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Fear can be crippling. It can steal your sleep, give you horribly deep worry lines and make you jump at the smallest noise. The worst thing about fear is that it can stop you having a full and enjoyable life and that makes me plain old mad! So, to kick fear in the you-know-wheres I thought I’d give you a list of funny phobias so that we can stick it to fear and not let it take over our lives; bring it into the light and have a good old laugh. It’s not to make fun of people who experience these fears but to give us scardy-cats a little laugh at ourselves and at fear itself!

Here are the funniest phobias I could find… is yours here?

  • Acerophobia- Fear of sourness.
  • Alliumphobia- Fear of garlic.
  • Anthrophobia or Anthophobia- Fear of flowers.
  • Apotemnophobia- Fear of persons with amputations.
  • Arachibutyrophobia- Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.
  • Aulophobia- Fear of flutes.
  • Aurophobia- Fear of gold.
  • Bolshephobia- Fear of Bolsheviks.
  • Chaetophobia- Fear of hair.
  • Consecotaleophobia- Fear of chopsticks.
  • Dextrophobia- Fear of objects at the right side of the body.
  • Dutchphobia- Fear of the Dutch.
  • Euphobia- Fear of hearing good news.
  • Geniophobia- Fear of chins.
  • Genuphobia- Fear of knees.
  • Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words. (HA HA)
  • Kathisophobia- Fear of sitting down.
  • Leukophobia- Fear of the color white.
  • Linonophobia- Fear of string.
  • Lutraphobia- Fear of otters.
  • Metrophobia- Fear of poetry.
  • Omphalophobia- Fear of belly buttons.
  • Onomatophobia- Fear of hearing a certain word or of names.
  • Pogonophobia- Fear of beards.
  • Tremophobia- Fear of trembling.
  • Zemmiphobia- Fear of the great mole rat.
  • For more go to http://phobialist.com/

I wonder whether there are heaps of people who suffer from these fears or only a few? Hmmmm.

What’s your phobia?

I’m scared of whales… strange but true!!!

Image by Marie-Lan Nguyen

It’s so funny that women have a sort of elegant reputation… mostly. That we’re little princesses, sweethearts that, for the most part, enjoy a gross-free life. Well, shock horror, it’s not true. So if you are of a sensitive disposition, I would recommend that you stop reading now, because things are going to get gross!

Farts/ Toilet smells – No. Our farts do not smell of roses. Our faeces do not smell like a fresh baked cake. We are human. Even the Queen has smelly gas. It’s just a fact of life. Although, I must say that my daughter seems to be a lot less smellier than the rest of the family. Perhaps she is a ‘true’ princess!

Hairy McClary! – Without the humble razor, or less humble wax, most of us silky smooth ladies would be a pile of gross black hair. We’d be a lot more smelly too; surprise, surprise. Our legs would be soft and fluffy, great for those winter days when you feel like wearing a skirt as there would be more insulation. Bald legs are a funny invention. I understand the reasons behind shaved armpits and nether regions, but why the legs? Any hoo. If the world ran out of razors and wax today, we would be left with a whole bunch of fluffy women, cos we’re not born bald.

Luscious lips and dark sultry eyes – We do not all have eye slapping lip colour or perfect lip shape. We are paintings of our real selves. Isn’t it a shock when we see photos of celebrities without make up on! How normal do they look? It’s all because they are people, not gods. They only look incredible because of professional make up and hair peeps oh and photographers! It’s unrealistic. Yet we cake on the make up, draw on our eyes and puff out our lips to lift our confidence, to have a bit of fun or to join in with the other millions of women in the world doing the same!

Dangerous drivers – no we’re not! Some of us can park cars quite successfully. We can point the car in the right direction and get from A to B without annoying anyone or causing an accident. We can drive the speed limit and zip in and out of traffic, legally! We are not generally risk takers, that’s all. We’re mothers and daughters with more on our minds than our egos and most of us are darn good drivers!

Emotional & Irrational – Myth! Ha ha. Ok, well, maybe not this one. Most of us wear our emotions everywhere. Tears will flow, brows will frown, laughter will soar, it’s just how we’re built. We can be irrational creatures but most of the time I think we’re a lot more emotionally intelligent so our ideas may just be more sophisticated… not irrational. We read into things that others don’t. We imagine things that sometimes aren’t there but could be! And we rehearse conflicts or conversations in our heads that will probably never happen but at the end of the day, like the Scouts proclaim, it is always essential for survival, to be prepared!

Nagging – This is a pat description of a much deeper thing! Nagging only occurs when people don’t listen or when they don’t value what you have to say in the first place. It comes from frustration and feelings of insignificance. It’s not just bossy boots behaviour. There are deep reasons for such annoying behaviour. So if you listen in the first place and respect tha wo-man! then you won’t get nagging. Simple as that!

So, to summarise. Women are really smelly, hairy, colourless, thin-lipped, great drivers, emotional but highly intelligent and in deep need of respect! Would you agree?

My favourite hat is not expensive or overly gorgeous. It is not always comfortable or in the right shape. It does not always protect me well enough from the sun but my favourite hat has a story and this is it…

2003, Europe, or more precisely, Italy. The sun shone, the sea sparkled. Washed undies hung in the bathroom once more, drip drying, begging for a ride in a real washing machine. Bodies filled  3 rooms. A snoring chorus was rocking the joint. This was travelling, cheapish style.

Bleary eyes opened on a perfect Cinque Terre day. Those bodies rolled out of the semi-comfortable beds in the rooms of one of the colourful buildings in Riomaggiore. Dressed for a day of walking (or training, depending on energy levels) the bodies consumed breakfast, shared plans, and … exit!

Down the winding steps we went, down the steep road or pavement or whatever it was to the beginning of the famous walk. Money paid, off we went. I had my ridiculously small hat on my head. Twas all the rage in ’03. Or so I thought. We sauntered through the first part of the walk, scouring the sparkling waters for any sign of exotic wildlife. None.

The first town was ticked off with a visit to the chemist. Poor hubby was suffering from some nasal condition. With a dubious nod, hubby bought the suspect Italian drugs and kept walking. Sun shone, feet pointed straight ahead so off we went.

Town 2. Time for a spot of pizza. We trespassed on one of the farms that overlooked the incredibly sparkly, crystal, gorgeous ocean. We sat and looked and chewed and sipped on beers and headed for the 4th town. Beautiful Vernazza with its church by the sea. Here we sat once more, drinking in the beauty of the colourful buildings and the chiming of the church bells. A wedding. Why not?

The 5th town is where I met my hat. Intimidated by the reports of a difficult walk, we hopped on the train and headed to Monterosso al Mare. Hello hat, Hello Emma! I had been eyeing similar wicker hats that other fancy tourists had and had secretly wanted one of my own!

Our eyes met across a crowded marketplace (I think?!). Its beauty and price seemed to draw me in, like one of those weird background shrinking, face getting bigger shots you see in modern movies. Love my technical language! Super. Money was exchanged for goods (ie hat) and from that fateful day, hat and I have never been apart.

Hat lived in my backpack for the next few travelling months. She was the keeper of the clean undies. She smelled rustic and exotic. She still does. And that, my dear readers, is how I met my favourite hat. Not a rich, fancy hat. But a humble, floppy number with a great story!

Image by RanjithSiji

Pardon the repetitive Christmas theme but I am a tad excited. After all, there are houses vomiting twinkling lights everywhere I go!  Blessed old time it is.

As much as I love Christmas (and I do! I do!) there are some maniacs out there who love it a little too much. I am happy to pop the reindeer antlers and red nose on my car. I am overjoyed to listen to Mariah Carey’s Christmas album over and over again, I love Christmas shopping but that’s where I draw the line.

On the extras section of the Elf dvd, there’s some disturbing footage of Christmas nutters. There’s one lady dressed up in a snowman outfit to be in the christmas nutter documentary on christmas nutters. Dressed in her flammable outfit, she decides to light 15 candles telling the producers to put her out if she catches on fire. Nu-t-ter!

Then there’s the sweet grandpa who makes all his decorations and the buxom lady who has stuffed her front yard full of tacky looking things including a train which has the 101 dalmatians locked in a cage. Her husband keeps saying that her ‘thing’ was to give the little kiddies miniature candy canes, like he was embarrassed about such an outrageous gesture.

The funniest creatures were so into Christmas that they all wore red for the interview. The mother being the main culprit claims she spends 8 hours a day for 30 days decorating the house. Jeepers. She has tiny little towns from all over the world set up on a table supported by a massive JOY! Their house is the ultimate in obsessive christmasness. I’m not sure how involved the grown up daughter or the husband were but they wore the red… just as they were told.

I love taking the kids through those obsessive christmas streets with the massive amounts of lights, dancing Santas and music. There is something magical about it; bringing the community together in a happy kinda way. But it is always good for people to know their limits, otherwise it just seems plain sad.

<a href="Feet by Petr Kratochvil”>

Image by Petr Kratochvil

Though I am a bit of a night owl, I know when I’m getting sick. I feel really, ridiculously tired, my large feet drag and my little toe always seems to trip me up!

My eyes fade and my skin turns yellow. And the eyes! Don’t mention the eyes. My already dark eyes grow stormy… underneath. The blackness rears its ugly, putrid face and I know uh-ho, something is not right!

Yep I’ve been sick and I’ve noticed that I do and feel funny things when I am taken down by the foul, stinking mucous bug thing. I made a list! Wanna see? Ok.

  1. First I noticed that I became irritable at the most irrational things. First it was a certain someone’s toes! Not the smell or cleanliness factor but the appearance. How dare those toes have that weird triangle shape! And the toe nails! Double ridiculous. Annoying. Hil-bloody-larious! I gave myself a mental forehead slap and moved on with my day.
  2. On the flip side, things that used to annoy me didn’t so much. We all know how irritating a dripping tap can be. Especially when it is constantly dolloping into a half filled cup. Or a toilet running! Geesh what a waste of water… c’mon people, hold down the button! But when I was sick, the toilet ran (LET IT RUN) and the tap dripped (DRIP AWAY MY LOVELY) and I didn’t care, couldn’t care!
  3. In my floppy state I found myself watching animated movies with my kids. I’m talking a whole Tinkerbell movie here. From credits to credits. Usually I take the opportunity to fold clothes or blog or do the darn dishes but stripped of all energy the house sagged with clean and dirty clothes and dishes and, yep once again, I didn’t care! Kinda freeing.
  4. Ah words! It’s funny how you can go from typing umpteen words per minute with minimum mistakes (puff on nails, shine on shirt) to typing like a 6 year old when you’ve had a few days off, a whole heap of medicine and a foggy brain. Takes a while to get your mojo back. So with foggy brain in tow, today I’ve tried to get back on that bike and ride once more into the sunset! (and yes I did just try and type suncet). Eeeek. Brain come baaaacccckkk!
What kinda sick person are you? Funny, grumpy, active or floppy? Or something entirely different?
<a href="Father And Daughter by Petr Kratochvil”>

Image by Petr Kratochvil

I have made a conscious decision not to lie to my kids. Having said that, there have been a few occasions when I have lied… a little. There are just some things kids don’t need to know… stuff that is way too much information.

An example? Ok. Men, block your ears. Some one once told me of a mum who was busted wearing a tampon by her 4 year old. She must have been nude and the little string was poking out. Her curious daughter, thinking that her mum was some kind of cool puppet or something, asked what that little string was for. Now, what would you have said?

The mother, being an honest kinda gal, started to tell her little girl about the joys of womanhood. I.e that once a month women bleed and you catch it with something like a wad of rolled up tissues and this goes up into the nether regions to stem the flow! Can you imagine the face on the little girl? White, ashen skin, eyes wide and a little teary, dreading the day she becomes a woman.

I had a less full on experience with my son who saw something unmentionable in the toilet. Just a little tiny bit. He asked what it was… and I, super-honest parent that I am, lied to him. I said it was toilet cleaner. Now, I was operating on adrenalin here and I could have distracted him but I was so horrified that a lie seemed appropriate.

I also tell my kids that everything on TV is pretend. Which is kinda true. I just don’t want them to get too freaked out about the unpleasant aspects of this world before they have to.

This is a story from the incredible life of Concentration Camp survivor, Corrie Ten Boom. An excerpt from her autobiography:

“(From a ten year old child) “Father, what is sexsin?” He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor. “Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said. “It’s too heavy,” I said. “Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.” And I was satisfied. More than satisfied – wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions. For now I was content to leave them in my father’s keeping.”

There are just some things our kids cannot understand or deal with at such a young age. Ultimately I think lying to your kids is wrong and teaches them to lie to get out of uncomfortable situations (slap on wrist for me) but I think blatant honesty is not always helpful either.

What do you think?

Ah, if only we could, if only we would… would we? There are so many parenting taboos out there. What would happen if we broke them all? Dream with me.

Kids being hassled at school? The Politically Incorrect Parent (PIP) would march into the playground and follow the bully around for the day. She (cos it would be the mother would it not?) would sit in the kid’s circle at recess, lunchtime, join in with a game or two of Star Wars and sit in a rather undersized chair in class. She would glare at the child and if she sees anything bully-wise, she would stand over the child, poke him or her in the shoulder and stand up for her own child, in a way that only she knows how.

A PIP will point out a booger on any child any time. And if a kid has two stripes of gooey green snot running out of the nose, watch out parents, our beady eyed PIP will call you on it pronto. And no, the PIP does not wipe other children’s noses, bottoms or ooey gooey eyes. And if your kid has nits, the PIP may buy you a nit comb or treatment just to get you going.

Before any playdate, the PIP will ask about the health of your child in the last 24 hours. She will need a doctor’s certificate saying that the kid is no longer contagious, especially when it comes to gastro. No, parents, 3 hours after the last vomit won’t do. The PIP requires a good 12-24 hours vomit free for her precious darling to hang out with your post-vomitous child.

The PIP teaches her child self-defense. This is divided into two sections: school and stranger danger. For school, the good old push on the shoulder is popular or, if it’s a girl, a drag by the hair if things get serious. Stranger danger focuses more on the ‘soft’ spots on the body where you can really get an attacker. She neatly choreographs it, so that it will come natural to her darlings. She also gives her children screaming lessons. When to scream high pitch and when to growl like a pit bull terrier.

A good PIP will provide a written document full of comebacks they can use in various situations in the school playground; such as: “Oh you are!” OR “My dad’s better than yours” OR “Is that your butt or your face?” OR “You must suck at baseball!” OR “You look like a moose!”. Very clever indeed. There’s nothing like a PIP family brainstorm to get the really good comebacks happening.

In the post-political world that we live in, it is vital for the PIP to take a stand and educate her fellow parents in the ways of the PIP. To all the PIPs out there, what have you done to teach your friends the art of Politically Incorrect Parenting? Do share (hands rubbing together excitedly).

Who is tired of doom and gloom? Every time I news it up, there’s some depressing story about some mad man/woman doing evil things to someone else. So, just for today, tune in here and read some good news news.

Let’s dig up a spot of positive thinking. Let us reclaim the world in all its beautiful glory. I’m going to shine a light here or there and let us all take a break from the darkness of some people’s reality.

THE GOOD NEWS NEWS:

Local

Today several hundred children walked safely to school. Mayor Harvey Rose said that this is a sensational result for the citizens of Pittwater. The local Police Sargent agreed saying that it was high time the safety message got through. Parents were seen after school drop off with a tear in their eyes, realising the enormity of their achievement. Children were seen hugging their parents with grateful looks in their small round faces.

National

The New South Wales Parliament sat for the first time today. Some politicians shook hands while others shared a knock-knock joke. There were winks, smiles and both sides agreed to sensible changes to public transport and to over-fund hospitals. Member for a part of Sydney said that from today onwards all hospitals would offer edible food to all patients regardless of income. First time mother, Janet, said that she was relieved. Since the birth of baby Day-Spa three days ago, the poor bugger hasn’t been able to stomach the yellow beans and vomit-slop usually on offer. Now, she felt she could offer little Day-spa some quality breast milk.

International

In breaking news, the world leaders of all the world have come together and agreed to stop fighting for stuff. Instead, they have agreed to share stuff with each other so no one person dies of curable diseases, starvation or war related violence. In a statement, the UN chief blasted the leaders saying, “Great. Now I don’t have a reason to go to work on Monday. Are you happy, chumps?”

Entertainment

In a shock move, Hollywood has decided to produce real and interesting films for the public. One studio executive was overheard saying that they’ve only recently realised that their audience isn’t as dumb as they thought and in response will be hiring real writers and actors to produce movies that actually mean something to the world.

Sport

Tennis – Third seed, some Russian player, has decided not to scream when she hits the ball. She feels bad for all the times she’s annoyed her opposition with her shrieking ‘Yaaaa!’ and is sorry for making tennis audience grind their teeth.

Gymnasitcs – International Gymnastics The World has decided to outlaw the slow clap. From now on, anyone in the crowd who begins a slow clap that builds to a fast clap will be banned for two years from attending a IGTW event.

Netball – In a controversial move, men will now be allowed to play in the national netball competition. Australian captain some tall chick with awesome ball skills claimed that men would be “thrashed” on the court and the girls would not play nice just because they are men.

Weather

The forecast for Sydney is changeable. Depending on what you’re up to it will be sunny and 27 degrees or pouring with rain at a cosy 16 degrees. Or if you are hard to please it will be sunny in the morning with a possible afternoon thunderstorm. Actually just shut the door, pop on the air conditioner and make your own weather.

Image by Mcginnly

No one likes to make a fool of themselves. You either end up laughing at yourself or crying at your lack of gracefulness. The funniest scenes in movies are when people fall or stick their tongue on icy metal objects, or when animals attack … basically when the unexpected happens, people laugh.

There are a few moments in my life when I’ve felt the fool. My big feet have let me down or my lack of spacial awareness has caused me strife. It’s not pretty. I’m not all that proud but I can look back (now that I’m alone and haven’t done anything too silly lately) and laugh.

ROME: Smack bang in the middle of our 5 month saunter around the globe, I stacked it. Our friends were staying in a hotel with a marble staircase (oo la la… not really). It was their last night in the ancient city and we were young, free and having fun. I was so excited that my reef shoes and I slipped, bumpity bump on my bum down the stairs. It was like slow motion… donk…. donk… donk… splat. Red-faced, I stood up… “I’m ok.. ha ha…hmmm… I think”. I realised that we had weeks of walking, carrying a massive backpack, ahead of us and despair set in. Luckily a lovely waiter at our restaurant understood us sufficiently to grab me some ice and my ankle was ok! I was OK!

SCHOOL: Year 11. 17 years old. Shortish skirt. In the middle of the whole school. Yes I did! We had been sitting on some gravelly cement for ages and unbeknownst to me my leg had fallen asleep. So I stood up, fully confident that my limbs would work and then.. you know that oh-o moment when the unexpected is about to happen? I lunged in front of me and hoped that my sleepy leg would not be noticed by too many people. Much shaking of the leg ensued and my pride was saved.

PARENT’S HOUSE: Talk about sleepy legs. Fast forward ten years. Hubby and I were on lounges facing each other. I had been watching my beloved Gilmore Girls on my laptop (legs crossed, laptop resting on crossed legs) when I decided to get up!  BOTH my legs had fallen asleep and I fell forward, unable to hold myself up, right onto the feet of hubby and into his lap. I couldn’t stop laughing but I had unfortunately injured hubby man so he wasn’t as amused. Oops. Still makes me laugh to this day.

BEDROOM: So, I was being a good little housewife, going through my messy draw when it happened. I decided to put the rather heavy drawer on my bed to get stuck into it. Not sure what I was thinking at the time but I placed the drawer too close to the end of my bed. I then sat down behind it thinking there was heaps of space then I found myself balancing on my bottom on the corner of my bed. For a second I didn’t know what I was going to do. To fall or not to fall? FALL! Luckily I wasn’t injured just highly amused. Sad that no one saw me in my slapstick brilliance, I ran out to tell hubby who didn’t quite get how funny the moment was. No one could have I guess, except for me.

SON: And so the cycle continues. When my son was 2 he started his performance career. He’d often stand on a stool and sing songs like “Jump down now!” (and then he’d jump down). One time he was being a silly monkey in the bathroom. I had just told him not to jump around the bathroom as it’s not fun to fall on when it happened. He did his classic “Jump Down Now!” jumped down, put his hand on the clothes hamper, the lid fell in and he followed. This is a tall hamper so all I could see were these little legs running in mid-air. He was crying. I was laughing. I had my baby girl in my arms so I couldn’t fish him out immediately so he was left there in the dark, running on air until I put baby girl down. Still laughing, him still crying I fished him out and gave him a big cuddle. It was a proud moment.

Welcome to semi-fictional Abolon, population 10685 and counting. This is a town with a rich history of stuff, mixed stuff with a whole load of weird, normal and undercover normal people.

We start our story with a list. It is basically a history of the town from the arrival of the pasty white man to today.

  • White man arrives, looks around, scratches his bottom and declares, “This looks awright!” He pulls out a length of canvas, a couple of poles and declares in his most declaring-est voice, “Looks like mine now!”
  • A few more white men and women and wee children arrive, look around and squeak, “Eeeek pappa, where’s the lavatory?” Silence.
  • More white people arrive and decide to set up homes then a little town grows in the shadow of the awesome beach that has captured the imagination of a whole 60 people (including women and children).
  • Town grows as the sport of ‘wave riding’ or surfing takes off. The young surfers become older men and the Easties move in!
  • TODAY – a mild to warm 28 degrees celcius with a slight breeze and a whole wack bam chunk of humidity. Thanks March, I thought better of you.

We now formally begin our soapie. It is a house from the 1940’s that sits on a semi-main road in the shadow of make believe mansions and old-now-new dwellings. In this house is a family. They are the Vatsoons. A funny little bunch of characters that are rich in laughter and occasional tantrums. Money is slightly scarce but they scrape through thanks to the generosity of a couple of relatives who live high on the hill.

The community they live in is a funny little place. You’ve got your filthy rich, your rich, your mainstream, your hippies, your backpackers, your tradies, the old salts and the weirdos (who could possibly fit in any previous section). The shops have moved with the times. Some could say they have gone backwards in charm but progressed with slight snobbery and la-de-da.

The school is the centre of the parental universe. And here we take up our story. Tis an Autumn afternoon. Cars wrestle for a single carpark, horns blare and shopkeepers giggle at the fuss being made over one space. Women and children meander (if on time) or walk/run (if they’re not) to the school gates. Children are dragged across roads as parents unthinkingly jay-walk them to the nearest gate as if nothing bad could ever happen in this town.

The playground is a somewhat humorous mix of people. Dads are dotted around staring off into space. Afterall, this used to be a woman’s sphere, what the heck is a dad supposed to do in a playground these days? Mothers natter or sit off on silver seats by themselves hoping against hope that someone will single them out for a spot of nat. Then the bell rings and all hell breaks loose. Bags are thrown unzipped on the ground whilst the little green clones of children sprint, pointing finger guns at each other.

So now you know the setting, the town, the vague list of vague characters. Come with me as we embark on a semi-fictional soapie featuring characters I may or may not know.

This was Part One!

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