Monday, December 29, 2003

Well, back at work today after an exhausting Christmas. We spend most of Christmas day driving from one place to another, but did manage to enjoy ourselves anyway. The lovely Mr R got me a spunky little digital camera – and I am still learning how to use it. It takes 30 second videos as well, and my nearly 4 year old nephew on Christmas day was both desperate to be filmed, and desperate to see himself on the screen. He didn’t quite get that I had to record him doing something and then he could watch. So all the videos are of him going “Can I see? Give me a look!”. I did get him to sing jingle bells for a while, and as I am filming him wondering why he has a funny expression on his face, he pulls down his daks and relieves himself. Just as well we were outside. Certainly one for his 21st video.

We have plenty of other new toys at home after Christmas that are keeping us busy trying to work out how to use them. The DVD / surround sound system is sort of half installed, but the rear speakers aren’t working and we don’t know how to connect the VCR. I know that we are a little behind on the whole DVD revolution, but good things come to those who wait. Or save up their money. Or something. The player came with 5 bonus DVDs, also known as the DVDs so badly overstocked they are giving them away. ‘Gladiator’ looked and sounded pretty good with the sub woofer, and we watched ‘The Patriot’ for the first time, saved by Heath. ‘Spiderman’ is another, can take or leave that, and there is also ‘Men in Black II’. I haven’t seen ‘Men in Black I’, so if I watch the second one I’ll probably ruin the whole MIB highly developed story line (ha). I cant remember the name of the last DVD – another action type flick – and I am wishing that they had of chucked in a soppy chick flick just to balance out the selection. Do only violence loving men buy DVDs?

Mr R also has a brand spanking new 6 burner BBQ, which we need for the party planned at our place for New Year’s Eve. Our old barbie got ripped out in the renovation, so we have been without for some time and it has been sorely missed. Looking forward to the rest of the summer with Mr R cooking!

Don’t ask me why we decided to hold a party in a partly completed house, I think it was in some sort of misguided attempt to give us a goal to work towards. If we can get doors on bedrooms that would be nice, or else all the babies that my friends have been rapidly producing may have to stay up and join the party.

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, and best wishes for 2004. Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 23, 2003

The lawn bowling on Friday was lots of fun. Great for a work function, it means that everyone mixes well and gives people something to do.

Have now learnt about a number of things that I had no idea of, like that the little white ball is called the kitty. And lawn bowls* have either initials, or some sort of picture embossed on them for easy identification. I spent most of the day playing with the fire engine bowls, until a late afternoon switch to the puppy dog bowls, with a corresponding drop in form. Actually it was not that I was all that good anyway, but I wasn’t terribly bad. I did get confused once as to which side the ‘bias’ was, and my poor fire engine bowl meandered off to the other game playing next to us, rather than neatly curling around next to our kitty. Embarrassing, but thank goodness I wasn’t the only one.

So I am now deciding what symbol I am going to have on my bowls when I retire and take up the game in 30 years. It’s a big decision, and I imagine one that could gain a great psychological advantage over the opposition. Following that path, I should have something tough like a skull and crossbones. Or a hand grenade. Or maybe a dagger. Can you imagine an old lady with skull and crossbone bowls. Very cool – and very scary – I’d have the opposition shaking in their sensible flat-soled shoes with those bowls.

* I’m not sure if these should be correctly referred to as bowls or balls. To avoid sniggering connotations associated with the use of the word ‘balls’, I have opted for the former. Apologies to any lawn bowl aficionados who may know better!


Friday, December 19, 2003

Fully immersed in a flurry of yuletide activities. Had a family dinner on the weekend for my father in law’s birthday, where my mother in law cooks her “practice” turkey in the lead up to the big one on Christmas day. ‘Twas lovely, of course. My 4 year old nephew calls it ‘Christmas chicken’, and I guess that is not too far off the mark!

I have almost completed my Christmas shopping, but somehow was deluded into thinking it would be a good idea to pop into the city Myer yesterday at lunchtime. Actually it wasn’t so much the crowds, as the torrential rain. I got soaked to the skin on my way back to the office, and did a lovely impersonation of a drowned rat. It was like living in tropical Queensland, and can I just say that I don’t know how anyone in a humid climate can have good hair.

I am looking forward to my annual go-all-out-and-hang-the-expense Christmas dinner with friends, this year at Ondine. On the day before it is to close. And if you read the article from that link, even Stephanie Alexander can’t get a table. Not sure how we did then – a blip in the time-space continuum, or something.

And then today I have the work Christmas party, lawn bowls. Nothing like jumping on to a fad, just when it is all over. Thank god they revised the temperature from an initial 39 down to a lovely 24. I’m hoping that means I won’t be nearly as sunburnt and drunk as I could have been when today is over.


Friday, December 12, 2003

I think that I am generally a pretty happy person. I’d call myself easy going (but Mr R might disagree with that). But sometimes people do the most ANNOYING things, and my rage builds up, and I am n danger of going all incredible hulk, and this is where I whinge all about it.

First for today, people who get on the train/lift before I have gotten off the train/lift. There is only one door – it is just LOGICAL that the people disembarking go first. I barge into people that insist on running in before anyone has gotten out. This is a vain attempt to teach some manners (don’t point out that it is really not manners to barge into people either – I’m not interested anyone pointing out my double standards)

Secondly it is people who walk in the middle of the footpath. Actually, make that meander in the middle of the footpath. Walk to the left (or even the right, I understand that some people like to walk on the right, no problem) but don’t walk all over the place, or right in the middle so nobody can overtake you.

The third one in this little Friday-afternoon-vent is the one that gets to me the most. People over the age of 65 should not be allowed to shop in supermarkets on the weekends.

I understand that this may be a little controversial, but I don’t think that you can argue against the logic of this. These people have ALL WEEK to shop. Monday to Friday, ALL DAY LONG. Sure, they may need to fit the shopping in around Bingo, or Bowls, or Oprah, but this still leaves them plenty of hours to complete the task. Every bloody weekend I battle little old ladies with their shopping jeeps, taking forever at the checkouts, asking me reach items on high shelves, counting out twenty dollars in 10c pieces (I wish I made that last bit up, truly). I work full time, like 50 hours a week, so the only solution is bouncers on the doors, checking ID’s.

Ah. That’s better. Can go back to being my usual happy go luck self now. That is until I meet a senile old lady at the supermarket tomorrow….


Monday, December 08, 2003

Friday’s book wrapping generally went well – we were not all that busy, so it gave me time to write my Christmas cards. Now I just have to remember to send them, a problem I may have encountered in the past. Ahem.

No prizes for guessing what percentage of gift wrapping requests were male – I’d put it at around 90%. Although it is impressive that they were Christmas shopping on a day that was not Christmas Eve in the first place!

The best bit of the day was that they were showing the DVD of Kath & Kim (Series 2) in the store. We couldn’t see the screen from where we were set up, but we could hear it, and we could see the people watching the screen. It was hilarious to watch people cracking up in public, they’d occasionally glance around, looking embarrassed, wondering if anyone was watching them, and some tried to laugh whilst hiding behind a book. Some people stood there and watched an entire episode – or even two – such is the drawcard of the show. Noice, different, un-ewes-u-al.


Friday, December 05, 2003

We have Mr R’s work Christmas party on Saturday night. A lavish affair with a sit down meal and funky band. The dress code is “semi-formal” which always makes me laugh as I imagine people wandering in with suit jacket on the top, and pyjama pants on the bottom. Continuing on this vein however is the outfit that my beloved husband is wearing – its um, well, it’s a kilt. This may be perfectly acceptable if he were Scottish, but he doesn’t have that excuse. We now have the dilemma of what shoes and socks to wear with a kilt, and finding a tie that doesn’t clash. I love the way that Men think it is funny to make a fool of themselves with outrageous outfits, I don’t think I’ll ever have the confidence (or is it stupidity?) to do that!

So stay tuned for a report on how many times people try to see what is under the kilt – any guesses? He has however assured me that he will be wearing underwear, but he can be untrustworthy in such situations so we will have to wait and see.

In other news, I am volunteering today for Berry St Victoria. I’ll be wrapping books and CDs etc at Borders in Lygon St from 10.30 – 5pm.

I had my first shift at this book wrapping one night earlier this week, and it is a lot of pressure, as you madly try to wrap a present whilst the owner of said present looks on impatiently hopping from one foot to the other. So this holiday season, if you decide to take advantage of a wrapping service wherever you may be, give the poor gift wrapper a break and go and get a coffee whilst they wrap for you. And if you are really nice – bring them back a coffee too – cause they probably need it.


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