Fractured Fairytales

“Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.”

Eugene O’Neill

Quite often, indeed far too often, life deviates from the plan or what we thought we’d signed up for and quite frankly, we wouldn’t mind a refund. We didn’t realise and certainly weren’t consciously  thinking we’d signed up for a fairytale or some kind of fantasy but as evidence mounts up to the contrary, it feels like we’ve been sold a fake or indeed a dud. The Prince and Princess find themselves living in a tent. instead of a castle.Their horse and carriage turns out to be the local bus. Not quite what they’d had in mind!!

Culturally, we perpetuate many ongoing fairytales such as Cinderella who finds her Prince Charming but motherhood and parenting have also been portrayed as quite the fairytale where we all play happy families. Happy families who know nothing about divorce, domestic violence, child abuse, poverty, homelessness, chronic illness, death. After all, aren’t we all just meant to keep smiling?

So much for the fairytale. School holidays can be explosive!

So much for the fairytale. School holidays can be explosive!

Surprise! Surprise! The prospect of having that perfect family holiday or having the school holidays go without a hitch can be just as much a fairytale as finding Prince Charming. Screams of: “Can’t you lot play happily together?”, “If you can’t share, it’s going into time out”, “Go to your rooms” resonate throughout the the burbs along with regrets and reflections on where it all began and wondering how it ended up like this.

The Happy Family

The Happy Family

After the consumption of all that Easter chocolate, I guess I should have anticipated trouble but they’ve been really good over the last couple of days and caught me off guard. There are kids visiting next door and they’ve all been playing exceptionally well together building elaborate engineering structures in the mud and gravel at low tide. They had a fabulous time but the kids went out today and ours were bored yet not wanting to go out or do anything either, which is when things really start to go wrong. That said, Miss did venture into the freezing swimming pool in her wet suit and actually managed to stand up on her surfboard , which was a very exciting achievement and I would have been totally over the moon if the morning hadn’t worn me out.

However,  it’s not just the kids who can ruin a family holiday. In case you’ve forgotten the Griswalds in European Vacation, parents can be just as guilty:

[In England]
“Ellen Griswold: Clark, you’re on the wrong side of the road.
Clark Griswold: Yes I know, honey, I’m also on the wrong side of the car.”

So here I am in Palm Beach which is pretty close to paradise but feeling frazzled. You could say it’s time for a Bex and a good lie down. However, experience tells me that lying down could be catostrophic. With the kids at large, something tells me I wouldn’t be singing: “je ne regrette rien” I’d be lucky if the house is still standing!

Freddie the Front Door Frog.

Freddie the Front Door Frog.

On that note, I’ll just add that prior to my frustrations this morning, I was intending to write about Freddie the Front Door Frog who is an Australian Green Tree Frog. Freddie lived on the window ledge underneath my in-laws kitchen window, near Byron Bay for something like a decade. A firm believer of “if you’re on a good thing stick to it”, the kitchen light attracted a smorgasbord of insects providing Freddie with a very steady diet. He was one plump and very happy frog who, unlike so many of his kind, was actually benefiting from interaction with people.  he’d developed what you’d call a mutually beneficial relationship. While not as well known as his furry compatriots, Freddie is an absolutely gorgeous Australian.

Actually, it’s a shame Freddie is so far away. If a kiss can turn a frog into a prince, perhaps it could also bring the fairytale back to life as well.

As I head off to bed after further dramas thanks to the dog, I remind myself that “tomorrow is another day” and who knows? Perhaps, it might just be a fairytale after all!

“Every man’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s fingers”.

-Hans Christian Andersen

This post is part of the Blogging from A-Z Challenge which is taking place during April.

Love & Best wishes,


8 thoughts on “Fractured Fairytales

  1. maxwellthedog

    Tell the truth. Freddie the Frog is probably a venomous amphibian whose bite can kill rabid wallabies and mortally wound ransacking wombats. I mean, you are in Australia where everything can eat you alive or sting you to death, right?

  2. merrildsmith

    Sorry you’re feeling frazzled. I hope you’re able to enjoy the rest of the holidays.
    Freddie the Frog doesn’t look real. He reminds me of Jabba the Hut. But how cool that he’s been living there for 10 years!

  3. TanGental

    Love Freddie; maybe he should have a regular guest post on your blog Rowena, giving an amphibian’s perspective on Australian social and political machinations – is he pro Abbott or not? Does he think Neighbours the greatest cultural export? Where does he stand on Russell Crowe?

  4. roweeee Post author

    Freddie, is absolutely opposed to Tony Abbott and understandably votes Green. Dame Edna was our greatest cultural export but he laments why she had to come back. Rolf Harris makes the most disgraced and disappointing export. He doesn’t have much of an opinion on Russell Crowe but thinks Hugh Jackman is a spunk, even though he’s a male Frog and not that way inclined. He’s all in favour of multiculturalism although he wants the French banned as even though it looks like he hasn’t moved for the last ten years and just sits still eating flies, that he actually values his legs!!

  5. TanGental

    Perfect. I suppose given Abbot us a toad makes his antipathy understandable. Don’t talk about Adolf… I loved his shows as a kid. That hurts so much. I have heard ‘spunk’ used as a term of endearment. Might get a different reaction over here! And I’m with Freddie – ban les grenouilles!

  6. roweeee Post author

    Thanks for the support. It was quite a day.
    Yes, I’d also thought Freddie looks like Jabba the Hut. He’s a fabulous frog and has become part of the family.

  7. roweeee Post author

    Yes, I was sad about Rolf as so many were. He was such a fabulous cultural ambassador for Australia but had that dreadful underbelly.

  8. roweeee Post author

    I’m not sure about Freddie but Cane toads also flourish up there. They are hideous things…toxic. ugly just revolting and they kill animals. Perhaps, I shouldn’t admit this but in the great Australian way of solving a problem, they do get run over wherever possible. That’s actually doing a favour for the environment but I didn’t say that!!

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