wings and things

My son, the honest actor

Earlier today I put Ming on a train to Perth because he has applied for numerous roles in various films, including a music video. It’s mostly “extra” work so not paid but I admire his tenacity in trying to get ‘out there’ as an actor. One of the roles requires him to be a scruffy guy at a strip club; another requires him to be a sophisticated guy at a strip club; and the music video requires him to be a NeoNazi in a story about how a young son murders his Nazi father.

Yes, well, mmmm. Anyway, Ming will be staying with various relatives and friends for the next four days and nights. Tonight he will be staying with my eldest niece and her husband (you know, the beautiful people).

The following night, he will be staying with one of his best friends, and for the last two nights he will be staying with relatives from Anthony’s side of the family.


Ming hasn’t gone off for many adventures like this and I just realized that I have never been alone on this farm for as long as four days (one or other of the ‘boys’ would be here), so it feels very strange.

The brat’s interests are music and drama (both of which he is good at, but, even though he has some formal qualifications, these are very difficult industries to get into).

I am hoping so much that he might simply be noticed.


Before I dropped Ming off at the train station, we went to our lawyer’s office to give him a gift of red wine and he invited us into his space to have a chat. It wasn’t like our previous chats because, now that the court case is miraculously over, we could just be ourselves without the professional distance. I wanted to hug the lawyer (as I had done just after the verdict last week), but I restrained myself.

Ming was told previously that one of the repercussions of the accident was that he might have to do community service by accompanying the police to schools in order to talk about his/our extended family’s experience. We were told last week that this was no longer a necessity but Ming still wants to do this and I support his decision.

In a way, this will be another unpaid acting role but, this time, it will be the real thing. Ming told me this afternoon that he continually replays that night in his head, with ‘what if?’ questions a never-ending dream sequence, and with the ‘why?’ question still hanging its head in shame.

The fact that all of the children who were injured are okay now, in a forever way, spurs Ming on to wanting to warn the rest of us to be more protective, corrective and vigilant – AND to dispel notions of easygoingness when it comes to children, because you just


Ming’s 20th birthday party

With around 70 guests (mostly 19-20 year-olds), a handful of parents, and a few of Ming’s older cousins, it was a resounding success. We did the lawns and madly tidied up beforehand:


We set up Anthony’s ancient stereo system, which Ming has now figured out how to operate. It has the most amazing sound which some would call LOUD:


We began to fill a cattle trough with ice and drinks as soon as it got a bit cooler (it was an extremely hot day):


The first guests began to arrive and Ming was given some suitable adornments:


More guests arrived:


The pizzas arrived:


I remained calm:


Ming made a short speech dedicated to his favourite topic – himself:


There was a bit of cigar debauchery but nothing else untoward happened …


… Except for an unexpected pole dancer (my gorgeous, incorrigible niece):


Here she is again, slightly more subdued, with her brother and husband.


Thanks, Ash, for rocking the party up a few notches, for taking most of these photos, and for making Ming’s party the best ever!


Learning how the law works

Today Ming and I met with his lawyer for the second time and his barrister for the first time. The barrister was just as honest and down-to-earth as the lawyer, but she did warn us that jail is a possibility because five children were injured. I suppose there is no point in panicking about this yet as the court date still hasn’t been set (but of course I am panicking). Apparently the police report will be sent to the lawyer and he will send it on to us but I am not sure how it all works. The seriousness of the children’s injuries has been our main concern over the last two months so I guess I hadn’t (until now) realized how serious the repercussions might be for Ming in terms of his charges and sentencing. Thanks for all the thoughts, prayers and comments for our extended family and I’m sorry I haven’t answered all of them. I am also extremely grateful for the testimonials send to us on Ming’s behalf because apparently these will possibly have an impact on the judge’s decision. I am not going to write about any of this for awhile because it’s too difficult but, again, thanks so much for the support!

This photo was taken two years ago, before everything began to skew.