Fionnula and Frankie: Smoke signals send Frankie packing

Catch up on the series: 

Fionnula and Frankie's Christmas Countdown - Week 1

Spontaneity gets in the way of friends' good intentions

Jim the hot gym instructor has Fionnula a little breathless

Fionnula urges Frankie to wake up and smell the coffee

The girls are smitten by a smooth operator

Trying to BBQ to get over Chai

Jim is abs-olutely perfect


I'M GOING first. Don't think I'm not counting down until Christmas too. Believe me, the sooner I can get back to having coffee with my own friends over the northside the better. I've calculated there's 20 days until Christmas, which only gives us three more sessions at Cafe Cath-ene, and only three more challenges for the girls to meet their ultimate goal of transforming their lives, and finding the perfect partner by Christmas Day. Well, I have to be honest and say they're not on track.

I'm going to have to do something drastic here. I don't know whether to involve my husband Ken in our final three meetings, or even Cath from Cath-ene who runs the cafe. I'd get Deepak Chopra on speaker phone if I could afford it (the man wears ruby red rhinestone-encrusted glasses for heaven's sake). The whole problem with these two (Frankie and Fionnula) is that they're being too unrealistic.

When they said last week they'd revised their "top five" list of the ideal attributes in a partner, I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, I thought they were becoming more sensible, but Fionnula now has the most ridiculous expectations, like... "he must be proficient at assembling furniture, to the standard of an Ikea assembler". What a load of rot. I've always assembled my own furniture.

I'll tell you how Ken and I met... at a fondue night organised by the local bowls club. I'm not saying it was love at first sight, I think my one criterion for a partner was that he had all his teeth. But we spent time with each other, fell in love, and haven't looked back since. Actually, perhaps that's the answer. Perhaps I should organise a fondue night at our house, and invite every eligible male.

Knowing these two though they wouldn't show, and I'd be left with a kitchen full of young tradies and a bewildered Ken. As it is Frankie's a flight risk. Still... it's not the silliest idea I've ever had...


WELL, I'm off to Hong Kong. I met mum's challenge from last week and went to the Holistic Rocky Expo, and after navigating my way through kilometres of beads, crystals and candles in an exhibition hall, I almost tripped over a fortune teller.

She was sitting cross-legged, burning ghastly incense, and blocking the only exit.

I tried to step around her, but she extended her arms and her flowing robes consumed every inch of the doorway, making it impossible for me to escape. I broke out in a sweat but she told me to relax, sit down, and that I could leave after a five-minute palm-read and a $50 donation.

I relented, and reluctantly lowered myself to face the wily sorcerer. If the incense was overpowering at standing height, it was unbearable at floor level. I began coughing convulsively and suggested we extinguish the flame, but she flashed me a fiery look. Greedily, she snatched my palm.

"Oh I see," she said suggestively, "you're after a gate?"

"I'm after a gate?" I replied, "well I suppose I'm after a gate out of this expo." (cough cough).

"No, no dear," she said, shifting in her robes, "you misheard me, you're after a date?"

"Well, that's closer to the money but not really..." I said, my eyes smarting with the smoke.

"Aha!" She cried, "You're after a mate!"

"Yes! Yes!" I replied with false enthusiasm so I could escape her clutches. The smoke from the incense thickened around us as she declared, "I thought so. He wears (cough) a sarong."

"So what, should I move to Samoa?"

"No, he (cough) likes (cough) Kantong."

"Did you just say he lives in Hong Kong?"

She eyed me narrowly and released my hand.

"Yes, that's exactly what I said. You may go now."

And with that I skirted past the psychic, drove home, assured Fionnula I'd be back in time to accompany her to the life drawing class, and packed my bag for Hong Kong.


This column is brought to you by the travel experts at Flight Centre. Follow Frankie to Hong Kong in search of love with flights and four nights' accommodation at the five-star Harbour Grand Kowloon from $1335pp. Call 133 133 or visit for more details.




WELL, here's one for the books. Jim from the gym couldn't have cared less that I was challenged to have a night by myself this week. In fact, he appeared relieved. He even suggested we take a breather for a fortnight. I now suspect that he's been catching up with Stacey and Tracey and all those other gym girls, so I called it off with Jim. I then cancelled my membership to Silhouettes... again. At least now I don't have to travel over to the northside.

So, Louise, my feline persian princess, is the only company I've enjoyed this week, and to be honest the nights have dragged. I even bought a slow cooker to perk myself up. The feeling didn't last. Being on my own has made me realise that, apart from the salon, and looking forward to fish 'n' chip Friday, I don't have much going on. It all really hit home when it struck me how much I love, and look forward to doing... the washing. It's like I can't get those clothes to the machine and out on the line fast enough.

I am, however, willing to consider attending a life drawing class run by TAFE. Frankie's latched on to the idea, of course, and has challenged me to go along. I've challenged her to come with me... if she makes it back from Honkers in time. Oh yeah, I keep running into Ted (one of the brothers that has moved in next door to Frankie's parents). He's hilarious. We were both in Big W buying slow cookers. I invited him to the life drawing class too.

NEXT WEEK: Will Frankie find the love of her life in Hong Kong? And what's revealed at Fionnula's life drawing class? Catch up with the series online. And for more humour from Anna Daniels head to

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