The Monster In The Pond

We have a young duck who has more personality than most dogs. He’s named Lenin because he’s a Muscovy Duck – i.e. Moscow – and the duck house is called The Kremlin to take the Russian analogy even further – yes I know – I’m very sad.

Lenin has a strange way of looking at life – he’s quite happy to bully the dog but he wouldn’t go in his beloved pond for several days until I finally worked out that he was absolutely terrified of the yabbie that had taken up residence in the mud on the bottom.

Now please keep in mind that this was a tiny crustacean, only about 10cm long and the duck weighs in at 38 kg. But anyway, once I removed the yabbie he was very excited, and went immediately back into his pond where he proceeded to have a whale of a time splashing and diving etc.

As for the yabbie, well that’s a tragic tale…

The duck ate it (but only after it was safely on the grass and cooked by the sun).

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The Love Of My Life

The first love of my life was a bad-tempered old Irishman – he was my grandfather and l adored him.

There was a special bond between us from the time I was born – he was scared of me and I of him.

He was black-browed and craggy faced, and he frowned grumpily over his glasses. I was too little for him to feel comfortable with until I was over 6 months old.

Being his first grandchild, and a girl, made me special for the rest of his life.

Even after I was married, and had children of my own, he still saw it as his job to look after me. He loved me, listened to me and even, on occasion, valued my opinion. But in his heart of hearts I was still about 12 years old and needed taking care of.

But his protective instincts, and the generation gap, led to some embarrassing moments when I was younger. Here are a few examples:

I can remember being at the beach, about 15, in a bikini, frolicking amongst the waves, trying to attract the attention of the latest heart throb. Everything was wonderful, a teenage girl’s dream day. Then I glanced over at the water’s edge and there was my grandfather – on guard duty – to make sure I didn’t drown (or so he said). My Pa glowered at the boy, threw me my towel, and announced that we had to leave, now. I never saw that boy again – I wonder why?

My grandfather was a mad keen golfer and his “trusty 9 iron” was his weapon of choice in any given situation. I was in the shower one day when I caught sight of a giant spider in there with me, so of course, I screamed. My Pa came thundering in, and ordered me to the other side of the shower cubicle. With one hand over his eyes (because it wouldn’t be proper for him to see me naked) and the other swinging the 9 iron, he charged once again to the rescue. I could have been killed – and not by the spider!

When I was pregnant with my second child, my grandfather made his wishes very clear – he wanted a boy this time. There had not been a boy born into our family for nearly a quarter of a century. When I rang my grandparents to tell them I was in labour – my Pa suggested that I not allow the baby out until it was the correct gender, i.e. male. Can you imagine anyone actually having the nerve to say that to a woman in labour?

Only my grandfather…

My Mother – The Grandmother From Hell

I’m rather looking forward to the day I become a grandmother. It’s a revenge thing actually.

For years I’ve been threatening my kids with: “I hope you have children just like you”.

Grandmothers have it so good – they can spoil the kids until they misbehave and then hand them back.

My mother is not my friend anymore – she’s switched camps – she’s now the kids’ ally instead of mine.

When I had my first child she was always there to lend a hand to a sleep-deprived and overwhelmed young mum struggling to find her way.

But the woman has betrayed me. She tells my children all the rotten things I did when I was their age and thus gives them ammunition to use against me.

I simply can’t trust her any more – she actually showed the kids my old school report cards and sat there giggling with them over some of the teachers’ comments.

But I have my revenge now – I pinned this notice to her corkboard:

On July 18, 1994 Rossanna Della Corte of Canino, Italy became the oldest woman to give birth – she was 63 years old at the time.

A Bad Day

I’m having a bad day – so much so that even my husband’s breathing is annoying me. The children have heard me count to 3 at least five times already this morning. So far, the plan is that they are going to have to spend the rest of their natural lives in their bedrooms.

I’ve just had enough – I don’t want to be somebody’s wife or anybody’s mother today. And I’m sick of the drudge detail too.

It’s been a rotten week, the pc crashed again, the house looks like a bomb hit it, the children fought continuously with me and each other, and even the dog and the chooks got into an all-out brawl this morning. And as for my husband – he’s been sitting back enjoying the show (just as long as it doesn’t interfere with TV of course).

I want a new life – maybe as an international celebrity – sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Swanning around with other people just panting to do things for you and make your life easier. In my real life I’m the one who seems to do the doing for everyone else.

My grandmother rang to complain about my grandfather. She wants to know why, after 60 odd years of marriage, he can still drive her crazy? It must be an eternal problem: husbands sending their wives temporarily insane because of the things they either say, do or even, don’t say or do.

As for the kids, I may let them out of their rooms on a good behaviour bond eventually – it just depends on how I’m feeling this afternoon.

In order to avoid committing murder (husband or kids, I really don’t care who at the moment – they all deserve it today) I went and hid in the back yard under a tree with magazine and a cup of tea. After 15 minutes or so of alone time I started to feel much calmer – but then the blood drained from my face as I read something truly terrifying:

The wife of Russian Feodor Vassilyev had 69 children including 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets.

Ouch …

That poor woman – can you imagine a bad day in her house – all those kids bickering with one another and telling tales? And they can’t even bother to remember her name, just her husband’s!

On second thoughts, maybe my life really doesn’t seem that bad after all.