All posts filed under: Humour

For the love of Toyota

WE’RE ALL SET for our annual camping holiday and in the midst of it all, our trusty Toyota Prado circa 2000, perhaps in a covertly defiant act of consolidation with Toyota’s workers, has decided to give up the ghost. It hasn’t entirely broken down, but personally, the air-conditioning suddenly only working on number four-speed and sounding like a tractor is tantamount to giving up the ghost. We are in the midst of a Queensland summer, after all. We have a rich history with our workhorse. It has endured the craters of Fraser Island tracks, several camping trips to remote areas of Moreton Island and Stradbroke Islands, a few family road trips to Sydney and more. It has also pulled lantana out of our creek, bears the scars of my then three-year-old daughter’s artistic swirls with a disco ball on the tinted windows. It has been hailed upon, scratched by overhanging trees, dodged kangaroos … and all the while, its air-conditioning has soldiered on, giving us a reprieve on those long, hot trips. The good news …

Carpet Ride

I have never been one for shopping lists or planning weekly meal menus. And nor, it seems, warehouse furniture shopping.
I have proven that I approach warehouse shopping in exactly the same way I approach food shopping: with spontaneity and according to what is on special.
Of course I will buy the sensible basics, but it’s the other miscellaneous items that often become a little blurred and spur of the moment.

Middle-Aged Dread

IN MY MOTHER’S ERA, middle-aged mothers were content to be middle-aged mothers. They wore comfortable clothing and would not have dreamed of trying to fit into their teenage daughter’s jeans or befriending her friends on Facebook. There were a couple of ‘glamour pusses’ in the small town in which I grew up – perhaps the local boutique or beauty parlour owner – but on the whole, they were all of similar elk. I don’t remember anyone being particularly reed slim unless born that way, and I don’t recall anyone power walking with weights or hiring a personal trainer to work on their ‘abs’. There were no gym junkies because there were no gyms and a weekly game of tennis was the sociable ‘exercise’ of choice. The more adventurous souls took up yoga when the fad hit town and I recall my nicely rounded mum proudly showing us how she could stand on her head. They settled into middle age with an accepting sigh and laughed off a couple of gained kilos or a midriff that …

Paleo

A Bone to Pick with Paleo

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA — The beleaguered Pete Evans of paleo persuasion might just have an ally on the far-flung side of the world. His name is Professor Tim Noakes and I truly believe he and Pete should chew the cud, so to speak. The renowned Cape Town based professor you see, is also under public scrutiny for his dietary views. He is a great protagonist of the Banting diet (very similar to Paleo but says yes to a little dairy). Sugar is pure evil. He’s also the author of The Real Meal Revolution. His original notoriety, however, was gained from a heavyweight book he once wrote, The Lore of Running. Noakes’ recent media scrutiny stems from his complete backflip when it comes to his former high carb teachings. He’s been pretty vocal about his new high fat, low carb diet. He, like Pete has been publicly bashed by dieticians and worse, fellow Cape Town University academics. The public is also fed up, judging by a reliable source of scandal, Facebook. Years ago, every running enthusiast I …

Oil Spills No Tonic

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA—When a day starts off really badly, I sometimes feel the most sensible option is to go straight back to bed. I say this with conviction as this week, I had not one but two major mishaps before the day had even properly begun. First, I filled the steam iron with tonic water. Yes, tonic water. Should have drunk the gin and gone back to bed. The ironing board is permanently set up in the garage for easy access and ironing on demand. Tellingly, it is not a pastime I enjoy. The tonic water had been sitting there for some time, right next to the spare fridge that tends to freeze up. I only recalled later that I had removed the frozen bottle of tonic water some months earlier. Hurrying as usual, I grabbed a shirt and eyeing the tonic water bottle, proceeded to top up the steam iron. Seconds later, an aroma best described as burnt toffee, wafted through the room. The iron then began spewing caramel-coloured liquid all over my clean shirt. …

The Menace in Tennis

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA―The Australian Tennis Open is finally over and after weeks of serious television overload, this tennis tragic will not be going near the box for a while―well, at least not until the French Open. Together with the rest of Australia and the world, I’ve enjoyed every minute of this Grand Slam competition. However, one aspect of play has left a niggling bad taste―the sanctioned on court antics of certain players. Call me old fashioned, but smashing a racket on court and hurling expletives isn’t behaviour that should be applauded. Firstly, my practical mother side is thinking: That’s one expensive racket―perhaps it could have been donated to some poor up and coming player or even better, auctioned off for charity. And then, there’s the confused realization that not everyone seems to find this behaviour shocking. The tantrum player in question is one of Australia’s up-and-coming tennis stars, Nick Kyrgios. He’s a really likeable guy off-court but someone needs to tell him it’s not right to smash rackets and use vile swear words when things go …

Christmas Countdown

THE LEAD UP TO CHRISTMAS never fails to leave me a little sweaty-palmed and panic stricken as I wonder aimlessly around packed shopping centres, a jarring rendition of Jingle Bells ringing in my ears. School and work commitments escalate during this heady count down and before I know it, it’s Christmas Eve with precious little time to prepare. I’ve always envied those who start planning in January. The elite (and slightly smug) few who manage to grab bargains all through the year so they don’t join a last minute seething mass of humanity all sporting similar expressions of: “It can’t be Christmas already, surely?” Of course, eventually, I always get into the swing of things. Lights are strung, the Christmas tree dressed (this year joined with duct tape on account of our fat cat snapping the trunk while climbing its lofty heights),  and in a flurry of creativity I even made a rustic grass wreath to adorn my outdoor table. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have panicked at all. I was inadvertently swept along by the …

Let us grow old without the guilt

IN MY MOTHER’S ERA, middle-aged women were content to be middle-aged women. They wouldn’t dream of trying to fit into their teenaged daughter’s jeans or befriending her friends on Facebook, if there was such a thing back then. I remember whispered concern about a particular woman who would walk miles to maintain a stick like figure, but mostly, women had a healthy approach to life. Manic walker aside, I don’t remember anyone looking like a whippet unless born that way, and there was no power walking with weights or hiring a personal trainer to work on ‘abs’. Cross-fit? That would be exercising with a bad attitude. There were no gym junkies because there were no gyms and a weekly game of tennis was the sociable ‘exercise’ of choice. My mother had a friend called Lorna but she wasn’t a gym clothing icon, her surname was Smith, not Jane, and she made stuffed toys for the family’s farm stall instead of stylish sportswear for lithe bodies. The more adventurous souls took up yoga when the fad …

Turning 50 – ‘Elle’ of a lot of pressure

THERE’S BEEN a lot written lately about Elle turning 50 next year. I take an interest because I am almost the same vintage and so, share a certain affinity with the magnificently proportioned and ageless model known as The Body. In case you’re wondering, the aforementioned tag justifiably stuck after her five cover appearances on the iconic Sports Illustrated magazine. I was born in July ‘63 – my friend Elle in March ’64 – which makes us a mere 8 months apart. We both finished school in ‘81 so could, theoretically, have been classmates. We could have enjoyed the same movies – For Your Eyes Only, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Raiders of the Lost Ark … remember those? We probably listened to the same music, boogied on the disco floor to Blondie’s Call Me, went through a phase of schoolgirl anarchy with Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall – and slow-danced to Captain and Tennille’s Do That to Me One More Time … aah, the memories. The similarity, I am sad to say, …