Friday, 31 December 2010

Incy wincy spider...

Very very important advice - wear full length tops and bottoms when gardening. Simple. Effective. Clothes are your PPE.

Or like me when you are butchering an overgrown front of your home in shorts a bikini top and bare foot then creepy crawlies will latch on and express their opinion on your weed/branch removal.

Within 5 minutes I had a blister shaped lump. Just a small one. And this picture shows the next day. Rather raised and growth like with a constant hot itchy feel. This is no innocent insect bite. Tea tree oil in pure and antiseptic options has no effect but cleans the area. Aloe Vera in both gel and it's natural form also doesn't touch the sides. And gives no relief. It took the third day and a trip to the pharmacy for some hydrocortisone cream from mr pharmacist to take any effect. He then scared the shit out of me telling me what to look for in an infected bite... Um... Thanks?

I fell asleep on an ice pack the night before last and may have given myself ice burn at the same time... Not that it distracted from itchy burny bite. And the ice pack felt sooo good...

Today it is more dark red but not as swollen anymore and it didn't wake me in the night for once which is the most important thing

But lesson learned - long sleeves and legs for all future gardening!!

Spiders are bad. Roll up those newspapers and get them before they can get you...

Did Santa stuff your stocking?

On the eve of new year I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a merry belated Christmas. And a happy new year too.

For our first Christmas in oz we spent a lovely two days up the mountain with the rest of the McDonnell clan having far too much cheese and far too much alcomohol. And welcoming baby Archie in to the family, even though he slept through the whole event.

Luckily for us there were no bookings in the cottage. So we got to stay in the b&b for the night. We even had our own little Christmas tree. If you haven't checked it out yet may I suggest you do at it's absolutely lovely.

Santa spoilt us this year with so far 9 packages arriving. And another 1 left to go. And a huge thanks to near all of you who sent choccie buttons. I use them as a barter tool with Liam. Except he knows where they are (the fridge to stop the melt!) so it's a pointless effort.

Christmassy hugs to all x x x

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A non picnic at hanging rock

Alas - I forgot to take a pic with my I phone. But yesterday Clare and I went on a mini adventure to hanging rock.

Clare has yet to be enlightened by the film 'picnic at hanging rock' but none the less with the first dry day so far we took off on mini road trip.

I really really liked hanging rock. I was warned it was smaller than you expect it to be. Which could be true. If you stuck to the marked pathways as suggested. I'm not a marked pathways kind of girl though. And luckily neither is Clare so we climbed all over and between the rocks and saw some spectacular views that way.

While walking around the rock we also spotted my first wild koala. This was after startling a wild kangaroo, several bunny rabbits and avoiding any snake contact. I was very excited about the koala. And the woman in the cafe told us there were only 2-3 koalas in the whole reserve. So out chances of spotting one were pretty damn slim!

Then we followed up out mini adventure with fresh baked Devonshire scones and a pot of tea by the riverside. Perfick.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Jealousy is a Green Eyed Monster


> What a lovely morning. It is 06.26 and my train has left without me on it. Fun. Good times. I'll grab a coffee and wait for the next one then.
> And to keep me occupied while I wait - a photo message from Clare which I have to go online to retrieve. Arrived last night.
> So I am sat at a train station having missed my train at 6.30 in the morning and Clare was camped under the stars in the vicinity of Uluru.
> Jealous? Yes.
> Green? Slightly as it's still too early to stomach breakfast and that includes the coffee I'm slurping.
> Monstrous? Too tired to be. Maybe once the caffeine kicks in ;o)

The Multiple Freezings & Thawings of Hell


> This year in my absence there will be many things different about the Marsh family Christmas.
> The first being that my folks will be in Oman topping up their tans in heat hotter than Oz.
> So no Marsh Christmas on the 25th.
> But shocker... Mum told me she WAS NOT GOING TO PUT THE TREE UP (first freezing of hell). In recent years mum has used a fabulous fake tree provided by the Newman family. Still a good height. I.e it hits the ceiling. But fake. Do no watering. It won't die while they're inOman etc.
> Then Donna tells me she's off to my folks with Tommy. So I ask my mum if Donna knows about the lack of tree... "that's the surprise" my mum says. No mum. That's CRUEL.
> So then my mum decides she will have a tree... (hell quickly thawed)
> Except not only is it not in the cons. It's also shorter than my mum by the looks of it (once again hell freezes over at the likelihood of that ever happening).
> So this year is a year for many firsts. My first real tree of my own. My mums first tree of less than 8 feet tall. Tommys first Christmas. Tommy's first Marsh family tree viewing - thank god he's too young to remember how tiny the tree is ;o). But not my first away from home, but my third.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

T'is Christmas. And whether it be sunny or rainy or snowy an absolute necessity is a tree.

We were in debate this year. Liam suggesting a tree in a pot that we can keep outside in winter and re use every year. Good in theory. But a - we don't have enough outdoor space to keep it in. And b - the local wildlife. I can only imagine what cans of bug killer would do to a tree when fumigated once a year prior to returning indoors.

I wanted a good fake. But Liam was concerned as to where the hell we can store it for 11 months of the year. Fair point. Maybe later.

So we decided on a real tree. A one off. And something we can bin after Christmas.

So then we had to agree on a size... I was debating a petite one. But Liam wanted a less petite one. And neither of us could decide until we saw the only place with good trees and settled on the only size he sold a 5 1/2 foot green bushy thing grown in Ballarat.

The smell of pine is fabulous. And albeit a lot bushier than I'm used to Jessie as we have named the tree has about 4 pints of water per day. Brought a few earwigs with her. And so far 6 spiders. I say so far as many more could yet appear as she is rather bushy for a christmas tree and I have a funny feeling there may be more critters hiding...

I will post a more festive pic once I remember to take one. And to want any of you interested - stay away from my parents... They're not putting their tree up this year which can only mean one thing.... Hell has frozen over ;o)

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Clare. And the Grey.

Clare is here! Welcome to Melbourne Clare! And after a beautiful first day wandering round the zoo Melbourne has decided to show Clare it's true colours.

Please be standing for the Grey! It is a mass of grey covering the city having a cold bath effect on anything and everything in it's path. It shows no sign of leaving. And is putting sun cream companies out of business.


Saturday, 4 December 2010

And rain brings life...

All the rain has finally done some good. The roses out front have bloomed. Not as majestic and red like the courtyard roses but lovely in a pink marbled Ferdinand Picard type way. Without being the expensive Ferdinand Picard type roses.

It's a sign of my age that I am happy that the roses have bloomed...

Friday, 3 December 2010

To straw or not to straw

A week I have suffered with sensitive teeth. A whole week. Thinking just a side effect from a pavlova on the weekend (a lot of sugar was used in it's building) I bought a new tube of sensodyne and even some of that colgate pronamel.

But today there was no denying it - it was the same tooth I thought I'd knocked my filling out of previously...

Whether it be fallen out loosened it just cracked. The pain when even room temperature water hits it... Well... It's interesting...

Suffice to say that until my emergency dental appointment on Saturday morning I am resigned to drinking through straws to avoid liquid to tooth contact.

Probably good that I'm not drinking wine this evening.... ;o)

Fuddy duddy customs?

You know you love it. It's like a guilty secret. But when that Aussie border control show comes on tv you can't help but watch at the stupidity or genius of hidden drugs, food and banned items. My favorite were a pair of Thai ladies who had given themselves a spice girl lift in their trainers which funnily enough turned out to be coke. And not the type from the vending machine at the station...

"I bought them from a market"

You paid for those trainers?!!

Aussie customs on the wrong day OR if you're the wrong person can be obnoxious, full of themselves and almost aggressive. On a good day with innocence on your side they are cute liddle puddy cats. These are the days that your time between baggage and the arrivals hall are halved. Perhaps even quartered...

So it never surprises me when I get messages saying someone has sent me something. And two weeks later... Still waiting. (I AM on the other side of the world after all). And like the baggage hall - that box/envelope has to get through customs. And that could mean a combination of sniffer dogs, x ray's, human selection, that machine that 'smells' explosives and those swabs they take to detect drugs.

It's not surprising that they get confused with a parcel of delicious (and of course nutritious) English goodies and tea bags and need to 'hold on' to that parcel for further inspection.

This (clare's goody delivery) parcel has been my first since my birthday. And the last one on my birthday was sonia's who also had the same customs garb in it.

They are lovely enough to tell you they've searched your package. And then there is another leaflet. This second leaflet will tell you if something has been removed. Fortunately. I have yet to have anything removed - yey! But I know people who have lost tea bags. I honestly believe that is because the plastic manufacturers wrap had probably been removed. Therefore the tea bags could be tampered with...

I have a good story from one person. Who actually got a hand written letter from customs addressing their parcel which had taken something like 5 weeks to get through... The moral of her story was to ensure your mum; if sending butterscotch angel delight to you, really really shouldn't remove it from it's packaging and put it in a ziploc bag with 'angel delight' written on the side. An odd yellow powder in a plastic bag.. Hmmm... The mind boggles.

The good news - She did get the remaining angel delight that had not been used for testing. Perhaps they should just start selling it here to avoid that trouble in the future?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The great Aussie BBQ, a hiatus and the rain

It has been a while. I apologize. I have been very entertained with stories of snow. I like it. So much has happened in the two weeks I have not blogged I will try and remember it all!!

The BBQ - we have one. It is quite pretty. It was too big to come home in the car so it had to be delivered the next day. Ruining our plans of a BBQ that night. But never mind.

The BBQ came with a recipe book. And instructions for cooking temperatures. I have read them but they mean little to me. I have only ever cooked on disposable ones from woolies. Professional eh?!
Liam of course hasn't read the instructions as he's a man. And men don't need to do that right? Because they just KNOW instinctively how to cook on a BBQ without instruction. It's in the Aussie genes he wasn't born with ;o).

But even without reading instructions Liam has made a mean steak with fried onions - yum. Without the grief of pans to wash. And without heating up the kitchen like a sauna. It can be hot enough already without cooking indoors!!

The BBQ is currently in his coat as the rain continues to pour on Victoria. Thus is the wettest year in donkeys. And they're expecting a wet Christmas... Yey...?

Someone remind me why I moved here please?

Monday, 15 November 2010

A brick wall and 2 spiders

Welcome... To the 33rd floor. My home or the next month until another floor move. And if I'm still stuck here in about 3 months then there's yet another move... Yey!?!

So from a beautiful view of the cbd I now have a view of a brick wall... Seriously... As photo'd... A brick wall. 33 floors up.

There's also spiders. On the outside of the window but it makes you wonder what the hell a spider did to get 33 floor up...?

It was slightly concerning on Friday as with the heavy wind and torrential rain the glass actually appeared to wobble. Seriously?! I know it's physics and blah blah that it's not actually wobbling... But at 33 floors up you don't want a window to pop out... That means the spiders could get in... ;o)

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Overtime/Melbourne Cup Day

Ooh the decisions to be made as a temp... Do you work a public holiday that the state you live in has for a load of horses or do you have the day off meaning zero pay but a day off even though you're not planning on going to see the horseys this year... Hmmm...

Oh and they're offering double time - choice made!

So today I have worked a half day in the 49 floors of tumbleweed towers in the middle of ghost town. Two of us got off the train at my stop 8am this morning. TWO of us. Apparently not many Aussies choose to work today. As was evident by every coffee provider on the way to work being shut. Along with my building being all locked up and like fort Knox to get into.
My desperation was finally calmed when a fellow office temp had the good foresight to call us when he passed an open coffee shop!! Words can not express the happiness and relief felt by the 3 of us already in the office... Suffice to say 20 mins later we were all coffee in hand. Crap coffee. But we all know what desperation can do to us...

As I have always felt like a muppet taking a photo from our floor window in the presence of others i took ghost town day as the perfect opp to not feel like a muppet

So here is the view from the 32nd floor in-between the rain this morning.

Oh and fingers crossed a horse called Zavite wins this afternoon as I'll win $70 in the office!!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Dental torture

With the nhs being one of the only medical bodies who subsidise dental work in this world; I ensured I was up to date with all my check ups x-rays and hygienist stuff before leaving sunny uk.

What I didn't count on is being cracked on the tooth by a flying I phone which set vibrations through the adjoining tooth causing part of my one and only filling to fall out...

So I went to the dentist and had my filling checked - all good just excess filling falling off. and then back again this morning for some advised 'preventative' work. That preventative work resulted in the birth of my second filling. Two fillings?!! I'm ashamed. Ashamed I tell you!!

Anyone who has had a filling will know the anaesthetic is quite entertaining when you're poking your lip an hour later and can't feel a thing.. Coffee burns - not so funny. Except I have a mild fear of needles... Irrational, unnecessary and with no definite origin I will not allow needles near me unless absolutely necessary. So there was no anaesthetic this morning...

Whether that was a good decision or not can be debated until the cows come home. But... My mouth is having flashbacks to when the drill first hit the sensitive part.. And my whole body shudders in sympathy. Can teeth hold pain memory? Not the worst thing I've ever gone through. Albeit toe curling, slightly torturous and 'memorable'. But not something I will either forget or wish to repeat anytime soon... Has anyone ever willingly pulled their toenails off with plyers? Isn't that a form of torture... Perhaps make the world a better place through torture and fix up peoples teeth at the same time!

Oh yeah and I'm having another drilled 3 weeks today.... Now if I can just gargle with bonjela for a few hours before... ;o)

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

65 (ish) days til Christmas!

As many will know - I love Christmas.

Being in a warmer (supposedly) clime does not change this. It merely means snow flakes stuck to the window are a bit redundant. Please do not confuse this with the thought of not putting snowflakes up. They will be there!

It actually snowed this past week end in the more Northerly Melbourne suburbs. Snow. I'm getting quite tired of winter now.

So I started the Christmas cake a month or so ago - as pictured. It had a good feed of Brandy last night and has now been hidden way for another two weeks for it's next feed. Liam doesn't like fruit cake. And he dislikes nazipan even more. So alas he will never know how scrummy my Christmas cake is. But Liams folks and family do eat Christmas cake. So it will not go uneaten.

Has anyone else started their prep for Christmas? I'm going to buy Christmas cards soon. I figure all the UK ones will need to be posted before the end of November so will need to start organising those. And I'm not quite sure drinking a mug of hot mulled wine while writing my cards in the summer months will be appropriate. So perhaps a pear cider over ice?

Friday, 15 October 2010

Summer in Melbourne

Well this is a little late seeing how we experienced the opposite to summer last weekend. Alas Melbourne after a seemingly good start to summer has deteriorated to rainy and humid conditions with frizzy haired women everywhere.

But the weekend before we went it was sooo lovely that Lime decided we needed our first 7-11 slushy of summer. I'm just not sure whether I've had one before. Although i know ive had slush puppies. So we decided this was my first. And I irritated the guy at the till by trying a little of every flavour before I chose... It's their own fault for having self serve! And so I chose a fluorescent pink one. The picture does not do the fluorescence justice. And I would advise everyone in every country to find out if your local 7-11 makes slushies. They really are just fab on a summers day.

And while snapping my slushy how could I not include nobby. Our new gnome. Isn't he fab? I couldn't find one anywhere but Liz assured me Bunnings had them and so they did!

Nobby has a red hat. Therefore Nobby is a redback killer. It just makes sense!

Extra Gold Coast

To help convey the message of crap weather. This was from the other apartment. It was a very good weekend away otherwise.

Monday, 11 October 2010

The jenga

Picture this - it's birthday's, lots of them. It's a weekend away, with lots of us. It's the gold coast, with lots of alcohol in those apartment fridges. Huge theme parks down the road, with lots of rollercoasters. Then it's rain.... And lots and lots of it...

It's hard to enjoy Queensland, the goldcoast or actually - pretty much anywhere when it rains. And it rains. And it rains. We are not talking April showers. We are talking weather warnings. Flood warnings. A dam to 100% capacity. Gale force winds. Oh yeah - and it's cold.

So when we finally ventured out in daylight (at least we think it was daylight behind that rain) we found a bar. And that fabulous bar had games. Jenga, poker and connect 4. Suffice to say the boys hit the poker and we ladies enjoyed almost achieving the jenga world record (it was googled) on a very very wonky table!!

I am now on a mission to one day own giant jenga....

Alas... Post jenga when we finally got to the airport last night (12 of us) only Liam and I made it home... Tiger couldn't land with the heavy wind and rain. And all but us were flying with them. Grrr (thank you jetstar!).

But here's to the jenga that brought sunshine to our rainy day. And here's to jetstar for getting us home even though we had to run across a runway to our plane through the gale force winds in the pouring rain.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

How many grand finals can one sport have?

Answer: 2

Picture the end of a football or rugby match and there's a draw. Not too much of a problem.

But during a grand final. That's another story and many a penalty shoot out and extra time I've seen through the years.

So imagine my surprise last weekend. There we were at the Price house for an AFL grand final BBQ. I ventured inside only to watch the important part of any game - the last 15 minutes. And not only do St. Kilda and Collingwood draw but as the full time whistle goes no extra time or penalty shoot out is prepared. All the players simply lie down on the pitch with exhaustion and despair. And I'm told there will be another BBQ next week... Hundreds of dollars per ticket.... People travelled from across the world to be there to support their team... And then... "see you next week for a rematch".

Suffice to say yesterday being such a beautiful day you could hear random "go the pies" calls coming from homes and the pies surely did go as Collingwood are now the grand final winners 2010. But having to play two grand finals to win... A wee bit tiring me thinks...

Friday, 1 October 2010

Bikini ready

The weather here has finally started to improve. According to the forecast we're due 20-25 degree days next week and we're only a month in to spring yey!

Alas this also means I am in no way bikini ready and am imagining me looking akin to beached whale next weekend up the gold coast... The past two years I have been too 'comfortable' and moving in with the folks ensured endless supplies or crisps and chocolate which I was banned from having in twickenham. Which I know I always complained about but now wish had continued at my folks!!

So I've been doing the gym thing. But when you work for the devil and you're sat in front of a pc all day long you start to graze somewhat.

The gym efforts will hopefully display more results by Christmas! At which point they shall be completely undone by all the yummy chocs sen over from the uk! Well- I can't be eating australian chocolate can I!!

For this entry I share with you my bikini ready reminder post it I have on my pc screen. Cute eh?! ;o)

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Mon petite jardin

Ooh what to do on a sunny weekend when it's still too cold to sunbathe... The garden of course! Or in our case the courtyard.

It's been irritating me how drab the courtyard looks so mr lime took me to the local garden centre for inspiration.

Everything that existed in the flower bed prior to this picture (dead ish looking bushes and weeds) was removed and pretty pink ad purple flowers planted. I also chucked in a few wild flower seed packets to see how they fare in the Aussie climate.

There were spiders and millipedes and centipedes and beetles and even a caterpillar. But all seemed happy with their new and improved courtyard. We even butchered a tree but only because we had to... Health and safety obviously. And it was blocking sunlight to my new plants...

Now all we need is a BBQ for a housewarming... Oh and then there's the front garden too...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The washing machine

Across the English countryside there is a murmur...

"where do they have their washing machine?!"

"heathens the lot of them!"

Yes - our washing machine is in the bathroom. Due to some 'feedback' i thought we would talk about my washing machine today. Common practice down here in Ausland is not to have your washer in your kitchen. Most houses actually have a set apart laundry area. But some that are more purposely compact built- such as our unit, have the taps and space built in to the bathroom.

Liam says "why would you have it in the kitchen?" and you know - it actually makes more sense.

This is a country where they also have a lot of top loading washing machines though. Now I do think they are wrong. And the first time I used one I kind of put the powder in the wrong place... When Liam and I first bought washing powder here it took us about 20 minutes to realize we were on the wrong aisle as everything we looked at was for top loading machines. We mildly panicked that washing powder was not available for front loaders and could the store do an exchange?!! Seeing as we hadn't even used it yet...

But fear not they have their own section. And not only do they have all the normal vanish and persil (omo as it's called here) but front loaders also use the least water. Which in this country of constant water restrictions can only be a good thing!

Does no one in England have their washing machine outside of the kitchen?!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Porn 2011

It's here! The new ikea catalogue has landed!! You know you want some...

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The in home exercise

Beanbags. Beanbags are fun. Beanbags mould to your body shape. Beanbags are flexible in where you throw them. Beanbags are also a tiring form of exercise. You sit down to watch telly... Ooh you forgot the remote. Up you get to find the remote. So you settle down again... Ooh you forgot your cuppa. Up you go again. Then you're there with your cuppa and the remote and the phone rings... Up you get again...

It sucks getting out of beanbags repeatedly! They're bloody low! I like to credit the beanbag with zero weight loss as I just lose the effort to move entirely!! Let that phone ring! I'd even almost ignore a spider to save the effort in getting up off the beanbag. I said ALMOST. Let's not be too silly!

But no matter. This morning before I'd even left for work a fabulous thing happened. The men from Harvey Norman called and said they'd be delivering the couches in half an hour! Yey!!

5 1/2 weeks we have waited. 38 days. And 38 evenings sitting on beanbags. I would only advise beanbag purchasing for short people who don't have as far to get up. And yes I know I'm vertically challenged. But only those even shorter than me could enjoy a beanbag chair long term!! Long term being more than ten minutes...

So on my lunch break today I may go buy some fabulous cushions to compliment the one I threw on the couch this morning. Isn't it lovely?! I do worry for the cushions safety when it's alone with Liam. He seems to have a strange reaction to it... Maybe it's the material he's allergic to... ;o)

Friday, 3 September 2010

Milo v Tea

Yesterday was a very bad day for the world (and the 32nd floor) as not only did we run out of milk buy we also ran out of tea bags...

In England this would be a union matter. How could such a travesty come to pass?!! Does HR know?! Buy here in oz there was great indifference to the absence of my afternoon cuppa.

As Liam put it when I got home and ranted some more, it would be "un Australian" to run out of Milo.
Even my phone auto corrects the word and gives it a capital M!! But of course to run out of something that is just a relic of their European heritage; my beloved tea just is not a problem for them... They really are upside down after all.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

This is what happens!!

I don't know if you can read this. But this I read on the way home tonight in the freebie paper MX; the Melbourne version of the Metro.

It about a guy in England. So not even Ausland who killed a spider with hairspray and then lit a post-kill smoke only to blow the alcohol fume filled room up!!

This is exactly what we arachnophobes fear! Freak turns in events! Such as my gardens spider nest exploding baby spiders like EVERYWHERE!!

I did kill by hair mousse once. And set that alight once I was sure the spider was smothered. That was on my window sill by the way mum. I think you and dad were out so there was no one there to save me! What else is a girl to do.

But this article has taught me not to use hairspray. Although another fear of mine has been that the Aussie spiders are immune to hairspray attacks... Hmmm... We have a scary one hanging out by the front door so watch this space for tried and tested methods of spider death!!

If anyone has any methods they swear by please share!!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Lemon meringue nummyness

Since I saw it on her blog I knew I had to make it. Julianna of The Crumbs & Dirty Dishes blog (link to the right on my page somewhere) shared a lemon meringue pie recipe.

Officially it was the first thing I baked in the new homes oven. Followed by my choc-pecan-banana muffins this evening.

I had to use several google searches in the gram to cup/tbsp conversion process and it was a learning experience in how good the oven is!! And I made it in a tray slightly too big for the recipe but it was lemony yumminess none the less!

I took it round to ms Kate P's for judging, following her culinary skills of a saturday night dinner and it went down rather well with a cup of tea in between nibbles of Kate's yummy caramel slice.

So all yee who will be visiting chez nic-lime please ensure you give notice and I'll see what I can whip up for you!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


I have always hated new years resolutions. If you're gonna do something do it. Don't wait until the start of a new year to try it out! Is it not best to already have started whatever it is you want to accomplish then aim to spend an entire year continuing this?

So I joined a gym a few weeks back... Between feeling a bit rough, moving into our own place, and like today; forgetting my damn trainers... My commitment levels have been much to be desired. I NEED the gym. If I want to continue to eat as much as I do now going forward then I need to balance it out with exercise. Recent photo's on Facebook have even reminded me of the unsightly arm flab that has appeared in the past year...

And right there is a piece of my jigsaw I call my motivation!!

1- arm flab
2- bikini holiday in October with liams friends (there is nothing worse than semi-friends seeing you at your least dressed and not at your best)
3- my love for food - especially dessert...
4- it will get rather warm in summer and fattiness = sweatiness. Noice
5- For any clothing alterations it is easier to cut bits off than add things on!! Or shrink enough to fit into them in the first place...

And there is my motivation. Alas today in the absence of my trainers I will finish off my gym drinks bottle at my desk. As it has a tendency to leak if you neglect it and don't take it to the gym.

May I suggest for all of you with broken NYE resolutions. Give them a go again now. As long as you lick um by christmas then next years continuance will be a breeze and they won't all be broken... Again...

Saturday, 21 August 2010

The wildlife

Oh what an old woman I am. As much as technology has re entered my life. I have been soooo looking forward to sorting out our courtyard/garden thing.

There was an overgrown bush - now butchered. And a tree taking up too much space... Which is still taking up too much space due to a discovery we shall call The Spiders Nest. Yuk Aargh Yikes Eweth and spine tingly...

I did so well not making too many squirmy noises while pulling out weeds and the overgrown bush even when spiders ran out. But this type of spider wildlife... I was very tempted to get my hairspray and a lighter and attack. But like all arachnaphobes my fear then considered the wild and perhaps unlikely consequences of such action:

1 - the burning spider attacks
2 - I accidentally set the tree on fire - wouldn't want to start a bush fire in winter after all...
3 - the warmth of the burning causes millions of spiders to hatch and invade the house...
There are other idea's that are so crazy I won't say them as then I really will get committed...

But be careful one and all... Who knows if you have a spiders nest hiding in your tree or bush... Eweth!!

A life less technology... a life less some life really!
Broken skype dates, a lack of UK updates, no blog entries... Oh what a dull existence.
Now don't misunderstand me, I am all for getting off the couch (or beanbag as it is currently) and going out there to live life. But the right technology can add so much to it all!
And now we have the PC out of storage and all set up with shiny new webcam, the fabulous new collected this morning working I-phone I'm writing this blog on. And the world feels a little less big and the UK that little less far away.
I am back online!! And the world (or at least mine) is a happier place.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Newsflash! I am bored!

I am the most bored gatekeeper in the history of gatekeeping! I don't
get to sit around looking windswept with weird clouds and lightening
overhead. There's no giant marshmallow man popping round for a cup of
tea. No. I sit in an office waiting for people to complain to the
ombudsman so that the ombudsman emails me.
But if noone's complaining to the ombudsman then I am BORED!!! I can
only view company websites and there is NO other work I can do.
There are 3 of us temps - all bored. And we're not even allowed to
chat to each other even though the twat across from us has the loudest
most irritating ringtone in the history of the world. Not to mention
the gob on the woman who chats him up every 3 (ok maybe every 5)
I have discovered tht some people do not treat temps with common
decency let alone a scrap of respect!! I know that I have never acted
like that. If any of you do REPENT! Repent i say! And while repenting
- pity us for our boredom... :o)

Monday, 2 August 2010


We all have things that make us tick.
Miss Barbary for example.
Buy her something Alessi and you may very well see the same look in
her eye as a teenage boy when the hot girl next door forgets to close
her curtains...

For me the same thing occurs with flatpack furniture! Love it! I would
work on ikea's helpline but I'd just get frustrated not to be doing it

Liam today bought us supplies in the form of tools for our flat pack
adventure and the absolute sweety bought me my own girly purple and
green hammer (with a portion of the sales going to Aussie breast
cancer charity). Does anyone have a man that good?

Do you know what your porn is? Is it even porn itself? Who cares as
long as it floats your boat.

Now with one chair down and 11 more flat pack boxes to go... I'm going
back to my porn ;o))

Home Sweet Dumping Ground

Finally! We have our casa de nic-lime!!
Albeit rather messy!!
We have very 'minimal' furniture. Buy plenty of 'stuff'. We spent a
weekend trying to buy all the furniture we needed but that didn't
quite run too smoothly.
Our fabulous new grey sofas will arrive in 5-6 weeks so we bought some
temporary bean bags. After all the bravado in store and on the way
home of Liam saying his was the better beanbag and how much I would
want to sit on it. And how mine would be it's poor cousin... Upon
filling them Liam has discovered mine is of course the better one.
Much more comfy and more likely to be comfy still in 5-6 weeks!! Us
women just have a sense for this sort of thing don't we?
We have seen but not met a couple of neighbours. On the right appears
to be a young but nosey couple. Curtain twitchers if you will. On the
left we have discovered through their paraphernalia such as the mother
Mary et al in the car; are slightly religious. As Liam and I are going
to hell and blaspheme on a regular basis they may not appreciate us.
Or our senses of humour!! We'll keep an eye out for pitch forks!
And a few down we have old woman. Seems nice and polite although she
stared at lime funny... Maybe he terrorized her in his teenage years....
But so far no sign of a mad Harry wannabe! Yey!!!!
Now... On to the shipping crates...

Friday, 30 July 2010

Unlucky for some

Let's talk bad luck and superstition.

I don't think I've ever truly been overly superstitious. I do believe full moons make peoples brains go la la. And I don't particularly like the number 13 but that's more not being on the 13th floor or the 13th person etc.

But as you can see from the pic we have collected our new door keys and there are 13 of them! 13?!
And only two are doubled up so far as I can see!! What the hell do they all do?! - I will find out tonight...

I realize there are some who would plain refuse these keys. And why the devil not! There isn't a 13th capsule on the London eye for that very reason!! And I'm sure some remote tribes still have ritual sacrifices in the
name of superstition. Many people are superstitious about killing spiders... What could possibly be unlucky there?! You're bloody lucky it's in a place it can be killed and not ten foot up if you ask me!!
But me - give me a ladder and I would walk under it. Let's walk over those black cat tracks and leave the rabbits foot in that cheesy shop! And kill spiders!!

Life is too short to have something other than laws or morales dictate what you do.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Fabulous Birthday Coat!

A very belated appearance in this blog. But it needed some serious
alterations before it could be worn in public!!
This is the birthday Burberry mac that the lovely Liam bought me for
my 30th birthday - isn't he good!!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

home sweet home

we did it! we finally rented our own unit!! photo's will follow as and when we get a chance and our internet gets connected. But we will finally have a space to call our own next week end!

It is a one floor unit. with a cute little courtyard, two bedrooms. with aircon and ducted heating. and built in wardrobes. thank god for everywhere in australia having built in robes! as the cost of buying a fridge/couch and everything else really begrudges you from having to fork out for  bedroom storage too!!

we may be living off the floor for the first week... but we have bought our plate sets/cutlery/toaster and kettle. so i can have a good cuppa. but just can't keep my milk cold. we may need to invest in a bar firdge to start with.... as i just can't not have a cup of tea!!

but of course this move also means we get to go to Ikea again. yey!! god bless ikea and let it live forever supplying us with scandinavian stuff we never even knew we needed. but we do. need it that is. how could the world turn without it?!!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Today I am frustrated.
Today I am irritated by hypocrisy and double standards.
Today I am irked by ignorance.
Today I got a shiny new photo ID to access the lift to the 32nd floor.
This is mucho useful as the receptionists are jumped up twits and
could go hand in hand with the aforementioned irritant.
Today my ears popped in the lift.
And finally today I joined a gym.
Happy 'today being yesterday already' people!
May those who irk you today yesterday and for all your tomorrows be
pooped on by pigeons.

Parents of the god kind

A few weeks ago now lime and I became first time parents. Fortunately not biological ones as yet. But the god kind.

The last time I walked into a church for purposes other than sightseeing was James foley's communion. So about ummm... 7 years? And the time before that was Claire and Dave's wedding. Or possibly vice versa. And Liam we had worried for some time could set alight walking in to a church. And his opinion on the catholic religion is 'well-formed' I think we'll say.

So the lovely Helena finally had the lovely Jasmin christened and lime and I had the privilege of being asked as god parents. The answer was of course yes. And so we went to church; found out Liam doesn't burn
in the doorway and our own god daughter wouldn't pose for photo's with us.

A lovely day all around. But alas no close up photo's so here is one of just me and jas the other week.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


There is finally now some real motivation for me to shed some weight. And yes I hear your "no you're fine as you are" crap and right back at you with the news I will be going to the Gold Coast in October and I will be going to the biggest water park I ever did see... Ever... Bikini's are one thing. But bikini's in front of people I now know and will see regularly from now on is another thing.

So with this and the news that my mum has three breaks in her spine I figured it was time to start the burning of fat seeing as I am an able bodied woman and have no excuses. Now now... Don't be naive enough to think I will stop eating. Diets schmiets. I'm not cutting out chocolate even if it meant the end of all wars!! Some things deserve sacrifice!!

But exercise does need to be begun... So Tuesday I called up and booked myself on one of these shiny new dance based exercise classes that even requires me to use my favourite dancing shoes for part of
the class. Those are in storage so I took my back up pair. But Bloody
good fun! Worked up a sweat. But oh-mi-gawd... The muscles that ache
today in places I didn't know had muscles!!!

Note to self - more stretching next time!!!

Thank you!

A huuuge thank you to all at National Express and BAA who contributed to my leaving pressie!

The lovely people got Liam and I a dinner experience voucher for a Thai restaurant coincidentally only 5 minutes drive from where we're staying.

The food was so yum! The restaurant fabulous. And the bottle of wine included after the champagne ended up being pink and sparkly as Liam had decided to drive and I merrily drank it all to myself... Much to the waiters' disapproval ;o)

And as our extra gift we received the ornate painted pot in the pic. Which will contain something fabulous once we get in our own place and
can show it off.

Thank you team two (and special contributing guests) x x x

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Eddie does Westfield

The adventures of Eddie...

Like all discerning customers Eddie is fussy about where he shops. Today Eddie did Westfield and loved it! But not the car park.

Meet the new family member...

This everyone is Eddie!!

He is a 1996 ford laser. And he is midnight blue. Eddie. Isn't he 4 tyres of loveliness?!! x x


In relation to T F I Friday. Mum HAS fractured her spine.

So when I said no breaks that was before the hospital called her back in to be restrained in bed again. Do x-rays change after people leave hospitals...? Or do they just then stop pretending they know what they're looking at and get a proffessional to do it?!

So everyone manifest happy healthy thoughts for mum. And mum will be better soon.

Love you mum!
x x
Sent from my iPhone

Friday, 2 July 2010

T F I Friday!!

4 out of 5 days this week I have drawn blood through paper cuts. My skin is slightly shiny on certain sections of my hands fron packing envelopes. And I wear a combination of plasters every day to protect different parts of my hands dependant on the task. What I wouldn't do for one of Pru's hand wax treatments!!

And my mum; half way round the world fell out of the attic and ended up in hospital... Luckily no broken bones but now medicated and bed bound.

But... Good things: I got free chocolate at work! Two luuuuurvely massages (apparently here and there they just bring masseuses in?!) I would have had champagne and strawberries today if I'd gone to the
call centre. and I didn't have to change trains on the way home making this the earliest home from work night yet!!

So what does any good early home girl do... I go to the bottle shop (offy) by the station and await my mans return. Mr Liam has gone to buy us a car this evening!!

But thank f... it's Friday!!

Happy weekend drunkeness to you all!!! From a soon to be more mobile
(and slightly tipsy) nic x x

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Hey Hey it's.... Wednesday...?

It IS Wednesday. And I will not be confused!! There is an Aussie tv show on every Wednesday called "hey hey it's Saturday". But it's Wednesday.

To share our disappointment in the misleading title and the sheer... well stupidity really in such a silly name Eoin made a little telephone call to channel 7's complaints department...

I was wetting myself on the floor, Liam was calling us both children, and the complaints department was closed for the night so Eoin was put through to a switchboard operator who was not too impressed.

E It's Wednesday today.
SB yes.
E But it's called hey hey it's Saturday?
SB yes.
E But it's Wednesday today. Why is it called hey hey it's Saturday when it's a Wednesday?
SB ....

Suffice to say the girl said she will pass on his comments to the complaints department... Without a name or number to respond to.

But seriously... It IS Wednesday!!

Monday, 28 June 2010


Shocking news in Melbourne today has the whole office talking.

Apparently there was frost this morning. Yes you read correctly there was frost. From what I can gather the Australian frost is an intimidating sight. The conversations about frost were briefly interrupted with discussions about the England Germany match but quickly returned to the topic of frost.

If you see frost keep your distance and if anyone you know has been affected by frost you have full condolensces and sympathy from the soul sucking office.

Public transport hell!

Some of you will have seen the FB status comments. Some of you will have experienced it yourself. But Melbourne public transport system is lacking to say the least. Supposedly it has been worse since the latest crowd took over. But i can't compare. It's just dire.

They have overhead powerlines so drunken idiots can't electrocute themselves. And it also means wet leaves aren't a problem- yey!!! But it leaves it open to psycho's running down the trainlines as happened to on my way home one day while busting for the loo!!! It was touch and go for a while...

Last week; Another week in my temping life in soul sucking office. Thursday was the first day I got to work on time! Fortunately they're all about flexible working. Then on the way home the goddamned trainline closed. I was booted off my train at a manned station which had suddenly become unmanned and train after train pulled in and did the same thing. I'm not quite that street savvy here as yet that I know what buses or route to start walking... Thank god for the i-phone and google maps!! And thank god I wore my boots with the smaller heel!!

I got home near 8pm.

In the morning the trains will also be randomly cut. They'll normally run about 15 mins late and sometimes miss our station altogether. As obviously it would be soooooo time consuming stopping where you're scheduled to.

The good thing though - I need never run or rush. I aim to get there at a set time but don't rely on the train times and therefore am never stressed as there's just nothing anyone can do to fix this mess!! Except after 40 mins of waiting I may get a teensy bit stressed..

And I didn't even get to discuss the buses yet...

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Self promotion!!

Are you bored in your job? Do you crave more responsibility?

Then promote yourself!

Today while packing several dozen envelopes (they're paying me to) I
decided to take matters into my own hands. I needed more
responsibility that folding the paper at the right bit so the address
can be seen through the window. So I promoted myself to 'pre paid
return envelope controller'!!

I decided to play god with the prepaid return envelopes.

This has many benefits:

1. Saving trees being chopped for envelope consumption.
2. Promoting useage of tree friendly email and telephone options.
3. Stretching my brain to make a decision other than the folding line:
does this person deserve an envelope?!

So go to it people! Get out there and promote yourself! Your managers
may not notice any difference; but you'll know!!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Water water everywhere...

My quest for the 4 minute shower has been.... Well... Kind of... Non committal really...

For those who did not get that earlier e-mail - due to australia's water restrictions you get a cute little 4 minute egg timer to time your showers and keep them within 4 minutes as that means you use less water blah blah blah and so on so forth.

When here in 2002 I have no recollection of any water or shower restrictions except for a roadhouse on the Nullarbor which had it's water piped several thousand miles to get there and requested a 5 minute limit to showers. Understandable really.

And back last June i was only enlightened at the water restrictions severity when the groom gave us instructions as to how to sneekily water their garden while we stayed in the bride and grooms house when they honeymooned. So we were quite stringent with sticking to the 4 minute shower at that time.

But now with the wettest winter in years promised and our host's lack of restraint while using water himself we've kind of given up...  Running that shower for just 4 minutes just ain't realistic.

        1. It takes a few minutes to get warm water.

It's winter. I'm not standing under a freezing arse shower while the boiler takes a few mo's to kick in!

        2. Have you ever tried washing your hair within 4 minutes?

Can't be done. At least not properley. There will be no second shampoo! And don't you dare leave that conditioner in to soak!!

        3. You ever try to shave in 4 minutes?

Again- no. Doesn't happen. You will just cut that kneepit/armpit or any other awkward/sensitive area to pieces and feel like you did as a teenager when you had your first crappy disposable razor to cut up your legs up with!!

I remember a girl in my boarding school shaving her toes before prom and shredding them all to a bloody mess to then display an interesting selection of plasters in her first pair of high heels at her first ever prom. Thank god the official photos were waist up!!

So anyhoo the water company has suggestions for the wastage of water during this 4 minute shower process. They suggest to collect it while showering or waiting for the water to warm and use it to clean your
car or water your plants...  Hmmm. Interesting idea.
To be honest that sounds like a lot of hard work. In summer here your garden is a losing battle. Collecting water from your shower will not defend your lawn or plants from the blazing heat and high uv levels of an Aussie summer. Deluded idea that is!!

Give up and just enjoy the precious few (4) moments in your shower without that bucket in your way. I am intrigued though... How many people DO collect their water?  I challenge all of you reading this - set a timer each time you shower. See how you fair with 4 minutes. It would be a better comparison if you too had winter going on but let me know how you go anyway. And just a friendly reminder that Thames water now owned by an Aussie company is the one pushing for all UK homes to be water metered... It's like Big Brother in every tap!! But oh what I wouldn't do for a big hot bath tub full of water and a lush bath bomb about now...

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Working girl

So no real work as yet in the land of oz. And no yellow brick road. But there are many normal roads which is always a bonus!!

 Last week I was on an agency mission which has resulted in my last two days temping in an office of rude miserable and slightly weighty data entry clerks, an interview tomorrow followed by two more days
feeling smug at being just temporary back in the soul sucking data entry office!!

Oh yes, and I spent two hours last week supping coffee in a room with two way mirrors then discussing how gross each cup was before moving on to the next and got paid lots for it. Love that market research!

To look my professional best I have bought myself one rather nice black suit to impress at interview in the fabulous Melbourne sales. As my bum may be slightly too curvy for my favourite best suit I kept from London... Maybe... But Maybe it shrank in shipping?

But I'm hoping anyway that i just don't need all that suit crap and it's a bit more relaxed where i end up working but just in cases I have sourced through the Aussie girls where to go shopping this weekend if I do need smart stuff a plenty!! Alas there is no Next or Marks & Sparks in Ausland. Either way no matter what the dress code I can wear pretty stuff and not look like the mess I did at Hheathrow!! Twenty insulating layers, army boots and a natty company fleece and hi vis... Not a good look!! I still mourn for the beautiful pair of boots I trashed 4 years ago when i first started working there again...

So anyhoo back to the soul sucking office... I get to sit there with my i-pod on all day supping coffee working away and ignoring everyone else. Not that I need to ignore anyone as they won't even say hello let alone say something for me to ignore! If anyone knows someone nice who works in data entry please ask why and let me know. Im most curious that they could be Normal put of work. A temp job is fine but full time I think I'd be tempted to run through the office naked to get some reaction out of them. And probably kill myself afterward as I need good conversation and a gossip to go with my coffee (t5 was always good for a natter and a coffee) but NO phones even ring in this office. EVER! Which is a good thing as they're all listening to
their I-pods and wouldn't hear them anyway!! But It's eerie and still. And I swear they all have a grey sheen to their skin....


Anyhoo i don't have a picture of an office or me doing any work so appreciate the koala instead.
And for your own safety keep away from data entry!!!

Monday, 31 May 2010

eensy weensy spider...

many of you will know that i do not associate myself with the 8 legged species of this world. they are bad. bad bad bad.

so i have always been relatively lucky that even on my travels with Sonj all those many years ago the scariest things we saw were huntsmen's and a giant stick insect which we were saved from by an 8 year old. other than the normal juicy spider in public bathrooms of course!!

and these past months out here i have been very aware that Priya and some others have sworn not to visit me if i manage to get myself bitten during the first year (or is it two years). As we all know if anyone is to be bitten by anything... then it will be me!! I am more scared than proud of that statement too...

I had obviously heard about redbacks and had even googled them on the web. and from the pic (not mine but stolen.. sorry BORROWED from a website) you can see that they are quite ornate spiders. shiny and black with a big red stripe. i always wondered if they actually really and truly looked that shiny and if the red was really that bright and obvious. well people. they are. and it is.

On a lovely sunday afternoon with Mr & Mrs Price and family a web was noticed under a bench (not the one i was sitting on fortunately) and on closer inspection a big juicy red back was laying in wait. My first Red Back! It is odd to be excited by this i do realise. But it is almost a milestone for any migrant to Oz to see such a thing, especially for future identification. So imagine my delight when there was another one found a few moments later! Albeit considerably smaller, a harmful foe none the less.

it is important to note that no one was harmed in the discovery of these spiders. Except the spiders themselves as they were rightfully murdered due to invading personal space.