Friday, 31 July 2015

Stuff That Any Fool Could Predict


If you go to a ladies luncheon wearing the navy blue slacks you bought from Zara, while on holiday with The H in Sydney after a particularly busy week in which you skipped more than two meals, the fancy creased ankle breezing slacks with gold chinky bits that gave you camel toe a month after purchase, they will look good with your navy blue shoes but HELLO they will still give you CAMEL TOE.**

If you go to the trouble to send back a microscopic piece of over roasted nut bit (I know enough of the ORNB already) to its rightful place: king size chocolate bar quality control department, you may get a phone call from HQ two days after you have returned it in its prepaid courier back which goes like this: “It’s not the right bit… This is the bit from April, we need the July bit.” WTF. Okay, son 12 did take this message but that’s the last time this Ausgustine Gloop comes out of the chocolate factory to assist a market leader increasing its market share. Stuff the free bloody chocolate.

If you have a lot to say but don’t get enough sleep on account of being woken up intermittently during the night due to SNORING. Not mine. It’s possible you could enter your writing in the Guinness Book of Records longest-sentence-with-crap-punctuation-record and win.

If you live in Central Otago and take the rabbit proof guards off your lovely native seedlings which are looking blimmin rambunctious at summers end, because those guards are so plastic-y and brown-y and damn ugly, come July Mr Peter Rabbit and his merry band of mofo munchers will have trimmed your native seedlings back like a mad woman in charge of battery powered weed trimmer. Or an extremely severe 1970s bowl haircut. Take your pick.

Rabbity Fact of the day: "Wild Rabbits gestate for only 30 days, and usually have litters of between 4 and 12 babies (kits), depending on the breeds. Once the babies are born, the doe can mate and get pregnant again as soon as the following day." Looking at the worst case scenario: 12 x 12 that’s 144 kits per year per randy rabbit couples (no calculator was used in that calculation.)

If you have a game of rest home Scrabble with your 82 year old Dad it is likely he will cheat. In the nicest possible way by putting two words down at once. Quite sensibly so, I mean what good is ‘gin’ without ‘mug’ or ‘wine’ without ‘tavern’. He will also be able to assist when you cannot remember if oboe has an ‘e’ on the end? It does.

If you are at a social gathering and someone asks you an open-ended question like, ‘tell us about the children’s book you’re writing?’ It is likely at least one person present eyes’ will glaze over and before you have had a chance to say what your book is about in one Hollywood pitch worthy sentence, they will be showing the room pics of their step daughter giving an elephant an enema in Thailand on their iPhone. ATP you will be thankful because you’ll realize you need to work on that pitch worthy sentence pronto. Hashtag #HowToNotLookLikeADickWhenYou'reAWriter

If you write and complete over days and nights and weeks and months, after fiction edits and beta readers, the above children’s book, because a much awarded and well-respected writer has offered to publish said book under their publishing house this will eventually happen. This year. You might even right now be looking at the FIRST covers prepared by your fabulous and talented artist friend, Gustav from Russia, now residing in a lofty apartment in a picturesque plaza in Barcelona.

I'd do a show and tell, but that would be giving away secrets. And I’m a very secretive person and also very serious in real life. SIRL. So serious, I do not actually write this blog it is someone else. Someone funny. Not me at all.


Oh and ps. If you pop into a vintage boutique in Parnell, on a day so gloomy the sky may have fallen in, in search of something exotic and Haute couture-ish which just happened to be dropped in by a local-Iris-Apfel aged a sprightly 95, you may be rewarded. One early 1970’s Christian Dior silk Escharpes scarf, 20% off today - $69 buckeroos, thank you very much… On arriving home you may jump on the internet and google ‘vintage CD scarfs’ to see just how much you saved off that sweet old lady, because golly everyone loves a bargain right. As you look around you start to get suspicious. Your scarf is not hand rolled – it’s machine edged. It has a logo, yet bits of the C are wonky, and it has no label stating fabric content and where it was made. The print is equally vibrant on both sides. Phew. All the same, 2 out of 3 says it came from a hawker in Hong Kong not the Champs Elysees. Nevertheless, it will look fab with the navy blue slacks if they ever amble out of my wardrobe again...

Because that was July and carbs can now be trusted.

**(NB. Do not google 'camel toe' to find a pic of an actual camel’s foot - you will not find one).

Monday, 13 July 2015

Really Important Shit You Need to Know


·      1.   You will NEVER get the label off a Pic’s peanut butter jar if you soak it. Even if you soak it for days and scrub it and scrub it, put it through the dishwasher then soak it again, finally resorting to scraping that scabby old glue with your fingernails. It will NOT come off. I have many skanky sticky reused glass jars full of organic nuts and ground flaxseeds to prove this theory. However, if you take the time to read the DIRECTIONS (squinting hard, arm outstretched) on your empty jar of yummiest Australian peanuts smashed into a creamy crunchy nutty mess, the ones with the lovely black tops with red-stars-upon-thars, you will discover that by pouring hottish water INTO, not feckin ONto your jar(s), that groovy label will peel cleanly off. Did I say cleanly? I meant without trace. You will even have a nice poem, or a whimsical thought (written by brothers Pic) on the inside of the label to read while you wash the dregs of the nut-butter out of your jar.

·         2. Radio host, film maker and regular good guy, Marcus Lush is currently walking the Otago rail trail. A straight and mostly flat track created for cycling from Clyde to Middlemarch, in July. Mad. Below freezing. Lonely. If you want to follow his pictorial progress of empty pastoral scenes or send him some Jimmy's Pies vouchers or woolly mittens it's @marcuslush #walkingtherailtrail

·      3.   If you are lucky enough to bite into a really hard piece of over roasted almondy nut bit and you make the effort to ring the 0800 number on the back of the chocolate bar the manufacturer will be mighty glad you did. Attention to detail and innovation – that’s why Whittaker’s are conquering the cocoa candy market in NZ. AND have become my go to brand way over and above master of old school and deleter of Spearmint leaves, Snifters and NOW Licorice Alsorts, Cadburys. Whittaker’s bless their forced draft cleaner, de-stoner, x-ray machines, metal detectors, live PEOPLE detectors, plus their New (and no doubt jolly expensive) density-sensitive-foreign-object-rejecting-machine will also send you not one but THREE complimentary king size blocks of choc by way of apology. Plus a nice letter and prepaid courier pack for you to whip the offending particle right back to them. Thank you, Whittaker’s. You rock.
·      
       4.  If you buy a second-hand book from Amazon it may cost a paltry $2.99. Of course any savings are blown away when you add the stupid shipping fee ex US. Disclaimer: I do support and love local bookstores, but their stocks are limited. Anyways, your ordered book will no doubt arrive way earlier than targeted dates suggest and if your ticked supplier was a charity, Booksforgood.org, it may come with an inscription. A stranger making a personal message to another. This will leave you with a feeling of weird. WTH. Dominique? Ericka with a K? Because the subject of said book is an author/artist working through a very severe depression. It’s funny. Sad. And very real. I of course wondered if Ericka had gifted the book to Dominique because she was depressed. On the verge. And is she okay now? Xmas 2013.  …thanks for being such a great friend! It said. Maybe D hated it. Hiffed it straight into the inorganic collection bin. It was an expensive mis-order on my part – I only wanted it for the pictures.

Tbh I really feel for those living with depression. And wish the world offered better support for them. I fell into a dark hole after each of my three children. I know that. But mine was a hole. A mini culvert, Author of ‘Hyperbole and a Half…’ by Allie Brosh was in a well.

·        5. Male horses, geldings, stretch out all four legs, straighten their backs and lift their tails slightly when they pee. They do this so they don’t get splashes on their hooves. Actually, I don’t know why they do it. And I can’t be bothered typing why do geldings stretch out to pee and sifting through the search results. Soz. I shouldn’t look outside my window when writing fun fact filled piffle for my blog.

·       6.  My newly created health initiative, Low Carb July is quite doable. Although the H was being so thick about whether beer was a carb I just gave up trying to hammer that one home. Roundabout day five. The three eldest members of our family have been enjoying massive veg fest high protein lunches and dinners for 13 days! Okay there has been the odd slip-up. But mostly. I can’t say I am filled with ants in your pants type energy, but I feel smoother. I can see why body builders dis carbs now. Although I note Crystal or is it Krystal*, ex Batchelor contestant now samba-ing up a storm on Dancing with Stars has had to RE-introduce carbs into her diet. Small portions of potatoes and kumara help her remember her moves apparently. I thought it was omega-3 wot revved up our remembering carburettors??? Maybe exercising vigorously in a teeny spangly suit held together with bits of nude tight material assists brain function also. Getting your heart rate up and getting sweaty for at least 35 minutes 3-4 times a week is supposed to help stave off Alzheimer’s. I read that somewhere and follow that regime religiously.*fact correction: it's Chrystal with an h-ache.


So GOOD luck with your endeavours people. Only ONE more week of the school holidays to go. Remember it’s way more fun to DO than BE. Spangly suit, bulk free chocolate or not.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Low Carb July and CHOCOLATE


First of July! How did that happen? Our family begins ‘Low Carb July’ today. It was my idea. The H and I did Dry July last year. That was fine. And boring.

So the plan being to eat a protein rich, leafy green packed veg dinner nightly. With none, or only one quarter cup of complex carbs ie. rice, pasta, potatoes after three pm. Why? To feel good. Alive.

Loads of vegetables do that. Go ask Gwyneth. Or Madonna.

My first day, I must confess has not gone too well. I munched my high protein brekkie. Pics salt free peanut butter liberally spread on linseed wholegrain toast with a very milky coffee. I ate four brazil nuts at morning tea. But then, post river run I munched not one, but two bowls of Ceres Organic Honey Almond Muesli with easy yo coconut and pineapple yoghurt and trim milk. Two bowls. Full.

Oops. That’s straight carbs you twit. I’d sent the rest of the family off with grated carrot, spinach and mung bean sprout laden chicken wraps for lunch. But I was already cheating.

It got worse. After scooping four wheelbarrow loads of horse manure and piling it on my lovely big pile turning into blackist friable compost, I got a craving. I may as well finish it off. While I can. Home alone.

Because.

I managed two rows with a cup of peppermint tea. Then I rang the consumer helpline. 0800 Whittaker’s I dialled. I stumbled over my words. Suddenly feeling like a cad. A nark also. I didn’t want to be that.

‘I eat a lot of your chocolate,’ I confessed and giggled like the techno nong I am who right then couldn’t get her dictaphone to record because she pressed the playback triangle not the small red dot with ‘REC’ under it. I got an earful of static and quickly turned it off.  ‘It’s okay really, I didn’t crack a filling on it or anything…I just thought you’d want to know…’

‘Yes, we definitely want to know. Please accept our deepest apologies,’ said Michelle (named changed to protect privacy.) ‘Our quality control follows strict systems, each batch of nuts is roasted, sieved etc etc (see fuckit I can’t remember all the minutae and I wanted to, for journalistic purposes.)

‘We’ll send you out some replacement king size blocks of Almond Gold tomorrow,’ said Michelle, ‘and a prepaid envelope for you to return the evidence. Sometimes we send the foreign object out to be tested by forensics.’

Jeepers. I started to go a bit hot. They’ll have my DNA. I licked the chocolate off that little of rock hard over roasted nut bit before I sellotaped it neatly onto the inside of its packet. Knowing they’d want its batch number and use by date. FYI Whittaker’s even record the time your block chuffs down the conveyor belt. 15.13. Mine.

Augustus Gloop. Augustus Gloop. You big fat piggy nincompoop. Should I peel off my ticket to a free BAR of choco and wash it? With detergent?

‘What is your name?’ asked Michelle kindly. ‘And telephone number, in case we need to contact you with the results of our case study.’

I wondered if my call was being recorded for training purposes. I could ask for the transcript. Write a proper story. With details. Facts.

They’ll know where I live.

‘Do you have any idea what it was?’ asked Michelle curiously.

‘At first I thought it was a bit of shell,’ I said. And helpfully, ‘if I press my thumbnail firmly into it I can’t break it.’

Then I guiltily wondered how many nut blocks I’ll get. You know, coz of low carb July and all. 

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