Tag Archives: people

what do eyebrows… toilets… people… and fashion have in common ?

30 Dec

I have to say …not much !!! except that they have each seemed to feature in my life on a regular basis over this past year.

So following a special request, and before ‘the-year-of-the-blog’ draws to a close, I’m happy to say that this piece of observational trivia touches on all of the above.

BUT… first I must  again comment that I’ve lost a day …24hours of my life vanished. Never to be seen again. So if you notice that we skipped from 28th Dec to 30th Dec …blame the International Dateline (and the fact that Australia is so far away from the rest of the world).

Now, as I have mentioned earlier…plane travel is a great time for people watching.  I mean what else are you going to do while strapped in that seat? (other than eat ‘less-than-great-food’, sleep… and watch movies). The people surrounding you can be a great source of amusement and entertainment …or a complete pain in the bum….But whichever way they go, they provides great fodder for the astute observer. Take for example or my neighbour who, despite establishing very early in the journey that I had no voice, so conversation was impossible ….insisted on asking me endless questions (prefaced with …‘Oh I know it’s hard for you to answer…BUT … what can you tell me about ….insert X,Y,Z …..for the next 15 hours)
P1010620 (2)Or, consider the super-sized gent squeezed between the armrests and looking extraordinarily uncomfortable (not to mention his next door neighbour) …or the four legged pooch who lays still @ his owners feet all the way from New York to LA ( I wonder what party drugs HE was on?)….the gorgeous young woman who ‘slipped into something more comfortable’ and travelled most of 15 hour leg of the journey in her skimpy PJ’s …the list is endless and the entertainment value priceless.

Then there is the morning ‘freshen-up’ ….Daylight arrives, people rouse from their drug induced slumber and begin to queue for the loo. There they are, all waiting to brush the fungus from their gaping mouths and prepare for ‘de-planing’ (yep that’s a word according to our flight steward), so the time taken in the super cosy cubicle is longer than any other visit throughout the flight… but that’s OK because we all want to look our best when we emerge from the airport, back on home soil… don’t we?

However, when my turn comes…to my shock and horror, I enter this slightly-warmer-than-is-comfortable space, to discover the residue of many travellers. Hand towels and loo paper strewn, water splashed all over the cupboard top and worst of all, a sink full of toothpaste spittle. Eeek !! True to my style, I can’t bear to leave it how I find it (after all…god forbid… the next person in the queue  might think I’M responsible …) …so I set about the ‘housework’ so that I can leave with my head held high.

That job done, it’s time to clean myself up. One look in the mirror tells me that 27hrs of travel was not the best for putting ‘the best face forward’ so a full re-do was desperately needed. BUT alas, when I get to the ….(you guessed it….) eyebrows, I had no colouring-in pencil or brush for a touch up. Arrrgggh !!!eyebrows

Always one to improvise, I reached for my mascara,  figuring that a hint of that would do the job …That was, UNTIL… we hit some turbulence  and my ‘hint’ became a solid swipe, and the colour turned out to blue-black rather than brown !!! …ooops, I suddenly look like ‘a horror movie right there on the TV’. 

So, after a few minutes of scrubbing, I emerged  sporting my black eyes (not QUITE what I had in mind to be ready to greet the world)  … BUT… the housework was done ….and appearances where kept up …in part at least!!




false impressions ….

18 Oct

Tonight  I’m going to have a small whinge … not a huge rant or a proper whine, I just need to express a little communication irritation.

Now those of you that know me, are fully aware of my vocal limitations and the unbelievable frustration that comes with my affliction …… BUT I’m not actually talking about that. No, instead I’m referring to the false impressions we all get from people we follow on social media …the impression that they actually give a damn.

I’m not talking about friends or ‘regular Joes’… more like politicians, celebrities (not that I follow any of them), companies  and social media influencers… you know the ones that want to demonstrate their popularity by the number of followers, and who post things in a way that makes them appear approachable and like they are your friend as they beam into your personal space… but who actively ignore messages sent TO them (unless of course it’s a complaint on public view…now that’s a different story)friends

I have had cause recently to tout for support for a worthwhile community venture, so I thought I would approach a couple of my social media contacts via a short and friendly private message… I’m not asking for money or anything grand, just the opportunity to meet and discuss a proposal  face to face, explaining of course that I am real and not a troll, and that I come with… great intentions, a community spirit and credentials.

I’ve approached Local Members, the City Mayor, two radio stations and a number of ‘personality’ types… all of whom beam into MY face telling me their latest news and trivia …. yet NOT ONE has had the decency to respond … not even with a “I’m sorry you will need to contact my PA ~ I’m too important to talk to you”.

How is it that these relationships are so one sided ? First making us think we are friends …then ignoring all contact. I think I can feel the ‘unfriend’ button itching to be clicked. I’m sure THAT will show them that  I mean business ;-)… I’m 50Something, but haven’t given up yet !!


the power of the paddle-pop person

30 Aug

It’s amazing how a fairly frail and elderly gent can have more impact on the bad habits of drivers than any amount of  police surveillance.

I drive past 4 schools on my daily trek to work, usually within that dreaded 40kph time zone. As I have mentioned before I take extra special care these days not to exceed the limit by even 1or 2 kph… my point-score & my wallet simply can’t afford it…BUT I have been taking particular note of the behaviour of others.

200286804-001Now, only one of the four school areas has an attendant on hand to help the little people cross the busy main road, and it’s an amazing thing to watch.

This elderly gent stands ‘at the ready’ on the footpath, with his paddle-pop stop sign and high vis vest …just waiting to be called into action. Every single car slows to the appropriate speed and he gives each one a wave of thanks and a great big smile in return. What a win  win story …great way for him to start the day…great way for speed to be controlled…great for public costs to be cut (rather than dispatching a police car with a radar camera)…great for the kids to be safe…and GREAT for him to feel important !!!

I say well done and thanks  to all the paddle pop people protecting our petite pedestrians.



moving mountains…

15 Aug

moving day

Making a move anywhere is tricky business. Whether it’s the end of your lease…or a move to your dream home, the idea of packing all of your belongings up and relocating them …just so you can unpack them again …is overwhelming (and makes me tired).

BUT an office shuffle is a whole other beast…office move

Rather than working from a common goal, it’s every man/woman for themselves….and while you all know what’s got to happen, it takes a well planned strategy to bring it to fruition without bloodshed, breakage or personal injury.  Today we did just that … like a well oiled game of musical chairs we relocated 8 people with a few frayed nerves but  minimal fallout.

Like any move, the cull is the best (and worst) part … the time to reminisce (when there really isn’t time) and to decided what is worth keeping and what is now junk. One on my many highlights was my work diary collection. It was hilarious seeing the ‘corporate’ style organiser that was the size of a brick in 1998 (but must have made me look important) … gradually shrinking and eventually giving way to the 2014 ‘one stop shop’ that is a smart phone. The sad part of that is …what will there be to pour over in another 8-10 years when the next move comes …all this history we’re making  will be living ‘in the cloud’ somewhere… with nothing to sit and laugh at. unspooled-cassette-tape-2

I found floppy discs and cassette tapes with reports of old projects…and radio interviews that I did ‘last century’ …..back when I had a voice. …and I found photos, newspaper clippings…. and reports that I wrote dating back to 1992 that made me think … mmm who wrote this? what a good idea ….It sounds like something I once knew.

I’m pleased to say that we all survived  today ….I’m sore and exhausted  ….and barely awake enough to tap fingers on my keyboard.. BUT it was a major achievement  (and I’m actually looking forward to going to work on Monday – just to bask in the newness of change).


peeking through the window @ North Head, to Sydney Harbour

hope or fortune ????

30 Jul

So far I have resisted the temptation to write nonsense about my work … lets face it 8 or so hours each day is enough without writing about it too… BUT the truth is there are SO MANY things to ‘wonder about’ in that interesting yet at times bizarre, environment.

Today I drove a 4 and a half hour round trip to attend a one hour presentation…..

Yes, that in itself is a little odd, but to discover that the presenters were Professors Hope and Fortune  (true) …and they were discussing a rise in HIV and Hepatitis C in the United Kingdom – directly linked to an increase in steroid use …made me wonder if perhaps they should change their names ???


…psst I’ve got gossip…

28 Jul

I have to say the strangest and most interesting things pop into your world when you least expect them.

Here I was looking for articles on  Marxism and the sociological perspectives of our current Health reform… when I fell into the vortex of the sociology of gossip instead.

gossip mags

Who would have thought that celebrity gossip could ever be considered an academic pursuit? Elaine Lui …. that’s who! So make a cup of your favourite, and click the link above, settle back to be amused and astounded.

The next time someone tells you to stop gossiping …tell them it’s your academic duty. And to think it all began with the ancient Egyptians …with “Who Weekly” etched in stone ….


panda eyes…

17 Jul

Carrying on in a similar vein as last night ….. I wonder at what point you TELL someone about a personal mess or clothing goof up???

You know the sort of thing… an open fly, dress tucked into knickers, spinach in your teeth, loo paper hanging out your pants…

Well….today I was in a meeting and I became a tad emotional, angry and upset . I wasn’t actually crying however a sneaky tear escaped one eye….before it quickly dried and things moved along nicely.

I left the meeting, chatted to a bunch of people in the hallway, had a coffee with a colleague… then went back to the car where I caught a glimpse of the ugliest panda eyes you can imagine. A huge smudge under one and a corner full of black goop in the other.panda eyes

Bloody hell, why didn’t anyone mention that I looked like a traffic accident ?? (while I was busy feeling quietly smug, as I was sporting my new, fresh hair-do). What does it take for someone (in this case, not even strangers) to give you a quiet whisper telling you to pull yourself together??

Anyway, lessons learned  …

1/ don’t save waterproof mascara for the summer swim season… and

2/ if I ever come across a sister (or mister) who is sporting some unsightly malfunction….I will tell them.

Would you ??


office politics

8 Jul

kitchen sink

Cohabitation is a tricky deal wherever it happens. But more often than not… at least in our domestic worlds, we have choices; unlike the office where people of all shapes, sizes, religious and political persuasions are thrust together and expected to share space and tolerate habits.

Now for the most part I have worked in a harmonious environment that functions a bit like an extended (if somewhat dysfunctional) family. We don’t always see the world through the same glasses, but that’s not a bad thing really after all we are an eclectic and fairly tight bunch …on the whole.

However that doesn’t mean that there is never any domestic disharmony … there’s plenty. The kitchen clean-up is the one bone of contention that never ever goes away, but at the moment the other issue is space…. open-plan or closed off ? who sits where? who is noisy and who needs quiet ? who likes the air con on and who prefers windows open ? the list goes on…and on….and on ….. as we make room for a bunch of new people to move in.

It’s so funny how just ONE new person can change the dynamic of an office … (and when you consider it we’ve had quite a few changes and people coming and going lately )…so there is a definite sense of chaos ….and I don’t cope well with chaos! Spontaneity is awesome, but chaos is disastrous…especially when accompanied by noise!!

(can you tell that  I’m ’50Something’… but not dead yet?)



a hallmark moment …

2 Jul

I never cease to be amazed by the random interactions that occur when you least expect them (I guess that’s why they’re ‘random’)….

Anyway, today I was minding my own business, browsing in a department store, and all of a sudden this woman appeared at my side….and launched into …

“excuse me, my son turns 18 tomorrow…. what card should I buy for him”? …… as she presented me with three to choose from.

I was completely stunned, and immediately wondered ‘what the hell’??? before helping her rule out two of the three cards in her hand, by asking ...

(Q)’is he a funny guy’?…(A) NO

(Q) is he a very conservative young man’?…(A) NO

BINGO!!! we were left with a fairly safe but contemporary looking hallmark creation which was sure not to offend …. that was…until she opened it to discover the inside leaf had been inserted upside down. While this appealed to my sense of humour….and really fitted with the bizarreness of this encounter … she was not impressed, so off she headed back to the ‘card section’ leaving me wondering what on earth just happened.

I went back to my business, but 10 minutes later she came running to me at the cash register, just to prove that she found the ‘right’ card…with the insert in correct position…PHEW it was great to know that all was good in the world again (lets just hope that ‘Mr 18year old’ appreciates his Mum’s efforts tomorrow).



pardon me if I repeat myself

12 Apr

…and I could (repeat myself that is) …with yet another public toilet adventure that happened today …. BUT I wont.

What I do want to talk about is our crazy habit of giving towns double (repeat word names) … Here I am tonight in Wagga Wagga.. yet all Aussies that I know, call it Wagga, and somehow when I hear the whole title I think people are trying to be funny, or mock the place..

When I left the airport  and was 5 mins down the road and came across the town (well call it a town  at a stretch …)gumly gumlyI was prompted to investigate. So… having settled into my hotel room, I resisted the urge to prepare myself for day 1 of Uni tomorrow and instead I consulted Mr Google about this silly name thing…. I was astonished to find that there are over 60 Australian locations whose names are duplicate words.

Not surprisingly many of them are Aboriginal names and apparently the reduplication is an indication of emphasis (if Wagga means crow then Wagga Wagga means MANY crows.. ) BUT what I don’t get is why we pick and choose which ones to abbreviate to one word … I mean why do we all call Wagga Wagga Wagga … but we don’t call Woy Woy, Woy??.

So many questions and so few answers …