Tag Archives: Australia

Helen’s poems

Helen with statue in Rome

Helen with a statue in Rome

My return to Old Blighty is on the horizon and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again.  One friend, who I desperately miss, has creatively expressed her feelings about my homecoming.  With her boss on annual leave she productively used those five precious days to compose poetry.  Each morning this week I’ve woken up to a lovely little ditty and, in recognition of her recognition of me, I’ve decided to post them.  So here they are ….

She

Her hair so glossy like an Afghan Hound

Her bum so peachy, so squashy and round

Her eyes they pierce you through your soul

She’s a full-grown frog, she’s no tadpole

Her laugh so sweet, like an amusing ass

Her humour so dark, so filthy, so crass

She is my Angel, my Princess Simone

When she reads this crap she’s bound to groan

Lone Wolf

The lone wolf prowls through the night

Her strength, her power, her force, her might

She captures men with her mighty chest

They can’t resist, they give it their best

But her tender heart betrays her tale

Would she like to partner with an alpha male?

Her Skilled Prowess

Helen eating cake

Helen eating cake

The panther strikes at 8pm

That’s when Step class begins for them

Her fluid moves, her skilled prowess

Is she real? They wonder, they guess

Their envy shows, they can’t hide it now

“She’s so damn good, that effing cow”

But she cares not, she’s in the zone

Those insecurities, they have flown

She’s with the music, they are at one

The rest all vanish, set with the sun

But the class must end, it goes too fast

The panther grins, she’s had a blast

Queen of Step

She loved to step

She loved its groove

She had the gift

With nothing to prove

She laughed at those with two left feet

Who tried so hard but missed the beat

Helen boarding the Orient Express to Brighton

Helen boarding the Orient Express to Brighton

She’s the Queen of Step

She wears the crown

She’s so damn good

It makes others frown

Their Shared Moon

The glow of the moon in the sky above

Draws their gaze, they think of their love

Friends apart, their bond can’t be broken

Their shared moon, their friendship token

It’s their connection when they feel low

Distance will make this friendship grow

But not long now, just a few weeks left

The English one will be no more bereft

Her Aussie friend will return to this land

And once again they’ll be a merry band

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A frog or a prince?

Once upon a time there was a little princess called Simone.  She wasn’t a traditional fairytale maiden with flowing blonde locks, refined features and a delicate slender frame; but a dark-haired girl with an average face and a sturdy hourglass body.  Still, as flawed as she was, she dreamed of one day standing before her empire as Queen Simone, her mighty King firmly by her side.  And that meant finding a prince.

As a young girl she searched her own land in the New World for a royal suitor, but the Land of Oz is vast and its population limited: her prince was nowhere to be found.  She knew she had to get in her carriage and journey on the yellow-brick road to other kingdoms; so, when she finished university, she voyaged to the Old World to continue her search.

She kissed many frogs:   In fact she had dinner with frogs, watched movies with frogs and even saw a few frogs naked.  On two occasions in fifteen years her heart filled with hope when she met first one prince and then another, but they each chose princesses from other realms.  The Australian prince selected a beautiful olive-skinned princess from Italy, and the English prince went with a plain, but intelligent, blue-eyed princess from New Zealand.

Princess Simone never gave up hope, but she carried on her search less fervently; enjoying her life filled with the constant distractions of daily activities.  Work and socialising kept her busy and happy.  In time, she figured, her prince would show his face.  Then in 2012 she met a man in a Melbourne café and her spirits soared.  He looked like a prince, he sounded like a prince, he smelled like a prince … could he actually be a prince?

The week they met was a wondrous whirlwind of courtship.  Each evening, after Mark had fulfilled his princely duties at the café, they went out.  They saw a theatrical performance, heard the great musicians for which Melbourne was renowned, and laughed at the jesters the city’s comedy circuit provided.  Princess Simone saw Mark’s castle which was tremendously stylish, even in comparison to her beautiful temporary palace of residence at the Four-Trees Apartments.

On the night before she was due to return to her mother’s abode, she met Mark for dinner at an excellent Italian restaurant in Hardware Lane.  They chatted over a glass of wine and ordered their food.  Mark spoke excessively harshly to the waitress for making a tiny error, humiliating her and contributing to her nervously spilling some water.  “Is this how he treats his own service staff?” Simone wondered, troubled and embarrassed by his behaviour.

As Mark filled her in on his day, a strange thing happened.  His words started to blur and her eyes glazed over.  Soon, all she could hear was, “Ribbit …. ribbit … ribbit”.  “His words have no substance”, she thought.  “And, we have nothing in common.  It’s just not there between us – he’s not my prince”.  Simone realised that in the week’s carnival of activity and mead drinking, they hadn’t really talked to each other; they’d been so busy being entertained that they hadn’t established if they entertained each other.  They didn’t.

After a dinner that dragged, they finished their coffees and left the restaurant.  Princess Simone kissed Mark farewell, boarded her tram and watched him hop away.  He wasn’t an entirely bad frog (waitress incident aside) and he might be someone else’s prince but for her this fairytale didn’t end with a “happily ever after”.  Her search continues.

Apocalypse Now?

During my 2010 Christmas visit to Australia, my hometown was flooded and a locust plague was immediately followed by a snake plague. At the same time, England was hit by the worst snowfall in over forty years – Heathrow was grounded for days.  My arrival this year was marked by a mini cyclone, fires that destroyed thirty homes, a mouse plague and a fatal white shark attack.  Two weeks ago, on the day I left New Zealand, a state of emergency was declared because of the worst floods in fifty years.  Now I’m in Fiji during monsoon season, a country where cyclones are the norm.  Aside from the daily monsoon all is well … but how long is Fiji safe?

Optimism and enthusiasm are traits I value; life shouldn’t be wasted indulging in melancholy.  Despite this positive view, I’m a magnet for unusual incidents that often turn out to be less than pleasant.  Others have noticed the effects on the environment around me (other than those I directly create) and I’ve earned a reputation as a cheerful, apocalyptic catalyst of doom.  Each time I merrily trot along for my next endeavour, people suffer.  Thankfully, I always emerge from the rubble untouched.

Fiji so far has been great: the food delicious, the cocktails superb and the surroundings idyllic … but others at the resort aren’t enjoying themselves quite as much.  A man and a couple were sitting at a table near me at breakfast and I overheard their conversation.

Female in the couple (hesitant and with a look of concern): Heard from Belinda?

Single male (unshaven and weary looking): No, but her sister called and she’s not changing her mind.  There’s nothing I can do about it so I’m just going to get on with my holiday … How’s your room?

Male in the couple: (happy for the change of subject, I suspect): Bloody hot!  The air con doesn’t work, or the tv, or the toilet… this really has been the shittiest holiday we’ve been on.  Everything that could possibly go wrong has. (This little ray of sunshine couldn’t be helping his heartbroken friend’s morale).

After some hopefully discreet eavesdropping (admittedly, the rest I didn’t accidentally hear …), I discovered that “Belinda” left “Paul” at the resort three days after arriving and called off their engagement. “Amy” and “James” arrived without accommodation and had to stay in a single room together.  They all looked disgruntled.

My conscience is clear: the blame for their problems isn’t mine.  Cyclones, bushfires, floods and plagues I’m happy to take responsibility for – standard natural disasters.  But I’m not taking credit for emotional misfortunes and human errors.  The ending of relationships on holiday is as common as holiday romances.  And disorganisation is self-inflicted (it turned out James hadn’t actually booked a room for the first night of their holiday – he’s probably lucky Amy didn’t do a Belinda on him).

My Christmas, spent with newly acquired friends, was unexpectedly enjoyable.  And, after days of flooding me with uninvited (though in fairness, very entertaining) poolside conversation, a man from Sydney has invited me to a New Year’s gathering his group are having tomorrow night … is it possible I’ll be seeing in 2012 with the earth moving in a way that doesn’t involve a natural disaster?  Or will Mr Sydney soon find himself in a hailstorm, covered in boils and swatting away raining frogs?