Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A Twitterati Xmas Party

I received my first blind-twitter-date last week. Set for some time January. Venue unknown. I may hold a white rose. Although, I probably won’t need to go that far. I’ll just wear my sunglasses. My Ivana-up-do. And a smile.

Anyways, this twitter turnabout gave me courage. Courage to reveal my plan…

My plan, to host an imaginary Twitterati Xmas Party. 

Just because. Round about this time of year, when I’m sitting in my tower office after picking peonies, trying to conjure up words on the page. All alone. I imagine holding a kick arse Xmas party. A party more Bruce Lee than Bruce Lee. An end of year shindig of a different kind. This year it's invite via satellite. Strangers only. 

Mostly. We’re actually pen pals of a futuristic kind. We’re Twitter-ettes. We talk only in 140 characters. Sharp. Quick. Direct.

We already belong to a dating club of sorts. I’m just pushing the fibre optic boundaries a little further. I’m saying come out from behind your avatar smoke screen for one frivolous afternoon. You witty, amusing, intelligent, provocative lady-minds come on. Let’s do lunch. 

I’d wear my new pink Kathryn Wilson sandals ($300 worn once #crapnzweather). And perhaps the blue flowery dress I wore to my little sister’s wedding. I’d want to look my best at our table for 26. 

Sorry, sorry-a-lot, in advance for overlooking to invite any femme fatale(s) who might fancy attending my twitterati party. However, in order to make a sensible sit-down-lunch-number, the only fair prerequisite I came up with was – IF WE READ EACH OTHERS SHIT, FOLLOW EACH OTHER (3 not) & I’VE NEVER ACTUALLY MET YOU, IN THE FLESH, YOU ARE YOU ARE ON THE LIST. Apologies again. Party planners lament.There will be stuff-ups. Best to start big.

@beckeleven                                @doesnotdoit
@radiomum                                   @mlle_elle
@TheBloggess                              @caitlinmoran
@megrosoff                                   @Kiwimrsmac
@irihapeta                                     @UpsideBackwards
@ZoeMeager                                @angew
@SonyaCisco                               @HonestMummy
@eehbahmum                                @_wideeyedgirl
@naomiarnold                               @suecopsey
@nickypellegrino                           @lucymk
@MumsnetBloggers                       @WriteOnTime
@Shellface                                     @AliLeonardMC
@AimoCronin                                @JessHelicopter

I think everyone would, sort of, know someone else. Possibly recognize them, even those whose headshot is an orange square or a picture of their cat. Or rabbit.

Some of you in tweepsville might think I am completely bonkers. Slightly pervy. Predatory. Definitely weird. Stalkerish. To take it this far. Okay, but it would be a group blind date. Not a romance novel conference. We’d get on like a bunch of i-phone 6’s at a concert. Swag. Swag. Illuminati. 

We’ve already chatted. On-line. Followed each other. Favourited. Goaded. Outwitted. Out worded. Congratulated.  Retweeted even.  I admit some of the above, live on the other side of the world and are famous people, but you never know they may be on a book signing tour to Godzone. Or not.

Imagine us fueled by a crisp Malborough Sauv Blanc or elderflower cordial and first date nerves. We’d be positively on FIRE. It would be like those Friday lunches of the ad days. Back in the pre-crash 80s. If you staggered back to the office you were a LOSER. Or the receptionist.

We’d eat kale caviar and organic duck breast on quinoa compote. Sip fizzy water from Fiji. No we wouldn’t – we’d rock our own cool. We are not posers. We might play word games though. Quick ones. Like who can make the worst personalized plate. MUDDER. KOCANE. OARSYM  (actually that’s taken). STORNCH...

Things could get out of hand, as our order is delayed and we wait for herbed bread and dukkah to arrive to soak up the liquids on our empty late morning stomachs. We might do gelfies (group selfies) and tweet them. FB them. Snapchat and Instagram them. People at other tables would have bad FOMO. We’d be loud. Probably annoying.

I’d take no responsibility for later on. Twitter-only-knows what might happen. A mélange of young and middle aged (speaking for myself here) women out on the town. Auckland. Wellington. Christchurch. No mind. Where. We’d find a nightclub that rocked cool tunes. Dance in groups around our hand bags. Stayin Alive. Doubled over by giggling fits. She’d be a good time. Letting our perms down. Imagine.

Maybe we’d let some boy ‘@s’ come later. To amuse us. Then again, maybe we wouldn’t.

Tweeter-esses for life. 

At least until, December 2015. And our next year imaginary Xmas Party. 

Disclaimer: I live at the bottom of the south island, and the aforementioned ‘@’ persons are scattered all over the country and the world, so the likelihood of ever pulling this XP off are as low as a Limbo pole. However, stranger things have happened. And imaginary Xmas parties are free.
Seasons Greetings – it’s nearly December.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Hand Bags & Cervixes

I was thinking how-lucky-I-am on Tuesday morning. I’m fifty. I’m fit. I can run for forty minutes without keeling over. I have my health. More so - isn’t it a flippin miracle I can run down this steep track without my left knee (with its ruptured ACL) dislocating. Fabulous old body. Charging.

Then boomfa. One Nike-d sole slipped on a tyre step (odd kiwi invention) and I fell backwards onto outstretched hands. FBOOH. I’ll just keep walking down till the pain stops, I thought, as I clutched my throbbing left hand to my bosom. I did not cry. I stopped to take a photo of a fern family and posted it on facebook. Weird. I’ll carry on to the river, look at the water. Throb throb. Then, the other more sensible person in my head told me it was timely to turn back. I had a hair appointment in half an hour.

Silly hand. I took two Panadol and told my digit story to anyone who asked. Enjoying their sympathy. By that night my flipping-the-bird finger was indigo violet. The next morning, the knuckle as puffy as a profiterole. Silly naughty finger.

‘You better get in seen to,’ warned my 95 year old Gran, when I called her. ‘Your Uncle Jack did that to his finger. It was always fat and bent.’

I felt chided, like a selfish child ignoring a new pet. I went to A&E on the way to work. 

‘You have a volar plate avulsion fracture, we’ll refer you to the Hand Physiotherapist,’ said the Doctor, pointing at my compromised metacarpal on the light-box.

‘Hands are very complex, you need to make sure they heal correctly,’ said the nurse as she fashioned my metal splint and wrapped it neatly with self-adhesive bandage in an attractive foundation brown. ‘The doctors call this the driver’s finger,’ she giggled. 

Bondage, up yours. I love flipping the bird. But not ALL the time. I wondered if SA bandages came in black. LBB. 

At reception I paid and booked in for the Smear Test (I keep getting reminder letters for) the following day. Needs must.

Cervixes have pretty much fallen off the radar of late. I know I haven’t given mine much thought since I padlocked the gates to my womb. It’s retired. GONE. Nowadays, as far as cancers go it’s all about breasts in October, prostate Movember. Cervixes don’t get their own month. Or do they?

I did a quick check and discovered – September is ‘Cervical Screening Awareness Month.’ Who knew that. It’s free if you’re under 22.

The medical profession purports early detection is your best protection, for all cancers. But it’s a lot easier copping a feel of your lathered up mams in the shower when on the hunt for possible irregularities, than it is fronting up for a smear test.

160 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer a year in New Zealand. 50 of those die from it. “…cervical cancers develop slowly over time….Usually taking many years.” Hmmm.

There you lie on a narrow sheeted gurney, your bare bum carefully parked on the blue absorbent pad the size of a table-mat that says place bum here. If only. Knees bent. Ankles together. Flop apart. Hope she’s looking okay. Down there. Stop tensing. RELAX. Bit of banter. More banter.

At least the speculums are plastic nowadays and room temperature. Remember those metal nasties that made a terrible grinching sound when they were expanded and screwed (couldn’t find another verb for this action?) ajar. Icy cold. Though sometimes thoughtfully warmed under the hot tap down at Family Planning, K-road.

Anyway, my eyes watered and I tried to… breath through it. Silly hurting tunnel, leading to cyclinder-shaped-neck-of-cartilage-covered-with-smooth-moist-tissue. Silly protracted cervix. Hiding.

Flipping you the bird. Pain. Check this out. Flipped. 


Afterwards. Cells scraped.And test-tubed. I wondered I might sit in the car and have a wee cry. Instead, I went to a nearby café, sipped mint tea and buttered a warm cheese scone while waiting for a friend. Then I went to work.

The majority of cervical cancers are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) virus. The most common of all STDs. Thankfully our daughters can be immunised against HPV, as part of their free childhood immunisations, at 12 years old. It’s my hope that boys will be brought into this programme in New Zealand, as they are in Australia and the US.

Back in 82, aged 18, I listened to Joe Jackson sing, Everything gives you cancer, there’s no cure there’s no answer. Over and over. No caf-feine, no pro-tein, no booze or ni-co-tine. Joe was definitely on to something. 

Medical science has come a long way. However, we still need cures and answers. And early detection. "Three yearly cervical screening is recommended for women from 20 – 70 who have ever been sexually active".

Someday in the future they might even have jokey bum mats.

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