On Friendship…

Have been asked by a publisher to contribute to an anthology about friendship. Am so scared of upsetting people I know – (family!)  have decided to make up something instead.

Will put details of book on site later, if my contribution makes it to the final cut that is… Back to the typewriter… Cheerio!










10 thoughts on “On Friendship…”

  1. Merridy thank you for your wonderful and very funny book ‘How now brown Frau’, this is the first of yours I have read, and now I cant wait to discover your earlier ones. And being in Tas, I enjoyed the Hobart references too : )

    1. Thanks for that, Bea! And greetings from Munich where the snow hasn’t stopped our German friends from thinking of Australians who’ve lost their homes in the recent bushfires. Hope you’re ok down there in dear old Tas.
      All the best to you,

  2. Stephanie Borst

    Hi Merridy,

    I found your book when we had just arrived in Canberra this December. I have three kids and, as ist was still holidays and I had to keep them busy, I took them around and to the library. Of course they headed straight for the video section and while I was waiting for them to choose I turned around and found myself opposite the biographies. I didn’t care for Bill Cinton or Madonna, but then my eyes came across a lady in a Dirndl with Brezn and I read the title: What now brown Frau… Now, you know us Germans – first thing I thought: Is that the confession of some woman, who fell in love with a Nazi? The colour brown confused me, but I was intrigued and the cover looked to entertaining for a Nazi story, so I took it home.
    From that moment on, the book went everywhere with me and I lived through all those moments with you. Being a Munich girl I could see almost every building you described in my inner eye and I felt this mixture of pleasure and homesickness. So I came with you on your journey, marvelled with you at the surfers on the Isar and the Eisbach, laughed out loud at your description of the Isar-Floss, which were so much part of my life, I never came to question their existance. I walked with you along Schellingstrasse and the Pubs to the Muetterzentrum, which I didn’t frequent often, but (living in Schwabing myself) I had a couple of kids’ courses and stuff there.
    I was very upset about that doctor who dared to speak in German to your partner about the pregnancy and I cried a couple of silent tears with you, when you spoke about the pain of leaving your parents thousands of kilometers behind – a step I took only a few months ago in the other direction.
    And I had so much fun remembering Vidal Sassoon, where I went as a student to get “Modellhaarschnitte” and I even had fun remembering the old ladies in Munich. They are so incredibly rude 🙂 Once a lady looked at my son in his pram – he must have been something like three months old, and shouted out in anger: “Der Bub hat ja nicht mal einen Schnulli”, while I was so proud of him never needing one! When my two older children were about 2 and 3, a lady bought them toys at Karstadt, because she apparently had heard them crying and thought, I was just such a bad mum I wouldn’ s buy them any!
    Munich is a lovely city, but many people there are very very conservative and it can be hard for someone who is different – dresses differently, thinks differently, acts differently. I understand how alone you must have felt until you met the expats. It was very nice to live with you through all these experiences – thanks for putting them down on paper.

    Australia is so open, open spaces and open minds. I am glad we are here now. We love Canberra. Kids will start school on Monday and my adventure is just at the beginning. Who knows – maybe one day I will write a book about my life in Australia!

    Many greetings (of course 🙂 )

    1. Wow Stephanie!
      For a start, I was born in Canberra, one of three kids, and as my mum was a librarian we spent every Saturday morning at the library where you may have found my book. Secondly, I know what you mean about the title How Now Brown Frau. I just didn’t think of the brown shirts (oder die Braunhemden) once when it came to the title. “How now brown cow” is a commonly known elocution exercise both here and in the UK and it made me laugh when a writer friend of mine wrote to me in Munich asking “How now brown Frau?” Und so hab’ ich den Titel gefunden! I’m so glad you took it home anyway and discovered I didn’t marry a Nazi but a sensitive river surfer called Tom. And to hear that you’re a Münchnerin and therefore already familiar with the Eisbach and Schwabing (jetzt hab’ ich grosses Heimweh…) And that you also have visited the Mutterzentrum (now moved from Schraudolphstrasse to Nordendstraße); Vidal Sassoon for a “Modellhaarschnitte”; and that you also were accosted by critical elderly women. (I’m not exaggerating, am I?) Henry never needed a Schnulli either so I’m happy we never ran into the one you did, but whenever he cried – they’d creep out from the shadows like a geriatric chorus, and yes a few gave him gifts (like you in Karstadt) to compensate for my incompetence, usually lollies (!!) while others asked him (for my benefit) if he was too cold, too hungry, or thirsty. ‘Nur ein bisschen betrunken,’ I sometimes felt like saying, winking at his bottle. And yes you’re so right, it’s a beautiful city but it can be very conservative and it took a long time for me to find my voice. But I have to tell you that we’ve just returned from 3 weeks in München and Tom, Henry and I just loved every single minute.
      Anyway, I hope you don’t miss your parents too much, Stephanie, and if you do, I hope they can come visit you in Canberra soon. It’s so nice to hear from you. I’m so happy you could relate to so much of my book and that it made you laugh (and cry!). I think you should seriously consider writing yours – and if you do – I’ll be the first to buy it!
      Schöne Gruüsse to you und Alles Gute in Canberra.

  3. Dear Merridy (Merrily, Marilyn..??:),

    A few years ago I read There’s a Bear in There which was not only very funny, but so informative about the inner workings of a Sydney brothel! I had no idea!
    Then I found Ridiculous Expectations which was not only poignant, but hysterically funny too – your writing style is very very good – lean and interesting.
    I lived in Hobart in the late 70s and met some great friends there – one girlfriend had unique parents whose pet names were Bwana and Black Dog! So I enjoyed the descriptions of your parents and their pet names for you and eachother (which were much sweeter than B & BD above…).
    I just had to read How Now Brown Frau? with its descriptions of your life in Germany with the gorgeous Tom (and his interesting relatives) and the difficulties living in such a different culture. When you both decided to return to sparkling Sydney, even I was glad!
    I do hope that all is well for you, Tom and dear little Henry.
    Reading your books has been a real delight – I have an idea that you are a delight too Merridy.
    Very best wishes,

    1. Dear Cate,
      Thank you so much for your lovely response. I especially love hearing you read all three books including Ridiculous Expectations, the overlooked middle child and therefore my favourite! I was in Hobart from 73-80. We might have sat next to each other on a bus, Cate, or danced together at an ACDC concert. You know what Hobart’s like. My mum might have taught you at Bellerive Primary! Anyway, Tom was just delighted to read your kind mention of him too, and dear little Henry has just begun Year 3, and is learning about ‘a good guy called Nelson from South Aftrica’ among other things. So thank you dear Cate. You sound pretty top shelf yourself, and your message makes me want to keep writing. (I love the sound of Black Dog and Bwana by the way…)

  4. Anita Petrou

    Hi Merridy,

    I have just finished reading ‘How Now Brown Frau’ and found it thoroughly engaging from start to finish! I loved how you related the challenges of living in Germany with such a humorous perspective ( making me chuckle and want to high-five you!)

    I particularly admired your honesty in revealing your innermost thoughts and sharing of experiences. It really was an amazing glimpse into the German way of life/culture/ attitudes… Eye-opening at times!

    Now I will be looking to read your previous books. My daughter has highly recommended the ‘Brothel Receptionist’ and I have no doubt that will also give me a few giggles.

    Thanks so much for the laughter and insights Merridy – keep ’em coming!

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Anita,
      Well that’s just made my day. Thank you for your lovely enthusiasm – it helps us writers up there, tapping away in our attics, I tell you. And I love your daughter’s title for my first book. I actually wanted to call it ‘The Receptionist’ myself. ‘Brothel Receptionist’ isn’t bad at all, but the publisher wanted us to somehow combine brothel with my history as a Playschool presenter in the title, thereby shocking people into buying a copy, or intriguing them at least… They were even going to call it ‘Open Wide, Come Inside’ at one point! (I hope you know the Playschool song, Anita, and don’t just think I’m being terribly crass…) Anyway it worked. They don’t call them marketing departments for nothing… I hope you get your hands on a copy easily, and there’s another one too, a middle child called Ridiculous Expectations. Thanks again for making my day. Du bist etwas Besonderes. X

  5. Hi Merridy,
    WOW what a life you have led so far. I am thrilled that you have had the experience of being able to record your journey so far along the way. A friend lent me your German book, How Now Brown Frau. I loved it so much I have sought out the other two books. I found the first book and now so excited to have found the second which I am currently reading. I also enjoyed reading your Urban Goddess column. Keep up the good work. Glenda who may be able to find book four in her travels.

    1. Hi Glenda,
      Thanks for lovely words of encouragement. The fourth book is taking a while due to ‘other projects’… including family life, but that’s all good. So happy you’ve chased my other books, Glenda. You make me want to sit down and write like the clappers! All the very best to you, and promise book IV on the way! x

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