Sunday, 19 July 2015


Valerie's Gallery is a collection of thoughts, poems, stories and other writings. Some are observations of the different ways people communicate and are all based on actual encounters. They were all written by my Mother as part of her Major Work for her Degree in Communication.

Me. Communicating, clear tones, precise request,

‘One ball point pen, please’.

‘One?’ asked the girl, feeding back smartly.

‘One’, I confirmed. We were doing nicely.

‘Ordinary or twenty five center?’ she queried.

I had not been aware until now that any great choices existed in the ball point pen sphere, but I’m always game to make changes.

‘Twenty five center’, I said, really splurging.

Girl, beginning to make a move, ‘Black, Blue, Red or Green?’

I was dazzled by so many choices, it was hard to decide.

Finally I said with relief, ‘Black’.

‘Black’, said the girl.

Good feedback again.

‘Black please’, I confirmed.

She disappeared under the counter. 
Finally her voice floated up again,

‘Fine or Medium?’

Me, faint from all these decisions so early in the morning,

‘What’s the difference?’

‘The fine is fine and the medium is medium’.

‘Oh’. I said.

What else was there to say in the face of all this knowledge.

‘Well, medium please’.

She emerged in triumph, placed the pen in a paper bag 
and handed it over.

‘Thirty cents please’, she said briskly, further confounding my already hazy morning.

Written by Valerie Hazel Torning.

Friday, 3 July 2015

‘The Things They Say!’/‘A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to Insanity’/Kids

'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Insanity' is all about Kids and Mothering and life with a big Family. The joys of being a parent and those things that drive us crazy.

Kids say the funniest things. They come out with amusing comments that can crack you up. I've heard my fair share of funny things over the years and when I was able and had the presence of mind to, I wrote some down in my dairy. Here are just a few samples and just like the joke about two priests and a mule, you’ll get a kick out of it! Boom, Boom.

Daughter #1 Age 8
told me she made moulds at school out of ‘Pastor of Paradise’.
(a new type of clergy maybe…..)

Daughter # 1 Age 7
Having a conversation about why my nephew was adopted.
Me, ‘Uncle S had something wrong and so they couldn’t have a baby’
Daughter, ‘What’s Uncle S got to with it?’
Me, ‘Well, the man has to plant the seed in the Mum so the baby will grow’.
Daughter, ‘Oh yeah that’s right, they use their technicals’.
(not to get too technical…..)

Daughter # 2 Age 6
Driving home after seeing The King and I starring Hayley Mills my daughter says from the back seat....
‘Hayley Mills was so good. I wish we had her autograph’. 

We all agreed and then she continued with
‘What’s an autograph?’
(no comment…..)

Daughter #3, Age 4
Standing at the back door watching the rain come down singing
‘It’s waining, it’s pawing, all men are borwing’.
(Out of the mouths of babes……)

Daughter # 1 Age 5
Me, ‘No more drink now or you’ll wet the bed’.
Daughter ‘Pleeeaaassseee’.
Me, ‘I said no’.
Daughter, ‘When you die, I’m going to have as much drink as I want’.
(What a wonderful life goal…..)

Daughter #1 Age 7
‘Trains are dangerous. They can blow your hat off!’
(good point....)

Daughter #3 Age 7
Talking with her sister aged 5 when they should have been going to sleep, I told them to be quite. The response in an indignant tone, 
“Excuse my French Mum, but we’re talking about boys’.
(the new bad language…..)

Daughter #4 Age 6
When told that I was watering the grass so it would grow, she responded, 
‘But if it grows, then Dad will have to saw it!’
(better than using nail clippers…..)

And the next generation:

Granddaughter # 1 Age 3
‘Can I leave the table?’
Mum, ‘What’s the magic word?’
Granddaughter, after some thought, ‘Abra cadabra!’

What funny things have you heard kids say? I’d love to hear some of them.