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Gisele last won the day on January 28 2018

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About Gisele

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  1. Gisele


    So we left what I now regard as our proper home to go back to what I sometimes regard as our proper home (confusing, right) only to learn, two days later, that quarantine was a government shamble and Melbourne is in the middle of either a second wave or a proper first wave or some shit. Never one to not say let’s turn around and go back, I did. Not so fast, was the kids’ view of it all. Limbo it is for the moment then. Oh well, at least there is the option and that is better than the alternatives flashing all over the news. I think I really have had enough looking of it all. If any burglars want to break into our house and take the TV and other devices, I might even help them load it into their van. Even other news is grim, if not quite so grave. The cardboard cut-outs were stunned into silence when Jeremy Howe, Collingwood defender, earthly son of wing-footed Mercury and Patron Saint of the High Mark, popped an ACL …or a BCL or PCL, I’m not sure … maybe all three. Why the demi-gods are asked to walk the earth with sinews and connecty-bits made of little more than fairy floss is anyone’s guess. It reminds us the gods are cruel. For those (I suspect most of you) not familiar with Our Jeremy, he is a rescue from some sheltered workshop cleverly masquerading as a rival football club, which had the terrible indecency to draft him. I don’t know which one because I never commit to these to memory and probably wouldn’t say so if I did. In any event, he trudged his way over to Collingwood, found his true purpose and once more the planets were briefly tripped into another fleeting sort of re-alignment. See, Jeremy is no ordinary footballer. There are enough of those – can’t kick, can’t compete, can’t speak in whole sentences, can’t get drunk without pissing on a window, etc, etc. No, he is very, very special. And this because many, many, many times a game he is able to launch himself into the firmament as if carried up there on the warm breath of the gods themselves, before standing on someone’s head and taking yet another spectacular mark. By way of edification, a ‘mark’ is what every other ball sport in the world might call a catch, but that can be a matter for the rest of the world. A mark is also what a statistician might call it. Any of spekky/ grab/ hanger/ screamer is what a fan might call it. When Jeremy takes one, I call it foreplay. It is quite amazing that TV cameras and no end of replays aren’t quite able to see what I see. Through my own eyes, he is never up there for less than a minute-and-a-half and while way up there always seems able to find the time to turn his head, ever so slightly, and wink right at me. It’s a job to suppress the urge to go fluff his pillow and ensure that he is resting comfortably. If I wasn't spoken for ... ah, nevermind. So, like all imported joy, 2020 has ripped this one away too. Ctrl-Alt-Delete. Went to confession though. For the first time in years. That might have to wait, at least until I rediscover my appetite for self-loathing. That might come as soon as tomorrow.
  2. Gisele

    One Vigil and Another

    M, As it happens, I have several autobiographies to chose from if any were to ever see the light of day. I never had any such intention but rather these are the fruit -variously edible and not - of a lifelong compulsion to keep a diary that leaves nothing out and the worst of myself least of all. On and off, I have tried to edit a version of it for my children. I imagine often that one day, when they get to a suitable age, like 50, or any time after I'm dead, or not quite, or something, then they could have it to read or not read, as they please, and know something about their mother, This worked as well as it could until Lucy was maybe three where it has felt very difficult to feel connected to it. I can never quite decide how I feel about it anymore. It may also be redundant. Last weekend, I thought i would make the most of some very nice silk I had stashed away and make the children kimonos and explain some of the subtleties that took me longer than it should have when I was in Japan. This was all fine and richly enjoyable until one of my curious darlings asked what I did in Japan. Yeah um. By the way, if your conscientious parent wants to keep a social distance and have that honoured by the civic and like-minded, don't take any ridiculously cute children in traditional Japanese costume over to the park for some photos. By the by the way, I'm not sure if wigmakers are attune to the fine, fine art of hiding in plain sight but if you're natural hair colour is dark, then a salt and pepper wig is worth serious thought. XO
  3. Gisele

    One Vigil and Another

    It might be interesting, in years to come, to reflect on how we in Australia largely escaped the pandemic. That’s the good news. The less good news is school is to be going back and work is to be going back and, together, those two things mean our 10 week idyll will soon be dust. Things must return to normal, whatever the **** that means. I’m in no hurry. Return to normal is what they say. Re-open the economy is what they say louder still. They are of course less effusive about what that implies. But we know. It means they think an obscene death toll is a fair price to pay for your shit jobs in tourism and marketing and food service but don’t quite have the balls to say exactly that. Oh well, it will be over one-day and we will resume pretending getting other people to make shit and fighting each other to sell it is the hallmark of a fabulous and febrile civilisation. Oh the fun we collectively empower them to have. I would be being very dishonest if this didn’t all feel like the seven-second thrill of a super-nice dream. That is, if I can exclude the rest of the world and just reflect upon what it has meant to me and mine, which is easier than it might be because I mostly have. I’m more than just a little sad that the children are going back to school next week. They were meant to be going back to school this week but for one reason and another next Monday it will be. There will be staggered starts and probably regular drownings in the new holy water and twists and turns of anxiety to navigate, perhaps more than just my own but I will admit it is starting to feel something like the right time. They are certainly looking forward to it. Even Lucy, who is ever keen to remind me that learning everything, everywhere, except at her desk, has reasoned that her friends and after school things are worth gritting her teeth through school for. It’s part bluff anyway. Thanks to drones and live streaming, we watched the mass green turtle migration to the far north of the barrier reef and she was utterly enchanted and is turning that into a school project. She is also at her dad to build a fence around a large stand of natives near the house, to protect the impossibly cute possums that live in there and wants to turn that into her personal mission. I asked her if we might be inadvertently making them prisoners if we did that. Alas, I was not aware she had already applied her mind to this with some diligence. “Nooo, mum, there could be a wire to a tree outside the tree that no other animals can walk along,” she said, with quite some authority. Her dad watched all of this with a quiet pride and as much as that too was beautiful, it was also a tiny bit smug. I immediately thought better of asking how much fencing pocket money might buy because he has probably walked her through preparing a business case. Teach them everything, he says, and often. Can we just do it a little more slowly, I says. As it happens, I should have said something before her sister leapt in and filled the void. “Mum, there are fences around the horses and the sheep. Are they prisoners?” I think I nearly fainted at the coldness of her logic but managed to stay upright enough to surrender standing. Children never cease to amaze. They don’t hear anything but when they get half a sniff of the widening gulf between what they are wanting and what they are getting, they turn into the world’s best barristers. Because he fosters this, I whispered to my husband that many more fences and one in particular will be going up 😉 I do love that my children will rarely argue with each other but will always argue for each other. I find it utterly charming, as much as I might find myself on the wrong end of it. And it is hard not to be proud even if that inclines me to less than first-class parenting like the topical example of Ruby refusing to go back to school despite absolutely looking forward to it unless her sister was going to be going back too. That’s entirely fair, I thought, and let the school know there were no other demands 😉 It is said all the time that a mother’s love is the strongest love of all and perhaps it is. The most rewarding love though, for me, is the love the girls have for each other. It might help me vicariously imagine what having a sister would have been like but that is only a tiny part of it. The bigger, better, delicate and precious part is that the burning light of it disarms doubt and tells me we’re doing something right. In the middle of that night I was thinking about this and asked him, not for the first time if he feels anything missing by not having a son. Or sons. I don’t know why I ask this when I know it isn’t a thing and when I probably deep-down know that all I am really doing is asking him to answer my own question for me, I think he knows and knows that I know so tends to make a joke of it. He must know because he has only ever been patient with that question. But he answered it differently this time, so differently that I can actually imagine that I might never ask again. He said that he had a moment of clarity in 2014, while he was waiting six days for me to wake up after crashing my car. He admitted it occurred to him that I might not be coming home and that meant he would be solely responsible for two daughters in what is lamentably still a man’s world. He went on to say that he decided then he wasn’t going to do what everyone else appeared to be doing and tell them they could be anything and do nothing but hope for the best, so he made sure he would give them the tools they needed to go and get whatever it is they ultimately want, for themselves, by themselves. It is a momentous thing when Neptune becomes Venus. It is a more momentous thing when a few short words wash the soap from your eyes and you see in brilliant focus what should have been apparent all along. I couldn’t tell if I was just utterly dim-witted or re-awakened with love. I wasn’t sure how well I would cope with either so I said to him “You’re not off the hook. When Lucy is 16 and 17 and leaves to go to Greenland or Timbuktu or ****ing Saturn just to see something or save something (because this is an outcome I can see more than any other) and when the last bits of my brain melt into my hands because of it, you are going to be handed the pain of that because you will be to blame” Or words to that effect. He said, “17? Oh well, there’s nothing wrong with being a late bloomer.” I won’t repeat what I said. Since everyone else is finding familiar shoes, it is probably time I find my own way back to work. I’m still not sure what shape that is going to take but it will be gradual. The justice system isn’t famously adaptable at the best times and adapting to the electronic makeover has possibly been even less organic a transition than giving a 90-year-old a smart phone. It isn’t the only reason. I think I’m struggling with leaving this home for our city home and struggling with struggling about it because it is all a bit silly. I mean, who goes home knowing they will be homesick. I will not miss video-conferencing. Whether it is shitty broadband or kids competing for air time or camera-shy clients and colleagues, there is nothing good about it. The only time it was in any way rewarding was Zooming with my sister-in-law and getting equally drunk. Beyond that, people are just a diminished presence and I think I just tended to find that both distracting and irritating. Presence is very important and especially to my job. It is important because quite a few people that come to me don’t necessarily recognise their own best interests and often barely able to resist cultivating a truth that is not the best truth for them. It’s like 9 in 10 of the blogs I write; I want and need to say something but tend to wander off into saying anything else but that something. I really do miss the visceral things that help me evaluate someone and ask better questions. I will miss having to be only professionally presented from the waist up though. It’s awesome. As much as I love clothes, I have always loved equally not having to wear them so who wouldn’t work in their underwear from one profession to the next. Other than the one time when I got up in haste to get a document and gave someone a nice flash, everyone else was none the wiser. And I have decided that for all the developmental haste, the best invention in the 21st century is snippy tool. They could come up with vaccines for everything and lipstick that lasts all day and all night and the next morning and ray guns that only vaporise vicious, hateful people and ovens that do not burn shit but it would still be snippy tool that would win the award. I. Love. It. * All this self-isolation did push me off one particular cliff. I think I may have hinted at it here a very long time ago but it isn’t anything I ever talk about. Close to never, really. It is my hair. That alone tends to be dissuasive as it is never going to be a headline: Girl Somewhat Touchy About Her Hair. I might even start yawning too, if my sensitivity about this had been less harmful. It isn’t that it has to be kept perfect because it doesn’t. I’m fussy about preparing it, sure, when going out or for work but it endures more than its fair share of sweat and sea-water and mud and I don’t mind a bit if it is roughed up in the bedroom. What I am is hyper-hyper-sensitive about the length of it and have been since the cusp of sixteen which was when I should have died and which I won’t recount because the moment itself isn’t the shadow it used to be. Keeping it that length keeps the shadow small and as much I can read over that and know, intellectually, that it is not sane, I know that it also is. Perhaps I’m more fortunate than I have ever appreciated to know that anyone here that might be reading this has the best chance of truly understanding what that means. It used to be a hell of a lot worse. If I lost the vigil then I would see the blood in it. If I got really bent out of shape, then I would smell the blood in it. The sick, cruel thing about that is I never saw it when it actually was drenched in my own blood because I was barely alive. But I saw it every day for over a year afterward. It happens occasionally even now. So I keep up the vigil. I remember once – I don’t think I had yet turned 20 – when I moved house and walked into an unfamiliar hairdresser after many aborted dress-rehearsals, pointed wordlessly at one who I didn’t trust but felt like I could mistrust the least and said the lady taking bookings that I would book her. I think I saw her the day after and more or less, or exactly, said that this and that and this had to be done without any room for interpretation and would pay her double but if she ****ed it up I would burn down her house. She told me much later that she actually thought I meant it but did it anyway. And was paid what was promised. She was the only one to cut my hair for the next seven years. So, when the pandemic loomed and hair salons were among the first things to be shut-down, I immediately felt anxious. Then I didn’t. Then I did again, and each time slightly worse. I knew I had to do something about it. I just didn’t know what. The only options were myself (yeah, nah), the shearing shed up the road (****, maybe) and Alex (no, I just couldn’t). Well, I couldn’t until I was pacing around the kitchen thinking about it and heard him coming down the hall. So I said as casually as could, which was never, ever going to sound casual “Honey, I need you to cut my hair today.” He did not even break stride and I don’t know if he intended to at least make some coffee first but bailed on that (itself a minor miracle) and went to go out through the patio doors with that much haste he forgot to open them first. “****, who locked this?” he asked apparently no-one, clearly distressed. “You did” “Nuh uh. Not doing it” “It will be fun,” I insisted but absolutely not really. I thought a vein was going to burst in my head. “Get Ruby to do it. She will be very precise.” “Do what?” she wondered from out of nowhere. So she trimmed a tiny bit off my hair. And my head did not explode. It was genuinely therapeutic. The question I have now is how Lucy, when she caught wind of this, just gaped at the gravity of it all, which is impossible because I have never, ever, exposed them to this. Ever.I know that I will not be able to walk away from the vigil, not if I live to 100, but it feels like a stunning success to know it doesn’t always keep it’s foot on my throat. * So there we are. Back to normaL. Whatever the **** that looks like now.
  4. Gisele

    and now I remember why

    M, I remember options once upon a time but if they are no more, you could make do with the ghetto version. This would be to start with making your blog private then adding members you care to name. If that is every member ... well, that would be a marathon and not a sprint 😉 Something to while away the hours. Why do you get a room where others might be getting the house is what I can't help but wonder.
  5. Gisele

    Weeks Two and Three

    Week two was like week one. We move on. I should take a moment to point out that given the planet-wide trauma we're all varying degrees of seeing, there will be no pissiness about being couped up with an unrequited life to live. For me, it isn't that bad. Just educational. And like all education, it is so much better when not forced upon you. I don't mean Siri. Having never availed myself, I had no idea how ****ing useless she is and now I find myself asking her stuff all the time, in the vain hope she might come up with something. But no. She was not able to tell me if I should feel awful rather than gleeful that Chester Bennington cannot m*rder Scott Weiland's songs anymore. She is also not able to tell me if donations to Sinn Fein from, say, my house are tax deductible and she wouldn't know the colour wheel if Vermeer himself walked her over to it and gave her some personalised tuition. Most disappointingly, she could shed no light on why Season 3 of Sense8 was never commissioned. Oh well, a re-watch it is. I have noticed I am better if I Ask Ruby. My darling daughter is every bit as resourceful as her father, and without the irritation that knowing a million things that I don't tends to bring. Not his fault of course but that is the difference between a husband and a child. I would also play Ask Lucy if I could ever find her. She has in a very short space of time decided that school is outside hero-worshipping her dad and helping him tend the animals and painting things and other projects and. according to her but very much spoon-fed by a man that might want to build a bigger dog-house before long, "making the most of the new reality." She is not even nine years old yet and can now drive a car. Or at least steer it. Nobody thought to tell me, other than accidently. Given how hard she can be to contain, I thought she would suffer more than any of us. Instead it is her sister that is struggling to cope. We will work through that.
  6. Gisele

    Week One

    M, Alright, 61.03 US cents, then. It was more a week ago apparently but the world has "retreated to the safety of US dollars." They remain coy about what is safe, which seems a fair question given that Wall Sr. is in New York which is royally ****ed, apparently. We have refined the swear jar somewhat F-bombs are as above Ordinary c-bombs (yet to levied I'm proud to say) are $10 Modern c-bombs (with the c meaning corona or any derivatives) are $20 and a period away from the rest of the family, to perhaps cheer up a little bit and not ruin to carefully curated atmosphere of total denial we have made for ourselves And just so it isn't lop-sided anymore, "I'm bored, Mum" is a flat $5 fine. The only one not making any money out of this is my husband. That's awful bad luck 😉
  7. Gisele

    Week One

    Very cute And very clever. Because my extortionate ****ing children won't read that much less hear it, you won't have to cough up a dollar. * * Read your PMs. That wasn't a suggestion
  8. Gisele

    Week One

    Total Isolation seems to be going well. We haven't seen another living soul since Wednesday and as much as that is weird, it also isn't the worst thing. I tried Facetime a couple of times but I really couldn't be bothered with it. I'm not sure why that is other than maybe it is still surreal enough to want to be really embracing the new reality. Home education is going swimmingly. Ruby is teaching my mathematics and, like her dad, is helpfully there to remind me that my left hand is not my right hand and I'm not teaching them much at all. Here's hoping effort ultimately counts for something. If this experience has taught me anything though, it is that I'm going to need a bigger swear jar 😉
  9. Instinct tells me that is a horrifying idea but reason tells me than living in Rome behooves one to be Roman. Holy hell, I suppose anything might ultimately be possible. When are they going to come up with a brown and gold kevlar-clad robotic doberman trained in crisis management
  10. Gisele

    Behind the Urals

    I think the crack that mattered might have appeared when I was reading the Worksafe directions for preparing my office for pandemic prevention. My office is less than three months old, employs two people other than me and, since I still don't know how well I'm going to fare at making a working life out of sailing my own ship, and because I cannot help myself, I decided to put a premium on office style. No substance? We'll soon see.but in the meantime at least enjoy my impeccable surrounds. So it with some distress that I imagined dueling soap dispensers every 10 paces and effectively crime scene tape stuck to the tiled floor a strict 1.5 metres from the reception desk. **** me, is it a vanity to think we're not saving lives, only livelihoods, when suddenly the demand is to also save lives. It didn't help that the first person to walk in after the tape was laid stepped straight over it and leaned on the counter. I dearly wish I could pretend I didn't ask if he was ****ing stupid but, alas, I cannot. Even falling angel-sympathisers like me need a sabbath 😉 No need to worry for about that anymore, not for the foreseeable future at least. The old cliche that the wheels of justice turn slowly has become a new cliche - the wheels have fallen right off. So we're closed. And I'm all but cartwheeling about it. Nothing non-urgent will happen in our justice system until June at the earliest. The two staff I am responsible for won't have to be exposed and that makes me happy. So they continue to not be exposed by queueing up anywhere for work or welfare.or whatever, I told them they will continue to be paid. To their eternal credit, they squirmed at this but I can promise anyone that the relief to know I maybe aren't as world-weary as i have been feeling is worth every single penny, whatever that amounts to be. It's a bigger relief to not think about this shit anymore, or at least once i have finished typing this. They say everyone that gets it will give it to 2-and-a-half people. Why not go for the opposite and make sure 2-and-a-half people don't get it. We're getting the **** out of here. Going to the farm. To begin new vocations as school teachers. I agree with my husband. He said we might all eventually succumb to this and the real horror is falling prey to it when everyone else is. It isn't lost on me that we have the means and few are so lucky. But **** me if it isn't time to make the most of this. See you on the other side
  11. Gisele

    Pandemic Suggestion Box

    Dear World, To help us better manage the scourge, could we please, 1. Get a touching elbows emoji. This is now urgent 2. Notice how our children are coping and promote that as the working model. It's just adults that embarrass us all. 3. Enough already with war analogies. There is no glory. It is not the enemy. It is a virus. It is especially odd and coolly ironic how the USA in particular loves these references, given how they have not won a war since 1945. We can only hope science is more successful 4. Stop taking the credit for this new phenomenon of Social Distancing. The mental health community perfected this a zillion years ago 5. If you're going to monkey, maybe marinate it in hand sanitizer for about ... I dunno, three years ... and get the pan proper hot 6. Completely unrelated - Free Julian Assange. Then again, maybe it isn't unrelated. Truth has never been more fashonable 7. Free Julian Assange 8. Immediately
  12. Thanks @Natasha1 ! I quite like being on a watchlist for the right reasons. I also like going years without mostly being kicked out of anywhere when once upon an time I got kicked out of everywhere. Trying my best to explain to my confused children what could of possibly happened in the space of a month that started when the fires were raging and the most extraordinary kindnesses and largesse while here we now are doing the opposite. It's all right for me,. I know what a ___ looks like. They don't. A little over a month ago, three American pilots, who might instead have been at home sipping a cognac in front of a nice, warm fire paid the dearest price for their kindness. You'd hope some people might reflect on that and act like human beings instead of cattle stampeding off the edge of cliff
  13. Hmmm....we're all ****ed, apparently. Or we're not. Big congrats to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore for figuring this out. As for me, everyone else can get all frothed up. I'm here in Positivity Land dwelling on the many, many, positive things. In no particular order then, 1. There is a chance Peter Dutton might die. I don't wish him ill but won't mind in the slightest if a virus has lined him up 2. Possums, cats, horses, sheep and a goat can't get it. 3. I might die from it 4. I might survive it 5. We are reminded that ugly things, like toadfish and redback spiders and viruses are deadly and not to eat them 6. Just when we thought he had bottomed out, Trump looks even more of a d*ck. 7. If you're intolerant, the vote-winning likelihood of 6. will excite you 8. Collingwood can't lose if they cannot play 9. To avoid crowds and other abuses, democracy might begin to be practiced online, which would be so much more akin the sort of direct model the Greeks originally invented 10. People could be buried like the pharaohs of old, entombed in ziggurats bricked with boxes of toilet paper and bonded with a makeshift poultice of flour and brown rice. 11. The boil that is the gig economy will finally be lanced 12. People who do useful things like save lives won't lose there jobs 13. People that do useless things like manipulate search engines hopefully will 14. Venus, Neptune and, dare i imagine it, Antarctica, will suddenly have more appeal as holiday destinations 15. it is a timely reminder that when the kids are grown up, we can go live in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and be surrounded by no-one at all 16. It means my family can eat better food, sourced by third parties, because I don;t have to just pretend there was nothing at the shops 17. Like all crises, it has helped hone my sense of who I like and who i don't. 18. It reminds me that a world oblivious to the wasteland it is leaving its children but shits itself stupid over a cold really is full of ***** 19. It gives my youngest an opportunity to ponder actually missing school, in any sort of wistful sense if not the actual sense for the first time ever 20. It gives my eldest an opportunity to do the opposite 21. It gives me the opportunity to drench myself in a perfume that makes my husband sneeze in hopefully a restaurant 22. And probably think that is funny 23. And then reflect on how it probably wasn't As you were.
  14. I haven't read anything this tactile in a long time. It is really rather beautiful and I feel privileged to have read it
  15. Gisele

    Martian Envy

    So the world is running out of toilet paper. Say that out loud a few times if you dare and see if you don't start to wonder whether we, as a species, even deserve to survive. The bad news is the federal electorate in which I live was the first to exhaust its shelves of this now precious commodity. That means I am surrounded by selfish _____. Beyond that, it's all rather funny. There's some good memes in a crisis, especially an imaginary one but the one I saw of a Collingwood scarf rolled around a toilet roll holder re-assuring us we had options was perhaps going a tiny bit far 😉 It is one of those times I wish we could see a documentary on Netflix or wherever filmed from a Martian perspective. I mean get inside the UFO and hear what they really think. I wonder if they landed their spaceship somewhere and saw two frumpy adults scrapping over a toilet roll if they wouldn't just shrug their shoulders, all three of them perhaps, depending on which planet they come from, and think "Nup, no intelligent life here". Oh well, it would keep me entertained when everyone else has gone to bed. I do love to laugh at Doomsday Preppers, when I can ignore what these ****wits are really doing to their children. Oh well, it's easy for me to laugh. I want the first bomb to land right on my head. Had a client say the most extraordinary thing to me today. He was talking about his mum and other things and, sort of in context, said, "All mental illness is learning disorder" And **** me if that isn't the best thing I have ever heard said about diseases of the mind. I find myself saying it to myself ever since. Because it is just so true. Learn, learn, learn and learn. Learn to leave, learn to stay, learn to walk, learn to run, learn something. The normal world and maybe even the abnormal world gives up when you can't or won't. Can;t say I blame them if I'm being entirely honest .
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