Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sell your husband!

OMG! What has the poor old Duchess done now? Prince Andrew must be rueing the day he trotted her down the aisle and out onto the steps of Westminster Abbey.
Her self confessed "serious lapse in judgement" in offering access to her 'ex' in exchange for cash has got the British tabloids accusing her of "selling the country, the monarchy and herself down the river." The poor old Thames....how can it cope with the load?
Fergie's a month older than me, and that's probably where our similarities end, apart from the fact we're both Poms with plummy accents, and we both turned 50 last year. I gather her party plans for last October were scaled down due to money concerns. A low key dinner at The Lanesborough Hotel in London with family and friends was what she got. A coupla chardies and a carton of Ted's in the shearing shed is what I call low key.... In contrast my celebration was with 'the girls' at a local restuarant, and well within my budget. However there wasn't a Lisa Marie or Pricilla Presely to be seen. Must do something about that....
Poor girl, her divorce settlement is a paltry $26,000 p.a. compared to her sister-in-law's $35 million, so no wonder she's feeling a tad short changed. Tabloid photos show her "hunched over a wad of cash and a wine bottle." Sounds seedy enough until you discover the wine was probably a ninety five quid bottle of burgundy which raises the tone somewhat.
Anyway, her behaviour's got me thinking. I'm willing to sell access to my husband for $50 and a bottle of Penfold's Grange. Well.......I don't want to sound too cheap and nasty.
Call me.....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Judging a Karaoke Final

I thought judging horses and cake competitions was difficult enough, but last night I had the daunting job, along with Naomi Bailye and Marcus Tromp (pictured left), of judging the regional finals of the Karaoke World Championships Australian Trial. This was the first round to determine who will compete in the State finals, and then go on to represent WA in Surfer's Paradise for the Nationals, with the winner of that competition going to Moscow for the World Championships.

It was an action packed night with an horrendously tight finish that saw the top three place getters separated by a couple of points. There were some fabulous renditions from all competitors, some of the more memorable for me were from Renae, Taryn, Sonja, Steve, Marlina and Kerralyn (who could forget that gorgeous get up for 'Does Your Mother Know'?)

It was a great night out that had me dancing and whooping and cheering on my stool as I got caught up in the atmosphere of a great pub/club karaoke competition. Someone said to me "Aren't you judges supposed to be impartial?" Maybe they expected us to be dead pan or dead from the neck down. Sorry.....'no can do' on a night like this when entertainment, great vocals and crowd participation and enthusiasm is the name of the game. The music and their heart and soul performances be they ballard, country, rock or pop were pumping through my system too.

My only regret for the night? That we couldn't send more than two people to the State finals in Perth, and I empathise with those who didn't make it 'cos I know what it feels like. You're looking at someone who missed out by half a point on $5000 and a National title in Sydney a few years ago ( for bush poetry not karaoke.)

'Judges smudges......huh.....what do they know?'

It makes me want to grab the karaoke mic and start singing one of my favourite numbers....

"I get knocked down, but I get up again"

Good luck in the State finals guys. Meanwhile I can feel a new phase coming on.....


Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Scales Never Lie

I had the shock of my life this week when I leapt onto the bathroom scales to discover I had put on three kilos over the weekend.


In sheer terror I pulled on my new joggers and walked frenetically around the farm for eight kilometres with the dogs.

Got back on the scales the next morning, but still not back to my normal weight. More frenetic walking, this time a little slower as I was tweaking from the previous day's effort. Also ate lettuce and leafy things for lunch. Had no red wine with carb free dinner (agony) and no delicious morsel with coffee (further torment.)

Got back on scales the next morning. Still not back to normal weight. Blind panic by now. Did silly shuffly run down the drive and back (three kilometres) carrying weights, and luckily didn't pass anyone coming in or out of the farm. More leaves and grasses for dinner with small glass of red to keep husband company (let's hear it for the husband....Yay!)

About to get back on scales this morning (with glasses on for some reason,) and on looking more closely at weight indicator needle, notice that it is indicating three kilos before anyone steps onto the bastard.

Brilliant! Now weigh two kilos less than normal weight. Bottle of red open, creamy carbonara for dinner.

P.S. If any of you are rude enough to look at the scales in the picture to see how much I weigh by zooming in on the photo, let me tell you I am not a total idiot. I set the scales back the other way to my advantage before I got on to take the photo!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Who's got my bottom?

Can anyone tell me what has happened to my bottom?

Someone out there must know. Did the Bugalugs Bum Thief (Tim Winton) rip through the Beaumont district last night and have himself a bit of sport swapping the bottoms of the inhabitants of our small community whilst we all slept through blissfully unaware......until this morning?

Cruel joke, sir....and Queen Victoria is definitley not amused! As I prepared to slip into my undergarments this morning I caught a glimpse of my derriere in the mirror, and nearly toppled over in shock, catching the toe of my right foot in my Bonds cotton gusset.

Having hopped and staggered to the edge of the bed before nose diving onto the doona, I girded my loins, and by God they needed girding, and prepared to take a second look. Horror! That was not my bottom......surely? My bottom looks like the one in the picture. Well it did until this morning. This other person's bottom, now attached to the top of my legs, is not mine! It hangs a little lower than my original, and the tone, texture and bounce seem to have dropped too. I want my old bottom back, not this 'old' bottom. Who the hell has got it?

I'm giving you all a warning shot so whoever has it can come clean and return it to me in the next couple of days. I promise nothing more will be said. Otherwise you will all have to put up with me touching you all up in an attempt to discover who the thief is, and I won't be at all suprised if I find it on a man either. I know what you boys are like......

In the meantime I'd better concentrate on the top end of my body. I have just looked down to see I have spent the entire day wearing my cardie done up incorrectly having mismatched the buttons to the holes. What a plonker!

I feel as if I'm on a down hill slide.......

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Last School Ball

This is the last of our offspring at his Year 12 school ball, and look at the gorgeous girl he took! How did he get this vision of loveliness to be his partner? Is she aware that this handsome dude does not usually dress like this? Would she have accepted his invite if she had known that at home on the farm he normally wears daggy grey ruggers, flanelette shirts, odd socks, work boots and a hair style that looks as if he has been dragged through a bush backwards? Is she aware that his all time heroes are Bart and Homer Simpson and his idea of a good night out is to take the dog in his ute shooting rabbits followed by a Bad Boys movie and a Beryl's Burger with the lot?

The one good thing about this blog is that he is highly unlikely to ever read it. Mothers are an embarrassment, so he is hardly likely to visit my website, and even more unlikely to be my friend on facebook, so I feel I have carte blanche to write whatever tickles my fancy. Sorry mate, but you kids have always supplied me with such wonderful material.

He took this lovely lady to the 'befores' and then piled her onto 'the party bus' that the boys had hired to take them all to the ball. My lot have tried all the options. Daughter number one went to the ball in a London taxi cab via King's Park for a photo shoot. Daughter number two hired a limo with her crew of party goers and went via some coastal venue for a photo shoot, whilst the boy opted for 'the party bus'. The cheapest option. If there was a photo shoot of any description on the way to his ball it is highly unlikely that I will ever see any of the photos. He's just not interested in that sort of thing. He doesn't even own a camera. The girls are on their third each I think.......

Daughter number one wore to her school ball a Ruth Tarvydas ball gown, had her hair, makeup and nails done and had new shoes and jewels. Daughter number two had her dress made by a seamstress, had her hair, makeup and nails done as well as a fake tan, new shoes and ear rings to die for. The boy hired a dinner suit through the school, borrowed his mate's shoes and had a fifteen dollar hair cut the week before. The cheapest option. The girls drank Veuve Clicquot and Moet. The boy drank beer. The cheapest option. We should have had three boys.......

All three went to the dreaded 'afters' and partied through into the wee small hours. Some ended up at home for an hour's kip before breakfast at some beach venue; some ended up with ball gown and shoes stuffed in a rucksack, but clad in 'afters' garb, hoarse from wild singing and dancing, at home at 5am; and some ended up in a sand bunker on hole number four of the local golf Course at 6am. Mercifully none of them disgraced themselves ( to my knowledge) and lived to tell the tale of their first All Nighter. Remember those? I'm talking Party All Nighters here, folks, not Screaming Baby All Nighters....

Great expectations, great excitement and great fun for the kids. Great stress, great expense and great pride for the parents. They all looked so grown up!

Just the ATAR score to go now, boy.......You've had your fun, so head down and go for it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rottnest Island 25 years on

Here we are, a couple of old codgers out and about on bikes on Rottnest Island. Haven't been here since before we had kids 25 years ago and one thing that has changed is that we have to wear these ridiculous bike helmets.
We're over here for a night in a lovely villa on the beach at Thomson Bay, and mid week is a good time to come as it's 10pm as a write this and quiet as the grave. The gentle lap of the ocean on the beach outside our villa is the only sound apart from a few cicadas.
I know I shouldn't have, but I've stroked an inquisitive quokka that came through our back gate looking for food this afternoon (but I didn't feed him a single scrap). Ordering the groceries from the Rottnest General Store online was a good idea. It had all been delivered and popped into the fridge when we arrived. Excellent service.
I'm nursing a bit of a tender bottom after day one in the saddle, and a bit dubious about day two as King Tommo wants us to ride over to Cape Vlamingh. I thought we went that far 25 years ago, but looking at a map we realised we only went as far as the guns and tunnels at Oliver Hill. Oh, dear..... He swears he has never known a person to ride a bike as slowly as I do, and is amazed I don't fall off. Bullshit! He is one of those crazed nutters who pedals down hill and goes so fast I'm sure he doesn't see a thing!
Hotel Rottnest has been done up well. We had a coffee and Baileys on Ice there a short while ago, surrounded by quokkas who couldn't quite work out the unpalatable fake grass! The settlement is looking good and we had a lovely walk over to Geordie Bay this evening. Now it's time to turn in and get ready for the saddle tomorrow.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Bare Bottomed Truth

I'm just an old scrubber. My job last week was to help remove the old anti foul from our boat, Serendipity, and slap on the new stuff. It's a messy job, but a necessary one.
'Serendipity' is a popular name for boats. It means 'The Faculty of Making Happy Discoveries By Accident'. Here is a shot of her props all cleaned up.
It reminds me of my friend Dave's bottom.
Dave had a propeller tattoed to each cheek of his backside many moons ago in his heady youth when he was single and before he met the love of life and decided this was the girl for him....for ever.
During their courtship Dave had told her a lot about himself but had been too 'em-bare-arsed' to tell her about his 'bare arse', and he was terrified she would reject him when she discovered his bottom was not as unsullied as she might like to imagine.
So he took her to dinner to 'prop'-ose (this is getting silly) to her and to come clean and bare all. (Well not literally, for they would have been thrown out of the restaurant wouldn't they?) He went down on one knee and asked her to marry him, but told her that before she gave him her answer, there was something he had to tell her. He was worried about how she was going to take it and he didn't know how to begin to tell her this terrible thing he had to confess to.
She recalls that evening so well. Her mind was in a tortuous turmoil thinking of all the ghastly things he might be about to tell her. He was already married; he had illegitimate offspring from another relationship; he couldn't have children; he was an axe murderer! She remembers vividly how she reacted when he turned deep red in the face, leant towards her and whispered,
"I have propellers tattoed on the cheeks of my backside."
Laugh! She nearly fell off her chair with relief! Was that all? So she said 'Yes' to his proposal and his props and they lived happily ever after.
He is still very sensitive about his props, and doesn't like people seeing them. He is the only man I have ever walked in on naked in a bathroom who, instead of turning swiftly away to hide his manhood and show me his bottom, has swung round swiftly and shown me his fruit!
'Serendipity'.....the faculty of making happy discoveries by accident!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Country Mums

I had the pleasure to perform at the Country Mums Group in Condingup this week. Pictured are Janet (left) and Suzie (on my right).
This is a lively group of young women who bring their children and themselves together once a month in the delightful setting of The Condingup Tavern. Here, they enjoy coffee, cake, lunch and laughter as they think up entertaining and interesting topics each month.
There are a lot of little people underfoot here, and beautifully behaved too I might add, as well as babes in arms, on the bottle and the breast. Some mothers have managed to birth down two babies at the same time, so it is fortunate that there are plenty of arms available to settle the twins when needed!
We were talking ebay at one stage, the pros and cons, and how I can hopefully pick up a good digital SLR on there. Janet is obviously a seasoned ebay buyer. She had a lot of advice including this gem:
"But you've got to be good at ebay.......I've got four clarinets.....and none of them work!"
Good advice....thanks Janet.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Bijou Theatre

The Bijou Theatre

Clink on the link above and see how you can enter The Bijou Monologues competition and be in the running to win $1000! You've got until the 15th April to get your entries in, so if you reside in the Esperance districts get writing!

The Old School Tie

The Old School Tie....only this one isn't, in order to protect the protagonist in my blog. I felt that if I posted a photograph of his real school tie, it would be recognised by someone and all hell would break loose in his scholastic institution. Or worse.....we might be called in for another one of those unpleasant 'interviews'.

Parents have so many reasons to be proud of their children, and for us our son is no exception. Perhaps yours was Head Boy or Head of House or Captain of Cricket. Perhaps yours was the winner of The Beazley Medal or Dux of School or Fairest and Best for the footy season. Maybe he plays three different instruments or is the youngest boy to have sailed single handed around the world in a yacht.

Ours did none of the above, but boy are we proud of him. And why, I hear you ask?

Because our son, as he moves through his final year of school, has single handedly manged to get through five gruelling years of secondary education seemingly with the original set of school uniform we bought for him at the start of Year 8. That's right, one set of uniform.

Does he have some sort of growth disorder? No, he does not. He was 152cm when we sent him away four years ago and he is now 186cm.

Is he abjectly shuffling around his school in shorts that constrict his nether regions, long pants that finish mid calf, and shirts whose sleeves finish at his elbows, whose tails are too far from his pants to tuck into anything, and whose button holes have elastic attached to them so that they can connect with their buttons on the other side of his rapidly growing, well muscled, manly chest?

No, he is not. Our boy is quite simply entrepreneurial. Our boy is going to go far. Our boy may be no Rhodes Scholar, but by God he was quick off the mark with his visionary powers when he first came across........... The Boarding House Lost Property Box.

He has quite simply dressed himself out of this receptacale by recycling his school uniforms. He simply takes out his name tapes from his school clothes, drops in a size 10 and pulls out an un-named size 12. Then the follwoing year he drops in his size 12 and takes out a size 14. I was horrified initially.

"Darling! Isn't that theft?"

"No. It's recycling, Mum. None of the stuff I take out has a name on it and it's been in there for ages. It's not as if I'm not putting anything back in either. It's sort of swapping stuff, that's all"

Perfectly harmless, isn't it? So I relent, and realise that is one trip to the school uniform shop I won't have to make at the start of the new school year, and one more trip for me to the frock shop. The boy has saved us hundreds of dollars.

And Madam, before you get irate with me because my son is possibly wearing your son's rugby shirt, might I politely remind you that you should have put a bloody name tape in it or marked it with an indelible pen! I'm starting to sound slightly school marmish now.

Oh, and if any one is after 'an old school tie', my boy might be able to help you out.....though with his entrepreneurial skills, it might cost you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mr Dodger and Mr Toad

Here are Mr Dodger and Mr Toad, looking guilty as they have just been brought back to the shack at the beach having done a spot of vacational 'running away'.
As a result they must wear their 'dunces ears' for a small period of time to remind them of how naughty they have been.
It takes a while for the dogs to work out that they need to give themselves a quick head flick to get their ears back in the right spot. In the meantime the family gets a good giggle.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dingo Rocks Fire

Farmland to the NE of Esperance has been under threat from a bush fire raging in an area east of Salmon Gums known as Dingo Rocks. We saw smoke from this fire last week, and the red glow to the NE of us at night was an amazing sight.

FESA and local volunteers have been busy fighting the fire this week, with temperatures in the district reaching 38 degrees plus for the last couple of days.

Whilst the fire is nowhere near our farm, the smoke has drifted far and wide giving eerie afternoon light to the farm. This picture of Hill Plains homestead was taken at about two in the afternoon.

Chiefy has disappeared up to the FESA operations van to help with controlling and any back burning that might be required. This leaves me home alone. Yay! Food and Lifestyle channels here I come! UK sitcoms here I come! Though obviously when his Lordship returns from a hot day at the fire front I shall say I have been busy washing, cooking and cleaning.....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Captive Wives

Well know Perth actor, director and writer, Jenny Davis was in town recently to start work on a project that Agelink Theatre Inc(that Jenny founded in 1993 and writes and directs for) has been invited to work on in association with Esperance Community Arts and The Esperance Theatre Guild.
Jenny was in town with fellow thespian Jenny McNae, to interview farming women in the Esperance distict about the challenges of clearing new land country, running a farm, raising a family and the tyranny of distance. Whilst the title of the project is yet to be confirmed, the interest was sparked from the story of a group of women in the Grass Patch area in the 1970's who met monthly and called themselves the Captive Wives. Stories have been gathered from a few of the original Captive Wives as well as a few others farming in the Esperance district from the late 1950's to the present day. There was plenty of material to be found in the local publication "Faith, Hope and Reality" which 'The Jenny's' found fascinating.
Whilst in its earliest stages, the project aims to collate as many stories as possible into a theatrical production of some sort that will end up on the stage of The Bijou Theatre. 'The Jennys' spent a week interviewing and delving into historical archives to get a feel for the piece they are going to create. The Esperance Theatre Guild has asked local director Lyndel Taylor and myself to direct this project, and Tracey Schlink is the producer. Flora Yetman is doing the costumes and auditions will be called for later as the project takes form.
I'll keep you updated as it progresses.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Australia Day Poets in the Park, Perth

The WA Bush Poets held their 15th annual Poets in the Park showcase at Wireless Hill Park, Ardross this Australia Day. Fifteen poets from all over the State performed a mixture of their own and traditional pieces from Australian poets such as Lawson and Paterson.
Here I am with poets Irene Connor and Corin Lynch from Jurien. Regular ABC listeners will know Corin from his contributions to The Dawn Patrol on Perth's ABC 720.
It was a warm day but an enthusiastic crowd and once again I met some lovely people and a lot of poets I had heard of but never seen, including Peg Vickers from Albany. I have asked Peg and Corin to contemplate joining us in Esperance in October for the Bush Poets' Breakfast at the Esperance Districts Agricultural Show. They do some great stuff that is very entertaining.
One of the best parts of the day was meeting Meg, and old friend I haven't seen for years who had heard me on Eoin Cameron's breakfast show that morning (reciting Banjo Paterson's The Geebung Polo Club) and had come up to Wireless Hill Park to see me. The power of radio!

ABC 720 Breakfast with Eoin Cameron

I had a great morning with ABC 720 Breakfast Host Eoin Cameron and his producer Brad McCahon at the North Cott Surf Club when they had an outside broadcast from the foreshore a few weeks ago.

Here we are, Brad, Eoin, me and Mr Toad, (Tiff's Staffy Kelpie cross). It was the morning of the Liberal Party leadership spill so the phone lines were jammed with regular ABC listeners saying "Get this political stuff off the radio and get back to the normal program. The results of the spill can wait til the news!"