Twins. And I finally got the second eldest out of bed without a cattle-prodder.

I can still hear Deezenuts hollering in the lounge. My son,  Lickmaballs is hollering back.

I have a full bag of white chocolate and a cup of tea to hand. Wish me luck 🙂

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It’s totally weird emigrating from a country where the school year logically ends at the end of the calendar year to America where the school year ends halfway through the year! Yet I accepted it unquestioningly on first year here. We left at the end of the school year in Summer and landed midway through, in Winter.

We landed New Year’s Eve 2011. What a shit-show of a trip, that was. Five kids. Eighteen pieces of carry on luggage including three strollers.

I have to say that the Air New Zealand staff were arrogant and rude on the flight out. I had one baby with a shit in their diaper and I was lining up at the cabin door after handing all our boarding passes over,desperate for assistance and I was told by some prissy trolly dolly: “No, you can’t board yet”. Finally we got on and I spent a good ten minutes wiping poop outta cracks. If I’d been able to get to it when it first happened it wouldn’t have been so bad.

The stench didn’t leave the aisle for about twenty minutes after take-off. I deflected the side-eyes with smiles and pretended it was someone else’s kid. Or maybe the old man across the way was incontinent, I suggested with glances and a tilt of my head.

The service started when we arrived at SFO. The dour looks of the Air NZ staff changed to smiles and assistance. That’s what it is to receive service in the U.S. On one hand, everyone is equal but on the other hand, if you’re in a position of service, you go above and beyond. The culture around tipping has a lot to do with it. On part of both the tipper and the receiver. Where I come from, it’s not uncommon to hear some bitching about the tipping culture. “Oh that’s so hard”! “I’m so glad there is no tipping in New Zealand. One word, folks: “Tight”. Probably a lot to do with ancestry. New Zealand ancestors are largely Scottish and English, particularly Northern England and who wouldn’t want to emigrate from some of those towns that never see Summer. My own ancestors came from a town near Manchester. Good dour, swarthy breed on that side. Not tight. Good with money. Business people. Every one of us has started or married a small business owner.  Tradies by nature. House painters, roofers and builders. I broke the mould by marrying a tech guy. Except when I met him, (A) he had hair and (B) we were both students with no apparent future to speak of. It’s only in hindsight that I was lucky and I found a Keeper. He built and sold a business to Silicon Valley and  now here we are!
I’m still a tradie by nature. I’m in charge of our rentals which are meant to provide a stream of income for both our kids education and our old age. Oh the sights I have seen being a landlady. You can’t run rentals without Street-Smarts. I’m always on the lookout for this quality in my kids.

#1. Has the street-smarts. I’ve never worried about him. His survival instinct is finely tuned. You could drop both him and I in the roughest part of Oakland and we’d both stroll out smiling. I’d have made a bunch of new friends and he’d go in with a Hundy in his pocket and come out with Five. Not a bad rate of return.

#2. Whereas #1 was walking home from school at the age of five, I didn’t let #2 walk home until he was ten. Because he would get in the car with anyone. Prime target for Redo the Paedo.

Tipping is easy. If you can’t tip then you’re not as smart as a fourth Grader. Percentages, folks. If someone goes above and beyond, and my hairdresser does on a regular basis, it’s 25%. that’s 10% * 2 and half again.
10% of a Hundy is 1$10. Double that and add half again. Easy, right?  $25 bucks that goes straight into the pocket of the other person. Because you can guarantee the wage they are paid won’t cover their living expenses. Especially here in the Bay Area. And there is none of the minimum wage bullshit in these parts. You get paid what the market deems. If you can’t live on that, then you get a second fucking job. And if you’re sick or on leave. You don’t get paid. No show up to Work?  No get paid. A bit like when I was young. My first wage was $2.78 an hour. Double time on Saturdays. I was a fifteen year old shelf stacker at our local supermarket. The union guys used to come in and we used it as an excuse for an extra smoko:

“Smoko”,is a term used in Australian EnglishNew Zealand English and Falkland Islands English for a short, often informal, cigarette break taken during work or military duty, although the term can also be used to describe any short break such as a rest or a coffee/tea break. Among sheep shearers in Australia, “smoko” is a mid-morning break, between breakfast and lunch, in which a light meal may be eaten.

So. We arrived in SFO. New Years Eve 2011. People rushed to our assistance. We prepared to queue for ages to get through immigration. But no! Either we looked like a hot mess or SFO is just great at anticipating customer flow, but to our surprise, an immigration official came up to us! “Come this way”!
They opened up a separate immigration desk for us! The benefits of having a large family.

And so began our journey to these shores. A shit in a diaper; a glass of wine crossing the equator to celebrate the New Year, some shirty air hostesses in the air and smiles and assistance upon landing.

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