Night Tales


Just before dawn, a sleeping Mr FD announced mournfully, “I don’t have any wings left.”

Had he used up his personal supply of wings?

Was he retailing them and had a sudden rush on wings?

Had the fairies called and found his cupboard bare?

Another one of life’s mysteries.

Reliquaries, fuddling cups, turnips and Mr FD.

Petite Fille declared this elephant "silly" for standing on his head on the banks of the Brisbane River. Obviously, it forgot which way was up!

Petite Fille declared this elephant “silly” for standing on his head on the banks of the Brisbane River. Obviously, it forgot which way was up!


Thankfully, I am not in a position to be involved in disaster management for the Queensland Museum’s current exhibition, Medieval Power : Symbols and Splendour.   During our visit, yesterday, as part of Mr FD’s birthday celebration, we played a game of “what two items would you save” and my choice did not fall to papal rings, or a saintly reliquary. I chose a combination ear scoop and tooth pick, and a minuscule fuddling cup.

To me, they were the most interesting artefacts in the display, and preferred over the dozens of noble seals that were on display. We debated whether the word befuddled orientated from the concept of a fuddling cup, on the journey home. We all agreed it probably did.

Prior to visiting the exhibition we (Mr FD, Daughter1, Petite Fille, my sister and I) enjoyed a lovely lunch at the GOMA Bistro, overlooking the Brisbane River. We toasted Mr FD with a glass of white. I chose the watercress, peach, salami, truffled mozzarela and capers salad, as did my sister which did not disappoint either of us. Mr FD chose the steak. Later we enjoyed slice of Opera cake with coffee before we drove back to The Village.

Petite Fille, unlike most children rarely falls asleep in a the car, but after a swimming lesson in the morning and a day walking around museums and galleries, for once succumbed to slumber.

She had been quite excited that the day was to celebrate Grandpa’s birthday. I had barely risen from bed when she was pleading to make Grandpa a birthday cake. I made the mistake of allowing her to sort through my collection of cake tins, and that is how we came to bake a ginger cake in a gingerbread man tin! Ho ho Grandpa!

I think it was one of the more memorable birthdays of recent times for Mr FD. He continued his celebrations into the evening, enjoying a drink or two before bed. The day must have led to the land of dreams, for I heard him mutter in his sleep, “I can’t help it, it is turning into a turnip!”

Night Tales

night tales

3:13 am

Mr FD: Tell me everything you know about giraffes.

FD: Giraffes? Am I still sleep? Giraffes have very long necks and very long tongues that are purple?

Mr FD: Tell me about  their necks. How many bones do you think they have in their necks?

FD: Who does pop quizzes at 3 in the morning?  They have lots?

Mr FD : Actually they have about the same number as you do, the bones are just very large. And their hearts? Tell me about their hearts.

FD: The heart must be very strong to pump the blood up their necks to their brains?

Mr FD: Correct! There was no mistaking the pride in his voice for his pupil. The values in their circulatory system regulates the flow of the blood so that it doesn’t rush back down their necks too fast, or soon.

FD: Of course.

Mr FD: That is enough facts about giraffes for now.

3:18 am Mr FD rolls over and falls happily to sleep. FD does not.


5:30 am.

Augie Dog, who had previously been lying quietly by the bed, starts to become restless. FD draws the short end of the dog straw and rises to take Augie outside.

Standing at the open door, the frosty winter air hitting my face, I look out, worshipping the tall gum trees in our garden. Augie, behind me, appears hesitant to go outside. I turn to entreat him to go outside to “toilet”.

Augie looks up at me, as though he has just seen me for the first time.  If a dog can recoil in horror, Augie does; for his expression if he had been an Aussie male would have been accompanied by the words “f**king, bloody, hell!” This was accompanied by my beloved pet sitting back on his hind quarters and performing a half spin backwards across the floor. He did not venture outside.

Returning to the bedroom, I glanced in the mirror. My hair was standing vertically upright, like short, grey soldiers on parade; the eyelid over my artificial eye only partially open. Even with no eye glasses, I knew what Augie had been communicating.



The authoritative male television newsreader’s voice reported, “…and this is Pope Francis’ first overseas trip since his latest encyclical…”

FD, in the kitchen : I had an encyclical once…

Mr FD from the next room : …but the wheels fell off it!

We’ve been married a very long time.

sweet dreams are not made of this

Ah the soft midnight murmurings of the marital bed…

Mr FD: “Have you ever noticed how much James Caviezel looks like Paul Kennedy?”

FD: “Who and Who?” It’s 2.30 in the morning and I had been asleep for a couple of hours.

Mr FD: “James Caviezel, the actor and Paul Kennedy, the ABC journalist.”

FD: “Don’t know the actor…now go back to sleep.”

Minutes later…

Mr FD : “You have to admit though that James Caviezel looks more like James Caviezel than Paul Kennedy does, and Paul Kennedy looks more like Paul Kennedy than James Caviezel does.”

A pause, then… “I suppose if you extend that out to its end point, you could say that James Caviezel and Paul Kennedy look nothing alike.”



country rhino, city rhino



[Regular readers of FD’s blog will know of Mr FD’s penchant for nocturnal animal conversations and sleep talk – refer to Night Tales]

FD: “You know, ever since we moved to the country, we haven’t had one pygmy rhino in our bathroom.”

Mr FD : “They are city boys. You know how it is with city animals, once they get the taste of take out trash bins, know the regular cycle of the garbage pickup, use indoor plumbing, they can’t handle the particulars of country life. They are just not as resilient as previous generations, just a lazy, me generation.”

Thoughts that keep me awake at night

Some of the thoughts that keep me awake at night:

Do I need to pee?

If I don’t pee, will I pee in my sleep?

Did Mr FD lock the front door?

Did Mr FD remember to be on the interior side of the door when he locked it?

Am I hot? (This can be examined two ways, but as I am secure in the knowledge that I am hot, the quandary in this instance relates to body temperature.)

Will I be a good looking corpse?

Which kid is going to care for me best in my old age?

How often do I have to visit Mr FD in the old man’s home to stop the staff talking about me?

Will my feet shrink as I age?

If I was Edward Snowdon what escape route would I have arranged for myself from Hong Kong?

Should I wear the black black, or the black tomorrow?

Is it really possible to do a deal with the devil?

Can I block book waxing treatments before I enter the old ladies home?

Why do so many of the local women walk the streets barefoot?

Should I stop telling myself where I hid the chocolate?

Will Augie Dog grow up with abandonment and identity issues because he was adopted into a family of different ethnicity, and species?

What will I take for lunch tomorrow?

Do the navy shoes smell too much to risk wearing to a meeting in the boardroom?

Do I have to read this month’s book club choice?

Will anyone ever love me as much as I love me?