Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Fund Raiser

I blogged a while ago about the fund-raiser late last year when my friend Pen and I bought lunch with 10 Firemen.

Last Saturday, I found myself at a much more intimate fundraising event and still managed to get myself into trouble. It was for a friend's daughter’s humanitarian trip to Borneo and, aside from that, a bloody good party with a heap of people I really like. So as I wondered around the dining room table of silent auction items, it was good to see everyone offering their support – except for the Botox.

That’s right – 28 units of Botox valued at over $400 and not one bid! Clearly far too embarrassing for the ladies at this party. But too tempting for MWW and I whacked down $50. An old (as in ‘known for a long time’, not ‘ancient’!!) friend upped the bid to $100 as we sipped lovely French champagne. Now it was competitive as well. I couldn’t resist. I upped my bid to $110 and vaguely threatened him not to outbid me again.

It was announced from the top of the stairs that I was the lucky winner. Luckily I really didn’t care – perhaps it was all the exceptionally lovely champagne. A doctor friend suggested perhaps 280 units might be a more reasonable amount required for me. On repeating this to another doctor friend (there is a point to theses ‘doctors’, stay with me people…) he suggested Doctor One had obviously seen a lot more of me that he has.
“He hasn’t. But I doubt Botox could replace these,” I said, snapping my Bridget-Jones undies (that were just about at my neckline) so loudly he was forced to ask ‘Did that hurt?”
“Nup’, I answered truthfully. I think there’s so much padding there it’s all well protected.

So I’m then introduced to the donor of the treatment and am somewhat alarmed to discover he’s NOT a doctor. Hmmmm.
 ‘Just ring the girls at the clinic and they’ll look after you’, says the entrepreneurial investor. Girls? Are they doctors?  No. I thought this kinda thing required qualified medical people? No, apparently not. Confidence quickly waning despite the Dutch courage of exquisite bubbles….

So what do you think? Consider the $110 a charitable donation and forget it or risk looking extremely surprised for three months??

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Fun Run

Can someone, anyone, explain to me why those two words appear together with such monotonous regularity when we all know it’s an oxymoron, a contradiction, or as we in the land of advertising like to say, a ‘tension’. Running is not fun. And I know. I run. Well, when I say run, sometimes it could be described as a shuffle, but regardless, it is NOT fun.

Last year was a PB on the Fun Run front. It started with Run For The Kids, one I’ve done for a few years now as it supports the Royal Children’s Hospital, which I’ve unfortunately had far to much to do with, and is quite an amazing course, through the Burnley Tunnel and over the Bolte Bridge for those of you who know Melbourne. It’s roughly 14.7kms with a lot of up-hills, so my sister-in-law and I always arrange a family pub lunch after with lots of sparkling wine just to ensure we make up for any good we might have done!

Last year, I was literally just out of the shower when my friend Pen, who’d also done the run, text me to suggest we sign up for Race Buffing Billy, a steam train that winds its way up to the top of Mt Dandenong. For fucks sake! My calves were still screaming from the morning run, but as it was a mere 13km, I said yes.

Before we started, we ran into some friends, one of who is a fitness guru. She looked surprised to see me (a re-occurring theme when it comes to running and me, for some reason....)
‘Have you trained?’ she asked looking deeply enquiringly. No, I thought, I just woke up this morning and thought heck, I think I’ll go race that train!
‘Not really,’ I answered truthfully, ‘but I do run regularly, so I should be fine. I’m not expecting to beat the train or anything.’
‘Oh everyone beats the train,’ she said as a matter of fact. I think I was smug when proved her wrong?!

Then my client was a sponsor of the Mother’s Day Classic and invited us to participate. Couldn’t say no to that either, so on Mother’s Day when most mums are having a lie-in a getting breakfast in bed, my dorta and I were up at 6am in the cold dark to go and run – go figure...

And finally, while I was in Sydney on a girls’ weekend, my partner was out with friends here and they all decided we needed to do the City To Surf – in Sydney. With over 80,000 runners, it really was unlike any run I’d done before. But I’m still not sure I’d describe it as ‘fun’. Dinner at the extremely lovely Ice Breakers in Bondi on the Friday night – now that was fun!!!

So, Run For The Kids is nearly here again, but we’re off to Africa for the school hols, which I’m quite sure will be the real fun. In my book, the only fun part of running is when you get to stop.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

I take my gaff, and raise it.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a shocking gaff, My First Board Meeting, but was reminded by another MWW that in fact I have, made a far worse one (thanks BM!)

Sitting at a client’s boardroom table, I looked across to see someone I’ve known for ages, but don’t see often. She works with the client. Let’s call her ‘Nicky’. She sitting next to another client who is heavily pregnant and I notice that Nicky is also clearly quite pregnant, (you can see where this is going already can’t you – but wait, there is a twist!)

On my way out, and thankfully not in front of the 15 or so in the meeting, I say ‘Hey Nicky! I didn’t know you were having a baby!’ The rising puce creeping up her neck  and spreading over face said it all.
‘I’m not pregnant,’ she shamefully muttered. “I shouldn’t wear such tight clothes,’ she said, awkwardly pulling at her top like a 5 year old in trouble. I felt sooooo bad.
‘Oh it’s not your tummy,’ I improvised, ‘I just don’t remember your boobs being so...impressive.’  She graciously smiled, we parted and both felt the excruciating pain of humiliation and embarrassment.

I heard later she went home and cried. I also felt like crying.

So I was surprised to get a phone message from Nicky a couple of weeks later. “Hi MWW, I know you felt really bad about that comment the other day, so I thought I should ring and let you know I’ve just found out I’m 18 weeks pregnant!”

Sunday, 20 March 2011

A Fine Video

Wednesday this week I was between a workshop and a research group when I got a distressed call from the 12 year old. She was crying, verging on hysteria. So in my usual gentle mothering style, I barked down the phone ”For god’s sake breathe! I can’t understand a word you’re saying!”

Eventually I managed to get that she’s returned some videos she’d taken out a couple of weeks ago and copped a $40 fine. I also established that she’d had her wallet and paid the fine with her own money. She was now standing outside our house saying ‘Dad’s going to kill me”.
‘No he won’t. Don’t be ridiculous. I’ll call him.’

I hang up and call my partner and tell him to be kind (because I’m so sympathetic!!).

When I get home, he tells me he called the video store on her behalf to say $40 was pretty steep.
‘Actually, it was $120 and we reduced it to $40,’ the video guy says.
‘Oh. Okay. Thanks.’
So he launches in with another angle.
‘So, if you know there’s a fine clocking up, how come you don’t call or text to remind us?’
‘We usually do sir, but you opted out of that service when you asked us to stop calling.’
‘Oh that’s rights, I did too.’
Game over.

Anyway, I think she’ll remember to return videos on time from now on.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

I'm well, thanks....

I’m basically a well person. I get the occasional cold and have that perpetual 5kgs to loose, but on the whole, I’m pretty robust. So is it really wrong that every now and then, I actually hope for a small-ish kind of unwellness that would allow me to stay at home (but not on a day when the cleaners are here!) to lie on the couch and watch TV?

It is wrong I know. Health is so very important to be so flip, but a little break would be nice and I can’t think how else that kind of ‘lie around and do nothing’ is ever going to happen.

I have to be physically unable to stand up before I declare defeat and have a day off work. Ridiculous I know as there plenty, who at the first sign of a sniffle, insist they’re being martyrs for staying home watching daytime TV to avoiding spreading the germs with their work mates. That wouldn’t work for me because being that well would mean I’d spend the day doing countless jobs at home while feeling sick with guilt that I’m not at work!

A few years back I worked with a colleague who every time the pressure was on, she got sick. Like really sick. And we work in advertising for goodness sake, so that was like every other week. It was such a clear connection between her stress and sickness, I had to announce that projects like hers should be left to people like me who care less! (If you are one of my clients, please don’t fire me! It’s not that I don’t care, and as you know there are times when I could throw up – but mostly manage to keep it all down…)

So I’m wondering what kind of small-ish unwellness would render me sufficiently incapable of going to work or doing jobs at home, but allow me to thoroughly enjoy a day of doing nothing?? Suggestions gratefully received.

Thursday, 10 March 2011


Yesterday was the youngest last Wednesday off in that ridiculous starting-school schedule – thank god!

Her kinder friend’s mum rang and asked if she wanted to come over for a play date. It was extremely kind of her and she was also very flexible about what would suit me. So we arranged that I would drop ‘baby’ over to her house before my breakfast appointment and another friend would collect her late morning.

‘Are you sure that works? I’m happy to have her longer.’ So kind, yet so fraught with danger.I couldn’t risk it.

I recalled when her gorgeous poppet came for a play. It all started so well and ended up in a screaming tantrum (my baby, not hers) over the Snow White costume!  It took the special fairy costume to eventually calm the situation.

I’d love to say this was an isolated incident, but sadly, no. She begged me to ask the neighbouring five year old over for a play and then proceeded to ignore her. Needless to say after about 40 minutes, her friend wanted to go home. And frankly I didn’t blame her.

So as the youngest of four and great with grown ups, I tend to think she is quite well socialised, but every now and then her behaviour with kids her own age can only be described as appalling. So I thanked the kinder mother profusely and insisted she be collected as planned (before it all turned to custard). And thank goodness that hence forth, Wednesdays will be spent at school.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

My first board meeting

I was chuffed the day MD (Managing Director) asked me the join the Board. After he’d made the offer and I accepted, he quickly added that there was no additional money involved. I said I hadn’t been going to embarrass him by even asking. I’ve worked here for long enough.

Like most meeting, my first board meeting kicked off with some general chitchat and frivolity before everyone was gathered and caffeine needs addressed. During this, there was some general good-natured congratulations by the ladies in the room for the woman who’d selected the new guy who makes the coffees. He was definite eye-candy.

MD commented that if the women in the agency bothered themselves, there was in fact, plenty of intellectual-candy about the place. Which reminded me that when I was at school, and boys were less than kind about a fellow female’s appearance, (god they could be cruel – I really hope that’s changed since I was a teen, but I fear it probably hasn’t) we’d counter with what a great personality she had. Their response: “You can't f#@k a personality.” Not nice. For some inexplicable reason, I decided to share this (yes, I really should know better and yes, I tortured myself for days after for my own stupidity).

Another member of the board “begged to differ” and as I thought to myself, yes, you would, you’ll be proud to know this time I actually kept that to myself!

We quickly started the meeting, working our way through the pre-determined agenda. And amazingly, I was not asked to step down from the board – well, not so far anyway….

So tell me about your biggest gaffs. Can you top that?

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Friday Night

My favourite night of the week and, as I warn my friends, I can be a little bit dangerous. A combination of being excited, tired and champagne tends to do it. So it was a sad Friday night last year that found me on a Cub camp, trying to put up a tent in the dark with eight eight-year-old girls and no instructions.

‘Sweetie,’ I pleaded to the one member of the group with a torch strapped to her head, ‘Can you just keep you head looking this way so I can look at the picture on the front of the tent bag….right…good. Now can you see where this pole goes? Does that look like it there?’ I could hardly believe myself that I volunteer for this!

When we finally got all the tents up and all the kids in them, I quietly offered the other two leaders from our pack “a cup of coffee”. This is our code for red wine in a mug, hidden for fear of offending leaders from other packs who may look upon our behaviour as naughty rule breaking. – and they’d be right. Actually, I’ve been looking for a way out of Cubs…..

Anyway, amongst our pack, we do have a few kids with special needs – nothing major. There’s one little chicken that I have a real soft spot for, who I did think might be on the spectrum.  She pretty much told me herself after the tent debacle the night before; I asked her how she’s slept. She looked at me like I was a completely idiot: ‘In my sleeping bag, on my sleeping mat.’ I like her even more!

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. ...