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Monday, January 31, 2011

In case you thought I was exaggerating in this post about the poor dressing habits of the people around here, today I was in line at the supermarket behind a woman wearing a thin black sun-dress. She kept bending over to pick up and put down her basket as the line moved forwards, and every time she did I found myself looking straight through her dress at her naked butt and her tiny black g-string.



Sunday, January 30, 2011

There is a strange New Zealand man in my house. He is in my living spaces with his odd accent and his putting the word 'ay' after every sentence, and his calling his shoes 'Jandals' instead of 'Thongs'.

He's not here uninvited, though - he's staying with us for the next two weeks. He's a friend of the bosses who has taken a job with the company, and while he waits for his permanent accommodation to be ready, he's staying with us.

It's strange to be sharing a house with someone that you don't really know. My best friend lived with us for a couple of months once, but this is different. This is a stranger - a friendly stranger, but still a stranger. And Mrs Martin spent a long time back in grade one teaching us about stranger danger.

I always knew that i didn't want to share my space with a random stranger, and that's why I never lived in a shared house. I never had any desire at all to.
I'm a quiet-ish person in my down time and I like the place i spend my time to be quiet too. And I guess that's pretty easy if your roommate is quiet too. But the thing with sharing a house with someone is that sometimes you want to break the silence, and you can't just do it - you have to be reserved about it. And to be honest, there are some things that really shouldn't be done quietly (and which I very much struggle to do quietly) in order to get maximum enjoyment out of them.

So here I find myself trying to live my regular day to day life in my house and trying to ignore the innate desire to play hostess non-stop (an inborn urge that I'm pretty sure comes from my mother's side of the family). And I'm a little vague on the rules about sharing living space with someone. Do I have to treat him differently than I would if it was just a friend staying for a week while they were in Melbourne? Do I insist that he buys all his own food and drink and basic household requirements like he would if he was a renter? Do I have to do loud things quietly so that he feels more comfortable, even if it makes me less comfortable? And just how many times can I ask him to say 'six' and 'flip a car in a ditch' before he gets annoyed at me giggling at his accent?

An Error in Attire

Friday, January 28, 2011

The suburb in which I work is kind of a haven for people with no dress sense or else who have very confused ideas of what makes a person appear presentable. It’s a suburb where a tracksuit is appropriate for all occasions, and on those rare, special occasions that may arise, you simply substitute the tracksuit pants for jeans.

The woman I saw today was another shining example of this.

As I stood in line to buy my lunch, I spent a good deal of time staring at the back of a woman who was had the strangest shaped body I’ve ever seen. The top of her body was that of a regular (if slightly chubby) person, but where her waist spread out to her hips it just kept on going and going. It was as though she had been formed out of a very large eyedropper – slim at the top and rounded by the force of gravity at the bottom.

As is the norm around here, she was stuffed into skin tight black leggings and a black singlet, like a sausage shoved haphazardly into an ill-fitting skin. I suppose because ‘black is slimming’.

The thing that really confused me though, was the anklet around her very generously sized ankle. I will never, for the life of me, understand why a person with a body like that would want to draw attention to their ankles! We all have parts of our body that we’re not overly happy with. For me it’s my nose (family curse) and as such there is no way I would ever draw attention to it by getting my nose pierced and wearing a bright, glittery jewel in it. So I will never understand what these women are thinking by putting something shiny and sparkly on their ankles so that your attention can be drawn to it as the light reflects off it, winking at you as it alternately reflects, is swallowed by a roll of fat, reflects again.

We all make the mistake at one time or another of getting dressed to go out, looking in the mirror and giving ourselves the nod of approval - only to catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror later that night and find that your beautiful outfit is actually making you look like you got dressed in the dark.

For me it’s occasionally the curse of the dreaded muffin top – I squeeze myself into a pair of jeans that make my legs look fabulous and then find that later in the night, when everything has shifted and settled itself to a comfortable position, I’ve got the embarrassing above-belt bulge.

Men will never point this out to you, and KJ in particular is useless when it comes to this, because until quite recently he thought a muffin-top was an actual piece of clothing of some kind – like a mid-riff halter top or something.

I think the point I’m trying to make here (if there actually is one) is that at some point on those occasions, you realise you’ve made an error in attire, and you make sure it doesn’t happen again. Here, in the suburb where I work, it seems to be a rule that you can’t go outside unless you’re sporting a muffin-top, a pair of tracksuit pants, or if you’re obese - a figure hugging lycra garment of some kind. Which is nice for me, because in my work shirt and jeans, and wearing shoes instead of slippers, I spend most days feeling practically over-dressed. In this suburb, I am a well dressed woman.

Australia Day 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I’ve had a throat infection for the last week and as a result my voice has taken on a husky, phone-sex operator quality - which makes it interesting to make business calls. It does seem to make it a bit easier to get people to agree to pay their bills though.

It’s kind of strange, don’t you think, that something really gross like a disease with a name like ‘pharyngitis’ can make you more appealing? Well, at least for a brief moment on the phone. After that the sexy voice dissolves into a sort of pubescent teen voice-breaking kind of thing, which has the complete opposite effect.

I live in hope that I will lose my voice completely and will be able to take some time off work. If I’m going to be sick I might as well get something out of it.

It would be good if you could have a time-out from an illness. Tomorrow is Australia Day, and it’s a public holiday. I wouldn’t mind switching off the sore throat for a day so that I can enjoy myself, then turning it back on for work on Thursday so I can stay at home and watch trashy TV while eating ice-cream and claiming that it’s for medicinal purposes.

Tomorrow will be spent, as usual, having the obligatory Australia Day BBQ and listening to the Triple Hottest 100 while trying to ignore the elitist bullshit from the people who think they’re better than everyone else because they listen to Triple J and not ‘those crappy commercial sell-out stations’.

Hey, maybe I’ll be able to use my sexy new voice to convince them to shut the hell up.

2011 is clearly going to be a very cynical year for me.

Random Encounter, Confusing Question

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our first day in Tasmania, we were sitting in a McDonald’s store having a coffee after finishing up the one little part of work that we had to do on our trip.

A harassed looking man stopped next to our table, talking tensely into his mobile phone.

“I don’t know! I have no idea, mate!” He exclaimed down the line. “Hang on a sec...” And he turned to speak to us.
“Hey, do you know where Macca’s is?”
 “Sorry?” I asked, confused a little by the question.
“Do you know where McDonald’s is?”
“Um, this is McDonald’s; you’re standing in it...” I told him, thinking that it seemed like much too easy a question.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah; But where is it?” He asked again, as though putting the emphasis on a different word would make all the difference.
“Ermm....I have no idea?” I told him unsurely, still with no idea what exactly he was looking for.

And with a shrug of his shoulders, he turned back to his mobile phonecall and trotted off out the door to try to find someone else to answer his question.

Back to Work

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

After three weeks off at home followed by a week in Tasmania, I'm finally back at work. Once again I’m surrounded by all my familiar and loveable distractions like the internet, scrabble and online chat - and all is right in the world.

Travel is not something that I'm very good at. The nature of it doesn't suit me. The early starts, the unfamiliar beds and the constant car travel just aren’t for me. For me, travel would be ideal if only I could spend the night in my own bed; spend the day seeing the sights and then at the end of it all, head back home and curl up in my comfy king size bed with a cup of tea and a book. (What’s that you say? Am I 68? No, I’m a young person, I swear!)

It took me the entire first three days of the trip to adjust to walking non-stop all day, having dinner at 6:30, sleeping in a tiny bed then getting up at 8am for breakfast and starting the entire routine all over again. My poor fitness (of which I always brag) hit me hard on this trip. I remembered almost immediately why my holidays usually consist of sitting on my bum doing as little as possible. Sight-seeing is hard work!

Despite my low levels of energy, I couldn’t help but get sucked into tourist mode – Tasmania is absolutely beautiful. Trying to describe it is pointless, since a written description of a place is still just a bunch of words; so instead, here are a few shots I took on the trip - I'll post some more once I've finished sifting through the 1500-odd photos I ended up taking! So far I've only made it through to day three of our seven day trip.

A place in Oatlands

On a property in Hamilton

The Harbour in Hobart

The view from our second night's accommodation

Fish & Chips for lunch at the waterfront in Hobart

Callington Mill, Oatlands

My only true disappointment with the trip was that when we made it to Port Arthur, it rained so heavily that our visit to the ruins had to be cut short. And despite the fact that I’d left us another whole day to go back, it rained so heavily that we didn’t even try to get out of the car the second day.

The good thing about the rain is that it means I have an excuse to go back!

Learning time

Thursday, January 06, 2011

I’ve been pretty busy in the lead up to our trip to Tasmania tomorrow; trying to fit all of my usual holiday activities into the time before we go away has made for a chaotic few days. Given the non-stop tasks that have required completion, and the very important lounging around doing nothing I’ve been trying to do, I’ve managed to have a very full week, in which I’ve learnt the following:

  • Never watch a movie that you haven’t seen before with a 6 year old who has. Five minutes in you will know every detail about who the good guys are, who the bad guys are, who lives, who dies and how the movie ends. You will also be warned so you can cover your eyes for the gross kissing parts.

  • It’s actually possible to heat your leg wax to the point where it will catch fire(but only if you’re distracted enough to leave the wooden spatula in it while you heat it)

  • No matter the size difference between you, a 6 year old can always eat more ice cream than you can.

  • If you buy your husband a PS3, expect to have the bed to yourself until at least 3am, but often until 5am.

  • People in Tasmania don’t like it when they ask where you’re travelling from, and you say ‘Australia’.

  • If a 2 year old grabs your face and leaves a big, slimy, wet handprint on it, don’t ask what it is – just wipe it off and choose to believe it’s water.

  • People with houses that are always tidy are not normal.

  • If you call a brewery to book a tour, don’t be surprised if the people who answer sound drunk.

  • If you give someone 2kg of chocolate, they will make you a chocolate pavlova.

  • If you beat your husband at Scrabble by 2 points, he gets a lot more upset than if you beat him by the usual 150 points.

  • Eggnog tastes like runny custard tart filling.

  • If you make the effort to do all of your back-log of cleaning, you may find that you have to do 10 loads of washing, but you might also find $300 worth of cash and gift vouchers in your study that you forgot you had.

So early tomorrow morning I’m heading off to Tasmania for seven days for my first real holiday. It’s probably pretty unlikely that I’ll post anything during that time, so I hope that everyone reading enjoys their week as much as I know I’m going to enjoy mine. Stop back next week to read lots of long, dull dribble about my holiday. It’ll be like a virtual version of ‘slide night’. Oh the fun of it all!