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)!