Unlike Osk, who seemed to establish his own tactical task force wherever we lived, scooping up neighbourhood feline troublemakers as sidekicks (including the memorable ginger behemoth Watson, with whom he used to scope the street from the safety of the shed roof), Jelly has the intelligence gathering skills of a sponge cake.
It's to be hoped a wedding anniversary is a time for loving, reflective remembering, at least. It may, of course, be the case that TMWVRDT is in fact in the other room right now with his handy-dandy Kato Voodoo Doll kit. But I'd like to err on the side of optimism, and believe he's thinking happy thoughts, casting his mind back with fondness to that not-so shy, semi-blushing bride striding down the aisle towards him before he could run for cover.
Good times, good times.
Anyway, somewhere in between my 'and then you should've done this' and 'why didn't you say x and y, rather than z', and 'for the love of monkeys and the general public's eyesight, you didn't honestly wear that heinous shirt did you', something he was saying about the dating extravaganza we were picking to pieces finally penetrated my cloud of self-congratulatory cumulo-waffle.
"Most people don't talk about how dates are progressing as a tender process, do they?" he asked.
"She said I was 'part way through the tender process' and that she was judging me on my submission. I'd like to think there was irony involved, and I think at the time I may have given an admittedly weak "haha, yesssss, quite". Looking back, I'd have to conclude, computer says no on the presence of Fabulon or other aids to achieving crisply pressed linen."
I stress, on a day all about the paterfamilias, I’m not trying to hold onto some unreal hypothetical father. A dad who didn’t exist in reality. Some kind of miracle worker who could fix Foxtel in a single bound; Saint Kennebec of the Holy Tasmanian Potato who suddenly, after death, becomes a fast-tracked candidate for canonisation, and consists of a fondly and vastly inaccurately remembered combination of Don Bradman, Glenn Miller, Douglas Bader, Terry Pratchett, Fantastic Mr Fox and the Duke of Wellington.
The amazing thing to me is not that people write, and write so beautifully. No. That is just the best of the human spirit at work. What is truly astonishing is that it's done within the limitations of our written alphabets. How extraordinary it is to be able to express so many feelings, thoughts, emotions, opinions, fears, hopes, joys, sadnesses, expectations, desires, hates - all bound by the insignificant characters we call our tools.
...admitting intellect is part and parcel of finding someone attractive seems to be akin to saying you love someone because they secretly wish Stalin or Kruschev was still running the USSR, and had Red Dawn-ed the world into submission.
If you find someone attractive for their butt or their boobs, why is it so wrong to find them attractive for their grey matter?
As we face the journey onwards, we barely evolved creatures of flesh and bone, there are those amongst us who shine brightly with an honesty, a joy, and a brilliant quiet strength. They are our heat and our gravity; the outward and inner forces that balance our messiest messes, and handle our stupidity, our tantrums, and our tears with equilibrium and humour. They are celestial bodies in disguise. We turn to them when we are unable to navigate the darkness ourselves, and they provide the second star to the right, the straight on til morning our souls and hearts crave.
I wonder if Kennebec knew what he was getting on that day back in 1832, when an appealing and winsome little Katrina Laura Lambchop was cruelly wrenched from her mother's body - "thank God for that", was the cry from said mother, "she was reading under the covers already" - and thrust into his semi-waiting arms.
What's The Scrabble Test? It's simple.
Think about the person you're with presently (if you are with someone - if not, think about the person you feel you'd like to be with). Now imagine the future. You're seventy or eighty years old. Believe me, it's on its way - admittedly for some of us it's closer than for others. It's after dinner on a Saturday night. You're sitting on the sofa with them, vino in hand (hey, eighty doesn't have to be boring!)
It's time to...
Whip out the Scrabble. And whip their butts.
There will no doubt be a wealth of blog posts, articles and features coming out today and tomorrow on what a fabtastic year 2014 has been and the amazing things we have to look forward to in the year to come, starting with the obligatory resolutions to drink less, eat less and generally behave less atrociously than we have for the past 365 days.
As I have recently watched my cat prove to be a more popular author than myself, I am not precisely filled with the spirit of the New Year's Eve Fairy. As for resolutions... meh. They last approximately a week, the fridge is filled with enough fruit and roughage to kill fifteen elephants, and then the urge to grease me up Lunch Lady Doris kicks in, an emergency run for hot chips is made, and a blackened mass of dead carrots is scraped out of the vegetable container two months later.
Forgive my cynicism. Again, coping with the fact that people are calling for a cat to take over my blog.
2014 has held significant challenges. It hasn't, despite General Melchett's indecipherable excitement, been all Flossy the Rabbit pie and Château Lafite. Dear friends and loved ones have suffered craptacular things. Sadness has been a very big part of the year, and unfortunately 2015 is going to hold some of the same for The Man Who Vaguely Resembles David Tennant and myself.
On the other hand, or apparently, as it is soon to be known, paw, there is great joy on the horizon. Osky, The Man, and myself all get to celebrate something pretty spesh early in the new year. Who knows? That pretentious puss may even be a flower cat, simply because I know how much he'd hate it.
I hope you have a wonderful year to come, and to help you along, here are my Anti-Resolutions for 2015. May you live by them, and love, laugh and have fun and make a difference by them. I certainly intend to, and I'll have a lot more time to do so, because I won't have to dedicate time to writing anymore.
See how you go trying to type by yourself, Spy Cat.
The 'Be Resolute In Your Anti-Resolutions' List of 2015:
Drink GOOD champagne. All the time. It's beneficial to your health. Promise.
Tell the people you love that you love them. Don't hold back.
Get a pet. Look after that pet. Hug that pet.
Stand up and make a difference, whether it's to your community or your country.
Care about grammar!
Don't take yourself so seriously. Seriously.
Repeat number 2. It's really, really important. Because they won't always be there, and you should appreciate their worth.
It's not a big list. They aren't stupid resolutions, because you know what? They aren't things that you know in your heart are going to be non-deliverable after a finite period. You can resolve to live in a way that gives you and the people around you joy, and these things definitely do that. Love. Hug. Give your pet a hand on the keyboard as they become a bestseller. Laugh, mainly at yourself. Care about your grammar. Give a damn about the quality of what you throw down your throat.
Happy New Year.
Tally-ho, pip pip and Bernard's quite possibly your uncle.
True love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops. - William Goldman, The Princess Bride
I will freely admit, before you get too far into this post, that it is, to paraphrase THE BEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME (see above quote if you are one of the ignorami)...
A kissing blog.
Strictly speaking it is about love, but there is some kissing in here, so if the thought of puckering up, buttercup, makes you want to avert your eyes in horror, then turn away now and read something else.
Maybe something about footy. Or Gina Rinehart making the Forbes Most Influential Star Wars Characters List. Or Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne (if that mental image doesn't help you stop thinking about smoochy stuff, nothing will).
For those of you who would rather begin the beguine, here goes.
The title of this blog comes directly from a Greek proverb. It is probably not an accurate translation; there probably isn't an accurate translation. Much like Catullus's odi et amo, it is a phrase which really only resonates in its original form. But for those of us who love to love, we try to put at least a poor shadow of meaning to it in whichever tongue we embrace as our own.
Too often we see those whose hearts have grown old. It is an inexplicable sadness, because a heart that loses the ability to embrace others loses elasticity. It becomes hardened and coarse; its walls thicken and atrophy. It becomes deaf to the voices of those who would wish to see the beauty of its beat.
A heart which only knows how to say 'I hate' or perhaps even worse 'I don't care' builds a thick shell of hurt and apathy which ends in youth and summertime disappearing - and winter cold setting in.
A heart that does not love ends up dying.
I think I wrote on Valentine's Day, which usually fills me with horror and dread, about the fact that maybe as a day it provided people who find it hard to say 'I love you' out loud with a chance to - well, keep their hearts young. A Hallmark Holiday was perhaps an outlet for them to express themselves because for some reason, ordinarily, it was too hard for them to find the right words, or the right time, or the right place.
The more I think about this, the more I call 'bah humbug'.
If you have a heart that loves, show it. Give of your all. Don't hide behind convention and a sense of embarrassment at actually admitting you genuinely care for the person you're with. I'm not talking about taking each others' clothes off in public (well, in daylight at least) - but you know what? If you feel like disco boogying down the aisles of the local Coles, then go for it. Throw in a kiss or two while you're at it.
A heart that loves is always young. And quite possibly perennially stuck in the 70s, but that's a personal choice.
Hug each other like you will never hug again. Kiss deeply and kiss often (here's the kissy part). Throw your partner down towards the ground like the fab 'end of World War Two sailor pashes girl' iconic image. Write bad poetry. Better yet make use of the infinite resources of the interwebs and find good poetry and spout it.
Keep your heart eternally young.
Whether you are 18 or 80, if you are lucky enough to know that bolt of lightning, that kick galvanic - don't waste it. Otherwise you will end up with something tragic.
A muscle which does nothing more than pump blood around your body and keep you alive. With no kisses.
What a tragic fate that would be.
Maybe it's just a daughter's job to piss off her mother. - Chuck Palahniuk, Diary
I already know one thing for certain before I even start writing the bulk of this post.
I am in deep, deep guano for the photo I have used. Which is brilliant, because what I wanted to write about is a tribute to my beautiful, forbearing mother - Big P, and her boundless patience, on today, the Day of the Mumsy. I want to express just how much this woman, like a koala, bears, when it comes to the vagaries of her delightful family - namely the Kennebec, the Artist Formerly Known by A Name Which Is No Longer Politically Correct (my brother) - and me.
Her only daughter. Her pride (?) and joy (double question marks, followed by ferocious glugging of non-alcoholic beverages, which P pretends are booze in the vague hope that she can wipe out memories of things like the state of my bedroom in my teenage years).
Me. Variously referred to over the years as facetious, obstreperous, a disgusting little pig (with respect to the state of my bedroom), and on one memorable occasion, a word that sounds like witch, but isn't.
Which may I add was thoroughly deserved, and has probably been said in my darling Mama's head on a weekly basis, and again not without fair reason.
For a woman who really doesn't swear, what can I say?
You seriously dipped out. Between Dad's 'bloody hells' and my brother and myself's absolutely foul mouthed imprecations, the world has really not been kind to a woman of quite graceful manners. I mean, I attempted to pretend that you had some kind of influence on me, but soon enough the truth was out.
I have a mouth on me like, as you are wont to say, a 'very old and disgusting trooper' so we shall just acknowledge that you stay well away when I am watching any form of sport and leave it at that.
This past year has not been kind to our family. It has in fact been much like that word I referred to earlier.
A bit of a witch.
As usual though, you have handled everything thrown at you - deaths, despair, a bit more despair, various diagnoses, some more despair, and just for the hell of it, some despair - with your customary aplomb. A little bit less humour? Maybe. But God almighty, it's been a five star shocker hasn't it Mum? Let's not mince words. Sometimes for your sake I wish you drank so that you had a nice alcoholic cushion to fall back into. But no. For you, the year has been faced clear eyed and head on.
You make me laugh, P. Sometimes your unwavering strength makes me cry, and even want to scream because I just don't have it, and I feel weak beside you because of it.
You are an amazing mother. You are an amazing partner to my father. You are the backbone, the steel spine of this family, and I know that often we forget to tell you this; sometimes we even forget to tell you the most important thing of all, because you are too busy telling us with your actions.
We love you.
You rock like a rocky thing, Mumsy.
Just don't thump me for putting dodgy photos of you halfway around the world.