Instinct is an interesting thing, don’t you think? I instinctively check my face each morning for new wrinkles and blemishes. It sets me up for the sort of day I will have.

When driving and I am about to have an accident, I instinctively put my arm across to save my passenger, even if there is no passenger. When I hear Lyle Shelton or Mark Latham on the radio, I instinctively dry wretch. When I get my eyebrows waxed, I resist the urge to ask to see the used wax strip.

Instinct is basically the desire that comes without learning. Deep, embedded behaviours that you do without even realising it.

My dog Isobel Barbara looks like a woolly, tiny sheep and when I take her to the dog park, she is rounded up constantly by all the working dogs, who are being bought up in the city, probably having never seen a sheep it their lives. Kelpies and cattle dogs chase her from one end of the oval to another. It is humorous and terrifying, all at the same time.

Another example of instinctive behaviour occurred this week, where we have been spending time out at Mums joint. I have both boys with my, plus my “adopted” son James, who is Horatio’s best mate.

Now, Horatio is a rugby player, whereas James is an accomplished soccer player, sleek and fast. But there is an instinctive drive in him to kick objects on the ground. This is all very well and good, except for the fact that Mum has a very impressive collection of door stops.

Some are safe…


Some are obvious no-go-zones…


And then there are the chameleons, that which looks safe, but in fact is a brick that has been covered in velvet and embroidery. And it was this innocent looking door stop that James attempted to kick across the room, only to be felled, moaning and clutching his foot.


After he recovered, he told me that he was no suffering from DOORSTOP-APHOBIA.  He now cannot pass a door without twitching.

When it comes to things you fear, what is number one on your list?