Christmas with the family


Two sleeps before Christmas. Before the hoards arrive. Bearing gifts and wine and food and Christmas cheer. Three sleeps and it’s over.

This year, 25 for dinner.

Which, Groover constantly reminds me, is a lot.

But it doesn’t seem that many to me.

Not many more than the 18 or so we had last year… And we had a great time.

Anyway, everyone is pitching in with food and drink… So really it’s no more effort than having say 12…

I know it will be a bit squeezy.

But we have air-conditioning and a pool so really, we’ll cope with the 39 degree day.

It’s going to be evening and some of the 25 are really quite small.

I think maybe I was a Bedouin in a former life.

I love this hanging out in a big “tent” with all my extended family.

My favourite holidays have been where we’ve shared houses… Christmas 2007, parent’s 40th anniversary 2005 and even Bali last year with friends. (Part of our unofficial extended family also coming on Tuesday night)

Bring it on I say!

I’d invite you too but I think Groover would freak out. Freak out more…

I hope your Christmas is full of happy chaos and unexpected joy.

Retail therapy


A friend of mine had to go to the specialist today to find out about her prognosis post surgery.

The fact that she’d had to have the surgery in the first place sucked.

That she was going through this sucked.

And I knew, even though the news was expected to be okay, that just having to go sucked as well.

Love the purple underside

Anyway I got the news on my way home that the news was good. Best possible outcome.


Thank goodness.

And then I teared up.

I realised I’d been holding my breath all day.

It started raining on my way home and I ducked into my favourite shoe shop hoping that the rain would pass.

There in the window were these beauties.

Half price.

My size.

Last pair.

And size 40 is never the last pair.

I bought them.


And because a last pair in my size is a sign my friend.

In October when I see my friend I will wear them and pop a bottle of Very Expensive Champagne.

Just saying.



Me:  I bought some shoes today.  You’ll hate them.

Groover:  Really? [looks in box]  I like the colour.


Merry Christmas

Happy Christmas

So this is Christmas.

This year I am assured of at least getting gifts from my son and my daughter.

This is because I have bought them.

Interestingly I was commenting to the young folk at the surf shop that my son had failed to buy me a birthday present this year and they all agreed that they never bought their mothers’ presents.

What kind of generation is this?


It’s not that I want them to buy me anything.

A voucher for maybe a foot massage done by them would be nice.

It really is the thought*.

Is that too much to ask?

They are sweet kids really.

Last night we watched a video together and it was lovely.

I’m just glad they they are here, healthy and whole.

Perhaps their “presence” is enough.

*Note to kids:  you do actually have to translate that thought into action. 🙂

Back to Fremantle

The scene at the Sail and Anchor in Fremantle on a Sunday afternoon
Just metres from where I met Groover back in 1990
Across the road at The Monk, Groover indulges in an Octoberfest beer
While I sample a cheeky pinot noir

Our 18th wedding anniversary saw us head to Fremantle to celebrate.

We started at the Sail and Anchor where I have to say I was disappointed with the beer list… none of my favourites on it.

I ended up with a midi of Redback, Groover had an IPL which he was very happy with.

The table needed a good wipedown.

Luckily the company was good and the atmosphere convivial.

After the beer we went for a walk around the town.

It was Sunday afternoon busy and we wandered in and out of the shops along High St all the way down to the Roundhouse where we saw a bridal party right near the spot where we first kissed all those years ago in 1990.

The Whalers’ Tunnel is now closed but that night in January it was open and we explored it together in the balmy heat of an Australian summer.

After our walk we decided that Tapas at The Monk was the way to go.

They do THE BEST pork belly and scallops and they chop the squid up like french fries and serve it with a Thai dressing that is to die for.

We sat outside on the not-so-high stools and sampled the beer and a cheeky pinot noir that went down as easily as something that goes down really easily…

But Groover was craving another IPL so back to the Sail and Anchor we went for another round.

No pinot on the menu either so I settled for a Sav Blanc.

Sigh… such hardship.

Eighteen years is a long time and there have been times when it seemed impossible that we would be here together.

But here we are, Groover cleaning the pool, me about to sew a dress… the picture of domestic harmony.

Oh and the kids?

Banned from their computers.

Maybe not so harmonious after all.


The philosophy of weeding

Sunlight through winter trees
Sunlight through winter trees
Sunlight through winter trees

On Wednesday, the weather was clear and bright.

The bluest of skies, the sun glinting through the trees.

I spent the day gardening.

Weeding can be therapeutic, don’t you think?

Firstly the physical act of pulling out a plant is satisfying.

It’s like you are removing all the imperfections of your own life.

Take that unpaid bills!

Poor game of bridge!

Annoying kids!

Nagging husband!

Fat thighs!

Then it is so good to look at the garden bed, smooth and perfect at the end.

Of course, as the garden bed becomes more and more perfect, you become less so.

Dirt marks your face and streaks your clothes, your nails fill with mud and crack, your knees start to ache and your back protests.

It makes me think that whenever I see perfection, I’m really looking at hard work.

That somewhere, like The Picture of Dorian Gray, there is a dirty, unkempt, maybe injured person – the agent of the perfection before you.

Nothing’s perfect.

And perhaps the most perfect looking things are the least perfect of all.

Even now, when I look at my newly weeded garden beds I can see the stubborn shoots of the odd weed poking their way out to taunt me.

I think I will let them grow.

For now.

Maybe life shouldn’t be perfect.

To blog or not to blog

This is a photo of me driving Groover's car.  I look a bit stunned but that's because it's at night and the flash is bright.

This photo is of me driving home after a dinner party.

I submit it as evidence that I take my turn as skipper.

Anyway at dinner the other night, my host was recounting a conversation we’d had the day before.

He said – I was wondering if you asked the question to get fodder for your blog… this guy hangs around comedians a lot and sometimes he’s sure they are not making conversation – just testing out material.

I wasn’t fishing I swear but now that I think about that conversation again I think it is blog-worthy.

So the question I asked was “how soon in a relationship do you offer constructive criticism to your lover?”

The answer from the third party to this conversation was not what we expected.

And actually, thinking about that answer… I think you had to be there.

Sorry to wuss out on you.

But I think the question is an interesting one.

Maybe it depends on how much you like the person you are with.

The more you like them, the more you are willing to work on making the relationship work.

Otherwise surely you would just lie back and think of England and then not return their phone calls.

Of course by offering your (let’s not call it criticism) feedback, there is a risk that you might offend the one you like.

My take is you have to get this part of your relationship right or it has no future… right?

But you don’t need to be mean about it.

So my conclusion… be vocal – from the beginning – but with kindness.

And that means if your partner is not telling you what they like or don’t like – maybe you need to worry!

Your thoughts?

Why I love gmail video chat

I was a bit grumpy the other day at work.

I had just discovered Skype (I know I know… slow adopter) and wanted to get it on my work laptop so that I could communicate with my near and dear while spending weeks on the road and also because I can see it would be a useful tool for my work.

Anyway IT were a bit wary and fair enough, it’s their network.

As luck would have it I was given a webcam and headset and a nifty little set it is too as this laptop is a pretty basic model.

So the other night I plugged it all in and decided to try gmail video chat.

And guess what?

It actually worked!

And it was easy, and I didn’t need a special program.

Okay the quality isn’t as good as Skype but it’s good enough and I’m stoked.

So Google – thank you. 

You have met my needs once again and I’m not above given credit where credit is due.

Best friends

When I was in grade 6 my best friend was a Scorpio like me, she was born in Canada like me, we liked the same boys and she taught me how to riffle shuffle.

In recent years we’ve lost touch but then my parents met her in a cafe down south and got her number.

I called her and tonight we caught up – it must be at least six years since we’ve talked.

She is just the same.

Her laugh took me back to those days at school where we’d play endless rounds of elastics.

And to her house where she had a pool and a trampoline.

I loved her house.

Her parents were cool.

They took us along to gambling parties with huge jars of one cent coins.

One night we made these wild candle lantern things by dropping hot candle wax in water… or at least that’s my vague recollection.

It was so nice to see her again that we’ve made a pact to catch up properly next time I’m in town.

I can’t wait.

Oh my goodness… the hair!


How gorgeous is the hair? And she is only 4 months old.

My babies were bald bald bald.

And now for the proud grandparents…



And my mum:


The baby is the new daughter of my friend K who lives in Hong Kong – soon to move to Dubai.

We grew up together.

Every year our families had Christmas Dinner together and the tradition continues.