Looking a bit alien

‘So, how did you get to be an alien?’ I was asked.

‘You have to know the right alien,’ I answered back.

This was a brief exchange at Surrender the other night. About 40 of us gathered outside Parliament House to get our photos taken, professionally and by passers-by.

Alien invasion at Surrender via Parliament House

Alien invasion at Surrender via Parliament House

I think we were a bit of a sideshow for people walking past.

Alien invasion at Surrender via Parliament House

And I love how inventive a few of my friends got with their outfits.

Alien invasion at Surrender via Parliament House

I went green. Body and facepaint for my face and neck, green hairspray, my green 70s onesie and my son’s cape worn inside-out (and borrowed with his permission). I’d bought some alien eyes to go on top of my head but will be returning them because the elastic wasn’t going to hold anything up, so I improvised with some pipe cleaners. And a little behind the scenes secret, it’s really hard to go to the loo in a portaloo when you have to negotiate a cape and a onesie.

Alien invasion at Surrender via Parliament House

I didn’t take any photos at Surrender, but below is one at the end of the night outside the Festival Centre.

Alien invasion at Surrender via Parliament House

Introverts at job interviews

Against a brick wall. Day 175/366.

I had a job interview recently and to put it succinctly – I bombed at the interview. I had a great written application and had it got to the referee stage they would have talked me up I’m sure, but the actual interview – it sucked. I sucked!

Yes, I had prepared but when it came down to it, all that preparation went out the window.

I really hate the format of the we’ll ask you a question comprising at least two parts, and we’ll sit here and look at you while you answer. I inevitably forget what the question is and I forget what I know.

I wondered if I was alone in this so I did a search, and surprise surprise – it’s a thing!

Susan Cain, well-known author of Quiet – a book about introverts says:

“The modern-day interview is mostly designed to hire narcissists,” Cain says, pointing to a recent study that indicates narcissists who have overt charm, verbal fluency and a take-charge personality, do better at job interviews than modest people.

I thought about it afterwards and thought that if the interview process were different, ie more conversational, I would have done a lot better. Or if I were given the questions in more of a role play situation I would have done a lot better.

I’m not afraid of talking to people and explaining my work to them. I’m not afraid of interview panelists either, but when a job’s riding on the balance there’s more to lose isn’t there?

I’ve rehashed over the process and wish I’d done a couple of things differently, and said a whole lot more but it’s in the past now and there’s not much I can do to change the outcome.

But I know I’ve got a bit of work to do for the next time.


We survived his first week of high school


He’s stressed because his routine has changed significantly from going to primary school practically across the road to having to catch a bus to his high school. He’s stressed because he’s gone from being the oldest to the youngest kid in his school. He’s stressed because high school’s completely different and he’s going from the very familiar to the pretty unfamiliar.

You can help by running around after him and doing everything for him on his first morning while he sits on the couch barking orders and saying that it’s his first day of high school. It doesn’t matter that he woke you up at 6am when he got up to get ready. At least you didn’t have to nag him to get up and get ready this time and you hope this enthusiasm will last.

When you come home from work he’ll be relaxing in front of the xbox playing a game. He might reluctantly tell you a bit about his first day of school with a glimmer of excitement when he tells you that his home group is ace. He piles a heap of forms in front of you to sign and strolls back to play xbox even though you’ve told him that he has to ask to play it during a school week. Never mind – it’s his first day of school so you let it slide.

You fill out the forms and when he makes an appearance to ask how you filled in one of them, he doesn’t like the answer you give. You sit there and get yelled at when he tells you that you did the wrong thing. After all, it’s his first day of high school.

You ask him reasonably to do his jobs like feed the dog, take out the recycling and have a shower and he yells at you for not supporting and understanding him. Apparently you’d neglected to say to him that morning that you hoped he had a good day. Your mouth drops open in surprise. After all, he wouldn’t be at this particular high school without your continued support but there is no reasoning with him – he’s an adolescent, and it’s his first day of high school.

For the first three days you wonder where this devil child came from. He’s often been stubborn before but this is a whole new thing that shakes you a bit. Is this what the next five years are going to be like you wonder?

You go to work each day while you wonder how he’s going at school. He’s supposed to call after he gets home from school but doesn’t always remember. He might send a vague text that makes no sense so you call to make sure he’s okay.

After three days of this you realise that this is his way of dealing with stress and that he’s really been doing a pretty good job. He’s been getting up every morning and getting ready without you having to remind him. You try and think of how he’s feeling and realise that perhaps you could have been a bit more understanding.

You stop off at a book shop on the way home and buy a book that he’s indicated he’d like to read. You get home and commend him on how well he’s done at his first week of high school and apologise for not being more understanding. He apologises for his behaviour too.

This shifts the mood in the house and the devil child becomes angelic and lovely.

You know you need to make the absolute most of this while it lasts.

Brighton sculptures 2015


Reminiscing already


I’m on holidays again. Last week we went away down the coast for five nights with some friends in a house we hired.

As it was pretty close to the beach I went for a walk along the beach every day. There’s something about walking along the beach with your bare feet in the sand and the water that’s very therapeutic. I love it.

Our five days went in a blink. One minute it was morning, next minute it would be time for nibbles and drinks before dinner. Times this by five and there goes your time away. Most of the holiday houses I stay in these days are newer than my own with newer everything (except kitchen that is). It doesn’t mean they’re necessarily better except for if they have two bathrooms. Usually they’re lacking in the things you take for granted in your own kitchen, ie oven mitts, roasting pan, a decent potato masher, cake tins.

The cheaper places I’ve stayed at since I’ve been an adult have pretty much all had mice. In one place we could hear them in the walls and could see them running around at night. I’ve lived through mice plagues growing up in the country but even this put me off enough not to go back there even though it was a third of the price of places I’ve stayed at since.

Did you know that mice like chocolate? Another place I stayed at had mice come and nibble away to my room-mate’s chocolate during the night. We soon learned to keep everything as clean as possible and put food away.

But it’s this place that’s my favourite location. It’s a private property on Kangaroo Island with two, two-bedroom little shacks. The bed mattresses sag but usually you’re so tired at night that it doesn’t really matter. It’s near a river where you can fish, paddle your canoe and with a bit of an extra walk, get to the beach. Because it’s not really near anyone else the beach is usually empty from other people and it’s a gorgeous beach even if the water is a bit cool that side of the island.

There’s no tv in the shacks but it doesn’t matter when there’s a few of you. We’ve stayed up till all hours playing cards with the friends I’ve gone with.

Next week I go back to work and as usual I’ll miss this time of summer holidays. I’ve been grocery shopping for the week ahead. Back to making school and work lunches, getting up earlier rather than lying in bed reading, and – working.

Dishwasher – love em or hate em?

After - kitchen sink/dishwasher/cupboards

I recently renovated my kitchen. Well, when I say ‘I’, I mean I organised for a team of people to do it.

Part of the renovation was a brand spanking new dishwasher. I’ve never had one of these before and I’m in love.

I love that dirty dishes now have a home and when you’ve filled the dishwasher up, you put some powder or a tablet in it, turn it on, wait a couple of hours and voila – clean dishes.

I love that my kitchen routine has changed because of it. After dinner I used to wash the dishes and I hated having to do that. I’d rather just relax after dinner. Now, I might have a greasy pan to wash by hand, but otherwise into the dishwasher go the dirty dishes.

However, my son is not a fan. He hates having to open the dishwasher up every time he has to put something into it. He also doesn’t like having to put the clean dishes away. He, however, is begrudgingly getting on board. Obviously he didn’t spend enough time washing dishes pre-dishwasher because if he had, he’d appreciate this technology much more.

I had read that dishwashers are more environmentally friendly than washing by hand and upon further reading found that when many people wash dishes by hand they leave the hot water tap running. That’s incomprehensible to me. Before dishwasher, I had two sinks. One would be half filled with hot sudsy water, the other half-filled with hot water for rinsing and this would do for the whole wash unless it was  particularly large, greasy batch. I always started with glasses and cups, then cutlery, then plates, then plastics, and lastly saucepans and other cooking pans. So I don’t think my pre-dishwasher footprint was too bad. The downside was the the shoddy job I was doing, usually because I’d wash while not wearing my glasses.

Now I have a dishwasher I run it roughly every second day for two of us. I sometimes rinse things off before hand but I try not to and dishes are mostly coming out much cleaner. I’m using Ecostore’s dishwashing powder which is working really well for me and doesn’t leave that weird finish on the clean and dry plates that the dishwashing tablet often used by others does.

Oh, and incase you wondered, I bought an Asko dishwasher. I have no complaints so far. To me, it was worth spending the extra few hundred dollars. Others I know have bought cheaper ones and complain about them not cleaning properly.

Fire fire

Smoke from bushfire looks like clouds

Yesterday the temperature rose to about 44 degrees celsius, with a hot north wind to go with it. In other words, a good day for a fire to burn out of control. Days like these are total fire ban days but apparently someone decided that lighting their incinerator would be a good idea. One spark from that and it’s a potential catastrophe.

The photo above shows the smoke from the bushfire – it’s not clouds. The fire this smoke is from is still burning and people are evacuating from of their homes and some people have lost their homes.

But others who aren’t directly affected are driving to the fire to have a look. I can’t believe the  arrogance and stupidity of these people. Well, yes I can because I know some people only think of themselves. Bastards. Does doing something like this give them a story to tell their mates to make them look cool? I don’t know, but it’s very selfish. Someone suggested these people should be fined and the money go to the fire fighting service.

When I walked the dog this morning I could smell the smoke where I live and luckily I’m not close to the fire. The last thing I would do is go for a look. I wish I had a tow bar on my car and a horse float as some livestock need clearing out. While I feel sorry for people who are affected I feel more for the animals who can’t hop in a car and leave. The photo of the lone koala sitting in a tree while the ground around him has burned makes me feel sad that his home has burned but glad that at least he’s still alive.

But while some people are selfish idiots, others offer their homes and their services to help affected people. I like to see that.


Frock on week 4 (quite belated)

It’s late in coming but I wanted to add my frocks for the final week of Frocktober before my Everyday Hero record is closed.

I raised $838.79 and considering I didn’t think I’d get to $500 I’m very pleased with that.

See week 1, and weeks 2 and 3.

Frocktober day 22 A Lazybones dress

Frocktober day 22
A Lazybones dress


Frocktober day 23
An Inspyr frock


Frocktober day 24
An Essaye frock my ex bought me for my birthday last year with some help from my two sisters – financially that is. I suggested the actual dress.

Frocktober day 25 At the Rolling Stones concert at Adelaide oval, wearing a Morrison dress I bought for $50 on sale (down from $600).

Frocktober day 25
At the Rolling Stones concert at Adelaide oval, wearing a Morrison dress I bought for $50 on sale (down from $600).


Frocktober day 26
A Regatta frock from the op-shop. I’d layered up in the morning as it was cool and by the time this photo was taken I was quite warm.


Frocktober day 27
A Katies frock I’ve had for ages.


Frocktober day 28
A Veronika Maine bought on sale. Posing with Erica at a #socadl meetup who also frocked up.


Frocktober day 29
A David Lawrence frock I bought from the op-shop.


Frocktober day 30
A Simona frock I bought when I was pregnant. I love this frock.


Frocktober day 31 – last day
A busy day buying a new (to me) car. I wore a Stitches (I think) linen number.

I got more comfortable with the photo taking business over the month of October  and it was great to get feedback from my Facebook friends saying they liked my daily updates.

I also kept a count of which frocks were op-shop and which were new. Op-shop frocks came out in front by about three. I met my personal challenge of not wearing the same frock twice and I could have kept going for another week. This means I have a frockin’ addiction I think.

Frock on!