Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Home alone on Halloween.

Home alone again for another night as a widow to the inevitable last minute assignment completion that occurs around this time during the term.  I told M and the kids at breakfast this morning that the blog now had 3 official "followers" and thirty something Facebook Fans so they better start treating me right or else, because now I am an InterWeb Sensation and I might start getting ideas.  Didn't do a bit of good, they all behaved exactly the same anyway.

I suppose I should do an obligatory Halloween Post.  I used to get really Scrooge like about Halloween, and rant on about the Americanisation of Australian Culture, Sugar is the Devil, trick or treating is unsafe, blah di blah blah, but let's face it, that ship has sailed now.  Particularly the whole Americanisation thing.  As if it's Halloween that is Americanising our culture.  Look around, people!  It's ALREADY HAPPENED!  We are watching the Frankenstorm LIKE IT IS HAPPENING IN OUR OWN COUNTRY!  May as well adopt the holidays too.  And Halloween isn't even American, it's originally Celtic or Briton or something.  All Hallow's Eve, remember?  I quite like the idea of adopting Thanksgiving too, it seems like a pleasant tradition.

So M bought 3 bags of lollies to hand out to the random kids who sometimes turn up.  But since he hasn't been here, I had all the lights out the front turned off and the door shut while I single-handedly wrangled both smalls into the bath and bed, and I think it must have put off potential callers.  I only had one,  a pushy girl who ran down the driveway and banged on the door, sullenly staring at me and muttering "Trick or Treat".  Nary a parent to be seen.  WTF?
As a kid I had a friend whose family always put on a Halloween party and it was really fun, they would organise the neighbourhood and we would all walk round the pre-arranged houses with our parents, trick or treating.  I find it really weird that people would just let their kids wander around random houses in their neighbourhood without planning it first.
Anyway, I gave her a mini Cherry Ripe and she slunk off without egging the car so we're ahead there.

So the laws of science and mathematics tell us that three bags of lollies/chocolates, minus one tiny Cherry Ripe bar, equals a shitload of leftovers, to the power of "Get in Mah Belly!".  Anyone see that episode of the Vicar of Dibley where she wakes up on the couch covered in chocolate wrappers after a big night on the good stuff?  That's pretty much how I look right now.

Couldn't find a pic of that episode so here's the one where she sticks her whole head in the chocolate fountain.  Same thing really. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Whinging. How I met your father. Spirit Guides.

I feel sorry for M at the moment because I've been an anxious old harridan to live with.  I feel worried and grumpy and also miserable, sad and sick.

My worries are totally of the First World nature ie. they aren't really problems at all, but anyway.  I mainly have a gross general sense of worry and anxiety.  My upcoming return to work and also my recent issues with my job (loss of job security etc.) are stressing me the hell out. Amongst other things.

Anyway, suffice to say I am a nightmare to live with at the moment.  Sorry for the whinge, but I did say this was a place to vent my spleen.  So consider my spleen vented.

Thinking about poor old M and his harridan wife (ie. me), and also thinking about jobs and job interviews etc., I was reminded of the first time he and I ever met.

I was flying up to Rockhampton for a job interview at the uni there.  Rockhampton is noteworthy for its status as "Beef Capital of Australia" and has lots of public art dotted around the place.  All the public art looks like variations on this theme...

It is traditional for high spirited scamps to steal the bulls' testicles and retain them as trophies, perhaps in a form of primitive fertility rite. [Source]

Anyway it was going to be my very first ever proper professional job and I was VERY VERY nervous.  I had a new pants suit, bought at great expense from classy joint Cue. The flight itself was uneventful and I arrived safely, and walked over the tarmac and into the arrivals lounge.  I knew that someone was going to be there to pick me up, and it seems M had been designated the job.  I can't remember how on earth he knew who I was.  It would have obviously been the sensible thing to do to hold up a little sign with my name on it but I am absolutely sure that he didn't, I think that he just sort of sidled up to me and obviously hoped for the best.  I guess I probably stood out amongst the burly mine workers and so forth.  Anyway he was right, it was me, and we began to walk out to the carpark.

And then I TOTALLY STACKED IT.  Big time.  I fell right over on the bitumen, and almost onto my face.  I grazed my hands and my knees through my classy pants suit.  Thank goodness I hadn't chosen a skirt or the result could have been worse in EVERY CONCEIVABLE WAY.  I looked up to see M's horrified face staring down at me.  This was quite possibly the worst and most embarrassing thing that could ever have happened on the morning of a big interview.  I was shaking and wanted to cry so badly but instead I sprung to my feet, brushed myself off and laughed hysterically, while on the inside I was screaming "I want my MUMMMY!".  I strode off with the still horrified and deeply embarrassed M coming after. I could tell he was thinking "I cannot believe that she just did that.  I always get lumped with the lunatics."

Anyway we got into the car and set off, me picking the gravel out of my palms and blinking crazily to make sure my humiliation was not compounded by any pathetic tears dribbling down my nose.  I continued to cover my shame with hysterical laughter and by bombarding him with Amusing Anecdotes as is my wont.  The atmosphere was just starting to calm as we drove closer to the university, when suddenly a huge pink galah flew out in front of the car  followed by the most enormous ginger cat you've ever seen.  We heard a nasty "THUMP!", and M screeched to a halt.

Two galahs.  Not a photo of M and I.  [Source]

"Oh God, oh God, oh God," he moaned, leaning his head onto the steering wheel.  "Oh God the poor bird.  Is it alright? Oh my girlfriend is going to KILL me, she loves animals, oh GOD."

I sat silently clutching my suit jacket, already thinking about the time we had wasted during my tumble.

"Should I get out and check on it?" he asked.

"Ummmm...." I said, taking a sneaky look at my watch. ",  the POOR THING, but, you know, shouldn't we be getting to my interview, it's getting on a bit......".

"I think I should..." he said. "Yes, I'm going to get out and check on it.  The cat will get it!"

"Oh, ok...but you know, the TIME, my INTERVIEW!" I was getting a bit panicky.  He looked at me in disgust.

"It could be hurt!" he said, disapprovingly.  Just then, thank goodness, the bird seemed to dust itself off and almost fly up from underneath the tyre wheel and off into the bushes.

"Oh GOOD!" I shouted.
"I mean, look, it's fine, it's going to be alright.  The TIME, you know, my INTERVIEW!"

"That cat will get it," he muttered under his breath.  "My girlfriend will kill me."

"My interview...." I rejoined with, sullenly.  He shot me a look, and started the car again.

Luckily we made it, and after he had delivered me to the interviewers, he disappeared and I didn't see him for the rest of the day.  People could come and watch my presentation, but he chose not to.

He had the job of driving me back to the airport, and on the way he had obviously been coerced into giving me a tour of the sights, which he grudgingly did.  As he dropped me at the airport, I knew he was thinking "God I hope that's the last we see of that heartless madwoman, she is CRAZY and CRUEL and TALKS WAY TOO MUCH and is POORLY COORDINATED!"

But I got the job and moved to Rocky for a bit.  I even had to write an article on the experience for a library newsletter, and came up with this sort of Tony Bennett tribute poem...

I left my heart in Rockhampton
High on a hill, Mt Archer calls to me
To be where big beef cows
Stand in concrete rows!
And the morning fog will chill the air (and prevent
my Jetstar flights from taking off on time).

It took us a LONG time after the aforementioned events took place to get our shit together, but Reader, I eventually married him.  And here I am still.  Mwahahaha....I guess M can't really complain that I am a grumpy madwoman because I was from the get go.

Gratuitous shot of us flaunting our youth back in the day.

Although, to be fair, the whole incident provided him with excellent material for his wedding speech, and allowed him to make such amusing jokes as "She really FELL FOR ME the first time we met", and so on.  So really he's got nothing to complain about.

And I don't know what became of that ginger cat or the galah.  Perhaps they were spirit guides sent with a message for us, like Homer Simpson and his space coyote.

The space coyote told Homer to "find his soul mate".  I guess the galah and the cat were telling us that we'd just found ours and didn't even know it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hedonism. Supre.

I have a streaming cold, therefore my patience is at a low ebb.  I'll make this short and sweet.  Went up to the Family Compound with the sprogs this weekend again.  M stayed at home in order to catch up on an entire semester worth of study for a uni subject he is doing.  As you do.  He has led me to believe that he was indeed burning the midnight oil and studying the shit out of those textbooks.

How M hopefully spent the weekend. [Source]

I'm sure he isn't fibbing to me.  And I'm hoping that "studying" isn't a euphemism for lying around in his jocks drinking red wine and watching Saxondale DVDs.

Hedonism bot says "I apologise for nothing!"

I was going to go hunting in the op shops again but my cold prevented me.

Incidentally, I did go and try on some patterned pants the other day.
The horror.  It looked like someone had vomited pina colada all over my ample buttocks and dimpled thighs.  Which isn't as good as it sounds.

I also made a trip to that well known high end pret-a-porter establishment, Supre.  I know, I am all class.  This time I had quite helpful service from the carrot-skinned teenager at the cash register.  The same couldn't be said for my visit before that.  I was purchasing a cutting-edge voluminous neon orange t-shirt and stood there for about an hour trying to interrupt their conversation.  When I finally did get served, the infant shopgirl said to me "D'ya wanna matching crop top with that shirt?".  I stared at her, uncomprehending, and then laughed the hollow laugh of a 30-something woman with two children and a correspondingly stretched and jubbled tummy.

"Those days are long gone my dear," I said to her.  She shrugged and said "You could wear it under stuff".

I think not.

I guess that's what I get for frequenting such establishments.  I should really be shopping at Miller's.

Hope everyone else had an equally exhilarating weekend.

Peace out.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Weather. Cauliflower Cheese. Yoga.

I think I'm turning into one of those dullards who can only ever talk about the weather.  But it's just so damn INTERESTING!  I spend half my life checking the BOM site or looking at the weather app on my phone.  I'm constantly wondering whether to put the baby in a sleeping bag or not, turn his fan on or not, have the window open or not.   My single tip of the cap to living an organised and streamlined existence is to have the clothes I will wear the next day laid out the night before.  Without full knowledge of the weather I am rendered impotent in this most important of activities, and start the day entirely wrong footed!  And my goodness, it's just so mercurial at the moment, if I don't remain on top of all forecasting developments I could make a fatal error of climate-appropriate clothing judgement.  Nothing worse than seeing a poor sap shivering in thongs and shorts in the freezing rain, or a sad creature wearing jeans and boots when all else are living la vida loca in a sundress.  I will not let that be me!

Seasonally appropriate clothes are one thing, but food is definitely something else.  Today was roasting, so naturally I did the obvious thing and slow cooked an enormous lump of corned beef and then made steaming hot cauliflower cheese to go with it.  Yes, the house was beautiful, fresh, breezy and cool after that, I don't think!  I was sweating like a fat man in a sauna when I finally sat down to eat.

Mmmm.  Grey scummy meaty goodness.  As refreshing and invigorating as a spray of Norsca on your pits.

Cauliflower cooling as a mint julep on a hot summer's day. Who needs an icy cold jug of Pimms when you can get your laughing gear round this baby? 

Earlier in the day, despite Baby B still suffering from a bit of a cold, we went to P's friend M's 3rd birthday party.  Her mum K went to a lot of trouble and all the small fry were very well behaved.  There was lots of delicious party related food, but naturally I took my own stash of wholesome snacks (celery and cottage cheese) and refused all offers to partake in the sweet or salty, saying "lips that touch fat shall never touch mine", and so forth*.

In other healthy lifestyle moves, I went to yoga again last night.  When I arrived I bailed up the instructor and querulously moaned about my injured foot and how I'd have to take it easy.  She was obviously thinking "Stop your whinging, porky. Drop and give me twenty" because at one point during the class,  she came over and lay on top of me with her full body weight, folding me virtually in half  and forcing my face ever closer to my feet.  All I could think was thank God I hadn't eaten my dinner before I'd left home, because it was curry, and the pressure she was placing on my tummy could have resulted in a highly embarrassing gastro-intestinal incident.  As it was, it merely had the result of forcing all the air in my body out of my mouth in a strangled groan, but it could have been much worse had other orifices been involved.  Ahem.  Still, I have to admit it was strangely exhilarating.

Anyone else got some tips for keeping cool in the heat?  Ever farted in a yoga class? Tell me everything!

*Not really.  I may have stood vulture-like over the party food table, blocking the path of small children and shoveling fairy bread and pikelets into my face at a rate of knots.  When will the madness end?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mentoring like a boss.

Yesterday I got an invitation to go to a fundraising cocktail party.  It's to raise money to support new graduates and students in my erstwhile profession so they can attend a conference.  I'm supposed to be going as a VIP - "Very Important Professional" and I'm going to be paired with a fresh wide-eyed little student or graduate.  I found it a bit confusing, seeing as my own career trajectory has entered into what can only be described as a bit of a tailspin.  They must be deadset scraping the bottom of the barrel.  I pity the enthusiastic little up and comer who gets dumped with me.  Unless I am going to be used as a "What Not To Do" example.

Well, if anyone's looking for mentoring in "How to get made redundant while on maternity leave" or some lessons in "Commuting to work 3 hours every day for 6 years and hating every minute of it", then I suppose I'm your woman.

Mind you, if its tips on how to win friends and influence people you are after, you need look no further than my patented conference networking technique.  The technique involves;
1. Getting paraletic at a conference dinner
2.  Spraining your ankle on the dancefloor, followed by
3.  Lurching into to bed at 4am
4.  Getting up again at 6am to meet the bus that is waiting to take everyone on a whole day wine tour
5.  Sitting up the back of the bus, slumped in a corner with a plastic bag of ice on your ankle
5.  And finally, actually DOING the wine tour without vomiting.

This,  I am definitely an expert in and am only too happy to assist.  I'm sure you will agree that certainly did demonstrate some fairly legendary stamina, so perhaps that is why I'm being asked.  Yes, it makes sense now!  Watch and learn, grasshoppers!

Mentoring it the hell up, island style.

As above.

Sharing my knowledge.

Taking one for the team like a good mentor should

Mentoring like a boss.

Giving back to my profession.

Just doing some mentoring.

Anything for education.

Sacrificing myself on the alter of mentorship.

This is how it's done kids!

Bottoms up!

Mentoring - you're doing it wrong!

Getting my mentor on at my connubials.
Anyone else indulge in a bit of mentoring these days?  Any tips?  What should I do with my own life?  Who am I?  Where am I?  Quick, someone get me an icy cold mentor...I mean drink.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weather. Flab. Travels with Dad. Tolerance

The weather is doing my head in.  Yesterday - boiling, hot.  Roasting the living daylights out of our already dry and crackly garden.  Definitely bushfire weather.  I was so sure a storm was brewing. But nothing, nada.  Not a drop.  Rain, damn you!

This morning, cool, crisp, blowing a gale, blue, blue sky.  Gorgeous, but no rain.

As I write, it looks like this.  Fingers crossed it pours! 

Yesterday, I wore one of the dresses I got from my recent op shop visit, in this post.  It was the one that Mum suggested would benefit from some sucky-in undies, Bridget Jones style.  Well, my other resident fashion critic (ie. P) told me "Mummy, you've got a big tummy.  I think there's another BABY in that big tummy!".  I thought about pulling some giant pants on underneath, but frankly it was too damn hot.  What's the point of a cotton summer dress if you layer it up with sweaty old synthetic bloomers.  So I decided to embrace my mummy tummy.  I mean, really.  I know if I exercised every day and ate less ice cream it would be reduced, it's not brain surgery, but at the moment I don't do either of those things so I still have postnatal flab.  If you've got nothing better to do than feast your eyes on my jubbly bits then go ahead, I can't be bothered caring any more.

Spoke to Dad (Grandpa G) on the phone last night.  When he was here last week I showed him my blog.  Dad's first reaction was fairly predictable.  He looked the blog over silently, eventually remarking suspiciously, "It seems like an enormous amount of WORK, Sarah."  I tried explaining it was just like having a hotmail account or making a word document, and that it was quite fun and easy but he remained skeptical.

Last night on the phone I asked if he'd been reading it.  He paused, and said, "Yes, I've looked it over.  It just seems like you are putting so much WORK into it", naturally inferring that I should probably be putting more work into, say, raising my children or finding a new job.  If you are reading this Dad, don't worry, I've got it sorted, P's at kindy and I've just propped the baby in front of the TV with a bottle full of juice and "In the night garden" on repeat*.

While Dad was here we also reminisced a bit about the odyssey to the Old Country (ie. Ireland) that he and I made when I was about 20.

Dad (aka Grandpa G) representing in his navy Driza-Bone.

The trip was noteworthy for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the obvious incongruity of a 20 year old girl trailing moodily around Ireland and the UK with her 50-something father while her contemporaries were arguably "living it up" backpacker-style.

It led to such amusing anecdotes as "That time Dad and I accidentally went to a gay bar together" and "The Fiat Punto was a bad choice", whilst simultaneously giving rise to such inciteful geo-political commentary as "Celtic Tiger My Arse!".

The "gay bar" visit showed me up for the gormless and graceless youth that I was.  Clutching our Guinness factory souvenir bags in my hands, I followed sulkily after him as he strode down a Dublin road in search of a pub where he could get a pint and a toasted sandwich.  Spotting one ahead, he made a beeline for it and disappeared through the doors.  As I entered and peered into the somewhat dimly lit establishment I could see that he had made himself comfortable in a corner booth, so I sort of flounced over and slumped down across the table from him.  Dad went up to the bar to order our lunch, and when he returned to our seats we both sat in silence watching one of the bar's employees putting up Christmas decorations.

As my eyes adjusted to the gloom I began to notice the other two or three patrons.  They were all dressed in variations on this theme...

I began to notice some pictures on the walls that looked a bit like this... 

"Daaaaaad, I think it's a GAY BAR!!!"  I hissed at him, what little grace and poise I had going out the window at what I saw as the most embarrassing place to be with your uncool middle aged father.
"So what?" he said, utterly unfazed, finishing off his sandwich. I sank further down into my seat, counting the seconds until we could escape.  As we left, I looked up at the sign above the door.  The bar was called "Out on the Liffey", which is a cute pun, and after consulting my trusty Lonely Planet it was revealed to be the trendiest and most happening gay friendly joint in Dublin.

I reminded him of this story when he visited last week.  He said earnestly, "I remember! They did an excellent toasted sandwich, the beer was cold and they weren't too busy."

Good on you Grandpa G, you are a paragon of tolerance and you don't even know it.  Shame you had to be there with your red-faced and spluttering daughter because she totally brought the tone down.

*Not really.  I was just using a dramatic device known as "giving cheek to your sainted parents". I wasn't voted "Most Sarcastic" at high school for nothing.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Alan Partridge. Lunch. School memories.

Pretty sure I've got a broken toe.  I was negotiating the piles of toys and crap on the floor yesterday and kicked the hell out of it on the coffee table.  I tried to pretend it was ok until I awoke last night in a cold sweat.  Oh the pain, the pain of it all.

Today it has become an angry purpley blue colour and is alternately numb and painful.  I tried to take a photo of it for the blog but was frightened by the similarity between my foot and a close up of the gnarled talons of, say, a hobbit or other such hirsute creature.  My feet do not stand up to close scrutiny at the best of times, let alone when they are exhibiting a hideous purple swollen toe.

We had plans to have my old school friends D and L and their kidlets round for lunch so I soldiered on, even though I was possibly in danger of comporting myself a little like Alan Partridge did after he impaled his foot on a fence immediately prior to giving a keynote speech at the Dantes Fireplace sales conference.

Anyway I pulled myself together and we had a wonderful time.

Baby B and Baby O getting to know each other.  We successfully negotiated a suitable bride price from her parents.  I think several goats and a decent number of shekels should do it.
The children played quietly together, and after lunch we encouraged them to practice their piano scales and arpeggios, before we joined them in a singalong of rollicking showtunes.*

L, D and I reminisced about school (hi guys!).  D remembered how I dobbed on him for throwing water balloons at us, and I gently reminded him of all the good-natured ribbing he and his chum gave me in music class, mainly about my teacher Dad's crazy old blue Volvo, but also for making a teenage feminist statement by letting my armpits go free range.  Oh, the memories.  How is it that we are so old and brittle of bone now?

Anyway it was really a fabulous day, and I exercised my characteristic restraint by scoffing huge quantities of the delicious cheesecake L made.  It was delightful.

If it doesn't rain soon I don't know what's going to happen to the garden.  Rain, damn you, rain!  We've planted a whole lot of new things and if they cark it I will not be impressed.

Hello you Nasty Urchin you.

Lavender, with added rogue weed-type grass infesting it.  Die, you awful weed!

*Not an accurate representation of events.  See previous blog entries for explanation.  The square nanny may have been involved.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Laundry. ALDI. Mojo.

Wore the same outfit two days in a row in an attempt to redress the "time spent doing laundry": "time I don't spend doing laundry" ratio imbalance.  I'm a veritable martyr to the bloody washing at the moment.  I tell you, drop the ball laundry-wise for a few days and you better watch out because around here you are likely to be BURIED ALIVE in it, be it clean, dirty or waiting in vain to be ironed.

Get this look!  Breastfeeding chair doubles as laundry recepticle.

I'm not sure about the re-wearing of the outfit, it's possible that it is just a slippery slope to crazy town.  Perhaps next I'll be skipping showers...oh, wait, I did that too this week!!  Naturally the day I couldn't manage a shower just had to coincide with the day that I was forced to madly dash to daycare/hospital with concussed child.  Lucky my clothes were clean.  Apart from the vomit.  Anyway.

My parents took turns to come and hang out here for a day each to help me watch over the concussed one and look after the infant.  I took the opportunity during Mum's visit to make an enjoyable trip to my new favourite shop....ALDI.  That's right readers, ALDI.  It is the business, the bomb, the bees knees of supermarket shopping.  And there's a new one open now just down the road from us!

Now it's taken me some time to come to terms with the fact that I've ended up living in a very, very, very outer suburban area, in a low-set brick house in (of all places!) the Gold Coast.  I'm sure I should really be whiling away my days in a loft apartment in Manhattan or a garret somewhere in Paris, gaily filling my shopping basket with baguettes, bagels and other market-related tidbits.

Not the Gold Coast.  Taken by me, a million years ago.

I'm not sure what happened there.  I probably should have had a ten year plan that didn't include racking up a huge HECS debt studying an Arts degree and librarianship where you can only ever earn about 2 cents an hour.  You reap what you sow, people.  I should have listened to my father, but don't tell him that.

Anyway, the point is that probably if I was living the dream in one of those locations, my favourite shop would be, I don't know, Chanel or Hermes or something, but when in Rome (or the Gold Coast), do as the Gold Coast-ians do.  So I've embraced the cut-price experience that is ALDI shopping with gusto.

As I was fiddling round with the trolleys, a fellow shopper and I shared a moment of ALDI love.  
"This one is so QUIET and with such great parking!" she marvelled.
"I know!" I said, "And we live JUST UP THE ROAD!"
She gazed at me with awe. "So. Lucky," she whispered. "You have EVERYTHING."
It's all in the eye of the beholder I guess.

I am starting to even look forward to the mad bit at the end where I am in an unspoken battle with the checkout attendant, trying to shove the groceries back into my trolley faster than they can scan them through. My checkout person on this occasion was a nice fellow who gave me a generous headstart.
"I think I'm getting better at this now," I boasted to him. "My husband simply cannot handle the pace, but I enjoy it".
"Yes, some people can't handle it, that is true " checkout man confided to me. "But if you make a game of it, it can be lots of FUN!"
"Oh YES it is FUN!" I trilled back, gaily packing my purchases into bags and skipping lightly back to the car.
Look, take your pleasure where you can, I say.

I am forced to note here in a late entry that my pleasure has been muted somewhat by my discovery this morning that I left a whole bag of shopping in the boot of the car, including some frozen (well, not any more) salmon fillets.  The horror.

Also, I have totally and utterly lost my exercise mojo this week.  Please someone help. I could blame stress and worry but let's be honest, it's pure laziness. 

ADDENDUM:  Some loyal readers have queried my assertion that Gaspard and Lisa are dogs, and have alleged that they are actually giant rabbits. According to reliable sources (what? Wikipedia is reliable, right?), Gaspard and Lisa are indeed 6-year old anthropomorphic dogs.     
ADDENDUM TO THE ADDENDUM:  I've noticed my total pageviews have gone over 1000 now.  Weird. If you are reading this, join in!  Comment!  You'll never look back.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Concussion. Patterned pants. Teen style.

Had a nasty old day yesterday.  P hit her head at kindy which eventuated in what was most probably a mild concussion.  Vomiting and wooziness and an ambulance trip to the hospital ensued.

B playing with the vomit bag.  Hours of fun.

Awful.  I am sorry to say I panicked like there was no tomorrow and was not the cool, calm, collected parent I should have been.  But luckily all's well that ends well.  This afternoon she perked up and is really back to her old self and I even got a chance to shampoo the vomit out of her hair that had been there for over 24 hours.  And in a pleasant coincidence the gardenia outside her window is in bloom so I picked a couple to disguise the vague scent of old spew that is wafting round her little den.

Favourite smell in the world.  Way better than old vomit.

Hopefully tomorrow she'll be absolutely as good as new, capricious little despot that she is.  Yesterday morning (before the concussion incident) she stood up on one of the dining chairs, threw her arms out in the air and shouted, "The world is ours!!!" I asked her where she'd heard that. She answered, "In my ears!" 


As is my wont, I've been distracting myself from worry by thinking about sartorial issues.
So I've noticed that patterned pants are all the rage at the moment.  Although I've embraced the coloured skinny jean with a wild and gay abandon, I'm hesitant to do the same with the patterned pant.  I've been erring on the side of, "Never in a million years could I wear a patterned pant!"

And then I was looking at some old photos from my high school years, which, let's be honest, weren't yesterday, and I found these.

Check it out!  Patterned pants!

I'm the one with the jauntily cocked knee.  Like my metallic Doc Martens?  So 1997 people!

Here they are on another outing!  I must have loved them.  You can see here my friend S (far right) is also embracing a patterned pant, however I think you will agree mine are FAR SUPERIOR (sorry S).  So blue, so boot-legged, so be-checked.

Looking at these pics reminded me that when I was in my final year of high school, there was an American exchange student who we hung round with a bit. At one point, toward the end of what I think was a generally rather disappointing stay in the Land Down Under, he looked into my eyes and said that there was this girl he really liked.
"Oh yes?" I said. "Who?"
He looked meaningfully at me and said, "Well, she has really bad dress sense."
"Oh," I said.

I thought to myself, "Well that rules me out then because nobody could possibly say that about me.  AS IF!!!??  Because I have totally AWESOME and UNIQUE fashion forward style.  I am totally WITH IT and TRENDY and NOW!  Sometimes I even wear my blue checked pants with a MAROON TIE-DIED SHIRT! And who doesn't like tie-dye?"

And then later that night someone told me that I was the one he had the hots for.  This caused me a major rethink and challenged my perception of myself as a stylish, yet quirky, individual.  WHAT!!??? I thought, BAD DRESS SENSE!!!?  Who knew? I was HORRIFIED.

Looking back now, I say, you go girlfriend!  Rock those tight checked pants and transparent blouse, kick some ass in those bad boy boots, let the world see your dark coloured bra underneath your transparent white blouse, work that tie-dyed t-shirt from Just Jeans.  What  do teenage boys know about FASHION and STYLE and being downright FUNKY anyway?

I think I am inspired by my younger self to go the patterned pant.

I don't know if I could go quite this far though...

These are from ASOS, in case you want to just throw caution to the wind and dive into the trend that is the patterned pant with matching crop top.  No judgement here my friends.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mornings with P or, "Parenting: You're doing it wrong!"

"Parenting: You're doing it wrong!".  Actually, if this is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

P: Mummy, I'm huuuunnngrryyyy.
Me: Well darling, we've just had breakfast.  You'll just have to wait until morning tea, ok sweetie? Mummy needs to tidy up a bit. That's a good girl.

P: OK, but mummy, I'm huuunnngggrryyyyyy!!!
Me: Well, darling, we've just had breakkie, so you'll just have to wait til morning tea, ok sweetie? I'm just tidying the kitchen.

P: Ok.

{Silence while she watches TV, oops, I mean teaches herself the oboe}.

P: But mummy I'm huuuunnnnggggrrrryyyy.
Me: Darling, we've just had breakfast. Wait til morning tea.

P: But Mummy!! I AM hungry! I'm hungry, mummy, I'm hungry.
Me: We've just had breakfast. Please wait til it's morning tea time.

{Slight pause}

P: I want something to eeeaaaatttt!
Me: Wait til morning tea please. Don't ask me again or mummy will turn the TV off (I mean, forbid you from ever practising the oboe ever again. Ahem)

P: I'm STILL hunnnggrrryyy!!!
Me {teeth gritted}: Did you hear me? Listen with your ears please. Mummy's getting cross. We've just had breakfast. Wait til morning tea.

P: {silence. Engrossed in TV program/oboe practice}

{Longish pause while I tidy a bit.}

P: Mummy?
Me: Yes darling?

P: I'm still hungry.
Me: {at the pub}.

The end.

Disclaimer:  I wasn't actually at the pub, I was using what is referred to in the business as "poetic licence".  Disappointing I know.

As you were.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Peter Slipper, the secret gourmet.

Ever wondered what's going on in the minds of those lofty individuals we entrust to run the place, our learned pollies?  What do they think about, dream about, hope for?  Is it world peace?  Employment statistics?  Bipartisan agreement on climate change?

To answer these questions, we turn to former Speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper, and his now much-publicised text messages.  As we delve deeply into the psyche of the man, past all that fuss about those nasty female genitalia references, we can glimpse his passions, his wisdom, his lofty idealism, and can only hope to emulate it in our own lives.

Well, well, well!  Turns out the former Speaker is just a man after my own heart, an armchair gourmet.

And as M says, we see here that Peter Slipper's interest in food extends well beyond mussels!!  Trust the media to focus on that!

Credit must go to my very thorough husband M.  Luckily for me,  his idea of a fun night in consists of trawling through endless text message evidence for shits and giggles.  Good work babe.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday. Fashion. Family.

I've been feeling a lot of feelings the last few days.

We're back at Slapdash HQ now after a visit to the Slapdash Ancestral Compound.   After a very sad year, Mum has recently returned to live in the house I shared with her when I was a teenager.

Which is next door to my Dad's house.  Her ex-husband.  Grandpa G.

I know.  Sorry to get all Big Love Family Compound on your arses, that's just how we roll.

So I inflicted myself, the baby and the 3 year old on my grief-stricken and exhausted mother for a couple of nights, you know, to HELP and be USEFUL and just  GET SHIT DONE!  Said emotionally fragile mother then proceeded to throw her back out.  And the baby proceeded to get a cold.  And the 3 year old, you know, whinged and carried on.  And the dog got jealous and started ripping up his bed.

I know, I'm just so HELPFUL!  Who wouldn't want me around as you worked through your grief whilst simultaneously transporting yourself back through the space-time-continuum to a house you lived in ten years ago??!

Thank God some actually useful members of the family had already done everything before I even got there.  And luckily the nature of the Family Compound version 2.0 meant that Grandpa G was on hand to ply said 3 year old with the requisite quantity of babycinos to render her docile.

A barrel of laughs it wasn't.

Sartorially speaking, however, it was quite positive.  I shopped the pain away at some really good op-shops.

Here's my loot...

$9.  Looks boring but it covers a multitude of sins.

These shoes were $18.  I'm belatedly embracing the nude shoe.  I need all the help I can get in the leg lengthening department.  Well, I'll do almost anything but probably wouldn't do this
$5 I think.  Who doesn't love a wrap dress?  

$6 or something.  Less sure about this one.  When I tried it on, Mum said "Oh it's LOVELY darling but maybe you'll need some of those high-waisted pants on underneath".  Hmm.

Shorts for the little boy.
As soon as I came home I realised I had committed the ultimate parental faux pas of buying something for one child and not the other.  I thought it might escape P's notice. Ha!  She has a mind like a steel trap.  Wailing ensued.  This mother-of-two caper is not to be sneezed at.

How cold is it!?  I have had to get these babies out again.


I'm off to calm the screaming baby and hopefully then watch "New Tricks".  Crazy times.

Hope everyone else is drinking mojitos and dancing to trance music and then going to a gallery opening where there's free champagne.  That's totally what I would be doing if I had the chance.  Have a drink for me folks.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kids TV. Stereotypes. Employment.

After spending an enjoyable evening folding washing, and rubbing moisturiser into my cracked heels, I went to bed early to try and make up for the previous dark night of the soul.  Slept like a log last night, thanks for asking.  What a relief.

This morning, after breakfast and before kindy, P watched some TV.  I know!  So novel!  Usually, when she's not spending time entertaining herself with creative imaginative play, or dabbling in a little educational paper craft, she's out in the backyard preparing simply adorable dance concerts and we sometimes don't hear a peep from her for ALL MORNING!  She NEVER watches TV! I swear on Stephanie Alexander's "Cook's Companion" that it was a ONE OFF!

Wait, I can explain!

I'm sure it was raining cats and dogs that day.

Now, she was DEFINITELY sick this day!  Promise!


Anyway, she was watching the Mr Men Show on ABC2 this morning.  I love this show too.  It's very funny!  I tried to explain to M why I thought it was so humorous and well done.

Me:  I just love the way the different Mr Men and Misses are characterised by different accents or regional dialects, it's so clever.  You know, like how Mr Rude is French.

M:  You mean you love the racial stereotypes.

Me:  Oh.  Um...

M: You do!  You love the Mr Men show for its racial stereotyping! 

Me: (Silence)

M:  Why don't you just put your "blackface" on now, Sam Newman

Me: Shut up.  

My pure and unsullied enjoyment of the Mr Men Show is tarnished forever now.

Because I am a noted intellektual and skolarly type, sometimes I listen to Radio National.  I feel smarter just having it on in the background!  You should try it too!

Anyway, this morning I was listening to Life Matters.  The segment was about an organisation called "Social Firms Australia".  They are all about aiming to get people with mental illness into the workforce and are creating the concept of "Social Firms".  These are organisations that provide supportive employment for disabled or disadvantaged people.  All based on the theory that everyone should have the ability to secure fulfilling and enduring employment.  They are working with the Federal Government and other businesses to encourage them to provide such employment opportunities.

I just found this incredibly interesting given the current climate in Queensland.  I don't think the Queensland Government is likely to qualify for "social firm" status any time soon.  Just sayin'.  I'm zippering my lips back shut right now.

In other news, this little fellow can sit up and has his first toothy peg.

Where has the time gone?!

We're off to my mum's (aka Slapdash Nanny, it's genetic) house for a few days.  You know, just in case my three loyal readers get worried they haven't heard from me.

Keep it real people.

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