The Weekend Quickie with Wendy Harmer

Hands down Wendy Harmer is one of my favourite people in the world. I grew up listening to her on 2Day FM when she was a part of the famous Morning Crew. I got to meet her years ago when we were working on the same project. There I was, completely star struck. Wendy had started an independent website for women called The Hoopla. I had written a very personal story about going through a pretty rough patch. This story, I felt, needed a larger audience than my little blog. I had submitted it to MamaMia and a few other sites and it kept getting knocked back.

So it was Wendy who saw something in me and gave me my first big break into professional writing. And for that, I will be forever thankful to her for.

Wendy is whip smart. She suffers fools only until the forth word into a full sentence. She is, in no other words, a bloody marvellous soul.

Here is our Weekend Quickie with our Wendy.

If you could do any job in the entire world, regardless of talent or qualifications, what would you choose to do?

OK, this is quite specific: I’d be running a small concession on a beach on the Greek Island of Mykonos or the Italian island of Elba during September with my daughter Maeve. Most of the tourists would have gone. The Mediterranean sun would finally be below “scorching” but we’d still be charging a small fortune for the rent of a sun lounge, towels, snacks, wine and beers.

We’d make enough money to spend the rest of the year wandering the art galleries of Europe.

We’d begin with the top five on my list: The National Archaeological Museum, Athens; the Uffizi in Rome; the Museo de Prado, Madrid (where we’d linger in front of the Velasquez collection), and then the Louvre in Paris of course, and next the Albert and Victoria in London were we would live, for some years, among the embroidery exhibits.

I would do this for rest of my life until, stuffed with beauty and with Maeve by my side, I’d die happy.

NB: Maeve may have well tunnelled her way back to the Northern Beaches to be with her Dad and brother Marley some time earlier. Quitter!

Tell me all about your first pet and how did it die?

 This is an odd one for me. I grew up in the country and we never had “pets” as such. Good working dogs for the livestock and to hunt rabbits; cats to catch mice, but never a real “house companion” in a basket.

We did once adopt a lamb named “Nancy” but she grew up to be an ill-tempered ewe that would chase me and my sister and brothers down the path and head-butt us over the fence.

I don’t believe Nancy ever died… We just moved away before she killed us.

My dearest pet has been “Mrs Duck” – a lovely dove grey Indian Runner.

A fox got her last year. Still sad about that.

If faced with an open complimentary bar on a Friday night and you have a really good babysitter, what would you most likely order? And if they were out of that, what if your second choice?

First choice? Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque Rosé Vintage champagne. (Why dick around, ladies?)

Second choice? A complimentary barman. (One who says: “You look gorgeous!” as he hands over another free bar snack of piping hot, deep fried mozzarella sticks.)

 What is your secret food of shame. Something that you love but could never order in front of your healthy, judgemental mates?

 A box of BBQ Shapes. These tasty carbs have saved me from many a hangover… Although, what’s with the current ratio of red and green bits to actual biscuit these days???

There ought to be an investigation!

 Who or what do you despise?

I cannot go past the sexual exploitation and abuse of children. If I ever got my hands on these vile creatures …

 Who or what do you adore?

Of course it’s my family.

But apart from that, I adore the sky. That wild sweep of unfathomable depth that arches 180 degrees above us.

Its changeability, magnificent moods from dawn till dusk are always exciting and invigorating.

There’s no better view than a new sun at dawn peeking over the horizon and bringing honeyed warmth to the world … A peerless pane of pure blue scattered with clouds of infinite variety … A butterscotch harvest moon, big as a bread and butter plate, dipping below the horizon… And then a sky full of diamond stars – every one of them scatted, precisely so, just for you.

I learned to love skyscapes as a kid living in the flat country of Victoria’s Western District where they stretched, uninterrupted, from lands’ end to end.

I’d never swap that infinite canvas above for a view the ocean, even though I live by the beach.

I look to the sea or the lovely landscape and always my eye takes me skyward…. To where we came from and to where we’ll return.

We are stardust, we are golden.

We are billon year old carbon.

What are you wearing right at this second and don’t lie to make yourself appear cooler than you actually are. Unless you are actually cool. Then tell the truth.

You have read my mind, Woogsie. Just today, after a very long time of searching I reckon I’m wearing my ultimate shoe – black platform bootie things from Paula Ryan.

So comfy, brilliant for work and I’m just that bit taller.

This is them :


If you knew that you were going to pass into the next life tomorrow and was at peace with that, what would your “Day on a plate” look like right now?

No brainer!

If I was on Death Row (It could still happen, right? Unless we are vigilant in keeping those “Bring Back Death Penalty” nutters at bay), I have my “last meal” already sorted.

Have done for years and my family has been informed:

Tomato, parsley and garlic bruschetta

Spaghetti Bolognese

Green salad

Garlic bread


Pinot Noir

NB: This would have to be served by George Clooney in a courtyard overlooking Lake Como, Italy. Or no dice. Appealing my case to a higher court.

What are you doing on the weekend?

This Sunday I’ll be at Bangarra Dance Theatre studio at Walsh Bay from 2pm reading my “Pearlie” books for the little ones as part of the Sydney Writer’s Festival

Come along. It’s free!

 Time to flog yourself! What project are you currently working on and where can we find it?

I’m back on the radio, kiddos! You can hear me weekday mornings on ABC Radio Sydney between 8.30 am and 11.

If you haven’t already got ABC radio app, why not? Install it on your device and you can listen to 20 ABC radio stations wherever you are. How good is that??

You can also listen to my whole show or the best bits here:

Thank you so much Mrs Harmer. You are one in a million,

Do you listen to her radio show. Mornings with Wendy Harmer. Compulsory listening!

  • Heidi D

    Thanks for choosing Wendy Harmer, she sounds just as great as I thought she would be. Although I must question her love of a duck. I had one bite (peck?) my bum when I was little so I am slightly wary

  • I love Wendy Harmer, she is a proper bright star before she dies. And I want a job in that concession and I’m willing to carry her bags around those galleries and museums.
    I didn’t know about the ABC app, downloading it now. I do know about head butting pet sheep though!

  • lou lou

    I grew up with Wendy Harmer hosting ‘The Big Gig’ and went to school with my own stand -up comedy routine based on her influence. In Truth, I actually only ever saw her in refection, as my parents wouldn’t let me stay up to watch it so I had to creep out to the kitchen and watch the TV from the reflection of the glass sliding door hiding under the kitchen table.

  • Bee

    I enjoy listening to Wendy, always have. Thx for the mini interview.

  • Tracey

    If I listened to the radio it would definitely be Wendy. Except I don’t as I hate radio.

  • CC

    Always loved Wendy and oh those podcasts with Angela years ago, got me walking and through a tough time. Thanks gorgeous Wendy

  • merilyn

    you are picking the best women for this series mrs woog!
    wendy is great!
    love m:)X

  • I love Wendy! I listen to her whenever I am in the car at that time of day. I love her writing too. Wendy has an amazing way with words! xo