What’s in a Moment?

This is another illogical, rambling post with no real point to it. I blame the rainy weather – it makes me whimsical and sentimental. Anyway, here goes….
I can remember being humiliated and outraged as a child because my day-care mother had the effrontery to expect me to line up and use the potty along with the other kids.

This routine requirement both baffled and deeply offended me. Was she going to line up too and use the potty with us? Was it suddenly socially acceptable to strip off and take a crap in front of people? How dare she compel me to disregard modesty? Why would I want an audience watching me perform my ablutions?

So many unanswered questions.

I would beg her not to make me to publically debase myself in such tasteless, undignified act, and typically sulked for hours afterwards when she ignored my petition. *

I was a very modest three-year-old.

My earliest memories are not of events, but rather very strong feelings and emotions. Excitement as a two-year old watching my Nana receive a bicycle for her 60th birthday. Disappointment and shame on my second birthday because I received a doll when I wanted money in a card, like my brothers. Terror as a four-year-old at Expo ‘88 watching the fireworks. Elation when we moved to the country and I received my first pair of blue gumboots. Rage when a boy in grade one sassed me. Inconsolable grief when I lost my first teddy bear.

I think it was the strength of the emotions which made me remember the events at all. But then when I got a little older I started to remember things on the strength of the occurrences themselves.

I was nine years old and driving home from school with my mother one afternoon when, sitting at the traffic lights not two minutes from home, I made a fierce promise to myself always to remember that particular moment. Not because it was anything special – it was the most ordinary moment in the world, as we tiredly waited for the light to turn green in an old ’82 Ford Laser with no air conditioning and the afternoon sun in our eyes – but because I was suddenly aware that the majority of life’s happenings are made obsolete almost as soon as they occur; and what is pivotal one second is forgotten the next.  I pictured the innumerable thoughts and incidents surrounding billions of human beings for millennia – some extraordinary, some mundane – but all vanished into nothingness, quietly tucked away from view in the past. Where do all of these stories go to? Memories are proud.  Once forgotten, they rarely come back.

Not that I was able to reason it out like that at the time. But in some small way, I wanted to remember a moment forever, no because it was special or set apart by any strong emotion, but just so it wouldn’t be forgotten. That was the one I chose, and nearly twenty years later, it feels like a special one indeed.

And in another twenty years, what will I remember about today?

Today was a bleak, windy and rainy day in Peachester and, as far as days go, exceedingly ordinary. But there is one thing I’ll always remember about it, because at the time it seemed extraordinary.

There is an enormous window next to my bed which runs nearly the length of my room. When I woke up this morning I spent a few minutes staring out of the window at the new day. It was grey and drizzly and windy. It was very windy. The trees told me it was windy. The air was filled with leaf litter and crackling with life; bark and leaves were being buffered about, the leaves suspended in the air longest, twisting about madly in revolution after revolution, the wind yanking them this way and that, and the bark sinking heavily through the air and crashing to the ground, like old clothing carelessly discarded. The energy, the electricity from this elemental dance was thrilling. My window is suddenly a cinema screen, the day is a movie, and I am the tucked-up observer, wondering what will come next, what players will feature and how will they fare? Would any of those wild and gadding leaves fly down to my window, touch it, let me see up close how they spun and moved and make me feel as though I’d had a real-life encounter with celebrity?  Some fly some overhead (they will land on the roof), and others fall short and land in the garden. Their source, a soaring silver bark gum on a slope not twenty meters away, is the star of the movie, the one I cannot take my eyes off.

He is chattering – it couldn’t possibly be described as anything else – fiercely talking to every single leaf, shaking them all to attention, saying wildly, “Hold on for dear life, or the wind will have you!” The leaves are chattering with fear, exhilaration and because they are compelled to. The wind whips through them, laughing and howling, threatening to tear them away, swiping this way and that, orphaning them and laying them to rest on the earth. In twos and threes they are snapped from their source, at first surprised, wildly liberated for a few moments and then slowing down moments before they come to rest on the earth, a roof, a car, because they realise that the flight of freedom is brief, and the slumber of death forever. The settle themselves gently, comfortably and prepare for permanence, sighing in a final sort of way.

So I guess I will always remember that moment, because it was when I realised there are no ordinary moments, no unimportant things; that entire worlds and lives and dramas are in play all around us every second, consuming and life-altering to the players in them if only a brief, pleasant distraction from getting out of bed for me.

Although let’s face it – for me, pretty much everything is a welcome distraction from getting out of bed.


* Mrs Johns was the perfect day-care mother in every other respect. I loved her cat Minty and she was the only person to indulge my partiality towards plain mayonnaise sandwiches.

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: A Plea

The darndest thing happened to me the other day.   

I was sitting on the train, minding my own business, when I was approached by Kevin Bacon, who said, “Hey Julie, why do you think it is no one wants to play my game anymore – Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon?”

Well, he really had me there, and I apologised to Kevin for not having an immediate response.

People, it’s this simple: the game will not work with any other name. It can’t be called Six Degrees of Lindsay Lohan, or Six Degrees of Dieter Brummer or anything else you might have in mind. It must be Kevin Bacon.

I think you’ll agree with me that we owe it to Kevin to keep this game alive. Kevin brought us such memorable films as The River Wild, Apollo 13, Footloose and The Air Up There. It is his illustrious career and prolific body of work that makes this game possible at all.

For those of you unfamiliar with the game, it is based upon the premise that everyone in the world can  be traced back to Kevin Bacon via six degrees of seperation. It’s most likely to work if you use celebrities though. So, you take a celebrity (Emma Bunton) and link her to Kevin Bacon.

Ok, Baby Spice with Meatloaf in Spiceworld, Meatloaf with Susan Sarandon in Rocky Horror Picture Show, Susan Sarandon with Natalie Portman in Anywhere But Here, Natalie Portman with Ewan McGregor in Star Wars Episode One, Ewan McGregor with Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, Nicole Kidman with Meryl Streep in The Hours, Meryl Streep with Kevin Bacon in The River Wild.

Maybe that was seven degrees but I think you get the picture.

So folks, play, play, play!! Play like a five year old two minutes before bedtime! And hopefully if Kevin asks me this question again, I’ll have some better news for him.

Really, it’s the least we can do. AND it opens up your neural pathways – five years ago I could have smashed this in, like, three degrees.

Hmm, let’s see…..

Nope, can’t be done. Or can it?!

The challenge has been issued. May the true champion of Kevin Bacon win.


Falcor – Where Is He Now?

Over the years I’ve heard many, many people ask the following question:

Whatever happened to Falcor from The Neverending Story?

And really, this is a very good question. I mean, where can a Luckdragon go once he’s had his fifteen minutes of fame? They don’t exactly blend in. I’m sure he didn’t want to stick around in Fantasia, not with that drip Bastian accidentally killing Atreyu in Part 2 and pronouncing Fantasia to be empty.

Little twerp.

People clearly want answers, and, unexpectedly, I am in a position to provide them. You see, it just so happens that I am a close, personal friend of Falcor’s and can tell you the whole story.

Because Fantasia was becoming more and more prone to evil overlords wanting to destroy it and the Empress’ passivity helped to enable this, Falcor decided to emigrate to earth where, unfortunately, he had to shrink quite a bit in order to blend in with local culture. He still retains the main features of a Luckdragon however, as illustrated below.

I give you…..Falcor Now!!

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

So, after providing indisputable evidence, everybody can relax now. Falcor didn’t fade into complete obscurity. He is alive and well, living with me in Peachester, and goes by the alias of “Caffery.” He likes to do normal, everyday things such as have his bottom patted, hump his giant teddy and visit the hydro bath.
He’s not immune to the camera flash of lurking paparazzi either. I’ll leave you with the following  pictures to be featured in Who Weekly next week. Ciao!
Falcor and his new squeeze, Teddy,
step out to Starbucks.
No Way to Treat a Teddy – Falcor is
spotted in a compromising position.
Thanks to his fame, Falcor can enjoy regular
spa treatments at exclusive resorts.

“I just want to live my life!” – Falcor’s plea
to intrusive paparazzi.

Don’t have a cow- no, wait….


Sorry. *subtly clears throat.*

I like raw cows’ milk.

Why? Because DAMN it tastes good! Who wants to drink that watered-down crappola from Woolworths?

But Julie, it hasn’t been treated with a billion and one unnecessary processes to squeeze every last drop of awesomeness from it – you might get a disease or some sort of unpleasant bacterial infection, I hear you say. Well, I appreciate your concern, but I guess that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Because that’s me. I’m a risk taker. I jog without wearing socks in my runners and occasionally leave the door slightly ajar when I go to the loo.

Risssssssssssks. Hiss it out and tell me you don’t feel bad ass.

Seriously – (although I was being…) Pauls and all the other Big Boy companies (it’s been so long I literally can’t remember their names) are holding their products hostage at one big, long, regrettable night out at the Milk Masquerade Ball, where no matter how crap your date is or how sick you get or how many times they play the Macarena or how many times a creep grabs your ass or how messy your makeup gets, you can never, never, never leave.

I understand the above paragraph doesn’t make much sense. I don’t care. It stays.

What supermarket supplied milk lacks (along with integrity) is the natural cream top which lasts for a third of the bottle and is basically like drinking pouring cream.

Milk should not taste watery. It should be thick, creamy and sweet. You should look forward to your daily glass of milk as a treat. Adding it to your hot beverage should be sweetness enough. Mixed with cocoa and boiled should send you to sleep where you sip.

I will no longer be supporting the enforced, ghastly, thin-lipped (you heard me) Milk Masquerade Ball. The tickets are too expensive and the guest list sucks.

My supplier of raw milk must remain nameless to ensure its continued *cough ILLEGAL* supply to its band of loyal followers. Yes, you heard my false cough – ILLEGAL. Guess that makes me an accessory to the crime now, don’t it? Testify. Apparently you’re not allowed to commercially sell unadulterated, awesome cow’s milk. It’s just too dangerous. BUT HERE KIDS, BUY A LITRE OF GUARANA AND SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS!!!

Thank goodness for food standards and safety regulations – where would we be without them?

Now I’m off to buy a No-Doze at my local corner store. Roll-up anyone? They go well with Coke – now THERE’s a drink of champions with absolutely no health risks whatsoever associated with it. That must be why it’s so popular – because it has the tick of approval from the government, and the population can enjoy a free-for-all with an easy conscience, knowing how vigilantly it is protected from dangerous consumables.


Ummm….yeah, I’m gonna go have a cup of hot cocoa now and then turn in for the evening….