November 14, 2016

the end

If you have stumbled your way onto this blog, you are probably looking me up for some reason. That's nice. I'll look you up someday, too.

Please enjoy this website. I haven't added to it for a long time and I probably won't any time soon. I am lucky enough these days to earn a living from being a columnist, so all my ideas go into paid work. (Also, I still get a kick out of seeing my byline in the paper. And I have a nice profile pic in Sunday Life magazine, thanks to about a billion makeup artists and stylists and photographers and lights. But I digress....)

If you like my work, I post everything I write on my Facebook page. I am also on Twitter, though not as regularly these days, and Insta, though my photos are rather sub-par. Occasionally I post good memes, though. You can be the judge.

If you want to contact me, you can do so via any of those media, or at my email address, If you want to send gifts, please email first so I can be waiting outside to receive them. Chocolates are good. Also cash, or perhaps a kitten. 

No flowers, though. I get sad when they die.


March 23, 2016

A Comment on Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a date with a man who was very hostile. He had asked me out without knowing anything about me, but by the time I arrived at the cafĂ© he had Googled me and decided he didn’t like me. I know this because he immediately began criticizing my opinion writing (he only believed in ‘facts’), my public profile (he is very ‘introverted’), and my social media use (he doesn’t even have a FB page).
He should have cancelled the date, but instead he arrived, barely looked at me, and then left after a cursory 29 minutes. I would not wish to repeat the experience.
Why am I telling you this? Because this, my friends, is why I don’t read the comments on my articles.
Reading the comments on the big websites I write for is like sitting down to coffee with someone who can’t stand me. They don’t know me, but they hate everything that I represent. I don’t want to subject myself to people who don’t like me, and so I choose to stay away.
Let me explain. Yes, there are some positive comments on big websites. But for the most part, people don’t comment a lot when they agree with an article. They might share it on their social media feeds, or press the ‘like’ button, or even message me about it, but they won’t bother logging in to the site and leaving a comment.
People log in and leave a comment most frequently when they are angry. And they are angry when they strongly disagree with the thesis of a piece. And when they strongly disagree with the thesis of a piece, they often decide the writer is a moron/an idiot/an *insert your choice of insult here*. Because angry people don’t see shades of grey. They see right and wrong, and if the writer is ‘wrong’, then they must be ‘bad’.
And so these commenters tell me how bad I am. They tell me how wrong I am. They tell me in all sorts of colourful language, with all sorts of capital letters, under all sorts of social media handles, most frequently anonymous. And they are allowed to do that, just like the dude I dated was allowed not to like me. But I didn’t have to date him, and I do not have to read the comments.
It doesn’t enrich me to read negative comments about my pieces. It frustrates me to read comments about me that are not true, and it frustrates me more that there is nothing I can do about it. And it depresses me no end to know that people like these commenters exist – people who are homophobic, anti-feminist, anti-choice, racist, or anti-whatever it is I have written about at the time.
Now, it’s true that there may be a useful comment in there somewhere. It’s true that someone may have a point of view that would enlighten or inform me. But sadly, I would have to wade through hundreds of insults to get to it, and the cost-benefit equation doesn’t add up in my favour.
When I stay away from comments, this frustration doesn’t exist. When I stay away from comments, these people don’t exist. And – whilst I know intellectually that they are still out there, just like the dude who didn’t like me still walks this earth – I don’t have to experience the frustration and sadness they bring to my life.
Happily, I still have this Facebook page, where people can leave a comment and communicate with me directly. For the most part, people are polite and friendly on my Facebook page, partly because they usually choose to visit my page if they already like my work, and partly because commenters are easily identifiable on Facebook. People are far ruder when they are shielded by anonymity than they are when you can see photos of their children.
But until such time as commenters are accountable on websites, I will continue to shield myself from their onslaughts. I am just a writer doing my job. And I would rather sit down for a coffee with someone who likes me than with someone who wants to tear me apart.

December 18, 2015


Ex Girlfriend of Former Bachelorette Dude Rants on Social Media about How He Hurt Her 

Read about it if you can be bothered. It's all here. Personally, there is little I care about less.

But what I do care about is the way people air their personal grievances on social media. Why do people do this? When did private lives cease to exist? And how will anyone ever be able to trust anyone again if we all just run to social media every time we are hurt or disappointed?

I see it all the time, on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. Celebrities and regular people, with or without huge followings, sharing with the entire online universe the most intimate details of their lives. The dates. The sex. The passion. The hurts. The breakups. The betrayals. The disappointments. The fights.

It doesn't sit well with me. As someone who literally makes a living from writing about my life, I am very, very clear about my boundaries. And let me tell you, I'm sure it's cost me a click or two. I could fascinate you all with tales of my romantic adventures over the past couple of years. I've had highs and lows you wouldn't believe. (Or maybe you would - you've seen similar scenarios played out on other people's accounts ad infinitum.)

I've had great sex and awful sex. I've been deeply in love and hideously hurt. I've had fantastic first dates and quite shockingly bad ones. I've had all sorts of experiences that I could have played out, blow by blow, on your social media feed.

But I haven't, and I won't, because it's just plain wrong. It would be undignified for me, it would grossly unfair to the men involved, it would be humiliating for my kids and parents, and - most importantly of all - it is none of anybody's business.

Why would I need complete strangers to understand my perspective on a relationship? How would that help my pain or healing, or allow me to move on with my life? And whilst yes, there is a definite salacious titillation in knowing why two people broke up - I mean, which one of us hasn't wondered about Tom and Nicole, or Princess Di and Charles, or Jennifer and Brad - how does it help the actual parties themselves to share their secrets online?

Have some dignity, please. Keep your private lives private. The world doesn't need to know every single detail of your lives.

And we also don't need the inevitable 'Bouncing Back from Heartbreak' stories or the 'Brave Jilted Girlfriend Rocks Bikini Body On Beach'. But trust me, people. They are on their way.

December 4, 2015

End Violence Against Women

On Tuesday I was sitting in a coffee shop with my friend Lana, reading a post by the journalist Clementine Ford. She had compiled screen shots of some (some, just some) of the horrendous abuse she received from men (and the odd woman) around the world for daring to express her opinions and for defending herself when attacked online.

I was stunned by the vitriol. Stunned by the hatred. Stunned by the language. C**t. Slut. Whore. Rape threats. Threats of violence. It was horrifying.

What was even more horrifying is that so many of these men used their real names. Their social media profiles showed pictures of them smiling with their families, or linked to Facebook pages listing their hobbies and interests. There were pictures of dogs and friends and holidays. This is how little they fear consequence or retribution. Because there IS no consequence online.

It was not me being attacked. I tend to fly under the radar when it comes to online abuse; I write about parenting and relationships and life and anxiety and just don't attract that kind of attention.

But those messages reflected such a profound misogyny, such a deep seated contempt of women, that the actual target was irrelevant. When you attack women with those kind of words, you attack us all.

Everyone gets abused online from time to time. Men also get abused online. But men are not threatened with sexual violence. Men are not threatened with harm towards their families. Men are not degraded and intimidated into silence.

I couldn't bear it. I couldn't bear the fact that people feel they can attack women in this way. I wanted to do something. I wanted to show my support for Clem, but not just for Clem, for all women who are abused online.

And so I gathered some friends. I asked that we each tweet the names of the offenders listed on Clem's post, or at least the names of some of the worst offenders. I asked that we use the hashtag #endviolenceagainstwomen, and link to her post so people know what we are dealing with.

Please note that we do not wish to abuse or threaten or slander these men. We are simply naming them as being the authors of abusive tweets. Their messages stand for themselves.

I wanted to stand up and say that this is not okay. That this kind of abuse will be noticed. That there are consequences. That we will stand together and support each other. That when you attack one of us, you attack us all.

By this morning, my little group of friends had grown into a group of hundreds, and it keeps growing. You will see our tweets and read our Facebook posts. If you wish to support us, please share this post and others like it. If you are on Twitter, please retweet our tweets or cut and paste them into your own timelines.

I don't believe for a moment that this will change our culture of violence. I don't believe for a moment that this will end violence against women. But it's a start. A small step. A show of strength and support.

You have to start somewhere. We are starting here. Today.

November 24, 2015

I Admitted to Not Liking Gaytimes. I Never Expected This.

In a recent Facebook post, I admitted to not liking Gaytimes. The ice cream, not the physical expression of same sex love.

But really, the reaction would have been less vitriolic if it had been the latter. I have never been subjected to such violent abuse in all my time on the net.

There was disbelief:


Pathetic justifications:

 Outright condemnation:

I was unfollowed:


Begged to delete my post:

And asked to think about my mistake:

But still, in the end, Jono had the last word:

And with that, it was over.

November 21, 2015

Drop Roaches - A Tale of Extraordinary Courage

We were running late, of course. I was taking my 16 year old son and his friend D to the Opera House to see the Pokemon Symphonic and we needed to leave ten minutes ago. I unlocked the car and the boys got in.

"NOOOOO! There are cockroaches!" screamed my son.

"AAGGGH" screamed his friend.

And they were right. Three huge cockroaches were scampering across the floor of my car.

"Oh GOD," I cried. We fled the car. "I'll fix it!"  I bolted inside and emptied every cupboard of my house in a frantic search for bug spray. There was none. Oh, GOD. So I grabbed the next best thing.
Hair spray.

I was dashing out to the car with the hair spray held optimistically aloft when my neighbour appeared at her door, smells of a delicious chicken dinner wafting behind her.

"I NEED YOUR BUG SPRAY!" I yelled. She looked a little surprised. She is a lovely woman, and grandmother of several, and probably isn't accustomed to being screamed at on her own doorstep.

But she handed it over.

"I'll give it back later!" I called over my shoulder, and ran back out to the car.

There I found the teenage boys, being... well.... not as brave as one might hope.

"I'm not getting back in there!" my son announced. "Ever."

"YES YOU ARE!" I yelled. We were even more late, and I had spent a fortune on the tickets. "Here. We'll spray them and they'll die."

So I sprayed. I pretty much emptied my neighbour's spray within the confines of my not-so-big car. The fumes were toxic. Which was good, really, as that probably meant the cockroaches were dead.
Or we would pass out, and be immune from their fearsome powers.

The roaches disappeared, and so we felt strong enough to proceed. I put the keys in the ignition, the boys put their feet up on the seats, and off we went.

I was on a main road, heading towards the city, when my son began screaming.

"Mum! It's on the ceiling! It's right above you!"

"NOOOOO!" I cried. "OH MY GOD NO!!!"


"HELP!!!" I screamed frantically (all the while keeping my foot on the pedals and guiding the car vaguely in the right direction). "OH MY GOD!"

And then my son's friend D came to the rescue. "STAY STILL!" He pointed the bug spray at my back and fired. "Got it!"

The roach fell down. Somewhere. I don't know where. I pulled over and collapsed, shaking, by the side of the road.

"Thank you," I whispered.

"No worries," he said cheerfully. "I'm in the Rifle Shooting team at school,"

We went to the concert and had a wonderful time. And today, obviously, I buy a new car.

November 12, 2015

I was asked to write for free for a funeral planning site.... and this is what happened....

Firstly, the email and my responses:

Hi Kerri,
I am researching online for possible opportunities for my client to share content with within her industry.
Her new website is (redacted).
She has been in the funeral industry for a very long time and wanted to start a truly independent resource for people going through a funeral or a tragic loss. As counselling is a huge part of that I thought your site would be a great fit.
As you are a very successful writer I wondered if you would be willing to maybe write a blog post for her site?
I understand you may get a lot of these requests from agencies looking for links but we really are after quality content sharing with or without links. We believe if we provide quality and genuine helpful advice, people will link to it when they need to.
Would love the opportunity to chat further if you are interested.
(name redacted)

Me: What are you able to pay?

Him: Hugs and great content.

Me: Seriously, help me out here as I just don't get it. You're asking a professional writer to write for free for a funeral planning site? 

Him: Yes, I wanted to offer you a chance for more exposure to your site also.

So I turned to Twitter to vent my frustration:

And the reaction was awesome:


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