November 28, 2010

A royal dilemma...

Meet our beloved Princess, the short-haired Diva of the House, shown here flat out working the 'I haven't a care in the world' look.

And these are just some of the local birdlife who have been frequenting our back lawn for the tasty spoils of someone's uneaten crusts of breakfast toast or the few handfuls of wild bird seed mix I've been throwing out on the grass every day to encourage them to congregate. We get rainbow lorikeets, sparrows, waxeyes and magpies, the latter extra specially great because they eat pests from the lawn and keep the scourge of indian myna birds at bay. And they have such a lovely warbling tune, so uniquely Australian. *g*

However, this sudden influx of birds has been a source of irritation and/or frustration for our furry majestic one. She has her pride, after all. Note the attempt to assert authority over backyard as seen here:

And here:

It's almost too much for a royal Miss to bear, really. I couldn't help but laugh though, watching her. It was like she was saying to them: "I could have you, I totally could. But I choose NOT to. Just FYI."

Well... either that or she simply can't be bothered, LOL.

Happy Weekends, everyone!

November 18, 2010

Is this the owner of the house?

I’m someone who is generally thought of as being ‘nice’. Even-tempered. Polite. Calm. These are just a few of the words I’ve heard people use to describe me. And that’s really lovely. I pride myself on the ability to continue to be nice even when my brain might be screaming blue murder or even thinking “OMG…blah, blah, blah!” It’s not easy but I do it. I figure the world needs more nice people nowadays, so I make the effort. With a smile. It costs nothing so why not? Like the saying goes: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

However, even all of my self control and social correctness is beginning to fail me every time I pick up the phone to hear another thick-accented telemarketer launching into their scripted spiel. They are the bane of my working-from-home life. And they are on the increase, big time. Telemarketers are like the cockroach of the advertising world, surviving the nuclear GFC explosion and mutating to become bigger and more pervasive, yet clinging to their original irritating mantra of calling at the least convenient moment. Whatever happened to the ‘Do Not Call’ phone list?? Julia?? Ploise explain.

As is my wont I have tried to be nice to these people. They are only doing their job I tell myself, as I listen to what they have to say and then, ever-so respectfully say “Look, thank you very much but I’m not interested, okay?” They’d then counter with a long list of reasons why I should talk to them, interspersed with me repeating that I really, truly wasn’t interested but thank you, anyway. Finally, after much too-ing and fro-ing, they’d eventually give up.

But did they appreciate my time and my unwillingness to rudely hang up in their ear? Oh no, they certainly did NOT. They ignored me and kept on talking, doggedly and slightly louder in volume, as though by sheer persistence they’d wear me down and I’d suddenly exclaim: “Why yes! I’d love to go to an investment seminar/refinance my house/talk about my holiday habits!" *eye rolls*

After an avalanche of these kinds of scenarios this week, I finally lost it. Mrs Nice & Sweet disappeared, only to be replaced by Mrs Curt & Abrupt.

*dun dun dun*

Mrs Curt & Abrupt was to the point. And very effective. As soon as she heard their whiny voices on the line, she firmly said “Not interested.” And promptly hung up. Click. Just like that. No further explanation, no pre-empted warning. While Mrs Nice & Sweet would never commit such atrocities of telephone etiquette, Mrs Curt & Abrupt couldn’t care less. She has no patience for this time-wasting caper, choosing the quickest method of disposal and moving on, leaving Mrs Nice & Sweet free to get back to her work, unbothered and in peace once more.

She's a bit of a revelation, Mrs Curt & Abrupt. Talk about cutting through the crap, she's like a hot knife running through butter. The Door Bitch of your phone. Anyone who doesn't pass muster is unceremoniously cut. CLICK. See you later. NOT. *g*

So to all telemarketers out there, let this be a warning to you. While I still remain Mrs Nice & Sweet (among other things, lol), I now have back up. And let me tell you - she means business!

November 17, 2010

Here comes the bride!

Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention ploise - it's time to go clothes shopping for the perfect wedding outfit (complete with hat, naturally) - we of the British Commonwealth have a royal wedding coming up on the social calendar!

Prince William has finally asked the eminently suitable (and obviously very patient) Kate to be his lawful, wedded wife. And she, in the very best of British accents, has delightedly said "Yes, of course." Awwww, they're so sweet. Such a lovely piece of news to hear because everyone loves a wedding, don't they? I most certainly do. It seems like forever since the last major Royal Nuptials -- and I had to look it up -- can you believe it's almost 30 years ago since Charles and Diana got married?

While berating begging awaiting William to pop the question, women's magazines in Australia have had to content themselves with speculating about the engagement, pre-empting announcements of the engagement, or rehashing the will they/won't they stories about the couple. Add to that, also printing gushing stories about the day-to-day exploits of 'Our' Mary (formerly of Australia's Tasmania but now living as Princess Mary of Denmark) or bringing us an 'exclusive' every time the hapless yet likeable Sarah Ferguson manages to do something stupid, it's been a royal flush of news! I bet those magazine staffers are burning the midnight oil now. The Wedding royal watchers (and the magazines) have been waiting for (and OMG, have they been waiting... something like 8 years!!) will be a day during the English summer in 2011. *sigh* How fabulous.

I wanted to mention the thing that stayed with me about this announcement - it was the news that Kate's engagement ring is the same one that belonged to Diana, the late Princess of Wales. The romantic in my soul absolutely LOVED this little fact. I think Diana would be thrilled to bits too. I adored that ring when I first saw it in 1981 - and probably explains why my own engagement ring is similar in design (although nowhere near the size or price of hers!!)

My lovely ring...

and my inspiration... 

So congratulations to the thoroughly modern Will & Kate. They look so very happy and relaxed together and I wish them all the very best of British luck. *g* I'm a few months away from clocking up 16 years of marriage myself to the one and only Provider (OMG.. has it been that long already?) and honestly, I can't believe time has flown by so fast. He's one of the good ones but we still congratulate ourselves (jokingly!) for making it this far without calling in the lawyers, lol. 

Will and Kate have a better chance than most modern royals today, given the length of time they've already spent together. However nothing in marriage - or life for that matter - is guaranteed, especially if you're a Windsor it seems. What is guaranteed in this case though, is the inevitable mass coverage of every last bit via the media. *sigh* Let's pray to God lessons from the past are well heeded.

November 2, 2010

You can't win 'em all...

A sad fact, but it's true. But try telling we fanatical rugby-watching All Black fans, breathless with anticipation for more glory after winning fifteen games straight. We're a demanding lot, you see. Those magic men who pull on the revered black jumper are well aware of the expectation however, and indeed, relish the chance to feed it. And dare I say it, we'd become pretty plump of late. So it was not surprising when a few million cries of "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!" echoed plaintively across the Tasman and joined my own wails of distress last Saturday night. OMG, say it ain't so! The shock we were feeling was all-encompassing.

Time seemed to slow to a crawl as I sat transfixed to my screen, unable to tear my eyes away while the unimaginable unfolded and the Wallabies stole an incredible victory over my beloved AB's in the dying seconds of the game. Gah! The agony vs the ecstasy! It was sharp and bitter to taste and I can't say I enjoyed it terribly much. Naturally, The Provider did though. Cheeky bastard. :)

But in the cool and clear light of a new week, I think it could actually be a blessing in disguise. This was the loss we needed to have because it means we haven't peaked too soon. Statistically speaking, it's almost impossible to win EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It just doesn't happen; the odds are stacked against you right from the start. 15 wins in a row was probably pushing the envelope - and when you're preparing for the Rugby Union World Cup in 2011, you want everything to be in alignment including statistical probability.

Being a winner all the time is not the way to go, obviously -- the mathematical odds will always beat you in the end, it's simply a matter of when. I give you Paul the Octopus - look what happened to him!

So look out you Wallabies. You might have got one over us this time, but we'll be back. Tougher. Stronger. Faster. There's only one thing more dangerous than an All Black side. And that's an All Black side with something to prove, and 2011's World Cup is the perfect place to do it. Bring it on, baby. *g*
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