Archive for January, 2009


The Root Of All Evil?

27 January 2009

I think we can say with some certainty that the Pope’s visit to Australia last year for World Youth Day didn’t leave him with much of a grasp of Australian vernacular.

He’s announced that the theme for the 2011 World Youth Day will be “Rooted and Built up in Jesus Christ; Firm in the faith”

Caused a lot of laughter in our house.

(Australian Dictionary definition:  “To root  – to engage in sexual intercourse”)




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From A New Australian

26 January 2009

This is my first Australia Day as an Australian (I became a citizen in May). 

And how am I celebrating it?  In English fashion, I’m ashamed to admit.  Yes, we’re having a curry!

Emily, Clare, Lara, Mark and Inigo are coming over for dinner.   

But for those of you celebrating in a more traditional style, maybe these versions of the National Anthem will help you on your way.

Yes, we have the punk version, the rocker version, and the Central Station announcer version.

Australians All, Let Us Rejoice!



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No View From The Hill

22 January 2009

I think you’ve all got enough to read on the net about THE inauguration.  But I couldn’t let this gem pass without comment.

240,000 tickets were issued to spectators in the grounds of the Capitol.  But only about 236,000 people were able to get in.

The Senate Sergeant-at-Arms is quoted as saying “About 4,000 people were discombobulated”.***   (!!!)

And the reason for said discombobulation?

A spokesman explained that when calculating capacity, they’d failed to take into account the bulky winter clothing that the visitors would be wearing. 

I don’t suppose they could really ask people to remove layers of clothes to make space for a few more bodies, so they just had to refuse entry.

But if I’d travelled across the country to see this, and had a ticket, I think I’d have been discombobulated too!

*** To save you the trouble of looking it up, it means ‘confused, upset, disconcerted’

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A Day? A Week? A Month? What the hell!

19 January 2009

I was reminded on Saturday by Emily that I had become a bit obsessed last year by the rather strange way of describing time I keep coming across in Oz.  Australian Women’s Weekly is a MONTHLY magazine, Yuendumu Sports DAY lasts a weekend, as does Farm DAY, and  Canberra Wool WEEK takes place on a Sunday.

And lo and behold I found another today.  Apparently we’re exporting this habit to other countries.

Every year, a celebration of all things Aussie takes place in America.  I presume it’s to boost the tourist industry but it’s also an opportunity for rich and famous ex-pats to gorge on whatever one would gorge on at such a festivity (Vegemite?  Cherry Ripe? ) 

And it’s called “G’Day USA – Australia Week 2009”.

And it lasts ELEVEN DAYS. 

Read all about it here, where it’s actually referred to as a “two week celebration” organised by “the Australia Week committee”. 

I don’t make these things up, honest!

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BB’s Winter Millinery Collection

17 January 2009

I received an invitation last week to a baby shower taking place tomorrow.  Not much time.  Sex of baby unknown.

Hats are good ‘train knitting” (I spend about 1.5 hours on trains each day) so hats it had to be.


The baby is due in February and won’t need much in the way of warm hats until the winter sets in, so they’re all knitted for about a 6-9 month old baby. Just in case my friend has “issues” around suitable colours for boys and girls, I’ve avoided pink and blue.  I think these are fairly unisex.

I do hope it’s a girl.  Everyone I know has had boys in the last couple of years and, as gorgeous as they are,  I’d LOVE a little girl to knit for.   I know this sounds terribly sexist but I really don’t know many parents who would put their baby boy in a lace hat, a frilly cardigan or a pink sweater.  Baby boys USED to wear dresses and I’m not sure when this changed but I don’t think the trend is returning any time soon.


I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again!

14 January 2009

I grabbed a copy of Metro (Sydney’s free newspaper) on the way to catch the train home from work tonight.  I only had time to quickly glance at it before my train pulled in, but as I was looking for a seat my mind was trying to work out one of the headlines I’d noticed:

“Howard honoured for services to us”

Now John Howard is the Aussie Prime Minister who lost the Federal election and his own seat in November 2007.  As far as I can recall, the only decent service he offered us was to pack his bags and go.  He put small children in detention centres for years and he introduced the most draconian workplace legislation this country has had since convicts were released from servitude.  Not exactly services I felt were deserving of any honours.

When I’d managed to squeeze into a seat, I read the headline again.  Of course, it wasn’t “us”; it actually read “US”.  In other words, Howard was being honoured for his services to the USA. 

He, Tony Blair and Alvaro Uribe were presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. in Washington for some reason or other (probably connected with their inability to distinguish between Weapons of Mass Destruction and No Weapons of Mass Destruction). 

Howard is staying at Blair House as a guest of George.  Barack Obama was expecting to stay there with his family before the inauguration but apparently has had to go to an hotel.  The place has about 170 rooms so I wouldn’t have thought that the two families sharing (4 adults and 2 children) would have caused too many problems, such as queuing for the bathroom or helping themselves to each other’s food out of the fridge, but apparently it was decided not to put them together.  This may have something to do with the fact that when Barack announced he was going to stand as the Democratic candidate, Howard said that the day Barack was elected would be the day Al-Queda would be dancing in the streets.    

There is of course another most suitable and spacious venue where John and Jeanette could have laid their heads.  It’s called the Australian Embassy.   (Tony Blair chose to stay at the British Embassy).  But I suppose this way, the American taxpayer foots the bill for their accommodation.  I certainly don’t want to pay for it. 


Atheist Bus Campaign – Part 2

11 January 2009

In November, I talked about the Atheist Bus Campaign being launched in England (previous post here).  Well, it’s now up and running, with the slogan “There’s probably no God.  Now stop worrying. And enjoy your life”.    It’s getting a lot of publicity.  And a few complaints.  

It’s felt that the statements in these ads. don’t comply with the Advertising Standard Authority’s rules that they must be capable of substantiation.  So it looks as though two thousand years of philosophical debate is going to be settled by an advertising association in the UK.  Don’t envy them that one.

 But where’s the Australian campaign?   Well, it would appear that APN Outdoor, Australia’s biggest outdoor advertising company, has refused to take the ads. on public transport systems here.   Worried they may offend some people.   I haven’t noticed their concern before.  So in future I’m going to email them every time I see an ad. promoting any religious group/institution/event/belief system. 

Should keep me busy.

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A Shawl For 2009

8 January 2009

My first creation of 2009 is off the needles!  My only New Year Resolution is that ALL knitting gets posted to my blog and to Ravelry.  Unless you know me personally, you’d think I hardly knitted anything (and this IS supposed to be ‘Confessions of An Upside Down Knitter’).  So good, bad or indifferent, you can read about it here!

It’s rare I knit something that takes so little time but the Forest Canopy Shawl took about 15 hours.  I’ve wanted to knit this for a while but was spurred on when I realised last week that I haven’t got a plain shawl to throw over summer clothes in the evening.  So cream it had to be.


Grignasco Champagne (75% merino, 25% silk) – 130 grams, knitted on 5mm needles.

I did 4 extra repeats of the pattern (and could probably have done 5 but was worried I’d run out of yarn) as everyone says it’s quite small. 

Unblocked:  110 x 50cm

Blocked:  163 x 86cm


Stick Em Up

6 January 2009

Apparently a shop in England refused to sell knitting needles to a 20 year old, claiming that the minimum age requirement is 21! 

Whether this is true or not, I’ve no idea.  The Sun newspaper isn’t renowned for its fact-finding skills and has only a passing acquaintance with veracity. 

Bear in mind that this was the newspaper that published an “exclusive” interview with the widow of a posthumous VC hero from the Falklands War (Colonel ‘H’ Jones).  In fact, the interview was so “exclusive” it had excluded the woman herself.  She’d never met the reporter nor given an interview to that newspaper nor any other.  The whole “interview” had taken place solely in the mind of the journalist.  They paid out a lot of compensation but I suppose by that time, they’d sold a lot of newspapers.

But back to the age requirement under UK law for the purchase of knitting needles.  There are strict laws against the purchase of knives and other sharp and pointy objects by the under 16’s.  But 21 to buy knitting needles?  I think not (unless any of you can tell me otherwise).


And In With The New

1 January 2009

Hope you all had a happy AND SAFE New Year!

And talking about safety, on the drive up to my friends in Killcare, I saw the sign:

“RTA cameras on this road monitor traffic conditions”  

As opposed to . . . . ?  

Well, I suppose we should have been relieved.  We thought they were there to perve at scantily-clad young women in open-topped cars.  Or were they pointing skywards to study the migratory patterns of birds? 

At the risk of sounding monotonous, WHO WRITES THIS GARBAGE?


***  RTA = Road Traffic Authority (translation for those of you outside Australia!)