Surprise Tea

During the show Extended Play Stories – part of Fringeworld – I heard tell of something new.  Something delightful.  Something I immediately resolved to do.

I love a cup of tea and drink at least 2-3 cups a day.  I always have English Breakfast.  Twinings. Which I buy only when on special, in large quantities.  No milk.  No sugar.

English Breakfast Tea

So when the storyteller started telling us about Surprise Tea I was immediately intrigued.

Surprise Tea is when you’re asked “Do you want a cuppa?”  And you say “yes”.  And then they say “What kind?” You say “Surprise Tea”.

Sometimes people will say “How about English Breakfast?” and then you say… “No… it’s not a surprise anymore.” And you might pout a little.

Sometimes people get completely freaked out.  What will their choice say about what they think about you?  Will they reveal how little they know about you?  Or how much?

How delicious!

And then of course you can’t complain of their choice because of course, you asked to be surprised.

As Shona was telling her story I started to wonder how that would work at my place.  I really only have the one type of tea.

It won’t be a surprise to anyone to get English Breakfast.

So today I went out and bought some more teas.

tea collection

So go on.  I dare you.  I double dare you.

Ask me for Surprise Tea.

I’m ready.

Stress dreams

Do you ever have stress dreams?

Apparently a common one is not being able to find your locker/classroom at school which relates to feeling uncertain about your career… apparently.

I’ve worked in radio for a long time and usually my stress dream goes like this…

I get into the studio and I have to present a program and I have nothing to say.

No interview to go to.

There are no CDs in the system.

Our electronic playout system doesn’t work.

I just have to talk and I have nothing.

Well I had a new stress dream Saturday night. The night before our race.

I dreamed I couldn’t find my white singlet.

All I could find was a frilly white shirt. Clearly not very sporty.

Frilly white top

It was very stressful in the dream but in the cold light of day… a little tragic.

But I wonder what it means…

Why graffiti is so annoying and… powerful

Now I want to preface these remarks by saying that my thoughts on this subject have not been influenced by anything like a scientific study or even from a learned source of any kind, nay not even wikipedia.

I’ve noticed that when you are looking around in a landscape your eyes are naturally drawn to the written word.

It’s as if our eyes seek out letters and try and discern some meaning, to make sense of the world.

I first noticed this when I was pregnant.

You see I can read anywhere at anytime.

In a car, on a bus, on the back of a motorbike and I never get carsick.

Unless I’m with child.

(what a lovely phrase that is)

When I’m in the first trimester, reading even a word while travelling makes me feel nauseous.

In fact, that’s usually the first sign I’m up the duff.

And of course my eyes seemed to be drawn to every word in the landscape.

Street signs, billboards, graffiti.

Those days are over, but they did alert me to this phenomenon that as humans we seek to decode our world.

And words in the landscape act as captions for what we see.

Of course many of them don’t make sense, but it doesn’t stop our eyes finding them.

And that’s why I think graffiti is so annoying and powerful.

Simply because you can’t not see it.

Even when you try and ignore it, your eyes won’t let you.

Cottesloe in winter

A cold blustery morning at Cottesloe Beach
The beach has all but disappeared
And there is so much seaweed on the beach that remains.
Still the scenery isn’t all bad

I haven’t been down to Cottesloe in a while and I was surprised to see the beach all but gone.

I know it diminishes in the winter but I’ve never seen so much seaweed.
Still the walk down to the Naked Fig for breakfast was invigorating.
And the gale force wind pushed me back up the hill on my way home – bonus.
I had a chat to one of the trainers of the Hawthorn Football Club as well – who commented on the weather – I pointed out that even at its worst it’s warmer than Melbourne to which he agreed. 
The boys were walking a bit slowly (wonder why… 🙂 ) so we powered past them towards our coffee and some great service.
And I was glad I had decided against wearing my Dockers scarf.

A lament for lost opportunity

Oswal house, Peppermint Grove
Oswal house, Peppermint Grove
Oswal home now abandoned

The Taj Mahal on the Swan it was called, a family home for the now financially troubled Oswals, a potential tourism attraction,  gathering autumn leaves in the corners as it sits, abandoned.


A little over the top you might say.

For a family of four.

An appalling waste of money.


But there’s something inspiring about it too don’t you think?

I mean, to have such a vision, even if it isn’t to your taste…. to spend $70M on that dream.

One woman’s dream.

I love that.

I wouldn’t do it myself, but then I wouldn’t like making decisions on new taps let alone a whole house, let alone a mansion.

I love the fact that some people go there.

This is how the great houses of England were built.

How the Taj Mahal was built.

One man’s dream.

I’m kind of sad that maybe they have to sell it half done.

That we will never see the Taj Mahal on the Swan.

Mind you… we did see Prix d’Amour… and I’m not sure that was such a good thing.

What’s the betting the new owners knock our Taj over and divide up the blocks.


Perth Airport does something right

Perth Airport
Perth Airport
Photo thanks to M Munns

I’ve been known to slag off Perth Airport from time to time but on arrival last Monday I felt so welcomed that I have only praise.

I know.

I can’t quite believe it either.

I only took carry-on – which in itself is quite impressive for a four day weekend, plus conference, plus dinner dance – so I was able to waltz straight past the baggage retrieval thingys – what is the proper term for them anyway? – past the growing taxi rank – which is always ridiculous – and out to the general vicinity of where the shuttle collects you for the long term parking.

Except the shuttle was just leaving.

I made eye-contact with the driver and did that little moue of disappointment crossed with hopeful smile and gestures of where I need to stand to get a ride – you’ve seen me do it before I’m sure…it’s similar to the look I give at the bar when I finally get enough of your attention to order a crisp Sav Blanc or cheeky Pinot Noir… that look.

Anyway, instead of driving past me and off to the long term carpark, instead of pointing behind him, instead of ignoring me, the driver smiles… I kid you not… smiles, and pulls across the lane into the drop off zone and opens the door.

Off to the long term carpark love?

Thank you so much, I gush.

I turn on my phone to tweet my appreciation – still having a post-conference lovefest with twitter – and before I know it we are pulling into carpark A and I get out to pay the $62 bucks I owe for four days parking (short term would have cost $140 – which is outrageous) and I don’t have a credit card because I’ve had to cancel it again due to the number being on my daughters’ mobile that got lost over the weekend so I have to pay with wads of cash which fortunately I remember to get out of the bank while I was in Sydney.

Thank you I say sweetly to the kind driver and I make my way to the pay machine where a young girl in a high viz vest is smiling at me.

Hello, can I help you?

I’m struggling to find the ticket which I’m sure I’ve put somewhere safe in my wallet/mini-bag but of course it’s been four days and anything could have happened to it but eventually I find it and she puts it in the machine for me, and even though I’m perfectly capable of managing a pay machine as I am a grown up and tall enough to reach, it’s nice to be looked after.

Then she points to the bit where the money goes, and that’s good because I’m used to paying with credit cards which are SO much easier, and I only have a $100 bill because that’s what the bank gave me, but she assures me that the machine will accept such a big note and that I will get notes in change, which is also nice.

I get a cheery farewell and I’m off to my car patiently waiting in S row.

Now I didn’t really need a person helping me with the pay machine but I walked off feeling a bit special – it doesn’t take much.

I felt looked after.

And I’m sure it must be a pretty boring job but the girl was so cheery and sweet and made you feel as if it was her pleasure to be standing around a pay machine at 7.30 on a Monday night, as if there was nothing better she would want to be doing.

And that’s a skill.

So, Perth Airport people, please go and give the driver and the pay-machine girl at carpark A a pat on the back from me, they were great, and you can feel good about yourself too for employing them.

Well done.

The unofficial blood rule

Half time at the footy

The photo was taken at the Country Week semi-finals at Fremantle Oval on the coldest day Perth has had.

I was sitting in the stands next to a football player’s wife and she wryly made the observation that women never take to the field to stand around and listen to the coaches berate the players.

It’s not the done thing dahling.

And it was true!

Not a single person of the female persuasion walked onto the oval… well there was one small girl, aged about 5, but I’m sure the rule hadn’t been explained to her.

Or maybe she was allowed because she hadn’t reached puberty.

The unofficial “blood rule”.

It amused me.

I think it is all to do with male pride.

After all what man wants to be yelled at in front of their near and dear?

Not that their near and dear would do anything other but support them, no matter what the coach said.

I’d be more mortified to be yelled at in front of my mates.

Maybe it’s secret men’s business.

Now I AM curious!!!

What the hell is that?


So I flew up to Geraldton the other week and as I flew up the coast past our fair city I noticed what appeared to be – I don’t know – oil slicks? – emanating from the land.

Sewage slicks?

Freshwater creeks?

They were all along the coast but stopped once we got past civilisation.

Of course I snuck out my electronic camera and defying the chance that the navigation on the plane would go spastic and we’d end up in Bunbury – trusting, in fact, the pilots to LOOK OUT THE WINDOW and keep the coast on their right – I took a couple of snaps.

Quickly sliding my little instamatic behind a convenient cardie when the cabin crew walked past.

So what is your best guess?

I’m buggered if I know.

UPDATE:  Well you guys were rubbish at telling me what those lines were I must say!  Luckily at work today I ran across Professor Jorg Imberger who is the water guru of Perth, and he told me they are the result of Langmuir circulation. Vis a vis – it is wind my friends, wind.  Well you learn something every day.  I am, for one, happy to learn that they aren’t the result of pollution or anything nasty.

Coffee in Subiaco

Coffee in Subiaco

This Sunday we pootled over to Subiaco for a coffee in one of our favourite coffee shops – Brew Ha.

Truth be told we’d be tempted to move back to Subi because we just love the ambiance and well… the coffee.

Coffee table

We also popped in to see some family friends as Groover was being computer consultant and helping with their (ancient) laptops – yes, if your laptop is more than 6 years old, it’s ancient.

Coffee with Hamish

While the Groovy one was making cyber magic, I went for a walk to see what caught my eye.

Subiaco Hotel

Peeling posters

When we got home we decided we really should investigate why our aerial was leaning at such an odd angle.

Roof works

And we discovered that it was bolted to a rotten piece of wood.

So rotten I could put my finger through it.

Frankly I’m surprised it stayed up as long as it had.

But I’m a busy girl so I left my handyman to it and swanned off to Theatresports dahling where we had a great workshop and a much better night on stage.


And really.

Could the world be a bad place with this beauty in it?


Aerial by the way – now straight and true – thanks to Groover and Son Pty Ltd.