Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wolf whistles and a wine that froths

You can tell it is over halfway through the year in that it has taken me until now to get to the post office to send off this year’s, (and I do mean this year in the sense of 2010), photo calendar to my family along with grovelling little notes along the lines of ‘better late than never’. As we spent Christmas in the UK in the bosom of my family I had lots of good intentions re a speedy turnaround on the calendar front and talked gaily of having it done by February at the latest. It is now August and I have finally organised myself to capture images of all three generations of our extended family and to ensure that every one of the eighteen members appears at least once, though not necessarily in a pose they will be happy with – (sorry about the earmuffs, Brother no. 2). One of the my many problems, apart from the fact it is going to be difficult to pass the calendars off as a late or early Christmas present, is that I had of course far too many photos to just fill the remaining four months of 2010. In a typically optimistic approach to the problem I have now produced a calendar running from July 2010 (recipients will have to just turn back a month) to June 2011 – how useful is that!

In the run up to the Australian elections I have had to apply for an early ballot paper as I am out of the country for the crucial day. Voting is compulsory in Australia and it is amazing how the prospect of a financial penalty concentrates the mind in terms of organising myself. Along with an enforced duty to cast your vote, Australia is the home of many quirky inventions including the drive through bottle shop (off licence/liquor store) concept. I particularly like the ‘browse’ and ‘express’ car lane options. Woe betide you if you are in the express lane and can’t decide whether to go for a Merlot or Pinot Noir or in my case another great Aussie innovation on the alcohol front, the Sparkling Shiraz. Prior to landing in Sydney I had always regarded red wine that frothed as belonging firmly in the home brew camp and treated it with extreme caution – experiences with home brewed ginger beer having given me a major aversion to potentially explosive drinks. However like all converts, having been introduced to the joys of the bubbly red, I now drink it with enthusiasm.

Drama Queen no 2 came home last week with the news that a number of her friends had been given detentions. Usually this is a punishment for uniform infringements such as not having a hat or taking the school skirt to new heights on the length front. This time however it had been handed out for the crime of wolf whistling at the builders working on site at school – a classic case of role reversal that made me laugh uproariously – or maybe that was just the Sparkling Shiraz.

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