Saturday, December 31, 2005
(me at the billabong)
New Years Eve. 'Lets make it memorable' I said to Dave.
Me and my big mouth!!
We decided to drive up into the hills surrounding Perth. Real aussie bush where we could quite as easily stumble across a bob tailed lizard as a 'fair dinkum' aussie tavern. We found the River Avon and decided on a walk to rid ourselves of hangovers (I finished nights and attacked the vino with vigour last night- sorrys to Hazel, Paul and Shaz). We strolled (for energetic walking was soo not on the menu today) along for half an hour or so, following the river as it meandered lazily around the ancient Aborginal hunting sites. Because it's summer, the river ended abruptly at some half arsed rapids. Further on was a dried up river bed littered with rocks leading to a billabong. It looked like one of those desert inspired oasis hallucinations. The billabong was writhing with fish and dragonflies were flitting all over the place as if they were in a hurry to find a mate and make use of the sunshine (anyone who knows me will know about my near-on obsession with dragonflies).
(bob tailed lizard)
So far, so perfect...
By the end of our 'stroll' my stomach was growling like a very angry crocodile. I insisted on Dave driving to the nearest town so we could eat some greasy burgers and wash them down with emu bitter. Halfway to civilisation the engine started to overheat.
We idled on for another fifteen kilometres to the nearest garage (we were lucky that the nearest town was so close to us) and pulled over. Dave grabbed a towel from the back seat, opened the bonnet and threw the towel over it. Me being me, had to get out to oversee the proceedings. As I peered into the engine from a 'safe' distance of two metres away the radiator tank literally exploded like a volcano and started to spurt boiling hot water everywhere. In my hurry to get away, my hungover feet tripped over themselves and threw me to the ground. I planted my face into the aussie dirt face first and showered myself in engine lava!
I was covered in red mud and every graze had a bit of Australia ingrained in its raw edges. The worst indignity was the perfect bosom shaped mud print on my tshirt (it actually made my boobs look quite perky in a dust-dirty way!). Thank god for long hair and country folk who couldn't give a shit at what you look like!
After we had exhausted the three shops of Toodyay (pronounced Toojay) we returned to the car to discover that the engine was still overheating. The only thing to do was to admit defeat and call the RAC. Luckily they were there within an hour (so unlike the UK, I remember waiting two hours when I was only twenty minutes from civilisation) but unluckily the head gasket might have exploded (I dunno, I wasn't listening. Again!)
So that's when found ourselves at six pm this evening being towed the 100 Kilometres back to Perth by a guy with a remote control for his back platform on the truck. (Surely any mans idea of a dream truck?)
(raspberry margaritas. If you look closely you can see the 'wife-beaten eye'!)
Thank god we hadn't made any firm plans for hogmany. Dave and I will spend our new year drinking frozen raspberry margaritas and crossing our fingers for 2006!
Monday, December 26, 2005
So that was Christmas in Australia. So different that it just didn't feel like Christmas.
For starters it didn't smell right. Christmas is supposed to smell of pine needles from the tree mixed with the heady smoke of wood burning on the open fire. The perfume of spicy cinnamon against the icy crisp winter air. My Christmas smelled of warm ocean breezes and the scent of the frangipanis dancing amongst the succulent aroma of the lobster roasting on the barbeque.
Christmas should sound of harsh bitter winds battering at your door whilst you are sheltering inside and toasting your toes in front of the fire. There should be the songs of Robins not Rosea parrots. And there should never be the sounds of children giggling and splashing around in back yard pools.
However as much as I wanted to write the whole day off as feeling 'wrong', it felt spectacularly good. Christmas should be a time to celebrate in the sunshine. You should sip champagne with wild hibiscus flowers floating in the glass. You should feel the warm breeze play with your hair and be able to relax in a hammock in the garden and let the bird songs entertain you. And there should definitely be a barbeque.
I think the aussies have it right!
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Yesterday we went to Kings Park to watch a movie. As I've said before, Kings Park is a area of bushland in the heart of the city. Every summer they have open air cinemas there.
Dave and I turned up armed with a couple of bottles of wine, sushi and a picnic blanket. Luckily for us they were hiring beanbag chaise longues so we didn't have to sit on the grass for two hours. It meant we could relax, recline and sip wine in comfort and style!
The movie started at dusk allowing nature to dim the lights (it really does feel like someone does switch the lights off because it gets dark so quickly) and very soon we were entertained by the creations that are Wallace and Gromit.
Everyone should watch a film under the stars whilst drinking local sauvignon blanc at least once. It's the only way I shall be doing it from now on!
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I have just endured my first study day in Oz. Luckily it is always sunny here so when the speakers dried up we headed outside to roll up the legs of our jeans to schedule in some skin frying time.
Our topic? Resus (yawn). As a nurse I have had to endure countless study days on when to bounce on someone's chest and when to just shout in the patients ear..
'MR HIGGINBOTTOM, YOU'VE HAD A BIT OF A FAINT AND PEED YOURSELF. I'M JUST GOING TO CLEAN YOU UP.'
Lucky for me this was one of those ER moments.
They let us play with the defib!!!!!
Was so excited that I almost forgot to act nonchalant at the back of the class passing notes and chewing gum!
The thought of screaming 'CLEAR' as three thousand doctors, nurses, anaesthetists, porters, relatives and nosy patients from the next room jump back from the pulseless patient in fear, was almost too much for my frail Hitler alter-ego.
The result? I can now not only jump on someone's chest to bring them back to life, I can shock them with the defibrillator then inject adrenaline, atropine and lignocaine into their feeble hearts to jump start it and then truly save someone's life!
The only thing that I'm still very disappointed at is that we don't rub the defibs together to get an electric charge! (Old school movie madness apparently!)
PS The photo? I tried obtaining a suitable pic from google image by typing in resus. This was pic number three! Couldn't help myself, isn't she fab?
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Australia has gone mad for the Hoffmeister. It could be his swoony warbling songs. It could be the red speedos. Hell I think it could even be the talking car (it worked on me as an eight year old giggling girly). However I think his sexiest feature has to be the chest rug!
So imagine my delight when I stumbled across this game?
Friday, December 16, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
So back to the various Daves then.....
I think I have the best one.
Take this guy.......
....no take him please. Why the hitler tache? Why the centre parting? Does he work in a supermarket with that polo shirt? God he looks like the guy that comes in second for the 'aisle manager of the month' after Kenneth the 'Fruit and Veg manager' (but only because he knows how to squeeze avocados in the 'right' way)
Surely not a Dave? But he's Balti Barmy! And how does he get his hair to stand up like that?
......and he's a ganger!
Well this is more like it. Obviously a man of authority. Why else for the faux cloud background? You can almost hear/see him blinking with frustration when some chick approaches asking what to do about her StickyKeys dilemma.
Now this is more like the Davo I know. Good beer. At home. No drunken bums trying to swap a bottle of half drunk bourbon for a keg of bitter!
Well obviously cool.......................? Check out my teacosy and tucked in tshirt.
Understatedly cool. He has a banjo for god's sake!
But, there is nothing like the real thing!
Hands off, you bee-hutches!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
"Thuggery, loutish behaviour, smashing peoples' property, intimidating people - all of those things are breaches of the law and I don't think the actions should be given some kind of special ... status because they occur against the background of this or that" John Howard
Um, but the attacks were racially motivated. The riots of Sydneys southern beaches have been about one thing. Beating the living crap out of anyone who looks Middle Eastern. So how can Johnny-Boy try and pretend that it is anything other than racist?
There have been a couple of reports on this side of the country too. A Middle Eastern family were terrorised in their home by eleven white aussie men vandalising their property and shouting racist comments at them.
John Howard is sitting in the corner somewhere with his eyes squeezed tightly shut and his fingers in his ears singing 'la la la, I'm not listening'.
Am ashamed to be living here at this moment in time.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Is your purse seriously lacking in in anything other than ten pence pieces, half a juicy fruit chewing gum and bits of old tissue?
Is other people's happiness sending you further into psychotic thoughts of murdering the newsagent guy just for being so bloody jolly all the time?
Well then let our favourite superhero knead your aching muscles and offer some tea and crumpets in the form of the worlds most popular game... JesusDressUp!
Friday, December 09, 2005
We had spent many an afternoon together. Me in my furry parka drinking wine and reading Glamour mag, him draped in a towel so I wouldn't get the cold breeze up through its mesh lining. I even donned my bikini four whole times in the last three years and tried to sunbathe.
Obviously no sunscreen was required!
One summer afternoon I had neglected to click the legs into position and somehow managed to trap my pinky in the struts causing me to flip backwards over the lounger leaving me with my bikini top around my waist and my bum in the air. I was in pain and I couldn't move. I heard the neighbours washing their car and deliberated for a few seconds on whether to call for help!
On the one hand I was trapped and the pain was getting worse as the metal bit into the flesh on my finger. I couldn't move for the position it had flipped me into and so I needed someone to save me.
On the other hand I was topless and waving my gelatinous derriere in the air. Hardly my most attractive side!
What did I do? Obvious really, I whimpered for about a minute then risking the metal amputating my finger I tried to roll onto it and off the other side! There was no way I was calling for help. Would rather lose a finger than risk people seeing me in that compromising position!
Luckily for me it worked and I escaped with bruised finger and ego only. So when it came to buying a new one I was sure I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice! I had seen a lovely sturdy one with non collapsable legs and deemed it perfect for my requirements. I carried it to the check out, handed over my pennies and left the shop.
This is where I ran into problems. I opened every door of my sizable car and tried to fit the lounger in. I tried every conceivable entry and even tried putting the seats down to create a large area from the boot to the front seats.
It was still too bloody big!
After twenty minutes of playing tetris with the flipping thing and having to bat off advances from manly blokes who thought that they could do better I did what every grown up, independent woman does.
...I called my boyfriend to come and rescue me!!
A modern day knight in shining armour is a scruffy bloke with bungy ropes in the boot!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
And so it is over. There is nothing else to look forward too. Am not sure when Grohly will frequent these shores again. And I didn't even get a cuddle!
We started the day at a friends house where he ensured that our digestive tracts were suitably greased up with sausages, bacon and eggs all done on the barbie (we are in Oz now). We drank bubbly and pysched ourselves up for the long day ahead. Unfortunately the concert was being held on the other side of the city which was why we found ourselves packed onto a bus like sheep waiting for overseas transportation. Except I'm pretty sure that they don't pack teenage girl sheep with mobile phones onto those trucks! I swear that if we had to have stayed on that bus for another hour and a half I would have ripped my own ears off to get away from their inane chatter and shrieks when they received a text from a spotty skinned boy lust bucket!
When we got to the stadium Dave and I very quickly found the VIP area. There we were greeted like royalty and given presents and smiles. Our goodie bag contained:
- One tote bag with the Enid Blyton Uni logo and a trendy little mesh pocket and paper insert on it big enough to write your name and address just in case you drink too much and find yourself lying in the middle of a field not knowing who you are!
- One bottle of mineral water (I gave mine away. Pah, water? At a festival? Indeed)
- One bottle of red bull (for the arduously long journey home in the wee hours)
- One packet of mint lifesavers (polos) (just in case you get lucky?)
- One stubby holder with the line up on it (a circular piece of wet suit to keep your drink cool and your hands free from frost bite)
- Tokens for two free drinks
- One lovely pink wristband displaying 'Rock It-VIP' on it!
The VIP area was a grassy knoll at the back of the stadium where you could chill out on the sofas or lounge on the grass. We had our own bar so we didn't have to queue for forty minutes with the rest of the lubbers and our own toilets with real running water, flushes, handsoap, toilet paper in abundance and full length mirrors. At two pm some rather lovely young ladies came round with turkey and cranberry rolls, chicken and avocado rolls, smoked salmon and cream cheese pinwheels and mini quiches. At six pm they came around again with party pies, tempura prawns, vol-au-vents and spinach and ricotta pastries. This is how festivals should all be!
I checked the boyfriend into the VIP cloak room and went off to find the other guys from work. Unfortunately we couldn't get into the mosh pit due to all the twelve year olds who couldn't get into the bar area. They had taken up residence at the front and were all sitting down and not even watching the events. The Kaiser Chiefs absolutely stole the show for me. The lead singer Ricky was fabulous. After one poor man-child got kicked out of the event for crowd surfing Ricky dived into the crowd himself and managed to surf and sing at the same time. Marvellous feat. I usually try a bit of surfing at these gigs but with my crowd surfing partner (Paul) absent I was unable to get near the stage.
I think Paul and I have crowd surfed every time we have been to a festival together. One year he even got invited up onto the stage by a member of Happy Mondays but the bouncer refused to let him get up there and dragged him off stage right.
It was a lovely day and I can't wait for the next one in February. I just wish the Scooby gang could be here as well. There is nothing like going to a festival with your best mates and making fools of yourselves.
Monday, December 05, 2005
1. Natalie needs... your votes for ecode library weekly countdown broadcast
(but how did they know that? Everyone vote for me or else I may slip off the top twenty ecode library book list)
2. Natalie needs... a nightie
(bah, they've caught up with me at last. Is it really time to stop wearing my ex boyfriends tshirt to bed?)
3. Natalie needs... good thoughts
(Honest I've been trying)
4. Natalie needs... therapy
(I thought that was what the gin and tonic was?)
5. Natalie has... special needs
(Am always being told how special I am)
6. Natalie needs... to lighten up
(Right then I guess it's time to quit my job and flit off into the sunset?)
7. Natalie needs... Arthur
(only if Arthur is one of my very rich weak hearted patients)
8. Natalie needs... a little work
(someone, quick, loan me some money for some liposuction)
9. Natalie needs... wide open spaces
(have you seen me dance?)
10. Natalie needs... to help herself!
(very good advice and I usually do)
Stunningly accurate. Right then, your turn!
Friday, December 02, 2005
- It's our ward Christmas party next Saturday. Now in previous years the christmas party has been very child orientated with the sprogs of staff members running around someones house and the whole affair being of nice lazy afternoon type feel.
Not this year.
I want to make cocktails! Have persuaded another girl to join me in corrupting the guys from my ward. We are going to make a sign for our 'bar' and we will have an assortment of cocktail umbrellas, sparklers and swizzle sticks alongside the cocktail shaker, blender and bowls of frozen or inebriated fruit!
So I need ideas from you all. I do have a cocktail manual but we are trying to make as many different cocktails from as few ingredients as possible!
Ideas so far:
- Tequila Sunrise
- Margaritas with frozen raspberries
- Sex on the beach
- Pimms with fresh mint and strawberries
- Champagne with brandy soaked strawberries
- Tropical bellinis (guava juice instead of peach)
Thursday, December 01, 2005
- 1. Dave Grohl is a respected and intelligent musician. Not a teenage heart throb who needs to be screamed at when close to!
- 2. Wearing of eyeliner at a Kaiser Chiefs gig is not frowned upon but positively encouraged.
- 3. When crowd surfing, one must ensure that a, shoelaces are tied in double bows and secure to feet, b, you develop a rapport with fellow moshers therefore allowing you free passage and relative safety when being transported to the front of the crowd and c, a distressed look appears on ones face before reaching the bouncers and therefore discouraging them to grunt at you about crowd surfing not being nice behaviour or worse, threatening eviction of concert.
- Also extra points will be awarded for those people who crowd surf in original ways ie, in an old tin bath tub whilst holding a loofah aloft or sat on an inflatable armchair waving the remote control at the crowd!
- If per chance a camera swipes in your direction it is only considered reasonable behaviour to flash boobies or bra if boobies/bra in good working condition. No chewing gum grey undies on display please.
- Words to well known songs should be committed to memory prior to said event. Words to obscure 'die-hard fan' songs should also be memorised if you are wanting the respect of the crowd and/or band (you never know, they may catch sight of you and allow you your chance to sing alongside them)
- Learn to play at least four chords proficiently on the guitar. Believe me this may come in handy. I watched once, as a young girl took to the stage with Green Day and she played those four chords so well throughout the song that Billie Joe rewarded her with his beloved guitar!
- Start learning to tolerate warm beer (am not sure about this one. Does this just happen in the UK?) or learn to smuggle boxes of wine down your pants a la Jim CunningLinguist (above).
- Think about what you will say if you come face to face with your treasured rock star. Instead of screaming and slurring 'I love you, I used to have a poster of you on my wall and I would kiss it every night'. Say something profound and appear non-fazed at colliding with a shiny star.
- Uttering such insanities as 'I dunno, I mean The Foofs are alright and everything but I would much prefer to see Hiliary Duff in concert' will earn you a discerning sneer from the bouncers as they kick your lily-suger-coated-pop arse out of the event. Keep such thoughts for your psychiatrist.
- If invited to sit on the knee of Dave Grohl whilst he serenades you, it is considered polite behaviour to comment on how shiny and soft his beard is.
- Try and aviod the temptation of getting thoroughly shit-faced on warm alco-pops. You will want to remember the whole of day, not just the bands who can only play in time if someone is clapping the rhythm in the wings ( ie those who are playing at eleven thirty am)!
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Alas November has ended, the time when the hunk-o-spunks try and grow and tease their bum fluffy upper lips into discernable 'taches. Alas, because at the end of 'Movember' the lithe, nubile young boys have to shave off their creations in aid of charity.
Yes November is certainly the month of the moustache. I have spent countless days fawning over some forty year old waiter with a magnum-esque tache or giggled girlishly at the bravery of the twenty year old who was only able to cultivate the 'hitler' in the somewhat absence of the testosterone hormone!
We have to remember that this is all in aid of a prostate cancer charity and it amazes me that the UK hasn't taken up this opportunity to impress their local lasses with their impressive handlebars or curly spiv's!
So come on fellas, don a tache, collect some charity money and go visit your GP for a 'once over up your bum'!
(God I still love Magnum... as Jim once told me, 'once you have a man with chest hair, a nudie chest is so not fair!)
Friday, November 25, 2005
As I roared over the crest of the hill I was trying to overtake a road train (very long truck with trailers galore) and something caught my eye. A little man was crouched down behind a tree with something in his hand. As I approached he pounced out from behind the tree waving something which looked like a big black shiny gun in his hand. I went from sleepy singalongs to bewilderment to terror before recognising the gun was in fact a speed camera. The bulb flashed, blinded me temporarily and I clocked my spedo at 72 km/h.
Two k's over the speed limit! Bloody nazis.
In the UK I have only ever been caught speeding once and that was when I was overtaking a lamborghini in my peugeot 106. The police must have had such a laugh over it that they 'let me off' (officially a technical difficulty with the admin). That day I was clocked doing 94 miles an hour.
I wouldn't have minded but this is the third time I've been flashed in the last four weeks! Am destined to not hold onto my licence for much longer at this rate!
Thursday, November 24, 2005
This morning I opened my cupboard to fish out a bowl for my cereal and lying in the middle of the bowl with his legs in the air and tongue hanging out of the side of his ugly mouth was a dead cockroach!
The house is once again amidst a fog of bug-killer!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
....or maybe not!
The mini-festival is showcasing The Foofs (see above), Kaiser Chiefs, Oasis and many local Rrrrooock bands.
Am so exicted am nearly peeing myself with anticipation. I haven't been like this since Paul and I went to see Polly Jean last year in Cambridge.
Whats more is that Dave has managed to get us VIP tickets. His brother in law runs another stadium in Perth and they give each other VIP tickets as a friendly gesture. He has no interest in the many tattoos of Davey and his friends so he has given his tickets to us.
Am thinking that VIP means sitting on Dave Grohls lap whilst stroking his beard and interviewing him for position of pool boy in our mansion when it gets completed (sorry Spunky but you've just had too long to forward me your CV so Grohly wins!) Will probably drink one too many complimentary pimms and slip off his lap making Dave G save me from falling at his feet but unable to save himself from falling in love with me (I know, he's married. I can dream though). Of course it helps that my boys name is Dave too. It means I won't get caught mixing up their names! Dave M need never know about my elopement with the Grohl-meister.
However in reality, 'VIP tickets' probably just means that we can go through to another cordoned off area where there is another tiny bar and an extra toilet. I will be hanging out with executives, competition winners and fifteen year old girls who have sneaked in through the back thinking that it is an actual VIP Rock Star area!
...now I just have to figure out just what to wear. It's becoming unbearably hot here. Do you think it's in poor taste to shave my heid and turn up in a bikini?
Monday, November 21, 2005
I want to move to Turkmenistan. The president there is a dude and totally 'gets' what people need from a country these days.
Not only has this self-proclaimed life long dictator banned lip-synching he has banned beards and gold capped teeth.
Where was Tony Blair or John Howard when these decisions were being made? Surely they are relevant to Oz and Blighty also?
I have lived my whole life to live in a country where Girls Aloud could get a jail sentence for miming the words to their latest dross song. And the end to chav-tastic rapper gold teeth? Well, just slap my arse and sign me up!
Although I do have a certain weakness for a nice beard, especially when they tickle!! Maybe Oz can keep me for a wee while longer!
Thursday, November 17, 2005
A massive wave at Denmark. The power of the ocean was unbelievable. The photo does not do it justice. The swell was at least twenty feet!
Greens pool (where you get the sharks but not in the bay bit!!). You can just see the tops of the waves crashing over the huge rocks that surround the bay. They act as a breakwater and so by the time the waves roll in and onto the beach they have been reduced to gently lapping at the sand!
The magnificent Gloucester Tree. Sixty metres tall. It was originally used for bush fire spotting. The idea being a fit young fellow would climb the tree and locate where in the forest a fire was wreaking havoc.
...If it was up to me though, the fire would have burned its way through the entire forest before I had got to the top of the tree! There are no safety ropes or guides to ensure we don't fall to our death. The tree just has metal rods inserted into the tree which climb upwards in a spiral. Some parts of the climb are vertical and some parts you have to navigate around branches and 'bouncy' rods (so not safe!)
Dave and me at the top looking very scared! Its a long way down. On the way up we had to pass a couple who were climbing down. It took much dangling by one foot to shimmy our way past them. The ladder became very cosy for a few minutes whilst we played a version of twister on the tree!
Weren't we brave?
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
This little old man gave us bird seed to feed the parrots with. He was a ranger in the National Park until his MS worsened forcing him to retire. He now spends most days in the park giving people the opportunity to feed the birds and experience them first hand.
I love little old men!!
Davo's new best friend. All he needs now is a wooden leg.
My greedy little buggers.
A la mode!
The red one is a rosella and the green one is a 28. When I asked Dave why they were called 28's he replied 'Because that's what you shoot them with'!
I hope he was joking!
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
32 degrees today!
I went to the beach to try and shake off the final remants of my Scottish Tan. My legs are starting to regain a non-death colour at last! However it's just highlighting the flourescence of my other white bits! I could guide people through the darkness with my luminous white boobs!
My local beach is Leighton Beach. Immaculate white sands, just enough surf to have fun in and the most turqouise waters I have ever seen. As I laid my day-glo pink towel out on the sand I had an overwhelming feeling to tear off my tshirt and jump into the water. To hell with the sharks and jellyfish. The water was so refreshing and clear it made my nerves disappear almost immediately. I can't remember when I started to get scared of the water. Maybe It wasn't until the shark stories began to circulate (however I've always been irrationally afeard of seaweed!?). Anyway I am now realising that the sharks are the fashion police of the sea. The last few attacks have all been on people with either a; buck teeth and a non retro eighties fashion sense or b; a beer gut and a comb-over (I mean, who could possible think that a comb-over will stop people from noticing a baldy heid?)
Well I'm almost conquering my fear of the water now. After a few minutes of trying to body surf the waves and rolling around like a mermaid I remembered how much of a water baby I used to be and I bathed in that glorious feeling that only swimming in the great unknown can give you. In my area of the beach there wasn't a soul to be seen except for an old hippy surfer dude in his sixties sporting a ZZ Top-esque beard. After a few minutes of not catching any waves he started paddling away from me. Well I think it was to do with the lack of surf. It could have been that he was a little scared of the squealing coming from the born again mermaid ten metres up the beach. I realise that I would have looked less 'mental' if I was swimming with someone but according to Aussies it's still spring and therefore far too chilly to go swimming still! So alas I had to experience this alone.
I made sure that I didn't stray into the midnight blue areas of the sea and stuck with the clear 'see all the way to the bottom' turqouise bits. Maybe next time I'll swim further. Or maybe not!! When I had exhausted every squeal and giggle I tried to exit the Indian Ocean in a bond girl manner but probably looked more like a shipwrecked survivor clambouring onto the sands in a 'one more step before I collapse' way! I fell onto my towel and started to sunbake.
There is a typical Western Australia joke which goes along the lines of when you get off the plane in Perth each passenger receives fifty complimentary flies which shall be their companion throughout their stay in WA. I hadn't believed it until today!
Every time I lay still for a second, twenty tiny flies and bugs descended on me like a fat kid on a cup cake. I ended up looking like an epileptic convulsing each time I could feel the pitter patter of teeny fly feet on my skin. I looked around me at the other people on the beach. They were all lying motionless and dignified looking. Maybe it was just me. Did I smell? Did I now stink of fish guts after bathing in the lavatory of the sea-world? It was enough to give myself a complex. I eventually tried ignoring them and it worked a little. Next time though I shall be taking a super-size can of Raid with me to the beach. Lets see then who thinks they are the tough flies!
I spent a couple of hours reading and listening to the waves crashing onto the bleached sands before packing up my stuff to leave. I didn't want to outstay my welcome and end up looking like a Brit Abroad with lobster shoulders and white strap marks. I'm an Aussie now remember! The sand being soft and silky beforehand had now turned molten and was not only burning my feet but sucking them down deeper into the beach with each step. This prolonged the agony of the walk across the beach back to my car and by the time the beach eventually let me go I was sporting third degree burns to my legs up to my ankles! Next time I'll wear flippers across the steaming sands.
However there is nothing like the slightly scorched feeling of your newly freckled skin and the smell of coconut from the sunscreen to make you think you are on holiday. It once again reminded me of how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity to live in this paradise.
It's flipping marvellous here and I now have the not so hard task to try and tempt you over to taste the Aussie delights yourself. Anyone need a holiday?
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Well it's time to regale you with stories of my fabulous holiday. Grab your bikini and sit down!
Australia, how do I love thee? Let me count the waves.
We spent five days down in the south west of Western Australia. It's country known for its turquoise waters, fine wineries and flipping big trees. Dave and I experienced them all. In fact by the end of the holiday the owner of the chalets pouted that she hadn't even laid eyes on us, her lost sheep guests!
I took that as a sign that we didn't squander any precious time of the holiday.
In fact Renata stated that she was upset because she hadn't even presented us with our 'magic tickle sticks' due to us being 'out of town' every time she went down to meet us! The tickle sticks were for us to make wishes with. Mine was a golden wand with a gold star with sequins stuck on it. Dave's was a long stick with two ruby red feathers jutting out at jaunty angles. The only diference between our wands powers were that I had three wishes where as Dave only had one..... and he had to promise to do the dusting afterwards!!
I'll let you into a secret. When it comes to wishes you only need the one. If you wish to be completely happy then there is no need to wish for money, power, love etc because if you are completely happy then everything else will just fall into place. And if you don't get the rich husband, who cares, you're happy so you can't complain!!
Anyway after greeting us with a freshly baked loaf of bread, we were bombarded with instructions on how to use the microwave (as if we would need that!), barbeque (with gas bottles that I had to lug from the cage around the corner whilst wearing my flowery pj's), wood burning fire (it gets cold in the country at night) and hot tub (my faaave). After a couple minutes of gorging on the still warm bread we decided that enough was enough.... the wine would probably be cold enough to drink. Well if we added a couple of ice cubes to the glass anyway! Dave turned on the hot tub to a balmy 40 degrees and we hopped in.
I spent every morning and evening in that hot tub. I drank many a glass of chilled local wine and read 'The Time Travellers Wife' in there. And I only got the corner of the book wet twice! The hot tub overlooks the lake as you can see from the picture. Dave spent his time trying to catch the sneaky clever fish in the lake. They have been trained so well that they are accomplished in the art of removing the bait without hooking themselves on the big pointy metal thing running through the bait! I silently cheered on the fish. We also canoed around the lake trying to search for the swamp monster but catching tagglefish instead (roots of trees!).
Bliss is a hot tub and a glass of wine!
Friday, November 11, 2005
I knew I moved here for a reason!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
- kangaroos spotted: 36
- parrots fed: 6,320,000
- seconds I had phone reception: 12
- trees climbed: 1 (bloody big tree though)
- days I couldn't walk for aching btm muscles after aforementioned tree climb: 2
- hot-tubs taken: 8
- snakes seen: 2 (although one was dead and the other was dying....well if they will insist on crossing a busy road!!)
- roadkill: 4 (one snake, one echidnea, one possum, one kangaroo)
- bottles of wine drunk: 15 (we had no telly!)
- books read in the hot tub: 1 (The Time Travellers Wife- thanks Hazel for the tip)
- photos taken: 83 (watch out for I shall probably post them in the next few days)
- canoe trips around the lake: 2
- fish caught: 0
- fish that got away: 4
- cockroaches fed to the ducks: 1
- kilometres travelled: 2100
- winerys visited: 2
- different ways to describe a sample of wine which all tasted very similar: 6 (woody, smooth, fruity, depth, light and accented....not sure we pulled it off!)
- oceans visited: 2 (southern and indian)
All in all it was a very busy but relaxing holiday! I'll tell you all about it tomorrow!
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Friday, November 04, 2005
This weekend dave and I are going to this place. We haven't had a break since we got here (yes, I know that the whole of my life is one big holiday now that I'm living in paradise) and I'm gagging for a weekend away to explore the country that I'm now living in.
The place we're going to is called Donnelly Lakes and is set on (wait for it..) Donnelly Lake! It's located in the deepest darkest depths of South West Australia where the giant tingle trees grow and the kangaroos roam free.
Our chalet is romantically situated on the lakeside and no where near any other chalet thus ensuring complete privacy. In reality, the only reason Dave and I'll need privacy is for when we get hideously drunk on pink champagne and dance around the verandah singing Cold Chisel at two in the morning! We do have a hot tub on the verandah overlooking the lake so I can sip bubbly whilst bathing in bubbly. Also we will have our very own canoe tied to the verandah stilts for our use. The lake is stocked with trout so Dave will probably sit in the middle of the lake all day fishing. He'll love this as I won't be able to come over and annoy him when he's contemplating the theory of life or whatever fishermen do in the middle of trout lakes!
One of patients has put 'the willies' up me by stating that Pemberton was a lovely place....
'Really beautiful....just watch out for the flies this time of year.'
'Oh and make sure you have mossie repellent. They can get you through your jeans you know!'
'And the snakes will be coming out by about now too. I've seen some that are three metres long. Tiger snakes, duguits and big black ones'
'Though I'm sure you won't be bothered by them. They'll probably be more scared of you and will try and run away. Unless they are running in your direction of course'
'Is there a hospital near there? They should have anti-venom in little country hospitals I guess. It's a long way back to Perth though so be careful.'
'There's a nice beach close by too. Just mind to swim in the inshore bit cos there's hundreds of sharks around!'
Am feeling very confident now!
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Yesterday it was the Melbourne Cup. 'The race that stops a nation'.
I forgot to watch it. I was too busy hoovering!
Horse racing is a big thing over here. I've only ever been to the races in Australia. Never in Blighty. Oh well, I guess the weather is a big part of that reason. There is no flipping way I would stand in the driving rain acquiring frost-bitten toes watching some pony trot around a muddy field. But if you mention a day of sunshine, beer and winning big bucks then I'm in!
The first horse I bet on I won. I chose him not because of it's immaculate breeding or shiny coat but because it was called Chaka Khan. Thinking of Chaka always takes me back to the night Ali, Nicky, Nat and I saw Chaka in Ibiza. She was fabulous and was singing her little heart out on stage wearing one of those all in one lacy body stockings! Tres eighties! Such good memories. Anyway I won eight bucks betting on chaka and there began my 'Natalie Code of Winning'
- Always scan the names of the horses and if one jumps out immediately then pick it.
- If no names jump out then go to the mounting paddock and look at the jockeys and their legs. My theory is the jockey with the shortest legs will always do best as they have less distance from hip to knee to bob up and down meaning their rythm will be quicker thus spurring the horse on faster!
- If legs and names don't cut it then always fall back on the jockey wearing the gaudiest colours. It'll blind and distract the naturally fashion concious horses into keeping a distance between them and the gaudy (none of us like to stand next to someone wearing fluorescent pink and green do we?)
Anyway I applied the rules to the Melbourne Cup and I came up with 'Makybe Diva'. I liked the name and was determined to bet on it. Until I found out that he had won the past two years. Thats not fair so I withdrew my support from the diva.
Big mistake, huge!
The diva won for the third year running making history and wheelbarrows full of money. Always, always go for your first instinct!
Every workplace has a sweepstake and the papers print out a double page poster to enable workplaces to sit around for half an hour to watch the race, critique the fashions (truck loads of feathers this year. Would have liked to have seen all the ladies five hours later when they were rolling drunk and inadvertantly tickling passers-by with their hiccupping feathers!) and gorge themselves silly on chocolate cake. The public are trying to force the government to proclaim Melbourne Cup day as another bank holiday so people don't have to go into work! Genius.
For our sweepstake I picked eyepopper out of the bag. He lost! My winning streak is probably over.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
A photo-story rather like those that graced Mizz magazine back in the 80's, demonstrating the delicate intracacies of 'Politics Down-Under'
Meet our star crossed lovers:
John Howard (leader of the Liberal Party)
Kim Beazley (leader of the Labor party). For Aussie purposes please turn everything you know about politics on its head, therefore Liberal are Labour and Labor are Liberal
JH: Grrr, Kim. You'll never get my job. I'm king of the world.
KB: Shucks boss, don't be horrible, it hurts my feelings.
JH: Everyone hates me but they are all too scared to vote for someone else....my evil plan is working... mwhaa ha ha ha ha!
KB: Not this time Speccy-Spitty man for I shall win them over with my magnificent beer gut and delinquent wiggly mono-brow
JH: I told you Kim-boy, I'm king of the world. Take that you brute *biff*. I shall stamp on your head til you bleed from your eyeballs! Da daah
JH: Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda...
KB: Please Johnny, if you are going to have naughty bott bott sex with me could you refer to me as 'Giorgio La Bamba'?
JH: Take that naughty Giorgio La Bamba. I win again. The unsuspecting public will never know the truth!
With many thanks to 'Tuck and Roll' who share an uncanny resemblance to our beloved Politicians of Australia. (And many belated but reluctant thanks to the psycho ex-boyfriend who tried to buy my love with these magnificent singing and dancing toys!)
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Dave ate brains. In a Ray Liotta manner. So I had to try a little too!
And it tasted right nice! (but no, it doesn't make you more intelligent...damn)
We did drink an awfully large amount of wine though so anything could have tasted nice, even the inside of Dave's head!