Here’s to all the 70s kids…

I am a kid of the seventies and this is what I remember – what makes me smile each time these memories are recalled…

I grew up in a time when televisions didn’t have remote controls. Changing the TV station required someone to get off the brown vinyl couch, walk over to the set and turn the dial onto the other four channels that were available. There was no channel surfing.


Families usually had one car, at least four kids, one bathroom and one toilet to share which resulted a l-o-n-g wait to use the loo, and a fairly quick visit requiring expert holding of breath, if the person prior to you had an upset stomach. Every family toilet had a chenille lid cover and matching floor mat, usually in mission brown, burnt orange or lime green.

We had a small collection of clothes and shoes, neatly divided into school wear, outside wear and ‘good’ outfits. God forbid we should wear a Sunday best outfit into the backyard and get it dirty, or worse, torn. My dresses were decorated with bows, ruffles and pouffed shoulders.


The coffee machine in my house consisted of a kettle that whistled when the water had boiled atop a gas flame, and a glass jar of Nescafe blend 43. A ‘milky’ coffee was one with two dashes of milk instead of one. Lattes were unheard of.

My parent’s wine came out of a cask or flagon -Riesling or Moselle, Shiraz or Claret. For dinner parties a bottle was purchased, or the cask wine poured into a crystal decanter that sat on the shelf gathering dust for eleven months of the year, simply because it was ‘too good’ to use every day.


My mum’s dinner parties consisted of at least three courses and were eaten with the ‘good’ silver cutlery that sat in a velvet-lined wooden box for eleven months of the year because it also was ‘too good’ to use. And even though it was rarely used, it was polished regularly, along with every other item of silver and brass.

Dinner parties started with canapés and an aperitif, such as Sherry or Vermouth in order to stimulate the appetite. After dessert came the cheese platter and port or muscat or tokay, and lively debate on politics or religion. The next day the room smelt of Brut, Old Spice, Charlie and stale tobacco.

brut Charlie Dancing

Carpet was shagpile- fibres inches long and impossible to vacuum clean. God knows what lurked beneath everyone’s luxurious flooring, most likely Ebola or Typhoid. However, because we played in the dirt and mud, and ate bugs and dog food when dared, we had strong immune systems.


Walls, and even ceilings, were adorned with wallpaper. Psychedelic prints, geometric prints and large green leaves were all the fashion. My mother used to wallpaper everything. I remember her threading each sheet of wallpaper through a special water-filled trough that dampened the glue sufficiently to make it cling to a wall. Prior to this invention she used to lay the paper on trestle tables and paint the claggy-glue on with a wide blonde, horse-hair brush.

wpaper Vinlon_1970s_wallpaper

Our television, a wooden box on four skinny legs, had rabbit ears as an antenna. These ears were temperamental and required much jostling, tweaking and experimenting to find the ‘sweet spot’ where the static didn’t ruin the picture and sound was clear. On many occasions it was my job to stand next to the TV and hold the rabbit ears because that was where the picture was best.

After school we would play with our friends on the street or go wandering around our suburb, or to the local park. Home time was when the street lights came on. We knew everyone in our suburb, and everyone knew us, which meant that we were sure to get caught if we did anything stupid.

Nothing was more important than playing outside, riding bikes, mastering rollerskates, laughing, playing tiggy or chasey or flirting innocently with boys. No one wanted to stop playing to eat lunch or dinner. Food was an inconvenience, an unwanted (but necessary) interruption to playtime.


After playing with our friends all day, we’d go home and talk to them on the phone all night. Our mothers and fathers would interrupt us constantly, telling us to get off the phone, that it was bedtime. And constantly, we would ignore them because there was still so much to say to this person we had just spent all day with.


Holidays were spent at the beach. Four weeks in a caravan and canvas annexe. BBQ each night for dinner, spotlight in the trees at night, days of swimming and tobogganing  on the sand dunes. Pure heaven. Pure freedom.

We would tape songs off the radio on our cassette players because we didn’t have the money to buy a song from a record store. Music came on flat black vinyl discs that were played with a diamond stylus. My mum’s copies of Hot August Night and American Pie were the soundtrack to my childhood. I still know all the words.


Dinner was meat and three veg, tuna casserole and rice or curried sausages. Dessert was tinned fruit and plain vanilla ice cream. Lunch was a cheese sandwich that sat in our bags for hours, in hot, humid school corridors. Ethnic kids had salami sandwiches. No fridges. No one ever got food poisoning.

A plain icy-pole cost five cents. Lollies were displayed in specially made glass cases in milk bars. We took our time in choosing exactly which lolly, and how many of each, we wanted in our bag of mixed lollies because it was a hugely important decision. Twenty cents was a fortune. Fifty cents practically made you a billionaire. A crisp white bag of sugary treats was move valuable than diamonds.


The shops closed at midday on Saturday and didn’t reopen until nine on Monday morning. We never ran out of bread or milk and didn’t panic buy simply because the shops were closed for a day and a half. Car parks made great racing tracks for our bikes. We would pretend we were adults, driving cars and parking our bikes in the middle of empty car parks.

I wish I could take my kids back to my own childhood, just to share with them the pure magic of having been a seventies kid. The freedom that they don’t have now. To show them that life does not revolve around ipads, tablets, laptops and mobile phones would be heaven. To see them fall into a hot shower each night to hose off their dirt and sweat covered skin, to ravenously throw dinner down their necks and collapse into their pillow each night out of pure exhaustion and happiness, would be wonderful.

They ask me about the ‘olden days’ occasionally and shake their head when I tell them what it was like. No internet. No computers. No mobile phones. No international school camps. For all the convenience and promise the kids have now, I wouldn’t swap a thing. I love my seventies childhood, and feel extraordinarily blessed to have these memories.

Call in Scully and Mulder…


Call in Scully and Mulder because I want to believe…

I walked downstairs on Saturday morning and, stunned by the scene in front of me, became convinced I was in the wrong house.

Something woo-woo had happened in my sleep, causing me to astral travel to another woman’s home, even though it was disturbingly similar to my living room. Even the kids were identical to mine.

But despite the similarities, it couldn’t possibly have been my house because…

There were three children sitting at the table in complete and utter silence…

doing their homework…



Da-da- dahhhhhhhhh!

I know! Shocking, right?

Completely freaking unbelievable?

Immediately, I whipped out my phone to record the moment for posterity, because surely this was a once in a lifetime event- never to be repeated, ever again in the history of the universe.


I snuck around behind them and looked at their screens, the cynic in me too suspicious to truly believe my own eyes.

Expecting to see ‘Lego for kids’ or bloody ‘Minecraft’, I was stunned into silence when the screens displayed ‘Mathletics’ and ‘Reading Eggs’- their assigned homework sites.

Holy crap!

Did the ‘homework faerie’ come to my home last night and sprinkle his magic dust over three of my kids? (the eldest was still snoring in his bed- he’s not a morning person).

Were they hypnotised into obedience? (is that even possible?)

Had my husband bribed them with sugar, salt and grease laden treats the night before?

No, no and no. They had simply decided to do their homework before breakfast so that they could have the rest of the day to themselves.

Utterly shocking. A miracle worthy of canonisation.

Those of you who have children will smile when I say ‘it’s usually very difficult to get my kids to do their homework.’

And by ‘difficult’, I really mean impossible; requiring more bribery than the FIFA World Cup drama, more tears than a screening of ‘Beaches’, ‘Step Mom’ and ‘The Fault in our Stars’ combined. More objections than the entire 20 seasons of ‘Law and Order’, and a level of eye-ball rolling, pouting and groaning that would rival the entire teenage population.

And that’s on a good day!


Yes, parents – you know exactly what I’m talking about. Homework = nightmare.

It’s possible that every parent hates homework more than their kids do. The act of getting your kid to sit down and do their homework is a trial, a torture and threatens family unity. It ruins that lovely parent-kid bond that you’ve worked so frigging hard to achieve.

And the worst part of homework is that for their entire school career it never ends! It starts in Prep and finishes 13 years later when the graduate high school – and that’s without them going on to University!

So, you can imagine my aneurism inducing shock at the image of the scholarly endeavour in front of me.


I can’t explain it, and more importantly, I don’t even want to. Whatever happened was perfect – like all the planets aligned and combined with the ethereal powers of the universe, Jedi force and magic ju-ju.

Will it happen again next week?

I’m an optimist, not a deranged lunatic. I’ll leave my homework-performance expectations where they are- somewhere around the soles of my shoes.

Instead I am going to take this victory as a baffling, but extraordinarily wonderful, phenomenon of magnificence. It will be stored in the recesses of my mind and brought out while sitting around campfires telling stories of the eerie and inexplicable. It will take its place in folklore and fable, nestled amongst Big Foot, Nessie and the Min Min lights, and there it shall remain- a distant, yet glorious memory in my mummy mind.

Living with boys…

boy noise

Raising four boys, I knew I had a big job ahead of me in regards to house training. But when Master 12 tried to open a can of tuna with a fork, even though it was not of the ring pull variety, it became apparent that the job in question may be bigger than I first imagined.


People often ask me what it’s like to be the only female in a house of five males. My answer is that I don’t know life any other way. I grew up with three older brothers and shared a house, in my uni days, with three boys. I now have four sons. It’s my comfort zone.

However, it is my job to house train my boys so that when they leave the nest, they are able to look after themselves  and grow to be a fully functioning, efficient and effective young man who is capable of cooking more than spaghetti on toast, or living on take away.

Even though it’s gonna be a humungous job, I am committed to the cause and am tackling it one bit at a time, starting with the basics…

Hanging out washing …

Masters 12 and 10 have the Saturday job of hanging out the washing, something I thought was self explanatory, until I saw their work…


We had a soldier’s five on how to hang washing so as to give maximum surface area exposure, which results in faster and more even drying.  I am proud to say that they now use a minimum of two pegs on all items other than socks and jocks. It made my mummy heart happy to see such improvement.


However,  upon my next trip to the washing line, I was puzzled as to why nearly every peg was scattered on the ground instead of hanging on the line. It wasn’t until I remembered asking the boys to bring the washing inside the previous day that their method of clothes retrieval occurred to me.


This was my conversation with Master 12.

Me: When you brought the washing in yesterday, did you take the clothes off the line by pulling them by the bottom, ripping them off the line and letting the peg fly into the air and land on the ground?

M12: wide eyed stare.

Me: Okay, I take it, from your deer in the headlights reaction, that my assumption was correct?

M12: wide eyed stare, tinged with a flicker of confusion – a kind of ‘how else are you supposed to get clothes off the line’ expression.

We all moved out to the line and had another soldier’s five on clothes extraction and the replacement of pegs either onto the line or into the designated peg basket. I am thrilled to say that they are now fully versed in the art of both hanging out the washing, and bringing it back in.

The importance of a balanced diet…

My boys hate vegetables. If it’s not pasta or meat, they aren’t interested.  There have been many a tear shed at the dining table over my placement of a corn cob or a few peas on their plate. Upon suggestion from a friend, not to make a fuss out of the necessity to eat vegetables by quantifying them, I now simply put the salad in front of them and say ‘everyone must have SOME salad’.

Of course, that means that the word SOME is a moot point.

D dinner

Having had three older brothers, I am well aware of many men’s aversion to the more fibrous elements of the daily diet. My brother’s response to my mum asking him to try mushrooms was:

‘If I wanted to eat fungus, I’d lick the bathroom wall.’

You can’t fight logic like that. However, when he fell head over heels– with a vegetarian  (oh, how we loved the irony)- he soon discovered the delights of vegetables in order to impress his new love, even eating raw cauliflower in the pursuit of passion.

Another brother, also wanting to please his lady friend, ate the garnish on his plate as he wasn’t sure if it was for decoration or part of the meal. It consisted of lettuce, alfalfa sprouts and tomatoes – his sworn enemy. But he who ate the garnish, also got the girl, so his sacrifice paid off.

So, based on the historical events of their uncles’ lives, and knowledge that my own hubby’s meal time consisted of two kilos of BBQ’d chicken wings, I know that my boys will one day eat vegetables. It may be in order to impress a girl, or in the hope of having sex with her, but they will eat their vegetables eventually.

boy noise

Being surrounded by boys my entire life has enabled me to understand the way they think, why they act the way they do and, like David Attenborough, how to live with a male of the species in his own environment.  As a mum, it’s my job, and my honour, to teach them how to fend for themselves . One day they will fly away from my nest and I need to pass on the skills of domestic life on to them the same way my mum did for me.  While we’re not quite up to tackling a béchamel sauce yet, they are making wonderful progress on the domestic grounds…one little step at a time and I couldn’t be prouder!










Why S#!t is my favourite profanity…


English is meant to be the hardest language in the world to master. We do battle with homophones, finite verbs, intransitive verbs, adverbial phrases and predicates daily, although most of us are unaware of their workings.

The one facet of another language we tend to master with expert efficiency is profanities.




Personally, I love the word ‘shit’. Shisse. Skit. Skōr. Many languages have their own variation.

Why do I favour this profanity above all others?

Because it’s the most versatile profanity in the English language. No other profanity can be used in such a variety of ways and still remain relatively inoffensive:

The query of disbelief – You’re shitting me?

Exasperation of disbelief – No way! That’s bullshit, man!

The social comment – And he was acting all tough and shit…

The culinary critique:

Part 1- Dinner tasted like shit.

Part 2 – Dinner looked like shit.

Part 3- Dinner smelt like shit.

The physical observation that no one wants to hear – You look like hammered shit.

swearing 2

Thinly veiled sarcasm – No shit, Sherlock!

The confrontation part 1 – You’re full of shit, man.

The confrontation part 2 – You give me the shits.

The lesser known Myers-Briggs personality type – Shit head.

A summary of alcohol consumption – He was shit faced last night.

Religious exasperation – Holy shit!

A comment on one who moves without urgency – He moved as slow as shit.

Aussie speak for “don’t be sassin’ me” – I don’t have to take this shit from you!

The surprise of finding your conversation partner actually has a functioning brain that is capable of retaining more information than yours – ‘How do you know this shit?’

Australian comment on negative things in general – Shit house

Australian toilet part 1 – Shit house. (also called a Dunny in the outback.)

Australian toilet part 2 – Shitter.

swearing 3

USA insult to someone who lacks nerve – ‘You’re chicken shit, man!’

A term of endearment used to describe a person of meaty physical stature – Built like a brick shit house.

A metaphor for the fear one experiences when things go bump in the night – I was shitting bricks.

How not to advertise a motor vehicle for sale – The car is a shit bucket / bucket of shit.

The answer to the comment ‘you look like shit’ – I’ve had a shitty day.

bad day

A measure of another’s conceit – He thought he was hot shit.

One whose IQ is room temperature – He’s such a dip shit.

One whose IQ is below room temperature – You’ve got shit for brains.

Cinematic critique – The movie was shitful.

Irish for shit – shite.

Sudden disbelief that his wife has just found out about his mistress – Uh-oh, I’m in the shit now.


Melbournian exclamation of surprise – Holy snapping duck shit!

Measuring 10 on a scale of 1-10 of exhaustion  – I’m shitters.

A polite version of ‘F^%k You!’ –  ‘Eat shit and die.’

A thinly veiled threat of physical harm – ‘I’m going to rip your head off and shit down your neck.’

Dope head’s critique of highly potent marijuana part 1- This is some good shit, man.

Dope head’s critique of highly potent marijuana part 2- This is some bad shit, man.

A mother’s internal dialogue during the 8 weeks of summer school holidays as her children constantly fight with each other – You’re shitting me to tears.


What happens after over abundance of hot curry – Shit through the eye of a needle.

Wise Australian Army proverb for being an organised person – Get your shit in one sock.

Measuring 7 on a scale of 1-10 degree of difficulty –  Push shit uphill.

Measuring 10 on a scale of 1-10 degree of difficulty –  Push shit uphill with a stick.

Failure to read map coordinates correctly, or inability to assess the initial seriousness of a situation- Up shit creek without a paddle.

A nervous petty criminal’s answer to a police officer’s query of what he knows about a big time criminal –  I don’t know shit man!

What writers get asked all the time – How do you make this shit up?

The internal monologue of a parent after unwisely poking their head in a teenager’s bedroom – It’s a shit fight in there.


An Aussie scolding for embarrassing someone else in public – You’re such a shit stirrer.

Thank you for asking me on a date, but I am busy that night – I’d rather eat a shit sandwich.

My suburb isn’t on the ‘suburbs set to boom this year’ list –  I live in Shitsville.

When your name has been taken off someone’s Christmas register – I’m on the shit list.

It can even be pronounced in different ways:

Fear – shiiiiiiiiiitttttt

Frustration – SHIT!!!

And that my friends, is no shit!


Guest Post and Cover Reveal: ‘And Then There Was You’ by Suzy Turner…

And Then There Was You SMALL

And Then There Was You SMALL

And Then There Was You

Three years ago, Eve Brooke had the most passionate, memorable night of her life. Unfortunately, it was with a man who wasn’t her husband.

Can infidelity be forgotten? Not when her one night stand moves in next door, it can’t.

Eve has a pretty good life. She’s married to Matt, her childhood sweetheart, has an interesting career and lives in a nice house in the suburbs. If life is so perfect why did Eve sleep with a complete stranger during a trip to London? And why, three years later did he have to move in next door with his beautiful wife? As the attraction between them flares up again, Eve begins to question her marriage and wonders if it is fate or coincidence that has brought them back together…

Available exclusively at Amazon


About the author

Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was ten. The Algarve continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood sweetheart, Michael, two neurotic dogs and a cat who thinks she’s a princess.
Shortly after completing her studies, Suzy was offered the position of trainee journalist for a local English newspaper. Her love of writing developed and a few years later she moved on to become assistant editor for the region’s largest English language publisher. Since then she has also worked as the editor of one of the Algarve’s most loved monthly lifestyle magazines. Early in 2010 however, Suzy began working as a full time author. She has since written several books: Raven, December Moon, The Lost Soul (The Raven Saga), Daisy Madigan’s Paradise, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, The Temporal Stone, Looking for Lucy Jo (The Morgan Sisters), Forever Fredless and And Then There Was You.

Suzy August 2014 small

You can connect with the lovely Suzy here:




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You’re invited to the Naughty Ninjas Christmas Party! Loads of prizes to be won!

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The Naughty Ninjas, featuring the talents of:

Rhyll Biest a.k.a The Lady

Georgina Penney a.k.a Glitterpants

Lily Malone a.k.a Beanie Queen

Cate Ellink a.k.a The Maneater

Sandra Antonelli  a.k.a Cookieface

Roslyn Groves  a.k.a Grasshopper Groves

Andra Ashe,  a.k.a  Madam Ashe


Moi a.k.a Sizzling Yoga Pants

Are celebrating Christmas early, in a very naughty way full of inappropriate humour, megladons and tentacles. So, if you’re in the mood for a laugh and to WIN HEAPS OF PRIZES then come on over to the Naughty Ninja Christmas party here from 7.30pm (Sydney time) Tuesday Nov 25th to 8.30pm Wednesday Nov 26th.


New Release from Ros Baxter, ‘The Seek’…

the seek

From the talented and versatile Ros Baxter comes the first full-length novel in her sexy, engaging, groundbreaking SF Romance series.

When everything else is gone, all you have is hope.

The year is 2098, and the people of New Earth have been homeless for seventeen years. Ruled by a mysterious Council and adrift in a fleet of space stations, their sole mission is to survive long enough to find a new home. They call it The Seek.

Kyntura is the first and only female Avenger — one of the secret, separate elite who stand on the frontline between the refugees of Earth and a universe that would do them harm. For Kyn, fight and pain are the only things that drive out memories of the Apocalypse…and of the boy she left behind when she enlisted. But a young recruit called Mirren and a deadly mission will bring her face to face with all she has tried to forget.

As she leads a squad of Avengers in The Seek, Kyntura will have to face her demons — and the boy whose heart she broke a decade before — to confront the truth about New Earth and save the future of humanity.

the seek

The Seek goes live today from Ros Baxter.  A hot, sweet tale of love, courage and apocalypse. ‘One of the best and most original post-apocalyptic books.’ Check out the book trailer here:




Buy the book here