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