Thursday, April 22, 2010
This week only we have free cordial with a bendy straw!!! So what are you waiting for???
Come play on the wild side:
If you don't hurry up, we are going to start taking names and there will be detention. And yes, you WILL have to sit next to that kid that smell's like that musty drawer in the bedroom at your nanna's house.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Did I mention I was in Paris last week?
Go here for all the fabulosity:
PS Time to update your subscription, poppets… I know, I know, you hate change – but believe me – change is good – chocolate is also good… and wine too… and Italian leather boots – and cashmere….also partial to the odd lobster feast….mmmm warm donuts…
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
So tell your friends. Tell your grandma. Lulu doesn't live here, anymore.
If you are looking for me - I will be at the bar, drink in hand, but not eating the bar nuts... they are scary.
See you soon:
I don't get it.
Have I fallen into some weird matrix, is somebody playing mind games with me?
I dont' get it.
Now I don't know if I should stay here - or move over to the new house at WordPress -
What do you think?
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Now I am just irritated – damn comments!
Changed out Blogger comments for Disqus – but everyone complained it was too slow to load.
Removed Disqus – but Blogger didn’t come back.
Put Disqus back on – Then it was loading TWICE.
Removed Disqus again and spent the better part of a day trying to repair blogger… nothing, nada, zip.
So now I have tried IntenseDebate. If this doesn’t work – I am giving up and moving the blog someplace else… typepad I think.
Oh, and by the way…
I am running away and heading south for the weekend. Miss Eight and I are going on a road trip. Of course, this morning I woke up and the weather has gone from dry and blue skies to rain, ice, gray… and apparently snow down south.
Think I will go and hang out with Frau Beimer, she will make me a nice fried egg.
Have a good one – want me to bring back a souvenir?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I don’t know what got into me… really. It was like I was possessed by a mad woman – nope, just looked in the mirror – that mad woman is me.
“I need to buy a phone. Just a phone. Nothing else. Don’t need it to be able to make tea or walk the dog. Just a phone.”
He got it. But the look on his face showed that he was not happy. The ultimate crap customer, the ones that take all the fun out of his job. I saw him size me up and find me wanting.
But who was he to talk, I ask you. Get this picture:
Metrosexual male, complete with at least an hour of hair styling in the morning. Oddly complicated facial hair – seemingly shaved by Picasso. A large thumb ring, a brown three-piece suit with coordinating shirt. Flashing bright blue eyes. There was no doubting he thought himself a pretty hot bit of stuff.
When he realised I was never going to fall for his charms, he resentfully pulled out the cheap & nasty phone and requested my credentials.
“Oh, an Australian passport – I have never seen one of those before.” Sure… everybody says that. “How long have you been in Germany?
I mumble something along the lines of a year or so.
“But your German is so perfect!”
“Yeah, well it is an easy language, I picked it up on a weekend course.” He was too afraid to ask if I was kidding.
“I could have had an American passport..” he boasted.
Oh yeah.. like how? Was your father born in America?
“Well not exactly…” he is shuffling a bit, and I have the feeling I had just asked him if he had changed his underwear that day.
“He was born in a country at the same time America was retreating.” His exact words (translated of course)
Hmmm… let me think about that for a minute…where could your father have been born? Berlin perhaps?
I decided not to torture the poor guy any further… bid him a ‘good day’, snapped up my phone and left, mouth agape, dazed and confused.
No fancy blue passport for you my friend!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Journalists are slaves to fashion. I mean it. Every now and again they find a word that seems to set the tone for the world around them and before you know, they are all using it.
This week, the word is --- oligarch
Everywhere a I go, every paper I read, there is an article using this word. Up until today, I thought it meant this:
“Rich Russians that made a bucket load of money in the collapse of Communism, thus allowing them to now buy up all the Louis Vuitton on the entire planet.”
They need all those bags, for when they take over every resort town known to man kind, accompanied by *wink wink* Supermodels wearing mink coats over their bikinis.
Apparently oligarch can be used in other forms, as referring to a business tycoon, but in my mind it is set.
This morning I was wondering how I could fit it into casual conversation – you know, Word of The Week style, like in the 5th grade:
“Oh hi!, how have you been? I see you have an oligarch in your pocket.” Nah… that won’t work
“Have you met my fiancé? He is an oligarch.” (Only if he intends to keep his future mother-in-law in a way she could easily become accustomed to!)
At the hairdressers -- “Could you please give me a oligarch do?”
Come on, help me out here! When was the last time you used oligarch in a sentence? And seriously, does ANYONE really know how to pronounce this word? I know how it sounds in my head, but then I was 37 before I realised there was a difference between the pronunciation of the words TOMB & TOME…
Monday, March 8, 2010
When I am feeling a little ‘ornery, one of my favourite pastimes is to torture small children. I tell, they ask for it!
Play Dates (what a stupid name, who came up with that!) are big with the 8-year-old set. They fly thick and fast throughout the school week, and considering that twice a week the kids are out of school at 11:30am…that makes for plenty of time to make me nuts when I can no longer avoid my obligation to reciprocate.
But revenge is sweet and best served up by a strange mother speaking a foreign language.
One child in particular likes to show me she thinks she is the boss. We have had a couple of Wild West Style, Mexican stand-offs that would make a lesser mortals toenails fall out. An example? Sure, how about the time I baked delicious Oatmeal Cookies and sent them along to a group meeting. When I arrived at the end to collect the my midget, Little Miss Bossy looked me right in the eye, bit into the cookie and then proceeded to act as if I had given her rat-bait-laced-arsenic. In front of ALL the other mothers she spat out the offending cookie and proclaimed it ‘the worst thing she had ever tasted!’ Game On Biiiaaatch!
Today she sat at my kitchen table, having come home with Miss Eight. After lunch they were to do their homework before they could cut loose and play
pagan blood sacrifice barbie/nintendo– and Little Miss Bossy was having a hell of a time with her Math. “Can’t you help me?” she begged. “Can’t you do it for me?” Miss Eight rolled her eyes and stifled a laugh – she knew full well what the answer was going to be.
“Well what would be the good in that? I have already passed the 3rd grade – you haven’t” she knew we were having a power struggle...and she was sizing up the competition. “Its up to you honey… if you don’t want to do, then don’t do it. What would your mother say?” And here is the corker – her mother makes me look like Carol Brady (I would have said June Cleaver, but she didn’t have a maid). Miss Bossy’s mother scares the pants off everyone, and I have noticed her child keeps a healthy respect (and distance) should there be any ‘smart-mouthing’ goin’ down.
“Oh my mother wouldn’t care, she would just tell me I could do it later…” with all the nonchalance of a professional card shark, down to his underwear in Vegas.
“Um by the way, what is your home phone number again?” I have wandered over with the phone in my hand. “Why? Why do you want to know?” Her face is suddenly flushed and there is fear in her eyes. I have you now, my pretty.
“Because I am worried you are going to squeal!” Her exact words – I kid you not. (of course she said it in German)
Oh little one, when will you learn you can’t compete with the master. That time you played with Miss Eight and decided to see what would happen if you tried out all my lipsticks – then didn’t roll them down before putting the cap on… did I squeal? Noooooooo, where I live, we save up juicy facts like that for a rainy day. I will just add it to your tab.
You may call me Mrs Fields… next time, eat the damn cookie!
Ps: Photo is from Coraline – if you haven’t seen it, go watch. The 5 girls I took to the movies thought it was the scariest movie EVER (including my own), but I personally think it should be required viewing for all Eight Year olds ;)
Made a point of getting a good night sleep. Tucked myself into bed at 9:30pm, only to spend most of the night dreaming I was one of Justine Timberlake’s groupies. In my dream I didn’t want Justin to think I was ‘just like the others’ so I played hard to get…now where did THAT come from, I ask you?
Being ripped from a dream by a wakeup alarm is never good…but I had decided to try and pull myself out of my slump. Jump in the shower, wash that misery right out of my hair. Then I did something stupid. I know, I have done other stupid things, but this was really stupid. I stood on the bathroom scales. Misery has added 2 kilo Aaaaaggghhhhh! I have been comfort eating. Funny how we think those tidbits eaten in the cool light of the refrigerator door don’t count.
Determined not to let it get to me, I shook out my freshly washed hair and bravely tried to copy the style I had when I returned home from the salon not so long ago. Styling hair is not one of my strong suits… I ended up looking like this:
Yes… REALLY like that, sans the purple tint and the glasses. It was not a good look. Vigorous brushing didn’t help and I finally gave up, what the hell! Life goes on. I can go though life with weird granny hair, a spare tyre and STILL think that Justin Timberlake has eyes ONLY for me.
Then it was off to investigate a store I had seen in a catalogue, one of the million or so that are shoved through the post box each week. The photos displayed a promise of stylish clothing at a somewhat reasonable price. LIARS! that is all I can say…LIARS! Nothing in that store lived up to any of the pictures in the catalogue. Most of the pants had elastic waists and even with my 2 extra kilo, I am not going down that path yet. The whole place had a vague scent of Eau de Sweat Shop about it… I did try on one pair of pants… but the mirror seemed to take my 2 extra kilo and make me look like something should not be seen in daylight. Not pretty.
There was nothing for it but to head home. On the way back to the car, I thought about the salad I was going to make myself for lunch and the long hike I had planned for this afternoon. Then, from behind a counter, this jumped out and into my mouth:
Resistance is futile…. abandon ship. LuLu and children first.
PS Scary thing is… this is a true story.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
"Remember: no matter where you go, there you are."
It is all I ever wanted.
For the first 20 years of my life I was tossed from pillar to post. New house, new schools… nothing permanent.
Then I met Mr Dear Husband. He comes from OLD stock.. not that he is old, but grew up in a house where his mother was born. Where everybody on the street knows everybody. Where 80 year olds meet up regularly with the friends they met in pre-school. His childhood bedroom, a shrine left untouched since the day he went out into the big, wide world. It was the fantasy I had always dreamed about.
But for the past 20 years, that feeling of ‘home’ has always just been out of reach, no matter how hard I stretched.
Eight months ago, life changed – we ‘settled down’. This was supposed to be it, the one, our time. I thought all my dreams had come true. Excited by the idea of building a life where I would never again have to send out ‘change of address’ letters.
So here I sit. Sunday afternoon. A beautiful, cold, crisp day. Loathing in my heart. I can’t explain it. It is all so ordered – I don’t know how to live without the chaos. It is the insanity that makes me feel alive. This perfect world does not fit. It is that gorgeous dress you saw in the store window, but when you tried it on, it looked like a sack of potatoes.
Am I willing to take one for the team? Is this what the wives in the 50’s went through? Miss Eight is happy – happier than I have ever seen her. Mr Dear Husband seems happy.
I am not equipped for the game. I am playing golf with a tennis racquet. Everyone can see it, yet, no one is brave enough to say anything. Lost.
It is a titanic struggle of epic proportions.
Winter V’s Spring V’s Winter…
Just when you think it is safe to go outdoors without a St Bernard at your side… BOOM! It’s back.
But Oh So beautiful:
The yellow flowers appeared overnight last week. One after another we all noticed, each of us saying the same thing “Oh look at the yellow flowers in the garden!”
And now they all have little ermine stoles, like white blankets tucking them in.
Friday, March 5, 2010
…is it, that when I open the cupboard above the stove, the one thing that happens to fall out is a pack of toothpicks that isn’t closed?
…does it happen when I am racing to get a meal ready for the about to arrive Out-laws?
…do I then spend the next couple of minutes picking up 200 tiny pieces of wood off the floor, and stuffing them back into a container that seems to be a distant relative of Dr Who’s Tardis. They came out of that container, so they must fit back in…right?
…do I then notice that my kitchen floor is in desperate need of a good scrubbing?
…at the end of lunch, on all days, having never before given it a second thought, does the Father Out-law ask for a toothpick!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I love reading tabloids. The highlight of a trip to the hairdresser – unlimited tabloid magazines.
Perhaps I will alienate my more high-brow mates, but there is something so delicious about tabloid journalism. Pretty sure I wouldn’t want to be the object of their affection, lord knows I have enough problems getting out of the house without looking like an unmade bed.
Today, this cover caught my eye:
“Why is Angelina turning Shiloh into a boy? Come on guys… gimme a break! Most mothers will get a laugh from this.
When Miss Eight was Miss Three, she accompanied me on a quick trip from Australia to Germany. Somewhere between Singapore and Frankfurt we picked up some stowaways. A collection of imaginary friends. All had names that was some derivative of ‘Rebecca’. There were seven of them in total. This caused many problems when it came to fitting them all in the car. We had to extend the dining table so they call all have a place, and Opa developed a fear of his own sofa after being reamed out for sitting on one of the ‘friends’. This lasted for several months, all of them came back to Australia with us, until they were eventually retired one by one.
When Miss Eight was Miss Four, she changed her name. Within a week she had everyone calling her Emma. We don’t know anybody called Emma, we don’t know where she heard it, but she was Emma. If you called her Miss Eight, she wouldn’t respond, there was no budging her. This too passed after a few months.
When Miss Eight was Miss Eight (this was yesterday) she woke up and announced that she would like to wear all black to school. HUH? My little Strawberry Shortcake snookems has turned into a bad-assed-gangsta-rap chick. As luck would have it, I happened to come across a black hoodie at Aldi, two sizes too big. She loved it. Today she has toddled off to school looking like she just fell out of a 50 Cent video. As a friend asked me today, “When did eight year olds become the new teenagers?”
Seems to me, that Angelina is just going through the same phases that we all do. Besides, I think that little Shiloh looks like she is a real character.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I’ll set the scene for you:
The Outlaws are about to celebrate their Golden wedding anniversary, and have kindly invited their nearest and dearest (and me) to join them for a lush weekend at a hotel. I pretty much had my bag packed before they had finished saying the words ‘Spa facilities’.
It was planned with military precision. Everyone knew that the Saturday night festivities would begin with a visit to the local catholic church. Traditional in these parts. The Mother-Outlaw had arranged it all so that the priest knew we were coming.
Now, here is were the story went a little awry. This hotel is situated in a small town, 45 minutes drive from the nearest Autobahn, and that is really extreme for Germany. We gussied ourselves up in preparation for the feast after church, slapped on some lipsticks, straightened ties and all looked about as glamorous as it was possible to be (even me).
There was a little hitch when we arrived at the church and found it surrounded by mountains of snow, somewhat of a challenge when you are wearing 6-inch heels, but overcome nonetheless.
The Mother-Outlaw swanned in first. Her full length mink coat pulled snugly up around her ears. This is a determined woman. Without missing a beat, she marched directly to the first pew and sat down. We followed in her wake.
As the church started to fill up, it became obvious that there was a problem. People shuffled past us, peering at us with as much discretion as they could muster. We stood out like sore thumbs. People were bundled up in their snow/work gear. Boots were the order of the day. Flashing diamonds and fur coats were not often seen in these here parts. Turns out we were sitting in the pew usually occupied by the children receiving their first communion lessons.
As we were leaving, my sister-in-law turned to me, we looked at each other and shouted “Dynasty!” The rest of the evening was spent laughing and both wanting to be Linda Evans. Lord knows I would probably be more suited to the role played by Joan Collins, but Linda was so pretty.
I bet we were the talk of the town for the next week.
Monday, March 1, 2010
The phone rings again. (Just like in the last post… get with the program people)
“I can’t get home. There are no trains, no planes… no escape. I am going to have to live at the airport like Tom Hanks.” He is snivelling a bit.. I can hear it.
“Well I will just come get your cute butt then, won’t I!” I am good like that… a problem solver. “Stay where you are, I will be there in a hour and a half – give or take a couple of stops for snacks and such.
Now, under normal circumstances, this would have been no problem, but yesterday, Hurricane Xynthia hit land and blew it all to hell. It was chaos.
“Mama, will you please stop saying that!” She is protesting after I have shouted at the top of my lungs for the 27th time - "Sit tight Daddy, we are comin’ to getcha!'” She also mentioned something about hearing them say on the radio that the Airport was closed to all traffic. I just ignored that bit. I was on a rescue mission – I was going to save my man.
After we had circled the airport FOUR times, I had to admit that Miss Eight was correct. The airport WAS closed… there was no way in. I was being held back from my mission by a mere 2.2km according to ‘Lisa’ our resident know-it-all or TomTom as it said on the box.
What to do? What to do? I know, let’s stop for snacks. A pee would be good around now. Thank goodness for German Service Stations. As we were perusing the selection of fine bottled waters, I could see the airport reflected in the fridge door. I paid the guy behind the counter five bucks to use his mobile phone (because I don’t have one…. I know, only person on the planet without a mobile phone… get over it)
“Um honey, not sure if you know this, but you are locked in. That airport finds you so darn cute, they have decided to keep you! Ok, I know this isn’t funny… and as I have just ordered a low-fat mocchacino, do you think you could jump in a taxi and come to me?”
Sometimes, I scare myself with my own genius.
Once I had all my chicks back under my wing, we headed home. I was starting to come down from my ‘Indiana Jones’ high (or maybe that was the 3 double mocchacinos I drank at the petrol station) – and the full impact of the storm called Xynthia started to hit home. Trees down everywhere, all trains, planes and automobiles cancelled. Massive pileup on the other side of the Autobahn (the side that Miss Eight and I had skipped through a mere hour earlier). It was not pretty.
Nothing like a little rescue mission to get the blood pumping.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
The phone rings.
“Hi honey, just wanted to let you know that the plane is delayed and I am going to be about an hour late. I will give you a call when I am on the train.”
Pretty considerate really, it is blowing up a storm outside and I am not looking forward to the drive to the train station to collect him.
“Ok, so where exactly are you now?” He is calling from his mobile phone, so I am guessing he has landed already and need to calculate how long I have before I need to pick him up.
“I am sitting somewhere around the middle of the plane.”
…Cue the crickets chirp, chirp, chirp…chirp, chirp…
Not quite the answer I was looking for.
“Psychiatry enables us to correct our faults by confessing our parents' shortcomings.” Laurence J. Peter
“You are supposed to be singing!” I have said this in that weird stage whisper that seems the only way I can talk when I am in a church.
“But you are not singing, so why should I?” I love that my youngest progeny is so forthright in her opinions, except, when she turns them on me. Then I have to remind myself that it is not ok to eat your own offspring.
At the front of the church are the contingency of women that make up the Choir. I can see their mouths moving, but there doesn’t seem to be any noise. It is like they are behind a wall of soundproof glass. I notice a tiny, fluffy white dog that is just outside the door… It is rolling around on the ground in obvious agony. Its paws are clamped firmly over its ears and there is a look of torture on its face.
“I can’t sing this high.” Miss Eight gives me that quick flick look that could wither steel.
I would like to be able to sing through the top of my head like the other mothers, but it is not going to happen anytime soon. The last time I tried, a whole flock of birds dropped out of the sky, stone cold dead.
So I revert to what I do best in the parenting department.
“Well it is your First Communion we are practicing for, not mine. Nobody is going to be looking at me in the church!”
She rolled her eyes a little and slid further down the pew…away from me.
I continued to open and close my mouth… but not a sound came out.
Probably for the best.
Friday, February 26, 2010
I am not homesick. Really. Seriously, I mean it… hey stop doing that thing with your eyebrows, it makes you look like Joan Crawford. I just want to see water. And if you knew me better, you would know that I just said something that does not compute.
I don’t like sand. Never have, never will. It gets into places it has no right to be.
I don’t like blazing sun. Or sunburn.
I don’t like the combination of sand & sunscreen.
I don’t like the looooooooooong, hooooooooooot walk from the car to the beach, over the dunes… where the sand is too soft to wear shoes, but is hot enough to grill the soles of your feet to a nice Medium Rare.
I don’t like it when the wind picks up on the beach and your legs are attacked by a million tiny little fencing swords of sand.
I don’t like the crunch of sand between the lettuce of my sandwich. Or the grittiness between my teeth from a swallow of warm, flat mineral water.
I don’t like the walk back to the car, where everything is filled with sand, every crevice, every nook and cranny. Each grain delighted at the idea that it can now take a ride in my car, where it will stay for months until someone (that would be me) managed to spend 3 hours with a vacuum cleaner.
And of course, there is the car. Having sat in the blazing sun for several hours, it is now at roasting temperature. The steering wheel is so hot that you spend the next 20 minutes driving with your fingers dancing around, barely touching, and wishing the damn A/C would finally kick in.
When you grow up with the Pacific Ocean no further away than a 20 minute car ride, you learn to take it for granted in the same way that the people do that work in the Lindt Chocolate factory don’t want to eat chocolate anymore… well perhaps they do, but I can dream.
Recently I realised that I am landlocked. In fact I am not even sure how long it would take me to drive to see a huge expansive water, complete with pounding surf. I stare at this picture on the wall, every time I sit at the computer, and for all the things I dislike about the beach… walking at sunset is not among them.
I feel the need, the need for sea.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Quietly sipping tea with my companions, the conversation turns to ailments, in particular, aging. A litany of conditions hit the table, each person exclaiming their own more painful than the next. Germans over a certain age take great pride in giving out each and every detail of their diminishing youth/health.
Of course, I need to stake my claim as well:
“Well, it is possible I have a little arthritis in my right thumb. It does seem to be affected by the weather, and my grandmother had arthritis in her fingers.” I hold up the offending digit for inspection.
The woman sitting beside me, leans over, pokes my thumb (which I now have sticking up as if I am planning to hitchhike my way across the table), then leans back in her chair with a satisfying sigh.
“Then again,” she says, “it could be Gout.”
We found a stowaway.
It wasn’t until we arrived in Bad Marienberg (we are in Germany, people) that we discovered a creature of the green and fluffy persuasion in our luggage. He immediately hopped out and made himself at home (on my side of the bed):
What Blogger the frog didn’t figure on, was that this particular hotel is smack-bang in the middle of a WildPark… i.e that means full of frog-eating-animals. Things got a little hairy around the donkey, who quite frankly thought we were sending him some tasty afternoon tea.
And really didn’t improve when Blogger the frog decided it was time to give the Alpaca a big kiss. Who knew that those guys with the gorgeous eyelashes could be so snotty!
There was an unfortunate incident with an ostrich, which left Blogger the frog feeling less than loved. Anyone that made reference to ‘lunch’ would be shot a dirty look that could have cut glass:
After so much adventure, Blogger the Frog found himself a nice cosy spot to chill out… “Hey! Where did everybody go? Hmm sort of quiet here… and a little spooky… seriously, a lot of trees… can you say ‘Witch from Hansel & Gretel?’ … after all, we are in Deepest Darkest German Forest here…
It was all too much for Blogger the frog, so following Lulu’s lead… he headed for the closest watering hole, and enjoyed a long, cold Bier (Beer), some sauerkraut and a tasty pork knuckle…with his new best friend!
To find out where else he has been and request a visit from him, please visit Jamie over at Mommy's Camera she will be more than happy to get the message to Blogger. You can also find Blogger on Jamie's Community on the BlogFrog You can also see a map here of all the places that Blogger has been, and I will be checking that map out to see where he is going after he leaves here.
Friday, February 19, 2010
“But officer! His head just ran into that cast iron frying pan… twice… it was a terrible accident!”
I had a bit of a
breakdown breakthrough last night. It began around the time I was putting my un-manicured hands into the third load of dishwater in the past eight hours. It festered as I carried the fourth load of washing from the cellar, up two flights of stairs. It bubbled when I went into the bathroom and discovered combination shaving cream/toothpaste decorating the double sinks.
There was a gradual slow simmer… it almost escaped into a full blown rice-boiling-over episode around lunch time. But finally could no longer be contained at 7:08pm.
“Hi, honey. What’s for dinner?” It’s not like I expect him to ask about my day…
“It’s not ready yet… it will take another five minutes or so.” I know this because I just checked the oven 11 seconds ago.
Cue – kitchen cupboards being opened and closed, packets being rustled, cutlery drawers slamming… refrigerator door…
“What are you doing?” I haven’t actually dared to enter the kitchen, but I am pretty sure I know what the answer will be.
“Just getting a little snack.”
“But I just told you that dinner will be ready in (checking my watch) four minutes.”
“I know, but I am hungry.”
And I blew… Mt Vesuvius has got nothin’ on this kid.
The rant went on long after the first eruption.
Everyone showed the whites of their eyes…
And the response? How does the male of the species see the world, I hear you ask?
“Has it ever happened that I haven’t eaten everything you have ever cooked?