Sunday, 29 July 2012

That's My Line!

Text for Elle (the 13 year old): I'm going to be home late. xxx

Text from MWW: Where are you going? Mx

Elle: I'm on my way home now, I had a meeting with my home tutor.

MWW: Anything I need to know??

Elle: I'll speak to you when you get home xxx

I'll speak to you when you get home? WTF??? That's my line!! No, no, no. no.....

Anyway, I got home, she got home - the incident was regarding a teacher's bad behaviour at school, not hers, but still - that's my line!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


There's nothing like a Sunday night spent scraping lice out of the small fry's hair. I was convinced she didn't have them, but a head full of cheap conditioner and a few strokes of the lice comb and there they were. Bastards.

Friday night she and Elle had dropped into a friends up the road. Sass must have been scratching because friend's mother donned glasses and dragged her into the light and declared lice. That night they foamed up (I prefer just conditioner...) and swanned around in the green shower caps that come with the treatment. I still wasn't convinced. But I've clearly been proven wrong. And clearly the chemicals didn't work.

I'm never sure then if I have them or I just go out in sympathy. I just start scratching. My mother, who lives interstate, says she starts scratching every time I tell her the kids have lice - so that's got to be psychosymatic. Lucky I  have a hair appointment of Friday and give my hair colour is complete and toxic, if I do have any, even my hairdresser agrees they won't survive that!

Years ago, Jaz and Elle were going through a period of infestation. It didn't occur to me to check George - he had a buzz cut and about half a centimetre of hair. But one day I saw him having a bit of scratch. I conditioned and combed and.....OMG!!! For such little hair, I've never seen so many big, fat bugs and middles sized ones and tiny baby bugs..... the whole spectrum. "George, you've got a metropolis," I yelled in fright. "They've had time to build cities and roads and shopping malls and basketball stadiums - they've probably elected a mayor - your head is teeming!!"

I heard that there is a chemist here in Malvern who swears he funded his fancy-pants beach house on the lice of this suburb. Not hard to believe.

So, back to Sunday. I felt obliged to text Sass's BF's mum down the road. The girls had spent much of the weekend together so forewarned is forearmed. Her response?  "SHNIT!!!"

Sunday, 22 July 2012


In spite of no longer going to an office everyday, rest assured my title of MWW still holds for all the reasons I initially outline in Why I Work. Retirement is still a mighty long way off.

My business partner Mandy and I have two head quarters - my kitchen table and hers. (She was thinking of reporting revenue by 'office' but decided it would be too tricky to allocate!)

There a great freedom of not having an office to go to. You can get up and start work in your pyjamas if you feel like it. I often find myself working at 11pm because the mood takes me. And it also means I can have a better crack at some of those mother-tasks I've previously not dedicated much time to - like cooking dinner and swimming lessons after school for Sass. And that went so well last week. She has lessons at a private pool in a backyard. So we turn up and yes, it doesn't start back until next week. 'Gee Mum,' said Sass, 'You really need to pay more attention. That was just embarrassing!' Okay - so I'm still getting into the swing of it, all right.

Being at home also means you can chuck on a load of washing between emails, or empty the dishwasher while you think about how to word something. I really am loving it.

But there is a dark side as well - and it's not just that the fridge and pantry are far too accessible! Friday, we were at HQ Mandy with no meetings but stuff to get done. And there we are, nails shalaced, make up on, hair straightened, knits selected, cool jeans fitted - but travel down and OMG - we're wearing ugg boots!!!! At least mine are black and vaguely acceptable - hers are pink!!! If the high flyers could see us now!

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Verge of Hysteria

Within hours of posting the Appliance Plague, the treadmill blew up. Not exactly my favourite appliance but the one that probably keeps me sane. It was like it was invaded by a gremlin. One minute it was fine, the next it was getting faster and faster - which was very disconcerting! I hit 'Pause' and then 'Start' and instead of its usual slow buildup, it went from zero to 14km ph in less that 3 seconds. Hmmm. On and off again. Same thing. Then nothing.

I found the six year warranty, which of couse expired about 8 weeks ago. I'm always impressed how they get those warranties so accurate!! And always just a smidge after - never before.

I logged on to a local repair company, opting for their 'Deluxe' service which includes a rental while they fix your treadmill. I had spoken to the retailer and explained it was probably the circuit board. The lovely Maria called me shortly after to say don't waste your money - your treadmill is not worth fixing. Very sad.

Now, my email is down. In fact, it's been down for 3 days. I'm just now getting email in - but none is going out . You've probably noticed but to be really effective, email is a two way thing. So, here I am, trying to run my own business from home with no email. I'm ready to scream. I've called several people and wasted hours trying to fix it. I waiver between crying and screaming. It's sooooo frustrating!!!

So please, spare a thought for my poor business partner, Mandy, who has to be in my company with no running and no email. It's not pretty.....

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The Appliance Plague

I do love an appliance as you know, the new dryer, the new fridge.... but I have also been known to utter the words 'I'm not really into appliances.'

Who am I kidding??

Years ago I worked on Black & Decker and managed to avoid an electric fry pan, a crepe maker and a hot dog centre. (I succumbed to a popcorn maker which the kids still use but I hold a grudge against it so insist it's stored in the laundry.) This was the era of the useless kitchen appliance - the pie maker (people raved), the bread maker (come on, own up if you still have one in the cupboard), the ice cream maker and the pièce de résistance, the Hamburger Cooker, advertised with that line that got every mother in the land nodding in agreement, "Do you love hamburgers but hate having to turn them over..." (Yes, it cooked both sides at the side time - AMAZING!! -  and so absolutely necessary in every kitchen.)

But just because I've resisted the fads and the utterly useless, does not mean I don't love something that plugs in.

I read an article that said in the 1930s, the average household had four appliances. That's right, four. I often wonder what they would typically be and quiz my older relatives. It may have been a heater, a fan, a lamp and a radio. According to my uncle, not many people even had a fridge.

How many do you think we all have today? I have no idea, I get dizzy even trying to count. I'm guessing 60 but it could be 100.

Let's take the fridge as an example. My fancy-pants one is actually two fridges side by side. Plus we have a drinks fridge in the shed, and a chest freezer and a wine fridge. Throw in our portable fridge for camping and I'm already 50% over the 1930's quota in fridges alone. It's insane. 

They didn't have computers back then, but our tally is three desk tops and three lap tops - and there's only 5 of us in the house. Add to that at least six iPods, an iTouch, an iPad, three iPhones of varying vintages and there's 11 of those. The list gets scary - just when you've counted all the lamps, the printers, the microwave, the washer and dryer, the dishwasher, you remember the four TVs, the DVD players (yes, plural when you count the one plugged into the telly and the portable ones), a tuner, an amplifier, a turntable, Apple TV, three hard drives to house movies and TV series (all requiring power), a Wii, a PS2 and god knows what else I've forgotten.

What about the filter and the light for the fish tank?? Or that stupid steam mop that came free with the vacuum? And I haven't even started thinking about what's in the kitchen drawers. 

We may not own a ThermoMix or a coffee machine but I'm pretty sure we're holding our own when it comes to appliance ownership. 

Hows' your household fairing? 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The New Gas Dryer

As you may (or may not!) recall, back in May I posted about the dodgy dryer. How dodgy? This dodgy...

Yes, that's duct tape holding that thing together. It still worked, but the door catch had broken and had to be taped at the exact right angle in order to function. Sadly, even once that had been achieved, a bit of steam and heat usually meant a shift of a couple of millimetres and it'd stop. All during two weeks of continual rain in Melbourne. I could have broken it apart with my bare hands it was driving me so crazy!!

I'm not a huge dryer fan. I'd rather the clothesline any day and resisted even owning one until a lot of kids, a plumber and Melbourne weather eventually got the better of me. 

So my wish list was simple; a sensor so the clothes wouldn't cook and to have it flued or a condenser so it'd stop fogging up the laundry. The plumber decided it needed to be gas - which of course was a special order.

Finally the day arrived, the call received, the gas dryer had arrived. But they sent the wrong flue. Twenty wet days later the right flue arrives and the plumber and his plumbing bro finally get a day to install it. There's no just plugging in and hitting 'start' with this appliance, no - that's be far too simple.  To be wall mounted, they needed to put extra timbers into the wall cavity, then replastered, then install the brackets, then mount the dryer, flue it into the ceiling and then out the roof. Some hours later and mission accomplished. Until.....

'MWW, can you just come in here please,' he calls. 'Can you reach that?' Hmmmm. I stand on tippy toes in ugh boots (house wear - not my 15cm heels of outwear) and can just touch the bottom of the cylinder. I'm not even close to the filter. 'I'll use a stool,' I offer, deadly seriously as I'm sick to death of wet washing all over the lounge room. 'No,' he insists, 'we'll change it'.

Some hours and some days later it's finally in. It's amazing! It dries a full load in about 25 minutes instead of the old electric one that could chug on for a good 90 minutes and still be soggy. And the plumber was pretty happy with his handy work!

A pair of Jimmy Choo's should bring joy, but compared to a dryer that works and spares me the lounge looking like a Chinese laundry (another great shoe brand FYI!) I'm thinking they could be compatible...


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. ...