How Much I Hate Milk

One of the great advantages of being a blogger who writes a personal blog, apart from all the paid writing gigs,* is that I never need to be stuck for an answer again, when  filling out a survey, updating my CV, or just making polite small talk, as to what my interests and hobbies are. Of course, I can readily answer that blogging is one of my hobbies, but I don’t need to stop there, the way that a non-blogger might have to if they can’t remember any other interests right at that moment – and let’s face it, that has happened to all of us in a job interview.

If I draw a momentary blank at the phrase “so Blathering, tell us a bit about yourself,” I don’t end up creating a long and awkward pause in the conversation while I rack my brain to try and think of something, just to prove that I am, in fact, a well-rounded person with lots of varied interests.

In a matter of seconds, I can whip out my phone or iPad, pull up my blog, and, barely missing a beat in the conversation, reel off a wide range of interests. Hah! That’s because all I need to do is glance over at the Tag Cloud at the right-hand side of my blog. Displayed there for all the world to see, are the topics that have interested me the most, in the six years (where did all that time go??) that I’ve been writing this blog for.


A super quick guide to my interests, if not so much my hobbies.

A super quick guide to my interests, if not so much my hobbies, on August 16 this year.

Instantly, I impress my aquaintances with my broad range of interests. “Music!” I announce confidently. Great – everybody in the world says they like music, whether they do or not, so I can’t go wrong there. “Cats.” Seems worth a go, with the slight risk that they may be a cat hater, or have a cat allergy.  I scan the list of other topics frequently written about. Insomnia? My brother died? These may send the wrong message in a job interview. Time? The Universe? These may make me sound too much of an abstract thinker for this executive role in the Pest Control industry. Hmmm. “Yoga….mats?” *grins weakly*

The Tag Cloud is a constantly morphing thing; a ‘real-time’ guide to your latest passions, if you like, since Tags, and their relative sizes (in this particular style of Tag Cloud), are based on how often a topic is written about and tagged. Readers can click a tag and be taken to posts about that topic.

In the beginning, the major topics on this blog, and therefore reflected in the Tag Cloud, were moustaches, eyeballs, rhinos, avocados, and Samuel Beckett, which I felt nicely captured my enjoyment of the absurd. In order to present a more rounded picture of myself,  I naturally progressed to writing a few posts about Nietzsche, and existentialism, just to add an appearance of high-brow intelligence to the blog, and show that I could write about more than just a few common nouns (and Beckett.) Nietzsche pops up every now and again since he is such a funny guy to write about.

Oh alright, in all honesty, the prominence of Nietzsche on this blog only began because of his utterly ridiculous moustache, and from there it developed a life of its own, which I feel barely responsible for. As Kierkgaard once commented, when you combine a dour philosopher and a massive comical moustache, the material just writes itself!

This is where the Tag Cloud can be misleading, because it would make me seem a tad more intellectual than I really am. You could, for example, see his name there and assumed that I’ve written a doctorate on Nietzsche. (I have actually sent an application to the University of Melbourne to write a post-graduate thesis on his moustache, but they have so far not allocated a supervisor for this project.)

Similarly, Air Supply (an Australian band, big in the 1970s-80s) is not really a particular interest of mine, but was for a short while a few years ago, when I read a strange line about them on their Wikipedia page (since removed), and wrote a post about it. As I am a student of post-modernism (thank you to Art School), I then made the self-referential move of referring to that post in other posts, which had the end result of causing Air supply to be a highly searched term on this blog for a while, and I guess must be how they are still retaining their status on the Tag Cloud.

Based on this Tag Cloud, Technology also appears to be an interest of mine, however I’m far from a “tech-head.” I’m not anti-technology, and it can be interesting, but I’ve probably written more about old technology or, even better, imaginary technology, my favourite kind. These are probably what that tag refers to. Although forced to deal with it on a daily basis in my job, my ability to understand current technology is not high, for example I don’t really even understand what a server is or does. So that is another misleading Tag.

Of all the things still popping up in that Tag Cloud, it is probably most strange that rhinos maintain a position there, when I can’t recall having written about those cuddly critters for quite some time now, possibly since this attempt to describe myself for readers, and that was written a few years ago.

But the reason for this post today is because I feel there has recently been a gaping absence in the Tag Cloud. A topic that was there for some time has dropped right off, and it’s something I feel is an integral aspect of my identity. It’s clear that I have not written enough about it lately. That is, my hatred of milk, or, as it was previously spelled out in the Tag Cloud, How Much I Hate Milk. My hatred of milk stems right back to my childhood, and I’ve written about it in detail here.

Let’s just say that when, as a child, your introduction to milk is the freshly frothy, still warm stuff that has just been squirted out of a cow’s udders, into a bucket, and then tipped into some old sherry bottles (of dubious sterilisation) that still retained a smell, or taste of sherry, it’s a wonder if you can hold your Weeties down in the morning.

Of course, I realise that I am able to manipulate the Tag Cloud by writing posts about, and tagging, specific topics, but what blogger would let their Tag Cloud guide what they choose to write about? If I was going to do that, I’d write a whole post based around the concept of how much I hate milk, just to see if I can get that tag to appear on there again.


*Paid writing gigs: 0 so far. If you need someone to write about rhinos, eyeballs, moustaches or any other common nouns for your newsletter or website, please indicate your interest and rate of renumeration in the comments. All offers considered.

You can leave your hat on

What kind of hat suits my personality best???? Oh…alright, Plinky, I’ll take the bait.

Well, let’s see….what about a top hat?  Yes, that’s right, I am definitely the type to step out the door in a top hat. It would go nicely with my denim jeans and sneakers. And as for personality, well, people always comment on how my manners are very much like that of a 19th Century gentleman. Also, just the other day I was thinking about a career change to becoming ring-leader at a Circus – so I reckon I am well suited to wearing a top hat!

On the other hand, you have to exercise caution around top hats,  as wearing one the wrong way can apparently result in……… a painful death.

Ouch! It’s not a nice way to go.

Hmm, perhaps that is a bit risky after all. What if the hat is too big? I think I’ll skip the top hat idea. I’m too short to look dignified in a top hat anyway.

OK, then, what about a chic, French-style beret? Well, let’s see. Am I whimsical, quirky, stick thin, and have a knack for looking utterly glamourous in the simplest outfit (in other words, am I Audrey Hepburn?) Uh…no. (In fact, as you would know if you had done your homework and read this post, I am a lot more like a cross between Jodie Foster and a rhinoseraus.) So a chic beret is not for me. A rastafarian beret would suit my personality better.

A Jodie Foster Rhino

Is this Jodie Foster relaxing on a safari?

Alright, that is silly, obviously. I am not really suited to a rastafarian beret.  I am not chic and glamorous, but neither am I a hippie stoner. Plus I am an anglo woman with strawberry blonde colored hair inherited from my Irish ancestors who, in turn, probably inherited it from Scandanavian Viking ancestors some years earlier. I’m not a Jamaican with dreadlocks.

Not that any of the above relates to personality…hmmmm…’s as if this was a trick question and I am not passing the test.

So what about a cowboy hat then? Why hell no. I am just not the cowgirl type. I don’t yeehah!, -well, not too often anyway. I don’t line dance, nor ride a horse, nor even live in the country. I’m not the sort of inner city dweller who feels the need to  drive a stupidly unnecessary 4 wheel drive wagon, and nor do I feel the need to wear a stupidly unnecessary 10 gallon cowboy hat.

John Wayne in a 10 gallon hat

Looks ok on this guy I guess.

So, let’s see. As I am very fair skinned, with the strawberry blonde hair mentioned earlier, what about a broad brimmed sun hat? That would be practical, at least? Yes……but I still come back to my height and non-glamorous bearing, which does not make me someone who can carry off a wide brimmed sunhat. Dear me…hats are tricky when you are not tall, aren’t they?! And this question is supposed to be about personality and not looks….ironically, it seems that this initially rather silly question is revealing how much the two are tied together in my mind. No, I just can’t say that a broad brimmed sunhat suits my personality.  It requires too much 1950’s style glamour, and that is not me either.

Very wide brimmed hat

See, now, I couldn’t drive the car with that thing on my head.

So, what’s left? Beanies? Well great. A beanie is not really my hat of choice, looks wise, but yes, if the question revolves around personality, I think a beanie probably suits my personality most. In my opinion, my face looks as round as the moon  when encased in a beanie – but at least beanies don’t create a ridiculous lack of proportion for a shortish person, the way a top hat or a broad brimmed sun hat would do. Beanies are simple and practical, and perform the function they are meant to, ie, they are likely to stay on your head in windy conditions and they keep you warm in the cold, and for all those reasons I have a soft spot for them.

So now that has been settled, perhaps I will get one of these beanies. The built in dreadlocks  would be perfect for the office.

Rasta hat with dreadlocks

Almost the spitting image of me

Warning: Teabags with Adult themes

Picture this. Here I am, home from work with the flu. Or some kind of undiagnosed, ill-defined virus that makes you feel really blah, (to use a medical term), without any clearly defined symptoms.

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster 20-ish years ago. We did both have hair, I guess.

But wait – I realise it’s hard for you to picture me home with the flu, since you don’t know what I look like, so I’ll help you along. Well, about 20 years ago someone told me I looked a bit like Hollywood actor Jodie Foster. I think it may have been to do with my haircut at the time, as well as how much alcohol the guy had imbibed. I wasn’t even sure if it was meant as a compliment. Anyway, also about 20 years ago, just as it happens, a good friend at the time told me that my walk was “more of a lumber”.  We lost contact soon after. Since then people have mostly kept their opinions on what I look like to themselves.

Now, I don’t necessarily think it’s true to say that I sway slowly from side to side when I walk, but still, I thought it might be helpful if you are wondering what to picture when you think of me, home with the flu. How about picturing a cross between Jodie Foster and an elephant? Or, in keeping with some often-mentioned themes on this blog, Jodie Foster and a rhinoceros! (Surely if elephants lumber, rhinos must also lumber?) At the very least, picture Jodie Foster, lumbering. I know, I know, it doesn’t really fit her vigilante-type image. Imagine the headlines if vigilantes took to swaying slowly as they walked after bad guys. Vigilante lumbers after villain in vain. Anyway, I’m getting off the track there, so now you have some kind of image to picture, let’s get back to the real story.


A rhinoceros

A rhino lumbering along - or is it me??? You decide.

ryan harvey

So, ok, there I am, looking like some kind of cross between Jodie Foster and a rhinoceros, and I’m home with the flu. My sinuses are blocked, my temperature is up and I feel sure all my glands are up, even though I have to admit, I am never quite sure where those pesky things are in the first place. I definitely feel pretty blah. So what do I do to soothe my poor, sick self? I get out an oil burner and burn some eucalyptus oil.  I take some vitamin c. I put the kettle on and go to the cupboard to make myself a soothing cup of…..what the??????

Getting cosy in a Cold and Flu kind of way. Just don't hack up that phlegm.


I go to the cupboard to make myself a nice warm cup of….condom, or so it appears!

Who designed the branding of this Cold and Flu tea???? Wasn’t there a brand of condoms called Lifestyle? (Probably still is, I don’t keep up to date with the latest developments in condoms these days… fact I have to admit, I was never particularly obsessed with condom packaging, if the truth be known).  This packaging looks so tacky, as well as so unusually themed – given the product – that it seems as if the tea was produced in some non-english speaking country where they mixed up the branding of the condoms and the cold and flu tea. Yet it’s supposedly made right here in Australia! The wrapping is even weirdly plasticy, instead of paper like it is on all other – normal – tea bags!

Hmmmm. Does this cold and flu tea deliver something more than a cold and flu remedy? Perhaps after drinking a cup of this, I’ll be feeling hot and sweaty for reasons other than the flu? Or maybe the idea behind this marketing is to suggest that when you pick someone up you invite them home for…….a cup of cold and flu tea (nudge nudge, wink wink!)


PS. This post was half written last week when I was home sick. This morning I am not sick,  just completely sleep deprived, having been awake most of last night, only to finally drop off to sleep some time after 2am and then be woken by our lucky-to-still-be-alive cat at 5.45am. So I take no responsibilty for the quality of this post. It’s the cat’s fault!

Dreams: so much hidden meaning…….?

A rhino with normal rhino eyes

As I go about my daily life now, there is a subtle, but undeniable change, which is that I am always on the lookout for a good topic for my next blog post. Hmmm…astute political analysis? Damn it! –  I don’t follow politics!  Hmmm…savvy critiques of the media? Damn it! I don’t read  the newspapers! Hmmm….witty observations about life? Damn it again! I don’t have a life! What hope is left for this blog???! (she stops typing and thinks desperately……)

Ok, what about dreams? Surely they are rich with metaphor and symbolism, ripe for interpretation and investigation? Phew! – this seems like a possible route into the blogosphere! Why, just the other night I had a dream about a rhinoceros! Ah, yes- here we go…this seems promising material alright!……

(stumped pause)

Alright, I have to admit, it didn’t feel at all meaningful or symbolic. The rhino was just standing around doing nothing. When I thought about it afterwards, it was kind of weird that where his eyes should have been he had two boiled eggs instead. But it didn’t seem weird in the dream.


2 perfect rhino eyes - if they were made out of eggs

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