Thursday, December 31, 2009


And on this, the last day of the year, Prudence is stuck at home feeling exceedingly sorry for herself. Thank Heaven for civilised industrial relations laws.

She hopes for a recovery in time for celebrations tonight. Or at least more effective painkillers, depending, of course, on whether she can drag herself to the apothecary.

However, distraction and a cup of tea must suffice, for now.

Much of the merde of the year has been chronicalled here - the death of both beloved pets, the cat in January, and the dog in October, various career woes best left without detail, an atrocious haircut.

Along with a litany of grumbles and complaints mostly to do with manners and grammar.

But there have been some good things - lovely colleagues, dear friends, some truly excellent dinner parties, a weekend at Margaret River during winter when it was all but deserted, turning 40 in spectacular style, vegetable bounties from the garden.

And soon - very soon - Prudence can celebrate her first blog-iversary. Which is terribly exciting. Blandwagon has a list of appropriate gifts, if you're so inclined...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On perspective

If ever one needed reminding of the trivial (relatively speaking) nature of one's problems, Prudence has been reminded.

One colleague is suffering a brutally broken heart and another has just lost everything in the Toodyay fires.

Prudence's career and other merde pales into insignificance.

Friday, December 25, 2009

On imagination

To her chagrin, Prudence admits her complicity in all that is wrong about modern Christmas.

Specifically, purchasing Lego.

When Prudence was a tot, Lego was a series of blocks. No people, no trees, no windscreens that only fit boats and no swords. One could make anything one could dream up, there were no limits.

Now, it comes in themed boxes and there is only one possible permutation - the one that matches the photo on the cover.

And Heaven help the grumpy stepmother, who, after painfully stepping on a pile of components left in a doorway, puts the whole lot back in the box in no order!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Crimes against humanity

Prudence was chilled to see a sign to the Dreamlife Church, and her fears were justified upon investigation.

While there is no evidence of the sins one associates with religions (silly names or not) - removal of free choice, ridiculous hats, inquisitions, this one is guilty of sins against language.

To quote: We believe that God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has revealed Himself as one God existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal...

It goes on, but co-equal?

Was equal not good enough?

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Prudence has just endured that most Perth of traditions - a trip to the shopping centre during one of the very rare Sundays on which they're allowed to trade.

Despite refusing to allow Sunday trading with a series of roundly defeated referenda, the people of Perth quite clearly enjoy their shopping on the Sabbath.

However, that's a digression.

Prudence has been thinking lately about the commercialisation of a time of the year that is a lot older than Christianity, and the waste that inevitably ensues.

While many families quite sensibly decided that adults really don't need presents, or are confining themselves to home-made, there is still a steadfast refusal to extend this to children.

And this is where Prudence has an issue.

The whole commercialisation of Christmas is thus cemented during childhood, and if we don't teach children restraint and sustainability, how will it ever become normal?

And Prudence is embarrassed and annoyed at herself that she is just as guilty.

Hope the nieces and stepchildren appreciate their presents.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not subtle

What else is one to think, Prudence fumes, when one has been doing a job for several weeks, has applied for said job, only to be told that none of the applicants met the criteria, so no appointment would be made.


Would Prudence mind continuing to do the job, for which it is deemed she is inadequate, for a bit longer?


Tis the season

It was a medium-sized night (Prudence made it to bed before midnight) at the union delegates' Christmas drinks.

Prudence's memory gets a little hazy about the last few hours, although a helium-fueled recitation of The Man From Snowy River was a highlight along with a similarly squeaky Winston Churchill/Nancy Astor exchange. The one about poison and coffee.

And now, Prudence is feeling a little fragile, and thinking a cup of tea might be in order.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On marketing opportunities lost

Not one of the gentlemen of Prudence's acquaintance say they shave for themselves, and the majority shave for the women in their lives.

So, if Tiger Woods was using the Gillette products he endorsed, and keeping a (growing) number of ladies happy, wouldn't that constitute a resounding endorsement of the efficacy of Gillette's offerings?

Stupid, ultra-conservative, fundamentalist-religious, far-distant-right (etc, etc) drongos at Gillette.

Not that Prudence is necessarily approving of Woods' behaviour, but one has to admire his stamina.

It's, like, a nuance.

Isn't there a great gulf of meaning between




Especially when the root words are really quite similar.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Life, in imitation

Prudence isn't sure how this happened, but with the last haircut, she looks in the mirror and sees Louise Brooks.

You did realise that was Louise Brooks, didn't you?!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Do try to pay attention.

There has been much consternation of late, about use of certain sporting fields, and which code should have preference.

While Prudence really doesn't care who gets to practise barely organised thuggery, she does wish the reporters would use the proper plural.

It's STADIA. Not stadiums.

To be used in a sentence

Cognitive walkthrough.
Coherent conceptual template.

Prudence detests this kind of meeting.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pay attention, please!

Prudence is annoyed. Very, very annoyed.

She has ordered some stuff from an internet site, which formerly boasted good customer service.

This time she received an email from the proprietor admitting he'd failed to notice Prudence's new address (!) and had posted her order to that address, and hoped this wasn't an inconvenience.

In what possible way could having a parcel sent to the wrong address NOT be an inconvenience?!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Another year over

Prudence is now, according to her much younger colleague, officially grown up.

So *that's* what 40 is all about.

None of this 40 is the new 30 (or in one case, 21) glibness. It's about being grown up. And Prudence approves.

So long as one has salacious and outrageous enough stories to tell of one's youth, one's advancing age is rather delicious.

Provided one manages to look much younger than one's years, of course.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Favourite things.

Lush carpets of fallen jacaranda flowers, swirled by the breeze, as Prudence walks home through the lengthening shadows

Saturday, November 14, 2009

On manners. Again.

There's a not-so-fine line between customer service and slimy obsequiousness.

Prudence fervently wishes the gormless youth at the Post Office had not felt it necessary to wink at her mid-transaction.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

'Tis the season!

For markets.

They're positively sprouting all over Perth.

Prudence wonders how many she can visit this weekend - here's the list of those she will attempt.

Made on the left - Hyde Park Hotel
Oxford Street Markets - in the park at 100 Oxford Street
Fields of Green - Aranmore College
Subi - for vegies
Inglewood Artisan Markets - Inglewood library, Beaufort Street
Mount Hawthorn Primary - not strictly a market, more your school fete, but reputed to have a rippingly good book stall!

Shopping bags at the ready!

Oh, and don't forget the Wardarnji Festival in Freo on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Prudence wonders where a vet gets off charging $150 to euthanise a beloved pet, and then say "see you later".

Which, since one has quite clearly just farewelled any possible reason for seeing the vet again, is highly unlikely.

Things will never be the same.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chivalry. Or not.

A colleague of Prudence's has a penchant for undignified pursuits. She plays sport.

Inevitably this leads to tears. Last week it lead to a rolled ankle and associated bandages and bruising.

Said colleague, being young, thought after a couple of days the ankle was healed, and trotted off to work without her strapping.

Except that, while waiting in line for the bus, the ankle, having other ideas, collapsed. Leaving her in a puddle on the ground. Pained and embarrassed.

A man standing next to her moved to catch her, realised he couldn't stop her falling, and instead of assisting her to her feet, or even politely enquiring as to whether she required assistance, decided that the best course of action was to pretend the crumple hadn't occurred.

Prudence hopes the man's mother reads this and gives him a good clip on the ear for his callowness.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Right, Guv.

Prudence has just boarded a bus and been confronted by a man who is the spitting image of Mickey Webb from The Bill.

Most disconcerting.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A veritable catastrophe

So, there he was, sitting in traffic, wearing a baseball cap to cover his bald patch, driving a Saab convertible, and listening to Friday on my mind.

Clearly advertising his midlife crisis.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

After a promising start...

Prince Frederik of Denmark is in Sydney for the Masters Games, and, by all accounts, not doing too well.

His sport is sailing, and he's had some, er, mishaps in competition.

After the first, quite Seuss-esque headline: Prince Fred bumps head, Prudence, seeing all sorts of comedic possibilities, was intrigued to see where the sub-editors at the ABC went with this.

Disappointingly, they went to: Prince Fred in the drink, again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

One can't choose

A business associate of Prudence's is decidedly dishy.

Tall, wicked sense of humour, jet black hair morphing to an elegant silver and startlingly blue eyes.

So the question - and Prudence doesn't really care about the answer - is: is it wrong to have a crush on one's tax accountant?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

When nature triumphs over small-mindedness

Prudence happened to detour through Hyde Park on her way to work this morning. It was, as always, an oasis of peace and green in the concrete jungle.

There's a huge pine tree just north of the lakes, that sports a most amusing sign.

Beware: cones may fall from this tree without notice.

Prudence can just imagine the Town of Vincent council meeting during which a motion was proposed and passed that any trees planning on dropping cones and the like would be required to give notice - a minimum of seven days, and preferably in writing.

Then the consternation, tsk-ing and harrumphing that followed the trees' stout refusal to provide the requisite notice.

Then the next meeting - perhaps an extraordinary meeting called to deal with this issue specifically - during which it was decided, as an interim measure, that such a sign was the only way to deal with such insubordination.

Prudence can just imagine the wry smirk Don Watson would give such bureaucratic overkill.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Folly of acronyms

Depending on one's point of view, HRT can stand for

Holden Racing Team


Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

On reputations

Prudence and her beloved have heard ad nauseum ravings about a particular coffee house in West Perth.

So today, they went there.

And were unimpressed.

Bland coffee that wasn't hot enough and took a long time to arrive.

Resting on laurels, perhaps?

Monday, October 5, 2009

If you don't want it to hurt, don't go.

Prudence is, of course, dismayed at the two recent deaths along the iconic Kokoda Track.

But really, calls to make it safer?!

Safe is entirely not the point of Kokoda.

Can we please not nanny-state everything.

And, yes, Prudence knows nanny-state is not a verb.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Separated at birth?

Prudence wonders whether WA Minister for Regional Development Brendan and SBS extreme survival personality Bear are related.

Both being called Grylls, and all.

While Bear exhibits none of Brendan's trademark lisp, and we've never had to put Brendan into more life-threatening conditions than question time, there is a slight physical similarity...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So many things

Prudence has been quiet of late. Not that there haven't been things about which to blog.

But every time she manages to sit down, all the lovely little stories she's been saving, just disappear.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Vale Mike

Prudence vividly remembers Sunday nights (they're always Sunday nights in one's memory, even if they weren't) when the whole family would gather for the Leyland Brothers' adventures on the newly acquired colour Rank Arena.

They went to places like the Coober Pedy underground houses, anything big (banana, pineapple, and so on), caves, historical villages, caves, and all manner of natural and man-made attractions around Australia.

The wives did the filming and sound recording, there was always gratuitous four-wheel-driving, and their shorts were too short and too tight.

Then they faded away. Remembered only by those who were paying attention in the 70s.

And now there is only one. Mike has left us.

A little bit of Prudence's childhood has died with him.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The very best kind of professional

There are things one always looks for when engaging a professional to fulfil a task one is able to take care of for oneself.

Architects' buildings should not fall down, lawyers should win more cases than not, accountants should be able to add and subtract, and so on.

Medical professionals should understand human foibles and have a sense of humour

And so, when Prudence was forced to find herself a doctor, the one with the vintage poster exhorting the patients in the waiting room to drink Jack Daniels, won.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Prudence has a cold. It arrived several days ago in the form of razor blades in her throat.

It quickly spread to snuffled-up sinuses, achey joints, blocked ears and general grumpiness.

Four days down the track it doesn't seem to be improving, necessitating a day off work, and - horror of horrors - a trip to the doctor.

Prudence enjoys such rude health that she doesn't have a doctor to call her own. So, this morning, with Yellow Pages balanced on her knees and a box of tissues in reaching distance, she started called surgeries to beg for an appointment.

And eventually got one. Prudence does hope this new doctor sees fit to give her a couple of days off work.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

A vignette

Prudence and her friend were sashaying along Hay Street towards the mall.

As they approached the corner of William Street, the emos were hanging out together, as they usually do.

On the right of the footpath was a young man with skinny jeans held just at lower buttock level with a belt. Approaching him was a gentleman of quite senior years, struggling somewhat with a rolling suitcase.

As the older drew level with the younger, the older's trousers slipped suddenly to ankle level. Causing him not inconsiderable consternation.

Prudence managed to refrain from laughing at the juxtaposition just long enough to assure the older gentleman that he'd made her afternoon.


Overheard in one of Prudence's favourite bookshops:

"Eventually we'll come up against paperwork."

And doesn't that just encapsulate modern life?!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things in balance

As Prudence was sashaying her way to work this morning, an immaculately groomed woman in a ridiculously expensive car drove around a corner in front of Prudence, as she was crossing the road under the auspices of the little green man.

Causing a few choice words to be seethed in her direction.

Said seething continued for a full minute more.

Until another car stopped, holding up traffic, to let a mother duck and her five ducklings cross the road safely.

Prudence felt a whole lot better about the world after that.

Monday, August 17, 2009

On etiquette

Prudence, being in no small part a snob, takes her coffee very seriously.

So, on a weekend away to a place that has a strong food and wine tradition, she was reasonably confident of getting a decent brew with her breakfast.

Especially as her beloved, who is a barista, and in no small part responsible for her coffee snobbery, had a long and technical discussion with the barista of the breakfast establishment about the beans, the grind, the pour and so on.

And still the latte that arrived was scowl-inducingly bitter.

So, how does one, when confronted with an egregiously sub-standard beverage, but quite a reasonable breakfast, complain with grace.

Prudence was brought up altogether to well to do this and achieve the desired result.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Proof at last

Prudence has long screwed up her pert nose and refused to eat sprouts.

Now, science has finally caught up, and given her the perfect justification.

She TOLD you they weren't a proper food source!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On choices

Prudence, it has to be said, has green thumbs. Her garden is verdant and fecund and it isn't even spring yet.

Prudence is also no slouch in the kitchen.

These two pursuits make Prudence, her friends and most especially her beloved, very happy.

Isn't it sad that these two happy pursuits can be practised only outside of work hours - a pitifully short amount of time.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Along William Street, next to one of Prudence's favourite quirky eateries, there has long languished a Mozart's Patisserie.

Clearly a franchise, and one that was out of place and unloved in that bit of Northbridge, the doors have been closed for quite a while.

Until recently, that is, when it was tarted up. Just a bit. The Mozart's Patissery livery remains, alongside pictures of goldfish and pictures of steaming noodles.

And the signage: Mozart's Patisserie - Shanghainese cuisine.

Prudence wonders whether Wolfgang would have been amused at the juxtaposition.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Prudence is quite pleased to see that the much-anticipated Emporio Armani opened tonight.

It's all terribly stark and elegant.

But the only thing of any colour - and this includes the sales assistants - in the entire, um, space, were the smoked salmon nibbly canape thingies.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Yes, but is it art?

Prudence is in two minds about graffiti. On the one hand it's thought-provoking public art, and on the other, it's the frustrated cries of a disenfranchised yoof.

But just lately Prudence has spied a number of messages about town, written in textbook cursive script, which is what was taught when Prudence was in Grade 3.

But she digresses.

The message are thus:




And, oddly, oddles. Perhaps that's the author?

Prudence is mystified

Saturday, July 18, 2009

On being let alone

While Prudence is quite capable of subtlety, she mostly doesn't bother, as nuances tend to be missed.

So, when she's, say, walking down a street where there happen to be establishments dedicated to eating, or perhaps dodging bogans at a suburban shopping centre, she does not appreciated being accosted by vendors.

If one is walking with purpose, as Prudence was in these two cases, it should be abundantly obvious that she's not interested in dinner, cleaning products or a hand massage.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Over to the dark side

Prudence, having been a journalist in former life, likes to keep up with events.

And so it was she read that the powers that be in Samoa have decided to swap which side of the road drivers should use.

From left to right.

Can you imagine the chaos?!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Prudence tries her best to avoid anything to do with Australian rules football.

Despite her best efforts, snippets seep into her consciousness.

Thus it was, she heard about the pugilistic Barry Hall had abruptly quitting football to take up boxing.

And Danny Green offering to take Hall under his wing.

She hopes the pair will be very happy together. Or that they'll knock some sense into each other.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sign of the times

Prudence wonders what it says about modern life, that a man would be caught stealing pumpkins from a crashed truck.

It's not even Hallowe'en.

Although it is pumpkin soup weather.

Losing one's marbles

Prudence is positively buoyed - not that she has any reason for concern - by the news that caffeine can delay and possibly reverse the effects of Alzheimer's disease.

That's another splendid reason for a daily (or more) latte.

And Prudence does love an excuse to make the barista with dimples smile.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Words in their mouths

One of Prudence's duties, in her paid occupation, is speech writing.

Despite being prone to flights of fancy and the odd whimsical pun, she's quite good at staying - and Prudence detests this term - on-message.

The requests come and often there's no indication, beyond the the name of the event, of what the message of the speech should be.

Now, Prudence readily admits to being old-fashioned, and something of a pragmatist, so when, on enquiry, Prudence is told to write whatever she thinks is appropriate, she does.

And when whatever Prudence thinks is appropriate - and Prudence ALWAYS does her research - turns out to be wrong, Prudence tends to get a little miffed.

And wonders how some people attain the positions - and salaries - they do.


Prudence has a confession to make.

She's developed a crush.

On Gordon, from ABC's Collectors.

He does have a particular charm

Despite the vivid shirts.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On style.

Prudence rather enjoys Time Team, apart from that vague expectation that Tony Robinson will somehow forget himself and call someone Master and beg for a turnip for his collection.

The whole process of discovery, the scientific explanations, the excitement of the archaeologists - it's a great antidote to the news.

But why does Phil refuse to cut his hair and fingernails?


Monday, June 29, 2009

Post-post-post feminism. Or something.

The wince-inducing plight of Farrah Fawcett came to Prudence's attention some time ago.

Prudence is a little young to remember Farrah as one of Charlie's Angels, and she tends to get a little confused with Wonder Woman, Isis, and Drew Barrymore. (Best not to think too hard about that.)

But, aside from the seriousness of Farrah's cancer, and how sad that she'd finally agreed to marry Ryan O'Neal, and never got to, were Charlie's Angels just another patriarchal construct to trick women into thinking they'd achieved real power?

Prudence loved the whole violence-without-smudging-one's-lipgloss 70's action-concluded-in-a-half-hour-episode thing, and the brilliant spoof that was the Barrymore/Liu/Diaz version.

But they were still Charlie's Angels - that blasted possessive that ruined any real notion of independence. Even if Charlie was merely a voice from a speaker, he still directed the action.

Prudence hopes Farrah is finally directing her own action, and kicking appropriate arse.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Grech of a day

Prudence has been wincing every time the pinched countenance of Commonwealth Treasury staffer Godwin Grech has appeared on the news.

For all the jokes about flexi-time and extra holidays, the life of a public servant is a beholden one. This doesn't usually appear on the evening news, however.

Prudence, who doesn't know the beleaguered Mr Grech, but has been listening to talk-back radio contributions from people who do, has great difficulty believing he wrote the offending email about preferential treatment of a car dealer by the Prime Minister's office.

It would appear now that Mr Grech, who most probably has a mortgage and other such financial constraints about his person, has lost his career.

Collateral damage?

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Prudence, in a former life, spent a little time in Parliament House, but was never there enough to consider going to the Press Gallery Midwinter Ball.

By all accounts this year's bash was as decadent as ever.

Right down to a male staffer staggering from woman to woman asking if he could feel their breasts.

Prudence supposes, if there is any sort of consolation to this story, it is that he had sufficient manners to ask first.

Furthermore, no-one availed herself of his request, and he's resigned.

Prudence wonders idly what his job prospects are like now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cause and effect. Or not.

In the ABC news feed today, Prudence noticed this headline:

Oil demand drops for first time in decade

preceded by this:

Cocaine use on the rise

and wondered whether the two were related.


Overheard in a cafe

Customer: "I'm thinking about having the soup. I don't know."

Waiter (and possibly cafe owner, Prudence isn't sure): "It's good. My mum made it."

Customer: "Yeah, but is she a wog mum?"

Waiter: "Yeah, Greek."

And with that, the customer ordered the soup.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

On accuracy

Prudence isn't making any sort of comment on this case.

But when did life stop meaning life, and start meaning only thirteen and a half years?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Micro irrelevance

Prudence, in search of jam jars, has been to two op shops this weekend. The first in quite a nice suburb, the other in much less salubrious surrounds.

Both had collections of cook books on their shelves, which Prudence eagerly perused.

Of the 30 in the first shop and four in the second shop, 28 and 3 respectively were microwave cook books.

Prudence suspects there is a conclusion to be drawn there, but isn't sure what it is.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Uncivil disobedience

As Prudence was trying to make it look like she wasn't trudging to work yesterday, she came to the large intersection upon which her office building resides.

Where she spied two pleecemen on bicycles.

One had taken aside a young man of scruffy appearance, and, wielding a book marked Infringements, was talking sternly at him.

Prudence looked around, and finding no evidence of any more serious breach of the peace, presumed that the scruffy man had been jaywalking.

The other pleeceman was idly watching the vehicular and pedestrian traffic at the intersection. Of the latter kind, several besuited types blatantly pooh-poohed the little red man, and jaywalked. But were ignored.

Now, despite this happening in the context of protracted pay negotiations and pleece refusing to issue traffic infringements, Prudence does vehemently hope this was not an example of stereotypical abuse of discretionary power.

Sadly, she presumes it was.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The straight and narrow

Prudence has, at best, an ambivalent attitude to rules, and even less regard for regulations. Regulations being, in her view, rules that purse their lips and mutter self-righteously.

But she digresses.

Today's Weekend Australian Travel and Indulgence has a story that caused Prudence to raise an immaculately groomed eyebrow.

Waitress Yakeisha Ward (yes, yes, what does one expect) was so annoyed at customers ordering takeaway waffles in her fast food outlet and then flagrantly flouting (tautology intended) company regulations by not taking them away, that she vaulted the counter, trotted to her car to get her gun (!) and used it to (thankfully only) hit an errant customer.

But then, when one takes into consideration the customer -in-question's response: "it was bad customer service", perhaps she deserved it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Little piggies

Prudence, an avid news-watcher, has followed the development of swine flu in Australia.

There was the initial panic and overreaction, all before there even was any swine flu in Australia

Then it all died down.

Now, when people are dropping left, right and centre, there's only the most begrudging of media interest.

It's a really good-bad news story, and it happened to fall out of sync with the news cycle.

Prudence is only pleased you don't get really sick from it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Perhaps a renaissance?

Prudence, who does admit to being a chardonnay socialist and latte leftist, has been rubbing shoulders with politicians.

Literally, considering the number of people and lack of room.

And while the quality of shoes and haircuts remains dismally low, Prudence has had her faith somewhat restored in the state opposition.

One of them, at least, seems to know what's going on.

Which is heartening.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Of footware and integrity

Prudence has a thing about shoes. Not that that's terribly uncommon.

She's been hankering for a pair of purple boots for some years now, and the perfect pair has not presented itself. Until now.

The pair in question is purple suede and patent and breathtakingly elegant. They're expensive without being outrageous.

In short, they're perfect.

Except they're part of a collection by...

Paris Hilton.

And Prudence just can't bring herself to give the little skank any credibility by buying them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Join the Do Less Campaign

Prudence, being fundamentally indolent, applauds this.

Sadly, life conspires in such a way that this indolence
is rarely allowed to happen.

But seriously, there is too much to do, too much expectation
and something has to give. Usually Prudence, and it often
means tears.

The agony of indecision

Who to back?

The women wearing a white curtain?

The boy band (with one girl) dressed like little drummer boys, complete with pretend drums?

The sexy takes on traditional dress, that fall oh-so-short of the mark?

Prudence loves Eurovision!

It's enough to make one want to move interstate!

Prudence is cross.

The xenophobic, secessionist tossers - those Western Australians who are fearful of any kind of change, especially one that makes every kind of sense - have AGAIN defeated the daylight saving push.

After three blissful years of being able to properly enjoy summer, 55 per cent of WA said no.

There wasn't a decent argument against the concept. Just waffle and wallop about curtains fading, cow disguntlement, difficulty getting children to sleep and blind refusal to recognise the business imperatives of being only two (as opposed to three) hours behind the rest of the country.

Cue footstamping and dark muttering. And thoughts of heading back across the Nullarbor.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A passing

Prudence noted in the obituaries this week, that feminist Marilyn French had died.

It didn't appear to make it into any other mainstream news.

Like lots of other women, Prudence read French's best-known work, The Women's Room, in her early 20s. Despite having insisted on being a feminist, it was only after reading this book that Prudence properly understood what that meant.

According to Wikipedia, French wrote 15 books, scholarly theses as well as novels. Her novels gained mixed reviews (Prudence has read only one other, Our Father), and she was criticised as being a man-hater, to which she replied that she didn't disagree because men were responsible for the subjugation of women. (paraphrasing, obviously)

So, Prudence is going to find the sequel to The Women's Room, In the Name of Friendship, and one to be published posthumously, The Love Children, which tackles issued faced by the daughters of the characters in The Women's Room and read them.

And maybe search her memory about to whom she lent her battered copy of The Women's Room, and who never returned it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The metaphor that comes to mind is lipstick on a pig

Prudence used to not-joke that she kept instant coffee in her house only for people she didn't like.

Now she just doesn't let those people darken her door.

So, not having sullied her shopping trolley with instant coffee for some years, she'd assumed that all instant was made from low-quality robusta beans.

After all, the people prepared to drink instant don't know and don't deserve any better.

It was with quiet horror she saw an ad on a bus shelter for a common instant coffee brand that claims to be made entirely from the much rarer, more expensive and of infinitely higher quality arabica beans.

Instant coffee. Arabica beans. Shouldn't be in the same sentence.

You take my point about the pig.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

When life provides its own metaphors

From the distance of 36 hours, Prudence can see that yesterday's meeting between the union delegates and the big cheese was really laughable. At the time it was infuriating.

So, aside from the fact that the big cheese just lied - or at least he said a lot of the right things, and Prudence just plain didn't believe him - there was one perfect moment.

Right near the end of the meeting, a cockroach, whose father must have been a shetland pony, wandered along the floor past Prudence's chair.

A perfect metaphor.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Basic instinct

The trouble with cynicism, Prudence muses, is that it's such an instinctive reaction. Especially when there is coincidence-of-the-sort-that-couldn't-possibly-be-coincidence involved.

Take tomorrow's meeting between the big cheeses and the union.

After months of requests and reminders, two of the main issues of contention have suddenly, even miraculously, been taken care of.

It does somewhat take the wind out of one's sails, when planning a presentation.

To be charitable, what one wanted achieved, is now achieved.

Mutter, grumble.

Local irony

So, China and Japan have banned pork imports from North America. The Egyptian government has ordered all pigs in the country slaughtered, and there are riots between police and pig farmers.

On Masterchef last night, the contestants had to cook something with a pork chop.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


After moving house, having one weekend at the new house desperately trying to find everything, then going away for an extended long weekend, Prudence and her beloved have finally had a weekend at home.

But the best laid plans... At least the ones of being able to relax a bit, ganged (is that the right past tense of Burns' quote? Gung?) aft aglay.

Achieved this weekend:

Cornflowers purchased and potted out
Lemon grass purchased and potted out
Week's worth of vegies purchased
Week's worth of bread purchased and stashed in the freezer
New fuel container for two-stroke purchased
Lawn mower borrowed and golf course-sized lawn mowed
Half of front rose garden weeded
Jonquil and daffodil bulbs planted in front of bedroom window
Curtains installed in bedroom
Curtains installed in loungeroom
Batch of scones baked
Batch of monte carlos baked
Afternoon tea with aforementioned biccies and scones held for friends just back from Europe
Frisbee played with stepson
Knees of stepson's jeans made very green before sending him home to his mother
Four loads of washing washed, hung out, brought in, folded up and put away
Tennis ball played (slowly) with elderly dog
Huge pot of bolognaise made for dinner with enough for leftovers for lunch
Thyme, basil, broccolini and kale seedlings purchased
Friends caught up with at dim sum
Last of kitchen boxes unpacked
Last of books loaded in bookcases
Button sewn on blouse
Lost sock found
Flowers bought and arranged
Linen on two beds changed
Kitchen floor swept and mopped
Bathroom floor swept and mopped
and there were probably other things that have been forgotten in the fuss.

Not achieved this weekend:


Thursday, April 30, 2009

On long weekends

Despite coming down with the most socially unacceptable of colds - think every standard symptom and double it - Prudence went to Melbourne last weekend.

It was a mixed trip. There was lots of lovely catching up with friends and family (not to mention the excitement of finding out she's to be an adopted aunty TWICE over) and a particularly harrowing memorial service.

The memorial service was the reason for the trip, and all the other aspects followed on. The bare details are that one of Prudence's school friends, not seen for 22 years, and now not to be seen again, was stabbed and shot by her recently estranged partner. Who then turned the gun on himself, but survived.

Prudence still feels sick every time she thinks about how such a sweet-natured, generous, dedicated person could be so horribly gone. And how the ex is such a selfish coward.

He's still on remand, and Prudence, who's not normally one for such malice, hopes he's in real pain. Prick.

But on the up side, there was a lovely birthday party involving a particularly macabre take on a Women's Weekly Children's birthday cake design. Paratroopers being attacked by sea serpents amid a tempest. Since the birthday boy is a nurse with a spectacularly black sense of humour, he was delighted.

And now the hills hoist is adorned with all the clothes worn in Melbourne. Unrelieved black.

You can take the girl out of Melbourne...

Monday, April 20, 2009

That and this

Prudence and her beloved have moved house.

And it has been a trying exercise, which will, in all likelihood, have to be repeated in a year or so's time.


But the new house is on a quarter acre block, and has a dishwasher, and landlords who really (I mean really) don't care about the house. Bliss!

So, there has been objectionable carpet ripped up to reveal beautifully seasoned jarrah boards underneath, the roses have been properly pruned, and the severely borer-infested lemon tree is a shadow of its former self. That bit was not entirely intentional.

Prudence was MOST amused to meet the neighbour, who has lived in this very leafy suburb for 40 years. Said neighbour insisted on instructing Prudence on proper bin night procedure.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Down there for dancing

Autumn has hit Perth. The decidous trees are looking tired and dropping their leaves.

The wage slaves of St George's Terrace have dug out their suits in sombre greys and blacks.

But there are far too many toes on display. Especially those with chipped nail polish.

Prudence wishes more employed ladies stuck to the eminently sensible advice she was told at the dawn of her career: shoulders, knees and toes are never to be seen at work.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bringing in the jackbooted head-kickers

If you've been following the news in Western Australia lately, you'd know that the Premier has instructed all state government departments to slice bits off their budgets. Quite large bits.

So, the department heads, who, of course have no choice, have been diligently poring over columns of figures and scratching their heads and making suggestions.

Some of said suggestions have ended up in the news, and most have been rejected by their ministers.

Which leads one to think that, despite what the Premier seems to think, these departments are operating on financial wafer edges.

So, one has to feel particularly sorry for Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan, who will have some Department of Treasury and Finance shiny bums foisted upon him to find acceptable cuts.

Prudence dreads to think what they'll earmark for axing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Human Nature and human nature

Prudence has had the tickets to the WASO/Human Nature concert in Kings Park for so long, she'd almost forgotten about them. Which necessitated something of a scramble to get the picnic ready in time.

The concert was wonderful - carefully chosen material, brilliantly executed, a bit of fast music, a bit of slow, some old, some new, a cover here, a Human Nature hit there, and all showcasing the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

Kings Park is a beautiful setting - the grass defies the drought, the ducks defy the musicians, and the sun setting over the trees is quite breath-taking.

But why do people, knowing it's quite a hike from the verge parking to the stage, insist on taking up so much parking space? Where you could easily get three and sometimes four cars between the trees, there were two.

Why, when there's a nice footpath, do people, wearing quite silly shoes for tramping cross-country, insist on walking along the edge of the roads. They're too narrow and there's no lighting.

When the concert information sheet clearly states that only low beach chairs are acceptable, why do so many people bring full-size chairs? Prudence and her beloved spent much of the concert (on their specially purchased low chairs) craning around two view-blocking sconeheads.

And why did the complete tosser sitting in front (one of the aforementioned sconeheads) even bother paying the $70 and trekking out to Kings Park, when all he did was check the sports scores on his mobile phone?!


Next time WASO is playing, Prudence will be there.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Like nobody loves them

Prudence works on St George's Terrace, the glass-towered commercial end of town.

There are some exceptionally well paid people with whom she rubs shoulders when trudging from the bus station.

Why then, do so many of the men - who are otherwise immaculately turned out - have trousers that are too short?

Jeeves, in his inimitable style, would be unimpressed.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Just to annoy

Prudence has just been through a rather traumatic time.

For reasons not entirely clear, her landlord decided that her house needed its outside painted. So painters were dispatched.

And cretins they were.

Despite two police requests not to trample the plant and not to leave cigarette butts strewn willy-nilly, this was exactly their modus operandi.

Along with horrid paint-rinsing water being liberally disposed of among the plants that hadn't been trampled. (Isn't that illegal?!)

After two weeks of mounting frustration, the exercise is finished.

And Prudence is not entirely convinced the inconvenience was worth it. The place doesn't really look that much better.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Here's a thought

Instead of World Peace, like all the Beauty Queen contestants gush over, how about world reason?

Think about it - open-mindedness, proper listening, compassion, empathy (or at least sympathy) and most importantly - compromise.

If all these lovely intangibles were applied, there would be no war. We'd had no need for free trade agreements or protectionist regimes. No political donations and their inevitable kick-backs.

Probably no Dancing with the Stars or Biggest Loser, too!

Yeah, yeah, I know.


Still, it WAS a nice thought.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

That's enough, now.

To all those people who feel it necessary to pollute the sightlines and reduce the aerodynamic capacity of their cars with those ridiculous window-mounted Australian flags:

Australia Day is over.

Those flags are tacky.

They're made in China.

You look stupid.

Take them off.

Thank you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Child abuse

From the birth notices:

Jagger Blue

Lyla Tru

Considering the impact a name can have on a person's self-image and the way in which they're judged by others, which one, do you think, will end up in Children's court first?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Injudicious bullets

Prudence, who works in a large office in the middle of the city, has had a trying day.

There has been a heated disagreement over the format of a writing project. Prudence believes readers are quite capable of handling full sentences, arranged in sensible paragraphs.

Prudence's manager, who has an astonishingly thick hide, believes all documents are enhanced by their reduction to bullet points.

Prudence is adamant that bullet points are only correct when used to insert a particularly long list within a sentence, and should have semi-colons plopped judiciously therein.

Prudence's manager does not even wish to see information presented in proper sentences, insisting that bullet-pointed facts enhance "readability".

Prudence is thoroughly sick of such jargon, and thinks it is high time to find another job.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Get me a shotgun!

So, Prudence found herself at a wedding expo this morning, with her sister-in-law, of whom she is very fond, hence this excursion.

And my, but wasn't there a lot to see - hummers stretched beyond belief and outfitted past credulity, confections of satin, froth and bubble marked down 40 per cent, but only after being marked up 100 per cent, one suspects, ice sculptures, chocolate fountains, topiary hire, formal wear for the under-one set, some of the most crass costume jewellery to emerge from a sweatshop in Asia...

And wedding singers.

Two men, one barely reaching 5', standing on platforms (the shorter one on a taller platform) decked out in dinner suits, crooning to the dazed masses. Who ignored them.

Perhaps this is a sign that the recession has hit?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Off to a good start

My colleague was telling me about an upcoming wedding in which he's playing a facilitative role. I think that means he's best man, but he wasn't admitting to it.

The couple, an overly superstitious pair, one assumes, have imposed a series of challenges to complete before they consider themselves properly married.

They have to saw through a log. Apparently this symbolises the hardest thing the marriage will have to accomplish. I thought better of suggesting they use a nail file.

They also have to break a load of crockery on their driveway. To symbolise the only broken thing in their marriage. I wonder who gets to clean it up?

I got the impression there were more, um, activities, but I was spared the details.

Is this a particular brand of naivete? Or am I being overly cynical about the challenges of modern relationships?