I am an urban goddess.

When the Wentworth Courier rang to ask if I’d like to write a column (one that for years has been called Urban Goddess) – I said You betcha! And so it’s out this week, my first column, on dog poo. I thought I’d start at the bottom…

If you’d like a peek, go to  Columns from an Urban Goddess.

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12 Responses to I am an urban goddess.

  1. Sonia says:

    Hi Merridy
    I have just finished reading “How Now, Brown Frau” and wanted to thank you for your wonderful writing style. I had read both your other books (in order) and have enjoyed this journey with you. I am a beauty therapist and have been raving to all my clients about you and that they too should ‘pick you up’. My 82 year old mum has just started on “There’s a bear in there…” and she is finding it very enlightening and funny.

    Some passages in this last book I loved so much I re-read them OUT LOUD to myself, so I could get the full impact of your humour! Laughed and laughed and laughed!

    Also I loved you in Packed to the Rafters, I didnt realise it was you who had written the book until I was half way thru the second one! Arent I a dill?!

    Anyway, thank you again for these books… I now feel like we are old friends – thats how good your writing is. Thanks also for the fascinating insight into German-isms and ways…. as well as the whole becoming a mother thing – and what an amazing thing it is (I struggled when my boys were babies, I cant imagine doing it in a non english speaking country!) ……and PLEASE write more books!

    Cheers Sonia

    • Merridy says:

      Hi Sonia,
      You’ve helped me a lot tonight. First of all, thanks for such a lovely post. I could hug you through the computer if it was poss. I am so glad you enjoyed all three books, and please say a big warm hello to your 82 year old mum who’s now reading about sex workers in a brothel in inner Sydney … My mum was 72 when she read ‘There’s a Bear in There’, and I think she loved it mainly because I wasn’t working there anymore! (As the receptionist… ) And I love that you read some passages out loud and had a good laugh. Hope your family’s not too worried about you. I do the same with David Sedaris books. Hey, you’ve helped me because I’m writing a warm, funny female character for this ‘thing’ I’m working on, and have been wondering what she does for a living. She’s now going to be a beauty therapist, Sonia! And yes, I promise to write more books, especially for readers like you. X

  2. Bron says:

    Dear Merridy

    I have just bought “There’s a Bear in there”. I cannot wait to listen to it. I started the first chapter. I have the audio version with you narrating. I’m so excited. I’ve looked all over the web and cannot fine the other two in audio. I’m blind so print is no good. Are you going to narrate the others? I love to laugh. Often when I’m listening to an audio book in the night I’ll laugh out loud and my poor husband thinks I’m laughing in my sleep. Yesterday, I heard a replay, on ABC, of your dinner presentation. It was so funny. To have the gift to make people laugh is amazing.

    You are a treasure.

    Regards
    Bron

    • Merridy says:

      Hi Bron,
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I’m so glad you caught the repeat of that literary luncheon on ABC yesterday. Despite dropping whopping hints to the ABC and Talking Books via my agent, I never was asked to do an audio recording for the other two books. (Buggers!) But I so enjoyed recording ‘There’s a Bear’ … except for the accents. Had I known I was going to have to do all those accents myself, Bron, (Bavarian, Russian, French, Scottish, West African… ) I would have just made everyone come from Newtown, know what I mean?
      You sound like a treasure yourself, and I really hope you keep your husband awake (laughing) while listening to my first big adventure. :-D
      Merridy. X

  3. Elaine McGowan says:

    Dear Merridy,
    Having just read the last two of your three books….I know, what sort of reverse numerical order is that since I haven’t read your first yet?!…and thoroughly enjoyed sharing your life, I had to write and tell you that I can’t wait until you write another.
    I’ve been staying in Brisbane with my daughter who’s just had her first baby, a son, and read to her from ‘How Now Brown Frau’ about your experience when Henry was born. While laughing ourselves silly, we did really feel for you, though!! Your ability to see the funny side of all your experiences, no matter how traumatic, is quite remarkable.
    I’m really looking forward now to going back to the beginning of your literary career and reading ‘There’s a Bear in There’.

    Best wishes and regards,
    Elaine

    • Merridy says:

      Thanks Elaine! What a lovely response to books 2 and 3. I hope you enjoy No.1 as much. Even without going overseas as I do in the other two, it’s quite a detour! Love that I was able to make you and your daughter laugh as she was becoming a mum for the first time too, and please congratulate her for me. I must admit, I didn’t see the funny side of giving birth in a German hospital (without yet being able to speak german…) until afterwards. But I DO remember thinking, through the pain, tears, and sleeplessness – this has to go in the book too, even Nurse Magda demanding I present my Po! Thank you so much for writing to me, Elaine. :-) All the very best to you and your family.
      Cheers,
      Merridy. x

  4. Rosie Schaller says:

    Hiya Merridy,

    I am a (fellow) Tasmanian and am currently living in Bavaria with my German husband and 11 month old son, for six months. Your latest book was handed to me just before we left, and it has been a gift. Having been acquainted with Germany a couple of times before, albeit for short stints as a taster, I was a bit more familiar with the culture that you speak of than you were when you first landed there four months pregnant and without a word of Deutsch, but needless to say, I have laughed out loud many times in your book relating SO well to your descriptions of people, places and things; the excessive antlers, the dark pannelled wooden restaurants, the heavy food, the fondness of ordering things from magazines, the house shoes, the over use of the expression ‘Genau!’ and the confused interpretations from conversations. I wiped tears of laughter from my eyes in your chapter titled ‘Tante Zelda’. The book has renewed my confidence and sense of humour when I sometimes find it all a bit too different to my beloved Tassie, so thank you for that. And the fact that you threw in bits and pieces from your foundations in Hobart has connected me all the more to the book…. Liebe Gruesse, Rosie

    • Merridy says:

      Hi Rosie,
      I’m so happy to hear you laughed so much at my attempt to understand dear Tante Zelda, who has sadly since passed away. I so loved that dear woman, but lordy it was hard to keep up, and I just knew such challenging social situations would resonate with other expats struggling with a new language. So thanks for your lovely message. I think it’s very important to nurture your own sense of humour in a situation like yours, and mine back then. Essential even. And sometimes the last person to share that laugh with is one’s lovely Bavarian husband and in-laws, and if you’re as lucky as me, they’ll understand that too. If it wasn’t for my writing, and for my funny expat girlfriends over there, and for various wonderful German friends and the hilarious lady at our local flower shop, I might have hopped on a plane home and missed out on a truly wonderful experience. I’m jealous of you being over there, as I am whenever I hear of any expat (especially a fellow Taswegian!) being in Munich, or anywhere in Germany. And speaking of Deutschland, how about that soccer game yesterday? We were just leaping off our couches over here, me, Tom and our boy Henry, at 5.30 in the morning. Unglaublich! Anyway, I’ll say hi to Hobart for you when I’m down there again in a few weeks. Hope you’re enjoying that beautiful Bavarian summer, Rosie. Schöne Grüsse von mir! x

      • Rosie Schaller says:

        Thank you for the reply! Yes that soccer game was insane! My mother in law declared she was going to bed at half time – no need to stay up anymore…(haha such admirable confidence).
        Yes the old humour is pretty vital, but done graciously so as not to offend. I like to write too and whether I send it as an email or not, it’s always therapeutic for me.
        I actually saw you at the Taste of Tasmania last summer or the one before. At the time I recognised you from Packed to the Rafters. I hope this isn’t too personal, but I remember seeing you holding hands with a little boy and when I read your book it was kinda cool to make the connection.
        The Bavarian summer is sehr schön, danke.
        Rosie

        • Merridy says:

          Yes Rosie, that would have been our boy Henry. Taste of Tassie is always a treat. Next time, whether there or maybe at the Oktoberfest, make sure you come over and say hello! X

  5. Elke Effler says:

    Hallo Merridy
    I have just finished reading ‘How now brown frau’ and laughed myself into stitches. My name will tell you that I am German. I was born in Germany and went to school there for 3 years before coming to Australia with my parents a LONG time ago. So I really understand the cultural differences and how hard it is to make those adjustments. In the early years my parents wondered what on earth they had done.

    I have a foot in both camps and I am able to look at Germany and my fellow Germans from a distance and have to laugh and at times shake my head. As I have no vested interest in them I can look at them objectively. And then I do the same thing with my fellow Australians. Fascinating. I do love the German language though and it makes perfect sense to me. A hideously difficult language to learn though if not born into it. English on the other hand is a hideously difficult language to pronounce and spell.

    And I really had to laugh at the German directness you wrote about. I have to put my hand up to that one. Despite being in Australia so long, that German directness must be in my DNA, sigh…. It does get me into trouble at times as Australians just don’t get it. The thing about Germans is that being direct back to them is usually ok because they understand it. In any case, it doesn’t hurt them and they might as well get used to coping with what they dish out.

    From my own experiences being a total stranger in another country and not knowing the language at all is very, very difficult. When I came home from my first day at school in Geelong, I informed my parents that we simply could not stay in this country as it is hideous, horrible and school just awful. I considered them barbarians. I was so upset that my parents said that if it did not get any better, we could go back with the next boat. So I thought, why on earth would I learn to speak English if we weren’t going to stay here? I kept asking my parents when the boat was coming and they said that they did not go that often and I would have to be patient. Given that life was actually quite difficult not being able to communicate (as you know so well yourself), I decided that I would have to learn at least some English words, and then of course English happened very quickly, as it does with children.

    So I know how hard it must have been for you and also how frustrating and alienating. I read your book both as a German and as a German/Australian. What a hoot. I will now of course have to buy your other books too.

    Thank you for your humour and your ability to stay the course in Germany. It is actually fun having a foot in both camps.
    Best regards
    Elke

    • Merridy says:

      Hi Elke, I meant to reply earlier. You really do live in both worlds, don’t you? Ha! And I feel for you as a little girl waiting for that boat to come back. But it’s all in learning the language, isn’t it? I never learnt as much as I should have in Munich. I was far too busy being a mum, writing in English, and hanging out with those wonderful bilingual women. But when I was able to speak with the other Mütter at the Spielplätze, and with our doctor, and with shop keepers, and Tom’s family, and with others at parties, a whole world of warmth and possibilities opened up for me. I’m still learning German, and I get to hear it every day as Tom only ever speaks German with our son (who understands way more than I can). My advice to ANYONE living in another country – is to learn the language.
      It’s so lovely to hear from a reader who’s experienced the same thing, only the other way around. And you’re right, English has the most ridiculous spelling of all. At least Geschwindigkeit is pronounced EXACTLY as it’s spelt!
      Please buy my other books, Elke, and read them and write to me again.
      Hee hee (oder hihi)
      Merridy.x

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