Saturday, 23 September 2017

Rock-a-bye-baby.



How many ice creams do you have in your freezer?

Now if you are not a mad ice cream lover or if you prefer your pudding in a tub, or you are on some shitful diet which precludes one of the day's biggest highlights ( sorry to hear this - Bugger!) well then maybe the answer is a simple NONE, and you know this cos you haven't bought so  much as a box of Paddle Pops since 1972 when you need the sticks for a science project.

But ice cream is my bloody favourite end of day treat. I have been known to chow it down by the litre, especially if it's the good stuff, but at a tenner a tub, that's an expensive bit of pudding. I do love curling up in my chair and grabbing a spoon and hooking straight into the carton. Yeh Stevie doesn't eat it. Lucky huh cos otherwise I'd need to pop some in a bowl to avoid cross contamination.

My Lovely Girl and I were out for a girlie dinner at the pub on Tusday. The grandie boy was off on holidays with his father, so we pushed the boat out and ventured out into the public domain. She had steak and I had a seafood mix and then when we were done, she scouted out the desserts and we both decided just a bowl of ice cream would be lovely, but it needed to be a BIG bowl. The waiter understood, cos she was a bit of a creamy fiend too, and she did indeed deliver 2 walloping bowls full. It was OK but not the good stuff, not so bad as we left any though.

In an attempt to avoid spending night after night sleeping sitting up, because there is a fine line between enough 'animal fat' and so much that heart burn is a bitch, Stevie often buys 4 packs of wonderful ice cream treats, and as the week disappears, I am always aware of exactly how many are left in the freezer.

I like to spend the day comfortable in the knowledge that at the going down of the sun and the slumping of my arse into my chair for my daily dose of shit TV, there will be a delicious treat which with any luck, will not be slopped all down the front of me - happens at least half the time, Oh Well!

But this week my mind has definitely left the building. 4 nights with no sleep at all, scrambling all over the loungeroom floor, will do that to the poor old grey matter. Last night Stevie set me up in his study on the floor with the doors closed and the radio on loud enough to cover the noise outside, and I don't know if it was the change in geography or just complete and utter debilitating exhaustion, but I did sleep, 9 glorious hours with only 8 times flailing about and 3 times fully awake for sometime, and I'll bet that was when the noise outside far exceeded the radio levels inside.

So I've been too tired to keep an ice cream tally which is usually as instinctive as breathing. BUGGER!

All I can say is that it's just as well that I am not in charge of heavy equipment cos then at best I would be doing a Georgiou level shit job, and at worst I could kill someone.

Sleep, it is something that we take for granted, and by we, I mean people who do not have babies and small children, cos I reckon sleep might just be a bit of a distant memory for them - I truly do not know how parents who work outside the home manage - just throwing clothes on and remembering to brush my teeth has been a struggle this week. I have not combed my hair, the washing has laid idle, and cooking has been done on auto pilot. If I had thrown being in charge of 200 kids into the mix, well all I can say is that havoc would have doubtless ensued.

TMR have refused all phone calls this week, with promises from the switch board person,  that someone would ring me back 'shortly'. The powerlessness and the inability to find anyone, anyone at all, willing to stand up and take responsibility for the construction planning and execution is as debilitating as the lack of sleep.

Will anyone give this tired woman with only 1 ice cream left a clue about how to actually discuss any of this with someone with seniority in a government department? PLEASE!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Queensland Police


Here's last night's 'work' and today NOTHING. Quiet during the day, all hell breaking loose at night.



'I have dealt with you before!'

Well what could this possibly have meant?

If it was cooed to you by your Pizza Shop owner, then you know that they recognise your voice and they know that you want a No. 5 regular with NO CAPSICUM. And all is well with the world, cos these folk make bloody marvellous Pizzas and there is never a dot of the red yukky stuff on 'em. I like it that they have 'dealt with me before'. It'd feel comfortable and cosy and just a little bit special.

When it's stuttered by the car mechanic place I can only imagine that they are a little nervous, because they know that even though I have been telling them for 10 YEARS to stop emailing me and texting me and calling me to tell me my car is due a service, they have never listened and they have emailed and texted and called me and this time wrote to me snail mail too, so they are waiting for me to go off a bit like a rocket. The whole slick as shit showroom type place staffed by people who haven't a clue about the actual running of your car, well it just gives me the shits. I'd much rather chat to a grubby person with a grease smeared face who has been up to their elbows in my engine, than some tosser in a suit, who wants to impress me with their ability to read the written word and take my money. The suited and booted and the flash 'grab the money' centre, just all adds to the cost. 

Yeh sometimes 'I have dealt with you before', delivered in a whisper almost under the breath indicates a modicum of fear or perhaps utter boredom with having to get on the bloody merry-go-round with this crazy cow again.

But what about if it was shouted at you across the street by a person in uniform, who perhaps, because they were waving about a red light, Darth Vader wand and who seemed to be deluded enough to believe that they are all powerful, the omnipotent traffic controller in a Queensland Police uniform, what about then?

I looked back at this woman who was directing traffic, who  was perhaps also charged with stopping said traffic so pedestrians might more safely make their way, and sure enough it was the woman who had grabbed me and shoved me about and questioned my sanity one rainy night about 7 or 8 months ago. 

I have not looked this up, but is part of the police mantra to PROTECT AND SERVE?

She saw us and ignored us, made no moves to stop traffic so we could safely cross the road, and so being 2 reasonably able bodied souls, we took it upon ourselves to walk across the road when it was safe to do so. 

Yeh, we looked Right then Left then Right again. Except that we really only looked right cos we were only going half way across and then we looked left and walked. 

Well that gave the god like one the shits didn't it. She started shouting at us that we were foolish, that she 'had dealt with me before'.

I asked if we were gonna be arrested again for crossing the road too slowly and Stevie just told her to piss off.

She fancied that we were gonna grant her all sorts of power, that we were gonna stand there on the side of the road like a pair of gormless fools, and wait for her to tell us that it was safe to cross. She thought we would only walk across at her behest. 

Yeh her 'I've dealt with you before' was supposed to be a threat. 

Ho hum.

Yeh the noise has started up again.

Work that could and should be done during the day is going ahead all night. 

Last night it drew out half a dozen locals. Perhaps the coppers need to send out more paddy wagons tonight cos the noise is supposed to be ongoing til Friday.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Surplus Skin



I blame every little change in my body on The meds.

This is of course ridiculous and irrational and stupid.

But it saves me wondering what the fuck is going on and consequently having to head off to the doctor to see if anything is wrong. I don't want to go to the doctor cos I am not interested in any more bad news, and I am not sure that anybody ever hears good news there, so I just don't want to go.

So the meds are to blame for everything:

  • I poo too much - The meds
  • I poo too little - The meds
  • I burst into tears watching an ad on the tellie - The meds
  • I break a nail making the bed - The meds
  • The solar lights around the pool break - The meds
  • Dog needs an operation on her leg - The meds
  • Donald Trump is a dangerous fool - The meds
  • Some people are actually gonna vote NO in the non binding opinion gathering about Gay Marriage. - The meds. 
Of course there is an upside too cos I am still here and the numbers of mutants are under control. And maybe with a small mind set alteration I could see attributing other good things to The Meds too. I am gonna work on that.

But irrationality too often seems to be the order of the day. Bugger!

So I guess there is a chance that the surplus skin on my hands is caused by something other than The meds, but I just don't want to admit to it. 

I remember my lovely Nanna's hands and they seemed also to have too much skin, so I suppose it's possible that it's just an AGE thing. BUGGER! She would say better too much skin than not enough, but then she was alive during the Wars.

Skin is a remarkable organ...biggest in the body. It stretches and shrinks all our lives, until I guess it doesn't. Maybe it just gets the shits up with accommodating a bit of extra pud and then being required to shrink cos someone went on the Israeli, only apples that have committed suicide, and bacon after 5pm, diet.

Who could blame it for getting shitty? Puberty, pregnancy, kilos over, kilos under, a cut here, a scratch there, a rash there and some acne here, too much sun, too little moisturiser. It's a lot to ask.

But now as I am looking at my hands, I wonder if there isn't something we could do with all that extra skin, maybe small purses? or we could combine a few people's surplus into a patchwork handie?

Trouble with this idea is that a chunk would have to sliced off and sent to the tanners and what would happen to that old saying, 'I know it like the back of my hand'? 

  

Friday, 15 September 2017

Dating Now and Then

This is Stevie and me when we first started to live together, matching dressing gowns and pint cups of tea.  We still have those mugs, but not the robes.


Unless you NEVER tune into social media and you live under a rock and you have a hermit like existence, it is unlikely that you have lasted through the last few months - (I just made that up, cos I have no idea how long a big herd of women have been debasing themselves supposedly in a bid to capture their Prince Charming), without hearing shit about 'The Bachelor'. It's on at dinner time and if I have been slack about changing the channel or indeed pausing the box altogether, it drones on as we shovel in food and even the sound of bones being chewed clean or carrots being crunched, or Dog begging for left-overs, is not loud enough to out do it. 

I am completely over the bullshit. The trite, editor fed lines, the contrived situations, the banal leaping off of shit in a bid to fulfil advertising and sponsorship obligations, all give me the screaming irrits, but mostly it's the way the women behave that I find truly appalling. Yeh I know they are ALL just playing their roles, they are all doing whatever it is that their contracts require, but I just can't fathom how, firstly anyone believes it's real, and secondly WHY they carry on as they do. Perpetuating shitty female stereotypes is something we can all do without.

Dating used to be an exciting adventure, and if you were really lucky you'd be forging a relationship with someone who is equally keen and hopefully hasn't come straight from having their tongue down some other girl's throat.

But the rules have changed.

Recently I sat in a posh restaurant for dinner and just observed the other diners. Yeh I had my phone and my Kindle, but my entertainment for the evening was perving on others.

There were large tables of visitors who could well have been part of a tour group, cos there seemed to be a leader who spoke enough English and could translate and order for everyone. I had a wee giggle to myself cos they all asked for and were provided with, chop sticks even though it was not an Asian restaurant. I laughed because where ever I go I have to ask for a knife and fork or a spoon cos I am hopeless with chop sticks. Horses for courses and all that.

There was an old married couple (I presumed married to each other, but perhaps they were participants in a long term affair, in any case they were very comfortable in each other's presence) who enjoyed sharing a bottle of wine and talked nonstop about day to day shit, nothing intimate, just daily banality, as they enjoyed the food they didn't cook themselves.

And then 2 well heeled young fellas bounced on in. They ordered cocktails and because I suffer from stereotype overload, I sort of thought perhaps they were a gay couple, until they settled into a break down of their dating life since last they had met. So definitely NOT a couple then, and probably not gay either.

They looked at the menu and asked the waiter for the price of the lobster. '$360' 

'Shit' I thought, 'Glad I am chewing up the prawns instead.'

The fellas were a little aghast but played it cool until the waiter went on to serve someone else. And then the bloke facing me was reminded of a recent date with a girl they both knew. Yeh the price was the trigger for the following story.

'I spent 400 bucks for dinner on our second date, cos I just wanted to root her.' 

I choked a little on my Pinot G.

They were both being so loud and forthright about it all.

'Yes, she is quite a bitch, but very good looking.'

And so this is what dating in 2017 is like huh?

I didn't listen to any more. I dragged out my phone and played 'Find a Word'. They told the waiter they weren't going to eat at all, just drink. I presumed he wasn't best pleased, but he did bring 'em another cocktail.

So if this is modern day dating, then perhaps 'The Bachelor' is not far off the mark.

Sophie Monk's 'Bachelorette' starts soon and I suppose given the huge amount of wonga that has been stumped up, she will do quite a lot of doing as she's told and I guess the fellas will do the male equivalent of bitchy back-stabbing, whatever that is, and if there is any love to be found, I imagine it will be between one of the fellas and someone on the production crew, but that will all be kept very quiet.

I doubt I have the energy to date even one bloke, let alone keep a dozen of more clear in my mind. 

All I can think of is that I hope no-one has a cold sore, cos this place would just be a herpes' paradise. 

Oooh YUK!  



Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Swell is on again.



This was my favourite. I think it was made of thin rolled concrete. The photo does not even come close to doing it justice. Pop along if you are local and let me know what you think.

I love this time of the year. It is not stinky hot and the skies are bright blue and it's time for the sculptures to be lined up at the beach at Currumbin.

There is really something here for everyone, and not everything is for everyone, just the way it should be I reckon. I have been more fond of stuff in previous years, but I have also been more nonplussed by stuff in previous years.



This was called 'Conversation' and it created such a peaceful mood. 2 women chatting in a pool, ahhhh.

Whilst dodging kids of all shapes and sizes is a pain in the arse, and you have to watch out for the inevitable soft serve spillage, I am very pleased that the teachers bother filling in all those fucking risk assessment forms and then march the kids about hoping like mad that they don't lose any, except if it's the big old pain in the arse kid, every class has one - just joking, cos that would have usually been me. All in an effort to ensure ALL the kids can experience some wonderful ART. I suppose when they get back to the classroom they will ask the kids which piece was their favourite and will encourage them to explain their choice and will also make it clear that there is no wrong answer, because ART is a personal experience. What someone likes another will hate and what someone will walk by not even noticing can draw long attention from another. I hope this happens and as I have a great deal of faith in teachers, I am pretty sure it does. Maybe the kids are even encouraged to build their own sculpture or draw it, or create a drama piece based on a particular shape. I would like to be a kid in that class.

Tuesday in Brisvegas, and my Darling Boy was rabbiting on about what sort of stuff he might like to take to school for lunch. Random I know, but he's growing like a weed and so food is never far from his mind. Apparently Coles is no longer making his favourite bread thing so the hunt is on for something else. In passing, he mentioned that whilst he was now allowed to take a muesli bar to school, a wee bag of nuts is prohibited.

He's in High School.

I wonder how long kids with these allergies need to be protected.

We got around to wondering how they go about shopping and using the escalators and doing ordinary things in public where there are no such bans.

And then I was struck by just how brave those teachers really are, taking their kids out of the sanitised school into the real world. They must be EPPI PENNED up the wazzoo.

I am very glad that I didn't ever have to learn how to stab a kid.

I hope, though very much doubt it, that the teachers had time to take a moment to find their favourite piece and that just visiting even for a few seconds brought a private bit of joy to them.

Here's to the artists - mostly my cup of tea and here a big cheers to the teachers who struggle for the good of the kids.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Solo 101

Always plant yourself in such a way as to make it very difficult for anyone else to sit next to you.


I chose to be a solo traveller when I was 30, well except that I was a single mother with no money and a mortgage running at 17% so cleaning other people's dunnies was a sideline in which I excelled just so I could keep food on the table and the odd pair of Italian shoes on my feet. Don't tell me that Kmart shoes would have done, cos I know that, but I was just struggling to have some of what I had when I was married. By all means judge away.

SO as it was my choice to go it alone, I obviously devised ways and means of doing it without having to tell too many people to fuck off, and without ever smacking anyone with a shovel, not that I didn't fancy doing that from time to time. Restraint was the order of the day, cos there sure wasn't gonna be any white knight riding in to save me if my mouth runneth over.

When my Lovely girl was visiting her dad, I would pop off to the pictures or the theatre or a cafe and I was more than happy to sit on my own. I have always had a thing about sitting on the aisle, laughingly explaining to people that if there was a fire, I could be the first one out, but the truth is that I am stupidly claustrophobic and so can only bare to be next to one person at a time, and it is more than a little helpful if I actually LIKE the person I am sitting by.

I know that the HOUSE seats at the theatre are in the middle of the row a few rows back, cos that's where the best view is, but I'll take the skewed view from the side every day of the week and twice on Sunday, or not go at all.

So in my 30s I hatched a devious and effective plan whereby I would book or grab the aisle seat and shove my handie on the seat next to me so I was on my own, Plenty of air not being contaminated by a stranger. I don't like polluted stranger air, or their possible bad breath or their BO or worse still their stinky farts exploding the remnants of last night's curry. And I don't enjoy that tussle of who owns the arm rest that seems to be a given when sitting next to some stranger in a public place.

So the handie was useful for more than just toting tampons and a lippy.

But last weekend in Melbourne I had forgotten my Solo Traveller rules. BUGGER!

Stevie has been my wing man for so long that I had forgotten about the usefulness of the handie.

On the plane down, it was OK cos I had stumped up the extra cash for a good seat and so I sat on the aisle and mostly ignored the bloke next to me.

The cabbie was an arsehole who drove far out of the way, even though I was pointing and say, 'We need to be going over there!' but when he finally dumped me at the hotel, I put on a sunny smile to greet the check in folk cos after all it wasn't their fault that the fucking plane was late and the cabbie was a turd, and I'd missed the Dior Exhibition.

On Saturday I tootled off to the Leukaemia Conference.

I knew that I needed to get in early to make sure that I had an aisle seat, even if that meant that I had people climbing over me to get to the central seats. This I know gives people the shits and some so much so that they rather purposely stomp all over your feet, but trodden on toes is a price I am happy to pay.

In the end I shuffled around a bit and settled on the aisle seat right in the front except that it was right on the side, so if the sprinkler system started up I would be up and out before anyone. There was no-one next to me cos obviously it was the shit spot, what with the oblique view of all the AV stuff. Yippee.

Or so I thought.

Just before the Key Note Address, a somewhat strange, rather stinky, very snuffly sneezing coughing bloke sat RIGHT FUCKING NEXT TO ME. I had forgotten solo traveller 101 and my handie was perched on my lap not the seat next to me. Bugger.

Not only was he RIGHT FUCKING NEXT TO ME, he was swilling around his disease and germs and then suddenly and loudly he wanted a run down of, 'Your life with cancer so far?'

'I don't want to discuss it.' would have stopped most people in their tracks but not this fella.

But the conversation attempts were not nearly as disconcerting as his appalling habit of sticking his fingers - yes plural!  up his nose, perhaps in search of diamonds and then wiping the slurry all up and down his trousers. I am not fucking joking!. Even in the dark I could clearly see the wet lines on his pants. Perhaps he was striving for some pin stripe look, but then the stripes turned to puddles and then lakes!

Now I am just your normal middle classed gal with decent manners, and a potty mouth. I tried to inconspicuously scout out another seat, but in the dark and as it needed to be on the aisle, this was not easy. I knew if I just hopped up and moved, firstly EVERYONE would see me and secondly, this guy would just think I am a rude snobby bitch. Why this was important to me I don't know.

Finally after his fruitless panning session which resulted in sodden snot stained trousers, I could bear it no longer and I stood up and shuffled my way to the entrance aisle and stood and listened. Ahh plenty of room, even if there was no chair.

This was a pretty extreme revision lesson of how to travel on your own.

But I am happy to say that I am a reasonably quick study and after lunch, I found the right room and went in early and sat on an aisle seat and my handie and umbrella sat defiantly on the seat next to me. People may have wanted that seat but it was just too fucking bad.

My handie enjoyed her sightseeing adventure on the tram sitting the the seat right next to me, ignoring the sometimes pleading looks from fellow travellers.  

Ahh all was well in my world, until we were delayed again on the plane home and the family of 4 behind me used up far more than their share of the air, but that's a whole other story.




Thursday, 7 September 2017

Fear Not for the Future.

Travel around Melbourne is easy peasy, and for some even easier still.


Anyone who fears for the future at the hands of the Youth of Today, should be looking more closely at these wonderful, versatile talented folk.

Recently I wrote about not being clumsy. Well at least I figured mostly I am not clumsy. But CLUMSY is a pretty broad term I reckon.

Does not falling flat on your face when you put 2 feet on the ground in the morning as you stagger out of bed, make you NOT CLUMSY?

Does being able to push a wonky wheeled trolley around Woolies without waylaying into whatever fucking useless display special is taking up far too much room at the end of every aisle, make you NOT CLUMSY?

Or do you need to be able to dance Swan Lake and not just in the chorus line, or carry multiple dishes up your arms to deliver food simultaneously to the masses, to be considered NOT CLUMSY?

Last weekend while I was in Melbourne, I sat on the tram going any damn place I pleased,  and felt well and truly smug about myself. I had topped up my 'myki' travel card,  navigated to where I wanted to be and found the right tram and was proudly just sitting there minding my own business, enjoying the sights of suburban Melbourne. I had my handie thrown across my chest so both hands were free to wave or scratch or pull the dinger or whatever, and my miki was tucked into the top pocket of my coat so I could and did, hop on and off the trams with the ease and grace of a gazelle.  

Or so I thought.

At one point a young woman climbed aboard, and made me feel like a clutz, like a bull in a china shop, like a drunk blind person wandering through the expensive glassware section of David Jones when the fire alarm rings and everyone is in panic.

She climbed on, touched her card to the scanner and found herself a seat.

So far she could be me.

But then I checked her out.

In her hands she held, under complete calm control, her tiny handie. It wasn't one of those ones like mine, that was wrapped around my shoulders. Yep she had this wee item somehow balanced on 2 fingers. Bloody clever I reckon.

And she of course had her card and was also keeping up to date on her smart phone. Thumbs were flying in response to something that was making her smile.

So she sat opposite me clutching her handie and her card and was busy on her phone, but that my friends is not where it ends.

She was also very clearly enjoying her lunch - and sanga and a bottle of water.

It was not a safe sort of sanga that I might have chosen to chew up on a tram. No it wasn't a lame old vegemite on white bread with the crusts on adding to the rigidity of the whole thing, tucked snugly into a paqer bag, type sanga.

Nope it was a fully ladden jobbie with egg and mayo and chicken and some green stuff. The filling was about 2 times thicker than the bread holding it all in place. It looked like the crusts were gone, maybe she had already chewed 'em off like I'd go at a corn on the cob, in any case the whole thing looked bloody delicious and dangerous and fragile to me, and was all but the cause of a panic attack as I waited and waited and waited.

I waited for an explosion of sanga stuffing onto the floor.

She brilliantly continued the balletic job of handie and card and communication and sanga and water. She was a sight to behold. She chewed up and finger chattered and chewed up some more. She dropped not a crumb and I'll just bet that her comments and replies were spell checked and perfect too.

Let's not fear for a minute about the future. While there are folk like this wonderful young woman who can achieve all this on public transport with such composure, we are in very good hands.

In comparison just imagine me sitting there amid what would have inevitably been my spilt picnic, with other travellers slipping sidewards on the coleslaw and scraping salad from their shoes, and if by some unbelievable stretch of the imagination I managed to also use my phone, I can only guess it would have been to call someone asking for help, cos I sure as shit would have needed it.

Yep we are in good hands indeed.