Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Perfect Girlfriend

Have been making such a fuss about not having any friends to go out with, get drunk and dance on tables recently. I managed to emotionally blackmail Dave into taking me to the pub to see a band. Well it was my birthday recently!

Dave was really not happy about spending time in public, without the telly (or more importantly his remote control. It's like his comfort blankie) and with the strong possibility he would have to talk to me for more than twenty minutes. Anyway I coaxed my fab peep toed high heeled 'lady' shoes out from the back of the cupboard where they had lain looking folorn since we arrived here and with one extra swoosh of juicy tubes I was bundling Dave into a taxi.

We arrived at Clancy's Sea Food Pub in Freo and with a heavy sigh Dave pushed the door open and we entered my heaven. Clancy's is a little bit eclectic with big plastic fish and other fabulous tat on the wall and vibrant colours everywhere. We found a seat at a table which was nothing more than a big perspex box with a model of a fish in it. The fish was made out of every different type of chip. Very kitsch! We ordered food (btw the sea food platter is flipping gorge-tastic. Be sure to wear elastic pants when going to Clancy's) and sat down with a beer.

After a couple of pints of Little Creatures pale ale I was feeling quite merry and this is where things start to go downhill. The pub band dimmed the lights and started playing. They were called 'Blue Shaddy' and were very good. A mix of pub rock, blues and a bit country. Anyway I somehow forgot Dave was my boyfriend and started making lewd jokes about the harmonica player. All of which I found so incredibly funny I was laughing so much I was starting to spill my beer. Dave just sat there with a look of horror on his face. When I pulled out my camera to start taking piccies Dave hissed at me to put that bloody thing away. I managed to get a couple of shots of the band before I started to look like a Brit tourist?!

By the end of the night I was so tipsy that I was now everyone's friend. I chatted up the band of which the harmonica player mysteriously disappeared when I walked over and then I started talking to a bikey couple. He was an Aussie with all beard and baldy heid and she was a fellow Brit. Obviously my new best friends. They were such a cute couple and looked like they were so in love. I chatted for a while until Dave cut short the evenings entertainment and marched me off the premises with me blowing kisses back to my new found friends!

I don't think Dave will ever take me to the pub again. Unless I promise not to drink anything. And speak to no one!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

This week I am mostly missing....

  • going to Club Tropi with Shazza, Heather, Rhona, Fi Fi, Audra, Jill and Gillian and dancing around our handbags to Boy meets Girl- waiting for a star to fall,
  • drinking tequila slammers with lime not lemon,
  • licking the bouncers heid cos there was no salt for the slammer (sorry Ian)
  • the night I ended up on a ship in Abdn harbour pretending to be the Cap'n and ordering some poor confused fellow on the oil rig to remove his pants and jacket via the walkie talkie system,
  • WI's in Cafe Continental talking about naked jaccuzziness and jam making,
  • making Shazza's daughter Stevi bring us endless cups of tea whilst criticising everything on MTV (Stevi makes the best cuppa ever),
  • getting so drunk with Kirsty that we didn't know where we lived only that we lived in a park not a road. How the taxi driver got us home I'll never know,
  • then puking in unison in our student house,
  • dancing on the tables in EJ's in Torquay with Ali S, Kirsty and the gang,
  • watching the sunset over the sea at Cafe Savannah with Ali G, Kirsty, Hazel, Nic, Natalee or whoever else we had managed to drag along to Ibiza with us that year,
  • the night we got flown to Ibiza after Nicky won a competition on MTV and we watched Chaka Khan and Grace Jones strut their stuff,
  • watching The Darkness jump across the stage in lycra jumpsuits at T in the park with Shaz and Marion,
  • nearly peeing myself with excitement when we saw Tom Jones performing at Reading festival with Hazel,
  • and then ever so nearly meeting him after Hazel chatted up security and let us into the back stage,
  • and then Hazel waking me up in the middle of the night to tell me that Jarvis Cocker was standing outside our tent,
  • getting totally caught up in the Robbie Phenomenon after Hazel and I saw him in Knebworth,
  • doing Kylie and Robbie Karaoke with Paul in a 'youth club' to rapturous applause the night before Knebworth
  • crowd surfing with Paul and Jim at the V festival,
  • and Paul getting invited onstage with The Happy Mondays but the bouncer dragging him back off to the crowd,
  • drinking wine from Jims crotch,
  • making tshirts for myself, Kirsty, Ali G and Nicky proclaiming us 'Chuzzle's Angels' in gold glitter and making a matching one saying 'Chuzzle' for Chuz,
  • sitting out in -20 degree iciness drinking beer with Tanky wrapped up in duvets whilst on a skiing holiday in France,
  • running around London with Paul Cooke at four in the morning taking photos of the kebab shop boys pulling Iron Man poses,
  • dancing our socks off in 'Heaven' with Paul and Frank and letching over the half naked men,
  • driving Paul Cooke And Nic H around Plymouth in my fiat panda with Paul dressed in drag hearing him leer out of the window at a passing cyclist 'Ooh, I like a man in lycra' just as the traffic lights turned red and then watching him cower in his seat as the aforementioned cyclist wiggled his bottom and blew him a kiss,
  • stalking the boys Nic and I fancied at school including walking four miles in the dead of night to deliver an anonymous poem to one of them,
  • singing Deacon Blue songs to the fresian cows with Nic whilst on our way to Bovisands,
  • walking for miles and miles with Beckie to see yet another ornate, quaint village in Brittany and stumbling on a village fete with streamers and face painting and a parade,
  • attempting to not slaughter a Natalie Imbruglia song at Karaoke with Jase, Sparkle and Mark,
  • but becuase of the magical refilling glass of beer (c/o Jase) I was probably not even comprehensible let alone in tune,
  • laughing so much I was nearly crying whilst watching Jase and Mark sing Star Trekkin and singing each verse in a sillier and sillier voice,
  • thinking I could act and being in one of Jasons films. I was flipping awful,
  • cheating at cranium (soz Jase and Em's),
  • stealing cuddles from my godsons Ben and Oliver and letting Charlotte boss me and her brothers around,
  • telling my tap dancing teacher that if he wasn't nice to me I would give him a cold bedpan when I became a nurse,
  • getting my Auntie Helen to oversee every tap decision like a true manager and then how she managed to get me into this nursing business in the first place,
  • travelling all over England with Sparkle on the quest of yet another Dancing festival and usually coming home with a medal of some description,
  • spending time in London with Sparkle on the pretence of another dancing competition but in fact spending far more time shopping than dancing,
  • the time when Sparkle was working in the london Dome and we had wild late night parties with all of her new found friends,
  • and how on Sparkles recommendation I got my hair cut at the Vidal Sasoon cutting school and came away with half a shaved head and the other half pink,
  • and when I met up with Chris later at the Worlds End pub he couldn't cross the road for laughing at me,
  • watching paper lantern people on sticks in Grenwich perform 'art' with Christophle-pie,
  • memories of Dad driving at breakneck speed around the windy narrow mountain roads around the Gorges du Verdon in France and me being so scared we'd fall off the road a la Thelma and Louise. And Jamie laughing his head off at my frightened whimperings,
  • and me getting my own back when on a flight back from Paris we flew through an electrical storm and I laughed at Jamie who refused to take his head out of his hands and sat curled up on the seat for the ninety minute flight,
  • feeling like a princess when my dad built me a wendy house in sugar pink with real slate tiles and fitted it with running water and a working radio. It's still standing in the back garden but it's looking a bit delapidated,
  • flying over Cornwall with James as the pilot, trying to find Tori Amos' house,
  • riding pillion on James' motorbike searching out all the folk festivals in Devon and Cornwall,
  • and drinking far too much red wine and thinking I could play the guitar whilst James played piano in his flat (I can play five whole chords now!),

I miss you all heaps but at least I have the beach, parrots and some fabulous wine here so it ain't all bad!!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Tugging the Heartstrings

Am starting to think that I'm too soft when it comes to the world of business. Dave and I have been chasing ourselves around and around trying to find the perfect place which we can a; live in and have a fabulous Aussie life, b; is close enough to civilisation (pubs), c; in an area which is about to 'go off' and therefore earn us lots more pennies and d; a place we can renovate but not too much (am perpetually lazy).

My problem is that I fall in love with every house we see and immediately can picture myself swanning by the pool, hosting endless summer bar-b-ques and mixing margaritas in the built in 1970's porn style bar. We come away from each house feeling hopeful and Dave does the maths (his is different to my maths, not sure how!) and then gently (yeah right) tells me that we can't afford that particular dream!

I try and feel sorry for myself but all I can think about is the poor estate agent and how we had led them to believe that their house would be sold that weekend to an odd couple comprising of a pom and bush tucker man! I start thinking about their poor starving children who will have to go to school wearing half mast trousers again this term. There was one old guy who tried so hard to sell a house to us. He was always enthusiastic and totally didn't mind me phoning him up on a Sunday evening to ask for another look at the place. My mind started racing away from me and I started to imagine all kinds of terrible things. Maybe he lost all his super annuation in dodgy scheme and was frantically working sixteen hour days trying to replace the nest egg before he had to give up work altogether. However I really do think that the way he was selling the place to us (almost pleading) that it could only mean one thing. Obviously his wife is very sick and he needed the commission from the sale to fund the very expensive but life saving operation so as he wouldn't lose his wife of forty five years!

How can I deny any loving couple this? Am struggling to sleep at night without the help of a decent sized gin and tonic!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Earning My Cents

Well, I must admit the thought of working on my birthday did not thrill me through to my new spangly knickers. (Pic is of Ward 17 in Abdn not here in Oz!! Back row: Margaret, Marie, Fi Fi, Amanda & Benji {who if anyone knew me back then, doesn't Benji look like Jon? Used to freak me out. They had the same mannerisms too. Spooky!}, Middle row: Lisa-Marie & Nat, Front row: Lisa/Bert) However I did get fussed over and hugged a lot by colleagues so I felt almost Hollywood princess like. When they scrawled 'Happy Birthday Nat' in big letters over all the available space on the white board and then presented me with a balloon heart on a balloon stick I felt like a true Oscar winner. There was almost a shiny tear in the corner of my eye! Even the old wifeys that run the coffee shop gave me free pasties. It was as if they knew that I was a devonshire bird all alone down under and all I needed was a little reminder of home!! I felt touched by the genuine goodness of people.

However that does not mean to say that I will be working on the 24th next year. No, I'm not that stupid. I would still have preferred to be sitting at home admiring my flowery pants whilst drinking tea and eating timtams (which are my new obsession). At least I didn't kill anyone. In fact all of my patients were impeccably well behaved. I was kept really busy antibioticing everyone whilst squeezing blood and platelets into them at a rate of knots. I really didn't have a moment to start feeling sorry about my lack of close by friends or social life the whole shift.

Question: How long after you start a new job are you allowed to admit that coming into work each day is not why you love life? Me thinks I may have insulted my new manager. On my arrival to the ward yesterday, my manager nonchalantly asked me how I was and I replied 'I'd rather be at home with my head in a bucket, am sooo hungover'.

So now she thinks I'm an alcoholic (prob true) and I that I couldn't give a rats derriere about the dying hordes on the ward (also prob true....ish!).

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Birthday Knickers!!

Yippee, it's my birthday today. Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday... etc etc. I'm twenty nine. Thats almost grown up. I will have to start bucking my ideas up from next year (well there's no need to rush these things!)

I've been feeling all popular because every time I go to my letter box there is another parcel for me. I've been pretty good. I only got tempted the once when Shazza told me what was in her pressie to me. I have to admit that I ripped that package open and tried to extract the CD's without coming across the other stuff in there! I have been bouncing around to the sweet sweet tones of the Kaiser Chiefs all week! Thanks bird.

(Pic shows Fi Fi, Jill, Shazza, Mel, Heather, Audra and moi in Club Tropi in Abdn)

Anyway, this morning I decided that I couldn't ignore my hangover any more and got up to make a cup of tea and destroy all the neatly wrapped parcels on my sofa. Sparkle, bless her, has decided to invest in M&S by the looks of things. I received ten pairs of fancy pants, each one in a different colour with sparkly bits and pictures and flowers and ribbons and buttons sewn on them. My friend Heather also sent me funky knickers with piccies and diamantes on. Am fair obsessed with groovy underwear so it was a good birthday for me.

My ma also sent me a CD by a guy called Seth Lakeman. He has been shortlisted for the mercury music prize. He's made an album of folk/rock/acoustic songs inspired by Dartmoor. He's fab, my new obsession in fact. However will probably get really home sick listening to it which is what Sparkle intended by sending it to me!!

And do I hear you ask what pressie my dear Davo gave me? For those of you that don't really know Dave, he is King of the practical stuff. In the past few years I have received no less than: a pink iron, a feather duster, a brabantia kitchen bin, a funky light up kettle and a dyson hoover! He does also give me good stuff to soften the blow but the funny presents are always the best! This year he has outdone himself. I received a fabulous luminous flyswot gun! Perfect for those flipping nasty mossies which come out of nowhere to suck my blood and reduce me to a blotchy mess. It takes a bit of practise but I am pleased to announce that last night I managed to send two whole mossies off to mossie heaven!

So far it's been a good birthday but am off to work now which is a bugger. This is the first time I've had to work on my birthday. I know I won't be treated like a princess there so I would much rather sit at home drinking tea and eating timtams! I just hope my patients are wellish because they won't get any tea and sympathy from me today!!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Inappropriate Crushes

Do you think it's wrong to have a crush on someone who is a; on the Australian Pop Idol, b; was a replacement wiggle (don't ask!!) and c; makes a funny face when he sings?

It's the time of the wrong obsession again. I think his name is Chris (I know, his pic does not do him justice!) but I prefer to call him The Wiggle. Apparently The Wiggles are the next big thing. Well since boobah and the tellytubbies and that crappy Scottish Island thingy. Do you see why this is so wrong? I should be placing my teenage heart throbbings on someone a little more, well, manly!

In The Wiggles defence, he does have a voice like chocolate and he's 'ugly cool' and he's soooo the sensitive new age man thing. Maybe thats why I like him. Cos I already have one neanderthal 'real' man at home. Someone who won't cry when he falls down the stairs and breaks his toe and finger. Dave also states that it's illegal for Australian men to get married and it's an even bigger offence against the laws of 'Aussie Bloke' to say anything mushy! Yep, this is probably the reason why I have to twang the hormonal flirtations for the sensitive man occasionally!

Marti Pellow still makes my belly wibble like it did when I was eleven! I think I did this with Ainsley from Fame Academy as well. There is no hope for me!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Countdown to Growing Up

Woohoo. I'm officially starting the countdown to my 29th birthday (next Wednesday for those of you who don't know...and shame on you for not knowing!) Decided to start today because have just finished a long, long, laborious week of night shifts. Tonight is my first night off and I haven't slept since yesterday afternoon.

Anyone who knows me knows that this could mean either a; a lot of fun involving tequila, dancing on tables and staying up the whole night being fabulously witty and the life, soul and diva.... or b; a lot of fun involving tequila, dancing on tables and then crashing at ten pm followed by NO memory of events and a whole lot of 'No, I did not...' and 'Why is there a big hole in the... oops' the next morning!

Dave and I are off to a real live Aussie pub band tonight. We're seeing 'Mental As Anything' at Dave's old hunting ground 'The Leo'. There is nothing I like better in this world than seeing a bunch of hairy old rockers bashing the crap out of the guitars and singing tunes from the good old eighties.

I'm mostly looking forward to rating all the mullets from one to ten tonight. In fact I may take my camera and post the results on here!!

Rock on!!!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Flannelette Jimjams And Other Shopping Outfits

Recently I've been noticing the total lack of inhibition displayed amongst the residents of Freo. There's an old guy who I see most days walking past my bus stop in town. He's a bit doddery and walks with a zimmer which slows him down to begin with. The thing is that his trousers or as I must start calling them, pants are about four sizes too big. This little old man has to stop his zimmer every three steps so he can adjust his pants to cover the copious amounts of chewing gum grey trolleys. In between times I just can't take my eyes off him for fear he'll have a total wardrobe malfunction. However he does wear a really dapper trilby hat over slicked brylcreamed hair. Maybe he only owns a mirror which shows his top half?

Freo is one of those hippy towns that has become quite rare in recent years. It's full of eccentric old ladies in shellsuits and socks, sporting fabulous vintage spangly stillettos out buying their cabbage and snapper fillets. I've also seen how to get around the tricky uniform policies of offices. I've seen one lady who is obviously a hippy at heart but has to conform somewhat during the day. She is always immaculately dressed in chic, well cut suits and kitten heeled shoes but she always sets off the outfit with a funky pair of brightly coloured tiedye tights. Ingenious!

Then there is a girl who lives around the corner from me. On Sunday I trundled off to the shops after losing a 'Rock Off' to Dave (loser had to get dressed and buy the sunday papers and a carton of choc milk!). This girl had obviously lost the same comp with her man cos she was wearily making her way to the shop too. Anyway, she didn't care for getting dressed and had just thrown on a cardi over her jammys with the pink, baby elephants on and was trudging through the puddles in her fluffy slippers!

And no one batted an eyelid! Me, I still have to brush my teeth, put deodrant and perfume on, do my hair and put mascara and lipgloss on before I leave the house. Not to mention choosing what to wear and the shoes to match. It's all very tiring.
Maybe I have it all wrong and I should embrace the slovenly!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Home Making

Yippee, at last! Our container of goodies arrived from Scotland this week. Contrary to popular belief, it did not fall off the back of the ship and float towards some deserted island somewhere in the Indian Ocean. And my favourite boots did not end up on the feet of some very grubby shipwrecked Tom Hanks-a-like. Dave and I have been living out of our suitcase for thirteen weeks but, hoorah, no more. We are now living it up as royalty lording over all our beautiful tat!

However, because I acted like it was Christmas day (I really did get up early after a night shift to sneak a peek at all our lovely boxes) I couldn't wait to unpack every flipping last box. So now I have a spare room which you can't actually get into because of all the scrunched up paper, bubble wrap and flattened boxes! It looks like a childrens playground in there with paper balls instead of those every colour plastic jobs. There's a money making scheme right there?

The down side to not having my stuff for so long is that I don't actually like any of my clothes anymore. I need to go shopping. So it ain't all bad!

Anyway I can't sit here all day. I must go and make a cup of tea in my favourite mug, sit in my sun room on my recliner with the sumptous cushions and admire the twinkling mirror ball hanging from the verandah!

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Money Pit

I must have 'Dippy Mug' written across my forehead in indelible ink. A few weeks ago I bought a car at the very spookily named Aberdeen Car Auctions (Abdn being my last place of residence!). My delectable purchase was a mazda 626. All sleek and white and sexy and throaty sounding. There was Dave and I looking smug and feeling all superior at our half price bargain.

....and then I drove it! The engine no longer sounded throaty and ready for a spin but rather more like an 86 year old woman with emphysema. Hence Dave and I tried to come up with all kinds of scams to offload it onto some grumpy old car dealer. Needless to say when it came down to it we just couldn't be that mean. So that's when I found myself at the local garage pacing the reception like an anxious parent. The mechanic was visibly shocked when he drove it proclaiming it 'bloody awful' and was even more surprised when he found out that I wanted to repair it rather than scrap it. I spent a repulsive amount of money on a new transmission and other car type stuff. I finally was able to drive it after it being off the road for weeks. And then my brakes failed!

Off it went to the Garage Beauty Salon once more where another mechanic insisted on showing me with glee the state of my brakes and the machinery he broke whilst fixing them. This mechanic also did sound effects of the brakes failing and screeching though. Most impressive even if I did have my head in my hands for the duration!

So the outcome is this. I have been in this country for three months now and I have just driven my car to work and back again without event and without any flashy warning lights coming on.
For. The. Very. First. Time!

You live and learn I guess!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Buying the dream?

We've been hoose hunting. No not because we're still scared of the ghost. She (am convinced it's a sweet old aussie lady who just wants to get on with her knitting!) has been fairly quiet since I asked her to be nice or I would take steps to remove her! Dave and I want to buy a place (eek) of our own. The aussie dream is to build your own place with ensuites and walk in robes, a theatre room, activities room and room for a pool. Whilst we can afford this, we would have to live so far out of Perth we wouldn't be able to send for pizza! So we're back to square one looking at older houses slightly closer to civilisation.

My favourite so far has to be the house which looked like a galleon ship on the inside. It had sloping ceilings, sunken lounges, an abundance of wood pannelling and a pot bellied fire in the family room (two living rooms, why?). The piece de resistance was the spa in the back garden. It was also sunken into the ground with a tres seventies style frog sitting on a rock spitting water down a waterfall into the spa. Tiled into the spa was the phrase 'good ere init'.

That settles it. A janner spa for a janner bird. It must become mine?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

House Share Part II

Now am really shaking in my boots. Dave admitted to me last night that he has been waking in the middle of the night after hearing our front door open or other doors in our house slam shut. He's almost convinced that we have a ghost in our house! And there was me being all rational for once and blaming the night fears on a poor possum. Anyone who knows Dave will know that this is the sort of idea he usually completely dismisses. He laughed at me when I told him I was still scared of the bogey man. He resolutely does not believe in ghosts, the afterlife, faeries or puffins! The latter being because he has never seen one for himself...therefore they musn't exist. Logical in a Dave sort of way.

Anyway I am now faced with the fact that we may have a nosy and noisy transparent houseguest. Will have to take myself down to the Fremantle markets to find some kind of Ghost housewarming present so he will be nice to us. You can literally find anything in the Freo markets. A bit like Glastonbury town centre on a quiet day and with an added asian food hall (which serves the best tom yum soup ever!)! Any tips are very welcome.

Monday, August 01, 2005

House Share

I think I've got a lodger. Countless times I have been woken in the middle of the night with the paralysing fear that someone is in our house. Finally the other evening when we were watching tv, something in our roof starting scampering across the loft floor. It then sat above my head scratching his ear. I think (or hope) that it's a possum but Dave says it could be a rat. A flipping large rat if it is. Not sure whether am more or less scared now.

One of my patients says to put a banana up into the loft and if it goes by the next day then it is sure to be a possum. However that still poses the problem of me actually voluntarily climbing up into the loft with the possible rats, spiders and cockroaches all waiting to pounce on me! Oh well, I guess that's another job for Dave!!