Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's a crust.

I don't like bland food.
And I'm not fussy, I'm particular.
It's different.

Did you buy that?
No, I'm quite serious, I even willingly eat turnips. Raw turnips. Raw ginger too, but I don't want this to become about me bragging.

It's just that dodging corn (and it's 500 evil, invisible fractions), MSG, egg white, sugar and sometimes yeast is hard work.
It makes me appear very fussy indeed. Ironically, due to these allergies, I must often choose to eat things that don't especially appeal to me.
Such is life.

I always find it interesting to see what kind of foods people like to eat.
To see if they're adventurous or closed minded. Seduced by repetition or variety? Basic understanding of nutrition? Recipe follower? Free baller? Ritualistic? Emotional eater? Self control? Over indulger? Misinformed?

With the kind of work I do, it's rare that I don't encounter someone each day who intrigues me for one of the above reasons. Or worse. Far, far worse.

Sometimes I'm so shocked that I simply have to repeat the information offered in the hope of giving it time to sink in. Later, I need to mentally floss.

  • You don't eat anything that's green? (How old are you?)
  • White bread? (Hello?)
  • You can't swallow tablets? (But huge lumps of bloody steak is OK? Phew! Had me worried.)
  • You don't like food you have to chew? (FFS.)
  • You've only eaten cabbage soup for a week now? (Are you possessed, insane, or just Serbian?)
  • Steak every single night for the last ten years? (Enjoy having colonoscopies? Pervert.)
  • Six sugars in your tea? (That'd have to taste much better than only five, hey?)
  • Twenty four mugs of coffee a day? (I promise you I met this person. He didn't seem to be able to sleep...yep, I'm stumped too.)
  • You're lactose intelligence? (I don't doubt it at all.)
  • You think eggs are a dairy product? (What sort of cow is that?)
  • You often eat a whole tin of condensed milk with a teaspoon? (Yep.)
  • That's Coca Cola in your child's bottle? (Thank God! For a moment there I thought it was Pepsi!)
  • No, rice is not made out of wheat. (In much the same way that cows are not made out of sheep.)
  • Yes, fruit is a better choice for your child than donuts. (The child shot me such a look.)
  • Your child will only eat chicken nuggets and drink chocolate milkshakes? (Who offered him those in the first place? Satan?)
  • You don't eat breakfast, morning tea, lunch or afternoon tea, and you've never considered that your persistent abdominal pain may be hunger pains? (I want to hit you, you moron.)
And then there's my personal fave, the salad sandwich.
If I ever suspect that the person I'm interrogating is telling pork pies as well as eating them, I always make a point of asking about their standard lunch.

Salad sandwich = bullshit.

Look, I've been to sandwich bars. I have never heard one of those being ordered. And I've loitered with intent, trying to see if I could match the person with the sandwich. I'm really very good at that.
Hey, maybe I should turn professional!

I'll tell you what's even more fun than playing Match the Sandwich.
I like to stand in line at Coles, examine the contents of people's trolleys and then play Guess the Allergy.

Wheat, wheat, dairy, sugar, yeast, wheat, sugar, sugar, dairy, dairy, wheat , wheat, cat food.
Oh wait, no, that last one's ours.

So, really what I do for a living may be classified as nutritional rubber necking.
Or anecdote collecting.
Meh, it's a crust.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The None's Story.

As a child, there were a few things that could frighten the pants off me.

Moths, crickets, the sight of my brother with a lizard or a bug in his hands...
Not much has changed.

Except for one fear.
I look back at this one and hope against hope that it will come to pass so that I will have an opportunity to speak my truth.
And perhaps some obscenities also.

Now, I've only ever divulged this carefully guarded information to one person before today.
And how he has managed to listen to almost every scrap of my nonsense all these years without flinching is beyond me. But he has, Jeebus love him. He's a brave soul.

I'm not too sure how this started, but I suspect that watching The Sound of Music, The Flying Nun, The Trouble with Angels and/or The Nun's story with Audrey Hepburn may have all contributed to the problem.
Call it a hunch.
Where were the censors on all on that?

By the time I was 8 years old, I lived with the constant apprehension that despite my early inclination towards atheism, or maybe due to it, that I would be caught alone and off guard, hear the voice of God calling me and then have to become a nun.

Noooo! No no no no no no no. NO!

I cannot tell you what misery and terror this fear caused me.
And rightly so.
I would have made a far better moth and lizard catcher than a nun. *shudder*

Nevertheless, I waited for God himself to give me the worst possible vocational guidance in living history.

Anyway, should this God person still wish to communicate with me, I would now be very glad to organise a sit down.
Indeed, I have several bones to pick with him. He'll need to clear his schedule through October at least.
And I don't mean 2008 either.
He's so going to get it.
Reality television? Rupert Murdoch?
Seriously.

But what am I saying?
He knows better than to turn up to something like that.
He's the world's worst no-show.

Besides, the sort of person who thought it was OK to create moths, crickets and Brendan Nelson, plus allowing clubs like the Roosters to exist and prosper, would probably not be interested in asking someone like me to join him anymore.

If he had anything to say to me at all, I now suspect it would be closer to this, "Siiiim! Look what I've done to South Sydney.... hahahaha, sucko and get that up ya!"

And so now you see why, all those years ago, an 8 year old girl took such pains to dodge that bullet.
Smart.

Still, should you not wish to stand near me during an electrical storm I'll understand. ;O)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kiss off.

I have so many issues around social kissing that I really don't know where to begin.

Obviously there are rules and stringent social expectations that I'm simply not privy to.
Seriously, I just don't have a clue what's going on when it starts up.
How does that happen to a child born of two European parents?
Never mind that, how is it still happening to a woman partnered into a decent sized Lebanese family these last nineteen years?
The mind boggles.

With this in mind, I'm sure that if you're able, you'll help me by setting me straight on a few basic points.
And please, speak slowly. I'm not only blonde on this subject, but truth be told, I have no real will to reform at all.
I just have to know, that's all.
I'm not planning on changing. Don't get excited. I would just like to be able to gauge exactly how much offense I'm causing so that I may enjoy it more completely. ;O)

So, here are some of the concerns I have in regards to this most unhygienic practice.

  • How many kisses do you actually need? Seriously, just from the perspective of efficiency alone, coming back for the second or third kiss is just wasteful. And awkward. I can't do it. I all but end up head butting people in my efforts to abort. Honestly, would you shake someone's hand three times?
  • Is there a kissing hierarchy? What is it? For God's sake, someone, tell me what it is! Must I start with the eldest person? What if I get that wrong? How rude. Isn't that worse than not kissing them at all? Too much pressure.
  • Do I start with the person I've known the longest?
  • Hello and goodbye?
  • Why can't I just kiss the people I like, when I like?
  • What happens if you kiss one person once, but the others twice, or even thrice? Is it competitive?
  • Can you kiss a whole room full of people, yet skip just that one person you've never seen before in your life?
  • How long after meeting someone do you need to start kissing them?
  • Why can't I just smile and wave?
  • Anyone except me remember stranger danger?
  • Is it really such a big deal if sometimes I kiss you and sometimes I don't?
Look, there's plenty more, but as usual, it's getting me all worked up and confused.
Rabid blonde deer in the headlights.

Anyway, don't tell me there aren't rules. There bloody well are so.
You all know them and I don't.

But I'll tell you this, I'm adding one of my own.
But I'm going to be decent enough to tell you what it is.

ONE!
YOU GET ONE!


Use it wisely and if you have a problem with it, kiss off.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A truth universally acknowledged.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Charles Dickens was a somewhat boring old twat.

A fact clearly reflected by his work.

His ability to draw attention to social injustice was and still is, remarkable. However, having read many of his books, I can honestly tell you that reading his work always made me feel as though I was suffering a great social injustice myself.
Ghastly stuff.

No way was the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities the best opening sentence ever written.
No way.
Perhaps the people who judged it to be so, realised at a glance that it was going to be an appallingly dreary and harrowing read and only got one sentence into it before craftily pulling up stumps and reviewing it.
Fair enough too.
But they don't fool me.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
Fuck off.

No.

To Jane and Jane alone must go the glory.

Start as you mean to continue. I’ve always liked that idea.

Immediately declare to your reader what you're thinking. Thus giving them an opportunity to read on or close to book without wasting their time.
I hereby thank each and every author who has had enough respect for me to do this.

So many notable exceptions, aren't there?

For me to pick up a book and discover the author seemingly in mid-thought, I feel as though they're sharing their story with me rather than selling it to me.

So, here is my very favourite first sentence, courtesy of Jane Austen, taken from Pride and Prejudice.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a young man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

There. That's how you do it.
Just fucking say something. Don't just dribble on and torture people.

After something as good as that of course, the risk of coughing up a second sentence that leaves the first swinging in the breeze is very real.

But no. Not Jane. She had the balls to back it up to the hilt.

"However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters."

Damn her. Now I have to read the book again.
Oh well, I'm a quarter of the way through the first page now anyway.

But then, my second favourite first sentence comes from something and someone completely different.

It comes from an "unauthorised autobiography" by Chuck Barris, called "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind", written the best part of 200 years later.

Chuck Barris of course, being best known for creating and producing some really awful television in the 50's and 60's like The Dating Game, The Newlyweds Game and even The Gong Show in the 70's.
Yikes.
I found him interesting because in addition to all this, he claims to have worked undercover as a CIA assassin during all these years. :O)
I don't even care if that's true. I just think it's a cool thing to say.

And if you've seen the movie, please don't assume that the book was anything like it. The movie was dreadful in the extreme.
Pretty much like Chuck's TV shows, so I guess that's somehow right and fitting.

But, it's not even the first sentence of this book I found so enchanting. It's the entire first page. Maybe even a couple of lines of the second page too.

He opens on his 50th birthday as he stands in front of the mirror and describes the appearance of his naked body to the reader.

I cannot actually locate my copy of the book, so I’ll just let you know that he doesn’t miss an inch, but that he probably should have.
And that at some point he compares his penis to a rasher of bacon and mentions that despite his best efforts, “the fucker is still dripping piss on the rug.”

I read that maybe 3 or 4 times before I could move on to the rest of the book.
I also went back and read it many more times before I made it anywhere near the end.

A rasher of bacon. Isn’t that terrific?
It's certainly better than not enough porridge, anyway.






Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fifteen.

Fifteen.

That's how many times I imagined myself sticking a fork into a customer's eyes today.

And I think that's only because I know exactly what a fork looks and feels like.
If I had a nice, clear mental image of a chainsaw or worse, I probably would have been so overcome with my fantasy that I would have started making appropriate noises.

Forks don't makes noises, so I got away with it.

Ordinarily I can detach from people, but this one demanded my absolute attention for all the wrong reasons.

You all know me quite well, so why don't you try and see if you can guess what they were.

Really, there aren't too many things that get my back up.
Hint.... the exchange did not involve fabric.
Or cats.

So, that only leaves injustice, stupidity and South Sydney, doesn't it?
This guy managed to touch on all three.
Hence the forks.

Now, at this time in history, I'm really do feel completely OK with whatever comments I have to endure about my beloved club, because it's fair.
We are no longer at such a severe disadvantage as we once were.

Now it's our fault.
We just suck and we have no heart.

Not the fans, of course.
Souths fans are some of the best people in the world.
Honourable mention to Cleveland Browns fans though, innit.

But, when I'm in a work environment, ultimately I'm being paid to be polite.
Nevertheless, I do think it's unfair for me to be expected to tolerate someone who is, all at once, stupid, witless, rude, impertinent and bullishly egotistical.

My God, if you're not too quick, why would you attempt vitriolic witticisms at all?
Can it be that the forced laughter these people hear from the polite is taken as genuine hilarity, or worse still, encouragement?
Well, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that this is the case.
And that it must stop.

And my suggestion to combat this problem is to organise some sort of social strike.
We need to determine an appropriate date and just stop encouraging bad humour and moronic exchanges.
Let the bastards go cold turkey.
They've had it too good for too long.

As we have long been part of the problem, surely we must now take responsibility for correcting this terrible social predicament.
Never again should we chortle at lame jokes or feign interest in observations so dopey that they make our eyes water and our brains dissolve.
Indeed, we must not continue to do so. It simply digs the grave deeper for subsequent generations.

Can you imagine the blissful social turmoil that would be created if we all just stopped laughing at things we didn't find funny?
Could you imagine to difference it would make to breakfast radio? Daytime television? Dinner parties?
The knock on effects are endless. And wonderful.

So, my final words on the subject are these...mate, I don't care how old or stupid you are, you're not fucken funny.




Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lunch mit Bonnie.

I had the best mid-week lunch I've had in years on Tuesday.
And it wasn't because of the cabbage, brown rice or that "naturopathically measured" splash of flaxseed oil either.
Probably it was despite all that, if I'm truthful.

Also it was despite that table of swearing old bigots sitting not quite far enough away.

Isn't it incredible how much shorter than usual half an hour is when you're in good company?
I know I've endured bad company before and I've honestly considered which limb I would sacrifice as a trade if it would speed up the passage of time.

Theirs.

No brainer.
And don't judge that comment too harshly... it would give them something semi-interesting to discuss for a while.
Win win.

So, lunch with Bonnie was a delightful break from the norm.
Not that Merrylands has a norm as such.

Incidentally, I've never met anyone as naturally talented as Bonnie at matching a book to a person. Or is it the other way around?
I'll have to remember to ask her that.
Perhaps she's unaware of her talent in this area, thus making it all the more zen.

When I think back, I believe her first words to me may have been something like, "You would like this..." as she handed me a book I'd just completed a day earlier.
I'd loved it. Geraldine Brooks, I think. Something about the plague.
I like the plague.

So, as we headed out into the sunshine, she told me about a book she'd just started called Still Waters, and that she wasn't particularly enjoying it. It's about a woman who dislikes the experience of motherhood and her loss of identity so much that she kills her children.
Sounds out of bounds.
Why not? She's always been right before.
Yes, I'll put it on my pile.
Right under Reading Lolita in Tehran and Factotum.

Well, I opened it on Tuesday night, planning to judge the entire contents not by the cover, but by the first sentence. I'll even give some books until the end of the first paragraph if I'm feeling reasonable.
Well, I finished it instead of watching State of Origin football tonight. Which is pretty good considering that today is only Wednesday.
So, it's not under the Lolita or Bukowski pile at all. It's back in my handbag so that I can return it tomorrow.

I don't know what I liked about it so much.
Just that the concept of honesty fascinates me, especially the idea of a person being honest with themselves. To be able to identify with someone in such a warped state of mind is an unpleasantly strange feeling.
It wasn't a nice book. It wasn't even a great book. But it was certainly compelling.

Nice one Bon. Hope you like Evelina. ;O)

BTW, my two favourite first sentences are from:-

1) Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2) Confessions of a Dangerous Mind - Chuck Barris

But I'll blog about them later.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

IDIOT


I don't know about you, but I would go to the zoo to see something like this. ---------------->

Most days I wake up with it parked on my chest staring into my eyes even before they are open.

She smells like kisses and perhaps just faintly like cat biscuits too.

During the last 4 years, I've learnt to sleep flat on my back in order to accommodate Poppy's love affair with my neck, despite the discomfort it causes me. Sometimes I hear her arriving on the bed and think,

"Oh noooo...I'm so comfortable on my side...", yet the instant that first white pompom touches me, I rearrange myself happily.

I wonder if that counts towards my karma somewhere?

She's currently sitting on me as I type this, with her face tucked under my chin, my left arm encircling and supporting her, thereby disallowing any use of capital letters and my comfort in general.

Not a bad turn around for a flea ridden gutter waif.

Hooray for Pompoms.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Start the car!

Start the car, I have our next two weekends planned.

I'm sorry I had to do this to you twice in one day, but my copy of NOVA wouldn't fit in the bin properly and was loitering with intent next to me here, tempting me to see if I could do better than the cow pooh lady.

And I certainly can.

Unfortunately, we have all missed out on the SACRED PROSTITUTE FILM SCREENING, which was last Friday at 7:30 in Bronte.
Hands up who thinks that they meant the suburb of Bronte by the way?
Mine are in the down position.

Damn! We could have all had a great night out together.

Actually, to be fair, it sounded quite interesting. But then doesn't it always?
A doco about the link between exploitative sexuality and spirituality involving interviews with a rabbi, sex teachers, a Tibetan Buddhist lama, porn stars and a shaman.
Natural enemies in the wild, you would think.

But anyway, at least we can still make it to the SACRED SEXUALITY INTERACTIONS workshop next Saturday. I'll bet that's in Bronte too, 'eh.
Apparently, we can learn to feel more receptive sexually by ignoring our genitals in a large group.
Uh huh.

Good, so I'll pick you up at 1pm, it starts at 2pm and we'll all just ignore our genitals until around 5:30pm and then I'm thinking maybe Leb for dinner on Cleveland Street. Nada's is the best.

Then the following Saturday and Sunday, I'm not too sure where we need to go exactly, but once we get there we will be able to discover more about our galactic neighbours and friends.
Is that anything like when you go to your neighbours open house when they have it on the market?
I wasn't aware that I had any galactic friends.
Why don't they just get on Facebook?
What network would that be?

Anyway, these are my plans for the next couple of weekends, but I'll have to check when Souths are playing, coz that's just not on. Oh, and I do need to go to the fabric shop.

Now that my copy of NOVA has been relieved of the worst of it's burden, it fits into my bin just nicely.
It won't be bothering us again until next month. That's a relaxing thought, isn't it?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

NOVA again.

Once again it arrived.
Once again I scoffed.
Once again it delivered.

I flicked it open from the back as I always do, a habit from reading the sports pages first.
No sport n NOVA.

But the first words that I read were these,

' As the old Indian saying goes, "The Goddess of prosperity lies in cow dung." '

I honestly don't know where to start with that.

Amen, I guess.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lots of love, you dog, Clair.

If you arrived home to discover not one, but two hand written letters from the same person waiting for you in the kitchen, you would most likely be surprised.

And rightly too.

For one thing, who posts two letters to the same person at once?
No, the government doesn't count. Anyway, I think they use machines, don't they?

Apart from that, who actually takes the time to write letters these days?

Well, there's always one, isn't there?

And I always seen to have befriended them. Or to have been befriended by them.
Not exactly sure about that dynamic. I'm still too busy enjoying it.

And even if you accept that quirky people are an important and cherished part of my life, who starts a letter with, "Hi Trollop!", anyway ?

And why aren't there more people like that?
I'm not going to get my crackers in a twist about it though, because I happen to know that there's at least one more on the way.

Trollop?

Bloody hell! I'd forgotten all about that word.
But I like it. I really, really like it.
It's no twat of course, but I'm bringing it back nevertheless.

Lurking beyond the glamorous salutation, the contents were informative, accusative and then insulting - if you think that being referred to as "FUCKING SIMONE!" is insulting.
I don't.
I'd never have survived.

Finally, this marvel of modern science was signed off with,

"Lots of love,
you dog,
Clair
xoxo"

Now, call me sentimental, but at this point I teared up and sheepishly snuffled my way to the tissues. I then thanked my lucky stars that I have friends who can say I love you in so many ways.
And that I have friends who choose to do so.

Most of you know that all those God-awful, phoney, mainstream Hallmark friendship blurbs in cards nauseate me.
And they make me cranky because I feel as though they say what they should and what's expected, rather than having any real respect for the concept of friendship itself.

To hit the nail on the head, all you need ever do is simply acknowledge what's shared and remarkable between two people. To let your thoughts and feelings for someone become generic is such a terrible waste.

So, to be approached by an adored friend with such absolute confidence and freedom of expression is truly remarkable.
It shows me that the friendship is very real. And that it's ours to keep.

Hallmark be damned.


BTW Clair, you're really something, but get a dog up ya, ya dirty twatted mole.
xoxoxo

Sunday, May 11, 2008

She who dies with the most fabric... wins!

Looks pretty innocent, doesn't it?


And this was well over half way through.


Tidy cupboard, tidy mind. It's two bundles deep and I have all the novelty and themed fabric in a separate storage facility.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bugger!

I was sewing this morning, making a bag for my aunt's birthday.
Our tastes and fabric choices could not be any further apart if we sat down and drew up an agreement using a solicitor.

Consequently, selecting the right two pieces for her bag was driving me nuts.
I just don't know what goes with plaid.
Shit, shit, shit.
So, I confronted my fears and set about the grievous task of fossicking around in my much neglected fabric cupboard.
I am hereby proud to announce, that I only have two pieces of plaid fabric anyway.
Did I buy those?
No. Yes. No. Yes. Shit.
Must have been on a sensible day.Thank God I don't have too many of those.

Well, as a result of having scrunched, stuffed and mashed things in there over the course of the last couple of months, finding something appropriate was none too easy.

*sigh*

So, nett result, Simone ended up spending a good chunk of the day reorganising fabric.
I know that doesn't sound too hard at all, but it really is.
Particularly if your naturally left brained disposition places you in the highest percentile of the OCD fabric sorting population on the globe. Perhaps the universe.

But really, does the pink and green floral go in the pink pile or the green? Do you sort by background or colour dominance? Or by range? Type? errrrrrgghh.
And let's not discount sorting things out according to my mood.
No. That's how I got into this mess in the first place.
Shit.

Anyway, I decided to try something different and sort simply by colour, but this time I didn't separate spots, stripes or florals as I had before. Even if they were multi-coloured.

And what I learnt from this is that I possess a lone piece of white fabric and that I don't much care for it.
I have enough green, blue and pink to warrant therapy and that I much prefer spots to stripes, in the same way that I seem to prefer lobsters to dogs.

The bad news is that Jeff came downstairs into the yoga room mid-sort, having kindly decided to take me fabric shopping on behalf of the cats for Mother's Day. Upon seeing the majesty that is my stash, he declared that in truth, I didn't seem to need anymore fabric.

The good news is that Jeff has a competitive, expansive spirit. He has certainly heard me say that she (she = the cat's mother = me) who dies with the most fabric wins.
And he wants me to win.
Plus, as a fellow collector, he understands that need has very little to do with the matter.

Sometimes things just belong together and the world is a better place when this is allowed to happen.
And who am I to stand in the way?

So, as I mentioned, the first rule of quilting is, she who dies with the most fabric... wins.
I fancy myself in with a chance on this one. ;o)



Saturday, May 10, 2008

Did it. Dig it.

So, this is that cup of tea I was telling you about.

It was only 4:30pm, bitch arse cold, pitch black and a week before Christmas when we emerged from St. John's Wood station in London to cross Abbey Road in tragic tourist fashion.

Although this excursion was my idea, I admit that I still felt kinda awkward heading for our cultural mecca.
Most likely because I'm largely unfamiliar with the sensations and basic procedures associated with reverence.

We stopped in the Beatles cafe/gift shop at the station, to ask final directions and to pay ridiculous prices for Beatles merchandise as only the devout know how.

  • $18 for pink Beatles shoelaces for my niece's Converse All-Stars? No worries at all.
  • $15 for Yellow Submarine playing cards? Yes Sir!
  • $25 for a black Abbey Road beanie? Two. Naturally.
  • $7 for pens which either have The Beatles themselves, sliding around the crossing or a yellow submarine going by? Yup. I think I bought 3 of each. But only because I was exercising terrific self control and felt pressed for time.
  • $7 for what looked pretty much exactly like a bucket of take away black tea, so hot and so strong that it made my heart leap for joy and would prompt this blog all these months later? Of course.

So, being only two blocks away, my tea was still almost full and piping hot when we arrived at the crossing.
And that's important.
It added to my over all enjoyment of this quasi religious experience, as a good drink always will.

I'm still shocked at how excited I was when we first spotted it.

I crossed, marched straight up to the 24 hour web cam and waved furiously at anyone who happened to be watching. Let's hope there weren't too many. I hope they're OK.

Walking across, perhaps it was my excellent cup of tea, perhaps it was purposefully achieving a nonsensical goal, maybe it was that little bit of creative magic that hangs in the air there, but I simply could not wipe the grin off my own face.
I don't know why I tried, but I did.
I'm like that.

Did it. Dig it.

The screen is black, but the clip is ready to go.







video

Oh, and in case you'd like to sing along...

DIG A PONY (THE BEATLES- LET IT BE)



I hi hi hi hi hi hi, dig a pony
Well you can celebrate anything you want
Yes, you can celebrate anything you want
Ooh

I hi hi hi hi hi hi, do a roadhog
Well you can penetrate any place you go
Yes, you can penetrate any place you go

I told you so
All I want is you
Everything has got to be
just like you want it to
Because

I hi hi hi hi hi hi, pick a moondog
Well you can radiate everything you are
Yes, you can radiate everything you are
Ooh

I hi hi hi hi hi hi, roll a stoney
Well you can imitate everyone you know
Yes, you can imitate everyone you know

I told you so
All I want is you
Everything has got to be
just like you want it to
Because

I hi hi hi hi hi hi, feel the wind blow
Well you can indicate everything you see
Yes, you can indicate everything you see
Ooh

I hi hi hi hi hi hi, cold and lonely
Well you can syndicate any boat you row
Yes, you can syndicate any boat you row

I told you so
All I want is you
Everything has got to be
just like you want it to
Because

Thursday, May 8, 2008

School of Life.

I both teach and am taught at The School of Life.

That's the way it works.
Only I don't get to choose which day I'm teacher or student.

Like anyone else, I just go about my daily business and sometimes I return home having taught or been taught a life lesson.
I find that exciting.

The best example I can give, casually happened a few years ago at my Uncle Ernst's 80th birthday party.
All right when I was giving almost all of my attention to Viv's baked ricotta.
No warning.
No fanfare.
No fade to black or imperial gongs sounding at the end.

Just me, left sitting, annihilated, with a kinda joyous yet embarrassed smirk, after having been utterly humbled by the realisation of something I already knew to be true.

That no matter what, there's always someone better off and someone worse off than you.
And sometimes the universe is so kind as to sit them to either side of you in order to better demonstrate it's point.

At Ernie's party, I sat with my Aunty Kit to my left, while to my right I had tuned into a conversation between another guest and Viv, both aged around 60 something.

They were both teary eyed and consoling each other that they had lost their mother's at too young an age. They had both been around 40-45 when they had experienced this loss.

Now, of course, having been in my teens when my own mother was diagnosed and died from breast cancer, I confess I found their complaints a little steep.
So, I indulged in a little inward eye rolling, thinking of course that I was so much more to be pitied than them.
They'd both had the opportunity to know their mother's for 40 years!

Who the hell were they to be complaining?

You get the picture.

So, perhaps in an effort to disguise the self righteous look an my face, I turned to start a conversation with my aunt.

And that's when I noticed the look on her face.

The next split second saw my self respect reeling as I remembered that Aunty Kit's mother had died in childbirth.

Who the hell was I to be complaining?

It was a queer feeling.
A little like breathing in and out at the same time. Like a vacuum. Or like when you're standing in the surf and you feel like you're moving when you're not. Retro grade, I think they call it.

Anyway, here's my recipe for BAKED RICOTTA, just in case you'd like to chance your arm.
I can never make or eat it now without thinking back to this experience and being grateful for the lesson.


  • 750gm fresh ricotta (from the deli not from the tub, not fat free either, it's pooh)
  • salt, pepper, chilli flakes, sprigs of fresh thyme because it looks nice
  • olive oil
  • mix ricotta in a bowl with seasoning
  • prepare pans by brushing with loads of olive oil, if I'm feeling paranoid, I used Glad Bake as well (that's most of the time, let's face it)
  • I sprinkle cracked pepper and chilli flakes on the base, that's up to you
  • I also place a few sprigs of fresh thyme on the base, that's up to you
  • press into non stick loaf pan or into a few smaller mini loaf pans - it's no big deal, it doesn't rise, you could even use muffin tins or friand tins
  • drizzle with a little extra olive oil
  • bake in moderate oven until it looks nice and golden brown around the edges - usually 20 -30 mins depending on your pan choice
  • cool in pan as it will be all wobbly
  • up end onto serving plate
  • surround with semi dried tomatoes (if you want to) & serve with crackers

Fade to black.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Parisian moment.

Righteo, I'm going to do it.
I've been putting it off, hoping that maybe, just maybe, my poor opinion of Paris would dwindle with time.
I thought I'd give it a few months and then look back at our pics and footage and that I'd see what it is that rest of the world seems to find charming about this place.
For certainly, I appreciated none of it while we were there.

And I don't think that I can write it off as having been tired, sick or just over travelling, because I all but wanted to roll around naked for joy on the pavement once I got to Hong Kong.

Watching bits and pieces of our footage, I immediately react the same way I did in January.

Irritation.

A monumental urge to snap everyone else out of their delusion. Why can't people see what a nasty little pretentious hovel this place really is?

Anyway, no point me describing to you how much I hated this dog of a joint and how disappointed I felt wasting my time there when I could have been somewhere good.

This clip says it all. And believe me, with my natural horror of being photographed etc, you may imagine just how much more I may have expressed, had Jeff not chosen to film "in the moment".

Paris. What a scam.
video

Monday, May 5, 2008

My cup of tea.

video

Well, bloody death sticks and pointy chains may not be my cup of tea, but this surely was.

Damn if the Brits don't do a good job when they make you a cup of tea.

And they don't just give you half a cup either. God, that drives me crazy. I'd rather discover half the expected amount of cash in my purse than half a cup of tea in my mug.

And their cups are big. Really big!
And hot.
And they always have lemon nearby.
And when you order a black tea with your Double Bacon Deluxe meal deal instead of a coke, they think that is perfectly acceptable, if not sensible.

So, what was my favourite hot beverage?
It'd have to come down to a very close finish between Burger King, and this very cup of tea, purchased at the ornate Victoria and Albert Museum eatery, as to which impressed me most during our visit to London.

Honourable mention to that take away cup I grabbed at The Beatles Cafe which I was drinking while I crossed Abbey Road.
Dig it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

6 foot 9 inch kaa-niggit

At the Tower of London, there is a museum of nasty war stuff which upset me.
Jeff liked it though.
Looking at axes, guns, swords, spears and numerous other things whose use I simply couldn't imagine, except that they were all for killing, isn't my cup of tea. And I don't care how old they are or who they belonged to.
But you will see my cup of tea shortly, so fear not.
Our Jeffrey was particularly taken by a suit of armour from some German knight circa 1470- 1500.
Now, considering the average height back then may have been around 5 foot, I suppose that a 6' 9" knight would have probably been enough to put the fear of sauerkraut into most folk from merry old England at that time.

But then, you do have to ask yourself how the Brits came to possess it if he was so damn scary.

Perhaps he didn't know what his favourite colour was.

Mine's green.

video

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Meeting Tone und Lina.

I love this woman.

And all those years ago, I was worried that I wouldn't.
6 foot red head Norwegian Pisces.
What's not to love?

We first met in December 1997 at Munich station when Tone was my brother's girlfriend.
We took just one look at each other, hugged, linked arms and walked away together, each with a new sister.
Time and distance has made precious little difference to our relationship since that day.
This clip is 10 years later, January 2008 at Cologne station.

I had been wondering who would cry more, Tone or me?

It was me.
And this is surprising because I'm not by and large a watery person. Tone certainly is.

I dislike crying.
I shall fight tears on the beaches and on the landing grounds. I shall fight them in the fields and in the streets. I shall never surrender.

So, this clip tells me that I'm more inclined to cry from joy than from misery.
I suspected as much.
I hope it's not another 10 years before I cry for this reason again.

video

"...all the bags I want"

Yep, you heard right.
All the bags I want.
Hong Kong bags too.
Hey, if I'm going to carry a bag, it's gonna have silly animals and dancing ice cream on it, dammit.

I loved Hong Kong.
I loved the people.
I loved that I could wear lime green pompoms down to 7am breakfast and not feel in the least bit conspicuous.
I loved that their clothing stores only have one size. My size!
I loved that people gut fish in the streets, yet there's not a speck of plastic litter to be seen.
I loved being the minority.

I even loved the sound their pedestrian crossing signs made.
I'm going back.
And I'm getting more bags.

video