Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The mani pedi

I did something really girly today and had a manicure and pedicure at a "spa". Not being part of the "in" crowd I don't go to spas or beautiy parlours much, so it took a voucher from mum, several reminders and a looming expiry of said voucher (with accompanying guilt) to lure me into the clutches of the beauty parlour madam.

I understand many of otherwise perfectly normal friends enjoy having their feet and hands pampered, so I was almost looking forward to the trip. Being on trendy Melbourne Street, I decided I couldn't wear my tracksuit, so I put on a nice jacket and suck-it-up jeans with heeled boots and tried to look somewhat presentable. I fretted a little as I realised my eyebrows would not stand the scrutiny of a trained beautician but then remembered that my feet would probably dispel any notion of ladylike behaviour anyway, so decided to front up being my "authentic" self.

I arrived a few minutes early, to find a note blue tacked to the door - back at 12. O..kay. A short jaunt down Melbourne street in my (uncomfortable) shoes in this lovely ( freezing) weather could be worthwhile. I can get some stamps for the mail. Yes, lucky really, I needed the exercise and would otherwise have simply driven to the postie on the way home. Letters dispatched I returned.

The note was still there, and it was past 12, but wait... I spy someone ( well rather their bottom poking out from behind the counter where they are on the phone. I rattle the door, and they bring the phone over for a minute to let me in from the cold.
The phone conversation is regarding a customer who wants to make an appointment during the day within the next 3 weeks ( how selfish and silly) and how they can't possibly be fit in. I feel a little important now because at least I have an appointment. I sit and wait.

After extensive phone negotiations are wound up, I am greeted and ushered in to a cubicle of sorts, with soothing music playing somewhere and a couple of posters blue tacked to the wall showing serene things. You know the usual - lillies and rocks. And some adverts for stuff that will stop my skin looking like a dry creekbed and shave 15 cm off my wait ( yeah good luck with that). At least I am warm. The woman, er, lady.. technician? lets call her a beauty therapist as I am sure thats what they are called, scolds me for wearing covered shoes ( it is almost snowing outside). I said thats ok I dont need coloured nails and she seems somewhat mollified. I am invited to take off my boots and roll up the jeans ( GAH hope I did a good job shaving) then hop up on the table so she can soak my feet. I comply, sitting a little awkwardly on the doctors style table draped fetchingly in crimson towels. somehow I manage to scoot up and put my feet in the big clay bowl full of soapy lukewarm water without knocking it over. Once I am thus perched, the phone rings again and the therapist disappears.

The same inconsiderate woman is calling back to try and make a time again ( really cant she see that we are BUSY here). The water cools a few degrees, and I am starting to cramp from being in this weird position. They must be clean by now - and I only just had a shower anyway...

No matter - she is back again, all smiles and raring to go. She starts to chat in the way hairdressers do, and scrub my feet with some sort of nylon loofah thing. It tickles but is mercifully brief. small towels are placed either side of the bowl and my feet are lifted out and wrapped, then the dreaded bowl goes. Ok now its fine, I am getting a bit of a foot massage combined with various creams and unguents designed no doubt to soften and improve the feet. The hoped-for nail shaping happens ( I wont have to try and see my toes while wielding a sharp implement for another month or so now) and a little bit of buffing and general carry on.

Therapist asks about my job ( i left it) previous job ( really - ok here goes) and all sorts of other therapist questions and before long I find myself reciting my history and divulging bad habits and secret wishes to a complete stranger.
Her:"do you wear sneakers often"
Me: "why yes, I wear them every day, but prefer to be barefoot or in bedsocks"
Her: It is just they have been rubbing on your feet ..."
Me: " What? No... those holes are from karate...."
Her: "oh, it doesn't look good for your feet" ...
OH hold that thought the phone is ringing again...

In the end I am telling her all about updating her website and realising that she is quite a nice ( if somewhat harried) therapist and I suppose other people might find this relaxing but I am not one of them.

The final thing she did was coat the feet in some light green paste and wrap them again while she worked on my hands. The green stuff was cold, I mean like freezing, and I found myself wondering if she had kept it in the fridge. Never mind, my feet will warm up soon, I HATE cold feet.

She has finished with my hands, my feet, if anything are colder, now feeling as though they have been plunged into a bucket of ice and left there. She wipes my feet dry and applies a coat of varnish to the nails. After another phone call she returns and says well we are done and I can put my shoes back on. I think my feet must be still wet as they feel as if an arctic wind is blowing on them and there has to be some wind chill factor, but no- they are dry, so on go the shoes and socks.

After pleasantries, I totter out of the shop in my heeled boots wondering if I took them off would i find meat popsicle feet inside. I drive home, make a cup of tea, take OFF the boots and put on some bedsocks. I am sure the dogs are impressed by the momentary glimpse they got of softened feet with shiny nails, and I know they wont mind the few scabs I still have from the kick bag at karate. An hour later I still have cold feet.

At least I can now say I have had a mani pedi and when a girlfriend guiltily divulges to me they are off for their monthly salon visit I can smile, wave and be quite confident I am not missing anything.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Left vs right

The left and right hand sides of my brain are arguing right now
Its an interesting conversation since one of them is mute.
But the right hand side is listening for a change because the left hand side is keeping him up at night.
The left hand side wants to make things and be allowed to run the place for a while. The right thinks that making stuff is a waste of time because it clutters the house up and you know you can get stuff at the shops and there a billion artists in the world who make pretty average stuff. The left hand side doesn't care because it wants to feel the clay and shape it, scratch the pencil on the paper and record its observations anyway.

To be fair, the right hand side has had the run of the place for a while and isn't really achieving anything much at the moment.
The right suspects it is because the left, tired of being neglected, has sabotaged the right hand side by making the whole brain miserable and unable to continue with the strict regime of usefulness set by the right.

The left cares not for the rights logic, it can't see how money makes you happy anyway, and is very cranky at being shut away while the right side decides who to please next.

Now the right has agreed to let the left do some stuff, but vexingly keeps finding little tasks that need doing before the left can be allowed to play. The right wants to organise the tools, and make sure all the housework is done, and even more annoyingly find something useful to do with the stuff the left brain creates. The left just wants to get on with it, and is now letting the right know it is not happy to sit around while it does yet another load of washing, dishes and floor washing. The right is countering that the rest of the family will not understand if they get home to no clean clothes, a pile of dishes and dirty floors.

And so the argument goes on. The right brain has consented to record the objections of the left ( it is a very kind and fair right brain after all), and will now switch the radio on to keep lefty amused, so now right can finish the work it set out to do today.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Its summer again - and the garden has been supplying the family with a wonderful variety of delicious foods. Plums, lemons, zuchhini, pumpkin, spinach, hundreds upon hundreds of tomatoes, and figs.

Not everyone likes figs, and I must admit I was not a fan when I first moved here. But 15 years and tonnes of fruit have made a convert out of me, and I now give the greedy lorikeets some competition in the fig - eating department.

Sweet and delicate fresh off the tree, figs pair beautifully with cheese, wrapped with philly and proscuitto, or in a salad with walnuts and fetta.

Warm them up with a little honey and custard for a sweet dessert, or mix them with almonds and honey for all sorts of tasty treats.

I made filo slice today with almonds, honey, lemon, figs and butter.... divine!

If you are liking the fresh taste of figs, perhaps drop by before they are all eaten by the birds :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Facebook Friends (?)

Ok small reflection on facebook habits. I have noticed that lots of my fb friends have people on THEIR friends list who are NOT their friends at all. In fact some of them would cross the road to avoid each other. WTF is with that? Hey be my fb friend you BASTARD! Look at pics of me and my friends and family acting the goat, hear my petty rantings and what time I had breakfast, send me virtual puppies and stuff.

I have been thinking a LOT about FB lately - my son has joined and his mates have some VERY unusual friends on their lists.

Here is my new list of commonsense FB rules:

if someone asks to friend you and is not someone you would invite in for a cuppa and a chat - don't friend them !

If you are under 18 and people older than you start talking about their underwear and other steamy stuff on their facebook status - unfriend them ( sheesh)

If you see the face but cant remember the name unless you read it - think about why you have them as a freind - maybe its just because you feel you need to prove you are loveable enough to have 400 friends.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Peep show

A long time hobby at our house has been raising silkie bantams. WHen one of the hens turned out to be a rooster, and the eggs started to come fertilised, we decided to try and hatch some out.
The natural method resulted in the broody hen dying from heat exhaustion on a 43 degree day so we decided to try and incubate some. Yo uknow once you get this idea in your head it is hard to dissuade yourself from doing it. The kids wanted baby chicks, so I reeely wanted ot make it happen.

Incubator was bought and eggs installed - they need turning every few hours, its crazy stuff. And although you can see them moving in the egg if you candle them, you never know when they will hatch and most of the time you cant tell if they are alive or dead. So you turn them for ages and then kind of almost give up on them..


After a few false starts some of the chickys have FINALLY hatched out of their eggs.

At the moment we have 5 alive and 4 that died. Watching them struggle out of their shells, chests heaving and wet feathers sticking to their little bodies, feet splayed and head trembling with the effort, is a reminder of how hard it is to get born. Watching some of them suffer through inevitable hardships and misfortune, to die within their first few days of life is a stark lesson on how precious life is.

I am not sure that I expected them to all live, but there seem to be so many ways to not live that it is somehow a miracle any of them manage to live at all.

The first chick to go to god never even made it out of its shell. It peeped and peeped and pecked, but somehow never made it out of its concrete like egg tomb. RIP little black chick which did not make it. Everyone was sad :(

2 days later another struggled for over a day to be born only to simply die from what looked like exhaustion a few hours later. RIP black chicky number 2 :((

Number 3; made the mistake of leaving some eggs under the chook - since that is the way nature would have it ( The incubator was more of a back up plan). The one chick who did hatch out of the egg was swiftly attacked by its mother, and mercilessly pecked by the rest of the chooks too. So much for the farmyard image of big mama and her baby chicks trailing happily behind. As soon as the little thing was noticed it was rescued but too late. The pecking had shattered a wing and left a hole in its neck, so that one went to god too, with a little help from a shovel. More sads :(.

The one having trouble getting out before unfortunately was not alone. This seems to be a recurring theme with the little eggys turning into little chickys.

When number 4 was having trouble making its way out. Jack gave it a little bit of "help" . After some picking and tipping the little thing was messily liberated from the shell, but its neck was all wrong. Instead of holding up its head and looking around, this chick could not manage to do anything at all with its U shaped neck and was permanently upside down in the head department. This left the poor thing permanently disoriented, and it often would crash into things and tumble over backwards. at about day 4 we found it in the .5cm of water, drowned. This one had been named, so got buried rather than binned. I do hope the dog doesn't find it.

But all is not lost because we still have 5 little chickys peeping and getting stronger all the time. The newest one is black, and he is a few days younger than the other blonder ones. I am hoping being black doesn't mean he/she will die like the other black ones...

During this time googling revealed the folowing facts :

  • Silkies have no skull over a good part of their brains, leaving them vulnerable to head injury
  • Silkies have black bones which some cultures will grind up and eat for good luck ( not for me thanks)
  • You can apparently more easily sex a chicken by looking at its wing feathers than its undercarriage
  • Silkies sometimes are too big to get out of their eggs because they cant move around enough.
  • Baby chickens are called peeps
  • the peep of a peep sounds a lot like a favourite squeaky toy my dog had once had
I made a video the day the first chicks hatched - complete with kid comments

Monday, November 30, 2009


Kk gratuitous pics of my dog Saffie here. She is a saluki, and is about 4 and a half months old.
I adore her - she is the 6th saluki I have had, it is a breed I think I will always love. We tried to get by with a white fluffball, he is cute, but just did not cut it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Is it me - or do schools seem to expect more of the parents today than when I went to school? Last week Jack needed a costume so he could be the man who threw Martin Luther out of the church. There was a parents info night which took 2 hours, and I had to fill out forms and sign 2 diaries. Today I made pizzas for Roman day, and whipped up another costume on the janome for Jack. Cait needs to have recounts of her birth ( please... I am still trying to forget that - and trying to fondly recall details best left forgotten is not my idea of fun) and there is a stall she will need to have some money for and another form....

Its out of control. Every trip ( even to the park) has a massive permissions form involved, including medical benefits, and an entire medical history. When I was a kid, we took home one small note which we filled out and begged for our parents signature. Mum paid 40c for me to go on the bus and have a sausage at the other end for lunch.

And am I the most involved parent ?? No way - I may sew costumes, take them to swimming and gym - even teach the year 2 kids to make pasta once ( what a mess) but I don't do canteen or listen at reading. And neither of my kids are on a sports team. I make most info nights but am absent for coffee mornings ( I work). At our school that rates me one level above delinquent.

This weekend, shamefully I will not make the year 3 coffee morning ( I will be interstate) . Can I cope with the guilt? Damn I hope so.