What is pride and is it as important as self-esteem?

He scans the streetscape looking for the young ones letting off jumping jacks in the night. Hooligans! Wild things! Dangerous! And oh how he roars when he catches us in the shadows. His eyes flicker like a deep bright fire. We catch the heat of it all and flee for our parents, the remaining firecrackers packed away into the bag he carries.

Even night seems afraid to make a noise. Our thumping hearts can’t be heard above the firm sounds of his footsteps coming into the house. Perched ridiculously on my mothers shrinking knees I yearn to be a lot smaller than I am. Across the room my cousin is trying to convince my uncle that we weren’t doing any harm and his sister is hiding in my Aunts arms.

The door opens and he walks in and seems to tell the bag of fireworks to sit up straight on the loungeroom table. The coloured paper rockets and cones point out at us accusingly.

“Children you must be more careful” he says so solidly, his words sink to the bottom of my soul.

No-one says anything, everything seems so perfectly clear.

“Oh don’t be such an old fuddy duddy” my Nanna bustles into the room caramelising the crystal silence with her warmness.

“Like you didn’t run around wild as a kid and let off bangers in garbage bins along your street. I remember and you’ve probably forgotten, cos your head isn’t what it used to be but I remember those days and your father well he gave you a great wolloping behind your ears for setting fire to Bill Ryans shed. And you thought it was really funny. So don’t you be saying anything to these kids who weren’t doing any harm with some little crackers and its cracker night so they should be out playing. If anything you should help them out but you probably can’t even get down on your knees anymore to light them blasted things. So leave them alone and who wants a cuppa then? I’ve got a nice pot of tea and I’ve got some biscuits, some choccie ones too or some plain ones I picked up at Woolies or I’ve got some crackers. Would you like crackers? No, well I’ve got some apples. Doesn’t anyone want an apple? I’d give them to Poppy here but he likes his biscuits and can’t you tell? Too many biscuits for old Pop I think.”

He folds slowly down into the chair by the tv. There is nothing on there that sparks his interest but no-one can see that. He bows his head and turns off his hearing aid.

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How not to paint a room

It is a good idea when setting out to paint a room in your house to put as many obstacles in front of your job as possible. Desire a particularly unusual shade of purple paint made from the handpicked oysterberries of the almost unknown underwater civilisation of Boq.  You might consider requiring a unique type of paint brush designed exclusively for people who type all day long and have never really had to fashion their hand into any kind of gripping shape.

If both of these things come into your possession or you are forced into compromise, it is wise to study the walls that you must paint. Think about all the ways in which you can bring it to life with colour and texturing. Write a poem about the walls and try to include as many vowels as possible to give that wholesome feel to it. After all, painting a room should be at most an artistic unwinding of your innerself.

When studying the walls, don’t forget to analyse the surface for potential areas that need patching. You could rightly argue that patching is not the job you were given to do and therefore must be outsourced. You should stamp your feet, a lot. This can have the added bonus of making bits of the wall flake off emphasising your point further. If the case is, that the walls are prepped and preppy and eager to be painted then it might be time for a break.

Sit down, examine the room but go further than that. Look at your tools and your arms. Look at your body and try to work out whether this really is the body that was destined to paint the room. Is your torso adequate? Do you even have the mental capacity and physical dexterity to handle the complex components that make up the painting of a room. Was this what God planned for you?  Have a cup of tea.

If you feel reflection is bringing you closer to resolving to actually paint the room. It is time to write a plan. Plan how to paint the room on paper. Make sure you include as many steps as it takes to fill a few hours of typing on the computer. Set up a blog in fact. Blog about the room.  Blog about the fact that not painting a room is sometimes a lot easier than people make out. All it takes is time and a little creative effort. Before you know it, the room will not have been painted and there will be something new to avoid.

Good luck and I look forward to hearing how it doesn’t go.