Thursday, June 29, 2006

Parma Farm and Norton Street

After being back in Sydney for all of 10 weeks, Ed and I..... errrr..... decided that we really needed a holiday. So we lobbed down south to our favourite little bolt hole, a farmhouse in the tiny settlement of Parma just near Huskisson.
Here chickens were fed, horses were patted, we canoed in the creek and even a wombat was spotted.

After 3 days of the quiet life we were ready to head back to Sydney and into the frenzy that was World Cup Fever. On Monday night at 1am Australia played Italy and the streets were teeming with thousands of rabid football fans down in Sydneys little Italy in Norton Street.

Ed and I raced across from Bondi and hit the streets to join in. There were people in blue for Italy, others in Green and Gold for Australia - and there were those who were hedging their bets with half and half outfits or two carrying two flags. Over 8000 people were filled the streets, the smell of cooking pizzas and espresso coffee wafted about in the air, as booze in the streets was banned, the shiny coffee machines were out there spluttering away making coffees for the crowd there giving a suitably Italian feel to it all. The outcome of the match was pretty sad for us Aussie supporters but at least in Norton Street you could have guaranteed at least half the crowd (those in blue) would have been happy.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Oh brother

Okay I admit it, I've been watching Big Brother this year. I could try and use the excuse that I've been stuck in the jungle overseas for the past year and have been deprived of tv and that's why I'm watching but I would be lying, I just love a bit of crap tv.

So there I was watching it the other night when they had an 'intruders' special and one of the new housemates was this rough voiced, loud mouthed 39 year old brunette called Perry. At first I said to Ed - god what a pain in the arse she is, haven't we all known someone like that? Then as I watched her a bit longer I said....I think I know her.......and then it dawned on me. Perry used to own the beauty salon I used to get my legs waxed at!

Down at Perry's Beautyworks it used to be all go, the typical suburban salon. Italian chicks sweating under hairdyers that were blowdying unruly hair straight, other chicks in tight jeans and platforms sneaking a quick ciggie out the door whilst waving long manicured nails dry, girls under clouds of hairspray as they got 'up do's' for weddings while out the back poor unfortunates like me had hot wax ripped off their legs whilst being entertained by the motormouth that was Perry. She really was a laugh a minute and I remember the day she told me she was selling the business to go off to persue real estate she gave me a big hug and shouted out "take care Katie" because of course Perry just decided to call me Katie - even though I've always been a Kate.

It is quite weird and voyeuristic watching someone you know in the BB house - so far Perry has come across as a bit of a pain in the arse when in real life she is very much larger than life but also a very nice person. Will be fun to see her stir things up and to be honest considering the rest of the housemates are self obsessed, dopey little 20 somethings it would be pretty funny to see her win. Go Perry!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

talk talk talk

It seems everybody loves a good plastic surgery story. The media went a little bit crazy last week and I was in demand to talk about people getting themselves a pair of new boobs and a tan in Thailand. I did radio interviews in Melbourne, Canberra and Newcastle and even had to dodge Today Tonight who wanted me to go on their show and talk about it like an expert....ummm...needless to say I declined. Apart from the fact Today Tonight is the most trashy, despicable current affairs show on TV it seems a bit rich that I would be commenting on peoples health having spent all of a week investigating it. Just shows how trashy they really are.

But then the tv saga continued and much to my excitement I was invited to go on Sunrise (another trashy but top Aussie breakfast show favourite) to which I said a resounding "yes". But not long after alas, they found a woman who had really gone and got herself a pair of new boobs and a tan in Thailand - rather than having just written about it like me, so sadly my breakfast tv dreams were scuppered - such a cruel beast television.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Plastic Fantastic

In Thailand - over 1.2 million people from overseas visit the country specifically to have some kind of surgical procedure. A lot isn't it? And most of them are having something cosmetic done - boob jobs, nose jobs, chin jobs, facelifts, eye lifts, lipo sucking flab out of bottoms and thighs and even something called (rather scarily) a full body lift. Add to the mix - Botox, Laser treatments, teeth whitening........ all for a 3rd of what you'd pay at home and it's pretty appealing. Thailand is the ultimate place for a nip n tuck tour.

While Ed and I were travelling in Thailand, I started to notice tourists who were wandering about covered in brusies, bandages and swelling. At first I thought "horrible accident" then I realised it was more like "new face". When I mentioned the bruised tourists to an expat british guy who lives in Phuket he said "they are everywhere".

So I decided to write an article about it, Ed and I toured gleaming white hospitals that look like hotels, stayed a night in a plush retreat for people that were about to have or had just had plastic surgery and even got to sample the delights of the luxury spa the 'patients' hang out in. It is a very strange world, where people chat about lipo and nose jobs like they are getting their nails done. It seems that plastic surgery is now in the conciousness and the reach of the average person and that can mean things are getting scary. I met a whole family from the UK who were all there to have something done - even the teenage daughter was having some fat sucked out of her tummy.

Anyway - of if you are in Sydney or Melbourne you can read all about my adventures in the Sunday Magazine (in the Sunday Tele or Sun Herald Sun) this Sunday and see for yourselves. I might stick it on my other site too - once it's been published.

The things that worry me the most are what does this rush to embrace the knife say about the state of our heads? And even worse....what the hell are we all going to look like in 30 years?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Return to Summer Bay

Crikey - I've just got off the phone after being summonded to be on the set of Home and Away again this week to play, suprise, suprise, another bloody high school teacher.

What is it about me? Why do I scream teacher when production people see my photo? The only thing I am grateful for is that this time we're shooting in the studio so I won't get hypothermia like last time - though I just know they will want to put my pasty body into some skimpy summer clothes - brrrrr.

I shouldn't really complain about being typecast, my swarthy or shall we say "mediterranean" looks were in demand for a "Citizenship Australia" ad on the weekend, which I knocked back so I could go and see the Swans game. Shame really - I would have loved to have played the earnest young Citizen of Oz, waving a little flag about. On second thoughts, yuk.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Surrogate Mothers

A friend sent through some amazing pics of a rather unorthodox Tiger family that live at a california zoo. This beautiful tiger had just given birth to tiger triplets (very rare) who sadly didn't make it for too long after the birth. The Zoo keepers noticed their tiger girl was very flat after the death of her babies and although there was nothing wrong with her physically it seemed that she was in a deep state of grief after losing her cubs. A surrogate solution was propsed but funnily enough there weren't too many orphaned baby tigers available for the gig at the time.

Someone suggested a small litter of baby pigs, who were dressed up in little tiger coats and the results were spectacular. Check this very proud mother and her funny looking little babies.

This story reminded me of our time at the animal park in Bolivia where I was told that Roy - one of the biggest and most boisterous Pumas at the park was brought up as an orphaned cub in the house where the volunteers lived. Roy, who at the time was small, fuzzy and very cute was adopted by one of the house dogs, Yeti, a funny little thing, took it upon herself to be Roys surrogate mother. She played with Roy, wrestled with him, slept with him and even groomed him. I am guessing she was also doing her little bit for international cat / dog relations - nice work.

Of course Roy grew up to be 5 times the size of Yeti and was evicted from living in the house to his current jungle lair after the skulls of two monkeys were found hidden in his bed...whoops.

But I wonder if he still holds fond memories for his little canine mother Yeti?