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Wendy's wonderful world of family whimsies

By Wendy Wonderwal - posted Friday, 15 September 2000

Greetings, gorgeous ones.

You may have guessed by now that I may be a tad dysfunctional in some of the more, um, normal ways of life. Oh all right, I’m deeply disturbed, but then so are my friends, who are also my family.

All of us are survivors of our respective families. One of my friends refers to her family cactus, rather than her family tree.


And so, in a laudable, unselfish and totally magnanimous gesture, Wendy salutes the best of family life this month. Not with just one digit, but with the whole hand.

On to the business. Are you Australian? Do you come from a family? Would you like to add to the fabric of this great land? If you answered yes, then meander over to, which is an initiative of the State Library of Victoria. They want you to contribute to a unique historical and cultural record of Australia. All you have to do is register and then you can add stories about you, your ancestors and your children and tell them all the gory details of your own family of origin.

Now, for my favourite memories of childhood. Easy peasy. Vegemite and stories. And I’ve found a couple of sites, including . "Ha!" I hear you say, "but vegemite is no longer owned by Australians". And you’d be right. But for a dose of nostalgia, why not give it a go? They even showcase the famous ditty, which, I must admit, I did sing along to. Mind you, my poodle howled something shocking, but then Lola is highly strung.

And I remember pestering my parents to tell me a storyyyyy, pleeeeeeeese. And they did. And I loved it. So why not check out some you-beaut Australian stories at I loved this site, apart from the disgusting music, which offers a version of Waltzing Matilda that defies description and which I zapped immediately (Lola thought it was me singing again). I wanted to get my own back by reciting verses from Kahlil Gibran at it, but Lola threatened to howl.

Nowadays when I think families, I think kids. And when you think kids, you think pets. Big wet stinky things, cute fluffy things, cold wet slimy things. And we love them, even if they do wee and puke all over us. Well, the small reptiles don’t, but the others do. Simply leap like a gazelle over to and read really interesting stuff like "Did you know that cats spend 18 hours of every 24 sleeping?" Oh d'oh! I used to poke my cats with a blunt instrument every day, just to make sure they were still alive. But that’s before I met Lola. They also have a neat ‘Selectapet’ section, which helps you choose a special friend who is compatible. Lola loves this site and gives it her poodle princess paw of approval, since it promotes responsible pet ownership.

Lola and I are very compatible. She loves having her hair done, Italian food and painted toenails, and so do I. Now all I need is the ute of my dreams and I’ll be a happy girl.


And just when you thought I was becoming normal, I have to disappoint you. Have you ever wondered if families have a patron saint? Well, I have, and I’ve found the answer. When times get tough, why not send a prayer to St Joseph, who is the patron saint of families? Mind you, I’m more likely to send a prayer to the patron saint of headaches (who happens to be St Dennis) or even St Barbara, who looks after artillery and ammunition workers. Want to find out more? Just bless with your presence and have a ball. I wonder whether there’s a patron saint for ten-pin bowlers?

Until next time, dear reader.

"Cogito ergo spud.
I think therefore I yam."

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About the Author

Wendy is a freelance writer and marriage celebrant based in Brisbane.

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