Saturday, 25 December 2010
Saturday, 18 December 2010
I think I lost about 2kilos this week without even trying. Surprisingly a diet of mince pies, chocolate and lattes can bear results – who’d have thought? (Mind you, that’s mince pies, chocolate, coffee and absolutely nothing else.)
The packing was tricky – we’re covering 28 degrees in Dubai and 14 in Jordan. We packed like this once before to go to Dubai and Europe and had everything from bathers and floaties to woolly tights and parkers. Once you’ve got that, you could really travel the world for months – what a lovely thought! Oh that’s right, I work… sorry…dozed off for a minute and was dreaming.
And besides the clothes, I have a separate bag pressies. I am seriously taking an miniature Electrolux vacuum for the small fry for Christmas from Santa, I’m seriously going to have to bring it home and I am seriously insane – but she is four and a believer, so that’s just what you do.
I think it could be a great present, especially if it really does work well and she gets into the swing of vacuuming her own bedroom – fifty bucks well spent I’d say!
In fact, she was with the other children and I when we bought it. I sent one of the older ones back to make the purchase and I swear, she didn’t even notice or comment that her sister reappeared holding a massive department store bag that she didn’t have just minutes before!! The self-obsession of pre-schoolers can sometimes work to your advantage. That and their enthusiasm for vacuuming!
Sunday, 12 December 2010
So, back to the concert…I had no idea elevator music could draw such a crowd! My enthusiasm was, perhaps, marred by the four hours sleep I’d had the night before due the client/agency Christmas party, a hectic day at work including a client breakfast and a lunch, plus the fact I was having 19 for Christmas dinner the next night and had so far, done absolutely nothing about it.
Thankfully there was time before the show started to skull a glass of champagne – purely for medicinal purposes. We ran into another girl from my son’s class who was there with her parents and sitting next to us in the wheelchair access bays. In fact, I’d have to say there were a lot of people there with disability and the rest were even more middle aged that me – so on the upside, I felt young! And at least all they were all enjoying it.
I’d joked during the day with my colleagues, singing ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ couple with some slick 80s style aerobics moves and I was not disappointed – that’s exactly how they opened the show. Followed closely by some Barry Manilow (including the classic ‘Oh Mandy’) by which stage I sent a text to Tara, a few seat away, saying ‘Kill me now…”. (For those Barry fans, I just Googled to see how to spell his name, to discover he’s touring Australia in April!! Get in quick. What a shame we’ll be in Africa….). They decreed nearly every song ‘special to us’ and everyone they worked with in Vagas as ‘legend’.
I should have enjoyed in more, I knew all the words, but really, I felt like I was trapped on a cheap cruise ship in the South Pacific were at least the cabaret is included in the price, and hey, you’ve got nothing else to do in the middle of the ocean!
At least it wasn’t a late night. Even the boys were keen to get going before the inevitable encore. On the way out, I asked my son what he’d give the show – out of 10. He hesitated. ‘Five’, was the final verdict.
‘And what would you give the Green Day concert?’
‘Ten.’ Phew - I was so relieved!
Friday, 10 December 2010
Am I alone? Do you sometimes look down and find yourself wondering if you have a dress up box where a wardrobe should be? I have worn a nightie over jeans as daywear/nightwear/sleepwear, earrings from my daughter's show bag, my partners ties....yes, I am ridiculous I acknowledge, but I have shared my dress up sins - so come on ladies - share yours! Tell me about some of the outfits you put together...
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Sunday, 5 December 2010
So there are about forty parents and assorted siblings and other peripheral relatives, squeezed into a tiny class room and naturally it’s been a day of about 38 degrees.
We’re up to the bit where Mary and Joseph are in the stable and the narrator announces that Mary gives birth to a baby boy. Mary, (who sitting on one of those tiny kinder chairs you often find yourself on when having that difficult conversation with a teacher, making it uncomfortable as well as difficult) reaches under the chair, and under her drab brown robe and whips out a Baby Bjorn.
“See girls," one of the dads cheerily calls out. “It’s not that hard.”
The intake of breath from the women in the room exhausts the last on the oxygen. If it weren’t so hot and we weren’t half way through the play, there may have been a riot and a death... and a jury would have acquitted.
On a separate note, the fridge is in – and it’s everything I hoped and dreamed – just gotta get around to reading the instructions… and I'll report back on the celery lasting 28 days.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Monday, 29 November 2010
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Monday, 22 November 2010
Thursday, 18 November 2010
We had the kids in three groups. One lot were making Christmas present tags from old card, cutting up cheap sponges and stamping Christmas wrapping paper in another and I had the group carving potatoes for stamping said tags and paper.
I’d bought new knives from the supermarket, as the ones at the hall as so blunt you could cuddle them and as we all know, blunt knives are far more dangerous than sharp ones.
‘Kids,’ I sternly warned, ‘please be extremely careful with these knives, because what happens if you cut yourself?’ They should know the answer by now, but of course they all look at me blankly.
‘I look really bad as your Cub Leader!’
It was slightly chaotic but okay until one kid came flying in from the bathroom, yelling at me that the boys’ toilets were flooding.
I called to one of the male leaders but he seemed pretty pre-occupied and the kid had me by the arm assuring me it’d be okay to venture into the boys’ toilets – just hurry!!! As I got to the door, I could hear gushing and see small waves of water coming out from under the door and into the hallway. Not good. But when I flung open the door, a veritable tsunami crashed over the hallway and flooded the kitchen. I peered in and saw my charges had put the plug in the trough and turned on all four, old fashioned (ie high pressure) taps, to full blast. There was water cascading like a casino fountain – only no pond. And I’m wearing my thigh-high, black suede boots – damn it!
I managed to tip toe in and get all the taps off before recruiting some help to try and mop up. And in the middle of it all, one of the usual suspects slashes his finger while wielding a potato and an extremely sharp knife.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Saturday, 13 November 2010
So, Mum and Dad were in town recently because Dad had a check up after a prostate operation that had gone well. I was meeting them in the city for a drink.
The three of us sit down in the bar of the club with our drinks and Dad looks me in the eye and pauses for effect:
‘I’ve got a tumour,’ he announces with a stoic tone, despite his stare pleading me to break down and weep, panic, pale, something, anything, as long as it’s dramatic.
‘And…?’ I venture, calmly. ‘What does that mean?’
As you probably know, a tumour just means a lump. Yes, it can be a very bad lump, but it can also be a very benign lump. I wasn’t falling for that old chestnut without more information.
‘Well, it means I’m not very bloody happy, doesn’t it!’, he protests, clearly disappointed I hadn’t responded as he’d hoped.
‘Yes, but what did the doctor say?’ I asked in what I hoped was an encouraging tone, although I was by now, and knowing Dad, pretty sure that it wasn’t going to be bad news.
‘Well, he said not to worry about it,’ he meekly admitted.
‘Right then…’ I said.
Friday, 12 November 2010
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Monday, 8 November 2010
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
My colleague, Sarah, is facing me with her back to MD. She quietly says, "If that stands for Major Bitchy Attitude, I think you're good."
And sadly, she's right.
I try and keep in under control, but every now and then it gets out - my MBA.
For example: I recently got a tattoo. And an associate, who is clearly not keen on the ancient-art-slash- current-fashion for inking was struggling for something appropriate to say as several other were commenting on my fine choice.
"Did it hurt?" he finally managed, with ill-concealed disdain.
"Why?" I asked, my MBA rising to the occasion "Are you thinking of getting one?"
"Me??" he replied, "God no!"
"Then it's irrelevant, isn't it."
That was not kind and I am not proud. But I think we all have an MBA lurking beneath the surface that can be tempted out with the right provocation. Don't we???
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
‘’You taking them to China for god’s sakes!” I point out. “It’s not like you’re off for a month in a villa in Tuscany and then a few weeks skiing in Aspen then a stop off at Tahiti to recover.”
On our recent Malaysia trip, which I’ve typed about before, I swear, this is a photo I took at one of the toilets at an international airport. Yes, of course there were other, sit-down options, but the small one had quite taken to this type of loo. She didn’t really get the squatting thing and literally stood up with her back to the door and took aim. She got really quite good at it! Although that splash in the foreground just might be hers.....
And if the toilets aren’t traumatic enough, there’s the in-cabin entertainment on the 2 hour trip to the snorkelling platform on a rough and ready ferry.
I’m not sure if you can see the titles of the video selection in this shot, but they are, from left to right:
• The Deadliest Sea
• The one in the top middle I can’t remember - can anyone recognise it? Suggestions welcome!
• The Perfect Storm
• The Poseidon Adventure
• Twister (no relationship to the sea but still a disaster)
We were lucky enough to have the kids terrorised by The Poseidon Adventure as we crashed through the waves…. nice.
So yes, travel with children I’m sure could be extremely glamorous, but we’re more the circus!
Thursday, 28 October 2010
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Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Don’t you think Christmas is the ultimate test for the working mother? It’s like it taunts you, ‘you’ve made it this far in the year, but can you handle.… Christmas??’
Last year I decided it’d be a good idea to spend this Christmas with my brother and his family in the Middle East. He works for an airline so we can mostly get pretty good deals. But as it’s turned out, Christmas is kinda busy, so the cheapest way to get my partner and kids there is via the really, really cheap (ie cramped/no movies) airline to Kuala Lumpa and a connecting flight to the Middle East. What I failed to realise until yesterday, was the far cheaper way for me to get there, is first class with my brother’s airline.
I pondered how to break the news and decided a message on Partner’s phone would be best. ‘So, just realised….’ I started, and ended with ‘..really, no, really, I’m only doing this to save us money.’
It’s not quite finalised, but the picture so far is him and kids, hoping there’s something decent left on that food trolley when it finally makes its way to them, while I’m in my own suite, with a bed and French champagne.
Yes, I feel bad. I will get over it. It really is just to help the budget...
Sunday, 24 October 2010
The conversation turns to religion and Mary McKillop. The group next to us are predominantly of catholic up bringing and our team is pretty much protestant/atheist, so it does make for some good arguments.
Our boss, MD (Managing Director) strolls out to join the conversation. He's extremely knowledgeable on such matters as he actually spent seven years of his life training to be a priest before he joined our highly moral industry that rates right up there with used car salesmen and politicians.
He's adding some highly intellectual concepts to the discussion, when suddenly, he breaks off mid-sentence:
'Mother Who Works,' he exclaims, 'are you painting your toe nails at you desk???'
I clutch my Chanel Paradoxal (their fab new colour - check it out!) defensively and quietly ask, 'Is that wrong?'
Vote on the poll below - please!!
Friday, 22 October 2010
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Sunday, 17 October 2010
Yes, in my spare time I'm a Cub Scout Leader. Actually, that's a lie. I'm an Assistant Cub Scout Leader because I have not, and will not, completed the training. One of the other leaders - actually no, he's also an Assistant Leader too - and I did our training together. An entire long weekend from Friday night through to late Monday night, in the middle of winter, in freezing cabins with really ordinary food and no alcohol. None. At all. I swear if that isn't a testament of commitment I don't know what is.
The toilet blocks were made of Bessa bricks so the wind could whip through unrestrained. It was all up at 6am to light fires, a day of instruction and practical examples, being patronised and treated like we were the 8 year olds. I love being told off for coming into the canteen through the wrong door. The days ended with a sing-a-long around the camp fire in the bitter cold with a cup of Milo before crawling into my sleeping bag on the top bunk with a plastic covered mattress for a wakeful night of bush noises outside and chainsaw-like snoring inside. Only to wake at 6am and do it all again. Fun, eh?
As you already know, my idea of a great Saturday night is a lovely restaurant with friends and an excess of expensive alcohol. This boot camp was a memorable weekend for all the wrong reasons so enough is enough and I am, and shall remain, a mere AL.
My son joined Cubs about ten years and within a few weeks I was cornered and asked to join the parent committee. True colours were revealed at the first meeting when, amongst the 6 or so 50ish blokes that made up said commitee, they elected me, the only female and blonde, secretary. (No, no points for guessing that. It was obvious). So after a couple of years of me bossing them all around, they stupidly elected me President - now I could boss with authority.
The next crisis was a lack of leaders so dire, we were facing packing the whole thing in. Which did hold some secret appeal, I confess. But no, as usual because I don't have enough to do, I volunteered. I do find I enjoy working with the kids more than the parents for one of the same resons I work - ie when I tell them to do something, there's a chance it'll happen.
So, why do we need sleep?
'So our parents can have a rest from us?' ventured one of my charges.
'Exactly!' I responded. Kids can be so insightful can't they?
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Monday, 11 October 2010
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
And here are my shoes (yes, on my desk!!) trying to account for said kilos....sadly, I can't find anything higher.
Thursday, 30 September 2010
I signed up for some sessions a few years ago. Nothing dramatic. Just got the 'edges' done so I'm not caught short when the kids say 'Hey Mum, let's go to the pool'. Saves the panic of digging through the bathroom cupboards, desperately looking for some cold wax strips, not to mention arriving at the pool with two angry red stripes outlining my crotch area, screaming 'helloooooo!' to everyone I see.
The razor is just not an option. Easy now but pay later with rashes and in-growns - you know what I'm talking about.
So I'm at my first appointment and they convince me, for a mere extra $100 a session, I can have my underarms done too. (Note, there is a good sales strategy in this because at this point you have no idea what your in for and the promise of hair-free pits for a measly $400 does seem like value. If it had worked....)
The beautician has me locked in a small room and explains the procedure.
'It works best with dark hair on pale skin. Do you have relatively dark pubic hair?', she enquires.
'I don't really know. I don't really see a lot of other people's pubic hair.'
'I wish I could say the same thing....' she muses, staring into the distance.
I'm about to suggest that perhaps she's in the wrong job, then remember I'm about to strip down to my underwear and she'll be the one wielding the machine that inflicts pain. I bite my lip.
Session three and while I'm rather vulnerable, in underwear and sun-goggles to protect my eyes from the laser, she purrs:
'So....I'm surprised a girl like you hasn't had Botox yet?'
Yes, thank you very much! I'll decide if and when I'm ready to work my way through your menu. Thank you.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
So we wonder over to the rehab centre and the viewing platform, which is only open for a shot period twice a day and where you do get to see the amazing antics of those Orangutans making their way back to nature. While we were there, one of the guides quietly told us we could do a jungle walk. All it required was a permit, which I could acquire free from the ticket booth. Being a long time sufferer of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) I virtually sprinted back to grab permits for us all. It did feel quite special, as it seemed not everyone had been given the word.
Permits gained, we headed into the jungle. Man, it’s claustrophobic. We head in and there’s lot to see. Its hot and steamy and everything you’d imagine a jungle to be. At one stage as we’re stopped to observe a lizard, there is a big ‘flop’ of something big dropping out a tree right next to us.
‘Come on kids!’ I urge, ‘we won’t be investigating whatever that was!’ We hastily move down the track.
As we approach the end point, we start to see fellow trekkers coming back the other way. There's one track and we're all doing exactly the same hike. They’re wearing gaiters over their hiking boots against the leeches, long cargo pants, bucket hats, day-packs with plenty of water. Wow!
Here’s the small fry's jungle gear…a Zimmermann singlet, a Gap mini and a pair of baby Havaianas.
You can’t see me, but I’m in just the right outfit for the occasion– an Ed Hardy skirt, a Paul Smith singlet, a pair of Havaianas (I do love a brand!), I’m carry a large silver tote over my shoulder and I have sunglasses on my head!
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
My dress sense is - well - not your typical corporate attire. Luckily, I work in a reasonably liberal office and no-one actually cares. So, in summing up my style (I use the word loosely) my daughters like to continuously remind me I’m not sixteen anymore. I, on the other hand, the glass-half-full view, remind them that the only thing worse than mutton dressed as lamb, is mutton dressed as mutton. And I’m sticking to that until I can no longer dress myself.
I worked with Jacqui for a while and while we were out one day, we notice an slim, older woman not only wearing a shapeless floral dress but some really chunky Jesus sandals to go with. “So, at what point do you suddenly think that’s okay?’ asks Jacqui in bewilderment. We are both lulled into a depressing silence.
So, back to the new client. I ask my colleague for her advice. “Not the tutu” she says definitively. “Why not the tutu?” I ask, just a little crushed. “Because they don’t know you and it screams that you’re a woman not to be fucked with.” Wow. I had no idea it was so powerful…..hasn’t worked on the kids!
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Anyway, yesterday I discovered how to reduce my BMI - you know that pesky Body Mass Index thing - from 24, which is at the upper end of 'Normal Body Weight' down to a far more respectable 20, which is the bottom end of the 'Normal Body Weight.'
How? Two easy steps...in to these boots:
Yes, these boots add a very silly 15cm to my height and I'm convinced I immediately loose 5kgs - possibly more. I can thoroughly recommend them. Just be careful when your driving the car....
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
- Like most women, I am a bit of a control freak. And at work, when I ask someone to do something, there’s a very good chance it’ll happen. At home, I give it 50:50.
- I have opinions and ideas – on pretty much everything – and those opinions need to be heard. My ideas are also my babies. My family does not appreciate my intellect. (In fact, they call me a nerd.)
- I like to take amazing holidays with my children and eat at lovely restaurants when I go out with my friends.
Monday, 20 September 2010
Saturday, 18 September 2010
“I’m not judging you”, an equivalent male colleague told me recently. Really? Because that’s exactly what it sounded like. Apparently he and his wife have decided the best thing they can do in life “is to raise their own children”. Right, because I just thought I’d show mine how to use the microwave and the TV and pretty much leave them to it.
Yes, I have enough domestic help to hold my own staff party at the end of the year, but does that make me a bad mother?
Take the poll below and let me know....
Monday, 13 September 2010
Have you read ‘I don’t know how she does it” ? Verged on biographical for me. My own mother in law once cornered me about my partner’s increasingly lithe frame and accusingly asked if I was feeding him. “He knows where the fridge is”. Probably didn’t score me any points but really, he’s a grown up, I’m not his mother and I am very, very busy.
Frankly, I could do with an extra 4 hours a day. At least 4. I’d write and cruise the net more, read to the kids and watch TV more, cook and exercise more and probably even work more. But like you, I have 24 hours and just shove it all in like everyone else – and you just do.
The girls and I have come up to Dubai for a few days to escape the Melbourne winter. It's in the 40s so we've thawed out - quickly. ...
We had friends over for lunch the other Sunday – the ones we went to Africa with. It turned out to be an unusually warm day...
Geoff bought Palmolive Gold soap at the supermarket. (He should not be allowed to enter supermarkets unsupervised. I think he really believe...
Elle had been home from Sydney for less than 48 hours and I was already asking her, repeatedly, to tidy up after herself. In particular, her...