Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dinner and a show

'Dinner and a show' is still achievable even though we have two young children.  A few things need to be altered though.  Firstly, the order changes to a show and dinner.  Secondly, the show must be rated G, have lots of flashing lights and people dressed as cartoon characters, the option is open to come dressed as a character from the show, something my husband and I chose not to partake in, (could be a bad habit to start, imagine us at productions of Cats, Phantom of the Opera, or Hair for that matter, not a pretty sight!).  Thirdly, the beverage bought at the bar before is apple juice not wine.  And finally, dinner is had at 6pm, to allow for mummy and daddy to have an early night after an exhausting and over stimulating event. 
We definitely had tickets in the nose bleed section, as a matter of fact my thighs burnt as we made our way to row X in section 203!  But we had a great view.  All comfortable in our seats when some late comers sat in front of us to spoil our children's view.  Seriously, who comes to a show with your hair placed in a bun on top of your head!!!  You may as well wear a top hat sweet-heart, not helping our kids' view too much!!!  I must admit that hubby was not overly impressed when the foul odour bearing couple from way out west plonked themselves next to him.  'Is it a little bit odd that you are both in your mid thirties and have come to the show without children?  Actually, is it also a bit odd that you are in your mid thirties and you have not heard of deodorant!?!' After intermission, people had moved seats next to me, (maybe I am the one with the odour problem?) and my hubby and son moved to the other side of me for a better view.  Good for them but left me with the downwind scent wafting from the childless patrons.

The children had spent all afternoon in anticipation of the show "I am so exciting, I can not wait, I am so exciting!!"  It was worth the wait for them.  Classic songs from the movies were remixed to the sounds of  hip hop, pop, swing, reggae, rock, country and much more! The irresistible lineup of performers included, Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy, Ariel, Eric, Sebastian and Ursula (the Little Mermaid); Jasmine, Aladdin and Genie, (Aladdin) and Woody, Buzz and Jessie, (from Toy story). The children couldn't resist dancing and singing with the characters, and to be honest and I think hubby and I held a good tune through out! Soul mate may have even had a little air guitar moment, (he presumed it was too dark for anyone to see).

I think that the children are still on a come down from Christmas.  We have had activities, visitors and special events on everyday since hubby has been on holidays, so Princess, who literally now presumes she is a Princess, could not understand why we did not find it necessary to buy her a flashing sword or small figurine for over $30 each.  We did however buy them a shirt each for $20 and a bucket of popcorn for $15.  I looked for the caviar tub under the popcorn, but they must of run out since we got ours after intermission? Unfortunately my Princess was unable to emotionally accept that a plastic Flounder the fish shaped cup with ice inside was also not necessary.  Some times life just is not fair.  We both promised to give her a cup of plain ice cubes when we got home, but apparently it would not be the same.

Time for our treat and we had a lovely Italian meal at Sopranos.  Searching for some Italian meal memories, we managed a lovely meal, daughter settled for veal instead of octopus, son slurped up his spaghetti and mummy and daddy managed to stay awake until the end of the meal.

I love when we are all on holidays together.  Time to explore Perth a bit more.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Santa did it!

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, only a daddy downing Santa's whiskey, a mummy eating the reindeer's carrots and sultanas and the sneak, sneak sound of parents keeping the 'big lie' alive.

Santa is a good guy. Isn't he?  Then why have I used him to threaten and bribe my children over the last month?  "Santa is watching you!  Would Santa think that is naughty or nice behaviour?  Really; do you think Santa would think it is okay to wear a pink striped shirt with a red spotted skirt?  Husband, I do not think Santa would approve of you having another piece of chocolate slice!"  Perhaps the worst accusation that I have thrown at Santa thus far is that he is the dummy stealer. 

Twas the night before Christmas and in my house a reluctant child gave his dummies away quieter than a mouse...

We placed the 5 pacifiers we could find in our sons Christmas stocking.  "Santa will take them away and give them to the babies that really need them.   In the morning, your Christmas stocking will be filled with all of those special things you have been dreaming about.  Santa is doing this.  Santa.  Not mummy or daddy; because mummy and daddy love you very much.  It was Santa!"

I have to say that Christmas day was fantastic. We had friends join us and it felt like we were surrounded by family. We gorged on ham, turkey, prawns and oysters.  This was accompanied by music, conversation, a few drinks, but more importantly, children laughing, swimming, and playing games.

Do you know what my best memory of the day was?  No it wasn't the white chocolate ripples on the citrus cheesecake.  Nor was it laughing at my guest that came wearing a shirt with his laundromat tag still attached to his collar.  It was my sons response to his Santa sack at 6am in the morning.

Tap, tap, tap ... tap, tap, tap ...slap, slap, slap ... "Good morning son, Merry Christmas!"  said through bleary eyes.  "Up, up, up daddy up!" said by son with arms flapping like a seagull with palms facing the heavens.  He pointed towards his room with urgency, silent hand signals are given similar to leading a platoon through battle in Vietnam.  We silently follow our mini Sargent down the hall to his room where he points to his filled Santa sack in astonishment.  We had (I mean Santa had), double knotted the top so he could not open without our help.

"Oh my goodness!  Santa came! You must of been a good boy this year!  The sack is full, what do you think he bought you?"

My son obviously contemplates his donation of his most worldly possessions the night before, (pacifiers), he looks so proud the sack is full and ecstatic about getting inside.  "Wow, what do you think Santa put in your sack?"  He smiles, "Dummies!" he squeals in excitement.  Apparently he was so good this year that Santa turned his 5 dummies into 1000!  Classic.  I love Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Seriously Santa,isn't it about the kids?

As far as I am concerned Christmas comes with an extensive list of duties and joys; shall I name a few?  Label them to suit your personality...

  1. Christmas cards -  Is it big enough, does it sparkle, does the 'coolness' match the friend, should it be a semi-donation with UNICEF, (oh dear, I just received one that sings a song, mine does not sing), have I really been sending these cards with thought?  Okay, in all honesty.... A blurb.  I thought it would suit everyone.  I got through family... they were all the same apart from, "Dear ...." It has bean a busy time of year.  But where my guilt takes place, is where the friends are left.  A pathetic excuse I know, but those blank envelopes are staring at me... "write on me, write on me", (said in a ghostly voice similar to that heard on a Scooby Doo Cartoon).  I am not 'under-valuing' my friendship with you all, but seriously, I've received more Xmas greetings from my bank and real estate than from friends.  Perhaps I should be more friendly? I know I should of finished the Christmas greetings, but "Ho ho ho, Merry Internet Christmas!"  I guess now I do not have to buy Christmas cards next year.
  2. Christmas music in shops - it shall no longer be narrowed to the lifts of larger department stores.  The "Girl from Ipanema" is now officially sung in a Christmas jingle in every Westfield present, and "Rudolph the red nosed reindeer" is accepted as a rap from Eminem or Kayne West.  Personally, I think I do an awesome version if you would like an audio copy, (you think I am joking?!?), it is performed in the shower but I rock!
  3. An excuse - not to break personal law, but to break goals or inhibitions that have taken a year of aiming to achieve.  Eat and drink what you like.  In my experience, just remember, it is not a schoolies celebration, yes the children will be there to wake you at 6 am in the morning and no, you were not the 500th customer, you do not receive a sleep in and a day without responsibility.  In my opinion, live it up , Christmas is about eating and drinking, (for a day, not for the weeks surrounding the 24 hour period).
  4. Christmas tree- I am trying to leave this one as an open comment.  I love Christmas.  Perhaps more than most.  When I was pregnant with my first, 1 month due in 2007, I was absolutely convinced that if we did not purchase a tree that stood as the largest monument in the world, then I would not make a good mum...  (Did you know that is how Family Assistance office ranks you as a capable parent?  It is purely by the height of your Christmas tree.)  So, insult of my insecurities, we now have a tree over 2 metres tall, (for the adults), a 1 metre tree for the children, (to decorate and undecorate at their leisure), a tree, outside our window that is lit with lights and a star on top, provided by Perth City council, thank you very much, (this one is easily 30 metres tall, in all honesty, I should thank the council, but princess thinks that daddy did it for her.... who am I to spoil the fairy tale?) So hubby is taking the acclaim for this at the moment.  But I figure the truth will eventually come out... along with Santa, the tooth Fairy, cupid and Yoda.  By the way, tree topper, I never could decide ...angel or star????  Which belongs?  Is it fair to compare this to the chicken or egg situation?
  5. Keep Santa alive- The older you get the harder it gets.  I am not just talking about hardened deposits of fat on the walls of you arteries or the walls of your auditory canals thinning, ( no, I am not just referring to heart attack and deafness).  Finding it a little difficult in our household to keep Santa alive.   My husband should not ask in front of the children about the source of gift.  "Santa, or mum and dad; who shall I say it is from?"  Perhaps best not to answer this question in front of the child?  Santa sent a letter, so he must be true. He is a good guy but he is going to take your pacifier (life support away)... He is your friend, sit on his lap, and mummy will give you a lolly pop that you should not accept from strangers... Yes honey, a stranger similar to the one I just made you cuddle and have photo with..... (Parenting is sooooo easy!)  Why does mummy look uneasy you ask.... that is because when mummy had to sit in the photo with both of you, Santa asked mummy what she wanted for Christmas before you and he helped mummy off from his sleigh with his palm.  "Thanks Santa,Mrs Claus not lascivious at the moment? I am sure I joked about wanting a clean house and a moment to myself ... this does not rhyme with "please touch my butt", Santa deaf now?
  6. Letter to and from Santa - "Dear Santa, I would now like something totally different to what I told you a month ago.  Sorry Santa, I hope you were not really organised and made my toys too early.  Because now you have to go to Myer and buy what I REALLY want.  By the way, I have also decided what my brother really wants for Xmas!"

It may sound like I am complaining, but I do love this time of year.  I love that the community panics at the grocery store like the world is going to end and they have to shop before they get to their respective bomb shelters.  I love that strangers can ask your children if they are naughty or nice, and ask me if I am organised, ha, do I look organised?  I love that I am cooking a turkey and a ham for my vegetarian husband to carve.  Christmas is a special time.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Pageant; locks alight

The countdown to Christmas is well under way.  The chocolate advent calenders are working well as bribery, just visible to the children on the top of the bridge.  We have put up two Christmas trees and there is a third the size of our apartment block that stares at us from outside our window.  All in all, it is pretty hard to escape the festive season, not that we would want to, but in all honesty, it all started 1st of November, one day after Halloween paraphernalia left the shops and was replaced with candy canes.
With 21 days until Christmas, we boarded the ferry to Langley Park for the annual RAC Channel 7 Christmas Pageant.  I did not really know what to expect.  To be honest when I think of a pageant, I imagine teenage girls dressed in taffeta dresses, yodelling or playing the wine glasses in a talent competition.  (Not quite sure why this is what I imagine, memory of some random 80's movie?)  Anyhow, apparently this has nothing to do with this particular pageant.  A Christmas pageant is actually filled with colourful floats, dancers, music, and lots of jolly people.  Very similar to the Mardi Gra only it was G rated not MA.

Children enjoyed waving to all the participants
 There were 26 floats, including a cast of 2040 participants, 8 bands and 19 dancing groups.  My particular 3 favourite personality spotting's included Fat Cat in the Beach Buggy, Santa in his sleigh, and Jonny Rosso singer from X-Factor. (Of course the children were very excited by Santa, and the 50 year old ladies in front of me were equally excited displaying undie wetting squeals when Jonny Rosso came past.)

Santa broke his microphone and bell as he drove past us, silence needed to be filled with a "Ho Ho"

I think Jonny Rosso was fearful of the menopausal squeals

It sounds a bit sadistic, but the highlight of the pageant for me was when a fire blower set his friends locks alight. He didn't even know until someone in the crowd ran towards him, hilarious, can't pay for entertainment like that.
 Perth does host a good community event. There were plenty of rides all at a cheap cost.  Which we are thankful for considering we bought them bull rides, which they both reneged on, then tickets for the jumping castle, but it was 35 degrees out and the plastic burnt their feet.  Not really money well spent, but I think the money went to charity?
Couldn't let the tickets go to waste could I?

The children went fishing with magnets, did physical play, made stick men, magnets, magic wands and explored the animal kingdom. Needless to say, it was a busy day, and spotting dolphins in the Swan River on the way home was the icing on the cake. Or shall I say marsipan on the fruit cake, I need to start thinking with Christmas cheer.
Did not even show a hint of fear
He matches my dress, can I keep him?

The goat, I do not want to keep!
The goat was definitely not our friend!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

You park, I'll queue...

The last time we went to something free in Perth, (I love free stuff if it isn't moldy), it was a Wild Fairyland Festival in Kings Park that invited an aggregation of children high on pixie dust and ready to party.  I have had a few crazy New Years Parties in my time but this was maniacal.  Toddlers waving wands frantically and boasting wings that doubled their body girth, it made for an interesting day and a commotion to navigate crowds. We abandoned the line for face painting left the park and headed towards the Swan River, approximately 3km away, and instead we waited 45 minutes for a free pony ride. The day ended with smiles; but bruises, sweat and frustration; from me. Larger crowds than boxing day sales.

Challenge number two;  Perth Zoo Family Day, and I am expecting large crowds.  (Fat Cat's Teddy Bear's Picnic is also on today, but I have had my eye on the zoo event for a while, so here we are.) I feel as though I am prepared for this particular event.  I aim to be there for opening, I will race to the front of the face painting line while my husband parks the car, I have washed and pressed my wrist and head sweat bands, so we are all ready to go; yes, I take family outings very seriously. We managed to find a park in the 50 spot car park, but we trip at the start line as we discover the pay machine is out of order and you are required to leave a note on your dashboard.  Not how I imagined the race, (I mean fun filled family day) to begin.  We stalked several people before borrowing a felt tip marker used purely for poster art, (5cm tip, what the %&$£, seriously this is all you have in you glove box?) and we leave a note for the blind ticket man to decipher with ease.

So perhaps I panicked, it has been know to happen once or twice.  "Mummy, I can see the monkeys", was very quickly followed by, "Quick, follow mummy, I am leading us to face painting!"  Seriously, I burnt 400 calories this morning to be greeted by an empty field, 2 smiling teenagers handing me a show bag and a chance at first place in which ever event we next wish to choose.  Wow.  Cool.  Quiet.  Did nobody else see the free family fun day sign that has been on the main street for the last 2 months.  (Did Fat Cat win again?)  I'd been wanting to challenge the crowds, this was a bit of a let down.

Priorities, first stop face painting and my princess requests a fairy.  We are at a zoo, I presume that she has been wanting this face paint since the Fairy Festival in early October so I do not contest.  My prince on the other hand, is a little harder to convince.  No matter how many lion roars I execute or gorrilla chest thumping hubby performs, (given the crowds are low so these are Oscar performances), my son is still convinced that body art is not his style so we progress.  But not before... "Do I look beautiful?" we reply with a yes to recieve, "yes I do look beautiful".  Perhaps this week we can work on how to accept complements graciously.

Off to the art.  The children make a face mask, with no queue, before a quick jump on the inflatable disney castle, then off to the sand art stall.  Fantastic.  Choose a picture, remove a sticker at a time and the child covers this in sand.  It felt a bit like a free for all at a stocktake sale, elbowing to get to certain colours, and that was just the parents. There are some very serious parents out there."Okay so now the outline is black, next colour should be red", child responds "I want blue".  Parent response, "Not now Bob, mummy is busy creating".  The end result was very effective, but was presumably achieved by parents descretion.  Personally I am happy with brown sky, pink grass, and blue dinosaur, each to there own.

Next family activity is to teach your children the skills to run away from home and join the circus at an early stage.  My son becomes proficient with the 'devil sticks', my husband puts on his best pole dancer face as he masters the hoola hoop, and my daughter attempts juggling with one ball and one eye closed.  Lucky for me, I do not think anyone acquired the skills to join the circus, looks like no one is abandonning me just yet.

Next a short quiet rest on our picnic rug to devour their free yogo and chocolate milk, and a spin on the choclate wheel to win a pair of Coke Cola sunglasses and back pack.  (They both actually one 6 glasses each, but persuaded attendant, that probably not appropriate for a toddler and a klutz.)

The stage show starts and features a man dressed for a Hawaiian holiday, that sounds like Iain Hewitson from 'Hueys Cooking' show, and tells cheesey jokes like he is drunk at a Christmas Party. His side kick is Super Dog.  Adversary to Fat Cat. Large mute fluffy dog with a red cape and no pants.  I am always a little surprisd that these characters created to entertain children don't adorn the basic undergarments known to be expected in todays society.  The children were shown a large bag of lolly pops at the beginnig of the show, so this managed to maintain their interest until the conclusion when they finally reaped their sugary reward for staying the duration.

Two hours seemed to be plenty and we took the children for a little rainforest walk and then to see the elephants.  I find them so interesting, I can be mesmerized by the grace and gentle nature of the elephant, swaying back and forth, they seem to have so much character and wisdom with their baggy saggy skin. I turn to share my amazement with the children who obviously prefer the miniture statue of an elephant.  Maybe we educate on another day?

A great day that ended with DimSum in Northbridge, (Perth's China town), full bellies and some quality family time.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nice heels AND a trip to Bali

Flossing is good for you.  I flossed out a tooth.  Good for me?  Not really. I almost feel as though I have cursed myself.  My husband and I had just mentioned 24 hours prior that we should probably find a dentist.  (Personally, I took this as seriously as a request for a plumber or mechanic.)  I was not really expecting to have to hunt down a professional after an innocent conversation.  Remind me not to mention proctologist or gynaecologist anytime soon!

So now, by default of flossing too much, I have managed to floss out a tooth.  Why yes I have been working out, thank you for asking.  But apparently it had nothing to do with my muscle capacity and the force or frequency of my floss, and yes I did ask.

My new dentist is from Ukraine, she is 'youngish', and she was wearing a stunning pair of dark green pumps.  She was lovely.  And I am glad.  I have a feeling I will be purchasing a 9 night 10 day holiday in Bali for her; all inclusive meals, drinks, oh and extra motor sports water activity.  This will all come to her in the next 12 months.  So I am glad I like her, because it was quite a gift for a friend. She may even get a white t-shirt with a screen print of my face with animated speech bubble saying "I charge too much for dentistry and all I got was this lousy shirt". To all of my friends, please do not take offence of not receiving a holiday also, perhaps you should have chosen dentistry?  Presumably this holiday will all be possible for her after my 4 fillings are removed, and replaced, I have a good clean, oh and the five crowns?  Hmmmm.  Any chance the crown comes decorated with valuable gems?  I only have one head, what do I need 5 for?

So I presume that you now have an image of me going to bed every night with a big stick of fairy floss in hand and a bottle of 2L Coke Cola, or Pepsi, (no product placement intended, I am not sponsored). This does not happen. I was questioned by my dentist about an addiction to sugary drinks.  When I replied to my fizzy drink intake, "Oh dear, I drink a lot of mineral water" (her response appeared to be silence, then "does not count", followed by a look of 'are you sure you are not blond?')   I spoil myself with a can of 'energy drink' once a week, and that is my only downfall.  Surely this is not the culprit?

So now my new 'friend' informs me that there will only be a painful pinch during the procedure.  The nerve endings in that particular tooth are dead so I should not feel too much apart from that constant pinch.  "Constant pinch, constant pinch,  constant pinch, constant pinch, constant pinch"......  So can you guess what is going through my mind at this precise time?  Did I turn off the bathroom light?  No!  Surprisingly I am pondering on the constant pinch.  Yup.  Two children, 9 pound 11 and 9 pound  13, and no,  I am not a hippopotamus, but  a human female, that considers herself to be a superhero, who can sustain the pain of  'a constant pinch', BUT I do not appreciate dental work, blood tests, or a 'constant pinch'!  So since there are no nerve endings in that one particular tooth, let's not give any pain relief.  Oh hang on a second, I appear to be the only one laughing.  Not a joke?   Hhhhmmmmmm.  Bluntly, "so I know we have only just met, but will you do numbing gel at least?" I pleaded.  She then informs me that she personally hates the feeling of being numb, and has a high pain threshold, she apologises for presuming.  I accept her apology, tell her that I personally hate dentists, (request she does not take that personally), and tell her I have no problem with drooling when I talk for the next 2 hours, so numb away!  Her response, dentists aren't so bad I could be a proctologist.  So true, and if that was the case, I would probably still be asking her to numb it up!

It amazes me how easy it is to communicate with two hands in your mouth.  She also bruises easily, plays active sports, enjoys heating pork buns in the microwave as a quick snack, needs to practise her Ukrainian, and I am guessing that she has a new dental assistant.  How do I know this last fact? Because my mouth was sucked up 10 times with a mini motored mouth vacuum cleaner.  And the water spray in my mouth created a volcano spilling effect that resulted in her wiping me down like I'd just participated in a night of university $1 spirits concluding with a wet t-shirt competition, patting my face and surrounds down with her thick kleenex tissue.  I would not demand that much patting with a tissue again unless paying for a facial.  Pretty sure MBF did not cover this service.

Why do I think that the dental assistant was new?  Firstly is conduct; a patient probably does not want to hear you say... "It's not working is it?  Should I get you something else?  What do you need?  Because that is not working is it?" Ummm helllooooo!!!!!!  I am attached to this mouth, just because my eye's are closed, it does not mean I am asleep.  (Actually, I am pretty relaxed here with my feet up and no children around.)  Not quite a full body massage, but the 'numbing' has kicked in so it is a desperate version of 'me time'.

Also, in a dentistry office, how do you fill the silence?  My Ukrainian friend with the nice shoes left for an important phone call leaving me with her dental assistant.  15 seconds into an awkward silence.... "So how's your day?  You have two kids?  Any plans for the weekend?"   Hmmmm my apprentice friend, firstly, you may want to pause between proseccution questions because I pleaded for an overdose in pain relief about half an hour ago, so at the moment you do not want a response from me unless you don a rain coat.  Some how I managed "Day is bad, no plans, too many kids". Thank fully my bad mood is translated as, "Da is ba, na pla, ta ma ka!" Said with a mist spray.  Queue unqualified dental assistant, who nods and says "A ha", obviously the response they learn in dental college translated as, 'I have no idea what you just said'.
So long story short, (wishful thinking), in the last few weeks I have found a doctor my age, dentist my age and the lady that also runs my playgroup appears to be my age, oh and a physiotherapist, (in her spare time).  I am impressed with Perth and the young female dynamos, it is even a little encouraging.  Oh dear, is that motivation I feel in my belly.  Maybe this means I will start doing things soon?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dolly vs CHOGM

The end of October saw Perth host CHOGM. The Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting is a summit meeting of the heads of Government from all Commonwealth nations.  This meeting is held every two years and was even graced with the presence of Queen Elizabeth the 2nd, (as head of the Commonwealth).  All normality ceased and the dignitaries and royalty came with an entourage of police 'borrowed' from other Australian states.

If you ask me, the police staffing was a little melodramatic.  Roads were blocked and unblocked constantly over a seven day period.  There were police with white waving gloves dancing like Michael Jackson on standby at all traffic lights.  Snipers on roofs, and no doubt undercover agents everywhere talking into their wrists.

Perhaps I should of felt more proud or patriotic that this event was being held by Perth.  In my mind we are still on holiday, I presume that by 6 months I will be referring to 'residence' as 'home'.  For now, ummm "Congratulations?" Seriously it is a government meeting, (guess who is not into politics), not the Roman Empire.  Nevertheless, I will however revel in the bonuses.  CHOGM has definitely come with a slip stream of positives.
  • Every street was pristine, clean, all gardens manicured impeccably; it was fit for a queen.
  • Ferry rides are free.  (I had to explain to princess the difference between ferry and fairy; I think she was a little disappointed to go across the Swan River in a boat instead of a free ride on Tinker Bells back.)  I love a good bargain.  I am not a penny pincher, but I must admit that I have noticed that the dollar does not go that far here.  Cost of living on the west coast is definitely more expensive than the east coast of Australia. In retrospect, I am convinced that Milan was even cheaper.  It appears that Perth is similar to the living expense of Oslo, Norway.  Splendid!  Apparently Cottesloe Perth has the average house price of 2 million, the most expensive in Australia, have a feeling we will not be extending our property portfolio anytime soon!
  • Care for a free ride?
  • Another positive is if I get concussed, say by a fall or by walking into a pole, (if you know my coordination then you would be aware that this is very likely), then I would instantly be able to identify where I am.  How you ask?  With the helpful assistance of my Hollywood  "Perth" sign. Gigantic white letters letting all of our visitors know where they are.  I am even able to look out of my window and across the river to see the sign, this helps with any confusion after a few glasses of wine.  Flowers and hedges were even molded to spell Perth.  Surely all of these people saw the destination on their plane tickets?
  • Free BBQ.  Woo hoo!  We didn't actually go, it was supposedly a casual BBQ with the queen, come along, get a sausage on bread. We witnessed it from our apartment as we had our own BBQ with beloved family and no one trying to crowd surf over my head to touch the beloved crown. It's estimated that nearly 100,000 people turned up at Perth's foreshore to farewell Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh as they completed their Australian tour. We had one guest.  So perhaps I am not as popular as her highness. Apparently she did not eat a sausage, the queen does not eat in public; downing a sausage is not particularly regal I guess. Let it be known that I ate a sausage, and I was not afraid to squirt tomato and BBQ sauce over it! The Queen left Australia that afternoon, boarding a jet in Perth, luckily it was not a Qantas flight as its CEO Alan Joyce announced the carrier had grounded its entire fleet effective from that day. Can you imagine the Queen on a standby flight, napping on bench with cabin bag as a pillow???  Awkward...
  • There are more police out and about then members of the community, so presumably there is little chance of being pick pocketed on this particular weekend.  We witnessed what can only be described as the most peaceful protest on earth.  Up and down the mall, the police led and followed protesters by horse back.  It was all very civilised, apart from the horse poop left behind, shouldn't they have a poop bag for that?

Big horse....

Equals big poop...
CHOGM managed to book out the majority of Perth for the week period.  Between press and entourage, things were pretty busy.  Can you guess what attracted more hotel bookings?  Dolly Parton, yup, you bet your cowgirl booties!  How does one begin to describe an icon like Dolly Parton? Singer-songwriter, author, multi-instrumentalist, actress, philanthropist, businesswoman; this mighty talent’s list of credentials is worth every ounce of admiration she receives.  Oh, and by the way, she has really big boobies.  So huge in fact, that Perth was literally booked out the days surrounding her concert in an attempt to get a sighting of the booming bosoms.  Dolly verses the queen.  You decide.  Would you prefer the creator of a song about working 9 to 5, or a head on a coin who has never worked 9 to 5?
Ummmmm, we come for the music, honest???

Monday, October 24, 2011

I've been busy doing stuff

It has been such a long time since I have 'recorded memories', to be honest I do not know where time has gone.  How many times have you driven to work, arrived and then thought, "I don't remember getting here, gee I hope I didn't run a red light?!?"  This is how I feel. I have been living life on auto pilot if you will, (and hopefully not running too many red lights). Now would be a good time to recap the Hollywood glamour that is my life.

We found an apartment, fantastic location, we are all very happy and the carpets were stained before we came. Every wall is marked or scuffed like it has been attacked by a gang of Parkour specialists, and the vertical blinds in my sons room smell and flake like rotten hay. You would think that these conditions would bother me, but I welcome with open arms an opportunity to blend my children's 'lasting impression' on a rental property, with its original poor state.  I was granted permission to remove the rotting hay bale from my sons room, only if it was done by a paid professional.  So I paid somebody from Kresta blinds to come and unclip 10 single Venetian blinds, wink, wink, I wrapped them in plastic, air tight, duct tape, then forced behind blankets in the top of the cupboard.  I think I can still smell the hay; but I plan for them to return to their rotten noose at the end of our lease, so unfortunately they can not be disposed of permanently.  "Wow", I hear you say, "rotting blinds, you know where to find the excitement in Perth!"

Anyhow...our storage arrived from Newcastle NSW.  We have not seen these things in 2 years and it was like an early Christmas.  Every box opened  was greeted with either  "Why did we keep this?" or "Is this ours?"  It is funny how tastes change over the years, I'm not talking about a tolerance for brussel sprouts or acceptance of spam, I am talking about a love for nick knacks turning into a love for minimal.  Now I have stuff to hide.

One month later... more stuff to hide. Even though we were in a fully furnished apartment in Milan, it was very basic, so we picked up a few necessities on the way.  83 boxes worth actually.  Oh dear.  Minimalistic, in my dreams, almost inconceivably. 83 does sound like alot, but to my defence, 1/3 were toys just returning to their home land, the next 1/3 was clothing but winter jackets take up a lot of room and I am well prepared next time we move to Antarctica.  Last 1/3, my husband will tell you consists of Ikea white pot plants, and Ikea white shelving units.

I am sure you are all aware that our experience in Italy was one of an eye opener as far as bureaucracy and paper work is concerned.  So it was no surprise to us that it took 3 months for our belongings to reach us from the Italian shores.  Slow boat?  Big queue at the gas station for tankers? Quick go back I forgot my pasta and espresso machines?  Once again, opening the boxes felt like it was Christmas.  My princess slept with 5 barbie dolls like she had been reacquainted with a lost love.  My prince had trains set up next to his bed ready for attack choo choo first thing in the morning.  And that evening, my husband was not concerned that I was hugging my returned pillow; after all he was spooning his espresso machine.  Is that wrong?

We have had a Toyota Klugar, (to be read with a manly grunt, similar to Tim Allen in Home Improvement), which has now been returned to the hire car stealer's, boo hoo, but one month later than anticipated, yee hah! I've gone from driving a Fiat in Milan wearing high heels everyday, to a big 4WD and a concerning urge to tattoo "out of my way" on my forehead.  (Perhaps a little to permanent in hindsight.)  Now the rental is gone and we have taken on a lease. It took awhile for persuasion on this matter, but now I tell myself I am chartering a vehicle, (just sound fancy), and considering I have agreed to live the life of a gypsy until the children reach high school, this was perhaps the best option. So now I have a Mitsubishi Outlander, (which I love), and I think it is a satisfying compromise between mini and giant vehicle.  Picture if you will, a tattooed forehead in a lovely pair of red pumps.  Oh yeh, soooo Perth, welcome to the west side!  My soul mate has been given his work car, Toyota Camry, very reliable.  It is nice. My description of this car is similar to a real estate agent promoting a rotten fibro house as a cute and cozy cottage. It is a car, it works when you turn the key, good enough for me. Up to date now?  I am living it up.  I really need to start doing things; but I am too busy doing stuff, so not right now, maybe later????