Heading Off


Why is it when our kids have a bit of fun dressing themselves Tracey thinks it’s cute, but when I do it…

I snapped up the car keys as I walked through the kitchen this morning.

“I’ll be back in half an hour,” I told Tracey. “I’ve just got to drop something off on Southside.”

She looked up and said, after a very definite pause, “What are you doing?”

We’d been up until 1am packing bags, and putting our Tetris skills to good use fitting them all into the spaces in the car the kids wouldn’t need, so that we could get away to the Gold Coast at a decent hour. Tracey has a photography workshop to attend which she booked before her ill health, and as I don’t work a 9 to 5 anymore I’d decided to make the most of the school holidays and go with her and spend a few days using our annual theme park passes which, again, we got before she nearly left us.

As she knew all this I assumed she meant why was I deserting her just when she was about to step things up and put her outfit and face on.

“You’re still getting ready,” I told her, “so I thought I’d do this now and that way we don’t have to stop off before we leave. We’ll save ourselves a bit of time.”

The kids were so keen to go they were already dressed – shoes and all – and clutching their various electronic devices and power leads.

“I mean,” said Tracey, with an audible sigh, “what are you doing wearing that thing on your head?”

Grinning, I reached up and adjusted the biker scarf. I don’t know if that’s actually what it’s called, but that’s the hard-ass, man-up way I like to think of it. Actually, I’d forgotten I put it on. When I was pulling out half a dozen undies to take with me I found a head scarf in the drawer which I’d bought when I did a cheese making course. I figured I could wear it to the theme parks to avoid getting burnt on my sadly thinning cranium. It was this or an Akubra I’d fleeced off my brother. I love ‘my’ Akubra, but I didn’t like it’s chances of surviving Wet’n’Wild, so I was pleased to come up with an alternative.

I could have explained all this to Tracey, but I was keen to get moving. Instead, I kept my explanation nice and simple.

“I’m trying out a new look,” I said.

Tracey’s always been better than me at most things. By way of example, I thought I was being succinct in my reply, but she managed to fit a whole paragraph into just one word.


Maybe she has a point. And by maybe I mean she has a point.

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”


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