Monday, 28 September 2009

Another reason to move to Australia

If you can see that, it's disgusting here this week, and gorgeous in Aus. And only 3.5 hours flight away!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

The scary thing is, I'm half him

Just had the following conversation with my Dad, who as you'll know, is....unique.

"Hey Dad! Just letting you know we're down in the Mount this weekend, so are you keen for a catch up?"

"What? I'm working. Flat out. No I'm in Auckland this weekend - Grandma's in hospital."

This is my 93 year old Grandmother who lives 15 mins away from me. How many times have I visited her? Not once. Yes I am bad.

"What? What's she in hospital for?"

"A broken pelvis. It happened two weeks ago."

"Two weeks! Why did you tell me?"

My Dad - being a male - replies thus:

"I've been WORKING!"

Having heard him pull this excuse for most of my childhood I realise that he's under huge stress and is about to blow a gasket.

"Fine. I'll call the hospital and figure out where she is and explain to them why her granddaughter who lives in the same city has not yet been to visit her."

"Thanks honey."

So there you go. What do you take a 93 year old who has never been sick in her life, but is nearly blind?

Monday, 21 September 2009

Australians all let us rejoice......

So we got back from Australia a whole 2 weeks ago, I know, and only now I'm putting fingertips to keyboard to tell you about it.
Basically it was a delicious warm blur of sand, sunscreen, seafood and many delicious frosty beers. It almost didn't happen however when we stumbled at the first hurdle.
Imagine this. I am checking our passports for the last time. Rich takes a last toilet stop. Reappearing in the hall, he says, I wonder if I need a Visa to enter Australia? (Rich was born in the UK and has never got around to becoming a NZ citizen). I stare at him. I've done things like research ticket prices of theme parks, rental cars, the movies onboard the plane, the distance from our apartment to the centre of town (walking AND driving!) and he hasn't even checked whether he can enter the goddam country. And there, my friends, is the difference between men and women.
I call our travel agent on the way to the airport. He confirms our fears. Rich does need a visa.
In my job, I make sure people from all over the Pacific are in the right place at the right time. Mostly this involves negotiating Visas for various countries. The rule is - you apply about 2 months before you travel, because these things take time.
With this in mind, we drive on. Rich looks as though he wishes he was being run over by the car, not driving it. Brainwave. I call Air New Zealand and explain the situation. The relief was palpable when the helpful lady says we can apply over the phone and it's instant. (Just between you and me, this is about the only logical thing I have heard about airlines for ages. If they can put a pointless 48 hour deadline onto something, they do). We get sorted, and I share a joke about men and their uselessness in certain situations with her.
Rich looks very sheepish. I say YOU WERE LUCKY. Good thing is, he buys me my Ange ou Demon perfume to make up for the extra grey hairs I now have/will have.
Arriving in Australia at dusk, the humidity and warmth is gorgeous. I had forgotten how big everything is. The cars, the streets, the expanse of sky.
We hit Surfers Paradise, and head out for dinner at Main Beach. We're staying in a fancy part of town, and our humble rental car is out of place amongst the Lambos, Ferraris and Porsches. Our neighbours at dinner could be directly out of Underbelly. It's brilliant.

Me eating oysters and drinking champagne. I know, I want to punch me too.

We spend our days eating, snoozing, shopping and drinking. We laugh when, having spent the morning on the beach, we present ourselves at a restaurant advertising a 2 for 1 Winter Special. We are wearing our togs with singlets, jandals and sunglasses, covered in sand and sunscreen. Brilliant. Admittedly, other Aussies probably think we're mad, but it's a good 10 deg hotter than at home, and we're going to take all we can get.

We head to Dreamworld the next day. It's not nearly as exciting as I remember it, but maybe that's because I was 15 last time we went. I endure the log flume, canyon ride, and a couple of rollercoasters. Unfortunately, my motion sickness gets the better of me, and I have to rush to the loo. See you later breakfast. The vertigo does not pass and I visit the loo in Wiggles World, which is batshit enough to make anyone dizzy. We leave Dreamworld early and I have to stop on the side of the road. Rollercoasters? Never again.

The pool at our apartment.

Me and a pal

After a few days of sun, beach, tanning and reading, we head off to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. It's enormous, with acres of natural bush and lots of cute things to coo over. There are tiny lizards scurrying everywhere. Rich is terrified of these lizards. I milk this at every opportunity. Even when we get back to the hotel. *rustle rustle* "STOP IT!"

Apparently, it is NOT funny to pretend there's one of these on your back.

We leave on another beautiful Australian evening, and get back to an 8 deg Auckland night, where the shuttle is 30 mins late, and the house is an icebox. No matter. We are way browner than everyone else.

Some stats from our holiday:

Pairs of shorts bought by Richard: 5
T-shirts bought by Richard: 4
Pairs of shoes bought by Amy: 3
Money pit owned by Richard and Amy to pay for said items: Non-existent
Nails painted by crazy Thai manicurist: 20
Decibels of Thai conversation at nail bar: 7,000,000
Times I said I would never eat fries again: 6
Times I then ate fries: 7
Pairs of sunglasses lost while puking, listening to Big Red Car: 1
Amount of dollars said sunglasses worth: 550
Tears shed upon realisation of such: A lot
Amount of weight gained whilst on holdiay: 1 kg
Amount of weight shed after one week back: 1.1 kg (snoopy dance!)
Times we have dropped our holiday into the general conversation upon our return: Numerous (so our friends say)
Koalas cuddled: 1
Kangaroos fed: 3
Snakes held: 1
Icecreams eaten (Baskin Robbins Chocolate/Peanut Butter OMG): Not enough
Tooheys Extra Dry consumed: Too much
Great holidays had by all: 1

Johnny Depp was in that movie?

A large football field lies outside our offices, and when it’s been recently mown, birds like to hang out there to munch on the displaced bugs. One of the birds usually gets a fright, and the entire flock flies to high ground. Sometimes this high ground will be our roof, which means we have a thousand or so sparrows zooming towards our windows.
“It looks like The Birds,” I commented one day, not that I’ve ever seen it, but I imagine there would be a lot of bird scenes in a movie called The Birds. Yes I’m a logical person.
“That was scary,” says my boss, who was actually alive when the movie came out.
“The Omen. THAT was scary. That freaked my shit out,” colleague 1 says.
“The Ring was bad. I didn’t like that one,” says my boss.
“The Grudge! Hated it!” colleague 1.
I do the croaky noise that the scary kid in The Grudge does.
“Yes! Stop it!” he says.
“Mine was Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger. I had to take all my mirrors down,” I say, referring to the bit where Freddy comes leaping out of a mirror, knives akimbo.
Seriously, Freddy Krueger shaped my childhood. That scarred face, those awful knives, and the red and black striped jersey. Seared into my memory. I think if I watched that movie now, the original Nightmare on Elm Street, I think I’d find it hilarious.
What was your worst horror movie?

PS and yes, I’ll be writing about our trip soon!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Office space

Me. "If you had to describe what Coke tastes like, what would you say?"

Colleague 1. "Coke."

Me. "......"

Colleague 2. "Paper."

Colleague 1. "Oooh I know. It tastes like those Coke bottle lollies."

Colleague 2. "Paper, with sugar sprinkled on it."

Me. "Did you guys used to get the Coke lollies and bite the tops off and then suck really hard to get at the Coke inside? Except there was no Coke inside?"

Both are nodding.

Me. "I think it tastes like lemon."