Scribbling again

I recently dusted down the old ink pens again.  Just scratching away with some random scribbling.

pen scribbling

Jun 17th, 2016 | Filed under Drawing
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Dragon Cake

One of the great things about being a parent is the chance to make your kids smile.  Over the years we’ve made a real point of spending the extra time and effort to make the kids some really special birthday cakes.  The kidlets all look forward to their birthday as they get to dictate the theme of the cake.  As a self-professed nerd, it was a proud moment when my nine year old daughter asked us to make a purple dragon cake for her.  My nerdiness glowed even brighter when she saw her cake and instantly named it Smaugling!  The exact criteria we were given was that the cake had to have a dragon on top, the dragon had to be purple, and it wasn’t allowed to be too “cute-sy”.  We were given thumbs up on all accounts by the birthday girl!  Here are some pictures…

Dragon Cake 1

Dragon Cake 2

Dragon Cake 3

Dragon Cake 4

The dragon was made of fondant icing.  We used a light purple (almost grey) for the base.  The darker purple was painted on later.  We used a Wiltons food colour which was diluted with vodka for the paint.  (The vodka evaporates, so no kiddies were intoxicated by the cake!)  Lesson learned from the paining was that it can take multiple layers to make the paint dark.  After the first coat I wasn’t impressed at all by the density of the paint.  It took four layers to get the paint to it’s darkest (on the wings and around the eyes).  We also painted on some edible sparkles, though they barely show up in these photos.  In reality they really set the dragon off, giving it a shimmer and the illusion of a little movement.

I think I had more fun with the making of this cake than the kiddies had eating it!  Mmmm… tasty dragon cake!

May 18th, 2016 | Filed under Craft
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A Canadian Wedding

My dear Canadian mum continues with her generosity!  This time I’m invited to my alter-ego’s Canadian wedding!  While I was only copied onto an email to the wedding designer, I’m still certain they meant to invite me.  Here’s how it transpired…

Hi Tamara
Just wanted to let you know there are 19 tables including the family table

And my gratuitous reply:

Hello again Ronda!

It’s been a little while since I’ve heard from you and I was hoping you weren’t cross with me about missing our family get together in Toronto.  I have to admit that it slipped my mind and when I didn’t receive those airline tickets from you I really didn’t know where to start in hitchhiking from Australia to Canada.  Even so, I’m sure you sent them and I’ll focus my blame on the irregularities of the postal service.


Well, what an exciting reason to contact me!  A wedding!  Of course I’d love to attend and look forward to this with much gusto.  I appreciate the notification that there are only 19 tables too, and I’ll endeavor not to invite too many people.  Should we just say I’ll fill one spot on each table and leave it at that?  You may need to up your budget on beverages though – most of the friends I intend to invite are… I’m not sure what you’d call them in Canada?  Over here we’d say “bloody piss-heads”.  Maybe I should just call them “veritable dipsomaniacs”.  On a brighter note though, there is a French tradition that proclaims good luck on a bride and groom who drink the leftover alcohol from the wedding out of a toilet bowl.  My friends would assure that this drink was minuscule.  Unfortunately they’d most likely leave the toilets in a far from sanitary condition as well.


Can I assume I get to join you on the family table?  I have some great ideas for centerpieces too and I’ll happily forward them on to Tamara for her consideration.  How about this one?  Nothing could be as classy or hint at love’s eternal repose like a skeletal bride and groom banging pelvises in the middle of the table!  Do you think it’s possible for the skeletons to kiss without lips or tongues?  Having said that, he probably couldn’t slip her the ol’ bone either.  Oh, wait a minute…


Inline image 1


How formal is the occasion?  Do I need to wear my black shorts or will a black beer hugger suffice?  I remember once getting the attire completely wrong and turned up wearing only a kilt (with nothing underneath, of course), a pink t-shirt and a snorkel.  I couldn’t work out why I was getting such offended looks until I realized that in my inebriated state I’d misplaced the kilt.  I did have my good black beer hugger though so I didn’t look like a complete ass.  Even so, there were a few tears and raised voices for a little while but my quick wit calmed them down with a magic trick called “Hide the Casket”.  They were so appreciative of this trick that somebody accidentally knocked me on the head as he eagerly tried to congratulate me and I recall no more of the funeral after that point.


Once again I’ll have to beg passage to Canada from you.  You can send the 19 tickets to me electronically if you like to avoid the hassles with the post like we had last time.


Can’t wait to see you there!


Ryan Minster.
Once more I’ll wait eagerly for the reply…


Oct 1st, 2015 | Filed under Life
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Suicide secrets – What happens once you kill yourself?

I haven’t written on here for some time.  Life has been going on and this site has been all but forgotten.  I don’t post here for numerous reasons, partly because I’ve learned some lessons in online publicity/privacy and I don’t like this being so openly attributed to me personally.  Having said that, some things are worth sharing.  I came across the following recently.  It is a snippet from an online forum where somebody posted a question about ending their life.  The response was brilliant, and I hope more people with thoughts of suicide could be exposed to such blunt truths.

I don’t know who to accredit this to – it was already reposted several times before I found it and the author was masked to begin with.  The source was also very disjointed (a bunch of screen captures from a mobile phone) so I’m going to rewrite this but I’ll endeavor to keep it as verbatim as possible.  The exchange went like this:

Q: What happens once you kill yourself?  Because I’m ready to go.

A:  You wanna know what happens once you kill yourself?  Your mother comes home from work and finds her baby dead and she screams and runs over to you and tries to get you to wake up but you won’t and she keeps screaming and shaking you and her tears are dripping onto your face and your dad hears all the screaming and runs into the room and he can’t even speak because the child he loved and the child he watched grow up is gone forever and finally your little sister runs into the room to see what all the fuss is about and she sees you dead.  The person she looked up to and loved.  The person she bragged to her friends, the person she wanted to be just like when she grew up, the person that made her feel safe.  But she’s never really going to get to grow up and smile and laugh and love because she’ll always be consumed with this feeling of missing you.  And now there’s something missing from your family and they can barely look at each other anymore because everything reminds them of you but you’re gone and hurts more than anything.  and you think that your mom never cared because she was always busy and yelling at you to finish your homework and clean your room and forgot to say I love you sometimes but really, she loved you more than anything and she doesn’t leave the house anymore, she can’t even get out of bed and she’s getting thinner and thinner because it’s too hard to eat.  Your father had to quit his job and he doesn’t sleep anymore, every time he closes his eyes he sees his baby dead, and the image never goes away no matter how much alcohol he drinks.  And at school your best friend sees that your seat is empty and she gets this sick feeling in her stomach and that’s when she hears the announcement.  You killed yourself.  And suddenly she’s screaming and crying in the middle of class and no one even bothers comforting because they’re all busy sitting there staring at your empty seat with tears dripping down their cheeks and all she wants is for you to hug her and tell her it’s gonna be okay like you always did, but this time, you’re not there to do it, everything is dark now that you’re gone and her grades are slipping, she barely goes to school anymore and she ended up in hospital after taking too many pills because she wanted to see you again.  the girls who used to make fun of the way your dressed feel their throats get tight, they don’t talk to each other anymore, they don’t talk to anyone, they’re all in therapy trying so hard not to blame themselves but nothing works.  and your teacher who always gave you a hard time stares blankly at the wall, she quits her job a few days later. And then your boyfriend hears the news and he can’t breathe, he still calls you a lot just to hear your voice and he talks to you on facebook but you never message him back, he can’t fall in love again because every girl he meets reminds him of you, he’s never going to get over you, he loved you and he cries himself to sleep every night, hating himself and slicing his skin because he couldn’t save you and he’s never going to hold you in his arms or hear you laugh again.  Now everyone who knew you, whether they were a big part of your life or someone you passed in the hallway a few times a week, they carry this aching feeling around inside them because you’re gone, and they miss you, and they don’t know why you left but it must’ve been their fault and they should have stopped you and they should have told you they loved you more and that feeling is never going to go away.  And so you killed yourself

but you killed everyone else around you too.

It’s blunt and it’s brutal, yet beautifully written in its own way.  I think everyone, no matter how introverted, have their own metaphorical tendrils that link them to the people around them.  No matter how removed someone thinks they are, they impact those around them.  Suicide is supposed to end someone’s pain, but it creates a whole lot more pain than it ends.  If only those with thoughts of self harm could see this beforehand…

Aug 12th, 2015 | Filed under Depression

Another email from my Canadian mum

For those of you who have been following my previous correspondences, I’ve been receiving wrongly redirected email intended for a Canadian Ryan Minster for a little while now. Every now and then I receive one which I just can’t help but reply to. Here’s the latest one:

Hi, I had quoted you $1080usd for this package. It was for a golf package for 1, including accommodation, 3 rounds of golf and breakfast. The second person was for breakfast only.

Doral are now saying they cannot do the second breakfast and Amanda will have to pay locally. Ryan’s breakfast is included. I have got them to reduce the price to $900, so the additional $180 will more than cover three breakfasts for Amanda.

Tee times can be booked 90 days out so end of September I will book those. I have taken full payment.


And here’s what Ronda got:

Hello again Ronda,

Wow, I’m flabbergasted by your ongoing generosity!  I’d love to accompany you on your golfing holiday in December and I look forward to this with much anticipation.  I must warn you however that I am no Tiger Woods.  While that may come as a relief to your womanhood, I should probably also add that I’m not much good at golf either.  I play at a rather large handicap, that being that I am the one hitting the ball.  I confess that in frustration there have been times that I have resorted to kicking the golf ball, but on a good note when I do reach the end of my tether and kick the ball, it usually goes further than when I hit it with a club.  I once broke 30 on the back nine of my local course though in honesty I did throw the ball a couple of times when no one was looking.  And while it’s true I scored under 30 (28 to be precise), I didn’t do so well with the other 8 holes.
It’s a bit of an insult that they won’t supply Amanda with breakfast.  Does she have an overly voracious appetite?  Do they not realise how much energy we expend with all that kicking and cursing while we walk around the course?  I hope Amanda will be able to keep up with us after our plentiful breakfasting.  If she can’t keep up, I suggest we hide her unconscious body in the brambles and sell her clubs to the highest bidder.  We could then gorge ourselves even further the next morning at the table.  I’m thrilled to see that my breakfast is included in the price however, and I’ll try not to do you the disservice of attending the table naked like I did the last time I stayed out whilst on holidays.  In my fairness though, it was rather warm and my blood-alcohol levels were slightly higher than normal.  I do however still regret falling on the floor in the restaurant.  Which in itself isn’t so bad, but replace “falling” with “urinating”, and “floor” with “waiter”, and you’ll find the true source of my regret.
It will be terrific if you can book the tee times 90 days out.  90 days should be about enough time for me to make it right around the course, provided that bloody Amanda doesn’t slow us down too much in her weakened state.  Bring on December!
Yours with thanks,
Ryan Minster
I wonder if she’ll reply this time…
Aug 29th, 2013 | Filed under Life
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