Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Message

There's been a bit of contraversy on FB about the appropriateness of politiacians phoning households with recorded messages. My view is that it's an intrusion. We have a slient number, are on the 'do no call' register and were still phoned. It was during dinner so went through to the answering machine, only to be broadcast across the kitchen until Elle got up and hung up on the call.

So when the phone rang again about half an hour later, we ignored it. The answering machine picked it up and a very familar voice was again broadcast....
'Hello?.....Hello?.... '

Here's the recording of the message

Yes, it was Eleanor from the bathroom -  a mere 3 metres from the kitchen!

And yes, we ignored her too.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Teenage Binge Drinking

Eleanor will be 16 in just over a month and we have tried to keep her alcohol consumption fairly contained.

The current advice is to avoid any consumption prior to 16 due to the impact on brain development. I'm not sure if it's 16 because the impact is reduced after that or if it's 16 because that's probably as long as you can possibly string it out....anyhow, we haven't been totally strict but we haven't done too badly either.

But I think we may have stumbled across a possible deterrent for teenage binge drinking. Although in truth, it's expensive.

The types of occasions when we have allowed Elle to partake in a glass of something have tended to be significant - my 50th, Mum's 80th, when our gorgeous George would have been 21, an extended family get together - that type of thing. So accordingly, the alcohol has also been in the more special category. There's been French champagne for birthdays and some lovely reds.

In fact, some close friends gave us a bottle of Penfold's Grange when George died, aged 19, to be drunk on his 21st - a perfect gesture. So on the day, we invited the friends over and shared the most amazing wine I think I've ever had - and we let Elle have a splash.

The following week, I took Elle to an amateur performance of A Chorus Line at a local high school. (My friend Steven was in it and was so good he sadly made everyone else look a tad ... well, amateur. But I digress.) interval, I bought a plastic glass of shiraz.

'Can I have a sip, please?' asked Elle.
'Just a sip....' I said handing over the disposable vessel.
She had a sip and her face scrunched up so tightly it resembled a cat's bottom.
'That's horrible!' she gasped.... and the penny dropped.

She's now been so spoilt she doesn't care for cheap alcohol and I'm thinking her budget won't be stretching to Bolly for a long time yet!!!


Monday, 24 November 2014

'Fancy' can suck

I love my fancy European car. But I didn't love it when we were in regional South Australia for Mum's 80th and the keys got locked in it.

The small person responsible is very sad about the incident and doesn't like me to tell people. And fair enough, Sass - I won't mention it.

We rang the RAA and hours later, the guy showed up to demonstrate how many security features my car has that clearly no-one, including the RAA guy, knew about. The old wedge open the door and slip a wire in to open the handle doesn't work. Nor hitting the 'unlock' button. The car deadlocks. Which is great if some is trying to steal it - not so great if you're trying to get into it.

Plan B. The RAA tried to track down a locksmith. They couldn't make contact. And without casting aspersions on country-folk - after all, I'm one of them - I wasn't holding by breath that there'd be one within 300kms that would be able to get in.

At dinner, with Mum, Dad, their 93 year old friend Jess, my siblings, their partners and kids, we brainstormed options:

  • Hire a plane, fly back to Melbourne, get spare key, fly back, drive home
  • Drive Dad's car to Melbourne, get spare key, drive back and then drive home....
  • Drive Dad's car back to Melbourne, post spare key to Mum and Dad and have them drive my car when coming down in about 10 days (I confess, I was NOT keen on this idea...)
  • Have the car towed to the nearest town of size where by some miracle, they'd have someone who could get in
  • Call the windscreen people, have the windscreen taken out, get keys, replace windscreen (I thought this was gold - until I called and they explained they can't remove a windscreen without getting into a car - damn)
  • Smash a window
We decided to smash a window.

I called a relative who is a dealer of fancy cars to seek his advice. He said the back cargo window would be our cheapest option. We did a template to make sure the small person responsible could get in to retrieve the keys if necessary - all good. So we called the police (there are none in town but just so the nearest knew in case anyone thought we were stealing it), all drove into town and started taping the window.

A car pulled up behind. My brother who lives locally, gave a quick explanation. 'Yeah - I heard,' the guy said. Don't you love a small country town?

A crowd gathered, the hammer was swung - and about 50 strikes later it finally exploded. I put my arm through and discovered yet another new security feature - it alarms if locked and you reach in! Brilliant!

Thankfully, we could reach the keys from there - even if it was noisy.

That was 3 weeks ago. And I still have plastic taped over the window. Apparently that was NOT the window to break. It's expensive, there's none in the country and it needs to come from Germany - still waiting - but at least I know it's secure!

Monday, 10 November 2014

The girls and I have gone viral!

A friend on FB challenged me to do a lip-sync on a long car journey - so we did.

It's already had over 2000 views.

Let's see if we can get it going on YouTube.

Please share, share, share!!!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Mothering style; the perplexing question.

I did the quiz on FB and it says I'm an Affectionate Mother. Given the deep and meaningful questions - pick a colour, pick a type of fruit - I haven't put too much credence into that!

When the kids were little, a friend and I used to classify mothers as runner or non-runner. A runner was the mother who at the slightest stumble, abandoned the conversation and coffee and rushed to the child to provide comfort and cuddles.

We were firmly in the non-running camp.

'Can you see blood? Do I need to call an abulance? No? Then get up. You're fine.'

It may seem harsh but I witnessed kids who would actually cry louder once in their mother's embrace, inevitably attracting even more soothing and on occasion, I swear, I had smug eye contact from the perpetrator as I looked on with what must have been my 'disapproving face'.

Perhaps I'm just justifying my own approach! But where do we get our mothering style? It's a question I've been pondering.

My mother was a non-runner but another friend admits her style is almost the opposite to her 'smother'.

Does it come from our experience of our own mothers? That we innately replicate or reject? And did that come from their mothers? Has it evolved over hundreds of years and generations? Are there repeated patterns of hands-off and hands-on in each family? Or is it all our own and just built in?

 What do you think?

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. ...