Monday, 29 September 2014

Locked in The Loo - Part 2: A Timely Warning

As the Spring Racing Carnival approaches and you contemplate the perfect outfit to complement your champagne sipping, bear this 'Locked In The Loo' story.

A friend of a friend (sounds dubious I know, but it's not!) had fallen into the common mistake of getting a little bit too excited and sipping just a little bit too much champagne.

She'd wondered off to the loo to....well, who knows what she was planning to do... but had made herself comfortable and then passed out. 

Other ladies in the facility, clearly alarmed as I suspect she fell off the throne at the same time, alerted the Port-a-loo blokes who had to remove the door of the cubicle so she could be attended to by the first-aid officers. 

And yes, this was in one of the 'classy' members-only enclosures.

So the lingering question; do you think she was pants up or pants down?? 

This isn't her - it's a random shot from the net - plenty to choose from!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

So you think you can ski?

It's true. I thought I could ski.

Okay - I didn't start until I was in uni, but a season as a chalet girl in Italy ended with us being able to ski a gorge that we'd hiked for a couple of hours to reach. Yes, it was extremely scary, but also exhilarating. I've not done anything like that since but I did feel it had left me a 'capable' skier.

After that there were several skiing weekends with work and friends and when George and Jaz - and then Elle -  were little, we spent five days skiing with family friends at Mt Buller for seven consecutive years.

This last Christmas we skied in Japan. And now we're in Queensland, New Zealand.

Our first day was at Coronet Peak. Elle and I joined the guided tour after lunch with a few others and we all described ourselves as 'intermediate'. In truth, we were a bit better than one couple and probably on par with the others (guides excluded!). So weren't we surprised when our next ski day at Treble Cone proved we can't ski to save ourselves.

Having done a couple of warm up runs in the home bowl and  checked Sass into ski school, we moved over to the second bowl over the back and O...M...G. It didn't look that challenging from the chair lift so I skied straight over the front - cautiously followed by Elle and Geoff. It was an ungroomed Red run - so not even Black, the most difficult. (We've now come to realise that Black isn't a standard and when the snow is a bit crunchy and ungroomed it can be the difference between do-able and down-right dangerous!) It was so steep and the snow so unforgiving and I was so fearful of falling, I couldn't turn and actually had to sit down on my bottom and flip my skis back the other way. How embarrassing.....

Ignore my religious-looking head gear and check out the scenery - amazing!

We eventually managed to pick our way down to a point where we could get back onto a groomed piste only to be further humiliated by a kid who I swear was 5, shoot past us at the speed of light, his mum and siblings calmly swooshing after him. We looked like absolute amateurs.

But as the day wore on, something started to become clearer.... everyone we met on the chair lifts were locals. Okay - one guy was from Australia - but he was working there having done three seasons at Thredbo - so he might as well have been local. I shared a lift with an older guy who was complaining heli-skiing was ruined by people who can't ski. I thought he was boasting to his companion but it was also revealed he's a guide for the 'back country' - ie of the map.

At lunch, (a delicious NZ$18 pork belly with apple gravy, glazed carrots, peas and onion and garlic roasted baby potatoes no less!) we noticed all the families knew each other. We were clearly tourists.

We've since skied The Remarkable (rudely dubbed 'Unremarkable' by a Treble Cone local) and Cardrona so have our confidence back - just.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Locked In The Loo

I have a bit of a toilet thing going on, don't I? It's not deliberate I promise.

Being locked in the loo came up when we were out the other night. I've been locked in twice. Once back in the 80s (ie no mobile phone) I was living in London in a flat that was one of three in a converted house. It was a Friday afternoon and my flat mate was heading to the Isle of Wight after work for the weekend, due back Sunday around 10pm. So when the handle came off the door I was more than mildly panicked.

Our flat was upstairs and the bathroom was in the middle of this rock-solid brick building - not a window and only solid walls to bang and wail against.  I decided I could sleep in the bath, I had water and a loo of course, just as long as I didn't die of boredom, I would survive.

Two hours later, legs shaved, brows plucked and nails filed, I suddenly heard a loo flush downstairs. I yelled down the basin drain 'Heeeeelp!' and heard Deb from downstairs call that she had a spare key and would be up in a jiffy. Phew!!!

The second time wasn't nearly as dramatic. The exact opposite in fact. A freestanding structure within easy yelling distance from the open air reserurant Geoff and the kids were sitting at in Laos. The door, held secure with wire, became jammed. I simply popped my head through the two foot gap between the wall and the roof and politely called for someone to get me out. Naturally it was our guide who obliged - everyone else was too busy laughing.

But it did remind me of a client Christmas party. The ad agency I was working for at the time was famous for its parties and this was no exception. The venue was so fancy and the bathroom so dark you pretty much had to feel your way in.  (What is with that direct correlation between venue coolness and lack of lights in the bathroom??) Added to the degree of difficulty was wall to ceiling curved cubicle doors. Perhaps not the biggest challenge in day light and before 25 vodkas - but seemingly impossible at an ad agency bash.

This is the actual venue and the toilet doors are just like this...
although this isn't the bathroom, there's far too much light

I was chatting to a colleague on the in to said amenity (we were sober, as good hosts should be) when a guy hanging about stopped me.
'I've just had a call from my colleague,' he explained, waving his mobile. 'She's stuck in the loo - the middle one. She's been calling out but no one can hear her.'

I could hear sobbing, whimpering and relief when I called through the door. But I managed to coach her through it...
'Undo the lock... yes, turn it right... okay... stand back... I'm going to push the door.' It opened with ease. I have always suspected the curve got her (and the 28 vodkas) and she'd probably spent all that time trying to push the door open.... instead of pulling.

Out she spilled, all running mascara, snot and gratitude. You'd think I'd saved her from a burning train wreck! She said she loved me. At least ten times.

I have one more - a friend of a friend  - but I'll save that for next time!

So, have you been locked in a loo? Does everyone have a 'locked in the loo' story?

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Who Gives A Crap?

I love this concept and have Facebooked about it - but here's some more info and a new chapter....

Basically, you have your toilet paper delivered to your door on a schedule that works for your household. It's inexpensive, recycled paper, wrapped in paper in a cardboard box and 50% of the profits go to building toilets and improving sanitation in developing nations. Okay - the paper isn't the most luxurious but the cause far outweights a bit of 'digital break-through'. (I spent some time in big ad agency land working on toilet paper and that's technical speak for when your finger pokes through the paper.... possibly collecting some poo...)

Anyway, how cute are the wrappers?

Do check them out - they're very funny! - and please order some. Here's their website. And just reminding you - although you hardly need it - no-one, and I mean NO-ONE pays me to promote products. (Let's not explore that too closely, I might be a bit sad....)

But, there is another part to this....

We got a delivery late last week and I asked Elle to put it away. Naturally she didn't. So when we got home from the footy on Saturday, with a friend and his 10 year old son, it was still just inside the front door.
Me - annoyed tone:  "Elle! I thought I asked you to put the toilet paper away??'
Elle - moany voice: 'I'll do it now...'
Friend's 10 year old, loudly: 'Who gives a crap!'
Friend - appalled: 'ETHAN! Don't you speak like that!
Us - all laughing - point at the toilet paper as Ethan gets a hasty apology from everyone.

So there you go kids - it also gives you a chance to use the word CRAP and not get into trouble!!

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. ...