Tag Archives: humour

Off to the seaside!

All packed up and ready to head off in the morning for a few days at Swansea- a lovely little seaside town on Tasmania’s east coast.

I can’t believe how much I’ve packed! Every time I travel I promise myself next time will be different- I’ll only take the essentials, I’ll pack light, every second item will be flung out of the suitcase- and then I find myself thinking ” there’s still a bit of room in here, it’d be a shame not to take another dress/top/tube of paint/kitchen sink”.

There’s a carry on size bag for my clothes, shoes and toiletries, a cooler bag of groceries, a plastic crate of painting gear, a backpack with electronics and a box of small canvases and art books!!!! Oh – I forgot the beach bag full of bathers,towel and snorkles.

I plan to do a lot so of course I need a lot. Here’s my to do list in no particular order

  •  walking on the beach
  • swimming
  • snorkling
  • painting
  • prep some art lessons
  • eating healthy meals
  • more walking
  • a few more paintings
  • a big bowl of icecream
  • a pastel sketch or two
  • consume some of mum’s Mrs Smith’s biscuits
  • back for more icecream
  • maybe a bar of chocolate
  • walk outside
  • back for a quick snack

…I think that about covers it. Maybe all I need to take is a big bowl and a spoon?

Scepticism reigns supreme

My mum gave me this clipping of a writeup her local paper did to promote a charity fundraiser work shop I’m running for Mum. At 81 she’s doing the full head shave to raise funds for the Leukeamia Foundation and although I’m not quite brave enough to crop the locks I’m doing what I can to support her.

Anyway I left the clipping on the table and The Writer duly admired it. Then out troops The IT geek who takes a peek and asks who it’s about. “Why, me” I coyly reply. With a look of scepticism he flicks it over and says “Oh , it’s just the local rag” Numder two son strolls by later. He being of a more generous nature at least trys to be impressed but doesn’t  quite carry it off as he can’t resist rolling the “renowned”off a few times with a big grin on his moush.

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I’m keeping it though. There might be some of you out there waiting for grandkids to take to the park, provide an excuse for eating icecream at the beach, and the odd grandbaby cuddle. All I’m hoping for is a fair degree of easily impressedness, cause there sure isn’t any in my own offspring!

To be fair I did get a bit of a giggle myself at the use of the word Renowned. At least they didn’t try to pin down were it actually is I’m enjoying the status of “renowned” but I can report it isn’t in my own house!

My memory popped out for a walk…not sure it’s coming back!

You know how it is ..you pop out for a few minutes to pick up some milk, next thing you know 3 hours have passed ! I was at a friends 50th birthday BBQ today and my memory took the opportunity to slip out for a wander and just forgot to come back! I was chatting away happily to people I knew  ( their names ,not just their faces, for a change) when a new arrival started doing the introduction rounds. When he got to me he said ” Oh I know Lindy already”. Well I was smart enough to infer that we must have met because he knew my name but not smart enough to stop myself blurting out ” where did we meet?” Turns out I work with him ! Apparantly he’s new , and in my defence he wasn’t in uniform, but another friend kindly ( and loudly) pointed out he’d helped us with a difficult transfer only 2 days before!

If only my memory was more reliable. I just can’t trust it any more with even the most basic tasks. The Writer knows this so sent me a text to remind me to pick up the milk on the way home because I forgot the note to remind me to pick up the milk!

A working theory on holiday disasters.

For quite some time The Writer and I have been testing the theory that a little bit of disaster punctuating a holiday just makes the good bits better. You might have read about the border incident which showcased a classic example where stress and imminent starvation resulted in a bog standard schnitzel consumed an hour later tasting like something a team of Michelin starred chefs had dreamed up for the culmination of the final dinner at a gourmet retreat.

You might be surprised to learn  we’ve amassed a fairly hefty set of data to support our working theory over the years. Indeed, The Writer has already published some early data based on a single holiday with five subjects participating in the field experiment-me ,The Writer, MIL and the two offspring.He has a perky little writing style and many a reader has commented along the lines of : “I bust a gut laughing at the antics of the Whitton family on holiday”. If you think you might enjoy a bust gut you can join the gang down at the hospital after reading Bon Voyage.

Sometimes the geek in me wins out so I decided to create an equation to express the working theory and here it is:

(Within the confines of H) D  followed by  NPE = HSH

where

H= a holiday from the usual place of residence ( preferably overseas with limited local language skills)

D= any event that precipitates pain, stress, financial loss, misery, tears, shouting or actual bodily harm

NHP= any normal happy event such as a dinner that is edible, a car that gets you from A to B without breaking down, a mobile phone that has signal when you want to use it or a swimming pool that is full of water on a hot day.

and

HSH = a heightened state of happiness.

I plan to post a few examples of D followed by NPE = HSH over the next little while so get your inner geek on, set up a journal club and join in the evaluation of the working theory.

A funny thing happened on the way to the border.

I was reading the daily prompt tonight and it reminded me of a funny little episode one holiday several years ago ( that’s code for- my mind is going and I  can’t remember when).

Anyway we’d spent a pretty good day nipping over the border from Germany into the Czech Republic and planned to stay the night in a wonderful little hotel in Cesky Krumlov that we’d come across 2 years earlier on another trip. Another thing I can’t remember is why we hadn’t actually booked it – The Writer is a very avid booker- so maybe it was just a spur of the moment decision to slip into the CR. I do remember it was a sublime holiday with no children ( sorry kids!) to consider so we did a bit of ad libbing along the way. You can obviously tell where this is going- we turned up around 5pm and the hotel was fully booked. The Writer did the rounds of the town but there was no room at the inn for us!

After a bit of grumpiness and pouting we consulted the map and found a border crossing fairly near in a bit of a hole and corner area with nothing else much around. Over the border was a very picturesque and desirable bit of Germany so we took a vote and headed south!

We’d cheered up quite a bit by the time we reached the “Border” which turned out to be a lake! Did we give up? Not on your life! Spurred on by the lack of comfy beds and the looming evening we dived into the nearby cafe to ask a few searching questions in our non existent Czech. Result! The cook happened to have a little side business in ferrying people and their cars across the lake to the actual border. We followed  a German family in their 4WD onto the ferry. This helped to silence the tiny voice suggesting we where mugs and the cook’s ferry was just a scam – if the local Germans were using the ferry it must be a legit border crossing.

The ride across was beautiful, a calm lake in the early evening light with a few well disposed fishing boats and the ferry quietly chugging through the still waters. We were a bit subdued by the German’s asking us if this was the way to the border- we’d kind of been relying on them knowing it was the way.

We drove off the other side waving goodbye to the cook/ferry master and on down a bumpy dirt track past the rickety wooden sign with a mobile number for calling the ferry if you wanted to cross the other way. I reassured The Writer it was just for those wanting to cross from Germany to Czech but secretly I thought back to the cafe in the middle of nowhere and wondered if it might have been funded by duped tourists crossing and then having to pay to cross back again when no border was found.

Anyway , onward to the border! There were no signs pointing the way but there was only one road so we figured it should be easy to find the border. I hit the accelerator and powered after the dust trail of the  4WD as dusk descended. A hundred meters up the road there was a fork and no sign! Which way to go? We followed the Germans! Fifteen minutes later with the road narrowing we came upon the Germans backing out, so we too reversed. Well – it must be the other road – we all agreed ,and the Germans followed us this time.

It was getting a bit tense in the Whitton’s car at this point as we’d just taken an inventory of food supplies and realised we had half a bar of Lindt for dinner. If we didn’t make it out they’d surely find our corpses in the car clutching the silver foil wrapper. It was only 7pm and you might ask why we were bothered still plenty of time to find the border I hear you say. Ah, but this was a tiny rural crossing and the border closed at 8pm according to the cook. We weren’t the only ones worried , the German’s had made some telling comments about bratwurst and sauerkraut earlier.

Of course we came across another fork, made an arbitrary decision that Germany looked like it was “that way” on the map and barreled down another tiny laneway . Ten minutes on we came across some hikers who said it was just a dead-end . Go on- ask them where the border is – I hear you say. So we did and they didn’t ( know,  that is). Blimey it must be tiny , or a long way off, or non-existent, we thought – but there was the map with an official border crossing marked.

Off we went again with the clock ticking and third time lucky! We could see the border boom gate just round the corner. We stopped , the Germans stopped and we all got out to examine the padlocked boomgate, the empty guard box and the battered sign informing as that this border was officially closed. The German male and The Writer formed a “let’s just jemmy the padlock and drive through” lobby group while me and the German female formed the”how do you know there isn’t a video feed and we’ll all be nabbed in no man’s land” opposition. The paranoid party won the day and we all piled into the cars and cursing in varied languages rally drove down winding woody lanes with 10 minutes left on the clock.

With his head in the map The Writer missed the deer leaping across the road and fortunately the deer just missed the car ! We turned left and right and left again , rounding the last corner on 2 wheels and with seconds to spare screamed to a halt beside the  border crossing booth closely followed by the Germans. The border guard didn’t even glance up as he lazily waved us through.

I was perversely annoyed that he didn’t bother to come out of his booth and check my passport and the boot- what if I’d smuggled out that deer I nearly hit? I guess what I really wanted was some sort of acknowledgement for finding the border, for talking down the border ramming party and avoiding the ignonimity of having to use the return ferry crossing mobile number.

My chagrin didn’t last long as we rolled through the manicured German countryside and within an hour we were well fed on schnitzel and tucked up under a feather doona in an unassuming but cosy little gasthaus.

Sometimes I miss the old days before the EU when border crossings were always a bit of an adventure!

A holiday short cut.

We just dropped our friends off at the airport yesterday and we’ll see them again in a week – in sunny Tuscany! I’ve packed the suitcase, sorted out the travel art kit and charged all the electronics. I’ve had the holiday haircut as well and it’s a little shorter than usual!

I have a strict haircut routine – when it starts to annoy me I go get it cut. In the lead up to this year’s holiday it started to annoy me some time ago and I tried desperately to hold out until closer to the off date but in the end I just couldn’t stand it ONE MORE DAY! So in I went and asked for a cut that would last me eight weeks – a pretty short cut thanks.

We chatted away as you do at the hairdressers- trying to take my mind of the ragged, lined and aging face in the mirror. I’m pretty relaxed about getting older, I started going grey in my early forties and never even thought about dying my hair, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy looking at my chicken neck for 30 minutes in the only mirrors I know that magnify every imperfection a thousand fold. Personally, a two minute session morning and night during the teeth brushing ritual is all I really need thanks.

Anyway, as we chatted the hair fell and I zoned out a bit until I heard her say ” I think a number 2 at the back and we’re done. A  number 2!!!! That’s really short – I know this because my second son has a perpetually no 2 shaven head- and I secretly long for the waist length locks he sported in his late teens. He never would let me plait it despite my pleadings – I was allowed the honour of chopping it all off one midnight when he got fed up with it. I wasn’t brave enough to take it short back and sides like he wanted and settled on a below the collar bob.

He asked me to cut it one Saturday just before he left for his pizza delivery shift and I promised I would when he got home. As soon as he was out the door I raced to google how to cut long hair and had a pretty intensive hour browsing tutorials and watching YouTube videos. By the time he got home I was feeling quietly confident. It all went to plan until I got to just below the collar and then I realised why hairdressers spend a 3 year apprenticeship learning how to layer and thin and generally tidy up the ends of wavy, fine hair. I was armed with good scissors, a comb and my trusty spray bottle of water so all I really lacked was knowledge – and experience. I’m afraid the final haircut bore testament to my lack but I’d left enough that the local  ( fully trained) hairdresser rescued it pretty neatly a few days later.

So , back to me sitting in the chair and hearing the number 2 at the back statement. I zoned in and noticed that it was looking a tad sparse on the top, spiky and swirly, but not anywhere near a number 2 so that was a bit of a relief. With the mirror held so I could see the back the number 2 was evident. I was a bit surprised at how acquiescent I’d been during the whole cut – I think a spot of hypnosis might have been employed – but I had asked for a short cut and there was no denying it was a short cut!

It took a few days for my work mates to start commenting on it – I think they were a bit stunned at first and wanted the weekend to mull it over. The general consensus is that it’s a very fetching look and I should keep it this way. People I don’t even know are stopping me in the corridor to tell me how good I look ( of course this could just be a reflection of how bad my previous cut was !).

Well , that was work . The Writer thinks it makes me look old and tired  and I had to point out that I actually feel old and tired so it’s probably just reflecting the real me. I did add that I always perk up and feel 10 years younger on holiday so not to worry. I was able to take the moral high ground with Second Son who enquired if I’d come out – it was a pleasure to remind him that stereotyping people wasn’t very cool ( usually the sons are making unnecessarily patronising statements  about any views, opinions or passing comments I express). The IT Geek said he didn’t approve of such homophobic comments but felt any haircut that made it possible to see the colour of someone’s scalp was just plain awful. So not an unequivocal success on the home front. All in all it’s a good thing I’m a strong, independent woman who can take uninhibited critique from the men in my life.

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Now I’ve had 2 weeks to settle into it I’m a fan. It’s going to be really cool in the heat of an Italian summer, there’s so little of it I no longer have to worry about “helmet hair” when riding my scooter to work , I instantly lost that last kilo I’ve been trying to shed and the savings on shampoo will probably fund my next hair cut. I feel ever so slightly trendy , a lot lighter and ready for a holiday.