Archive for September, 2011


Only In The First World

29 September 2011

While waiting for the kettle to boil, I was idly reading a food packet that was on the kitchen work bench.

“Perfectly balanced nutrition – Exquisite taste and aroma – Wholesome ingredients – Enchanting shapes”.

Then: “Exceed your cat’s expectations”, “The refined flavour your cat demands”.    And the wonderful “Sure to provide an exquisite dining experience for your cat”.

I haven’t found that Chloe is particularly enchanted by the shapes (or are they supposed to appeal to me?).  I don’t think her expectations are ever exceeded (she has pretty high expectations) and I have no way of knowing whether she’s had an exquisite dining experience.  Is she supposed to leave a large tip? 

David swears that about 20 years ago he bought some cat food in France which he thinks was called Suculus.  This suggested “Serve with a side salad to enhance your cat’s enjoyment”.  I know exactly what MY cat would say if I presented her with anything resembling food that you grow, rather than kill. (Although I did have a cat who loved peas, and he lived to 16).




Health & Safety At Work

28 September 2011

David received a spam email last week from a company promoting a self-help book on How To Run A Successful Small Business.

It highlighted some of the topics covered and one was “Why you shouldn’t take a gun to work”.

Apparently this isn’t good business practice.

Who’d have thought it?



Sharing The Love?

26 September 2011

For those of you interested in hearing whether The Biggest Brothel in Australia was granted planning permission (and I’m sure that’s all of you), I have to tell you that it wasn’t.

As one Councillor said, “This brothel is the Westfield of brothels.  We’re not prudes, we’re not opposed to brothels but we have a policy of spreading them out”.

Is that what’s meant by “sharing the love”?


Drum Roll Please . . .

24 September 2011

For Emily.

In April 2007, within a few days of my starting this blog, Emily posted a comment.  She’s English, was living in Birmingham and I subsequently discovered she was coming out to Sydney for a year with her partner, Clare.  So in 2008 we met and that was the beginning of a great friendship with a terrific couple of women.

Emily and Clare returned to England at the beginning of 2009 but we met up when I visited Bristol later that year.  Quite coincidentally, good friends in Bristol know Emily’s family and they are near-neighbours, so we all got together.  Then this year I went back when my mother died and it was wonderful having Emily at the end of the phone, and she and Clare also travelled a fair way to see me one day. 

So it’s great that she posted the 2000th comment on my blog (AND the 2001st – she was catching up after having been away).  Your gift will be on its way to you in the next couple of weeks, Em.

And the other prize?  That’s for the person who’s posted the most comments here and, strangely Meg, it’s not my sister, who came in second (you’ll have to lift your game, Judith). Emily is 3rd, incidentally.

The prize goes to Lynne whose first comment was my 17th and who has been around ever since.   She’s another knitting friend I made through the blog but have also met in “real life” a number of times. 

I started this blog for all sorts of reasons but making friends wasn’t one of them.  I now think it was one of my better decisions as I have a number of ‘flesh and blood’ friends (as opposed to Facebook-type friends) that I wouldn’t have met if Pompom hadn’t existed. 

Thanks to all of you but particularly to Emily and Lynne (and Judith, of course, who also posted the 1999th comment).


Nudging 2000!

22 September 2011

Any time soon, one of you will post the 2,000th comment on my blog.  Something for me to celebrate, so let’s have a prize I thought.

Actually, TWO prizes.  The first will be to the person who posts the 2,000th comment.  And the second?  Well, I’m not telling.  That will be revealed when I award it!

If you’re a knitter, you’ll receive a knitting prize but don’t worry if you’re not.  I’ll find something appropriate, I promise.  I don’t pick the prize until I’ve got a winner but prizes I’ve given in the past have generally been well-received (certainly nobody has returned one to me).

So please help me to reach 2,000 by sending a comment.  I’ll announce the winners as soon as possible after I’ve reached the target.



Apologies For Being Crude…..

20 September 2011

Warning:  This blog post is rude.

I’ve talked here before about my constant amazement at the things people are willing to talk about on their phones, somehow thinking that a telephone conversation is private, even when it’s conducted on a packed train.  I’ve sat through a conference call organising work rosters and downright lies (“I can’t make the meeting – I’m stuck in Melbourne” from a woman on a train in central Sydney).

But I think today’s experience tops the lot.

Fairly smartly-dressed man in his 40’s talking into his phone in the foyer of an office block in the City. 

“If you lean over the counter, I could f*** you from behind” 

I’ll say no more.



Irregular Postal Services?

19 September 2011

There’s a discussion going on over at Ravelry at the moment about the large American company, Knitpicks, suppliers of yarn/needles/books.  They refuse to ship internationally because, they claim, they’re concerned about the efficiency of other countries’ postal services.  In other words, they just can’t be bothered.

A couple of years ago, I wanted to send a friend in the US a Knitpicks gift voucher (to be delivered by email) and they wouldn’t accept the order because I didn’t have a US address (and I didn’t know the street address of the recipient).  After a few emails back and forth, they accepted the order . . . IF I put in Knitpicks’ address.

Well, today I was looking at the website of another American company – not a craft/knitting site.  I thought their shipping details were wonderful:

“We can ship to anywhere on the planet that receives regular postal services. (Please note that we’re currently unable to ship to addresses in France, Italy, Monaco and Germany).”


So if you live in one of those countries and are desperate to place an order with this company, I suggest you find a friend in Bhutan, Vietnam or Qatar as the company doesn’t appear to have any problems sending goods there.



Yearning For The High Life?

12 September 2011

An application is about to be approved for what will become Australia’s biggest brothel (40 beds and 21 waiting rooms, if you’re interested).  The council received 80 objections to this proposal, including one from someone who said that the area was already well served by brothels and another complaining about the lack of disabled access. . . .  the reply to the first was that the nearest brothel is 75 metres away, and the second that people with disabilities can enter through the basement and use the lift. 

Brothels have been in the news a lot lately.  An MP is alleged to have used the credit card supplied by his employer (a union) at a number of brothels.  Politicians involved in sex and fraud scandals – who’d have thought it, eh?  An opposition MP said that the MP had been using the card to “live the high life”.  I think this says more about the accuser than the accused.  Visiting brothels doesn’t really come into my definition of the high life.

Frankly, I have no problem with brothels – they’re far preferable to street prostitution, particularly for the women who work there.  But I thought the first story was quite funny and the second quite sad.

Incidentally, you should know if you’re visiting Australia that a red light outside a building does NOT denote a brothel.  It’s a doctor’s surgery.  EXCEPT that sometimes it IS a brothel.  I would think that causes a lot of confusion among clientele of both services.



Knit Your Own Cat

10 September 2011

Yes, knit your own cat.  With inspiration from the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

Thank you, Susan, for the link.


Quality Or Quantity?

8 September 2011

Thank you for asking, but I’m fine.  My recent long silence doesn’t mean I’ve gone away, nor am I ill or stumbled in the road and broken my other hip.  Normal life has just intruded into my blogging time.

On top of that, there is so much happening in the world, and in Australia in particular, that frankly I haven’t known where to start.

So I’ll start with a subject that is very close to home.  This is something that rears its head regularly but is being played out in the media a lot at the moment.  Children turning into loutish adults because they weren’t brought up by TWO parents (of opposite sexes, of course).

I’m sure there are a lot of adults in this category.  One parent and bad parenting.  And then there are those others with two parents and bad parenting.  Lousy parents sometimes work in pairs and good parents often do the job single-handedly.

I don’t very often talk about my husband here but I get angry on his behalf every time I read such tosh.  David was born in 1946 of a single mother.  He has never met his father.  One parent families are not a new phenomenon.  In the year David was born, in the UK one in three births was “out of wedlock”.  He was brought up by his mother and grandmother, with no male grandparents or uncles.

And how did he turn out?  His friends (and mine too, I imagine) would say he’s a thoroughly decent and honourable man – it’s one of the reasons I married him.  There wasn’t much money around but he was totally loved and cared for by these two women, neither of whom unfortunately did I ever get to meet (but he says his Mum would have liked me!).

Compare this with the Kray twins and their family.  The twins and their brother were brought up by married parents in a close family complete with grandparents.  Three out of the three siblings became convicted homicidal maniacs.  I got really sick of hearing how their mother was a wonderful woman –  I wouldn’t normally blame all adult criminal activity on the parents but three out of three?  Something was a little amiss in their upbringing me thinks.

Fortunately David hardly ever reads my blog so he won’t know that I’m comparing him to the Krays!

Let’s stop insulting good (single) parents by placing the blame for all society’s woes at their feet.