Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Crimson Dawn

You know how certain things hold certain memories, and remind you of a specific time and place in your life?
Like that John Hughes movie which will always remind you of the time you and your friends hired it on video (remember them?) and watched it every night for a week until you all knew every line by heart.
Or the smell of sultana scones which takes you back to your grandmother's kitchen in the school holidays where you were just happy to watch, and eat.
And that Best Of album which will be forever linked to the Easter roadtrip to the freezing caravan park by the river where the possums had overrun the shower block.

Fleur McDonald's latest novel, Crimson Dawn, will always remind me of 'that time I was in hospital getting my gangrenous appendix removed'. (see previous post if you missed the gory details)
But it will remind me in a good way. I don't know what I would've done without Crimson Dawn to transport me away to somewhere far outside the hospital walls, especially at 3am when the nurse woke me to check my obs and I couldn't go back to sleep. I grabbed that book and kept reading whenever I was awake enough to do so, possibly to the detriment of my recovery, as I was supposed to be walking as much as I could. Oops. I sat and read instead because, as usual, I couldn't put Fleur's book down.

Now, I may be a little sketchy on some of the details, because BOY are those opiate painkillers really good, but I know a good read, drugged or not.

In Crimson Dawn, Fleur lets the story flow seamlessly back and forth in time, to show us how our ancestors and their secrets can have great bearing on both our present and our future.
And she says "semen package" on page 64. Now that I DO remember.

Just like my grandmother knew how to make the perfect sultana scone, Fleur knows how to weave a tale.... A pinch of love, a handful of betrayal, a dash of romance, a dollop of mystery, a measure of adversity, a hint of tragedy, a scoop of triumph, and a whole cupful of the basic ingredient; life in the country.

Laura Murphy has grown up on Nambina, a property which has been in her family for generations. Suddenly, she finds herself running it, and eventually, after some personal setbacks and heartbreak, starts a school teaching the next generation of women the basics of managing a property like Nambina, in the hope that they will get the solid grounding she had herself from her grandfather.

Laura has her hands full with not only her students, but problems with her former best friend, former boyfriend, and a young family member who shuns Laura's attempts to get close. When the legal ownership of Nambina is placed under threat, Laura must find all of her strength to fight the claim by delving into her family's history, and reaching out to her family and friends to help prove her status as the rightful heir to the property.

This is Fleur McDonald's fifth novel, following on from her previous best sellers,
Red Dust
Blue Skies
Purple Roads
Silver Clouds
(I have written about all of these, see my Review page)

If you want a taste of the Outback without getting dirt in your eyes, try Fleur McDonald and her series of novels.
You won't regret it. Cracking reads, all of them.

Fleur McDonald

www. fleurmcdonald.com

Monday, March 31, 2014

Cate's Anatomy

Time flies when you're having fun.
Like emergency surgery.
Ten days ago, Friday morning 5am, after an almost sleepless night with abominable abdominal pain (I've been dying to type that), I gave into the messages my body was giving me (satanic messages about the underworld uprising, I reckon), and agreed to go to the nearest hospital. Just seven hours later I was being prepped for surgery.

In between, there were numerous wonderful nurses (I really can't thank them enough), doctors, surgeons, anaesthetists, and orderlies involved with me and my spiking temperature, blood tests, confirmation of an infection...somewhere, obs, injections, vomiting, more tests, ECGs, external ultrasounds, internal ultrasounds (props to the gorgeous male radiologist who came in and said "Nice to meet you" with a straight face while I had my fanny stuck in the air and a camera shoved up my vagina), the discovery of a gallstone in my gallbladder and a 1.5cm ovarian cyst, more tests, more injections, eleventy gazillion forms, and wiping of tears (and more), one trip to the theatre's holding bay which was a false alarm thanks to me being bumped down the list due to a car accident victim, a stint in Recovery trying to get my pre-op meds right, a whirlwind visit to a ward where my temperature went up by half a degree in a matter of minutes and was deemed now urgent, another ride back to the holding bay where I scored three 'Hello again!" greetings, the anaesthetist joking that it was another false alarm and I wasn't getting past the doors and me threatening to get up and barge my way into a theatre and him saying I'd never find my way because it's a labyrinth and me suggesting that he shouldn't underestimate a woman in pain, before I made my final wisecrack of "While you're in there, feel free to take out anything not required any more...like my uterus, ovaries or extra fat..." 

I was then wheeled into theatre and exchanged a couple more drug-fuelled one-liners with the anaesthetist (mine were drug-fuelled, hopefully his weren't) about perhaps waiting for a surgeon to arrive or was this a self-serve checkout, before having a GANGRENOUS APPENDIX removed in the nick of time. GANGRENOUS. Ugh. It had adhered itself to the peritoneum and was starting to break up, making it a difficult extraction. Ugh again.

There were some complications, thanks to my heart deciding to play silly buggers (normal heart rate is 60-100, mine was at 170 and not budging) and I was told Plan A did not work to get my rate back to normal, and neither did Plan B, but it seems Plan C (whatever it was) was successful. I suspect Plan C involved vodka. I don't know exactly how dodgy it all was, but you know when Recovery and post-op nurses say "oooh, that was nasty" and "you had us worried for a while" that things were not simple.

Just to add to my woes, the next day I was again in an extraordinary amount of pain, as it seems that my body had decided it was absolutely not going to absorb any of the gas which was used to 'blow up' my abdomen during the laparoscopic procedure, and my pain had to be managed closely until the gas came out the old-fashioned way. 

*cue the fart jokes*

I went home on the fourth day, still in a world of discomfort, ruled by a dark overlord, Darth Appendectus. Recovery has been slow, helped only by anti-biotics and my pain reliever, Obi-Wan Oxycodone. My gallstone and ovarian cyst have stayed put, where they live to fight another day, as neither of them were causing my body any angst. At least I know they are there and can be mindful of any future problems. My stab wounds from the laparoscope are healing well and one week after discharge, life is still being measured in 'comfortable poos'.

There have been some funny moments along the way, mainly due to my limited mobility.
Son started to complain about having to unstack the dishwasher.
Daughter: "I'm about to shave mum's legs for her. Do you REALLY want to start a discussion about who has the worse job??"
There was a moment of silence, followed by the sounds of clattering plates and the hum of the shaver.

And I swear when I did my first sneeze and grabbed at my abdomen, all eyes in the room checked to see if any of my organs had fallen out.

I now look forward to the day when I can have a wine and shave my own legs without fear of overexerting myself or pooping my pants, so very uncomfortably.

Just keeping it real.

Monday, March 17, 2014

What Makes Me Angry: "I'M NOT A PARENT, BUT..."

If I could've reached through my iPad screen to bitchslap him, I would've.
Not that I'm condoning violence, of course.

But when an 'expert' on personal development and lordknowswhatelse is asked for parent/child advice on social media by an expectant mother, and he answers,
"I'm not a parent, but..."

Because no matter how sensible, straightforward, or general your words after 'but' are, I'M NOT GOING TO GIVE THEM ANY WEIGHT. 

What makes 'experts' who may have written a book (wow, maybe he even read a book once) think they can answer EVERY question with authority? If he had said,
"I'm not a parent and as such, prefer not to give advice on child development on social media. Can I instead direct you to....*whatever parenting educator*",
then okay. Respect. Kudos.

And I know it's not just self-proclaimed experts. How many times have you heard well-meaning people start a sentence with,
"I don't have kids of my own, but..."
Or the even more sanctimonious,
"When have kids....*insert subtle passive/aggressive speech on how their kids will be better than yours and they'll be a better parent than you*..."
These are the times you hope Karma is an actual thing and its aim is true.

Like the time someone butted into my family business and tried to tell me how to behave, how to react, and what I could and couldn't say on my own personal Facebook page. Suddenly, this person was an expert on my life. This person, who I had not spoken to for 25 years, who has never had children, has never married or even been in a relationship, and who still lives with mummy at the age of 60-something....really? You're trying to give ME life lessons?

Or the local child health nurse I was sent to after I had my first baby, who had never had children herself, and was giving just plain wrong advice and delivering it as facts. And was paid to do so. I was gobsmacked. I knew what she was saying was wrong, and I just sat there, open-mouthed, but mute. I didn't challenge her, and to this day, more than 21 years later, I wish I had. I politely got up, walked out, and never went back. I guess it wasn't her fault...she was saying the words she had been taught to say, probably from a 50 year old text book....but I hope at some point in time, she questioned and subsequently corrected her own 'teachings', for the sake of any new mothers who came after me. 
When I spoke to other local mothers in later years, they all unanimously agreed the nurse had not had a clue what she was talking about most of the time. Again, I guess it wasn't all her fault. The department responsible had the wrong person in the job, clearly. But when you're messing with parents', children's and families' lives, I think she needed to have the ability and common sense to say, "I don't know, but I'll see if I can find out", or "Every baby is different, let's work through the options" or even "I'm out of my depth, can I please be transferred out of here?"

I've never said, "I'm not a mechanic, but I think you have a broken phillange".
Or, "I'm not a podiatrist, but I think you should have that foot amputated".
Or, "I'm not a hooker, but I think you're doing it wrong".

But I do want to say, 
"I'm not an expert on experts, but I think sometimes you do need to STFU".

The fact I've taken this long to say it makes me an expert on self control. Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Am I Pink Enough For You?

Pink is supposed to be a happy colour. Cheery. You can't be sad, depressed or lonely when you are decked out head-to-toe in pink. Just ask Barbie. She is always bubbly and smiling and surrounded by her friends. Ken may have a differing opinion about his ex-missus, but I always thought he was a bit stiff.

It's a bit dull and grey here today, and I'm tired and lethargic, so in the name of research, I'm going to get my pink on and see what happens.

Clothes - Leona Edmiston Pink Layered Frill Dress.... Check.
Shoes - Corelli Pink Patent Wedges.... Check.
Nails - OPI 'Got A Date To-Knight?' Pink..... Check.
Lips - Bellabox 'Pinky Promise' Pencil.... Check.
          Estee Lauder 'Stay Pink' Double Wear Lipstick.... Check.
          Estee Lauder 'Pink Cupcake' Lip Gloss.... Check.
Eyes - Estee Lauder 'Rose Confetti' Eyeshadow.... Check.
Cheeks - Estee Lauder 'Rose Tea' Shimmer Blush.... Check.

Am I pink enough for you? No?

Probably because I do not have any of THIS....

PINK NIPPLE CREAM. Because with daily use, dark nipples, and therefore sadness, will NEVER occur. 
Your headlights need to be cheered up, ladies! Your high beams ain't high unless they're pink!

My Pointer Sisters clearly need a makeover, as I am not happy enough yet. I've checked in the mirror and my baby hooks are looking, not dark and depressed, but a little washed out. I'm afraid to use this nipple cream as I think it's more of a bleach for the old glass cutters and I'll end up with white Anistons instead of cheery pink.

I guess I could skip the nips and just try THIS....

MY NEW PINK BUTTON. A simple to use GENITAL COSMETIC COLORANT that restores the youthful 'pink' back to a woman's genitals. The dye system kit includes 20 disposable applicators, mixing dish, and labia colorant dye.
Oh, and an instructional guide, for those of us who are perhaps slightly inexperienced at DYEING OUR FOOFIES. It is not tested on animals, but apparently having a DYED PINK HOO-HA will bring out the animal in me.
It was designed by a woman after she discovered her own genital colour loss. What the hell did she do? Take photos of her coochie every year for her Christmas cards and notice a gradual change in the glow of its 'grin'?
I had no idea my vajayjay's flappy bits had probably changed colour. Nobody told me this would happen, and it wasn't in Dolly magazine or The Feminine Mystique, I'm sure. So next time a bogan yells out "Show us yer pink bits!" should I reply "I can't, I haven't dyed them this week"?

Remember when a sign of a man cheating was finding a lipstick smudge somewhere on his face or clothes? Now you'll be suspicious every time your partner's nose looks that special shade of sunburnt pink, when it should've been in the office all day.
And some ladies will have to practice their innocent look when the man says, "I showered next to Brad, our pool guy, after gym today, and guess what? He has a bright pink schlong just like mine. What are the odds?"

I guess the bonus of pink snatch dye for me is that I could use it on my nipples too. What woman doesn't love a multi-purpose vag product?
But what if I don't want pink labia? What if I want a metallic look, to match this season's homemaker accessories from Freedom? Or I want to support the LGBT equality movement and My Little Ponies everywhere with a rainbow fanny?

For eternal happiness, clearly.
This is what the Suffragettes and Women's Liberation were all about, ladies.
Not the right to vote, or work for equal pay, or end sexist discrimination, or have guilt-free orgasms.

It was for the right for all of us to make our bits PINK.

Next week, join Cate as she explores the world of underarm and inner thigh whitening cream.
And anal bleach.

Sincere apologies to Anita Heiss for hijacking and colourising the title of her book, Am I Black Enough For You? It bears no resemblance to this blog post. Anita can actually write.
And thanks to Kelly & Liz, and the other ladies I laughed with over this topic.
May your bits forever be whatever colour you want them to be.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Chewing The Online Fat

I don't like guns, really I don't.

It was just the funniest picture I could find when I googled 'chewing the fat'. I will not describe some of the other pictures I found....

Anyway....talking is good. It's great. Sharing, listening, caring, supporting. Frank, open discussions. Honesty. Opinions offered, disagreed with, and debated. Advice sought and given. And with the connections made online, those passages of communication have never before been so wide, diverse and instant.

But when does talk become 'gab' that we need less of? 

Obvious answers include when it's racist, homophobic, sexist, threatening etc.

But what if it's offensive to some....but not others? Screams of self-indulgence, self-importance or self-righteousness? Or is perceived by some to be good old fashioned look-at-me attention-seeking? 
I guess the conundrum is, do we ignore them, tell them to shut up, or try to debate them?

This week alone, I've seen several examples on Twitter where I've stopped in my tracks and wondered (not aloud, because that would be weird) how to react to statements which, in my opinion, were varying degrees of oh-you-should-NOT-have-said-that.

Two in particular have stuck in my mind.
Firstly, Ricky Gervais. Now, I quite like Ricky's tweets, usually. And his shows. He raises awareness of so many wonderful causes and important topics. I think he's funny and talented. And he's known for pushing the envelope. Testing boundaries. Provoking discussion, particularly about religion. 
But from the man who brings us a beautiful soul in Derek, also comes this judgemental generalisation,

"I've realised that a lot of the people who believe that being gay is a choice, believe that being fat isn't."

In my eyes, he's saying a lot of people with opposing views (to him...and me) about gays are fat. 
And that people who are fat, choose to be so.

Luckily for me, I didn't have to form a brilliantly articulate response in 140 characters, as enough people (including Kerri Sackville, GO KEZ!) took him to task with their clever, insightful words and began to debate him over weight issues, obesity, addiction and such like. 
Is that what he wanted? A twitter discussion on fatness? Was it an attempt at a joke which some people didn't find funny and backfired? Was it just an I'm-bored-I-think-I'll-poke-the-fat-people-with-this-pointy-stick-and-see-what-happens? 
I don't know. Only Ricky knows. 

Even worse was a man I've never heard of (another UK performer of some sort), whose name I have dismissed from my mind and never wish to hear again (ok, I'm old, I just can't remember it or I'd tell you), who outrageously defined depression as "lazy sadness" and proceeded to tell sufferers to just "cheer up".
Again, my jaw hit the floor, and while I was gathering my thoughts into something coherent, I saw by the number of replies and skimming them for their gist, he had not only poked the hornet's nest with Ricky's stick, but had smashed it open and fed it with steroids. 
He went on to suggest that perhaps he was just sad and ranting, which are symptoms of bi-polar, so maybe he's bi-polar and wouldn't that be ironic?
Does he really believe that, or was it a deliberate controversy-starter? Was he trying to be rude or thought-provoking? Was it attention-grabbing, as he has a new [album/book/show/whatever is applicable] coming out soon? Is he actually ill himself?
Again, I don't know. Only [insert whatever the fuck his name was] knows.

At the opposite end of the stick-pokers is Jennifer Saunders' autobiography, Bonkers.
She didn't want to share too much of herself. She's private and guarded. She was reluctant to write it at all. She didn't dish dirt or spark controversy. She divulged enough to be funny and interesting but neither betrayed nor offended anybody.
And you know what? That wasn't enough for some people!
I read reviews from people bagging it because she didn't get rude or nasty or tell secrets. They wanted that dirt dished up and they wanted it with sauce! They wanted behind-the-scenes gossip and stories, and a more intimate insight into Jen's relationship with her husband! 
What the actual fuck?
Have people of the generation who have grown up with public displays of private life such as Britney Spears' meltdown and Kim Kardashian's sex tape become so desensitised to overexposure that they need to know everything about everybody??

No. While talk is good, sometimes we really do need less gab.
(but not more guns, seriously)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cate's Selfie Class

I must not bag other bloggers.
I must not bag other bloggers.
I must not bag other bloggers.

By writing that three times, it cancels out what I'm about to bag, yes?

I'll bag myself even more, I promise.

I recently unfollowed a blogger who had published a post titled "How To Pose Yourself Thin For Selfies".

Each to their own, but I ain't got no patience for that shit. (read that gangsta style, it sounds better)

Firstly, it assumes we all just want to look thin. Not happy, or content, or in love, or blessed, or having fun, or radiating inner beauty or our own personal style. Just thin.

I could go on and on about my belief in the wrongness of that alone, but okay, let's assume I just want to look thin and read on.

It then assumed, essentially, that I am already somewhat thin, because all of the many, many examples of what to do and what not to do were posed by the same quite slim person who looked just as slim in the 'wrong' shots as in the 'right' ones.

Err, heads up lady, we are all different, and you did not cover this. You may want to stand side on to appear thinner, but I am a funny sort of apple shape with large boobs and slimmer hips. Standing side on is not my friend. Standing side on will get me asked when my baby is due, why I had a Kardashian butt transplant, and has my nose always been that big. Standing FRONT ON is my friend.

This continued on with regard to head, chin, shoulder, leg, camera and ego angles, again with no real benefit to me. I couldn't relate to the slim figure poses and couldn't conjure up the vanity required to care. Also, my box gap disappeared circa 1998.

And really, as long as I don't look like the obese love child of Freddy Krueger and an Orc in a photo, I'm happy enough. Usually. Most pics of me are sans makeup, bar a smear of lipstick (I have dry lips and ALWAYS put something on them, which probably makes people think I constantly have a fully made up mug), and often with uncombed or wet hair, occasionally in PJs, bingo wings exposed, and regularly with eyes, eyebrows, mouth and tongue doing rather ridiculous things. Honestly, when I look at pics of me, I sometimes wonder if my mouth is ever closed; I'm grinning, laughing, roaring....and then I'll come across a weird, tight-lipped, disgusted smirk, making me look like I've just smelled not only my own fart, but everyone else's too. I think I have smile-palsy.

Of course there are times I want to look my best in a photo. Not sure I've achieved it yet, I'm sure my perception of how I look in my bathroom mirror is much more positive than what the resultant photos show.
But it's OKAY. I am what I am, and who I am.

Because I regularly take part in Fat Mum Slim's photo challenge (#fmsphotoaday) I am often required to provide a pic of myself, and have mastered* the art**.
(*accidentally get a half decent shot, occasionally)
(**art is subjective)

So here's How To Pose Yourself Cate-Style For Selfies.

If you want to look intelligent, arty, earthy or mysterious, make sure your background has either, 
a) bookshelves (people might think you can actually read)
b) sunshine (with the right angle and cropping, nobody will see the big zit on your face)
c) garden (just not the dead pot plants you forgot to water), or
d) shadows and darkness (because you forgot to open the blinds and the iPad doesn't have a flash)

If you want to do it Cate-style, tongues are important.
So, apparently, are neck adornments.

Put your glasses on and stare that camera down.
If you don't need glasses, get some fakes, it's very hipster.

If not ordinary glasses, then sunglasses.
Always sunglasses.
Hides bloodshot eyes and disdainful looks.

Blowing kisses, aka duckface, helps overcome smile-palsy.
Also, it's stupid.
I like to look stupid.

Don't be afraid to look just slightly unhinged.
It keeps people guessing.

From 'slightly unhinged', it's only one small step to
'completely deranged'.
Go for it.

Get a second person in shot with you. Make sure they are either,
a) drunker than you
b) more famous than you, or
c) your husband, who people don't see very often
Because then nobody will care what you look like, they won't notice you or your bloody tongue, AGAIN.

If you are having a low self-esteem day (and yes, we all have them, it's okay to admit it then get drunk), where you absolutely cannot bear to show your wrinkles, tired eyes, unwashed hair, spidery veins, hormonal blemishes and unplucked chin, and yet, remarkably, still want to share a piece of yourself with your Instagram stalkers, then look for inspiration where women across the world have often looked.... look down....
Never underestimate the power of a shoe shot for that all important boost of confidence.
Unless you have ugly feet.
Then keep those bitches in socks.

For longer shots, just make sure you are wearing a bra.
You need to look after those puppies.
Because, if all else fails.........


Cate's Selfie Class was brought to you in a joint venture by Tongue-In-Cheek-Unless-Poking-Out-Of-Your-Mouth Publications and Don't-Take-Your-Selfie-Seriously Studios.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

H is for Heat, Holidays and Hosier Lane

Continuing my Blog The Alphabet theme

It's hot, my family are all on holidays, I've come into contact with some hot men (and ladies), and we visited Hosier Lane in Melbourne.

I could end the post there, because I'm too hot and horribly lazy to write any more, but I'll turn the airconditioner on and continue.

We've had a scorcher Summer in Australia, and particularly here in Adelaide. We laid claim to the Hottest City in the World title on one particular day, and have already had the hottest February day on record. The temperature has soared above 40 degrees Celsius regularly, plants have died, lawns are brown, electricity bills are skyrocketing, and my hot flushes are unbearable. 
I have forgotten what it's like to feel cold. Or wear something with sleeves.

To add to the warmth, I've run into some very hot people recently.
And before you laugh, no, I have never thought Ricky Ponting (former captain of the Australian cricket team) was hot either, until I met him. He has never 'done it' for me.
But...y'know....put me in the media room at Adelaide Oval (where I was a social media ambassador for the Adelaide Strikers during the Big Bash League season), give me some nice food and a great view of the game, and then in walks Ricky....AND I'M ALL GIRLY FAWNING FANGIRL, STUPID GRIN AND ALL STUPID.
He was lovely, and we had a nice snuggle together, so his Hot-O-Meter went up several notches.

To top that off, just four days later I ran into some more hotness, at a wedding of all places.
Put a stinking hot day, free beer, vodka in hipflasks, a photo booth, and a bunch of footballers together, and what do you get? Yep, let your imagination run wild and you're probably halfway there.
Let's just say I had a fun night. Especially when I hung around the photo booth to make sure the lads had buttoned up their shirts straight, and happened to peek behind the curtain, phone in hand. Ahem.

You didn't need to see his face, did you?

The Husband and I then headed off to Melbourne for a mini-holiday where we were greeted with more heat (but not as much as Adelaide), some hot ladies.....

.....and Hosier Lane. This is an alley where graffiti has been legalised and the street art is AMAZING. Anyone can come and create a masterpiece, and the work is continually painted over with more art. We did hear there is a bit of an artist hierarchy, so you have to be careful whose art you paint over, but not sure how it works. Maybe a spray can battle at high noon to determine an order, I dunno. The brilliant thing is that you could visit every week and see something different every time. We watched an artist at work on the Friday morning, and when we revisited Sunday night to see the end result, it had already been painted over by something equally fabulous. Clearly, he was not Top Dog. 
If you ever go to Melbourne you must check it out.

We crammed a lot into our three day visit, and returned home hot, tired, aching, sunburnt, and several kilos heavier. All the walking and heat didn't seem to burn off the food, dammit.

We are heading south next week, to a beach house where the temperature is usually about 5 or more degrees lower than Adelaide, and the cooler nights and sea breeze brings some relief from the searing sun. I may even have to take a light jacket. 
I am stupidly excited at this prospect.
If I never have a hot flush on a 45 degree day, ever again, I'll be a happy woman.

Oh yes, H is also for HORMONES.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

G is for Glockenspiel

Continuing my Blog The Alphabet theme
(and yes, it's been a long time between alphabetical drinks)

Whenever some stupid questionnaire asks for my favourite word, I immediately say 'Glockenspiel'.
I have no idea why. Maybe because it's a German word and I studied German for five years in high school. Maybe because it's an awkward word, I don't really have a favourite and I feel awkward being asked stupid questions.
But Glockenspiel is underrated.
Seriously, how cool would this game be....


If I'm forced to, I guess I could up with some other words I like which start with G.

Grass. To walk on or to smoke, that's up to you to decide which exact definition you prefer.
Gin. Galliano.
Gift. Particularly if it is of Gin, Galliano or Gold.
Galaxy. A shop called Gelati Galaxy would be a dream come true.
Gallivant. An underused word. There should be more gallivanting.
Gravitate. Also underused. There should be more gravy. What?
Geek. Glitter. Gaffe.
Those three explain why I watch Beauty And The Geek every year.
Gofer. But not Gopher. Except in Caddyshack. And The Love Boat.
Grape. I like seedless. AKA wine. But not like these grapes, which apparently have an existential crisis....

Gizmo. Gadget. These are easier to spell than Thingymajig.
Gazpacho. Never eaten it, but great word.
Genuflect. Stupid word, gotta love it.
Glass. Preferably full to the brim, none of this half empty/half full bullshit.
Gobsmacked. A regular of mine.
Gawd. First introduced by my mother, who, despite never setting foot in a church in her adult life apart from the obligatory weddings, christenings and funerals, must have thought it blasphemous to say 'God' in exclamation, so she said 'Gawd'. That is, when she wasn't saying "Oh, SHIT". (having said all that, she didn't seem to have any problem yelling 'JESUS BLOODY CHRIST'. Go figure)
Guatemala. Which is what the Husband calls Guacamole. 
If you ever say "My guesstimate would be about a gazillion", I will kiss you.
Gravedigger. Not the actual job, just the word. I dig it. Sorry.
Guano. Not the actual bird poop, just the word. It's the shiz. Sorry again.

Gully. Green. Gum. 
A green gully engulfed with gum trees is glorious. And a tongue-twister. You will say 'glum trees' eventually. Go on, try it.
Gratuitous. Like unnecessary sex scenes in a book or movie. Or fucking unwarranted swearing.
Goodness Gracious. When I utter these words instead of gratuitous swearing, people look at me suspiciously, wondering if I'm being sarcastic. I am.
Google. Because without it, I'd take longer to work out how to spell Guatemala.

Did I miss a great G word? (yay, I get to ask a stupid question for a change)
Apart from G-spot and G-string, of course....

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

12 Things I've Done Since I Last Blogged

(Because we all love to read a list, says places like Buzzfeed and its cohorts)

1. Made pavlovas. I spent Christmas Eve separating eleventy dozen eggs, whipping cream, melting chocolate and slicing mango for my traditional Christmas Day pavlovas. I say traditional in the sense that the pavs have been my job for the family feast at least 5 years in a row now; so it's a young tradition, one my lot love, because I usually have one or two failed attempts which become Eton Mess desserts for our own consumption, before I produce The Perfect Ones. Sadly, this year I had immediate success, so the Husband and Offspring missed out on extras.

This year's topping choices were Mango & Passionfruit
and Choc-Cherry
2. Avoided all other cooking.  I hate that everyone expects to be fed every day. Greedy pigs. So I managed to weasel my way around it with meals out, quick shove-in-the-oven ready meals, takeaway, takeaway leftovers, unrecognisable leftovers, thrown-together-help-yourself-smorgasbords, and BBQs. All was going well until last week when Husband looked at me quietly for what felt a long time, then said,
"You haven't actually cooked a proper meal for ages..."
Me: "I'm on holidays."
Him: "You're always on holidays."
His swelling has gone down now.

3. Eat out. As mentioned, there have been meals out over the last couple of months. A lot of them. When our kids were young we would catch up with friends at each other's homes, but now they're all big, annoying adults, our usual catchphrase is "LET'S GO OUT". And yes, it is often yelled, with a carefree "WOOHOO" tacked on the end. Cafe, bakery, shopping centre food court, or pub lunches..... cafe, pub or restaurant dinners; we've managed them all, with or without friends. Sometimes we've even managed a great view...

View from the beachside Largs Pier Hotel

Husband may or may not be talking
about my boobs....

East End, Adelaide
View from Sailmaster Tavern at North Haven marina

4. Avoided the treadmill. Related to all of the above. Seriously, I can barely bring myself to enter the shed, let alone look that treadmill in the eye (I'm sure it has eyes, and they are evil) because SHAME. EAT. FAT. LAZY. CHOCOLATES. etc etc....

5. Read books, watched movies, took photos. Books, always. Movies, an abundance, both in theatres and at home. I loved Philomena and The Book Thief. Photos, a plethora....especially now I have a decent phone. And know how to use it. Sort of. Mostly. Okay, sometimes I accidentally fluke a good shot that isn't of my foot or up someone's nose.

6. Did iPad jigsaws. I got a bit addicted to the Magic Puzzle app. It was very therapeutic to bend my head over the screen of an evening, squint until my eyes watered and solve a 550 piece virtual puzzle of classic artworks, such as Sanzio's The School Of Athens, and Rubens' The Tiger Hunt. Did I say therapeutic? I meant insane. Bit distressed because I completed all the free ones, and I refuse to pay money to get more. Addiction resolved.

7. Did a real jigsaw. When the iPad puzzles dried up I opened up my Christmas present and issued the annual warning to my family,
"Touch my jigsaw and I WILL hurt you."
I only had to threaten to snap my son in half once when he went near it, and he knew by the way my eye twitched and top lip curled, I meant it.
My daughter put one piece in when my back was turned. She is disinherited.

Portofino, Italy, in a thousand pieces

8. Shopped. Both online and in REAL shops. Remember real shops? Vaguely. I do a lot online these days (a LOT...sigh), but when I had one failure of a parcel being delivered two and a half weeks after it was "on board for delivery today" (and it looked like it had been trodden on, driven over, and hurled to hell and back), we decided to have a couple of stints at REAL shops, with goods we could touch, try on, and bring home straight away. Husband still managed to come home with a shirt too big for him which had to be exchanged, and I bought a top which I now think is a tad ugly.
I've decided I'm a better online shopper. I take my time and don't panic, I'm selective, confident and I shop around for bargains.....and I do it when Husband is asleep.

9. Became too familiar with my bathroom. And not even through cleaning it, but by being trapped in it, at one point being almost a prisoner in there for three and a half days, and doubting I would see the light of day ever again.
No, I wasn't locked in. I wish I was, that would be much funnier.
Let's just say "Women's Problems" and move on...

10. Attended sporting events. If it involved basketball or cricket, I was probably there. New Year's Eve was especially good at Adelaide Oval, watching the Adelaide Strikers win their Big Bash League game, followed by a music/dance/laser light show. And the summer ain't over yet, still more balls to be thrown, bowled, hit, shot, whatever. And my tweeting as a "Social Media Ambassador" for the Strikers continues.
I may have made up that title myself, I can't remember....

Anthem time at the Ashes Test
Adelaide Oval "Village Green"
Adelaide Strikers
New Year's Eve Light Show

Adelaide 36ers basketball
11. Raspberried a politician. Christopher Pyne sat not far behind us at the cricket and walked past me up the steps a few times. My tweet of,
"Christopher Pyne is sitting not far behind us. Never been so tempted to push someone down the stairs in my life. "
went a bit viral and got so many "DO IT" responses, I was in stitches.
I settled for showing him my tongue instead.

I should have videoed to include the noise I made...

12. Avoided blogging. Because I was too busy eating and jigsawing. Obviously.

Coming up? A couple of mini holidays, more sport, more eating out and hopefully still no cooking.

Happy New Year!


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