Quickly we have learned there are many questions in this place for which there is only one answer.

“Why is there a giant black beetle riding a green tree frog on our driveway?” #becausedarwin

“Why is there a python dangling from our front porch eating some kind of lizard?” #becausedarwin

“Woah, why did we get home so quickly?” #becausedarwin

“Why does that restaurant sell laksa pizza?” #becausedarwin

“Why don’t I groom anymore?” #becausedarwin

“Why am I sweating under water?” #becausedarwin

“Why does my lemonade taste like mosquito?” #becausedarwin

“Why does that guy whose name appears to be Dan have his first name ‘Dan’ as his numberplate? Why does he need that? Doesn’t he know his name is Dan already? Why do I need to know his name is Dan?” #becausedarwin

“Why am I wearing a tie-dyed shirt at work on a Tuesday with three buttons undone?” #becausedarwin

It has become a common refrain in our home and the boys enjoy its use a great deal; “Milo, why haven’t you brushed your teeth?” … because Darwin dad.


I feel there is likely to be a whole series of these, as the weird becomes the norm… but I’ll start with this one, which is our best example of the genre to date.

On the last day of the Flamingo episode the school crossing lollypop guy asked me for a photograph. We had been engaging in fragmented conversation all week, but standing in the middle of a school crossing dressed as a flamingo is not the best locale for properly breaking the ice. I responded with general positivity about the concept of the photograph and hustled the boys forward, but by the time I returned he had gone, or I had removed Kevin, or a combination of the two.

The following week as I sat in a coffee shop not far from the school, the lollypop guy walked past and, somehow recognising me as Kevin’s chaperone, sat down. We chatted for a few minutes as I laid out the general ethos of Flamingo Parenting when, all of a sudden, I noticed a giant poster of his face sitting conveniently just over his shoulder about 20 metres away. It was framed perfectly. I did one of those non-sensical ‘point at picture, then point at person, then point at picture again’ routines, whilst looking baffled and intrigued.

“Oh yeah, I am the local member of Parliament” he said nonchalantly.


More to come.

Because in Darwin the Post Office workers are pretty confident they know everybody who visits by sight

Recorder Hell

Recorder Hell

We are in recorder hell.

Two Fridays ago Milo came home with a recorder. A State-sanctioned, State-endorsed, State-sponsored recorder. We have to pay $7 for Happy Healthy Harold but recorders are deemed so essential they are prioritised in the budget and provided to all. I received a recorder in year 3, you received a recorder in year 3, we ALL received a recorder in year 3. Where did this intergenerational torture come from and why does it persist?

A recorder is a shit instrument in so many ways. Unless a child plans to host medieval banquets as an adult, mastering it gets them nowhere. It is so temperamental that if the applied pressure is off by half a hecto-pascal (I know this is a unit of pressure from a childhood spent watching local weather reports and presume it also the correct unit of measure for recorder playing) the sound moves quickly from accurate (but still pretty shit) to absolutely ear-splitting in a nano-second. Because it is so boring to play properly, every single practice session moves from Hot Cross Buns to ‘damage all those tiny important bones in my parents’ ears’ within 35 seconds. It is so transportable that I don’t even know it has come in the car with us until the sound is blasting those little wispy hairs that I only just discovered off my ear-lobes.

Also, why does every song sound the same? Hot Cross Buns? Mary Had a Little Lamb? Jingle Bells? On the recorder – same song.

One of the downsides of owning a record player is that the boys enjoy playing 33s at 45 speed and vice versa. One of their favourites is playing Taylor Swift 33s at 45, like a Taylor Chipmunk. They call her Saylor Sift and these days she features on the rotation more regularly than Taylor. Saylor is not bad actually, once you get used to her, and much much better than 45 Taylor played at 33 – Maylor Mift. She is melancholy and depressing, and makes you think bad things are just over the horizon. Anyway, recently Milo has started playing his recorder along to Saylor Sift. It is absolutely as awful as it sounds.

I do actually want some answers. I presume at some point an education department apparatchik forgot to carry the one and signed off on a vastly larger contract with ‘big recorder’ than they intended. And knowing, as we all know, that you don’t mess with ‘big recorder’ we are all still paying for this mistake.

Days, or at most weeks from now, all of these thousands of new recorders will mysteriously vanish, as so many millions have vanished before them. But in the meantime parents across the country are shaking their fists, covering their ears, and yelling frequently, and irrationally at their children who are gleefully shattering the peace all in the name of ‘music homework’.

An artistic impression of my recorder dreams