Here are some photos of my mum. No reason, aside from her being generally rad.
“I was just on Radio National!”
“On what basis?”
“What’s my favourite topic?”
“No – the other one”
She called in because the topic of conversation was toileting and toilet habits and she thought the conversation was too stifled and stuffy and not nearly as base as she would have liked and decided, as a great fan of emulsions and emissions of the bodily variety, to liven things up with a contribution.
Oh my god I moaned. What the fuck did you say? Oh, she said airily, I just said I’m utterly shameless when it comes to toileting matters – much to the chagrin of my husband and children – I said I don’t know where I went wrong with my adult children, they don’t go in for it at all.
Her whole life’s philosophy is based on one of her father’s key saying – “Rules are for fools - wise men follow guidelines.” He used to use this when confronted with petty bureaucrats, groundskeepers, highway patrolmen and the like.
More broadly, you could say her whole life’s philosophy swivels intermittently between ‘who gives a shit’, ‘don’t fuck with me’ and ‘get out of my way’, depending on who is wasting her space at the time.
We are walking around Parsely Bay and Neilsons Park, following a small track through bits of bush. We round a corner. There is a footbridge. It is taped off, festooned with crime scene type tape. I see the tape. I turn, say ‘we’ll have to go back.’ ‘Go back?’ she says, indignant, ‘what for?’ She commands me to step aside, she strides through the tape. I follow, meek as a mouse, envisaging the footbridge collapsing under us, imagining twisted limbs and bones protruding through broken skin, hearing the angry, stop-right-there! shout of a hidden ranger.