Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Case Of The Missing Trousers

"What have you done with my belt and jeans?!" read the unexpected text during this morning's church service. Feeling quite self righteous, for a change,  I was quick to reply: "I haven't touched them!" According to Himself, I am frequently guilty of deliberately hiding his clothes. Usually they are in the washing basket (placed there by me...Himself doesn't know how the lid works...) or drying on the back of some piece of furniture in the Chinese laundry that is our house in winter. Always, they have been 'missing for months' and he has' looked everywhere' for them but in this case I knew for sure that I hadn't been anywhere near them.                               
I knew this because I have been, once more, absorbed by the annual sewing frenzy that is The Musical. For the past four days I have done little other than sew, think about sewing or buy items for sewing with. Laundry was not even on my radar. So it was with a clear conscience that I arrived home from church to find Himself huffing and puffing about the amount of time he had spent looking for his missing jeans and belt and how they had 'vanished off the planet'. Possibly eaten by the laundry basket? Being a helpful wife I naturally followed him around the house (which I noticed he had actually gone some way to tidying! Perhaps he should lose clothes more often?) clucking sympathetically and exclaiming in conciliatory tones every time he indicated a new place he had (unsuccessfully) searched. In the end, we were both stumped. The jeans had indeed seemed to have vanished off the face of the earth.

Shortly thereafter I opened my wardrobe to hang up my coat and a grey raincoat fell out on my head. This surprised me for two reasons: firstly it fell on my head and secondly, I had not worn this raincoat for over 20 years. At a visceral level I knew this had something to do with the mysterious disappearance of Himself's trousers although I could not immediately determine the link.

Searching frantically through the last 12 hours, I tried to recall an event which would result in a raincoat suddenly launching itself from the upper reaches of my cupboard. After all, it was usually found in one of my 'dressing up bags', the ones I keep tucked away on the top shelf; the ones containing decades worth of odd or unusual items of clothing, which had looked sensational or at least striking in 1979-89-99, but whose short lived fashion flame had long since expired; the ones containing odds and ends of props and shoes and the occasional 'basic' item which might come in handy for a musical at some point; items such as all the BA's old school shirts (because a white shirt is always useful)...


With a flash bordering on brilliance I saw what had happened. Looking upwards to see the contents of the bags spilling out over the shelf, my hypothesis was confirmed. Now all I needed was the final, vital piece of hard evidence.

(I have been watching a bit of Poirot lately, did I mention?)

"Himself," I bellowed," I think I know where your trousers are!"
He came stomping down the hallway to find me step ladder deep in dress ups, intently hauling random items off the top shelf. "Remember when the BA was looking for a white shirt last night, to wear for her catering gig? Well......"
The missing trousers (and belt) came flying out of the back of the shelf where the BA had carelessly shoved them the previous evening, along with the contents of the the three bags she had emptied out on my bedroom floor.

Well, if he WILL leave his trousers on the floor..........

All this talk of missing trousers reminded me of the brilliant Jonathan Miller sketch which reduced me to tears as an 11 year old and which I present for you now via the wonders of the internet. Do yourself a favour and marvel at understated British humour at its best.

The Heat Death of the Universe: Jonathan Miller 1962

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Perils of Facebook MkII

This is not a new phenomenon. I have fallen afoul of facebook before, albeit in a different manner, but it still  surprises me when I upset someone unwittingly.

I may be overthinking this, but I am of the Aussie generation that use gentle, deprecating humour to indicate mateship. The kids nowadays seem to have swallowed the hyperbole dictionary!

For example:
Picture of 15 year old pouting at camera.
Oh you are perfect.
So pretty
Why can't I look like you
You are hawt

etc etc etc
On the other hand, when I see a picture, on facebook, of a normally very laid back acquaintance, at his engagement party, wearing a SUIT (well, I might add), my response is to rib him mildly whilst still indicating that I approve of his 'look'.

"Hey Bob (not his real name). Wow! You look almost respectable!!!" Lol

This is apparently not the thing to say. I received a message from his fiancee shortly afterwards, on my facebook messenger, asking me why I felt it necessary to be rude to her partner.

Was I out of line? Is 20th century humour unacceptable in a 21st century medium?

I made my peace by sending her this message:

Sorry. Wasn't meaning to be rude. Was teasing him, as our artistic types (nb husbands/partners) are rarely seen dressed up. I forget facebook doesn't have vocal intonation. He ACTUALLY looks terrific. As do you. Congrats to the both of you again.

She hasn't responded.
I think I am not going to let it worry me.

Musical: Babylonian Style

It's that time of year again!

The Musical both exhausts and invigorates me. This time around, through a series of circumstances I have found myself more firmly in the driver's seat than ever before. At my first school here in Aus, I was part of a well oiled team headed up by the Drama and Music teachers where I was but a lowly Maths type. I mean, who knew Maths teachers had a creative bone in their body!!!?? With my years of experience in theatre, but not wanting to step on anyone's toes, I put up my hand for costumes. And fell in love with the art form.

I have been happily doing costumes since 2007 but this year my narrow focus was to expand. The primary music teacher left to have a baby and our new music teacher, whilst enthusiastic, collegial and an unquestionably gifted musician, confessed to a lack of confidence in the 'acting' part of the Musical process. Somehow, in the initial meetings I got myself involved in rewriting the script and shortly afterwards they decided on a double cast, meaning I was needed to direct one set of actors.

This has proved to be a joy and a pleasure but, unfortunately, having concentrated on this direction for several weeks now, it was suddenly pointed out to me that I had three short weeks to pull the costumes together.
AUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!! (don't panic!!!!!.....)

So that is why I find myself on a Friday night, contemplating the construction of the Abyssinian king's crown.
Wish me luck with that.......

Did I Not Make Myself Clear?

You see, scrabble. There's another tension release. I like it. It engages my brain and makes me feel good. But imagine if I nudged himself at 5.30am as the dawn chorus sounded and asked him for a few scrabble clues.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Enough Already

I have entered a rather melancholy state of late. Bad stuff keeps happening to perfectly good people and it keeps missing me and mine by a hair's breadth, which should make me happy but, which only makes me more anxious. How close can you get before the falling axe chops something off....?

Firstly, on the 29th of June, my lovely friend Rebecca, from Tapdancing On The Edge of Reason posted a photo of her eldest son on her facebook page. I didn't think much of it until a day or so later I noticed the flood of tributes follow it up. Thomas, a 16 year old guitar playing, purple haired, living, breathing, loving son, was drowned in a riptide. Around about the same time, half way across the world I had welcomed my own girl back from her European adventure. The irony was gutwrenching.

A few weeks passed and the BA and I put our hands and hearts to the grindstone in preparation for the arrival of my dad on July 18th. We were cleaning up the room vacated by No 2 Son back in December, ensuring it was once again fit for human habitation. The work was hard and took longer than we thought. On the Thursday night I was up until 3.30am laying carpet tiles and it was after only a few hours of snatched sleep that we leaped into the car to collect him from his early morning Singapore Airlines flight.

The red line shows the shortest route, the purple shows the route my father's plane took.
His journey occurred on the 17th and 18th of July. I met my father at the airport with the knowledge that nearly 300 innocent people, happily traveling to their homes, holidays, school or work, lay strewn across the Ukrainian countryside. Did they know what was happening as they fell? I can only pray that they were taken quickly.

Holding my dad and my daughter close, we made our way home. But there was more.

Back in June when the BA was travelling, she made many friends at a party hostel in Budapest.

At a place called Carpe Noctem, the BA met Haley Rue. I first saw her in posts like this...

There she is, to the right of my BA. 

Shortly afterwards she posted this on the BA's facebook site.


I will not be making Haley's wedding dress. This beautiful 19 year old also drowned, in a whirlpool at the base of waterfall in Germany.

Since this travesty, the bad news has continued: there are friends losing children, or nieces, to cancer and motor neuron disease. One of the most experienced, well loved teachers in our school,  is battling bowel and liver cancer as we speak and another friend, who was an integral part of our arrival in 2003, died from cancer last week. Then there is Gaza.  My friend Jill, from Twipply Skwood  (Try this At Home) blogged with a relief, bordering on hysteria, as her son flew in safely from Israel last week.

I know bad stuff happens but seriously, it feels like we are under attack.

I am just hugging my BA for all she is worth.......