Category Archives: The World According To Kat

Do you hear a soundtrack to your life, too?

Not all the time, not even always when I want it, my brain provides a soundtrack to my life. I am a 38 year old working mother, wife, all round responsible human being. My brain is about 23, I think. Which places her in 1999. She’s a bit of a loose cannon, a little unreliable, easily distracted by shiny things and prone to procrastination and wearing too much black while giggling in alcoves.

I was running in a half marathon tonight (well, half of one thanks to some terrible weather), and my brain (which was quietly amused that my life has come to this, when exercise was just something I did while dancing for so many years) and I had carefully chosen a running playlist. The songs which really took me away while I ran soaking wet through a Brisbane storm were Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” (I was so very in love with John Cusack in “Say Anything. He was and still is my idea of the perfect romantic hero. Flawed, devoted, slightly broken), Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic” (that song is a musical glass of wine at sunset) and Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” (yep, the one from 50 Shades. Sexy as hell, that song). There was some Mark Ronson and Tijuana Cartel in there that made me pick up my feet, but they didn’t transport.

I’m helpless against Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” – it’s Stav and my song. The first time we heard it together, we were at a music festival with thousands of other people, but we were in our own world. We’d not been together long, but he was already John Cusack in Say Anything, all of the ballads Nick Cave wrote (I’d eventually walk down the aisle to The Ship Song), he’s the familiarity of Barenaked Ladies’ The Old Apartment, and he’ll always be the magnetism of Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter”.

When I’m angry, I hear Nine Inch Nails. Or sometimes, incongruously, They Might Be Giants. Which is a good thing. It’s hard to be full of rage when “Birdhouse in Your Soul” is in your head. Or, even better, “Your Racist Friend”. Which also takes me straight back to my first house after I left home – good friends, too much tofu, a cat who enjoyed leaving possum parts strewn through the house and my first taste of what being a grown up looks like.

When I need to come up with a soothing song in a hurry for Rors, its either “Castle On A Cloud” from Les Mis, “Patience” or “Sweet Child of Mine” by GnR or that really creepy song about a cradle falling from a tree and killing the baby. What the hell is all that about?

There are more tracks, of course. More triggers, more ways for my 23 year old brain to act out. Am I alone in this? Do other people have errant jukeboxes in their heads?

Right, 2015. Your turn.

2014 has been a tricky old beast. Planes keep falling out of unsuspecting skies, one unhinged lunatic makes Australia feel the spiky fear of terrorism and the acid aftertaste of xenophobia, Ebola gets mobile, Robin Williams takes this own life and we all try chia seeds to make it all feel better. All the good news gets a little lost in the more primal morass of loss, war and death. But good things did happen in 2014. Really good things. A Colorado man made history at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory  when he became the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear and simultaneously control two of the Laboratory’s Modular Prosthetic Limbs. Simply, he made both his new arms move by thinking about moving them. An Ohio teen took his great grandmother to the prom because she was far too poor to go to such a thing when she was young. Couples who fought through multiple miscarriages finally made their miracle children. People who should be dead from cancer are still with us. 

I’m not here to give you a modern history lesson. I’m just saying, globally, we had our highs and lows. And my year failed to buck that trend. I ran over my 20 year old cat on the way to a gig and still had to do the gig with the image of her final moments on a loop in my head. I’ve been ill more than I’ve been well and spent quite a deal of time and money getting my physical and mental health on track. I didn’t get the job I’ve long dreamed of and worked my ass off to earn. But I’ve also spent the year getting to know my daughter. She was a cute baby, but she’s an astonishingly awesome little girl. She’s funny, she’s crazy smart, just plain crazy and now looks me in the eye and says “I love you very much, Mumma”. Those exact words. With those meltingly beautiful hazel eyes. And followed by a “big huge cuddle”. I’ve had some great words said directly at my eyes before. “You got the gig”, “its not thyroid cancer”, “your mum and dad will both make it out of this awful day alive”, “I do”. But nothing prepared me for the incredible lightness of her love. And falling more in love with her daddy as I see him through her eyes.

My closest friends saw me laid completely low. And they still love me. I went back to sea for the first time since Rorsa was born. My beautiful husband has had his livelihood challenged, and his heart bruised.  I’m just hoping 2015 is a little less mercurial for all of us. And that I have the strength to be clearer in what I need from the people in my life, and what I can’t and won’t accept. I’ve never been good at that. It’s equal parts not wanting to hurt them, and garden variety cowardice, I think.  But it isn’t serving me well. I hope all the promises I’ve made myself about listening better, running more and stressing less come to fruition. That I do well in my new course, that I get to teach more lovely students this year, that my Rors and her dad stay healthy and happy and that a new kitty might be in our futures would all be tops. Of course, an end to the fighting in the Middle East, no planes falling out of the sky, less bigotry and fear mongering in my beloved Australia and a good year for all the people I love would be good too.

FRANK – my TV show now available to watch any time ..

Frank is about the guests, and about their stories. It’s called Frank because I ask two guests per episode to tell true stories from their lives frankly, and ask them to trust me and their fellow guest that their vulnerability will not be their undoing. I’m very proud of their courage, and the fact that each and every one of them stepped up to the plate and made each episode hilarious and unique. They went to air 9pm Wednesdays in late 2014.

Every episode has a different theme and new guests – Here’s the link to 31 Digital’s youtube page to see every episode at your leisure.

The Wrong Show –   Stav & Labby in one of their final TV appearances together after their successful national Couch Time show and their B105 breakfast radio partnership came to an end at the end of 2014. 

Zoo Tales –  Scott Black and Cameron Duggan – the 31 Digital boss and up and coming comedic talent sink their teeth into some meaty tales

On The Road –  Jenny Wynter & Rebecca Levingstone – brilliant last comic Jenny and 612 ABC Brisbane illuminati Rebecca are beautiful to watch together as their natural storytelling abilities shine. 

Spooky – Richard  Fidler & Kelly Higgins-Devine – broadcasting powerhouses Richard “Conversations” Fidler and Kelly “Afternoon Delight” Higgins-Devine get scary.

The Love Show – Kiesten Macauley & Joe Shaffer – blogger, improviser and baking goddess Kiesten and Southern gent and brilliant comic Joe bare their romantic souls.

Accidentals Happen –   Chris Wayne and Nick Bartlett – a Naked Magician and a fearless actor. What could possibly go wrong? 


When good mummas go bad and have car chases.

I nearly lost Rors yesterday. And I didn’t handle it well. She’s completely fine, before you spend any time worrying for her. She’s asleep in her big girl bed. Its her second sleep in it and I’m very proud of her. But that’s beside the point.

It had not been a good morning. Rori is snuffly, cranky and generally testing the boundaries as only a nearly-two-year-old can do. By the time we left for our mums and bubs exercise class at PCYC at 9, I had called some adults just to hear the voices of people who were not torturing me.

It was on the way back from PCYC, as we drove in light rain down Baroona Rd, that a huge white Audi SUV came out of a side street at speed. She neither slowed down, nor indicated as she barrelled straight out. If I had not swerved violently, she would have hit us exactly on Rori’s door. I was paying attention, and I knew that there was no car coming toward us in the other direction for me to hit as I accelerated and pulled the wheel down hard to the right. But I’m not always paying that kind of attention, if I’m honest. Sometimes, I’m giving Rori back the dummy she just dropped, or searching in her backpack for ‘more snack’, or ‘some food, mumma’. I would have been half a second late taking evasive action. But I did evade, and all Rori got was a fright.

Here comes the bit I’m not proud of. I’m a little scared of what I’m capable of.

In fear, in shock and in truly spectacular bad judgement, I followed that white Audi. I had to change direction to do it, I took multiple turns as she tried to shake me. We weren’t speeding, but I was clearly in pursuit. I was saying to Rori “we’re ok. You ok, bubba? We’re ok” more times than was necessary as she reacted to the jolt from the swerve and keyed into my stress levels. I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t even know who I was following. I guessed from the car and the lack of speed when she tried to evade me that it was a woman. But I could have been wrong, and put Rori in more danger than she was when we were nearly hit. She pulled over after a few minutes and I opened my door and stood with one foot on the road. I had no intention of attacking her, but she didn’t know that. I didn’t yell. I asked her if she was texting. I asked if she was paying attention. I told her there was a two year old in the car, and I was frightened that she had nearly killed her.

She said sorry. She was clearly frightened. I would have been too. We’ve all made mistakes. And we don’t expect these mistakes to follow us in a black car with heavy tinting, possibly driven by someone who means violence. Maybe she didn’t know that I was a frightened mum. Maybe she thought she was about to be hit. I’m ashamed that I made another person feel like that.  Maybe she’s telling her story to her friends, and maybe she’ll hear about this blog one day. I hope so. If she does, tell her I’m sorry.

For my part, it really does put a rough morning with a trying toddler in perspective.  I can’t say I won’t get stressed when she tests me again. And of course she will. Its how they grow. But I’m thankful she’s here to test me.

Father’s Day Ninjas

It’s Father’s Day today. I never thought I’d see my husband in the role of father, and it is awesome. He is awesome. In the twelve years we were together before Rori came along, I knew that he was patient, kind, loyal and loving. But life before a child is very different. We had so much time. And so much energy. How can you know if those beautiful personality traits will translate into the kind of father that raises the kind of daughter you hope you’ll have?

We never spent much time around kids BR (before Rors), so she is a fascinating little alien who marches to the beat of her own drum, and uses her not inconsiderable brainpower to build opportunities to mess with the heads of her elders. Stav reacts like a parenting ninja most of the time and is there a moment before she needs him almost every time. He can even catch poop in his hands before it hits the floor*. One of the true miracles of him though is that, when he does make a mistake, he doesn’t spend the next 24 hours hamstrung with guilt and second guessings. How is that even humanly possible? I imagine how much I’d get done if I didn’t have to figure in so much wailing and teeth gnashing. I’d probably clean stuff more often. Or knit.

The other piece of amazingness is that he didn’t have anyone in his life to show him how to be a father. He just figured it out and rocks at it. I hope y’all reading this still have your dad around. And I hope he’s a bit of a ninja himself. Mine is. And I hope he knows that I know that.

So to the dads, past and present, who got it right, thank you.


*Ask me how I know..