Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Aussie Aussie Aussie! Ow! Ow! Ow!

Only a couple of weeks ago, my colleague and friend Dallas attended her citizenship ceremony, and was proud to now be able to call herself an Aussie.
If only it were that simple.
What Dallas didn't know, is that it is not the citizenship test, nor the ceremony that makes you an Aussie, but the passing of several initiation tests with ones mates that does it.
Let me explain about Dallas. She is smart. Wicked smart. She was born and raised in Sri Lanka and given a good British education. Her grasp on the English language is far tighter than many of us Aussies, and we are often asking her to help us construct speeches or carefully worded emails at work. So, when we can stump her, we feel quite victorious!
Sometimes it's just plain funny. Especially when she innocently uses a word which she thinks has a particular meaning, and we have to educate her on the Aussie translation (read: rubber=condom, dinger=condom, muff=...well you should all know that one!)
Then there are the sayings we have taught her. The particular favourite we instructed her to say to DIAC when sitting her test: "Hey mate, can I have a glass of water? I'm as dry as a dead dingo's donger!".
However, it was only last week that she passed the last initiation with her mates (I'm so sorry I wasn't there to witness it!). After attending a friends party, it was time to call a taxi to go home. "No need!" says her friend Ryan. "I have my bike - I'll give you a dink!"
"A what??" says Dallas.
"If you don't know what a dink is, then you are not an Aussie yet" jibed her friends.
Never one to decline a challenge, Dallas held her head high and said "sure, you can give me a dink".
Being quite a sensible lass, she did - to her credit - almost concede defeat when she found out that the said dink, wasn't a comfortable, nor ideal situation. Still, with a few voddy's in her already, she summoned the 'Aussie within' and perched herself on Ryan's handlebars.
They started the rough journey home, and within only a few minutes they hit a bump, and Dallas was thrown over the handlebars. Not to worry, she brushed herself off and jumped back on, thinking she now knew what to look out for.
If only it were that simple.
The next bump saw her legs flail, her shoes come off, and her toe caught in the spokes of the front wheel of Ryan's bike, before flipping over the handlebars.
So, it was with a heavily bandaged, thong wearing foot, that Dallas came to work on Monday and declared - "If I tell you this story, then you can't call me a FOB (Fresh Of the Boat) anymore. I've been drunk, I've accepted a dare off a mate, I've been dinked, I've been injured, and I've put away my pride by sharing the story with you - I've more than earned my Aussie citizenship now."
And so she has!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bargain central!

I suddenly awoke on Saturday morning with a strange (yet familiar feeling)...I just had to go down to my local St Vinnies store. The wardrobe I needed would be there. I had been trawling ebay and the said St Vinnies store for weeks for a wardrobe, but as yet - no luck. So what would bring me to drag myself out of be at 8am on a Saturday? I didn't have time to question it. I just did it.
Get up. Check. Shower. Check. Breakfast. It could wait. Get in the car and go to St Vinnies. Check. Wardrobe there? Check. Within price range? Not quite. Another cabinet I needed to house my bedroom stereo there? Check. Able to bargain on the two items plus delivery? Check. Bought both wardrobe and cabinet. Check check.
Indeed I was more than rapt with my recent purchases - but I wanted more.
Now I had a cabinet to house my stereo, but surely I could now fit a tv on top of my new unit for the complete bedroom comfort? I started on ebay again. Cheap little tv. I put in a bid. 5 minutes to go, I thought I was a shoe in....time for a cup of tea....I check the net again to pay for my bargain buy (thinking I am on a roll this weekend), but alas, I lost. Shattered.
I bid for more tv's, but they are more expensive than the first. Will I have to wait weeks for this too?? I give up.
Wake up Sunday morning with that now all too familiar feeling - I must log onto ebay again, my tv will be there.
Low (Loewe?) and behold, there it is. 12 minutes to go. I place my bid. Waiting by the 'puter this time, I don't want to miss. But there are no more bids - lady luck is on my side. I win. I know I only win by default as no one is interested in a Loewew TV with a broken remote. Maybe I am the only one that knows that the seller misspelt the brand and it should have been a Loewe TV. And no one knows I already have one in my lounge with a working remote that will transfer to the new bedroom one. I just scored a $5,000 tv (well, it was the RRP a few years ago) for $40.
It may be a little bigger than I need, and a little more extravagant, but I'm not really one to do things by halves....
The moral of the story is, I feel like I've had a most successful weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Try not to let it consume you....

I know that the bushfires seem to be all that anyone talks about these days, but I thought you might appreciate a personal perspective, along with a little (long) story.....

On Sunday the 8th of Feb, I posted about the night of the fires, and some of those that I knew that were affected. As a quick update, I am pleased to let you know that the horses were found miraculously safe and (not so) well, but have now been transferred to (literally) greener pastures to heal.
My mother is safe, though she was on tenterhooks with her bags packed for 3 weeks, ready to leave if she had to.
And Jack...well, there is a story....

A bit of history to fill in the picture:
Jack and I had been together - on and off - for around 4 years. He is 10 years my senior. I am totally and utterly consumed with the man. Always have been. Don't know if I always will be. He is what one would term a "Commitmentphobic". After 4 years, I wanted the diamond ring, white picket fence, 2.5 children, and the dog named spot. He said he did, but never did anything about it. I wanted a future vision - and we nearly had it. I introduced him to Flowerdale. I had been keeping my eye on Flowerdale for the past 6 or so years. It was always my dream, and I shared it with him. We would go there on Sunday drives, and slowly he warmed to the idea of buying a weekender there. And that was the turning point. When it came to us making the offer on a property, he couldn't do it. We broke up.
A month later, he bought it on his own. Was I shattered? You bet. Did I deal with it? I had to.
He worked on that block of land. He worked his arse off. It was the first time he had ever invested in anything - physically and emotionally. It was symbolic. Yes, we were back on talking terms during this time, but talk about Flowerdale was taboo - I couldn't go there, it was too painful.
Then the fires came and razed the land, and cleared all that had gone before it.
I always said that I would never go back there - not unless Jack and I were together again and it wasn't just his, but ours. But last Saturday, I just needed to go. And so I went.
And now, the experience of driving through the devestation to get to Flowerdale:

It sounds cliche, but it really is indescribable. The photo's and stories you have seen in the media do not come close to what it's really like.

We drive through Whittlesea, stop to get our wristband (they are still only letting locals up there), pass the roadblock, drive around the corner...then bam, there it is:
Nothing. One minute there is something, then there is nothing. No colour. No leaves. No sound.
It's not long before I see the first brick letterbox to signify that there used to be a house on that site. It draws my eyes to the background to see what remains of that house. Maybe there is a chimney, most certainly there is corrugated iron. That's all that's left of the houses. The Fire was so hot that everything literally melted and evaporated if it wasn't concrete or iron.
Not far down the road, I see the first of many Australian Flags that now fly proud outside many properties. It's like they have replaced the police tape with the flag to say "it's ok, I'm still here and I'm ok".
We pass the Kinglake General Store - well, what is left of it. I need to take a breath, knowing we are on the homestretch to Flowerdale now, and I'm about to see a stretch of road I no longer recognise. Funnily enough, I do still recognise it, I know each bend and turn in the road. I know what each house that has burnt down used to look like. We round the corner and there is a massive green oasis - somehow the nursery and it's surrounding trees seem unscathed as if it was covered with a dome when The Fire stormed through. I can only imagine that the owners put all of the sprinklers on and hoped for the best. The sign out the front reads: "Come in, we are open!". Like anyone will be planting pansies this weekend! Still, it's reassuring to see normality in such a disrupted, not normal environment.
One thing I can't stop noticing along the side of the road is the metal safety barriers. There are notches in them. Dints from where trees came down across the road. Each dint represents another tree, and another barrier that stopped so many trying to get out.
There are some houses still standing, but it only adds to the confusion. Why did that one survive? You try and make sense of the direction and behaviour of The Fire, but you just can't. It was indiscriminate in what it consumed.
We hit Flowerdale, and turn into to Jacks property. I am glad that I am there, and I get out of the car and walk up the hill on my own. It's so quiet. The air smells thick with ash. I reach the top of the hill to look at the view that I so often dreamt about. I brace myself thinking : "This is the moment, this is when the grief will hit me". To my surprise, it's ok. In fact, it's more than ok - it's still beautiful. It's just in sepia tone now.

I thought that I would cry when I first saw all the destruction, but it's literally so unbelievable that you can't relate to it, you can't get it. You need to sit with it a bit to understand just what has happened. And you need to appreciate the good stuff - the changes it has made to people and their priorities.

That night Jack and I sat under the stars, in the still of the night. Glass of wine in hand, sitting in silence, I almost felt bad that I was so comfortable. But I didn't. Jack and I were sitting side by side, and we were at Flowerdale. For the first time in many months, I felt like I'd come home. Despite the damage to my two loves (Jack and Flowerdale), we were together, and perhaps the damage that has been done can now grow into something more beautiful than what it was....

Silver Creek before...

Silver Creeek after.....

The fire moved with such force and speed that you can see the direction it moved in by the direction of the leaves on the trees. It's like they have been mummified that way now. There are also saplings that have been bent to the ground in the same direction. Bizarre...

What is left of the cottage. We figured out that the cottage would have burnt before the tree fell on it.

The view from the top of the hill is still beautiful - just not so green anymore.

Monday, February 16, 2009

You can quote me on that!

Quite often MD, Al and I are together, and someone says something stupidly funny. Sometimes it's also stupidly rude, so we agree it's out of bounds for the bloggisphere. Sometimes it's not just funny, but it makes you think: "Could that be true?"
Either way, more often than not, we chorus together: "I'm blogging about that one!"

So, here are a few I thought could be opened up for discussion and comment:

MD: As most of you know, MD is off on a trip to Sweden shortly. When I asked her recently why she had cut down on the wine, started eating way too much salad, and begun getting up at stupid o'clock in the morning to exercise, she simply said: "Because Deb, you can't be fat in Sweden". Being that MD is far from fat, I really do wonder if there is anyone under a size 8 in Sweden. I mean, does she really have a point?

Al: After spending the day at his local drinking establishment in the upper end of town, Al came to work complaining how it had been taken over by gay men. I reckon I have a pretty good gaydar, and (obviously) Al is gay, however, I still naively asked him how he knew everyone there was gay. His response: "Because Deb, every one of them owns an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt, G-Star jeans and Prada sunglasses". Can this be true?

Then there is another friend of mine who recently said to me (about my ex Jack): "Sometimes his head is so big, he can't get it through the car door". Seriously, did she make that up, or have any of you heard that before?

And here is one I thought was common, but apparently my family made it up. When something fits really well (like when tightly squeezing a piece of furniture into an alcove and it has no room to spare on either side) I would say: "Fits like a bum in a bucket".

So, the list could go on, but I ask you my good friends, what are your quotes?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spare a thought

A serious post this time folks....

Today is a very sad day for Victorians. History was made yesterday in more ways than one, as Melbourne had it's hottest day on record and bush fires raged throughout the state.
Waking up to see the carnage this morning was heartbreaking. Still, we must be grateful for what we do have, and as the day unfolded into night, I began to realise the importance of friends, and the unimportance of so many other things in your life.

What was supposed to be a 40th birthday celebration for a friend, turned into a strange situation as we all tried not to think of what was happening outside of our safety bubble of the inner city. We drank, we played lawn bowles. We went through the motions of what one does to celebrate a birthday, but we just couldn't be there in spirit. There were several of us who had friends or family that were in danger, and there wasn't a lot we could do except for make phone calls, check the CFA website, and wander into the clubhouse to check the news every half hour.
It seems we all were affected in one way or another.
My mother was alone in her house in the Yarra Valley, and was facing the decision of staying or going.
The wife of the party boy had horses in Kinglake that she couldn't get to.
And Jack had recently purchased a property in Flowerdale which was now under threat.

We all went home at about 10pm, but there was no way I could sleep. Jack came back to my place and we stayed up all night. Still checking the CFA site, but trying not to think about what was happening. We talked. We talked and talked and all of the anger and resentment that we held against one another from the breakdown of our relationship faded away, as we realised that there are far more serious things to waste energy on.

And as I cried watching the destruction on the news this morning, I sent up a prayer of gratitude. My mother is safe and well, the horses have been sighted, and Jack was back, if only for a short while.

Friday, February 6, 2009

And the Winner Is.....

Jayne has kindly presented me with this Lovely Blog Award. If you are not already readers of Jayne's blog containing fascinating facts about our Great Southern Land, then I highly recommend you pop on by for a squiz.

Now, I have been charged with the task of forwarding on the award. The rules are as follows:

1. Add the logo to your blog

2. Link to the person who gifted you the award.

3. Nominate 7 or more blogs to bestow the award upon.

4. Leave a message on their blog telling them they have One Lovely Blog!

I am happy to now present the award to my most dedicated followers and commenters:

Miss Diarist, I know Jayne also gave you this award, but I would also like to give it to you. You started this whole blogging business, so you are truly worthy.

Al, I don't care that this award is pink and pretty, I shall present it to you because you are you. Besides, you are gay, you are supposed to show it loud and proud.

Andrew, I don't know you as well as I know Al, but ditto the gay thing, and also know that I love reading your blog.

Rueben, you are one truly switched on unit. You often astound me with your perceptive observations. Again, sorry about the pretty pinkness of your award.

Rhubarb, I love anyone who still contacts school books.

Pat, for showing us that true love does exist and is worth the wait.

Brian, for your hilarious cartoons and wacky wit.

Ok folks, must do some work now. Stay tuned for the next post coming soon....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Simply the Breast

I have a delicate issue, and I'm not sure what to do about it.

Every two to three weeks, I go to get my nails done. Usually, I go to the same place, and I have the same lady. Today, I was out of town, so I went somewhere new.
I sat down, told the lady what I wanted, then she started to work. It is at this point that I start watching her shaping and filing my nails, and I remove my focus from what she is doing with my hands, and my focus moves to her chest. Not just her chest, but her breasts. She has, absolutely, gorgeous, boobs. Not big, not a joining cleavage of mass proportion. Just a perfect undulation of B Cup mounds, with a slight gully in between.

Now that I've seen them, I can't stop staring! I try to avert my gaze, but when I start looking once again at my nails, I can't help but let my eyes glaze over and change focus again. Why look in the foreground when you have womanly perfection in the background?

Then, it gets worse. She starts to buff.

With just a little side to side motion, her beautiful bosom starts a little jiggle. I'm convinced now that she is not even wearing a push up bra, but these gifts from God are indeed natural and free to stay positioned how God intended.

I look down, trying to glance at my own cleavage to compare. No, hers is definitely better.

So, my problem is not that I want to jump this poor lass, but that I think I have just acquired a new addiction. I have to see those breasts again. I don't care that she is an hour from my house (my usual nail lady is 5 minutes up the road). I don't care that she charges more. I'll pay it as long as she wears a v-neck. I'm not in love with her boobs, I am in awe of them. Is that really so wrong?