Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Tea and Q&A Meme

Running late after being away again. At least this is the last weekend I will be travelling for a while.

Questions, as always, are from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. What is your middle name and what is a middle name you'd rather have instead? Why?

Current middle name is Jane. I'd love something a bit more elegant or interesting, like Elizabeth or Serendipity. Jane is just too plain.

2. How would you spend $1MM (you have to spend every penny!)

I'd buy a house in inner Melbourne. This may not buy a house in inner Melbourne. House prices are astronomical. It's why I rent.

3. Yellow light - speed up or slow down??

Speed up if I am at the line. If not, then I slow down. It's a 50/50 situation.

4. What was the last movie you saw and what did you like/dislike about it?

I, Tonya. It was very good. I remember this all happening in the 80s. Good film. Margot Robbie is great.

5. If a movie was made about you, who would portray you in that movie?

Amy Schumer.

6. What is the strangest thing you've eaten and what did it taste like?

Kangaroo. I love it. It's like gamey beef. I eat a bit of roo.

7. What color is your bathroom?

White with grey tiles on the floor.

8. If you could vacation anywhere in the world RIGHT NOW, where would it be and why?

I'd go to Spain and walk the Camino de Compostella de Santiago. Though it might be a bit cold.

9. What is your least favorite thing to cook?

Bread. Too much work and it still ends up like a house brick.

10. What is the dish you make that your family rolls their eyes at?

Baked Beans on Toast. It's a staple. I don't cook for my family much.

11. What are three things on your bucket list?

The Camino de Compostella de Santiago. Lose 50 lbs. Maybe a PhD. Get married.

12. How many skeins of yarn do you think you are currently hoarding?

I recently threw out a heat - but there are about 10 still in the spare room.

13. Today is my birthday.  What virtual gift are you going to give me?

A subscription to The Guardian newspaper.

14. What is your favorite candy?

Redskins - a true blue raspberry flavoured Australian sweet that will remove your fillings if you are not careful.

15. What is your favorite time of the day and why?

6 am. It's quiet. I like the peace.

16. If you could call in sick for a day, what would you do with the time?

Write - and maybe see a movie.

17. How much did your last crafting run cost you?

I don't go crafting. Don't ask me about shoes though...

18. Can you play a musical instrument and if so, which one?

I used to play the flute. I can still play the flute but I'd have to remember how to read music. I think it might be like riding a bike.

19. What is your least favorite craft that you still do? Why?

Again, I don't craft.

20. If you could have any job for just one day, what would it be and what would you do?

I'd want to be a Shakespearean actor. That would be awesome.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Brrr meme

Late back from interstate. This will be quick. Questions from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. Do you prefer winter or summer? Why?

Winter. I much prefer to be cold and then getting warm. Joys of being a woman of a certain age.

2. What are your favorite winter activities?

Australian Rules Football and sleeping under two quilts.

3. Can you tell me about a time you went skiing or skating?

On both occassion for both sports, I fell over. I was better at skiing - skating I have no control.

4. Have you ever made a snow angel?

No. Melbourne doesn't have snow, or when it does, it's only in the hills and it's gone in a heartbeat.

5. Is your house cold?

No, and I wish it were colder.

6. Do you have a fireplace in your house?


7. What do you usually do to keep warm in the winter?

Put on a jumper and turn on the heater.

8. Have you ever gone hiking in the snow?


9. Tell me about a snowball fight you had.

I can't. Have never done that.

10. Have you ever looked at a snowflake carefully?


11. Do you have a sled? Have you been sledding?

When I was about eight-years-old. Family holiday to the snow fields.

12. What do you usually do after a big snowfall?

No idea, it doesn't snow here.

13. What’s the best thing about winter?

Climbing into bed at night and snuggling down.

14. What’s the worst thing about winter?

Stepping in puddles and getting wet shoes.

15. Have you ever been in a blizzard?


16. Can you describe ice for me?

There is some in my drink keeping it cold.

17. Have you ever slipped on ice and hurt yourself?

I did once in London. Skinned my knee before a big interview.

18.Have you ever had to shovel snow?


19. Will you be watching the Olympics?

No - are there Olympics on?

20. If yes, what are your favorite events? 

See above.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Hodge Podge meme

Well, I am a little bit sad. My happy place is being pulled down. They installed a temporary Globe Theatre in Melbourne and it has been wonderful to pop along to see very good Shakespeare for less than the price of a movie ticket. It's been a blast. Considering popping over to Auckland to visit theirs. it's been wonderful.We were there for the last performance in the theatre. A superlative Henry V.

We have a long weekend coming up.  You never know.

Questions,  as usual, are from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. January was National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? How would you rate the experience?

I've had a lot of mentors - mostly unofficial, but they are great for giving you perspective. Looking for a writing mentor as I write this now. I also do a lot of mentoring and coaching of my team members in both an official and unofficial capacity. I get a lot out of it. The old pay-it-forward scenario. It's so lovely to see people blossom.

2. What current trend makes no sense to you?

Those high waisted short-shorts girls are wearing. You need to be a supermodel to get away with them. Most women are not supermodels.

Image result for short fails

3. I saw a cartoon on Facebook highlighting a few 'weird' things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. Of the 'weird' things listed which one makes you happiest? What is one more 'weird' thing you'd add to the list?

Clean sheets, long baths, popping pimples, freshly mopped floors,  smelling dogs paws first thing in the morning. That last one is really strange.

4. What's the last good thing you ate?

Last night's Japanese dinner was lovely. Great ocean trout.

5. Describe life in your 20's in one sentence.

How much fun was getting lost only to begin to find myself.

6. It's that time of year again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or genera uselessness) in 2018. This year's top vote getters are -- unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Cofefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn't need to be heated), and gig economy

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?

"I've been on a knowledge / learning journey..." Overused and just blah. Moist, unless describing cake, should also be banned.

7. What's something you need to get rid of in the new year?

Excess weight and a bit more clutter in my flat - we're getting there.

8. Where do you feel stuck?

I want to be a Shakespearean actress- or just involved more in something Shakespearean - and I have no idea how to do that. I also want to travel more.

9. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter's day?

I'm not big on soup. At all. It's not really in my repetoire of things to cook, though I don't make a bad roast pumpkin soup or veggie soup. Just not for me. I do, occasionally, like a good bowl of Campbell's tomato soup or lamb and veggies soup, but this is only in the dead of winter. Give me roast veggies any day.

Besides, it's the height of Summer over here... maybe chilled cucumber soup as an amuse bouche would go down well.

10. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in 2018.

Bali in August for my birthday.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Blog for Grown Ups

Just back from a long weekend in Canberra, it's 32 degrees outside and it's nearly midnight (92 in the old language). Have just under an hour to get this done.

Questions courtesy of Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?

I kind of resent paying for my broadband - for what I pay, it's crap. Do not mention the broadband wars in Australia -pay heaps for a third rate product.

2. What do you really want to be doing right now?

Being in the cold by a fire - not in a sauna of a flat.

3. Why did you choose the shirt you have on now?

I'm not wearing a shirt. I had a dress on today - the last clean thing in my suitcase.

4. Thoughts on gas prices?

All over the place and currently too expensive.

5. First thought when the alarm goes off in the morning

I want a cuddle.

6. Last thought you have before you go to sleep?

I want a cuddle.

7. Do you miss being a child?

Yes and no. I didn't have a great childhood - but there are good things about being a kid - like no responsibility.

8. What errand/chore do you despise the most?

The floors - mopping and hoovering.

9. Up early or sleep in?

Up early.

10. Favorite lunch meat?

Ew. Please give me cold chicken. I try not to eat processed meats.

11. What do you get every time at Trader Joe’s?

What's Trader Joes? I'm Australian - not something we have here.

12. Beach or lake?


13. Ever crashed your vehicle?

Yes - thankfully it was pretty minor.

14. Strangest place you've brushed your teeth?

An airplane toilet. Certainly not hygienic.

15. Somewhere you've never been but want to go?

Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Tokyo. Santiago, Spain.

16. At this point in your life would you want to start a new career?

Why not. Working on it at the moment.

17. Do you own your own house?

No. Too expensive over here and I like where I live.

18. Do you have a go-to person?

Depends on what I need to go to them for.

19. Are you where you want to be in life?

Sort of. There are things that I would like to be different, but I'm not beating myself up over these things.

20. Growing up, what were your favorite cartoons?

Wacky Races. Scooby Doo.

21. What has changed since you were a child?

A lot. I didn't have helicopter parents. Lots more freedoms when I was a child.

22. Looking back at high school, were they the best years of your life?

Absolutely not. Life began after high school.

23. Are there times you still feel like a kid?


24. Did you have a pager?

No. Who has a pager now?

25. Were you the type of kid you want your kids to hang out with?

No. I was the kid who didn't get invited to parties.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Friday Questions meme

Today's blog is being brought to you from Sydney town where I am just about to leave the airport and go home.

Great questions, Bev. As always, these have been supplied by Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. Have you ever tried to learn (or re-learn) a foreign language as an adult? Which one? What worked for you?

No, but I would love to go back and refresh my French, which is passable for an adult who gave up learning it at university. I should also to some Spanish lessons before going to Spain.

2. Do you donate blood? Do you know your blood type?

I'm not allowed to give blood in Australia as I am a 'mad cow'. Nobody who lived in England between 1985 and 1996 for more than six months is allowed to give blood in Australia for fear of mad cow disease. It makes me sad. My boring O positive could do so much good. If I was allowed to give blood, I would.

3. Have you ever been in a play or musical?

As school, yes. I also did a lot of drama  classes when I was in London.

4. Do you use certain text or ring tones for specific people? Who gets their own? Or do you just use the default on your phone?

No. And my phone is normally on silent with the vibrate on. When the phone does ring, Red Hot Chilli Peppers plays "Under the Bridge".

5. When did you get your first digital camera? Do you still shoot on actual film, or all digital now?

I've had a digital camera since the early 2000s. Now I just use my iPhone.

6. What do you think someone else would say the most daring thing you’ve done is? 

Lived in another country illegally for six years. :)

7. Do you talk with your hands?


8. Do you have a lucky number? What is it, and what is the story behind it?

I like 64, and that is because of the song. I'm also partial to three and seven.

9. What kind of milk did you drink, growing up? And now?

I grew up drinking milk that we got from the vat straight from the cow from the farmer down the road. Now I drink skim milk or almond milk from the supermarket. I can't drink full fat milk. Makes my stomach hurt.

10. What is your favorite kind of pie?

I'm not American so pie is not a thing, but mum makes a good apple pie and blackberry pie.

11. Are you a note taker?

Not really. Sometimes. I am at work.

12. Do you have an eclectic mug collection, or is your stuff all matchy matchy?

My mugs are very eclectic. Think there are only two that match. All my mugs have a story.

13. Do you have a junk drawer in your house/garage/at work/wherever?

Doesn't everybody have a third drawer down in the kitchen? I give you Jimoein.

14. What is the longest amount of time you’ve worked at one job – and what was/is it?

I did five years at Lehman Brothers in London, working in the back office doing reconciliations. I've been contracting every since, so don't stay in places too long now.

15. How old were you when you took your first commercial flight? To where did you fly?

I was five years old when we went to Kangaroo Island by plane. My first international flight (and second flight) was to New Zealand when I was 17.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


I’m learning that waking up can be a not that pleasant experience. In fact, it can be quite painful.

My morning routine is one of languor. The alarm goes off at six a.m. I’m normally half-awake five minutes before this. Once I shut off the alarm, I turn on the television and listen to the news – or more to the point, the Today Show on Channel Nine, the palatable face of right-wing Australia. I like to be agitated out of bed gently.

This morning, the news came that Dolores O’Riordan had passed away, aged 46.

Dolores O’Riordan? Never heard of her?

Well, she was the voice of a generation. My generation. Generation X.

The news took me back to 1994. This was instantaneous and complete.

Here I was, 25-years-old and in a pub in London, England. I’m wearing high-waisted jeans and a shirt, which has not been tucked in, On my feet, Doc Marten eight hole boots bought down Camden Market the day a bomb went off in a bin down the Camden High Street. My hair is flowing down my back. I have a pint of “wife-beater and lime” in my hand (Stella Artois topped with lime cordial, still a drink of choice).

I have just started work at a merchant bank in the City, finally making proper money. Double breasted suits and stiletto heels surround me on a daily basis.

Nelson Mandela is about to be made President of South Africa. Lady Diana is making news for the right and wrong reasons. The Channel Tunnel has just opened. Fred and Rosemary West become a household name. Rwanda is imploding. Barings Bank is still a bank not just the carcass left by Nick Leeson.

Life feels a lot simpler back then.

But I am standing in a pub with a pint in my hand, just realising that I have fallen in love, quite badly, and there is nothing that I can do about it. Nothing at all.

I’m surrounded by my drama mates after a class. It was a great drama class.

We eat jalepeno poppers, the likes I have never had again. This the after drama pint. We'll all make the last train home. I live in West Hampstead, sharing a flat with an odd flatmate above a sharehouse of Australian and Kiwi expats, with most of whom I am still in contact.

This pub isn’t there any more.

But we are here in this pub, with my pint and some jalepeno poppers and this comes on over the pub's speakers.

And everything makes sense.

Every time I hear this song, I am taken back to this place. I'm taken back to this person. Somebody I really don't need to be thinking about.

Little did I know the feelings would linger for over twenty years.

Vale Dolores O’Riordan, the voice of Generation X. You will never linger. You'll always be the voice of my generation.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Conversation Starters Meme

Great questions this week, Bev.

Busy weekend - lots of things on. Just back from a float. Now cooking lunch for the week before doing some washing and going to bed.

Things don't change much.

Questions, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

1. What are some small things that make your day better?

Sunshine. Stopping to smell roses and patting soppy cats. When you can get a seat on the tram in the morning.

2. What shows are you into?

Currently, Gilmore Girls, The Good Wife and Good Behaviour. The Handmaid's Take was extraordinary.

3. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?

I think there should be a Shakespeare Channel. All Shakespeare and Shakespearean history, all the time.

4. Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?

Oprah has made the list this week. Awesome woman. There are too many unsung people out there.

5. What age do you wish you could permanently be?

36. I remember liking 36.

6. What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?

Game of Thrones after season one (too violent). The Walking Dead (Pointless and too violent) Anything with a Kardashian in it.

7. What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?

Movies and theatre. Love them all. Books are not a luxury.

8. What’s your claim to fame?

I can recite all of Jabberwocky when plastered. Very plastered. Twas brillig.....

9. What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

Cook. . I love to cook from scratch.Everything.

10. What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?

Alternative drama. For books, literary fiction.

11. How often do you people watch?

All the time. It's one of my favourite things to do.

12. What have you only recently formed an opinion about?

Floatation tanks are awesome.

13. What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?

Freemasonry. I'm a lady freemason. Happy to talk about it too.

14. What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?

Probably the USA. I lived in England for a long time too.

15. What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?

Probably animals being born. That is awesome.

16. What is the most annoying question that people ask you?

Why aren't you married?

17. What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Yes. I've done it before. But I'm trained in this sort of thing. Didn't say I'd like it...

18. If you were dictator of a small island nation, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?

Everybody would have to wear pink socks on Tuesday.

19. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?

Travel and read. Visit New York. Visit Spain. Go to the Theatre. ... I have lots of these.