Ladybird Lover: Down And Dirty With Gary

Terese is a woman with many a need.
In business she’s well used to taking the lead.
She’s smart and she’s sassy, and she wanted some fun.
But who’d have thought Gary her frolicking one?
An unlikely couple, he’s rough at the edges,
And more used to odd jobs like trimming the hedges
Than getting it on with his boss on the sly,
But when they’re together, oh me and oh my!
The chemistry’s sizzling, Terese is a- glowing.
‘She’s working you too hard!’ cries Sheila,
Not knowing that what she has said
Is a literal truth.
But she’s bound to discover,
Cos Sheila’s a sleuth.
Terese feels so frisky she’s skipping around
And she’s whispered to Susan of the fun she has found.
She’s mentioned a ladybird – what could this mean?
An exciting position I think we might glean.
Well Gary is bubbling with fear and delight
Like a love-struck young schoolboy
On a school disco night,
And Paul’s quietly seething and plotting revenge,
His face hard and angry like a stone at Stonehenge.
Poor Gary had better look over his shoulder,
Cos a Robinson death stare can hit like a boulder.
Will Gary hang on to the bosom of love,
Or will he be ousted with a heavy-man shove?
I’m rooting for Gary, a Canning who can,
He’s tough stuff, Terese’s new ladybird man!

© Carol Ann Wood
October 2016


Index of Posts:


Links:
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Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


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Father Jack In The Sack

An illustrated poem to commemorate the de-frocking of Neighbours’ Father Jack – and the durability of Paige’s lipstick and mascara after an unfortunate incident with a hot-air balloon…


If you enjoyed the video, Take a look at this review, Beauty And The Priest: Father Jack and his tortured soul, and this earlier poem, Beauty And The Priest.


Index of Posts:


Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


Please note that any advertisements which appear below these posts are not indicative of any endorsement by the author. They are placed there by a WordPress algorithm.



Index of Posts:


Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


Please note that any advertisements which appear below these posts are not indicative of any endorsement by the author. They are placed there by a WordPress algorithm.


Beauty And The Priest: Father Jack and his tortured soul.

From the moment that Jack Callahan, previously ‘John Doe’ regained his memory and knew he was a man of the cloth, viewers recognised that it spelt trouble ahead for him and would-be lover Paige. The official Neighbours line is that no-one guessed that Jack, played superbly by the excellent Andrew Morley, was a Catholic Priest, but I’m afraid it’s not strictly true! I nailed it, albeit just one day before the reveal. And I wasn’t alone, because I had a Twitter conversation about it. Andrew was included in that Twitter thread, so he knows that I (and a few others) worked it out! Nevertheless, I think it’s one of the best revelations in the show for some while.

Jack was initially known as Jon Doe, the guy with no memory, who had somehow been caught up in the boiler explosion at the hotel. Viewers fast became irritated by Paige’s obsession with this tall dark-haired stranger. Some felt, quite reasonably, that Paige might be using him as a rebound romance, after her non-wedding drama with former boyfriend Mark Brennan. Paige is an impetuous creature, who tends to rush into situations without thinking them through. She pushed and pushed to persuade ‘John’ into a relationship when he repeatedly and painstakingly explained that he couldn’t date her when he wasn’t even sure who he really was. Paige, however, wasn’t about to give up. Her headstrong personality served to compel her to push even harder, and she flatly refused to listen to family and friends’ words of caution.

When ‘John’ was finally about to give in to his physical attraction to Paige – accompanied by apparently genuine love – we knew something big was about to happen. He’d told her on several occasions that he had a feeling being with her was somehow ‘wrong’. Was he gay, we wondered at first? Surely that would be too obvious. Did he have a girlfriend already? Seemingly not. We’d already seen one woman turn up and claim to be his partner, only to find the writers had led us on a wild goose chase. The poor woman was emotionally unstable following the tragic death of her actual boyfriend. What else could stand in Paige’s way? John’s potential involvement in the tampering of the boiler? Whilst viewers may have been bored by Paige’s pursuit of John, they were now very curious about his identity. Neighbours chat groups on social media were full of it, and fans were loving the intrigue.

Paige had often said she ‘just knew’ John was a good man, and not someone who would do harm to others. He wasn’t convinced, as his counselling sessions had given him odd flashbacks of being in the boiler room. Thankfully though, he was finally absolved of any wrong-doing. He was apparently heterosexual, so what could stop him from jumping into bed with a beautiful single girl like Paige? The lightbulb moment for me was in the scene where Paige randomly suggested that he speak to someone from the church. This had to be it! John still hadn’t remembered everything at that point, but nevertheless decided to go ahead and spend the night with Paige. He concluded that he might not fully regain his memory, so he had to build his life anew. We saw Paige prepare for the ‘big night’ – setting the scene for a romantic meal and post-dinner delight. Then came the moment when ‘John’ discovered the final piece of the jigsaw. No matter how annoyed I felt with Paige for her relentless pressure, I did feel a little sorry for her when she was summoned to the police station after John remembered the events leading up to the explosion. And, the truth about his profession. Neighbours drama at its very best. Kudos to the writers, the production team and cast.

Suddenly, when John became Jack Callahan in that instant, the story turned into one of forbidden love, a modern-day soap-land Thorn Birds scenario. Father Jack seemed all the more appealing than plain old John Doe. A good, wholesome man of God who, by the fact of his Catholicism and vow of celibacy, is unavailable. Thus far. We might have known that Paige wasn’t going to give up easily, and as it stands, viewers are divided between those wanting to see Father Jack remain in the priesthood, and those who’d like him give up his dog-collar for the love of a woman. Many people have remarked that perhaps he could convert from Catholicism to another branch of Christianity where celibacy is not a requirement. He’d then get to carry on serving his God and love Paige at the same time. Whilst this sounds very straightforward, I’m not sure that it actually is. The saga, therefore, continues. Paige initially made a half-hearted attempt to keep her distance from Jack, and has been doing the ‘friends with benefits’ thing with Tyler Brennan. Rather unfortunately, sleeping with Tyler has hurt her half-sister Piper. Piper blotted her own copybook by acting immaturely and going behind her parents’ backs in seeing Tyler in the first place. Tyler’s torn between the girl he wants and the girl who has made herself available. In short, it’s a bit of a mess, and a typical Neighbours mess, to boot!

As is the norm for Neighbours, they managed to bring some humour to the whole situation regarding Jack’s new status. And typically, Sheila provided a comic moment when declaring ‘Oh God’ before she heard the revelation. By then, others already knew, and she wasn’t best pleased not to be first to spread the word. But she was thrilled to realise that she’d been landlady to a man of faith. If Father Jack had lodged with her for much longer, he’d probably be spoilt rotten with Sheila’s culinary delights, and his girth would have expanded rapidly! Then there was the moment Paige just ‘accidentally’ appeared poolside in a bikini. Jack tried not to gawp. But failed. Taking a nervous backwards walk, he managed to crash into the patio chairs in his haste.

Since making the decision to be married to God, Jack has been busily running a group project for disadvantaged and homeless people. Suddenly Paige has taken a keen interest in volunteering for the centre and, now, in religion, by joining a Bible Study class. Recently, we saw her smiling and chatting as she handed out free food and coffee to the homeless at a pop up kiosk, appropriate background music setting the scene. Not exactly the same Paige who snaps and snarls at the customer’s in Harold’s, then. Quite the Mother Theresa overnight! Did Lauren really have the Bible on her bookshelf prior to this Paige-getting-God thing? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an actual bookshelf in her house, let alone any reading material. I also don’t think viewers buy into Paige’s transformation from flirtatious tease to Miss Goody-Two-Shoes. She’s still hung up on Jack, and it isn’t his crucifix she’s interested in. I might be overly cynical, and maybe the girl is really deeply in love, but at times, it feels as if the more Paige is told she can’t have something/someone, the more she’ll pursue it. As in her latest plan to become a professional boxer. Er, okay Paige, but it’s only a short while ago that you were excited about your university course. Remember that?

It would be no surprise if Jack and Paige were somehow to end up together. I wouldn’t bet against it being what the writers have planned all along – similarly to the way they brought Lauren and Brad together. I’m currently enjoying this tale of struggle and angst for Jack and Paige. Jack isn’t dealing with the situation well, either. He hasn’t exactly pushed Paige away, but rather, encouraged her curiosity about his beliefs. Whilst he might tell himself (and God) that it’s his duty to spread the teachings of the Good Book when required, there has to be an element of self-interest going on. He even admitted as much to Paige from his own confessional box. Paige might similarly convince herself that she is really interested in Jack’s religious convictions but we all know that, had Jack been a married physics professor, she’d have been at the front of the class in her skimpiest crop-top vowing to be enthused by Einstein.

Even putting aside Jack’s strong religious faith, I can’t help but have my doubts whether Jack and Paige would really make a good couple. Some viewers have recently remarked that Jack and Amy seem to have a better rapport. However, that may just be because neither has any romantic feelings towards the other, and so their connection is platonic and uncomplicated. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Paige isn’t entirely happy about seeing them with their heads together. Jack felt duty-bound to stick around Erinsborough after the elderly priest, Father Vincent, died. Before his death, Father Vincent told Jack he wanted him to take over the parish. Is this Jack’s true calling? Moments of doubt are not, apparently, that unusual. Jack is still young, and he seems especially suited to a rôle as some form of youth worker. He’s shown us already that he isn’t perfect – getting wasted on a night out and fearing that he may have hit Tyler in a jealous rage probably wasn’t the best idea if you’re behind a pulpit the following Sunday!

So, will we see another twist to this story, and furthermore, if Jack leaves the Catholic church for Paige, is it the right decision? I actually like him as Father Jack, and if I’m totally honest, I’m not sure I want to see the two of them get together. If things turned sour, or even just dull, would Jack start to resent Paige because of what he’d given up for her? How much do the two actually have in common? Does Paige acknowledge the enormity of such a decision for Jack? That said, there’s a lot more women than Paige who would love to tempt Jack away from God and get him hot under the dog-collar! Andrew, keep on doing what you’re doing – the queue for confession stretches long and wide, you may be in there some time!

© Carol Ann Wood
August 2016


Index of Posts:


Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


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Dream A Little Dream Of Me: Reflections on Matt Turner’s reappearance

Dream A Little Dream Of Me: Reflections on Matt Turner’s reappearance

I loved the character of Matt Turner, played by the lovely Josef Brown, and like many others, was gutted when the writers killed him off. Matt was struck by a speeding car as he pushed Brad Willis out of the way, following the pair’s argument. So it was with great delight that I discovered Matt was going to make a reappearance. I was alerted to it when Josef tweeted the digital spy article. Normally, I tend not to read that website as I prefer to have little prior knowledge of what’s coming up next, but I made an exception in this case.

I was not surprised to find out that it was a guest appearance only, or that it wasn’t some ‘witness protection’ storyline – after all, they’d already done that with Mark Brennan. But it didn’t stop me from looking forward to what I knew would be Lauren’s dream, and I wasn’t disappointed!

It’s about time Lauren did think about Matt, to be honest. She seemed to get over his death alarmingly fast, and although we knew that it was because she had probably never stopped loving Brad all those years ago, it felt at times that there was hardly a mention of the hunky family guy, the cop who, apart from a blip towards the end of his life, was honest, trustworthy and a great father and husband. Even if he was a little stubborn at times. We’re all flawed in some way.

The build up to Lauren’s dream began with Brad and Terese’s disastrous divorce party, which definitely didn’t go to plan: daughter Piper embarrassed half-sister Paige and her latest friend-with-benefits bloke, Tyler, wth a video of their close encounter. Oh, and then Brad topped the occasion’s cringeworthy rating by proposing to Lauren in his ex-wife’s garden. With said ex-wife looking on. Nice one Brad, only you could be so crass and insensitive.

Lauren, emotionally stunned by the proposal, went home for a nap on her sofa, and it was then that Matt appeared. He told her that he’d missed her. Well, many viewers have missed you too, Matt, with your soulful eyes and lovely smile. Possibly more than Lauren has, to be fair! The last time we saw Matt saying those words was as an apparition during the webisode zombies series. Only this time, Matt was decidedly more the Matt we’d known in life. The fact that he was wearing one of his homely checked shirts is my only complaint. I’d have much preferred to see him one more time in his police uniform, or, perhaps, topless. But I suppose I can’t have everything. Matt had a photo of Brad and Lauren in his hand. ‘So you and Brad …’ he said, in that softly-spoken way of his, ‘He lives here now?’ Nicely done, Neighbours. And good that we didn’t see Matt telling Lauren to move on when Lauren told him of Brad’s proposal. True, his dying words to Brad were to ‘look after Lauren’ but none of us suspected for a minute that he meant it like that. Not even with things the way they were between him and Lauren at the time.

Quite a few viewers besides me admitted to shedding a few tears during this dream scene, especially when Matt said that Brad wouldn’t ever love Lauren as much as he did. It’s a fair comment, given Brad’s history. I was also reminded of the time Matt, on discovering the truth about that kiss, confided that he always knew Lauren wouldn’t love him as much as he loved her. Oh Matt, you even speak truth beyond the grave. Well, beyond the mountain, as your ashes are scattered somewhere in Mount Isa.

I’d have liked to see Matt appear some more. Perhaps to Brad, after he learnt of Lauren’s dream. Brad has since been flouncing around being rather unreasonable, given that his marriage proposal, initially turned down, was so badly mistimed, and given that it’s highly likely anyone might dream of their deceased spouse when they’ve been gone such a short time – a spouse to whom Lauren was married for twenty years. I’d love to see Brad squirm a bit as Matt tells him that he is keeping an eye on him, making sure that he never hurts Lauren. Who knows, it might just make Brad think about his behaviour a bit more carefully.

Failing that, I could see Matt in a ghostly rôle, leaving clues around about unsolved crimes. Let’s face it, there does seem to be a lot of crime in Erinsborough, and by the time the over-deployed Mark Brennan works out whodunnit, the culprit is often ten crimes down the road. Matt could be a sort of spirit guide to police, a ghostly guardian angel of Ramsay Street. Yes, I know, I’m the one who’s dreaming now. But you know how the advert goes: If Carlsberg did dreams …

© Carol Ann Wood
August 2016


Index of Posts:


Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


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Beauty And The Priest

A tall, dark stranger blasted in,
And Paige was duly smitten.
She felt that fate had sent him,
And her future surely written.
But there was just one problem
From the stranger’s point of view.
‘I don’t know who I am!’ he cried.
‘Aw, there’ soothed Paige, ‘bless you.’
So Paige turned sleuth to find out who
‘John Doe’ had been before.
‘I know you’re good inside!’ Paige cooed,
‘And I’m what you’re looking for!’
But John sensed there was something
Telling him that this was wrong.
‘I don’t care who you were!’ cried Paige,
‘My love for you’s so strong!’
And John tried hard to waive his doubts,
As he gazed at Paige’s bod.
One half of him said ‘Go For It!’
And the other said ‘Oh God.’
Then one day John remembered Jack,
Who’s celibate and holy.
As Paige dreamed of a surfer guy,
Or, Hawthorn’s footy goalie.
‘I guessed that you were good!’ she wailed,
‘But not quite as good as this!’
And Jack was deep in torment
As he thought back to their kiss.
Now Sheila’s all a-dither
And quite flustered by this shock.
‘Oh Father! Half this street have sinned,’
She said, ‘They’re quite a flock!’
So, will Paige steal her man from God
And will she win his heart?
The Bible in her crop-top
As she sings ‘How Great Thou Art?’
And will she wear a rosary
But pray for lasting love?
It’s a Thorn Birds situation,
What a story! Lord Above!

© Carol Ann Wood
July 2016


Index of Posts:


Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


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Terese Talks

An imagined scene where Terese talks to the bottle

Well, where do I start? Wishing we hadn’t come to Erinsborough? In a way, I do wish that. Brad and I were happy till we moved back to the place he’d spent some of his teenage years. And back to Lauren. Right now I can hardly bear to say her name; it’s something I spit out, like a grizzly bit of meat. It all seemed okay when we first arrived. At least, I thought it was. Lauren was married to Matt. Nice man, a bit boring, but steady, till his bad spell. And that probably even wouldn’t have happened if my husband and his wife hadn’t decided that maybe they shouldn’t have split up over twenty years ago and went around looking gooey eyed at one another. They tried to hide it at first, but I noticed.

Brad is so easily influenced. He’s always been a dreamer, but at least with my career progression, he’s had a certain freedom to express himself or whatever he calls it. And when Josh was training for the Commonwealth Games, he was able to give up his job and coach him. That was down to me. I don’t think he appreciated how hard I worked to make sure we had a decent standard of living. And standards are important to me, considering the fact that my background meant I had to work my way up the career ladder the hard way.

Pam and Doug always preferred Beth, Brad’s first wife, to me. He wasn’t married to her for very long but he knew he’d made a mistake and that’s where I came in. I can understand his parents’ attitude but you would think they’d have gotten over it after this many years. They think I can’t cook, but for God’s sake, I wasn’t prepared to be one of those homely little wives who was tied to the kitchen. And anyway, I’ve never neglected my family. They go out to the day on a good breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it fuels ambitions. I’ve always wanted our kids to have ambitions.

Anyway, back to the situation I’m in now. Yes, I know that Brad says I pushed him away. But how many wives would welcome the fact that he and Lauren had had a baby together that she thought had died and he knew nothing about? Did he stop and think about how I’d feel about it? No, he went off into a parallel universe, one in which he and Lauren had brought up their daughter and played happy families. Then they searched for her and brought her into our lives. I tried to be accepting. I tried to be nice. But you could see that Paige only had one agenda, and that was to get her birth parents back together again. Romantic, right. Except that there was me, and there was Matt. Poor Matt. Like I say, he wasn’t the most dynamic of men, but Lauren should have paid him more attention. If she had, he wouldn’t have had so much stubborn pride and got himself into a terrible mess working for Dimato. By then, Lauren didn’t need too many excuses to lean on my husband.

I know that a kiss is not a full-blown affair. But after that kiss when Brad and Lauren were searching for Paige, (a kiss they were going to keep secret, might I remind you,) something shifted. People kept telling me – well, Brad in particular – that I had to start trusting him again. They hadn’t let anything go further than a kiss. But it’s still betrayal, right? And it’s not as if the two were strangers. They had history and they were living on the same street. It was always going to be there, that … memory. There was also the time when I was in Canada, visiting Piper and I found out Lauren had fallen asleep on my sofa. Or so she said. I wonder about that, now. What was she even doing, visiting my husband when I was overseas? Can you blame me for being suspicious after that?

I felt awful for thinking the way I did after Matt died. I really was sorry he’d been killed, and after all, he’d saved Brad from that speeding car. But I was worried, too. I knew it would mean that Lauren would be even more emotionally reliant on Brad, and I knew where it would lead. When Brad told me that Matt’s last words to him were ‘to look after Lauren’ I admit I doubted whether he’d made it up. Was it just another excuse for him to pursue Lauren? You can see my thinking here, surely?

I didn’t mean to start drinking so heavily. I just wanted some escapism from the stress. Look, there’s been Josh’s accident, and  Imogen’s eating disorder, which brought back some painful memories of my own. There’s been the incident with Ezra – and I didn’t feel that Brad understood how much that affected me at all – and then there was Nick. I still can’t believe what Nick did. I feel as if everyone has let me down. Is it all my fault? How can it all be my fault? I have tried to hard to get Brad to sit down and talk things through. But he just flounces out like a teenager, using phrases like ‘oh you don’t understand!’ Or, ‘It’s so unfair!’ Imogen has far more maturity than Brad sometimes. I do know that I could have handled things a bit better. I shouldn’t have read Lauren’s journal, or Paige’s text message. But I ask you, what would you have done in my situation? I only wanted one man. But clearly, that man always longed forLauren. And right now, I hate her for ruining my life.

© Carol Ann Wood
October 2015

This writing is unauthorised fan-fiction based upon the Australian television serial Neighbours. It takes one pre-existing Neighbours character and adds a new plot-line to summarise recent plot-lines as an original story.

The author makes no claim that any rights-holders of Neighbours – in particular FreemantleMedia Australia Pty Ltd and FreemantleMedia Operations BV – have made any endorsement whatsoever of this writing.


Index of Posts:

Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


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Sheila Takes A Look At Love

An imagined scene, in which Sheila Canning brings an Erinsborough newcomer up-to-speed on all that’s happening in and around Ramsay Street

“I haven’t seen you round here before, have I, love? What can I get you, a beer? Coming right up. It’s a bit quiet in here this morning. I reckon people are all broke right now, what with Christmas. Even moneybags Paul Robinson, so I’ve heard! Oh, silly me, you won’t know who anyone is if you’re not from this neck of the woods. Well, pull up a bar stool, and if you’ve got a few minutes to spare, I can fill you in on a few folk. I’m Sheila Canning, and I’m the eyes and ears of Erinsborough. Oh, not that I’m a sticky beak like that Susan Kennedy. And I don’t judge anyone. But let’s just say between you and me and my gnomes, it’s been quite a year in our street, and there’s been more make-ups and break-ups than in a soap opera!

“See that woman walking by the window, blonde hair? Well, that’s Lauren, and she’s been in a love-triangle. Shocking, the whole saga. She was married to Matt. Nice man, a policeman. Set in his ways, but a good egg, and a family man, till he went a bit odd towards the end. He was rather sexy. I wouldn’t have minded being arrested by him if I were a criminal. Then the poor thing was killed by an out-of-control car. And guess whose life got saved by Matt shoving him out of the way? Brad Willis! Brad and Lauren had a child together years ago, you see. She’d been adopted out, they went on a mission to find her, and lo and behold when they did, the pair were making eyes at one another as if the child was about to be conceived! Like I said, I’m not judging, but Lauren certain played the merry widow. Matt was hardly cold in his grave before Brad had his feet right under Lauren’s table, and his wood in her shed. (Well, actually, Matt was cremated but you know what I mean.) I’m pretty sure when Matt spoke his last words to Brad that he didn’t mean look after Lauren in quite that way! And poor Terese, Brad’s wife. She went through hell. She can be a bit bossy, granted, but Brad is a weak man. Like a lot of men. Oh, present company excepted! Then Terese got burnt in a fire at the school – long story – and Brad decided he had got a conscience after all. A guilty one I reckon, saying as he chose to rescue Lauren from the building before his own wife! Lauren ended things with Brad after that, so he went crawling back home to look after Terese, but she’s thrown him out again. I tell you, with all their confrontations on the street, it’s like watching the shoot out at the OK Corral.

“And that wasn’t the only love triangle of the year either. There was another one involving Turner and a Willis. Amber Turner, she’s a nice kid but I’m not sure she’s got a lot between the ears sometimes. She was with Josh Willis, then she left him for Daniel Robinson and was about to marry him, only he got stuck down a well with Imogen Willis. I know, you couldn’t make it up, could you? Except Amber didn’t know he was stuck down a well and thought he’d jilted her. So what does the silly girl do then? Only goes and spends what would have been her wedding night being comforted by Josh. Some comforting that turned out to be. She found out later that she was pregnant to him. She and Daniel had got back together by then, as Amber realised he hadn’t jilted her. Are you keeping up? Anyway, of course, the baby being Josh’s spelt curtains for her and Daniel. And now Daniel’s with Imogen. She’s a smart cookie, and they seemed more suited. But Daniel’s changed, so I don’t reckon they’ll last much longer. He’s gone too much like his uncle Paul if you ask me. Money mad.

“Yes, there’s a lot of folk had their hearts broken around these parts. And it’s been pretty hard for me to stand by and watch some of it. I thought that Kyle – that’s my grandson – had found his soulmate with pretty young Georgia. She’s a nurse. She seemed a lovely girl. Even if she did have a pop at my taste in table lamps. So Kyle and Georgia got married, seemed happy, and then Georgia’s mother got sick and needed special cancer treatment. In Germany. So off Georgia goes to be with her mum, leaving Kyle to try and work all hours God sends on his business. Then if you please, she comes back and says she wishes they hadn’t got married. I could have wrung her neck with Dr Karl’s stethoscope. All the same, Kyle seems to have taken it on the chin. He’s seeing Amy Robinson now. She and her son Jimmy are living with us. Amy’s ex came back on the scene a while back, but he was a good for nothing type, and when she realised the truth, she soon shipped him out again. I know she’s a Robinson but Amy’s not a bit like her dad, Moneybags. And it was me who helped get Amy and Kyle together, you know. I’m a good matchmaker. All it took was shutting them in the laundry room to get them to talk and realise they were well suited. Although, I didn’t expect to find them actually getting together in the laundry room if you know what I mean. That image will stay with me for life!

“And my daughter Naomi, well, I’ve despaired at her choice in men for a long time. I don’t know what I did wrong there, but she doesn’t seem to see a good thing when it’s right under her nose with a sign saying ‘Unmarried, available, trustworthy’. Mark Brennan is all those things. Perfect, I tell you. A career as a cop, good looking, buying his house, what more could she want? But Naomi always had a taste for the high life. That’s why she fell into the arms of Paul Robinson. Moneybags. I think I mentioned him earlier. I wasn’t happy about him dating my daughter, but like a good mother, I didn’t interfere. Well, apart from a few tactful words of advice. I’m always tactful. Luckily she saw things my way eventually, but I do wish she hadn’t got drunk and spent the night with Josh Willis. You knew that Moneybags would want revenge when he found out, and he tried to have Josh set up, got someone to plant drugs on him. Oh, I don’t blame Josh for fancying Naomi. I mean, my daughter is a very attractive young woman. She takes after her mum in that way. Men can’t resist her! She’s living in the States now, new dream job and everything. I do miss her, though.

“As for Mark, the one that Naomi let slip through her fingers, well he’s taken up with Paige. That’s Brad and Lauren’s long-lost daughter. I’m not judging, but I really don’t think she’s right for him. She’s too young for starters. Still goes about flashing her belly. And if you ask me, she’s a bit selfish, wanting her parents reunited and not giving a hoot about anyone else’s feelings. And I can’t help but see her around young Tyler, Mark’s brother, and wonder if she’s better suited to him. I heard – and I’m not gossiping – that they had a bit of a moment down that well. It’s a good job they’ve filled it in now, it seems like half of Ramsay street ended up down there. And I reckon something happened when Paige and Tyler were trapped in the school lift during the fire too. I don’t know what, but the truth always comes out in the end. Still, Tyler seems to be having enough love interest to keep him occupied. He took a shine to my B&B guest, and he’s got young Piper Willis mooching about after him too. She’s a strange one, can’t decide if she’s a bit, you know, disturbed, or just rebellious. But with a family like hers, poor kid doesn’t stand a chance of being normal.

“I think lasting love seems to elude most of us in Erinsborough. No-one seems to stick it out these days. No wonder the Willis and Turner kids can’t get it right with their parents’ track records. I suppose we have to be glad that Toadie and Sonya are still happy, even after all they’ve been through. He had a freak accident, you see. But they’ve coped well. Sonya’s a fussy mare over little Nell, but she’s alright really. Yes, I do hope they’ll be okay. It’s a long story, but I owe them for a couple of reasons. Well, alright, I’ll just tell briefly. Naomi had a thing for Toadie once, and I was horrified. She just can’t seem to leave married men alone. Thankfully Toadie wasn’t having any of it, because he’s loyal. Then there was the school fire and I couldn’t get Toadie out because he’s paralysed, so I had to run for help. I felt bad, but he says I wasn’t to blame. Anyway, Sonya and Toadie Rebecchi and Karl and Susan Kennedy, they’re about the only ones who haven’t strayed this year in Ramsay Street. And Karl and Susan have had their history of infidelity, I can tell you, but I haven’t got time to go into it now or we’d still be here this time next year.

“Oh look, there goes Steph Scully. Did I tell you about her? She got sick, heard voices and kidnapped a baby. After she got out of the psych ward, she came back to make amends and rebuild her life. But then this strange woman turned up and, honestly, I wasn’t spying or anything but I saw the two of them and they looked very close if you know what I mean. I heard through the grapevine that she’s Steph’s ex. Everyone who knows Steph wouldn’t have seen that one coming. Well, it takes all sorts and I guess she must swing both ways. I suppose that’s one way of making sure your toast always lands butter side up!

“Oh, look at the time already. Nate should be in soon for his shift. Now, he’s a bit of a prickly cactus, and we all thought he was an odd bod when he first arrived. Didn’t speak more than two words at a time, waggled his eyebrows and scowled a lot. But he turned out to be alright, in his own way. He started dating Chris Pappas, but Chris wanted to be a dad and Nate didn’t. In the end, Chris went off to New York to be near Lucy Robinson and their baby. They had that artificial going-on, you know. And good luck to them if that’s what they wanted. But poor Nate, losing Chris knocked him back a bit. Till Aaron Brennan came along. So now we’ve got three Brennan boys in Ramsay Street. Aaron and Nate seem to be getting on well. And Aaron, he’s a sweetheart really. I’ve had to give them lots of cdvi e, of course. Like I said, I’m good at matchmaking. They call me Cranky Granny but it’s just because they look up to me a lot. I’m not really grumpy, anyone here will tell you I’ve always got a smile for the customers.

“So, you see, it’s been quite a year. I don’t want to brag, but even I had my moments. I enjoyed meeting Harold Bishop, who used to run the coffee shop over the way. What a nice man. He came back for a visit during the festival. I could tell he was keen on me, but he kept thinking he’d seen his dead wife and was talking to her. I do understand, I mean, I still miss my Frank. But, you can’t help wonder what might have been. Then I met Russell, the Brennan brothers’ dad. We had a bit of a romance, although he had to fend off that dried-up floozy, Angie Rebecchi, when she came by the street. Silly woman, I don’t know why she ever thought he would look twice at her. Plus, she can’t make cakes to save her life! A traditional man likes a woman who’s a good cook. I thought Russell was charming, till I found out that he’d knocked seven bells out of Tyler when he was a kid. I couldn’t just forget about that, so I told him to go and get help. He left town, and now he’s having counselling. He phones me now and then, but, well, maybe we were just meant to be mates and nothing more. I should probably just stick to being the agony aunt of the street. You see, everyone comes to me with their love problems and I’m always ready to listen and advise. I’m a wise old stick when it comes to matters of the heart.

“Would you like another beer, love? Oh, where did he go? I’ve only just got started on the story. Honestly, some people, fancy walking out when we were having such a nice chat!”

© Carol Ann Wood
December 2015

This writing is unauthorised fan-fiction based upon the Australian television serial Neighbours. It takes one pre-existing Neighbours character and adds a new plot-line to summarise recent plot-lines as an original story.

The author makes no claim that any rights-holders of Neighbours – in particular FreemantleMedia Australia Pty Ltd and FreemantleMedia Operations BV – have made any endorsement whatsoever of this writing.


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