Tuesday, July 31, 2018

19 Days: I Dream of Greece

My colleague left on her holidays today. Three weeks she's gone for. As one of the hardest workers I know, she deserves the break.

However, I'm as jealous as all hell.

Her first stops - Athens, then Santorini and then Mykonos.

I lived in Greece for a few months about 15 years ago. I look at this time as one of the more formative of my life. See, at the time, my plans all fell to crap. The job I was promised fell through and I was a bit stuck, but this time taught me that sometimes, taking a chance and getting out of a rut can be the best thing you can do for yourself.

The other thing that I remember from the time was that my head was all in a mess over a man. Greece put me away from all of this. Once again, I was grateful for the time away.

Talking with my colleague today, my time on Mykonos came back in buckets.

"But don't you like Santorini?" she asked.
"Not really - it's a bit of a blonde of a place - gorgeous to look at but it lacks substance."

Well this is my opinion. For some reason, I didn't feel safe on the island. It was probably more that I'd made friends on Mykonos and was feeling desperately lonely down at Kamari beach.

Mykonos, however, became my home.

There is something about island life which appeals to me. I've been trying to put my finger in it for ages. Is it that the land is finite? Is it that with the stable population? For me on Mykonos, was it that I could pad around at all hours of the day and night in a little dress, a big hat and a pair of sandals, skin brown, hair starting to bleach, living on a diet of Greek Salad, the odd yiros and a daily "kafe frappe metrio me gala", which was ordered in my best Greek.

I was learning Greek. I befriended some bar staff hungering for English lessons.

Greek is easy after a while. They only talk about three things. Money, love and home. Lefpta, agape, spiti. They come up regularly and often in conversation.

I remember being  as happy as a clam, padding around the laneways of this little island, meeting fellow travellers, occasionally making a night of it at one of the many bars, drinking and dancing away the balmy evenings.

My stay there started in the off season. You see a different side of the island in April. It's more relaxed. Calmer. Less bothersome. Fewer tourists. There are days you can't move down the Venetian laneways for the tourists. It's the only place in the world you'll find donkey poo outside a Cartier shop. Or a huge, stroppy pelican, named Petros. He  bailed me up one night as I was ambling home, half drunk at two in the morning. That pelican is a bit of a nuisance.

My colleague was told to say hello to Petros for me.

After a chat, we looked over a map of the island. I've told her to go to Elia beach - an idyllic spot on the south of the island, where the naked men frolic like lambs. It's a liberating experience.

She's been told to get one of the little yiros you find out near gold alley - I wonder if that shop is still there.

Oh, and on that one day where you need to do something quieter - the half day trip to Delos is a must. An uninhabited island full of ruins, it's a fascinating morning looking at the ruins.

I'm not sure if she's into clubbing, but the clubs are great there.

It was a fun time. It was a strange time of my life. It would be good to go back and see it one day.

Today's Song:

Monday, July 30, 2018

20 Days: Party Planning

Sunday afternoon saw me over at Alice's place for a party planning session - or more to the point, we had a look at the food order for our party.

Alice and I are both very different and very similar at the same time. Alice is a slip of a woman, who would be  easily knocked over in a stiff breeze. I'm more the proverbial brick shithouse. Alice is a divorced mother of one. I've been terminally single all my life. Alice is very defined in her reading habits. I'm a bit more flexible. Alice is English by birth, Australian by naturalisation. I am Australian who's really just a Pom at heart.

She and I lived about a mile away from each other in London in the nineties. We met in Melbourne about 12 years ago, but we more than likely would have passed each other in Waitrose on many occasions, or been at the same bar on any given night.

Alice is the person who drops food around when you've been in hospital. I'm the person who sits people down and I let them talk without judgement.

Alice and I are a bit tragic. We both love The Pixies, Rocky Horror and rock music. She's a brilliant Columbia. I'm more Magenta.

Image result for magenta columbia rocky horror

When we worked together, our catch cry was, "Cup of tea?" Before rising in unison and wandering  to the kitchen at well defined times.

We're both loud, happy drunks - not that either of us have had a big night for a while. Alice has her son Jasper to think about. I'm normally driving - makes going on a bender a bit hard.

We are both loud introverts - I think I might be a bit more introverted than her, but not by much.

And we are holding a joint birthday party.

Location: Booked.

Invites: Out.

Food order:  Settled

Cake: Must approach my cousin's wife - if not, we need to find a cake.

Name tags:  Ordered in - as geeky as I can find.

Hello My Name is Trouble Rectangular Sticker

Playlist:  Getting there - we need another song to go with this:

The party is a few weeks away, but Alice is off to England and France at the end of the week. In a fortnight, I'm off to Bali. This is why all of this needs to be done and done now.

Alice is having a mega-party with her family in the South of France, sharing the event with her cousin, who is twelve hours older than her. It sounds like it will be a hoot.

I'll be spending my birthday, a week later, in Bali, with a group of friends.

As much as I'm looking forward to Bali, the thought of the South of France, in a farmhouse, with family sounds very awesome too.

Not that I have been to Europe for about eight years. Alice goes back to the Motherland roughly once a year to see family.

I've been decidedly dodging my spiritual home, mainly because of one person. However, as I have a funny feeling that he is no longer on the planet, I should be able to ride out this and get back for another round of Shakespeare and Cathedral spotting.

But our party is planned and we can toddle off to our respective other countries and see our birthday's in with our loved ones.

And we're both feeling relieved that this is all organised and hopeful that people will turn up on the night.

Funny that we both have the same fear that nobody is going to turn up on the night.

We're a bit more similar that we'd like to admit.

Today's Song:

Sunday, July 29, 2018

21 Days: Post 1000: Or The Things You Can't Possibly Know meme

I really can't believe this - this is my 1000th posting on Pandora - Queen of Denial. 1000 entries!

When I started this blog, I never thought it would be going on for so long. Having the blog daily over 100 days challenge has pushed up these numbers. Wow.

Anyway, as I have a busy day today, I will do these now, then get to the gym.

Questions, as always, from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1. What color is your watch?

Black, with a black leather strap - it's a FitBit. My dress watch is a Cartier Tank knock off with a silver face. One day I would love a real one.

2. What do you think of when you think of Australia?

I call it home. It used to be the place of the fair go. Not any more.

3. Ever ridden on a roller coaster?

No. Not interested.

4. Birthstone? 


5. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive through?

I don't eat fast food, but when I did, I would hit the drive through.

6. Do you have any friends on facebook that you actually hate?

I don't hate anybody. There are a few people who I wonder how they became Facebook friends, but unless they give me grief, I don't unfriend them.

7. Do you have a dog?

No. I would love to have one.

8. Last person you talked to on the phone?

I just got off a call with Reindert, who is in Boulder, Colorado.

9. Have you met anyone famous? 

I've stood behind Emma Thompson and Geoffrey Rush in supermarket queues. I seem to run into Geoffrey Rush a bit. That's about as good as it gets here.

9. Any plans today?

I'm off to the gym in a bit for a quick workout. Meeting Emm for breakfast at 11. Have to go see Alice to do some party planning, then off to see Blarney and Maow Maow. I need to cook and tidy too. Busy day.

10.  Where are you right now? 

Sitting at home in Melbourne, Australia in front of my laptop.

11. Biggest annoyance in your life right now? 

The Australian Federal Government. It's not as bad as Trump, but they have made some awful decisions of late. The new media laws being one of those bad decisions. They really fucked up there.

12. Last song listened to? 

This. Which gets stuck in your head. you've been warned. But it gets into your hips and won't go away.

13. Last movie you saw? 

RBG - a documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I have a new hero. She's awesome.  I saw this yesterday.

14. Are you allergic to anything? 

Sulpha drugs. I'm also slightly allergic to cats, but I build up a tolerance quickly when I have one at home. Thank goodness for antihistamines.

15. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?

My Harley Davidson Biker Boots. They are truly awesome. And very comfortable.

16. What time is it? 

9.04 am. Oops, I've missed pump - cardio here I come.

17. Do any of your friends have children?

Lots of them, and most of them are nice people - the children that is.

18. Do you eat healthy? 

Big answer - yes. 95% of the time I'm gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol free. My diet is disgustingly healthy. The other five percent of the time - well yeah. The food wanker plan has been the best discovery of this year. I feel great.

19. What do you usually do during the day?

Work, walk, read, cook, write. In about that order.

20. Do you hate anyone right now? 

I don't hate anybody. I do strongly dislike Donald Trump, Peter Dutton and the uglies of the Liberal National Party (Americans, think the GOP). Hate is a too strong a word - and a waste of energy.

Today's Song:

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Day 22: Movie Review - RBG

4 Stars. (Rotten Tomatoes has this rating at 94%)

I didn't want to miss this film. I'm glad I didn't.

I've been watching The West Wing and every type of political and legal drama that comes out of America. I think this has fostered a keen interest in political and judicial processes. I will admit, I'm the person you want to watch the election coverage with. Politics is fun. Think of me as a modern day Madame DeFarge.

As a political junkie with a keen interest in both American politics and the constitution, Ruth Bader Ginsburg's reputation was well known to me and I was keen to learn and see more. This documentary provides bucket loads about this feminist and civil rights poster girl, who has been out there, fighting a good fight since the fifties. Now in her mid-eighties she still resides on the Supreme Court bench and there is no stopping her. She's become a cult figure around the world. A bespectacled pocket rocket of a grandmother who has become the last bastion of sanity in this bizarre era of Trumpian Politics and fake news.

For those who don't know anything about this wonderful woman - here are a few facts:

  • She was one of the first women admitted to Harvard Law.
  • She's short.
  • She's Jewish.
  • She loves opera.
  • She was born and grew up in Brooklyn.
  • Bill Clinton chose her for Supreme Court Judge in the early eighties.
  • When she was studying law, she was also looking after a toddler and a sick husband.
  • She was married for nearly sixty years to an amazing man.
  • In her early legal career, she brought some of the first sexual discrimination cases to the Supreme court - and won most of these cases.
  • She planks like a boss.
  • And she is the grandmother everybody would want to have.
This is an entertaining and enlightening look at one amazing woman, who for most of the last sixty years has been a beacon for women's and civil rights in America.

Her quiet, sensible presence hides a ferocious intellect and a wicked sense of humour.

Through interviews with her, along with colleagues, friends and family a portrait of this iconic figure is painted. I found myself smiling, sometimes welling up, are regularly fist-pumping through the two hours of this wonderful documentary.

The world is a lot better place for having this woman in it.

This is essential viewing for anybody with a passing interest in woman's right's, feminism, American politics or who likes to watch a true iconoclast in action.

RBG is a wonderful documentary which will leave you feeling that maybe, just maybe, if we had a few more of these spectacular people, the world would be a better place. 

Today's Song:

Friday, July 27, 2018

23 Days: Mercury Effing Retrograde

This morning started early. at 6.15 am I was fully dressed, fully awake and in the gym with a session with Peeeeetttteeeee.

"You know Mercury has just gone retrograde. And there's a blood moon tomorrow morning." says Peeeeettteeeee in dead earnest.

Yes, this is the conversation I have with my personal trainer at 6.15 in the morning while doing shoulder presses and kicking around the aqua bag. He's the one who's making the statement. My boofhead, Tasmanian, looks like a tradie personal trainer.

"I thought it was a way off." says me between cable pulls.
"Nope, it went retrograde yesterday."
"Shit. Are you sure?"
"Pretty much."

I got out my phone and asked Siri in the breath break. Yep, Mercury went retrograde this last night. It comes out of retrograde and goes direct on my birthday.


It is not enough that I'm talking astrology on a meaningful level with my stand in personal trainer at six in the morning. We wouldn't be having this conversation if Jay was with us. Jay thinks all my 'witch shit' is just that. Shit. We're chalk and cheese Jay and me. It's fine.

Peeeeeetttteeeee was begging me to make Jay to go to a few classes at the Yoga Barn when we're in Bali. I think I'd have more chance of getting Peter Dutton to not look like a potato.

Anyway,  it's not enough that I am feeling this current full moon -  a great big full moon in Aquarius, and it's like a kick in the guts - my energy is all over the place - but we have an effing Mercury retrograde to deal with.

So what's so bad about a planet moving backwards in the sky. Well Mercury Retrogrades are good for the following:

  • Rotten communication
  • Nothing getting done
  • Arguments
  • Things falling to shit
  • Things getting stalled
  • Nothing getting completed
  • External creativity goes out the window.
Yep - Mercury retrogrades are great if you're a writer.

They reckon you should not do the following while Mercury is travelling backwards in the sky.
  • Make agreements (They aren't going to stick)
  • Accept or start a job (It's not going to work out)
  • Close a sale (It will come back to bite you)
  • Start new projects (they won't get off the ground)
  • Schedule meetings (nobody turns up)
  • Travel a lot - there may be delays
  • Buy things (well get the extended warranty on larger items)
  • Find a house mate/move house.(Bound to have a mountain of troubles)
Mercury retrogrades are great for doing a lot of reflecting, taking things easy, listening to your inner self and respecting your quiet time.

Throw a monster full moon with an even bigger eclipse on top of this, and you have a celestial shit storm. 

Part of my afternoon was spent saying goodbye to some colleagues. Another part was spent looking over some natal charts for colleagues (this was late Friday afternoon - who does any real work on Friday afternoons? I know that as of 2 pm Fridays, I do a lot of clean up work)

At 4.45, I joined my colleagues for a rare beer. When Little Creatures is about, who am I to say no to  one?

Mercury is in retrograde. The beer had a kick. My first beer in four months. A rare treat. As I finished it, I felt the feeling of falling - like Alice down the Rabbit Hole. Thankfully after a glass of water, my head righted. 

I wonder what rabbit holes I'll be taken down this time. The Mercury retrograde. They all have big lessons to show you.


Today's Song:

Thursday, July 26, 2018

24 Days: Old CDs

It's been a little bit of a struggle to find something to write about of late. Call it the Winter Blues. Call it the fact that there is far too much to do at the moment. Call it that I might be getting sick - I just feel a bit run down at the moment and just want to go to bed. Maybe I'm just panicking as I know I have to be in the gym at 6.15 tomorrow morning and I know that I may not get a good night's sleep.

But I made a promise to myself to blog every day until my birthday, and this I will do - I'm not giving up now.

Finding things to write about is being a bit hard.

So today, I think I have to tell you about my CD collection.

Yes, I still own CDs.

Most of these sit in what has been referred to as "The Room Where Shoes Go to Die". I call it my rather messy spare room.

In here, there is a CD stack with about 100 CDs in there.

I spent some time last night looking at the last vestiges of my youth, looking over this motley collection of CDs. There is some cringe worthy stuff in there. Like who the hell is Nerina Pallot? There are the discs which make you lose your street credibility - which I thought I lost at Trivia at work a few weeks ago at work. I quickly tried to hide the Phil Collins CDs - which I still sort of like. But don't tell anybody.

Then there are the multitude of compilation albums - which I still think are good value, as you can associate these with periods of your life. For me, it's university and London.

Looking over one of these discs, I found some gems.

I wonder what ever happened to Skunk Anansie? I don't think I've heard this song in twenty years.

I forgot how good it was.

It deserves more than to be lost in the room where shoes go to die.

Today's Song:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

25 Days: On the Walk to Work

An interesting morning commute was had this morning. Not so much that the tram journey was uneventful, but the conversation that was had from the tram stop to the way to work was excellent.

I'd run into our Wednesday Pump instructor. Like most of the people at the gym that I run into regularly, we're on chatting terms, though it is always strange seeing people out o gym gear. Casey is a great pump instructor. She's also South Australian and a lawyer by training - this makes her an interesting person to me.

I asked her what she did in her public service job.

By day, out of gym clothes, she's a policy officer with the health department.  She's currently writing policy around the Assisted Dying Legislation that was passed a few months ago.

I wish I had a job as interesting and worthy as this (not that there is anything wrong with writing documents for an energy company - but her job is sooooo much more worthwhile.)

So as we walked towards our respective offices, we got into a discussion about this new act.

Something which both of us are heartily in favour.

How fascinating must it be to write policy around these new and challenging laws. I say challenging in the way that some people can't see the benefit of this law.

Casey and I are on the same page. It's a bit like the same sex marriage laws in Australia. From what I can see, the sky hasn't fallen in yet.

Allowing the dying to have the ability to end their life with dignity sounds like a very good thing to me. If you want to take these options, you have to go through many hoops - numerous visits to psychiatrists, doctors and lawyers. You need to be dying. Your condition needs to have an end date. This isn't a decision that is taken lightly. This is a highly monitored and regulated process. It's not about knocking off Nana for the inheritance.

If you don't like the law, you don't have to use it. It's a bit like same sex marriage. If you don't like it, don't marry somebody of the same sex... but don't stop other people from having the opportunity to marry the person they love.

Having witnessed a couple of people in the last days of their lives, suffering terribly, I wonder if they had this legal right if they would want to take this on. To give them the option of the dignity of ending their lives before the unbearable pain set in, to me, seems a very humane thing.

I know this is an emotive issue, but listening to Casey talk about her work, and what she does every day, I felt a bit envious - envious that she is helping the community in such a role. It also felt good to know that there's people like this going out to bat for the community.

The quick chat made me ponder what it would be like in such a role too.

It was a good way to start the day.

Today's Song:

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

26 Days: The Lost Language of Cranes

I have got a case of writer's block at the moment. I was at the gym tonight - and normally, by 7 pm, I have an inkling about what I am going to write about. But not tonight. So I asked my Facebook posse what I should write about. Maybe, if I get a heap of mediocre ideas, a good one will come through.

I'm not about to have a whine.

I could whine about the following things:

  • The Mason's paperwork I have to get out.
  • The large slab of ritual I need to get down by rote by next Tuesday.
  • The fact that Donna and Harvey are still not together.
  • That car insurance keeps going up and I really should see if there are better offers out there.
  • That my F key keeps sticking. (Second keyboard this has happened to)
  • Tomorrow night I'm going through the 7th desk move in a year - but this is a good excuse to clean out some crap. 

I could write about the interview I went to today - but I won't. It was a good opportunity, but the fact I am in Bali on the project drop dead date means I had to take myself out of the mix.

I could write about the numpty trainer who straddled my battle ropes as I was using them tonight at training. I asked him to move. I asked him nicely. He stayed. He copped one in the nuts. Oops.

I was told to write about my inner demons. Nah - you don't need to hear about that stuff. I have  psychologist for that.

One friend, a darling man, said write about him. I love him too much for that.

Nope, the topic that won the contest tonight was to talk about the mess which is happening about a kilometre away on the corner of Lennox Street and Bridge Road.

See, last night, we had terrible winds. Awful winds. Not a gassy stomach - I thought the roof was going to come off the flat or the windows were going to cave in.

It seems, a kilometre away on a building site, a crane was not tethered down correctly for the vicious winds. You would think in a high density housing area this would be something they would think to do. But no.

This morning, I was running on time, only to get to the tram stop to find Victoria Street backed up with traffic. And the 48 was running down Victoria Street - which it only does when Bridge Road is blocked.

Getting to work ten minutes late, I took a quick look at the news. It appears this untethered crane was threatening to come down on a couple of millions of dollars of real estate. 300 people were evacuated from their houses in the dead of night, one of Melbourne's major arterial roads was blocked off. This caused traffic chaos. 24 hours on, these people are still not able to get into their houses and businesses. They're not sure if the  crane will come crashing down on these houses - the winds are still up making a remediation mission next to impossible. Thankfully we're expecting calmer weather tomorrow. Still, they have to fix this errant crane and it could be a few days away.

What I want to know is who is going to pay to compensate the residents - and the public, for this error in safety?

Cranes are so much a part of the Melbourne skyline - we don't think of them as dangerous.

To be honest, all that I could think of when I heard about this was a mini series I saw in Britain about 20 years ago.

I like to think, if the cranes could talk, that we'd look after them better.

Today's Song:

Monday, July 23, 2018

27 Days:Yucks

A short one today.

Lunch at a fusion Asian place today has left me a little wiped. I don't know what it is. Every second time I eat at this place, I end up spending the afternoon feeling like crap. I don't know what it is - some spice possibly - but it only happens at this place and not every time.

Regardless, I got to see some of the yucks of Melbourne. Thankfully I don't see them very often.

Hopping on the 109 tram this afternoon, I managed to get a seat.  This is a good thing. Behind me, there was another empty seat. Then the follow conversation ensued.

Woman One:  DON'T SIT DOWN!
Woman Two: (disgruntled) Why not?
Woman One: You really don't want to sit down.
Woman Two: Seriously..
Woman One: A homeless woman just pissed on that seat.
Woman Two: Oh.
Woman One: Can't you smell it. Can't you see it?
Woman Two: Oh. Hell, yeah. Thanks.

A few minutes later the smell permeated the tram. Joy.

A few minutes later, my friend Em taps me on the shoulder. Em used to live around the corner - I miss seeing her round. It turns out that Woman One was her. I thought she sounded familiar. (I think she had her lawyer voice on).

"You missed how I dealt with a homeless woman pissing on a tram seat."

We're meeting for lunch on Sunday. I'll hear about it then. Yuk.

Two hours later, I was down the gym, hoping the ride out the blah feeling. I spent some time on the roller trying to sort my ITB. Jay came in about ten minutes later.

We were warming up when Jay told me to turn around.

"You want to see this."

No I didn't.

Before me, a tall, muscular man in a pair of blue tights. Light blue tights. Which showed everything.


"You can't unsee that. Why did you make me turn and look?"
"Just sharing the pain."

Gentlemen, if you are going to wear tights to the gym, especially if they are not black, do the world a favour and chuck a pair of shorts over your junk.


There are some things the world doesn't need to witness. Women pissing on trams and over sized  uglies are two of those things.

Today's Song:

Sunday, July 22, 2018

28 Days: The Food, Glorious Food meme

Oh, it's hard to believe that in four weeks I will be in Bali - and having a birthday.

I don't want to think about the latter.

Just as doing this week's questions, I am going to answer this as if I am not on the food wanker plan and still eating dairy, gluten, sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

Questions, as always, from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1.  Do you like pie?

Pie isn't really a thing in Australia. We have meat pies, which I've never eaten (ever - I've never had a footy pie and I'm not going to start now), or things like my Mum's blackberry pie, but as they've got rid of all the blackberries, we don't get that any more. So yeah, pie is not really a thing in my life.

2.  Italian or Mexican?

I love Mexican, though rustic Italian is good.  As I'm gluten free, pizza and pasta are off the menu now - they have been for a long time.

3.  Can you bake? If so, what are your favorite things to bake?

I love baking and make great birthday cakes.

4.  Do you use cook books or do you try to find recipes online?

A bit of both. Currently making honey mustard chicken while writing this.

5.  Do you own a kitchen aid mixer?

No. The best I can do is my grandmother's 70-year-old egg beater.

6.  Ever cooked a meal for more than 15 people at one time?

No. I think my best effort is ten. Though I have helped out cooking at Christmas for a group of 26.

7.  Do you like hospital food?

Not really, but the last time I was in hospital overnight the food was amazingly palatable.

8.  Favorite fast food restaurant?

It's a toss up between Schnitz and Nandos. You probably don't have those in America. Nandos is awesome. Grilled chicken.

9.  Any picky eaters in your family?

At the moment, that would be me. Other than normally not eating lasagne and bananas, I'm pretty okay normally. At the moment, I feed myself before going out. Being gluten, dairy, sugar, alochol and caffeine free is hard at other people's places at times.

10.  Soda or Tea?


11.  Hot chocolate?

I prefer coffee. Not really a chocolate person.

12.  Favorite holiday dish?

Ah, you're probably taking American dishes. Being Australian, I love it when I get a big feed of seafood for Christmas - with Christmas pudding and hard sauce. I equate Christmas with prawns and lobster.

13.  What is the most tasteful strangest looking thing you have ever tasted?

That probably goes to pickled herring. My Swedish flatmates had to tie me down to taste it, but I love it now.

14.  Fries or tater tots?

What's a tater tot? I will go for the chips - sweet potato ones preferably.

15.  Do you like cheese? If so what kind?

I love cheese  - but cheese doesn't like me. I'm especially partial to the bries, camemberts and anything blue. Unfortunately, anything more than a taste of it and I'm up all night and it sets off my gall bladder.

16.  Home made or can soup?

Home made, though nothing can go past a tin of Campbell's Tomato soup. Why do you think Andy Warhol immortalised it like he did?

17.  Do you like to eat out?

Yes. And often.

18.  What kind of food is popular where you are? (Like in Alaska it is seafood)

I'm in Australia - we just like food. Melbourne is the food capital of Australia, closely followed by Adelaide. Melbourne is great for all sorts of food - food trucks, awesome restaurants and the like.

I miss the regional food found in Adelaide - and there is a lot of it. Fru Chocs, Farmer's Union Iced Coffee, pasties, beinenstich, yoyo biscuits, pie floaters - just to name a few things. Adelaide has all this strange stuff that you only know about if you come from Adelaide.

19.  Do you like cotton candy?

I don't mind fairy floss - I love Persian Fairy Floss. Yeah, we call cotton candy fairy floss.

20.  Turkey or Chicken?

Chicken. turkey is too dry.

21.  Hamburger or tuna helper?

What the hell is hamburger helper? If you're making your own hamburgers, don't you just get mince, chop up an onion, add some herbs and breadcrumbs and Bob's your uncle? As an Australian, I don't get the American love of packet foods.

22.  Raw or cooked veggies?

Raw veggies rock. If vegetables are cooked, they have to be crisp - not steamed.

23.  Do you like salad? If so, what is your favorite kind of salad?

I live on salad. If ordering out, I will always go for the one with ancient grains and unusual vegetables. I have something called a "Love your Guts" salad regularly - chick peas, sauerckraut, beans, edamame, roasted cauliflower and dukkah. Yum.

24.  Favorite pizza topping?

When I ate pizza, a Mexican Hot went down a treat. Barbeque Chicken pizza is also good too.

25.  Do you like meat loaf?

Another American thing. The nearest I've got to meatloaf (other than hating the singer) is rissoles - and every Australian knows how they are made.

Today's Song:

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Day 29: Theatre Review: The Rocky Horror Show

Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne until 26 August.

It's interesting to revisit a show which you love. You're either going to love it or hate it.

This is the fourth time I've seen this production of Rocky Horror. The first three times were at the Comedy Theatre with Craig McLachlan playing Frank. When I purchased this ticket, the beleagued McLachlan was still supposed to be playing Frank.

Move forward six months and the #metoo movement came about and McLachlan has been disgraced in the media and we have a new location - down the road at the swankier Her Majesty's Theatre and there's a new Frank, in the form of Todd McKenney - I went into this production with the bar set fairly low. Knowing that the production has been dragged through the media for the the better part of the of a year for all the wrong reasons being the main reason for this.

Also, I've never been a fan of Todd McKenney. One episode of Dancing with the Stars was enough to put me off him - and the show for good.

For the most part, I was rather impressed with this new iteration of the cult classic. They've taken the set and the production values and moved them down the road to a very schmick production of this cult classic. The set is exactly the same as it was down the road. Some of the original cast remain as well.

But this is a very different production. From the McLachlan Frankenfurter to the cast dynamics to the pace of the production. It's the same, but it's different.

On the plus side, Todd McKenney is an excellent Frank. Not only is his singing and dancing superlative but he gives Frank a very likable charm. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Reprising his role if Riff Raff is Kristian Lavercombe, who is easily up there with Richard O'Brien in this telling role.

Shane Jacobson, with his foot in a boot, was great as the Narrator. One of the best shout outs came at his expense in the middle of the show, which had the audience, and Jacobson, in hysterics.

The music, dancing and the band were both on point - excellent even.

So, you can't hear my enthusiasm for this iteration of this long running production. Too right.

There were two things that let this production down. The first is timing. It was far, far, far too fast paced. This is a fast paced show anyway, but everything felt very rushed. For a 7.30 start, we were out, after two curtain calls at 9.30 pm - with a 20 minute interval. Everything felt far too hurried - almost like the cast were going through the motions to get out to catch a train.

The other thing that really stood out here, comparing it to the last iteration of the production - it has been cleaned up. I'm the first to admit that Craig McLachlan skirted the boundaries of taste (and H.R. protocols) much of the time while on stage. He was filthy - and very, very funny. This production has cut right back on anything superfluous - to it's detriment. It feels like it's lost a bit of it's character and soul.

As my friend Alice and I walked out after the obligatory two curtain calls, we were of similar opinion. We were in agreement that the wonderful, yet run down Comedy Theatre was a better fit for the production. The theatre felt like its natural home. We were also a bit disappointed that the P.C. police have reined in the production entirely. Yes we can understand that after the problems the production had at the end of last year that this would be the case - but it's taken some of the fun out of what really is a great production of this cult classic.

It is definitely worth a look.

It's just a pity that the Craig McLachlan debacle has left the company wanting.

Today's Song:

Friday, July 20, 2018

Day 30: It's Rocky Horror Day!

That is all.

Pyjamas, check. Make up, check. Attitude, check. Lost my Mickey Mouse ears - never to mind.

Ambivalence about Todd McKenney playing Frank. Check.

This is up there with Shakespeare.

Today's Song:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

31 Days: Film Review: Mama Mia - Here We Go Again

I'd been invited along to an advanced screening of Mama Mia - Here We Go Again. On telling Jonella, I was going to see this, she was very surprised. I'm known for hating musicals. And in some cases, I do. I normally can't abide musicals if they have been created by Andrew Lloyd Webber. I also really dislike Les Miserables. The only good bit is when Javert jumps off the bridge. (It was even better when Javert was played by Russell Crowe)

Any musical with a bit of soul or edge, I don't mind. Chicago. Rock of Ages. Rocky Horror Show. I can do musicals like this. I also loved Ladies in Black (Tim Finn did the music). Matilda is another favourite - funny, iconoclastic, edgy. I really enjoyed The Book of Mormon too.

Then we come to Mama Mia.

I haven't seen the stage show. I did see the original film ten years ago and really enjoyed it.

I hate to say it, but I really enjoyed the reboot too.

The story takes up a few years after the last film. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) has taken on her now dead mother's dream. She is still in contact with her three fathers, Bill (Stellan Skarsgard), Harry (Colin Firth) and Sam (Pierce Brosnan). This film looks at the back story as to how Donna, Sophie's mum, originally played by Meryl Streep and now taken on by the eponymous Lily James, while Sophie prepares for the opening of her mother's dream hotel.

The film returns to the same island in Greece, but also goes to England and Paris, as the wayward free spirited Donna looks for her destiny.

Mama Mia - Here We Go Again is not as fairy floss light as you think. Among the ABBA songs is a loving heart, which looks at grief, loss and searching for your destiny. We find out that Donna's best friend, Rosie (Julie Walters) had a thing for Bill. We learn that Sam still hasn't got over Donna's death. And we see a bit more of Donna, a spirited woman who goes after life with the ferocity of a lion hunting its prey.

Like the previous film, this has a joy about it which is infectious. There are some laugh out loud funny parts. For anybody of my age, who possibly reluctantly loses all street cred when they say that ABBA Arrival was the first album they owned, you will know all of the songs intimately. I am one of these people.The challenge is to not sing too loud.

What I forgot is that I knew all of the songs - even the obscure ones that came out in this film. And they are delivered with all the joy and fun of the first film. Some of the singing is just as dodgy (read Colin Firth and Pierce Bronsnan as the tone deaf duo here - but you have to love them for it)

What this film lacks in substance it makes up for in heart.

Another thing I loved about the film - the women in the film have women's bodies - not a stick insect in sight. I found this refreshing.

It also has cameos from Cher, Meryl Streep and Bjorn and Benny from the original band - cameos which were met with shouts of glee.

Me, I loved it. But ABBA is one of my guilty pleasures and I don't care if this ruins my street cred. ( I lost any semblance of this years ago, who am I kidding?)

Mama Mia - Here We Go Again has a lovely heart, a great look and some very touching moments. It's great fun. It's pretty to look at. What more do you need.

Four stars.

p.s. One of the songs that comes up in the film is Chiquitita - one of my favourites. I still think the best use of this song is found in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.

Today's Song provides the original:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

33/32 Days: Miscounted

Oops. I realised today that I miscounted the days til my birthday. Tomorrow will be 31 days.

So, you get two songs today. Both loved but for different reasons.

And tomorrow, when I have a bit more time, I will write a review of Mama Mia 2 and tell you about the preparations for Rocky Horror on Friday night. I have to sort out my pyjamas and see if I can find those Mickey Mouse ears. And get the make up ready and be prepared to walk around the streets of Melbourne dressed in pyjamas with a face full of slutty makeup when it's under ten degrees outside.

As I have said before, it is not Rocky Horror if you don't get dressed up.

I need Mama Mia 2 to percolate before reviewing. I will say, I enjoyed it and I have a hankering to go back to Greece.

Right, paperwork time.

Today's Song:

And the other song:

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

34 Days: Notes from a Good Day

It was wonderful seeing Bridget today. It's been too long.

The last time we caught up was before Easter. Lots has changed in the interim.

Bridget and I worked together at my last job. She's awesome.

So lots has changed. She was made redundant a few weeks ago and is enjoying the wonderful life you have early in redundancy when you

She came for a coffee around lunch time. Her first words to me, "Oh my god you've lost a ton of weight."

Validation is always nice. Actually, it was great to see her again. It's strange when you go from having lunch with somebody three times a week to rarely seeing them. She's good value.


Book group was great. There were only five of us there due to illness and holidays. It was a great one. A hard book to read (Michelle de Kretser's "The Life to Come". Great conversation and most of it about the book.


Saw the doctor this morning for a typhoid jab. Other than feeling a little off colour for most of the day and having a sore arm, it was great to come out of the doctor's surgery knowing she's thrilled with me. Having lost 10 kgs in three months, she's over the moon. Giving a blood pressure reading of 130/80 made her even happier (even though the first reading was dreadful, but I suffer from horrible white coat syndrome).


Coming home from book group, the mother of all brush tailed possums was sitting on the fence. For some reason possums make me happy. They also scare the crap out of me.


I taught a new phrase to a colleague. He thought these were great. The conversation went something like this.

P: So, Anton, tough day?
A: Indeed, Pandora.
P: One of those days where you just want to chuck it in the fuck it bucket.

Anton collapses in a peal of laughter. He regained his composure and said he might file that one away.

P: So, it was a day of hard conversations.
A: Yep.
P: From where I was sitting Colleague X took a visit from the Fuck Up Fairies.

Anton doubles over again.

P: You could sort of say that Colleague X might be a bit of a fuck up fairy himself.
A: Don't.... I won't be able to face Colleague X tomorrow.
P: Fuck Up Fairies, Fuck Up Fairies, Fuck Up Fairies. Oh, try saying that three times fast when you're drunk.

Well, that was my day. Some good bits among the dross.

Today's Song:

Monday, July 16, 2018

35 Days: Not up to writing

Maow Maow has gone home.

 I am once again on my own.

He's been gone two hours. I miss the critter.

Other things front of mind:
  • I have to go and get my shots for Bali tomorrow morning.
  • Work was crazy today.
  • I miss the cat.
  • I'm looking forward to sleeping in cat hair free sheets tonight.
  • Finally got my book group book read. They're going to hate it - and there are no questions for it on the web.
  • I miss the cat.
  • Mars and Venus were very bright in the sky tonight.
  • Why do my friends laugh at me when I bring up astrology?
  • Why do people feel the need to tell me their life stories? Tonight it was fill in trainer Peeetttteeee. I might be getting Peeeeettttteeee's cat over Christmas.

I'm going to bed now.

Too sad to write.

I miss the critter.

Today's Song:

Sunday, July 15, 2018

36 Days: The "So what do you do?" Meme

Sometime between checking out, having another book reading deep bath and going to have my eyebrow's mowed, I need to get this blog done. I there is so much on my to do list today.

  • Have the eyebrows mowed.
  • Find brunch which fits the food wanker plan - harder than you think in Sydney.
  • Do some interview prep
  • Write out the invite for the birthday party being help at the start of September
  • Walk out a minor back ache (new mattress)
  • Avoid Dymocks and Sephora
  • Get to the airport on time
  • Do my food shopping on the way home
  • Placate a grumpy pussycat.
I quite like these questions, supplied as always, by Bev at Sunday Stealing.

What excites you right now?

I'm going to Bali in 31 days time. I love going away. This should be a good trip - seven of us are taking over a villa in Ubud for five nights. I'm taking Cards Against Humanity, a few books and a lot of gin with me. 

What are you looking forward to?

The Bali trip - and strangely, the birthday party which is being help a few weeks after my birthday. Oh, and I'm looking forward to finding a new, longer term, fun, interesting, challenging, well paid job. I have a month left at my current job - it will be good to shore something up. 

What’s the best thing that happened to you this year?

I found a great naturopath who has helped me get my health back. It has been eye opening and most wonderful. I feel half my age now. 

Where did you grow up?

Many would say that I have not grown up yet. If you get to forty and haven't grown up, then growing up is not a requirement. But I was raised at a place called Myponga, South Australia and I truly became into my own when I moved to London. The most interesting facts about Myponga is that there is a reservoir located near the town and there was once a rock concert akin to Woodstock held there in 1968. London is a great place. Wont hear a word against it. 

Image result for myponga

What do you do for fun?

Read, go to the movies, go out with friends, go to the gym, cook. I love playing with kittens and puppies. 

Who is your favorite superhero?

Can I say Deadpool? I do love Superman, but I've got into the Marvel Universe of late - and I've got soft spots for Thor and Doctor Strange. 

Is there a charitable cause you support?

I support a few charities, but the one that has received money off me monthly for the last few years is the Fred Hollows Foundation, who go into third world countries and help restore people's sight. I also support the Hamlin Fistula Foundation, who does great work helping treat women's birth injuries in Africa. I also support the Leukaemia Foundation. This will always be done. 

What’s the most important thing I should know about you?

I am unfailingly kind and loyal. But cross me and I won't be responsible for my actions. 

Tell us of something that relaxes you and always makes you happy.

Just give me a kitten or a puppy to play with and look after. Any animal, really. Shakespeare makes me happy too. Just arranging a trip up to see the Pop Up Globe in Sydney in September. 

If you could take the train from anywhere to anywhere, where would 'anywhere' be?

I have a friend who's done the Trans-Siberian railway and the Orient Express - both trips sound amazing. But I will say, one day, I would love to go from Adelaide to Darwin by train. That's an amazing trip I'm told. 

What will you always pack in your suitcase?

A small bottle of gin. My spare mouse. Dental floss. An extra pair of knickers. An over packed toiletries bag. If going overseas, a rubber sink plug and a fold up clothes line. Phone charger. 

What will you never pack in  your suitcase? 

Class A drugs. A vibrator. Anybody who has asked to be packed in my suitcase when I'm off on a trip.

Today's Song: (and I know these guys are Trump supporters, but I love this song - it pre-dates Trump)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

37 Days: Gin and Tonic

I love my Sydney visits for many reasons, even though I'm not overly enamored with the place. Sydney is often humid. The people are brash. It's expensive. The coffee, when I drank coffee, was hit and miss. It's hard to get around at times (although they have an airport train - unlike Melbourne.)

But my visits to Sydney mean a lot to me. I visit friends. I get a good hotel room for the night - and I get to have a day off from my life for a night - which is awesome. Hotel rooms are great things. They make me feel a bit decadent.

The first day of a Sydney trip is my one day "off" the regime that I give myself a month, not that I stray too far from the programme (superfood salad with hot smoked salmon for lunch, nuts that I brought from home for snacks, chicken and salad for dinner - all fits quite well - only the poached pear with butterscotch sauce and ricotta for sweets was on the avoid list). I'm not quite as strict is what I'm saying.

On my Sydney visits, I aslo let myself drink in moderation for the afternoon.

So today, it's Plymouth gin and tonic.

I'm on my third - over the day.

And it is bloody marvellous.

I think the best thing of all about these trips is I often get to read a book in the bath. This is my version of heaven.

So this is where I'm am at the moment. Happily buzzing in a mild Plymouth haze, reading my book, which has to be finished by Tuesday night (and it's a hard read, but good) and holed up in a hotel.

I'm not sorry. Life doesn't get much better than this.

Today's Song:

Friday, July 13, 2018

38 Days: The Guilt Trip

I am still in possession of Blarney and Barney's cat, the eponymous Maow Maow. For the last three weeks he has been:

  • Demanding breakfast any time between 5.30 am and 7 am
  • Sleeping on my blue snuggie on the couch
  • Sleeping in the very middle of my bed
  • Spreading kitty litter all around the flat
  • Making a mess of his dinner (He has the table manners of  a two-year-old)
  • Sitting on my chest when I get home from work
  • Demanding my attention when I'm on the phone
  • Covering my clothing with hair
  • Beating up his blue teddy (which I've called Hump)
  • And when anybody is in the stairwell, baying for attention.
The last point I found out about last night when my downstairs neighbour, Amy came up. Amy and I have been feeding each others' cats for years. She told me that he's been playing up when he hears people in the stairwell talking, he makes out as if his throat has been cut. 

As I'm off for the weekend, I give Amy some instructions as to what to do with the lad. He's quite easy to handle. Give him roo meat twice a day, fill up his water and his 'pussy flowers' (dry food), give him a cuddle.

After the roo meat, the cuddle is the most important. This critter will go to almost anybody. At home, he receives Christmas cards from people around the district, he is that friendly. When I have guest over, he's onto them like a rash.

Amy also noticed his tail, when she was giving him a pat last night.
"Such a stumpy tail," she said.
"It's not stumpy, he's fat." I retorted.
"Have a look.." 
"No, it's like fat men have little willies - fat cats have stumpy tails."

Poor Maow Maow. 

So Amy will check in on him over the weekend as I'm out at a play tonight and off to Sydney in the morning. I find it strange that I'm arranging cat sitting for an animal who doesn't belong to me. 

I'm also not looking forward to the guilt trip I'm going to be fed both tonight, when I get home from the theatre, and tomorrow morning when I get out my suitcase.

Animals! Who'd have them?  I'm sort of pleased he's going home on Monday night.

Actually, no I'm not. Despite the scratches and the bits of kitty litter around the flat and all the hair, I rather love having the critter about the place.

Today's Song:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

39 Days: Decisions, Decisions

I'm having a bit of a crisis of confidence at the moment.

You see, I have a ticket to The Rocky Horror Picture Show next week.

I write this with a bit of sadness. When I bought the ticket, Craig McLachlan was going to be Frankenfurter. Since then, he's been dragged through the papers as something of a douchbag predator. Rightly or wrongly, he is no longer a part of the show. It's a complete sorry mess, as trial by media is an awful thing, just as mistreating people who you work with should never be tolerated. (Added to this, the Melbourne Theatre Company has announced that Geoffrey Rush would no longer be performing in Twelfth Night in a few months time. No reason was given why he is no longer in the production - and I find this a bit sad as he would be an awesome Malvolio - just as he was an incredible Lady Bracknell a few years ago - another one who has suffered trial by media).

I will say that I think there is a lot to be said for due process. Even if he, and Rush, are douchebags - they have the right to be tried properly - in the courts. A sorry mess indeed.

Anyway, replacing Craig McLachlan, who really was the BEST FRANK EVER, is Todd McKenney - who I've always thought of as a bit of a dickhead. Ever since he played Nathan Starkey in Strictly Ballroom - I've thought he was a bit of a dickhead. Anyway, he's playing Frank.

Will he be as filthy as Craig McLachlan? Maybe, maybe not. McLachlan really was the best Frank (and I've seen Robin Cousins, Jason Donovan and a couple of other no name Franks over the years - he left them all in the cold. His ad-libbing alone was priceless).

This is by the by. Todd McKenney is Frank. He might surprise me. But I'm not banking on it. At least he can sing - and dance - and will probably be able to prance around on the heels without an issue.

But still, it's Rocky Horror.

And that means I get to dress up! (Along with Alice, who also likes to dress up for Rocky Horror - but she always goes full Columbia - hot pants and sparkly jacket and all).

So here are my choices.

1) Do I find a black dress, a white apron, tease my hair up, don a whole heap of makeup and go as Magenta - which I have been doing for years - as I am Magenta - and I have the hair. And the boots.

2)  Do I locate a set of surgical scrubs, some pearls and a set of washing up gloves and go as Frank?

3) Do I go in my satin pyjamas and Mickey Mouse ears (along with teased hair - though technically this is a Magenta / Columbia hybrid)

Image result for rocky horror magenta columbia mickey mouse

Or do I find a new persona? Find a suit and go as a Swing. Find some tight jeans, a leather jacket and go as Eddie - or a wheelchair and an afghan and go as Doctor Scott. If it wasn't the middle of winter, (and a requirement to lose another 20 kgs) the thought of turning up in a petticoat and going as Janet could be up there with the options. 

But that is what I'm thinking about today. It's such a hard choice.

The only choice which is not available is going to Rocky Horror in civvies.


The other decision will be made nearer the time. Do I risk public transport in full Rocky Horror mode or do I grab a cab/uber?

I love The Rocky Horror Show. I just don't like the hard choices which go with it.

Today's Song:

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

40 Days: Film Review - AntMan and the Wasp

It's tight-arse Tuesday. There is a new Marvel film out. It must be family movie night.

Family movie night normally involves grabbing my kid brother and seeing what ever blockbuster Marvel/ DC Comics movie which has come out ( or any other movie which involves car chases, things blowing up and people dying).

Last night was no exception.

I've grown fond of the Marvel Universe, although I can't say I've seen all the films. AntMan and the Wasp are no exception. It's great fun.

Okay, the plot is a bit farfetched. IMDB.com says, "In the aftermath of 'Captain America: Civil War,' Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to re-balance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he's confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past."

Going in blind, and not seeing the first AntMan film, I really enjoyed this. It's light. It's silly. It's very funny in places and it is a great two hours of entertainment. The effects are awesome too.

Some standout moments for me included Paul Rudd, playing Paul Rudd (I still remember him in Clueless) and smaller parts played by Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfieffer. If I can look as good as her at 60 I will be a very happy woman. Evangeline Lily is also good as Hope/The Wasp,  as is Hannah John-Kamen as Ava/Ghost. My other top pick in the film is the most awesome Michael Pena, who lights up every scene he's in.

I've learned that with Marvel films you have to suspend a bit of belief and just run this it. There are some thought-provoking moments, but the most part, it is a very entertaining and very funny film with some laugh out loud scenes, well worth the price of a ticket. Just don't think too hard if you see it - especially when you wonder how Michelle Pfieffer can be in an alternate universe for so long and come out looking as good as she does.

The movie also ties in with The Avengers: The Infinity Wars (or as I call it, The Avengers - Everybody Dies) - and it is worth staying through the credits just for these scenes.

In all, AntMan and the Wasp is everything you want from a Marvel film.

Now I just have to search out the original AntMan. I'm only just filling a few of my Marvel gaps. This isn't a bad thing. Marvel films have a great heart and a great sense of humour to them (Think Guardians of the Galaxy) I wish I'd got on to them sooner.

Today's Song:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

41 Days: The Third

We had a Mason's meeting last night. We rehearsed for a third degree ceremony which we will be holding next month. It wasn't a bad night at all, but one of the joys of the Third Degree ceremony is the heavy energy that comes with it.

If you look up Third Degree in the Urban Dictionary, you come up with the following description. "Derived from an extreme form of police interrogation of the same name, its a phrase people use to describe a situation where you are being asked a series of many questions." Well there is some of this attached to the ritual. (and they are wrong - many policemen used to be Masons - that's where it first came from.)

I can't and won't tell you what goes on in the ceremony, but I can say that the content of the ritual takes you to place which you don't often think of - in particular, beginnings, endings and mortality. Everybody reacts differently to this ritual. I remember my Third Degree. It was a great night. I was surprised, in awe, and truly felt that I came out the other end another person. That's what you hope for in any ritual.

Regardless, whenever we work the Third Degree, things can happen.

Last night, on arriving home after the meeting, the call came through.

Lachlan.  Aka, the axe wound.

Thankfully, the wound has closed. It's stopped seeping. It's healed over. I wouldn't say I'm immune to him, but I am feeling better about the situation. We've also been talking, and that is a good thing too. It's letting me work through some things without having to do it on my own.

Anyway, for the most part, we had a good chat. For the better part of an hour we talked about English politics, the #metoo movement, the joys of job hunting, and how the Gallagher Brothers, from Oasis are turds.

Then the conversation turned morose.

Fun. The joys of the third degree. Bring on the heavy energy.

How do you approach somebody, who at 55-years-old, has it in his head that he wants to die? What are you supposed to do about this?

I think this is the element of the relationship which is helping to keep me upright. After watching my niece suffer and die a few years ago - and after watching a friend process the suicide death of her husband, along with the messages in the third degree, the thing that keeps getting reinforced for me is that life is far, far, far too precious to waste - and he wants to give up.

What do you say to somebody who thinks like this? Not much. The last time he tried this on, I got very upset.

This time, I remained calm. And told him I though he was an idiot and a coward. What would his kids think? (They are now adults, but still?) What about his family?

I'll admit, this is pressing a few buttons. My own father died at 55. He's just turned 55. It saddens me that he doesn't want to live on. It makes me angry. Life is too precious to fuck with.

He's also on the other side of the world, so I can't do anything practical - just listen.

The next statements don't have that same emotional punch that they used to. He tried to thank me for being the love of his life.

My thoughts on this are that if he did actually love me, he'd fight. To be honest, if I was the love of his life, he would have been beside me twenty years ago - but we'll leave that be for now.

He has no fight left.

I hopped into the shower after the call, and washed off the third degree, and the phone call.

What else can you do?

In some ways, I took a little solace in the messages of the ritual. Where there is life, there is hope. Where there is death, there is rebirth.

I'll be processing this for a while.

At least it's stopped hurting.

Today's Song:

Monday, July 9, 2018

42 Days: Film Review - Mary Shelley

Anybody who knows me will realise:
  • I'm a sucker for anything English
  • I'm partial to a costume drama
  • I enjoy biopics
  • I'm a poet
  • I'm fairly well read in the greater scheme of things.
So Mary Shelly, a film about the author of Frankenstein, daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley was going to be a must see for a nerd like me, even if her mother's tome drove me batty in The History of Political Thought way back in my undergrad days.

I then looked up the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes - where it's not been well received - and I do get why. However, I was rather taken with this film, which looks at the life of this very courageous woman who was born out of her time.

Mary Godwin (Elle Fanning) is the daughter of two unconventional writers. Her mother died within days of her being born, her father remarried a harridan and life was pretty miserable for the young Mary. She is sent to Scotland on her father's request to sort herself out, where she meets the equally unconventional Mr Shelley - poet, scholar and something of an inconsiderate rake. The film looks at their thoroughly modern relationship which caused scandal at the time. It touches on the couple's relationship with Lord Byron, the loss of their daughter and the inspiration behind the novel "Frankenstein".

Elle Fanning owns the screen and the courageous Mary. Douglas Booth is appealing, yet a little bland as Shelley, the man-child who entices her away from her family unit. Other stand out performances come from Tom Sturridge as a wonderfully rambunctious Lord Byron and Bel Powley, who play's Mary's step-sister, Claire. The latter is under the dire threat of being typecast as the dippy sister - but she does it so well.

Haifaa Al_Mansour's direction is assured, albeit a little slow in places. I put some of this down to the time period and subject matter, which is deeper than many would think.

Just as Frankenstein is an allegory for loneliness and oppression, Mary Shelly is an unflinching look at what is was to be a woman in the early 19th Century, a time when women had next to no rights and a well defined place. Mary Shelley chose to buck many of these norms. The other aspect of life which was viewed with a steady eye was mortality and childbirth. Where we are lucky that few women die in childbirth and our infant mortality rates are among the lowest in the developed world, people were not as lucky two hundred years ago. Losing a child, and a parent, shapes the film.

This is not a perfect film, but it certainly doesn't deserve a bad rap. It casts a steady eye at an extraordinary life. If you do see this, do a bit of reading around the subject beforehand.

I found this a worthwhile way to spend a rainy afternoon.

3.5/4 stars

Today's Song:

Sunday, July 8, 2018

43 Days: The Swap Bot Questions

It's Sunday. It's good weather for ducks. The cat is at my feet. I haven't done enough housework this weekend. It's going to be a busy week.

I'm also on the phone to Telstra (phone company). May as well have some fun while I wait my life away, rather than getting frustrated.

So it's get this done before I go out for dinner with Blarney and Barney.

Questions, as always, from Bev at Sunday Stealing.

1.Where were you 3 hours ago?..

I was in a movie theatre watching Mary Shelley. Not a bad film at all.

2.Have you ever eaten a crayon?

Possibly when I was a very young child.

3.Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?

My lip balm and my food file are pink - and there are a couple of books with pink covers in the mix. Pink is not my favourite colour by any stretch. - I avoid it at all costs.

4.When is the last time you went to the mall?

I put a couple of letters in the mailbox this afternoon as I was coming out of the cinema. And I believe I checked my postbox in the CBD last Friday - I normally try and get there once  a week. Oh, the mall - this morning. That's where the gym is found.

5.Are you wearing socks right now?

No. Even though it is the middle of winter.

6.When was the last time you drove out of town?

Far too long ago. I was in the Dandenongs for a wedding in November. I joke with a friend that I need a passport to go to her place in Mordialloc - about 25 kilometres from the CBD. That is bad - I need to get out of town more.

7.Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?

I was at the movies this afternoon. I'm going again on Tuesday night to see Ant Man and the Wasp with my kid brother. We like seeing Marvel films together.

8.What was the last thing you had to drink?

I'm drinking a cup of chocolate and mint rooibos tea with a splash of macadamia milk. This is how we roll around my place (I've been caffeine free for over 3 months now - love rooibos tea.)

9.What are you wearing right now?

A red jumper and a pair of skinny jeans with holey knees, and laceless sneakers.

10.Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it?

I wash it at one of those car wash places every few weeks. Occasionally, when I have a voucher, I let the guys at the airport parking place do it for me. In Australia we have car wash places which save water and let you do it yourself.

11.Last food that you ate?

Some veggie chips - once again, at the cinema. I take my own. Popcorn is stupidly expensive.

12.Where were you last week at this time?

I think I was here, having a quiet one with the cat. I'm liking having the cat about. He's good company.

13.Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?

No. I've looked at a lot of shoes, but I don't need them.

14.When is the last time you ran?

Yesterday. At the gym - I did a couple of intermittent sprints. That counts, doesn't it?  The last time I ran properly was a few years ago when I was running half marathons. I miss running.

15.What's the last sporting event you watched?

I think I went to the footy (Australian Rules football) about two years ago - Hawks vs the Crows. The Crows won. The Crows are not doing well this year.  I also have no interest in the world cup, nor any other sport. Oh, hang on, I think about a year ago I was forced to watch a quarter of rugby union. After that I took my book and went and had a long bath.

Today's Song:

Saturday, July 7, 2018

44 Days: The Perfect Job

My search for long term employment continues - and it will come, and at present, I'm not in any rush.

I'm very grateful that my current job extended my until mid-August - just in time for me to go away for a week to Bali. This is a good thing. There is a chance on of the interviews I've had will bear fruit, but for the moment, I'm letting the universe weave it's web and I'm hoping the right thing for me will land in the near future.

Of the interviews I've had over the last few weeks, one I'm flat out thankful I didn't get, another I missed out on, and a couple more I'm waiting for news on.

So I have a quarter of an hour most days where I'm searching LinkedIn and Seek for a new role.

And then, as if by magic, the PERFECT job lands in my facebook inbox.

Head of Learning for the Pop-Up Globe.

I saw this and allowed myself to dream for a a bit. A job in learning. And working with Shakespeare. And Shakespearean scholars. And developing materials around Shakespeare. And working with actors, and working in the theatre. And getting the message out there that the theatre is awesome.

Like hell, yeah.

However, I won't be applying. Other than the role is far too senior for me, it's also in Auckland.

But I still have this persistent and enduring dream that one day I will be working in theatre or television. I'm not sure what doing, but it's always been there.

Maybe I should consider doing that PhD....

Oh to be a Shakespearean scholar.

A girl can dream.

Today's Song:

Friday, July 6, 2018

45 Days: Uses for David Leyonhjelm

Australian politics is a funny business. We have all of these characters, some of whom you can admire, others you wonder if nutter  politics is the only job they could hold down. I will use Christopher Pyne as a case in point - last seen at Adelaide University with his head stuffed down a toilet in the Student Union. The only job he's ever held down has been as a politician.

There are others whom you like to roll your eyes at - Bob Katter springs to mind. On occassion I've found myself agreeing with Bob Katter - he's normally talking off topic when this happens, and despite he's a bit loopy, he does occasionally make a bit of sense. It's a country girl thing.

But then there is David Leyonhjelm. He's been all over the news lately for being a dick.

Leyonhjelm makes a point of being a dick. The front runner in the Liberal Democrat's ticket, this arsehole makes a point of being unpleasant.

It appears that the Liberal Democrats manifesto contains clauses which makes them more repugnant that the Liberal/National Party - and it appears they get easily offended when taken to task. Leyonhjelm appears to take particular umbrage at anything to do with women's rights or anybody involved with The Greens. His actions towards Sarah Hanson-Young this week were reprehensible. Any other workplace in Australia and the person would have been sacked.  This is the guy who stood beside that Milo Yiannopoulos out to Australia - like Australia needs more Men's Rights Activists.

Oh yes, he's a charmer.

He's also a hypocrite.

This was demonstrated only too well when The Chaser took him to task over his stance on Wicked Campers a few years ago.

So, I've been thinking. What uses are there for a David Leyonhjelm?

I've come up with the following:

  • Stobey pole - good for stopping Mac trucks at 100 kms and hour - and little else.
  • Star dropper - Some wire through his ears might help clean his brains out.
  • Speed hump - self explanatory.
  • Crash test dummy - as above.
  • Snake venom tester.
I get that we need free speech - it's a cornerstone of democracy. Sure, of the burdens of free speech is meeting people with opposing views. But there is a difference between presenting your views and being obnoxious. Leyonhjelm crosses the boundary from confrontational to offensive far too regularly to be a member of parliament. (A bit like Pauline Hanson - except she's just stupid - Leyonhjelm has half a brain in there - it's just the other half holds a pure douche canoe. And don't get me started on that IPA bum boy, James Patterson.)

That feels better. now for a nice song.  

Today's Song:

Thursday, July 5, 2018

46 Days: The Strange Day

Today wasn't great. In the scheme of things, it wasn't bloody awful, but it was a hard one. Work was full on. I think I have to get used to this over the next few weeks as I've moved into another area and I have to play by different rules - but this I'll put down to a learning process and just get on with it. All new roles have a some teething issues. And as I said, it wasn't bad - just full on.

I'd rather look at the more interesting part of the day - the part between 5.30 am and 7.00 am.

Yes, I was up early. I had a session with Peeeeetttee at 6 am. Cleo is in South America, so Peeeeettteee is training myself and Jay when he can.

I like Peeeettteeee. Other than he's a Crows supporter and a boofy Tasmanian who's really turned his life around, he's an all round sweetie - even if he did give me the aqua bag the other night. After burpees, the aqua bag is my least favourite thing to use in the gym - and I regularly kick it and tell it to die after use.

Also, as you have more chance of Trump cutting his hair than getting Jay to surface before 10 am, I got trained alone. This is good and bad. With Jay not there, I get worked a little harder. Some weights go up a little. Some differnt exercises are included. The cardio might be a bit more intense. For a change, I had to glove up as I got to use some equipment which was really hard on the hands.

And we then to talking. The stuff that you normally don't talk about with your trainer. Peeetttee has a bit of a spiritual bent. he's on a journey of self-discovery at the moment.

"So you're a Freemason?"
"Yep." (Said between squats)
"Because. I like the fellowship and the ritual."

And we talked about this for a few minutes.

"But how did you find Freemasonry for Men and Women?"
"A male craft member put me on to them."

What followed was a discussion about how the male craft don't really get that there are lady Freemasons out there.

:"But how did you know you would fit in?"
"I didn't. But if there is one place in the world that would take in a reiki and reflexology loving, Tarot reading Wiccan with a penchant for the Kabbalah go?"

He considered this for a bit.

"So you're a witch?"
"Yep." (I think we were onto lat pull downs by now).
"Do you do energy clearing?"
"Can you teach me how?"

Oh boy.

"Nope. I work from instinct. Whether I use bells, brooms, cards, feet, chakras or I find myself invoking Hecate, it's intuitive and individual."
"But how do you know what to do?"
" I just do."

This is the discussion I had at 6.30 this morning. And it seems I have a new reflexology client.

On the tail end, my manager passes my desk on the way home.

"That's Ganesha on your desk."
"But you're not a Hindu."
"Nope. Karminder brought him back from India last trip for me. I wanted a blue one, but he's just lovely."
"But why do you have a Ganesha on your desk."
"He helps smooth the way."
"Hmm. Why do you want a blue Ganesha."
"He came to me in a dream. He was blue." (Okay not quite accurate, but how can you say that a blue Ganesha guided you through a week of meditation two years ago?"

As I said, it's been a strange day.

Walking home with Paul Simon in my ears helped.

At least I cam home to the cat, a toasted sandwich and the breakfast dishes.

Tomorrow will be better. There is no 6 am training session. And it's Friday. Tomorrow won't be so strange. Well, here's hoping.

Today's Song: