This is my last article for the year of 2004. What a great year it has been! I have been running around like a chookless head. And I’ve saved absolutely nothing the whole year -“ isn’t it always the way?

Now I was in a dilemma about discussing the next topic, but after numerous hours of consideration I thought, It would be cleansing.

Usually when discussing my family the Shithouse File needs to accompany it also. I am not saying they are terrible but let’s just say the small things all add up and slowly drive me crazy. You know exactly what I am talking about: Well, your sister has a better one, or, If you want to do it that way then.

Except for one, my grandmother Shirley. I think I have spoken about Shirley before -“ she is loud and crazy and she loved to be the centre of attention. I have no idea where I get it from. Only a couple of days ago she was taken by the big monster Cancer. Which was such a surprise, being only 67 years old, and going from a member of council, social worker and part-time marriage celebrant to a frail old lady hooked up to morphine. One of my last conversations with her was via phone. She even commented, These drugs are fabulous, darling. I will see if I can sneak some out for you.

With the tightest permed hair and always a full face of make-up, this old country chook was a very hard worker and taught me some of the finer things in life.

Always use -˜darling’ if you forget their names, she would tell me. And before you meet anyone, lick your teeth before you smile -“ you don’t want to look cheap like your aunty Kat.

And I will never forget those afternoons after a hard day at work and she tumbled in. Normally cocktail hour starts at 5pm but we are going to start early today because of the slut boss of mine. Get me out the cask, she would say. After a few wines and a huge dinner that seemed to miraculously appear, we would end up on the lounge in tears laughing.

I don’t want you all thinking that I am leaving you on a down note. I believe the importance of family and friends in our community keeps us all sane and the people we choose to be. You never know when they are going to be gone, so enjoy them while you can. I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and an even better New Year. Watch out for DragStar 2005 -“ bigger and better than ever.

I love you, Nanna, and I am going to miss you.

Love, Maxi/Kris

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