Friday, January 14, 2022

Parisienne Boudoir (and the dramas therein)

 Can you believe Paris is now 12 years old?!

Her birthday was very low-key this year, as the current climate does not lend itself to high-key - and because she got her biggest wish - free rein to upgrade her bedroom.

The page was open at the website of a renowned international flatpack furniture retailer and she got to choose it all - bed base, mattress, pillows, linen, desks, decorations and fripperies.

The downside was that, due to logistics, it would not arrive until three weeks AFTER her birthday!

That three weeks was on Tuesday.  It didn't come due to logistics not accounting for side-tackles by the current pandemic.

It also didn't come on Wednesday, the day I had off from work (per below post).

It did, however, come on Thursday - just as well, as her good mate had been promised a sleepover when said bedroom was assembled and I think that good mate's Dad was particularly sweating on this promise!

So Thursday dawned and the 23 boxes were counted off the truck.  I went to work.  Checked on V and girls during the day - all good, building the bed, girls off devices for a bit (the bane of existence).

And then I got a text.  "They didn't send the slats".

That night, all riled to say they got the order wrong, discovered something far more stark.

They. Do. Not. Sell. The. Bed. With. Slats.

What the insert appropriate swear word here?!!!

And to get said slats, it will cost 2-4 times as much as the value of the slats to have them delivered.  And it will take another 3 weeks.

They had the order for SIX EXPLETIVE-DELETED weeks already!!!

Nowhere on my order does it say "By the Way - this BED doesn't have the bits that will make it functional included".

Nowhere in their thrice-weekly sales emails did they say "we noticed that you have bought everything to make the perfect bedroom except for the basis for sound expletive-deleted sleep".

 On their website, it does indeed say that you do have to purchase them separately - for some of their beds - but if you select another in the same style, it is included.  Tres confusing.

I did reach out to them today, asking for some sort of solution that didn't involve me swearing and dragging their name through mud.

They sent me a message back this evening which basically told me that it sucks to be me.

Not. Freaking. Happy.

At all.

So - straw poll - aye if you think that when you buy a bed it should have the actual slats included, or nay if you think it sucks to be me. 

Oh, and for those who are naysayers because "renowned international flatpack furniture retailer always says they are separate" - I present evidence.

And what is on the order:

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Two oh-my Too To!

 So yes, obligatory "Happy New Year" from me.  Or quarterly greetings if you don't believe in new years - or indeed happy.

We are certainly living in interesting times.  While watching the news tonight, I realised that there are a lot of people panicking - which is a pretty fair assessment.

It seems the policy of "she's all right", "put your mind to it" and "it won't affect me" may not be the right fit for the current climate.

What a pity we didn't have two years of lived experience and data from the rest of the world to work with and actually prepare for when we dived into the pool.


Friday, October 15, 2021

(No Shamin') Second Best

 Through the intricacies and mysteries that are Friday nights around here, I ended up down a rabbit-hole.

A notice had been posted on the modern day village noticeboard (where the village is composed entirely of women of a certain age and stage in life by virtue of the fact that we all attended the same school together in the same year).

Below the said notice (of an annual luncheon that is indeed quite wonderful to attend for a myriad of reasons) was a photo that had been taken of approximately one half of the possible candidates for this village that I am part of.  

Golden backdrop with "X" and "f" - and the right arm of a student encased in a navy blazer sleeve with golden trim 


It was familiar, yet not - for these girls of 37 years ago were bright and promising and resplendent in their blazers.  I scanned the faces - and the names - and realised that this was part of the shared experience of the half that I was not part of.

Signboard with 1984 Year 10A

Someone asked if anyone had a copy of the other half.

Funnily enough...

Screenshot of Ikea page with a small Kallax unit - the one we have in this story is TWICE as big 

Loose in an old photo album on the Kallax right beside me I found - 

  • a rare picture of me in the early 1970s with my father, 
  • several friends and I at "O" week adventures when I first went to University, 
  • my rowing crew, 
  • a long lost pen-pal from New Zealand in her hen-house - 
  • and THAT photo.

Now - technology, night-time and actual care factor mingled and I took an inadequate shot of the other half.

Signboard with 1984 Year 10B 


I was actually never in an "A" form in my whole high school career.

People always kindly said that it was random, form selection - but we all know they were lying.

Everybody wants to be chosen for teams early.  You learn that young.  Well, other people learned that young.  That was probably one of those lessons that I missed from hiding behind a door when they were handing them out.

Some kids learned how to make themselves likeable and popular.  They had the knack of attracting people and connecting.


I watched this behaviour a lot, and have always found it quite fascinating.

I wasn't one of those kids.  As I said, I watched.  I read.  I occasionally got brilliant ideas and sometimes would, in a mad rush of blood, act upon them and I was actually quite good - early on - of enthusing others with my visions.

The hair salon that was three solid days of exhilirating joy - until it was shut down by the fun police and their "head lice" warnings.  I cannot recall if it was someone else's gem of an idea that I fanned by managing the salon - I knew my artistic limitations, and they extend to numbers, words and a tiny bit of bossing around.

I learned that when you are the manager, you are in constant fear of the others realising that you are doing none of the hard work and you will be found out as a fraud.  This is a very fraught lesson when you are very young.

And then there was the "ball-bouncing" olympics, organized in a fit of "throw it to the wind" grandiosity that could not sustain the organisational frenzy that was the concept of a finite group of children and balls of varying sizes and ability to bounce and a world to conquer.

This was in the days prior to social media.  Be glad.

I learned then that sometimes, brilliant ideas can be enjoyed without allowing the masses to define it.

But yes.  Choosing sides.  I was never chosen on sheer ability.  I was occasionally a curve ball - or a trick pick - but for brilliance, popularity or ability to know how to play by the rules, colour between the lines and wear the right clothes - not me.

Thus 10B - with the completely out there, 6 foot tall sarcastic madame of scathing wit and a second language form mistress Miss Phillips.

Three circles with a magnifying glass and + sign, magnifying glass and - sign and two diagonal arrows going in different directions, a skanky brown background and the top of Miss P's head

Three circles with a magnifying glass and + sign, magnifying glass and - sign and two diagonal arrows going in different directions, a skanky brown background and the top of Miss P's head

 What on earth happened to us?  Admittedly, I do have to take blame for some of it.  The photo is taken on a phone, and what is more for someone who works with technology, I am a luddite when it comes to improving upon my "what the heck" artistic style thus what you get is what you get.  On top of that, the 37 year old photo is indeed looking its age - although hiding between the gradually drying cardboard and plastic it has faded and seems worn.  Apt.

A skanky brown background with "X" and "f" in circles - below which is a skinny right arm of a student in a white blouse - shirtsleeves! 

But we are in shirt-sleeves, somehow the height of 1984 fashion had laid a lighter hand on our haircuts and look like a likely bunch of misfits.

I scan the names from back row left to front row right.

When I had gone through the 10A list, my reactions were "oh, her" and "her" whereas the 10B list it was "oh, that's right" and "her?"  (you probably have to be inside my head to hear the nuances).

Another of my intriguing life skills, in addition to the lack of being able to put "A" form on my CV, is the ability to ALWAYS be in the front row of school photos.  Some might call it "below average height", but I think it is worth more.  (Yes, okay - or less.  Happy now?)

My left ear, attractive 1984 hair non-style and that ever-practical white blouse (and the navy tie - tied properly and top buttons done UP girsl) and in the background, someone else's six gore navy skirt 


So when I get to my own name, there is a addition that I had COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN ABOUT until this moment.

It said (in parenthesis) "(Vice-Captain)".

Label saying "(Vice-Captain)"

I know, right?!

That part of my history I had somehow completely erased.  

I wonder why?  (and was the "O" week photo a clue to where it went?)

So there you have it - I was chosen.  Well, chosen second.

I wonder how big a race it was?  And how I did it?  And if it formed any part of a lesson that I learned? 

Or maybe my memory got enticed by the wicked fairy "feels like a fraud" which we didn't have a diagnosis for (or a magazine article covering) and went down a rabbit hole.


  • have you ever held a position of power?
  • how much do you remember?
  • have you ever felt a fraud? and
  • what were you doing in 1984?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

School Set Readers

Do you remember the books that you HAD to read at school?

Some were cool.  I know that we did The Crucible, The Merchant of Venice and The Great Gatsby. 

 I always tried to read the set texts the holidays before so I had read it with pleasure without the pressure of "needing to study it".

However all delicious recall of such titles and joy is completely quashed by my memory of the Year 9 English book that I didn't get forewarning of as I was moved from the English class that I thought I had (that had some cool and wonderful book) to Miss C- (I think - or was she a different teacher? - they all blur after a few decades).

Miss C (or whoever she was) had set some woeful book about a girl turning 14, finding drugs when she was babysitting and dabbling and then becoming a full addict, broken home, mental institution and postage-sized Pyrrhic hope on offer on the last page if you are willing to take the "at least she didn't die" approach. 

I can't remember the title - Unhinged or Unraveling or Jesus Wept (not the last one, I would have remembered) and the author was some bint who had an unspellable last name.

My goodness, if "Year Nine is the worst year of your life" needed a mascot, that was the book for it.

So - what were your highlights?  (or lowlights?)

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Things to do on a Thursday

You can wake up to the sound of rain on the roof - or you can wake up to the wailings of the now ag-ed Eddie-cat and discover that the windows were inadvertently left open to the moister-than-usual elements and invited them inside.

I did not choose the latter.  It chose me.

You can make decisions about what is on the tele, as there are the proverbial 57 channels (and yet still not achieve that perfect program).

You can create a feast of the mundane.  You can get wet when out shopping.  You can be trounced by an eleven-year-old in new board games.

You can balance the books.  You can make resolutions.

You can observe in the rearview the most bizarre period in your life and realise that while this is a year that we will (hopefully) look back upon.

You can find a television station that is selling the most tinny Christmas trivial knick-knack so badly that you think it a form of theatre.

You can enjoy the sunshine and measure the rain and feel the plumpness of limes and revel in the vibrancy of the chillies ripening.

You can imagine being with friends and family far and wide and hope that there is peace in their worlds right now.

You can remember reading of other times of trouble in other parts of history and the parallels and lessons unlearned and wonder how the hell we got through and how the hell are we going to get through this.

You can realise that one of the many diseases uncovered this dig is the dis-ease in our society where the I is so much higher than the we to the detriment of us.

You can hope and hope and hope that it will indeed be better.

You can eat chocolate and contemplate that tomorrow will be a new day.

And even better, a holiday.  And another day where you can enjoy what life has to offer and be thankful.

Best wishes to all.