Thursday, 29 November 2012

You know...the Aztecs...

So, I’m in week 2 of Michelle Bridges 12 week Body Transformation diet. It’s pretty damn good. I’ve lost more weight than I expected - though mind you when I set my mind to something I am invincible. The diet has all these different foods I would never think to eat. Anyway, after work I went with my shopping list of weird and wonderful food to buy. The one food that I took forever to find? Quinoa. Yeah, how many people have that on their staples list? I searched the whole damn supermarket. I knew it was a grain but I just couldn't see it on the shelves. I stopped an employee who had no idea what it was. I said, “It’s a grain and I think the Aztecs used to eat it”- I don’t know if they did. It just sounds like something they would have eaten. He said “I don’t know where the Aztec food is.”

I did find it sans Aztecs. Have you ever noticed how expensive it is to eat healthy food compared to crap? Thankfully I'm worth the expense.

In case you are wondering -

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wrong. Criminal. Unforgiveable.

"Nurbanu is one of thousands of women in Bangladesh who have had acid flung at them by a relative or partner due to domestic arguments, financial woes or even rejected marriage proposals."

I have said it before and I will say it again. What affects one woman, affects all. There will never be true equality until all women are allowed to live without fear or prejudice.    

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Out there...

So, I decided to take the initiative and put something out there as part of a wish list. It was kind of weird doing it as there are times I’m not that eloquent but I’m glad I did. Will I get my wish? You know, it’d be very nice if I do but if not? That’s okay too because just saying it made me feel stronger and in control for the next time I ask that question.

“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of potential -- for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints; possibility never.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard  

Monday, 26 November 2012

You know when you’re totally bored at work and you start having thoughts like…

- What would happen if Martians landed at the office looking for intelligent life? Would they be disappointed?
- Do beautiful people get bored shitless or are they in jobs as beautiful as themselves and everything is – well – beautiful?
- Are beautiful people shallow?
- Are non-beautiful people deep?
- River deep, mountain high – a profound emotional image or just stating the facts?
- If a zombie hunter came in and rounded up all the office zombies and took them away in chains would I notify corporate office first or have lunch and then mention it in an email the next day supposing I remembered to?
- Can you die from not having sex?
- Can you die from too much sex?
- Are vampires picky when it comes to blood type? Was that mentioned in Twilight?
- If mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy, what about cows? Why don’t they get mentioned? Is it discrimination? If so how do we combat that?
- Are boring people born boring or do that have boredom thrust upon them?
- Thrust or parry?

And the boredom beat goes on… 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

I hate running...

“Run like hell and get the agony over with." ~Clarence DeMar


Saturday, 24 November 2012

I see no triffids on the horizon...

So, last night I got this phone call from someone that sounded like they were from a call centre. I’ve been getting a lot of those calls. They want to sell, sell, sell and get you tied to a contract. Having, at one stage of my illustrious career, been thrust into a call centre in a effort to make me quit and not hang on for redundancy money – underestimate me much? – I know what call centres are like. There are always those operators who are hungry for any sales and praise and to have their name on an achievers board and will do anything to get it there.  Then there are ones like me who do personal stuff at their desk and create havoc by questioning authority and rules.

Anyway, I almost hung up on this dude because frankly, if you are ringing my phone after 8pm at night you’d want to know me personally or risk my wrath. It turned out this dude was indeed from a call centre – but – he was ringing to apologize because they did indeed get my bill wrong and they had removed the $120 extra on it that I pointed out to them was wrong. Wow. Gee. Never had a call centre do that. I thanked him, hung up and went outside to look at the night sky. No, worlds did not appear to be colliding nor could I see some cosmic display in the sky indicating the world as we know it was over and there were no triffids landing – Day of the Triffids - most boring high school book ever half read – and god no, don’t watch the 1970's movie version because that’s a dead set fail in an exam. Trust me.

So, to iinet I say wow – amazing – keep up the good work.   

Thursday, 22 November 2012

What freaks me out…

…is when you walk into a store and every staff member you pass by says ‘ hello’ in a psychotically happy way that makes you hold your handbag like a weapon just in case they attack. Frankly, I think it’s abnormal for a business to ask their employees to act like they're stoned and everything is groovy and wonderful. Or is that just me?

I was in a local hardware store this morning looking for something my usual hardware store didn't have, and after half a dozen perky/creepy/hippie freak/love child/is-it-a-lovely-day-to-day/drop-your-handbag-and-we’ll-be-friends-hellos, I stopped one of them and said ‘that’s really annoying.’ They just smiled insanely at me and I backed away wishing I had a crucifix on me. Will I go back there again? Not without a shotgun full of rock salt. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


So, I was sitting at my desk, eating lunch, after having gone out in my lunch hour because, let’s face it, your lunch hour is not to eat in, work time is, when the interim, I mean leader-type-manager-arse-kisser-empire-builder-robot-person came up to me and started telling me something exceptionally boring on his way out of the office to grab a flight back to Sydney. GR –good riddance – I say. He was in the office for two days, grunted at me three times, which I pretended not to hear as I choose not to speak in grunt, and looked at me probably five times and it’s only when I’m eating lunch and in mid-dial to have a gossip with the local printer, who’s a mate, that he suddenly wants to talk to me. How rude. I nodded and chewed on my salad as I listened to his words that sounded like ‘Goo boo bah, shang-a-la, be-bop, wah, wah, nurple, indigo, spandex, pillock head, botulism, swizzle stick, wangle-doodle, creamed corn on crumpets, ningy, nangy, noo. Seriously, people are annoying aren’t they?            

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


So I was perusing the Cairns Post at work because I had nothing else to do and I was reading my horoscope – Scorpio - which was boring. No mention of money or sex or drugs or rock and roll. Anyway I scanned the horoscopes of other people I knew and Libra caught my eye –

“To this very day, if you live in the City of York, you are legally entitled to use a bow and arrow to shoot a Scotsman. You can do it with complete impunity, unless it happens to be on a Sunday, in which case the law will offer you no protection.”

*Page 18 Cairns Post November 2012

Who knew? What did this have to do with being a Libra? Not a damn thing I could see. So who makes up these horoscopes that we read so avidly? I reckon any bugger on the planet can.


The things you read in the newspaper… 

I ask you…

What sort of world do we live in when you go to three toy stores and can’t buy rubber snakes? What’s wrong with the kids of today? Are they too cool to scare each other with snakes? 

Why am I looking for rubber snakes? It's a long story.  Hissssssssss….

Monday, 19 November 2012

Couples can't multiply…now it makes sense…

So, I’m starting this new 12 week program that’s all about exercise – which I do a lot anyway of—running the esplanade at 6am on a Sunday morning crazy—so my mindset on that is established—and an eating plan. That I have problem with as I tend to be a random eater. I need a pattern, a focus and a plan. I stop short of calling it a set of rules because philosophically I’m against rules and I enjoy breaking them on a regular basis because I can.      

Anyway, I looked over the nutrition plan for the 12 weeks and it all looks good but for the fact it’s all designed for people who are in couples. What the? I emailed the mob who wrote the plan. Their theory is there are a lot of people in couples and it’s easier to make each meal a two person meal. I pointed out that there are a lot of single, overweight people who will now have to divide all meals into two and be left with half a tomato, an apple etc. I was annoyed by their couple-dom message that came back and that couples support each other in their fairytale existence of married bliss-cue-the-bluebirds-to-sing-and yes, that would explain the divorce rate—and that most people are in couples.

I thought what a load of bullshit, prejudice and what drugs are these people on and then I had an epiphany – people in a couple can’t mathematically multiply because they’re so used to everything being already for two that it if was singular they’d be stuffed and not able to add one and one together. Oh....I get it now. It's an affliction.  

Couple-dom and numeracy skills. They never mention that in the fairytales.   

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The kiss...

I was running along the Cairns Escapade at about 6:30am, hot, sweaty and wondering why I kept putting myself through this torture when I saw this man pull a woman into his arms and kiss her so passionately that I almost stumbled at the sheer, hungry beauty of it. How do you write something so intense and raw with need like that? I've never read a writer that could. How does a kiss like that feel? Hot? Crazy?Like something you never want to stop? Are you so lost in the moment that you don't care what's going on around you because nothing else matters but that kiss? I was quite overcome just watching it. 

As I continued running along, still hot and sweaty, I was mesmerized by the moment but realistic enough to know that kisses like that are not for everyone – they should be but they’re not.   

Lucky woman…lucky man…sweaty Amarinda…

Friday, 16 November 2012

Sit and spin...

Okay, so we had a coup in the office and one despot got thrown out and another was shoved into his position pending, I believe, closure of the office altogether. Anyway, the new despot is far away in the big smoke of Sydney and to him Cairns is a humid outpost of annoying people who are paid far less than him. He, let’s call him Wayne, only ever answers emails to me with no more than one to three words. No. Yes. Thinking. Approved. Send it. Fax it. You know, stuff that requires no manners whatsoever because getting paid a shite load of money means you don’t have to be either business-like or polite. Anyway, I like to reply with longer, involved wording in my emails to do his head in. 

Hi Wayne

Thank you so much for your response. I now understand the streamlined direction we are to take and I thank you for assisting me in my ongoing endeavors to make our office a more efficient and precise place where concise methodologies are enacted to the betterment of all. Please advise if there is any way I can assist you in our efforts to increase productivity and workplace harmony which benefits us all.

Kind regards
Amarinda Jones

All the time I’m thinking why don’t you just sit on something sharp and spin, sunshine. 

Attitude Angel...

Two months ago, David Falconetti, pizzeria owner, was killed. Much to his surprise he ended up in Heaven. The angels have a job for him to do—he must make Andalusia Shea believe in life and Christmas. If he can do that then he can live again. The angels tell him his death was no accident. David wants to bring his killer to justice and have his life back. He’s no angel and Heaven’s not for him.

Lucy Shea doesn’t want some half-assed hot angel thrusting himself into her world and getting all Christmassy on her. She has too many other problems in her life, and a charming, sexy man making her lose control and fall in love is the last thing she needs. Besides, the angel’s only helping her to help himself. What sort of an angel is that?

 “Does he have to belch like that?”
“I believe he does it to annoy you,” Aballach murmured in amusement.
Loretto sighed in frustration. “Well, it’s working. I still have no idea how he got in to Heaven. He has an earring! This is an exclusive place after all.”
Aballach looked at the “he” in question. While it was true he was hardly angel material, there was a mischievous, bad-boy edge to David Falconetti reminding Aballach of himself in his mortal days. “There’s a reason he’s here.” Nothing in Heaven happened without careful planning. As for exclusivity, that was only in the minds of some. Heaven took all kinds, judging only on merit and heart.
“It would have to be compelling. He’s anything but angelic.” Loretto dusted an imaginary piece of fluff from his pristine white sleeve.
“Not everyone has to be.” Aballach was constantly amused at the “holier then thou” attitude of the white-suited Loretto. It wasn’t a requirement to wear white in Heaven yet Loretto made sure he did and that it was spotless. If wings were more than a fairy story, then Loretto would have them—bigger and better groomed than anyone else’s.
“Are you questioning the man in charge?” Aballach knew Loretto was too rules oriented to voice his queries to the boss.
“Certainly not.” He looked indignant at the accusation. “I just wonder, why him of all people? He’s arrogant, rude and smug.”
“Hey! I can hear you.” David Falconetti was lying on the green grass, his hands behind his head and his ankles crossed. He looked completely relaxed as if he no longer had any worries.
“Eavesdroppers never hear well of themselves.” Loretto’s voice was so pious that Aballach had to stop himself from laughing.
“And a stitch in time saves nine—but who gives a rat’s ass?” David closed his eyes as he enjoyed the warm sunlight on his face.
Loretto stamped his foot in anger. “Well, really!”
“You invited me to this shindig, bossy britches. I sure wasn’t expecting to end up here.”
“There must be someone else we can use?” Loretto turned imploringly to Aballach. “We’ve a reputation to uphold. God knows what he’ll do.”
“Exactly.” And that was why God had looked at those in Heaven and picked out David Falconetti. He had a plan. Aballach rarely questioned the boss. “And he is the one.”
“But why him?”
“Oh, he’s a hell-raiser all right, but he’s going to be given another chance. We need him because he’s flawed and human.” Because he’s destined to change the world. But that was something only God and Aballach were aware of.
The man in question responded. “Actually I’m dead—that’s why I’m here—and as for ‘flawed’, I prefer to call it ‘possessing interesting character traits’.” David didn’t sound at all offended at Aballach’s words.
Aballach held onto Loretto arm to calm him. “Mr. Falconetti…”
“Yes, Mr. Aballach?”
His lip twitched. Aballach liked the dark-haired man immensely. He was a law unto himself and didn’t care what others thought. Since his arrival in Heaven his lazy charm had shocked some and endeared him to many. “Would you be so good as to join us please?” He watched as David got to his feet and sauntered lazily over to them. His sleepy green eyes were full of amusement and the brow ring above his left eyebrow accentuated the ‘bad boy’ look. Oh yes, I can see exactly why he was chosen. To save the world, but strength and charisma were needed.
“So what’s the deal, boys?”
Aballach smiled. He’d liked David from the first moment they’d met. “We need you to do something for us…”
* * * *
David had been dead two months. As death went it was okay. It required no effort on his part to lie around Heaven and relax. Though it was kind of boring it was doable. That he’d even made it to Heaven still made David laugh. He knew he was hardly the ideal candidate for angel. If he was honest, David had expected to go in the opposite direction, to warmer climes.
He looked at the two head angels before him. David had to admit he enjoyed riling the prissy Loretto and flouting his rules. The guy needed to lighten up. David wasn’t sure on all the laws in Heaven, so maybe being casual and going with the flow was forbidden. Maybe doing the right thing was the only way to get along. If so, he was in trouble, for David rarely followed the rules. Hence the reason I went and got myself killed. But who knew Mad Dog had actually loaded the gun?
Mad Dog McGurk had been a regular patron at Falconetti’s pizzeria for years. He was also somewhat of a crowd-puller for the restaurant, for on a regular basis, drunk or stoned, Mad Dog would stagger into the pizzeria with a shotgun and wave it wildly in the air, demanding money and pizza. Most times he was so drunk, he dropped the gun on the floor. They were never surprised to see him at Falconetti’s. Usually David or a staff member would politely ask him to repeat his request for all the cash in the register. This would confuse Mad Dog so much that he either staggered back outside or slumped at one of the tables and asked for a beer and a piece of pie. David had thought Mad Dog harmless. He had become more of a drawcard to the pizzeria than anything else. It still confused David how the man even got hold of the load for the gun. The gun belonged to his great-uncle Marv and everyone knew Marv would never have passed on ammunition to his nephew and Mad Dog only ever spent money on alcohol and drugs. His pizza was always free due to the extra patrons he brought to the restaurant with his antics.
But two months ago, Mad Dog had pulled the trigger and a blast of lead had exploded into David’s chest, killing him instantly. All he could remember was white-hot, intense pain and people screaming. Then there was nothing. No white light. No heavenly music. What a crock that all was. David did remember the funeral, mainly because his ex-wife Sheena-Maree was wailing so loud he wished someone would slap her to shut her up. It wasn’t until he landed with a thump on a hard marble floor in a very ornate room, that David realized he was no longer on earth.
“You are in Heaven, David.”
“No shit?” He stood up and looked around in amazement. “I thought I’d go the other way.” That was how he met Aballach and Loretto. They explained there were his guiding angels.
“We don’t swear in heaven,” Loretto pointed out in distaste.
“Well, I’m not a team player, so the whole ‘we’ thing doesn’t apply to me.” David touched his chest. There was no blood or gory wound. “You guys do nice work.” He was in the same jeans and navy t-shirt he’d been wearing when he died.
Aballach smiled at his words. “We try.”
“I have to tell you I wasn’t impressed when they dressed me up in that monkey suit to bury me. Who wears a suit anymore?” David surveyed Loretto’s carefully turned-out white suit. “I’m sure you’re a chick magnet though.”
“Are you sure he is supposed to be here?” Loretto asked in disgust. “I can make a call and get Juanita to organize transport down. They’re always looking for people down there.”
David wondered what the guy was talking about. He discovered later that Juanita was the liaison officer between Heaven and Hell. Yeah, David had known plenty of people like Loretto. They had a stick so far up their butts that they could only follow rigid, straight paths. He assessed the one called Aballach. He looked smart and confident, yet not beyond doing what he had to in order get the job done. His dress and stance were casual and his eyes amused. This one he could deal with. “Why am I here?” He’d been a sinner in life and given half a chance he would try it in death.
“All in good time, Mr. Falconetti…”
* * * *
“You want me to help some cranky-assed woman with an attitude to discover the joy of Christmas?” Oh please. David rolled his eyes at them. He adored women, no matter what shape or size. Their sweet scent, soft touch and teasing eyes hooked him in and he went gratefully. But cranky women? Nope. He’d divorced one of those drama queens and he didn’t want to start with another.
“Yes, we do.”
David liked Aballach. He had a sense of humor, whereas old prissy pants beside him didn’t. But liking didn’t mean doing everything someone asked, angel or not. David listened as Aballach explained the problems this woman had. Bloody hell. He was sorry she had problems, but David felt himself wanting to back off at a million miles an hour just hearing about them. Besides, needy people irritated him and everyone had problems. Helping was fine but hand-holding with some angry woman wasn’t. “I’m no angel nor am I the helpful type.” Why can’t she just get a grip and deal like everyone else?
“Because, she’s not like everyone else.” Aballach’s look was meaningful.
Whoa—mind reader. “Why me?” There had to be someone more compassionate who gave a rat’s ass.
Aballach wasn’t perturbed by his attitude. “She needs someone real.”
I used to be real. What am I now? The whole Heaven thing, while relaxing, had David wondering, What next? “What’s her problem?” Why do I care? But he knew the answer. I’m bored. He was used to doing twenty different things at once. In Heaven people just hung out and smiled sweetly and there was no pizza. That was hard for a former pizzeria owner.
“She’s lost and lonely.”
“Send her a Saint Bernard with a keg of brandy on its neck.” David knew that was a hard thing to say but he didn’t want to be placed into a position of helping some hormonal woman. His ex-wife had almost made him swear off women. Almost. Do they have sex in Heaven? That he’d not worked out yet and he hadn’t seen many women. That had been making him anxious. Was his part of Heaven male only? God, that’s not going to work for me.
“You are so tacky.” Loretto shook his head in disgust.
David stuck out his tongue at him.
Aballach held up his hands to separate them. “She needs more. Andalusia needs you.”
Andalusia? Who names a kid that? Isn’t that a horse’s name?” Ten to one there’s no man in this woman’s life, she doesn’t shave her legs and she subscribes to some radical feminist doctrine that’ll give me a headache.
“She’s also called Lucy—Lucy Shea,” Aballach explained patiently. “She has no family; she lost her job and at one stage was contemplating killing herself. It’s also Christmas time on earth.”
Cue the violins. “So you want me to go and kick her in the pants and tell her to stop whining and snap out of it?” David was sorry for the woman but it wasn’t up to him to save anyone. He’d not been able to save himself.
Aballach smiled. “Not quite. We need you to show her joy, make her laugh. Lucy needs to feel something other than empty inside.”
Oh man. The angel was getting to him and they both knew it. Outwardly David was a hardass but given the right stimulus and he turned to putty. He sighed deeply. “Again, why me? I understand that angels get some cosmic high out of helping people but—”
“You mean what’s in it for you?” Aballach understood David only too well. “Would you like to live again, Mr. Falconetti? Would you like to find out why you were murdered?”
Loretto rolled his eyes and snorted. “Why am I not surprised at that fact?” Aballach silenced his colleague with a look.
Murdered? David was stunned Aballach’s words. No, no, they’re so wrong! It was an accident—a stupid one, but not murder. “Mad Dog was pissed as a newt and—”
“Yes, he was drunk but he thought the gun was unloaded for he had no ammunition. Someone wanted you dead, David.”
Aballach’s words ricocheted around in his mind. Wanted me dead? “You’re kidding me.” Even as he said the words, David was aware angels didn’t joke. After two months in Heaven he knew there was a purpose and plan behind everything these beings did. “Who?” David knew he wasn’t the most loveable person, but no one had indicated they wanted him dead. Sure, Sheena-Maree came to mind, but the woman didn’t like to raise a sweat, let alone risk break a nail by loading a gun. Why did I marry her again? Oh yeah, the pregnancy scare. He shook his head to banish that ugly thought from his mind and concentrate on the other one now taking precedence. David was pretty sure angels didn’t lie. Someone had wanted him dead.
“I can’t tell you who.” Aballach crossed his arms over his chest as he watched David’s reaction.
“But you know.”
“And this is some special mission to make me a worthwhile human being?” David ignored the look of contempt from the pudgy guy in the white suit. “Isn’t it a bit late? I’m dead.”
“We can change that. Do you want to live?”
It wasn’t an option David had expected to be offered. That had thrown him almost as much as the idea of murder. “Do I have a choice?” If so, what do I want? Earth had beer and pizza. Heaven didn’t. It was peaceful and serene and he knew he’d probably go mad before too long. David was used to noise and bright lights and good times. Hell would have suited him better. But that was life or death in this case. You didn’t get options. Until now.
Aballach nodded his head. “Everyone has choices, David. You need to think about what you want. You can go back to Earth, help Lucy and reclaim your life, or you can stay here and maybe become one of us.”
A guardian angel? Follow rules? Turn out like Loretto? Bloody hell. Great options. What do I want? Once it had been a cold beer and some hot pussy. Now? He wanted to find the son of a bitch who set Mad Dog up and had him killed. This wasn’t just about him. A man’s innocence was at stake. “So this horse woman—”
“Lucy—and she’s no horse. She’s quite beautiful.”
It all sounded too much like a blind date and he’d regretted some of those. While David considered all women beautiful, some had nails-on-chalkboard personalities “You’re an angel, of course you’d say something nice.” David thought about it. He was good with women. How hard can it be? Make her smile. Get her to put on one of those dumb Christmas party hats. Maybe get her drunk so she forgets her problems. “So I make her happy. I play some Christmas tunes, do the mistletoe thing and make her buy presents.” That was doable.
“No, you make Lucy believe, David.” Aballach’s eyes were knowing as he stared at David.

The trust he saw in the angel’s gaze made David want to believe he could help. Aballach was probably a salesman in his last life. “Believe in what?” He loved Christmas but not everyone did.
Aballach reached out and touched his arm. “In herself. In life. In magic. But you cannot tell her why you’re there, and you must use your powers wisely. We’ve made it so no one will recognize you.”
David held up his hand. “Wait a minute, back up. I have powers?”
“How come I didn’t know?” He didn’t feel magical—but then how did magic feel?
“You didn’t ask, David.”
Typical. Never a straight answer in Heaven. David had learned that much in his two months. “What are these powers?” If he was going back to Earth at least the thought that no one would recognize him would avoid freaking out any of his friends if they saw him.
“Can’t you feel the magic?”
“Um, no.” David was thinking about pizza, though. He could almost smell the pepperoni.
“You will when you need it most.” Aballach stepped back from him and sized David up. “Do you accept the challenge?”
“And I get to live again?” The idea appealed to him. He was only thirty-seven and Heaven really wasn’t his scene.
“Yes, but you can’t tell Lucy why you’re there.”
“Of course, not.” David’s plan was to get back to Earth, visit the sad chick, tell her the facts, eat some pizza and then scope out which one of his ratfink acquaintances wanted him dead. Only they would have known what Mad was like and have had access to his weapon. “I promise I’ll be good.”

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Bugger off...

Chastise me in public for having an opinion? By all means. It’s your opinion and right to do so. Water off a duck's back. But then ask me in a private note for information on what I was giving my opinion on and what I think? Bugger off. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


So I eclipsed on the Cairns Esplanade with hundreds of other people. Yes, it was cloudy. But, just when we needed the clouds to part, they did. People cheered and clapped and with special eclipse goggles on we viewed the phenomena. When it when dark we all oohed and aahed at the stillness. Later I stood at the gym and watched as the moon finally passed over the sun.

The thing I got out of the eclipse? That as jaded, world weary and as commercially orientated/greedy as we are, nature still has the power to bring us to a standstill in wonder and mutual appreciation. We need to be reminded of that more often.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


So, I went for my usual 2.5km run before boot camp this morning, along the Cairns Esplanade. The Solar Eclipse is on tomorrow and Cairns, Far North Queensland – FNQ – is one of the best places to see it as it will be the total eclipse. This morning, as I ran, I noticed something different. Sure there were the normal tourists wandering along the Esplanade looking at the beach and scoping out the ocean, no doubt hoping for the odd croc to wander out looking for breakfast – but there were other people – very pale skinned people dressed in khaki and beige and carrying whiz bang cameras and laptops and talking about the angle of the sun and the distance from here to there and multiplying that by their ages and dividing by their shoe sizes then subtracting their waist measurements. They were quite fascinating to watch and while I don’t agree with stereotyping people, they were scarily the archetypal nerds.

What will tomorrow bring? The end of the world? Nah. We need Mothra to turn up for that. Rain? Probably. It is the wet season. Bugger of a time for Mother Nature to shock and awe us but you get that.    

Sunday, 11 November 2012

I could do that...

I remember standing on the lower deck of a double decker bus, that was kitted out for sleeping and cooking and drunken adventurers, in Salt Lake City, thinking to myself, I love being on the road.

I just read a job advert to be a gardener at Uluru (Ayres Rock) and I thought I could do that.

I believe some people have the road in the blood. Maybe it’s from being an army brat. Maybe I like the idea of adventure and escape from the mundane. Maybe that's why I change jobs so much. I do know when I grow up and get over this responsible stuff I’m hitting the road again…

Friday, 9 November 2012

Hyphenation Hell…

I was re-formatting a story that I recently got my rights back on and while I know that publisher sucked in so many ways, it never occurred to me how ratshit their formatting was. Now, I, like most readers can forgive a lot when it comes to formatting as mistakes happen and we’re all human but not the over use of hyphenations for no bloody reason I can see other than they are too frigging lazy to have smaller margins. For example: -

Hea-ven, Angel-ic, Dav-id, regret-ted, beauti-ful, dis-taste — and these are just in the first couple of pages. Wreck the flow of the story much?  You know, I’m no expert but that sucks coming from a professional epub company who is undoubtedly charging the reader waaay more than they should for a story that has more hyphenation than commas. Have I fix-ed the-m all? I beli-eve so. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Crazy, wild, fish wrap…

I was gripped with this mad need today to fling caution to the wind and do something crazy and out of control this weekend because I really want to and it’s my birthday next week. So, I banged away on the computer keys looking for wild things to do from a night of luxury in a fantastic resort, to hooking up with an unknown man for a night of orgasmic sex to jumping on the next boat north to swim naked then drink gin on the deck of a nefarious pirate ship. The best I can do right now at this moment? Being the inventor of a fish wrap at Bruce’s fine food emporium in the heart of blue collar worker world.

But, I haven’t given up on luxury, wild sex or drinking gin…something will come to me and hopefully it won’t be fish…  

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Amarinda Chronicles...

My name is Amarinda Jones. I am the only one of my kind here. I am trapped. With them. The soulless ones. Eight hours a day I keep vigilant and refuse to become one of them. I tell myself I am too strong, too proud and too independent to be dulled down by their monotonous rituals. I refuse to give in to the dull, colourless and boring ways of these creatures. What are they? I speak the name of the undead for I am unafraid of the consequences. I have lived too long with these creatures to fear them. They are the office zombies.

They rarely speak or if they do it’s in a language I have no knowledge of. They mumble and grunt, each nodding before scuttling back to their dull, grey existence in behind walls that encompass them. I sit, ruler in one hand and pen in the other waiting for an attack of the bland and the boring, fearing their dullness will rub off on me, and I too, will be doomed as they are. Ever ready to flee, my Doc Marten double strapped Mary Jane’s stand ready beside by sock covered feet.

My only communication is with the outside world. The sound of the phone signals hope. The delivery man smiles and chats not knowing that I work with them. The zombies. But then how could he? He is normal. They are not. They search for food and only look at me when on the prowl for it. I hiss at them and stand my ground, in my stockinged feet, drawing myself to my magnificent height of 5 foot two, defying them to come closer for I am ready.

My only hope and sustenance is the hands on the clock edging ever closer to the hour I can escape, for a while, from the creatures.

I know there are kindred souls in similar outposts to my own holding their own against monotony, ignorance and gluttony. We are one. We are many. We prevail. 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Never trust a Campbell...

So, today I was doing some research for a story, at the day job – yes, I expect I will feel terrible about it at some stage - about something my mother told me years ago when I was a kid. My mother, the daughter of a full blooded Scot from Wick, Caithness in the Scottish Highlands, told me you can ‘never trust a Campbell.’ Why?

On 1 February 1692, two companies of red-coated government soldiers (about 120 men, of whom only around a dozen were Campbells) were sent to Glen Coe. The commander of the government forces sent to Glen Coe was Captain Robert Campbell. He was 60 years old and through drink, bad decisions and loss of property arising from the Atholl Raid seven years earlier, had been forced to take up a commission in the army. He was, however, welcomed to the glen and he and his soldiers were sheltered and fed amongst the various cottages in the area. He was well-known to the MacIans and was related through marriage. But his orders arrived and at 5 a.m. on the morning of 13 February, he and his redcoats set about carrying out their orders. Whether due to incompetence or some of the soldiers not being enthusiastic for the task, "only" 38 men, women and children out of the 200 of the clan were killed (though others perished later on the snow-swept hills as they tried to escape). Some were shot in the back and the rings from the hand of chief's wife were hacked off - she died soon after. While the chief was also amongst the dead, his two sons escaped, possibly helped by the late arrival, due to a blizzard, of an additional force of redcoats, which should have blocked the entrance to the glen.

My Grandfather’s kin always passed down the "never trust a Campbell" thing to each generation and none forgot it. 

I may only be a quarter Scot but it’s something I've always remembered and I often have found myself assessing those named Campbell. Yeah, maybe it’s crazy or maybe it’s all to do with ancient bloodlines and inherent beliefs that somehow are ingrained in our souls that I believe make us who we are today in our current form.

The story I’m writing? It has a Campbell in it. The question is, she be trusted? 

I could...

....happily stay at home and watch Laverne, Dulcie and Ursula, the chooks, all day...

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Life is like a can of paint...

 - there are a lot of ups and down so just get on with it.
- spills? Yep. Be prepared. Deal with it.
- painting is mindless but eventually there’s a point when it all makes sense.
- climbing ladders gets you where you want to be. How gracefully you get down depends on you.
- no matter how much you work hard and sweat, it rarely correlates to the numbers on the scale so stop looking at the scale.
- you can re-paint and you can do over.
- paint sticks to your skin but it can be washed off and you can start fresh again.
- paint yourself into a corner?  There’s always a way out be it turpentine or a fast mind and an even faster mouth

Saturday, 3 November 2012

I don’t think so…

I spoke to this woman today about some bookings to do with work. Yes, I do sometimes actually work at work when it suits me. Yes, it is surprising but occasionally I have a burst of work ethic come over me and I can’t always lie down in a darkened room with a cool compress over my forehead and wait for it to pass. Anyway this rude, ignorant scrubber on the end of the phone basically went out of her way to try and intimidate me. Foolish mortal. I let her crap on for a while, writing down verbatim what she said that indicated I was wrong and stupid and all these other things that, as a Scorpio, I would use against her because essentially we’re scary people. When she stopped and drew breath, I read back what she had said to me and explained how she was indeed the 'wrong’ one but instead of her saying ‘bugger, I made a mistake’ - which I would have respected - she had chosen to try – and I stress try – to make me feel stupid. She was then very quiet as I spoke calmly and clearly explaining what I wanted, expected and what she needed to do because any other half arsed argument she would try to attempt I would not put up with. Yes, she did what I wanted, at the price and dates I wanted. She then sent me an email blaming her computer for what she said. Of course. The standard line of the ignorant and useless. I emailed back “You’re a very disappointing person.” I then emailed the corporate dude I email when dealing with this particular company and explained what happened. Will she get in trouble? Yes. Do I care? No, because she didn't care and god knows how any other people she tries to treat like crap with her attempts at intimidation. How many of those people would have complained? Probably one out of 10. Why? Because we live in a society where too few people will actually stand up and say something and change the situation.  

Life is short. Never settle for being treated like crap.  

Friday, 2 November 2012

Hands down pants...

Okay, I’m talking to the real women out there – the ones with real, fleshy thighs – not the Barbie simulated ones. What I want to speak about is cruel and unusual punishment. Thigh rub. There is nothing worse than finding a split in in the inside seam of your leggings or trackie dacks and having flesh rub against cotton/lycra as you run. And trying to fix it so the rubbing is minimized without everyone wondering why your hands are down your pants? Degree of difficulty? High. Hands down your pants in public are hard to explain. Trust me. Try re-adjusting your pedometer on your knicker elastic mid stride. But that’s another story. 

But back to split seams and thigh could say “I’m trying to stop my bare thigh rubbing against the other” but this then brings up the question by weirdo, simulated, perfect people who have no flesh on their bones of “why are your thighs rubbing together?”  I defy anyone to run without inner thighs brushing against the other unless you run bow-legged. And then there’s the fact that people want to look at the bare thigh in question because bare thighs arouse interest. And if you say nothing and adjust stuff, hands down pants? Weirdo. Pervert. Hello, are you available?

Sometimes you just have to put your hands down your pants...

Thursday, 1 November 2012

No more than four feet ladies…

So, I have explained to Laverne, Dulcie and Ursula, my three chooks, that it’s best all round – for me and them – that they do not try and jump/fly any higher than 4 feet off the ground. Why? I have 6 foot high fences. Are they likely to fly? Yes. They can if the mood takes them. Solution to this other than talking to them about the negative aspects of going over 4 feet? Clip their wings. I’m opposed to this on philosophical grounds. Clipping wings represents taking away freedom. Neville, one of my budgies, had his wings clipped. The woman did it when I bought him. I was horrified. I had to buy 2 long ladders for the budgie cage for him to get from top to bottom. He’s a great little climber and undoubtedly now has hard, muscular budgie thighs. But clipping chooks wings? I read a lot on the internet  about it at, I mean home...not only the whole chook civil liberties thing but if you clip chooks wings – they can’t escape from snakes or cats as they have no lift at all…and no, I’m not sure they would need personal ladders. Chooks - they're complex creatures.

So, I reckon discussing the 4 feet rule with the girls makes sense. They’re not stupid. They nodded their heads and I swear I heard one of them murmur ‘She’s very smart despite the fact she looks weird.’ Pets and the collaborative approach – try it today.