Y. Yakety Yak (Don’t talk back)

I love that song.  I haven’t heard it for ages and then when I was thinking of what to write for Y, the phrase yakety yak popped up.  Probably because my daughter was talking.  Nothing unusual in that really – she talks a lot.  Except when she is coming home from school when she doesn’t talk at all unless it’s to tell me that she doesn’t feel like talking.  Not in a nice way though, but in a teenage, Mum you are really annoying me kind of way.  I can’t wait until she is a teenager.  It’s going to be fun.

I know all kids talk a lot, but it still doesn’t prepare you for it when it happens.  The constant chatter about anything and everything,  the questions why (especially during a tv program and they’re asking you about it instead of just watching and listening to the bloody thing), or the answering back and/or arguing.  Oh, that is fantastic.  If you think you already know the answer, why ask the question?

The funniest and scariest time when my daughter talks though is when she has a high temperature.  Funny because she ups the ante and talks even faster than normal.  Scary because she is talking so fast that I think her brain is literally going to boil over.  It’s a better yardstick than any thermometer though – fast talking temperature, normal talking, temp is normal.  It never fails.

So, the catch phrase will be “yakety yak, don’t talk back” in our house from here on.  It will be something else for my kids to complain about.

Take out the papers and the trash
Or you don’t get no spendin’ cash
If you don’t scrub that kitchen floor
You ain’t gonna rock and roll no more
Yakety yak (don’t talk back)

Just finish cleanin’ up your room
Let’s see that dust fly with that broom
Get all that garbage out of sight
Or you don’t go out Friday night
Yakety yak (don’t talk back)


X. X marks the spot

Like this?

Ummm, no, more like this.

Oh ok.  How’s that?  Is it good?

Yeah.  Good.

Can I move it this way?

No, the other way.

How’s that?

Yeah, yeah, oh just stop for a bit.  Hold it there.  No, don’t move, don’t move.

Can I move yet?

Not yet.

It’s just that, well, I’m starting to cramp.

Can you hold on for two more minutes?  It’s got to be in the right position, otherwise it won’t work.

Can’t you finish it by yourself?

You serious?

Yeah, I am.  I’m not used to being in this position for so long.

You’re so weak.

Piss off.

You are!  It’s barely been two minutes and you can’t handle it.

Well, it’s awkward!  It’s hurting my back.

Listen!  If you want to sleep in this bloody bed tonight you have to help me out here.

I’ll sleep on the couch.

Just give me two more minutes.  I’ve got two more screws and that’s it.

Fine, but next time we buy flat pack furniture you can put it together yourself.

W. Lesser of the two Weevils

Consumers of dry goods unite!  It’s time we rid the world of weevils.  Those pesky little bugs are taking over our cupboards and ruining our 15 minute quick fix pasta meals.

How many times have we checked the pasta on the stove only to find little black bodies littering the boiling water?  One weevil you can get away with, two you might be tempted to ignore, but feeding your children anymore than that and you’re up on charge of child abuse.

All of a sudden your dinner window of opportunity has been slammed shut scraping your knuckles in the process. With a kitchen sink full of steaming pasta, cupboard doors are opened and closed repeatedly while you frantically look for that other bag of pasta you just know you have all the while muttering it’s alright, calm down, dinner is almost ready to a screaming one year old and a fractious 5 year old yelling “but I’m hungreeeeee”.

And so I say to you Mr Chairman, sack your supplier or clean up your stock because we have spoken and we will not take it anymore!


What do we want?  Weevil rights!

When do we want them?  NOW!

That’s right weevil lovers.  These little insects deserve to live!  They deserve to be left alone to thrive and survive in the flour, pasta, rice and spices in our cupboards.  Live and let live.  They do us no harm.  Sure they’re a bit small and you never quite know if they’re there or not but that’s the beauty of them.  You never know they are there!

They don’t bark or bite, meow at all times in the night.  They don’t shit on the floor or run up the wall, get in your clothes or fly up your nose.  They don’t hide in your shoes or leave behind a trail of goo.  They just sit quietly in your cupboard and explore their surroundings.

Oh, I know it can be a bit of a pain to find your spice jars have been turned into a weevils nest but really, how often do you use those spices anyway?  Aren’t they all out of date?  We should be grateful for the excuse to clean out the cupboard and throw away all the old stuff we ignore day after day, week after week.  How many of you have gone to grab a jar of coriander only to discover you have two, maybe three jars on the shelf already out of date?  Too many times!

And so I say to you, be grateful for the little things people.  Love a Weevil.

V. Vacant

I’ve lost my writing mojo.  I’ve been away a week on school holidays (the kids, not mine) and although school is now back in session, I’m feeling a bit tired.

I don’t usually do any preparation for my blogs, due to lack of organisation, but rather type on the fly.  Unfortunately, I think I’ve run out of steam.  I did start to write something and I might yet post it at a later date, but it really wasn’t working for me.

So today, I’m going to have a rest, hopefully recharge my imagination and enthusiasm and be ready for tomorrow.

V is for vacant.

U. Umbrella

Elaine buttoned up her coat against the cold and quickly slipped her kid leather gloves onto her hands, clapping them together softly once she had done so.  It would never do to bang them together like a man, as much as she wanted to.  No, “One Must Always be aware of One’s Place in Society and Behave Accordingly” as Elaine’s  teacher often said.  She could picture the old lady in her head pointing a gnarled finger at Elaine as she so often had during Finishing School.  Elaine never could quite follow the rules even though she tried hard.  She really did.  It’s just that it didn’t make sense to her and what didn’t make sense, really didn’t seem important.

God forbid, I do something to draw attention to myself like perform a little dance with my umbrella to warm me up.  No, because then people would know I was cold and “Ladies Should Dress Accordingly and Never Be Cold”.  Oh, I hate this weather.   What I would give to wear trousers like a man!  She giggled at the thought of  what her old teacher might say if she saw Elaine in trousers.

A whistle blew heralding an incoming train.  Well, thought Elaine, if I can’t change society, maybe I can make a change for me.  She climbed aboard the train and made her way to the second compartment.  A quick glance through the glass door revealed a well dressed middle aged gentleman sitting by the window.  Elaine quickly touched her hand to her hair, drew a deep breath to calm her nerves and opened the door.

The man looked up and smiled, transforming his rather stern face to that of a man who looked at least, five years younger.  “Hello, Miss Cloud!  What a lovely surprise.”

“Why, Mr Harris, this is a coincidence.  I do believe this is the third time this week we have met in this very same compartment!”

“A coincidence indeed Miss Cloud.  Come in and sit down please.  I would offer to take your coat but I daresay you will still need it on even inside in this unbearably cold weather.”

“Oh, Mr Harris.  You’ve no idea how I detest the cold.  Give me sunshine and I’m as happy as a lark in spring.”

“Well there is plenty of sunshine in Australia, my dear, and I shall be glad to experience it.”

“Of course Mr Harris!  Your trip to Australia.  Please do tell me all about it.  I would so love to hear of your plans.  Tell me sir, will you be travelling there alone?”

T. Toasted Sandwich Maker

The toastie, jaffle, Breville, toasted sandwich, whatever you want to call it, the sandwich maker was revolutionary.  It was one of those kitchen gadgets that you had to have and then wondered how you  ever lived without it.  Suddenly three day old bread became popular again, although breadcrumb stocks in the home did drop.

I hadn’t had one for years (ever since I moved to KL) and decided that one day I just had to have one.  Off I went through the streets of Bukit Bintang in search of a cheap electricals shop that would sell me one.  Upon acquiring said item and then hitting the supermarket for some ham, cheese and tomatoes, I sent out a couple of text messages on my way home and lo and behold I had friends inviting themselves over for lunch.  Such is the power of a Toasted Sandwich.

Not just any toasted sandwich though, no.  A normal toaster toasted sandwich doesn’t have the same magic about it.  None of this bread getting cold while you pile everything on it and then have it all slip back out the sides business.  That is a poor man’s toasted sandwich.

The Toasted Sandwich has to come out piping hot and sealed on all sides and cut into two perfect triangles (I’m old school.  I don’t think the sandwich press rates a mention).

You haven’t experienced a real Toasted Sandwich unless you open the lid and have hot steam gush into your face.  The sight of melted cheese oozing over the hot plate, the smell of hot ham and seeing that perfectly browned bread, firm beneath your fingers.   You rip that sandwich right off the hot plate ninja fast so that you don’t burn your fingers.   You bring the sandwich into the living room with you, turn on the TV, take that first big bite and burn the fuck out of your mouth.

My Dad was a butcher back in the day and because my parents didn’t have a lot of ready cash in those days, he regularly brought home corned beef for my mum to cook up and serve it up for lunches.  For the next 3 weeks.  For us, the sandwich maker was a God send to dress up that never-ending luncheon meat.  Trouble was that no matter how long my poor mother boiled that thing in the pot it always turned out stringy and tough.  Desperate and hungry we would make a corned beef toasted sandwich and wait for it to cool down.  As usual, I was impatient, take one big bite but damned if I could bite through the corned beef.  There I would be, mouth burning from trying to eat the sandwich too soon which a great chunk of meat stuck fast in my jaws.   Panic would set in and I would rip that corned beef straight out of the bread.  The piece would then slap hard onto my chin bringing melted cheese and tomato with it.  Double burns – tongue and chin.  Oh, how everyone laughed.  At me.

Needless to say, I got smarter and cut that damned meat up into tiny pieces for future sandwiches until I left home and never ate corned beef again.  However, the sandwich filling choices were endless:  chicken, avocado and cheese; ham, cheese and pineapple; baked beans, the list goes on.  The Toasted Sandwich maker – everyone should have one.

What about you?  What’s your favourite Toasted Sandwich filling?

S. Sorry

Dear T__

I miss you.  I miss your laugh and your sense of humour.  I especially miss the laughts we had together. You know that even now after 8 years of no contact with you, whenever it is Easter time I still feel like I should be getting ready to come and stay with you for the long weekend?

I miss the changing of the seasons that you see so readily in C__, especially when we used to go on picnics.  I miss the jokes we used to have when pointing out birds, mostly at L__’s expense.  I miss the markets, the drives, the games of Union we used to watch.  Most of all I miss the evenings that we would come home cold and exhausted, when you would turn the heater on full blast and we would each change into our track pants and socks, grab a drink and sit down on the lounge until dinner.

Oh, the fabulous dinners you used to make for us – never a dud meal T__.  Then, with our tummies full and the heat still up high we would watch a movie with a guarantee that you would be asleep before the end.

I’m not sure you want this letter T__ after all these years.  I’m not sure that you want to hear from me again and have bad feelings and anger towards me resurface.  But, I want you to know that I loved you like a sister and the feeling was mutual.  I also want you to know that I will forever be truly sorry for hurting you in the way that I did.

I deliberately did not contact you after L__ and I split up because I didn’t want there to be a division in your emotions.  I really felt that he deserved your full support and that he needed to feel your anger towards me too.  I still believe that.  I don’t know if it was the right way to do things (the way I left that is), and I know that your mother will never understand it, but that’s why I did it like that.

I know your Mum would have thought about whether I liked her or not or if she could have done something differently.  The reality is of course that I liked your mother very much and she couldn’t have changed the outcome no matter how hard she tried.  It was for that very reason I didn’t contact either of you.

I know I can never answer all of your questions and that isn’t the purpose of this letter.  I miss you that’s all, and I never wanted you to continue thinking that I thought so little of you when I left.  The truth is so very different.  I wish I could have done things differently, spoken to you one last time.  I know that’s not possible.

Take care of yourself T__ and give your Mum an extra hug when you see her next.

I’m sorry.