{a fifo wife} coming to know from a distance

by debbie on August 23, 2016



I can’t do long distance relationships he said.

I called her back the next day after saying yeah let’s do this and said no I couldn’t do this. That isn’t what relationships are about I’m sorry and hung up, but I called her back and said yeah let’s give it ago, but I can’t do the distance.

I smiled at him. Him across from my kitchen table. We have known each other a long time, and the one thing I liked about him is I always could tell him my opinion and trust that it would be taken as my experience not some cheap shot at the way he saw or lived the world.

Well, then she must not be the one I said either that or you’re scared.

Well no he said I’m not saying that I like her, I like her a lot, and I’m not afraid. I enjoy spending time with her, but the distance, it doesn’t make sense to me.

So she isn’t worth it then? I said, or you don’t trust her.

He looked at me as if to say you are not getting what I am saying.

So I said to him. The distance isn’t forever. It is in the intrim, and it’s your mindset. Trust is paramount without it there is no point in any relationship long distance or not. As is working at it.

Oh no, I trust her he said hurriedly but how do I get to know her when she is there, and I’m here. Not being able to see her or have her next to me in bed. How does that happen when I don’t know when I will see her next? That’s not what relationships are about are they?

I laughed silently to myself because what I wanted to say without f*cking your incapable of knowing her? But I didn’t. I will save that for the next time I see him should he have not got his shite together and tried to make it work with this girl because clearly, he forgot who he was talking too, how long I’ve have been doing ‘it’ and how I got here.

What I said was this distance and coming to know someone is a mindset. It doesn’t matter where she is. If you like her, it’s irrelevant. You come to know someone by converstations. Phone calls text and be it weekends together. You make time limits on how long between visits. You put plans in place; you talk to each other. Create intimacy through conversation. Include her in part of your conversations and thoughts. You trust her, listen to her, encourage her and support her just like she was in bed next to you. I rattled these things off like it was part of a well-known mantra. You create rules and boundaries for the distance so that your not living a constant honeymoon because that’s the only real problem distance creates when you are a thing; that’s providing you are a thing.

Yes, we are a thing he shot back quickly. And it was with that I knew she was a thing, and he liked her because he was so quick to defend ‘them.’

Well then distance for the interim shouldn’t be a problem then especially if you like her I said.

Yeah right, he said drifting off thinking about what I said.

We left it with you got to want it bad enough, to give it your best shot before saying distance is a problem.

And whether it makes sense or not distance doesn’t matter when there is love involved its how bad you want to work for it.


Is there something I should add to my long distance how to mantra? 

{image is with thanks to here}



{a fifo wife} my health and fitness idol.

by debbie on August 19, 2016


Glued to the telly, I watched her walk down the stairs. I then watched her husband follow her down the stairs; both of them walked down without using the handrails. They didn’t stumble. No one even looked concerned that they might. There was no personal assistant or valet hovering about to swoop on in just in case.

I looked at them again on the telly equally impressed because frankly the stairs and I have a checkered past. Getting up can be difficult coming down more so as without fail there isn’t a set of steps I have used that I haven’t fallen or tripped up. Coordination and navigation are challenges set to me by the universe and unlike her, my husband is always on hand ready to catch me as I fall. I kid you not.

I called my mother. Were you watching I asked? Did you see the way they moved up and down those stairs I said?

Yes, she replied wondering where this was going.

And did you see how fit she was. How unfrazzled or fogged she looked. I was struck by her grace.

It’s in their breed my mother said like she was talking about a gelding horse on show.

Do you think I said fascinated because I’m serious in how awestruck I am by her agility.

Yeah just look at the Flannings she said. The Flannings are my mother’s neighbours  and are so fit. And if we are to compare, they are geldings while yes I or we could be considered asses. And she probably does a lot of exercises my mother added after some thought.

Yeah, I said, but what I mean she was on the ball she almost skipped down those stairs. I can’t even do that I said.

And walking I reckon she does lots of walking said mum giving her final bit.

Stairs to I finished with there would be a shite load of stairs in her place. That and she would have the best of everything as well I said. Best medical care, cosmetic care and chefs but still she just seems so alert and well on the ball that doesn’t just happen either.

Yes well, you know said mum it’s in the breed she said again.

I don’t think the breed has anything to do with it- except for their skin. I said. They have such beautiful skin; it’s so translucent and blemishes free again like we were talking about a breed of horses.

I want to be like her I said finally. I wonder what she does I followed up with. I must have sounded ludicrous to my mother, and I’m sure that this point she thought that girl has spent far to much time on her own because there was a  long silence that usually indicates where do we go from here scenario.

And so ever since then I have been researching, stalking, I have even written to her. Well not to her but her people. I want to be like her but let me tell you they give out squat on her ‘routine’.

Who you may ask? Who has become my sudden health idol? Who has me walking more? Eating turmeric, gobbling MSM capsules, walking stairs, attempting yoga, doing crosswords and playing fit brain like my 39-year-old brain depends on it.

It’s the Queen.

Scoff you may but that woman is 90 years old, and she has more sass than Michelle Bridges after a round at the gym. She is growing old gracefully and while she has her fair share of luxury she has had her fair share of worries and yet look at her. If you were watching her at her Jubilee, she practically ran down the stairs without the handrail. Without the handrail people. I can’t even contemplate the stairs without a handrail; I am that woman who will veer to the far side of the room to grab a wall to support herself.

And as surprised as I am that it’s the Queen I’m aspiring to and not some strong bikini-clad woman that’s it in a nutshell a sign perhaps I am spending too much time on my own or I’m just being real. And while I’m not sure I want to live to 90 I sure as hell want to be my best version of it. I want to die in my own bed having climbed in myself knowing I have wiped my own bum and chin the night before.

Long live the Queen.


{image with thanks to here}






We hadn’t intended on doing a second trip to Darwin but when my mother texted one afternoon with ‘they think I have a blood clot in my broken leg’ my husband screamed we got to go.

Trouble is I’m in penny-pinching over drive, so all our dollars are in accounts that take days to access because well we have no contract after the 23 of August and Im taking no chances. So I’m hiding away most of what we can, however, this brought a lesson to mind have an account that doesn’t take days to access, common sense I know but I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Regardless of getting a family of five up to Darwin on short notice is a lot of money and not wanting to beg, borrow and not wanting to go into debt on the credit card (And knowing my mother is bred tough and bred harder to kill) and without fail, she did not have a blood clot. What she did have was a severe case of the blues something left untreated is just as deadly. So began the magic and being magician, I am with money my tax accountants words, not mine, we combined our pool of frequent flyers and viola we got five fares for the next day and with the grace of all that is mighty a relocation campervan van back.

The flight to Darwin from my home town is a cool and easy 2.5 plane flight. The road trip home is around 23 hours not including breaks or over nights easy for two adults sharing the driving not so much for three boys. When we did our first road trip together as a family, I vowed I would never do another one again and told my husband so. I will never travel with you in a car with the kids again I hissed after two hours of hell however since then we have done three major road trips. Two home from the Norther Territory and one Cairns to Melbourne. All were awesome, and it’s now something I look forward to- I know who am I?

While the last few hours of travel can make things weary the whole road trip vibe is something I love but it like most good things require some planning and so here are a few things to make road trips much more enjoyable.

  1. Stop lots. If you’re doing a road trip over a sprint, stop at every major stop. It allows the kids to burn off energy, the driver to refresh and its the whole point of the ‘trip’ is to see new stuff.
  2. Snack at the stops and consider what snacks you have. If your kid reacts to sugar, don’t hand jelly snakes every twenty minutes that’s just crazy stupid. Have a small esky filled with nuts, fruit, water, etc. buy yourself a $15 bunsen burner and make yourself a coffee and tea. Those little hot plates are perfect for cooking up some sausages and bread roadside.
  3. Pack ‘old school’ activities into the seat pockets over electronic devices. For long trips rotate activities stored in back packs that can also be hung on the back of seats.
  4. For each of the big trips back from Darwin where there is little to see or stop at I brought cheap $5 activities from Kmart and the reject shop. I gave two out each day one just after morning tea and another after afternoon tea. I also packed snap lock bags of Lego, brought new colouring books and new novels.
  5. Keep electronic devices for the tough moments. We tried to keep electronic devices for when the chorus of ‘are we there yet’ started.
  6. Try and do some driving when the kids are sleeping. While we cope okay with hours in chairs, I think it’s hard to ask for a kid to do so.
  7. Play audio books. We listened to the whole Harry Potter Series and the Martian on our trips home from the NT. Kids loved them.
  8. Talk to each other sounds simple enough but it’s the whole point of being trapped in a car together isn’t it? Play games like ispy, truth or dare, 20 questions and I’m going on a picnic.

Most of all have fun, enjoy the sights and the company of those with you.





{a fifo wife} city guide: Darwin city

by debbie on August 3, 2016


Last swing home husband and I took ourselves and the boys to Darwin. It’s fast becoming a regular haunt for us now especially since my parents are still there, and so we are quickly reacquainting ourselves with her with this being our third trip this year. We are refinding in some instances our favourite places.

I was born and raised in Darwin until I left in 2000 to be with my husband in his then Cairns posting with the defence force. So whilst there has been some change it’s not changed all that much Darwins lifestyle; I think, will always stay the same. Laid back and completly relaxed. I equate it to entering the twilight zone because Darwin runs on its own time and despite its many conveniences, it’s far from the fast paced life of southern cities.

When to go.

There are just two seasons in the Territory, the wet and the dry. The dry is the best time to go which is between May and October. The humidity between these months is low and so is like a nice southern summers day.

Where to eat.

Darwin is a literal melting pot of multiculturalism and you are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out.

Personally, I have a big tug of war between my two favourites restaurants for both Asian and Indian. The first is Nirvana located on Dashwood cresent and Hunuman in the Performing Art Centre.

Hot Tamale, Darwin Waterfront. They make some of the best Tacos I have ever tasted and their service is exceptional but if I can make an additional recommendation it is to have a Tommy Margherita; sensational.

Laneway Cafe, Parap Village. The coffee at the Lane way is the best I have tasted in Darwin and along with its modern interior, orgainic menu its a must visit.

Where to hang:

The wave pool. For just $7 you can hang out at the wave pool all day and with waves reaching 1.2 metres it’s a perfect place to relax. Best of all its croc and stinger free.

The free water park in Leayner is another great spot also completely free with a large pool, water playground and two water slides it’s a great place to cool off with little ones.

Museum. I am a lover of the Darwin museum despite its small stature it packs an enormous punch on its art quality. Sitting nestled on the beach the views from its top floor windows is enough to keep you there for hours its has the most beautiful collection of Aboriginal art. It also has a permanent gallery for Cyclone Tracey and of the animal spices of the Northern Territory, but my favourite is the two exhibition spaces that are filled with either local exhibitions or travelling exhibitions from across the country.

Markets. Darwin boasts some of the best food markets in Australia I think with four of them happening across the weekend. The first of the Markets start on Thursday night at Mindle Beach. The markets start at 5 pm and go through to 9 pm. This market is huge and if you want to grab a spot on the sand eat your dinner and see the sun go down head down early with your blanket or chairs because it can be chaotic in the later hours. The food on offer ranges from fresh plates of seafood to Dutch pancakes. Mindle also does another smaller market on Sunday afternoons. Other markets held are Parap Markets at the Parap Village and Nightcliff Markets at the Nightcliff Village. Both starts from 7 am to noon its a great spot for breakfast again a great showcase of food and crafts on offer. Another smaller but older market that I would frequent as a kid is the Rapid Creek Market at the Rapid Creek Village. This market is a more authentic Asian market with many fresh Asian vegetables and foods available.

Crocasauras  croc park located in the middle of the city. Its a little pricey but its a good exhibit all the same [Im not a fan of animal exhibits but this is amongst the better ones} and whilst its nothing like seeing them in the wild they give a great tour and information on the scaly reptiles. You also have the opportunity to swim with them for a price and handle snakes in their reptile exhibit. Should you have the time – yellow waters is the place to go for a tour, however, go down to the local boat ramp and Im sure it won’t take long to spot one. Buffalo Creek if you have the time- but adhere to signs these creatures are not to be underestimated.

Where to shop: 

I have to admit I have never been a big shopper in Darwin; you don’t go to Darwin for its shopping. The main shopping centre is Casuarina Shopping Centre located in the southern suburbs. Casuarina as the locals call it has many of the big brands seen in Southern Cities but without the crowds.

Where to stay: 

You can’t go wrong with accommodation in the territory almost all are located within Darwin city with access to all the restaurants and bars. The Vibe is one of the newest hotels I was able to visit and has great views and comfortable rooms. Vibe sits adjacent to the wave pool and is surrounded by some great dining options. Novotel Darwin another great location and dining options.

Locals tip:

Don’t over pack. Darwin style is casual, but if you love to run or exercise, there are some great running tracks all with the most exquist views.



{a fifo wife} how to start running

by debbie on August 1, 2016


I like running, but I am not a natural runner. I can swim like a fish but not run, why I felt it was important to tell you can swim, I don’t know, but the point is I try to keep fit. It sounds ridiculous that someone can’t run given its a natural progression to walking, however, gravity and I aren’t friends on the best of days.

I know what the problem is because on the treadmill I’m a star but on the road where I want to run I can’t get my breathing and my step to work right. It sounds crazy when you say it out loud, but you have to get into a rhythm well for me at least.

Trouble with me is while I’m hyperventilating trying to get my breathing to match my feet, my logical thinking goes out the window.  I start to worry that everyone is looking at me. That people are purposely slowly down in their cars ready to poke fun at my sweaty red face and yell, run fat girl run. So once the over-thinking starts it, then it all goes down the proverbial toliet and so I stop. I start walking instead, but again I like to run. It’s like dancing with me again something I’m not good at, but again I like to dance.

So I run, walk, curse, run, walk and curse a lot. It generally goes in that order. I can run, walk, curse a fair distance but I really want to run a fair distance on its own.

Then I read somewhere about thinking of running as a bouncing walk.


This little theory is life changing. I have gone from bounce walking which may or may not look just as ridiculous as run fat girl run, but I’m bounce walking my walk to a solid 5km without the curse.

Sometimes there is a walk when I see an oncoming car I’m not going to lie, but the majority is the bounce walk and because I’m finding my rhythm everything else is falling into place.

I’m so pleased with myself I may even take my bounce walk run public at my local park run.

I don’t want to run marathons; I would like to do tri thing, but this little piece of advice was game changing for me.

Have you got any running tips? That will make my bounce walk less golden girl shuffle like?