Thursday, 29 January 2015

Around these parts

Today my blog feed/instagram/Facebook has been full to the brim with parents posting pics of little shiny faces wearing new shoes and massive backpacks heading off to school.
And I am rejoicing that I am not one of those parents.

For the first time in, oh, forever I do not have a child at primary or secondary school.

Yes, that sound is me whooping with delight.

Don't get me wrong...I have teared up a plenty hearing and reading about that big moment - and I'm talking here about the mums and dads at the school gate waving their little ones off!

I remember that lurch of pride and anxiety very well - the little hand slipping free, tiny steps on a new journey as they start to make their own path.

look how excited littlest Ripe was!

But I'm sooo glad not to be there anymore. No more lunches, homework, school shoes, uniforms, last minute notes, parent/teacher interviews.

Just reading it is exhausting.

No, this February instead of gearing up for first term, I'm going away with Mr Ripe. Not in school holidays! When it's cheaper!

That should give me a few more dollars to spend on these:

But we haven't quite gone past the educating.

That cute little blondie pictured above has gained a place at University and starts in a month. So excited for her as she starts a new chapter in her story.

Took in a bit of this the other day:

Love the tennis. That's Serena's family just down and across from us. They were very intense supporters!

Also spent some time here on Aus Day just soaking up the serenity after scoffing fish and chips on the beach taking a power walk.

Almost the weekend. Plans for lunch with a girlfriend, shopping with Ms Ripe and maybe taking in a movie - thinking of this one:

but have heard mixed reviews.

We'll see.

Keep focused on the good things Blogland and remember to Stay Classy

Thursday, 15 January 2015

School days

I caught up with some old school mates the other day (30 plus years ago we were at school together how the hell can that be??)

And we laughed ourselves sick remembering some of the rubbish we had to do - like this little ditty every morning:

"I must, I must, I must improve my bust" accompanied by us all flapping our arms back and sticking out our non-existent boobs.

I also have a vague memory of walking with a book on my head and not letting it fall. An important skill I retain to this day. Because it is a vital life skill.

I went to an-all girls Catholic School. I'll just let that sink in.

Our uniform was brown and yellow. Our tunic was brown with buttons down the front and a yellow round collared shirt.

It was beyond hideous.

The words Brown Cow were bandied about by kids from other schools. It was not inaccurate.

Our principal was a big battleaxe of a woman and a nun. She took great delight in whacking girls on the legs as she passed them.

We had to kneel on our desks at the start of term for our hemlines to be measured so they weren't too short.

One time, I had to go to the Nunnery where they lived which was next to the school. I saw their knickers on the clothesline, scarred me for life.

Us bad girls used to sneak down to the Cypress trees on the fence line for a secret smoke, nick off for hot chips at lunchtime and tuck our skirt under our bras to shorten our skirts.

I just feel so lucky to have old friends that I can share those memories with.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

It's official - I'm boiling

So I've been back at the coalface checking out blogs and online shopping beavering furiously away to the delightful accompaniment of this:

And I don't mean cos Lexie across the way has been snorting/smoking illicit substances.

It's my neck. I am wound as tight as a fish's arsehole (a reliable old Aussie saying - apparently fish have very tight bottoms)

Anyhoo. I did a bit of Dr Googling as you do.

The New York Times, that bastion of superlative informative, baldly tells me it's because my joints are boiling.
What the?

And there's also talk of gas. As if anyone needs more of that. Actually better me than Mr Ripe, he's already got enough.

Clearly I require a good relaxing massage - it's a medical emergency.

Call Dr Doug..stat.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

My brother and his celeb friends

I am hanging for this weekend.

We're supposed to be getting a deluge of rain - like gazillion bucketloads - over the next few days.
It will probably drive me bonkers but it may also force me to just meander around doing stuff around the house, watching movies, reading, cooking and chilling out.
it's been a massive start to 2015.

My darling brother - Lord H - has been with us on and off for a month after arriving like the whirlwind he is from LA where he now lives, full of stories and lugging loads of wine.
He has met lots of celebs over there in his 12 or so months - most of them he doesn't have a clue who they are.
It's up to me - the font of all celebrity wisdom - to clue him in.
Like this pearler:

Lord H (as in his Lordship, our pet name for him): So, there's this girl in my building who I met and she's a rapper I think.
Me: right, what's her name.
LH: can't remember, something like Dizzy
Me: Dizzy?
LH: it's some flower
Me: do you mean Iggy? Iggy Azalea??
LH: yep, that's it.

What do you mean you don't recognise me??

He's also had lunch with Snoop Dog, JayZ (no Beyoncé though sob) and kinda knew who they were beforehand (!) and met Matt Damon in a hotel's business centre tapping on a computer (Lord H knew him!) and Matt McConaughey at the premier of his new movie Interstellar.

Lord H said Matt (I think I can call him that) told him he loved Australia after filming Fools Gold here (best forget that one).
He foolishly asked Lord H what he thought of the new movie. It's pretty crap, said his Lordship (cue intake of breath from surrounding minions). He then added: But you were okay.
To his credit, Matt (see, did it again) laughed and said how he admired Aussie's for their honesty, saying it was a rare thing in LA-land.

A classic Lord H moment.

What do you mean "okay"?? I'm an Oscar winner dude.

It's all a little infuriating - I clearly should be hanging with these peeps! He, of course, takes great delight in my outrage that he doesn't have a clue.
So we've spent many days and nights laughing, drinking, looking at old photos of our daggy fashions and telling his kids and mine lots of stories and shaking our heads at his antics.

He's heading back there now - hopefully with some more celebrity hook-ups in his sights.

It's been the best.

But I reckon I've drunk and eaten my fill, enough to last me til next Christmas.

Time to pull out the runners and shut the fridge.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015


Last night the sky thundered and cracked as lightening bolts rained down and rain wet the streets.
It was still hot and like many people I hardly slept.

At around the same time in Paris, in a newsroom, 12 journalists were gunned down and 11 more people injured.
It makes my blood run cold just thinking about it.

Beautiful Paris.

In another life, I was a journalist. I spent 20 years in a newsroom and they are the same everywhere, regardless of country or language.

They are filled with people who love words, who are passionate about finding the truth and who are often the targets of abuse and criticism because people - particularly those with something to hide - don't like a light shone on their actions.

They are places where people laugh and mourn at the stories they are compiling, tell bad and naughty jokes and make puns from words.

A place where people think long and hard about what they are writing and the consequences of what will be published.

I think of those people working in that newsroom in that beautiful city of Paris and it sickens me that they were targeted by three extremists with guns.

Are journalists now the new targets in this bloody war of terror?

Words are powerful. They can heal - look at the words of Walter Mikac after his wife and children were killed at Port Arthur, the words around the unexpected death of cricketer Phil Hughes - and they can inspire.

An example - Martin Luther King, also gunned down by a madman.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

In the beautiful city of Paris, the city of lights, the light has dimmed.

But the darkness will not prevail.

Friday, 2 January 2015


Holey Moley it's hot.
43 and fires are burning.
There's a dread you can feel in the air on days like these.
Ever since Black Saturday.
This is summer in Australia.
Mr Ripe has been inhaling these at a competition worthy rate.

I have spent hours lolling in the water, contemplating my toenails and letting my mind wander.
Here's some thoughts I've conjured up.

Why don't my cat or dog chase away the miner birds that hang around their food bowls and loudly screech?
how many spiders are hiding around my house?
Why does it require five towels to dry one human?
What should I eat/drink now?
Will the new Housewives of Melbourne be as good as the first? Gina, don't let us down!
Why does Mr Ripe continue to play Neil Diamond at house-shaking volume? (There is no answer to this one)
What will Ms Ripe get up to this year, now school is over and we're waiting on uni offers. Where will life take her?

Keep hydrated. I am focusing on these to get me no particular order....