Tuesday, September 27, 2005
After Dave called me voluminous the other day (honest, it wasn't an insult, just a witty response to avoid giving an emotion felt answer to one of my questions) I decided I had better do something about my extra saddlebags. It takes me ten minutes to drive to work so I decided on an experiment for my day off.
I would cycle...
However I forgot about the fact that Perth is built on hills. I came face to face with the first mountain whose summit I couldn't see as it was above the cloud line (Only joking, there are no clouds in Perth!). I changed gears on my rusty bike that Daves dad generously rescued out of a tip for me, and huffed and peddled furiously. Half way up the 'hill' I knew I had made a mistake and when I got to the top the look on the newsagents face confirmed it.
I put a bottle of water on the counter and he asked me what he could for me.
'oh, just some oxygen and this water will be enough' I replied
He looked away from my face for the first time and spied the bottle, 'sorry' he said, shuddering, obviously trying to shake the image of me from his mind 'I didn't see that there in front of me. ...Now take it easy out there. Don't cycle too hard or far. Take care'
It was official. Not only was I battling with palpitations and waves of nausea interspersed with waves of faintness, I looked a right mess with it! When I checked out my reflection in amongst the scratchies adverts in the window I got a shock. My face was bulbous and a chameleon of colours from 'fat man puce' to 'vomit awaiting yellow'.
So I sat for a full two minutes sipping my water and willing my legs to not buckle under the weight of my newly acquired lard arse. Pretty soon my heart rate dropped back into the 'almost having a heart attack' bracket from the 'very soon you'll be dead' bracket. So I swung my legs over the saddle once more and attempted to cross three lanes of traffic (the traffic here is Calcutta like. Everyone overtakes on the ouside lane, speeds and never lets old ladies cross the road with their dumped/rescued bicycles).
The rest of the ride to work was uneventful. Many more hills were traversed but none so big as that first. So as the hospital came into view my first thought was 'Bugger, this is totally do-able, now I'll have no excuse. Damn'. It took me forty minutes to ride which isn't that bad for an unfit 'al quine' on her first attempt.
I 'rewarded' myself by cycling back home along the river. It is a much more pleasant ride but a lot more twisty and longer. It was a beautiful day and everyone had their boats and kayaks in the water (apparently it was a bank holiday to celebrate Queenies birthday. This is how laid back things are here in WA. The Queens birthday is sometime in (?) June/July but we only get our act together to celebrate it in September!). Every pub was full and every free barbeque (which is in fact another stroke of genius from the local council!) was taken. Kids were playing and swimming in the river amongst the Ibis' and ducks and probably jelly fish too (shudder). The lorikeets and galahs were out in force too making it near on impossible to hold a quiet conversation in amongst the squawking.
By the time I got home I felt invincible so I decided to grab my bikini and go wrestle the sharks at the beach. There was an alleged almost shark attack on Saturday at a beach in Perth. The surfer punched the toothy one on the nose and it swam away without it's rubber clad surfer burger.
Luckily, however, Dave was home early from work (nope he doesn't get bank holidays off either!) and convinced me that it was a silly idea. Not because of the sharks mind, but because the Indian Ocean is still pretty nippy in September.
He twisted my rubber arm and convinced me to go to the pub instead!!
Monday, September 26, 2005
Once a year the residents of Perth go crazy for 'Showbags'. Like the lucky Dip bags they contain an assortment of some cheapo sweets, a crappy plastic toy that is guaranteed to break after five minutes inducing some high pitched shrieking from a small child and an oversized furry hat. There are thousands of different showbags to choose from and you see kids often carrying four or five at a time.
Apparently this is the highlight of the Perth Royal Show. It's an agricultural show (cue Daves excitement to go!!) mixed in with a fairground and informative stalls on how to breed chickens for eggs, running your own worm farm and mulching for beginners!
There I learnt:
- Chickens stink and the roosters will try and outcrow each other (men, huh)
- Alpacas are the cutest things as long as you don't annoy them enough to gob in your face.
- Sheeps wool is really soft (no, I was very surprised at this!!!) if you part its crusty stuff and cop a feel of that underneath.
- Goats are categorically not sheep (don't ask. The sign said sheep!!)
So we had a lovely day spending hours hunting down the dog show (for big wuss Dave) and avoiding going on the twisty vomit inducing rides (again big wuss Dave) so the only thing left to do after was to go to the pub, watch the sunset over the ocean and drink cold beers!
Sunday, September 25, 2005
We were snogging like a pair of teenagers (fully expected a little chin rash this morning when I looked in the mirror!!). Obviously he wanted to sleep with me but I refused as I wanted a second date and I know that only good girls get second dates!!
Damn me and my dream time morals!
This is only the second time I've had one of these celebrity dreams. The first one was the cause of my two year, totally inappropriate, crush on Tom Jones. But boy, could that Welsh Man croon!!!
Friday, September 23, 2005
- The stars are muddled (well that had to be first, right?)
- I get to hang out on beaches like the above! (my local beach for local people...)
- The water goes down the plughole the wrong way (which means my blood swirls the wrong way! Cause of jetlag, discuss?)
- I have lizards basking on my garden wall
- It's sunny for 300 days of the year but actually the sun shines a little bit for the other 65 days too!
- The Boost Juice Banana Smoothies
- People are friendly when you enter a shop (admittedly I took this as a sign that they considered me a 'lifting' possibility but I got over that! They really are just friendly)
- Most of the roads are in a straight line which alongside my new automatic car means there are far more arms to be 'airguitaring' along Canning Highway than before!
- Every pub delights in their 'Pub Band'. A tradition lost in Blighty but still going strong here amongst the piss heids!
- Alcoholism is postively encouraged! (and the wine is soooo cheap!)
- I am privvy to a whole new music culture (my fave being the spazzys)
- I have categorically NEVER seen a fanged spider/bat/snake/child. (it really is a myth!)
- I can get bikini sunburn marks in mid winter!
- The satay chicken jaffle pies......mmmmm
- The fact I can see the bottom when I swim in the ocean (am still afeard of the seaweed!)
- The electricity poles are made out of real trees with all the twists and notches still intact!
- The footy players here are far far hotter then anything Blighty's soccer stars could produce (and the rules state that you can punch someone in the face and then rip their shirt off! Probably. Well in my version anyway)
- Everything is cheaper. (I still have money left over by the day before payday. That hasn't happened since 1993 for me!)
- Oh and we get paid fortnightly which is in fact.... genius.
- We have dolphins and whales frolicking in the ocean just metres from the beach.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Mad Grace Bonney:
"Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr! "
Arrr haaa, at last me heartys, I can speak loike I wes taught (is that anything like cornish?) Alas, I missed 'speak like a pirate day' which was held on the 19th September so oi've only me web page t'offear.
Moy wooden leg didn't make it all th' way to Aussie land due to an infestation of th blighted wood-munchers. Ow'ever, iie's can still do a pa-assable interpretation of the Polish National Dance.
Ah'd be bless'ed to 'ear tha' ye'd taken the test and been grouped alongside an al' lubber like me self!
Find your name ere.....arrrrr
(However I knew someone called Grace and she manged to break her thumb and give herself blilateral blackeyes after falling over a linen skip!)
...very unpirately behaviour.......e-arrrr!
Friday, September 16, 2005
I have been stagnating in my house for weeks now (because I keep working the flipping weekends! I know I have no life but please....?). So anyway I decided I would go on a nature trek (read stroll, much more fitting) around Kings Park.
For those who do not know about Kings Park it is this mass of 'real aussie bush' plonked right in the middle (or just left of it!) of the central business district. Bill Bryson even claims to have seen an echidnea (big spikey hedgehog thingy with a cloaca) ambling past when he was there. Dave says this is impossible seeing as they are essentially nocturnal and incredibly shy. Dave hates old Bill and says that he makes up fiction and tries to pass it off as fact. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story and all that! Like the story that Bill tells about people in the Northern Terroritories not being able to vote because they don't live in a state!...but I digress.
Anyway Kings Park is made up of bushland and botanical gardens all overlooking the skyscrapers. It is pretty amazing. It's about 1000 acres and is set on Mount Eliza but was renamed Kings Park after some visiting King. Edward I think (Peter, this is where you can correct me!!).
As everyone around here knows it is now the time of the wild flower season. I haven't seen this flower madness in full swing yet but have been promised a fairly wild time! (see what I did there?!!) Apparently I am to expect carpets of colour everywhere I look and hundreds of different flowers growing in differing regions of WA depending on the alkalinity of the soil and the concentration of varying minerals. I have been excitedly pointing out flowers to Dave asking 'Is that one? Or is that one?' Only to be answered with the same thing 'No, Natalie, that is a weed! No, that is a coke can' etc etc.
And so off I went to confront nature and become a flower snapping photographic genius. I was dressed in my full walking regalia: tough jeans so the mossies can't get me, knee high clomping boots so the snakes can't bite me and sparkly top in case I get lost within its gum tree prison and have to use the mirrors decorating it to attract the attention of the helicopter rescue brigade (up here for thinking!) I had decided to start tramping through the bushland like some intrepid explorer but got a little bit scared of the snakes which were obviously lying in wait for my juicy ankles and was convinced some red back spider would fall out of a red gum and land on my shoulder, hiss and then sink his teeth into my shoulder (also juicy! It's this country, I can't stop eating!!). So when I saw a sign saying 'Nature Trail, this way. Suitable for wheelchairs and prams' I couldn't help myself!
Pretty soon I was enveloped by the gum trees and banksias. There was nothing but bushland and I couldn't even see the tops of the skyscrapers anymore. I would have felt all brave and conquering was it not for the concrete path I had not strayed from and the frequent joggers overtaking me. So I did something daring. I tiptoed gingerly over the tops of the wild orchids, kangaroo paws and shrubs and clung to the eucalypts whilst watching closely for the slithering out of the corner of my eye.
And guess what? I saw NO snakes, spiders or other assorted dangerous animals. I think it's all a big myth to frighten away the poms. I mean who would want to share a country with dangerous things that could easily kill them in their beds? The Aussies know that we're all scaredy cats and could possibly pee ourselves with fear when confronted with something with teeth! They just want to keep this paradise all to themselves so they make up stories about monsters and peddle their horror tales back to Blighty!
So from here on in it's flipflops all the way!
Monday, September 12, 2005
I have some sad news for you all. Please remember that perhaps one day we can all look back and reflect on just how much joy was spread in this short period of time.
Tonight the Australian public voted to kick The Wiggle out of Pop Idol.
Damn you Australia. Why couldn't you look past the bad perm, dodgy teeth and slightly tragic past career moves (wiggling)?
After a near perfect, pant wetting rendition of 'Throw your arms around me' by Hunters and Collecters, I felt smug and almost cocky. Of course he would get through. So, imagine my shock at finding The Wiggle loitering in the dark, dank recesses of Idol Failure.
I told myself that he didn't have to do brilliantly, only good enough to get through to the next round. I didn't really need to see him win tonight. It wasn't as if I lived my whole week waiting perched anxiously on the edge of my seat for the Sunday Showdown or anything. I didn't need him. I could give him up at any time.
...if I wanted
It's just that it's the only pleasure I've had since I left all my friends and family behind on that cold summers morn back in Blighty. It's hard living in another hemisphere to the rest of your life. He was special. He sang to me and me only. It's not as if I'm some crazy obsessed fan rifling through his dustbins or underwear drawer in Hollywood or that I wile away hours googling Chris + Luder and Chris + Luder + nude on t'internet or that I spend afternoons practising my 'new' signature NJLuder, Natalie J Luder, Mrs Natalie Luder, Mrs Natalie Jane Barbour-Luder!
What am I going to do with my 500 pack of 'Wiggle to Win' button badges that are on their way from some sweat shop in South East Indonesia now?
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Todays was no exception. Apparently the ex prime minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohammad was forced to sack his one time protege on the crime of him being gay.
According to Mohammad, 'Sodomy is not acceptable in our society. Imagaine having a gay prime minister. Nobody would be safe'
Friday, September 09, 2005
Alas I wasn't aware of PJ Harveys existence in '94, but she was already on her way to stardom. Therefore I decided to stick a little piccy of her lovlieness here! Would post the pics of last years gig here but haven't uploaded them yet, and they have become undeniably crumpled from over fondling!
The top pic is of me and Peej in 'our' pub! The only pub in the world to have a framed pic of her in full view! Go Chicky Rock (it pains me to say that this delight hangs in the Aberdonian Chicago Rock. It just isn't right!). I'm just hoping that Shazza is carrying on the tradition of kissing the portrait on entering and exiting the establishment. I don't want her to feel unloved now that I'm gone!
Now sing after me..... 'Lick my legs, I'm on fire. Lick my legs, of desire'..... Classy bird!
Take the year you left school. Find the top 50 songs and post them. Put the ones you love in bold, the ones you hate in italics and leave the ones you care nothing for,
1, LOVE IS ALL AROUND
Wet Wet Wet (the first week, yes, quite a nice ditty. By the eleventh week, cause for riots!)
2, SATURDAY NIGHT
Whigfield (yes, I think I still know the dance!)
3, STAY ANOTHER DAY
East 17 (the chrimbo bells, the mispronounciation, the 'durty' look? Chavs before their time!)
4, BABY COME BACK
Pato Banton featuring Ali and Robin Campbell ( I just didn't get it. Reminds me of when Paul and I fell asleep in Jelly Jazz on Nic's 18th b'day! Soz bird!)
5, I SWEAR
All-4-One (nauseating mush)
6, WITHOUT YOU
Mariah Carey (nauseating mush with big boobs)
Bon Jovi (nauseating mush with big hair)
8, CRAZY FOR YOU
Let Loose (nauseating in tight jeans!)
9, THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER
D:Ream (perfect cos Paul and I could have a crush on him and think it was possible to get a snog!)
11, THE SIGN
Ace Of Base
12, COME ON YOU REDS
Manchester United Football Squad
13, THE RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT
14, ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU
Mariah Carey (eurgh, eurgh, eurgh!!)
15, I LIKE TO MOVE IT
Reel 2 Real featuring The Mad Stuntman
16, 7 SECONDS
Youssou N'Dour featuring Neneh Cherry
17, SWAMP THING
18, LET ME BE YOUR FANTASY
Baby D (only for the Ritzys memories, mind!)
19, LOVE ME FOR A REASON
20, EVERYTHING CHANGES
Take That (didn't appreciate the campness and general hilarity at the time. Do now!)
21, (MEET) THE FLINTSTONES
22, STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA
Stiltskin (T'was the jeans ad? Bought the cassette single. Can you even get casettes these days?)
24, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD
Love Symbol (Prince)
26, CROCODILE SHOES
Jimmy Nail (who proclaimed Jimmy Nail a popstar?)
27, COMPLIMENTS ON YOUR KISS
Red Dragon with Brian and Tony Gold
28, THE RETURN OF INNOCENCE
29, WE HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
30, BABY, I LOVE YOUR WAY
Big Mountain (another Ritzy classic. Still makes me smile!)
31, ANOTHER NIGHT
MC Sar & The Real McCoy
32, THE REAL THING
Tony Di Bart (Tony di Plumber. What ever happened to him? At least he had a trade to go back to!)
33, BREATHE AGAIN
Toni Braxton (another vom inducing ballard! why do we allow these people to make music?)
34, THINK TWICE
Celine Dion (see above!)
Warren G & Nate Dogg
37, ALL FOR LOVE
Bryan Adams with Rod Stewart & Sting (oh, Bryan, you had me til then!)
38, HEY NOW (GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN)
39, AROUND THE WORLD
40, STAY (I MISSED YOU)
Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories
41, SWEETS FOR MY SWEET
43, I'LL MAKE LOVE TO YOU
Boyz II Men (boyz, grow some testicles, please, for the love of god and all that is good!)
44, ENDLESS LOVE
Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey (I remember wanting to slit my wrists cos the song seemed endless!)
45, COTTON EYE JOE
Rednex (now will always be associated with Chuz for reasons I don't want to go into! Sssh, there may be children around!)
46, POWER RANGERS
Mighty Morph'n Power Rangers (Repeat after me, 'Never let a cartoon sing')
48, MMM MMM MMM MMM
Crash Test Dummies
49, NO GOOD (START THE DANCE)
So as you can see, 1994 was not a good year for music. It's awash with dross and ballards and boybands! I just don't remember it being that bad though.
For me it was a year for Levellers, The waterboys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Tori Amos, Paul Weller, Frente, Alanis Morrisette, The Cranberries, Reef, Radiohead, Jamiroquai and Chumbawumba (before the whole tubthumping debacle!)
Thank god I didn't have to rely on the charts for a daily fix of music!
Thursday, September 08, 2005
However they 'forgot' to connect it up to the gas meaning no power for several months while they all sit around scratching their heads proclaiming 'well, I knew something was missing!'
That is the level of insanity I am having to deal with here!
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Colourbond, tiles, slates?
Black, blue-ish black, green, petrol green, dirty olive green, cream, off white, shiny white, traditional red, burnt orange, sandy yellow or chocolate brown.
I was forced to drive around for three hours yesterday just photographing roofs!
Dave is driving me crazy already! I will not last twelve months of this!
Monday, September 05, 2005
Did I mention that the Island in view is a stunted tiger snake infested island with no natural predaters to their evil slitherings? It's called Carnac Island and can be found between Garden Island and the Mewstone (Beckie, Nic, Paul and Jase are the only ones who will find this amusing!)
I don't know why the Anti Venom people of Oz don't set up a lab there so as to obtain the venom of all those nasty but short arsed bitey bastards and then cure all the snake bites of Australia.
I always knew I should run for government! I could change the world, baby!
Sunday, September 04, 2005
God, I hope I made the right decision!
Our land is in Beeliar (ten minutes from the heart of Freo and all its marvellous drinking establishments) and has ocean views (unless the people building in front us decide to be greedy and build a two storey house and obscure our wonderful view). We can see right the way to the islands on the horizon. It's 578 m2 which isn't a bad size so that means we can have room for a jacuzzi and possibly a pool too. Yippee, can fulfil my lifes ambition to become a water baby.
Our house will be gorgeous, dahling. It has four bedrooms with an ensuite (avec corner bath) to the master b'room, walk in wardrobes, living room, dining room, theatre room (de rigeur these days), alfresco eating area, double garage and laundry room. It's being built by New generation (the plans here are not quite the same cos I've changed everything around!!) and the builder is so helpful and nice and just a little bit of a dish. I knew it would be a problem Dave sending me on my own to organise the stats and extras! I just agreed to everything! Oops.
We go to pre-start (check me out Tanky, two minutes in and I'm a professional. Dunno what you're talking about. It's as easy as pie!) in 16 weeks and then comes the fun stuff...
...the deciding of the colours, flooring, tiles, roofing, bricks and where all the leccy sockets go (well, the last one can be Dave's job all except for my hairdryer and straightner socket in the bathroom!) After that I have been led to believe that whhhoosshh, the house will be built like a scene from Wonderwoman where she saves some poor old bloke about to fall off a cliff and simultaneously rescues his pet jack russell from his burning car. All in sped up time! Da daaah, all ready to move into and to start buying puppy dogs to fill each of the empty bedrooms.
Well, I'm not going to fill them up with babies am I?
Am starting to get visions of Dave and me rocking up to the site to lend a hand wearing dungarees and blundys and sharing our vegemite sandwhiches with the other workers. It seems far to bourgeoisie to expect people to build our house and us not help. Shaz, move over here quick and I'll get Mikey a job as an apprentice. Tell him he'll be a millionaire cos that is probably not that far from the truth!
Am also getting carried away with all the plants I'll be planting in my garden. If I had my way the garden would be a stink with jasmine, honeysuckle, roses, lemon scented gum trees and lavender. It would also be awash with colour from the jacaranda trees, hibiscus, bottle brush, chili plants, lime trees, mango trees and olive trees. Not going to have enough room for my beloved pool at this rate!
Something has just dawned on me. Think I may have made a mistake. Have realised there will now be a hundred million rooms to clean! How did I agree to this? Bugger, bugger, bugger!
Friday, September 02, 2005
Pics of the birds for Hazel and Nic. The pink and grey galahs and green lorikeets. They are all noisy buggers. We have lorikeets in our garden most mornings and beleive me they are better than an alarm clock! The galahs are incredibly sociable and hang out in huge gangs so you rarely see one on its own. We took these photos when we went to a pub in the hills outside perth. There were birds and kangaroos everywhere! One of the kangaroos had a joey in her pouch. Very odd watching it's tummy move around like something out of Alien!
There are always loads of pelicans around the place. They are either paddling in the Swan River or flying in circles just riding the thermals. I think they are so cute and when they open their mouths it's like another universe has just opened up!