A Day At The Races

If you’ve ever been to the races, you’ll know it can be a fun day.  If you’ve ever been to the races in a corporate room/tent, you’ll know it’s a REALLY fun day!

We found ourselves at a great table facing the race course.. Hubby innocently asked if I would rather sit on the opposite side of the table where I could see the stage where the fashion parade was going to be…. HA!   No thankyou… give me my view of the track… Watching malnourished 14 year olds prancing up and down a makeshift catwalk wearing an amount of fabric that I could equate to a “boob tube” is not really my cup of tea.     Of course the little boys they had “modelling” the men’s suits were quite pretty… but still not enough to make me refrain from abusing the bod in charge of the television screens when he replaced the current race (in which I had money invested)  with endless vision of the clothing parade, which I could just have easily watched if I could have been bothered turning around…..   :-/

I was quickly churning through my allowance for the day, when I finally hit a few places.. and then, thanks to my darling hubby, I placed a bet on a second horse in the Melbourne Cup… I had already made my own choice, but he seemed so confident… in fact, several people at the table took his tip, and of course the rest is history… his tip won! Lucky for me… the other horse I tipped… came in second!!   So I doubled my original money, in one race…   Oh happy day!!

And of course my other source of amusement for the day was the over the top fashions on the women at the race.   Now me, being the boy that I am, wore a simple top and pants… no biggie there… makeup, couple of bracelets and that’s it.. the hair was as it always is… on my head.   There was some conjecture as to whether I would wear a “fascinator”… or “vominators” as I affectionately prefer to call those pathetic bits of fluff and feathers that women seem intent on pinning to their heads… seriously… I would rather have plonked a HTFU baseball cap on my head than be seen dead in half a dead bird arranged coquettishly upon my head. Please note: I use the term coquettishly very, very loosely… I’m hardly what you would call coquettish…   blokey.. yes… boyish.. yes …   a bit of a ladette.. yes…. and that’s the way I am.   ( HTFU translates to Harden The Fuck Up, in case you were wondering.)

Oh… and FYI…. burnt orange…. is the new tan…. apparently!!   Oh the shades of orange I was treated to… was as wide and vast as a double rainbow.   Probably the most memorable was the “hooker” for want of any other description, in her red dress (if you can call two strips of red ribbon crossed over a pair of enormously enhanced breasts and a third ribbon strained around her buttocks, a dress…..) combined with her precariously high hookerheels, her Farrah hair, and of course…. her “tan”..   Now I’m no colour expert.. but I’m pretty sure that whilst blue and green should never be seen,  wearing orange and red? I’d rather be dead.   Seriously love, your tan was competing in hue with your ribbons.. errr… dress.

And once again, the fight in the women’s toilet was not actually to use the toilet… it was to get within cooee of a hand basin or mirror afterwards…. seriously… I had no idea how much miniature makeup once can jam into a 3 x 4 inch “bag”!!   And really… I slapped on my face in the morning (having first found it in the jar that I keep by the door) and that was it for the rest of the day… I swear I saw the same girl retrowelling her face 4 times during the course of the afternoon…     YES I have a nanna bladder.. OK?

Anyhoo….   You would be amazed at how unpopular one becomes when trying to wash ones hand after ones ablutions….   I practically had to hip and shoulder one “girl” (and I’m still not convinced about that!) out of the way so I could use the sink.. after handing her a lipstick and a pot of moussey stuff and her brush, which she had kindly deposited in the sink whilst readjusting the piece of pink curtain fabric across her shoulders….   popular much?

And so was my day at the races…. Well fed (the food was amazing!!!), well lubricated (thanks to hubby being flush enough to buy my G&T’s – seeing as spirits are never available at catered functions) and my pockets well lined by the end of the day, not to mention my imagination.

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I Used To Work….

Once upon a time I used to have a job.  And I was extremely good at it, if I do say so myself, and, I used to blog about it because if I didn’t I might have gone completely batty.    This is a glimpse into what I used to do.

Anyone who’s job involves greeting the public and answering switchboard will understand the strange and wacky world that is “Reception”.  I have seen and heard some strange, funny, scarey and downright weird things over the last 6 years…  and it has been suggested several times that I should write about them…. well clearly I can’t tell you everything… but I suppose I can let you know what the view is like from the front seat… and so I shall write about some of the things that I encounter…. all in good fun of course!!!

Any given Monday you can find me… sitting at the reception desk at work… a mixture of fun, happiness and loathing…    I arrive at work usually quite usually happy to be there, although there is always that Monday morning where you would rather be peeling off your own skin with your teeth rather than be at work… But generally I look forward to catching up with people, begin taking calls and generally be the old bag at reception that you see when you walk in the doors.   And about 20 minutes in to my day… the realisation hits…..  It’s Monday…. group interview day…..    Oh….. yay ……  If it were at all possible to write with a font that drips sarcasm… that’s what that “yay” would be written with….

I have mixed feelings about group interviews…   It is great that we have so many people wanting to work for us… it’s a great company and there are many many wonderful people working for us… but its just …. well… if you have ever been to a group interview… have you actually checked out your competition?   No?   It’s …. interesting…   There is always the chirpy, bubblyl happy person (who shits me to death being like that so early on a Monday),  there’s the emo one… with depressing hair and makeup and several facial piercings that make my eyes water, there’s the school kid looking for after school and weekend work, and there’s always the one that is there because they “have” to be… (not my favorite kind).

And there’s ALWAYS the ones that turn up late… and have excuses…   the excuses are the fun part of my morning…  Seriously.. I’ve heard em all..    I got lost  (hmmm, OK.. if I go somewhere totally new.. I check out exactly where I’m going either in a street directory, on the internet, or ask… I also leave about 1/2 hour earlier than I need to .. just in case I do get lost).   The bus took me to the wrong street  (yeah… well that one I can’t help, but surely you check where the buses are going before you get on one… I can’t comment as its been  *mumbles* years since I caught a bus).   I couldnt find a park  (ok.. again… going somewhere unfamiliar… leave earlier… I hate repeating myself)…   ooh… here’s a good one…   I had to take my friend somewhere first and it took longer than I thought   (WTF!!!  you have an interview for a job.. which you clearly need… tell your friend to catch a bus or taxi or walk)     I couldnt find the building   (seriously??  Its a frikken huge building on a corner… you couldnt see it???? )     And….   Sorry I’m a few minutes late   (Mate!  You’re 45 minutes late dude… ….. blank face …  yep… no concept of time… excellent ….)   I am still waiting for   The dog ate my resume  (now that one would make me laugh).

I have a spiel that I go through… welcoming them to the interview… asking them to sign in… asking them to write their name on a sticker and put on their shirt/top …  sounds easy?   Apparently it’s not that easy… I need a set of flash cards with pictures I think….  It may save my voice and my sanity…  constantly repeating the same instructions over and over and over…. not to different people… usually to the same person  (there is ALWAYS one that cannot understand what I am telling them.)   I have even developed hand actions… I write with a magical invisible pen on the sign in sheet – to demonstrate how to do it… I then move across to the sticker sheet and pretend to write on a sticker… then peel off an imaginary sticker and stick it on my own chest)   You think that would work….   NUH UH…..   :-\      I have about 26,000 virtual stickers on my chest at this point in time….  (maybe that’s where all that extra weight on the scales is coming from??????  *starts peeling off 26,000 virtual stickers in hope that my weight will drop*)     As a last resort… I have had to actually write their name on the stickers for them and peel them off and give them to them….I cannot tell you how tempted I am to write “Loser”  “No-Hoper” “Emo”  or my favorite “Do Not Employ Me.. I’m Useless”.      I can pretty much guarantee none of those applicants work for us now… (at least I hope not!!!)

I also love the ones that storm out half way through their interview because they have been told that they are not going to be allowed to have black lipstick and drawn on tears at work… and their piercings must be removed…  However, I have often wondered how handy it would be to have a hole in your ear large enough to carry a pen… at least you would always know where your pen was!!!

I think I should get a very very large coffee provided at the end of these sessions… just to calm my nerves and rejuvenate me… *makes mental note to put in that request this Monday….   ask for VERY LARGE COFFEE *

So that is a little glimpse into my Monday mornings, the view from the front seat….  fun times people…. fun times…..

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Random Thought In My Head Right Now

Is there anything better in the world than living your life! My thought… NO!!

I’ve realised that you just have to let go… be who you want to be… it doesn’t matter what other people think… there are always going to be those that will look down their nose at you, or point and giggle, or blatantly ignore you, but really, does it matter.. I don’t think so..    And there will be people who get you, like you, even love you, just the way you are.

I like who I am… I know that I’m not to everybody’s taste… I’m odd, childish, irreverent, emotional (I blame menopause), politically incorrect a lot of the time, funny (I think I am), rude (yes, I can be), and I’ve been known to suffer from bad bouts of blurt which is often complicated by idiocy, and I think that a lot of what goes on around me is hilarious…but hey.. that’s me… take it or leave it.

And it took me a long time to realise it, but my life is mine to live as I want. My mantra has become “Life is a wonderful ride, you just have to get on”   I’m definitely on it, sometimes I get a bit motion sick, but I’m not getting off it.. and I’m on it for as long as it lasts.

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Van Slam

Ahhh yes.. its that magical time of year… when parents gather up their children, and jam them into their vehicles along with Aunty Suze, Uncle Pete, Granny & Pop, 3 bikes, 2 scooters, an assortment of cricket equipment, footballs, soccerballs, several suitcases stuffed with secret Xmas presents, and an esky and head off into this great wide land of ours, to travel for anywhere between 5 and 25 hours, to park their mobile mansions, or sometimes, their canvas castles on a patch of grass 2 foot 6 inches away from another family in their mobile mansion or canvas castle for anywhere between 5 and 25 days, where they spend their days dining on charcoaled meats and sandfilled salads, washed down with luke warm beer and soft drinks because either the portafridge broke 10 minutes after they arrived, or the ice melted and there ice man has not delivered any to the shop, being either burnt to a crisp, or saturated by a freak storm, or hanging onto their belongings for dear life whilst being pummelled by winds of cyclonic proportions, and where they spend their nights listening to the dulcet tones of the man next door snoring, or granny farting, or that bloody baby screaming for 8 hours straight, only to wake and do it all over again….

Yes, VanSlam. Its a great Aussie tradition … or so I’m told… you think I’M going to subject myself to that?… PISS OFF!!!!

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The Manscaping Thing

I recently found an old blog of mind and decided I’d share some of the entries here… I don’t use the other one any more, so why not?

so… The Manscaping Thing,

What the fuck is this all about anyway. I mean. We as human beings, have body hair.
It’s genetic. It grows. And we all have it in the same places. I mean, it must be there for a reason, mustn’t it? I get that not every man has been graced with body hair, and if that’s the way nature intended them, well its all good, but they are not as likely to get a second viewing by me. And there’s the whole discussion about the “tidy up”.

I get why I tidy up.. but men? I’m just not feeling it. There’s something really sexy about a guy with a hairy chest. For me it says I’m the man, I’m the tough guy. It’s sensual. It’s textural. It’s a visual thing. I love that line of hair that disappears into a guys Calvins. It’s like a flashing neon arrow pointing to the party.

Granted, hairy backs and the entire Victorian bushland under a guys arms is not so appealing, but in general, I like a man to look like a man. I’m not into this hairless, prepubescent look that guys are going for. I mean.. why would a woman want to be with guy that looks like a pre-teen? I don’t get it! They call it tidying up, but guys. Really? It’s one thing to be tidy. It’s another thing to be completely stripped, waxed and polished. I think guys have got it wrong.
But that’s just me.

Anyway, the reason I got onto this is because we were having a meal with my youngest son and his girlfriend the other day. I might point out that I have three sons, who are all very masculine. They have hairy chests and stomachs, just as nature dictated. As he came to the table I thought he looked odd, but couldn’t put my finger on what it was. After we had eaten, he stood up and she pointed to his stomach and smiled at me. She asked me what I thought.

I looked at him blankly for a moment. (I must point out that my son was not wearing a shirt. In fact my boys idea of dressing for dinner is putting on a wifebeater with their shorts.)  I looked blankly at her. She pointed to his belly. I looked again. It was smooth as a baby’s bum!! Then I looked at his chest it too was naked!!! I didn’t know whether to laugh or laugh (it would only have been the volume that would have been different). So I laughed.

He looked at me sheepishly “umm yeah. She wanted to see how it looked” I just stared. He offered “she used NAIR, I wouldn’t let her wax me” That really tipped me over the edge.. I had tears rolling down my cheeks.. I didn’t dare ask how far he went. About a week later I asked him how the regrowth was going… needless to say. He was not impressed. I doubt that he will go down this road again unless the girlfriend catches him in a weak moment (or extremely drunk).

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So it’s been a few weeks and things are definitely happening in my garden beds.

Firstly, I’ve worked out that one variety of tomatoes is a total bust.  They kept losing their blossoms and pretty much half died.  I’ve pulled one out and the other is hanging in there by a thread.  The only reason I’ve left it is because the roma tomato plant has grown over the top of it and I don’t want to disturb it.  meh, mulch.

The Roma’s, despite the plants size, have not really produced much fruit.  But it does seem to be improving a little.  Hey, if I’m getting tomatoes off it, it’s a win, right?


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Between Then & Now

Forty three years ago I was a naive twelve year old, starting at a high school where none of my primary school friends were going.  I was young, tall, thin and shy. Unsure of who I even was. I rode my bike the couple of miles on my first day of high school alone.  Found the bike racks.  Locked my brand new two wheel push bike that I had gotten for Christmas into the rack and prayed that it would be there after school.  It was gold, shiny and the most expensive gift I had ever received. It was my transport for getting to high school.

I nervously found my way to the school hall, along with the other kids, newly graduated from primary school.  There were two types of us. There were the confident, beautiful, outgoing ones who had several friends already with them. Then there were the ones like me.  Shy. Not particularly athletic. Immature. I was young to be starting high school.  I had just turned twelve, and although I was tall for my age, I was not physically advanced at all.

And worst of all.  I was at a school where none of the kids I knew from primary school were.  They all went off to different high schools.  I don’t even know why my parents chose this school.  It was brand new.  Only had been open for twelve months.  Perhaps they thought it would be nice. Going to a school where everything was shiny and new.

And there weren’t that many students.  Only four classes from the previous year.  And now, about six new classes.  That’s less than 500 students.  Not as scary as going to an established school I guess.  But I was still scared.

I hung near the back.  Not looking at anyone.  Afraid to make eye contact.  I wasn’t ready to talk to anyone. I was having enough trouble understanding what the head mistress was saying about classes, and lunch breaks and sporting teams.

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Let’s Cook Something! – Latkes (Or as I call them Potato Pancakes)

Recently I came across a recipe for latkes.  Typically a Jewish dish at  Hanukkah time.  We’ve eaten these on and off for years and simply call them either fritters or potato pancakes.  These were a little different to how I make them usually, and I decided to give them a go.

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Your Day —(my post siege coping process)—–

beautifully put by my good friend, Mrs J

Posted in My Life

Sometimes You Just Have To Pay It Forwards

As a lot of you may know, yesterday was a pretty traumatic day for Australia.

We were subjected to a vicious attack by a man who acted alone, basically holding innocent people hostage in an effort to foist his manic message upon us.  He basically hid behind a religion, making people question a group of really lovely people.  I know this, because I know a lot of beautiful Muslim people.  I’ve been to their homes.  I’ve eaten with them, celebrated with them, been joyful with them.   And this man set out to tarnish them.  And that I cannot accept.

The day didn’t end well…..   two people lost their lives.  (I refuse to acknowledge the third)  And that made me very sad.  For them.  For the other hostages.  For their families and their friends.  For Australians all around the country.

I don’t live in Sydney.  I sat and watched is all unfold from my living room, and my heart was broken for us all.

Today I woke up and felt terrible.  I couldn’t lay flowers for them.  I couldn’t sign the memorial book.  So I did the only thing available to me.  I bought a coffee for a stranger.

Actually I did it twice.  The first time, the dear man behind the counter was sort of confused and mistook what I asked for.  They delivered two coffees to my table.  I smiled, asked the waitress to take back the second coffee and asked her to make sure that someone, anyone received my small gift.  I told her that if they asked, to tell them it was for Sydney.  As I sat and drank my coffee, I could hear them telling people their coffee had been paid for.  I left and people were still paying it forwards.   That’s the Australian spirit, right there.

Later in the morning, I was walking past another small coffee place and a lady was standing counting out ten and twenty cent pieces to pay for her coffee.  I reached over her shoulder and gave the woman serving her the money.  I’m not saying the lady couldn’t afford the coffee.   She may have simply been cleaning out her coin purse.  I do that all the time.  But it was spur of the moment and she was shocked and happy and thankful, trying to run after me to say thanks….

I didn’t stop.  I didn’t need to.  I smiled and waved and kept walking.  It wasn’t much, but it felt like I had, in my own way, laid a tribute for Sydney.

It’s really not difficult to pay $4 for someone else.  I would do it again in a heartbeat, for no reason at all.

Pay it forward.

You’ll be glad you did.

Posted in Family, Life, My Life, Paying it Forwards, Sydney | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments