29 September 2008
There are no two ways of looking at it. I had my big opportunity last week and I blew it.
After my recent disparaging comments about garage sales, my sister happened to ask me to take her to a huge second hand book sale last Friday. I felt like showing her my blog post but given she is visiting from another State, I couldn't really refuse.
She loves reading, was more than likely born with War & Peace in her hands and calculates that she has read at least 2,000 books.
Personally, I wanted to tell her that I think anything in excess, no matter if it broadens the mind or the behind, is a bad thing. I like books, don't get me wrong, but I'm a strictly no more than one in each hand at any one time kind of girl.
Besides, as I told you in another post, my parents sent me to speed readings classes at 11 (who knows why?) and ever since then I have been a little chaotic in my reading style - I read the ending first. Yes, yes, shake your head because it is indeed a cringe worthy thing.
Anyway, given she is an extremely lovely sister (one of three) who I share lots of deep and meaningful conversations with, I gladly went with her to the book sale(and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that she promised to make me her ‘out of this world’ champagne and fruit cocktails).
Except, this was not just a book sale. Or even a huge book sale. This was a MEGA book sale.
When we walked through the doors I could tell by the look on her face that she thought she had died and gone to book heaven.
I sat and browsed the people while she browsed the books, one by one by one.........
Out of the corner of my eye I saw this elderly man with a long grey pony tail, cap, a leather vest, colourful tie, bright bag over his shoulder and blue jeans. Mmmm, I thought, he looks familiar. I just could not work out where I had seen him before.
So I watched him for a while.
Then, I got up and followed him around (yes, I was technically stalking but don't think badly of me). I tried not to be too obvious about it and kept a respectful distance.
Then it finally hit me. This man was just no random book lover. This was Richard Larter. My favourite Aussie artist of all time. How completely unexpected.
Now I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. I may have done a little dance of joy.
I have seen famous faces before but somehow this random sighting of my favourite artist at a second hand book sale was way more exciting. I had just recently seen his exhibition at the National Gallery and I had bought one of his art books (I cannot afford his paintings). And now here he was buying someone else’s book. Someone else’s second hand book.
I ran to find my sister to tell her. She didn't have a clue who I was talking about. She just shrugged and kept browsing.
I then knew I had to get a photo. For my blog if nothing else.
I felt like a member of the paparazzi and wondered if I should approach him or call out to him in the same way they do to the stars, Hey Richard, what designer are you wearing? Richard, who is the woman with you? Richard, have you had plastic surgery? Richard, who does your ponytail?
Oh no, I didn't have it in me to be that forward. I took the coward's way out.
I just followed him, pointed the camera, clicked, then ran and hoped he wouldn't notice the flash going off.
And what did I end up with? This priceless piece of artwork. A blur to end all blurs.
Well this is art ok, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you happen to be one of those people who cannot see the artist in this picture then you clearly need to have your eyes tested.
I know who it is even if the rest of the world doesn't. The sad thing is the poor man had his hand up to his face as well. I later read on the Internet that he shuns any kind of media attention (and that includes no doubt some crazed woman stalking him with a camera at a second hand book sale). I mean he is 79 years old after all, has been painting all his life and he only became famous in the last 20 years.
My career as a paparazzi started and ended that day. Well, for obvious reasons.
But my love for his work burns bright. Next time Richard, next time!
Oh and have I told you that I now love second hand sales of any kind and description?
Simply because you just never know who you might get to stalk.
What about you, have you ever seen anyone you idolised and how did you handle it?
Top Image - varied artwork by Richard Larter.
28 September 2008
Image: 200 yr old, 60m gum tree in the backyard. It's beautiful - if only trees could talk.
27 September 2008
I couldn't sleep last night after your phone call yesterday.
I kept thinking and thinking...of you with purple hair. In all shades and styles.
Then when I went to sleep, I had nightmares about you getting chased in your car by a truck on a lonely stretch of road. And, to top it off, you were dressed as a teen queen with a crown and sash.....and purple locks. It wasn't pleasant. I think I have some unresolved issues from some of the things you told me.
And why? Well here are some snippets of our phone conversation.
You: Next year I want to go on a road trip to the US and drive from LA to New York.
Me: That's a great idea. What inspired you to do that?
You: Oh, I'm reading this book about these two girls who go travelling in the States, have a great adventure and end up being murdered. Doesn't it sound exciting?
Me: How's your health kick going?
You: Really good. Apart from all the binge eating with chocolate, I am sticking to the principles.
You: I feel time is going too quickly. I just realised the other day that I am now too old to achieve some of my dreams.
Me: But you aren't that long out of your teens. What dreams are you talking about?
You: Well, let's see....ok, well it's too late to be a teen model.
Me: But you never would have ever wanted to be a teen model.
You: Well its too late now even if I had wanted to be one. See what I mean?
Me: Oh ...
You: I think I am going bald.
Me: What do you mean?
You: My hair is thinning. It may have something to do with that purple dye that's in my hair.
Me: Your hair is purple? Last time I saw you it was black. How purple is purple?
You: Bright purple, there is no missing me from blocks away.
Me: So how is the Hot Yoga going? I still don't understand what it is exactly.
You: I love it, just love it. We do yoga in a heated room. It helps to iron out my wrinkles and stretch my creaky bones.
Me: Old bones? Wrinkles?
You: I'm going to the gym twice a day and walking for an hour a day. I get up at 5am, walk to the gym, walk to work, work till 6pm, walk to the gym, walk home and cook dinner. I feel good but I don't know why I feel so tired. I don't understand.
Do you see why I worry?
I don't feel so bad though because I read a great post called Insomnia on Barbara Blundell's blog and she talked about how she lay awake at night wondering about her son and what he was doing. I think you never stop worrying no matter how old your children get. So, we may just have to accept it's always going to be this way. However, if you don't want me to worry then you may want to rethink what you tell me or at least, please explain.
There is one more thing, Barbara's son leaves comments on her blog. Just thought you should know that some children do that for their mothers. Of course it's totally up to you if you want to do that too, of course.....
Your Mother xx
PS. Can you send me a picture of you and your purple hair? I would just like to know what you look like with the new colour change so I know who to pick up at the airport next time you visit. I will be the one in the dark, dark shades.
PPS. Having thought about it all some more, just remember that growing older is compulsory but growing up is optional.
Image: by Lilly using her daughter's picture and the virtual makeover tools at DailyMakeover.com - for all you boys and girls who used to love playing with paper dolls and perhaps still would if it wasn't so embarrassing at your age, have a go - it's way too much fun!
25 September 2008
And apparently on horseback too.
Yes, I bet that got your attention.
It did mine.
I never discuss sex on my blog unless it comes to fish and their penchant for a quick sex change (simply because this blog
However, I just read the newspaper and the article made me smile so I had to share.
Simply because I didn't even know sex on moving motorcycles and galloping horses was in let alone out.
But there goes the story of my life. Always playing catchup.
The Joy of Sex which was first published in 1972 has finally been updated and has now been reissued.
Doing it on a motorbike and on horseback were legal 36 years ago but they're illegal today. Apparently.
I read this book some time in the 80s but obviously I didn't read the fine print when it came to the 'sports' section. Come to think of it, balance was never one of my strong points nor are extreme sports ...
Given this book is to sex books what Hoover is to vacuum cleaners it's probably a good thing its been updated for the 21st Century. It is sold as a family reference book after all.
So for those who have the energy to get re-educated, the updated edition covers everything from hormones and pheromones (oh, I should have so reviewed this after all), striptease, sex shops, and a harrowing section on penis injuries caused by vacuum cleaners (according to the book it's "surprisingly common and very hard to repair satisfactorily").
And for any bloggers who just cannot step away from their computers, not even for the necessities of life, there is a whole section devoted to cybersex, including internet dating and foreplay via SMS, email, webcams and teledildonics (you'll have to read the book).
I think I will pass on the new book given I'm obviously still catching up on the first edition. However, it's a great thing for a new generation of adult readers.
I am just thankful that great balance and a death wish are no longer pre-requisites. Unless, it seems, you have trouble sitting on a chair in front of a computer.
And they call that progress? Oh dear...
23 September 2008
You've got to love a garage sale.
One man’s trash really is another man’s treasure.
When my sister was visiting from England we decided to help our parents clean out their huge garage which was full of...junk...to put it bluntly.
A task which should never be treated lightly and should be avoided at all costs. In fact, my recommendation for anyone with a garage bursting at the seams is to burn it down and walk away.
We spent days taking everything out of the garage and putting it into one of three piles.
The Rubbish pile. The Garage Sale pile. The Treasure pile.
Simple? No, of course not.
Our Mother wanted most of the stuff in the Rubbish pile. Our Father wanted most of the stuff in the Treasure pile.
No explanation is therefore required as to how this treasure-cum-junk-fest came to be.
We seemed to spend hours moving it from one pile to the next and then back again.
Things kept disappearing from the Rubbish and Garage Sale piles and mysteriously made their way to the Treasure pile. Because according to my father, “you just never know when you might need it”. And that it included the large drum of nuts, bolts and screws that had not been touched since 1980 when he bought it from his neighbour’s garage sale.
Given my father’s love of his garage and all things in it, this was a REALLY BIG DEAL for him. For many reasons I suspect, particularly given his declining health.
We sensibly left all the tricky negotiations to our Mother and we got on with the garage sale preparations. Preparations which took some time. Mainly because of me. The junk had to be clean, shining and as attractively presented as possible. Everything had to be labelled and priced. Yes, I have issues, you know that already (just ask my brother about how I cleaned his old coin collection when I was a teenager, oops).
We advertised an 8am start time. Ridiculous really when you consider that there's no such thing as a start time for garage sale “professional booty hunters”.
We camped overnight. At 5am there was a loud knock on the door.
I handled it with ease. No problem.
I rolled over and yelled out to my sister to answer the door. She doesn’t even live in the country so it wasn't an issue if anyone saw her exotic bedhair, pjs and pale pallour (oh, did I not already tell you that we also had the flu badly?) Besides, she was never going to run into them ever again. Unless of course, professional treasure hunters attend international garage sales.
They cased the joint like they were looking for something special. Ours was probably the first of 50 garage sales they were going to that day. They knew where to look, what to touch, and how to haggle.
“How much for this?”
“I could get 10 of those for 50c where I come from.”
“Fine you can have it for 25c.”
“I’ll give you 2c”.
You know the drill.
What did I know? It’s just junk.
"Take it", I said.
Then a man pulled up in a Van. My grandmother had always warned me about people in Vans (but that's another story).
He spent ages looking through the books and then started packing them into boxes. My sister and I exchanged nervous glances. He finally asked us how much we wanted for the books and my sister negotiated a price. Eventually.
He then looked at us and said, “Take these boxes to the car will you? I want to look around.”
He wanted us out of the way. For a reason. Imagine your junk getting stolen at a garage sale?
My sister told him she couldn't leave and that I could help him take the boxes to his car. So I carried the boxes down the long driveway. While he walked behind me. Empty handed. I had to hold my tongue. Is customer service a requirement even at a garage sale? When I put the last box down, he said, "Thanks very much for offering to carry those for me".
I locked eyes with him and stared. My stare said it all. It said, 'You lazy good for nothing, crooked, two bit swine. I didn’t offer to carry your boxes. You asked me to do it as if you thought you were shopping at some high end Department store. I know what you were up to. You were going to steal our junk while we were busy carrying boxes to your car. How low can you get?'
As you can imagine, it took me a long time to communicate all of that with my eyes. The man must have thought I had a nervous tic. He did not reply but took off for the next garage sale in search of a large book shelf perhaps... and no doubt reconsidering his techniques to get more for his buck the next time round.
However, other than dealing with the more serious customers earlier in the day, it was great fun watching people come and go. Mainly men. Some even came back twice. Simply because we had a lot of attractive playthings for them. Tools. Garden equipment. Sports equipment.
Most men love tools even if some don’t know which end to hold them or exactly what to do with them. I got asked a few times, “What does this do?” I just said, “It does something really useful, every real man should have one and it will look great in your shed”. Of course, that’s all they needed to hear. Because you know and I know (and even they know) that there is every chance that this tool will never be used and may never see the light of day outside their shed. Ever. Until they decide to have a garage sale of course.
Women were equally fascinating. There was a very sweet middle-aged couple holding hands as they came up the driveway. After browsing a short time, I overheard this conversation.
Her: “You don’t need any more tools. You can’t fit another thing in your shed.”
Him: “I'm looking at this power drill for Paul. He doesn’t have one. Besides, look at you, we don’t need any more candles. You already have enough to light the whole city.
Her: “Why would you buy a power drill for my father? He already has two! Anyway, you can never have too many candles”.
Him: “Well you can never have too many tools either”.
They each bought their tools and candles and walked back down the path hand in hand. It made me feel strangely happy.
The Garage Sale reinforced four things I know to be true.
Men are indeed from Mars and Women are from Venus. And that’s what makes the world go round and aint that a wonderful thing.
The true value of stuff is in the eye of the beholder. We shouldn't stand in judgement about someone else's stuff because what we may think is junk may actually be someone's treasure. And sometimes it's better to respect another's views, hold your tongue and pray they come to their senses.
Garages should not store anything other than vehicles. For the good of the environment and the health of relationships! And there should be legislation passed to make sure this is law.
I cannot barter, haggle or negotiate. Particularly when money is involved. I may be the only tourist ever to go to Thailand (64 days and counting) and never come back with a bargain. And after this garage sale experience, that may in fact be a very good thing!
What about you, how do you feel about garage sales? Ever had one, ever been to one? Are you a "professional treasure hunter"?
Image - Desiree Design Studio
21 September 2008
No, I have absolutely no idea what is going on with this sculpture either (Leslie you may know). I walked round and round it to find a plaque, an explanation or something to indicate the artist's intentions.
Nothing. A quite spectaculor sheep sitting on a chair with its legs in the air sunning its nether regions and with clothes spread all around. Well I'll be damned.
Yes, I can think of lots of sheep jokes but .... until I find out I am never going to get this image out of my mind.
I just do not see.
No Comments on Silent Sundays but I will put an update when I find out what it all means.
UPDATE: Apparently the above sculpture is a satirical salute to one of the City's early farmers. In 1825, this a Scotsman arrived in the city with 700 sheep to establish a Station. He returned to Scotland in 1835, leaving a flock of 20,000. The embroidered waistcoat on the chair arm refers to his flamboyant dress sense, and to an incident when his clothes were stolen by bushrangers. According to the story, he pursued and caught the bushrangers and retrieved his favourite waistcoat. Right, I still don't see it but I will take their word for it.
20 September 2008
The weekend is here and I am happy because the weather is getting warm and that is a good, good thing. It's our turn in the Southern Hemisphere to get some sun even though by January I will more than likely be wishing for cooler weather again!
I found some interesting bits n' pieces in my travels on the net this week and thought I would share them with you.
First, have a look at Martha Stewart's blog, The Martha Blog. Not only is it full of great lifestyle information but one of Martha's shows this week was about blogging. Her guests and audience were all well known bloggers. Martha also has a blog contest you may be interested in.
If you like to think outside the box and love a dose of lateral thinking, go to Yoko Ono's blog called 100 Acorns. I am addicted and I wish I had discovered it earlier.
What do you think of this for a romantic gift? I would not say no and love this idea.
I am sure we've all had to stop and gather our thoughts before replying to unwelcome emails at times, but here is a way to be polite but still say what you really think. Funny!
For those who are interested in home design, check out Sixx Designs. The husband and wife team (who also happen to have six young children) make creating beautiful, artistic homes look easy. My favourite design blog is Desire to Inspire, which is trying to inspire the world one room at a time.
I love stationery of any kind and spent some time during the week looking at See Jane Work - organisation is a good thing, right?
WorldofGood.com by eBay is the world’s first online marketplace to convene thousands of People Positive and Eco Positive sellers and products all in one place. Positive step I think.
If you have young children or grandchildren you will love this Magical Thinking from Inchmark Journal.
If you are an AC/DC fan they have just released a video of their first single, Rock N’ Roll Train from the band’s upcoming album Black Ice. The first in eight years. I really like it although there is something not quite right about a middle-aged Angus still wearing that school uniform.
On the food front, I will be making cookies this weekend. When you see them at Smitten Kitchen you will just go uh huh and completely understand why.
And for those who need some positive thinking, go visit Kenny McBride's blog. Reading this blog might make a difference.
And finally, to end with a little blue sky thinking, if I asked you to go and find Osama bin Laden where would you look and why would you look there.
The most creative response will win something suitably Australian (no not a Kangaroo, Koala, Kylie Minogue sorry Henry or AC/DC for that matter). Entries will close at midnight next Friday and the winner will be announced next Saturday (just reply via comments on the blog post).
Photo: Our beautiful blue sky today
18 September 2008
I just posted a serious post on aging below (yes, I can be serious every now and then) and I opened my email and saw this.
Mind you it's just not the USA either.
Even the Mona Lisa, it seems, is not allowed to age gracefully. Then again, given she is about 500 years old it was probably time for a makeover....
You have to smile or shake your head.
We live in an aging world. Demographers say they are just beginning to understand the broader social, economic and political implications of the coming age wave. By 2010, 26 percent of the population will be older than 65 and by 2025 almost 30% will be older than 65.
Given this, I think we need to change our attitude to aging and to the elderly.
I have been thinking about this since I have been caring for my father during his illness. For some reason, people (even medical professionals) see him in a wheelchair and assume he is frail of mind as well. They speak directly to me about him. They give me a knowing smile as I wheel him in his chair, in much the same way you may smile at a mother wheeling a pram. They often speak to him in a patronising way, half listening to what he is saying. They know what’s best for him without even consulting him. In doing so, he is invisible. So many times I felt like screaming, 'don't you know who this man is and what he has achieved in his life?'
This marked shift of indifference towards him hit me firmly between the eyes when I walked into my father's hospital room one day. The doctor and nurses were trying to make him take a tablet. My father had his fist in the air and was loudly saying, ‘I am not going to take the tablet because it’s making me have hallucinations’. The doctor just shook his head. My father is as sharp as a tack and there is nothing wrong with his mind. The doctor suggested that my father see a psychologist as perhaps there were some undiagnosed issues (meaning dementia). I waged a battle on my father’s behalf and it turns out that he had a severe allergy to the tablet he was given .
I find it tremendously upsetting. Maybe I am more sensitive because my father’s failing health makes me far more conscious of my own mortality. I will be next and while I can try and do the best I can to maintain good health, aging and death are inevitable. No matter how much medical intervention and plastic surgery are out there!
And despite all of the warning signs, becoming old seems to turn up as one of life’s surprises rather than part of the obvious progression. Did we really think old people were born like that? ‘Hang on, I’m too young to be this old!’ you say. It sneaks up on us. You’ve been accustomed to being called Miss then someone calls you Madame. You notice how police officers and sports stars look so young these days. You have a boss who is younger than you for the first time, as are some politicians running the country. Your children have blossomed into beautiful young adults and suddenly all eyes are on them. You are no longer a yummy mummy. Slowly, but surely, we seem to become invisible.
I think two key factors are to blame. One is the way in which we worship youth as the ideal to strive for, even when we’re well into middle age. ‘You look so young!’ is one of the greatest compliments.
We need to accept ourselves and where we are today. Not compare ourselves to air brushed movie stars or people 20 years younger. With so much of our ego identity tied up with our bodies, it is understandable a crisis occurs when our physical power begins to diminish. For women, it ridiculously seems to start from 25 on when we find the first sign of a wrinkle. Men can, and do, stay in denial for much longer.
The other thing that makes aging difficult is our denial of death. Old people and the signs of aging are reminders of death, a fact we would really prefer to pretend didn’t happen.
Ironically, accepting death as part of the deal is one of the things that can enrich our lives and assist us in living well. It is a well known fact that people who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses experience an improved quality of life by knowing they are going to die. They are no longer bothered with trivia, they became less afraid of other people, more willing to take risks, they communicate more deeply with their loved ones and enjoy a greater appreciation of the simple joys. They laugh harder. They are just plain nicer.
These factors that lead to a successful old age are all within our control. They include the ability to hope; to anticipate and plan for a future; to show gratitude and forgiveness; to love and be empathetic towards others; to internalise, or take in, love when it is given; and to want to do things for and with other people and bove all to respect each other.
What are your thoughts on aging and the elderly? When are we officially old? What do you do to turn back the clock or are you accepting of the aging process? Are you planning for it?
16 September 2008
There is an aura of taboo about a closed handbag isn’t there?
I mean a magician doesn’t normally want to explain his tricks and nor does a woman want to divulge too much about the mysterious science of bagology. Particularly to perplexed men who just cannot come to grips with why a handbag would cost as much as a large screen TV let alone what on earth could possibly be important enough to be kept in there.
The whole myth of the superiority of men is built on the sole fact that most men never carry a handbag (although it pleases me no end to see the man bags out and proud now). I am sure the first thing Adam purchased for Eve was a handbag. It was his sweet revenge for the apple. They just do not get that they have many more pockets, much deeper pockets, than we do. And it's not always fun lugging these heavy bags with us everywhere we go.
In the good old times, when the definition of a "lady" covered very definite limitations, it was ladylike to carry as little as possible. In sentimental English novels of the last century, whenever a lady opened her bag it was to give money to the poor. Or to take out a small prayer book, an embroidered handkerchief or a tiny bottle of smelting salts, given it was considered very ladylike to faint once in a while. Today, we ladies have a far more varied program and hence our bags have had to get bigger to accommodate our busy lives.
The contents of my bag may have remained a mystery to you all except the lovely Jade from Mommawannabe tagged me in a meme started by Mimi, from Mimi Writes. Read the rules here if you want to join in yourself because I will not tag anyone for fear I may find out too much information about you....
Okay, here is my bag.
I am more than OK about sharing the contents of this bag because over the last year I have changed my ‘bag lady’ ways.
I was always bad at bags. Totally disorganised, unable to throw anything away and stressed about which bag matched which outfit.
Until I got this bag.
It's an Oroton bag (an Aussie company I love) given to me by my daughter for my last birthday. When I got it I decided to finally get a grip on the whole bag situation. I had tried and failed many times before. I started small. Then I started pledging myself to neatness. Then vowing that This Time It Will Be Different. And it was.
This bag is roomy and it will last forever. It doesn't work for everything, I admit, and on rare occasions, I'm forced to use another bag (one of the many that rarely get used and didn’t get ebayed). I don’t know that it was ever in style therefore I will never know if it goes out of style. I don't really care.
While it is much more orderly than bags of the past, at times it’s still like a lost and found department. I often lose my keys or my phone even though there are particular places in my bag I should put them – but I just throw them in when in a hurry. And every one of us across the world knows about the two-minute drama ever repeated: "Heavens, I must have lost my keys... (or my wallet, my phone, that important bill, etc., etc.)!" This used to annoy my ex so much he gave me a flashlight to carry in my handbag to help me find things except I kept losing that too.
So, here are the contents of my bag revealed in all their glory.
Makeup Bag - the content is included in a previous post
Wallet - that is so full I can hardly close it – with cards of all descriptions and other bits and pieces I just have to have. The wallet would be more interesting and therefore more revealing than the bag content I think.
Diary/journal and pen – I still prefer a paper diary than a PDA. I keep an online diary too.
Passport in pink cover - I always carry this with me
Sunglasses in red case
Chanel No 5 perfume
Glass cleaning kit in black cover
2 gold bangles and a pair of earrings
$11.95 in change
Beautiful Mermaid picture by New York artist Nina Kuriloff - check out her blog Nina Kuriloff Fine Art
Packet of erasers and mint wrappers
Business cards – mine and others
Pretty standard really. The things I couldn't live without are my phone, wallet and passport, oh and my sunglasses....then there's also the makeup bag too. The smallest things in my bag are the mints and loose change. The strangest thing is the packet of erasers which have slogans on them saying God loves you, Do it for Jesus etc - it was for my nieces - a joke that would take too long to explain. There is nothing embarrassing or illegal in there at all (how boring am I?).
So anything exciting or unusual in your handbag?
And my male readers (if you make it this far), what is your take on the whole handbag phenomenon – and no, you are safe, I can’t hit you with my bag from here so you can say what you really think! Who knows, maybe you even have your own bag. If so, come clean with the contents....
14 September 2008
I showed a friend of mine pictures from my weekend's research of living off the land and told her that I would definitely love to have some Friesian cows one day.
She thinks I only like these cows because I am obsessed with all things black & white.
Can you imagine anyone who would think I would choose livestock based on their colour?
I assured her that I was basing the decision purely on the fact that these cows give more milk (less cream) than others and my grandparents had friesians on their dairy farm.
She then said, "well, I am not convinced. Think about what you may have worn, brought or made in the last week or so".
I did. And here they are.
Ummmm....looking at this, the evidence is a little incriminating. OK more than a little.
There were the black and white cupcakes I made. The white and black t-shirts I bought at the opening of a new shopping centre on Friday, the beautiful white stationary and black lace stickers for letters I sent last week, the La Dolce Vita black and white video a friend had given me two years ago which I watched for the very first time, the black and white accessories I put in the bathroom yesterday, the black and white tea towels I sewed last week, the vintage black and white pearls and earrings which I dragged out of the jewellery box and have started to wear again, the black and white pillow cases I finally finished sewing and the black and white patterned scarf I bought early last week.
And I could probably go on...but I won't for fear I will only be proving her point....and digging myself in a hole.
I do get a little fixated with colours and I've always been the same since I was a child. My favourite thing was to colour in and draw. It's probably the reason why I ended up eventually painting people's faces and having a great interest in interior design too.
I guess you wouldn't believe me if I told you that when my daughter was small there was a stage where I only allowed pastel colours in her bedroom and primary colours in her play room. Or that I would only allow certain coloured flowers in the garden. Everything had to match the whole colour scheme. I used to get lots of raised eye brows I can tell you but I pressed on.
My daughter coped although she now claims she is colour blind and doesn't have a clue which colours go with what. We laugh about this a lot.
Thank goodness, I loosened up a bit over the years but I still just love colours, textures and design....it's just part of who I am.
But choosing livestock based on their colour?
NO way! (Although when I looked at those cows I did think that they would look ever so sweet with red collars or bells or bows. I also didn't tell her that I was also going to buy a pair of Crocs today but they didn't have any in basic black......).
I wonder what it's going to be like when I eventually get a vegetable garden planted. At least there are no black and white vegetables, are there?
I may be alone on the cow obsession but is anyone else got 'a thing' about colours too?
12 September 2008
Twins, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are supposedly now the cause of the major problems gripping the world economy and global markets.
How funny does that sound?
Since when do lending mortgage companies have nicknames?
When the world economy finally goes kaput and I have to get a cow in my back garden, its name is going to be Fannie Mae.
And in the vein of an Aussie asking WTF?? - watch this video, The End of Ze World (in case you never watched it when it was doing the rounds years ago - LANGUAGE WARNING BUT FUNNY!)
Have a great weekend everyone. I am going to be studying livestock raising myself....and how to live off the land.....what kind of cow I wonder... so many questions.....oh I wish I had been a better girl scout.....oh and I might just have to get a pair of CROCS!!! YEEEEEEEKKKSSSS!!!
10 September 2008
So tell me the truth do you sometimes entertain the thought of one day blogging for a living?
A fleeting thought perhaps but nonetheless it is a frequent enough thought that usually comes to me when I don't really want to get out of bed or leave the house.
Imagine being able to earn a living no matter where you are.
Imagine earning a living from writing your thoughts about your life, the universe and whatever comes to mind.
Imagine sitting in the sun on a faraway beach or being able to stay in bed all day with just your laptop and still be able to earn a living (err, that sounds a bit off but you know what I mean).
However given there are about 70 million blogs out there and very few professional bloggers I realise this dream is not an easy reality.
Professional blogging is a lot of hard work. There's the design, content and marketing. And what about the business model? Advertising, affiliate income or product lines. I am not sure I have that kind of dedication. And I don't have a niche to speak of either.
Truth is, it’s just fun to spill your guts every now and then and throw it out into the blogosphere. The most addictive part of blogging for me is finding other great blogs to follow.
Given my reluctance to take it all too seriously, it probably shouldn't be a surprise to me that my blog attracts a certain type of advertising interest.
For example, I got an email this morning from a company that wanted me to test one of its products and to write a review about it on my blog.
This was a first.
I got excited.
For a minute or two.
The product is called Super Concentrated Pheromone.
This product apparently guarantees the following:
100% Guarantee you will get your dream man / women (1 year Money Back Guarantee!), proven to be completely harmless with no side effects, smells cannot be detected by others making it completely private to yourself, long lasting effect after applied.
As opposed to what you may think, I didn't actually reject this offer out of hand (I know, I know). Beggars can't be choosers. I gave the proposal due consideration and although I smirked about whether such a product could actually give a 100% guarantee of finding your dream man or woman I was tempted to give it a try.
Gosh if it worked then the investment you would have to make in buying copious quantities of Super Concentrated Pheromone would be enormous. It would be like being addicted to Botox. Once you started and found it worked then maybe you wouldn’t be able to stop.
So even though it would have been hilarious to trial this little love potion, as some kind of weird science experiment, I had to regretfully decline the offer. With a smile on my face of course.
I also have to ask myself what it is about my blog that makes someone think I am a good candidate to test this product - that is, do I seem like I am desperate, dateless, over the hill and in need of some artificial stimulant to increase my 'romantic attractiveness' - because if so, perhaps I need to reconsider 'my niche'.
And if any readers need any help in this area and are prepared to make the long term investment, I'll put your person in contact with my person and they can do some business.
Looks like I am back to square one on the blogging dream.... however, if there are any advertisers out there who want someone to review BMWs or diamonds then I am definitely your girl......
Do you get these kind of funny advertising offers too?
8 September 2008
Here is Hugh's latest effort called, John McCain Gets Barackroll'd. I think you can laugh at this despite your political persuasions.
While you are here, do you have a blog or website that you regularly visit and you can recommend to others, whether it be serious, funny or anything in between?
7 September 2008
Photo - Lilly's Life
6 September 2008
I hope (just like Chicken Licken) that I'm merely being hysterical and making a mistake.
Times are changing it seems and many of the icons that we have held as secure and safe for years are often no more.
Today I booked our flight to Thailand in November.
For over 20 years I have flown Qantas. Both domestically and internationally. Not because it is an Australian carrier but because it is the only international airline which has never had an accident. Qantas, the first airline to fly around the world, has had an unblemished safety record since it commenced operating 87 years ago.
But this time, after careful consideration, I chose another airline.
In recent months, Qantas has had a string of mechanical issues including a loss of hydraulic fuel that led to an emergency landing, failure of landing gear, and detached panels. The most serious incident happened in July when a Qantas flight from London to Melbourne was forced to make an emergency landing in the Philippines after an oxygen tank exploded on board, ripping a gaping hole in the fuselage.
It is an accident waiting to happen and I have lost faith.
Why are there suddenly all these problems?
Rising fuel prices have resulted in drastic cost cutting and now some of the airline's maintenance is being outsourced offshore. Obviously not to the same standards.
It perhaps didn't help when I found the following old email. It was meant to be funny. Unfortunately, the humour has worn off somewhat in light of recent events and only reinforced my decision.
After every flight, pilots fill out a form called a gripe sheet, which conveys to the mechanics problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair or correction. The mechanics read and correct the problem, and then respond in writing on the lower half of the form what remedial action was taken, and the pilot reviews the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humour. Here are some actual logged maintenance complaints and problems as submitted by Qantas pilots and the solution recorded by maintenance engineers.
(P = the problem logged by the pilot.)
(S = the solution and action taken by the engineers.)
P: Left inside main tyre almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tyre.
P: Test flight OK,except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.
P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.
P: Autopilot in altitude-hold
mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.
P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're there for.
P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.
P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.
Photo: Giampaolo Macorig - Flicker
4 September 2008
However, when I was out in the shopping centre this afternoon I did happen to notice a few examples of fashion trends that are questionable. To me, anyway.
So, the worst trends in my book are:
1. Wearing sandals with socks. There is nothing attractive about this look at all. If you feel self conscious about exposing your feet in open sandles then wear shoes. Can someone explain this one to me? It's just WRONG.
2. Crocs. Worse still, Crocs in all shades of lollypop fluorescent colours. I can't take them seriously. Wearing plastic on your feet does not look comfortable although many people tell me they are really comfortable. I think they should be banned anywhere outside the garden.... and they don't seem to go with any clothes of any description. Perhaps if you are under 8 you can get away with wearing them in the same way you can can get away with wearing colourful rubber boots...but you have to know once you are past 8 they look kind of ridiculous. OK, I realise everyone has a pair or two except me it seems.
3. The humble 'green' shopping bag. I am all for using the green bags in the supermarket and to carry shopping except now you see them being used everywhere as the new fashion accessory. It's all shades of wrong.... I know you can get them in all colours, patterns and so forth BUT they were never meant as a replacement for a handbag, surely.....
So tell me, what fashion trends irritate you?
2 September 2008
"Your basic extended family today includes not only your partner and children, parents and siblings but your ex-husband or wife, your ex's new mate, your new mate, possibly your new mate's ex and any new mate that your new mate's ex has acquired and on and on." So said Delia Ephron, screenwriter and producer of movies such Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail.
I think she is right on the money if looking at politicians so called secrets is anything to go by.
How much more can they dig up, make up or uncover about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her extended family just a few days after it was announced that she would be on the McCain ticket?
First, there were rumors that her baby son was really her grandson. Then it turns out her daughter is 5 months pregnant. Then her husband had a drink driving conviction 20 years ago. And not let's forget the sociopath ex brother in law who has also landed her whole family in hot water. So now she is labelled by some quarters as white trash? And all of this is supposedly 'rocking the political world?'
P-l-e-a-s-e.....isn't it called real families???
Here are a couple of blog comments I found written about her which give an example of the wave of comments being made on blogs around the net.
This is absolutely unacceptable. She needs to step aside and take care of her many children and grandchildren if they are not more than one. This is the result of spending too much time in the office and less time with the kids. IS THIS A GOOD RESULT?
Take Care Of Your Family First Sarah. Being focused on power and promoting yourself as some big to do will always result in damage to your family. You are a Mother and about to be a Grand Mother, that is impressive enough, don't get you life and family tangled any further, get out before it is too late.
Oh, who would be bothered putting their lives under the microscope in such a way. The truth just gets twisted anyway.
I truly just do not get the fascination. Am I imagining this or would some of the questions being asked about Palin never ever be considered in regards to male candidates? She is a poor mother because she was working up until a month before her babies birth, she is a poor mother because her daughter is pregnant, she is a poor mother because she should not be running for such an office with five children at home and on and on.
She was an unusual choice in many respects but perhaps a clever choice in many others. Only time will tell but please.....none of us would pass the 'political acid test' I am sure if faced with that level of scrutiny.
The sooner politicians are treated as human beings who have the same family issues to deal with that the rest of us do, the more realistic our expectations will be and the less power they will have. Putting our politicians on a pedestal only makes them ultimately believe they deserve better than the rest of us.
And as for being a professional working mother of five children? My mother did it with five children many years ago and my brother and sisters all survived to tell the story without turning into anti social misfits (well ok, four out of the five of us turned out ok - he he).
Let's stick to the political agenda not the side issues involving a person's entire extended family unless it's going to bring a country undone.
What do you think?