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DAY 227: Giving things a right roasting

15 Apr


A SNORESOME day, to be sure.

With the exception of the humble jacket potato, I am a roasting rookie, on account of I like to watch things cook – and in an urgent fashion.

Taking some advice from my Facebook pals I learn how to roast beetroot (wrap in foil, put in the oven) and eggplant (halve, salt, put in the oven). Magic.

Keeper? Yes. My grandmother died when she set her tea towel on fire though, so this afternoon’s burny incident should be avoided in future.

DAY 223: Pampering the shit out of my face

11 Apr

Now 90 per cent more pink.

CONTINUING my quest to become a real girl, I clatter off to a random make-up artist in Myer and bid her to do as she will.

Suzi eagerly sets about turning my face into an approximation of hers, layering on primer, foundation, concealer, three or four eye shadows, tinted eyebrow wax, mascara, bronzer, blush, lip pencil, pink lipstick and lipgloss. I do wear make-up every day, but that’s 10 products and 30 minutes more than I’m accustomed to.

A French artiste called André (actually, I can’t remember his name, but that’ll do) hovers the whole time, giving a running commentary on what Suzi’s doing and snatching brushes out of her tiny hands, replacing them with what he’d use if he was her. He laments my eyebrows, which are admittedly in need of a bit of a trim, practically wringing his hands in agitation.

I manage to block him out when Suzi does my eyes, as it’s very soothing. I get to pondering the word ‘pamper’ and how it’s become a ‘you deserve it’ kind of marketing tool aimed at the privileged. Golden goddess pamper pack. Pamper yourself stupid this pampering Pamperday. It’s a curious sounding word, so I look it up when I regain the use of my iPhone hand:

Pampe’ can be traced back to ancient religious manuscripts. As in: ‘Thus the devil fareth with men and wommen; First, he stirith hem to pappe and pampe her fleisch, desyrynge delicous metis and drynkis.’

Steady thyself!

Then there’s the Bavarian word, ‘pampfen’, meaning ‘to cram oneself with pap or broth’.


“Are you Dutch?” André interrupts my reverie. “You have very Dutch features: dark skin and green eyes.”

I’m unable to enquire as to whether he’s had a recent knock to the head with his hair straighteners, as Suzi is slicking something like Dunkin’ Donuts glaze on my mouth.

Now all I need to do is write a crime novel called Midnight’s Daughter and this can be the author photo on the jacket.

Glacial pink gloss, I venture as I peer in the mirror, is not appropriate for a 36-year-old woman. Suzi disagrees, and André gasps that it’s perfectly acceptable for a “woman of your age”. In fact, he reckons, I might even try mature modelling work.

“What, in a catalogue?” I quip.

“Yes,” he agrees earnestly. “Cheap catalogues are where the money is.”

Picture me flouncing out of Myer, spitting hair out of my lip gloss.

Keeper? Secretly enjoyed it.

DAY 220: Baking bread

8 Apr

“DON’T blame me if this doesn’t work out,” says Clare, who said the same thing about my marriage, but I’ve let bygones be bygones.

Clare reads out bread-baking instructions over the phone and I slap a loaf together in real time. I add magic ingredients caraway seeds and Weetabix (that’s English for Weet-Bix) for a special touch. It turns out really good, and I think taking it out too early makes it even more gummy and tasty.

This lack of trust by my friends in my domestic skills is shocking though, because today I’ve darned shorts, hoovered the rug, arranged the pantry with Tupperware boxes, paired my socks and baked a loaf – all without incident. If somebody could teach me how to make a lasagne, I reckon I’ve got everything covered.

Keeper? Curiously, this all felt really satisfying. My house smells of scented candles, chai tea and freshly baked bread, instead of rabbit mess.

DAY 204: How to talk to boys

23 Mar

WHEN Dianne Todaro’s How to Talk to Boys landed on my desk, I immediately had a good fossick for some tips. Seeing as they’re all written in text-speak, I contacted Dianne directly to help me out with my own situations in grown-up sentences.

Sitch 1. Too many balls on the dance floor

When I’m attracted to a fella, I tend to ignore him in an angry fashion. This hasn’t progressed much since primary school, when I’d lob tennis balls at the heads of boys I liked. Since the relaxed, friendly approach doesn’t come naturally, what’s a more subtle option?

Dianne: You could always smile as you are lining up the balls. Being the ice queen will actually say more about you than it does about him. Knocking fellas over may work for a while, but you may get fed up with this approach, even bored.

Have you considered it may be time to let him throw the ball to you and take you off guard? Do you really have faith that your man will come and knock you out? If you don’t, let me believe it for you. And start looking in that mirror and telling yourself “I am enough”. Start simply by enjoying playing your own game and doing your own ‘thang’. Its just too hard doing back-flips to try and make ‘him’ appear in your life.

My thoughts: Di’s right, I do knock fellas over with my stupendous back-flips. I’m doing my thang pretty hard already, but I’m going to leave the mirror stuff out of it. NB: As positive affirmations go, “I am enough” seems a bit lacklustre. Especially in the age of:

Sitch 2. Keen as mustard

What’s a good way to hint that you’re ‘up for it’ without being too blunt?

Dianne: if you laugh at his jokes, you touch his hand when he offers you a drink, you gently get him to talk about himself and you have decided you have got that ‘zing’ tingling inside, say something like, “I am really enjoying your company. I wish I could stay longer but I really have to go right now.” If he says nothing, keep walking directly past this male species and don’t stop. Do you really want to be with someone that can’t pick up on your sexuality at its best? No. We don’t want that! You can do a whole lot better. The man who is into you will have no trouble at all reading your ‘flirting’ code of attraction. He will be so into you it will be so incredibly obvious. Men can be irresistible when they do the hunting. If you haven’t experienced this yet, be warned!

My thoughts: It’s suddenly got a bit hot in here. But about that “I really have to go right now”… presumably you waggle your eyebrows and tongue your cheek when you say that? Otherwise a bit subtle, no?

Sitch 3. Bring on the nubiles

When I was younger, I thought men preferred women to be lisping, knock-kneed and pliable. I can’t pull that off any more… but is it even true?

Dianne: No, that’s not true for all our men, but be aware, girls – a big percentage do love boobies. And if a girl is young and naïve, men can have more of what they’re naturally drawn towards.

Talking to boys will come naturally when you understand that you are totally the woman you want to be when you look at yourself in the mirror. Love is not a concept. It is actually a real thing. And each of us deserve to be loved and be able to love. That’s deep, but at the end of the day snuggling deep into his strong caressing arms wrapped around your hips feels a whole lot better than just dreaming about it. Leave the brains trust on hold till Monday when you get back to work, relax and enjoy being the girl.

My thoughts:

Keeper? I think I need to get outside again. Chop down some trees.

DAY 203: Forcing berets down people’s throats

22 Mar

TODAY I’m on a campaign to make berets fashionable. It’s a lonely crusade all right, but one I’ve been forging since primary school, when I published my daring debut, Girl’s Mag.

I count four berets and a disturbingly phallic post box.

And then there was the editor’s pic in my sophomore magazine aimed at sort-of adults, which earned me derision from the art editor and posturo-rockers Grinspoon alike – the latter after I simply remarked on the fact that one of their number was wearing socks and thongs in a national photo shoot.

Grinspoon "aren't about to take fashion advice from someone wearing a beret". But you would, wouldn't you?


Enough with the subtle leading-by-example – it’s time to step up my game and start forcing my rhetoric down throats. Haughty women in berets (it’s pronounced “be-rrr-AY”) are sexy, and I’ve got the pictures to prove it. What’s more, I’m sticking them up all over Melbourne’s lampposts and dunny doors in an insidious attempt to influence locals. Naturally I’m wearing a beret as I do so.

The propaganda.

Viva la resistance beret.

Keeper? Indeed. Winter approacheth, and with it, fashionable head gear.

DAY 190: Rating my undies

9 Mar

THERE are no dirty pictures of me in existence to the best of my knowledge, unless you count that arty shoot when I was 18.

I decide to end all that today and send someone a mid-morning, up-skirt shot, sort of like a nice break for elevenses.

Unfortunately, the picture won’t send at first, so I go outside and press send about 18 times. Eventually I get the response “ha ha”, which isn’t the reaction I had envisaged at all. Perhaps the text never arrived and he’s chortling at something I said earlier.

After that, though, I’m worried that my undies have failed to cut the mustard, which is hardly fair, as if I’d known I was going to do this I would have put on some lowest common denominator ones and Bob’s your uncle.

Rattled, I decide to email the shot to ‘Rate My Pantys’ (sic) to settle this once and for all. There are lots of ‘Rate My’ sites on the internet: rate my implants / vomit / life / ex-girlfriend / ink / wedgie / pecs / parking / kitten / wee / moustache / doodle… Oh, you name it.

My finger is poised when I’m afraid I start to have doubts. I dunno. I can’t help wondering if all the pics on ‘Rate My Pantys’ are sent by real women with a burning need to know if they’re on the right track, or if it’s just a butt portal for preteens. I rate my undies sacred. Abort mission.

Keeper? I’m not convinced this experiment is bettering my personal development.

DAY 159: Dancing go-go

6 Feb

“DANCE as though no one is watching you,” Alfred D’Souza once said. (He also said “life is a journey”, but I’ll let that one go.)

However, tonight there’s a whole saloon bar full of men watching, pressing their filthy noses up against the yellowed glass separating them from Anna’s Go-Go Academy class in the Bendigo Hotel. Still, let them wheeze into their schooners – us gals are having FUN.

These are nothing like my usual dance moves, I must say. We’re following a jerky routine of mashed patatas and James Brown-style gambits: thumbs up, knees out, knees in and bucking like the Duracell Bunny. Mine are a bit more… avant-garde. And injurious to third parties.

I’ve tried regulated dancing before; I’d occasionally swing dance in London pubs with grizzled rockabillies who were too cool to look at you, let alone catch you (wouldn’t want to spill their pints, would they?). Being unwieldly, I had a tendency to go bouncing off the walls when left unchecked, which, like I said, was most of the time.

Go-go’s all about the girls, though, and by the time our hour’s up, I’ve got it pegged. Basically, you have to act like a pony – swishing your ponytail, trotting with your hooves up and gurning for a sugar-lump – so all this horsemanship I’ve been plugging away at is going to pay off. Grouse!

Keeper? Sure. Great excuse to buy some white boots.

Check out for the story behind these way-out pics.