28 December, 2008

Hot in the city

Christ on a bike it's hot. Sorry, I know the UK and other non Antipodean people didn't need to know that but it is. Phew, what a scorcher, as The Currant Bun would say. I've had the fan on for most of the afternoon, it's after 8pm and it's still on. Not that I'm complaining, oh no. Well, maybe just a bit.

What I do want to complain about - and I am fully aware of the hypocrisy of the whinge - is the bloody backpackers and other beach invaders who, tempted by the promise of sand without shingle, ice cold water and a veritable fleshfest, invade the beach during the holiday season. They drive me insane.

Yes, yes, I can hear you now. Listen to Little Miss 'I Grew up in the Midlands Absobloodylutely Miles from The Sea and Now I Live by The Beach, Yes, Only Two Roads Back and Yes I Can See the Sea from the Bus Stop' SSS. And you'd be right. I did indeed grow up nowhere near a beach and yes, you'd think I'd be more than happy to welcome other visitors to my little piece of Paradise. Not bloody likely.

Firstly, these interlopers have no idea how to use public transport. They generally travel in packs and without fail the first pink faced sunseeker will ask the driver if the bus goes to Chigley*. Yes, fuckwit, the bus goes to Chigley, it says so on the front. So far so good. How much is it to go to Chigley? $3.00. Pinkface gets out his wallet and struggles to locate the fare. Are his fellow sunseekers at this very moment outside the bus getting their money out? No. Will at least three more of them ask if the bus goes to Chigley? Yes. Can you numpties not communicate with each other? And why are you all paying separately? Why the fuck can't one of your group pay everyones fare then give the three bucks back on the bus? No, far too straightforward, far too efficient. Meanwhile, the rest of us (I've already dipped my ticket and am on the bus sitting down) have to wait like roasting chickens while you all giggle and take your time boarding.

And another thing. Don't sit at the front. Those seats are for people who really need them, not for you great lumps to sit taking up two seats per person by stretching your legs out and putting your dirty trotters up next to you. Move to the back. Don't you dare sit there laughing and pretending you can't see the old ladies and gents who look at you with dismay then stagger uncomfortably further along. Unless you're 7 months pregnant or in plaster I don't want to see you down front.

Your bag doesn't need a seat. I don't care if it's heavy, I really don't. People shouldn't stand up just because you can't afford the taxi fare to the train station. Get your effing backpack off the seat and let someone put their arse down.

Once at the beach, please observe the etiquette. It makes life more pleasant for everyone and makes you look less like a dickhead. Mind you, the nylon football shirt you're wearing marks you out straight away but we can overlook that. Having said that, quite why the four Irish girls who live in the flat upstairs went out in their on Christmas Day is beyond me. Wouldn't you make more of an effort at Christmas?

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.

1. Don't get drunk and go into the sea. You're not at Southend now. Yes, it looks inviting but jump in there with a belly full of booze and you'll get into trouble. The lifesavers don't really want to rescue stupid 15 stone oafs whose sole swimming experience is managing to do a length of the pool at primary school then doing nothing but divebombing the pool in Tenerife . And if you're sober, please swim between the flags. Not that I'm suggesting you can get drunk and get into trouble in the patrolled area but it certainly makes life easier for the people who give up their own time to make sure you don't drown.

2. Don't play football where little kids are making sandcastles. Bugger off up to the grassed area and do it.

3. Please take your rubbish with you when you stagger back up to the bus stop. That goes for the locals too.

4. Don't get outrageously drunk in the local pub and start fights. It's embarrassing and unnecessary.

And for crying out loud, use sunscreen. Yes, you do need factor 30. Much as the locals find the steady procession of bright red people entertaining, it can't make sleeping easy, not to mention the fact that you might end up with skin cancer.

Sorry, my lovelies. Do come and visit. Just watch out for a short, tanned brunette giving you the evil eye. You'll be breaking a rule without even knowing it.

You can see that the heat makes me just a little bit tetchy, can't you? Mind you, on an entertaining note, it's making me nice and brown and yes, I'm taking my own advice and wearing sunscreen. I got a good laugh when someone asked me what number spraytan I was wearing. I didn't even know spraytans had numbers. And I got a good result in the sales when I bought a skirt for $33.00. I bought the same one in a different colour not three weeks ago and it cost $99.00. Now, if I could just eat enough lettuce to get it to fit I'd be even happier.

24 December, 2008

Ho ho ho

Just a quick post from me today. It's Christmas Eve, 9.30pm and I'm alternating between wrapping presents and making tomorrows trifle. Sadly the custard making didn't go to plan and I ended up shoving it through a sieve. Oh, the shame. And no, I couldn't buy the ready made stuff because it's the wrong consistency. Still, it's going to taste nice and I've got a Flake ready to crumble over the top when the cream goes on. Mmmmmm.

Still. Here I am, a confirmed atheist preparing for a Christian festival. I console myself with the knowledge that the Christians just plonked it on top of the original Midwinter fun n' frolics so as far as I'm concerned that's okay. Besides, it's a chance to eat like there's no tomorrow. I'll be spending the day with friends but I have a small jar of pickled onions and a packet of Ritz crackers to eat at my leisure.

I hope you all have a lovely time over the next few days and here's to 2009, whatever it may bring.

13 December, 2008


This post is brought to you from a very happy SSS. Yesterday was my last day of work for 2008 and I don't return to St Elsewhere until the 27th of January 2009. On top of this I shall only be returning to work for four whole days before taking a further two weeks off. I will happily be meeting up with regular reader/occasional commenter Ambridge Fan of Chelmsford, who is leaving chilly Essex for some Australian sunshine. Fear not, dear readers, she's not a cyberstalker but a much loved relative. There will be walking, shopping, sightseeing and we may even watch the odd episode of Doctor Who together. I'd like her to do the Bridge Climb with me but for some reason she doesn't want to. Something to do with fear of heights. I'm calling chicken.

So, what will I be doing with myself with all this time off? As little as possible, that's what. I fly to Adelaide tomorrow for a week of doing nothing and then I shall return to Sydney. I plan to read good books, drink coffee, sit in the sun, go for long walks, take my friends children for a paddle or two, sleep in the middle of the afternoon, meet up with my good friend Foodycat for high tea (with a little alcohol thrown in for good measure),attend some of the events at the Sydney Festival, follow my favourite blogs, paint my nails and.....that's about it.

See you all next week!

09 December, 2008

Oliver Postgate

I was going to post a rant today. After all, it's well overdue, I've had a shocking few days at work and no one had told me that I'd been appointed Stupid Person Magnet. I was all set to come home and make with the vitriol. That was until I visited the BBC website.

Oliver Postgate has passed away at the age of 83. He may be less familiar to our Australian readers but Mr Postgate was responsible for bringing happiness to generations of British children. Working with Peter Firmin he created much loved childrens characters such as Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine, Bagpuss and of course The Clangers.

If memory serves me well, the programmes were approximately 5 minutes in length and mostly appeared just before the six o'clock news. Five whole minutes of wonder whizzed by as we went back in time with Noggin and his uncle Nogbad the Bad, travelled to Wales with Ivor as well as travelling far, far away to visit woollen whistling mice.

The Clangers were pink knitted rodents who lived on another planet. They wore outfits which seemed to have been manufactured entirely from milk bottle tops. Instead of talking,they whistled at each other. I always thought I knew exactly what they were saying. Their companions were the Soup Dragon (yes, just that), a musical cloud, the Iron Chicken and the Froglets.

Bagpuss was a large pink and white striped cat who lived with Emily. Emily owned a shop and people would bring things in even if they were broken. Bagpuss would come to life when Emily left, as did his group of friends.
We met the mice from the organ, a wooden woodpecker called Professor Yaffle and Madeline, a rag doll. The broken item would be fixed, much fun would be had and then when all was done everyone fell asleep again.

And when Bagpuss was asleep,
All his friends were asleep.
The mice were ornaments on the mouse organ.
Gabriel and Madeleine were just dolls.
Professor Yaffle was just an old wooden bookend in the shape of a woodpecker.
Even Bagpuss himself, once he was asleep, was just an old, saggy cloth cat,
Baggy, and a bit loose at the seams,
But Emily loved him.

Me too, Oliver. Me too.

On the eighth day of Christmas

Christ on a bike (in a baby basket), the month is eight days old and I've yet to make a new post.
Well, don't expect too much tonight. I'm just writing to say that I'm going to write something soon. Prepare yourselves for a lecture on the origin of Christmas and mass consumerism.

Just for now, though - a festive LOLcat.

funny pictures of cats with captions

30 November, 2008

Cheats never prosper. Discuss.

Gordon 'Fuck Me' Ramsey has been in the press quite a lot recently, but his culinary skills aren't what's got him there. It's alleged that he has been doing the horizontal tango with a woman other than his wife.

The whole thing is distasteful in the extreme. The 'other woman' has sold her story - and her soul if she had one - to the News of the World. Full details of the story are here but I've picked a couple of extracts.

When she met Ramsay at London club Chinawhite in October 2001 she was under no illusion about what he wanted. The attraction was mutual.
“Gordon was just about to open his restaurant in Claridges. I was working in the hospitality business,” says Sarah. “He found me physically and mentally attractive. I thought he had charisma. When he asked for my number I gladly gave it to him even though I knew he was married from the publicity he’d done. He started calling me often. His marriage was unhappy. Things were so bad he was contemplating getting an apartment with a friend.”

Of course he told you his marriage was unhappy, you dozy cow. He wanted to get into your knickers. The affair 'allegedly' continues.

“Gordon told me he was planning to rent a house in LA and be here more long term because the TV show was going well—and that meant I could stay with him more regularly.”
But in the same month, things cooled dramatically between the pair following a row in Gordon’s hotel room at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard. Sarah says: “Gordon had reportedly punched one of the contestants on the set of Hell’s Kitchen. When I asked him about it, he got very defensive. We rowed and I walked out. We let our friendship slide and I got serious with another married man.”

Another married man. Well aren't you just a charming member of the sisterhood? Ever tried building a relationship with a man who was free?

Over the next few weeks, Ramsay called Sarah frequently. “He wanted sex,” she says. On November 23, they met at her flat in LA.
“We had a wonderful night,” she says. “We talked about my book and discussed spin-off projects. “He thought I was sassy and clever and wanted to mentor me. I was flattered. When he leaned over to kiss me, it was very natural. He wanted to take his time and was very loving. We got into bed like an old married couple.” After that tryst Ramsay was busy on Hell’s Kitchen. “We spoke on the phone every night,” she adds. “I was his ‘source of comfort’ after a hard day.
“But he’d also go on and on about what he wanted to do to me so much it started to make me feel cheap.”

Started to make you feel cheap? It took that long for you to realise that this man was using you for your body and nothing more?

I don't know if Gordon Ramsey cheated on his wife. The only people who know that are him and the woman he did it with. If he did it he's a complete and utter arsewipe and he should crawl over hot coals to apologise to his wife and children. But women around the country will be saving their vitriol for the mistress. Is this fair? After all, it takes two to tango. But I have to say that after reading this sad little tale I know which guilty party comes out looking worse than the other.

Symonds is a self confessed serial mistress. She appeared on the Oprah show spruiking her guide to having an affair and has admitted to having affairs with other high profile man. She will no doubt have been paid a large sum of money for this story. I bet she asked for quite a packet to set him up and the cash she got for todays tell all trash. I hope she thinks it's worth all the pain she's caused by her inability to keep her hands off things which don't belong to her.

As for Gordon, I suggest he keeps his hands to himself in future. Oh, and it'd be a good idea to put all the sharp knives out of reach. If I was his wife I know what I'd be tempted to do.


28 November, 2008

On being a loose woman

Ha, that got your attention. It's not quite what it seems though. SSS is currently suffering again with a problem in the shoulder area. Those of you out there with memories like elephants (and hopefully without bottoms to match) will remember that I had a little mishap back in February. I managed to dislocate my shoulder - a posterior dislocation, which of course only happens in 5% of cases - and have it suck itself back into the socket in a matter of 60 seconds or so. I swore, my friend completely ignored me and I thought I was overreacting until a very expensive scan confirmed I had indeed sustained A Very Hurty Injury which required me to have several weeks off work.

Anyway, this week I'm back in a sling. Same sling, different shoulder. I'm glad I kept it, all I had to do was swap the velcro thingy to the other side and Bob's yer uncle, Fanny's yer aunt. I hate it just as much this time as I did the last.

So, what did I do to it? Nothing. Nichts. Rien. Nada. Cock all. It'd been sore for a couple of days for no good reason and doesn't feel particularly stable. I went to see my orthopaedic doctor (a man almost as handsome as David Tennant) who pulled my arms about a bit, made me scream in pain then gave me a certificate for a few days off work. I felt a bit sorry for him, when I screamed he looked really concerned and couldn't stop apologising. I must admit the pain took my breath away almost as much as the sight of him in his white coat. Neither of us know what's wrong with it in the absence of any injury so it's being put down to my having loose shoulders. They go along with the thumbs which bend backwards.

Today was my first sick day. It was incredibly uneventful. I went to the beach, drank coffee, came home, watched three episodes of The West Wing (the ones where Josh got shot), cooked dinner (chicken with boiled pototoes, peas and gravy) and read a book. Maybe tomorrow I'll push the boat out and do the washing up.

22 November, 2008

Six things you never knew about me.

1. I can't ride a bicycle. I never had one as a child. I didn't want one. My brother had a Chopper but I was never game enough to get on it. It's entirely possible that a) he wouldn't let me and b) my legs would have been too short anyway. None of my childhood friends had bikes either, I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. Friends have offered to teach me but I'm not interested. I'm too scared I'll fall off and graze my arms and legs.

2. I've never been on the back of a motorbike. I'm too scared I'll fall off and graze my arms and legs at high speed. If I could ride a bicycle I'm sure I'd have been on a motorbike by now but that's not happening.

3. I've never seen a James Bond film. I've seen bits of them but I've never seen one all the way through. Everyone tells me I'm mad. I've never seen Titanic either and I'm happy to keep it that way.

4. I've failed three driving tests. Still haven't passed one, either. Trust me, it's safer for all concerned if it stays that way. I still remember my last ever driving lesson. Bonfire Night, 1996. The driver of the car behind me had been right up my arse for about 10 minutes, there was nowhere to go as the road was packed. I still remember the colour draining out of his face when I slammed on the brakes, turned round and started abusing him. That was my last time behind the wheel.

5. I can make my thumb touch my wrist. Try it yourself, but do stop if you hear a crack or feel intense pain.

6. My pet tortoise died on a Sunday. I know it was a Sunday because we were having Sunday tea and I remember crying so hard that I couldn't eat my jelly. Sunday tea was always crab paste sandwiches followed by jelly and evaporated milk. Bath and a hairwash before school on Monday and a glass of lemonade if you'd been good. Oh for the halcyon days of childhood.

Tortoises are great pets. You don't have to take them for a walk, they don't eat much and they don't bark. Our tortoise was called Himmel. He was named by my father, something to do with a German helmet, I think. Himmel lived with the rabbit, Tog. Tog was completely crazy and bit anyone who touched him. I think we gave him to the milkman in the end. Anyway, back to Himmel. Tortoises hibernate during the winter and whilst Himmel had previously managed to have a big, long sleep it seemed that he wasn't managing to nod off in the winter of 1973. My dad took him to the vet, who advised him to put the reluctant tortoise in a dark, quiet, warm spot and wait for him to go to sleep. He was duly placed in a box which was then put on a shelf in the garage. Unfortunately Himmel started to move about in the box (which clearly hadn't been secured properly by my neglectful father) and he met his demise when the shelf fell off the box and landed on the garage floor.
Anyway, my dad came to tell us at the dinner table and my brother and I sobbed for what seemed like hours. There was no chance to say goodbye, I like to think that my dad buried him in the same spot as Honey the hamster (death due to natural causes some time previously). I don't dare ask him what happened to the body in case he tells me that poor Himmel ended up in the dustbin. I still remember the loss of Himmel as being my first real experience of grief.

I wasn't told the full story of his death until I was at least 28. I think I laughed and cried at the same time. Poor Himmel. At least my current insomnia won't lead to death from multiple fractures.
Surprising, really, that someone with such limited mobility as myself managed to make it to the end of the main road, let alone the other side of the world.

If anyone has an interesting fact, please make your way to the comments section.
(and yes, I edited this late at night. Can't sleep, you know.)

16 November, 2008

Fantastic plastic

Apologies for the delay in posting. I'd started something in the week but it was so depressing that I decided to scrap it completely.

It's the end of the weekend and I'm sitting here with one eye on the tv - A Room With A View starring that Barry from Auf Wiedersehen Pet - and the other eye on the contents of a simmering saucepan - two minute noodles - and trying to come up with a witty and informative blog post. Sadly, I'm not feeling wildly inspired but I feel duty bound to tell you all about the Tupperware party I attended this afternoon.

Yes, I said Tupperware. Tupperware is the new black. Well, it's more just an excuse to have all female gatherings with cheese, wine, beer and lots of cackling. Oh yes, and the demonstration of plastic containers.

I say plastic containers but there's a bit more to it than that. Sandwich boxes, plastic drinks bottles, Lazy Susans, picnic sets, knives, cutting boards, vegetable peelers, stacking storage containers, ice lolly moulds, the list goes on. Something for everyone, and of course, everyone got something.

The Happy Chopper is the jewel in the Tupperware crown . Our party consisted of 9 giggling women and 5 of us bought a Happy Chopper. A small, handheld device containing fiendishly sharp blades, it was the hit of the party. A quartered onion, a couple of twists of the wrist and hey presto! Finely chopped sans tears.

Tupperware is hardly new, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if most of us have some hiding in the kitchen somewhere. During the 70s the SSS household kept the budgie seed in a Tupperware container and I'm pretty sure our picnic beakers were as well.

It seems that Tupperware has fallen out of vogue in the UK, although a cursory search did prove that those little plastic tubs are available for purchase in the Sceptred Isle. Indeed, it was during an internet search and an international 'phone call that I discovered the entertainingly named Stuffable, which for some reason had me in hysterics. Stuffable. The very word makes me smirk. Sadly, the Stuffable is an innocent little container with a non leak lid but I still can't think about it without smiling in a Carry On type way.

Anyway. Tupperware isn't cheap but it's useful stuff and it has a lifetime guarantee. Today was my second party in 4 weeks and I've been pressganged into attending two more in the next six weeks.

After the last plastic container had been returned to its storage bag and whisked away in the demonstrators car the real entertainment began in the form of a Wii session. I'd never played before and had no idea how addictive it would be or how much my arms would ache afterwards. I must have another go as soon as possible.

Five hours, ten women, several bottles of beer and wine, three packets of crackers, a bowl of guacamole (made with the help of the Happy Chopper), 5 blocks of cheese, a punnet of chocolate dipped strawberries and almost $2000 worth of Tupperware sales. Not bad for a Sunday afternoon.

05 November, 2008

Wrong day, wrong nurse

Patients lie. Oh yes. But more on that in a moment.

Today started out quite nicely, I woke up in my own sweet time and had a nice cup of tea. A friend called round and we did the local coastal walk in the morning sunshine. Apparently I didn't draw breath for just under an hour. Well, I had a lot to say. I got to work with time to spare and so had a nice gossip with another friend before I started work. All in all it went well. The shift was due to finish at 8pm and it was all on track.

There now follows a short explanation of our discharge protocol.

Patients cannot leave the department unescorted if they have had either an assisted local or general anaesthetic. They will have had opiates/benzodiazepine drug/sedative agents and can't be trusted to cross the road on their own in case they end up under the wheels of a vehicle or fall arse over tit. All patients are informed of this 24 hours prior to admission during a telephone conversation with a senior nurse. All patients are required to provide the telephone number of the person who will be taking them home when they are admitted. This can sometimes be waived if the patient remains in the department for a miniumum of 4 hours post procedure (usually only after an ALA) and has been seen by the anaesthetist and assessed as being fit. Thems the rules.

The last patient, Sillynuts, was due to arrive in Recovery at 7pm. 7pm turned into 7.30pm but this still wasn't a problem as the patient had only had an assisted local anaesthetic (otherwise known as twilight sedation) and was due to be collected and taken home by his mother. He arrived looking bleary eyed but awake and pain free. So far, so good.

"We're calling your mum to come and get you," I told him. He looked at me with a big smile. "Oh, I told her not to come and get me. I'll get the train to Camberwick Green*. I'll be fine."

Knob. The department closes in 30 minutes. Obviously we were looking more at 8.30pm than 8 but this was a major spanner in the works. Camberwick Green* is on the other side of Sydney. There is now way this joker can go home by himself by train at this hour. He happily informed us that he had called his mother earlier in the day and told her that he would take himself home. So, in the words of Gregory House, patients lie.

I won't give you the exact speech I gave him but suffice to say he was suitably informed of my opinion on his breathtaking arrogance. I didn't use those words but I think my face might have. The anaesthetist stood at the end of the bed and smirked as I told Sillynuts that if he left and fell under the wheels of a train we would all be sued by his grieving mother and that I wanted to keep the small amount of money I had. He was told that he was staying in the hospital overnight and that was it. End of discussion.

"I've done it before," he spluttered. "I drove meself home after I had a pin and plate taken outta me foot. I felt great."

Sure, I bet you did. You were under the influence of drugs. Your car insurance was null and void and if you'd gone up the kerb and killed a small child you would have been in jail right now.

After again being on the receiving end of my thoughts he was swiftly transferred to a bed on a ward. I condidently expect him to attempt to leg it in about oooh, an hour. Here is a man who thinks he can drive a car after his body has been pumped full of drugs. There's no way he's going to spend a night in a hospital bed when he could be out there weaving in and out of the traffic.

Look out, readers. The stupid people are walking amongst us.

04 November, 2008

Melbourne Cup

Today is the first Tuesday in November, and all Australians know that means. Race 9 at Flemington, 3pm. Melbourne Cup. It's the day an entire nation stops what they're doing to watch horses and their jockeys run full pelt round a racetrack; where millions of dollars get spent at the track and at the TAB, where women start out wearing hats and fascinators and their boyfriends end the day with them on top of their heads, where hopes are raised and dashed in the final furlong. The champagne flows, the shoes come off. You get the idea.

SSS had a less than successful Cup day. It started out with a short (but torturous) 6 hour shift during which time I organised three sweeps of varying amounts and sold tickets with an alarming vigour. I left work dead on 1pm and met a friend. We dashed straight to the TAB. 1.30pm and it already looked like a bombsite. I frantically filled in a few betting slips and got into the queue where the bastards shortchanged me AND TOOK $12 OF MY CASH BUT I'M OVER IT NOW. Or am I? Wicked, tricksy, hobbits. On top of all that I managed to leave my cashpoint card at home and had fairly limited funds left with which to gamble like a mad woman. In hindsight this was probably a good thing as it prevented me from withdrawing funds and gambling like a mad woman.

I employ a sophisticated and scientific approach to picking horses. Name, colour of jockeys silk and attractiveness of the horse. That's all you need. I'm usually really good if I can see the horse in the flesh first, if it's pretty I back it. Hey, don't knock it. On a recent trip to the track that method had a 100% success rate.

Anyway, being short on cash my fellow punter and I went with our best option - the local club. I might have been sans cashcard but I had my gym membership keyring which doubles as my club membership card. We were in. Cheap beer - a perk of being a member - no drunken youths (but plenty of old people) and a couple of comfy chairs in front of a flat screen TV. Result.

Well, not much of a result for either of us. I got third place and my friend got nothing. But that's the Melbourne Cup for you.

Oh, and todays tip? Don't run across the road to get the bus when you've been drinking all afternoon. The bus driver might give you a lecture and everyone will look at you.

30 October, 2008

So long, and thanks for all the squeee

SSS is in deep mourning today. It has been announced that David Tennant has decided not to continue in the role of Doctor Who.

I have to say the news was not altogether unexpected. DT recently completed his third series as the Doctor and during this time he's proved himself to be one of the finest actors of his generation. It's only natural that he should want to spread his wings and explore new roles. There's only so many alien species you can make friends with, so many Daleks and Cybermen you can defeat, so many companions whose heart you can break.

I remember watching Doctor Who as a young girl on Saturday nights. I'm not sure I managed to watch an entire episode without leaving the room to 'go to the loo', or closing my eyes/hiding my face with a cushion/sitting in my mothers/fathers lap or in extreme cases hiding behind the settee. On special Saturdays I would watch the Doctor with my grandfather. He always managed to make me feel safe, regardless of whichever monster the Doctor was currently doing battle with.

Most Doctor Who fans have an actor who is 'their' Doctor. Mine is Jon Pertwee. Slightly austere but kindly at the same time, he wore frilly shirts and velvet jackets in a way few straight men could have done. Stuck on Earth after a run in with the Time Lords, he drove a car called Bessie and sparred with the Master. The Third Doctor had three companions but the one I remember was Sarah Jane Smith. She was young, impulsive and brave. After five years JP met his end after a battle with a giant spider and Tom Baker's Doctor entered the Whoinverse. I liked Tom, I did. But Jon Pertwee was my Doctor.

I watched Tom Baker for a while but I think I stopped watched when he regenerated and became Peter Davison. Maybe it was because I was growing up. Maybe I couldn't take him seriously with a leek on his lapel. Either way, I left Doctor Who. I missed Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, although mercifully this meant missing out on Bonnie Langford's spell as a companion.

And that was that. The Doctor was a happy memory from my childhood and nothing more. But in 2005 the BBC resurrected the show with a Northern actor called Christopher Eccleston in the lead role. I found myself on the other side of the world man, watching Doctor Who on a Saturday night, listening to the same theme tune and still being scared of the Daleks.

After just one series Eccleston quit the role, presumably from fear of becoming typecast and David Tennant assumed the mantle. I don't have the time or the words to truly express how I feel about his portrayal but let's try with just one word - brilliant.

He's battled the Cybermen and the Daleks. He fought the Master and won. He saved Queen Victoria from being killed by a werewolf. He was reunited with Sarah Jane Smith and mended K9. He's broken the heart of at least two women and wiped the memories of a third. He's saved billions of people.He's certainly been the best looking Doctor ever. He's reduced me to tears on more than one occasion and I don't know what I'm going to do without him. I'm prepared to go out on a limb here and say that David Tennant is now my Doctor and always will be.

Thank you, David. You've given more pleasure to people than you'll ever know. We will miss you.

27 October, 2008


I know, I know. It was only ever called Watergate because that was the name of the hotel and 'gate' doesn't mean anything, but I'm going to use it anyway.

One of Sydney's top news stories at the moment is the tale of the Whyte family and their experience in a well known eastern suburbs pub. Jessica and Steve Whyte recently took their children along to spend an afternoon in the newly renovated Coogee Bay Hotel. The Coogee Bay Hotel was named the second most violent pub in NSW in 2008 and has long been a magnet for alcohol fuelled violence. CBH managment have spent more than a few quid in the hope of smartening the place up and attracting a different clientele in preference to the usual pissed up backpacker and opportunist Aussie male. In particular the beer garden has been redesigned in order to make it family friendly. The Whyte family were exactly the sort of customers the pub was trying to attract. Weeks after the grand re opening and all Sydney is talking about the tale of the poo in the gelato.

It's fair to say that it wasn't the best of afternoons. After a series of complaints from Mr Whyte, a bowl of complimentary ice cream was served to the family. It is alleged that the ice cream contained faecal matter. The Whytes were less than impressed, words were exchanged, the offending bowl and its contents were removed by the Whytes and subjected to independent testing, which is said to prove that the ice cream did indeed contain human excreta.

It's reported that the pub manager, Tony Williams, offered the couple $5000 to drop the complaint. The couple refused and sought legal advice, threatening to sue the pub for up to $1,000,000. Williams took this as an exortion attempt. Both sides have spent the last 24 hours accusing and counter accusing.

As for the locals, well, we're torn between being highly amused and extremely nauseated. The CBH isn't the classiest of joints and local police are on first name terms with most of the bouncers but it's not the sort of thing you'd expect......well.....from anyone, really.

It'll be a while before the truth is known. But if one thing has come from Poopgate, it'll be that waitstaff will be experiencing a dramatic reduction in customer complaints for the foreseeable future.

26 October, 2008


SSS received news yesterday that a friend has recently lost her much loved grandmother. I know that sadly many of you out there will know the pain of such a loss.

Much has been made of US presidential hopeful Barack Obama's decision to take a break from campaigning this week in order to visit his grandmother. Is it a cynical move on his part? Some would say yes but personally I think it's admirable. Here is someone who has his priorities right. He publically acknowledges the debt he owes to the woman who was instrumental in making him what he is today.

For my part, I only ever knew one of my grandmothers. I was lucky enough to have her in my life for over 30 years. Some say that parents love unconditionally, grandparents do not. Perhaps grandparents are able to take a more objective view of the person that we become. Anyway, I loved my grandmother and she loved me.

I have many happy memories of the woman I called Nan. She told me once that she would have preferred the title Gran as Nan made her think of a nanny goat. I told her that Gran was too old sounding and that she wasn't old. Her reply was that I was 'giving her a load of old flannel', a typical response. I could write a book about her but suffice it to say that for me she was one of the most wonderful women I have ever known. She was to all intents and purposes just an ordinary woman from the East End of London; leaving school with only a basic education, having a series of mundane jobs, marrying and having three children, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren at her time of death. She buried both a daughter and her husband. She lived through the Blitz and coped with two small children on her own when her husband was drafted to 'to his bit' during World War Two. No more or less than many other women in her position. But she was my Nan and she was amazing. My life is all the richer for having her in it, and all the poorer for losing her.

Is Obama using his grandmother to further his political career? No. He's doing the right thing. And if I could have just one more minute with my own grandmother I'd sell my soul to the Devil to get it.

16 October, 2008

Don't insult my intelligence

See this girl? She looks hungry, doesn't she? Her name is Sophie Monk and she's a singer of sorts. Her main claim to fame in her native Australia is being a member of the all girl band - oh look, I can't even remember what they were called but I think they won some sort of Pop Idol thing. Anyhoo, she's blonde and skinny. So why is it that this Chupa Chub lookalike was chosen to spearhead the Australian launch of new 'suck in yer gut underwear range called Hollywood Fashion Shapes? Clearly this teeny weeny little thing wouldn't have a clue what it's like to put on a dress only to find it makes you look 7 months pregnant. Her arse would probably fit into a small hankie. The manufacturers of these groundbreaking, gravity defying, respiration restricting garments clearly think we're going to look at their knickers and think, "I bet I'll look just like Skinny Minny here if I buy these heavy duty elastic drawers." I'm sure I can't be the only one who looked, laughed and reached for the Green and Blacks.

Why not use a woman with a few curves, a bit of back fat, a bit of a gut instead? Yes, she might have a BMI of over 19 but she'd show what the product can actually do on the sort of woman who might be thinking about buying it. Using a model who looks like she stopped eating in 1998 isn't exactly smart, it's actually fucking stupid. I hope they don't sell a single pair.

11 October, 2008

The Sound of Music

Can you believe it? I actually know someone who has never seen the Sound of Music.

But first, a short backtrack. SSS has experienced two freakish work days in rapid succession. A combination of school holidays, Yom Kippur and an overseas junket for the worlds most odious orthopaedic surgeon meant that my workplace has been deathly quiet (ha ha ha) for two days in a row. The team took full advantage of this downtime with some productive cleaning on Thursday - instigated by yours truly - and some time wasting/tomfoolery on Friday. It's amazing just how much fun there is to be had with the internet, a colour printer and a laminator at your disposal.

I decided that Friday was a day to be nice to myself. To that end my entire dietary and fluid intake was as follows -
Pre breakfast - cup of tea
Breakfast - large skim flat white coffee and double egg roll.
Mid morning - large skim flat white coffee (purchased from same coffee shop as earlier one by workmate who was running late and knows how to get round me)
Lunch - chips, gravy and three pieces of white bread = 3 chip butties
Dinner - wedges in pub accompanied by 4 beers.

Now that's what I call a fine days intake.

I'll take advantage of your stunned silence/quiet admiration to tell the Sound of Music story. I was in the pub with another workmate and her nurse friend (we all stick together) and for some reason the Sound of Music came up as a topic of conversation. I was telling them how many years ago I'd been to the old Valhalla cinema in Glebe to see the Singalonga Sound of Music and won a prize for being the best dressed nun. The prize was of course a CD of the soundtrack to the Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece. One of my fellow drinkers confessed to never having seen the movie. I was incredulous, as was our other drinking partner, although it turned out that she thought the film finished with the wedding. I spent the next couple of hours singing snippets to my less than impressed friend as well as giving her a brief synopsis of the story. Consequently she now has absolutely no intention of ever seeing the film. I would like to take this opportunity to present to you my very own version of The Sound of Music. You might want to get a cup of tea before you start, it's a bit long and may contain more than a bit of poetic licence.

MARIA: Lalalalalalalala! How I love these hills of Austria, they make me want to sing! Ooof, better get back to the penguins, they're always telling me off for being late and singing. Lalalalalalalala! LOL!

HEAD NUN: Maria, you're always late and you're always singing. Do you really want to be a nun? Why not be a nanny for a bit? There's a bit of top totty in town, his wife carked it and left him with loads of shitty children. Go on, it'll be fun.

CAPTAIN VON TRAPP: Hello, I am the father of the children. I am handsome and brooding with a cruel smile. I use a whistle to summon teh kiddies. You will do the same.

MARIA: Oh noez. They are children, not dogs. You must love them. I shall love them. There will be no norty step here.

TEH KIDDIES: We are teh kiddies and we are evils. LOL. Also the boys look like those blonde freaks from Village of the Damned. We are norty but it is only because no one loves us. We sing away our sadness. But first, a practical trick to make the nun run away.

MARIA: Ha! I laff in the face of your trick. As a punishment I shall dress you all in curtains. Bend to my will.

TEH KIDDIES: Oh noez. It's a fair cop, guv. Besides, we like u more than that gold digging whore the Baroness.

BARONESS: I am the Baroness Schraeder and I am a cold, hard bitch. I will marry the Captain and sell teh kiddies into white slavery. Madonna might want one or two. Muahahaha.

UNCLE MAX: Hello, I am Uncle Max and I may or may not be a paedophile. My, teh kiddies can sing.

CAPTAIN: Oh hai Maria. You are doing a top job with teh kiddies. Fancy a shag?

MARIA: WTF? I'm training to be a nun. You're a bit hot, though. Maybe later?

LIESEL: Oh hai. I am the oldest kiddie. I luff the Aryan telegraph boi, Rolf. Dad hates him and says he is a Nazi but he is well wrong.

NAZIS: Achtung. We are teh Nazis. Wo sind seine Swastika flag?

CAPTAIN: Take yer flag, take yer goose stepping and shove 'em up yer arse. Altogether now, Edelweiss, Edelweiss, who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler, if you think old Austria's done..........

Cut to the garden

BARONESS: Oh hai Maria. You luff the Captain, don't you? You want to marry him. Run along, bitch, you've been pwned.

MARIA: Fuckit. I thought I was in there. (runs back to nunnery).

Back to the garden


BARONESS: Shut it, you chavs. Wait till I marry yer dad and you're all off to a boarding school and it aint Hogwarts.

Teh kiddies run to the nunnery.

TEH KIDDIES: We want to see Maria

TEH NUNS: Take her. She's shit and she sings too much.

CAPTAIN: Oh hai Maria. You're back. You're hot. Laters, Baroness.

BARONESS: FUCK. Epic fail. Oh wells, good luck bitch.

Maria and the Captain get married in the nunnery.


NAZIS: Oh hai Captain. We are the Nazis and we are teh evils. Ur Anschluss? We haz it. You've been drafted into the Navy. We want you, we want you, we want you as a new recruit. Muahahaha.

CAPTAIN: Fuckit. Maria, get teh kiddies, we're going to scarper. Aint gonna be Hitlers bitch.

UNCLE MAX: Pop Idol is on at the Town Hall. What about getting you, the wife and teh kiddies to sing? We could win and do personal appearances at Lakeside and Westfield shopping centres for teh win.

At Pop Idol

THE VON TRAPPS: Good evening, Salzburg. We are not intimidated by the fact that teh Nazis has the theatre surrounded. Lalalalalalalalalala.

Lots of applause.

CAPTAIN: LEGGIT. The nuns have come to help us.

ANNOUNCER: The Von Trapps FTW. Oh noez, they've dun a runner. Call teh Nazi rozzers.

The Von Trapps run to the nunnery and hide but teh Nazis come.

ROLF: Oh hai Liesel. I can't see you. Nothing to see here.

TEH VON TRAPPS: HUZZAH! We will run across the border. Then we will flee to the good old U S of A and get jobs in Vegas. Epic win!


07 October, 2008

Crossing the line

SSS isn't paying all that much attention to the forthcoming US Presidential election but let's face it, you'd have to be living on Mars to avoid the coverage. For the last couple of weeks the spotlight has been well and truly focused on Sarah Palin. Readers, she scares the living daylights out of me. Palin is pro gun and anti abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. Not exactly my type of gal. Certainly not the sort of person I want to see as being one heartbeat away from the President of the United States, because let's face it, the person in the top job will affect of of us whether we like it or not.

Today I found this story, thanks to Santiago Dreaming. Charging the victims of sexual assaults for their rape kits is one of the most piss poor things I have ever heard. She may well not have been the architect of this policy but it happened when she was in charge. I can't believe that she wasn't approached by at least one angry taxpayer and I can't believe that she didn't do anything to reverse the decision.

The cynic in me says that Palin has been chosen to appeal both the religious Right and women. I hope no woman is stupid enough to vote for another woman purely because they have the same reproductive organs. And not when that woman clearly doesn't support the rights of other women.

05 October, 2008

Bondi Chicks

SSS went to a wedding yesterday. It was quite lovely. The bride looked beautiful, the groom was slightly nervous but excited, no one objected and it was all sealed with a kiss. There was much rejoicing, eating, drinking, dancing and laughing. It was a wonderful day.

The celebrations took place in Bondi. Bondi Beach is one of the most famous places in Australia. The beach is long and beautiful (although quite frankly it's not the best in Sydney). The area is home to trendy shops, bars, cafes and so called beautiful people. Now, I have to confess at this point that I'm not a Bondi person. I don't mean that I wasn't born there but I'm just not 'Bondi'. Now, there are some normal people in Bondi and I want to make it quite clear that the following post is not about them. This post isn't about the people who don't get dressed in expensive yet casual finery to go out for coffee. This is about the Bondi chicks.

Bondi chicks (you wouldn't call them girls, women or ladies) are almost always blonde. Blonde, blowdried, tanned, face full of make up, they perch on high heels and wear teeny tiny dresses and vacant expressions. They think nothing of spending over $500 on sunglasses and shop in all the right places. They smile at you as they flick their eyes over your appearance, summing you up in seconds before dismissing you as being from another (lesser) species then moving on. They have ridiculously good looking boyfriends who are equally tanned and vacant looking. The boyfriends wear designer clothes with an air of casual arrogance and stand around looking at everyone with a smug look of self satisfaction. Readers, they make me want to vomit.

Imagine my discomfort then, when I was thrown together with Bondi chicks not once but twice in the last two weeks. The first meeting was at the obligatory hens party, held in Bondi. They stayed at one end of the very long table, the 'not Bondi's' stayed at the other. They smiled at us whilst looking just slightly past us, we smiled at them then grouped to bitch about their extensions, nails and bad tans. We ate and drank then complained about the tightness of our clothes, they drank and made frequent trips to the toilet.

Not much had changed this week when the same people regrouped this week for the wedding. Fortunately the two groups were seated on the opposite sides of the room so we didn't have to listen to them and they were spared the sight of normal sized people eating and drinking and keeping it all down.

They reminded me of the 'popular' girls from school. I'm fairly sure each school had a group. The leader was the Queen Bee and her gang consisted of girls just like her but just ever so slightly less confident. Pretty, wearing the latest fashions and make up, they patrolled the school corridors in their little cliques. The Queen Bee was the first girl in the year to get a boyfriend and naturally he was the best looking and most popular boy. Laughing at anyone with brains and sneering at those other girls with unemployed parents, they made many a girls life hell. They mostly left me alone which suited me just fine. I loathed them but secretly I wanted them to like me. As the school years wore on, however, I realised that I didn't want them to like me at all. They were shallow, cruel and self centred. They were obsessed with what people looked like, how much pocket money they had and how rich their friends parents were.

I left school a long time ago and never had cause to meet the Queen Bee or any of her gang. I heard on the grapevine that the queen ended up doing a little bit of time behind bars for her part in a robbery on a local jewellers which made me laugh as well as giving me a warm feeling inside.

Looking at the Bondi chicks I realise why I don't like them. They're all Queen Bees. Stuck in their adolescent state, here they are in their early thirties and nothing seems to have changed. They airkiss each other and declare how beautiful the other looks then bitch in the toilet. They smile but it never quite reaches their eyes. They talk about themselves but never quite seem to listen when someone is talking.

I'm so glad I'm not a Bondi chick.

01 October, 2008

Nothing to see here

Just a gossipy little post this week. I don't have much to say but as you all know, every time I say that I always end up posting some sort of massive ramble. I fear today will be no different.

I've been a very busy person the last couple of days. A good friend is getting married and I have nothing to wear. Well, that's not true. I do have something to wear but I was looking for something better.

Yesterday saw me on a mission to find said better dress. I got up reasonably early and set off. Local dress shops - epic fail. Shops in town - epic fail. Shops in Balmain - epic fail. The day picked up slightly when I popped into a friends house in Balmain under the pretext of using her toilet and managed to walk out with a silver handbag to go with the less than desirable dress. Back into town to find shoes to go with said dress - epic fail. Slight win on purchasing nice black top down from $140 to $80. I need another item of black clothing like a hole in the head but I was powerless in the face of such a bargain.

Today - up and out early looking for shoes to go with less than desirable dress. Find perfect shoes on sale but in wrong colour. Decide to purchase them anyway. Half price. Epic win. I need another pair of black shoes like a hole in the head but.......oh well, you know. Leave queue after paying for shoes and spy silver shoes. Try them on, buy them. Epic win.

So, a few losses and two wins. Swings and roundabouts. I have resigned myself to wearing the quite lovely but boring navy dress. It still needs to be altered, I have no time to take it to the tailors and the wedding is on Saturday but I do love to leave everything to the last minute.

On a slightly less shallow note, I watched a documentary recently about this wonderful hospital. They do amazing work and change the lives of many women. I was reminded once more just how lucky I was to have been born in the UK and to have had parents who were equally delighted to have had both a son and a daughter. Women have no value in some societies and this programme brought that home to me. Please help them if you can.

24 September, 2008


This is only going to be a short post as I'm tired and I have a very short attention oooh, look, there's some chocolate over there......sorry, attention span tonight but I heard something hilarious this evening and I just want to pass it on to you, my four readers.

Stereotypes are funny, aren't they? As an English person I'm supposed to be cold, unemotional and unclean, apparently. As a female who happened to be born in Essex I'm supposed to be a right old slapper. As a nurse I'm supposed to be either an angel or a right old slapper.

But I digress.

I work with a Chinese nurse who lives close by, occasionally if we're on the same shift she gives me a lift home. We have a little chat and tonight we were discussing Chinese food. Earlier in the day I'd told one of the other nurses that I fancied an egg roll. She was confused because she didn't know what I meant as she'd heard about egg rolls on the TV in American shows and she didn't know what they were. I told her that I didn't know what they were either and it was highly unlikely that I wanted something that I didn't know what it was.

Are you still with me? Good. I repeated this conversation to my Chinese colleague during the shift and we Googled 'egg roll' only to find out that it's a spring roll. Later in the car we were rehashing the whole Chinese food thing and I was telling her how my chopstick technique was somewhat unorthodox but effective. She was telling me how she usually ate noodles or rice for her evening meal as well as for lunch. She paused for a moment then said, "I don't like to eat sandwiches. You eat one then half an hour later you're hungry again."

Come on. It's not just me, is it?

17 September, 2008

Bill Bailey - Tinselworm

A review of the Bill Bailey show has been requested and who am I to say no?

Last nights show was a sellout. Bill has added a couple of extra dates to some locations so look out, you might be lucky. Anyway, back to the show.

It was fantastic. Fantastic. Hilarious, clever, fast paced, bilingual in parts and just downright brilliant. Bill started the evening by deciding to call us 'Tuesday' instead of the more generic Sydney. He began with his idea of the London 2012 Olympic ceremony; an inflatable Winston Churchill, a robot Queen with a Pez head and flying Corgis featured heavily.

My favourite moment was when Bill gave us his interpretation of Australian evening news themes. It's not every day you see a 44 year old man leaping around a stage waving ribbons on sticks to the tune from ABC 7 o'clock news. If I'd laughed any harder I'd have spontaneously combusted on the spot.

Bill mused on changing the British national anthem to the Pink Panther tune and analysed song lyrics from Lionel Richie to The Killers. 'I've got soul but I'm not a soldier' could just have well been 'I've got ham but I'm not a hamster', he thought.

All up he was on stage for two hours. Obviously the show isn't the same as the UK one but I think he filled in the gaps quite nicely.

Finally, I'd like to leave you with a song. It's the song Bill sang to say goodbye to Tuesday. I hope you love it as much as we did.

16 September, 2008

But on that subject...........

Anyone been watching the Paralympics? Outstanding stuff. These athletes are bloody outstanding. Great Britain has 41 golds. 41. 96 medals in total. Australia has a very healthy 20 golds and 71 medals in total and it's not over yet.

Naturally, the athletes will be having parades to welcome them home and celebrate their magnificent achievements. Oh, wait a minute. Australia had a ticker tape parade on Monday for the Olympians. Couldn't wait for the others to come home? Britain is having a celebration for both groups at the same time.

Quite right.

Australian Olympic Committee? Get it right in 2012.

Can't stop

Hello, dear readers.

Just a very quick update.

People have been driving me mad. I think they've been inspired by the full moon. Anyway, I'm just watching the wheelchair rugby semi final between Australia and Canada and then I'm off out to see the superb Bill Bailey. If that doesn't improve my mood there's no hope for me.

I have the day off tomorrow so hopefully I'll have some time to post a long, rambling post about not much in particular.


08 September, 2008

Right to vote

Now then, if any female over the age of 18 reading this doesn't know who that woman is you should be asking yourself what you actually learned at school. That, my dear sisters, is Emmeline Pankhurst and without her and women like her you'd still be the property of a man.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Christ on a bike, it's going to be one of those feminist rants. I'll come back when she posts more LOLcats." You're wrong. It's not. It's a rant about voting.
We have local elections on Saturday and voting is compulsory. That's right, compulsory. I have to get up, get dressed, leave the comfort of my coccoon and turn up at the local primary school to pick which buffoon is going to have a say in what happens in my local area. Whoop de fucking do.

Don't get me wrong, I think voting is fantastic. I am eternally grateful to those brave women (and men) who gave so much in order that I might be able to go and put a cross in a box. I just don't think I should have to do it. The way I see it, voting is a right, not a duty or a responsibility. I know others see it differently but that's just my view and I don't think it will ever change. Making it compulsory takes away my right and turns it into something else.

"But what if no one voted?" I hear the Aussies say. Well, someone would still get elected. Voter turnout to me gives a good insight into the mood of the people. Low turnout? People don't give a shit. Major apathy. Things aren't going well. The politicians are more than a little bit crap. High turnout? Oooh, the public are pissed off and they're exercising their democratic right to show it.

"But you don't have to vote. You can spoil your paper." That's not the point. You've already made me get up, get dressed, leave the cococon and turn up. There's no bloody point not voting once I'm there, is there? I object to being made to turn up in the first place.

Gah. So, who to pick? Being an ex card carrying member of the British Labour Party (hey, don't blame me, I cancelled my membership in 1998) you'd think I'd vote Labour here. Well, no. I don't know why I won't. It might well have something to do with not being able to bring myself to vote for a party which can't even spell its own name properly. Anyway, I've seen a picture of the candidate and he's a shifty looking bugger if I ever saw one. It's bad enough that my local MP is that tall, bald geezer from a rock band. The Liberals? I Googled the local candidates and the first link I got was from a gay website telling me how all three candidates were openly gay. What they do and who they do it with isn't going to get me to vote for them but it makes a refreshing change from all the closet homosexuality in the Tory party.
Green? Dunno. I'll have to look into their policies. There's an Independent candidate, he looks alright. Besides, he wants to put a mobile police station outside the local pub on Friday and Saturday nights. Now that's a vote winner.
I used to love voting in the UK. I wanted to vote. I couldn't wait to turn eighteen so that I could finally make my voice heard. I took pleasure in taking my ballot card down to the local primary school and getting my name marked off. I'd take my voting paper into the polling booth and mark a big X next to the name of the local Labour (see, that's how to spell it) candidate. I'd walk out, go home and have a cup of tea, silently thanking the Suffragettes. I don't feel thay way now. I don't know if that's partly the fact that I don't feel I have a vested interest in Australian politics or the child in me doesn't like being told what to do.
So there you are. I have to vote and I'm not happy.

07 September, 2008

Dear Diary

Another weekend draws to a close and what have I done? Not a lot, actually. I delayed getting dressed until 1.30pm on Saturday then went out in the driving rain to look at settees. I had to wait at the bus stop with a massive group of English backpackers. Christ, they're annoying. Loud and annoying. After that I popped in to visit a friend in Kensington. She kindly gave me a lift home which saved me from getting soaked to the skin. Actually, that reminds me, I walked past the butchers shop and meant to go back and get my goat. Not on my goat. Read here for further details. See that, that's me, that is. Please give Ask Foodycat a go. I have a dull palate and am going to be very unlikely to present any challenge.

Sunday (today), I got dressed at 8.30am and walked up to Clovelly to meet a friend for coffee and to loan her my Flight of the Conchords DVD. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the area let me tell you that it involved a walk up a very, very, very steep hill. I thought I might need oxygen at the top. Fortunately the walk back down was much more pleasant. I then spent an hour or so bitching at another beachside location with a good friend. The area was full of English people again. Don't get me wrong - I'm aware of the double standard I'm about to present - but do all of the 1 million English people in Australia have to live near me or use my bus stop? I shouldn't complain but they're just so loud. Not like me and my dulcet, well modulated tones. Finally came home to read the paper and listen to some more Stephen Fry's podcasts. I found them at about 7am today. Why have I not discovered these before? I was listening to one of them on my iPod as I wheezed up the hill this morning. I'm not sure I would have made it without dear Stephen and his rant.

Had a little nap, made an apple crumble, watched Doctor Who. Now that's what I call a weekend.

Hopefully I'll have something more interesting for you to read later in the week. Who knows, at this rate it'll probably be a piece on my double standards. Ooh, and don't forget to watch the Paralympics.

*Just in case anyone in the UK is interested, the Doctor Who episode we had tonight was Midnight. Bloody amazing. Three episodes to go and Rose is back next week. I am deeply distressed by this turn of events. Donna is an excellent companion and I really, really don't want anything bad to happen. Post spoilers in the comments section and I will hunt you down and kill you.*

04 September, 2008

I'm using yumour, Kimmy, yumour!

I don't have much to report today but I thought I'd tell you a joke. I've edited it from its first posting to make more sense.

A man and woman in their late 60s meet through a dating website. Their first date is a boat trip. They set off in a two man boat and are having a very pleasant time. Eventually, they come to a fork in the river. "Up or down?" asks the man. The woman suddenly tears her clothes off, jumps on top of him and they have mad, passionate sex. He's a bit puzzled but the sex was amazing so he doesn't complain. They carry on along the river until they come to another fork. "Up or down?" he asks again. The same thing happens. The woman jumps on him and they have another session. He doesn't complain and thinks the date one of the best he's ever had. At the end of the day, they say goodbye and the man goes home feeling like the king of the world.

He rings the woman later in the week and arranges another date, out in the boat again. They meet, get in and set off. They arrive at the first fork. "Up or down?" he asks. "Oh, I don't mind." says the woman. The man is a bit puzzled but they carry on. Soon they reach the second fork. "Up or down?" he asks. "Oh, wherever. I'm not fussed." answers the woman. The man is a bit confused. They paddle on for a while but the mans curiosity gets the better of him. "Are you not having a good time?" "Yes," she replies. "Why, aren't you?"

"Well, yes, but I'm just wondering why this date is so different. Last time we had mad passionate sex and this week you don't seem interested."

"Oh. Well, last week I wasn't wearing my hearing aid. When you said 'up or down' I thought you were saying 'fuck or drown!"

Of course, if you haven't seen Kath & Kim then the title will mean nothing. Then again if you haven't seen Kath & Kim the question is why the bloody hell not?

01 September, 2008

A lovely little book

Pinch, punch, first day of the month. Speaking of punching, if the people in the flat above me don't stop making all that noise I might go up there and threaten them with a wallop.

Right. What was it I was going to talk to you about? Can't remember. I'll tell you about the book I've just read instead.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a lovely little book. This must be true as three people have said it. One is the person who sent it to me, my favourite cousin, (waves in general direction of central London) who shares my taste in books so completely that it's almost as though we were hatched from the same pod. It arrived shortly before my birthday with a Post It note informing me that 'it really is a lovely little book'. It took me about 6 hours to read it and I concur. I was telling one of my work colleagues about it today when one of my nurse friends walked in. "Are you talking about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? I've read that. It's a lovely little book." So there you have it. Funnily enough my friend told me that she'd planned on giving it to me for my birthday but when she went into the book shop near her home they didn't have any.

The main character is Juliet, a writer living in post war London. She wrote a column for a London newspaper during the war and is struggling with writers block. The book is based on the letters which pass between Juliet, her good friend Sophie, her friend and publisher Sidney and various residents on the island of Guernsey. Her correspondence with the Islanders starts when she receives a letter from a Dawsey Adams. He owns a second hand book about an author which used to belong to Juliet. She had written her name and address on the inside cover and he writes to her in the hope that as she can help him locate other books by the same author. He explains that it's hard to come by books on Guernsey and hopes that as she lives in London she can help.

A brief history lesson now follows - Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands. The others are Jersey, Alderney and Sark. They were occupied by the Germans from 1940 to 1945. They are the only parts of Britain to have been occupied. Technically they're not part of the UK as such but it's late and I can't get my head round it at the moment.

And we're back. Juliet starts to correspond with Dawsey and through this she learns about what life was like for the Islanders. Dawsey tells her about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club started by some of the Islanders in order to escape the curfew. Juliet is intrigued. Well, let's face it, who wouldn't be with a title like that?

Her interest in the history of the Islanders piqued, she decides to pay a visit to Guernsey to learn more. Once there she meets the Society members and seems to melt effortlessly into their day to day lives.

I won't say too much in case you decide to read it. I will say that it reminded me of 84 Charing Cross Road. They're both based on letters and they're both love stories, although not necessarily in the sense of romance.

Sadly, the book was the authors first and last. Mary Ann Shaffer died last year. She only began writing in her 60s after being encouraged to do so by members of her book club. It's a great shame that she didn't start sooner.

Do read it. It's not Proust but it is a lovely little book.

30 August, 2008

Rolf Harris has a lot to answer for

I was wasting time on one of the forums I frequent today - yes, I'm an Internet geek - when I stumbled across a thread extolling the virtues of the Stylophone.

The Stylophone was a miniature synthesiser which was operated by a stylus. Small, battery operated and annoyingly loud, it became a 'must have' Christmas gift for the children of Britain. Rolf Harris was the face of Stylophone. Each new item came with a floppy disc with Rolf taking the owner through the instructions in his excited Australian accent. I can't remember what year it exploded on the UK market, suffice it to say that I'm pretty sure it was somewhere between 1973 and 1976. Every kid wanted one and my brother Mark and I were no different.

Presents were not put under the tree and opened as a family in the SSS household. An ordinary pillowcase was stuffed with presents and every now and then a handful of Quality Street sweets were thrown in. There was also a Selection Box and an annual of some description. Father Christmas (aka Dad) used to leave our presents in our bedrooms. When questioned on this he says it's what his parents did when he was a boy but I strongly suspect it was a ploy on the part of our parents to be able to sleep in past 6am on Christmas morning. Generally it worked. Not, however, in the Year of the Stylophone.

I have no idea what time it was when I woke that Christmas morning but I think it was probably around 4am. I switched on the light, saw the presents and got stuck in. About a third of the way into the pile I found it. My Stylophone. I immediately rushed into my brothers bedroom clutching my electronic musicmaker. Mark was hard at work, ripping into paper and eating sweets.

"Quick," I shouted. "Look for this. You must have one!" He rummaged about for a bit then found his Stylophone. Foolishly, my parents had given us both batteries. Initially we just ran the stylet up and down the keyboard but after only a short period we were able to play something which bore more than a passing resemblence to The Death March. We played and played and played.

Suddenly, the bedroom door burst open and a wild looking man wearing pyjamas started shouting at us. It seemed that our parents had taken exception to being woken in the early hours of the morning to the garbled funeral dirge. I was lifted by the scruff of my dressing gown and deposited back in my own room. The Stylophones were confiscated and we were warned not to move from our rooms until daylight.
I don't remember much else about that Christmas or many others from my childhood but I'll never forget that moment.

28 August, 2008

Happy Birthday to me

It's my birthday. I am now officially *cough cough* years of age.

Looking back at last year I think my report card should say 'must try harder'.

And now, I'm off to spend some money!

25 August, 2008

An excellent day

I had a nice day today. Quite unusual for a Monday but hey, I'll take my good days where I can get them.

I spent the afternoon as part of the studio audience for Enough Rope. I pricked up my ears last week when I heard an announcement at the end of a TV programme asking for audience members for a show starring Bill Bailey. Did I want to see Bill Bailey? Does the Queen have corgis? I rang the very next morning and scored two tickets.

Has anyone been in a studio audience before? Blimey, isn't it knackering? My friend and I arrived at 2pm, 15 minutes earlier than than the required time to find a massive queue waiting for us. Well, that isn't actually true. I arrived at 1.45pm because I am anally retentive and have an overwhelming fear of being late for events. My friend (Yummy Mummy, a fellow nurse) arrived at 2.10pm because a) she does not share my anxiety disorder and b) she has a small child to look after. Anyway, after queueing, being checked off on a list and being corralled into a small area we were finally allowed into the studio at 3pm. It was very exciting. The warm up chappie was highly entertaining. He asked the audience a few standard questions, where were people from, who'd come the furthest etc. as well as asking if any groups were in. Yes, there was a group from somewhere (I have to say I can't remember where) but the second group to identify themselves were from the New South Wales Nurses Association. They got a big cheer and round of applause. Clearly, nurses are popular. Yummy and I felt a little embarrassed as we didn't join in the big clap and cheer. We both felt as though we would have been patting ourselves on the back but then we realised that we just looked like a couple of nurse haters. I had no idea whether to bask in the mass glory or applaud my colleagues two rows above. Ho hum.

We had a great afternoon. We finally got out at 6pm and our moment of fame will be broadcast next week. I'll leave you with a couple of my favourite Bill Bailey moments. The first one will make no sense if you don't know who Billy Bragg is but I hope you like it. The second one will make no sense if you're a) not British or b) haven't lived in the UK for a reasonable period of time. Watch them anyway. I'm sure you'll like them.

24 August, 2008

Cordial relations and sour grapes

Well, the Olympics are drawing to an end. David Beckham is preparing for his role in the closing ceremony and the factories of Beijing are getting ready to recommence churning all that crap out into the atmosphere. Pity the Paralympians who are going to have to breathe in shitty air.

The Olympics has brought out the best and the worst in people. I was particularly entertained by this little piece in todays Sun Herald newspaper. Paul Connolly wrote an article called 'Moments to Remember'. This is what he had to say about Britain.

6. The Empire Strikes Back. We may well remember Beijing for all the childish bickering it prompted between Britain (well, the English part of the union) and Australia. "Ner ner, we won more gold than you!" Only cause you roped in the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish. "Whinge, whinge, we even snatched some gold in the pool off you!" Not bad for a country that has very few swimming pools - and not much soap. Actually, that last, less than original comment was made by AOC chief John "Shit Happens" Coates.

Schoolyard stuff.

Gee, Paul, do you think so? Quite frankly, I think you're talking out of your arse. I haven't heard too much gloating from the British at all. We're too busy being surprised and pleased. If there is any gloating (and I'd be surprised if there wasn't any), well, Australians like you (not all Aussies, obviously) only have yourselves to blame. The jingoist Aussie as just as real as his Union Jack waving counterpart. It's little wonder that Australians are seen as bad winners and bad losers by other countries.

Schoolyard stuff, whines Paul. I remember when England - and yes, that's England and not Britain this time - were playing Australia in the Rugby World Cup in 2003. One of the newspapers here published the name of hotel where the England team was staying and encouraged their readers to beep their car horns outside and keep the team awake. Apparently several knuckledraggers did just that. Classic bad sportsmanship as well as a surefire way to annoy the local residents. We're not the only ones in the playground.

What's the problem, Paul? Australia didn't get as many medals as you thought? You didn't get to wiggle your arse in the face of the Motherland and have a 'ner ner' moment of your own? There's finally a bit of competition? If people like you hadn't spent so much time delighting in the sporting losses of Britain (and yes, that's England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) you might not be feeling like a kid with a puncture in his favourite football right now. If any Brits are having a gloat then you only have yourselves to blame for continually calling us crap. Gracelessness in defeat is something that so called sporting Australians excel at. "Oh, the Poms (again, people, it's Great Britain, not just England) only won at the sitting down sports. They only won with Aussie coaches. " So, it's not Australia who have a Kiwi as a coach for their rugby team? My mistake.

I mentioned a while ago that I've now lived in Australia for ten years. For the most part I love it. But it seems to me that it's okay to be abusive to the English in a way that no other nationality cops it and at times it goes past being a friendly joke.

A few years ago the Sunday Telegraph newspaper had a memorable headline. 'Filthy Poms' screamed out from the front page. English backpackers were being held entirely responsible for the amount of litter being left on Bondi Beach. Imagine the outcry if the headline had said 'Filthy Lebs' or 'Filthy Japs' or some other nationality. But no, because we're English (not Scottish or Welsh or from Northern Ireland) it's okay to insult us because it's just a joke and Pom is an affectionate term and hey, if you can't take a joke why don't you just fuck off back to England where it's cold and wet, you Pommy bastard?

You know what, Paul Connolly? I wasn't gloating. I was happy to see the country of my birth do well for once on the international sporting stage. But people like you make me want to take my Union Jack flag and shove it right up your arse. Anything to stop a repeat of the drivel that comes out of it would be a start.

Look, I know it goes both ways. I know Aussie friends of mine in London get called 'convicts'. Friends, with my hand on my European passport I apologise for their stupidity. For every person who has asked you if Skippy really delivers the post I've had ten people express surprise at my ability to get a suntan because, as we all know, the English don't get suntans. Apparently. For every person who has asked you if Australia is really like Neighbours (well, clearly not because everyone in Neighbours is white) I've had to bite my tongue when Australians express surprise that I feel the cold, because I'm English and I should be used to it. Perhaps Aussies think we all have cold blood to match our stiff upper lips and 'reserved' behaviour.

Now, what was that medal count again?............

16 August, 2008

SSS and the Transport Minister

Over three months ago I sent an email off to Morris Iemma, the useless Premier of New South Wales. I'd spent almost an hour trying to get home from work after a ten hour shift and was ready to explode with anger over the transport system. Here's the letter, which was sent on the 7th of May. Buses and locations have been disguised.

Dear Mr Iemma,

I am writing to you about the abysmal service provided by Sydney Buses for commuters to Chigley.

I am sick and tired of standing at a bus stop in the evening waiting to get home. I get on my bus just before Albert Square. If I leave work at 17.30 it is not unusual for me to wait in excess of thirty minutes. 123 buses are almost always full at this point in the route and will not stop. The last thing I want to do at the end of the working day is to stand on Oxford St breathing in traffic fumes and watching packed buses drive past. Regardless of what the bus timetable says there are not enough buses. There is no room on any 123 or 124 between 17.45 and approximately 18.30. This evening I waited for over 30 minutes before admitting defeat and getting a taxi. I work as a nurse, most of the day is spent on my feet and I'm tired of it. The colder weather is approaching and I have better things to do with my time than stand around getting cold and annoyed.

Whatever you are doing is not enough. There are simply not enough buses to cope with the volume of passengers to Chigley and Trumpton. I see that the 333 Bondi buses are a great success. These buses have double the passenger capacity. What plans are there to extend this to the express buses which serve Chigley and Trumpton?
The public are encouraged to use public transport to help the environment and the breathtaking arrogance with which we are treated by Sydney buses never ceases to amaze me.

You are in your second term as Premier and I am yet to see any tangible improvement in services. I don't want excuses or platitudes. I don't want spending figures. I want a bus. I want to be able to get on a bus within 30 minutes of arriving at the stop. I don't even expect a seat. I just want to get on it and get home.



Approximately six weeks later I received a reply from the Premiers office telling me that they had forwarded my letter to the Minister for Transport. Yesterday I received a response. Here it is.

Dear SSS

I refer to your correspondence received by the Minister for Transport concerning the 123 and 124 routes. The Minister has asked me to reply on his behalf. I apologise for the delay in responding.

Passenger loading and timing checks are conducted on outbound services on 123 and 124 services operating through Albert Square between 5.30pm and 6.30pm on weekdays generally indicate sufficient accommodation is available for passenger demand.

There are, however, instances where services may be disrupted due to traffic congestion encountered en route. This scenario usually affects normal loading patterns and it may be difficult for passengers to gain accommodation. However, the high frequency of services during the PM peak period ensures minimum waiting times.

Additionally, the service checks identified certain services on other bus routes which appear to be under utilised during this time. Investigations are now being undertaken to examine the possibility of relocating these resources as a means to supplement Chigley services.

In the meantime, services will continue to be monitored......oh, blah blah blah. that's me, readers, not the Goverment lackey.

Phew. Well that was useful and informative. It's all in my fucking imagination. There are buses, lots of them. The peak time service ensures minimum waiting times. Silly me. I suppose it depends on whether or not you consider a waiting time of half an hour before being able to board a bus is acceptable or not. The response tells me that the service is adequate yet in the next breath I'm being told they are looking at ways to supplement the current service. Well bugger me. Good old Sydney buses. That should be their new slogan - Improving on the already adequate. This will probably involve taking away some other poor sods bus off them and making them wait for 45 minutes.

And they want people to stop using their cars? Fat chance.

The true Olympic spirit

Ehem. I'm not quite sure what happened to the LOLcats on the last post. It looks fine when I see it in preview. Anyhoo, the second cat is sitting on the step with spooky eyes and says 'disrupt'. It's really funny. Hilarious.

So, today I'd like to talk to you about the other Olympics. The Paralympics will kick off in just 21 days. Less able bodied athletes get to push themselves to the limits and show the world there's more to disabled sport than just wheelchair basketball.

The history of the games dates back to just after World War Two. Ludwig Guttman was a Jewish German and a leading neurosurgeon. He fled Germany in 1939 and settled in the UK. In 1944 the British Government asked him to lead a new hospital unit to cope with the young soldiers who were returning from the war with spinal injuries. The unit was - and still is - at the now world famous Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire. The first Stoke Mandeville Games were organised in 1948 by Dr Guttman as part of ongoing therapy for his patients, raising both their stamina and self respect. In 1952 Britain was joined in the games by the Netherlands, taking it to an international level. 1960 saw the competition move to Rome, where the games were held after the Olympics had finished. The Paralympics were born. Dr Guttman founded the British Sports Association for the Disabled in the same year. In 1966 Dr Guttman was recognised for his massive contribution to British medicine and sport and was knighted, becoming Sir Ludwig Guttman. He died in 1980, aged 80.

The British Paralympics team are sending athletes out to compete after the able bodied men and women have finished splashing, running and rowing. Here's a look at the Aussies and the US to show just three countries teams.

A variety of events will be contested. Wheelchair rugby, otherwise known as Murderball, is one of the roughest and most exciting games played with the funny shaped ball. Typically played by young men who have sustained spinal injuries in accidents, they're mad as hell, go in hard and change wheels up to 6 times in a game because they've smashed them to buggery. Medals will be awarded in archery, athletics, boccia (a game designed for people with altered motor skills) cycling, equestrian events, football (that's soccer to some of you but you know what, you kick the ball with your foot, so, you know, let's all call it football) , judo, powerlifting, sailing, swimming, and table tennis to name but a few. Oh yes, and wheelchair basketball.

I went to the Paralympics when they were in Sydney in 2000. I wanted to go to the wheelchair rugby but it had sold out within about an hour of the tickets being released so I ended up watching the swimming. It was one of the most fantastic sporting events I've ever been to. The atmosphere was electric. The volunteers were brilliant. The swimming was great fun to watch and I was literally jumping out of my seat throughout most of the races. I got to stand for my national anthem way more times than I expected and waved my British flag so many times I thought the man next to me was going to take it off me and threaten to lodge it somewhere rather uncomfortable.

Over 4,000 athletes from 136 countries competed at the 2004 Athens Paralympics. No doubt there will be more at Beijing. All this from a German Jew who escaped Hitler in 1939. Now that's what I can a legacy.

14 August, 2008

Urge to kill rising

I have had two shitty days at work in a row. Both were made worse by the fact that I work with some completely selfish, self centred, seemingly stupid cretins with poor time management skills coupled with a complete failure to prioritise and/or see what's going on just slightly out of their line of vision.

I won't go on about it (it'll give me a stroke) but all I will say is that when I say, "I need you now." it doesn't mean "o hai, I can has talk to you laters, k?" It means "Get your effing arse here right now!"

And now, some kitties.

more cat pictures

12 August, 2008

A perfect moment

I'm feeling quite flat this week. Nothing terrible has happened to me personally but there have been a couple of sad stories in the news and they made me think about the random nature of life. The first story makes me particularly sad as it happened a stones throw from my home. I walked past as the fireman were hosing the poor mans blood off the street. Misery is everywhere.

And yet. Misery might be there but there is happy stuff as well. After a particularly shitty day at work yesterday I was trying to think one perfect moment in time. And I found one.

Many years ago I was a staff nurse at a busy district general hospital in East London. When I say busy I mean busy. It had few redeeming features; it was set close to a remnant of Epping Forest and had a rather good chip shop close by. Entertainment was found at 999 parties and by watching the cows who found their way over the cattle grids and wandered aimlessly through the grounds. Anyway, it was extremely busy and we worked like carthorses. It was common for patients to leave us chocolates as thank you gifts but one week in the summer of 1989 we cared for a woman whose husband was a greengrocer. When she was discharged her husband gave us the most amazing amount of juicy strawberries. It wasn't just a couple of punnets, it was more like twenty. It was a beautiful summers day and for once it was quiet. My friend and I made a pot of tea and took some strawberries outside with a couple of rickety old chairs. We drank tea and ate strawberries. We laughed about nothing in particular. We sat back and felt the sun on our faces. It was a perfect moment.

How's that? It was probably 20 minutes in total and I can still remember it now. Tea, strawberries, sunshine and a good friend. Life has shitty moments and it has perfect ones. The key is not to let the former overrun the latter.

On to Olympicwatch. Team GB has two golds, one silver and one bronze. And this weeks Twat of the Week? This cretin. UK readers might be surprised to hear that Australians don't think the British wash. Clearly they never met my dear old grandfather, who would have said that cleanliness was next to Godliness. Well, he would have if he hadn't been the worlds biggest atheist. Sod off, Coates. I bet I smell better than you.

11 August, 2008

On a happier note......

I'm not too interested in the Olympics. The only thing I want to watch is the gymnastics, to be honest. But I live in sport obsessed Australia. I work with Australians, and there's not much more the Aussies love than winding up the English with sport related jibes. (the fact that we beat them in the Rugby World Cup in 2003 and the fact that we got to the finals again last year and they didn't is a thorn in their side but that's besides the point)

Anyhoo, I was in the tearoom today, having a well deserved cup of tea (two teabags because quite frankly the tea is like piss) and to my surprise the swimming was on the tv. I sat next to one of my favourite anaesthetists and began to ridicule the British swimming team. "We learn breaststroke at school, you know," I informed him. "We're not that good in the water. In fact, we haven't won anything since that bald bloke. What was his name?" "Not that fellow from Little Britain?" queried the doc. "I thought it was his mate who was the swimmer."

It sort of went a bit like that for a while and then the race began. And bugger me, we won! The British team won gold and bronze! I actually jumped out of my chair and did a little dance on the spot.

Congratulations, Rebecca Adlington! Our first female Olympic swimming champion in 48 years. And congratulations to her team mate Jo Jackson for getting bronze in the same race. You made your nation proud. And you made me eat my words.

Would you?

Now, look. I know it's a story from the Daily Mail. But really, what's the point of this one?

Melissa Bowmer was diagnosed with cancer and needed chemotherapy. By a cruel twist of fate, her four year old son was diagnosed with a different type of cancer only weeks later. Mrs Bowmer delayed commencing her own treatment to be able to sit at her sons bedside and help him through. The story reports that both mother and son are now free of the disease, although interestingly it states that Mrs Bowmer is still receiving chemo.

Is it just me? I mean, I know I'm not a mother or anything and I don't understand that maternal need to protect your child over everything else. But isn't it, oooh, I don't know, a teensy bit selfish of her to risk her own life? That's what she did. She delayed her own treatment to sit at her sons bedside. What the bloody hell was wrong with her husband? Are fathers so useless? Could her husband not have sat with their son?

There are two ways of looking at this story. The Mail version. Selfless mother. Risks own life to save son. Goes bald in solidarity with child. They all live happily ever after.

The other way to look at it? Woman not thinking straight, risks own life unnecessarily to provide care for son which could have come from the other parent. The story says that doctors warned Mrs Dowmer that a delay in treatment could be fatal. Who knows if her treatment will be successful? I know this sounds harsh but I bloody well hope she doesn't end up dead in a few years time because she delayed her treatment out of some misguided belief that she needed to be able to hold her sons hand.

No, I'm not speaking from my own personal experience. But I've seen it. I've seen young women die after putting things off.

Life is precious. We are here for all too short a time. Don't take risks with your health. If the doctor says you need treatment, guess what? You need treatment. NOW. Not when you think you need it.