Archive | September, 2014

facing dandruff …

20 Sep

Back in the big smoke after my outback adventure and I couldn’t help but be stunned by the beauty of Sydney as we flew in today …a perfect clear and sunny afternoon with the harbour covered in sailing boats, and the iconic bridge and Opera House showing off … just breathtaking.

Sydney Air

The only thing that dampened my magical moment was  ‘interference’ in the form of my ‘next-door-neighbour’. There I was the ham in the sandwich between 2 generously proportioned men, and the one by the window was becoming more and more inconsiderate.

From the minute we took off he adjusted the window shade constantly up-down-open-shut then halfway in between. I managed to amuse myself with a movie for the most part, making  his fidgeting bearable, but as we made our approach over Sydney he leaned forward and proceeded to scratch at his mangy beard. Next minute specks of ‘snow’ were falling from his face…dry dead skin was sprinkling all over his lap…. so I found it way too hard to gaze through him (and is face dandruff)to get more than a quick glimpse out the window.

I thought hard about what I could say…but given the strange nature of my complaint (“excuse me sir, but your face dandruff is offending me”), and my vocal challenge, he would have no chance of understanding my issue.

I know it’s always a lucky dip in the crazing and crowded world of airline travel….but I wonder how I can guarantee not to be seated next a passenger with personal hygiene issues in the future….would it be to unreasonable to make a formal request ? LOL.

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cubicle complaints …

19 Sep

For some reason tonight takes me back inside the ladies loo. I’m beginning to wonder why I do so much ‘wondering’ in there…. but it can be a fascinating place sometimes.

I popped into the poolside facility at the moderately swanky (as opposed to really swanky)conference hotel, and was stunned to find several shower cubicles alongside the loos; each complete with every pampering potion you could ever need… shampoos, conditioners, body wash …you name it, it was there. Then there were hair dryers and straighteners plugged and in ready to go at each vanity basin ….and …wait for it … 2 sets of uber-modern bathroom scales,  one on each side of the vast tiled space.

While I wondered who would really use those scales…I was impressed with the effort and the decor of the whole place.

loo paperUNTIL …..I finally dragged myself away from all this fancy stuff…and went to the loo, (fortunately for just a quick visit), only to discover there was not one square of toilet paper..arrrgh!!

Surely if the interior designer had gone to all that effort to accommodate every whim, they could have installed some sort of facility for an emergency supply of loo paper (or just left a spare roll within reach – I mean, how hard can that be ?).

 

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who would’ve thought ?…

18 Sep

Today I’ve been wondering about life here in the Outback…I mean it’s stunningly beautiful, remote and somehow spiritual, but on a practical level there are so many first world issues to wonder about (like how good is the internet??) .

Here we are in the middle of the desert surrounded by red dirt and rock, so I asked the coach driver how they go with water restrictions. He laughed and said they never have any restrictions because they are sitting over 500 years supply of the wet stuff, crystal clear springs permanently running below the ground (so then why is everything so brown ???)

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Then there was the cost of living … well strawberries (of all the important things) are the same bargain price as back home at the moment, ‘cheap as chips’  … yet petrol is 40 cents per litre more ….how does that work ?

The real surprise was rent… $2400 per month for a 3 bedroom apartment !!!

By the way the answer to the internet question is ….slow (but better than I imagined).

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over and out …

18 Sep

Today I entered a parallel universe….I heard all about bats, woodchucks and squirrels and their role in hepadnaviral infection, (and I wasn’t even wondering about them). It’s done my head in, so I need to power down my brain before it explodes……zzzzzz

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it’s all relative …I guess

17 Sep

Today I had the pleasure of visiting an Aboriginal Women’s Centre ….a fantastic facility that is all about women (no male over the age of 7years allowed on site AT ALL), the perfect one stop shop for Women’s Business.

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It is a fabulous collision of tradition and Western medicine and is completely controlled by ‘Grandmothers Law’.

The visit was going beautifully and the lovely Aboriginal health worker that was showing us around, proudly introduced us one by one to a photo of each of  the special Grandmothers, who are like the Board of Directors.

The photo showed the smiling faces of 12 beautifully buxom…very elderly and absolutely traditional Indigenous women, so I couldn’t resist asking our host what age these amazing women would be.She looked very thoughtfully and  replied that they were very very old women, and that the average age would be at least 56 years!!!.

GULP …. talk about a reality check, we all laughed a lot but… I’m 50Something and feeling very fortunate today.

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that’ll teach me …

16 Sep

OK …so I let my head go and had a spontaneous moment of competitiveness this morning… now I’m feeling my age (just a little).

A fellow delegate that I had not yet met, was heading out of the hotel at the same time as me this morning, clearly heading to the same conference destination …about 200 mtrs down the long, straight, flat footpath. I made the effort to get eye contact thinking we could walk together…. HOWEVER  she clearly had no intention of having company, but instead of acknowledging me and moving along, she did the “I’m deliberately avoiding eye contact” head tilt, and took off at a great speed.

I was every-so-slightly miffed (despite not being able to hold any kind of conversation especially while walking), and so I got this crazy idea that I would overtake her ….after all it was a flat and straight path and her legs were MUCH shorter and chunkier than mine…so I ramped up my pace a little.walking

Anyway as I was gaining on her with my super long legged strides ~ I felt something go bang.

OUCH !!! I had strained my groin muscle and pulled up lame… (fortunately I hadn’t quite made the overtake…so at least I saved face on that score). I continued along with something that was a cross between a limp and a waddle, and made it to my destination… so relieved to find a seat and settle quietly into the audience.

All was well until it came time to move… That will teach me to have negative thoughts about this oddly antisocial woman who I noticed spoke with no-one all day …then I thought ‘mmm perhaps she has a voice disorder as well. Guess I will never know’. 

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gone bush ….

15 Sep

 

 

Sorry ….too consumed with the outback to sit still and write tonight 

Oz-Big-Sky

 

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a few words from a technological giant …

14 Sep

Tonight’s very brief post comes to you from the outback … the heartland of Aboriginal Australia ,where I’m spending a week ~ strictly work purposes of course.

After landing in Alice Springs and walking off the plane into the midday heat ..I was struck by the number of thoughts racing through my head. Not the least of which were … 1/ thank god I got that pedicure, so I can peel off these boots and be comfortable about my naked feet …. and 2/ OMG I forgot my swimmers …but then would I wear them and risk being half naked and  poolside with a bunch of colleagues? (mmm still not sure about that one).
P1000487After settling in, we headed out of town to the original Telegraph Station for a traditional welcome in the dry sandy river bed of the Todd River.

After the celebrations and dinner I was curious to read the history attached to the site … Now as you can imagine there was much to learn and facts to absorb …. BUT the thing that got me wondering, was this whole tele-communication deal…. how DID they lay underwater cables from England to Australia in the 1830’s ?? then how did they connect them and run from one end of the country across the vast desert to the other end …. AND THEN how did they ever make sense of messages being tapped out in morse-code along them  ??

Give me high speed intrnet any day ….I don’t understand it either but it seems to work !!!

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quick, call 000…I need a pedicure

13 Sep

Amid an already busy day today, I suddenly realised that I MUST have a pedicure….and have it now.

The spring temperatures are beginning to feel a little more like early summer and I’m heading outback to Alice Springs tomorrow, where temps are predicted to be around 30deg….so after months of boots, I can feel a serious sandal week ahead.

Having driven to my regular summertime salon, I discovered that it was closed for renovations,  aaargh … I could feel the tension rising as the clock was ticking… but I headed to a newly opened nail bar to see if they could squeeze my in

Fortunately they could …and did, and before you know it my toes where twinkling and pedicureready to be seen in public.

In my haste to get out of there and get my grocery shopping done, I accepted the offer of ‘take-away’ thongs rather than sit and watch the paint dry….However, I had not accounted for the lack of ‘tread’ on my fancy new footwear. As I raced up and down the supermarket aisles quickly grabbing what I needed, I was struggling to manoeuvre the shopping trolley and had no grip on my feet to help. THEN I became aware  that I  needed to pee.

There I was engaging every pelvic floor muscle, while simultaneously gripping onto my pretend thongs with my glamorous new new toes and trying not to slip…. It was the quickest shop I’ve done in ages…AND as a result it saved me money. What a bonus…fresh feet AND money in my pocket!!

I’m happy to report that I made it home without any mishaps …my sandals are packed and I’m ready for whatever the week throws at me….It better not rain after all that !

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the power of the pelvic floor ..

12 Sep

Tonight’s offering comes as a result of spending 2 days in lock down with 14 other women …75% of whom where in the same 50Something age range…and one man (some might say he was lucky ~while others would be hugely sympathetic).

While the days were full of mental and emotional stimulation, soul searching and forward planning …they were also peppered with humour, hysterics and coughing (it will be a miracle if we don’t all succumb to the germs that were being shared in droplets amongst all of us …but we ARE a ‘caring n sharing’  kinda bunch).

The conversation was deep and at times very emotional and revealing…but you can always count on light relief from this bunch, with an inappropriate joke or comment to move things back to the comfort zone. Continence2_000

That is ….until someone suddenly has the urgent need to pee. With that amount of heightened energy and emotion in the room, the relief was palpable when a distraction came in the form of a  50Something pelvic floor.. that just couldn’t hold on another second and made a bee line for the bathroom.

Our pelvic floor muscles are so under-rated an under-appreciated. After all, look at the fantastic effort in holding our bits were they belong for 49 years …before, suddenly the are in the hot seat for public humiliation when they begin to fail at 50.

So while you are busy contemplating the meaning of this nonsense ..spare a thought for yours and put it through it’s paces while you thank it for all the hard work over the years. Even you guys can give it a crack… and I promise you will feel it doing you good.

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