In the news, Ranting

Having a gifted child shouldn’t be aspirational

November 19, 2014 | 6 Comments

This bright spark has decided he’s not going to call his child “gifted”. The fact that his child is apparently not gifted doesn’t seem to have factored into this decision, but you know, just in case anyone was wondering, in the event that his child had a brain transplant down the track and became a different child.

I have a gifted child. I also have a not-gifted child. So here’s your first lesson, Christopher: they are both really smart. Off the charts smart. One is gifted. The other one is just regular smart.

Gifted is not “smartest”. It’s a way to label behavioural traits, to assist with learning development and needs analysis.

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My dad’s cats

November 18, 2014 | 1 Comment

When I was but a twinkle in my father’s eye, my animal destiny was being established. I would be a hopeless devotee of the kitten mewling in the drain; I would be the freak stalking the RSPCA every weekend; I would be the girl shelling out her pocket money for a mouse that would fit in my pocket.

My dad — an engineer in his early-30s — had six cats.


I have a photo of this bearded, smiling man, sitting in bed with the doona pulled up to his chin while six sets of laser eyes stare out from around him. A whole army of laser-shooting cats. Mum is presumably the photographer, capturing the majesty of the kind of happiness that can only come from the distant, unreliable love of a feline.

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Food court meals I miss to this day

November 17, 2014 | 11 Comments

Being a 90s hoodlum and general interactor with humanity, I’ve been to a few food courts. I like the way people sit in them, as though it’s not fully disgusting to eat your one type of food with your disgusting mouth while someone sits practically on top of you with their junk in your eye. I also feel this way about restaurants, only more so because of the reusable napkins.

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Life, Mentals

A letter to a woman I might become one day

November 16, 2014 | 2 Comments

Hey kid,

I came in to check on you tonight and you were still and warm under the blankets. I don’t know if you know this, but your cheeks flush red when you’re dreaming. Tonight I put my fingers on them and noticed how your skin is oilier, rougher. I sat by you with my fingers on your face and my other hand on your back, moving up and down with your breaths. I wondered what you were thinking about, cocooned there. I hoped you were slaying a dragon and hugging a kitten, a whole brood of kittens. I hoped you weren’t in a ravine with avalanches rushing in.

Anyway, this isn’t about how old you’re getting, or where my little baby has gone, or anything so trite. I know you’re growing up; I like it. There is one thing, though. I feel like I made you a promise I’m not sure about. Maybe I didn’t do it explicitly, standing in front of your duck-blanketed cot with my eyes all wet, but I made it just the same.

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Prizes prizes prizes


November 15, 2014 | 3 Comments


Gosh I liked reading your comments. They were lovely and hilarious and kind and gentle and powerful and clever. I did have a clear favourite, but I have to give some runner-up prizes too because there were other truly excellent comments and everyone should read stuff always. And of course I wish everyone could have prizes, but I’m a writer and the sad fact about writers is that they make almost no money with which to buy prizes.

The winner of the 4-year Going Down Swinging subscription is … Continue Reading…

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