Sunday, 29 October 2017

A repair person I'm not!

When it came to fixing things around the house, it's safe to say I was never a handy woman.

When we were growing up, my brother and I were never really good at building stuff. In fact the only time I rubbed shoulders with someone in overalls, was when our parents took us to a K.D. Lang concert, the only carpenters I knew were in my parents record collection and the only time I'd used Selley's Liquid Nails was when I found some under the sink once and tried to bake a cake with it.

For most of my life, I was the sort of person who was less DIY and more DIYTCAETRD (Do It Yourself Then Call An Expert To Repair Damage) type of person. Even Jesus had more luck around wood and nails than I did.

In the past, the only thing I was good at was picking up the phone to call 'hire-a-hubby'.  Shouldn't use the line 'is great doing odd-jobs around the house' and my name in the same sentence. I once got a flat tyre on my Holden Barina (hello young ladies), and when the RACV couldn't come for over an hour, I called my mum and she talked me through it. Yes as far as doing 'blokey' things I think I'm slightly behind Julie Bishop but way ahead of  Malcolm Turnbull.

I had to call a plumber because of a leaking tap.  As it's not my place I called a couple and the first one to arrive was getting the job. As it happens, they both arrived at the same time, or thereabouts. So I was stuck with one tap and two plumbers.

As somebody who chose air travel as a job because it's sort of indoors, and no heavy lifting (usually), I greatly admire people who actually work for a living. Plus, with plumbers, I feel we're kind of in the same line of work. It's just that I talk it, and they make sure it get's flushed away,

Anyway, at the end of a long day with them working in the rain and me lingering awkwardly, I decided to try to bond with the bonza blokes (Aussie lingo) by getting them a bloody beer. (Sorry. Again I learnt this Aussie bloke talk from watching Alf in Hone and Away).

So I went to the fridge looking for a good blokes beer like VB or Fosters, only to be greeted by a range of designer ales with names so complex they sounded like they were named after Angelina Jolie's kids.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, they didn't want to charge me because 'you're a visiting Aussie. I love Aussues.'

Yes, I'm Aussie. I love Australia. I couldn't be more Aussie if I was riding a kangaroo down the Main Street, eating a vegemite sandwich, drinking a VB and staring at a picture of Warnie.

I reckon most Aussies would say that in certain areas, we've always seen ourselves as superior to the Brits. Weather immediately spring to mind. Oh, and sport! Sometimes I suspect we'd be happy to come second last in the Olypics, as long as Great Britain came last. Well actually third last, as we have to beat New Zealand too

Remember when Britain beat us at the Olympics? It basically knocked  all other news off the front page. Suddenly no-one cared about terrorism. Forget the bombs, we were beaten by the Poms!

And beaten we were. Every mathematician in the country was pulled off important research to prove that we won more medals 'per capita' than Great Britain.

I'm depressed now. Back next month.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Ho hum ... Another cold

One of the most embarrassing things in life is when you become the thing you used to hate. That's why it absolutely pains me to admit that I drive a 4 wheel drive.

Yep folks, I am one of those road-hugging, petrol guzzling, enviroment destroying, talk on the mobile while driving, complete and utter tossers who drive a 4WD in the city.

Hi, my name is Katelyn and I'm a tool.  For some reason I can't remember, when I went and got ths car, I decided I needed a 'truck' to go off road in. I've had it for a bit of time now, and the only time I've come close to going off road, is when I stuffed up a reverse park and ended on the nature strip.

Let's be honest here, the only bush bashing I've ever done involved an ex US president and the closest I have ever gotten to driving through creeks or busting through sand dunes, is when I occasionally forget to slow down for a speed hump.  I feel increasingly stupid driving a 4WD, when I never take it into the country.

Do you know, you can even buy spray-on dirt now so that you can give your 4WD that off-road look, even if you've never been anywhere near th back country?

I live in the city. Why do I need a 4WD anyway? So I can get to the next set of traffic lights faster???


I'm going off the topic again. I wasn't going to talk 4WDs.

What I was going to mention, I've got a damn cold!  I was going to the chemist to buy something for it.

Have you ever noticed, when you get a cold, it's never really just a cold?  It seems like I'm convinced for some reason or other, that I have bird flu.  It's amazing how a cold can turn us into complete babies.

I also noticed I've become really rude to people.  "Oh, you've got a cold! Don't give it to me." Yeah, that's what I was going to do. I feel so great, I want to share it!

What really makes me grumpy is that I can't believe, in this day and age, we still don't have a cure for th common cold. Surely our brainy boffins should spend a little less time trying to fit a camera, MP3 player and microwave into our mobile phones and a little more time trying to cure our colds. It's a screwed up world that offers more nasal sprays to give guys an erection than there are to unblock our noses.

Of course, there being no cure didn't stop my friends suddenly thinkng they all had medical degrees.
'You've got to eat more garlic' they advised. Oh, you bloody think so!  I had garlic tablets and ate garlic mushrooms and garlic bread, but they didn't prevent my cold. However on the up side, I became totally immune to vampires. On the downside, males kept away from me.

"Have you taken some echinacea?" What?  It sounds like somewhere I would go for holidays.

So finally after a few days of feeling sorry for myself, I dragged myself off to the doctor who took one look at me and said "Oh you've got a cold. Go back to bed."

Well thank God I got a medical opinion!  I'm going back to bed!

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Natural Selection

Is it just me, or are today's shopping malls so confusing, you have to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find your way out once you've finished with your shopping?

I suspect the reason you see so many pensioners sitting on benches isn't because they need a break from shopping, it's because they came in when they were young, got lost and now live in Bras 'n Things.

In fact, I think I smell a TV show here - Survivor:Westfield. You're challenge today is to avoid being stopped by mobile phone salespeople. Winner to get free mini muffin at Muffin Break!

The problem with my local shopping centre is that I can never find my car.  I swear they rotate the entire centre around the minute I walk through the automatic doors. I'm convinced that the carpark levels whirl on some sort of rotisserie.

Anyway, going right off the point.

What I was going to mention before being side tracked are all the warnings on packaging. I began reading them and honestly, couldn't stop.

I was looking for some sleeping pills for an overseas flight - "warning may cause drowsiness". Really? Phew, glad you told me. It's like Asprin having a warning "may relieve the symptoms of a headache". Or on a Viagra packet "may cause grandpa to chase grandma around the kitchen table'..

Then there was the electric power drill that comes with the warning - "not to be used as a dental drill".  Who is that warning for?

Or the hair colouring that comes with the warning - "do not use as ice-cream topping". Huh? Who is that for?

Hair dryers used to come with the warning - "do not use while taking a shower".  Again I feel like this one falls under the heading of 'moron'. At the very least, because using it while in the shower must limit its effectivness. 'I have it on high, but for some reason my hair is still wet'.

This s right up there with the toilet brush that tells us - "do not use orally". I'm not going to go there.

One of my favourites is the dishwasher with the instructions -  "do not let children play in the dishwasher". For heaven's sake, they'll get wet. I guess you could always dry them off in the dryer. Or use the microwave it's much quicker.

But without doubt my absolute favourite was the mattress that cane with the warning - "do not attempt to swallow".  Now this warning both  amuses and disturbs me for a couple of reasons - someone has tried this and how stoned would you have to be to try eat a mattress?

I give up! Incidentally did you know that 31 Australians died while watering Xmas trees while the lights were on? Natural selection?

Monday, 28 November 2016

Thank you

Hi all

You probably know by now, the medical problems I've been going through. I'd like to say a few thank yous, if you'll allow me.

I had my stroke while I was writing on Twitter, and I'd like to thank the person I was writing to for all he did. His quick thinking helped me a lot. Thank you. You know who you are.

To the doctors and nurses at the hospital, thank you. You had 4 months of my life. You were wonderful. Thanks you again.

To my brother thank you. Mum and dad would have been so proud. Thank you David, thank you Sue and also the kids.

To my wonderful friends, Keith, Rebecca, Bella, Paul, Terry, Anna, Desi, Nikki, Carly, Katrina and all the others. Thank you for being there.

To Qantas, thank you for all you did.

Lastly to all my Twitter friends, a massive thank you for still being there. I missed you all.

Thank you all, again, and I'll be back next month.


Chain Letter are great, right?

I got some great news recently.  It seems the wife of a former Nigerian President had heard that I am “honest and reliable”.  Pretty impressive, huh?  It was all there in her email.  I don’t know how she got my address, but it was perfect timing.
You see I was about to apply for a load and I really needed some decent references.  I was certain I’d get the cash because I had the tick of approval from someone as impressive as the wife of the former Nigerian President.

OK, right.  And I have a bridge in Sydney I can sell you!

Another thing that irks me, aside from these spam emails, are chain letters.
OK, I have to ask, does anyone actually fall for this crap?  Is there any mental giant out there who really thinks Bill Gates built his fortune by sending $1,000 to anyone who forwards an email?
Surely if it were that easy to make money on the net, financial advisors would be doing it:  “Well, Kate, we’re going to put half your money into blue-ribbon stocks like BHP Billiton and the other half in internet chain letters.  You should be living in a gold house by the end of the month”.
Personally, I think there is a special corner in hell reserved for people who pass chain letters on, especially the ones that promise bad luck if you don’t forward them.
I mean, what sort of friend sends you something that is basically a threat, saying “If you don’t do what I say bad things are going to happen to you”?  Well, unless your friend’s email is –
And it’s always the weirdest threats, like “Mr. John Smith of Made-Upville refused to pass on this letter, and for the rest of his life, he suffered from really bad hat hair.  And a man from  Darwin refused to send on his letter and he still lives in Darwin.”  Tremble at the power of the letter!
“Another man decided to throw the letter in the bin.  Soon after he was forced to listen to Cliff Richards over and over again.  He was then stabbed in his sleep, which he actually saw as a stroke of good luck because it meant that he didn’t have to listen to Cliff Richards any more.
What I love about these stories, though, is how quickly someone’s fortune can turn around.  “An oil tycoon named George received this email and didn’t pass it on.  He immediately lost his fortune and was then captured by aliens who probed him and then feasted on his brains until they dropped him back on earth as a brainless zombie.  Having been completely removed of anything resembling intelligence, he decided to forward the email to all his friends, and in two days he was elected President of the United States of America.” 
Well, actually, now that I think about it, that one could be true.
Of course the question has to be asked by anyone with half a brain:  if a person didn’t pass on the letter and then died tragically – as many of these letters claim – how would anyone know?
I’ve never seen that episode of CSI:  “Well we’ve ruled out murder, accidental death and suicide, it can only be one thing.  He didn’t respond to a chain letter”.
They are complete crapola, and I don’t care how many dollar signs, capital letters or exclamation marks you put in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, and whatever the letter is about, it was always started by monks.
And you know what?  I don’t give a toss if it has been around the world five times.  So has Paris Hilton and come to think about it – so have I, and I’m not about to send myself to 5 of my friends.

Anyway, if you enjoyed reading this, please email it to 50 of your closed friends in the next 50 seconds or you will DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, maybe not even next month, but sometime – in the next 100 years, almost definitely.  Seriously, trust me!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I mean would I lie to you???????????  The wife of the Nigerian President says I’m honest and reliable$$$$$$$!!!!!!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Christmas Has Been and Gone .... Next ....

I’ve discussed a lot of important things here over the past couple of years – sex, religion, politics and even Harry Potter but I think this is by far the biggest:  have you noticed how early they are putting hot cross buns in the supermarkets?

Oh yeah, eat your hearts out all you hard hitting newsmen, I’m the only one who isn’t afraid to go after the big targets!  If I had a can of worms, I would be cracking it open right now.

It’s been driving me mad ever since New Year’s Day, when I stumbled into the supermarket with my friends.  All of us suffering a  hangover so big it had its own mushroom cloud, only to be greeted by the delish sight of Easter buns?

For a minute I thought “Wow, I really had a lot more to drink than I thought.  I’ve woken up 4 months later.  I’ve missed Aussie Day and more importantly, now I will never know if Kush will tell Shabs that Stacey's baby is, in fact, his on EastEnders.”

Even by the standards of supermarkets that seem to want to turn the 12 Days Of Christmas into the 12 Months Of Christmas Shopping,  January 1st seems a tad early.  Hang on a minute, is it because petrol prices are so high these days that Santa and the Easter Bunny need to share a ride?

I need to point out I’m not having a go at Easter here.  Like everyone, I love remembering the death of the son of God in the traditional manner of eating chocolate eggs delivered by a magical bunny (you know just like it says in the Bible, although I think someone had been smoking the burning bush that day.)

But do we really need 3 – 4 months of celebration?  I mean, how hard are parents going to make the Easter egg hunt this year?  Even Sam and Frodo could find them in 3 months.  Let’s be honest, if you told kids that Osama Bin Laden had chocolate, most of them could have found him in a few minutes flat..

At least with Christmas pressies, the shops can justify that some people need time to shop and save?

I suppose what really bugs me is the complete commercialization of Christianity.  Now, I’m no God-botherer and I have never been know to bash a Bible that wasn’t asking for it, but even I find it all a little tacky.  I mean, if they are willing to flog Easter buns and eggs for 3 months, what’s next?  “Remember this is the weekend that we solemnly remember the death of the Lord who died on the cross for our sins … speaking of crosses, we have massive discounts in the hardware section all weekend.”

And you know if the supermarkets are making a buck, it won’t be long before the big corporations try to cash in, too.  You can just see the ads:  “We all love the story of Jesus feeding the masses with loaves and fishes.  At McDonalds we will be celebrating that all month with our Filet-o-Fish McMiracle meal deal.
Would you like absolution with that?”

I remember, I was watching a man set up a Valentine’s display in a shop window this time last year. It was just after New Year’s Day, but shop people need to get a jump on love, I guess.

Don’t get me wrong.  Shop owners are fine people.  They give us choices and keep us informed on the important holidays. 

Think about it, how would we know it was Valentine’s Day or Christmas, Easter or Mother’s Day, if the shop people didn’t stay on the ball?

The other group to count on, is kindergarden teachers.  They always know about special days and when it comes to Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, what the kindy teachers set in motion, no shop person could ever hope to compete with.

Which reminds me ……….

This is kind of personal.  It might get a little syrupy, so watch out.

What I’m talking about here, is something I think of as a ‘treasure box’ given to me by my nephew when he was 3 and made at kinda, of course.

Once it was a simple white box and now it’s decorated with glitter, feathers, dried pasta, magazine pictures, shells and pebbles.

It’s gotten a bit moldy now, but once you look inside, you’ll know what I mean.

There are all these bits of paper with “Hello Katie”, and “Happy Volintime” and “I luv you Katie” written on them, and silly little red hearts everywhere. Stuck to the bottom of the box are exactly 23 “X’s” made out of macaroni.  I’ve counted them more than once.

There are bead bracelets and a necklace, a ring out of a lolly dispensing machine, hand drawn ‘portraits’, favourite pieces of string, dead flowers, marbles, pictures carefully cut out of magazines and even a little favourite stuffed teddy bear.

I can honestly tell you, the treasures of King Tut are nothing compared to this.

I cried when he gave it to me.  I just think it’s evidence of love in it’s most uncomplicated and pure state.

He’s 7 now. He still loves me, though it’s harder to get direct evidence.  It’s love that’s complicated by age, knowledge and confusing values.

Yeah sure, this is probably the worst kind of simpleminded female drivel imaginable, and I’ve, more than likely, embarrassed us both by mentioning it. But it beats the hell out of anything else I have, for comfort.

This box stands for my kind of love and I want to take it with me when, and wherever, I go.

Happy 2016 to all you wonderful people. xxx

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Merry Christmas everyone

OK, this is going to get mushy, so be warned.  It's about Christmas and presents.  Well any gift giving day and presents, actually.

You guys want to know something?  It's not true that what counts is the thought and not the gift. Our mothers were pulling our legs on that one.

Come on, be honest, you are probably like me and have collected so much gift-wrapped rubbish over the years from people who copped out and hurriedly bought a little plastic thingy to give under the protective flag of "good thoughts".

I was asked recently, what I would like for Christmas.  I hadn't really given it much thought, but this is what I want -

I want to be 5 years old again.  Just for an hour. I want to laugh a lot and cry a lot.  I want to make a mess eating mum's spaghetti,  I want to be picked up and rocked to sleep in my late mother or late father's arms.

No-one is going to be able to give me that, but I might give, at least, the memory of it to myself if I try hard enough.

By the way, this Christmas when you see an image of  the Bethlehem manger, have a good, hard, long look at it.  It's an icon of the supposedly perfect family.

OK so it doesn't even stand up to basic scrutiny. There's Mary, a teenage kid who has just had a baby in the back stall of a barn, and with some confusion as to who the father is.  Her partner, Joe of Nazareth, is muttering about taxes and the fact that the head honcho in those parts, Herod, has opted for infanticide.  And if that's not enough to think about, there's all this traffic of visiting astrologers, sheep ranchers and angels who keep dropping by with questions and proclamations.  And there's the baby - Jesus Christ, that cute little kid, is going to grow up to wander around the desert in a frock, cause enormous civil disturbance, vandalize a temple and come into serious conflict with the law, before being arrested, tortured and nailed to a tree.

I mean, they're not exactly the Waltons, are they?

OK You know when you go to the office Christmas party and there's always some idiot in the corner that insists on dancing on the table with his pants around his ankles, and tops it off with a floral lampshade on his head?  Meet Eamon, my next door neighbour.

I recently went to pick him up from his Christmas party - and yes, there he was!!!!  Every year, without fail, he manages to make a complete and utter dick of himself at the Chrissy party (and that even includes all those years he was unemployed and crashed Social Services' party).

Every December he promises himself that this year it will be different and then every year the Christmas spirit enters him followed by the Christmas wine, the Christmas beer etc, and suddenly he's back on the table looking like Ned Kelly.

The cause of most of the problems can be traced back to 2 words - FREE BEER.

He has a formula for working out how much he should eat and drink.  First take the amount of money you think you should be paid, subtract the amount you are actually paid, and the number you have left over is how much you can eat and drink in free booze and nibbles to get even.

And, he says, if he feels like a little bonus and the boss isn't forthcoming, he steals a bit of stationery on the way out.

Next on my 'hit list' is Santa. Could someone please tell me ... how did he ever catch on?  Wouldn't any healthy society have him locked up immediately?  I mean, just hang on a second and let me get this straight ....... An ancient overweight Norwegian alcoholic in a stupid red suit and kinky boots with no visible means of support despite his massive wealth, is going to slither down my chimney in the middle of the night, creep into my bedroom and fill my stockings???????

I have a gun and I'm waiting fatboy!!

Finally ......

A couple of years ago I didn't receive many Christmas cards.

On a rather warmish February afternoon this troublesome realization actually came to me out of the back room in my head where all useless information is kept.  

But I didn't say anything, I can take it, I am tough.  I won't complain when my cheap friends don't even care enough to send me a stupid Christmas card.

The following August, I was mucking around in the garage trying to establish some order in the mess and found, in among the Christmas decorations, a box of unopened cards from the previous Christmas.  As I was going to be away over the Christmas period, I had asked my housemate to put any cards I might receive, into a box and I'd open them at leisure.  But I ran out of leisure in the usual Christmas panic so they got caught up in the "stuff-them-in-a-box-and-shove-them-in-the-garage-and-we'll-deal-with-it-next-year" syndrome.

I took the box down and in the middle of August, began to open my Christmas cards.  Just to help, I put on a Christmas CD and pumped up the volume.

I opened the envelopes and set the cards up on the lawn.  There it all was - angels, snow, wise men, candles, pine boughs, horses and sleighs, the Holy Family, elves and Santa.  Heavy messages about love and joy and peace and goodwill.  If that wasn't enough, there were all these hand-written messages of affection from my cheap friends who had, in fact come through.

I cried. Vary rarely have I felt so bad and so good at the same time.

As fate always seems to have it, I was discovered in this condition by a neighbour who had been attracted to the scene by the sound of Christmas music.  She laughed.  I showed her my cards and she got weepy too, and we had this Christmas ordeal right there in my back yard, in the middle of August singing along with Neil Diamond  to the final mighty strains of "Oh Holy Night"  Faaaaalll on yourr kneeeeees, oh heeeeeear the angel voiiiiiices.

What can I say? I guess wonder, joy and happiness are always in the attic of your mind somewhere and it doesn't take a lot to set them off.  And so much about Christmas is outrageous whether it comes to you in December or August.

I'd like to wish my brother David, his wife Sue and kids, Ellie and Christopher a wonderful Christmas. Also to all my dear friends, who like me for being me and not in spite of it,  and the wonderful friends I've made during the year.  To my extended family - all the incredibly nice Twitter people I've encountered - Merry Christmas and peace, happiness and good health for 2016.

Oh, and if anyone sees my parents wandering around, please tell them I'd love for them to come home for one more Christmas. I miss you mum and dad.