Daily fears from Kate

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Welcome to my blog where fear and phobias rule the day. My own phobias include, clowns, balloons popping, planes, planes crashing, planes filled with clowns crashing, planes filled with clowns holding balloons crashing....you get the general idea. Oh and although I love animals I hate them dressed up in clothes.

Other blogs that are friends of mine
My brother David

Sites I like

It's weird, it's funny, it's sad, it's beautiful, it's my favourite

He's weird; he's funny and another fave
Dave Gorman

Shameless self promotion type Kate Browne into search, cough up $1.65 and read some of my work
Sunday Life & SMH

Good astrology site us Pisces people are believers (when it suits us that is)

My pub
Kate Brownes Pub

These guys defy description
Dean and Nigel

They are painfully cool and they like Duran Duran to boot

>email me

Thursday, October 16, 2003  
Travelling Vicariously

As I sit in Sydney wishing I’d been organised enough to arrange some kind of overseas trip this year opening my email has been torturous in the past week. Yesterday morning lurking in my inbox were emails from friends in Columbia, Peru, Morocco, Moscow and LA. All had tales to tell, from flying in helicopters from Estonia to Finland, to rubbing shoulders with Jodie Foster and Stockard Channing on Melrose Ave. Godammit! It all makes my recent trip to Newey pale in comparison.

Only consolation was the email from my pal in Peru. He’s been there less than 16 hours and has already been relieved of all of his cash, plane tickets and travellers cheques thanks to a pickpocket. Can’t imagine THAT happening in Derby Street.

4:30 PM

Thursday, October 02, 2003  

Though I'm not super tall, I ain't short, (though a couple of freakishly tall people would dispute this but I'm sure they're just projecting their own insecurities onto me!) ANYWAY despite my height I've always had a pair of cute little size seven feet. Until now......earlier in the year I had to upgrade to a seven and a half, a few months ago I had to buy a pair of size eights, TODAY I just laid down some cash for a pair of size NINE sandals. What the hell is going on? Since when do people in their early thirties start growing larger feet? At this rate Christmas I will have an enormous pair of feet that will need to be housed in big floppy clown shoes.....urgh I HATE clowns.

12:38 PM

Monday, September 29, 2003  
Pied Piper

On Sunday for Emma’s birthday we had a picnic in the park. My flatmate Alexis brought along her bagpipes as a treat so she could play happy birthday. As expected it was very sweet, rather entertaining and quite impressive. What we didn’t count on was the hypnotic affect the bagpipes seem to have on little children. As Alexis played, small folk and every size and shape dressed up in everything from fairy costumes and pink faux fur coats to soccer uniforms appeared from all corners of the park drawn towards her in some weird modern version of the pied piper. They then formed a little half moon around her and stood there rapt as she played…only moving to applaud politely when she finished playing.

Every time I turned away to chat to someone and then turned back there would be more of them…It was like every house in Petersham had been emptied of little tackers who were drawn out by the bagpipes. The little audience then became more confident and started calling out requests such as happy birthday – which was performed. Then “Jingle Bells” – which was refused on the grounds that it was not Christmas time. Then magically, as soon as Alexis stopped playing and walked back to join our group, the children melted away as quickly as they had materialised.

She really should do kids parties – she could make a fortune.

11:55 AM

Friday, September 26, 2003  
Nice Tops

Put a new top on and spent most of the morning wondering if it was okay as it was totally low cut and a bit booby for my liking, but what the hell it was a hot day.

Later that morning I was standing in the Swagmans waiting to get my coffee. This shortish guy in front of me turned around and copped an eyeful of my cleavage. He then looked up to meet my gaze and realised he was totally caught out. His response, (which I thought was pretty quick off the mark) was to smile at me and say "Nice top".

Yeah - whatever buddy....(though secretly I had to admire his ability to think on his feet!)

2:05 PM

Saturday, September 20, 2003  
My own fault

Maybe it was the deadline for this article I'm writing, maybe it's because I am a sucker for things that are "new" "different" "Unusual" but SOMETHING sent to McDonalds today for the first time in about nine years and I purchased a Vege Burger. It was, without doubt, one of the most disgusting things I have ever had the displeasure of consuming. A nasty combination of stale bread, sweet oily mayo, a piece of beetroot that has seen better days and not even one of those friggin gherkins that I quite like oh and this dried up chickpea kind of thing masquerading as a burger.

I guess I am old enough to know better, but now I sit here unhappy and with indigestion. Can't tell if the indigestion is from the revolting food or simply due to a bad case of the guilts for spending 5.50 with the evil MacDonalds empire........

6:30 PM

Friday, September 19, 2003  
Brunette or Blonde

Last night Simon told me that I write like a brunette...but talk like a blonde.

10:40 AM

Thursday, September 18, 2003  
A word on procrastination

I sleep, then think about writing feature article. Walk to shops in order to purchase nourishing food in order to fuel brain to write article. Stop at cafe to eat food and drink coffee in order to get in the mood. Come home and start to clean bedroom, decide now is a good time to rearrange shoes in clothing rack. Make phone calls to friends, leave house again in order to visit parents and make rudimentary inspection of new kitchen. Pat parents cat. Go home, via Fish records to purchase appropriate "writing music". return home 50 bucks later to get out laptop. Pat own cat. Feel sick, lie down for half and hour. decide to work at kitchen table. decided to clean up kitchen table before work can commence. Turn on laptop, find other not urgent article on desk top and tinker with it. Type a few words, feel sudden urge for a cigarette, back at the laptop. Phone rings, is interview subject, she is in the pub, am tortured by sounds of her drinking and smoking over the phone. Grab bottle of wine, pour large glass and keep talking....another wine, cigarette, more wine.....laptop now just being used for playing music.

Deadline looming - write grovelly email to Ed. Am saved for another two days - better celebrate. Will head to the pub.

5:16 PM

Thursday, September 11, 2003  

Went to the premiere of a new Aussie Film called travelling light. It was….sigh….as often Aussie movies are…..not that much to write home about. But the good news was that it was set in Adelaide in 1971 and I was loving all the 70’s appliances and clothes.

After the movie came the after party. God I thought performing arts people were bad (anti social, dressed in all black, trendy little black glasses) but film people...jesus... it was all girls in plunging dresses whose boobs were threatening to fall out at any given second, air kisses, lots of conversations with people looking for someone more important / more interesting to talk to over each others shoulders….. very funny and quite depressing. Sad thing was most of these 'stars' were washed up ex soapie people. tragic.

Only highlight for me was getting to stand at the bar next to Alex Lloyd. He is quite cute up close, I think it’s because of his freckles.

Apart from that it was all a bit of a fizzer. In fact I think I had more fun at dinner beforehand at Rossini’s where the Italian waiters fussed over me, insisting on carrying my bags, fetching me wine, insisting I must be Italian, and pretending to be heartbroken when I stood up to leave. In fact they made me feel just like Sophia Loren. So next time I am in need of an ego boost I intend to go straight there and avoid the red carpet brigade entirely.

12:30 PM

Monday, September 08, 2003  
For Morkle

Yes this particular blog is going out specially for my friend Michael, possibly the only person that still stops in to read this little blog, and even he said he ws sick of looking in there and still seeing 17th June. So I have been shamed into action.
So here I am. And in an effort to get back to basics and really get back to what Panphobia is all about (which is a fear of everything or in my case my fear of cute fluffy animals dressed up) I would like to share with you a website of the what is being touted as the “worlds most famous dog”. For those of you who are not familiar with Mr Winkles work hang on to your hats you are in for a treat. Personally I think Mr Winkle could be the devil incarnate (but I am biased)

Mr Winkle

2:24 PM

Tuesday, June 17, 2003  


If you were a dog, who, out of all the people you know would you choose to be your owner?

It’s a tough one – because if you are practical about it, it’s not necessarily going to be the people you love the most or even love hanging about with. Being a dog means being helpless and reliant on someone else entirely.

I decided that I would probably choose my Mum, just by looking at the kind of lifestyle her cat leads I would be extremely spoilt, overfed, badly behaved but still loved and indulged to distraction. (oh dear I think I’ve just described my own childhood.)

When I asked Emma she said she would choose me! She said that I would be a good owner because I would probably let her eat too much, let her sleep on the bed, lie on the table and have the run of the house but I would still be relatively responsible. I’m rather flattered.

11:12 AM

Monday, June 16, 2003  
13 things I hate about you

It was back in 2001 when the indomitable Louise Post of Veruca Salt was touring Australia and playing a gig in Melbourne when she was informed that her then boyfriend Dave Grohl had been caught out kissing rock and roll groupie and part time shoplifter Winona Ryder. In order to cope with this devestaing news Post drank a bottle of vodka, performed the gig of her life and then collapsed in a fluffy heap on stage.

Having slinked back home, licked her wounds she has now come back to play with the new Veruca Salt album “Resolver” which is a blow by blow disection of her relationship and a not particularly veiled stab at Mr “nicest guy in rock and roll” Grohl and his very bad behaviour. I can’t help giggling at what lovely revenge this is and picture poor Dave Grohl wincing and squirming as Ms Post publicly lists her litany of wrongdoing at his hands. Ouch! But then again I can't have that much sympathy, I personally think anyone who is dumb enough to think pashing Winona Ryder is a good idea deserves getting paid out.

However for the casual observer the CD makes for great listening, specially if you are into angry young women rocking out PJ / Courtney Love style.Therefore Resolver makes it onto Kate’s CD recommendation of the week.

11:06 AM

Friday, June 06, 2003  
Angelic Intervention

Can't believe it. There I was, waiting for my train at circular quay station when right in front of my eyes appeared a black stretch limo and out hopped Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz! They are all rather gorgeous but I think Cameron Diaz was the most divine. She is all leggy and gangly and a bit unco which makes her even more appealing.

Two new fabulous websites to share today:

Check out Wing! A fabulous Chinese/NZ popstar in the making. I highly recommend hopping in and having a listen to Wing sings the Carpenters.


Also this is a delight and of course one of my favourites - cat wearing little outfits from Japan.

Cats in hats

Have a good looooong weekend. I know I will.

4:22 PM

Thursday, June 05, 2003  

God Dammit! today back at the House attending a press conference will be the lovely ladies of Charlies Angels - Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore. These chicks are my favourites, in fact they are my pretend girlfriends, specially Lucy Liu. Dammit, Dammit, dammit. Instead us lot over here are destined to press our noses against the glass and peer across the harbour at the ant sized people on the point.

I learned a new word today: feirabend - it's german for the uniquely festive mood that overtakes people at the end of the day. Those germans, they have a word for everything.

11:20 AM

Tuesday, May 27, 2003  
Horror Movie

I’ve changed my mind about the Rocks, fickle creature that I am. I LOVE it now. I’ve discovered that behind the tacky opalescent tourist drag of George Street is a land of tiny pubs, little shops, terrace houses filled with real (sometimes completely crazy) people and our local pub the Palisade still has a “ladies lounge”.

Went to the Writers Festival on the weekend. I would like to say that it was fab but I didn’t get to experience much of it as it was packed out. I must surmise that from the Saturday talks that half of Sydney wants to be travel writers and the other half want to make movies or be screenwriters. Yep thats Sydney for you, shallow as a kiddies wading pool.

I just came back from the dentist (mmmmm I know what you're thinking - gosh this girl is interesting) the only reason I mention this is that my dentist tries to keep up with the latest, and his latest is a massive flat screen TV stuck on the roof. While I was lying back on the chair he produced a little camera the size of a pen and introduced me to each of my teeth. To say that never really wanted to get that well acquainted with my teeth is an understatement. It was like a horror movie, my tongue in particular was pretty frightening that close up but I didn’t have the heart to close my eyes as he seemed so chuffed with all his new high tech toys. Then it was time for the procedures and I had a nasty feeling I was going to have to watch that as well. But instead he slapped a pair of headphones on my head and whacked on a DVD. Whilst the drill was going I was entertained with selected pieces from Verdi and images of Tuscan Italy. Totally, totally, weird.

3:32 PM

Friday, May 16, 2003  
How do you sing a spiral?

Saw quite an amazing show on Tuesday night in the Studio. The incredible Christine Johnston plays a character called the Decent Spinster that is part Edward Scissorhands, part alien, part cartoon, part Alexis my flatmate I think. The spinster plays the saw, impersonates birds, sings shapes on cars and operas in Latin about bumper stickers. Okay, impossible to describe but truly wonderful to see - if you get the chance get yourself a ticket.

3:38 PM

Thursday, May 15, 2003  

Today we had alarms going off, extractor fans churning for 5 hours at the volume of a 747 parked next to my desk, and guess whose just been voted to be the fire warden for the building? It's not my lucky day. On the bright side I got to meet some firemen and I've got quite a soft spot for a man in a uniform. Speaking of uniforms, I get my very own little red hard hat to wear. For some reason I find that strangely exciting.

Mind you I really shouldn't complain about my job. I've just been reading "Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich - an amazing book all about working in low wage USA. This journalist set up herself the challenge of trying to subsist on a minimum wage job (or two) across the country. It is such a dickensian tale of exploitation and slave labor it is truly impossible to believe we are talking about the worlds richest country in 2003.....just further proof American is going down the drain I say.

5:44 PM

Wednesday, May 07, 2003  

Oh and we also have a ghost in the building.......I wonder if it's the Swagman?

3:35 PM

Tuesday, May 06, 2003  
Stuffed Koala Hell

I don't know about working in the Rocks anymore. It's unerving walking to work under the gaze of a thousand beady stuffed koala eyes in the windows of all the souvenier shops and you know you are truly in the grip of Australiana hell when the choice of venues for morning coffee are "the G'day Cafe" or....wait for it....."the Swagmans". I miss the green room.

11:15 AM

Monday, May 05, 2003  

I had a moment of celebrity interaction last week and failed the test miserably. Having just seen Dave Gormans show in the Studio I was pretty impressed by the man himself not to mention having also spent quite a sizeable amount of time interviewing him by phone and via email for a couple of articles I’ve written over the last month or two.

Im queuing to collect my bag post show when just as Im at the counter who should pop up right in front of me but Dave himself. Not wanting to let an opportunity go astray I decide to lean over tap him on the hand and say hello. He turns around and says hello back and that’s where things start to go horribly wrong. Instead of explaining that Id interviewed him, for some stupid reason I just say “hi Im Kate Browne” and he gets that slightly alarmed look where it’s obvious hes not sure if Im someone he’s meant to remember and has forgotten or that I am a particularly jolly form of stalker. Before I can rectify the situation this other guy walks up and starts saying something about how he was getting messages all about his mother through the show like a freakazoid. By this stage DG is looking quite panicked indeed as it appears that he is now surrounded by nutters and I am totally embarrassed, grab my bag and leg it out of there.

So it seems that I might be able to talk to these people on the phone and write about them in the paper but I’m going to have to go back to celebrity finishing school before I can be allowed out to meet them in person.

5:26 PM

Wednesday, April 30, 2003  
Out of the House

Well it's a landmark week for me. After four and a half years of working in the same building, not to mention sitting at the same desk we are being moved off site to a new location. Why so important I hear you ask? I work in a building that is world famous, beautiful, supposedly glamorous and I must be one of the only people to sit on the ground floor of a building and boast having everything from the QEII to Humpback whales dance in the water outside my window while I sit at my desk. Alas all good things must come to an end and although our new home promises to be rather special too it's not quite the same. So as I try and untangle four and a half years of no filing and piles of detritus washed up from my working life I am even more consumed about how to smuggle my glassed, framed portrait of the Virgin Mary i flogged from a theatre out of stage door this evening......subtle she is not. wish me luck.

3:57 PM

Tuesday, April 29, 2003  
Look into my crystal ball......

Okay long time no blog. Far out its pretty sad when you have to start apologising to your own web diary isn’t it? I’m such a guilty creature, would have made a good catholic.

I have been a bit mental writing stories of late but I must say the most enjoyable (though quite scary) story I’ve done is focussed on the New Age industry. For the last two months I have been up to my ears in psychics, astrologers, self help courses and the like. I feel so qualified on this topic I reckon I’m almost ready to run my own Mind Body and Spirit festival.

Visiting the psychics was the best bit. The two I saw were both crazy old French women. The first I could barely understand. I got the sesh recorded and all that can be heard is this heavily accented broken English dotted with the occasional ‘darrleeeng” and “marreeeeage” (translation – darling and marriage). Seeing I have no darling or indeed a marriage I can only guess that’s what she thinks the future has in store for me, the rest of it remains a mystery.

Strange French woman number two I could understand better – though I don’t know if that was a blessing really. She did offer to ‘read’ some photos I brought along of four of my oldest and dearest friends. She pulled no punches with my mates describing one as “incredibly plain”, another as becoming a “bitter old woman”, friend number 3 was deemed to never have a relationship until he is middle aged and number four was proclaimed “an idiot”. Great. She then told me not to worry as I probably wouldn’t be friends with any of them for much longer anyway. A bit later on after telling me how wonderful, special and talented I was I was then thrown out of my comfy ego boosted zone when she then decided it was my turn to cop a serve and told me that she thought I could do with losing a “couple of kilos – perhaps 5?”. Considering I was paying for 60 bucks for her to commune with the spirit world and tell me nice things you’d think she’d be a little less honest. Anyway I thought this was a little harsh as I was quite chuffed that afternoon as I was wearing my fave pair of size ten jeans at the time, totally deflated my self esteem. Bloody picky French.

12:36 PM

Wednesday, April 23, 2003  
Poor old Panphobia has been neglected but now I'm back. It's been way too long, stay tuned.
11:13 AM

Wednesday, January 29, 2003  
Canberra Massive

Big Day out and the long Straya Day weekend after a huge, huge week. Have seen the most astonishingly good array of music and performance in the last 10 days. PJ Harvey at the Enmore - shock seeing her with a very short curly bob (which everyone has been saying is a perm but I have found out is NATURAL = devestating). But nevertheless she was sublime, very sexy and mesmerising. Next cab off the rank was the most spectacular george & SSO with Jon Lord from Deep Purple. It was wild, this total epic 70's concerto with electric guitars. Got to hang out at the after party and perv at all the stars. A friend of mine went up to Katie and Tyrone Noonans Mum (the main singers from George) and said "You have the most beautiful daughter" Mrs Noonan gave her a greasy look and said "I have TWO beautiful children actually" and walked off. Ouch.

Onwards to the Big Day Out. Stinking hot day, caught a few mintues of the Music who sounded awesome and then headed off the main stadium to see the Vines. I am not a huge one for lopping down tall poppies but I must say their set was one of the most shambolic performances I have seen. Craig Nicholls was falling about the stage, wailing and being a dickhead taking off his shirt to reveal that he has been chowing down a few too many Big Mac's of late. A few songs in, where even the rest of the band managed to look embarassed, I witnessed what I can only describe as a reverse mosh pit. People were actually queuing to get out of the Stadium!

Foo Fighters took to the stage later that night and showed how to really put on a stadium "rawk n roll" show. I hope young Mr Nicholls and co were in the crowd taking notes. Dave Grohl surely must be the nicest guy in the business and it's good to see that nice guys do occasionally finish first.

After that my mates wanted to go and watch the live feed from the boileroom of Underworld. I had a strange desire to see Xzibit, this big black gansta rapper guy over in the hothouse. Noone was very interested in coming with me so I went on my own. Off I trotted into this tent that was packed to the gunnels with little teenage Eminem wannabes. As I was going in there this massive crush happened and I literally got so squashed my feet lifted off the ground while I was still upright. At this point I realised that I might just get crushed to death seeing a rapper on my own. I imagined people at my funeral saying "we never knew Kate liked gangsta rap, what else didn't we know about her?". At this moment salvation appeared in the form of two young guys who said "are you alright love?" and ensured that I wasn't crushed to death which was nice. The police then arrived to form a massive human barricade to stop thousands of other people trying to get in! It was very exciting. I stayed up the back and had an excellent time. Xzibit talked just like the big guy in Pulp Fiction and was just as scary, but put on a bloody good show, even if it was so hot in there condensations was actually dripping off the roof like rain. Sweaty or not it was a marked contrast to the poncy middle aged white guy antics of Underworld that I witnessed on the screen when I finally came out.

Themes of the day. I think of the Big Day out being the Straight Mans Mardi Gras. It seems to be the one opp for daggy straight guys to dress up in silly matching outfits and wacky hairstyles. There were a few Avril Lavigne look a-likes and curiously more than a sprinkling of girls dressed up as nurses. But overall this year was the year of the home made t-shirt. My favourites included:

"It's great being a westie head banger" worn by a westie head banger

"Canberra Massive" - bright yellow t-shirt worn by daggy guy

and the absolute winner:

"Sing us a song, you're the piano cunt" - GOLD.

1:57 PM

Tuesday, January 21, 2003  
Fat Skin

Here I am in 2003 - wooooo hoooooo. I have been a blog neglecter of late. I take it as a positive sign that in January I am always too busy actually going out and doing stuff rather than sitting despondently at my desk blogging. However in the last few weeks I've managed to stuff up all my links so apologies if you are wanting to go to Kitty City or Kate Browne's pub.

So in the last month or two I have eaten a lot, drunk a lot and sat on the beach a fair bit in between sitting in the garden, on my couch and in movies and in theatres. However it does seem I am not the only person concerned about what Emma and I like to refer to our "critical mass" thanks to all this food and sitting down festivity.

Jasons Nanna and entire family told him he was getting a bit porky, whilst Erin's Nanna told her to watch out getting her "fat skin" sun burnt (a quite blatant attempt at half arsed subtlety) My stepgrandmother (ohhhh she's just bizarre - everyone should have a stepgranny) told me that it was good I had "still managed to keep all that weight off". She is refering to a period quite a few years ago when admittedly I did pork up a little more than the average bear and did have to work fairly hard to get the weight off. However the way Stepgranny talks about my weight you would think it was a full time job "keeping an eye on it" and that without constant and eternal vigilance I would blow up like a cane toad without a moments notice.

So that was Christmas. New Year was a bit of a dud - I took it as a bad omen that a horse was extermianted on the race track in front of everyone just as I arrived at Randwick new year races - but I am refusing to let it get me down. My main new year highlights include joining the Newcastle Lowlands Lawn Bowling Club and learning to bowl. God don't I sound sad! But all in all I have a good feeling about 2003 dead horses and lawn bowls notwithstanding.

2:02 PM

Tuesday, December 17, 2002  

I just bought my friend in Canada a chicken for Christmas. No it's not a roast chicken or even a frozen one, nor will it be making it's fluffy feathery way accross the pacific to North America. Instead it will be going to Palestine to live with a family. Nice idea for a Chrissy present if you get stuck - you can also buy goats, seeds, medicine and school books. I'm starting to think I'm just going to give everyone a chicken (my dad loves 'em) - I think someone better take away my credit card before I go poultry mad. Check it out at:

World Vision Smiles

9:18 AM

Tuesday, December 10, 2002  
The Amazing Adventures of little plastic soy fish..........head.......errr man.

Eating sushi will never be the same again after checking out this amazing adventure. Special thanks to Morkle for digging up this little gem.

Don't forget to turn your speakers UP so you can sing along with the catchy theme song.

Heroic Soy Sauce Man

4:10 PM

Friday, December 06, 2002  
The Office

There is nothing like the petty dramas, trials and tribulations of life in the office.My own office suffers from this as well but I just have to share an old email I received from a friend who was a corporate slave at Mircrosoft - check it out...............

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Lindeman [mailto:Peter_Lindeman@connect-ibs.com]
Sent: Thursday, 25 May 2000 4:12 PM
To: Jason Forbes (E-mail); Kim Vellere (E-mail); Stephen Grierson (E-mail)
Subject: FW: MISSING!

Some people......JESUS....

I accidently dropped THAT MUG in the kitchen this morning.....

Its in more pieces than the Bloody Garden Gnome I smashed !

-----Original Message-----
From: Noeline Said
Sent: Thursday, 25 May 2000 03:53 pm
To: Microsofties; RAMS; SOCOG
Subject: MISSING!


Unfortunately my tweedy mug has gone missing again, and it would mean so much to me if someone returned it to me. it's white, with the picture tweedy on the front and the words "tweedy" on the back. It's my favourite mug.



Poor Noeline, it's probably scarred her for life. Wonder if Peter ever fessed up that he smashed her "tweedy" mug?

2:39 PM

Thursday, October 10, 2002  
Homeward Bound

Well since the Plague has decended and now departed I can't believe it's only been a week since I've been in good old Mother England. In so many ways things here are so familiar I feel like I am already back home and then there will be the odd thing that will completely throw me like 11oclock closing in the pubs, people actually wearing union jack t-shirts, driving union jack covered minis and thinking that it actually looks good and the sight of sloane ranger girls in jodhpurs and silk scarves sitting on striped deck chairs in Hyde park right next to wealthy Saudi Women in full veils and head scarves looking all for all the world like black crows. It's moments like that when I realise I'm not in Kansas anymore.

Blackie has made a full recovery and so has Rox. Although the little Marble Arch flat has been a little cramped it has been loads of fun, but it was a real treat to hop on the train to Brighton to visit the lovely Ms Emma Baxter and then the wonderful Lady McGovern otherwise known as Paul. Brighton is a real old fashioned seaside town, quite a gay hub, student area and rather eccentric all round. I loved it. Stayed in Emmas divine little apartment on the first night where I am now convinced she and I are living some sort of parallell universe as she bought her flat the same time I bought mine, decorated it the way I want to decorate mine and seems to own half the things I already have in my bedroom at home as well - spooky. So lovely to catch up with her - amazing that we haven't caught up for over 2 years but whenever we do it's like she just lives around the corner and that it's like the most normal thing in the world.

After Emma's I was off into the hands of the lovely Paul and his boyfriend John. Dined in one of Brighton's poshest and bestest restaurants which astoundingly is totally vegetarian. It's quite the norm here apparently and I almost died from having an entire menu to choose from. Brighton has loads of veggie restaurants, one of which has the most fabulous name of whykikkamoocow, think about it........ We went to another the next day and I took extreme pleasure in ordering bangers and mash off the menu without any guilt. My favourite shop in the lanes had the delightful name of "Pussy". I was well keen to buy something just so I had a bag with Pussy written on it but the thought of converting pounds to $$$$'s was making me feel ill so I restrained myself. After a trip to the Palace Pier and dragging Paul on a roller coaster it was time to leave. Having had quite a few people in my ear over the last week about relocating to the UK I have been starting to convince myself that perhaps I want to come back to the here to live for a while. After I said goodbye to Paul with no idea I will see him next I hopped in a cab feeling a bit emotional and spilled my guts to the taxi driver about my dilemma about whether I should stay or should I go. His question back to me was simply "where is your heart?" My answer without skipping a second was "Sydney" and he said "well there's your answer". Smart advice from the cabbie. On that note I guess I must say that although I am sad that my holidays are coming to an end - I am without a doubt very thrilled to be coming home. See you all soon.

9:11 AM

Friday, October 04, 2002  
The Plague

It all started simply enough, arrived at Blackies in London to be greeted by an old friend Katherine who had flown in from Spain for Blackies 30th on Saturday night. Roxanne arrived from Rome an hour after me and we all had quite a fun first night together downing lots of white wine and dancing about. By this morning Blackie woke up in excrutiating pain and had to go to the doctor first thing. By lunchtime I get a phone call to say that Blackie was in casualty in hospital and in a very bad way. Find myself in a grotty NHS hospital round the corner with Katherine and Rox waiting to see Blackie who has been put in what resembles a dirty cupboard on a kind of padded bench, still not medicated and in agony. Four hours later he is finally admitted, pumped full of morphine and still awaiting surgery.

We sit and sympethise with the poor thing, who is now facing his 30th birthday in hospital and have to watch him cancel all his party guests and get further and further out of it on the drugs. After 5 hours he still hasn't been seen by a doctor and we are all starting to get a bit stroppy with the whole "oh we might operate tonight, or maybe we won't attitude" that has prevailed over the whole visit. Finally Roxanne heads off to meet a friend for dinner and Katherine and I stay holding Blackies hand and trying to reassure him. Finally we are kicked out of the ward at 9.30 at night and head out for some dinner. At dinner we are wondering aloud whether Rox has a key to the flat or my mobile number but figure that she will still be kicking on with her friends. Just as we finish the conversation my mobile starts to ring. It is Paul, our friend who lives in Brighton who is calling to tell me that Roxy is locked out of the flat and isn't feeling very well. I hang up and head off back to the flat when Paul rings back with the fateful words, "I'd better warn you....appparently she has vomited all over the door and the floor outside the mews." Hmmmmm lovely. It turns out that Rox started feeling crap hours ago, didn't have a key to the flat or my mobile number. She staggered up to Edgeware Rd to call Paul (the only person in Britain whose number she could remember) and described herself to him as looking like a "hooker in a phone booth with vomit all over her shoes". Paul then had to put her on hold, call the hospital to get Blackie (who was the only person who had my number) who is now on a drip and in an extremely bad way. Nurses at first refuse to let Paul speak to him but finally relent and wake the poor thing up, make him stagger to the nurses station with his drip stand and give over the phone number. He is also livid as he was meant to go into surgery tonight but said "some fucking transplant patient got in before me".

Meanwhile Katherine and I arrive back to the mews to find a poor ashen faced Rox and quite a bit vomit all over the cobblestones. Since then we have been administering nurofen, valium and have had to go and wash the vomit away using Blackies kettle. Finally we have flopped on the couch, cracked open a bottle of wine and a toblerone and sit wondering who will be next in this scary new version of the London Plague. Who said travel isn't glamorous?

9:08 AM

Wednesday, October 02, 2002  

There are lots of things I love about travelling but I must say that my most favourite thing about it is the complete random situations that you find yourself in that you would never possibly have considered or even imagined doing at home. So far there have been plenty of these on my travels that I dont think should go onto this blog but by means of example lets just take the last week.

Sunday - Florence. Having a burning desire to see inside the Florence Duomo (Catherdral) I discover that it is closed all day to tourists because of people going to Sunday mass, pretty much for locals only. Undeterred, Rox and I decided to impersonate a couple of nice Italian girls, got dressed up and headed off to service with all the monks and old ladies in black. I must admit that I enjoyed the whole thing immensely. After slagging off the Church all my life there I was singing away, crossing myself, kneeling in prayer and shaking hands with the rest of the congregation. I even, I am ashamed to admit, put money in the church plate. I think a couple more services and I could convert. Lucky I missed the Popes blessing of the people down here in Roma otherwise I might have converted on the spot. Guess it must be all those hundreds of years of Irish Catholic blood pumping through my veins. For anyone who is worried about me turning christian I must point out that straight after church we went to a bar, got picked up by a pair of 22 year old Italian boys. One had a good grope of Roxies ass as we tried to leave while mine basically went straight for the pash. After that we headed to a restaurant where we ended up singing Bon Jovi songs in Italian with the waiters and drinking an astonishing amount of red wine that mysteriously never appeared on our bill.

- on Tuesday I had a long conversation with someone about "things I would never do". One of the highest on my list was hitchiking. Too many scary Ivan Milat type scenes pop into my head when I hear those words and I swore no matter how dire the situation I would never, ever do it. However by Thursday evening I was happily hopping into a strangers car to cadge a lift home after being stranded in a small town after the last bus failed to show and having to stand pathetically on the main road with my thumb out. It was suprisingly easy to do and I have to admit that the guy that drove us back didnt have that axe murderer look and even drove us 5 ks out of his way and right to our front door. Mind you before I come accross sounding all tough I actually only hitchiked because I was in the very good, and very protective company in the form of two Israeli boys who have just spent four years in the army driving tanks, shooting machine guns and learning how to induce chemical warfare. As for how I ended with them is another story all together............................

8:17 AM

Thursday, September 19, 2002  
IN spite of being dirty, chaotic and frustrating, Venice have left me completely weak at the knees with it"s beauty. Full pink moon, chandeliers, canals, little black cats sitting in windows and gorgeous people. Divine.

6:58 PM

Thursday, September 12, 2002  

Well I couldn't be more wrong. Copenhagen was wonderful and a lot more zany than I gave it credit for. You have to love a place where you see people drinking beer with their breakfast. I totally loved it. Pity I have been sick for the last week sniffing pathetically around Europe clutching my bottle of echinacea. Such a waste of good drinking time. I am now feeling much better and am in Berlin and the land of chocolate, beer and cheese. mmmmmmm.

Berlin is quite amazing, modern, very groovy but with a bit of a dark edge due to events of the past. It is so hard to not mention the war I have found - but I am giving it my best shot. One problem is that Germans have no idea how to dress. Most of the middle aged men dress like the bear contingent at mardi gras - all beards, leather waistcoats and boots. But somehow I suspect they are not bears which just makes it tragic. They just don't have a clue. As for the ladies of Berlin, they seem to favour lots of tattoos, shaved heads and boots. It is a shock after the land of the glamorous Scandinavians who seem to float about looking effortlessly gorgeous at all times. Roxanne's theory thinks that Germany is providing the perfect asthetic break for us before we head to Italy. She could be right.

So far my impressions and experiences of Germany have been:

Whatever food is available there is always a chocolate alternative. (muesli, sandwiches, drinks...)
Beer is available everywhere and at all times
Sandals and socks are virtually compolsory
They seem to like angels - they are everywhere. On bridges, roofs, churches, statues, paintings, graffiti
The Geese here are scary motherfuckers and will mug you for food
The Squirrels are bright red, fluffy and very cute

Will let you know when I think of some more. Off outside now to enjoy the sun and the SS museum.

8:00 PM

Sunday, September 01, 2002  
Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen

Err I'm not quite there yet. Still in Sydney, still sorting out my life and I still don't have any godamm shoes. Hopefully I will be able to have a bit of a blog every now and then while I am away. But just to leave you wanting more, are some facts about Copenhagen:

Population: 5,368,354 (January 1st, 2002)
Area: 43,094 sq. km.
Government type: Constitutional monarchy
Legislative branch: unicameral parliament (or Folketing), 179 seats, including 2 from Greenland and 2 from the Faroe Islands).
Chief of state: Queen Margrthe II
Head of government: Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen (from November 2001)
Climate: temperate; humid and overcast; mild, windy winters and cool summers
Religions: Predominantly evangelical lutheran, but also other protestant, roman catholic, and islam

WOW! Those crazy Danes - from that little fact file it sounds like my week in the Paris of the North is going to be more fun than a drug filled weeked in Ibiza. Shall let you know what it's REALLY like soonish. But until then.... Godnat.

4:09 PM

Friday, August 16, 2002  

For all those 2 or 3 people that keep up with my irregular rants on Panphobia I must update you all since my last somewhat pannicky sounding last post I did indeed survive my first experience at letchering. The first night was without doubt hideous. I felt like I had fallen into some weird time vortex where I felt like I had been talking solidly for an hour but when I looked up only another 5 minutes had slid past.....ohhhhh nasty. I did avoid taking them to a bar but I must confess it was tempting at one stage. Really don't know how the class put up with watching three hours of me sweating, shaking and ranting.

Fortunately this week was much more of a success. I found myself whipping around the room pointing and asking questions, writing on the board and even saying things like "I'm not going to start talking until you all pipe down" (oh dear - thanks Mrs Carroll yr nine english for that one). So all is well. I guess we've all had plenty of experience watching teachers in action - it's just a worry when you start behaving like them!

Soooooo glad it's the weekend. Last weekend was weird, I am writing an article of weddings and last weekend I had to attend the Bridal Expo (words cannot describe how hideous it was..."hiya do ya want to go in a competition to win a free Hens noight?) then to top it off I had to go to a real wedding (my cousins). Highlight was during my uncles speech my 94 yr old going deaf Grandpa says to my brother "he's pissed - he's been pissed every day for 20 years" in a voice that can only be described as a quiet bellow. He then went on to tell my brother all about his cousins (all women) and how off-beat they were: one married an orthodox jew, one married a Dutch sailor and one was a lesbian and ended up living happily with 'a little blonde.'


4:44 PM

Thursday, August 08, 2002  

I had two coffees and now I am freaking out. Our office massage guy has just been around so I shelled out 11 bucks for a massage and I'm still freaking out. I am DREADING getting up in front of this 30 odd group of people tonight to play teacher. Cannot wait for it to be tomorrow and all over. Am thinking that if the worst comes to the worst I will have to do what Carrie from Sex in the City did when she taught a class (Jen's suggestion). She took her class to a bar...to meet people. Perhaps I could do that and call it networking skills. Only problem is that I don't think there are any bars in St Leonards! Stupid North Shore.

11:32 AM

Tuesday, August 06, 2002  

For the next four weeks I have been contracted to be the Sponsorship and Marketing lecturer at an institution that shall remain unamed for fear of scaring off the students. I am freaking out - I have to keep a room full of people entertained for three whole hours once a week. I mean I know I like to talk but really........even I'm going to run out of steam. DUnno how real teachers fill five days a week. My first class is only a few days away and I'm already having nightmares. Last night I dreamt that I was so short I couldn't see over the lectern and as I started talking everyone started yawning and wandering out of the room.

3:31 PM

Thursday, August 01, 2002  

While the rest of Sydney was in a frenzy over the whales that came to visit us in the harbour causing traffic jams and ferry jams, me and my collegues sat in our office in a state of absolute ignorance. You see, at the moment our windows are covered with scaffolding and we can't see out. At about 3pm yesterday Brooke said "why don't we pop outside and see if we can see the whales" my response was "oh I can't be bothered, there's no way we would be able to see them from here."

In today's paper they have a picture of two of the little lovely little blighters leaping and frolicking in the water literally metres from where I sit at my desk. The time? 3pm.

11:49 AM

Monday, July 29, 2002  

My little newphew Alec just got back from a holiday in Bali. He told me there were two things you need to watch out for if you go there for a holiday. One is Biting Monkeys, the other is Pickle Pockets.

1:41 PM

Tuesday, July 23, 2002  
On the Air

Well I never. In the old days back in the early 80's I would have given my left leg to have set foot in the studios of what was then the coolest funkiest most happening radio station....... 2SM. I spent many a fun day listening to Ron E Sparx on my tranny radio shaped like a coke can at the beach.

Fast forward to the new millennium - lucky Kate is going to be live on air on Weds morning at 11.00am as a special guest on the Howard Satler chat show. I reckon there will be about 6 people listening (counting my Mum). How things have changed! I will be running a little talkback number with callers (housewives) about the whole private investigators palaver. Better go and study up on infidelity.

5:21 PM

Thursday, July 18, 2002  
Is it just me.......or is there someone else?

Ahhh yes, I'm using my blog to blow my own horn. Why not? Though some might say Why? Either way...do check out Sunday Life in the Sun-Herald this Sunday. I have a rather trashy little article in there about Private Investigators and Infidelity. The two companies I interviewed have absolute crackers of names: "Surveillance is Us" and wait for it.......... "Lipstick Investigations" (I must thank Rachael Cann for putting me onto that one!) It should be quite funny.

Off to the Shiny brand new castle tonight (That's Newcastle for the uninitiated) to visit Miss Meagie. Looking forward to listing to lots of Silverchair, tap dancing in Blundstones and yelling out "Go the Knights".

10:46 AM

Also - did I forgot to mention that I also managed to flick a bit of red wine onto one of the members of Hi-Five at the party. I reckon it serves her right, she is a kiddy icon and has no right to be pushing her way to the front of a bar queue in a nightclub. Shame Charli shame (I think that's her name anyway.)
9:49 AM

Tuesday, July 16, 2002  

Thanks to my lovely friend Kimmy I got to tread the red carpet last night at the premier of Dirty Deeds. Not a bad flick I must say....I especially loved the set design as it was set in the late 60's. Really bad carpet, furntiure and lots of pineapple rings in tins.

But as always the more amusing side of the night was the whole celebrity thang. Jen and I walked along this endless long red carpet which is kind of embarassing because there were all these fans and media with big cameras who look really disappointed when they realise you are not a celeb but some freeloading punter. Suddenly one of the men with a camera called out to me "I want to photograph you two together". We got all chuffed and posed and then he lifted up this tiny little instamatic camera (?) and then scribbled our names in a grotty little notebook. Considering his pissy little camera we decided he's probably not paparazzi and is just a pervert. Then again stay tuned we may pop up in the social pages somewhere!

The after party was fabulous - we all got herded onto buses much in the manner of a school excursion albeit a weird one because I was wedged between Geoffrey Robertson and David Williamson and taken to Tank under the establishment. The whole place was themed in the manner of late 60's Australia. Lots of lava lamps, mobiles and bad food like cheese cubes and jatz, chicken vol au vonts and devils on horseback. Got to rub shoulders with Toni Collette and Jason from Secret Life...my only disappointment was that there wasn't a single Big Brother housemate to be seen..... : (

4:56 PM

Thursday, July 04, 2002  
Thanks Max

It's official, I am expected to live to the ripe old age of 93. As it's tax time and all me and my office gals had a little spate of getting our finances in order it got me wondering about super and where the hell all of mine is. When I went to the AMP website superannuation section to check it out I discovered they have a cheery little quiz called.......

How long can I expect to live?

Apparently my spectacular innings are due to:

pets increase your lifespan cause they relax you. (Obviously the person that wrote this has never stood between Max and the fridge at dinner time, hardly a relaxing experience.)

Hanna, Emma & Alexis:
as loneliness in the home can knock you off your perch earlier. (Still wondering about the stress levels as it's ditto with the housemates and the fridge scenario)

Not having a drivers license:
as it lowers your chances of dying in a horrible car crash (finally I have a comeback to all those weirdos who think I'm weird cause I don't drive, ha!)

So thanks to all concerned for ensuring that I will be a senile 93 yr old lady with a trolley full of cats, no car and sharing my cardboard box with a couple of mates.

Now if only I could give up the red wine, the Alpines and get myself a decent love life according to the quiz I could hit the big 100 and get a telegraph from the Queen.

2:19 PM

Thursday, June 27, 2002  
Back at work after a couple of days off sick. One minute I am enjoying the ambience of the Rose Hotel post Gergs gorgeous book launch then next I am curled up in bed watching a re-run of Neighbours circa 1992. Gosh life is exciting.
Actually things just aren't going my way. Tonight Rox and I were meant to go to see a psychic. She only works by the moon, lives in a caravan near Liverpool and only takes bookings for 10,11,12pm. We were all rather excited about it until she called me last night to tell me she couldn't so us as she has a cold. I mean for gods sake she's a psychic, shouldn't she see these things coming and load up on the echinaccea?

1:14 PM

Wednesday, June 19, 2002  

Viva Italia to Vale Italia

A heaviness has decended onto Norton Street.

Oh what to do now the Italians are out of the world cup? Oh how I shall miss the flares, fireworks and the burnouts from cars spray painted green, white and red with "Wog Boy" numberplates. How far away 2006 seems.

11:29 AM

Thursday, June 13, 2002  
Stick Insects and Dwarfs

After the last few weeks I've realised that anyone that aspires to be famous needs their head checked. For a start it seems to really increase you're chances of dying horribly in a plane crash - think Buddy Holly, Aaliyah, John Denver, Patsy Cline, JFK jnr, Hansie Cronje, Shirl from Shirls neighbourhood just for starters. Of course a quick look at the Liza Minelli wedding photos confirm if you do survive the myriad flights without carking it you are on a sure path to resembling a wax dummy in a cheap wig, think Liz Taylor, Michael Jackson, Cher.... Not much to look forward to.

But I digress. I've had two "red carpet" experiences recently. Went to the Spiderman premiere at Fox. Was totally suprised to find a whole heap of shreiking teenagers with cameras behind barricades but even more delighted to find that we were wedged between Human Nature and the Home and Away starlets. Apart from all looking a bit trashy in real life - they were all without exception complete and utter dwarfs. The girls were not only dwarfs but complete and utter stick insects too.

The best thing to see all night (apart from Big Brothers Shannon in the toilets) was Tiffany ex-bardot who strutted the red carpet dressed to the nines, got photographed, interviewed for telly and signed autographs. She then sat down in the cinema (after looking around to make sure everyone was looking at her) and the lights went down. Lights went down, movie went up on the screen and Tiff was up and out of her seat headed for the door. Obviously her work for the night was done. Can't wait to see her talking about "how great the movie was" on Channel V!

4:19 PM

Mr Garrison

Is it just me or did the pictures of a certain John Howard addressing the US congress yesterday give him more than a passing resemblance to Mr Garrison from South Park? Quite unfair on the real Mr Garrisson really and a pity Mr Hat wasn't there too to tell it how it is.

4:07 PM

Friday, June 07, 2002  
What the??

This is so lovely, yet so strange.

I'm semi lost for words in how to describe it, however I will try. Think a "hello kitty" style musical.

Simply click on the link below and get the tissues ready, it's a real tearjerker.

Animated Kitty

10:42 AM

Thursday, June 06, 2002  
Where is?

In my household the discovery of an atlas and the placement of a world map in the toilet has sparked a frenzy of geography amongst the HM's. (that's big brother speak for housemates). Hanna discovered that Canada was really, really big, Emma realised tht Lebanon was really really small and I realised that the distance from Sydney to Auckland in European terms would be the equivalent to London to Warsaw. In other words quite a long way. Doubt you'd catch a pommy doing the commute between London and Warsaw the way people I know do between Sydney and NZ. Ahh the tyranny of distance us antipodeans endure.

Anyway in our nerdy frenzy we decided to learn all the capital cities and countries in Sth America and then have a test. I now know that Bogota is the capital of Ecuador. Handy perhaps? Not sure. However last night I did get to show off my new found knowledge when I had a rather yummy young Sth American taxi driver drive me home. When he told me he was from Brazil I was able to nod sagely and say "ah yes, I believe Brasilia is the capital no?" He was impressed and assumed I had been to Brazil. When I said I hadn't been he looked at me funny and said "well how do you know then" - I was too embarassed to fess up.

5:38 PM

Tuesday, May 28, 2002  

A wet and nasty day in Sydney town. Cold and steel grey. One bright spot is that flying high up on the Harbour bridge is the glorious red, yellow and black of the Aboriginal flag up all week for Sorry day. Nice one....

4:58 PM

Thursday, May 23, 2002  

Whilst I do rather like Ferrets, I do not like them wearing hats.

11:02 AM

Wednesday, May 22, 2002  
A musical Recommendation
I think I am finally over the plague of Kasey Chambers inspired C&W obsession that has dogged me and my minidisc for the last 5 months. I am now on the case of the UK Indie Acoustic scene and feel I must stongly recommend the wonderful Turin Brakes I am digging on them big time.

10:33 AM

File not Found

Hey where has Erin gone? She truly is a case of file not found today which is shame because I just did a search on her name in google and she came up first. Alas.

Perhaps the Mormons read her blog, got together in their short sleeved shirts and conspired to bring down the blogging bliss that was indeed, the wonderful File Not Found.

10:27 AM

Monday, May 20, 2002  
Make that four times

Fell over again. In a restaurant in East Sydney on friday night (I've just not having any luck in the evil east) after one too many red wines I managed to fall down a flight of stairs much to the amusement of not just my friends but the entire dining population. I don't think I'm going to survive the month at this rate.

On a brighter note at least I now have a bruised arse and elbows to match the bruised knees from last weekend.

What's going on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:32 AM

Thursday, May 16, 2002  
Falling Down

I think I'm going senile. In the space of one week I have fallen over exactly three times. Once at the aforementioned party where I did an impressive (unitentional) splits kind of routine which caused one guy to yell out "nine point six for technical difficulty" and then had to help me off the floor. Worse is the falling over in the street on your own kind of deal - once in Oxford St and once on Parramatta Rd this morning. Both times I tried to pretend that I'd slipped on something (nothing there) and then tried to laugh it off gaily even though my pride, and this morning, my back were smarting.

Only thing worse than falling over is that I went through a total of three dinners in Stanley St the other night. The first bowl of pasta was the wrong order because the waitress had heard me wrong (I'm obviously incoherent), the second bowl was delivered and I promptly picked up the sugar canister and poured it over my entire meal. The waiter is shreiking "Noooooo" and Rox is looking at me like I'm insane and I look back at what I swore was a canister of parmesan cheese in my hand has morphed into something white and crystal like. People around me are laughing and small children are staring wide eyed at the crazy woman with the sugar. When the waiter brings me my third bowl he actually holds my hands away from the bowl and insists that he puts the parmesan on for me. I allow him and sit there in my sugar shame, ears turning red from embarassment.

Should I book the nursing home right now?

11:15 AM

Monday, May 13, 2002  

I went to a party that Roxanne held on the weekend. I knew it would be a pretty wild party given an interesting combination of elements that included the wearing of wigs, karaoke and more than a sprinkling of English backpackers.

The party was wild, however although the idea of karaoke al fresco seemed like a good one at the time it seems that the neigbours (and most of Bondi) did not agree. When the Police turned up for the third time, Rox opened the rollerdoor to speak to them and I decided to scarper as I don't really like confrontation. I'm sorry I did, because in todays paper is a picture of Roxy in a trashy blonde wig, her face pixelated out like a criminal with the title about "Parties no fun for the police". If that's not the sign of a danm good party I don't know what is.

11:21 AM

Monday, April 29, 2002  
Monday Monday - Have I used this title before? Christ I am predictable

Comiserations firstly to young Rachey Cann about the getting up every morning to go to work. As an older wiser veteran of such affairs I can only reassure her that indeed, it does not get any easier. Ever. Ever. Ever. Especially when you stay up to watch Buffy.

Had my moment of fame on the weekend. My article about working on Summer Camp USA got a run in the Sun-Herald mag at long last. Pretty exciting stuff. More exciting is that one of the photos was actually of me wearing a flanno and firing a rifle. Classy stuff. I also had a fight with my mother about what she say as my "artistic liscence" in the piece. Apparently because I had left out fascinating details such as what hotel I stayed in therefore made the piece fiction not fact.

If all journalists were to abide to my mothers rules - all newpapers would be the size of telephone books listing every single detail. And according to her, only then, would they be correct. (breathing in and out now muttering the words "grace")

3:05 PM

Friday, April 26, 2002  

Happy post Anzac Day. In lieu of anything interesting to say as I am a tad hanged over here is tasty gossip tidbit from the wonderful people at Popbitch:

We recently wrote about a newly-single Hollywood megastar who was shagging the pilot of his Lear jet... AC writes that

“If the Hollywood superstar you wrote about is the same one we’re thinking about - not only is he bonking his pilot, but also his gardener and bodyguard. He also has a thing for guys who look like him, so an important prerequisite for employment with said star is a physical resemblance.”

Ring any bells Nicole?

10:28 AM

Monday, April 22, 2002  

5:21 PM

So, So Long

Sorry blog, prolly no one even sticks their head in to visit in this space any longer! Alas - I have been too busy to blog. Perhaps it is a positive sign that I am having some semblence of a life these days. Then again........

Things to ponder:

Why is that when I blow dry my hair it always rains?

Why is it that on Saturday night I always feel like staying home and having an early night but come Sunday afternoon I have my drinking boots on big time?

Why did my office chair make a huge cracking noise before semi imploding while I was sitting on it (unmoving) and making a phone call?

Why is it that I spend all day moping about the office thinking about how I'd like to go home all day but come 5o'clock I get all motivated and don't want to leave?

And why, oh why is all the good telly programmed for a Monday night?

That is all.

5:03 PM

Wednesday, March 13, 2002  
Birthdays, Tigers and Teapots

Survived another birthday last week relatively intact. Apart from the hideous fact I can now be considered "over thirty" things were pretty good. Got lots of lovely phone calls, messages, dinners, a big bunch of pink tiger lilies, a teapot...plus lots of other gorgeous things. Even my ageing phobia was allayed slightly by the bouncer at the Metro on Friday night who asked me for ID at the Kasey Chambers gig. And I guess it was a good sign that on the morning of the big day the first song I heard on the radio was "Flashdance - what a feeling". Ahhhh Irene Cara where are you now?

9:19 AM

Wednesday, February 27, 2002  
Don't Open the Fridge
On my way to work I noticed someone had dumped a mini bar fridge on the nature strip. Written on it in black texta was "Do not open this Fridge".

Then written underneath was "Don't open the fridge!".

Then finally, "Do not Open this!!!!!!!!!".

Made me really want to open it.

But I didn't, I'm far too compliant.

9:11 AM

Tuesday, February 19, 2002  
Worst Nightmare
Nova FM is running a competition for people to face their worst fears for up to $5000 cash (said in a bass deep radio voice of course). The girl this morning had to cut up a dead pig for $800.

I was trying to think what mine would be (don't laugh I do know the amount I have is truly ridiculous) however after some thought on the train this morning I have distilled it down to this......

Being completely covered in balloons and then being chased by clowns trying to pop the balloons. Add to the mix some small white fluffy dogs wearing dresses trying to nip me on the ankles at the same time and you've got my basic nightmare. Should I ring up and enter?

8:18 AM

Monday, February 18, 2002  
My sister told me on the weekend that my 9 year old nephew wasn't particularly pleased with his new teacher for the year. Why? "Because he's a spock and a treehugger" - couldn't have put it better myself. Alec then went on to tell me how Mr Murray told the class how he'd been on a "lovely walk in Canberra in the holidays and wrote down all the beautiful things he saw in a school book" this unfortunately just took Mr Murray a few steps lower on the cool-o-meter with the 9 year olds. The kids are now refusing to hand their homework in to him and will only deal with the Principal directly. So spare a thought for poor snaggy, treehugging Mr Murray being dissed on by a bunch of 9 year olds. Who in their right mind would become a teacher?

4:05 PM

Friday, February 15, 2002  
Roller Baby

Kersey girl, Simon and I went Roller Skating last night. It was glorious, the Majestic Roller Rink at Petersham is stuck in a time warp from the 80's where a game of Space Invaders still costs 40c and there are signs up saying "no chewing gum and no smoking on the rink". The place is run by a group of Greek men who remind me of the old men in the Muppet Show (only with Greek accents of course) who are quite canny. They insist on taking your shoes away when they give you the skates, I assume this is just in case you have the urge to make off down New Canterbury Rd with a pair of geriatric brown boot skates.

Emma and Simon probably have rather large bruises on their bums today and I am sporting a rather large blister on my heel. Ouch!

3:54 PM

Thursday, February 14, 2002  

9:28 AM

Wednesday, February 13, 2002  
Sleeping Girl

Just before Newtown station is a bright yellow terrace house that sits right on the railway tracks. Upstairs in the front room of the house the windows and the curtains open to a clear view of a big wrought iron double bed. Every morning, as hundreds of trains rattle past this window, a girl is curled up asleep in this bed seemingly oblivious to the noise and the fact that hundreds of commuters are watching her enviously as they are carried off to the city for another day in the office. I would have given anything to be her this morning as the rain fell down on the windows and I yawned and tried to shake myself awake after a late night.

11:44 AM

Monday, February 11, 2002  
Ohhhh poor little blog. I've been neglecting you. Been spending too much time having a life and not enough typing on this thing. In our office this afternoon it appears that the airconditioning has stopped working and we have no fresh air. Objects are starting to do little dances right in front of my eyes - surely not a good sign. If you read about five women who have died of suffocation in a fairly well known Sydney Icon you will know who it was......perhaps this will be my last blog......... Boss has just said "everyone go home - there's no oxygen". Bye Bye.
4:07 PM

Wednesday, January 30, 2002  
A Big Big Big day Out

Ahhh Australia Day long weekend, what a palaver about nothing except for the fact we all get an extra day off to booze it up the wall. (Though if you are a servant of the public like moi you actually get two extra days off.)

Speaking of boozing on, I must say that the kids of today are starting rather young these days. On Sunday I went to a BBQ at my brothers in honour of my little nephews having their first overnight stay with him. I arrived in a somewhat lobotomised state after the Big Day Out and was having a nice quiet time of it in the backyard. Alec (aged 9) came up to me and said "excuse me Kate would you mind putting on your shoes and going up to the pub?" when I came out of my coma I asked him why and his deadly serious reply was "because we have run out of beer and I really fancy a shandy". Bless him, he even escorted me to the pub and then we had a tiff about what kind of beer to get - MB (my choice) VB (his choice) - I won.

Big Day Out was pretty mellow this year. I didn't feel like the oldest person there either thanks to all the eighties throwbacks that were dancing around in a frenzy at the idea of the double bill of Rat Cat and New Order. Kates pick of the bands were: Garbage, the White Stripes and always amusing Regurgitator. Gerling were pretty damn good too and it was amusing to hear this guy behind me say in a whiny english accent "these guys are really good where are they from?" whiny english girl replies "oh, they're from the UK". Whaaaat!!!!!!!!!

Also good to see the always lovely Alex Lloyd cane it into first place in the Hottest 100 - I always knew he could do it even though he does seem to run quite a few people up the wrong way. I've had friends describe him in the last few weeks as "short" "fat" "a zero with a lisp". In fact when I was in the stadium at the BDO and they announced the winner a guy next to me clutched his head and screamed "god no!!!!!!! Anyone but Alex Lloyd!!!!!!!"
I care not - I still love him. Pity there weren't enough country and western fans out there voting to get young Kasey Chambers up as well. Oh well there's always next year.

PS: Finally caught Amelie last night - it was tres belle!

3:06 PM

Thursday, January 24, 2002  
Possibly the worst job in the world

Today as I walked down the main passage at work I spied some industrious studenty types dressed in white overalls. They had a bench, a set of scales and a number of objects on a table. Before my eyes could adjust to what the objects were the smell hit me first. Pure unerdulterated eau de garbage.

Bags of garbage surround the people labelled with appetising names like "toilet", "food" and "office". They sort through them, and pluck out things to be weighed such as a bottle of rancid orange juice which they were unscrewing as I had the good fortune to happen past them. Hmmmmm.....

They then look carefully at the bits of garbage and occasionally write things in a log book. Why are they doing this? I really, really don't know. What I do know is that this may, possibly, be the worst job in the world.

4:37 PM

Wednesday, January 23, 2002  
Blood n guts and Macbeth

I love Sydney during festival time, sleep deprivation, out every night. Lots of kooky things to do and see. The kookiest must be the Spanish production of Macbeth I saw at the Hordern. It was a rather loose translation of Macbeth as the primary focus of the piece appeared to be the spanish actors chasing us audience members around the Hordern with fire and big metal trolleys as well as hurling bits of raw offal, wine and rice at us. All while us audience wore 3D glasses in the dark and were deafened by industrial techno music. Apart from the fear of getting mince hurled in my hair I thought it was fabulous! I actually did love it to pieces. What was really weird though was the fact that the whole time I was there I felt like I had dropped a big acid trip and had gone to a dance party. Funnily enough I think those are the only other times I've been in the Hordern is when I've been off my nut on drugs, surrounded by smoke machines and people in various states of undress is when I've been at Mardi Gras, the only thing that was missing was the offal which I think may have been a blessing.

The only other intersting news is that at another do this week I had the good fortune to meet a girl who is a gossip columist for one of the big Sydney papers. Fascinated that someone could make a living out of being a gossip monger we chatted for a while and discovered that we share the same surname, then we discovered that we are actually related! (3rd cousins or something) I tell you what us Browne's get around....and we all love a good gossip. Must run in the family.

11:27 AM

Saturday, January 12, 2002  

Back from sunny Queensland or "god's own country" as the slow speaking locals like to refer to it. I must say as I have a bit of a bias towards God's choice of country generally so I was quite pleasantly suprised. The beaches were stunning, the weather was balmy, the beers were cheap and the locals were friendly. Rox and I had to get used to everyone referring to us as "girls" or "the girls" and everywhere we went us "girls" seemed to generate quite a bit of excitement (could be something to do with the fact that the Sunshine coast seems to be populated with a lot of middle aged men whose wives have left them. In fact over the course of five days we met at least five or six of these type suitors. Most of them talked of their obsession with surfing, how they had quit their jobs so they could surf everyday and then seemed genuinely suprised that their wives had packed up and left.)

Best pick up line award of the holiday is a tie between the 18 stone, 48 year old, married maths teacher from Perth who after following us into the swimming pool then invited us up into his room for beers with his mate. After we made "oh gee we're actually going out tonight" noises fixed us with a stare and said "I guess there's no chance of you coming and knocking on my door later tonight is there?"; the other was a man at the surf club who within five minutes told me his wife had left him, he'd had a nervous breakdown and didn't have a job so he could surf all day then spilt his beer on my feet and then said "so, would you like to see me again?".

Apart from that the only other drama was me stupidly exosing my stomach to the QLD sun after buying a bikini. The last time I had a two piece was when I was eight. Needless to say my stomach didn't take to the sun at all well and today I am several shades of tomato red. Ouch.

On the home straight for the holidays now and am feeling a little bit sick about this going back to work palaver. I really can't remember what it is I do all day at my desk that warrants my bottom on a chair for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. I guess I'll find out on Monday morning.

3:33 PM

Sunday, January 06, 2002  
Dreaming of Big Pineapples

Oh holiday bliss......I feel like I have been pumped full of valium. Ahhhhhhh one more week to go too. After 10 days of being in Sydney surrounded by fire and smoke and an altogether greasy dog of a summer I decided an escape to the coast was in order. Booking at such late notice (ie: New years Eve) left us with fairly meagre choices but come tomorrow Maroochydore here I come. Up on the Sunshine coast apparently we will be 100 metres from the beach, 50 metres from the shops and we even have a balcony for that all important beer o'Clock moment that occurs daily at 5pm. Best of all though is our proximity to one of the best "Big Things" Australia has to offer. Yes......the Big Pineapple at Nambour. Will it be as big as I remember???

8:18 PM

Friday, December 21, 2001  
A night to forget

Thought I would be leaving my blog as is but I simply must relate the events of my work christmas party before I disappear.......hold on tight, you're in for a bumpy ride.

3pm boss takes us out for lunch. Orders three extremely expensive bottles of wine on someone elses expense account and proceeds to act extremely smashed after about half a glass. Starts pouring her heart to all of us to the point we all start thinking that being back in the office might be more fun. She then demands more wine but does not want to pay and extracts it from the bar manager by batting her eyelashes and winking. (nice work) I escape muttering something about work.

Fast forward to the Christmas “Hoedown” VB is the only beer available – me, my boss and one of my work friends decide at the last minute to dress up like Indians by drawing stripes on our faces with lipstick and wearing plaits.

Five VB’s later am getting messy so a friend takes me to the toilets for some bolivian marching powder. Walk out together of the cubicle sniffing loudly and straight into our CEO (the toilets are unisex – kooky no?). He does not seem to notice (or care) and smiles at us.

Am now feeling very perky and am in a “I love everyone” state of mind. Decide to chew a couple of peoples ears off and hug them a lot.(mostly people I either don’t really know or normally like even) For example, funny how I never realised how much I “loved” the guy who does the accounts until I was in this state and felt the need to bestow lavish hugs and kisses on him. He capitalises on the moment by having a good grope of my arse.

At this stage I decide to kick back and hang out with this nice married couple and have a drink and a chat. Oh perhaps I should mention that apart from being a nice married couple they are also swingers who are heavily into S&M and have orgies. Silly me. Forgot that until they started getting a little too friendly and I started feeling a little bit like a dopey wilderbeest caught in the glare of two rather ravenous lions on the prowl. I scarper.

By this time the line dancing has started and I decide to join in without bothering to listen to the instructions. Decide to “interperet” the moves much in the style of the “riverdance” and also crash into everyone else as I cannot tell my left from my right.

Almost the end of the party now – decide to dispense some more of my Christmas cheer by bestowing yet more hugs and kisses and seem only capable of talking to people if I can hang on to them and get right in their faces. Scary guy walks past and I say “oh do you work here”, he says “yes” I say “funny I’ve never seen you before, hi I’m Kate” he says “I know exactly who you are”.

Swingers swing by to say goodbye. He capitalises on my good will by also having a good grope of my arse when he gives me a hug. She doesn’t muck around and goes straight for my cleavage.

More drinks, and suddenly I find myself magically transported to the pub where I am on a dancefloor, beer in hand dancing to “Girls just want to have fun” with the boys from the office.

Not much else to say really. Happy christmas everyone.

4:29 PM

Thursday, December 20, 2001  
The Awful Truth

Just a quick extract from an email I recieved from my friend that met Cruz and Cruise last night.

"Movie was tragic , and way too long. Tom is so short , and so is she!". What did I tell you, these midget superstars are out of control.

Work christmas party this afternoon. What do you get when you mix a whole lot of frustrated public servants, some arty farty wankers and a shit load of free beer in the sun? I think we can all guess the answer to that one. Oh and the theme is country and western and there will be line dancing. Say no more. I forgot my little outfit so will capitalise on my long black hair and some feathers my boss has in her office and go as an Indian. Hope all the cowboys don't oppress me.

Am stressing out today - have just filed my first big feature story with a major news paper. Have already had a nightmare that the Ed called to say that it was crap and am also freaking out about what the people I wrote about will think of me when they see what I thought of them. Lucky two of them live in Melbourne. Is it bad to say someone has a "girl next door manner?" god I'm cheesy.

Well I'm off on Christmas hols for three weeks and seeing that I generally blog at my desk during work hours I guess for a little while it's sayonara. Off to Canberra tomorrow for a few days (guess I'll be doing my christmas shopping down there so everyone will be getting fireworks or porn as pressies) and then off to Byron Bay in the New year. Can't wait for the the break - one more sleep to go.

1:05 PM

Wednesday, December 19, 2001  
Life is a box of Cherries

Brooke in my office received a wonderful christmas pressie yesterday from a client. A beautiful pale wooden box with a goose printed on it. Inside nestled on a bed of straw was a big bag of chilled organic cherries. Delicious.

I had my moment of hangover shame at work yesterday. Went out on Monday night to farewell Erin and for Simons birthday. We all had a fabulous time but the combination of lots of alcohol and far too much excitement resulted in me heading off to bed somewhere around the 4am mark forgetting about having to go to work at 9am.

Woke feeling okay and snuck in around 10am. Sat at my desk feeling alright and rang Rox. Told her I stopped drinking at 3am and she very helpfully told me the reason I felt okay was that I was probably still pissed and that at around 11am my hangover would arrive. She was correct. By 11 I was sweating, my head was pounding and I made the first of three visits to the bathroom to be sick. Let's just say that after eating cherries that morning everything was a delightful shade of pale pink. Admitted defeat and hopped in a cab at 2am. Fortunately my boss saw the funny side and has referreed to me as Miss Pissy Pants all day today.

Hey, the Cruise and Cruz juggernaught roll into town tonight. The after show party for Vanilla Sky is being held here at the house. All sorts of flunkeys have been running around setting up security and lighting and the like. A friend of mine has scored an invite and has promised to hiss Penelope and Tom on behalf of "our Nicole". Kinda glad I'm not going, I always find seeing celebrities in the flesh quite disappointing. Most of them are complete and utter midgets. What's with that?

Ps: Alex Lloyd has won the battle of my stereo. Kasey gave him a bloody good run for his money but he is now reigning supreme. (Probably has something to do with the fact I had to give Kasey back to Erin as well.)

3:22 PM

Thursday, December 13, 2001  

I've just bought a new lipstick. In fact it's not just a lipstick it's virtually a whole "system" as those in the beauty biz like to call anything that requires more than one container. But I digress, this stuff is amazing. Basically step one of the regime is to apply this liquid that looks like lip gloss but dries to the texture of paint. Step two is to apply this shiny glossy stuff over the top. It seems that the way it works is that the paint actually stains yer lips and you only need to whack it on once a day! So you can eat, drink and pash people without worrying about getting your makeup everywhere. Genius.

I sound like an ad but I've come to the realisation that lipstick is once of the great loves of my life.

Shallow? Absolutely. Glamorous? Undeniably.

2:11 PM

Wednesday, December 12, 2001  
Singing in the rain

Hows about this crappy weather? I'm afraid this summer is simply not cutting the mustard Sydney, I'm a little tired of having frizzy rain hair and having to carry an umbrella at all times.

Speaking of umbrellas I identified another phobia this morning whilst on my walk to the railway station with Erin. My umbrella often gets stuck as I put it up and it requires a bit of force to do so - I have this absolute fear that I will get that little area of skin between my forefinger and thumb pinched in the clasp. (Don't laugh it actually happened to me when I was little) fortunately Erin was very gallant and opened it for me, what a girl. She also had to get the lid off the bottle of coke I wanted to drink but was too hungover to manage myself. I am a sad case. No wonder she's moving to Canada

I went out with Brookie and Catherine last night "for a few quiet drinks". I was wondering why I felt so rough around the edges until Catherine emailled me with the bottle count from the evening. 3 x bottles of White wine, 1 x large bottle of Bacardi, 3 x girls = big hangover.

ps: Just realised I have been sitting at my desk, wandering around the building and having meetings with my collegues all morning with my sunglasses still on my head. Considering I have been indoors for the last four hours and it is not exactly sunglass weather outside I think I'm justified in my concern for my mental state.

11:11 AM

Tuesday, December 11, 2001  
The Battle for the Stereo

Apart from my general mateyness issues the other exciting news is that I am once again the owner of a stereo. I cracked on Saturday morning, took myself down to Target and attempted to purchase a little portable number. ( I say attempted because all the spotty 14 years olds that work there were out the back on a ciggie break when I was almost squashed trying to reach one of the boxes on the top shelf) Anyways - eventually I succeeded and once again there is music in my life. Hurrah.

My only problem now is fidelity...earlier this week saw me embarking on a total love affair with the divine new Watching Angels Mend by the marvellous Mr Alex Lloydbut only last night Erin lent me Barricades and Brickwalls by Kasey Chambers, which I am suprised to admit I am loving to pieces. Now I am torn between two Cd's. Kasey is great for a good sob and that kind of "my boyfriend cheated and my dog ran away" ambience, but Alex seems to have a song for every one of my moods and each one is more stunning than the last. Will Kasey steal my heart? Will I be tempted to cheat on Alex? Who will win? Stay tuned for next weeks episode of Kate's stereo...........

12:14 PM


It's something I've only recently taken notice of, but I suspect it has been happening for quite some time. Just about every male type person I encounter irrespective of age, background or indeed their relationship with me feels duty bound to refer to me as "mate". Is it just me? I don't see notice other girls being referred to as mate. Hey don't get me wrong, it's not that I mind it or anything but I must ponder what it means about me. Even the security manager here at work had a fairly serious discussion with me on the phone this morning and still signed off with "all right then mate, I'll look into it for you".

Is it because "Kate" sounds a bit like "mate"?

Perhaps I am less of a girlie girl than I like to think I am and blokes feel pretty comfy knocking a beer back with me and think of me like their little "buddy"?

One consolation was the party I went to in Friday night where the guest list consisted of about 90% gay boys. They certainly don't call me mate, they call me darling. But then again they call everyone that...... even the cat.

12:02 PM

Monday, December 03, 2001  

Funny how you take something for granted until it disappears almost completely. Day four of a vortex consisting of being exhausted and irrational all day and then evenings of tossing and turning without sleep and feeling so bloody alert I could run around the block 20 times. Today I'm starting to see things out of the corners of my eyes and even short term memory is a challenge. Thank god for the old fashioned doctor I managed to wheedle sleeping pills out of this morning. No such thanks to the small white fluffy dog that entertains itself nightly outside my window by holding a festival of barking and whining for up to three hours at a time (quite an acheivement I think.) Fingers crossed for sleep (hopefully follwed by my brain..) by tomorrow.

Night night.

3:31 PM

Monday, November 26, 2001  
Kate on a cold tin roof

Apologies to Emma for stealing her line. Monday, Monday and December is nearing.......well nearer. I feel flat today and a bit stagnant like the nasty stinky water that has settled in the coffee cups in my kitchen that have gone without washing for weeks. Change is in the air with young Eric shifting out of Albert street and off to Canada (making for a very morose house indeed) and Hannanna off to Germany for a couple of months as well. Change is all around me but I am standing stock still as everyone's thoughts turn towards their plans for the New Year ahead. I feel like a pet mouse in an exercise wheel - running as fast I can to keep up in an endless cycle of work, sleep, weekends, work, sleep and frankly the same view from the wheel is getting rather boring. To top it off I know it's not even a particularly inventive or interesting way to feel as every average schmo feels the same way this time of year.No wonder all the shrinks are booked out.

Highlight of the weekend, Emma making me climb a ladder in woolly scarf, coat and gloves and get on the garage roof. Took all my courage to do it and I certainly managed to look cold what with all my shaking. Even so, it was kind of fun once I was up there.

Ps: I know I sound like one of those freaky "psychic" women from Womens Day but I've had the strangest feeling that someone is hanging around me for the last few weeks - it's very odd. Either I really am losing my marbles or I've got a little "friend" hanging around my right shoulder. Crazy stuff.

11:15 AM

Thursday, November 15, 2001  

The ego has landed

Ever ego surfed? Put your name into a search engine to see what comes up? The results can range from the disappointing to the trashy to the completely devastating. Housemate Emma K has complained that absolutely nothing comes up when she types her full name in, whilst my mate Roxanne has the opposite problem. "There's no way I'd be able to find myself in there, I'd have to wade through 28 pages of pornography, it's all you get with a name like Roxanne or Roxy" she sighs. Somehow I suspect my friend Tiffany, and all girls out there called Crystal or Muffy might have the same problem.

But the worst story I have heard was a girl who typed her name into Google and discovered a blow by blow account on a blog about how irritating and revolting she is. The most painful part of this was that she didn't even know this person, apparently they had just met her at a party one night and that was enough to do it.

This of course makes me think I have got off quite lightly. I had naively thought that only my mother would have had the total lack of foresight to give her offspring such a clunky and two syllable moniker like "Kate Browne" ("I thought you would get married and change it!" is her defence) but a quick wade through Google has proved I am not alone. I've found a scientist, a New York playwright (ooh la la) but my favourite comes from Ireland. Take a trip to Kate Browne's pub it's quite a delight and certainly satisfies my passion for all things equine, Irish and alcoholic.

10:00 AM

Tuesday, November 13, 2001  
A quotable quote

Not much to say this week, so rather than bore you I'll leave you with a quote from Christina Aguilera on the topic of Polar Bears.

"As soon as I looked into the crystal blue eyes of the polar bear, I knew I had to save them from extinction” she said last year. Has she helped? Has she fuck.

11:45 AM

Friday, November 09, 2001  
The great starbucks betrayal

I always thought I was a reasonably PC kinda gal. You know, I try and recycle, be socially aware and hey I am a vegetarian! I've always avoided the likes of Macca's and Hungry Jacks "on principle" and of course being a vego helped. I've also succesfully avoided the Starbucks phenomenon that has started its insidious creep though Australia, until last night. Maybe it was cause I was tired after the gym, maybe it was because I was craving a caffeine hit, maybe it was because it was the only place open. Before I knew it I was at the counter ordering an iced mocha latte grande (or some such toss). I'm ashamed to say it was absolutely delicious. I skulled it down in seconds and then proceeded to make disgusting slurping noises to finish it off. Once the exhilaration wore off I threw the damming evidence in the nearest bin and felt guilty.

Oh dear......Is this a sign of impending conservatism now I'm getting older? Can I be trusted to vote tomorrow????

12:02 PM

Friday, November 02, 2001  
Strange Things Afoot

Walking home last night with my walkman plugged in loud. Over the music I hear the slap, slap, slap of footsteps behind me and a hand grabs my arm. I whip around and am face to face with a middle aged woman with a backpack. "Can you lend me twenty dollars?" she asks. "Errrr I don't have twenty dollars" say I. "Okay - how about ten?" she shoots back. When I say no she gives me a pissed off look and runs off down the street.

I walk over to my front door and hear Emma inside calling out "oh, it's only you". When I get the door open she says to me"the weirdest thing just happened. This little woman just came up to the front door, banged on the window and demanded twenty dollars!......." I guess you can guess the rest.

I'll give this woman some credit though - most people only ask for a dollar or a ciggie for starters. This chick has obviously decided to aim high and see what happens, maybe there's a little lesson in there for all of us.

10:32 AM

Wednesday, October 31, 2001  
Picture perfect postcard Sydney day. Lay down in the park under the harbour bridge in the sun under a palm tree at lunch. Watched the little lego men figures of the bridgeclimb people toddle up the bridge in their matching grey overalls in clusters of ten. Lazed in the warm grass with my eyes closed to slits when suddenly I hear a god almighty crack from above and a massive thud next to my head. I am covered in bark and lying, not more than an inch from my head is an enormous coconut thing that has dropped out of the tree.

My friend Jason likes to predict all of our deaths, it keeps him amused. For me he has always insisted that something large would fall from the heavens and wipe me out of existence. The example he uses is a baby grand falling out of a high rise apartment. Could the coconut be a sign? I think I have been warned.

3:19 PM

Monday, October 29, 2001  
Another thing to hate today.....the beginning of daylight savings. It almost killed me dragging my ass out of bed this morning, it probably didn't help that I inflicted quite a lot of damage on myself and my psyche due to a rather large Saturday night which didn't actually pull up until Sunday dawn. It gets worse when I remember that I was at one stage dancing to S Club Seven with a guy in a very bad wig......errrrrrrr.

However it's good to know I'm not alone in my sufferance. A boy I work with just said "I hate this daylight savings thing, it's making my entire body ache. Even my eyelashes hurt." I couldn't agree more.

1:54 PM

Friday, October 26, 2001  
Thanks to Erinfor introducing me to the truly wonderful Spanish word "Pava", roughly translated it is to be so trashy it is supernatural. Muchos gracias Erin. I have had my eyes peeled for examples of truly pava things all morning and I must say Sydney is blessed with muchos pava in spades. (or maybe it's all those American tourists hanging around the quay in their white tracksuits and gold jewellery) but after thinking long and hard Kate's pava website nomination for the day is.........

The Liberace Museum of Las Vegas Ahhh Liberace, a man so pava it hurts. Be sure to check out the pictures in the gallery, superb.

11:39 AM

Thursday, October 25, 2001  
Working with a room filled with five other girls (make that very, very girly girls) can get a girl down somedays. The mere act of putting food into ones body can, or indeed the mere consideration of eating can throw them into a frenzy. Below I would like to share my thoughts with you on the hot topic of the girly office this week. The fad diet....

Let's just start with the fact that Madonna’s put her 5-year-old daughter on a carbohydrate free diet. Apparently poor little Lourdes had hot dogs without the buns at her birthday party.

This news is final confirmation that just like the return of bad 80’s fashion, fur coats and big hair, the fad diet is back with a vengeance.

From “eating right for your blood type” to “cabbage soup” every fad diet has it’s gimmick. The very latest (not to mention celebrity-endorsed) regime is the “high protein-low carbohydrate” diet. And according to Hollywood gossip columns it is THE diet to be on.

In a nutshell, the premise is that it is carbohydrates, not fat that causes weight gain. This means eating heaps of meat, eggs, butter, cream and pretty much everything else your Mum would say is bad for you, and not much in the way of bread, potatoes, pasta and even fruit.

According to nutritionists, anyone following this diet long term can become a candidate for all sorts of health nasties from bad breath and fainting to heart disease and memory loss. Pretty sad really, even sadder is that this is not even a new concept. In the 70’s and 80’s similar diets were everywhere. Anyone remember the Pritikin, the Grapefruit or the Beverly Hills diet? I even remember back in the late 70’s my sister embarking on the mysterious Israeli Soldiers diet. This ever so nutritious concept involved eating apples for three days, then cheese for three days and so on. Just exactly what the connection was between copious amounts of Kraft cheesesticks, fitting into your tightest jeans on a Saturday night and conflict in the Middle East, is a mystery that eludes me to this very day.

But Israelis aside, the low-carbohydrate theme raised its ugly head again in the ultimate yuppie diet of the 80’s, the Scarsdale. Everyone from Bob Hawke to our Kylie were extolling the virtues of half a cold tomato and a spoonful of tuna for lunch.

Only today I meet yet another person who insists on boring me with the details of his low-carb regime. Mid forties with thinning hair and pin striped suit, Kevin hardly looks like your classic diet zealot. “It’s amazing” he crows “I’ve given up bread, potatoes, pasta and the weight is just falling off!”

Leaning forward he says in a conspiratorial manner “you know the very best thing about this diet is that I don’t have to eat all that healthy rubbish. I can eat bacon and eggs every morning, just as long as I don’t have toast!” When I ask how his heart was going to enjoy a diet exclusively based on greasy fry-ups he stumbles momentarily then grins and says “Oh, who cares? I’ve lost so much weight!”. Sad git - he will probably have a heart attack for his 45th birthday.

My cousin has just paid a diet guru over two hundred bucks a session in an attempt to lose weight. Her new routine is extremely complex and time consuming, including daily urine tests plus she has to weigh every single thing she eats, even lettuce leaves. So what happens when she eats out? “I don’t anymore” she replies.

So it seems that the first rule of these “new” diets is that the potential dieter must have a Phd in chemistry to understand instructions so complicated that the best selling volumes they come in are the size of telephone books.

Good ole trashy magazines also help push along the idea by telling us which celebrities follow which diet. A quick flick through them reveals that Portia De Rossi doesn’t like her different foods to “touch” and Jennifer Aniston follows “The Zone” religiously, where her every meal needs to be exactly 30% protein, 40% carbohydrate and 30% fat. By the looks of poor old Jen these days it appears she’s decided the maths on that little equation three times a day is too hard and that just not eating at all is easier.

But really, should we look towards the US for diet advice anyway? As the fattest nation in the world our American friends are hardly leading by example. Afterall, these are people who consider peanut butter a vital food group and are responsible for the manufacture of a lurid pink breakfast product called “Fluffer” (that’s spreadable marshmallow fluff for the uninitiated.)

But before we get too smug Australia, recent reports now show we are now heavyweight rivals to the US for the fattest nation title. Ahh, there’s nothing like progress.

Perhaps so much conflicting information on nutrition bamboozles us punters into believing almost anything. A girl I know says “I’d like to go to the gym but I must lose weight first, or my fat will turn into muscle” as if one go on the exercise bike will turn her into the incredible hulk. Another says she has it on very good authority that rice is “really” bad for you as she scoffs a packet of Twisties.

Even so, our high protein dieters are having the time of their lives. Stuffing their gobs with junk food and waiting for the kilos to drop off. Imagine… fried chicken, just no chips, creamy Caesar salad, no croutons. It sounds like a Homer Simpson dream until you consider the implications of hardened arteries and high cholesterol.

Personally, in the spirit of recycling trends I’m hanging out for the revival of the Jane Fonda style aerobics craze and cries of “feel the burn!” I’ve always wanted an excuse to wear a pink headband and matching legwarmers… again.

5:42 PM

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