Columns

Friday
Nov152013

Best Interview Tips EVER

My best friend is going for an interview for a job he desperately wants. I really want him to get it because from what I can see from the job description he is their man and would be an excellent fit. It’s the perfect job!

I’m no help. Because I am my own business I don’t interview people nor do I go to interviews. I just work with and for grouse people.

So I started asking around for their best interview tips. I was delighted by how happy and generous people were with them. And fascinated by what they were.

Here they are…

Heidi: Lean forward, look interested, nod a lot.

CLICK TO READ MORE

Thursday
Nov142013

50 Shades Of Mango

OH MY GOD!

Did you hear that?

It’s mango season o’clock!

I know. Shake out the sarong, grab those cheap and cheerful sunglasses and slap on your holiday hat! Golden fever has arrived! Hallelujah!

Bright, sunny, yellowy, silky, luscious goodness. It’s enough to make an atheist like me feel as if there really is a god. Intelligent design? Mangos are exotic pleasure incarnate. When I see a mango, I have an overwhelming urge to tear off my clothes and run around in the nude. Frequently I ovulate. And occasionally I lactate. (Sorry I should have put a trigger warning before that.)

We’ve worked hard all year and now it’s time to MANGO UP. We’ve endured the dull grapes, predictable apples, tedious bananas, pedestrian oranges, obvious pears and frumpy apricots and disappointment in a bowl known as fruit salad. And you know what that means? Now it’s time for the king of fruits! So get your mango on bitches! 

Chilled mango daiquiris, comforting mango lassies, tangy mango sorbets and the mouth explosion, the piece de resistance, MangoChicken! A tastegasm, artwork and cultural revolution all in one! No! I’m not exaggerating. That’s why they call this place The Lucky Country. Mangos.

Perhaps your moment of mango communion is simpler than a recipe. More pure. More honest. More intimate. 

Selecting your perfect mango, you cast your eyes across the plump, juicy shameless harlots. You slip your hand into the box ofmangos, slide your finger beneath the weighty pregnant fruit, gently molesting the ripe lush flesh encased in a confident yet vulnerable skin.

You trail your fingernail across, feeling the flesh quiver in expectation beneath. You exhale with relief; your heart beats with desire. You’ve found her. She’s your’s. She belongs to you.

You choose your perfect mango knife. Your mouth waters. Your nostrils flare hungrily sniffing the air for that intoxicating sweet smell of the sea, the summer and all that is right and good. 

Your knife of choice is fine, commanding and perfectly weighted. You position your mango on the chopping board holding it with your strong confident hand. You pierce the skin of this flirting, wanton tease and you almost climax as she yields to you as you slide through the flesh gently but firmly skimming the seed. The cheek is helpless to your desire and succumbs like the fruity wench it is. You continue your reign of seduction and slice through the other cheek. You gently draw your implement across the shameless deliciousness despite her protests. You take your time to make a perfect thatch pattern across her. Not too deep that you break the skin but deliberate enough for the mango to know who’s boss.

Then comes the moment. You raise the fragrant mango to your hungry mouth, caress it, tease it you’re your lips, penetrate it with your tongue and when you can’t contain yourself any longer you submit to your lust. You moan, you groan, you growl it out. You growl out the mango as you devour something more than a fruit. Mango is a tantric taste nirvana.

You do know the collective noun for mangos is orgy. As in an orgy of mangos. Google it (no don’t).

What makes mangos and the few other fruits that are still seasonal (like cherries, mandarins,  and peaches) so special is their brief season and it’s collision with the weather, the celebration, yearly markers. You just can’t get mango on any street corner whenever it takes your fancy. When I travelled to Afghanistan I saw oranges everywhere. And no offence to this noble and loyal fruit I thought ‘If I can get oranges in Kabul in the middle of winter I don’t want ‘em’. Familiarity breeds contempt. Oranges are dead to me now.

These days everything is so available. Convenience 24/7. Sometimes it feels, particularly with food that used to be seasonal as if their specialness is gone. As much as we love having special things, what makes them special is not being about to have them all the time.

I love mango season and everything it signifies. It is one of the few fruits we can only get at a certain time of year for a limited period. It says work is over, holidays are here, summer reigns. Yay party!

But you know what? I fucking hate mangos. They’re slimy, sticky and they taste weird. And they’ve got these gross hairs, like anchovies. Blergh. Give me a carrot any day. 

Sure mangos look like a sculpture you want to make love to and smell like a place you never want to leave but they’re sickly sweet, taste as if they’re on the turn and make me feel funny in the pants.  

And they are a nightmare to eat. You only choices are changing your clothes after you eat one or growling one out in the bath.

Sure, mangos, I get it. I get you. But I just don’t like it. But I love what you bring.  Summer. But don’t you think you should tone it down a bit?

Fuck you mango. You slut.

 

Friday
Nov012013

Worry warts, tightarses and control freaks 

I have a confession to make. I’m going to write about my only regret. It’s deep, it’s embarrassing and it’s contradictory to everything I stand for. I have spent my life deprogramming myself to rid this nagging energy sucker, fun buster and life spoiler from my psyche.

Let me give you a little context first. I come from a long line of poor people and I grew up poor. Recreation and pleasure were not things that were encouraged or valued. We did them, sure. Occasionally and not with the joie de vivre that we could have. And should have. We should have switched off and let our hair down. Not felt guilty.

Thursday
Oct242013

Should Kids Get Pocket Money? 

I loved money as a kid. Loved saving it, smelling it, looking at it, fingering it, counting it, piling it up, piggy banks, charity tins shaken at traffic lights, plastic guide dog money boxes with slots in their head near the supermarket check out, the wooden and velvet collection plate at mass, the collection bags for school bank books, purses that snapped shut and wallets full of fragrant flat folded notes. Mmmm, I can smell it now....

Tuesday
Oct152013

Kids Should Be Banned From Cafes. Don't argue, I'm right. 

What's with the babychino?


Why do children have to pretend to drink coffee?

If it's an attempt to convince yourself others view your kids as cultured, continental and worldly, here's a flash for you. If these kids were actually in Europe (and not at some shopping centre food court where the bain marie food is marked 'gourmet') not only would the kids be drinking ACTUAL coffee, but it would include a generous tipple of Marsala. And they'd enjoy their caffeine transportation vehicle with a cigarette. No filter. Or a magic cookie if it was Amsterdam.

And they wouldn't have names like Tay-Lah, Maverick or Shenaid. Just saying.

Here's a question for you. What the fork are kids doing in cafes anyway? Anyone? Thugs, grubs, louts and yobbos every single one of them. Get 'em out. I didn't send my kids to childcare so I could go to cafes and pretend I didn't have children only for my fantasy to be fractured by the pollution of the output of your issue and your revolting stench of self congratulatory wankathon.

Why are the standards different for ejecting an adult than a child from a café or restaurant? I want zero tolerance policy. Seen not heard or smelt, felt or annoyed by otherwise, ‘the tribe has voted and it’s time to go….. Briannahannha.’

Actually not seen either. Because no, I do not want to play "Peekaboo" with your ugly dumb 18 month old ratfaced. I hate my own kids. Imagine what I think about your's.  

If an adult was trashing the place, screaming and throwing food around you’d chuck 'em out. Why not kids? 

'Kids don't like cafes. They way you can tell is by the screaming.' Kitty Flanagan.

That smug look on the mum's faces (yes it's always and only the mum's faces. Dads do take kids to cafes but for reasons unknown aren't smug) when they ram through the door with their giant monster truck prams, makes me want to slap them. Mother and child. That smug look says 'My child is so cultured, well behaved and au fait with eating out, and I’m such a stylish yet earthy mother we're more or less French.'

No you're not. You've spent your life wishing you were cool. You're one of those 'I'm not in a band but I've got friends in a band' people who send your kids to a secondary school where students don't wear uniforms in hope they will somehow be infected with cool. Won’t happen.

'The heaviest burden a child carries is the unlived life of their parents' Carl Yung.

These days parents can't walk out the door with their kids to nip out and post a letter without hummus, crudités, filtered water, rice crackers, Burcher muesli, homemade muffins (AKA cake) organic yoghurt without permeates, fruit salad and some falafel wraps with pesto from the farmers fucking market. 

As a child in the 70's you know what my parents would bring for us five kids to eat and drink on a four-hour car journey? Guess?

Nothing.

And you know what we got when we arrived? Water from the tap. Or a cup of cordial, if it was your birthday.

What's with the 'kids menus' too? It used to be just a menu with food. Not a kids’ menu with kids’ food. These same parents who travel with plastic containers, zip lock bags and non-porous bottle for healthy snacks and refreshments for their precious gifted children who have 'very adult palates' and 'eat anything’ are always the first asking for the 'kids menus'. (Or worse stilll BRING THEIR OWN FOOD TO THE CAFE FOR THEIR CHILDREN TO EAT) They give the waiter 'the special look' that conveys to the waiter to act as if their children are incredibly advanced, well behaved and dare I say ‘gifted’ and if the waiter themselves has never encountered such enchanting children no matter what mouth breathing, chinless morons they are.

Back in the 70's eating out as a kid meant a picnic or a barbeque in the back yard.

In the 70s we ate tomato sauce sandwiches, we ate jelly crystal sandwiches, we ate hundreds and thousands sandwiches. That’s all we ate. Milo and Cornflakes were considered health food. ‘Tang and Fruit Loops for breakfast? Why not, it’s 1979!’

This kids in café thing is bullshit. Back in my day we knew our place.  At home with the mother’s group, a Boston bun and one Ikea catalogue between eight of us while we sat round whinging about husbands and talking about our vaginas. Go back home and leave the cafes to people like us pretending we’re cool and we don’t have kids.

I don’t give a stuff what you think. I don’t need anyone to agree with me to know I’m right. But I could do with a latte…..

 

Is there someone in your life who wants to write, keeps saying they are going to write but still can't pull their finger out?
 
Or perhaps is it you?
  
Fuck reading, make this the summer of writing. Beginners welcome.
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