Monday, 31 March 2014


You might recall that I have had some extremely poor luck with traffic infringements.

1. Christmas 2012
2. February 2013
3. Adelaide October 2013

One day about a month ago, we got the trifecta - all three team members of our business were fined.

But today, I am a winner!

A couple of weeks back I had a meeting in the city and the parking meter was faulty. Being the diligent citizen I am (ha!) I rang and reported the fault. I was asked for my licence plate number and instructed to adhere to the time limit - which on this occasion, I actually did.

And yes folks, I returned to my car and a big fat parking fine.

The real pain is of course that you then need to go online and go through all the admin to have it withdrawn - and who's got time for that? But I did. On principle.

And tonight, I got this in the post.....

Ah ha, oh yeah, ah ha, oh yeah! Thank you Tony!!!

But let's not start on Australian Customs. 

Friday, 21 March 2014

Product Plugs

I don't get paid for my opinions on this blog. That'll come as no surprise to anyone - I wouldn't pay me either. I work in advertising and this is my outlet so I'd probably struggle to play the game and talk it up. I've read some shockers on other blogs - paragraphs banging on about how amazing brand x bubble bath is - spare me! And I've spared you too. Okay - I confess, not by by my own choice - no-one's ever asked me -  but nevertheless you should be grateful!!

It probably also has a lot to do with the fact that in spite of blogging for nearly seven years, aside from a couple of pathetic 'please share on FB' I've done jack about growing my audience. Anyway, if you are a regular reader you'll know this blog is more about me wanting to write rather than a commercial venture - and just as well, hey.

Anyway..... there are a few products that with no financial incentive, I am happy to plug.

1. Nit Wits One Go. This product has changed our lives. You spray it on, start massaging and the little buggers just start dropping out - dead. Smells okay and apparently doesn't contain anything too toxic. We have been lice free for some weeks thanks to this product. And you've gotta love that because it means I haven't been blathering on about yet another infestation for some time.

2. Benefit's Brows A-Go-Go. This magical little kit was given to me for Christmas by the gorgeous Maria, my nail guru. It's also changed my life. If your brows fell victim to the fashion of super-thin any time - or like mine, several times - in the last 35 years and like me, find yourself with not much to work with - this is the kit for you! Especially with the current cosmetic emphasis on the perfectly defined brow. Just follow the instructions, dab one of the excellent brushes into the wax and colour and away you go. Love it!!!

3. KFC Spice. Okay, I haven't actually tried this product but my friends Penny C and Bec bought it for  me because the copy on the label is so funny. Good call girls! Have a read.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Musical March

It's been a big month of music.

We saw Dan Sultan at The Corner Hotel in Richmond and he's hot! His music is pretty good too. It also helped that Missy Higgins made a surprise appearance to help him out on one number and she is just mesmerising.

Next was the Labour Day long weekend Port Fairy Folk Festival. A three hour drive from Melbourne, we shared a cottage with friends within a three minute stroll to the entrance gate in one direction and the centre of town in the other. It's such a privilege to be presented with eight tented venues inside the festival in addition to free performances at various locations around town. But don't be fooled - much of the talent 'outside' the festival was as good, and in some cases even better, than what was on the inside. Buddha In A Chocolate Box being on case in point - who sound very like a folksy version of Pearl Jam if you can even imagine! And if you can't, here's one of their tracks on Triple J's Jukebox.

I also stumbled into a tent and heard a guy called Michael Waugh, who's lyrics could cause a grown man to lose control of his emotions and tear-up. Check out this haunting ballad on his website's homepage.

There was the legendary Archie Roach and we caught Ash Grumwald in the Shebeen where is was absolute packed with a raging middle-aged crowd and steaming hot but the rosé was deliciously cold. Could there be a more perfect Sunday afternoon?


The Stray Sisters who are the chicks from The Waifs, did two of my all time faves -  London Still which speaks to anyone who's done a long stint in the old dart, and Bridal Train. Plus the girls were just funny, warm and very engaging entertainers.

Vikki Thorn - The Stray Sisters/The Waifs

The kids loved it too - I can recommend it for all ages. The beach at Port Fairy is perfect for a glorious morning walk or jog and there's good coffee and food at Rebecca's to follow.

Back in town, we saw Neil Finn this week. Oh dear. I've been in trouble before for blogging about Neil's concert with Paul Kelly  but now I'm going to have to 'dis' Neil. I don't like his new stuff and the band was just too over powering. He seems to have slipped into a very happy and comfortable middle age - and I'm happy for him, really I am - I just think his work was much better when he was a tortured youth. He did a few of the Crowded House songs - just him and his guitar - and I was in absolute heaven. Just what I'd hoped for. But more of that and less of the band would have worked for me.

And to wrap up the month, we're off to The Rolling Stones at Hanging Rock on the 30th. I believe Geoff sold a kidney to buy the tickets so hopefully that'll be amazing! I'll let you know.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Take It Elsewhere

I recently posted about a fight on the street that I witnessed through the window from my desk. The one where I was forced to stride out and use my Angry Mother Voice. Well, there's more going on in the street that I need to share.

I first noticed this routine over six months ago and have seen it repeated on several occasions. Here's what happens:
  • A tradie, probably in his late 30s, pulls up in front of our next door neighbour's house 
  • He gets out and goes to the cafe on the corner and buys two coffees and couple of muffins (well, I assume they're muffins. The cafe does do an excellent raspberry and white chocolate muffin. But whatever he buys is in a brown paper bag - so I don't really know. It could be the almond croissants - they're also very good.)
  • He goes back to his truck and starts reading the paper
  • A woman - also in her 30s - parks her car outside my neighbour's house over the road
  • She gets out, crosses the road and gets in the truck
Now call me suspicious but I don't think it's his sister.

If it were, why would they not just meet in the cafe?

And why is she almost sitting on his lap? In fact, I think sometimes she is. Sometimes they even drive off together and return so she can get back in her car and drive off.

I can only assume they're not from around here which is why they've elected to conduct their sordid little affair in our street. In fact, let's not even call it an affair - it sounds far too romantic - it's cheating. And if they are both free and single, do they really need to 'hook up' (as the kids of today say) during business hours??

And they're not easily deterred - you know me - I've hardly been subtle in my 'noticing' of their activity. They're resilient, I'll give them that. So far I have:
  • Twice stood at the boot of my car - right in front of his bonnet - and glared at them as her head seemed to appear from his lap (dear god...) as I've unpacked groceries 
  • Stood on our front porch and pointed them out to the gardener 
  • Stood on the nature strip and pointed them out to Mandy, my business partner as we packed the car for the races last year
  • Stood at the front gate and pointed them out to Geoff and any passing neighbour
  • Pointed them out to Eleanor and she can give a filthy look - trust me - I've been on the receiving end on many an occasion and I was scared
So if it's you, please, take it somewhere else. Or I will take a photo and share it on this blog, Facebook Instagram, Pintrest, Google+ and Twitter.

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. ...