12 Years A Slave

I watch this movie in horror and disgust and admiration. Horror that anyone calling themselves human could possibly treat another in such a way; disgust at those of ‘my’ race who could do so or stand by; admiration for those brave, mistreated people who survived and those who were brave enough to stand up and say stop.

I cannot leave the volume at one level and so I raise and lower the sounds I hear. I lean close for the words, those of courage and determination.  Down to almost mute in anticipation of the violence. 

I am sickened by the acts that are shown in only this two hour period. If this is the case in this short a time, how disgusting then the years of reality? I cannot bear to think about it, yet I force myself to continue to watch because I know this example is one of many. I know similar action and inaction have happened in my country, my state. 

I watch because I want to feel horrified and disgusted at what people have done. I want to remember it. I want force myself to acknowledge that these atrocities happen still and will keep on while people like me stay silent.

I watch this vitriol and violence against human beings because I am afraid that sometime past, I believe without intent, I have been racist or otherwise treated one less than another, less than myself. If I have, I will not anymore.

I will not stand idly by. I will be aware. I will speak up for injustice. Even if I am afraid. I will.

Universal truths are constant. It is a fact, an undeniable fact that what is true and right, is true and right for all. White and black alike. Mr Bass – 12 Years A Slave.

Extreme Do-Over! A fairy story for modern times.

I want to tell you a story. 

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, in an ordinary suburb, a woman – let’s call her Sally.

(Or, to be honest, it is me.)

Anyway, a woman, strategically organised jobs for her family so that everyone was doing their share. She was so considerate that she allowed her family their choice of chores and allocated what was left to herself. Now this woman has never been renowned for her particular abilities in terms of housework. In fact, she reduced her immediate family to hysteria when she landed a Home Ec teaching position. She is possibly one of the least domestic people we know. However, for the short term, the chore sharing went well and everyone was in clean, folded clothing.

A little while ago though, her life filled up more than usual and something had to go. Sighing disappointedly, she removed the self-replicating, rapidly increasing mountain of clean, unfolded clothing from its normal slothful position on the lounge room couch/floor to the hidden confines of her small walk-in wardrobe. What a relief to have this monstrosity invisible to anyone who dropped by. Now she only had to wrestle with it once a day in order to find her outfit. As happens with self-replicating life forms, however, the mountain grew and grew as days passed. Infuriatingly, no housework fairy tiptoed in at night to do it for her. In fact, not even one fairy tale creature crossed her path to offer redemption in exchange for the soul of her first born or her undying affection. Bah, humbug!

More time passed, but the woman knew she would conquer the ever widening pile soon, or die trying. As is often the case in these moral tales, time moves more swiftly that we bargain for and moment is lost. Yesterday, the clouds of the oncoming storm released their deluge upon the home of the poor, unwary woman and her family. (Literally, a pipe from the hot water service blew inside the wall between the laundry and the back of the wardrobe.) For long hours, the storm raged. (Possibly 5 hours til her husband and kids returned home.) The woman’s wardrobe, then (carpeted) bedroom, the hallway, then the (carpeted) bedrooms of the (4) children, the (carpeted) loungeroom and linen press transformed from dry, to damp, to swamp over the space of one afternoon. Upon returning to the dwelling, her longsuffering husband found frogs croaking, dragonflies skimming and a mountain of once-clean washing, steaming in the (carpeted) estuary (2 inches deep) that had been their wardrobe.

In a valiant attempt to stop further damage, said husband attacked the source with gusto. (He turned off the water.) He and the children, frustrated with the limited capacity of their mop, thought laterally and used the already wet washing (towels and quilts first, then everything down to undies) to soak up as much of the excess water as they could. It must be noted that on its travels the water had surged and back washed through the cat litter tray and so these once-clean items were now pungent and aromatic. What a delightful scene greeted the woman when she returned from inspiring the minds of the future. A tired family and a gruff wizard in plumbing kit were still at work determining the source of this evil. Holes were blasted in walls until the copper culprit admitted its guilt. (A 2 millimetre wear in a weld.) Captured and replaced with a sturdier guard, the culprit was wrapped for The Insurer’s inspection and the family once agin bent their backs to shift sodden, smelly piles of washing to the relative safety of the cork floor in the dining room. 

Fearing for their safety, and comfortable sleep, the husband manhandled (cause he’s a man) the thankfully dry mattress to the outside room and they, their youngest child, a couple of cats and an attention seeking dog attempted to sleep whilst still listening out for The Insurer’s promised vacuum wielding water diviner. Who promptly arrived at 10 the next morning while they were out. 

The woman long (3.5 hours) regretted her laziness as she slaved over huge, costly ($85 total), roasting machinery (laundromat). What had once seemed a fine plan now tortured her day off and her slim purse. She knew that laziness was not the answer. When she arrived home she found herself and her family surrounded by towering fluorescent orange dehumidifiers and fans with such gusting power they bellowed throug the hallway like an engine of a jumbo jet. Ah, the peace; the tranquility; the sarcasm!

The woman’s patience was tested further with a call to The Insurer who requested that she provide evidence of ownership of her 10 year old bed frame, two spare mattresses, numerous secondhand bookcases and desks and a, now structurally questionable, MDF toddler bed in the likeness of a well-known, blue, British steam locomotive. 

So, although this vicious attack of liquid was not the woman’s fault, she felt sorely tried by its ramifications. And the washing mountain? I hear you ask. Clean, dry, partially folded and safe.
And still in the back of the car.

Absolute verity,

Eski Caterpillar 💦

Housework? I Say No!

Mine is the sort of home where guests for lunch present – apart from menu planning – the added unspoken question as to whose job it will be to clear the dining room table of its drifts of paper, unopened letters and things that people dumped there on the way in from school.

And that’s the way I like it! (Mostly)

Thanks to Annabel Crabb for this eye opening, truthful, realistic and freeing article.

Lesson to my Daughter.

Dust bunnies everywhere – and they are – I salute you. I’m off to sprinkle glitter; sew Hulk costumes; read stories; watch tv; play Lego or any number of the thousand and four things I’d rather be doing than housework.

🐛

Part 3 – Creative Writing – A Journey

Thanks to Grace, of “Practical Creative Writing” we used this exercise today:

There are ten exercises below and each one comprises a simple set of three questions. Each one should be answered as quickly as you can. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers – only ideas. It is up to you to decide whether the ideas appeal to you enough to make you want to develop them further. I suggest trying them all and see what happens.


One

1. Who is coming round the corner?

It is Lilly. Her green dress flaps wetly around her legs. There are flicks of mud stuck to her stockings at the back that show she has walked swiftly through the rain for sometime. She is hurrying and takes no notice of where she has headed. Fortunately for both of us, I do.

2. What is their secret? 3. What are they carrying?

Lilly is huddles over. She has her arms wrapped protectively about her chest. At first glance it appears that she is trying to keep warm, but her thick wooden cardigan belies the action. The day is not so cold. She is rushed and flushed, her cheeks unnaturally bright in the greyness of the dim twilight. She does not notice me, but, trained as I am to observe, I notice the gasp as I catch her shoulders to avoid knocking her into the street. I notice the gasp and the clutch of her hands to her midsection. Lilly is pregnant and I don’t think that it is what she wants.

Two

1. Why did Peter lose his temper with Joanna?

Joanna laughed smugly, knowing that this time the tables had turned. Peter would be the one to leave their home today instead of her. She sat back comfortably on the white leather couch, watching as he scrabbled for his keys and wallet in the African earthenware dish they’d fought over early in their marriage. She knew it was the right thing to have by the door; he felt it was worth the yearly income of the small African village it had ostensibly come from. Just like today. She knew that selling their home was a bad idea; he believed that they needed to downsize. Phhht! Downsize was only a word she wanted to hear in relation to her wardrobe or her waistline.

2. Where did he go after he stormed out?

Peter headed to the late night cafe only two blocks away. He knew he was in no fit state to drive. This latest argument with Joanna had left him in no doubt of the state of their relationship; it was over. A fact he should have known any number of years ago. He and Joanna had been at loggerheads even before they married. As he drank his mildly bitter, styrofoam infused beverage, he knew that they were best described in terms of the fashion houses Jo was so fond of. She was Dolce and Gabbana and he was Dollars and Sense. It was ill fated from the start.

3. What happened to him when he got there?

An hour and a half and three lukewarm cups of coffee later, Peter knew the showdown that he’d been expecting wasn’t going to happen. Wearily, he walked the now quiet streets back to the atrocious and ostentatious villa. It too was quiet. He turned his key in the lock and made his way to the crisp perfection of the spare room.


Honest Romance?

A) I should not stay up til 2 am watching ‘romantic’ movies.
B) Said movies should not call themselves such if the plot involves two people who have been best friends since childhood and have avoided sharing their true feelings for one another almost as long.
C) There are 3 minutes of screen time left and they’re both still teary and un-together. This had better get better fast!
D) Stupid bloody fools! 12 years wasted.
E) Be honest.
F) For goodness sake, get some sleep!
G) Last 14 seconds of movie is kissing; prefaced by the words, “Better late than never.”
H) No.
I) Well, technically, yes. But why?!
J) Am going to watch something more honest, predictable and believable.
K) Like Jumanji.