Gardening is the new gardening

As if in reaction to life being rather nice, my tomatoes have gone red this year. I don’t think you understand quite how significant this is. So I’ll explain.

I was never one for gardening much. Tried growing in and of some pots at some stage in my 20s, mostly unsuccessfully. I did grow about 3 tomatoes on my balcony at the Erk years ago and then promptly lost interest (probably cos I couldn’t smoke the leaves) (I’M KIDDING MUM).


a number of years now I have attempted cultivation of few vege and have produced some zepplin sized zucchinis and a celery plant straight out of little shop of horrors. BUT it wasn’t until this year the stars aligned and I actually got something right. The worm farm with their delicious tailings? The broad beans I put in the tomato patch over winter to get that soil ph balance right? It’s all going awesome. Cucumbers going beserk and have an absolute glut of tomatoes. RED ONES! eggplants going insane. It’s awesome.

That Question

Nothing stops me being completely delighted when I hear news that any lovely person is to become a parent. Obviously then, I was quite stoked upon reading the news Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand PM, is expecting her first baby.

I knew of her before 2017, but it wasn’t until her rather superb smackdown of this dicktwat that my opinion of her was elevated. When it was put to her that women should inform their prospective employer of any plans they have for a family, she pushed the fuckoff button good and proper.

I knew exactly where she was coming from and I suspect many other women would nod their heads in agreement. I’ve had ‘that question’ sneaked into my own job interviews. “Just married, oh great!” It’s been said to me.“Oh, um, any problems with travelling interstate?” (BTW, the job had no interstate anything at all involved in the job description whatsoever. It was a thinly veiled attempt to simply to find out if I had family commitments and might need to run late because of day-care drop offs, take days off due to sick children and so forth. How many men get the same sneaky questions?). And you might say there are laws against discriminatory behaviour, but we all know it still happens. There’s still the lingering judgement of women being judged for what they are, (a womb on two legs) and not who they are. Meritocracy is not entrenched yet.

Now some might argue that Ms Ardern has no idea what she is getting into and might be surprised how much pressure parenthood and primeministership place on her. Of course she has no idea what she’s in for – but nor does any first time parent. Others might argue that Ms Ardern will be tired and hormonal and this might affect her ability to govern. This is yet another example of us all being labelled as the weaker, more delicate sex and it is complete and utter bullshit.

On the other side of the coin, women can’t fucking win either way, really. Julia Gillard was accused of being deliberately barren and some commentators suggested that given she wasn’t a parent herself she didn’t really get the costs involved in the baby bonus scheme (such rubbish). Recently, Theresa May’s own rival Andrea Leadsom actually came out and suggested that being a parent made her a better potential leader: ‘“I feel that being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake,”. So not being  parent makes you indifferent to future generations? I have huge problems with that comment.

I cannot recall a time ever where the same comments have been leveraged against a man in a government leadership position. It’s old fashioned bullshit from the era of MadMen and before, and I am for one stoked that our PM is going to be a parent and a PM. After all, the blokes have been doing it for years. It might just show that we really are capable of anything.

Office Party Zschush

To be used: when you have to go straight from work to office party and you need a quick spruce up generally so you look less like a faded corporate pawn and more like someone who looks like they are enjoying themselves.

Objective: Look tidier.

Timing: You should be able to complete the zschush in under 11 minutes.  Anything more is overdoing it and then work people will then think you dressed up for them. And we really don’t want that.

Remember, you aren’t going to a black tie wedding. (How shit are those though, while we are on the subject? Expecting your guests to either a) have formal evening wear readily available, or b) rent said formal wear which costs an arm and a leg, is the biggest load of wank I have come across). This is an office party! A quick squick of the old dove gradual moisturising tan the night before is more than adequate. You don’t need to head to Sadie’s Sunshine Salon for another $60 spray tan. And a further reminder: this is also not the time to try anything new. For pity’s sake. The long wearing tangerine lipstain is a great idea when you have hours to correct any mistakes, but you don’t have that right now.

Right, to begin. Try to go to the quiet ladies’ room the other side of the floor, where you won’t be annoyed by nasty whiffs and Paula from the pod over talking about her premature arthritis and sciatica. Yes I know you hate that office bathroom lighting but I hate to tell you this, it’s accurate. However tempting it is, resist slapping on too much coverup – it’s still daylight outside and you don’t want to look like Ru Paul when you step on out the street.

Ok, foundation on, now a quick curl with the eyelash curlers and reinforcement of mascara coverage. DON’T EVEN THINK about applying silly things like falsies. This is outside of remit of Office Zschush.

Bit of a sweep with the highlighter, leave it there for a minute while you quickly apply a bit of eye shadow – keep it light with colours you know and trust. Multitasking very much the buzz word here.

Rub highlighter in to the highlight areas. Quick outline of brows.

Add some cheek colour / bronzer.

Add some very quick lip colour. You don’t have time to do the lip liner and bow. Just a quick slash of gloss and you’re done. Blot that stuff as well – makeup on teeth is bad.

Right – now your hair has been in office appropriate do today. You don’t have time to do anything elaborate or straighten it properly. Grab some dry shampoo, let it settle a moment, brush it out then stick hair in fashioned top knot. One of these is bloody useful. Check from the back to see that it’s tidy enough. Enough is ever the catchword here.Don’t start again cos it’s not perfect.

Last step – quick spray of light perfume. Again, don’t overdo the midnight passion eu de pong. People in the office have sensitive noses.

By all means quickly step out of office attire and into your civvies. Again! You must not wear anything you are saving for actual special occasion, e.g. friend’s birthday. Overdoing it defeats purpose of Office Zschush.

Now – go! And drink your company’s bartab until it runs out! You deserve this.

Preference Voting

Yes, readership of three, I know it’s been awhile. But you know, life and that. So, thinking in terms of value to audience, have compiled a quick list of some possible blog post topics. Vote now!

  • How to MC at friend’s wedding, like, well, a master, or,
  • Why Wanaka is the nicest place on earth, even in the company of Aussies, or,
  • Homesickness (in general, am not talking about myself), or,
  • How to zhoosh oneself up for staff Xmas party in ladies’ toilets when you have 10 minutes to transform yourself from wizened up office hag to dewy glamourpuss, or
  • Why the Beatles are still awesome. (And always will be. Item ticked off bucket list by seeing A Day in the Life in concert), or
  • Star wars people. As my sister and I descended into IMAX, we saw scores of people who wouldn’t otherwise come together, wearing varying degrees of Lucasfilm branded clothes, with a crazed look of anticipation sparkling behind their eyes

Bloody Walking 

Some expected outcomes out of bloody long walk training… 

  • Long gossip sessions with Moulder, while doing our training walks of 20 and 23.5k
  • Sore feet and legs and hip flexors
  • Enjoying that first cold IPA even more than usual post training 
  • Sunburn, cos I don’t learn anything ever

    And some unexpected ones, including:

    • Seeing the lovely bits of Melbourne I’ve never really seen, eg port Melbourne
    • Noticing that lungfuls of wattle aren’t good for me 
    • The truly magnanimous gestures of people who have donated to the cause (being mitochondrial disease)
    • And last but not least, a pimple on my lady bits. 

    Feel free to donate here (to the cause, not the ladybits) 


    Yesterday was Sunday, and after three false starts, Moulder and I finally honour our training schedule and meet up to train for bloodylongwalk.

    The bloodylongwalk, you see, is exactly that. A walk from the Yarra Bend in the east of Melbourne, around the Yarra, through the city and all the way down to St Kilda. 35 k all up.

    Back story: The things that seem a good idea after a bottle of wine, eh? Like moving to Ireland for a year. Or quitting law. Or using a home bleach kit. 35k is, after all, a bloodylongway, but I am a good walker. I do over and above the WHO mandated 10,000 steps day most days, and for me there is nothing nicer on the weekend than strolling up the creek, listening to a nice relaxing crime podcast and then picking up a latte. 35k was rather somewhat of a stretch target but hey, why not eh? Good cause too, (being mitochondrial disease, which I hitherto had no idea about), which is important. But there is an element of whatthefuckhaveIgotteninto. Too late now Bwidge.

    Sunday dawns lovely and sunny but windy. Nose reacts predictably and starts leaking on cue. Do chores, get shopping, drop the Husband off to his mate’s house for annual Baffhurst festival and head into town, armed with sunscreen and new brooks walkers. Nofuckinproblem.

    Find Moulder at Flinders St. Find coffee. Start striding up Swanston st. Debrief on week that’s just gone; interviews (me) and creative stuff (her). Buy bottles of water. Snark at bloody people walking bloody slowly on footpaths on their bloody androids. Feeling positive. Always nice to have a good catch up with Moulder. Chat chat.

    Talk turns to goals for today.

    ‘We should aim for 20 today.’ She means kilometers, guys.

    ‘We’ll take it slowly though right?’ I say, anxiously. My legs are at least a foot shorter than hers.

    ‘Yes of course’ she says. This will be an interesting test of our compatibility as walking partners.

    Up we go to the pretty Carlton Gardens, past the expensive looking SLRs and tourists. Through Gertrude Street and up Brunswick St, past trendy people having their second bloody Mary of the day. Ah the labour in vain, that was awhile ago. On to Edinburgh Gardens, table-tennis and hipsters and French bulldogs and cider stubbies. From there up the Park St trail and the exact spot I stacked my bike years ago. Hello what is that beacon of hope I see on the horizon? I see a pub! Could it be? The Terminus Clifton hill! YES. What a great joint. I’m not allowed to go in though, which is probably fair enough.

    ‘You know what we should have at the end of this?’

    ‘A beer’.

    ‘Two beers’.

    ‘And fries from lord of the fries’

    ‘And BURGERS. OMG I am getting hungry’.

    This is nice actually. Where are we? We’re at 8k by this point and feeling good. The wind’s a bit blustery but the sun is pleasant on our arms. Only way to get to the trail is cross over and go past my old house. Was it always that small? And look there’s a pot plant in my bedroom window. I need to wee, I wonder if my key still works?

    Busy part of the trail now. Many joggers and cyclists. We start to go into single file. Memories emerge, I used to walk along here every weekend. What a lovely part pf the world. The city emerges from behind a hill. Oh we must be on home stretch now. Halfway, please?

    Yup. 10.2.

    Feet check. Not bad. Shall we stop?

    Stop for wees and rice crackers and a stretch at the Convent. Granola would have worked better as nourishing snack but we’re doing ok. Sit on grass, feeling the ache of underused calves.

    Set off again. It really is very pretty on the trail, walking along the river and the greenery. Notice wattle tree. Too late, breathe in lungful of yellow nastiness and cough like someone in a tb ward. Yucky!

    Puff on inhaler. ‘You’re alright, let’s press on!’ I feel like the fat kid in Stand by me.

    See fleecy sheep at the children’s farm. He looks very hot in his thick wool jacket. I do hope someone is helping him out soon.

    ‘Ok, so once we hit 20, we find the nearest pub.’

    ‘No, we are going with plan a, and getting burgers.’

    ‘Awwwwwwwww’, I say, probably a bit like an 8 year old.

    ‘We’re doing it. Don’t moan’.

    (I moan)

    ‘Here, have the rest of these rice crackers’.


    Sidle along Yarra and climb up to Bridge road, and we’re on the final bit now, taking that bullet road back to town. The normal creeping feeling of nostalgia I get in Richmond is tempered by the soreness in my hips and knees. “Jokingly” suggest stopping for a beer / getting tram but get laughed at. Moulder begins to edge ahead and I begin to feel like my hips are creaking like they have rust in them.

    Finally, we find ourselves at the last set of traffic lights. That’s 20k! We’ve done it. We (me) limp into Grill’d, order burgery and beery goodness. Stone and wood never tasted so good.

    What’s the moral of this story? Take more than  rice crackers. Be prepared for soreness and whingeing. And remember there is always a beer at the bottom of the rainbow.22282053_10155180578850756_2871321646965037632_n

    *not baby-led weaning, that’s a blog for another day.**

    **hahah kidding. I’d rather poke my nipples all day with a fork


    My two cents (which I’m not giving to a cab driver)

    Yeah, so I know every Melburnian has an opinion about this and opinions are like arseholes cos everyone has one, but only I have the edit rights to this blog so – stuff it. Time for me to mount that hobby horse.

    My very first encounter with a Melbourne cab driver was on Collins St in 2004, on my second morning here. I was on the way to an interview and was told it was easy enough to get a cab to the interview location. I was in my high heels and pantihouse and brown pinstriped suit (it was the 2000s) and nervously waved at a cab who had stopped at a pedestrian crossing. It was a bright morning and even if I known that the top light being off meant they weren’t available I wouldn’t have been able to see it.

    He wound his window down, looking at me over his glasses, and I asked very tentatively, ‘ah I don’t suppose you could take me to….’

    ‘I AM ON THE WAY TO A BOOKING YOU SILLY BITCH! CAN’T YOU SEE MY LIGHTS OFF?’ He screamed. Flecks of spit burst forth from his mouth in his fury as he yelled at me through the window. ‘CANT YOU SEEEEEEE???’

    As he roared away in a cloud of diesel, I burst into tears. Great way to be the morning of an interview. I dried my eyes, crossed my fingers and got on the number 48 tram which neatly deposited me outside the building where I was having an interview. But it’s not something I have forgotten. (Got offered the job though, so that’s something).

    I am afraid to tell you my experiences of cab drivers have not hugely improved since then.

    Like the time that one played ear splitting trance music and couldn’t hear my pleas to turn the music down and put the back passenger window up (it was July), then was unable to find Edinburgh gardens (really).

    The time they forgot my booking, so I was late to a wedding.

    Or the time that a driver didn’t know where the MCG was.

    Or perhaps the time that a driver was so incensed he had to make two drop offs after he had dropped my friend off, that he sped down a one way street in Fitzroy, flying over the speed humps. I got out – would have rather taken my chances walking another half a hour in the dark.

    Or the time one tried to kiss me outside my flat in Richmond after I had passed out in the back (revolting, and no I didn’t report it. At the time I was in a rough patch and felt too much like it was my fault for being drunk.)

    The most recent taxi experience was a corker though and just reinforces my reasons to take alternative transport. Work handed out cabcharges over the weekend we had to be in the office (fair), so I booked a cab to come and get me. This driver narrowly avoided a collision on Mt Alexander Road, then headed to Spring St end of Bourke, not Spencer as I said, (not once but THRICE.) ‘Oh sorry I thought you said Spring’ he said. This cab driver then handed me his business card and said he would love it if I considered his services in future. I just said, sorry, probably not, but thanks for the lift. (I’ve gotten more assertive in the last 13 years).

    Just goes to show if you have a monopoly the quality of service goes way down. So yesterday when I read about the protest staged by the cab drivers out at the Tullamarine, I had a sincere ‘what the fuck’ moment. I am genuinely sorry for those people that have been stuffed about by extortionate taxi licenses handed out by the state government and this is affecting their livelihood. That sucks. But I can only speak as a customer, one who has suffered a few times, and one who opts for ubers when she can. We live in a free market economy that is consumer driven and this is what happens when competition is introduced. Step up, or move on. And blockading the airport, I fear, will not win you any  support either.

    Letting off some steam

    Things I would like to do right now, but for whatever reason, will not:
    1. Tell Steve in the pod over from me that if I actually hear another thing about his new puppy Lola’s walking routine / bowel movements / vaccination schedule I will actually leap over the partition and beat him about the head with my keep cup;
    2. Go home and sleep for 14 hours;
    3. Wake up and see that my eyebags have mysteriously been removed and that I look normal, fresh faced and not the 47 years I currently feel / look;
    4. Eat a whole loaf of fresh warm bread smeared with salty butter and vegemite.
    5. Go to a café , sit down to a coffee with eggs and some salmon, and write some stuff.

    Have not written anything remotely interesting for weeks with the transformational thingo at work. (See, even my words are suffering). It’s been training materials and other such stuff, and I feel non creative and uninspired. But have four days off coming up, and first I shall drink some wine and let off some steam.

    Choose your own (weekend) adventure

    Ah, finally it’s the weekend. Time to relax, rewind and recharge after chaotic work week. But wait, you have guests over for dinner on Friday night. Do you:

    a. Feed them copious amounts of red wine
    b. Have passionate debate about workplace equality
    c. Introduce them to Cards Against Humanity or
    d. All of the above?

    You decide to retire at approx. 1 am; do you:

    a. Take your contacts out, scrub face and put jarmies on
    b. Face plant pillow but remember to take shoes off, or
    c. Bed? Nah this patch of floor’ll do

    You’re confronted with a hairy back next to your face when you wake up in the middle of the night. Do you:

    a. Puzzle for several hung-over seconds and then suggest to husband he may want to head back to the girls down at BackSacknCrack salon
    b. Realise your darling 32 kg dog has lodged himself between yourself and husband due to severe anxiety, or
    c. Turn over. Probably just a nightmare anyway

    You have high hopes for your productivity on Saturday. Do you:

    a. Go for brisk walk in cold weather, then cook hearty vegetable rich meal?
    b. Stay indoors and drag blankie from bed to infront of telly and sook for most of the day
    c. Stomp around the house in your obi wan Kenobi dressing gown, or
    d. Receive call regarding drinks in Croydon and make miraculous recovery?

    Do you, at this moment, wish to

    a. Find the lost jewels of Nabooti,
    b. Return to atlantis, or
    c: Return to the Cave of Time?