They like to take photographs to capture fun times

I read something the other day (and have since the lost the source) that reminded me of my dear, dear, friends Sheela and Amy. The two of them like to orchestrate crazy photo sessions that really make me laugh.

“They like to take photographs to capture fun times and moments to remember. Often they would sit and ponder those moments and things and the people who fade in and out of their worlds. Some people stay for long moments and others not so. But still, they all leave an impression.

They giggle when they think of moments long ago, fun moments, kid moments, silly ridiculous moments. All captured in pictures. They transport them to those care free times.

They smile and snap another one.”

Collections I’ll accept

I have a small fear of ‘stuff’. And the word ‘collecting’ fills me with dread. I am more than happy to collect memories but I don’t want to collect ‘stuff’.

I think this fear of ‘stuff’ stems from:

1) Having a mother who will NEVER throw anything out.
2) Living in a teensy flat and therefore having no room for said ‘stuff’.
3) Caring about the environment and therefore worrying about how much water and energy it takes to produce ‘stuff”.

A website I used to love, Apartment Therapy, did a week of ‘bad collections’ earlier this year. It profiled the bedrooms of people who have seriously tacky collections. Things like Pez dispensers, number plates, etc. It disturbed me so much that I unsubscribed to the site! But I’ve recently seen some really nice collections that I thought I’d post here.

If I was going to start collecting anything, it would be one of the items below:

Funky teapots!
Cute little clocks
Penguin classics, neatly packed away in a cupboard
Gorgeous, colourful bowls


Brightly coloured pillows





Paris versus Brussels

In the blog world, people seem to be quite obsessed with Paris. Almost every blogger I follow has raved about Paris at some point in time. In the real world, people are obsessed with Paris too. Everyone thinks it’s the most amazingly, romantic city – the most beautiful in the all the world. And I don’t think any city has been more photographed.

There’s lots of cool things about Paris. The eiffel tower is fun. Sacré-Coeur is beautiful. Montmartre and St Germain are gorgeous and lovely. And they have fabulous croissants and cheese.

But I’d like to put it out there that I think Brussels is even more beautiful. For me, the Grand Place at the centre of town is just spectacular! It’s such a wonderful mix of artistic and architectural styles, both gothic and baroque. The cathedral is stunning, especially when it’s lit up at night. And any city that’s famous for a manequin peeing is going to score points with me!

Plus the food alone is worth going for. We’re talking Moules et Frites, people! Plus waffles and chocolates on every corner.

Moules + frites with mayo!


One of many chocolate shops = bliss out




The gorgeous grand place


The cathedral


The Manneken Pis 

I don’t have any yearnings to go back to Paris really. But Brussels? I dream of returning…

My friends from yesteryear

Do you know what I love? I love that some of the people I hang out with in 2010 are the same people I was spending my days with all the way back in the early 90s. It’s pretty rare to be just 30 years old and have friends in your world that have been around for about 20 of those years.

I was looking through some old photos the other day and came across a couple that made me smile.

This first one is of me and Lis when we were about 14. Yes, I’m wearing a scrunchie. And yes, my eyebrows really were that thick. Tragic.

Alissa has been my best friend for about 17 years now. It’s such a good feeling to have a friend that loves you despite knowing pretty much every single thing about you. I look back at my teenage years and cringe at some of the things I did and said. Sometimes I wish I could do that whole part of my life again. If I did though, my time with Alissa is one thing I wouldn’t change. I think between us, we tried every beauty product on the market and read every single teen magazine.

I know that when we’re 80 years old, we’ll still be getting together to talk about books and mascara.

Then there’s this photo of Jay, circa 1994.

For a few years in high school I dated James. James and Jay were, and still are the best of friends. I remember Jay (or Jono as he was known back then) always being around and always making me laugh.

All these years later, I’m now married to Ian and Jay is Ian’s second best friend. Well ok, Ian would actually say Jay is his best friend. But I’m muscling my way into first place!

So Jay’s still in my life and he still makes me laugh. He also makes me smile because he has such a beautiful soul. Which is lucky really because it matches the beautiful soul of his wife.

In short, I have gorgeous friends.

Manners are dead, long live good manners!

It’s a shame that people don’t really mind their manners anymore. Good manners are lovely. And sadly, they are also quite underrated in our modern society.

I certainly can’t claim that I am the most polite, well mannered person on earth.  But I do think there are easy ways for all of us to lift our game in the manners department.

At the risk of sounding like a haughty n00b, here’s modern etiquette according to Neen:

1)      When you are invited to someone’s house, never turn up empty handed.  

2)      Do not file or cut your nails on public transport. This is socially unacceptable and, frankly, if caught, should result in you being sent to live in a penal colony with other feral minded people.

3)      Never assume that you are invited to a wedding. The cost per head of wedding guests is generally quite ludicrous. Unless you are the bride or groom, don’t ever think you’re automatically on the guest list.

4)      If you ARE invited to a wedding;
– Don’t ask if you can bring a guest (for reason mentioned above)
– Always take a gift
– Don’t wear jeans under any circumstances. It doesn’t matter if the groom is planning to wear jeans, he’s the groom, he can do whatever he likes. You are a guest, you cannot
– Don’t bring your children unless their name was on the invite.

5)      When you buy someone a gift, don’t follow the ‘I like this, so they will too’ rule. Buy something you think they would like, that matches their style and taste, not yours. It really is the thought that counts.

6)      If you are invited to something, RSVP by the date given on the invite.

7)      Don’t keep people waiting more than 5 minutes.

8)      Don’t criticise the products on sale or the price of items in a shop. If you don’t like what’s there or can’t afford it, just walk out.

9)      Return phone calls, reply to emails.

10)   Always send your friend’s a message or call them for their birthday.

11)   Don’t show disgust or criticise what other people like to eat or drink. For example if you strongly dislike vegetarian products made by Sanitarium, perhaps say ‘No thanks’ instead of ‘Don’t let that filth touch my food’. (Ok this is one I clearly need to work on).

12)   When you’re out with someone, don’t take a phone call that you know will last more than a few minutes.

13)   Don’t interrupt people while they are talking.

14)   Start eating only when everyone’s food has arrived or been served (Mel is training Ian on this one, lol).

15)   Never assume that someone else should pay for you just because they earn more money.

16)   If someone does pay for you, thank them. More than once.

17)   If someone cooks dinner for you, give feedback on the food they have prepared.

18)   When you are sent a card or delivered balloons or flowers, acknowledge that you have received them.

19)   Cover your mouth when you cough.

20)   Don’t turn up unannounced and don’t overstay your welcome.

A slightly unhinged Aunty

My Aunty B sent the following email to St George Bank. It’s quite possibly the most amusing thing I’ve ever read. It’s also quite possibly the most concerning. Frequent trips to Psychiatric hospitals on the Gold Coast are looking more and more likely.

Dear Sir /Madam
I have been with your bank since 1998. I have had a home load with your bank and now hold a freedom account and mastercard account.
My late husband was a journalist and wrote a beautiful story about one of your branches in the Gold Coast Bulletin when the Nerang branch closed.
We both had mastercard’s with St. George, we always paid out home loan on time and we never had debt collectors calling at our door. Since his death i now have another loan with a different institution which i manage well and have never received a debt collectors notice from anyone.
3 years when i was travelling in europe i need extra cash and made the call to australia. Within a few minutes i was granted $3000. Just like that, no dramas , no hassles all done and this was done from Greece.
NOW THIS MORNING I AM ON THE GOLD COAST IN AUSTRALIA AND I RING UP TO ORGANISE AN INCREASE OF ANOTHER $1000 DOLLARS AND IF YOU LOOK AT MY MASTERCARD TRANSACTIONS MY CREDIT LIMITED was $6000. and i paid this all of and was down to $400 dollars. SPENT A BIT OF CASH last night but need the extra $1000 for a crown for my tooth so that i DON’T GET BLOODY FALSE TEETH or leading up to getting false teeth. The very thought makes my stomach churn and i want to be sick. So i ring up and ask for a miserable $1000 dollars and christ to do i get a ring around. I DON’T bloody qualify. what a lot of bullshit.
I have always paid my card on time and yes i will admit that i have been overdrawn but i work for stupid queensland health and as you know the pay system is up to crap and i have not received my due wages on time and have been late with payments which have been very stressful no fault on the bank but did get reminders to please pay statements which i finally have until today when i need this extra grand.
Now lets get this right
i am not asking for $100,000 only ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS
You charge me anyway if i am late so what is the BIG DEAL
So i decided to go into the bank at Pacific Fair and the manager was very helpful indeed and Jenny works there. You see Jenny worked at Nerang and she remembers the story my late husband wrote and within 2 minutes of being in the bank i was sitting opposite Sharon but she could not help me because the system was locked out and her advice to me was to retry in a months time as i have been rejected 3 times in one day.
I NEED THE BLOODY CROWN FOR MY TOOTH SO THAT I DON’T LAND UP WITH GETTING FALSE TEETH AT AGE OF 53 YES 53 AND I WOULD PREFER TO BLOODY DIE THAN LAND UP WITH A FALSIE IN MY MOUTH. I have a dentist appointment at 1330 queensland time on Monday and i need that cash to pay the dentist. Now i know crowns take time and maybe i can convince the dentist the bank is up is up to crap and would not lend me the money in time would he be kind enough to please go ahead with the treatment -i wonder if i am going to get the arse treatment i received today.
i am also going to write a letter to the bank ombudsman and get his advice on this matter.
i know this letter is personal but i am so disappointed in your service and the supervisor whose name is EDWARD. I sure he was laughing at me and he sounded completely disinterested. Tried giving me some bullshit story about the the government. LEAVE THE POLITICIANS’ OUT OF THIS.

Your bank makes enough profit in one financial year to feed the bloody country and i am not interested in other crap about responsibilities. SINCE WHEN DO YOU AS THE BANK CARE ABOUT RESPONSIBILITIES WHEN YOU MAKE SUCH A HUGE PROFIT EACH YEAR AND LETS GET IT RIGHT $1000 WILL NOT CLOSE THE DOORS OF ST.George.
I did call that edward guy a prick because i felt he was not interested in my call and was just playing around with his pen and saying yes yes and yes to shut me up.I do not apologise for that but i highly recommend the the staff at pacific fair.
i do hope to hear back from you soon.
i have sent this letter to 2 other people who i would like to have a copy of what i have written and copy for me.
Thanking you.

Word of the day

I get the ‘word of the day’ email from Urban Dictionary. Today I was dismayed to read the definition of a ‘dork’.

Apparently it’s “Someone who has odd interests, and is often silly at times. A dork is also someone who can be themselves and not care what anyone thinks”.

Uh oh, I think I’m a dork.

The best time of the year

I love December. I love it. Everything about this time of year is great. People are relaxed, people are happy, people are festive.  I wish it was December all year.

My favourite bits of the month are:

The BBQs

 Cocktails with friends in catch ups that just have to happen before the end of the year

Packing all the work clothes away and wearing nothing but shorts and skirts for a few weeks.

  Playing in Mum & Dad’s pool