Monday, December 31, 2007

On the sixth day of Christmas ...

my true love sent to me ...

six degrees (x 7),


foregone conclusion,

3 Ponting runs,

2 Brad Hogg wickets,

and a Matthew Hayden century

HOT, damn HOT! It reached 42C in Melbourne today ... and I don't like it. Even blogging at the Computer is too much like hard work.

I was fortunate enough to be in air conditioned luxury at work for most of the day, so I shouldn't complain.

OK, enough - time for a cocktail. Thanks to my eldest niece who reminded me on Christmas Day that a Cosmopolitan is a tasty drink on a hot day. I may even pop in a dvd of Sex & the City to have the full experience.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

On the fifth day of Christmas ...

my true love sent to me ...


foregone conclusion,

three Ponting runs,

two Brad Hogg wickets,

and a Matthew Hayden century

click here to view and hear Christmas according to me. Whenever I hear this sensational version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town, it reminds me of all things Christmas.

Now that I've discovered youtube, I can enjoy Christmas any day I like ... the only thing is that there won't be a Boxing Day test match to look forward to.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

On the fourth day of Christmas ...

my true love sent to me ...

foregone conclusion

three Ponting runs,

two Brad Hogg wickets,

and a Matthew Hayden century

apologies for the pun, but I couldn't find a four in any of the significant numbers from today's cricket.

Gilly is one away from 400 test dismissals; the most successful bowler today was Mitchell Johnson with 3 wickets (good sharing, guys); the winning margin was 337 runs; and the number of consecutive test victories now stands at 15.

In the end, I didn't go to today's play. I would have been solo, which has never stopped me in the past, but on a day of 37+C, I preferred not to venture out. So there I sat, reading newspapers that have accumulated over the past 3 days, listening to the ABC and watching channel 9 coverage (with the sound turned down).

If all goes to plan, I will get to see TLM play his last test innings in Australia in Adelaide at the end of January.

So the Australian juggernaut continues and Gilchrist's 8 dismissals has generated $144,000 for the McGrath foundation & breast cancer research (hence the pink gloves in picture) ... all in all a successful test match.

However, without cricket tomorrow, what will my true love bring me on the 5th day of Christmas?

Friday, December 28, 2007

On the third day of Christmas ...

my true love sent to me ...

three Ponting runs,

two Brad Hogg wickets,

and a Matthew Hayden century

Unfortunately, one of the world's best batsmen has scored a 4 and a 3 in this match. As we all noted, 'someone will pay'. Ponting has a become an insatiable batsman, always wanting more runs, a higher score, the psychological edge over a team. Will the Indians pay in the next test match, or will they continue to successfully target his hard hands and wandering feet early in his innings?

However, today in his improving captaincy, he kept up with Roogirl's predictions: declaring with under an hour to go (10 overs); giving Stuart Clark one or two overs before stumps (two) and tossing the ball to Brad Hogg just to see what may happen (despite 3 full tosses, the Indians didn't try to score).

A predicted 37C for tomorrow has me re-considering my record of unbroken attendance at each day of an MCG test match since 1994 ... now when I put it like that, how can I miss?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

On the second day of Christmas ...

... my true love (?) sent to me ...

Two Brad Hogg wickets,

and a Matthew Hayden century!

Today was a very good day of test cricket. We completed our innings early, and then let loose a very disciplined and responsible Brett Lee, and an impressive and unlucky Mitchell Johnson.

As usual, Roogirl picked every bowling change, identified an injury to Matthew Hayden, said she'd allow a Tendulkar 50, but no more (he made 62) and declared to all who would listen that it would be Stuart Clark's impeccible line that would trouble the Indians (4/28 comprising 1 x bowled, 2 x lbw & 1 x caught behind).

At stumps we lead by 179 (ish), with Hayden & Jaques making the two-paced wicket look benign, and the Indian fielding making my speed in the field look respectable.
C'mon day 3 ...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

On the first day of Christmas ...

... ok, I don't have a true love, but I did receive

A Matthew Hayden Century!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The comfort of being a frump

Fashion issues, age or just plain lack of interest reared its head in the lift as I left the office this evening.

There was I, in a respectable grey, knee length skirt, white cotton knit 3/4 sleeve shirt, topped with a navy cardigan, all atop navy court shoes. Totally respectable and happy to chat with colleagues in the lift as we descended from level 16. My love of cardigans and twin sets has endured from my entrance on the 'sort of' fashion stage with the 'Sloan rangers'. Frilly shirt cuffs and collars, opaque tights and yes, even occasionally a set of pearls.

At level 14 we were joined by a pert young thing and my conversation dried up. I love magazines, but they mostly contain food or sportsmen, and I can't seem to embrace fashion mags.

My untrained eye spotted a black wrap jacket in a sort of crushy, sheeny fabric. If I didn't know better (and I volunteer that I don't) I may have suggested taffeta, but it was much finer than the 80's version I remember. Her skirt was a bubble skirt of the same material, which made me remember that dreadful Haysi Fantayzee song 'shiny, shiny'.

Below this relatively restrained concoction were opaque tights (it IS December!) and patent (ie shiny!!) 4 inch strappy shoes with SILVER SOLES AND HEELS!

At this moment, as she tottered from the lift and out the front door, I strode purposefully home in my practical attire, embracing my frumpyness. Long may cardies rule!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The colour purple

Some people say it's summer. Me? I say it's still a couple of weeks away (wait for the solstice, people!)

However, I will say that driving through the streets of Camberwell and Hawthorn has reminded me that it is the beginning of December. For a moment I wondered if I was driving down Walkerville Terrace in Adelaide, but no, I've discovered that we have jacaranda trees in Melbourne as well!

You see, it is usually at this time of the year that I'm in Adelaide, sharing the hospitality of friend, the definite need to boil all water, and the beauty that is the Adelaide Oval.

Even with the new fangled Chappell Stands guarding the Victor Richardson gates to the east, it is still a ground full of character and charm. The gently sloping grass banks beneath the scoreboard, the low tin roof of the conjoined Mostyn Evan, George Giffen and Sir Edwin Smith Stands.

Roogirl and I have watched test matches at the Adelaide Oval each year since Australia defeated the Windies in 2000 (except in 2001 we watched the rain at Bellerive, then decided to return to Adelaide).

It's not far off, we'll be there on Australia Day weekend. I wonder what will be flowering then?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

7.24pm and counting

I have a phone conference at 7.30pm tonight. It's with a colleague in the UK to discuss other colleagues in the US, Thailand, UK, Singapore ... you name it. This will be 8.30am their time. We had originally planned to talk at 8am (aka 7pm Australian time) however, with the onset of their winter, it is still dark at that hour. Here in Australia it is still light (or would be if not for the cloud) at 7.26pm.

Strangely, I was on a phone call with a colleague in the UK at 7am this morning (8pm yesterday for them).

Tomorrow I have a video conference with the UK at 8am our time (9pm yesterday in the UK); and a phone call with the US at 9.30am (4pm Thanksgiving Day, Mountain time). It's OK, I'm talking to a Scot, not a Yank.

OK, 7.30 it is ... hello world, it's me, are you there?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

my homework or 'How I celebrated Australia's Ashes and World Cup victories'

It was a hot January day ... the 5th, I think it was, as I recall mentioning that it was the anniversary of the collapse of the Tasman Bridge to my big sister. Anyway, my bm Roogirl and I exchanged a few txt messages, imploring Kevin Pietersen (a native South African) to leave the general area (but in fewer words) and mentioning the numbers 5 and 0 quite often!

Now, I'm not usually impulsive, and do like to plan my time, but this victory annihilation was well worth a spur of the moment acceptance of an invitation from Roogirl to dinner at their favourite Italian restaurant in Wantirna.

It was too warm for red wine, and I couldn't manage to drink a whole bottle of champagne on my own, so I did the Kath & Kim thing and picked up a 3 pack of piccolos at the local bottle shop. Pasta, champagne, smiling and laughing with great company and just to top it off, we walked to the local McDonalds for a sundae. I'm sure I completely embarrassed my nephew (who was on duty) in my joyous state, but then again, once he has seen me sing ABBA, Barry Manilow AND Donny Osmond, there's not many more layers of embarrassment!

I'm well aware that Australia regained the Ashes on a warm December day in Perth, just before Christmas, however the redemption (to use the words of Ricky Ponting) wasn't complete until the score was 5-0!

The World Cup? As previously mentioned, I was in the air between London and Hong Kong during the match, and it was again Roogirl to the rescue with a text message. My celebration? (remembering that it was one-day cricket, not the real thing) was a quiet smiling satisfaction watching Hong Kong wake up and then I indulged in a champagne at the pointy end once I was on board again (I sense a theme).

Thanks to the Australian cricket team for such great memories, thanks to my bm Roogirl for my homework, and my apologies for not collecting my intended birthday present at Borders. Let's face it, they're just like the poms... too f'ing slow!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Just taking it slow

Yes, I have been out of action for a while - lots of work, limited spare time and in my spare time I've been reading cooking magazines: my very own 'gastro-porn'. A big thanks to Delicious for the relaxation, enjoyment and inspiration.

Having logged on a caught up with outstanding emails, look what I found?

Well, actually my big sister found this, but that led me into my own world of Bobby Sherman wonder on YouTube. I've not trawled YouTube previously, so it was a new and exciting place. I discovered the theme song to Here Come The Brides a song aka Seattle, as well as Bobby Sherman TV commercials, fan sites ... it was enjoyable and unexpected! (btw, did you know Bobby is a grandfather again?)

I also discovered the opening theme of my late 1970's favourite show - Family. My BM, Roogirl and I found a shared love for this show.

Hey, just be thankful I didn't post the link to the Partridge Family theme song!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The cream rises to the top

There was a time when I enjoyed the actual count part of the Brownlow medal count. This was when I was younger and completely engrossed in all things sport. Now as a mature woman of a certain age, I do still appreciate the drama of a close count, although the hideous lengthy pauses that Andrew Demetriou injects into the count remind me of Keanu Reeves' overacting (sorry, Keanu, you know I love you!) "Geelong, 3 votes, J ...
btw, congratulations to Geelong's Jimmy (or is that now James) Bartel.

Anyway, now I enjoy the red carpet arrivals beforehand and especially enjoy the Tuesday morning newspaper websites for a complete view of the best and worst of couture.

While the gentlemen have been instructed to wear black tie & dinner suits, the women are free to explore an often brazen use of colour and design.

Now before reviewing the colour and style of the frocks, I feel the need to make a comment about the pretty young things that drape the arm of a footballer. The excess use of spray tan (I do hope it's not a solarium tan), peroxide and silicone does tend to make the young women on the carpet blend in together. A few looked like they hadn't eaten in weeks to fit into their frocks and also looked ill as a result. Please, young women of our future, trust yourself and what you like, not what a man, a magazine or the media tell you!! (here endeth today's lesson) Black was an ever popular stalwart, and while totally respectable at a black tie event, the preponderance of black made only the most stunningly good (or bad) of black dresses stand out.

Cream seems to be an early leader in the spring fashion stakes in Melbourne. I must keep an eye out for similar trends as the Spring Racing Carnival commences.

However, this year, I was pleasantly surprised by the bold (far from brazen) use of colour and variable hemlines.

And the winner? How can I go past Susie Koutafides - a mother of 2 has no right to look that good in a skimpy cream number, and perfectly sets off the pecs and shoulders on her arm (that's them at the right of the photo)

(photos courtesy of Herald Sun)

Friday, September 14, 2007

A wall of words

I love words. (no big surprise there to anyone who's listened to me ramble on)

I'm not sure of it's origin, but I can always remember finding joy in a story book, whether read by my parents, aunt or siblings (occasionally). When at primary school, my treat for a good report card was the choice of one or more books through the school book club. The number of books I was allowed to buy directly related to my grades and teacher comments - I received bonus points for effort and being well behaved.

As I have mentioned, I'm in the market for a new home, and in that process will be selling my current unit, which has served me so well. To keep that process moving along, I had a couple of schmoozy types real estate agents around to my place last week. While both gave me a similar quote on the value of my place, their manner and approach varied. Having wandered through the 4 rooms, we quickly reached my junk spare room, with its single bed, 1970's style laminated desk, built in linen closet (aka wardrobe) and library.

You see, to me, 8 shelves running the length of a wall and filling the entire height constitutes a library. My Dad lovingly varnished the 2 wide, 3 medium and 3 narrow pine shelves; installed brackets and created a functional and yes, quite stylish framework for my many books. As I stood back admiring my library, one of the aforementioned schmoozy types real estate agents commented that 'they (the shelves) are removable - good' and proceeded to make a note in his fancy leather compendium. I stood, mouth agape with horror - guess who won't be getting my business?

Once I'd pushed him out the door said goodbye, I returned to my spare room and resumed my reverie. OK, I admit, I am now trying to store 2 layers of books on each shelf, and one shelf has been given over to videos (remember those quaint historical artifacts?), but once I tidy it up a bit (?), those shelves contain some of the best memories of my life.

The whole top shelf is devoted to Enid Blyton, and a few other childhood favourites. A delicate hardbook copy of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang brings back memories of accusing my parents of skipping bits of the story, as they read me that book for the 75th time and I recited the story.

I have an eclectic mix of biographies, recipe books, a compendium of Winnie the Pooh and poetry. I also have the complete sets of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables and nearly all of Beatrix Potter.

Of course, I have the complete works of Jane Austen, as well as the Brontes (though not all of those books have been read). My copies of Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion are lovingly dog-eared and almost spineless. They sit alongside economics, psychology and employment law text books, and close to atlases and other reference books (including a thesaurus passed down from mother to daughter). It's not quite the dewey decimal system, but there is logic to the collection.

Imagine my joy when my good friend and exercise buddy lurextoga showed me this link to a website on which you can record all of your books - oh wow, I think I'm in heaven!! I look forward to spending many constructive hours documenting my wall of words.

... and here's just the start of my collection, by me!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What I MEANT to say was ...

So many good ideas that don't quite come off...

I have finally mastered loading a picture to my profile (with a little help from my friend 'Delamare'). This is the picture over there (look right).

Yes, I know that you can't see it, but it was a really good idea at the time.

It is a scanned copy of a card from the Ink Group that I have had in my 'cards that may come in handy' shoe box. I also have a number of cards for my BM 'Roogirl' who appreciates and sometimes shares my wierd sense of humour.

Anyway, to put you out of your misery, here's a larger version of this card/ comic/ thing that I just think fits me - enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happy 99th Birthday to 'the Don'

Today would have been Sir Donald George Bradman's 99th birthday, had he survived beyond 25th February 2001.

As previously mentioned, I have a passion for cricket, specifically test cricket. I think it was born at age 10, when my father gave me his boyhood copy of Sir Donald Bradman, a 1960's biography in the Red Lion Lives series. Having already shown a love of balls and bats over dolls and dress ups, Dad saw an opportunity to share his love of sport in his tomboy daughter.

During the Australian tour to the West Indies in 1975, Dad and I would listen to the ABC transistor radio in the morning over breakfast, and I began my love affair with a daily newsaper as I kept track of all scores in my cricket tour magazine (which this bower bird still has). Therafter, the annual ABC cricket magazine and ABC cricket yearbook were 'must have's. I did toy with the channel nine version one year, but it just wasn't the same. ABC test cricket coverage is compulsory listening. I do miss Tim Lane, but Glenn Mitchell is improving.

By the way, do you know that the ABC has the same post box address in each capital city in Australia?

Q: What is it & why?


A: PO Box 9994 - this is Don Bradman's test batting average - 99.94

Well, happy birthday to the great man, wherever you are. I hope you admire the dedication and commitment of the current crop of custodians of the baggy green cap. I also hope you see the recent progression in their sportsmanship, but never a reduction in their intensity.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Living Life to the 'Fore'!

I have a sneaking suspicion that I've developed a very strong habit. I'm stopping short of calling it an addiction, from a point of comparison with my history and with others, but it is regular and much enjoyed habit.

Previously, I played competitive hockey. It was at quite a high level, and with and against some significantly better players than me. For the most part I held my own on the field, and I knew that I was addicted to THAT game. I played, coached, managed teams, administered clubs and associations, and even participated in the orchestration of an administrative coup! I took holidays to manage teams, I even took holidays to watch or organise tournaments. I loved the sport, and thought that what I loved most was the fierce competition ... I certainly played in a manner that suggested that I loved the competition!

Wisely however, I stopped 'cold turkey', and moved on to devote my available time to study and to watch my beloved Blues. What I discovered was a pleasant surprise and what I missed the most about hockey was not the competition, but the cameraderie. We devoted a lot of time to our games and our teammates, and combined that with family and developing careers.

While a few former teammates continued to play competitively (and one still does - much to her credit), we found an shared outlet post hockey that meets our needs for physical effort (to varying degrees), displays of skill (to varying degrees) and socialising (to a large degree). Sometimes the post round hot chocolate or latte is the best part of the round, and sometimes it is the 'team birdie' count. More often than not (quite possibly due to Melbourne's drought) we enjoy the best part of the day on the golf course - laughing with the kookaburras, smiling at the joggers and cyclists as they move past at a fair pace, or admiring the flora and fauna.

There is certainly enough time during nine holes of golf to catch up on all the activities of 4 women's busy weeks, as well as go a good way towards solving the problems with society. Despite the dawn start on a Saturday morning, I've grown to look forward to my weekly golf hit (sic) and always leave the club with a smile on my face, more often than not, regardless of the score.

Yep, this certainly is a healthy passtime - for mind and body!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Yoo hoo, anyone there?

I've been quiet on the blogfront in the past few weeks; not quite sure why, but expect it has something to do with:
  • working long hours (often sitting at a computer) and not wanting to do the same when I arrive home and change from my 'binding' work clothes to my soft and comfy flannelette 'Winnie the Pooh' pjs

  • having full days away from home each weekend (football, socialising, appointments etc). leaving very few spare hours to do housework (yes, people who know me can laugh at that - but having clean clothes is very important, even if a clean bedroom is not)

  • avoiding delving any more deeply into my 'feelings'

I currently have a manager who is trained as a psychologist. Now while I did study psychology at university (as part of my business degree), I preferred the statistics and reality/perception side of psychology. Empathy, id, ego, superego (ooh, eminds me of a few around here) etc were all just a bit too esoteric. Give me concrete and logic every time, please!

Like all of us, we have had 'good' managers and 'bad' managers. My definition of a 'good' manager encompasses someone who treats you as an intellectual equal; who asks for your opinions on work matters and actually listens to your reply; provides support in terms of actions (not just words); and who recognises whether the work you do is effective or not. From my experience, 'bad' managers can be summarised as psychologists who pander to the egos of those in higher roles to get where they want to go.

This is the second time that I've had a manager who is a psychologist, and having just survived a 'psycho' manager as an impressionable 24 year old, I am having chilling flashbacks. My self defence mechanisms back then against the taking credit for my work and words that were not backed up by consistent actions, included internalising my anger & frustration and eventually becoming a virtual solo worker. This time around as a more seasoned and slightly more mature professional, I'm fighting those urges to revert to that behaviour.

My dear colleague 'super V', has given me a book entitled snakes in suits. It is splendidly realistic and I can identify many familiar charateristics. It also provides great insight into effective ways of managing said snakes. My manager may try to get inside my head, but thanks to friends and experience, the person who opens the door (just a crack) won't be letting her in.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

If ... (by Rudyard Kipling, as adapted by me)

If ... I had followed my intuition and phoned my 9am meeting on Monday morning to postpone, I may have found out that she too wanted to postpone. However, I did what I thought was responsible and turned up, only to receive a phone call asking me to postpone!

If ... I had braved the crowds at Forest Hill when I was already there on Saturday morning, I would have found my favourite face cleanser on special at the new Myer, rather than when I arrived home and saw the junk mail and thought about when I would next brave the parking

If ... only I could concentrate on predicting salary movement in the Australian employment market (with skills shortages, uncertainty about employment law etc)

If ... my work laptop computer would connect through my home broadband connection, I could be productive at home

If ... I had washed the dishes in the sink, they wouldn't still be there, taunting me for my lack of domestic discipline

If ... I 'chilled out' like I was told to do on Friday, maybe I wouldn't keep asking myself 'if...'

Sunday, July 1, 2007

'Blue Moon', or 'Anyone for more trivia?'

Anyone who knows me, is well aware that I have an obsession with the minutiae and small details of everyday life.

'The Age' Oddspot, TV quiz shows (except those hosted by Eddie Everywhere) and school trivia nights warm the deepest parts of my soul. I do have a reputation (occasionally deserved, often not) for being a good 'ring in' when anyone is short of numbers for a trivia night. Not such a good name as my friend Darcy's mate John, but somewhat of a reputation among my friends.

My family have accepted that I love detail, so my bookshelf is scattered with titles such as The Cricket Quiz Book and The Australian Miscellany. When I shared a house with some friends, I was allowed to have the spare TV in my room on a Monday night to watch University Challenge. To them I think that giving up the TV was preferable to me either sulking about missing it, or yelling out answers at the TV in front of friends.

My eldest niece (who has just celebrated a significant birthday ending in '0') made me and the whole family proud earlier this year when she appeared on Eddie's 1 v 100 show (the only time I've ever watched it) and resisted Eddie's pressure to play on and won herself a tidy packet - welcome to the family, embrace your love of information!

Well, tonight is my second favourite piece of trivia - it is a blue moon (you can all begin singing now). What is a blue moon you may ask? Well, if I've spoken with you at any time in the last month or so, you'll already know that a blue moon is a second full moon within a single calendar month. The picture is of the most recent blue moon, on 31 July, 2004. A blue moon is obviously a recent invention (well, recent in relation to the invention of the gregorian or roman calendars). I even found this groovy site that animates the phases of the moon - gotta love that waxing gibbous!

My favourite piece of trivia? I'll save that for another blog!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Facing North

I confess to not being a great traveller, with plane and car sickness having been companions in my youth.

beware - details of childhood malaise follow -
Enduring memories remain a road trip in a Toyota Corona (or was it still the Hillman Hunter?)with my parents and grandparents from Hobart to Queenstown. This was in the 1970's before sealed (read smooth) roads. Once we hit the real hills, poor Dad had to stop the car every mile to allow me to ... well, you get the picture. Poor Mum, I think I was sitting on her knee! Short trips (like from home to Grandparents) were fine, but the longer, hillier, windier trip - not good, for any of the family.

When we made the first long plane trip from Melbourne to London, I lasted as far as Hong Kong before I then fell into a steady stream (sorry, wrong word) of illness ALL the way to Heathrow. FYI, on the return flight I was dosed up so much that I'm sure the cabin staff thought me an underage druggie!
you can rejoin reading from here - no more talk of sickness!

However, once I'm at a new destination, I'm in my element! Somehow, I seem to look like a local, with other visitors asking for directions from Marble Arch to Green Park in London, or to Little India in Singapore, or a good cafe in Auckland. All of these requests, and more have been asked of me as I explore a new place.

Drop me off in London, I'll turn around a few times, face north and know where I am.

My method of tourism is to study the map beforehand, then just go with my memory! I particularly love the London underground maps, with their colour coding, crossover points etc.

In fact, on those short family trips I would beg may parents to let me read the street directory and follow our journey. It may have something to do with a short attention span, or boredom, and despite their misgivings about potential queasiness, my parents let me navigate.

Maps of any sort are my friends. I have an enduring love of the Melways, and even know places not on map 58.

Anyone want a tour guide? I promise I'm OK travelling ... now!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What's the time, Mr Wolf?

I have a new watch and it's pretty.

This is a big deal for me, who has inherited my parents frugality and never thrown anything out unless it has already fallen apart and walked to the rubbish bin of its own accord. I have grown up very clearly knowing my needs from my wants, and seldom giving in to the latter.

To date, my 4 previous watches have been functional, reliable timepieces. My parents gave me a lovely gold one, with a round face and stretchy gold band for my 12th birthday. It was a rite of passage in our family to receive a watch at 12. This reliable Seiko lasted until I was working, at which time the glass cover fell off, and the hands, exposed to the elements, bent and didn't quite travel around the dial as they should.

At this point I bought myself a practical Lorus watch, with actual numbers (not marks) for the hours, and a sweeping second hand. It did also have a cute inset, where a crescent moon showed at night, and a smiling sun during the day. This one had a leather strap, and while I had to replace that strap a number of times, the watch kept on ticking.

After an internal struggle, I bought another watch while my trusty Lorus was still going strong. This was another functional purchase - a sturdy black digital watch, with stopwatch, countdown timer ... and a few other features that took me a while to master. This was my 'weekend' watch, that I used when playing cricket, or umpiring hockey matches.

Sadly, after a good 10 years of service, my Lorus succumbed to my rugged use, so I purchased a similar looking Seiko. This one had a slightly smaller face, as I tried to heed my mother's words about being a lady. I still kept to the leather strap, and have replaced that quite a few times, but the watch is as reliable as ever.

Well, I've now done it. After a few years of admiring those very pretty watches in glossy magazines, I saw and fell in love with a beautiful Raymond Weil timepiece. This is my new watch, complete with diamond/crystal sapphire thingy embellishment around the face.

It will occasionally catch the light, and I'll find myself admiring my indulgence. By the way, it's 6pm at the moment, on the winter soltice, just in case you want to know.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Whenever I close my eyes, I think of you

I have a secret love.

For those who know me, it may not be much of a secret, but it's all mine, and I revel in my devotion.

It started as a long distance admiration when I was still in school. In fact, it began from afar when I was living in Hobart and my love was in Melbourne. We finally met in the late 1970's and I was smitten from the start. There was quite a crowd when we met, but my secret love proved true to me, living up to all expectations. As with many such relationships, I was in awe of my secret love's power and reputation and other people also coveted what I knew was mine.

My secret love has a long history, with many fascinating stories that are shared selflessly. The colourful history just adds to my adoration. Others, who are younger, richer and more 'with it' have tried to draw me away from my secret love, but I remain true.

Our relationship has endured bitterly cold winters, when only hot coffee, coats and scarfs will do. It has also endured steamy summers where women have paraded in front of my secret love in bikinis, but my love remains true to me, giving me everything that I want.

After a 20 year courtship, my secret love and I made a lifetime commitment a short 7 years ago. We had an incredibly intense 2 week period during September 2000, when we were virtually never out of each others sights. While we already had in excess of 20 years behind us, it was at this time that I felt that I finally got to know my love inside & out.

While not together at all times, we have very regular trysts. My heart always skips a beat as I approach, sometimes it's even from high on the hill, looking over the bridge.

Yes, my secret love is the MCG.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

oh, bunnies, I got it wrong

It happens to the best of us, but I seemed to have blanked out a significant incident of my childhood. When I say significant, it was in terms of our family, but obviously not to me. Apparently our father DID hit one of us girls growing up (refer to post on May 27), so my sincere apologies to my Big Sister (as opposed to my Bigger Sister or my Biggest Sister).

As my Big Sister recollects it, she did something wrong and Dad hit her at which point the entire family stopped gobsmacked and she said "Mum, Mum, Dad's gone crazy - he hit me!"

Whatever the cause, it seemed to have had positive results, as my Big Sister is by far the best behaved of us 4 girls.

I think I know why 'Dad went crazy' - I reckon she swore, and much more than saying 'bunnies'!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A house, a house, my kingdom for a house!

In what is becoming an epic, I continue to search for my perfect home. I can sense that friends are hesitant to ask how my house hunting is progressing, as the reply hasn't changed in 6 years (yes, you read that correctly ... that's 6 years, not months). "Hmm, there are a few places, but nothing that meets my requirements."

real has become my most visited website and I have entered saved searches for my desired features. I know what I want, in fact I know EXACTLY what I want, but for some reason a builder hasn't built it yet, or at least not in my desired location! I'm not sure that I'm up for major renovations, but if I really want my wish list, I think I may have to be prepared for some work.
Sadly, when they did build what I want, they also built the only access to the outdoor entertaining area through the main bedroom. I'm relieved to say that THAT doesn't fit my style of entertaining.

My current, very comfortable home will be sold in this process ... when I find a new home. It has a number of features to it's credit, which I must remember to mention to the selling agent ... when I find my new home: it is more than low maintenance. As suits my current lifestyle, it is almost NO maintenance. I has a lock up garage which easily fit my small car, and even when I upgraded to a new chariot, it fits well. It has a newly installed designer kitchen & bathroom (all 70's abodes need the lime green and mission brown replaced), and polished floorboards (replacing puce shagpile). It also has custom built-in wardrobes in both bedrooms - very flexible, very space efficient as is needed in a small 2 bedroom unit.

But most importantly, it has very quiet neighbours. Why do I want to move again?

Monday, June 4, 2007

on the road again ...

My mobile phone and computer are telling me that it's 6.43pm, whereas my new watch and the clock radio on the bedside table say 8.43pm. Yes, I'm travelling again at the desire of the great corporate master.

The travel time was a short 4.5 hours, however with transfers, time zones etc it was a full day of travel. The flight across Aoroki (Mt Cook) was spectacular, with stunning views of fresh snowfall under a clear blue sky. (Just like this, but from above).

Having caught up (a bit) on work, I notice that the 'Queen's Birthday' movie on NZTV2 is 50 First Dates, which is a favourite of mine. Until I saw this movie I admit that Adam Sandler has annoyed me, and I saw it only because Drew Barrymore also stars. This very sweet, unrealistic, funny and pure fluff entertainment was so full of heart that I actually thought I saw a second demension to Mr Sandler. If you do watch the movie, stick it out for the credits and read the dedication to his father. Nicely done! However, I must say that anytime is time for a dose of Drew escapism - Aloha!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Oh, Bunnies!

I hope that I never lose the sense of enjoyment in, or become bored with the quirkiness that makes up everyday life.

Yesterday afternoon as I waited on the platform at the newly refurbished Spencer Street Southern Cross station after the football, young Gabby became entranced with a fellow potential passenger. Not sure whether it was my poor eyesight or not, but the man appeared to be carrying a small, tan, furry bundle. It looked very similar to a recent scarf purchase, but as it moved I realised that the man wasn't holding a scarf, or a puppy, but a rabbit!

Rabbits must be the 'pet du jour' (no Fatal Attraction puns meant) as my friend's daughter has a smoky gray rabbit called (not surprisingly) Smoky.

Train rabbit was 8 months old, and as a seasoned train traveller (as informed by Mr Bunny once we boarded and he sat next to us) train rabbit sat contentedly on Mr Bunny's shoulder for the entire trip.

What a huge difference from our most memorable after footy train trip last season, when Mummy J, young Gabby and I were trapped, sardine like, between two groups of very loud and rude youths. The volume made their shouts difficult to ignore, but I had trouble keeping up with the topic of conversation, interspersed as they were with more swear words that I've heard on a union picket line.

It was clear that these young men had definitely NOT been to my father's school of appropriate language. My father was raised in a very strict methodist household, where liquor shall not pass thy lips, nor language not contained in the bible, or at least the Queen's Christmas message. Whenever my father wanted to express his anger or displeasure in front of his impressionable daughters, the worst word he used was 'bunnies'. When 'bunnies' came out, we knew there was trouble. He didn't need to say anything else, or even raise his voice. Dad never hit one of his 4 daughters during our upbringing. 'Bunnies' was enough for us to know to keep quiet and lay low.

Very different 'bunny' train trips indeed ... and I'm glad that my grandmother didn't survive to hear the Queen's annus horibilis.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Name Dropper

While is was in London recently, wandering through the steets of Mayfair, I happened upon Claridges. As I perused the restaurant menu of foie gras, duck and venison, who should stride around the corner, disatracted by a very important mobile phone call but the epynomous owner of said restaurant - Gordon Ramsay.

As I wandered further to Oxford Street and into Selfridges, I gravitated to the Foyles bookstore and the cookery books. I find that if I'm not in the cookery books, I'm in the biographies. Well, 20% off Gordon Ramsay's Secrets cookbook - it was an omen I couldn't pass up!

What did I find so appealing about this gruff, wrinkled and often rude chef? I still can't isolate a single element other than to acknowledge that it continues a theme for men of note that I find attractive: Johnny Depp, Robert Downey jnr ... they all have just a bit of 'mongrel' about them. All very talented, all very passionate about and dedicated to their chosen path, often seen as arrogant and all just a bit bad!

Even my heroes of literature are 'bad' in some way, at least in the beginning: Fitzwilliam Darcy - proud (or is that prejudiced?); Prof Friedrich Baer - arrogant; Atticus Finch - just a tad supercilious.

However it is with my passion - sportsmen that I seem to break this mould. All of my favourite sportsmen have talent, passion, dedication and yes, arrogance, but bad? - Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Mats Wilander, Craig Bradley, Mark Taylor, Ricky Ponting - aha I've found a cross over!

Let's face it, at least in make believe, I like bad boys!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Is THIS how the other half live?

How will I ever return to everyday life after living in the clouds ... literally?

I recently had my first experience of travelling 1st class with Australia's national (well at the moment) airline - Qantas. It was the longest haul in the books - Melbourne - London (via Hong Kong) (see below) and well worth every penny (especially as my corporate master paid).

The uncomfortably superior treatment began at customs when I was informed that our national airline would provide me (as a 1st class passenger) with accompanied support from check-in, through customs, to the first-class lounge ... who me? I'm perfectly capable of looking after myself, thanks anyway.

In this instance I was able to reach the first class lounge under my own steam while only indulging my 'elevated rank' once in purchasing new designer sunglasses (in my defence I will say that I did need a new pair).

During the 1st leg I observed the seasoned superior travellers go about their well rehearsed routines
'would you like pyjamas, ma'am?' Unsure of how I was expected to reply mine was 'no thanks'. The more experienced traveller immediately changed into the soft cotton khaki Qantas PJs (perhaps a homage to ANZAC Day?) and as soon as the 'fasten seatbelt' sign was extinguished, they begun to turn their comfortable chairs into a full length bed, complete with assistance from attendants armed with blanket, doona and any wanted extra pillows.
Me? I tried to adapt to UK time by watching 'the Holiday' followed by exercising the 'movies on demand' option to watch my 547th viewing of the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.

Yes, I can relate to Goldilocks - while I enjoyed the benefits of first class travel, and I know that I dislike long-haul economy travel. I think that business class is ju-u-ust right.

Monday, May 7, 2007

if it's Sunday this must be ...

I continue to be amazed at just how big the world is, while it continues to prove how small it is becoming (forgive me, I'm a Libran)

Recently I travelled to London at the behest (and cost) of the great corporate master. It was a wonderful opportunity to contribute to a (possibly) significant project, meet some notable names, and while the travel is tiring, I felt it was worthwhile. The results will, of course, be measured by the great master at some stage in the future (the wheels of business do turn slowly).

I had no sooner left home, arrived 24 hours later, met the appropriate people, walked around as though in the middle of a game of Monopoly (none of this new fangled stuff for me - give me Mayfair, Picadilly & Oxford Street) than I was due to return home.

My return flight left Heathrow just after midday, approximately an hour before the World Cup (of cricket) final was due to begin. As I was seated in business class (again at the generousity of the great master) I felt bold enough to ask if there was the possibility of a score update during the course of the flight. We immediately had the attention of every male in the top deck. (shame I can't boast that in my social life, but oh well!)

A short 13 hours later, a message from the flight deck advised us that Australia had scored 281 from 38 overs and that Sri Lanka were chasing in the 32nd over. Hmm, thought my jetlagged brain - that can't be right, there must have been rain. But wait, one more thought is coming ... it must be night time in Barbados, the flight deck must have had an old score - quick, where's a TV and can I turn on my mobile phone to call for a score?

There I was in an airport international transit lounge (in Hong Kong), watching CNN (from Atlanta), about a cricket match (in Barbados) between the finalists (Sri Lanka and Australia). Then the familiar beep beep of my mobile phone gave me the answer via a text message form my bm in Melbourne - yes, Australia had won an unprecedented and thoroughly impressive 3rd World Cup.

If I have to travel the world in such a hurry, the least it can do is keep up with me!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Five things I'm obsessed with right now...

These are the things.

1. Grey's Anatomy

2. Cricket (if only the time difference between Australia & West Indies wasn't so unfriendly)

3. Being able to discuss the genius of Jane Austen with a growing population of devotees (however ill informed recent interpretations or bio-pics are)

4. My beloved Blues, winning football matches

5. learning (slowly) how to blog