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 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!!