Friday, 30 December 2011

Tomato - itis

Of all the people to fall fowl to an accidental lack of sunscreen; the least likely would be the Irish skinned Lime having grown up here and also being my chief lecturer in my own application of sunscreen. You would think...

A post Christmas round of golf went awry as he forgot to sunscreen his legs. 2 days later he has cankles from the swelling and is rather 'sensitive' shall we say. There is limping. Some groaning. Difficulty with anything touching te legs an general radiating warmth coming from them.

To top it off the tomato ness has added to the symptoms and suffering of a man on the verge of man flu. Or at least a chest infection. (I'm praying it won't become full blown manflu). This is being blamed on skype. As both ma and pa marsh have been sick with lurgy of late. And Lime saw them both. Through skype. So skype is at fault I have been told!!

So between the hobbling and the coughing my man has Tomato itis. If your man starts suffering from this contact me for tips and tricks. Cold cloths and super duper strong nurofen work well and are complimented by cough medicine (the drowsy option is best if available).

Fun times.... Which has unfortunately meant our Christmas time off involving loitering around the house. We have an exciting new year planned involving sitting on the couch or directly in front of the aircon with the mercury rising and expected at 36 by Sunday... With a sick man too. Yey...

Happy New Year! x x

Friday, 23 December 2011

Something small and shiny?

Lime asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Amongst my list was a basket for my bike. So I can take picnics on our bike rides. The usual fabulous variety of Lush produce presented in a keeps box/tin. But that was pretty much it as we bought each other bicycles as early Crimbo pressure in September.

On that note - last Saturday I saw my first wild blue tongue lizard. And I gave his head a good stroke while he struggled to nibble at lime. This wa the point Lime demonstrated to hold the lizard behind his front legs so he couldn't get the leverage to reach round and bite you. I don't think he understood we weren't going to kill him. I just wanted to pet him and we wanted him out of the way in case the next cyclist suspected him of being a branch and safe to cycle over. Silly lizard.

Anyhoo, so yes we bought bikes. So for Christmas we are on a set limit. And Lime said to me "you like all shiny small things". Yes, yes I do honey - you can buy these really pretty small shiny circular shaped items which have transparent rocks attached to them - small. And shiny. Winner!

Then I get a text soooo much better. With the tag 'Merry Christmas'. We have a new latch on the gate to our units. Oh my god this is fabulous!! We have been woken twice in just one night by our lazy arse neighbors who can't be bothered to bolt the gate. And the prevailing Melbourne winds slam that gate repeatedly, irritatingly and noisily.

The lazy arse neighbors live far enough from the gate to not be woken, irritated or even mildly concerned over te gates unbolted issues.

For 18 months we have been promised a 'fix'. Well we have had one. It is called Lime the saviour. Lime the handyman. Lime 'I will invoice the building managers' McDonnell.

And he bought me a fabulous present both shiny and small that I shall cherish for as long as we live in this unit. Which was the bargain price of $4.95. (he will need to spend more than that one day for a small shiny present...) ;o)

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Sangria... It makes me happy...*

*Please sing the above to the tune of the Tequila song!

Every year for summer our Melbs version of Borough Market opens late on Wednesdays to help us locals get over hump day. And we do this with large sangrias! Unfortunately they mask their light alcohol content with cloves so you're tricked in to thinking there is more in it!! Lime did not like his sangria so I got his too - yey!! And between us we ate from the Nepalese, German and cupcake stalls and stopped for some gelato on the way home. Yum. And almost bought me a necklace but we forgot to get cash on the way and had spent it all on food. Maybe next week I'll take a photo of the ATM queue to demonstrate why you get cash out before you get to the market...

Thursday, 15 December 2011

So be it.

I have a feeling this is a sign that I may be killed by champagne cork...

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

On a dull and otherwise normal Friday night - Lime and I jumped in the car and headed to a little unknown place called Shoppo (Westfield Doncaster).

We trudged around for hours (maybe only half of one hour) between Big W, Target, Coles and David Jones. "Too thin" "too thick" "too fake" "too green". No tree was good enough for Liam ad his stiff requirements for a fake tree. But there it was... It was away from the other trees, sitting on a display covered in brightly colored glass baubles with mini red babushka dolls dangling. It looked perfect - and they had more in stock - yey!

It took about 20 minutes to get it out of the store. There was a snow globe incident with an 8 year old (I'm sorry Pp & Dee- but there is now one less snowglobe in the world) and the mess those big things make when split open on a department store floor...

But here it is. My baby. Who is a foot taller than me. It took an hour to fluff and position each individual branch (they weren't attached to the trunk in the box) and then I waited til the next morning to decorate with Christmas music (Liam was out).

I'm thinking a few giant baubles to make it pop. And maybe some more garlands (not tinsel).

T'is Christmas people! And without Clare to help save me from a hundred baby spiders hatches from my tree (this actually happened last year) - the way forward is fake! No earwigs! No spider eggs! Good times!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Gluttonous Gluten

I know two people who are officially coeliacs. And a couple more who choose to not eat wheat or gluten.

Many moons ago there was a dinner cooking incident where my dinner plans were thrown in to turmoil by sausages with 'rusk' listed in the ingredients. I wrote a hearty email to said producer of the only wheat free sausages I found. As of course rusk is made with wheat. Said producer was apologetic but did not compensate me.

In the quest to feed Donna it has never been hard, you just don't cook sausages you have steak instead etc. But in more recent years, I loved the ease at which I could buy gluten free breadsticks from tesco's or sainsbury's.

I may have aired my disappointment a few times at the limited choice in our Aussie supermarkets in comparison to the UK ones. But then what do we need ten different types of the same cream of tomato tinned soup for anyway?! (please don't remind me I said that next time I'm whinging).

But one thing they have oodles of is gluten free. It's like Australia was invented for Donna. The butcher is predominantly gluten free. Some of our local cafe's have a whole menu just for the coeliacs (or fussy) amongst us. And the supermarkets and bakers too.

Britain needs to catch on more.

But Donna, let me assure you - when you get to visit me in Ausland I will have a whole variety of snags on the barby! None of which (unlike that dinner many moons ago) will cause any coeliac complications!!

(and obviously a large selection of gluten free pastry yumminess!)

The best t-shirt ever?

Hell yeah!

I have made it more appropriate to Aussie weather for me - with sleeves cut off. As opposed to Christmas themes jumpers in England.

But I think it speaks beautifully. And I'm not sure how I've survived so long without one!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

BBQ schmarBQ

All week the weather forecast has said rain. Every day - rain. But in the reality it has rained but a few minutes of any one day. So when they said rain for satdee that was ok. It's our BBQ day. We will not be deterred by a few minutes of rain.

Except it's not just a few minutes. It started in the wee hours of this morning and has not stopped. It actually got heavier in the past few minutes as we discussed the fact we must go and pick up the spit which the butcher has slapped 4kg of lamb and chicken on to... Unfortunately I doubt that won't fit in the freezer... Ooh I just heard thunder. Good times...

So an inside BBQ it is! It's like being in England and having your plans for sunny BBQ trashed...

I would like to take this moment to suggest that mother nature shares her rain with WA. They could do with some help still.

Friday, 25 November 2011

I love Lime/Lindt

What does your man do to make you feel better when he's leaving you for a boys evening (and there may be some hormones involved...). He swings by the Lindt shop on his way home (which coincidentally is next door to Tiffany's) and buys me a giant Christmas tree bauble and a huge bag of mint and peppermint dk choc yumminess. Oh I love Lindt (& Lime).

If it wasn't for the potential hormones in play then I probably would have preferred a little green bag as opposed to a big blue one. But I am pretty chuffed sitting here on my couch, drinking tea, watching trashy Telly and eating yummy choc!

Another one?!

3 protests in a month. 2 in one day alone.

This is the start of the nurses protest. And will probably replace the other one on the steps of parliament once they've marched up there.

Maybe I should protest something - like visa conditions being prejudiced cruel and unfair!

Who's with me? We can wear purple tshirts and have a chavvy chant and a sing song. The nurses had music playing from the truck. Maybe I could have a truck with music too... Ooh what fabulous song could I pick... Hmmm...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Freedom of speech

This may have happened frequently in London. But I never saw it.

I did see an art exhibit at the Tate London about how half the gallery was 1 mile from parliament square so they didn't need permission to protest. Silly British parliament. How I miss Guy Fawkes night.

If anyone attempted the same plot in Ausland they would probably get a bigger sentence for the potential fire hazard/bush fire starter than they would on terrorism charges!
(the most fireworks I can buy are sparklers. Just sparklers. And nothing more than sparklers).

But this pic is my second protest seen in a month. Something about social work and children dying because of job cuts through neglect and abuse (the children dying, not the job cuts).

The last one was supporting wall streets protestors. And let's just say the police were not so kind on those ones in the end...

But this one had a lovely chant on the steps of parliament. And when they did the bit "when do we want it" there was beautifully bogan twanged "now" at the end of it. I couldn't stop giggling. Which is obviously not supportive. But it just sounded so cute/funny/bogan/Auslandish!

But the police were a lot nicer with these people. Probably because they all have jobs and don't just jump on the protest bandwagon because New York are doing it so it's cool!!

Suncream suncream everywhere...

Sunburn sucks. My two worst sunburns are as follows:

1 - Germany, ski trip in the early 90's. Blisters on my nose, ears and mouth. Painful stuff. Kerri, Tish and I ate our dinner through straws for a week. Laughing hurt, imagine being afraid of smiling in case you pop a blister. And we missed several good snow days - boo hiss!

2 - christmas day 2002, Bondi beach. It was rainy, it was chilly and there were clouds. Who knew?! My ass was a beautiful tomato shade of red. And the only thing that eased the pain was pressing my arse cheeks against a cold wall. An attractive sight eh!

There have been other sunburns. But those were the worst by far.

Now don't get me wrong. I am all for protecting my skin. Cancer is bad. Burns hurt etc. But... I want options.

In the land of high UV and hot hot summers (not to mention tragic bushfires like the controlled burn off in WA which is now out of control and burning down houses) it is obviously more important to observe sunscreen directions.

But I would also like to get a tan a well. As someone who plays with their sunscreen levels dependent on day and activity I like to have a variety of spf's on the shelf for varying areas, tan levels etc. Alas Ausland does not want to allow me that choice. SPF 30 that is my choice. And only one unless I want to cover myself in oily Hawaiian tropic every day.

I can buy sunscreen in aerosols, spray bottles, keyring options, giant vats, zinc, roll on, gel, cream, milk, squirt, spray and pump. But only in SPF 30.

I realize this promotes general usage of a high SPF. And I also understand that the UV is higher here. But seriously? Factor 30 or nothing?

I can kind of understand why there is so much vitamin D deficiency in this country. SPF 30, work and school hats are obligatory by law for the young uns and for any outdoor work. People forget they need 10 mins a day - arms and legs to top up their supply.

In my unemployment you would think I would be browner than brown already. But no. I am actually at an he where I get bored with lying around. And the UV makes it difficult to read a book.

I guess I shouldn't whinge too much - seeing how we now have sunshine and the UK has winter... Enjoy!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Guilty pleasures...?

We all have them. I remember an SATC episode where Carrie was getting sick of Aidan as she needed some space to do the pottering around type things we do. And he was always there. I'm always here now. Poor Lime. But his only single guilty pleasure (other than watching golf - and we don't have the cable channels) is to play xbox, and kill zombies and people. But then I also like to play that with him. So he lucks out.

One of my guilty pleasures is the twilight phenomenon.

I know I know. Sad. But I don't scream after the 17 year old (going on 25) stars of the show. I prefer the books, but all in all I love a good love story. And if you need some imagination to follow it then all the better. We all grew up with Jim Henson's creations, Labyrinth, the Dark Crystal and some trippy kids cartoons (possibly experiments) so if we didn't grow up with an imagination then we were screwed. And your life is probably slightly dull without one.

But today in my unemployment I took myself off to westfield and watched the new twiglet movie. It was quite depressing that there were several middle aged women getting way too excited about it. Along with a few girls who looked like they may have been playing hooky from school (the vampire and wolf are more their age so it's allowed).

After it though I feel the same as I do about all the previous films... The book was better. Sickeningly cheesy unnecessary lines were used in the first half. It almost felt like transformers. You know - bad bad cheesy lines. I was almost expecting some tacky cameos. Fortunately that didn't happen but part 2 has yet to come... And knowing what happens in the book for the remainder of the story they're really gonna have to plump that one up a bit...

Anyhoo, I'm still unemployed this afternoon, so after an hour in the sunshine I might rewatch the first few twiglet movies...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Should we learn from our mistakes?

Last new year I had an unidentified bite. It was assumed spider, as mossies itch and swell but don't tend to burn and have multiple rings of swelling. And I had been gardening pulling out the bushes our front in just flopflops and shorts.

So the next time I went on a gardening mission I had wellies (gumboots in ausland) my trackies tucked in to my wellies and a long sleeve tshirt. It was warm and yukky. But given the sleepless nights and suffering from the bite it was completely necessary.

So today, in my unemployment, I do some gardening. Again. But, in my skirt (short) and sandals. Oops.

Many things scratched me. But at no point did I feel a 'bite'. Alas, there was one...

In the picture, the top left, darker bite was the first mozzie of the season from a BBQ last weekend. Just the one fortunately. it has been rather bruised but is on it's way out.

The bottom right blotch is the beginning of yet another unidentified gardening related bite. At the moment it's like any mozzie bite, itchy and tingly. And I hope that it stays like that. But now the thought of going through the burny itchiness of last new year is running through my head.

Why or how did I forget the lessons of last summers gardening?! How do we forget such bloody important things?!

Why does ausland NEED so many biting terrors?! New Zealand doesn't have any. A lot of the rest of the worlds insects and crawlies survive without biting people to death. And if they didn't bite so much I'd probably allow the little bastards to stay in my garden!


I need a job to keep me safe from myself!!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

I heart stubby holders

If you'd asked me a few years ago what a stubby holder was I would have stared at you blankly, then perhaps asked what a stubby was that it needed a holder.

These days I know it's an insulator for beer stubby bottles. I don't however know why the hell you would call a beer bottle a stubby...

Anyhoo, it's 2009. We are at a fabulous wedding in Palm Cove, think palm tree lined beach, a tropical private island just off shore, beautiful sunny weather, an amazingly gorgeous bride, the grooms alright (for a man in a suit), a free bar and then stubby holders. Stubby holders with the bride and groom as stick figures on the side with the date of their wedding.

In the UK it would I feel be deemed as tacky. But here, in the land of 'keep my beer cold and I'll love you forever' they were perfect. So there were our first two stubby holders.

To be honest I had never used them. Not once. Then frandangles and Neil came to stay and they came out of hiding for a wee little BBQ we had. But as a non beer drinker I had never used them myself. And the fact someone asked me if we had any stubby holders took me by surprise!

Then last month - another wedding, and our third stubby holder (there would have been a fourth too I'd it weren't for stubby holder pilferers!).

I have now decided that everyone who gets married HAS to contribute to my stubby holder collection. And yes - if Lime ever makes an honest woman out of me I too shall share stubby holders with the world!

Although I still don't drink beer - my cans of sprite fit the stubby holders! Ingenious! I wonder if they make wine bottles size ones with a big long straw...

Now I'm pretty sure they have held cans all along - but not having grown up with stubby holders how was I to know?!

So Bel, Sonj - if you're reading this - stubby holders please. As you're likely to be my next two weddings. Then on an unemployed 30 degree day like today I can sup on my sprite zero in my teeny courtyard and reminisce over your weddings.

Now go forth all and buy stubby holders! Your hand won't get cold from holding your bottle too long. And your bottle will be colder longer!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Woe is me.

Lurgy. It attacks when you least expect/want/need.

This picture is of me and my duvet in front of tv. Yey to comfy couch. I'm not there now. I'm in bed. If it was light enough I would count ceiling panels. But it's not. And we don't have ceiling panels. So I couldn't anyway. But sheep are dull.

Lime has abandoned me. (well maybe his interstate work trip was preplanned but I'm sick now so it should have been rescheduled). The inbox is bare (aren't you all psychic and just know I need a hundred emails this week to pick me up?!). And now I have insomnia with my swollen glands begging for sleep and my brain knowing I HAVE to get up for work in 6 hours...

And then it dawned on me. What I need for sleep. It has always worked before. But oh yeah... They don't sell it in Australia. Damn it! Damn you insomnia! And damned you night nurse for not being international!!

So all ye in England, use and abuse night nurse's fluoro green wonderfulness while you can! It's insomnia fixing cold mending loveliness is just lovely. And please add it to your lists of what to bring me if you're ever coming to visit!

In the meantime I shall go back to my sheep counting hoarseness.

Woe is me. Three days alone with nothing but the couch.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Christmassy ness

Ding dong merrily on high... The department stores have started their Christmas departments!

This is Myers basement. By Christmas they will also have a ride on rail way and Santa for some pressie requests.

In the mean time you come down the escalator expecting clothes (our versions of topshop/warehouse type shops are in the basement area) and you find Christmassyness and jingles! And about a dozen nutcracker soldiers and lots of yummy stuff too.

Yum to Christmassyness!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Question of the year...

If your man of 6 1/2 years spelt your name wrong on the paperwork that decides your place in that country how would you feel?

Good question eh...

Wine, glorious wine.

Beer. How I wish I liked beer. It comes in handy portable bottles. And is acceptable as an afternoon bevy for no apparent reason. And it's cheap

But no. I'm a wino. You have to pour it in to a glass which results in picnic awkwardness, more dishes, needs to be cold or tastes gross. I can drink some ciders but they're normally expensive over here in the land of oz. I found a local one cheap on tap. Unfortunately it did not agree with me and I've hardly touched cider since out of association. Shame.

White and Rose are my chosen wino tipples. Unfortunately none of the Rose I like can ever be found in the fridge anywhere. So I always end up on white. as there is never forward planning. Just a need for wine then and there.

Although I did buy some from a wino girl once from the Andrew Peace winery in Swan Hill. We temped together. And I bought cheap wine. Yey!

Red can be nice. But I can never drink it 'straight'. I always add a splash of lemonade to dilute it slightly. Strange I know. But t'is the only way it works for me.

I'm sure all of us who drink wine can agree though that the worst wine with the worst reputation has to be the Chardonnay. Even as I say it in my head it sounds like some chav calling for their poorly named daughter. If you know eastenders then think about the way Bianca always called for Ricky. Now imagine her screaming Chardonnay. Get the picture? That's what I hear in my head. EVERY time.

And here it is being... Marketed? Marketed is the word. As an ACDC endorsed product... I'm not sure who's idea it was. Are they even wine drinkers?! Did they grow or at least own the vines? Or did they just see it as a way to adding to their Australian side? Or did they just get a shedload of money from someone who couldn't sell their Chardonnay..,?

I'm not sure I have the balls to try it.
Chardonnay is the wine of the younger (perhaps illegally drinking) generation. Or at least it was when I was a younger (illegally drinking) teenager.

I don't know how far afield you can buy this. But if any of you want some and can't find it in tesco's - try your local wine importer and special request it. He may look at you like an illeducated heathen. But at least you'll get to feel like one free your first bottle :o

Friday, 21 October 2011

Paranoid? Or realistic?

I have long bemoaned my issues with finding work. My industry is dry as a bone due to the absence of a population the size of London. And also due to the absence of an influx of tourists like London. So I am looking at many many alternate options for my future work life.

Alas, a stumbling block keeps popping up. My residency.

Oh how I long to say I'm permanent. To scream from the rooftops I'm here to stay. And that time will come within the next 6 months. But where in the next 6 months - I don't know.

In my recent spell of unemployment/my career break from the demands of temping I looked long and hard at my residency and decided I was putting too much weight behind having my PR (permanent residency). It wasn't going to be a magical thing where suddenly people would throw jobs at me. I would then discover all the other hurdles of the Australian recruitment market. Oh won't that be fun!

So that was it. It's not my lack of PR. It's my shit cover letters and crappy CV. It has to be! How could I not have seen it before? I'm useless!

Then this week a call - from an agency I applied for a fabulously overpaid, unique and interesting job with dying my sabbatical from temp life. A job that would get me in the door, qualifications, a steady (did I already say generous) wage. And dare I say it... Maternity pay one day...

My cv was perfect my covering letter had hit all the right spots and got me noticed. Yey me! I'm not that crap at selling myself after all!

I was all geared up for it. Thursday I wore my nicest work dress and was all excitable. And then I checked my email...

"I should have asked before, but what is your residency status?"

I then spent 20 minutes typing then retyping, then reading and rereading the most explanatory email of how I basically am permanent, my PR will be here before my probation would even have time to run out. It was professional. I felt rather desperate while typing it but tried to remain semi positive. My covering letter had been so fabulous she had not noticed the section on my visa status...

No. T'was not to be. Interview cancelled. Agency lady the most apologetic woman I've ever listened to on my voicemail. Because that made me feel better didn't it...

So back to square one. Am I unnecessarily paranoid about my lack of PR? Or am I just realistic in the idea that Australian companies are either too ignorant or fussy when it comes to visa status?

The demo in the pic is Melbourne's contribution to the wall street protests.

They can't get jobs either. But at least they can get over that first frickin PR hurdle!

I'm not bitter.... Honest....

The socks in shoes issue

I'm on a public train taking photos of the girl across from me. Her shoes to be exact. My apologies for being a train perv! But as you can tell the photography is crap so she probably didn't notice. I hope.

Anyhoo a scandal is ever present amongst Aussie women. They wear socks under shoes. It's not everyone. But there's quite a few who do. And I can see about 4 of them from where I'm sat.

I understand that the shoes need something. That's what pop socks and tights were made for. But socks?

No darlin. You do not look fashionable. You re not a trendsetter. And you look daft. These particular socks are all bobbled and greying from being washed too much.

When would you wake up and decide to put socks on underneath shoes?!

Am I mad? Are the people of England doing this too?

PP - I know you're guilty of this! See the error of your ways and repent! Repent!

If you're just popping out to the car/bin etc then grabbing the first pair of shoes is always gonna happen. And it is forgiven if you're already wearing socks. Don't try it with flip flops though. Very uncomfortable and you may trip over like me.

So take a good look at the photo and ask yourself - do you know someone that does this? Could an intervention help? Do they know any better?

Help these people. They need our help!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Empty envelope syndrome

Two days ago I came home to mail. As pictured you can see it's a good sized stiff brown envelope.

I was excited.

My mail has progressively become less and less from the UK. And more and more Australian. Like bills, reminder bills, loyalty card statements and the like. Dull stuff I'm sure you'll agree.

So a hand written envelope alone is a sign of good things. Let alone one from the UK.

From the postbox I walked all the way back to our unit wondering who it could be, what could be in it. Etc etc. Blah blah blah. So I excitedly opened it up... And nothing. Empty. Nada.

In my mind churned a thought - Customs. But no. There was no customs letters or leaflets. I've had those before so know what to expect. And no customs sticker on the envelope either. Hmmm... So then I decided - secret panel. And no again. I ripped all along the cardboard backing in hope of finding two cardboard sheets. But no.

Just an empty envelope.

But I love my empty envelope. Even if it is now in the recycling bin. Because i now know what it should have had in it. :)

Thank you D for my empty envelope. It occupied a whole 5 minutes of my brain. And distracted me from the dull mail.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

I love my iPhone

I never wanted an iPhone. I couldn't think of one reason I or anyone else would want one. Big ugly bricks. I loved Nokia. If I wanted the Internet I would go on a pc.

And then we moved to oz.

And through our time at Eoins where I would get almost zero Internet time I started to see the point.

My iPhone allows me to blog on the way to work. My iPhone has saved me when I'm in the supermarket and can't remember whether the recipe called for craime fraiche or sour cream. My iPhone came to the rescue when the trains stopped because of an accident and I had no idea which way to walk home. And these days my iPhone has Tomtom. Thank you Tomtom. And most importantly, my iPhone allows me to check imdb.com while not moving from the couch and interrupting my tv viewing.

On my way to work on Friday I stood waiting for a tram. Behind me was one mobile providers shop (as pictured). A queue of people outside and a tv crew or two asking them how long they'd been there. In front of me was another store. Which instead of leaving people queueing outside, had opened it's doors, brought in a band and a radio station, and had girls in pink t-shirts and feather boa's entertaining them. Sounds almost like a strip club...

By no means was this the same as the madness pictured at apple stores on the news. But none the less people working for the company with the band and girls told everyone it was heaving and had queues down the street I can categorically say that ten minutes before they could buy the shiny new iPhone there was no queue. I know this from observing the giant countdown clock projected on to a wall and from having stood outside for a good 5 minutes in a pedestrian only zone waiting for my tram.

I wanted an iPhone 5. And one day it will come. Unfortunately my iPhone 3 is so pathetically slow and useless I my have to invest in a 4-watchamacallit. As my patience can't hold out for another 6 months. And I don't want to throw my phone at the wall...

I would like to take this moment to apologize to Nokia. I didn't mean to betray you. But you were selling crap in Australia when I got here. You brought it on yourself.

Monday, 10 October 2011

You had to be there... Like Tony Blair!

Shoulda woulda coulda. I could have taken my iPhone to the wedding on the weekend. If I had I would have taken a photo on my iPhone. And I should have then used this photo on this blog entry. Instead we are left with tan in a can. (Belle - photos are uploading to flickr today while I'm at work so you'll see them soon!)

Back to my tan in a can. Oh tan in a can. You made my legs sparkle and look a nicer shade of pale. Thank you. And you stained the hotel towels and tiles too. Thanks. But I'm sure the tiles will come good at least.

The wedding of Billy & Kate is the reasoning for my tan a la can. Just for my legs. The top half of me caught sun lately, but the legs remain eternally pale.

The tan was good my legs looked even and unstreaky an the wedding was beautiful.

Kate looked gorgeous, Billy looked handsome. The service was lovely and the reception fabulous. Kate had decorated the hall out herself with the help of a few girlies and caterers came in to feed and water us. The barman stalking anyone who dared have an empty glass or bottle in their hands!

And as we were in rural Vic, there was a water tower next door which obligingly a couple of boys climbed up in the pitch black making some of us rather nervous as they couldn't use the stairs for the first 10 metres as it was gated. Fun times.

Highlights of the weekend:
Koala crossing my road
Fabulous wedding
A bear reading a telegram...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

We're not in Kansas anymore Toto

I just watched a tv ad for Lice shampoo. For sheep.

I'm soooo not in Melbourne anymore.

A koala crossed the road in front of me too.

Oh the sticks. The sticks of Victoria. A 3 1/2 hour drive out of the city and it was 3 1/2 hour drive of nothingness. Ask Clare Babs. She's done this journey with me once before.

But the tv ad for sheep live shampoo... A shocker. And one of the more professional ads too!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Christmas is coming!!!!

Ha ha! I can hear the groans from some of you. The whoops of delight from Donna Schmona. And I can even hear the mischievous crinkle of tinsel from those boxes hiding in the backs or tops of cupboards and in attic and roof spaces alike.

It is here. The time where vast areas of supermarkets, department stores garden centers and other establishments are hi jacked by baubles, plastic trees, fibre optic trees, real trees, tinsel, fake snow, santas, gift boxes, Christmas music, fake elves, and marzipan munchies amongst many many other things!

You're looking forward to it aren't you!?

This photo was in fact taken a week ago. So It was still September. There were 2 members of staff involved. And I could hear them giggling behind the trees about all the Christmas goodies. But no Christmas music as yet. And no hoards of people either. Yet.

Now don't get me wrong. Christmas shopping in September is wrong. Even a Christmas enthusiast such as myself can see this. But pre planning is essential to any successful stress free non panic buying Christmas.

I once bought my mum a singing Pepe Le Pew ( I don't know if that is how his name is spelled - the romantical skunk in the cartoons with a french accent) I. July. But for Christmas.

July may sound extreme. But it was a spur of the moment buy. My mum loves the character. And we had a Warner Bros store in Kingston at the time. And it had a sale. And I love sales. But I had never seen such a large Pepe Le Pew. And when either his tail or paw was squeezed he sang Amore. I think. My memory is hazy with the song. So yes, July was extreme. But such a unique present in the years before google and Internet shopping when I had to pretend my postal code was Beverley Hills 90210 just to get a yahoo email address (there was no google to google other postal code options) you just had to buy. This is what you did. You bought in advance and his things under your bed. Tesco's wouldn't be open til 10pm on Christmas eve for a last minute shopping. And they only sold food anyway!!

Before you shun the Christmas displays this October - think about it. You could have Christmas wrapped up before you burn Guy Fawkes. Or... You could wait til December 21st and Internet it all!!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Unemployment benefits.

Not that I'm entitled to any. But I'm talking the benefits to ones self at being unemployed.

At Christmas Liam gave me a muffin bible book and Babs gave us a party recipe book which had yet to be trialled. Although we have had plenty of time in the past 9 moths we have flicked through them and then gone on our merry way with the old favourites.

So this past week I went in to muffin overdrive. Some good. Some not so good. Some recipes certainly need tweaking. But some make for a yummy dinner.

This unemployment malarky is tiresome. And the remainder of my tax rebate is now thin. I have a phone interview this week. And am still waiting on an October date for another interview. The desire to temp has all but gone. But financially and mentally I NEED to get temping again before I catch agoraphobia and am stuck in the house forever and ever. Highly unlikely but you just meet know how contagious lazy-itis is...

Although... It is quite nice with spring now here to sit in the courtyard with a cup of tea typing away at this. But this neither makes me money nor can last all day as by 3pm the sun has moved too far to shine in our humble courtyard. One of my arms even has a shadow on it now... Best shuffle the chair a little...

A side effect of not going to work is the enlargement of my arse. Nt by much. Yet. But it's starting... And with the ability to sleep in every day there is a lack of motivation towards gym attendance. Especially with no decent zumba class in the area!

In the meantime I get to do something yummy while trialling recipes - like lick out the bowl afterwards - yum!! Definitely a benefit. But then that exasperated the arse enlarging side effect... I just can't win.

I have stolen this photo.

Yes I have. I don't have any legal right to share it or use it. But isn't it pretty?!!

PP (Priya) got married on Saturday. And I didn't make it. Sucky. So I am reliant on the many mutual friends posting multiple photos on Facebook of the entire event and all of it's goings ons. This is most frustrating. And it takes Facebook stalking to a constant impatient level.

But finally Kelly posted some
Mobile pics. And I think we can all agree as most of you have met PP at an Ann Summers party or two that she looks bloody stunning! There is a white and gold gown she wore too but I'm only sharing this one.

So everyone raise a glass (or two) for Mr & Mrs Darr. And then have another couple to commiserate my sorrow for not being there.

And then when you wake up tomorrow with a sore head you can tell people you were at. Wedding reception. No one begrudged a wedding hangover on a school night. :o)

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Squidlicious after photo

Squidlicious

The first time I can truly remember someone trying to feed me squid was March 1994, while staying with the LaForese family in New Jersey. An adventurous school trip. Taking a dozen teenagers from Germany to America wouldn't be my cup of tea. But then teaching isn't either!

We all got to stay with real American families in New Jersey followed by Springfield (Washington DC not Simpsons). Our head host was a fireman at the 10 ladder house opposite the WTC. Fortunately he had retired by 2001. Anyway I digress.

The point is this Italian American family bought us pizza for dinner one night and with it came calamari. Me, a 14 yr old fussy eater was mortified and stayed clear of the scary looking rings. Why would you eat a slimy jellyfish looking fish. Was it even a fish? Or is it a slimy sea monster?! Yuk yuk yuk. And so continued from then to avoid Calamari.

Now Lime has taught me a lot involving food over the years. Although he hasn't helped my inability to NOT cut myself with big shiny knives when dicing veggies. But he has also convinced me that the quality of one food can alter between every country. As can the taste and cooking abilities of the locals.

So in recent years I have not only grown to like squid (providing it is cooked well). But I can also now cook it myself. Not that it's hard. If you can boil an egg then you can manage it.

It is unfortunately as slimey as it looks before cooking. Depending on how you're cutting it you might also have to score it too. And the tubes can be quite smelly. And over or under cook it by a minute or two and you're screwed. Chewy averageness awaits. But if you get it right - yum.

It's also mega cheap (at least on this side of the world) and a lot easier then descaling or deboning a fish!

So go forth all to your local fish counters and make a squid salad today. Yumminess on a plate in less than ten minutes!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

I love disposable clothing (primarni - and mum)

With the summer months approaching I looked to my shoe collection and decided it was bare. Isn't every womans shoe cupboard bare? Even with a thousand pairs there is never enough choice (no, I don't have a thousand pairs).

But with the cost of just the simplest ballet pumps over here being soooo overpriced I dropped in to conversation with my mum that if she was going to primarni anytime soon then a few cheapy pairs of shoes would be fab.

And mum rocks. As here are this summers ballet pumps for my wardrobe. Cheap, cheerful and disposable. Yey!

Thank you mum, I knew you would understand my plight for shoes x x

Saturday, 17 September 2011

I want to ride my bicycle... I want to ride my bike...

The last time I had a bike bought for me was while still a resident of Germany. We had gone over to one of the American camps as their shops were better than ours... And my dad bought me a mountain bike. I had that bike for over a decade. And left it's heavy ass back in the UK. Modern technology has lightened bikes these days and mine just wouldn't cut it in a modern market.

So Limey and I agreed that our Christmas presents to each other would be bicycles. And Christmas has come in September woohoo!!

I have a pretty silver and green Girly mountain bike. Have you ever tried to buy a Girly mountain bike? They're not generally stock items. Girly shopping basket retro bikes are everywhere. But the mountain variety appear to be either in short supply, or just never asked for. I tried 3 different shops and nothing. And if I'm getting a new bike I wanted something I would actually find pretty and would want to be seen on.

Cue the internet. Most of Australia's Internet is dire and lacking but the bicycle Internet seems to be the way to go. And there they were - pretty Girly bikes. So I went back to the store I went to in the first place and they ordered me in a pretty Girly bike. Of which they only had two....

But fortunately it was the one I wanted! Although Liam had set many stipulations as to how the bike should be. Disk breaking. Mountain bike (not Girly shopping basket type). Suspensiony thingys. Given those stipulations I had to pass up on a black and purple beauty. But that's all good as my silver and green loveliness will more than suffice. Bloody fussy Liam!

Today will be our first bicycle ride and I am curious as to how it will go. I think a shorter ride would be a safer start for my thighs and arse to handle. But Lime seems to want a 3 hour expedition... I'll keep you updated...

Friday, 2 September 2011

Be still my beating heart....

Spring sprung again today. It was el scorchio. For the second day of spring it's a good start to the summer. I got a little pink this morning but then slathered on some factor 30 and the world was a happier place. Vitamin D topped up and skin cancer averted. In my unemployment I had outstayed the welcome in my humble unit. Daytime Telly and me needed some time apart. So I pootled off down to Westfield.

I didn't really intend to buy anything. As I'm planning on raping the British online end of summer sales. But there it was in a poster in a shop window on some twig like creature with buck teeth and white blonde hair and a tan. Buck teeth are just everywhere at the mo. If a fashion designer can't afford Naomi Campbell - it's ok - as long as they find a model with noticeable teeth. The girl on the Piz Buin secrets has the wonkiest teeth I ever did see.
But I digress... I like a good tangent sometimes too. Charlotte and I were quite good at them mid conversation.

So even though I am NOT twig creaturesque I HAD to try the dress on as I love a good summer dress. So much easier than pairing tops and bottoms. And the dress was fab. I debated holding out. But then the girls told me that there were only 400 of these brought to Oz. So there may be millions elsewhere. But here it's technically unique.

The most fabulous news of all.... I bought it in a size 8!!!! Shocker! Now I want to clarify now - I have not lost a super amount of weight. I have not become a twiglike creature in denial. It's just the screwed up Ausland sizing. But I'm not going to complain. As I haven't squeezed in to a size 8 in FOREVER. And probably won't for a while either. But size 8. Shocker. I couldn't believe it when the girl suggested taking a size 8 to try when I'm so used to taking a 10 and/or 12 to swap between.

Women of weight watchers unite - don't lose those extra pounds! Move to Ausland and you lose a dress size or two! Yippee!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

It's 'that' time of year...

The other day I looked on Facebook and someone had mocked Donna's status which had the amount of days left til Christmas. Blasphemy!!

I'm not used to the seasonal divide just yet. But as summer draws to an end in the UK then the christmas countdown naturally begins.

Here in Ausland there are crocus and daffodils sprouting out here there and everywhere. The sun has started shining, the rain has started dwindling, and the heating is not being used as much. These things usually mean spring cleaning to me. But now they must also signify the start of the Christmas countdown.

And to start my Christmas countdown the most important job of course - cake making. With my mums cake recipe. But of course slightly altered with my own touch (prunes - trust me - they're a winner).

Many ask why so early - well you uneducated non Christmas cake bakers - any good crimbo cake needs 'feeding'. Fortnightly feedings of brandy to keep it moist and make it yummier. I snuck a few tablespoons of Limes cognac to start it off today - shhh don't tell him!!

And once we get closer to Christmas then I'm smothering it in marzipan and icing. Yum - marzipan....

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

LOST - 11ft tree. Answers to the name Georgie

Came home today and our tree was gone. Our shade giving. Seclusion sharing tree.
Its amazing how you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. Georgie kept the sun from streaming in at Liam's pillow. He sheltered us from rain when walking from the car to the front door. Admittedly he brought creepy crawly friends with him. But he covered a great deal of our roof space from the sun therefore keeping us cooler than we will now inevitably be this summer. Yey?
It would have been nice to know he was being removed. As opposed to pulling up in the dark after work and finding him gone. But he was unfortunately causing structural damage with his big arse roots to the unit and to the drive way.
Where ever they took you; chipped chopped or shaved, look after yourself Georgie. We will miss you.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Good sun v bad sun

The sun came out this weekend. It was lovely. It's was 18-20 degrees. Spring has sprung.

Unfortunately with the Aussie sun comes the god damned Aussie UV. This dress used to be green. Dark green. All over. Now it has those beautiful blue streaks through it. God damn it. One of my favourite dresses. And I bought it in the sale for a bargain price which made it that oh so much more special.

T'is time for the suncream to come out the closet me thinks.

And I managed two mozzie bites too. The sun brought those out too! I've been whining about the cold and rain so long and now the sun comes put ad brings uv, spiders and mozzies I think i undervalued the good that came with the cold...

Friday, 19 August 2011

Batty

It's been a while. Again.

Ah well.

So here is a piccie of sunset the other night. Please note the black blurred spots in the orangey blue bit are our local bats. A few thousand of them.

Anyone got a garlic necklace to hand?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Polk-a-dot-a-plenty

I  currently have about a dozen polka dots. Giant ones. Covering my back, stomach and shoulders.

Is it a rash? A rare disease? Has lime been beating me?! No. I have been 'cupped'.  (please note - no relation to bring cupcaked). 

Can you remember a few years ago when Gwynny Paltrow turned up to some red carpet shindig with similar polka dots peeking out from her dress and made international news? Well same thing. I also had a few acupuncture pins stuck in to me. Which between my memories of a film Michael Keaton once did, the trailer for the latest addition to the Final Destination franchise, and my own fear of needles I was rather apprehentious about. 

Surprisingly although they look like perfect round bruises they don't feel sore at all. Unfortunately the 'spooning' and the 'pinch therapy' were not so gentle and I have some freaky bruises from them!! Who decided rubbing a spoon up and down someone back was good?!   Strange people. The cupping was relaxing though at least. 

And the end result of my cupping, spoon violation of a pin pricked appointment... I have a damp spleen. Of course. My spleen is soggy. And my lungs aren't removing the dampness. Silly lungs. Surely I should have known this?! 

But just in case any of you with odd ailments are reading this - pop along to a Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic today and get your polka dot pattern. I may jest. But there's some sense behind their oddness... Or just go for the pure curiosity of alternative treatments.  

I'm warned the bruises will last a week.... Good job it's a rugged up winter here in Melbourne! 



Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, 9 July 2011

whoopsy

so last week i was trying to e-mail my tax return stuff from my iphone inbox to my work email and accidentally selected my blog e-mail.

whoopsy....

in true internet form the blogger website has now barred my email address linked to my iphone and therefore halting my usual format of blogging. bah humbug.

I endeavour to get that fixed at some point soon. in the meantime my apologies for the confusement that my tax return may bring.

If any of you also have iphones i'm sure you feel my constant pain in it's eternal need to change your spelling . Not to mention it trying to be proactive in filling in online forms with stuff you don't want.

God bless the iphone. Damned if you do, damned if you don't have one.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Three Thrickin Degrees

Yesterday at 7am Australia time, 10pm uk time the temperature was about 9 degrees here and you lucky buggers over there had 26 degrees... At 10 at night!!! So unfair.....

This morning not only does our heating decide to stay asleep instead if warming my cockles. It is three fricking degrees. Seriously?! Three fricking degrees. It's 8am already and it's still three fricking degrees. My toes aren't cold but the rest of me is an I'm not impressed.

Did anyone (aside from those with Aussie blood) honestly think I would ever be complaining about three fricking degrees?! I knew it would get cold. But with a tragic summer and a loss of drought I was not prepared for this. I was not prepared for chilly nights and colder mornings where I would need more than a thick pair of socks to get me warm.

Mental note to all of you. Yes summer can be stifling if it bothers to be warm but DON'T come in winter. Or autumn. It's cold. And you can go to Devon or Scotland for that kind of a holiday. Or just don't come to Melbourne. I'm assured everywhere else is a few degrees warmer than us. What a surprise.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Cyst- tastic

I have a cyst. Well I did have a bigger cyst. But that's another story.

The current cyst making headlines in my life is a rather unattractive yellow pea sized one playing games with my left tonsil. Oh the fun. The joy it brings.

Three weeks ago I was tired of just coughing EVERY time I put my head on my pillow. And there it was. Next to my tonsil. Red and yellow taunting me.

Now three weeks on it still hasn't moved on to pastures new. And next week I have an appointment for a formal debutante ball if you will between my cyst and Melbourne's medical community. Yippe yey.

This debutante ball will involve a syringe and more than likely some kind of restraint to stop my biting the nurse.

The boys in the office have drawn the attached picture on they whiteboard to commemorate my cysts presence. Bless em. Although it looks more like a booger...

Chocolate treats.

As you all know, I love a good choccie delivery. UK Cadbury's can not be competed with in Ausland. I'm told of a kiwi brand who may come close. But they're hard to find being in Australia n all.

Last week a Cadburys caramel Easter egg arrived. Complete with mug. Yey. Each mini caramel egg envoked visions of THAT scene in when Harry met Sally. They tasted THAT good. But no signature on the customs sticker, no sender details, no note. We had no clue who had sent it. But it was stamped British mail.

I sent a message to the suspected party. But nothing, nata. No confirmation or denial...

Yesterday I get home and two more have arrived. One Smarties and
Creme Egg. Alas they are no longer good to eat. Unpeturbed by an expiry date we ripped open the boxes after dinner, cup of tea in hand like excited giggly children.... But no. The choc has gone. It hadn't even melted and reset. It had just 'gone'. Sad. So sad. We (well I) almost felt like holding a funeral for the eggs. Chocolate doesn't go wasted in my house. How could it when it tastes so damned yum!?

And just in case you wondered - the 2nd delivery - no customs sticker signature - no note - no senders address. Not only has it been illegally posted against customs laws. But it has been sent yet again without me having someone to thank. Shame. As I'm pretty sure they sent it in good faith. Well... I hope so...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Another royal weekend.

You guys in the UK may have got an extra long weekend off for the wedding. But we here in oz got an extra long weekend off for queenys birthday. Which by my reckoning allows for a better spread of long weekends across the year.

And what do any normal people do here in oz on a long weekend - we go to a beach house somewhere.

Our somewhere was Kate P's family beach house in a teeny tiny town called Sandy Point on the Victorian coastline.

When I say teeny tiny I really really mean teeny tiny. The local pub was a half hour drive away inland at a place called Fish Creek.

Alas I was unwell (again) so we didn't stay the whole weekend. But long enough to sit round a fire in the back yard. And go for a stroll along the beach in the glorious but slightly chilly Australian sunshine. And of course collect the ubiquitous shells to sit pretty in a jar at home. And feel generally well rested (although sick).

Beach houses are the way forward me thinks. Although in the UK that means pricing out the locals in Devon and Cornwall and leaving picture post card fishing villages as empty ghost towns Monday to Friday and in the off season.

Yeah maybe not.

Happy Queens Birthday!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Birthday Post

For my birthday I was generously given a prepaid credit card and some money from my folks and Lime.

Instead of spending this locally however, I invested in to the UK economy and bought two Radley bags. The black one is from my folks. Blue from Lime.

Fabulous aren't they!

Any of you that have ever posted anything to me will know - it costs money. Generally 15-20 quid a package. Then there is the just over a week up to a month long wait for it's arrival. So how, do Radley send me two handbags in a humongous box for just 20 quid by courier that arrives in less than 5 working days?! How? I paid less than 20 with amazon. And that was for their 'expedited international delivery' and I'm still waiting... It's been over 3 weeks and it only had to come from America. Seriously?!

But thank you all for my birthday post. It's all been eaten/used/worn/spent. And I look forward still to my last remaining pressie from Charlotte and the girls x

A la train carte

Commuters (our FELLOW commuters) are the bane of all of our existences. If they weren't there then we could have a seat. If they weren't there no one would step on your toes, spill coffee on you, 'accidentally' brush your arse/chest etc, cough or sneeze lurgy at you, or nudge you everytime they turn the page on their copy of the latest Dan Brown book or oversized newspaper with aforementioned literary excitement or their oh so bony and hard elbow.

Since starting this entry a woman has sat opposite me coughing without her hand over her mouth. Yuk. Thanks for your germs. That's all I need - another bout of sickness!

I wonder if she's psychic... As she just glared at me. Hmmm...

Commuters here are the same as the uk. But less rich wankers with broadsheets. They all drive in as it's quick and a hell of a lot cheaper than London. Plus no congestion charging. Just some toll roads here and there.

Unfortunately there are more weirdos. Imagine being on a packed like sardines train to Waterloo. And half way between the last stop and Waterloo someone gets up from the middle of the carriage and starts excusing themselves to the door... Seriously. This happens. And people move for them. When I want to scream sit the f down as I can't even turn my head due to sardine status. You can wait until the damn train empties in 2 minutes like EVERYONE else But I don't scream. And every day some weirdo successfully makes it to the door.

Another irritant is the people that you move for. When you clearly and obviously move out the way (normally temporarily into an awkward and uncomfy position) for someone to squeeze past, they have a tendency to not pay any attention to your purple face and contortionist position but then use a large proportion of the space you previously inhabited leaving you in limbo. Note to self : stop forgetting this behavior and moving for people. It only ever ends badly!!

On a lighter note my trains are one hell of a lot more frequent than from Upper Halliford and they take less than half the time of trying to get in to London.

Happy commuting.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Sickness v homesickness

Sick days. They suck. Especially when not being paid due to the non permanence of your contract. Yey.

Today, I sit here on my train to work deaf in my left ear. With a curious (and ugly) yellow blister type thing on my left tonsil. Yey.

To add to the nuisance of this sickness I have had the lurgy in various forms for over two weeks now. Boo hiss.

Up until now I hadn't really been sick that I can recall since arriving in oz. The odd bad headache, crippling cramps, hangovers. But the worst I'd had was homesickness. Oh what I wouldn't give to be homesick instead of real sick right now.

With HS (homesickness) it's very similar to normal S. They have the following mutual symptoms:
Misery
Desire to stay in bed/on couch
Lack of motivation
Potential to cry
Need for a hug (from your mum preferably)
You want it to stop

Unlike S, once at work HS disappears through distraction and busyness. It will randomly reoccur similar to morning sickness when you least expect it if you stop working/moving/busying yourself for too long. S however is consistent. And is generally sucky all the general time.

My spates of HS have decreased and yet my general S has increased. Are the two linked? Do we all HAVE to suffer a certain amount every year in some form?

For example: the littlest Miss Foley has just visited. This was fabulous. I was v sad after she left. But as I know I will see her in March 2012 it's ok. It's less than a year. I can survive that long easily. So yes I sniffled and perhaps got dewey eyed on the way home but not too much because I know it's not years away.

And 12 hours later I find a yellow blister playing with my tonsil... You see. Linked. We must all suffer a certain amount. Whether this be per year/decade/era I do not know. But I do know I am very glad I work in data entry with my deaf ear today.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Dogproof

Lime and I have dogsat before. Ella is a pretty easy dog. She doesn't want human food. She hardly barks or growls. She's well behaved. And she listens to Liam even if she's ignoring me.

We dogsat for Ella before and it was all good. Except for chewed knickers and hose pipe. Little did we know that was due to evie's clever garden proofing last time.

This time we learnt the hard way that Ella likes chewing stuff outside. Indoors she is well behaved. But outdoors.... That's Ella territory. And if she wants to chew something. Then consider it chewed.

In our courtyard on floor level we had a bag of soil. And some plant pots. I have perforations to assist in irrigation in all my spare plant pots now. And if I want potting mix then I can get some from the flower bed where it has all gone. So Ella has helped us tidy and relocate out garden items.

What warms me inside is the thought that there may have been spiders in those pots which Ella has now gotten rid of. It's a warming thought. And also the thought that the hosepipe was left alone this time!

Monday, 16 May 2011

I heart natives

To talk of natives I imagine the majority of us automatically considers the indigenous population as the potential subject matter.

Natives when I buy them from the shop however are native flowers. Native to Australia and now that it's autumn they're all sprouting up and very well priced against non indigenous flower varieties such as tulips and roses. It's amazing what being so far away from a natural habitat can do for flower prices...

These fabulous natives were from Evie for my birthday and also for dog sitting (that may well be my next blog entry...). The main 'flower' at the front looks something across between the Audrey 2 (little shop of horrors) and a Scottish thistle. And there are heather-like branches in there too. Although they are a lot tougher a branch than the English heather I remember. I think lack of water for many many years toughened these plants up during their evolution.

The sad thing is. Even though these are 'natives' there are some plants up in northern Queensland which I'd love to have in our courtyard but can't. Because the climate is oh so different just a plane ride across the same country they would die on my kitchen windowsill in the warm. Let alone out in the garden (which is weed infested and very soggy right now!).

Anyhoo when the red leafy flowers blossom in my natives I'll try and get a pic of those too. Even though my vase looks like giant pot pourri I really really like a good bunch of natives.

And that is true on many indigenous levels...

There are many more weird indigenous flowers I will share with you as they come into season. Australia don't tend to import. And they don't tend to grow anything, flowers and veggies included out of their natural season. Unless by necessity. So we can't buy mistletoe, cherries are gone now until late November, strawberries are in their second season but then should be gone until summer.

So while the natives are here they give a nice autumnal feel to the front room.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Le birthday et le 30's

Merci beaucoupes amies. For my birthday messages/cards/pressies it is official; I (but frandangles a whole 2 days before me) am 'in' my 30's.

I would say it was slightly daunting stepping over that threshold. But then turning 30 was more so. And moving to oz was even more daunting than that! So it would be slightly melodramatic to claim it was daunting.

My birthday was actually one of many 'firsts'. The first time Liam has bought me flowers since we moved put of Manor Court (a whole 22 months ago). My first birthday spent wholly with the McDonnells ( there was a birthday cake AND candles). Technically my first birthday spent in Melbourne (was in Queensland last year). And the first time I'd shared my birthday with other peoples days (mothers day).

Older birthdays are quite entertaining with presents nowadays. I don't know of anyone else has noticed - but it's all about the gift vouchers. Which is good don't get me wrong. As at this age we are more decided in what we want or need. And tactfully farming something off to the charity shop gets trickier.

Also it can be an excuse to go shopping. Which I like. The pressies I received this year include a prepaid credit card, spa voucher, a promise of a good pair of boots (when I find them), Peter Alexander voucher (fab pj's). So I have some good shopping options I think you'll agree.

It is also quite frustrating now turning 31 while still temping and not on career path. I may go on a post birthday mission to lead a more fulfilling life for a 31 year old... ;o)

But first stop.... Westfield...

Monday, 2 May 2011

A Right Royal Do

As the whole world knows Friday was a very British, very royal day.

And who am I to forget such wonderfully British pageantry from so far away?!

The royal wedding being traditionally early as opposed to normal folks late afternoon ceremonies was a perfect viewing time of 8pm. This is also perfect drinking time on a Friday night.

Armed with scones, fairy cakes, bunting, Brie and apple sandwichey things and a variety of other munchies I had a high tea for the Kate's. I say the Kate's because Lady Kate Patena of Melbourne had a birthday while Lime and I were in Sydney. So we owed her a drinky too.

Although in great debate whether the wedding should be such a world event I think the world should appreciate such an institution. They never fail to entertain. And draw crowds where ever they go. I know that I will keep an eye on queenys plans for Australia in October. And if she swings this way then I am sure I will make the effort to head in her direction.