Attention to detail

stylish

I had a date day with The Surfer the other day and we thought we’d see a movie.

We sussed out which one we’d see, knew which time and which cinema it was on at so off we went.

However, when we got to the cinema neither of us could remember the name of the movie but as we knew the time we picked a movie showing at that time.

We sat through the ads for other movies and saw an ad to the movie we thought we were going to be seeing – Now You See It. That’s when we realised we’d stuffed up.

We ended up watching The Way, Way Back instead. I like Toni Collette so it was an immediate winner for me.

It could have been a lot worse, but luckily it worked out.

It’s this lack of attention to detail that sees me park my car in a multi-storey carpark and not remember which level I parked on.

However, my attention to detail springs to attention when I am getting dressed in the morning.

I usually start thinking about what I will wear to work the night before so I have a clear picture in my head of what needs preparing. I’m an iron as you go girl which I find much less fussy than having an ironing basket staring at me letting me know that I’m slack. Everything gets put away ironed or not. And in winter I don’t tend to iron as much.

When I get dressed I’m pretty neatly turned out with accessories to match or complement. And I often get compliments on what I’m wearing. One woman I used to work with recently even made an effort to tell me that she liked my style.

So who cares if I see the wrong movie because I didn’t pay enough attention, at least I looked good while doing it.

By the way, in the photo above, this wasn’t how we dressed to see the movie.

Finding time to do your singing practise

Band practise minus the singer (photographer). Day 280/366.

I’ve been doing singing lessons again. I used to do them in the late 90s and then stopped and thought I’d probably not do them again because I already had spent two years paying for lessons.

Since then I’ve been singing in choirs and doing a semi-organised thing with friends and more recently The Surfer, a friend of his and I have made a little band – two guitarists and me, the vocalist and occasional ukulele player.

I’ve got a reasonable voice but thought I could do with some polishing. Add that desire, and the location of the nearby music school it was a no-brainer to go and try it out.

So I’ve been going for about three terms now. My singing teacher is young enough to be my child but she knows her stuff and she likes similar types of music to me so we get on quite well. My last singing teacher kept bringing up artists that I’d never heard of or couldn’t stand – mostly the latter so it was a bit of a struggle to find common ground with song choices.

However, I need to practise during the week. This time round we don’t tape my lessons. Last time I used to tape the lessons and listen to it during the week while driving to work so I’d practise then.

I’ve put the songs I’m singing, or have sung onto a playlist on my iPhone and while I’m washing the dishes or preparing dinner I put that playlist on and practise. It’s a good way to not have the words with you although sometimes I need to momentarily stop cutting up onion and get out the words so I actually know what to sing.

I’ve also bought a contraption for my aging car so I can listen to the music, and practise, in there as well.

I should probably practise more but I figure I’m doing what I can.

 

Wrong date

Save the Date Cookie

In a continual effort to be organised I bought a calendar late last year that I would use all the time so I know what’s what on any given day.

Unfortunately a calendar is only as good as the person who uses it so that system soon fell in a bit of a hole.

I was looking at it one evening to book a date with someone and when they said Saturday the 13th, I said, no it’s the 14th. I didn’t understand why our dates were different. I made sure I was looking at the right month and I was.

I then looked at another calendar and realised she was right and my calendar was wrong.

All of July was a day out.

So I found out who produced the calendar and emailed them.

They emailed back after a couple of days conceding that these calendars had this month wrong and that they couldn’t send me a replacement because I’m located in Australia and their policy states that they only send within the United States. I could, however, go back to the retailer and try my luck with them. I paraphrased that last bit. I didn’t bother going back to the retailer because I didn’t have a receipt and I couldn’t even remember when I bought the calendar and I was pissed off that the people who stuffed it up in the first place wouldn’t send me a new one.

I wrote back with a ‘Seriously?’ I thought for good customer service they would cast aside the policy and pay a couple of dollars extra to post a new calendar to Australia.

Needless to say, I won’t be spending $20 on one of their calendars next year – Belle Maison Plan-it Wall Calendar from Lang. I’ll get one with cute puppies that’s made in Australia.

I was reminded of stupid policies getting in the way of good customer service by reading about someone cancelling their gym membership.

What’s your stupid policy gripe?

 

Holiday. What holiday?

This time two weeks ago I was complaining about bedbug bites. Now I’m back in the cold and my bedbug bites are mostly well and truly covered up.

The hotel gave me a bottle of bubbly to ‘apologise for the inconvenience’. I opened it on our last night there and had a couple of small glasses and through the rest of it away. It was revolting. You’d think that if you were trying to apologise to someone that you’d give them a decent bottle of plonk, not one that tasted like vinegar.

I duly posted a review to Trip Advisor about the hotel and their management of the bedbugs. It wasn’t all negative, I did include the positive things.

Overall we had a great holiday and while the bedbugs incident did put a dampener on things it didn’t take over, although I was annoyed that I couldn’t wear some of the clothes I took there because it would have meant exposing my unsightly pussy bites to the public which I didn’t want to do.

I’m glad I hired a car while there. Yes it did add that extra expense of a few hundred dollars but it was really worth it. Our Port Douglas accommodation wasn’t central so it was much easier to hop in the car and drive to the shops. We also had the freedom of doing the tourist thing without having to pay for transport either locally or on a tour.

Our day trip to Kuranda didn’t leave us enough time to see the Birdworld and the Butterfly World – not sure of exact names. Plus it was a lovely town so we drove back there one day. This would have been harder to do without a car. We also took the inland route rather than the coastal route, just for something different.

JJ had an interesting experience with a bird who must have sussed out that maybe JJ doesn’t clean his teeth as well as he should?

Cleaning his teeth

Going in for a kiss

Inspecting his mouth

IMG_1460

Jules and the bird

Or he just wanted a kiss from a cute boy? I don’t know but it was funny to watch.

This Macaw was friendly but neither of us had a go of him sitting on our shoulder. Some people just hogged him.

Maccaw

So now our holiday is a memory. A good one though. When people ask JJ what his favourite part of the holiday one he says very sarcastically while rolling his eyes, ‘spending time with my mum’. Even though he’s dripping with sarcasm I think he really means it. Apart from a couple of little mother/son niggles we travelled well together and it’s something I’ll always treasure. I hope he does too.

 

 

Not all beer and skittles

So it turns out my bites were bed bugs. Nice huh! Not….. They were unlike any mosquito bites I’d ever had and I kept getting them at night despite spraying the room and myself.

I insisted to the hotel that something was wrong. Housekeeping came along to inspect my room and initially didn’t find anything. I was thinking I was going mad and thinking I would insist on changing rooms anyway. Then after he’d inspected the mattress he began on the ensemble base and when he turned it over he found some bugs. Those little critters ate a lot of me. I have bites on my forehead, one on my face, a couple on my neck and heaps on my arms. I’ve had to buy long sleeved tops to cover them up as they look so hideous.

We did change rooms and I had a much better sleep last night. They checked the bed out before I moved in as well apparently.

So covered up I’ve been in this lovely weather while in Adelaide it’s freezing.

But back to the holiday in hand, we went on the Sky Rail the other day.

Can't wait to get on

It was fun (ahem) leaving the station and being suspended in mid air by a cable while your 12 year old son repeats that we’re going to die. Fun I tell ya.

Looking back down the Sky Rail

Once he got over his anxiety about being on the sky rail he really began to enjoy himself and when we got on after the first stop the girls we shared the gondola with noticed his excitement.

On the Sky Rail

The view was spectacular and we noticed the train travelling up the hill.

IMG_1350

Kuranda was a lovely – albeit very touristy – town and we could have spent longer there looking around but I’d booked the earlier train to go back down the hill. JJ bought himself a crocodile skin hat and yes, those are real crocodile teeth he’s got on the hat.

Hi Mr Dundee

We hopped on the train for the one and a half hour trip down the hill and I listened to some of the commentary about how the railway was built. The terrain is very challenging and building a railway back then would have been really hard work. The workers had to supply their own tools. There were a number of pubs built around the area to keep the workers in beer after a hard day’s work. Sounds like they deserved it.

Looking out the train window

Eating out in Cairns – or how not to run a restaurant

In the rainforest

After a day of sight-seeing the other day we met a friend who happened to be in Cairns and went out for dinner. Not being from the area we thought we’d wing it and walked along the Esplanade for some inspiration.

We came to one place – a middle eastern restaurant – looked at the menu, thought we’d stay and asked for a table for three. The waiter said that they were quite busy at the moment and we could sit outside and wait for 20 minutes until we could be seated.

My friend looked inside and noticed that there were quite a few tables vacant and mentioned this to him. He said that it was a really busy time and we’d still have to wait for 20 minutes.

It was getting on a bit and I wanted to eat and head back to Port Douglas before I got too tired so we moved on.

We ended up at a cafe and ordered our meals. My friend and I ordered the same dish – an oriental chicken salad. JJ ordered the usual fish and chips.

The meals came out and our salads didn’t look that great and when my friend tasted the fried noodles she said they were stale. I tasted mine and they were definitely stale. I had a bit of the chicken and it had been bathed in balsamic vinegar and wasn’t that tasty either. Neither of us are in the habit of sending things back but we had to with these meals.

We ordered something different and had to wait for quite some time. We finally got our replacement meals after JJ had finished eating his and the meals were a lot better this time.

In the meantime we’d been offered nothing while we waited – even a drink would have been good.

As soon as we finished eating I asked for the bill and when we received it our sent back meals were on it in addition to our replacement meals.

Of course we mentioned this and the waitress said that she’d made up a new bill for us without those meals. Why we weren’t given that in the first place I don’t know.

As we walked out we said that we’d never be back and after having a look at their reviews on Trip Advisor others haven’t given them good reviews either. I’ve now added my own review.

If I was the waiter in the first restaurant I would have seated us and mentioned that the meals might take a little bit longer than normal due to them being busy. As it was we probably would have gotten out sooner if we’d stayed there. The fact that he couldn’t seat us for dinner just yet was a bit strange.

In the second place I would have offered us at least a drink for giving us stale food. I think we should have been compensated in some way for the inconvenience. They obviously don’t care about maintaining any sort of standards maybe due to the high number of drop-in tourists? But surely if they took more care with their food they’d have better reviews on Trip Advisor etc and be more popular.

The photo at the top has nothing to do with our food, but it was serene in the rain forest earlier that day.