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Thursday, July 31, 2003

Do you believe in jinxes? I don’t think I do, but sometimes you can never be too careful.

I’m wondering if I should not talk about the possibility of me winning this comp, lest I jinx myself and some ho from Boronia wins. (Not that I have anything against people from Boronia, but anyone who wins that is not me I do have a problem with. And Boronia just sounded right in that little sentence – but I digress.) I have about a one in twenty chance of winning, so that is the best odds I’m ever going to get for anything really.

I have found out that when I win, I have a choice of going to San Francisco to see someone called Sean Paul – whom I have never heard of, or to Boston to see Jewel. The concert is secondary really to the experience of a new city, and reading the terms and conditions of the contest, it is for three nights only and you can’t extend your stay. So it will be a whirlwind tour. One that I can tell my grand kiddies about.

I am faced with the dilemma of which city to choose. One part of me doesn’t want to think about it (what if I jinx myself) but the other more prepared and cautious self thinks I should have decided the destination and planned the itinerary cause there is not long from whoa to go (like about 8 days from the day the winner is announced until the SF trip). Oh the dilemmas.

It is drawn on Monday, so I will keep you (that is nobody, as nobody knows about this blog) posted……

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Tuesday, July 29, 2003

I have decided that it is time for me to win a major competition. Tattslotto would be nice, but I will settle for anything more than a free CD. I’m not entirely sure why I have decided this, but I have a friend who has won a trip to Berlin, and $3000 and a $50,000 ute, so if he can do it, anyone can.

This resolution of mine led me to a competition on the radio last night – “Name that intersection!” Yes that’s right – you are given the landmarks on the four corners of the intersection, and then you have to phone in the location.

So here were the clues
1. A Fast food restaurant
2. A Private School
3. A Telstra exchange building
4. A Park / Reserve

The spooky thing about this story is that from the very first clue – the fast food restaurant – I was THINKING OF THE CORRECT INTERSECTION. All the other clues just confirmed it.

Well if this wasn’t meant to be!! Of the 3.5 million intersections in Melbourne with a fast food restaurant on a corner, there I was with the correct answer! So I got to a dialing (on mobile phone, in manual car, also trying to drive without being seen by the police and fined for driving and phoning simultaneously). And then – I got through! I got it right! I’m in the draw!!

And that’s when I realised that I’m not all that sure what the competition is for. I think it might have something to do with flying somewhere; cause the link to the competition was something about traveling miles around Melbourne will take you miles. So when they have the big draw on Friday and I win, I will be genuinely surprised at what I win and not have to make up my excitement for the sake of the radio. So I will soon be leaving on a jet plane, don’t know where I’ll be go-ing (bad rhyme and John Denver reference, I apologise….)

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Monday, July 28, 2003

My Grandmother died last week. She was 96 years old. I guess that is not a bad innings, just those few years short of the hundred.

I’d love to say that she was the best grandmother anyone ever had, but the truth is that she wasn’t really. She had a tough life. She married my Grandfather just after WW2 and came from England to Australia, by herself on the month long boat ride. Away from her family and friends, to a strange new country. She was 38 when they married – considered a bit of an old maid.

They settled down, in a working class neighborhood, and had three kids in as many years. Then, when the youngest was three, my grandfather died, from injuries sustained during the war. So there she was, a stranger in a foreign land, with three little boys, and little money. Then she did what she had to do, and went to work. My Dad started school when he was three (there was no childcare in those days!), he used to have a nap in the corner of the classroom.

She worked hard, and raised three boys. I suppose it was the constant strain of day to day life that made her hard. She wasn’t uncaring, but she was blunt. She wasn’t mean, but she was very, well, sensible, and difficult to relate to. I always remember her as being old, , and I guess she was, she would have been in her seventies by the time I can first remember her.

So I feel sad that she has gone, and for what might have been had her life worked out a little differently. But the one thing she taught me was to try and enjoy life, no matter what it throws at you, because I’m not so sure that she did.

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Thursday, July 17, 2003

I have come to the conclusion that I am not very good at the whole blog thing. This is probably reflective of what I am like with most things in my life – all excited at the start, but then my enthusiasm wanes. (Except my marriage! In case he reads this!)

When I first bought my own house I went on a quest for furntiture. But I wanted one of those pieces that people have at their house where people who visit say

“Wow – love the hall stand / funky lamp / kooky chair / (insert suitable item here)”,

and then the owner of said item says

“Oh that? Picked that up for $10 at an auction / my great aunt was going to throw it away / I found it at a rubbish dump / (insert suitably implausible explanation that makes the person enquiring about the item impressed at the good taste and ingenuity of the owner)”

So – off I went foraging in suitably unusual places hoping to turn up a hidden gem to demonstrate my superior decorating skills. This found me, one foggy Sunday morning, at Camberwell Market – where you never quite know what you may find. It’s kind of like a gigantic garage sale. And there it was, a bit hazy through the fog, an old dresser, caked with layers of ancient paint. After a bit of haggling, I felt that the $40 charged was still a bargain – here comes Sam the decorating genius.

And then off I went to the great suburban oasis that is Bunnings, and stocked up on paint remover and turps and steel wool and paint scrapers – ready to restore my gem to its inner beauty. This of course cost more than the dresser itself, but hey, it was an investment, I will be able to use this stuff on all of those great furniture finds out there.

(This is turning into a long story) That afternoon I started my paint stripping, but in my enthusiasm perhaps didn’t quite read all of the instructions about how toxic paint stripper is. And after a while I felt a little light headed – but the dresser was starting to look great – the paint was coming off, the lovely cedar was shining through. And then I started to feel nauseous, but in my excitement I had forgotten to eat lunch, I’ll just apply another layer and then eat something, she’ll be right….

And then I threw up for an hour or so, and had to lie on the couch for the rest of the day – thus ending my forage into a possible career as budget-yet-super-cool decorator to the stars. The dresser still sits – 3 years later - half stripped in the garden shed, whilst I promise Mr R that I will finish it one day.

And I’m trying to make sure this blog doesn’t end up the same way!


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