Saturday, 29 November 2014


30 years in front of up to 200 kids a day, and mostly things changed very little. I greeted the kids as I liked to be greeted and smiled and roused and explained and was amazed and laughed and sometimes cried and generally it seemed it was part of my job to either teach or reinforce good manners. 'Please' and 'Thank you' The kids cottoned pretty quickly that if they wanted something, then manners were a must.

'I ain't go a pen Miss'

'Oh No, haven't you?'

'I said I ain't got a pen Miss.'

'Yes I know I heard you.'

'I ain't got no pen Miss!!' shouted.

'I might be old honey, but I am not deaf. I heard you the first time.'

And on and on it would go, until the penny dropped or some other kids gave 'em the heads up, and then it was, 'Could I please borrow a pen Miss?' 'Of course honey, help yourself.'

I have had this conversation many many times but usually only once per kid.

I am a big believer in what Nanna used to say, 'Manners cost nothing'

And I see and hear kids out and about and generally speaking there are lots of good manners to be noted. I nearly always compliment 'em on their good manners and kids do love that. Bit of positive reinforcement can do no harm at all.

So after a day in the shops I wonder at what age people forget their manners or when people just decide that they are too important to bother.

Cos the new metal knee is still a rule unto itself, I had the crutch to give it a bit of a rest as and when necessary. It's interesting just how few people give a shit. I'd like to think that most people are just too completely self involved to notice anything outside their bubble, but that just isn't the case. I spent a couple of hours leaning on the crutch and dodging people. I reckon I have walked kilometres further than needed as I went literally out of my way to dodge people, and strollers and old people with their shopping trolleys. It was exhausting!

I finished the groceries and was heading back to the car pushing the trolley with the crutch poking atop it like a flag pole. So now on the wonky leg already worn out from darting and dodging, I was weaving the trolley in and out of people's way, and got back to the car to unload into the boot. There was a line up of cars waiting for my parking spot and drivers were getting cross. I was not fast. I finished up a with the bags and was taking the trolley back to the return spot. I only got a few steps away and an older woman called out that she would take it back for me. She had spied the crutch. This was a generous gesture and I thanked her as she took it from me. How bloody lovely.

Slithering the expensive knee into the car to take off also is not fast, but then I was off. The person waiting for my spot, had understandably buggered off and had been replaced by someone with even less patience.

On my way out of the hectic car park, I was still feeling the glow from the woman's kindness. There was an old fella trying to back out of his park. In no hurry myself, I stopped and let him out, smiled and waved. Well, he just put his head down and that was it. No bloody 'Thank you', no wave, not even a smile. How bloody RUDE. My window was down, his window was down. I waved and yelled out 'Thank you'.

I hope he got the idea at least as quickly as all those kids I have taught.

Kids today often get a bit of a bad rap because of forgotten if ever remembered manners, but you know what, I don't reckon kids have the worst of 'em.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Summer Rain

It's hard to believe what a difference 80km can make, well not even 80 km really, but the suburbs between the Big House and Bell and Zig barely rate a mention, so I wont bother.

Hail the size of golf balls, no not the usual media hype, but the actual size of golf balls were thrown down yesterday afternoon attacking Belly's car and terrorising both her and Zig in the process. The car can be fixed. There are companies in Brisvegas that specialise in Hail Damage repair, I don't know what they do in the winter, probably just spend all their money, but Zig might have some nightmares. Last time he stayed here, there was a wind storm and I had to move him to a different bedroom, cos the noise was so loud he couldn't sleep. Both Zig and Dog are sensitive to weather.

But he'd have been perfectly safe here last night.

While Bell's car was being hammered and Zig's psyche splodged, Steve and I swam amid the ever so gentle spits of wet stuff. I had checked on the BOM radar and saw that any rain was gonna miss us AGAIN and so there was no danger of being electrocuted by a lightening strike to the pool. There was the odd bit of thunder, which if it has even the slightest intent, Dog goes completely mad and hides under the bed. Last night she just played in the pool, oblivious.

It is tiresome to be disappointed yet again by the storms which just refuse to settle here. I was hoping that I might have been OK to leave off watering the garden and filling up the pond, and then Brissie got all the rain.

I am sorry for the folk who did not fare well last night, storm damage is a bitch. My point however is that we are so close but so far.

Except that sometime during the night there was the patter on the tin roof. Yippee, some RAIN, not the pretendie shit from the afternoon and the temperature dropped almost immediately to a pleasant 22 degree.

And now this morning it is still a bit drizzley. Those lovely grey skies are dropping some much needed water onto all things green in the garden and that means that we can hold back some cash from the Council and hopefully collect some more drops in the mandatory rain water tanks which we installed but that have been too often empty.

I love rainy days. I love the colour of the sky and how the colour of everything else is adjusted in the dimmer light.

I don't crave the endless grey and mist and rain of London, but it sure does make a welcome change from the ever cheerful bright bloody blue of 'Beautiful one day, perfect the next'. I wouldn't mind if it bucketed down for a few more days, but I guess that Steve might be less than happy if there was so much that it got in the way of golf.

Damned if it does and damned if it doesn't.  

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Girlie Pot Luck Dinner

I am hoping it looks better than this before it makes it to the table

The girls are getting together tonight for a gossip and a natter and a bit of a nosh before we all go into mad mode for the Silly Season.

Sometimes we eat out and sometimes one of us will push the boat out and cook for everyone - yeh even I have had a turn and it is no secret that it is not my favourite thing to do, but tonight we are all bringing something and taking a chance that somehow it all sort marries up. Usually it turns out fine.

So rather than listening to what others are bringing I just decided what I felt like eating and have come up with perhaps a rather odd take on the 70s classic - Prawn Cocktail.

I got some Cos lettuce, cos I like it and a kilo of medium prawns and 3 avocados and some sauce and some tomatoes and baby bocconcini cheese. I spent a good while peeling and de-veining the prawns and all the other stuff is ready to assemble in my quite cute glass bowl. Oh and also I got a loaf of good crunchie bread. My thinking is that if I don't like the look of the other stuff I will happily graze on this lot.

The only trouble I have with doing random dinner like this, is that I don't like it if people double dip their spoon / knife / fork and I am nutso crazy about keeping an eagle eye out. It is because I am a little nutty - happy to admit this, but I just don't like it. So I always sit next to something I want to eat and prepare to slap away any double dipper utensils or even worse bare fingers!

I have a bottle of bubbles and am being collected and dropped off.

Yippee for Girls' nights.  

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Bloody Brilliant Botox

About 4 months ago I fronted for the dreaded 31 Botox jabberoos in the hope that perhaps Migraines could be things of distant memories.

Luckily, very fucking luckily for me, I am part of the 70% of people for whom this shit load of Botox works to prevent / get rid of / make it impossible to react, if I got a migraine. I don't know how it works and I have to tell you that I really don't give a shit about how it works, I am just bloody grateful that it does indeed work, for me at least.

For the first 2 weeks I had a sort of dragging headache in the mornings, not even close to a migraine, but I didn't like it all the same. Jane the GP said it was normal and that it was just from too long being horizontal and she was right, I was much improved once I got up.


So from more than 15 - 20 days of puking pain a month to NOTHING, yeh I am a convert!

The jabs are meant to last 3 months but as luck would have it, my knee got in the way of round 2 and in the last month I have been plagued by Migraines of a lesser God, but the frequency has been  increasing.

I had to reschedule the second round so that I was sure I would be able to climb onto the table unaided. TODAY was the B day.

I drove myself off and parked up, first in a Doctor's parking spot and then I got a case of the guilts and went back and shifted into another spot, this time it was corporate so not better just less personal. I ran up the ramp as fast as my metal knee would allow and was told that Dr Raj had moved. Shit, I thought I might have been late by the time I got to her new rooms. Back down the ramp and into my car where Ms Corporate was unloading her car and looking at me very darkly. I just smiled and waved.

Off to the new place, parked up and was still there in good time. The new rooms are bright and pretty with a great view, definitely a step up from before.

Maybe it was my change of demeanour or maybe Dr Botox was in a better mood, but we had a lively chat and then she got sorted for the torture.

It would be completely dishonest to say that this whole saga is a breeze. The needles fucking hurt and I bleed and I have a big bruise on my shoulder, but I am a convert. This little bit of stabbing is completely and utterly worth it, and I don't reckon it hurt as much this time, but that might be because I am pretty sure that it is worth the blood and the swearing.

My face was a bit oopsy after the first time and I mentioned that too so Dr made some adjustments to the jabs and maybe this time I will be migraine free and symmetrical, although in all honesty I would happily cope with a strange face if it meant that it didn't have to be buried in a bucket 20 days a month.

Roll on Christmas I reckon. This is my gift to myself. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

To cruise or not to cruise

No this is not a yarn about whether or not I should go and have a little look at the goings on in Surfers Paradise. God knows the tellie and the papers are giving enough details about the 20000 kid party going on there at the moment. I do not need to cruise on by for a look-see, and besides I was a teacher and am still a mother, whose daughter went along to schoolies on the coast and survived to tell the tale so there would be no surprises for me.

No this is about the quandary I am facing about whether or not I / we are 'Cruise People'. I have always thought NOT. I am claustrophobic and don't play all that well with others and I am not too keen on buffet meals or watered down drinks, and really Steve is just too easily bored.

But then friends are off in December and the hearing about their plans left me wondering, and today we had lunch with other friends who are happy to say they are definitely 'Cruisers'. So I am having a re-think, cos really, what we like to do is eat good food and have a little drink and laze around reading a book or watching a movie. All this sounds possible, except for the buffet thing and I am lead to believe that there are alternatives to hoeing into food that every so and so has had their fingers in.

I can't quite get passed the reality that if I want to leave, it is just not possible. I have been on boat 'Dos' before and it has never ended well. Staff Christmas parties where everyone is pissed and more than a little gropey and student events where the kids of course think no one has noticed that they are pissed or stoned and I spend the evening trying to make sure none of the blighters take a running leap off the side. Standing on lookout duty with life ring in hand is in contrast with the after five outfit and heels. I wonder why no one ever thought to make a range of those rings to match handbags or shoes.

So again I am left wondering. If I can convince myself, then Steve is happy to give it a go, but of course there are a couple of deal breakers. We need a balcony room, as I have surmised that the Ocean View rooms are just a fixed pane of glass that teases the brain into thinking there is fresh air, and as a diehard nutcase who goes into severe panic attack mode when someone puts their seat back in my face on a plane or my head gets stuck in my T shirt when I am pulling it off, I will never fall for the window that doesn't open routine. And after I looked at the configuration on a couple of the boats, I know I couldn't be in a room at the end of a long corridor cos I wonder where the air comes from for all those doors. Yeh I know, more than a little crazy, but I have been known to run screaming from a building where I thought I might rent a flat because it became very clear that the front door was just too many doors away from fresh air. Who else counts the number of doors between the outside and the loo? Is it really only me?

Oh Bugger it!! Here I am talking myself out of it again, just as I was getting excited about sitting around for a week eating and drinking and reading.

I will have to wait to be swayed by some silly season pricing and as we don't want to go until March that could be a very long wait indeed.

Strangely enough I am not at all worried about the boat doing a Titanic.

If you have some wonder stories about cruising, I'd love to hear them.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sleep Sleep, my Kingdom for some Sleep.

I wonder if pushing out a little person leaves a body permanently incapable of sleeping through the night.

Most mothers I know will tell you that they would gladly lose a couple of teeth for a full week's sleep.

Never having been a 'good sleeper' I find at the moment that there is some cause for celebration if I manage to be comatose for even 3 hours in a stretch.

How I long for those teenage days when rising after lunch was possible and then a little nanna nap at 'hometime' something to look forward to.

The slightest noise has long set me wide eyed and then that about does it for rest.

I know a bloke who is early to bed and up in the dark to walk or work and this certainly seems to work for him. It doesn't seem to matter what time I am horizontal, 3 hours is the max, and I am getting mightily sick and tired of it.

Last night was 10pm flat out, then 1am up to pee and look at the park and listen to the noise and then try try try again. 4am wide awake and thought I'd try ear plugs and an eye mask, so along with my tooth guard and gammy leg, you can just imagine how attractive that might have been. It was curious to listen to my own heart beat echoing in my ears, but that doesn't count as sleep. 6am up for more pain meds for the leg that seems to never want to bend properly and then finally up and at 'em at 7 cos I couldn't stand it any longer.

All this even after having taken the sleeping drug that old Angus prescribed when I went in for my grease and oil check-up on Friday. This tiny little pill is meant to knock you out for 8 hours. Angus said it might be good to re-boot my sleeping pattern, so I thought I'd give it a go, but as I am only getting 3 of the 8 hours the pill is designed for, I can only imagine that the other 5 hours are manifesting themselves into 'watch out for the big bitch cos she's having a cranky'.

There are eye masks that are infused with lavender which while they sound old lady, might be worth a shot, or maybe if I down generous dollops of vodka that could set me off. The idea of warm milk leaves me searching for a bucket, and counting sheep, counting anything, well I just don't do the maths anymore.

If you have some tried and tested sleep formulas, I'd be pleased to hear 'em. Desperate hardly begins to describe.

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Big House is on the market

Yesterday Paul the estate agent we quite like, arrived with 3 coffees and a determination to stay until the papers were signed. We have danced around putting the house up for sale a number of times and to be fair to him, he has been more than patient.

Hours of negotiation commenced with 3 people slurping their cappuccinos and wondering how much leeway there was in the others' position.

First to fall was my idea that we should wait until February cos that way I could enjoy every minute of our Zig Holiday without taking time to polish granite and make sure there are no boy sized skid marks in the loos. Paul said it had to be December / January and that was agreed.

I didn't want to put up a billboard out the front but both Steve and Paul wanted that so I lost again. Yeh I can see the sense in it especially as I have often sat outside a house with a sign and called the agent listed for more details.

Paul presented his 'breakdown of costs'. Steve and I nearly fell over. More than 8 grand upfront regardless of success. This seemed very steep, especially as in the UK there are no upfront charges for the seller as the agents back 'emselves and their ability to sell property. But here it is only the owners who have to gamble. We discussed the need to 5K for print advertising and finally Paul gave way. I have never once bought the Gold Coast Bulletin to look for property and I can't be the only one like this. So we stubbornly saved ourselves a big chunk of wonga and now Paul can decide if he wants to pay for it himself and gamble away a bit of his commission.

Which brings us to the next big hurdle for the morning. Standard commission seems to be 5% on the first bit and 2 and a half % on the rest. Well that's a bloody big bundle of cash. Steve insisted that the number was calculated and then chucked a wobbly. He walked away and the old game of Good Cop / Bad Cop began. Commission in the UK is always negotiable and if you are selling an expensive pile, then it becomes extremely flexible. So after huffing and puffing and boys being boys, 2% was settled on. Of course that excludes the GST.

Video styles were discussed and agreed and dates for filming etc are now on the calendar. I do work well with a deadline.

I need to get the house sorted now and Steve is going to be more than a little manic getting fine details perfect cos after all the Big House has been his pride and joy, he doesn't want someone coming in and possibly whinging about a little oops somewhere. Me I reckon let the buyer beware.

Paul is bring a 'buyer' through tomorrow but Steve and I both reckon that is just so he can try and talk us down in price, so I guess, 'Let the games begin.'

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Arguements: Public Vs Private. Online Vs Live.

If you heard some screaming and shocking swearing coming from next door, which escalated into truly vicious verbal attacks and more and more voices joining the fray, all taking sides with name calling and threats, what would you do?

As a youngster, recently married, we lived next door to a place like this. The fella and the woman would routinely get pissed and the screaming and violence would start up and go on for hours. I can remember turning off the lights and sitting on the floor in the dining room listening to the furore until I heard the cries of the kids and that's when I knew it was time to go out onto the street and gather the kids to make sure they were OK. Yeh I rang the police a few times and they came and broke it up. I am pretty sure that I was not the only one who rang.

If there had been no kids involved, I'd like to think that I would still have stuck my nose in. There was no clear perpetrator of the abuse, sometimes it was him and sometimes it was her. The kids were the ongoing victims.

But with the modern day comes modern twists on this scenario. Last night on Facie there was an argument that escalated just like the drunken shitfight from years ago. It was like car crash tellie, I couldn't look away.

I knew the fella whose page was being used and in all fairness he did start things off with quite an inflammatory remark, but had it been me, I would have reached for the phone or got in my car and had it out face to face. I certainly would not have started yelling abuse and swearing for all the world to see. Things very quickly got out of hand and players from all over had to get their 2 cents in. I wondered why they bothered. There was no voice of reason, and as a lurker I didn't feel I could take on that role. Maybe I should have. Maybe if I, as an unknown to all but one of the respondents, had suggested that they take the argument off line, everyone could have retained just a little dignity.

As it is very hurtful things have been printed and can never be retracted.

School yard bullying is again in the spotlight. Fights being videoed and YouTubed so that the humiliation can be ongoing and the bullies can enjoy their 5 minutes of fame.

There have always been school yard fights. The whole school population would swarm  to watch until a teacher would come by to break it up. And then with the advent of the mobile phone - just a phone not a clever one, it was possible to call up a possie of blokes to battle it out. There was no permanent record of all this, just stuff people saw and forgot - except for the broken nose or the bloodied face. It was a time of greater innocence. No less bullying but less involvement from the sidelines.

Seems people today reckon it's OK to wade on into someone else's business, and don't quite see that to wade in is to actively participate in the abuse.

Or maybe people today are unaware of how quickly things spread online, or maybe they do indeed know and just don't give a shit.

Nanna used to tell me, 'Don't let the neighbours see your dirty laundry.' Literally and figuratively. She used to hang all her 'unmentionables' on the inside of her Hill's hoist so the neighbours wouldn't be able to see them.  And I see how sometimes taking her advice might well leave those bullied folk in a hole - the kids next door really needed us neighbours to know what was going on, but airing a family disagreement online... well I am just not convinced.

Sometimes I just don't want to see other people's skid marks.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Independence and my CAR

This week heralds 6 long weeks of a bit of misery the cherry of which has been that I have not been able to go anywhere under my own steam. Now don't get me wrong, Steve has been at my beck and call and has driven me to places he didn't want to go and done things that have not brought an instant smile to his face. And whilst there has been no begging involved, I have indeed had to ASK. I am not at my best when I need to ASK for something. I've spent way too many years just getting on with things as and when I fancy. ASKING gives me the shits!

So over the weekend I decided that MONDAY was the day that I would give driving a bash. A manual car and a left leg that is still quite achy is not a great combo, but I was determined. My leg slid into place ok and the clutch was manageable. Steve did back the old girl out of the garage perhaps more to protect his car and the house, than to save my leg.

I jumped in - yeh not really - more of a slither, and took off down the deserted suburban streets giving my new knee a bit of a work out. Yeh it hurt, but I was in control. YIP - fucking eee!

I am a realist, there will be no taking off to Sydney for me in the next little while, and travelling over bumpy roads almost makes my cry, even in the thinking about it, but taking myself off to the hairdressers is possible, even if I know I can't yet sit there for the requisite 3 hours to get my roots done. How bloody marvellous to be able to make a plan without having to ASK.

Driving in Australia is like breathing. If you live in the suburbs and you don't want to become a recluse, then a car is necessary especially here at the Goldie, where the pubic transport is so shit.

I had cars in London too so I could get to work and play, but have been back for long visits and managed very very well with no car and just the tube and buses for getting around. A bus ride from the Big Flat to my hairdresser takes less time than it takes for me to drive to see AnnBrit at Southport, and anyway there is just no parking in London so going public solves that little dilemma.

But the big deal is the independence that comes with being able to drive even short distances. The thrill about being ABLE to drive is also pretty fab.

My lovely girl has sat for almost 6 weeks untouched and unloved so a shampoo was in order, no blow dry today, my knee only just made the distance with rag and bucket, but she's ready to go.

The crutches are living in the kitchen, not quite out of sight out mind but only for emergency use or swatting children out of the way during xmas shopping. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Kids are coming! Yippee!

It might be that the G20 is keeping everyone entertained in Brisvegas, but for me the day is all about having lunch and a swim with 'The Kids'

We set the aircon on last night and so I was really hoping for a good night's sleep, as it's been a few nights of wakeful misery and bleary eyes into my kindle. I was only awake at 3.15 and 5.28 and got vertical at 8.30ish, and only opened the Lauren Bacall autobio once. That was some good sleeping for me at least.

So now prep is required, and the aircon is off and it is stinking HOT HOT HOT. The pool water needs to be tested. I mean it's one thing for Steve and I to go in if there's a lurgy in there, but that's just not acceptable for the little fella, and we have been meaning to do it all week and have just gotten side tracked - well we have so much going on obviously. And I want to make some biscuits for Belly cos she goes mad for 'em. She and Steve have the same favourites, so I suppose I should be thinking a double batch, but that long in front of the oven might be a melting moment too much.

Steve is gonna do the groceries AGAIN cos, firstly I hate it and refuse to go on a sunday and secondly my leg hurts.... I hope that I can play that card without it actually hurting for a very long time.

I spent yesterday without the crutch except for going out, coffee and dinner. Off to the Italian Club last night for a quick something cos I had not been out of the house at night for more than 5 weeks. They were having a function there but we could still book in the restaurant. The food was good but the service was rubbish, so much so that in a bid to cool down my beer, I hobbled over to ask for an ice bucket and when it arrived it was about empty of ice. So I grabbed my crutch and limped on over to the bar and got a bottle of cold water and some ice and tucked it all about my body and limped back to the table. It was quite a walk and no offered help. They were ridiculously understaffed. Not even an old woman on a stick got their attention. So sometimes it's useful and sometimes not.

So into the pool with Zig today to escape the stink and to play. It's been a long time between plays, so I'm gonna live it up.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Dr Strange One Magoo

We fell into a parallel universe this morning at some ungodly hour as arranged by Steve's GP not by our own hand.

Steve has been troubled by an eye infection which has worsened since Saturday and Francis (GP) decided that time was up on the usual shit and ordered him off to a specialist. She even pulled rank and made the appointment.

I googled the bloke and it all seemed OK so off we went.

WE got there and even though his appointment was for 8 am the lifts from the basement carpark did not become operational until that time, so to avoid being late we trooped up the ramp dodging on-coming traffic and found the right place and booked in.

The reception area was amass with cloned looking girlies - all youngsters, all skinny, all big boobed, all wearing the uniform of tight tight blue blouse and tight skirt or pants,  and only one or two over 30. I did a quick count when they were mostly still and got up to 10 girls before I lost interest. These girlie women just didn't seem to be doing too much of anything except creating a semi frantic atmosphere of business.

So after the obligatory wait, cos god knows we were there to see a specialist, who arrived AFTER the appointed time, we were ushered into a room, where some young BLOKE, introduced himself as the Doctor's assistant. He took all Steve's history and did a 'What is that letter test' and then dumped us outside again to wait some more. Then one of the stepford clones called us into another room and without any intro asked some more questions and she taped away at the keys in front of her.

We sat bemused.

Finally the lord and master arrived. Stepford girlie got out of his way and set her fingers to speed type.

God man seemed competent enough in his diagnosis and girlie was efficient in her note taking of all the pearls that fell from his mouth. Steve and I just kept looking at each other wondering if we were still infact dreaming... it was only early after all.

Steve asked for clarification from God and he just said as an aside to girlie, 'Explain that to him will you.' Fuck ME!! I wondered if I had heard correctly. I asked a question too and God said to girlie, 'Explain that will you.'

Can you believe that it was just too much trouble for him to explain himself?

We were falling about each other as we stood to leave.

$140 and an hour later during which we twice avoided being rail-roaded into making another appointment, we found the car and after a security guard with no teeth who had been smacked very hard with the ugly stupid stick let us outta there, we felt like we had found our way back to reality away from the wrinkle in time.

Bugger me! what a very strange way to treat people.

I wonder how anyone ever goes back.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Criminals in the city, Dog is scarey!!

Golf day Wednesday means I have the place to myself and I do love the autonomy and peace and quiet interspersed with noise of my own choosing. I was pleased that all the ear bleeding noise of house construction from across the canal was missing today and so I phaffed around and then sat myself in front of the tellie to watch Mission Impossible 4 - recorded a while back.

So as my knee was aching and my mind was numbed through too little sleep I camped on the couch with Dog and took charge of the remote to fast forward through the ads. It was entertaining though not earth shattering.

Without really noticing when it started, I slowly became aware of kids and skater noise just outside the front gate, so I pushed the pause button and grabbed my crutch and Dog and went for a little look see. By the time I got there the noise had moved to outside Bev's, next door.

I waited and in good time the 3 boys came alongside my front gate. I just stood and watched and Dog went barking mad and I was pleased about that. 2 boys on their skate boards and 1 boy was seemingly scoping out the house. Well he was a brazen little bugger. He stood nose to the gate and told me that he liked my house, he told me this twice. I just said, ' Thank you.'

Dog clearly didn't trust 'em as far as she could spit cos she ran along the front fence - up and back, up and back, barking like a big bad dog. But scoper boy was not fazed by dog, instead he wanted an introduction, he asked if he could pat her, so as she continued to bark and bare her teeth, I said, 'Sure' He didn't quite have the balls to stick his hand through the gate. I was pleased to see this. We sort of eyeballed each other without speaking for a while and then the 3 of 'em buggered off.

I was pleased that through some serendipity and because it's hot today and the prevailing breeze was coming through the garage, I had left the door open, otherwise I would probably not have heard the little bastards, and then they might not have been introduced to my big bad girl. I hope that all this will have persuaded them that this place might not be worth the effort required to do their dreadful best.

They had to be up to no good. I am not one to jump to conclusions about young people, but these 3 should have been at school, so bunking  was their first crime and it sure looked to me that wagging school might be the very least of it.

What a shame this is. It's one of the pissers about living in the city, that you have to be vigilant about fuckers trying to break in and nick your stuff or just play silly buggers in your place with paint and bongs.

While we were building, little turds broke in to the shell and smoked their crap and graffiti-ed  all over the walls. The police came and took finger prints and actually found 'em but they were underage and so of course got off scot-free. And one quiet sunday a herd of over indulged little arsewhipes decided that it'd be fun to park their boats up outside our place and chuck rocks at the glass balustrades around the pool. They only left after I went outside and very obviously took photos of  'em all, but not before one of 'em got very gobby and told me I was breaking the law by taking their photos.

So nothing really surprises me anymore.

I'd like to think they'd all bugger off, but that's extremely unlikely. Ho fucking hum.   

Monday, 10 November 2014

What do you take for granted?

Woop woop Yippee!! Day 33 and finally my new knee feels like it might be being tamed.

In the hospital, the physios, bless 'em, kept telling me that I wouldn't be allowed home til I could bend my knee to 90 degrees. I could only do somewhere between 60 and 65. Ho fucking hum. Still home I went and I have felt like there has been the smallest bit of improvement everyday, but the cracking of that 90 degrees has just been a grunt too far. Yeh, I have done a lot of grunting in the last 4 weeks.

This morning I was in the pool and I invented this exercise last time, where I sit on the bench seat and drag my leg back til my heel hits the wall, but thus far, the wall might as well have been in Europe cos that's about as close as I was getting. But I wanted today to be THE day. 4 sets of 5 swearing and grunting leg pull backs and still no wall. On my 5th set I was getting to the point where I wondered if indeed I would ever manage it and then on try number 4 I thought I might have just felt the faint scrape of the pebble wall. Number 5 needed to confirm it and bugger me, there was definitely heel on wall action!! Exfoliating heel hardness happened in set 6 with 5 hits in a row.

It was only early and my 'yip yip yippee' sort of broke through the suburban quiet. Too bloody bad I reckon.

It must be noted that I have struggled through the rest of the day, cos there is always a price to pay for progress and I've paid my dues with a drug busting ache, but I am so pleased with the progress that I fully expect tomorrow I'll be able to get in and hit that wall quicker and with more force.

So something so simple as being able to bend my knee is the accomplishment today.

I can hardly wait until I can take this for granted.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Social Media - What a bonus

I banged on about a bit of trouble I had placing an order at M & S and bugger me if they didn't get back to me instantly with the perfect solution and I was pleased and surprised all at the same time. Bloody marvellous!! Ta very much to Lisa and Denise.

And at the same time I had a bit of a go at the latest Myer ads and I'll be buggered again, but I heard from them instantly too. Not that they were ever gonna pull those shitful ads, but it is always pleasant to think someone had bothered to listen at all.

So a while ago I recorded 'Julie and Julia', I love anything with Meryl Streep. Of course I had seen it before, but sometime ago, before I started writing this little blog. I spent a lovely couple of hours watching it today.

It was a shame that the paths of these 2 women didn't cross and I was surprised that it was because Julia Childs was portrayed as an old stick in the mud who wasn't keen on a young whipper-snapper trying to make a bit of name for herself on the back of her - Julia's, recipes. She seemed like a much more 'go-get-'em' type and I could imagine her embracing the new technology.

It was reassuring to watch Julie persevere with her blog and slowly slowly build her readership.

I find it amazing and curious and wonderful that strangers all over the world have a little peak at my silly old stories and naturally I am grateful that friends read along and send comments and encouragement.

In the next little while I fancy getting my page re-formatted cos I'd quite like it to be more organised and look a bit more loved. But in the mean time I can keep taping away.

I do love the modern speed of things,

Friday, 7 November 2014

7 weeks 'til Christmas

A girlfriend told me yesterday that it is 7 weeks til Santa Day... Ta very much Nik.

I am not feeling all that festive at the moment and have not got any plans for the big day or week or whatever. I am not feeling the whimsy! So after having sat through that shitful Myer ad twice, I now cannot turn on the tellie unless I am armed with the remote so I can get away from all that crapola very quickly.

I mean what were they thinking?? Some girlie imitating old Alice down the rabbit hole and pining for all things old fashioned and girlie and pointless. If that is all they are selling at Myer this year then I am happily pre-warned so I know not to go anywhere near the place. Online and David Jones here I come.

Who would be entertained by this guff?? Hurtful expensive heels and a handie too small to carry your smart phone? Well that must automatically cancel out targeting the youngsters who date via text and facie every hour of every day and oldies who are feeling lucky enough to be able to walk in flats and certainly don't want to gamble on balancing ability on stilts. So maybe this ad is designed for MEN.

Present some stupid fairy tale and encourage men to take on the role of the handsome prince. I am glad that: A. Steve is not that romantic or stupid and B. He has witnessed my utter disdain for this ad every time it comes on. If you are not sure that your spouse has decided to ignore this fantasy can I suggest that you are not subtle in your telling, unless of course you are the one girlie girl for whom this ad was designed, in which case just record it for your partner and play it as a loop over dinner every day  until xmas.

Come on Myer you can do better than this twaddle!

My first foray into getting sorted for the Big Day, was to order our unmentionables from Marks and Spencers online. Every Christmas it's time for the renewal. I found what I wanted and got all sorted to 'checkout' but on my first attempt, the computer did not take off the delivery charge so I thought I'd wait a few days and try again. I know they deliver free of charge starting about the middle of November and as there are yet to be any elastic failures or gigantic holes in last year's lot there is no mad urgency. Then I got an email saying that all under-bits were 20% off for 1 day only, I went back in. Yippee!, the delivery charge was waved and the discount had been applied, but alas, they were out of stock!! This run around is unusual for Marks, but run around it is. I suppose by the time they get their shit together, and my knicky noos are available again, the delivery will be extortionate and then sale deadline well passed. Happy bloody xmas.

Am gonna try again cos M&S knickers are my favourites and worth the effort.

Good luck with your holiday preparations.  I look forward to a bit of a slap from the xmas fairy to shake me out of the ho hums.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

What happens to undelivered mail?

There certainly isn't as much mail in the letterbox as there used to and let's face it what does get popped in is usually just bills or marketing for crap that no one needs or probably wants. It is hardly ever that I open the box to something exciting, but what should I expect when it is hardly ever that I send anything exciting.

I order things online and because the Australia Post contractor refuses to deliver to my place - yeh a long a ludicrous story which truly beggars belief, I get a card telling me to front up at the Post Office with some photo ID and collect that which I have paid to have delivered. Every time I go the bloke there pretends not to recognise me so I ask again why it wasn't delivered and he tells me a lie and point out that it's a lie and he checks my ID and gives me my stuff.

Yesterday there was an expose of DHL contractors playing basketball with people's parcels and so I guess there is a chance of disappointment if you chose that delivery method.

But I know there are people who get those collection cards in the letterbox and completely ignore 'em. If they don't know what it could be they don't bother. Me, well I couldn't bare not to find out, even if it turns out to be a bit shit, and of course I wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to rile up the OZ post bloke.

But what happens to all the stuff that doesn't get collected? Yesterday I discovered just by accident that friends of mine, to whom I send silly things periodically, are no longer using their PO BOX. I don't know what made me ask but ask I did and found that they have not used the box FOR ALMOST 10 YEARS.  I roared laughing thinking about the silliness that would have been confusing the Aussie posties in Brisvegas central for all these years.

I reckon if I worked there I might very well have fallen into the temptation pit clutching the thicker envelopes just in case they hide something fabulous, but then I have not been through the surely compulsory seminars outlining the legal minefields to do with post tampering.

So maybe no one opened the stuff and it went straight to land fill. There must be tonnes and tonnes of mis-addressed  stuff that needs to disposed of. I reckon it would be ok if it was donated to charity on a rolling basis. There'd be plenty of nosey parkers who'd volunteer to open it and look for treasure. I reckon I would put my hand up for that.

I miss that anticipation of opening unexpected or unrecognised mail from the letter box.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

That 'Gypsy feeling' is creeping up on me.

I like moving house! Yeh it's a pain in the arse and a lot of hard work before during and after, but I do love it.

Not being a hoarder, chucking stuff out to pack up is an exciting time. A little trip down memory lane leads to an Everest pile of crap and an excellent excuse to go off to the humpity bump.

I have moved a LOT.

Before I became a child bride, I lived with the parentals and then with my darling Nanna. While married we moved house 3 times, and then as a newly single woman / mother of one I moved twice.

Our house at Camp Hill was home for the longest time - about 14 years.

Then my little sojourn to London stretched from one year to 7 years and saw me move 3 times. After 15 years as a single I became a partner and we moved 3 more times in London and since moving back to OZ have moved 4 times, into the little flat, into the broken down house, back to the little flat and now into the Big House, all the while making trips back to Steve's mother country, where we moved out of the Tall house and into a lovely flat.

So all up that's about 17 house moves. 17 packing ups and unpackings . 17 times of finding new homes for stuff and orienting to new local shops and people and transport and parking and giving directions to cabbies when you are more than a little pissed. This is an art form in itself and comes only after a good few attempts.

It's also a whole hell of a lot of dealing with Real Estate agents. On the way in and the way out. Bloody hell!! I have spent a huge fucking amount of time with people trying to con me. FUCKING HELL!!

So now we are thinking that we'd quite like to move again, maybe back to Brisvegas. If I could just do a 'Bewitched' and wriggle my nose and be there I would be a happy girl. I don't mind all the organisation of the moving out and in, it's the 'dealings' that give me the screaming irrits.

A while back we had the Goldie legends of Real Estate come to visit. They told us nothing except that we needed to happily fork out more than $10000 for them to even consider trying to sell the place and that we needed to also spend - well how long is a piece of string, getting the house in order. They wanted us to get to get in decorators and hire furniture and the list went on and on, and no that wasn't part of the Ten grand. That little pot of cash was just for them to spend on advertising or something.

There's a bloke we like who is gonna pop in again today. He's not pushy, but he is an agent and we need to remind ourselves about that all the time.

Steve and I agree that we want to put the place on the market, softly. We don't even know if it is possible. We don't want a sign up and we won't pay for advertising and we don't want open houses where people pop in for a sticky beak, use your loo and steal your remote control batteries. We don't want strangers popping in after we have spent hours polishing the windows and the bathrooms. We just want Paul to let any of his buyers know that this place is an option if they have enough cash. He can take some picies or he can use some we already have and if people like the look of it and he knows they are not time wasters then he can bring 'em on over, catch us with our pants down and have little look around.

I could get very excited about moving to Brisvegas but only after the torment and drama of selling the Big House is behind us.

Anyone want to buy our place??

Saturday, 1 November 2014

G20 - How is it funded?

My Facebook page has been filled with all sorts of news feeds which indirectly relate to this G20 meeting in Brisvegas in a couple of weeks. It is all very exciting and I love this excuse to 'tart' the old place up a bit. The street art project PILLARS PROJECT , the light festival, the hotel upgrades, well it all just makes Brissie more exciting.



I read that President Obama is planning on sleeping on his plane parked up at the airport which has agreed that it will make sure that Airforce One will never be more than 30 minutes away from takeoff. There is some big flash kitchen on board so meals will be a skate and I guess he is used to sleeping in his bed there. Security should be easier too I guess cos they can have people surround the plane 24 hours a day. Bit of a shame though that no Brissie hotel will profit from his stay.

Or maybe NOT. I wonder how all this accommodation and travel and meals and security is being paid for. 4000 delegates all have to sleep somewhere and eat their 3 meals and snacks and have to be safe and sound, and the 3000 media folk have to be similarly sorted.

So I googled 'How is the G20 funded' and I was underwhelmed with the response. There's lots of interesting info online, about who and where and what, but not too much about HOW. It sure does not seem very transparent .

The host country, that's us Aussies this time, get to invite some friends or strategic people and I wondered if these folk just pop along carrying a small gift and eat and drink and be merry as would happen if you invited 'em to a little social gathering. I mean I guess that those funny little invitations used to call a whole year 4 class to fun and birthday games might be a bit naff and I imagine the G20. loot bags would have to be a bit flasher than a brown paper baggie filled with wrapped sweeties.

All this must just be costing a fortune, and I am not at all sure what the benefits are supposed to be. I reckon if there was anything urgent to discuss then a few minutes on SKYPE would probably see it sorted. And whilst I still don't know where the money is coming from, it is certainly being spent, and I can't help but feel that it could all be better spent, but I guess arriving at concensus about the feel - good project to be funded would be about impossible to reach - far easier to decide to meet up for a jolly in a safe sort of a place where the weather is probably gonna be good.

So 4000 people are gonna meet up at varying tiers of meetings and chat and enjoy some lively company and good food. Decision making seems as unlikely as the fat fairy coming in and transforming me into a size 10, Steve and I can often not agree on what to have for dinner, and there's only 2 of us and mostly we don't care. Yes there is an agenda to be followed at least loosely and then 300 media types will report back to the rest of the world.

I like the idea of my home town being the backdrop for news world wide and I hope that we will feel proud of her, but I can't stop the cynical shouting in my brain which wonders what it is really all about.