Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Well I'll Be Blog

Just back from Adelaide after a lovely weekend with family and friends only to discover I have been remiss with the blog. And the pussycat is very snuggly - doesn't make it easier.

Anyway - a good quick one as there is stuff to do and a pussycat to cuddle. Questions, as always, courtesy of Sunday Stealing:

If I were a month, I’d be: March. Not too hot, autumn nearly there. Yay.

If I were a day of the week, I’d be: Sunday. Lots of things to do, not just work.

If I were a planet, I’d be: Venus. Up early, go to bed late. Ever present.

If I were a god or goddess, I’d be: Persephone. Half a year underground, half a year in the sun, sounds good to me.

If I were a sea animal, I’d be:  A seal Just because they're gorgeous.




If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be: A bed. My favourite piece of furniture.

If I were a gemstone, I’d be: A sapphire. Just love them. Slightly mysterious and very deep.

If I were a flower, I’d be a: A rose. I smell like one most of the time (I wear Jo Malone's Red Roses a lot of the time.)

If I were a kind of weather, I’d be: Sunny with a light breeze. Not too hot either.

If I were a color, I’d be: Teal blue.

Image result for teal

If I were an emotion, I’d be: Fair to Middling. Not happy, not sad.

If I were a fruit, I’d be a: Strawberry because they are the best. Reminds me, have a punnet in the fridge that need soaking in balsamic vinegar for tomorrow night.

If I were a sound, I’d be: Ocean waves.

If I were an element, I’d be: Earth. As a Leo/Virgo with a Capricorn rising and five planets in Virgo, I can only be earth (with a bit of fire to warm me up)

If I were a place, I’d be: Toledo Spain. Walled, warm and a little convoluted.

Image result for toledo

If I were a taste, I’d be: Pedro Ximinez liquer. You have to try it to love it.

If I were a scent, I’d be: Jo Malone Red Roses perfume (as Stella McCartney no longer makes her signature scent - most unhappy about this.

If I were an object, I’d be a: A well balanced pen.

If I were a body part, I’d be: A rock hard pert bottom. Cos I have one :)

If I were a song, I’d be: This one:



If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be: Sensible and comfortable - just like me.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Birds are Chirping Meme

Lots on this weekend. The gym to go to, Friend to meet for brunch. Facial to enjoy (a birthday present to myself) . Writer's Festival session to enjoy and then review - and the copy is due around midnight.

So, let's get this out the way. Questions, as always, courtesy of Sunday Stealing.

Name a product you buy mostly because it has a cool package.

Jo Malone perfume. Not only does it smell great, but they go over the top on the packaging at the department store.

What flavor cake do you like for your birthday?  

A David Jones flourless lemon cake with cream cheese icing would be just perfect, thank you.

Have you ever been in love with someone much older or younger than you?  

No. I had a fling with somebody 20 years my senior many many years ago. It wasn't love.

Have you ever had a job you loved? 

Yes. And then after a few months I got rather disillusioned. I was just busy enough and the work was stimulating. That is the sort of job I love.

 Have you ever been in a building that was on fire?  

No.

Are you in an argument with anyone right now?  

No

Would you change your hair color to something outrageous if you would get paid to?  

No. My hair takes on colour far to easily.

Have you ever written a poem for someone?  

I do this regularly. My muse likes it when I do.

What is a place you’ve vacationed at and would like to go back to?  

In no order, Spain, Italy. France, the UK, New York City, Boston, Ubud in Bali, Chiang Mai in Thailand, New Zealand.

Do you eat samples at the grocery store?  

Only if they appeal, which is about a quarter of the time.

What do you absolutely have to have to make your birthday feel special?

Having somebody say happy birthday is enough. I had a birthday this week. No presents, two cards and a bunch of flowers and a couple of meals bought for me - I'm doing okay for this birthday. Eleventy humph is nothing to celebrate anyway.

What’s the last tourist area you visited?  

I was at Federation Square at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) about three hours ago.

Where do you go out to eat for a special occasion?  

Anywhere with good food. I'd still love to go to Vue de Monde one day.

When was the last time you went to a post office? 

About a month ago. I was out of stamps.

 Is there an item you are saving up to buy right now?  

Other than tuition? I think I'll be saving for another holiday soon - and I wouldn't mind saving for a new laptop and a smart television.

Are you psychic in any way?  

A little. I read tarot professionally - does that count?

Do you prefer a laptop or desktop? Which are you on now?  

Laptop. And I'm on a laptop now.

Have you ever received a gift and truly did not know what it was?  

I once received a sex toy as a present. I wasn't sure why I was given it (single and dateless at the time) nor what I was supposed to do with it.

What’s your homepage? 

Google.

Is there a thing you enjoy doing, but quit because you are not good at it?

Playing the flute and acting. Enjoy both. Crap at both.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The I Want You to Be Free From Me Meme

Another Sunday, another blog.Some rather banal questions from Sunday Stealing this week.

Having a lovely weekend doing some writing for the Melbourne Writer's Festival, finishing my course work and preparing for the week ahead. It's nice to have a quiet one. My hair has been cut and coloured and I've taken myself off to see "The Man from U.N.C.L.E" for the afternoon - so it's been a good weekend. (Henry Cavill is far too good looking for his own good, and strangely Armie Hammer is more than the walking talking cricket bat I thought he was)



Anywhere, here's this week's quiz.

Are your nails painted a dark or light color? 

Until yesterday my fingernails were a nice, light pinky brown colour (OPI Dulche de Leche) My toenails are a larey red as per usual.

Have you ever order pizza online?  

I never order pizza - so no.

What color was the last candle you lit? 

Green. I light lots of green candles to bring in money.

 Is there something written on your shirt right now?  

No.

Is there a bookshelf in your room?  

Not in my bedroom, but I have three full ones in the living room.

Do you own a treadmill?  

No. That's what the gym is for.

Have you ever signed up for a gym membership?  

I'm very proud to say that I've had a gym membership for ten years and it's been used a couple of times a week all of the time I've had it.

Is there a garbage can in your room? What color is it?

No. That lives under the kitchen sink. It's grey.

Have you ever read in the bathtub?  

I do that at every opportunity I can find.

Have you ever had to wear a hairnet?  

Thankfully I've never had a job in food services.

Do you know how many pages the last book you read had?  

I'm reading Peter Carey's Amnesia at the moment. It had 375 pages.

What day of the week does the laundry usually get done?  

I have no set day for doing the laundry, but I'll normally do a load or two on the weekend

Do you use the Facebook chat often?  

Yes.

Do you have any baby pictures of yourself on your computer?  

No. Most of my baby photos were destroyed in a fire when was five years old.

Do you eat onion rings?  

No.

What flavor of tea did you last have?

T2 Caramel Brownie Tea. It's wonderful.

 Do you own a bathrobe?

I have a number of them in various weights and lengths.

Did you/will you have coffee or some other form of caffeine today?  

Just finishing my morning coffee now.

Do you have a mailbox or do you collect your mail from the post office? 

I've had a post office box for nearly 15 years - with identity theft rife and the fact that I live in an area where there is a lot of petty crime, I think I'll be keeping it.

What was the last animal you saw, and was it a pet?  

30 seconds ago. Maow Maow wants his dinner.

What was the last documentary you watched focusing on?

Highclere House, the manor house in which Downton Abbey is filmed.

 Is there anything you need to remember to do before the day ends?

Set the alarm, putting out my clothes for tomorrow, set up my coffee pot so I don't have to think about it in the morning.

 Is your car messy, or do you like to keep it clean?  

It's pretty clean inside and out. I like to keep it so people can get into it and I'm not too embarrassed. Normally there's only a couple of sheets of paper to shift.,

Are you the type to wake up before the sun has even risen?

I'm normally up at sunrise. Not before and normally not too much after.

 Do you get uncomfortable when people stare at you?

Yes. I don't care if they stare but it can make me uncomfortable.

 Have you ever been admitted to the hospital for a long period of time?

The longest I've been in hospital was about a week when I was a kid and they were fixing my legs. Other than the odd day surgery in adulthood, that's been it, thank goodness.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Crazy Random Twenty Meme

Sometimes Sunday Stealing does well, other times not so much. These questions are a bit meh. Never to worry, I've been sweating over a paper for my Masters. That's now been submitted - so basically I'm now a quarter the way though my Masters (as long as I pass...)

Anyway, This week's questions.

Have you ever demolished a wall or building? 

No. But I would like to.

If you and a friend both wanted the same thing would you let the friend get it first? 

Probably - or take it in turns at going first - that's fair.

Have you ever argued over who should pay for something? 

Not in many years. My friends are really fair like that.

Do you have any family heirlooms?

I have my grandmother's colander, egg beater and saucepan. Not really heirlooms, but I think of my grandma every time I use them. I also have my mother's engagement rings.

Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous? 

Nope.

What's your favorite ocean? 

Being brought up in South Australia, I love the Southern Ocean. It's cold and brooding. Love it.

Do you correct peoples mistakes? 

Depends if I'm asked to correct them. Sometimes. I correct people in my head all the time.

Have you ever helped out an injured animal? 

Of course.

Do you throw bread for the ducks? 

I haven't done that for years, but yes, if I had bread and ducks they would get fed.

Do you think babies are little bundles of joy or smelly noisy things? 

I think they're smelly, noisy bundles of joy. Depends on the baby - they're more fun once they can keep their necks straight.

Do you give money to buskers?

Only if they're really good or really funny.

Do you ever forward or reply to chain mails? 

I try not to.

Do you often have a tune in your head you can't name? 

I can name all of my ear worms. And if I get one I can't name I sing this, which stops the nasty ear worm in it's tracks.



Has anyone ever approached you thinking you were someone else? 

No, but I get called Alison a lot. No idea why.

Have you ever starred in an amateur or professional video? 

No. I've been an extra in a movie, that's the extent of it.

Have you ever been in a position of authority? 

No, but I will be master of our lodge next year.

If you were ruler of your own country what would you call it? 

I think Pandorabad has a nice ring to it...

And what title would you give yourself? 

I am already Princess Pandora - why do I need another title?

If you invented a monster what would you call it? 

See what I mean by daft questions?

And what features would it have?

Seriously....

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Shout Out the Answer Meme

At an airport after a lovely weekend enjoying some sunshine and warmer weather. My jumper will be going on just before I board the plane, my coat is at the top of my bag ready for arriving in Melbourne where there will be a ten degree temperature drop.

Questions, as always, courtesy of Sunday Stealing.

1.  Do you shout out the answers when watching television quiz shows?

Always. I'm annoying like that (and right 95% of the time).

2. Do you get over involved with television or movie plots at times?

Oh yes. I will yell at the telly if I don't like what a character is about to do. I yell at Dr Blake all the time. It's good that I live alone.

3. What's the highest hill or mountain you've every climbed?

Unsure, but Wat Doi Suthep in Thailand feels right. It was a big hike from the car park.

4. Do you have a piggy bank?

No. Just a couple of bank accounts.

5. What's the fastest you've travelled in a car?

About 110 miles an an hour he motorways in England. Many years ago.

6. Have you ever hand milked a cow?

Yes. I grew up around dairy farms. Haven't all kids?

7. What is your favourite science? Biology, Chemistry or Physics?

Chemistry. Strangely good at it topped the subject in my last year of school. I can still recite the first twenty elements on the periodic table.

8. Have you ever had a surprise party that was an actual surprise?

No. My friends aren't that organised and they know I hate surprises.

9. Have you ever word clothing with the tags / labels still attached?

No. I'm good at taking them off once I've got them home.

10. Have you ever slipped on a banana skin?

No. Has anybody done that outside of cartoons?

11. Are you scared of the dark?

Depends where I am. Around the house - no. Walking home from the tram at 11 pm along dark streets can be a bit uncomfortable.

12. Do you have a lawyer?

No. But I have enough friends who are lawyers. I'd like to think I could get emergency legal advice pretty easily.

13. If you had a paid year off what would you do?

I think I'd write my novel - and get really, really fit again. You need time to get really, really fit.

14. How long was your last phone call?

Most of my phone calls are about two to three minutes. I think it was on Friday night, I had to tell my leg waxer I was going to be a bit late because the police had our building in lock down. (Christopher Pyne's book launch - there were more protesters and police than people at the launch - all a run of the mill Friday night... by the way, I saw Christopher Pyne at the airport. He's shorter than I remember him. And I didn't heckle. I wanted to, but I wanted to make my plane. I did want to ask him how he felt about having a book launch for a book that might make say $20,000 and wasting probably close to half a million on the security detail and the police involvement.)



My last skype call, however, was just off three hours long. That's a bit of a record for me.

15. Have you ever helped somebody across the road?

Yes.They were drunk. I didn't want them falling over.

16. Have you ever been wolf-whistled in the street?

With the Adam Goodes saga going on here, I think this might be the next hot topic. (I stand with Adam, not that anybody will ask. We live in an inherently racist country, it's time we looked at this and realised how this revolting behaviour impacts on people. He have to deal with this.)

So have I been wolf whistled in the street. Yes. And spat on, and shouted at, and harangued and you name it. I'm paid 17% less than my male counterparts,  I'm seen as a second class citizen in the eyes of a few. I'm used to having my opinions ignored. My sanitary items are taxed. I've been groped up, looked up, suggested to and followed home - all against my wishes.

So yes, I've been wolf whistled in the street - and I'd like to take a baseball bat to the wankers.

Not only do we live in a racist country, we live in a sexist one too. And it has to stop.

And I'm going to play the musical version of the Misogyny Speech again because Julia Gillard speaks for me. It's not everybody, but it's a dreadful overhang from our past - when men thought they owned women. Some men still think they do. Again, why is it our Minister for Women will do nothing to look at the dreadful domestic violence epidemic we've always had? Eh? Anybody?


Not now. Not ever.

Okay, I'll get off my soap box now.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mad Cows and Bone Marrow Donation

One of my greatest annoyances in is that I am not able to donate blood in Australia. I used to give blood every three months. As a child, my mother would drag me along to the blood bank with her, where she would donate blood every three months (and then there was the wonderful milkshakes in tin cups and the barley sugar they gave you afterward) so there is no fear in going to the blood bank. I've got great venous return, so I can drop a pint in just under five minutes.

I liked giving blood.

Then, in the early 2000s, they brought in this rule. If you'd lived in the United Kingdom for more than six months between the years of 1980 and 1996, they will not take your blood. It's to do with there being the possibility of you passing on CJD - or the human variant of Mad Cow Disease.

I remember my friend Sam and I donating blood on the evening before the ban came into place. That was the last time I donated blood. 1991.

This still makes me rather annoyed. A government agency is discriminating against me and says that I am a mad cow. Strangely, they will happily take my blood in Britain.

Okay, I do get the rationale. There is no test for Mad Cow Disease. It's an insidious condition that gives you an awful death.

Then there is the history that has made the blood bank jittery. In Australia, the during the AIDS epidemic in the eighties, before drugs were found to abate the disease's passage, most Australian haemophiliacs contracted the disease and died through receiving infected blood products. I get why the blood bank needs to be cautious and because of this the Australian Blood Service is now one of the safest in the world.

Still, I'm now in another predicament and it's got me grumpy all over again about being deigned by the Australian Red Cross as being a Mad Cow (What's the bet on my file they have a crossed out cow on the cover?)

As many of you know, my niece Lolly is currently undergoing treatment for leukaemia. We found out the other week that she will be requiring a stem cell transplant in the near future. The doctors are confident of finding her a match - hopefully her sister will be able to donate, but if not, there is a world wide registry of stem cell or as they were formally known, bone marrow donors.Along with this, she's been requiring numerous blood, plasma and blood product transfusions to help keep her alive. (The treatment really is awful - I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy)

So here was my question to the blood bank this morning. As a mad cow, can I be on the bone marrow register?

The short answer is yes, but...

I had a lovely woman answer my questions. She's in the same boat as me. Born in England during the exclusion time (1980-1996 - if you spent more than six months in the British Isles during this time, that's it, no vampire visits for you) she can't give blood. A close relative of her's required a bone marrow transplant a couple of years ago and the family rallied.

For Mad Cows to go on the bone marrow register, you have to arrange for the tests privately and ask to be put on the bone marrow register - and they will take you as long as there are no other conditions that will stop you donating - Mad Cow Disease is not an issue. This means a trip to the doctor to arrange the tests and you need to pay the pathology fees yourself - it was $60 when they did these over ten years ago, so I reckon it's going to be a couple of hundred dollars now.

To me, this does not matter. I'll be going down to the doctors in the next few weeks and asking for the tests. I won't ask to be matched with my niece, it's more than likely a waste of resources, but I would be very happy to help somebody else down the track if the need arises.

Thing is, if I wasn't a Mad Cow, I could rock up to the blood bank and they would do the tests for free.

I suppose what I'm saying, asking really, if you can donate blood, take the hour out of your day and go and do it. If you're not a mad cow or don't have something that precludes you from putting yourself of the register, go have the test done and put yourself on the bone marrow register, especially as blood donors can ask to go on the register and not have to cough up for the pathology tests like I will (and any other mad cows that want to go on the register).

It's global, it's free, it's a couple of minutes of discomfort and you could very well help to save somebody's life down the track.

The number for the Red Cross in Australia is 13 95 96, or go to www.donateblood.com.au .

I wish I could give blood, I really do. 400,000 in Australia are not allowed to donate blood because they're deemed to be mad cows too.

The blood bank needs 27,000 donations a week to keep people alive at a minimum.

Please help if you can.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

I'll Spread My Wings and Learn to Fly Meme


Well, I'm sitting here writing my first draft of my assignment that's due in a fortnight, doing the ironing and finally I remember that I should do the meme. Argh. The writing is nearly there. So is the ironing. And it's bloody cold.

The questions are, as always, from Sunday Stealing.

1. Have you ever had a pen pal?

Yes. I had one at university for a number of years. We ended up meeting when we were both in London. I still have his letters somewhere.


2. What’s your favorite breed of dog?

I like big soppy dogs like golden retrievers. But if I could have any dog and if I had the space, it would be a a Bernese Mountain Dog. Love them.

Image result for bernese mountain dog

3. Can money buy happiness?

No. But it does help smoothe a few things on the way to happiness.

4. Do you listen to music when you’re down?

Sometimes. I prefer to watch a favourite movie when I'm down  to cheer me up.

5.What is one thing you spend way too much money on?

High end lipstick. How many red lipsticks does a girl need?

6.Can you honestly say you’re okay right now?

Yes.

7.What was the last thing you spent money on?

Tonight's dinner. Didn't feel like cooking. Too cold in the kitchen.

8.Is your current hair color mostly your natural hair color?

At the moment my hair is a rather fetching auburn red. I have no idea what my natural hair colour is at the moment other than there is a bit of grey in it. Thank goodness for hair colour.

9.Who have you texted in the last 24 hours?

Blarney, my sister, my step sister and Mee from the gym to have her set me up for Pump Class.

10.Were you in a good mood last night?

Sort of. Didn't get as much writing done as I would have liked.It's hard being up to your armpits in war records and be in a really good mood.

11.Do you have a reason to smile right now?

Yes, but I'm not telling you why.

12. How often do you hold back what you want to say?

Regularly. There are some stupid people out there.

13. Do you think that in the end, everything will fall into place?

Yes. I'm counting on it.

14.Are you currently looking forward to anything?

I'm looking forward to lots of things. I'm an optimist. It's how I do things. Always something to look forward to.

15.Do you have any TV shows on DVD?

Yes. You can't go past The West Wing and Orange is the New Black. Rather fold of Embarrassing bodies too.