Streaking Out

Have you ever had rock candy? Hey, I’m talking about lollies not some euphemism for crack cocaine. This is a family-friendly blog. You know, that hard sweetie they roll into long tubes of sugary, colourful fun and then slice up like some sweet tooth’s version of kabana.


Fruit salad rock candy from Red Balloon Candy

I remember standing at the window of more than one confectionary establishment watching the candy man or candy woman rolling out the soft and pliable candy dough and wondering what the end product would look like – would it be a rainbow of colours, an interior designer’s dream of colour scheming or, if they were really clever, would there be a word or picture through that sugar rope?

I wonder what you would look like as a piece of rock candy? What runs through the middle of you? (That’s not a literal question. I don’t need to see what a dissection of a human body would look like, thank you very much.)

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase that someone may have a “streak of madness”. What’s your streak? Maybe you have more than one. Maybe you’d be a rainbow of streakiness if you turned into rock candy.

I’ve spoken before about my inherent streak of stubbornness. It’s what got me through training for and completing my first marathon. Despite the voices telling me I’d never make it, that stubborn streak just wouldn’t let me give up. That streak took over again recently when I put myself through a process I’d sworn I’d never do again because my first experience had crushed my self-confidence. But when the opportunity arose, that stubborn part of me just wouldn’t let it beat me and I felt compelled to give it another shot. That stubborn streak is so hard, I reckon it would rival an Everlasting Gobstopper.


You mean one of these?

However, if you sliced me up, it wouldn’t just be the word “stubborn” through the middle. I can be pretty streaky.

There’s the Freak Streak for starters. The one that makes middle-aged me go out in public in fluoro orange sneakers and a hoodie saying “I am a Whovian Mum. Just like a normal mum except much cooler.” The one that dresses up in a nerd costume for a trivia night even though it’s not a dress up event.

Then there’s definitely a stereotypical streak of madness. What else would make me take on a marathon at age 50? Or decide I could put together my own she-shed with no building skills whatsoever?

There’s a wobbly and uneven streak we’ll call a combination of over-thinking and lack of self-confidence. Sometimes it’s a thick streak and sometimes you can hardly see it.

A crafty/arty streak definitely flows through me. It’s not a particularly refined one and is probably a bit lumpy with undissolved sugar but it goes through my core.


I want this shirt. (©


I’m not sure the MOSY Rock Candy would be a bestseller and it certainly wouldn’t appear in any of your exclusive confectionery establishments. It’s more likely to be in the clearance bin in amongst the other imperfect packages. But it’s definitely a limited edition.

So, what would your rock candy look like?

Postscript: The day after I wrote the first draft of this post, the most famous rock candy manufacturer in Australia, Castlemaine Rock, announced they were closing their doors. Tapping into the zeitgeist…

Castlemaine Rock

Vale Castlemaine Rock 😦

Jekyll And Hyde – Living With The Human Condition

Have you ever wished you could excise the worst sides of yourself from your personality as easily as you might have a wart removed?

Ever wished there was the neural equivalent of a plastic surgeon?

“Doctor, I’d like a quick nip and tuck on my Talks Too Much.”

“Doctor, can you give me a reduction on my overdeveloped Propensity To Be Resentful / Competitive / Rude?”

We each have a little bit of Hyde inside us. Those dark and ugly elements of our personality we’d rather others didn’t see but have the inconvenient habit of breaking out at inopportune moments. It’s a pity Dr Jekyll wasn’t successful in creating a formula to remove those unwanted aspects of ourselves. (If he’d been real, of course.)

It’s not that many of us would launch into a murderous rage, breaking the civilised and cultured persona we present to the world but I’m sure all of us have something about us that we’d rather didn’t exist. Perhaps we’re prone to bragging or interrupting people or laughing inappropriately or… There’s a myriad of ways in which we are constantly reminded that we are imperfect beings full of frailties and faults despite our best efforts to present only our Jekyll side to the world.

In an age of increasing online identity, this apparent split in the best and worst sides of ourselves has become even more pronounced.

In our online persona, we can reveal the best of ourselves and hide the worst. It is not that we present a false image of ourselves online but that it is possible to keep the worst of our traits at bay. We can open the door and stand in the glorious light of goodness while we keep the dark and ugly locked in a wardrobe in the back room.

In the real world, that inappropriate response to a question is blurted out before we can think better of it. In the online world, we have the opportunity to think twice (or even thrice) about an answer before hitting the Send button and delete it if we wish before it’s too late.

What does that mean for our ‘online only’ relationships? Do people who only know us through our internet presence have a false idea of who we really are?

Or, in fact, do they get to see our true selves? The person we want to be? The person we know we are inside if only those pesky faults wouldn’t keep spoiling the view for those we meet?

Perhaps it’s why sometimes we find it safer to hide out in the interwebs where we can be the best version of ourselves and pretend the ugly side of our nature doesn’t exist. It’s a safe place to bask in the sun and forget the mistakes that haunt our dreams.

What we need to do is to remind ourselves that our best version does exist even out in the real world, to cut ourselves some slack and to believe that we can be the person we want to be even with our faults and failings. Not always easy (especially if one of your faults is to beat yourself up over every mistake) but better for our wellbeing in the end.

This is the moment
This is the day
When I send all my doubts and demons
On their way
– Jekyll and Hyde (Music by Frank Wildhorn, Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse)


Postscript: Ironically, this post originates from one of my worst traits – my constant agonising over every mistake I’ve made and my continual anguish at not being the perfect mother/wife/daughter/friend. My apologies.



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Born That Way

I have a theory. It’s that people go through life in the manner in which they were born.

I’ve come to this theory through exhaustive research. Which means through watching my three kids. Who are, you know, exhausting.

Child Number One arrived a week late and has been running late ever since. His birth was steady and predictable and that’s pretty much how he approaches each day. He gets there when he needs to with a minimum of fuss.

He goes through life like this:



Child Number Two arrived early and quick and has been in a hurry to do everything ever since. He just got up and walked when he was ready, he toilet-trained in one day and we’ve had to put him in a school with a vertical curriculum so he can zoom through the subjects he’s interested in before he gets bored.

He goes through life like this:



Child Number Three. Sigh. Child Number Three took his sweet time arriving. First he was coming, then he wasn’t. Then he was, then he wasn’t. This went on for 29 hours. Then he decided he was coming and arrived in a rush. So how does that translate into his life? He will show all signs of having caught onto something (sleeping through the night, for example) but then some time later decide he hasn’t (driving his parents mad waking several times a night, for example). He’s got it. No, he hasn’t. He’s got it. No, he hasn’t. And then one day, we’ll realise that he got it permanently some time ago when we weren’t looking. This is also the child who one day will get himself up, dressed, breakfasted, make his lunch and be sitting on the couch ready for school by 7.30am. The next morning he’ll get yelled out of bed at 8am and even then he will stand staring into the pantry wondering what to do next.

He goes through life like this:



Me? Yes, well, I’ll admit that writing this post did prompt me to contact my mother and ask about my own birth. Apparently it was pretty straightforward and boring. I was disappointed. I think I was hoping it was a bit radical or at least interesting. However, it turns out that while my birth was uneventful, the pregnancy was memorable. My mother suffered from contractions on and off through most of the pregnancy. That’s definitely me. As a wanderer and Jack of All Trades, I am always looking out for the next new thing, always wondering what lies around the next corner. I can imagine myself, having been in the womb a few months already, thinking “Okay, I’ve done this womb thing. What’s next? I want out. What’s next?” 

I go through life like this:



But, you know, it’s just a theory.


(Final Image – Creative Commons:



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