Monday, October 4, 2021

Channel 40 on the school run


In 400 metres, take the 2nd exit onto Stirling Highway

What was my Mum like when she was a baby, Nanna Sarah?

She had amazing eyes, Gracie, bright blue with dark rings around the outside. 

She’s got green eyes now.


What else? Was she funny? 

Yeah. She talked all the time, in another language, garble garble garble. I wish I’d taped her talking. 

My brother doesn’t talk yet. He just lies and sleeps and then he wakes up for milk. 

I always wanted a brother. A big brother though. Someone to stick up for me. Having a brother is really cool, I think. 

Was Mum naughty?

Yes, all the time.


Take the 2nd exit onto Stirling Highway.

Hang on, just let me get into this traffic, it’s busy.


Hey! You just made up a word. Trafficky. I love it. Traffic is trafficky. Excellent.

CHCHCH … right lane on Roe’s out.

CHCHCH … what the fuck is it now.

CHCHCH … some dickhead in a Sierra’s parked up with ‘is fucken hazard lights on.

CHCHCH … ahh ok mate, cheers … what a fuckwit. 

They’re swearing Nana Sarah, who’s swearing? 

It’s the truckies talking to each other on their radios. Sorry. But I like leaving the radios on, so I can hear what’s happening. It’s a bit different but sort of like music radio.

Stay in the left lane.

It’s like being on the telephone except everyone with a radio can hear what you’re talking about.

Can I make a call? On that radio thing?


For the next 5 kilometres, stay in the left two lanes. 

Okay. But here’s the rules. Did you hear them talking about which lanes are safe to drive?


So you can’t jam up the radio waves and carry on when they’re talking about stuff like that. You say what channel you’re on, like TV channels. These guys are talking on channel 40. So let’s practise first. Say your name and channel, Gracie. 

Grace reporting on channel 40 …

That’s brilliant! Okay, what are you gonna say next? 

Say hello if you can hear me?

Yep okay. That’s good. How do you sign off? 

What does that mean? 

It means how you finish the call. Say Grace over and out. That means you’ve finished speaking but you that want them to answer back.

Hi everyone, this is Grace reporting on channel 40 … I’m on my way home from school, if you hear this please say hello to me, Matilda on channel 40, Grace over and out. 

Pretty cool, Grace.


No one is talking to me.

That's okay mate.

Take the next exit onto highway 3 to Victoria Park, Sealane Avenue.

I’m not sposed to know where I live, Nanna Sarah. Is this machine going to tell me where I live?

It’s okay. I’ll stop the directions before we get there so you don’t hear it.


Why didn’t they answer my call Nanna Sarah?

They’re probably busy. Hang on, I’ve just gotta do this thing. mutters fuck this city thing stresses me out.

Take the exit.



Grace reporting on channel 40. Hope you had a good weekend. Today at school we did our maths test. Please say hello. Grace out.

CHCHCH … Heeeelllooo Grace!

Someone said hello!

Yes someone did!

CHCHCH Hello Grace!

CHCHCH That fucken dickhead doin’ 50 northbound I can’t fucken believe it what a dickwad.

CHCHCH I’m having chips for dinner, mate. Jacks n chips.

CHCHCH Mate I hear you.

CHCHCH Hello Grace! 

Nanna Sarah, what was my Mum like at school? Was she good at sport?

Your mum was hopeless at sport. 

I’m good at sport. What colour was her hair?


What colour was her eyes?

You know that. They were blue and now they’re green.

My brother’s eyes are blue.

Yeah. All babies are born with blue eyes. Did you know that?

His eyes might turn brown.

Yes they might do.

His Dad’s eyes are brown.

Yes. Yes they are.

My Dad’s taller than you, Nanna Sarah.

No he’s not. 

Dad wants to know if you still have big frizzy hair. He says your frizzy hair makes you look bigger than him but he’s really bigger in real life. That’s not true, is it?

I’m taller than your Dad, Gracie. I don’t care what he says.

At the next exit, take highway 3 to Victoria Park. 

Can you turn off that machine please, Nanna Sarah?

No worries love. I’m getting better at this city thing. 

Does your frizzy hair really make you bigger than my Dad?

Not really. I dunno.

CHCHCH … southbound on Stirling shit’s happening up ahead.


Hi Gracie!

Nanna Sarah, here’s my NAPLAN test. Can I open it? 

No! No wait. Wait. I’ll ring your mum first and ask her.

But I’m such a good writer. This says my handwriting is bad. 

CHCHCH … it’s shit out there ay. There’s fucking dickheads about everywhere today. 

I’ve seen your handwriting. It’s really bloody good Gracie.

You just swore Nanna Sarah. 

Look, don’t pay any attention to this test. It’s rubbish Gracie. It’s not real. It’s not real! 

But it says, look here … 

Hey. What are you going to call in today?

Hello everyone, this is Grace reporting on channel 40. I wrote a story about a mermaid called The Pearl Princess and it’s about to be turned into a movie, you can see it tonight on channel nine. Grace reporting, over and out. 

CHCHCH … that sounds like a good story Grace.

CHCHCH … we need to hear more like this, guys.

CHCHCH … yeah, we need more of this.

CHCHCH … just a reminder everyone, there’s kids like her listening in, please tone down the language.

CHCHCH … Copy that.




Copy that.


Gracie, I’m leaving, I’m going back down south tomorrow. So this is your last call. What do you want to say today?

Proceed to the roundabout and take the 2nd exit.

Hello, this is Grace reporting on channel 40. This is my last call to you all. If you hear me, please say hello and goodbye. Grace on channel 40, over and out.

That was pretty cool, Gracie. Really great.


Grace! Heeelllooo! Goodbye!

Hi Grace and goodbye

Hello and Goodbye!

Bye Grace

Hi Grace, see you on the road mate.

Hi Grace Bye

Bye kid.

I’m waiting for the movie.

I think you are awesome Grace.

Thanks for being there for me, mate.

Keep on trucking, kid.







  1. Gracie is a curious, very bright and delightful girl. She does very well on the radio. Cheers to Gracie and Sarah and may you have many future travels together having fun on the radio. (As an aside, I do not like the fact that Gracie's teacher told her she does not write well. Maybe this teacher is not teaching very well... Yes, I was known as the parent from Hell when I had something to say about my son's schooling.)

    1. Ha ha re being parent from hell! It's a federal testing system, designed to maintain a national level of curriculum, so not down to individual teachers ... but I really disliked the pressure it put on my 8 year old grandie. Quite obscene.

  2. Gracie is so lucky to have an absolutely out there bonkers Nanna. My grandmother was the matriarch of the family and influenced me so much in positive ways. She's long gone, but I'll always be grateful for her in my life.

    1. Thanks Michelle, I quite like the label Bonkers Nanna! Gracie is really going through it right now. It was great to be around when I could.