Monday, 24 January 2011


It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that I’m not the world’s greatest speller. It’s been a life long plague that my mother kindly described as ‘creative spelling’ and that appears to have been passed on to my children.

One of the girls wrote a note to Elaine, her teacher in Grade 2, after continually being asked to be quiet. She pretended it was from me.

Der Elan, my dorta (and she managed to spell her own name correctly) is alowd to tork in clas.

Okay, it could have been me, but it wasn’t.

The situation isn’t helped by the fact my partner likes to constantly remind us all that he was the Grade 6 Spelling Bee Champion at his school. (Which I particularly like to remind him of when he sends me emails with glaring errors – there’s that MBA shining through!)

I can only hope that high school is going to be able to sort out my daughter’s spelling, but I’m also hoping you’re all being vaguely forgiving of mine….

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The New School Year

It’s a big year for school in our household. The oldest is going into his final year of school, the youngest her first, and the one in the middle is starting high school. (I like to drag things out….)

So the biggest challenge is actual Prep – that first year of school. I hadn’t been to a Prep Information night in 13 years, so thought I’d best pop by in case anything has changed. It hasn’t. Usual collection of shy, first time parent, Dad’s in suits, sitting awkwardly on those tiny chairs and the mothers who’ve been at the school a while, using the forum to ask what they believe are the ‘pointy’ questions about the school’s approach to education with the added thrill of a captive audience. Can’t they just book a time with the principal??

Anyway, as you other mothers-who-work know, the starting schedule for school does NOT have us in mind. They kick off with little half-day sessions for the first two weeks and have Wednesdays off to ‘relax at home’. If anyone needs Wednesdays off to ‘relax at home’, it’s me.

I’m still unsure as to how that’s going to work, with work…  I’m contemplating bring her in and giving her a hot desk. She can help us if she’s got nothing else to do.

I used to bring our oldest daughter in when she started school. That was pretty funny as she rushed into a colleagues office where we were chatting work, whipped up her new school dress and announce “I’ve got a tampon in my undies!!” And indeed, she had popped one down the front of her pants. Lucky we all work on fem hygiene and thought it was hilarious!

So, what’s everyone else doing about those starting hours??

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Really? No one has any comments about the swimming costumes?

Really? No one has any comments about swimming costumes? I find that hard to believe.

Seriously, what would you recommend for those who's tummy sticks out further than their chest? (And I'm NOT talking pregnant ladies, who even in a bikini, look pretty hot.)

Ideas? Suggestions? Thoughts? Anyone....??

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Store Checks

As part of my job, I do what’s called a ‘store check’. Where we pretend, during work hours, to be regular shoppers (because we not when we’re not at work??)  and go out to observe and look at stores ‘from a consumer’s perspective.’

Yesterday, a couple of my team mates and I launched ourselves on a hardware warehouse. As a Cub Scout Leader, I’m no stranger to this large establishment. I’ve bought worms and spray paint and wheel measurers and all sorts of stuff. I’ve even been there for their ‘Build Dad a Tool Box for Father’s Day’ session. But yesterday, we were like fish flapping around on a wharf.

I don’t know what it is, but three blondes in high heels in a massive hardware store do not blend in.

Only slightly worse was my check on a shopping centre in an outer suburban area. It was only that I suddenly found I had a couple of free hours, but I really should have re-thought the excursion based on my outfit. Okay, it was a couple of years back, but the corporate shorts with fishnet tights and knee high boots did NOT blend in there either.

On my second lap of the health and beauty aisle, I could see staff at a nearby bakery looking and pointing and whispering. I was waiting for the call over the supermarket loudspeaker:
“Security alert: hooker aisle two, hooker aisle two!”

Perhaps a bit of forward thinking and outfit planning might be in order…

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Swimming Costume

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a great break and after 3 weeks in the Middle East I have plenty of stuff to write about – starting with The Swimming Costume.

I believe the entire concept of swimwear needs to be re-thought. This was prompted by our day at Atlantis, the water park on The Palm in Dubai. As the guests streamed in, they appeared for all intent and purpose, as a regular bunch of holidaymakers. That was, until they took off their clothes. OMG. I was is such a state of trauma I even insisted that my partner, who’s in excellent shape I might proudly say, put on his sun top on principle!

The array starts with young Russian girls with dancer’s bodies in g-string bikinis, flirting and draped over incredibly unattractive young men and posing like porn stars, to men in their later years with enormous tummies hanging over their fluorescent coloured budgie-smugglers perched atop their bandy chicken legs, taking the ‘veranda over the toy shop’ analogy to a whole new level. I mean really, where do you look?? At the other end of the spectrum there are Islamic ladies in long lycra leggings, modest tunics and hijabs. The contrasts were quite spectacular.

My country’s adage is that any Australian figure can wear a bikini, but looking around this global crowd I note:
A. This rule is not confined to our island nation, and
      B. Regardless of your nationality, for the sake of aesthetics, as a thinking species, we need to seriously    
           review this!!

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Children, teens and girls in their 20s look gorgeous in bikinis.
  • Ladies of a certain age and girth do not.
  • Men generally look better in boardies - crotch clinging is not good on anyone of any age.
  • Do not overlook the sun top that can be worn in the water.
  • Dark colours are often more flattering.

Thoughts? Any other ideas on how people can look better in a crowd while they’re almost naked??

The Moroccan Bath

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. ...