Toothpaste tale

toothpaste aisle in the supermarket

Today the question was asked of our group… how many brands of toothpaste can you name?

I managed 5… colgate, macleans, crest, oral-b and (this was a struggle despite the fact it’s the one I actually use!!!) sensodyne.

Apparently there are over 30 brands available in Australia.

Today picking up a few items at my local supermarket I thought I’d see how many were available.

Not over 30.

Not really surprising… you know how those big supermarkets limit your brand choice!

So here they are… colgate, macleans, oral-b, sensodyne, pro-namel (a sensodyne sub-brand), cedal, red seal, grants, white glo, pearl drops, store brand.

Still that’s 11.  And that doesn’t include crest.

12.

And there are a few sub-brands that we could include but those big brands (you know the ones) get enough airplay.

So if you’re ever asked the question… now you know.

Winter sun

Cottesloe Beach in Winter

Oh I know we need the rain but there is something glorious about Perth when the winter sun shines across a barely populated beach.

When the sky is bluer than a summer’s day, uncluttered by leaves and verdant green.

Sure it’s a bit chilly in the morning, but the light my friend, the light!

I went to a photography course today at work.

There’s also something delicious about voluntarily going into work when you’re on long service leave…

“What are you doing here?”

“I thought it was you but then I thought no… she’s on leave!”

The envious rueful smiles, the smug smiles of others knowing they have LSL sitting there waiting to be taken.

It was good to be back at work today, firstly to see old friends and secondly not to do any work!

The course was fun and distracting, about a subject I am passionate about.

I love taking photos, and learning how to take better ones makes me more enthusiastic.

It has also inspired me to add to my growing lists of “presents I will one day buy myself” – yes I need a camera with manual controls… just in case, you know, I might actually want to experiment with aperture and shutter speed.

In the meantime, me and my trusty point and click will concentrate on composition, leading lines and angles.

(taps nose in a knowing way)

Oh yes, I am a photographer now.

How I get to work

The last thing I do before leaving home every morning is fill my coffee cup for the drive to work.

I love my coffee machine.  If Groover and I ever split up I think custody of the coffee machine might be a contentious issue.

And today I’m back at work.

I’m not unhappy about it. It’s going to be 38C today and I get to sit in air-conditioning ALL day.

I’m wearing a dress I made over the Christmas break from material my friend and colleague gave me – she’s the one I did sewing lessons with.

It includes several of the features we did in sewing class – pockets, darts, set in sleeves, invisible zip, so I enjoyed putting those lessons into practice.

It’s a bit short though. I think I’m going to add a border to the base of it.

Photo will come soon.

It’s kind of nice being at work over the Christmas break – a relaxed pace and because everyone is on holidays – no annoying phone calls!

Oh and while I have you – check out these photos of my recent lunch with The Food Pornographer. She takes such delicious photos – mine were rubbish!

Yes of course you have to take photos of food when you’re with TFP!

Cheery Christmas

Yesterday Santa came to work to wish me a merry Christmas.

I had been a VERY good girl indeed and was given a bottle of Amberley Shiraz.

I felt like drinking it straight-away but that isn’t the behaviour of a very good girl is it?

*warning… rant ahead.

This Christmas has been stressful.  I find myself crying on the way to work for no good reason.  Well apart from the obvious ones. 

You know, working full time while trying to get the house and garden in some kind of order for Christmas day and do my Christmas shopping.

It would have all been a lot less stressful if I was an organised person and did all that preparation stuff weeks ago.

Of course no one else cares what the house and garden looks like so why I bother trying to get anyone else to help is beyond me.

So here’s my day yesterday.

Got up early to start work early enough to enable me to leave early to do some Christmas shopping.

Left at 3 and went shopping for table decorations, crackers and the like.

Got home at 6, put on a load of laundry and had dinner (cooked by Groover).

Cleaned up after dinner.

Folded 5 loads of washing. (washed in part by Dippity)

Spent two hours trimming and weeding and sweeping the jungle next to the pool.

Went to bed.

This morning I woke at six with a blinding headache.  Took two paracetomol.  Went to work.

And I’ve been crying all morning.

I can’t work out why.  I’m not normally this much of a mess.

And it’s pressure I am applying to myself. 

As I said, the rest of my family don’t care that the pool is a mess so why am I beating myself up about it.  Why add it to the impossibly long list of crap I have to do before Christmas?

Why not just cut myself a break?

I guess the fact is that I am not superhuman.  I can’t work full time and organise the house and dinner for 16 people, and go to our regular Christmas eve party and organise Christmas presents in three days.

It’s not like I’m even doing the cooking!  Groover is (apart from a salad) and we’re getting everyone to bring food.

So you know what?

I’m letting go trying to be perfect.  If presents aren’t bought, if there’s a big pile of clippings next to the pool, if the house is a tip, well… hey I’m human.

A normal, disorganised, but hopefully not teary person.

Merry Christmas.

PS:  Of course I won’t really let go.  I’ll beat myself up for being a bad mother, a lousy housekeeper, a lazy gardener, a stressed-out hostess and somehow, it will all come together.

Just book me in to the funny farm in January.

Not acting anymore

Isn’t it interesting that when you let go of something, the something happens!

I’ve been appointed to the job I’ve been doing for the last year (after acting for two years in a similar position the years before).

My boss wrote a lovely affirming email and sent it to my colleagues and today has been very pleasant getting lots of kind supportive emails congratulating me.

The thing is about a month ago I decided that I didn’t care anymore. 

The acting thing, which used to frustrate me, I turned around in my brain as my “get-out-of-jail-free” card. 

You know, if it all got too much I could say “I want to go back to my old job” and walk away.

I dropped the “acting” from my signature.  I figured that I was actually doing the job.  It had been over six months.

It’s not like you see the actors on stage whisper to the audience now and again – don’t worry I’m just acting – in a dramatic moment do you?

And then I was appointed.

It occurred to me that I did the same thing way back in 1992 when I was living with Groover in Subiaco.  (that’s where today’s photo comes in *wink*)

We’d been going out for a couple of years and it seemed to me that he was “the one” but as yet he had not raised the subject of marriage or future commitment.

Again, I decided to turn that into a positive.  My get-out-of-jail-free card again!

The next month he came back from a holiday with his mates and proposed.

A life lesson learned?

What else can I apply it do…

Behind every successful man…

I read/heard recently (now who said it – was it Gerry Ryan?) is a very surprised woman.

I love that line… but I digress.

At the moment in Redsultanaland we are going through a bit of change – Groover is leaving his last job to go into business with a mate.

Yes I do know there is a global financial crisis on at the moment. 🙂

He makes much of my support but what choice do I have?

Since the topic has been raised, I haven’t seen him so excited and I know that if he doesn’t run with this opportunity he will forever wonder – what if?

I don’t want to live with that!

And really what is the risk?

If it goes pear-shaped he’ll find another job and we’ll have to take a few more years to pay the mortgage.  

That’s not much to pay for a chance at happiness.

The other day on our daily walk he said to me:  I hadn’t realised how intoxicating it is to work for myself.  To realise that yes, I can make money for me, not my boss.  And once I did realise it, it feels like I have no choice but to grab this opportunity.

So yes I’ll say you’re welcome gracefully when he thanks me yet again for my support but darl,  I don’t have a choice either.  How could I say no to your enthusiasm. 🙂

And if you are successful, well, I won’t be surprised.

(and I will be asking for some time off!)

Surprise! I’m behind you…

I nearly wet my pants when I saw this guy outside my window!

He and a mate were cleaning the windows at work on these dinky little swing things – very athletically it must be said.

But I must say I did feel a little exposed.

btw – that little cone thing in the foreground is part of an Artopia exhibition we had in the foyer at work. Artopia was this great program where artists created installations in various workplaces in Perth. Unfortunately it has been discontinued. 🙁

A dress a day

I’ve come to a fashion decision.  

Well, it’s not so much a fashion decision as a clothes decision.  A practical, “Bloody hell! Nothing to wear again!” decision.

I’ve decided I’m going to give up on separates for work and instead buy five dresses which will end up being my uniform.

Okay five to start with.

I’ve already started – not with the dress pictured.

The other day I was flicking through the David Lawrence sales rack and came across a belted black dress marked down.

It fitted well and is perfect for work.

It washes easily and is a snap to iron.

I don’t have to match it with anything, and it looks smart.

I tend to wear it on Mondays.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays I stare gormlessly into my wardrobe and try and patch together something that looks okay.

The dress is so easy I reckon it’s the way to go.

However finding a source of perfect dresses is not proving as easy as I hoped, and then my colleague turns up yesterday in a dress I would have bought in a snap (from Cue) had I seen it first but of course now I can’t because we sit next to eachother and wearing the same dress would be naff.

Groan.

I’m a bit fussy.

First of all I have winter colouring so all those nasty shades of yellow and brown are OUT.

Secondly I prefer V necks on me.

Thirdly I like it to be fitted to the waist and reach to my knee – but not to go below it.

And finally – it can’t be too expensive.

These conditions do seem to knock out most of the stock I’ve seen in shops.

In fact it’s proving so problematical I’m thinking of making one myself.

(although Mum, you know it is my birthday on Monday…)

Have you seen anything out there?

Speaking of sitting next to someone in the same dress, years ago, when Groover worked in Sales and had a box at the Hopman Cup, I experienced this first hand.

The box was small and seated four.  

I was wearing a peacock blue fitted dress – a stunning dress – not a dress you could ignore – I felt thin and special in it (actually I was pretty thin at the time) and as I sat there – I watched this lady ascend the stairs to our grandstand.  She was wearing the same dress.

“Ha ha I joked to Groover, I hope she isn’t your guest.”

“No she’s not.”

“Oh phew… how embarrassing to have to sit here all afternoon wearing the same dress…”

“She’s his wife.”

At the first break I excused myself and drove home to change.  

Groover to this day, thought I was over-reacting.

The wife thanked me.

Has that ever happened to you?  What did you do?

First Job

My boy started his first job today.  Yes.  A proper job requiring a bank account, commitment and well… work.

He’s doing the paper round.  

He’s being paid 10 cents a paper and delivering about 130 papers.  He has 24 hours to deliver them.  So far he’s done half and spent nearly two hours doing it.

You do the math.  He’s not being paid much but he is being paid and not by me.

I’m so proud of him.

He’s still to work out the most efficient way of delivering papers.  At the moment he has a satchel which can only carry about ten papers – and he’s on his bike – so he has to continually come back and forth to the paper depot – read house – to stock up.

But I have confidence he will.

So what has brought on all this industriousness?

Well he has the opportunity to go on a trip with World Challenge, a trip which will cost $7,000.  That’s a lot of dough but fortunately (for us) the team at World Challenge believe that part of the challenge is to raise the money yourself – by working.

Oh and he wants to buy – and build – his own computer.

The paper round is a first step.

Can you remember your first job?  I worked in Dad’s office for my first job – photocopying in the library.  There was a tea lady who remembered what you liked to drink – in those days for me it was white tea with two sugars – and left a couple of biccies on your desk in the morning and in the afternoon.

Brilliant.

The other thing I remember is getting my pay in a little brown envelope – in cash – down to the cent.

It was SO satisfying.

I think kids miss out a bit on that these days with everything going electronically.

Mind you… it will be easier to save that $13!

Knobs on it!

Warning: Rant ahead.
What is it with young people these days?  Do none of them learn to drive properly?

Twice this year so far I’ve come up against people – both in their early 20s – who can’t drive the work car because they don’t know how to drive a manual.

When I was a young lass everyone learned manual gear changes.  

In fact, I’ve never owned anything other than a manual car.

Now I don’t know whether manual 4WD’s are better than automatic ones – possibly it makes no difference – but that’s not the point… 

It’s just laziness!

And it’s soooo irritating.  

Honestly it’s not that hard to learn – my 13-year-old can drive a manual car – and it means that you can drive any car.

It’s like never learning to ride a bike when you were young. What’s up with that?!  I did in fact meet someone who had to hire an enormous tricycle on Rottnest Island because they couldn’t ride a bicycle.  

Yes.  They did look like a big knob.

I’m over it.

Get with the program people and spend the time to learn how to drive manually.  Do us ALL a favour.

Jeez Louise!

And I can tie a proper Windsor knot too, but don’t get me started.