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Sorry about the CAPS. Actually I’m not that sorry – I’M SO EXCITED!!!

My debut novel Bifrost has been published in ebook form and is now available on the major ebook platforms.

If you haven’t already – please click one of the buttons below to go to the respective store purchase page!

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve finished reading (because of COURSE you’re going to read it – it’s amazing! Just ask me!), please let me know what you think and do please leave a review on your ebook platform or on goodreads.

This is it, folks – the cover for my new novel Bifrost.

Artwork for the cover by Xia Taptara.

Cover design work by The Cover Collection.

Hope you like it. Keep your eye out for the book COMING VERY SOON!

 

​So…I live in an area of Australia once described to me by a gay friend and long-time resident as a “gay ghetto”. He was referring to the fact that our suburb (throughout the 70s & 80s) was a VERY rough neighbourhood into which gay men (mostly), but also lesbians & trans people moved to escape persecution elsewhere. The people in this area were poor and had bigger things to worry about than if their neighbour was gay. I mean who gives a fuck, right – the other neighbour is a drug addicted pimp with links to organised crime!

Over time, the sense of community in LGBTI+ people encouraged so more and more LGBTI+ people to moved into the area and, over time, the neighbourhood changed from a rough, scary place to one of the most inclusive, beautiful places on Earth (well that’s my opinion).

Yes, I get that this was perhaps gentrification of one marginalised group by another, however, our area is still such a mix of gay, straight, rich, poor, euro, asian, indigenous, immigrant and not I feel this process has not been a negative one.

It was into this neighbourhood that myself and my partner moved in 99/2000. We have never left.

Part of the gay culture in our area (I can call it “our” after 20 year I think) has always been drag shows.

Drag shows have been a part of the Sydney gay scene since there was one. The most famous period is still probably the 70s & 80s when Carlotta was twirling out on stage in a feather boa.

Drag and drag culture has influenced LGBTI+ culture worldwide and we have to keep remembering that for YEARS trans women who were not accepted almost ANYWHERE were welcomed and celebrated presenting as who they were on the stage of their local drag show.

Drag has allowed thousands of our trans sisters (& brothers) to be themselves for fleeting hours and though this learn how to accept themselves. And for many, this happened long before many of us had learned what gender was. Long before many of us had learned to crawl.

Many drag performers leverage their link to LGBTI+ culture to make crass jokes & some of these affect trans women negatively – and while this is not cool, I think trans people generally need to try to keep in mind the past and how the world we are slowly educating has changed already. We need to have to look back, take a look at what drag and drag culture has given us as trans people – without drag, without that embryonic phase of self-exploration for so many of our trans sisters and brothers – the concept of transition would still be be all but unheard of. The idea that a person could present themselves as a gender other than that into which they were born would be anathema in far more places than it is.

Please, particularly my gorgeous, brave, strong trans sisters – don’t take drag as an insult to you, nor your identity. I understand that some drag performers are insenitive and hey – if you’re one of those drag performers, please try to do better – but we as trans people need to also learn to have a thicker skin. Tranny is an ugly word, but my Dad used it used to use it far more to refer to a small transistor radio than to a trans woman.

Words have only the power you give them.

Try to look at drag as a form of performance that has, as part of its history helped SO MANY trans people to escape the shackles of their birth sex and societal gender role and learn to show the world the person they have always been inside.

Drag has also allowed people who have never thought about gender before to see another idea and learn that gender is not fixed by a person’s genitals.

PLEASE understand that drag has been a crucial part of our ability to be accepted as the people we are.

Also…laughter is good. Try not to ever let it hurt you, even if it’s an arsehole laughing.

❤️

— IEK

So I haven’t been posting lately, on either Facebook or on my blog. In recent weeks, my Twitter posting has started to pick up again, but even on Twitter (my social media safe space, believe it or not) I was absolutely silent for several weeks.

I just didn’t have anything to say.

Nothing I read particularly inspired me to write or respond.

I suppose it was just a general numbness.

You see on the 20th of March, 2017, my Dad died.

He had lived with incurable bone cancer for more than 8 years, out-living every life expectancy prediction of experts and pretty much everyone else. Though nothing can take away the pain of loss, knowing that he lived his life well and kept his sense of humour in the face of pain and his diagnosis allows me to smile.

Though he had been sick for a long time, he had never let a terminal diagnosis stop him from doing what he loved. He accepted every medication recommended and dealt with every side-affect so that he could continue to not just live, but live with at least some quality of life as long as he could.

Even in the last weeks before he was forced to enter hospital, despite the increased pain he knew it would cause, Dad had gone out into his beloved vegetable garden as much as he could to nurture his vegetable plants and enjoy the plants and the birds in his backyard.

He lived his life as much as he could every day until his last.

For around a month before he died, he had been in hospital, unable to stand by himself or walk and yet finding the strength to believe that he would be able to learn to walk again and be able to see his home again.

As always, he was a force of nature in everything he did, but in the end, the last time he saw his home was as he was leaving it in an ambulance.

Just as he would never again see his home, which he built with his own hands, so too we will never again see him.

I miss him so much.

Grief manifested in me by taking away the excitement & interest I had in many things which had always been my refuge. Since Dad went into hospital back in February, my writing has been basically at a stand-still, my attention span (as well as my temper) short.

It’s only been in the past week or so that I’ve started to re-engage. Even then, I have had to force myself.

But I am back into it. I will keep doing more each day and eventually I will hopefully find my way back into full swing.

I felt I should say something about my complete absence. I suppose this is the sort of thing professional bloggers set up schedules to compensate for.

Take care everyone, I’ll be posting again soon.

— Is

 

​So…as many of you will already know, as of late last year, I re-titled my novel to try and give the title more of a sense of what the book is about. So, the new title for my upcoming novel is:

Bifrost’s Forsaken

As some of you may also know, around a year ago, I commissioned & paid for cover art to be created for the book which has become Bifrost’s Forsaken.
Trap for young players: don’t do this before you’ve completed your own edits.

Following the split of chapters back in November, the scene depicted on this original cover is no longer in the book!

So, pencilling this cover in for Book 2 (now in development), I asked the same fantastic cover artist (Xia Taptara) to create me a new cover based on one of the scenes which IS in Bifrost’s Forsaken.

I received the finished artwork for it a couple of days ago and I am SO EXCITED that I have to do just a tiny bit of a cover reveal…

stop_being_naughtyOK, so now that I have my legitimate ticket for the fabulous Maria Lewis’ #WhosAfraidToo book launch in like 3 weeks time, I have a confession to make.

Prior to the #WhosAfraid book launch, I’d been to album launches, exhibition launches and gallery events, but I had never been to a book launch before (this is not the confession).

Here it is though: I crashed her book launch.

Sorry, Maria. I know it’s probably not good form.

But…let me explain.

I was in Kinokuniya buying CC a birthday present & I saw this amazing party happening which I assumed (from the stands of copies of Who’s Afraid) was a book launch. The book looked like exactly my kind of book, so I picked up a copy & I saw that Maria Lewis was the author.

The name rung a bell, so (of course), I checked Twitter & found that, while we did not follow one another, I knew her avi & I was certain we’d interacted at some stage. She was also following/followed by a few of my author tweeps.

I thought “Wow – this is so awesome! I wish I had seen this advertised before, I may have been able to find a way to get invited!”

While I was standing & looking around the crowd to see if I could see someone I knew, one of the bar staff said “Hey, do you have a wine?”

I looked down at the lovely rope separating me from the party and said “No, sorry, I don’t have an invite.”

“Don’t worry,” they told me. “Come in anyway!”

OK then. So I stepped to the other side of the rope, I was handed a wine and I started chatting to some people. I figured if I OK thencouldn’t find anyone I knew, I’d perhaps make some new friends in the publishing industry.

Spoiler alert: It didn’t work so well.

The folks I was chatting to initially were nice, but seemed a bit blasé about this event I was SO EXCITED to be somewhat illegitimately in. They did comment on how many people were in the event to which I mentioned (without revealing I was one of them) that the bar staff were letting anyone in.

“OH! WELL!” decried one. “So much for the invites!”

The others all sighed and agreed what a waste of time organising was if it was just going to be an open house.

Oh fuckMy stomach suddenly felt pretty much the same way it used to when I was a kid and I’d pinched a biscuit only to have my Mum walk in the room at that moment.

I stopped talking and quietly slunk away.

Not long later I started feeling VERY HOT. Like sweat pouring from me in my actually rather breezy, floral summer dress. The aircon was clearly not coping with the number of people and I was DYING.

Perhaps my fear at impending discovery as an interloper wasn’t helping either.

Then I spotted this gorgeous woman in blue, black and purple with blue hair and a huge wolf necklace and I immediately recognised her from some of the pics I’d seen of Maria on Twitter. I stood staring for a moment as she breezed and chatted as only a master networker can do.

“Have we met before?” I heard her ask.

I was a little shocked because it SEEMED like she was…no, she was definitely talking to me.

“Hi. Um…not in real life, but I do tweet an awful lot and I think…”

“Yes!” she said. “There are loads of people I know from Twitter here!”

We chatted for a short while and I congratulated her on an AMAZING launch (look if you weren’t there – you’re among the few who weren’t! It was HUGE!!) and told her (very honestly) that I couldn’t wait to read Who’s Afraid.

Sidenote: Who’s Afraid is an EXCELLENT read and both Co-Consul and I read it really fast (which is normal for CC, but not me – I read at a glacial pace usually) & we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

Maria & I said “see you later” and I stood for a moment a little stunned. Mainly because Maria is just SUCH an amazing personality it’s hard not to be struck by her energy and positivity.

But here I was at this launch to which I’d not been invited and, though I kind of almost knew to author through Twitter and meltinghad now officially met her, I was MELTING. It was mid-summer and I had walked a long way to get to Kinokuniya. I really just needed some fresh air and/or an ice bath.

Standing there, sweating and unable to bring myself to attempt networking again, I panicked, paid for my two books and headed home.

On my way down the escalator from Kinokuniya, I opened Twitter up and followed Maria and had a look through her hilarious, inspiring feed (SHE’S FOLLOWED BY JULIA GILLARD!?!).

I do have regrets in my life because I believe that without regrets, we don’t learn. Leaving Maria’s Who’s Afraid book launch early is something I do regret. I should have just sweated it up, smelt JUST DELIGHTFUL and stuck around.

But I didn’t.

From the regret I felt not staying at Maria’s Who’s Afraid book launch I learned that I needed to go to more book launches and, while I have NO contacts in the industry and rarely see promotions for book launches and I still haven’t been to another book launch, I DID see the promotion for Maria’s next book!!

And I have a ticket.

Maria, I really hope I’m still allowed to come after this confession.

— Is

 

rippage_smallSo five people nearly drowned at the beach near CC’s parents’ house today.

I was one of them.

This beach is beautiful, isolated, generally very calm and tranquil and is not patrolled (so no flags, no life guards).

If you look at the picture here (which I took later), a lot of people would think this is a pretty safe, normal section of beach.

It’s not.

When CC & I arrived with our 3 kids and 3 of her brother’s kids, we quickly noted that there was a strong rip around 50 metres from the rocks. We also know (from experience) that there is a permanent, more gentle, rip right next to the rocks.

We saw a family swimming happily between the two rips (there was plenty of space), so we chose to plonk ourselves in the same spot and swim. I assumed the family swimming there knew exactly why it was important for them to stay where they were.

Apparently I was wrong.

CC & I took shifts looking after the kids in the waves and the youngest cousin (2yo) on the sand, making sure all the kids knew where the rips were and to stay in-line with our beach towels and beach bag we had set up right in the centre of the saferippage_annotated zone.

While we were swimming, I noticed the Dad and the son of the other family straying dangerously close to the rip. I assumed they were just testing it’s strength from the sand bar.

Apparently I was wrong.

A few seconds later, the son (who looked about 10 or 11) was sucked out into the rip. Then the Dad dived in after him.

I immediately yelled to our kids to stay where they were and I went after the Dad and the son. I could see from the way the young fellow was struggling already that he would not last and, while the Dad looked OK and was trying to calm his son, he looked like he did not know what to do.

As I went, I yelled to the two young girls who were also approaching the rip to “get back over near the other kids over there” (pointing to our kids who I had just left in the safe water).

At first I tried to reach my arm out, with my feet on the sandbar, to take the hand of the young son, but he was too far away – less than a metre away and I couldn’t reach him.

So I dived into the rip.

Sidenote: I am a very strong swimmer. I have extensive beach experience and I know how to deal with being caught in a rip, I’ve been caught in a couple of them previously (only a couple – remember, I know how to spot them) and swum out of each one comfortably. Just FYI: rescue is a VERY different proposition.

All of that said, I figured it was better to have two strong adult swimmers helping the struggling kid than one.

As I got to them I tried to redirect them because they were both trying to swim against the current. I kept yelling to them to “swim along the beach”, but no matter how many times I yelled it, nor how much water I took on as I carried the son on my shoulder, they both seemed to want to fight the current.

Sidenote here too folks: If you are caught in a beach rip – never, ever fight the current. Don’t panic, just swim parallel to the beach and let the bloody current take you diagonally out to sea. You’ll be fine. Rips lose their strength out past the breakers and you’ll get out of the current and be able to slowly swim your way back to shore, catching the waves as you go.

Anyway…after a short while, I changed my message: “swim toward the rocks!” I yelled and they both started to change direction.

Now please don’t think that these folk are stupid – they aren’t. It’s easy to get caught in a rip and when you’re stuck in a rip and you feel like you’ve lost control, you often lose control of your good sense as your body fills with adrenaline and your brain stops making considered decisions. I totally understand their actions and here’s why…

By the time the Dad and had started swimming toward the rocks, the son was spent. He couldn’t swim anymore and I was carrying an almost dead weight. And the Dad didn’t look too flash either. I started to second-guess if we were going in the right direction (we were, I was just knackered and not thinking straight anymore).

That was when I saw the grandfather dive into the rip.

Fuck.

Sidenote: If you’re a grandparent and your child and your grandchild are stuck in a rip – PLEASE DO NOT swim out to get them unless you have a floatation device like a surfboard, surfski or bodyboard.

As I started taking on water myself, I saw the grandfather get dragged out straight past us in the rip. I realised there was nothing I could do for him. It was a horrible feeling. It was then that I thought we would probably lose at least one of us out there.

The Dad swum back to get the grandfather. I was concerned about how long I could keep going with this kid.

Then I saw a big, strong, long-haired bloke swimming into the rip. At this point I could feel my own muscles failing and I truly did welcome the help. I was glad that I had not been forced to make a decision between saving myself and saving this young kid.  That decision point had been coming fast until the new fellow got out there (turns out he was a brother or cousin. From here on I stick with cousin, but I don’t know).

The cousin (who I thought was an adult, but I later learned he was probably 15 or 16) arrived and took hold of the young son. In my fatigue, I just let go and swam next to them until the cousin yelled out to me to take the kid’s other arm (he was struggling with the weight too). Realising that I had just handed my whole burden over, I swum back under the son’s arm and took half his weight.

I was still looking behind us at the Dad and the grandfather who were some way back. They were still moving, but it looked like the grandfather was in serious trouble.

It was then I turned and saw CC about to come in.

“NO!” I yelled at her, angry that she would ALSO risk herself out here. What about our kids if we BOTH die!?! I think I swallowed a bunch of water at the same time, so she probably heard nothing.

But then I saw the bodyboard she was carrying.

The Dad managed to swim close enough to CC to take the bodyboard (of course CC was smart and handed the bodyboard with her feet planted in the sand of the sandbar and out of danger). The Dad paddled the bodyboard over to myself and the young son as the big cousin swum in to get another bodyboard CC had managed to get from another family on the beach (we only brought one!).

The cousin took the second bodyboard out to the grandfather and, with the boards, we all managed to paddle on further, given a second wind by the assistance of the bodyboards. After another good while of kicking along on the bodyboard, I thought I might be able to touch sand – I COULD!

I truly hope you never know the excitement you feel when your feet touch sand after you’ve been fighting the ocean so long you start thinking you may die. But let me tell you, it’s a pretty fucking amazing feeling.

I yelled out to the Dad that we can put our feet down and we both did, then dragged the bodyboard in with the son still gripping to it.

We walked out of the surf with the grandfather and the cousin coming in on the other board behind us.

Everyone had survived.

Everyone.

It was such a simple incident and could have ended so tragically. We all survived because CC had the presence of mind to get bodyboards out to us.

Anyway, I staggered onto the beach and collapsed on a towel. The other family were so grateful.

I nearly spewed from over-exertion.

I’m still absolutely wrecked now as I write this hours later.

It feels good to be alive.

— IEK

 

Appendix: RIPS

At every beach there are sections of the water which have a strong current pulling constantly out to sea. You cannot swim against a rip current. No one can. Michael Phelps would swim in one spot against a rip. Some beaches have 2 rips, others have dozens. It all depends.

The trick is to be able to spot them. On patrolled beaches, the safety flags will never be placed too close to a rip.

Telltale signs of a rip before you get in the water (according to Surf Life Saving NSW):

  • Rip currents will occur in deeper water, so it’s usually a darker colour compared to the white breaking waves over a sandbank.
  • Because the water is deeper, there will be fewer breaking waves which can give the appearance of a safer spot to swim
  • Rip currents can move things like sand, seaweed, or debris back out through the waves.

Telltale sign that you are in a rip:

  • You are being pulled out deep by a current

Here is the full SLS page on beach safety and rips: http://www.surflifesaving.com.au/beach-safety#Rips

Stay safe at the beach folks. If you aren’t an experienced beach swimmer and don’t know how to stay away from rips – please only swim at patrolled beaches. And please, if you get in a rip, don’t panic – try to relax and get the attention of the life guards by raising your arm.

So the latest episode in my apparent series of nondramatic dreams about celebrities I have never met (and have no idea what they are really like in person), I chanced upon Laura Prepon in a small, local supermarket.

The setting was especially weird because the store layout was not one I was familiar with (as in I’d never been into this particular supermarket before). I assumed I was travelling in the USA (because of course).

Anyway…Laura Prepon walked past, minding her own business, but was dressed in full Alex Vause costume (because of course actors ALWAYS get around town in their character’s costume…especially when it’s a prison uniform 🤔). She was chatting to the shop keeper as she went.

As she came back past me with her milk, I smiled and told her how wonderful she is in Orange is the New Black and how much CC & I were enjoying the show (as in a lot).

She gave me a fleeting, exasperated glance and hurried to the counter to pay.

I shrugged and woke up.

Clearly I was in the supermarket to buy consciousness.

— IEK

madonna_outfitIt was the big night.

I’d been waiting for this night for MONTHS. The company I worked for organised a June 30 costume party every year and theme was always announced quite a while in advance because these guys were SERIOUS about their costume parties.

The previous year, I’d embraced the idea fully, attending the Superheroes-themed June 30 as Buffy. Because of course! It was the first time my colleagues at this company had seen me presenting as I felt.

This year the theme was 80s, so I was going as Madonna. I had my fishnet gloves, my layered tutu, my leggings and I had THE ATTITUDE.

Well…I thought I did anyway (I did not win best-dressed by any means).

I got myself ready at home, walked to the train station and taken the train into the city for the party. I knew I could kind of almost pass for female if people weren’t paying much attention, so for the most part, I just got the standard woops & crow-calls any woman gets when she’s out in fishnet gloves and a layered tutu (yes, it’s a pretty fucked world…you know unless you’re a white, cis, hetero male). For the most part, when I would present as the gender I felt, I would look down and hope my wig would cover my face sufficiently.

Of course on the train there were a few kids and kids ALWAYS pay attention. They were asking uncomfortable questions of their parents, so I just smiled.

Smiling at strangers is certainly something presenting as my non-birth gender has encouraged in me. I’ve found people who appear to be ready to antagonise or are giving a disparaging look don’t big_smilequite know what to do when the person they’re offended by smiles at them. And of course most people (you know – normal people) just smile back.

When I arrived at the train station in the city, I came out through the turnstiles to find a group of late teenagers chatting loudly along the wall I had to walk past to get to the party venue. My stomach immediately knotted. I knew late teens. I’d even been one (no, really). They tended not to care who they offended so long as whatever they were saying induced a laugh in the crowd they were hanging out with. I really didn’t want teasing or abuse of any sort, so I smiled (of course) and kept walking as fast as I could.

totoro_walkTo my surprise the only thing one of the said was: “Are you a DUDE!?!”

And that was it. I smiled extra wide for him and was on my way.

I arrived at the venue and was a little hot from my walk to and from the station, so I lined up to check in my jacket in the cloak room. It wasn’t a very Madonna jacket anyway. While I was standing there, a lady I’d not met before started chatting to me and after I began responding she gasped and touched my arm.

“OH! I’m so sorry!” she said. “I thought you were a girl!”

To which I smiled and just said “Thank you”.

This lovely co-worker was not the first, nor the last to believe I was a cisgendered female and every time it happened, if gave me a sense of joy.

It was around this time that I realised I needed to learn to walk like a girl.hale_walk

Now I know what you’re going to say: what the hell is that supposed to mean? Well hear me out. I’ve spent a lot of years casually observing people and adapting my own walk (among other things) to the way I wanted to be perceived and I can tell you: on average there are subtle, but important, differences.

When we swing our arms while we’re walking, it is extremely annoying (and destabilising) to bump them into things – expecially things which are connected to us. The shape of the average woman and the shape of the average man are different in quite specific ways. To avoid bumping our hands or arms into the bits which protrude from our bodies, we all hold our arms in a certain way. The average woman has larger hips, a narrower waist, smaller rib cage and narrower shoulders than the average man and so, on average, women hold their wrists and hands further out from their bodies and their elbows fall closer in than men’s do. Conversely, on average, men’s elbows fall slightly further out and they hold their hands and wrists closer in than women because of the specific parts of their bodies which are larger/smaller.

Due to the larger hips on the average woman and the larger shoulders on the average man, the movement we perceive with our eyes is also greater in those areas (because there is literally more stuff moving).

gosling_walkThere is also a difference to the way in which we hold out knees while we walk. Males tend to splay their knees to allow more room between their thighs (because the alternative can be literally painful), while women tend to keep their knees (and thighs) closer together. Women also tend to walk with different rhythm of rise & fall of their body – this is mainly because there are some things on their chests which move as a result of this rise & fall. It’s difficult to explain, but there is an element of breasts having an impact on the rise & fall, but also the woman controlling her walk to reduce the movement of her breasts & any pain associated (yes, boys – pain). Men don’t really have this, so their walk can be more jarring.

Subtle though they may be – these are purely physical differences.

Yes, there is a broad spectrum of body types and walks and I very much know the overt stereotype of both women and men (often perpetuated by people trying to appear more masculine or more feminine themselves), but the physical differences are real and they do have an effect on the way people walk as well as the way people perceive the gender of the walker.

What I’ve had to do (over time) is try my best to not over-play any particular motion. As with most thing during a transition, I got it hilariously wrong in the early stages.

Over the years, I’ve tried to adopt a more feminine gait when I’ve been presenting female, but of course, when you’re not doing it all the time, it’s easy to revert back to the more masculine manner of walking. More recently, I’ve tried to simulate broader hips by wearing clothing which pokes out from my hips (A-frame skirts; longer skater dresses), while trying simultaneously to keep
my elbows in a little more. I’ve tried DESPERATELY not to exaggerate this motion and (I think, after 20 years) I’m starting to get more of a natural flow to it. Heels help because the way they force priss_armour_2you to walk (shorter steps, butt out, straight back, heel first) is something people only ever subconsciously associate with women.

CC hates all of this. Why try to affect something which is not natural?

And I get that, I do, but…

…well…it’s because it feels better to be less noticed and in order to be less noticed, before I step outside, I have to put on my armour.

My walk is just one piece of my armour.

— IEK

knee_ouch_2So this morning sucked.

I’m sure you’ve had these mornings yourself – mornings when nothing seemed to go right, you ended up bit late or hurting yourself or crashing the car or all of the above.

To be perfectly honest, this morning wasn’t as bad as ALL THAT, in so much as I didn’t crash the car and I wasn’t especially late, but I did manage to hurt myself and I as I sat nursing a bruised and swollen knee, I decided to do a minor deconstruction of just how it happened.

So yesterday I got home from work and noticed that our garage door was slightly up (rather than fully closed). I knew what this meant – the start/stop mechanism on the motor was out of alignment. Again.

A-FUCKING-GAIN.

When this happens it means the door won’t shut, it touches the ground-level, then opens right back up again unless you physically grab hold of the door & stop it (hence slightly up). IT. IS. SO. ANNOYING.

Side note: Glideroll and I are not friends.

I didn’t get time to fix it last night, so I resolved to do it today. But first we had to get the kids to school. There were to usual protests, refusals, compromises and concessions, but finally they were all at school or preschool and I could get on with fixing the garage door before I started work.

I needed to get it done fast because I had a LOT of work to do, so I started unloading paint tins from the shed (I needed room to fit the ladder in the space below the garage door motor). Of course in my haste, I dropped one of the paint tins and, while I did save it from spilling all of its paint by half-catching it with my foot, it left a large spurt of paint on the stone.

*Sigh*sigh

At least it didn’t hurt my foot – RIGHT?

The stone is semi-porous and the paint was water-based, so I resolved to hose it away rather than wipe it away. I unhooked the hose, it got caught on things, kinked (because it’s shitty and needs to be replaced), it stopped spraying intermittently, it annoyed me, but eventually I hosed the paint away.

Finally I went and got the ladder, wiped the spider webs off it, extended it, locked it in and stepped up ready to get this thing done fast.

Of course the ladder is also cheap and shitty and is a straight ladder, so its rungs are round and made of aluminium and my shoes were wet, so the first thing that happened as I stepped onto it was I slipped off one of the high steps, straight down and bashed my knee on the lower rungs.

And it really did fucking hurt.

I went inside, gasping and hopping, retrieved one of our ice packs and sat thinking about how it would’ve been so much – SO MUCH – faster to be more careful with the bloody paint tins.

Happy Thursday.

— IEK

PS: I’ve since fixed the garage door mechanism.

PPS: Glideroll and I still aren’t friends.

PPPS: I probably now have spiders in my wig and I’ve only just thought about it.

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