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.