Thursday, February 25, 2010


A staple lunchtime deit of many an expat in the Sandpit is Subway, especially if you wanted to stand any chane of avoiding the expanding wasteline on offer from KFC, MaccyD or good old Bombay Cowpatty.

Well here in Sydney the subway is that little bit more cool and techphile with it's electronic self service touch screen ordering system

You simply press pictures of what you want (bread or wrap, filling, salad bits, sauces etc) rather than some semi comatosed zombie with broken englysh frowning his way through your order and then making exactly what he thinks you probably want least.

But there is a problem with this cool and rather funky gimick, I saw no buttons on there to allow you to specify which order you want the bits assembled in nor is there a button to engage a North Paisley accent and shout "TOORSTED!!" at it. Oh well Ashley, guess you'll have to stick to MegaMaul.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Secret messages

They say that sometimes secret messages are hidden in advertising.....I think the Muslim fundementalists might be teamed up with the meat companies

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Who's mate??!!

Walking through Coles this evening we came across the 'specialist and forign food section' and too pit delight they had what appeared to be Marmite (veggiemite just isn't even close). But what's this? The name is all wrong! What's going on?

It looks like the right stuff so we went for it, but it did feel disconcerting for the poor expat to find it looks right but might not be....and after Dubai one tends not to trust things that look not quite right.

But they other joy after Dubai is fresh produce that hasn't been air freighted and bananas that are YELLOW!!

Not green as they are in the Sandpit. But enough of why Australua is better....

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Pregnancy Brain

Mr Bailey quite often made much merriment and mirth about his wifes loss of intelligence during pregnancy which he termed 'pregnancy brain'. Now my good lady wife has maintained that she doesn't suffer such an affliction, and I've been unable to argue one way or the other mainly becuase, as anybody who knows the co-pilot will be well aware, a conversation with CP can be a fairly random and tangental experience at the best of times.

Well today I had a telephone call which left me in no doubt and it went something like this:

CP: Hello
Me: Hello, what can I do for you?
CP: I have a question.
Me: OK, what's that?
CP: Its.... Erm....oh, I don't remember
Me: (giggle) what?
CP: Erm.… I don't remember why I called
Me: ok, I can't really help you then can I?
CP: No, you can, if I could just remember what I was calling about.....I was writting a shoping list, maybe it's something to do with that....did you need any shopping?
Me: erm (giggling) I don't think so
CP: oh, in that case it's probably nothing to do with that then
Me: no, maybe not
CP: what was it then?
Me: I have no idea, would you like to call me back when you remember?
CP: Nooooooo what I'd like is to remember what it was.....
Me: but you might remember if you hang up
CP: yeah I might.......but I don't even know what it might be about
Me: Maybe it will come to you if…
CP: Oh, I remembered "did I remember to email you the medical report to print"?
Me: (perplexed) erm…no, what did that have to do with the shopping list?
CP: What? Nothing, why?
Me: No reason, so are you going to send me the email
CP: what email…oh yes, I'll send it now
Me: Ok, love you etc

So base on the above what do you reckon, pregnancy brain?

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Sydney wide bring and buy

The copilot and I had thought that maybe Sydney had one of the highest eviction rates coupled with the harshest landlords when we started noticing an ever growing number of pikes of abandoned furniture on the streets. We have since learned that twice a year the local have a big collection of unwanted stuff where people can put our all the 'rag and bone' and it will be collected free of charge.

However it has been some time since deposition commenced and still we've seen no sign of official collection. However, over the weekend we saw a mass act of recycling and reuse that would put a small glow of pride into the heart of even the most hardened tofu knitting bunny higher. A mass bring and buy as you saw people driving past or walling by eyeing up what people had left out (usually out of the corner of their eye while prentending not to be). Then as time went on people got more and more brassen about it and you had Utes crawling around and stopping to load up on another mans treasure.

And yes, the pykie in my got the better of me and I will admit to grabbing a baby changing table.....and a tool chest.....but they were really clean and good as new!! Louise would have been proud.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Big city village living

After a day yesterday spent 'down south' with Carol and her 'senior friend' the copilot and I have decided to sample the attractions closer to home and so we decided to potter along the high street here in Fairlight. And I have to say it's lovely. We have a butcher, couple of shops cares and a bottle shop as well as a vet and a doctors all within a gentle stroke of our front door.

And so we have spent a liesurly breakfast in the cafe watching the world go by listening to the chatter between the comers and goers who are all jolly and frindly and seem to know each other.

I got me to thinking and the last place I experienced this sort of easy civility and friendly banter and chatter was visiting my Grandad in the little village where my patently grew up.

And so it hit me, while Sydney (and indeed the rest of Australia) might seem frustrating to a Dubaite used to 24hr city with late night shopping and everything being all in one place, it is probably the tendancy to stick with local shops and walking around your community rather than big out of town shopping centres and strangers for neighbours that keep the village feel of Sydney. I believe Sydney has been in the top ten nices city to live on since leagutables have existed and deservedly so, and it has to be because you are living in a village not a city.....which is cheating really.

And so we are off to the bike shop now to buy the Co-pilot a bike so she can explore more....and yes, the local bike shop!!

Friday, February 19, 2010


The co-pilot and I went down to Nowra yesterday and payed for the car and drove it away and she's as fantastic as we remembered!!

The co-pilot said she would have laid across the bonnet in a swim suit but her bump would het in the way so a pout standing next to will have to do.

Mmmm is that a no parking sign we have stopped under.....oh well, I doesn't apply to me habbibi

Only thing left to do (apart from winch, cargo rack, boot draws, radio....) is to think of a name for her. After all, the distinct lack of yellowness procludes a YBOD reference. Suggestions on a post card please.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Training Day

Well after my previous rants about trying to get ANYTHING done in the various halls of power and officialdom we embarked once again on a focused and concerted effort to get stuff sorted. We had a hit list of Medicare registration, visa label in passport, driving licence and bank draft to pay for our new car. And based on prevoius success I resigned myself to a day of frustration and running around and therefore booked a day off work, set the alarm early and off we went!!

Well we were up bright and early and down theferry terminal in time for the 8am ferry which got us to the CBD at 8:30 just in time for Medicare to open and our assault to commence. However, I expected to be writting you a long rantingpost about stupidity, idiots and blind vogonism but no, somebody up there must have heard my prevoius potestations because lady fate was smiling.

We arrived at Medicare, straight up to a counter were a jolly if sleepy lady sorted everything out for us without feeling the need to dream up a new bit of paper we needed (although we did have half a rain forest with us at the time). We then went to RTA, took a ticket and filled put the form only to be told that we had to be in Australia 6months before we could get a NSW drivers licence (not quite sure why it's a min of 6 months and not a maximum but there you go) so that was RTA ticked off. So finally immigration. Arrived, joined queue of one person, spoke to a very friendly lady and five minutes later we were walking all sorted.

So it was that at 11 o'clock the co-pilot and I were stood outside a coffee shop (which smelt of coffee and soap there couldn't be entered) wonder what to do with the rest of the day. Following a short phone call to the garage we are suppose to be going to tomorrow confirmed the car was available and so quick bought train tickets and are now sat on our way to Nowra to pick up the beast!!

And a final rant, this one about trains. Wake up UK and British Rail (or whichever fractured part of what used to be BR is in control of prices and tickets). Having decided to go to Nowra which is 3 hours away by training was able to walk into the ticket hall, pay my money and get on the train. And I didn't have to book a month in advance....on line.....with a credit card. Nor did I need a degree in logistics planning in order to work out which daisy chain of routes and companies I had to join up to make the journey possible. I simply walked up and said "two singles to Nowra please" and he replied "certainly mate, $31 and you want platform 15".

And yes you read that correct, $31!! For Two tickets for a 168km train journey. That's about 15 quid for you pommes back home!!!

And I wonder why I might not be too keen on rush 'home' to the UK.

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Sunset over Manly Ferry

Got back to Manly late last night after sticking around the CBD until later to meet up with the co-pilot and go and try to watch Avitar in 3D at the IMAX (failed to get tickets because somebody had hired the entire place out for a party (that's some party, what ever happened to happy meals all round?).

Anyway, got the ferry homa and was treated to the sight of the sun setting and lovely clouds rolling over the harbour.

We never got anything as nice as that in Dubai.

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An Engineer just can't resist

Following the stuck in traffic post a certain engineer of the maritime persuasion (who shall remain nameless to Dave him the shame) couldn't resist wanting to know more, specifically wanting to know about the twin propellers. Well here you go Mr Bailey:

I guess you could say this ferry is the chinook of the maritime world.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stuck in traffic

Well I guess no commute to or from work can ever be completely traffic free, no matter where you live. And so it was that on the journey home this evening we got stuck behind a slow moving middle lane hog!!

While sat there I got looking at the ships plans on the wall and it would appear that the ferry I travel on each day is symetrical, with a propeller at both ends and both ends pointy.

Now this got me thinking....if both ends are the same which is the bow and which the stern.....and which way does one look to deferentiate between port and starboard? My god, how does the captain maintain proper naval decorem on the bridge!!! And if such things are out of control what will become of the standards and rules that have governed the waves and the empire for generations??!!

I shall have to write to the lord admiralty to inform him and hope he has the strength of characture and sense of duty to do the right thing...yes I mean the ultimate sanction.....send out the navy to give one up 'em!!! Cos they don't like it up 'em sir!!

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Aussie smart casual

Another quick post, of a sight I saw this morning which has to be a uniquely Australian interpretation of smart casual:

This fella was walking in front of me from the ferry to the CBD. The fella had a good quality smart looking shirt, cuff links and flip flops (thongs) and shorts (stubbies)!!

Sorry about to poor picture quality, I was walking in a crowd at the time.

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Label maker

One for a friend of mine who has a love of labelling things, and the amusement of his mildly rebellious wife. Thing this would one to label 'humourous advert paraphanalia':

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Struth and cricky bonzer mate!!

While walking across the car park we came across the MONSTER which and strung a web. But not a subtle little web in a corner. No, sir this is a monster Aussie spider, it's web was across the gap between to traffic signs!!

The spider is about the size of a ladies hand (unless you are an especially butch woman of course) and given the size of the web i presume he must be hunting kangeroos!!

If was a braver man, like Steve Erwin, I'd have stuck my finger up it's bum then wrestled it into a headlock!!

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You just wouldn't!!

This post requires very little explanation:

No mater how despirate you got while walking around Warrangah Mall, you just wouldn't let them near your nads with a laser now would.

...I expect you to die Mr Bond springs to mind!!

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Text message discussion

Just after Imogen and I found out we were pregnant (or immy is pregnant and I am panicking) we went off the see Imogens friend Fran up in Scotland while we were there we were 'exposed' to a wealth of pregnancy books from Fran's collection.

At this time we hadn't been to the doctors yet and so didn't know how far along we were. And so we proceeded to adopt the approach of all the best Internet hypercondricat and started with the symptom list for each week of the pregnancy.

For your amusement here is the SMS conversation that went back and to between us and my mum:

Us: Mum. We've been reading pregnancy books (only the first few chapters) and based on the symptoms described (and we hadn't realised many of them were related to pregnancy) we think it is quite possible (ie scarily possible) that imogen is already 12 weeks gone!! Please tell me we are being silly!!

Mum: it not very likely if she took her pill right u can count from wen she stopped pill or last day of cycle

Us: Erm....a lot of the symptoms indicate would have concieved around Nov last year....when she was quite ill with a chest infection and so put on a course of superstong anti-biotics....which apparently stop the pill working. There are an alarming number of the symptoms that don't just match but match to time in the time line when either of us have noticed them occuring.....I reallyscared now

Mum: wot u count from is last day of last monthly and usually knock of 2 weeks cos it is usual to get caught in second week

aw bless no point worryin now it done-that is true bout meds they do stop pill workin-but usual t go by last monthly until u have scan nothing can be sure

Us:Immy hasn't really had a proper period since Nov, only bits of bleeding ( or quite possibly spotting as the books calll it) but we just put it down to stress and moving about...also pot belly been growing for the last two weeks, I commented at least three times in the last two weeks about her nipples changing colour and shape (apparently, can't imagine I would be so insensitive). Mood swings, tiredness, dizzyness I the last week....the list goes on

Mum: lol its lookin good! a few weeks is now gonna make much difference it happened now! shut the book till u seen a doc and have more idea

Us:AAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!! You were supposes to tell us not to be silly and that we had it all wrong!!

Mum: i am Laffin now! its good t be further on means your over a tricky part-and not so long t wait! just wait till u seen doc nothin u can do bout it-will happen wen it ready no matter how many books u look at

Us: I'm going to text somebody else now, your advice ISNT helping me fact your eagerness to have this happen sooner is worrying!! Now, where's Bob's number....

Mum: lol HAHAA heehe no more worryin u will have enough sleepless nights soon!


Mum: lol no! your not in dubai now tlk weeks t get t see doc GO T SLEEP

Us:Bloody UK, Imogen could have given birth by then!!!

Mum: LOL the way u 2 are wizzing thru the book and changing your dates she could well do!

Us: This is definatly NOT part of the plan!!

Us:you cope with detour u always say it just a different way round so go with the flow a few weeks not gonna make a lot of difference at the end of it all she will be glad it over sooner all u can do is wait an see!

Us: Will you go away, we are try to sleepy and you are keeping my pregnant wife awake!

Mum: lol i just thinkin i got less time t knit! daddy

Ferry cross the habour...a Manly journey

Well immy and I have found a leased a house in Sydney and finally moved in the day before yesterday. There are a few (hundred) 'glitches' with the place but as everybody else seems resigned to accept "this is Sydney, all the houses are line that". I guess it's also possible that we have Been spoilt living in Dubai where everything is brand new and "redefining new standards in luxury and comfort". But still, his is a house that has just 6 power socks in the entire house, a gas water heaterthat looks like something out of a Terry Gilliam movie and a roach investation that Tim Burton would doubt make a film about.

Still, it's a house, it has a spare room for peanut AND another for visitors. And once the exterminators have been to kill the sqaters and our container arrives with our stuff I'm it will all seem much nicer. In the meantime we'll just have stiffen our English upper lip, grin and bear it (what what) and remember that out here in the colonies one has to expect to suffer a little.

And at the end of the day at least I am not living in the UK, I'm not suffering Dubais arogancy and I am currently sitting on the Manly ferry on my way home to my beautiful wife, looking out at the sun going down behind this view:

As Bernard Matthews would say......B'utiful!

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Week 9

Peanut is still growing and is becoming a hard lump.  She is not sticking out most of the time, only when I have wind.  Apparently she is now the size of a green olive or about 2.5cm long.  This week according to the books she has officially graduated from an embryo to a fetus.  I would say that is a good mile stone.

This week we have moved house and then discovered that the place is infested with German Cockroaches.  The estate agent has been feeling a pregnant womans wrath this week.  When the woman who answered the phone said "what do you want me to do about it DARLING!" I could have reached down the phone and throttled her there and then.  Fortunately a slightly more sympathetic colleague phoned me back and made some sensible suggestions of how to get rid of the buggers until the pest people come round. 

Back to peanut.  I wonder if getting stroppy with the estate agent counts as having mood swings, occasionally being unreasonable and easily upset?  How can the people who write pregnancy books be so right all the time?  I TOLD YOU I DON'T HAVE CRAVINGS!  Only I did want to vomit when lamb burgers and salad were suggested but suddenly  had to have prawn crackers.  One minute I really like a particular food and the next minute I can't stand it.  Keep up YBOD!

I am still feeling quite tired and really struggle to get out of bed in the morning.  If I do get up early I can't make it through the day without a Nana nap.  I also have found that since the first month I don't ever really get hungry for a particular food.  I eat because I have to and if I don't eat really regularly I smells make me feel sick.  I have the most wicked sense of smell, I can even smell soap and rubber.  I can smell book shops! Who can smell those.  I bet there are a whole load of envious book worms out there who just wish they could smell out a book shop or a library.  Having an amazing sense of smell can also bring its own problems.  When I need to eat (as I say I don't get hungry) smells make me feel sick.  A good one today was we couldn't go to a cafe because it smelt of coffee and soap.  I had to run out of a car shop because of the smell of rubber.  It would be good if I could put my super sense of smell to good use, like a superhero, but I have yet to find a practical use for it yet other than to annoy YBOD by not being able to go to this shop, and I can't eat there it smells funny.

I can't believe that something that is only 2.5cm long can take charge of your body so readily.  It seems quite unfair really.  Since moving to Oz and walking up hills everyday and having no car, so you have to walk everywhere I have got thinner, although you wouldn't notice because at the rate I have got thinner something has expanded to fill the gap.  How rude.  At the moment I just feel I look fat rather than pregnant.  I am just waiting for someone to tell me I am fat.  As another dear friend of mine, who is also pregnant at the moment finds I have a very short fuse and am easily enraged.  Some people would claim there is no change there.  Shut up YBOD.  And no saying "My tubby wife," cheeky monkey.  I wanted to say something rude then.  Being pregnant has made me want to say the most foul words out loud.  Fortunately I am still sane enough to curb that particular craving. 

It seems amazing that I am growing this thing inside me and that I have to be responsible for feeding it all the right things to make sure it grows well.  I am scared of getting fatter, even though I know it will be baby to a certain extent.  I all of a sudden feel like I have to be a real grown up.  I keep asking YBOD if he wants the baby and he says that now he knows I am growing one he would be sad if it wasn't there anymore.  I will just have to try and grow it well.  Hopefully we may be able to go and see a doc soon to check how things are going.  I just like to have my mind put at rest.

YBOD, you are not allowed to talk to any pregnant women about how much things stretch, especially with actions.  Its not funny.  

Friday, February 5, 2010

Growing a peanut

Well here I am about to enter week 8. I am feeling good and a lot less tired than in the first month. In the first few weeks I could sleep for Europe and felt car sick. We went to the doctor in Dubai who confirmed that I was pregnant and did all the necessary tests to confirm everything was okay. I had a scan and they dated the pregnancy at 5 weeks and 5 days and this is when we decided that our baby looked like a peanut and the nick name was born.

So much has happened since finding our I was pregnant. In the same week 2 other friends in Dubai confirmed they were also expecting. This is pretty impressive as out of four couples everyone is now pregnant with only a couple of months between first and last to drop. So congratulations to all the girls and boys keep up the good work. Although I am sure the past master fathers are probably doting/worrying/panicking far less than Peanuts dad (and I'm sure Jeremy).

Since being in Dubai and saying goodbye to our friends properly we have now moved to Australia. The exciting news this week is that we have found a house. This weekend we are going to move in, although our container still hasn't cleared customs which leaves us sort of furniture and appliance less. I am sure we can cope.

Anyway, I am way off topic. I was supposed to be talking about being pregnant and growing Peanut. I worry every day that I might have imagined her but my body keeps doing weird things like growing the most enormous and firm boobs you have ever seen. I swear they get bigger by the day. Fortunately the post Christmas pudding belly is gradually disappearing as we have to walk everywhere and have been doing our best to eat healthily. The good news is I look less pregnant now than I did at Christmas. I am also less breathless this month and I have finally stopped snoring. Yippee. As this is not very lady like and most embarrassing.

I have been having quite a few headaches which I did find put me in bed on a few occasions. I have started having caffeinated drinks in moderation again and haven't had a single headache since. Who said giving up caffeine was good for you.

I will keep you posted on how things go but so far so good and we still have a long way to go. I can't wait to reach week 12 and have another scan to check all is okay. Steven says I am a hypochondriac as I worry all the time.

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