Archive | March, 2014

regional living …

21 Mar

We headed up the coast today to visit the ‘92yro Birthday Girl’, and despite having visited the area many many times over the years (as holiday-makers) a couple of things struck me today as we approached town in the off season.

First of all the quality of regional radio, quirky and ‘oh-so-local’ it was hilarious to hear who was having a birthday celebration and what was going on at the local school…interspersed with music that took me back to my youth (guess in some ways, that’s gotta be a good thing).

Next I spied the  local paper. We (and anyone who has visited the area) fondly refer to it as “gods waiting room”… full of retirees and their parents,  the place is certainly a haven for the ‘quiet time of life’ if that’s what you are after…. BUT it’s gotta be disturbing to pick up the local paper and see it full of articles and adverts for disability services, aged care services, pharmaceutical services and FUNERAL services (seems like there is a natural progression going on there).

Let’s face it, while they may all be relevant…. do people really want to read about them in their local paper? Just when I was thinking it couldn’t get any more depressing,  I flicked over and saw the cheery two page colour spread called “The BIG C”… wow can’t get more positive than that.

However, I did manage a huge smile when we walked into the ‘facility’ that is home to Birthday Girl, and we were greeted to the sound of her voice (high soprano) above others, belting out a few tunes in ‘Happy Hour’.  There they were… about 10 of them, with  average age in the vicinity of high 80’s all sitting with scotch or wine in hand, having their Friday afternoon sing-a-long accompanied by a Hawaiian shirt wearing guitarist. P1130052

Who said that growing old needs to be boring ? … and  close to my own heart in the lead up to World Voice Day ….it proved that “Voice Matters”.

Oh ….and P.S… there is little or no internet either so posting this was a nightmare !

there’s nothing basic about black

20 Mar

While it seems that my wardrobe seems to contain quite a number of ‘basic black’ pieces, I have come to the conclusion that there is actually nothing ‘basic’ about them….every item has a very specific use.

Where is this heading ??? I hear you thinking.drawers

Well this morning I was rushing to get ready for work, it was early and the light was not great. I was searching for a particular black singlet top to wear under a coloured jacket…  a fairly standard layered look for a work day.

Now a black singlet shouldn’t be too difficult… BUT there I was rummaging through draws amongst black undies, black camisoles, T shirts and singlets and unable to actually SEE the one I was looking for.

I know all you women will relate to the importance of having the right strap width, correct length and fabric for a particular outfit… so here I was in the poor light emptying draws in a panic to locate the perfect one…. and wishing I loved white.

I’m happy to say it ended well, but it was not until I had decanted all draws, that I turned and put my hand right on it laying on the corner chair. ….phew, emergency averted (AND I made it to work on time).

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Image

circa 1922

19 Mar

On this day 92 years ago, Russian speed-skater Lidia Selikhova was born and so too was John Kelly, a Lancashire Cricketer. Both died in the 70’s …aged 50’Something.

Why is this significant I hear you ask?ninny birthday

Well on this day 92 years ago, my MIL was also born. She is feisty, opinionated, quite deaf  and very.. very…very  short, but also very much alive and kicking.

She lives in an aged care facility and she still can’t accept that she’s not a good candidate for knee, shoulder AND spinal surgeries….

She can’t quite work out why they took her drivers license off her 5 or 6 years ago…and she gets super ‘cross’ if she misses her weekly visit to the hairdresser (OR if they forget to give her salt for her meals). She has a memory like an elephant (for most things) and never leaves her room without baubles and beads that would put a Christmas tree to shame.

What a legend …Happy Birthday Ninny… for what it’s worth I reckon you’ll easily do the ‘century’!!

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would you like drugs with that ?

18 Mar

So I was listening to the radio in the car this morning and I had one of those  “YES YES YES moments”  and cracked up laughing when I heard them discussing TV advertising in the USA.

After three trips to America I can honestly say the ads still amuse me ….

We just can’t compete … but the funny thing is that they are (most often) not meant to be funny.  I have never  before heard drugs, creams, medications of all kinds advertised like ‘must have’ consumer items… whipping up a market and creating a need like they are the latest fashion accessory.

You can just picture the ’50 Something’  folks glued to their TV set  thinking ….

“wow I think I better get me some of that latest  heart failure, blood pressure, high cholesterol, (insert  whatever is your favourite medical condition )  drug, right now, it sounds great. Oh and look at that super packaging !”

…and the ad goes on to list ever possible disclaimer related to the drug itself in a cheery and matter of fact tone…. in other words it may help your problem … but it could kill you in the process.

If you are wondering what I’m banging on about … take a look at this ad for Spiriva (an asthma type medication) but make sure you see it through and listen to  ALL the possible side effects …. would YOU take this drug?

Spiriva Commercial

 Thank god pharmaceutical companies  have not stooped to commercial mass marketing here … yet!… BUT I’ve gotta say it’s  wildly entertaining…

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what the …?

17 Mar

So when does garden art stop being art… and become an insult to the environment?

Perhaps I will let you make up your own mind as you gaze at the amazing display that I pass on my regular trip through the ‘burbs while I drive between offices.

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No it’s not a nativity scene gone wrong, its a bizarre collection of handcrafted, cement statues….

Guess I can just be grateful that I don’t live next door. eh?

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move over Pro Hart…

16 Mar

After the craziness of yesterday afternoon’s storm here in Sydney, we managed a lovely birthday –come- housewarming soiree, on a rooftop in Bondi.  ‘Number-one-son’ and his partner had moved into their new home a couple of weeks back, so it was great to catch up with them and their friends and to check out the apartment.

So…being a mum and ever mindful of my mantra… ‘where there is alcohol there will be plenty of food’… I decided to pop down to the apartment and prepare a tasty late night treat.pro hart

After creating a mountain of steaming hot nachos, piled high with guacamole, cheese  and sour cream (100% health food)… we were challenged with getting it back up 2 flights to the rooftop.  So, using my brain, I popped the hot metal tray on top of a wooden chopping board, and we headed on up the stairs. BUT as I negotiated turn number 2 the worst happened …without any warning the tray slipped sideways hit the wall bounced off and tumbled onto the carpet in the hallway…guacamole, cheese and all !!!

OOPS… Pro Hart eat your heart out…it was spectacular!

Disbelief soon gave way to amusement   and shock gave way to hysterics as we attempted to scrape it up before any of the neighbours arrived to witness the spectacle.

P1130040 Talk about a great first impression …it seems you can take me anywhere …once!

another epic fail….

15 Mar

So you would think that after 34 years of domestic bliss, I might have mastered (or mistressed) the art of doing the laundry.washing

I know I have made confessions in the past regarding failure with keeping up the ironing, and button maintenance ….BUT this one involves the actual washing.

You know lifting the lid adding clothes and detergent then pushing a button.  How hard can it be ???

Well you see,  I have had one of those terrifying colour runs. A very special two tone panelled sweatshirt that was a much loved souvenir from the Guinness factory in Dublin. ..And you guessed it …It’s not mine (oops).

In finally getting life back in order after our spontaneous trip to New York City (did I happen to mention that I WON a trip to New York ??? oh yeah, I’m sure I did … just pinching myself)…. I did that last load of washing and …well, the rest is history.

I haven’t had the heart to tell ‘Mr 50 Something’ yet… but if he is keeping up with the blog, I guess he will know before long…. Sorry Darling  …(looks like we will be off to Ireland again in the near future).

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friday on my mind …

14 Mar

Friday Blog

my first friday in two weeks … so I’m gonna enjoy it

~goodnight~

opting out ….

13 Mar

Now I will start by acknowledging that I made a commitment to NOTuse this as a place for whining or being negative… and I don’t REALLY think what I am about to say is ….BUT I need to share my thoughts about ‘cheap’ airfares.

airfare

Having been lured by email alerts into believing that we could grab a ‘bargain basement’ flight to the Gold Coast …I quickly jumped at the chance of visiting my ‘sister from another mother’ who I have been missing. However, after going through the 8 page online booking process…I discovered my $59 (one way) ticket had suddenly become $240 (return) so I took a closer look.

There was an obvious cost difference to get back, because we need to fly on Sunday…and I accept that, but it was when I saw all the ‘opt out’ extras that I began to get irritated.

The basic airfare is for carry on luggage, which is fine (how can you possibly need more than 10kgs for 2 days on  the Gold Coast ??)  however Mr Jetstar assumed that I needed an additional 20kgs of baggage for my 2 days  @ a cost of $20 until I ‘opted out’.

Next was the travel insurance… Now there is no way that I wanted (or needed) insurance on this ticket but it too was assumed, and so another $12.50 was added to the ticket….. until I ‘opted out’.

Then there was the automatic assumption that I want to donate to charity …they had even nominated my donation amount….until I ‘opted out’ and of course the (ever rising but expected) booking fees….. (this time I couldn’t opt out).

However, the final straw was the seating allocations that popped up with a message ….“you have been allocated the following seats and are free to change them” ….at a cost of : $20pp for an exit row, $10 pp for preferred seating (up the front for quick exit) OR $5pp just to change the allocation…..and OF COURSE Mr 50 Something and I were not seated together!!!!! BINGO an extra $5.

After re-tracing each page and ‘unchecking’ all of the extras, the airfare is very reasonable but nothing like the lure of $59 each way. What a con Mr Jetstar…what a con!

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a breath of fresh air …..

12 Mar

When I committed to writing my 365 day blog back on the first day of the year… I also considered all the other new year’s fantasies that I could attempt to honour… (but just KNEW I wouldn’t). You know the kind of things….lose weight,…sleep more….stress less…get organised.

But NEVER (until today) did I consider a 21day “fresh breath challenge”… P1120847

Driving home today I heard the latest marketing strategy for a Listerine the Fresh Breath solution.They were at pains to tell the world why we should all take the challenge for just 3 weeks to have a fresher brighter breath. What the….. ???  (shouldn’t this be the ‘norm’ ? not something we just aspire to for 3 weeks ??

Can you believe it? because I am certainly struggling to understand. (take a peek @  Listerine 21 days)

Either way it gave me a laugh as I contemplated another 295 blog posts…. I’m 50 something but not dead ….YET !