Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Stupid boy street

When Ed and I bought our house about a year ago one of the biggest appeals in terms of the location was the street and who lived in it. Our street appeared to be something out of a corny movie, happy friendly couples and families, cute little kids playing footie and cricket in the street, fat cats lazing in the sun. There was talk of street parties, everyone knowing each other and being neighbourly.

Now I am an old nanna facist home owner type this sounded right up my street so to speak. In the old days when I was a renter I couldn't have given a bugger about my neighbours. In fact the less I knew them meant less embarassment when I stayed up til all hours boozing and smoking and singing in the garden or having wild parties. Well now it seems karma has come to bite me on the arse.

First the lovely couple next door who own their house announced that they were moving to the US for a year and taking their 3 little kids with them. Ed and I watched a whole lot of wannbe tennants traipse through their property - couples, older families etc.We were quite excited, maybe some nice couple with a baby would move in and we could all be mates. Then the winners of the rental contract arrived - one boy aged about 22 wanders up the laneway we share carrying a box...we introduce ourselves, and he introduces his girlfriend. "oh, so you two are moving in then' we say. "Oh nah" says the boy, "it's me and 3 of my mates from Uni. We've never lived in the city's gunna be unrool." So the boys move in, first night the stereo is cranked up, ciggie smoke is wafting over the fence and the sound of beers being cracked can be heard. I also hear "it's unrool living here and the bottle-o is just up the road, wahey!." Right - so the James Street beer garden opens for business.

Two weeks later the house on the other side is sporting a large for lease sign. Ed and I make nervous jokes, do we smell? Why is everyone moving away from us? We also joke that another houseful of boys could move in..surely not I say citing the so called rental crisis and talking about how even though it's not fair no landlord in their right mind is going to let a group of stupid boys move into their property over a nice sensible older couple. Then the other night Ed comes in the door with the news he has just met the new neighbours, no nice couples for us, suprise suprise it's two boys in their 20's with another on his way. 'unrool'.

To my utter disbelief I then discover that the house 2 doors up from ours ALSO has a large for lease sign hanging from the fence. Ed and I really should be getting paranoid by now, there is some kind of mass exodus occuring in my lovely street - why? Peeping out the window like some old neighbourhood gossip the other day I spy a chubby guy in his early twenties jump out of a white van, arse half hanging out of his jeans with two stupid looking mates in baseball caps who spark up ciggies and immediately head for the house with the for lease sign. You guessed it "this place looks unrool" says one of them - "let's put in an offer".

WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH MY STREET? To my eyes it doesn't scream party central for stupid 20 something boys. Nor do the houses, they are all girly prissy looking pretty victorian cottages with roses growing around the front door. Not the kind of modern townhouses or sleek apartments I thought that any bachelor boy in his right mind would like.......I am very, very confused and can only pray that they don't all the stupid byos don't discover each other, make friends and party on together. Or do they already know each other? Has word gone out on the stupid hetero 20 something boy grapevine that my street is where it's all happening?

But I will bide my time and stay calm because shortly revenge will be mine. They may have pumping stereos, slabs of cold beers, ciggies to puff on, wild parties to hold and giggling girls over to visit but can they deal with the terrifying force of nature that is an inconsolable baby screaming it's head off at 3am? I don't think so. 3 years of boozing it up in the union bar at uni won't have prepared them for that one. "Unrool" I say to myself -as I suspect those For Lease signs might be going back up pretty bloody quickly when the true evil of the baby Browne is unleashed and then Ed and I will have this side of the street to ourselves.

Slaying dragons and icons

Yesterday something I wrote and had published about a certain iconic but arrogant organisation caused a bit of a kerfuffle in the media which in turn affected their standing on the share market, and not in a good way! I don't feel bad about it though, they totally deserved it.

Nice to see that even in these media spin controlled days, occasionally the pen can still slay a corporate dragon.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Who's life have I stolen?

Sometimes things in life change fast. I had one of those funny little moments earlier today where I wandered out of my house and really took stock of where I am at these days.

A year ago wandering out of my house would have meant wandering out of a little flat in Bondi having only just arrived back in Australia after a year in Sth America, walking to the bus stop, getting on a bus to the city to make my way to my new job with my coat zipped up over my (well sort of) flat stomach. Happy to be a non driving, inner city dwelling, boozing, pet free, responsibility free type person.

This morning I got up, tried to find something that would fit over my enormous stomach, said goodbye to my cat lying in the garden, locked up my house and walked to the car, pulled out a set of keys, unlocked the car and hopped into the drivers seat stopping briefly to check on the newly installed baby capsule in the back - before revving up the engine and driving off.

Argh! All too weird. I feel like I have borrowed someone elses life, hope she doesn't want it back to soon though.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


At the request of my dear friend Torshy who is dying to know what "Fixing elephants" really means here's not that exciting really. Sounds better on a post it note than in practice. By fixing elephants I meant I was fixing an article for the Sunday Mag that i'd written on elephants. It was proving to be a right bugger in terms of editing it down to the required 1300 words as per my editors request and the reason it was so dammed hard was because it is a subject very close to my heart.

Last year in February Ed and I were fortunate enough to go and volunteer at the most wonderful Elephant Nature Park in Northern Thailand. (Check it out at or check out my blog entries from Feb 2006.

At the park over 30 Thai elephants have been rescued from horrible lives of drudgery, either serving the illegal logging industry or worse serving the tourist industry. The stories are horrendous, tiny babies taken from their mothers and forced to beg in city streets and being hit by cars in heavy traffic, adults being underfed, overworked and beaten to take dopey tourists on rides and then there are the ellies who have had the living daylights beaten out of them with metal hooks to learn cute tricks like playing soccer, painting or playing musical instruments - all for the amusement of us visitors. Without wanting to get on my high horse (or should that be high elephant) all I can say is that if you go to Thailand or Cambodia or India or anywhere else where Asian elephants live and you want to see elephants - find somewhere that just lets them be elephants. You really don't need to ride one of these lovely, smart, sensitive creatures to have an 'experience', or watch them paint or do stupid tricks. If you knew what most of them had been through so you could do it, you really wouldn't want to anymore. Oh yeah - and did I mention that they are seriously endangered too? Thailands only got about 2000 elephants left and the numbers are declining each year.

So if you find yourself somewhere near Chiang Mai and would like a positive elephant adventure - I'd highly recommend the Elephant Nature Park - it rocks.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Good news

I fixed the elephants.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A big job

If I was vapourised by aliens today and the post it note left on my computer marked "Monday" was the only clue as to my last activities on this mortal coil - more than a few people would be left scratching their heads I'd say.

The list reads:

Buy lightbulbs & picturehooks
Hardware shop
Chloe vet registration
Email Kath piccies
Set up external hard disc drive

and last but not least ...

Fix Elephants

Fixing Elephants can take time y'know - hope I'm up for the job.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A feline tea party

It doesn't take much for wires to get crossed some days.

Me on the phone to Ed: Chloe (our cat) has got really, sticky runny eyes.

Ed: That's no good, what should we do about it?

Me: Carmens hippy friend told me that Chammomile tea is good for sore eyes I'm going to try that.
Ed (laughing): Really? How on earth are we going to get her to drink a cup of tea?
I now have a strong image of Chloe sitting down high tea style with one paw poised delicately in the air, serving herself from a vintage silver tea pot after nibbling on a freshly baked scone. Actually considering the kind of regal creature she is, it's not too much of a stretch.
In the meantime though I might just try applying it topically and seeing how I go beofre I crack out the silver tea service for us both.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Guilty pleasures

I'm in a foul mood today with a chronic case of writers block, not being helped by a nasty deadline nipping at my heels.

Salvation has fortunately appeared in the form of shared iTunes folders here in the office. I just nicked into a collegues share file and discovered the Britney Spears greatest hits album. Headphones in, volume up suddenly my writers block has been washed away in flood of 'hit me baby one more time' and 'oops I did it again' and my fingers are tap, tap, tapping on the keyboards and the words are coming. Oh Britney, get yourself through rehab and back into the studio. Writers around the world need your inspiration!

Young people today

I have to say it, at the risk sounding like a grumpy old woman. What is it with young people today? And before you think I'm going to launch into a tirade about how they are all wild, drug taking, reckless, irresponsible nutters - think again. This is exactly my problem, instead of being wild, drug taking, reckless, irresponsible nutters I'm starting to be convinced they are more conservative than my grandparents.

Everytime I meet someone from Gen Y I'm more convinced. The Gen Y's I know are all engaged or married. If they are married they probably had a big princessy wedding with all the trimmings and their thoughts have already turned to getting in the pregnant way and repaying the mortgages on their suburban homes, which are nice and spacious have plenty of rooms to fill with more babies. If they are at uni or went to uni, they seem to stick to sensible career focussed degrees and whip through in record time without seeming to want to spend years in the union bar (not that there probably is one anymore thanks to the abolition of VSU) getting hammered on cheap booze and putting off getting a job. As for the girls, god forbid that anyone might acuse them of being a 'feminist' - that's waaay too radical and scary. I totally blame one J Howard for all of this. What has he done with to these people? What's worse is that only recently I read a poll that said that these guys think Howard rocks, he's the only PM they've ever known and he seems to suit them fine.

I have been stewing over this topic all morning long between intermittent bouts of work. Just a few moments ago I went into the lunch room where one of the gen Y girls who works here was being asked about her recent wedding and how married life was going. "Oh it's so great" she sighed staring down at the big traditional sparkler on her left hand. "But it's just driving me crazy, everyone wants to know what I'm going to do about my last name. " Some Gen X fool (not me) then piped up, "Oh so you're going to keep your own name then?" At the mere suggestion of this Mrs Gen Y visibly bristled and said "Of COURSE not. Of COURSE I will change my name, it's just a matter of finding the time." and swept out of the room.

I give up.