Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Curious Case of the Traveling Car Keys


I am often losing my car keys (and my phone, hairbrush and handbag, but this blog is about my car keys).

On Thursday I had a busy day planned but in the excitement of Julia becoming PM, I found myself glued to the TV instead of getting organised.

So that is why at 10am in a mad rush I dressed myself and my son, threw cookie dough in a box, printed off addresses, threw some snacks and nappies in a bag, strapped the toddler into the car seat, fed the cat, grabbed my phone and handbag and addresses and the cat biscuits and got in the car…..

Got out of the car and put the cat biscuits back while shaking my head and wondering what on earth I had planned to do with those. Got back in the car and went to put my keys in the ignition…. Where are the keys?.. I’m sure I had them.

I upturned my handbag – nope. I rummaged through the pile of stuff on the passenger seat… nope.
I got out of the car again and searched the dinner table, the kitchen bench, the bedside table – all the usual hiding places for my keys. nope, nope and nope.

Then I saw hubby’s keys. Hazzah! he doesn’t need keys because I have the car and I pick him up and drop him off from the train station – I shall use his keys and find mine later!

Victorious, I jumped in the car with keys in hand and started her up. I punched in my first destination into Susan, my GPS. 82ks to Kazz’s house – off I go.

Got to Kazz’s in record time thanks to my new habit of driving on the toll roads with my beepy e-tag instead of trying to discover creative ways to save $1 and driving $3 worth of petrol out of my way –

After a lovely visit with Kazz and Lyn and kids Lachy and Brookie and the famous baby Nico, I punched my next destination into the GPS and headed to the Palace of Magistus only 8.2kms away. After a flying visit to drop off cookie dough and to check that her kids are real and as cute as they look online and not just photo-shopped, I was off to Dorothy’s – 19kms away to drop off more cookie dough, have a cuppa and let Millar destroy her house – just another one of the services I offer.

I lost track of time and received a text from hubby advising me he was now on a train and would see me soon… at the station… 51kms away – in rush hour… oh good.

I left in a hurry and punched HOME into Susan and off I went, keeping to the speed limit of course, I found the traffic to be surprisingly smooth and I made it to pick up hubby in just over an hour.
Hubby had left the train station and was getting himself Dinner at the local fine dining establishment run by a very hungry bloke called Jack.

As he got into the passenger seat he grabbed my car keys…..
and asked me why they were there.

“They were where” I asked?

Apparently they were hooked onto the end of the window wiper, balancing precariously on the edge of the windscreen on the outside of the car.
They had traveled 161kms – most of that at speeds above 80km.

I am still stunned that they managed to stay on.

I’m also surprised that while I had my car parked at each location, that a passerby didn’t seize the opportunity to take the keys and liberate the vehicle… although If I saw a car with keys on the windscreen I would think it was a badly disguised trap by some bored idiot who wishes candid camera was still on TV and who is clearly watching from that bush over there.

I have definitely learned my lesson and will not put the keys on the bonnet of the car while packing cookie dough into boxes. In fact I resolve to put the keys in a place specifically for my keys… as soon as I find them..

My Wedding

I thought it was time I actually posted a blog about the big’s been and gone now and boy am I glad it’s all over, but I love looking at the photos and my shiny new ring.
I should start with some background.Darren and I have been together for 5 years and engaged for 4.5 of those.

Everytime we started planning the wedding I would look at the cost and think of all the other things we could do with that ridiculous amount of money. All I could see was way too many dollar signs and a day where I am in a stupid puffy dress and everyone is looking at me. Not really my scene. So we kept putting it off.

We then moved to Australia from New Zealand and pretty soon after that had our first child.

We were asked by at least one person if we would be getting married before the child was born.

What??? is this the 50’s?? NO. we’ve decided to continue living in sin and spend the money on nappies actually!

So we did. We kept talking about the wedding and trying to come up with ideas that wouldn’t cost us a fortune. We refused to go into debt for a party. I was quite happy with the idea of a registry office with only the legal witnesses attending. But no. We decided on something inbetween.

Invite the family (and only the family) over from NZ and if they wanted to come they would and if not, then no worries.
We would have a back yard BBQ type wedding with no frills but plenty of drinks.
I would make my own dress and we would DIY the whole thing.

So we sent out the invitations and started planning.

Then I got pregnant.

That cured the “plenty of drinks” option for me. It also gave me a reason to buy a dress (why i didn’t make my own wedding dress)

So fast forward to the day. We had a house full of guests – we had my mum and her husband staying and also my sister in law and her husband in another guest room.

They had been staying for a few days leading up to the wedding but somehow we had not realised that if 6 adults try to shower on the same morning – someone would have a cold shower.

My wedding day was the day we found that out. The cold shower was mine. So far my day was just peachy.

We had McDonalds for breakfast (hmm nutritious) and I started on my hair and makeup.
I was ready 30 minutes ahead of schedule and we set out to the Geelong botanical gardens to get our photos done (yep, before the ceremony). It was just me and hubby to be and our son and my mum (to take care of the toddler while we were getting couply pics done).

The photographers were fantastic! They were helpful with my dress and shoes and helping me climb over soggy tree roots to get a good shot. For 5 hours of work (including travel to Geelong) and a disc with 548 gorgeous photos – we only paid about $600. This was about a third of the price of other quotes we received. photo moods photography are the best!

Anyway, we finished up the photos and we were all getting in the car ready to head home when Millar takes a tumble out of the car and lands on his head. The giant egg with accompanying bruise appears quickly. Poor boy. a few hugs from mummy and he was ok again – and all I could think was “thank god most of the photos have already been taken”.

We get back to the house and I reapply my lippy and freshen up. I wait in my room for Darren to sort the guests out and come and get me.

I start to get emotional. CRAP!! I don’t do emotional! especially not in
front of people.

The music starts – it’s our song – INXS, never tear us apart… and I just lose it. I find some tissues, clean myself up and stuff some spare tissues down my top because I know that’s not the last of my tears.

Hand in hand, Darren and I walk out of our room into the organza and fairy light palace that

used to be our dining room.
Everyone is smiling these big cheshire smiles and I can’t make eye contact with anyone because I’ll cry.

We stand beside the celebrant and she starts her introduction.
We get to the vows and it’s all a big tearful blur. We are both in tears and trying to hold it together.

This is RIDICULOUS! we are hardcore! Darren was a heavy metal drummer and I’ve been called the ice queen on more than one occasion. Where the hell are these tears coming from?

Millar brings us the rings on cue like the gorgeous angel that he is ….

….and then we are soon pronounced husband and wife and we get to kiss. There are more tears and I use tissues from my top and offer some to Darren. It’s all class!

Then people are everywhere hugging and kissing us and congratulations and what not.
The photographers start taking some family shots and then we wait for the Indian food to arrive (the only thing that day that didn’t run on time) but we have party pies and other finger food to fill in time. I manage to shovel down some spinach triangles and drink my beautiful fake wine.

Then the food arrives – everyone is seated and we set up the buffet and people start eating and talking amongst themselves.

It’s not a hugely easy party atmosphere on account of the guests. Our parents are all divorced and repartnered so there are 4 people that used to be married to each other and their new partners and everyone is trying to be polite and it’s all a bit awkward really.

Darren’s sister and her husband are the only siblings that could make it. But I was starting to wish we had invited random strangers just to help with the conversation.

I couldn’t wait to get out of my dress and into some comfy clothes. And I was exhausted.

Like I said before – I am so glad it’s over and if I had to do it again – I wouldn’t.

But I’m glad the photos look good because after all the leftover curry is gone and the dress is put away and the relatives have all left on jet planes… what have you got?

new name, new jewellery, and some fantastic photos to show the grandkids.


Identity crisis

Where is your identity?

I’ve been thinking about identity a fair bit lately. I recently got married and took my husband’s name. I was asked by another woman if I felt like I’d lost my identity when I did that.

No, not at all. I’ve never attached my identity to my surname.

If you had have asked me 10 years ago if I would change my name when I got married the answer would have been a defiant “hell no”. But I was a teenage feminist idealist with some strange ideas.

I like having the same last name as my son and future children and hyphenating the name seemed silly. (my first name is hyphenated and how many hyphens does one need?) And besides, I share my maiden name with a psychotic cult leader serial killer with a swastika on his head so I guess there was always that hanging in the background.

I have lived in Australia for 3 years now and have started a family here but I am a New Zealander.

I am thinking about becoming an Australian citizen just so I can vote. I think maybe it’s important to be a part of the decision making process that chooses the governing body of the country your children are growing up in.

It doesn’t make me less of a kiwi to change the document I travel on, surely. I still love Dave Dobbyn and Watties sauce and I was a marching girl. I can sing the New Zealand national anthem in Maori, I played netball and ate fish and chips on the beach. No one can take that all away from me.

I’m a kiwi – I just live in Australia.

My husband isn’t too sure, he is also a kiwi but I think giving up the NZ passport means a bit more to him than just a document. I’ve promised him that if I become Australian, I promise not to make sheep jokes or ask him to say fush and chups as long as we don’t talk about the underarm bowling incident or pavlova.

I struggle more with the concept of cutting my hair short than I did with changing my name or my nationality. Is my identity in my hair length? Should this concern me?

Back when the internet was new and shiny and I was signing up to my first chat room at the age of 16, I was trying to get a name to use in the chat room.

All my ideas had been taken, I thought I was original but apparently moonbeam, rosebud, lady darkness or white witch weren’t as original as I had hoped. I threw my hands down on the keyboard in frustration and came up with Zyfka. And that was my online name for several years.

I now use my real name as my online name – my mum gave me an unusual name, it seems silly not to use it. I like my name. It doesn’t change when I get married, become an Australian or even when I cut my hair.

I recently had my email and facebook accounts hacked. Now that was a weird feeling. Someone was on the internet pretending to be me. I live on the internet. I felt strangely violated.

That’s when I realised where my identity really was. It’s online. I’m probably more honest in forums than I am in real life. The real me gets out more online.

At home I am Millar’s mum and that’s ok too, I love that part of me.

But I will always be Toushka.

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, kiwi, blogger.


So I guess maybe we all attach our identity in different ways and to different aspects of ourselves.

So what makes you, you?


Things women should quit by 30.

I was listening to Charli Delaney on the radio this morning and she was talking about this list.
So naturally I googled it and found the list on
This list is shamelessly copy and pasted from that site.

There are some silly childish behaviours that some woman are still doing well into their 30’s – and beyond in some cases.
here is the list:

  1. Buying clothes from the junior section.
  2. Forgetting her parents’ birthdays.
  3. Making out with her BFFs at bars for attention.
  4. Making out with her boyfriend at bars for attention.
  5. Filling her bed with stuffed animals (really, even one is too many).
  6. Carrying a torch for anyone she hasn’t seen in the last five years.
  7. Rebelling against her parents for the sake of rebelling against her parents.
  8. Declaring an entire gender “all jerks.”
  9. Holding a grudge against anyone who wronged her in high school.
  10. Skipping regular gyno exams.
  11. Going to bed without washing and moisturizing her face.
  12. Being “that person” who had a bit too much to drink at the office party.
  13. Crushing on Justin Bieber.
  14. Thinking she’s got it all figured out.
  15. Calling her father “daddy.”
  16. Engaging in sibling rivalry.
  17. Trying to get by on her looks.
  18. Living paycheck to paycheck.
  19. Expecting a man/knight in shining armor to swoop in and save her.
  20. Aimlessly jumping from job to job.
  21. Using MySpace to pick up guys.
  22. Expecting a man to do all the wooing.
  23. Wishing she had someone else’s life.
  24. Expecting everyone to drop everything because it’s her birthday …
  25. … or because her “boyfriend” of two weeks dumped her.
  26. Measuring her self-worth by a number on the scale.
  27. Being cheap.
  28. Quitting a job without having a new one lined up first (especially in this economy!).
  29. Blaming her mother for all her issues.
  30. Romanticizing her 20s.

My thoughts:

I would like to add more names to the list of people not to crush on at number 13. I think if you are “crushing” on anyone after the age of 30, you should grow up. This includes anyone from twilight. “crushing” is a word best left in the teen years. You may have a healthy appreciation for a celebrity, even only aesthetically – but no crushing.

Number 8 is a personal pet hate of mine. Declaring all men to be jerks or idiots is stupid and sexist and childish. There are no boy germs and if you married him then he’s your problem – don’t blame the whole male species for your husband’s failings. I have an awsome husband and guess what? he’s male! and so is my son so stop perpetuating this myth that all men are losers and get the hell over it! I don’t want to live in a world where the constant oppression of males is ok. It’s not feminist either. It’s wrong and just as stupid as racism.

number 29, blaming your mother for your issues – infact stop blaming your parents full stop. All parents (including you) will manage to &%$# up their kids. It’s what happens. But by 30 you should have dealt with it and moved on. You are now a grown up and responsible for your own issues. If you haven’t dealt with residual baggage from childhood then it is your own fault and not your parents.

I understand that for some people, living paycheck to paycheck is not a choice. I think that should be changed to “being irresponsible with money”. I remember paying for my boozy weekends but not the power bill – these days I have a colour coded budget and am saving for a house.

I could go on – I have something to say about most of the list. But basically it should be the new bible! Except for the use of the word BFF – that needs to go too.

What would you add to the list? What are your thoughts?
Or do you disagree with everything and believe that you should still be able to hate all men and cuddle your collection of beanie babies while staring at a picture of the ever so dreamy Edward?.