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.


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Noble Professions

If I were Prime Minister for a day, the first thing I'd do - after passing a law that says Brad Pitt has to marry me - is to give teachers and nurses a pay rise.

It doesn't say much for our society, when a stripper who performs as a 'sexy schoolteacher' or 'naughty nurse' gets paid more than the people who actually do these jobs for real.

Of course if there are any kiddies reading this, I should point out that this does not mean the next time Miss Jones bends over to pick up the chalk in biology, you should try to slip your lunch money into her garter belt.

All jokes aside, I truly do believe that teaching and nursing are the most noble and important jobs in the world, and it really pisses me off that sometimes  we treat teachers as though the only qualification you need to teach grade 2 is to have passed grade 3.

Look, we all agree that nurses are great, but I'm not saying that all teachers are good.  There are certainly a few who found their way into it, not through a love of nurturing the next generation but through a love of having 6 weeks off at Christmas.

i had one teacher who was so bored, he used to stand up the front of the class and sniff the whiteboard markers all day long. (I have no real proof, but that's what I think).  On the upside, he did always give me great marks, and once said that I was one of the smartest clowns he had ever taught. Errrr .... hang on .....

I know this will come as a bit of a shock to most of you, but I was a bit of a brat at school. Almost every report card I received contained the comment "Katelyn will do well in life, as long as she stops trying to be funny all of the time".

My major problem at school was boredom.  In most humanities, arts and language classes, I had more As than a Queenslander making a speech, but in Maths and Science, I scored so many Cs, my report card sounded like a Spanish couple on their wedding night. (Come on, think about it).

In year 10 maths, I remember being so uninterested, that a couple of us would sit up the back of the room, tear up our text books, throw them up into the ceiling fan and when they scattered down, we would sing Christmas carols. 

In science, my friends and I spent most classes seeing how many things we could turn into bongs.

Don't even mention economics. we spent every lesson trying to hide the entire class from the teacher. (Errr ... sorry Butch). Who says school is boring?

I remember one conversation we had .... naturally it was all about sex education.  We all thought it was essential that kids should be taught about sex at school.  Let's face it, they are already learning about plenty of things they will never need to know, like algebra and long division.  How about teaching them some stuff that will actually come in handy later in life, like undo-the-bra and leg division?

But the course shouldn't be restricted to simple biology.  It should teach the things we really need to know about sex; like foreplay and how sometimes it's really helpful to recite the AFL ladder backwards in your head to prevent --- ummm how can I put this nicely? --- being like Thorpie and having false starts.

OK, let's talk about 'How to Undo a Bra 101', which should definitely be a compulsory unit. Sadly most men are more capable of completing Rubik's cube, making an origami swan or breaking into a bank vault.

Jokes aside, a course like this would be great for male-female relations, especially if it's focused on the most important sexual organ of all - the tongue.

Now get your minds out of the gutter. I'm talking about talking. You see, I think men in particular don't talk enough about sex.  Sure, men these days bang on about banging on all the time, but it's silly stuff. I know it seems like that's all they talk about, except for the occasional pause to check the cricket scores, and I'm not referring to yelling obscene stuff from building sites. But we need to talk to each other more.

By the way girls on the other hand are a lot more open about their sex lives.  To all you guys out there, I can guarantee that if you've been with your girl for longer than 15 minutes,  all her close female friends would be able to identify your genitals in a line-up.

Anyway .... I digress.

I would constantly get into trouble for things I said back in school.  In one class (and this is not a joke) the teacher was so frustrated by my questions, she snapped "Well Miss Taylor, if you think you can do a better job, why don't you come up here and teach the class?"

I did.  I immediately sent her to the principal's office, cancelled all homework and asked everyone if they wanted to go on an excursion to the pub. Boy, they loved me.

Oh, and I almost got expelled on my last day of school.  At my school there was a tradition among year 12s, to parody the daily school bulletin.  Unfortunately our version proved a bit too much for the teachers we targeted and they demanded we get kicked out. 

Imagine that?  Making fun of those in power.  Phew, lucky we grew out of that!!!!

But while a good teacher can inspire you, a bad one can scar you for life.  When I told one teacher, let's call her 'Mrs Brown' that I wanted to fly when I was a little older, she told me that it was never going to happen.  

That day, I went home in tears.  Pfffffttttt

I'm not going to make any jokes about nurses. I owe those angels my life.  Just pay them whatever they bloody want!!!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Music Makes The World Go Round

I  went to see Stephen Fry the other day.

Not really much to say about it ... he was - well - Stephen Fry. Like him or loath him, there was a hilarious part of the show when he spotted a guy sitting in the audience and he asked him his name. The man looked back at him, slightly surprised, and in a softly spoken Aussie brogue, told him his name (I'm not saying who it was, but you Aussies would know him). One of Australia's top comedians.

Suddenly all the air was sucked out of the room as the audience held it's collective breath. But the worst was still to come. Not recognising one of Australia's most famous comedians, Fry pursued his line of questioning. "So, my friend, what do you do?"

After looking back at Fry, the man paused and quietly replied "I'm a comedian. What do you do?"  

I've got to admit, I much rather prefer music concerts than stand-up comedy. 

I remember recently, some well-meaning (read - "idiot") friends took me clubbing. Sure, I love seeing the best bands in the world at huge venues, but sometimes I get as much joy from watching someone try to ride a wheelie bin as if it's a rodeo bull. Soooo we went to see an unknown band perform at a relatively small venue.

When it comes to rock and roll and comedy, stand-up doesn't really stand up. For starters rock and roll is cool. Everyone knows the old saying "sex, drugs and rock and roll". Comedy, I guess, is more "sex jokes and getting the dole".

There is no doubt that rock and roll is sexier than comedy. Despite girls often listing 'sense of humour' as an attractive quality, you rarely see us getting randy for Billy Connolly. A male rock star can get ear piercing screams for removing his shirt. Let's face it, there are rock drummers who, I'm sure, who have never owned a shirt. A comedy gig is about the only place you'll hear an audience scream for the comedian to put his shirt back on.

Music can definitely make things sexy. You can take someone home, dim the lights, light some candles, slip on some James Blunt and let's ... get ... it ... on!! I'd somehow doubt you'd get the same effect if the CD was Kevin Bloody Wilson.

In rock and roll, it's expected that the musos behave as offensively as possible, but the same leeway isn't extended to the punters. In fact, I think we need a special version of the Ten Commandments just for gigs.

Now before I go on, I should clarify that I am not a religious person. Nevertheless, I like the idea of existence coming with a detailed set of instructions. God's version of "Life For Dummies", but perhaps I'm being a little demanding of the big fella to come up with commandments for gigs, so I asked my friends for their views. So here, in the name of making this crazy thing called 'life' a little simpler, are my 10 Commandments for concerts -

1.  If you want to have a convo with someone, do it at the bar
2.  If you're going to the mosh-pit, finish your drink first.
3.  If you are going to sit on your boyfriend's shoulders, improving your view of the stage, but obstructing it for half the audience, take off your top so at least the male half of the audience has something interesting to look at
4.  Apart from the aforementioned shoulders commandment, shirts should remain on at all times.  Thee obvious exception is if you are the band's drummer, in which case being topless at all times during the gig is compulsory.
5.  If you are going to follow the lead singer's request to 'put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care', please make sure that you have applied a liberal amount of deodorant.
6.  If you must take photos, try to avoid pointing the flash in the artists' eyes. Unless, of course, that artist is Justin Beiber!
7.  You must be 100 percent sure of the lyrics before committing to singing along. I'm sure Billy Thorpe wasn't singing "Boys on my bed". It was "Poison Ivy" people.
8.  When attending a gig, you must not, I repeat, you must not, wear a t-shirt featuring the band you are actually seeing.
9.  If you don't have fluorescent green hair in your everyday life, don't dye it fluorescent green for a concert.  Chances are, sometime during the middle of the show the dye will start to mix with your perspiration and you'll end up looking like The Hulk's love child.
10. Earplugs should not be worn at any time. If it's too loud, you're too old. Go home.

And here, my children, endeth the lesson.   

Friday, 23 October 2015

Trick or Treat

When I was 8 or 9, I remember feeling really ripped off that I was born in Australia, where if you went around asking people for food, it was called 'begging'.  I was as mad as .... well .... Halloween, and I simply wasn't going to take it any more.

I watched American television. I wanted to dress up as a vampire, I wanted to bob for apples, or give apples to Bob, or whatever you're supposed to do with apples.  I wanted to eat chocolate until I perspired nougat, and carve faces into pumpkins and light candles inside them.

Yes, all of that!!!!

I guess in these days of childhood obesity, the last thing we need is to encourage kids to go door knocking for lollies.  On the up side, the walk will probably do them good.

Anyhooo where am I? Oh yeah, Halloween.

Now don't get me wrong, as an Australian adult, any area in which we don't slavishly copy the Americans is a ray of sunshine.  Yo, you know what I'm saying, dude. Holla if you hear me bro.

And even though it's getting harder to tell them apart, I'm now so glad that Aussie kids are so different from the Yanks.  Let's face it, these days in the States, the main reason they give treats to kids standing at their door, is not because it's Halloween, it's because they're holding Uzis.

Last year - 31st October - I had just driven home from the airport, just walked into the house and was looking in the fridge, hoping there was something to eat, when a knock on the front door came as a complete shock.

It was after 9.00 o'clock. Who the hell is visiting at this time of night?  Hope they bought food.

It was even more of a 'shock' when I opened the door and was greeted by a witch and a vampire. Now, either the Mormons were having a "Buffy The Vampire Slayer"  theme night, or  I was being trick or treated.

Turns out, it was a couple of kids aged 5 and 6 who had just moved to Australia from the USA, and didn't want to miss Halloween.  (I should point out that this information was conveyed by their dad who was standing behind them.  They hadn't just flown into Australia by themselves on some elaborate chocolate scam).

Anyway, they were holding out the pillowcases they were using as lolly bags - and yes, I did just chuckle when I typed 'lolly bag' - and proclaimed 'Trick or treat'.

I started to panic.  You see, I knew for certain that there was no chocolate in the house.  I knew this because I had eaten it all 15 minutes earlier.  Indeed in the past 5 minutes I'd resorted to eating Milo out of a can, with a spoon to get more of a chocolate fix.

OK Katelyn, use your head.

I knew there were some dried fruit and nuts in the cupboard, but the kid inside me knew what a crap treat that would be.  It's trick or treat, not trick or healthy snack.  I rushed to the fridge, but since I hadn't been food shopping for the week, this was no help at all.  All that was there was a 6 pack of beer belonging to my next door neighbour, who had run out of space in his fridge, a couple of bottles of wine, various cheeses and cold meats and vegies.

I briefly considered giving them the booze. but dad would have benefited.  And the unopened jar of marinated garlic, seemed equally inappropriate given that one of the kids was supposed to be a vampire.

I looked at their hopeful faces and my heart broke.  So, I ransacked the house and grabbed whatever I could find. 

The witch and the vampire ended up leaving with their pillowcases stuffed with 6 CDs, a digital alarm clock and a $50 JB HiFi voucher I had received for my birthday.  Oh, and some gold coins.

Riiiiiiiiiiight, are you all still wondering why I felt ripped off as an Aussie kid?  Really looking forward to this year. Note to self ---- BUY CHOCOLATES!!!