Tag Archives: relationships

Relief For Writer’s Block…Friday Fictioneers

Waking me up from a trance, my husband asked: “What did that poor pen ever do to you? You’ve not only chewed its head off, you’re lucky you didn’t break a tooth.”

Obviously,  pen chewing is a revolting, potentially hazardous, bad habit. I’m not stupid. However, what my husband doesn’t appreciate, is the power of pen chewing to shift even the most resistant writer’s block. Indeed, it has what I privately refer to as a “laxative effect”. The only downside, is trying to catch all the words before they run away, and holding my hand wasn’t going to help.

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This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields, where we write up to 100 words to a provided photo prompt. PHOTO PROMPT © Priya Bajpal

Best wishes,

Rowena

Going Barefoot…Friday Fictioneers.

Eloise had chosen every man she’d ever loved by his shoes. After all, she was very discerning herself, and had decided long ago that the shoes maketh of breaketh the man

Yet, somehow Hamish had squeezed under her discerning radar. The lifeguard at the local beach, he was barefoot when she met him, and barefoot he remained. He didn’t even own a pair of shoes.

Eloise couldn’t resist. Had to buy him a pair of matching boots. However, Hamish wasn’t about to be owned by any woman, and gave them back. He walked his own path.

…..

100 words exactly

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields, where we write up to 100 words to a provided photo prompt. Photo Copyright – Adam Ickes

I thought I might just remind you of my Australian context here and that’m actually sweltering away in the Summer heat at the moment. We’re a short walk to the beach and have quite a casual dress sense around here, especially during Summer. That said, I’ve known a few friends who have dated men who are always barefoot and some of those friends have been what you could describe as “posh” themselves. Sometimes, you’ve got to wonder whether cupid’s arrow missed its mark!

To get into the Christmas spirit of things, I’ve posted a photo of Elf with the lifeguard, a friend of mine who I’m pretty sure has to wear shoes on the job.

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

Tales from University 1929…The Lad Paying for the Girl on the Tram.

What goes around comes around. While our kids are still a way off leaving school, quite a few of my friends’ kids are currently doing their HSCs or final exams at the moment. While they’re currently fully immersed in their exams and seizing hold of current friendships, they’re all about to embark into the great unknown of new beginnings.

Who knows whether any of these kids will find themselves walking along the same old path we trod into Sydney University. Catching the train to Redfern Station and then walking down Lawson Street, onto Abercrombie and into campus…albeit clutching a map and potentially loads of trepidation.

Starting anything new is such a melting pot of horrid anxiety and exhilarated excitement that it’s surprising any of us can actually put one foot in front of the other and actually emerge from the other end with that precious piece of paper in hand. All I can say to the new ones is that the paths well trod, but there have also been a lot of casualties and not to take anything for granted. That you need to carpe diem seize the day but also make sure you don’t burn up along the way. Light all your matches at once and have no story to tell.

Anyway, while some people waste their lives hunting down the mighty dollar, I live in pursuit of the story. Consequently, as soon as I found out that the archives of Sydney University’s newspaper, Honi Soit were online, I dived in and I haven’t come out. What’s added zest and excitement to this journey, is that I’m a third generation Sydney University Graduate and I also have aunts, uncles, brother, cousins who’ve also been through the place. While our names mightn’t be etched in stone in the Main Quad, we’ve definitely been part of the action. Some of us more than others.

It was only natural to want to check out the very first edition of Honi Soit and see what it was about. Then, I realized that my grandfather had been studying dentistry at the time and that he would’ve held that paper in his hands all those years ago. Been a part of the action. Born in 1910, he would’ve been 19 in 1929 and possibly in second year. I’ve got to try and nut that out.

So, when I found this fabulous letter to the editor written by a Fresher, I had to think of him. I didn’t think of him as the Fresher, but more as one of the wise owls offering this hapless young man a bit of advice.

Here it goes:

Trams 1920s

Letters to the Editor May 3, 1929.

Dear Sir,—

Now I am only a Fresher, Mr. Editor, and consequently am  not very well up in ‘Varsity ways and this is what’s worrying me. Every morning I meet one of the women of my year at the tram—she’s always there first and so I can’t dodge her—and we ride in together and I pay her fare.

Now that’s it—should I pay her fare seeing that I only met her a few weeks ago? You see it makes quite a big difference in this way: When I ride with her I don’t like to use my cram pass and as it is a three section journey that means 3d. extra plus 5d. for her—making 8d. extra altogether.

This means 3/4 a week in the morning and there’s also one afternoon which brings it up to 4/- a week. This is £ 2 a term and means £ 6 a year.

As we are both doing MED. we will travel together for six years and that means £36. Further since everyone fails in Third Year we will have to stay seven years at the ‘Varsity and that makes it £42.

It doesn’t seem a bit fair to me that this girl should cost me so much money, but as I am only a Fresher and don’t know much I would like to have your opinion as I am certain it will be a good one.

Hoping that I haven’t caused you too much bother.

I am.

Yours Very Truly,

M.T. Honi Soit, May 3, 1929 pg 3.

The Replies

Honi Soit, May 10, 1929

To the Editor,— The touching plea of a Med. Fresher in the shape of an extremely ingenuous letter to your paper, must surely have touched all hearts. Even the Women Undergraduates must have been moved to pity ere they passed judgment. My first feeling was one of intense astonishment. That a Med. Fresher would actually consider the possibility of paying someone else’s tram fare was a possibility not dreamt of in my philosophy.

The puzzled fresher would have us believe the following facts:

(a) He is very worried. (I would suggest nerve nuts at stated intervals —notably during lectures).

(b) It is impossible for him to dodge the “woman.’ (I’ve heard that one before).

(c) He has calculated expenses over a period of seven years with terrifying results. (At last we are on familiar ground).

Naturally enough the Age of Reason has little time for the Age of Chivalry.

It would seem on the face of things that the question, ”Should Men pay Women Students* tram fares?” is as fruitless as “Should women stand in trams?” But there are a few considerations which make the former question a matter for controversy.

In the first place we find it difficult to believe that the puzzled fresher catches the same tram—literally speaking—as the troublesome “woman” on every occasion. Apart from the sheer miracle of a Med. student paying someone else’s fare, the misfortune must be on the fresher’s own head. Either he is organically lazy, or he is proving that even in the tram a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. We are thus faced with an interesting psychological contretemps. As yet the innocent fresher cannot analyse the strange force which compels him to seat himself by the “woman” and bravely ignoring his shameful tram pass, to drag forth the sum of eight-pence. On the other hand the financial instinct struggles fiercely.

No wonder then the poor fresher is worried.

I think that if the fresher continually meets the “woman” in the tram, she should hand forth the plebeian coppers as naturally as she might stroll in minutes late for a nine o’clock lecture. The whole question really hinges on the problem of to show or not to show the humble pass, and my opinion is that it should be treated as an academic privilege to be taken advantage of on every occasion. And so, let the “woman” take the initiative and keep her tram pass as she does her powder puff—

within easy access. Surely then the fresher will be worried no longer when he sees “the treasured” privilege—-her

pass—”come sliding out of her sacred glove.”

A SYMPATHETIC WOMAN UNDERGRADUATE.

Honi Soit, May 10, 1929 pg 4.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Those Tramfares

(To the Editor.)

I read with amazement the piteous appeal for guidance from M.T.G. (“H.S.,” May 3). That he should even consider, let alone worry over, paying a woman student’s fare is quite beyond my comprehension. His blunder for to my mind it is an egregious mistake is all the more apparent when the reason why women come to the ‘Varsity in general, and do Medicine in particular, is taken into consideration.

Of course it is well known that women only come to the ‘Varsity to “catch” a husband. As “Med.” has the best “catches” and is the longest course, they have greater opportunities to carry out their nefarious schemes.

If, however, M.T.G. finds that, having commenced, he cannot cease paying the siren’s fare, I would suggest the adoption of any or all of the following:—

1.—Buy (a) a car; (b) a motorcycle (with pillion) ; (c) a bicycle.

2.—Miss the first lecture.

3.—Make a certain proposal to the woman.

4.—Have a row-with her.

5.—Leave the suburb.

6.—Leave the ‘Varsity.

Hoping this may clear the air for  him,

ARTS III.

Honi Soit, May 22, 1929 pg 4.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Reading this letter 90 years later, what would I advise the young man?

Probably, my greatest piece of advice to that young man is that you should only give what you feel comfortable giving. As it stands, paying for the young woman’s fare seems like more of a tax and all he’s really concerned about is how much it’s going to cost him. He hasn’t mentioned whether he likes the girl, finds her attractive, it’s just about how much she’s costing him and that’s counter to the real spirit of giving. You should give with a full heart, without building resentment. Yet, at the same time, I also feel for him because once he paid for her a second time, he’d established a pattern which would be very difficult for anyone to get out of. I’d really love to hear how the story panned out. Was there ever romance with this girl on the tram? Or, perhaps she read his letter and decided to pay her own way. After all, it was a fairly pointed letter. Indeed, that makes me question whether the letter was genuine or just a story line devised by the editors? I guess we’ll never know. However, it all made for an entertaining read and a huge sense of relief, that my fresher days are well and truly in the past.

Best wishes,

Rowena

What’s Become of The Honey Badger???

Last night, I was perched on the edge of my seat watching The Bachelor Australia waiting to find out whether Britt or Soph was about to run off into the sunset with the Honey Badger, when an epic twist unfolded. I was dumbstruck.

You see Nick “The Honey Badger” Cummins didn’t choose either of the girls, and was left standing  by himself all alone on the beach. Indeed, I could almost hear cupid’s nemesis playing: All By Myself. He looked guttered and even though it was his own decision, I still felt sorry for the bloke.

Bachelor 2

However the show didn’t end there. Despite having her heart broken, Brittany’s first thought was to find Sophie and let her know what had happened. That neither of them had been chosen. The two girls have become great friends and soul mates while the Honey Badger is hardly winning the popularity stakes. Indeed, he’s skipped the country and is off walking the Kokoda Track, leaving a lot of people asking him to: “Please explain”.

Just to put you in the picture, this year’s Bachelor was Nick “The Honey Badger” Cummins, who plays rugby for the Wallabies and also appears in a series of funny commercials for Tradie Underwear. Meanwhile, the field of women had narrowed down to Brittany and Sophie. I couldn’t really work out which was going to be the one, but he seemed to have a connection with both of them. Sophie was the first one to arrive, and we knew from past years that she’s about to be given “the talk”. However, there was no happy ending for Britt either and she was pretty much given the same spiel. In hindsight, something didn’t seem right, and I should’ve picked up when the host, Osher, didn’t ask Nick whether he’d fallen in love.

Of course, I have my own theory.

Right from the outset, it was clear that the Honey Badger wasn’t your regular Bachelor. That was probably why the producers chose him. He’s really funny and has even developed his own language or dialect simply known as  “Honey Badger”, which is a distinct variation of the Australian vernacular. Clearly, someone who speaks their own language, has their own mind and is going to be anything but a conformist. In addition to his linguistic idiosyncrasies, the Honey Badger’s also got this curly mop of hair and mustache which look straight out of the 1970s. Clearly, he’s resisted considerable pressure to get it fixed. He’s obviously his own person.

However, that doesn’t make him a bad person. Indeed, ethics seems very important to Nick not just throughout the show, but also in real life. He repeatedly says that he doesn’t want to break anybody’s heart. Nick is one of eight kids and large families like that have a dynamic. Your siblings knock you into shape and you also stand up for each other. Another detail about Nick’s family which didn’t come up during the show, was that his mother left at some point and his father was left to raise the kids on his own. Two of his siblings also have cystic fibrosis and his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer and isn’t going to be around forever. So, Nick put his career with the Wallabies on hold and played in Japan for awhile to get a nest egg together for his siblings. To help his family out. So, while I’m not saying that the Honey Badger’s perfect, he does take his responsibilities seriously and doesn’t like to let people down. Indeed, he repeatedly talked about not wanting to hurt any of the girls and seemed much more prepared to be hurt himself.

Bachelor 3

Lastly, when you’re watching at home, you’re removed from the pressures of being on such a show and the difficulties of dating so many people at the same time on TV and in front of each other. During the finale, the Honey Badger was looking stressed and out of his depth. He mentioned that he was finding it really difficult to make a decision and how he couldn’t get a clear head. From that roadblock, his default was to choose neither. I think he quite genuinely didn’t want to hurt anyone and that bailing out was better than getting it wrong and really breaking someone’s heart.

Naturally, despite the Honey Badger’s conspicuous absence, the shock end has generated some discussion. Has the Honey Badger just become the Greatest Australian Bastard or did he do the right thing? What is going to be the fallout? Apparently, he’s giving one exclusive interview to Lisa Wilkinson on the Sunday Night Project. I’m not her greatest fan and hope she doesn’t serve the honey badger up a platter. He might not be perfect, but he doesn’t seem like such a bad bloke, especially if you’re not trying to win his heart.

Have you been watching the Bachelor? What are your thoughts on the grand finale? Should we roast the honey badger and serve him up on toast or simply leave him be? 

Best wishes,

Rowena

PS: This clip should’ve been a warning for anyone trying to date a Honey Badger: Click here.

Secret Shed Business…Friday Fictioneers.

“What’s Dad doing? He’s always out there in the shed! You sure, he hasn’t got another woman stashed out there?”

Pam had no idea. It was his space. A no go zone. She left him to it.

However, the deeper he tunneled into retirement, the less he came out, and Pam was starting to wonder whether she should be concerned. Surely, it couldn’t hurt to peak? Not that Pam was complaining. She hadn’t burned her bra in the 70’s, to end up cooking hot lunches for hubby now.

Indeed, with or without Brian, she was setting sail on a cruise….

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This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields. PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

 

 

Guilty…Friday Fictioneers.

Leaving court, the victim’s elderly mother was propped up by her two strapping sons. Justice served, the violent ex-husband was guilty as hell.

Yet, was I the only one who questioned the verdict? The only one struck by their own guilt?

The writing was on the wall. So, why didn’t we act?

More than once, I’d seen the tell-tale, heavy makeup. Yet, I never tried to wipe it away. Call a spade a spade. Rather, I observed the code of silence, and touched up my own face.

Peeling off this mask won’t be easy, but I’m changing course.

I will survive.

…..

In parenting circles, you often hear the proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. However, what you hear less often, if at all, is that it takes the village to keep its citizens safe. Moreover, that we as individuals have a responsibility to look out for each other. To step in, especially when a mate is in trouble. However, where the waters start to get more murky, is when it comes to domestic violence. Interfering in someone else’s relationship is seen as a no-go zone. However, it can reach a point where someone’s life might be at risk and we need to step in. Yet, what are we supposed to do? We’re a friend, a brother, sister, parent…not an expert. The one thing I do know, is that we somehow need to find a way, and a quiet place, to ask the next question. Present yourself as a safe place…a harbour in the storm. That at least leaves the door open for someone to turn to us about a whole swag of issues before it’s too late. Don’t just ask if they’re okay. Follow your gut and never give up.

By the way, I’d just like to add that men can also be victims of domestic violence.

It’s not altogether surprising that I addressed this issue tonight. The body of a young woman was found beside the freeway today, when my Mum was driving up to see us. It drove home yet again why we can’t turn a blind eye.

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz 😀 (Thanks, Ted)

Best wishes,

Rowena

 

 

 

An Unpredictable End…Friday Fictioneers.

The end was unscripted. He simply sent her a text, as cold and unfeeling as a Winter wind. Yet, her grief was brutal. A stab to the heart. A kick to the guts. She could even feel his huge mechanic’s hands tighten around her throat, along with that final gasp.

Kate was not above revenge. A crime of passion. Destroying him cell by cell with her own rat cunning. She even thought of phoning Roger.

Yet, a skerrick of reason remained. That, while she couldn’t make it better, she could always make things worse.

Now, she could only face the storm, but with renewed strength, knowing it too would pass.

……

This was my second go at this week’s prompt and it stretched so far beyond the initial photo prompt that I decided to use a different image. It looks at how we respond when someone does something terrible and unforgivable to us. Do we lose ourselves and our core values in pursuit of revenge? Or, self-destruct unable to recover from the pain?

I remember a bit of a joke from my single days: “If you can’t have the one you love, love the one you’re with. If you can’t love the one you’re with, turn out the light.”

When it really boils down to it, we really have no choice but to plough onwards through the storms of life, but there are things we can possibly do to prevent the storms from building up. Moreover, we can also be better prepared, and in peak condition when they hit. That way, we’re better positioned to be a victor, than a victim and to rise from the ashes of what ever it is that hits us.

Here is the original photo prompt thanks to :

July 18 dawn-in-montreal

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

This was another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields

Best wishes,

Rowena