Monday, December 27, 2010

Goes around, comes around

Prudence is thinking that karma (of the nicest kind) has been visited upon her.

Some time ago, in a bag of goodies from a corporate event, there was a two-for-one voucher for a particular movie. Prudence put the voucher aside, in a safe place, and promptly forgot about it.

Then after the fuss of Christmas it turned up again, just in time for one of the last screenings at an outdoor cinema.

So with pillows in hand, Prudence and Beloved presented the voucher at the box office, and realised they had no cash.

This outdoor cinema did accept cards, but only one variety as some sort of sponsorship agreement, and not the kind either had.

Directions to the nearest teller machine were requested.

And then the attendant took pity, spotting the ticket requiring payment and ushering Prudence and Beloved into the seating area.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Tis the season

Prudence quite likes Christmas - food, wine, presents and being an orphan which means not having any relatives with whom she is forced to spend time, smiling through gritted teeth.

However there is one person she dislikes and may not be able to avoid.

And he must be given a present.

So it was with regret that she did not buy a book for him entitled: Great Bastards in World History.

A little too obvious, non?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Core business compromises

Prudence finds it both ironic and sinister that junk food giant Nestle has bought weight-loss behemoth Jenny Craig.

Which prompts one to wonder whether the Jenny Craig ethos of nutritious, low-calorie eating will permeate Nestle, or, more likely, the stuff-'em-full-of-sugar mission statement of Nestle will overwhelm any Jenny Craig attempts at promoting moderation.

Not that Prudence is enamoured of Jenny Craig, or anything.

Globalisation is enough to drive one to chocolate. Preferably fair trade and organic.

Monday, December 13, 2010

In which life follows nomenclature

It is most appropriate

that a man

called Allan Trench

pursues a career in the mining industry.

Of course,

he could equally have been a grave digger.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Prudence will admit to being naughty.

But to walk into a room and have every one of its occupants look up and simultaneously exclaim:

"Speak of the devil!"

is really quite unnerving.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A very modern hero

Prudence is very angry about the whole Wikileaks saga.

Some of the cables released most definitely fall into the public's-right-to-know category.

And Julian Assange seems to be amassing and distributing this information in a very public-spirited manner - he clearly has little regard for his own safety.

So, one has to wonder very hard why two highly intelligent and experienced women first brag that they've shagged him, then collude on their evidence, then go to the Swedish police to suggest they were raped. Note that they didn't make any sort of proper accusation, they just sought advice, a peculiarly Swedish way of dealing with... things.

And then Assange is chased around the world by Interpol, and Amazon terminates hosting arrangements.

And Prudence is very annoyed with Ecuador, which said yesterday it would offer him asylum, and then said today that it wouldn't.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thoroughly modern man

One has to love a man who not only recruits his very knowledgeable mother to help buy a state-of-the-art overlocker as a birthday present for someone who loves sewing.

But who then picks her up from work, drives her to a sewing shop to buy thread, and then takes her to dinner.

Apart from the having-to-go-to-work bit, it was a lovely birthday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Many, many happy returns

It is perversely pleasing

to wake up on one's birthday

(when one is well into middle age)

to discover incontrovertible proof of youth

upon one's chin.

(a pimple)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

$500 very well spent


A concept rich with promise - the ultimate anticipatory delight.

And it did not disappoint.

To explain - last night was a special night. And to celebrate it, Prudence and her beloved indulged in an eight-course degustation with matched wines.

Take it as read that the savoury courses were exquisite in their composition and execution, and elicited appropriate swoons.

It was pre-dessert that really caught Prudence's imagination.

First the waiter brought a bowl of lightly steaming fairy floss, then another poured a champagne and blood orange concoction over it, whereupon the floss elegantly disintegrated to reveal a berry compote with lemony marscapone (there was a lot more to it, but Prudence was well and truly on the other side of tipsy at this point).

"Clever," giggled Prudence.

"Oh no," dead-panned the waiter, "clever is too noble a word to apply to fairy floss, it's more devious."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Not the usual bomboniere

Is there anything so bogan, Prudence wonders, as a wedding commemorative stubby holder?

Don't answer that.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A somewhat feline perspective

On a work trip to Cue (go to Geraldton, turn right and drive through the iron ore country for 400-odd kilometres), Prudence hosted a sausage sizzle in the main street.

Colleague J was earnestly chatting to a local about this and that, when the local's face lit up, she looked slightly to the right, and exclaimed: "Pussy!"

J was quite discombobulated, until she about-faced, to be facing a morbidly obese, middle-aged man in a t-shirt of dubious vintage, stubbies (always dubious) and thongs ('nuff said), along with a receding hairline and shoulder-length greasy curls. And quite an unnerving smile.

The oddest thing was, he didn't seem to mind being called Pussy.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


At the very nice (and quite noisy) St Georges Terrace bar last night, Prudence ordered what she thought was two piccolos of very nice French NV champagne.

She got change from $50 along with a full bottle, two flutes and an ice bucket.

Not wishing to appear ungrateful, she and lovely friend D set about enjoying their bubbly, when a sheepish barman approached, apologised, said he wasn't going to charge her, but the champagne for which she'd paid $25 should really have cost $155.

Prudence wonders how that one was explained when the sales were tallied at the end of the night.

Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire

Prudence is horrified that the winner of this week's Strictly Speaking mumbles, stumbles and says Haitch.

Monday, October 25, 2010


So Prudence saw a job she'd just love advertised and put in an application.

Then she got an interview.

Then she found out that to schedule her interview at a time that was convenient, her favourite ex-manager - and now good friend, the Empress - had had her interview bumped.

The Empress was also Prudence's main referee.

Which is a most delicate and embarrassing position in which to find oneself.

If the process goes Prudence's way, a trip to the local for something expensive and bubbly will be in order.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Economic irrationalism

Prudence today found herself - very reluctantly - at a festival of self-congratulation for the mining industry.

It was run by two extremely right-wing organisations (natch) both of whom claim to be apolitical.

The most notable quote came from one of the chairmen, and it made Prudence's blood boil.

"Perhaps having a two-speed economy is not a bad thing."

This from someone whose income is a long way into six figures, and who clearly has no idea what it's like to live on the minimum wage.

Prudence hopes karma will take care of him.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Well, it was good enough for Hunter S Thompson

While not wishing to be seen as sacrilegious, Prudence is quite taken with the thought that Mary McKillop's canonisation might mean she's fired from a cannon.

A 21-nun salute?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ultimate compliment

Working in PR, as Prudence does, means rather a lot of making shit up.

Lovely colleague A, argues that it's good shit.

Which is really all one can ask for.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Failings of democracy

Last week, the ABC website posted this story.

Careful readers will see in the penultimate sentence: [composition]. When first Prudence read this piece, that word was composure, which, as you'll agree, means something entirely different.

Now, we all know there is no real qualification required to be a politician, but Randall was a teacher before he entered parliament as the Member for Canning. So such a slip is quite inexcusable.

Prudence also has it on very good authority that Randall was known for ritual humiliation of his charges - a child caught picking its nose was forced to stand before the class for the day, finger lodged in nostril. And so forth.

Perhaps there is an argument for a similar sort of justice to be done?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

And they remain mystified

Prudence and her beloved had been to farewell drinks and were a teensy bit tired and emotional, and most definitely not up to cooking dinner.

At the restaurant - one just discovered - they found the orange printing on white menu card to be quite hard to read in the orange light of an orange room. And commented thus to the waitress.

"Oh, that's OK," said she, somewhat disingenuously "we're closed on Sunday."

Prudence is still trying to work out how that makes it OK. But it was funny.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Missing in action

Sincerest apologies for Prudence's unexplained absence.

Suffice to say, it involved boxes, men with trolleys, paperwork, rather a lot of money, tears, bruises and not enough gin at the end of the process.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Absolute truth

Prudence's favourite two-year-old, a most perspicacious young man, has a very clear take on the world.

As well as having the sort of penchant for avocadoes that forces his mother to be very inventive in hiding them, he understands much of the ways of the world.

Yesterday's pronouncement, to a taxi driver, on the way to the airport, was: "Only bogans fly Jetstar".

And Prudence cannot argue with that.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Small subversions

A very fine barista of Prudence's acquaintance has finally had enough of people not respecting the bean.

In his last week at a particular Perth cafe, anyone who has had the gall to ask for - gasp- skim milk or - strangled gurgle - a decaf, has been given full strength on both counts.

These elements make for a far superior cup, and no-one, no-one, has noticed.

Prudence supposes this is proof that uninformed choice is no choice at all.

And she does love a creative rebellion.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Prudence has returned to an old stomping ground for a reunion with former... stompers.

She is staying with lovely friend C.

After arriving late (the trip comprised 12 hours of sitting in a taxi, plane, bus, tram and train), C picked Prudence up from the station.

She put on a lovely dinner with wine, then advised Prudence there were several cases of wine under the bed, of which she should avail herself if she got thirsty during the night.

That is hospitality.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Home woes

Prudence, being the family black sheep, and therefore not in possession of a comfortable inheritance, rents a house.

It's an invidious position, but not one likely to change soon.

Today she's been house-hunting.

It's not a happy pastime. Rental properties in Perth are ridiculously expensive, and all landlords consider tenants to be scum.

Why else would houses routinely lack flyscreens or insulation? Or window locks, the absence of which will get one refused contents insurance.

And what idiot thought anyone would want an address in Sopwith Elbow?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Not quite one night in Bangkok

Prudence managed to get herself invited to an industry networking session last night in rather an upmarket establishment. She felt compelled to drink the three glasses of bubbles bought for her, not entirely because the heating was set so high, it took only minutes for an ice cold glass to become tepid.

Partway through the second, a male practitioner very much her senior quite seriously told Prudence she looked 19. Now Prudence is unashamedly vain - she moisturises with intent and colours her greys religiously - but that was ridiculous.

After the third glass, reason kicked in, and Prudence wobbled her way to the bus stop. Where a bus was waiting.

Fortunately the driver was a professional and didn't pull away as Prudence approached.

To which Prudence felt compelled to say: "Thank you for waiting, it is most unbecoming to run for a bus when one has been drinking champagne".

And the driver replied, in his best Aussie drawl: "Righto, love".

Which was a perfect end to the evening.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A muted hurrah and a polite round of applause

Prudence has never been in touch with her inner philatelist.

But idly glancing about while the queue wended its interminable way to the post office counter, she spied displays of new-release stamps.

Apparently, this year marks the centenary of the Australian Tax Office.

This is depicted by a series of stamps showing an earnest, middle-aged man wielding a pencil and a frown, in muted tones of green.

Prudence hopes there will also be scones in the lunch-room to celebrate, but suspects the stamps will be the extent of recognition of a century of rebates and returns.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Of queues and self-importance

The federal election inconveniently coinciding with a long-awaited weekend away, Prudence had to cast an absentee vote.

At the local rec centre, lots of other people had been caught by the same coincidence, and the absentee voter queue was long and moved agonisingly slowly.

At last it was Prudence's turn, and, hoping to speed the process, she announced her electorate and surname.

"Hmph," said the temporary electoral official (sporting a faded blue rinse), "write down your address and we'll see".

Naturally, Prudence was right, but there was no apology forthcoming.

And we know how Prudence feels about this sort of petty officiousness.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Overheard on the bus

Short, portly, late middle-aged man with ginger hair and mismatched clothes, shouting into his mobile phone.

"Hello Lindsay, don't say anything,"

(scratchy reply, also shouted)

"I don't like your offer."

(scratchy shouting)

"Because I don't like it. I just don't like it."

(shouty scratching)

"I don't like your offer and you're an idiot, Lindsay."

Whereupon he exited the bus, rapidly, shoving other passengers out of the way.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Disappointments of childhood

When Prudence was little, she desperately wanted to be a Brownie. She was never allowed to don the brown uniform, instead she was bullied into playing netball - a brutal and unforgiving sport - from the age of eight to 18.

She wasn't very good at it and suffered numerous small injuries, which are making themselves known as middle age sets in. These would never have happened if she'd been concentrating on getting her knitting and camping badges.

She is, therefore, insanely jealous of N, who managed to grow up in Australia and never set foot on a netball court.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Crossing the divide

Prudence got a little shock this morning.

It was day three of her new job - one in the private sector after a significant period working in the public sector.

The mug-with-tea-dregs that had been left on her desk, was gone!

It seems that in the private sector, the cleaners take one's mug, lovingly wash and dry it and place it with the other mugs in the kitchen.

This may take some getting used to.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Absence of taste

Prudence and her talented friend J (who blogs here) went to the craft fair yesterday.

They realised very quickly that failing to read the fine print was a mistake. It was the Craft, Quilt and Stitch show. With an emphasis on quilt.

Sadly, quilting has ceased to be about thrift and creativity and become about how much one is prepared to spend on a computerised sewing machine. Some of these monsters have handlebars!

There's little skill left in the craft and not much style, if this show is an indicator.

And how, Prudence wonders, does stamping come to be considered a craft. Unless one is prepared to carve one's own potato, it's just an up-and-down arm motion. Again, largely devoid of taste.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Let's not be friends

What on earth can facebook mean when it sends one friend suggestions for both Warwick Capper and Gene Simmons?

Monday, July 26, 2010


After the bowdlerisation of Noddy and Big Ears' perfectly innocent relationship some years ago, it looks like the Famous Five, Secret Seven and Fifth Form at St Clare's are about to undergo some character surgery.

School tunics will be replaced by uniforms, dirty tinkers will become travellers and the best of the exclamations will be... modernised.

Yup, Enid Blyton is again being edited. Apparently, it's because children don't understand the language.

Prudence, who makes a point of using all those words, all the time, thinks the kiddies will cope perfectly well.

But she would like to see a little realism snuck in - such as Mummy and Daddy resorting to whiskey when the children are inevitably kidnapped by the smugglers.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Just shut up

Prudence would like someone with a loaded blunderbuss to take careful aim at either George Colombaris, or his writer, and fire.

Anyone who thinks it's acceptable to say: "Dreams are like stars, if you follow them, you'll reach your destiny. And your destiny is Masterchef. Come on!" deserves to die of extreme lead poisoning.

Required viewing

Being something of a political junkie, Prudence was unable to resist the leaders' debate.

She didn't like the low blow Tony struck about raising a family. Hadn't we already covered that?

Julia, on the other hand, hasn't mentioned certain bathing attire.

Purely on those grounds, she wins.

But doesn't she have very odd ears?!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Keep it simple, stupid

What, Prudence wonders, has happened to ordinary nouns.

Tony Abbott (whom Prudence doesn't like for, oh, a multitude of reasons) is a serial offender.

In one press conference yesterday, he offended Prudence's ears with usage when he meant use, and linkage, when link was most definitely called for.

Prudence's theory is that it's an attempt to sound cleverer than he is, and that it belies a deep lack of confidence.

Monday, July 19, 2010

No secrets

Prudence and a posse of girlfriends descended upon the Made on the Left Markets on the weekend. Incidently, Prudence loves a market held in a pub! It covers all desires.


There were lots of pretty things for sale and lots of interesting subjects for people watching.

Prudence's favourite was the young woman done up in immaculate steampunk - corset, ruffled skirts, tights ripped just so... up to and including the large, purple bruise on her neck, rendered in a very tell-tale shape.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Prudence thinks the police who think tasering colleagues is fun, or acceptable, or whatever, are idiots.

But mostly she wishes the ABC presenter would say tasER, not tasAR.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Longer than a lifetime

Prudence ventured into the shiny new Apple shop in Hay Street this morning.

A very enthusiastic boy helped with her purchase.

As per the script, he asked whether Prudence was a recent convert to Apple.

Prudence had to resist the urge to tell him she'd had a mac since before he was born.

She supposes the commitment to retouching her greys is working.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

No future in it

Feeling pale and wan, Prudence and beloved opted for curry for dinner.

Prudence drew the short straw and had to go and get the takeaway.

In the very small restaurant, she couldn't avoid overhearing a first date. Going very badly.

Just as she was leaving, the woman tried to salvage things, by telling the man she didn't think of him in physical terms (he was obese, with thick glasses and thinning carroty hair).

Prudence supposes there wasn't a second date.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

And your point is... ?

At Prudence's second-favourite cafe this morning, C, wearing stripes with checks, pointed out that A had his shirt on inside-out.

Prudence loves irony with her latte.

Atop one's hed.

Latterly, Prudence has been acquiring a collection of hats.

After all, Prudence asks - rhetorically - what outfit is not enhanced by a hat?

The latest one, Prudence notes with bemusement, is made from Woll.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Heartbreaking cleanliness

Do you know what happens when one puts an iPhone through the wash?

The water washes all the applications away.

It's tragic.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Season of change

Prudence's friend J, who is a Lawyer of Note, has gone on long service leave.

She appears to have been replaced by Dr Who. The Tom Baker one. Although he lacks a scarf.

Prudence thinks there's a joke in there - long service leave and the last time lord - but can't quite make it work.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Service with a snarl

Prudence and her dear friends N and S got together on Sunday morning, first for dim sum with more friends, and then for a wander through the UpMarkets.

After that, and deferring to one hangover, coffee was in order.

Bibou in Hampden Road makes terrible coffee, but it was the service that stood out.

A particularly snarky waitress looked in disgust at the proffered twenty dollar note and announced she couldn't give proper change.

Nobody bothered to count the handful of coins flung at us. We'd been told it wasn't proper!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


The scene: Prudence's local up-market bakery. There are two whole apple strudels and one extra slice on the counter.

Prudence to pretty young boy: ... and half of that strudel, please.

PYB: We only sell them whole.

Prudence: Or in slices?

PYB: Yes, in slices. (looks relieved)

Prudence: Right, I'll have four slices, but unsliced, please.

PYB: gurgle (looks absolutely stricken as he turns away to deal with the strudel)

And what was in Prudence's little cake box? Four slices of strudel. Sliced.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

All natural

Seen on a roadside sign:


Understanding that latex is best employed in dishwashing gloves and outfits that inspire all sorts of kink, Prudence wonders at the role of furniture made from it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Prudence believes there is something ironic, or at least poignant, in today's obituaries, but can't quite put her manicured fingertip on it.

Chris Haney, co-creator of Trivial Pursuit, has died.

One wonders whether his eulogy involved questions about the minutiae of his life.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Prudence to Beloved, apropos of nothing obvious: "It's Suzy Quattro's birthday today."


Beloved, from next room, in somewhat distracted tone: "I'll give her a ring."


Beloved appears, looking puzzled: "What did you say?"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hidden in the depths

While Prudence thoroughly approves of the gourmet hampers as raffle prizes, she does wonder at the thinking behind including an alarm clock and two blank video cassettes with the tea, chocolates and balsamic vinegar.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Prudence does Eurovision

To summarise:

Ushlo, not Oslo. Pink and yellow bubbles. Lots of Country Idol and Country's Got Talent type show winners. Apples. Power ballads. Hair. Sparkles. Leaves. Piano accordion, fortunately only the one. Fans. No Lordi.

Prudence is incandescent with anticipation for the final.

Moldova: really quite a good song and sensational knee-high boots.

Russia: scarves are popular this year.

Estonia: points for velvet jackets and having the friends arranged in height order.

Slovakia: points for not attempting to sing in English. Not sure about all the leaves.

Finland: good for dancing, in a Zorba-the-Greek way. Points off for the piano accordion. They're no Lordi.

Latvia: those dancing lessons clearly went to waste.

Serbia: Milan should have let someone other than his mum cut his hair. Prudence likes blonds, but not when they're quite so girlie. Scary teeth.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Serious rock beats and riffs somewhat diminished by the indiscriminate use of the wind and smoke machines. Pity.

Poland: Prudence is bemused by the Snow White look-alikes and their apple antics. And the pseudo-national dress costumes. Points for the Bucks Fizz-esque moment (with blouse instead of skirts) and ability to keep hold of the apple.

Belgium: A bit James Blunt, a bit Ben Lee, a bit John Mayer - is it too early to call a winner?

Malta: appears to be on fire. And not in a good way. Shades of Whitney.

Albania: Prudence loves a disco beat, especially with a Farah Fawcett flick. Gotta be through to the finals.

Greece: Proof that all Greek music is descended from Zorba. Even when it wears army boots and plays with electronica.

Portugal: a power ballad. Time to go and make tea.

FYR Macedonia: Sort of an 80s new romantics start, then into power ballad with accompanying bondage-gymnastics. And some rap. And a glam rock guitar solo. Prudence supposes all categories are covered.

Belarus: sparkles! Well, what can one expect from Belarus Idol winners. There is evidence of a Nick Giannopolous I-do-not-have-a-monobrow wax job. Oooh! Butterflies!

Iceland: a serious contender. But a disappointingly tasteful and elegant outfit from a woman whose second name is Bjork.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Keeping up appearances

Prudence has decided that, as there seems to be no prospect of receiving a large inheritance, she needs a new job.

Thus she has been trawling the various repositories of job ads.

And has discovered one for a Manifesting Clerk.

As what, Prudence wonders, does the clerk manifest? And where?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Any and all

At what point, Prudence wonders, is it acceptable to openly despise someone?

Speaks with a rising inflective worthy of an Australian soap opera?
Denigrates expert advice as mere opinion?
Displays teeth better befitting a horse?
Displays impenetrable stupidity?
Displays impenetrable hide while inflicting stupidity?
Insists on sentences rendered in passive voice?
Spent quite a deal of former career working closely with Wilson Tuckey?

Prudence is gritting her teeth.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lie to me

Prudence's alter-ego had to do a getting-to-know you exercise as part of a training day.

It involved telling the others three statements, one of which was a lie.

Hers were:
  • she is deathly afraid of heights,
  • she can crochet like a demon-nana, and
  • she has an alter-ego with a scandalous blog.
Can you pick the lie?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vintage sensibilities

Prudence likes to think her nana would have approved.

Not only did she make her own evening gown for the very glam wedding, she also had her hair set in a very 1940s style.

The only thing missing was a mink stole and a flick through a 1983 copy of New Idea while under the hair dryer hood.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jobs for which they were destined

Prudence thinks it most appropriate that a letter from the Law Society should be signed by...

Lili Law.

It follows on from Simon Tidy of the Keep Australia Beautiful Council.

And Linda Byrne of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Prudence is dismayed

to hear

she is cynical

when she merely thought

she was right.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More PC poppycock

Prudence's friend S is a very talented practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, which involves acupuncture. Acupuncture involves the use of needles. The puncture part of the word being something of a dead giveaway.

The proprietor of a clinic where S practises, is an idiot.

She has banned the use of the word needle to describe acupuncture. On the grounds that it might frighten the clients.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Not so very grown up

Today WA Premier Colin Barnett - he of the ridiculously rosy cheeks - was heard to plaintively recount his experience with the other premiers and the Prime Minister.

It seems they were excluding him from the best games. Classic bullying behaviour

Prudence has always maintained that politics is indistinguishable from the playground.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tally ho!

Prudence wishes Perth would host such a stylish event.

Mission accomplished

After a couple of glasses of very nice rose at the bar near work with lovely colleagues J and N on Friday night, Prudence realised that she had precisely 34 minutes to buy a farewell present for S.

Whereupon Prudence's German side kicked in. That disconcertingly focused efficiency.

N decided she wanted to help with mission. It needs to be said at this point, that N had had quite a bit more wine than Prudence, and was punctuating her conversation with giggles.

The 34 minutes dwindled to 23 by the time Prudence and N reached the shops.

The first shop had nothing appropriate, the second only a poor compromise, the third had lovely possibilities but out of the allotted price range.

Prudence and N reached the fourth and final shop fearful that the doors wouldn't open. But they did.

And with a 40 per cent discount, found the perfect gift, within the price range, and moments before the lights were switched off.

Whereupon N looked pointedly at Prudence and declared she was a bit scary to go shopping with.

Prudence is taking that as a compliment.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Not necessarily

In the news, a couple bought a suitcase from an op shop, and when they got it home, found it contained $100,000.

They've been charged with stealing by finding. Or something that sounds equally improbable.

Prudence supposes that finders-keepers doesn't exist outside of the playground.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Professional expertise

Prudence's attention has been drawn to a job advertisement for a chef.

The chef required must have a thorough knowledge of food.

Which leads Prudence to wonder about the calibre of any previous applicants.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

State of the Union

In her role as a card-carrying, latte-leftist union delegate, Prudence does a spot of organising from time to time.

Prudence to colleague J: So, what you're telling me is, when you used to be a union member, you resented others who didn't pay dues getting a free ride?

J: Yes.

Prudence: And now you feel you have no need to rejoin the union as you're getting a free ride on the people who do pay their union dues?

J: Yes.

Prudence: And you don't find that the teensiest bit hypocritical?

J: No, I think I've earned it.

Prudence shook her head, as there wasn't much to say in the face of that.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Midsomer wit

Elderly vicar to Tom Barnaby: Blind Melon Jeffrey changed my life, you know.

Barnaby: Oh, yes?

Vicar: Oh yes - his use of contrapuntal rhythms put me onto madrigals.

Barnaby: Yeeeees, a lot of people say that.

Prudence loves a vignette.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Paying attention

Prudence, to taxi driver: "Can you take me home to this street, that suburb, please?

Taxi driver: "Do you know where it is?"

Prudence:"Yes, I live there."

Taxi driver: "Oh."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Self-evident truths

Plastic is poisonous and evil.

Why then, if your cherry tomatoes are already in a plastic box, would you put said box inside a plastic bag, then another plastic bag?

Prudence finds going to the market an exercise in extreme self-control. It doesn't do to take other shoppers by the shoulders and shake them. No matter how much they deserve it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tobermory, Tomsk et al.

Prudence's friend B and his brother T have a wonderfully absurd take on life.

So when T asked B to take care of some stuff he was having sent over from the UK, B had to ask what it was.

"A box full of wombles."

And it was.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

On possibilities and practicalities

It's the season of hard rubbish collections, the time of the year during which Prudence finds herself conflicted.

On the one hand there are such treasures outside every second house, just waiting for a touch of love and creativity.

On the other, Prudence knows that, despite her best - and greenest - intentions, these objets will never truly know their true d'art nature.

Prudence, if she's honest with herself, just doesn't have the time, skill, motivation or tools to transform them.


The trucks come this week.

Meanings and other meanings

Lotto will never be the same.

Prudence has just found out that in Dutch, slikpik - the WA name for the letting the computer pick your numbers for you - means to suck penis.

Now she will have to work on not sniggering when asking for her weekly dose of misplaced hope.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Not underneath or on the other side

A document has found its way to Prudence's desk.

Instead of appendices - or even appendixes - it has appendages.

Prudence is fascinated.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Not today please. Not ever.

Prudence was accosted by no fewer than five tin-shakers on her way from the bus to office.

All were from the religious fundamentalist nutcase group Youth With a Mission.

They with the light of madness in their eyes, and propensity to break into song inappropriately.

Poor deluded chickens.

But! They were responsible for the last Carols by Candlelight attended by Prudence et al.

The one where at least two lovely, traditional carols were absolutely murdered (including the line: Little Mary's feeling urky. To rhyme with turkey. Of course.)

And those gathered - the tolerant and open-minded residents of Mount Lawley, North Perth and Northbridge - were subjected to rantings against drug use and adultery.

So, please don't encourage them.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Is it ever appropriate, Prudence wonders, for one colleague to ask another colleague (this one conspicuously and unashamedly OCD) whether there is still soy sauce on her face?

Especially when the OCD colleague is a cartographer and the question appeared, apropos of an ingestion mishap, in the middle of a conversation about maps.

Prudence didn't bother trying not to giggle.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Prudence found herself in the throng of, well, mourners is such an inadequate word for those who came to see off Jock Ferguson for the final time.

The thousand or so of us included a healthy number of Labor royalty and many who respected his perspective, tenacity, integrity and quick wit.

As one who was known as both Comrade and Honey, Prudence considers herself fortunate to have drunk single malt with him - and will feel guilty forever about NOT throwing away the lid of the bottle.

So, the man who, when asked what his definition of a sex toy was, replied: a 5'4" Scotsman with a moustache, is gone, and Western Australian public life is poorer.

Vale, Comrade.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Prudence wonders why, when Scarborough Beach Road is such a disaster and none of the libraries has the latest Jasper Fforde or Christopher Brookmyre books, the council deems it necessary to replace the perfectly serviceable kerbs, driveways and surface of her street?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On feeling sorry for oneself

Prudence finds herself doing something quite un-Australian.

Taking a sick day when she is properly sick.

And wishing there was more paracetamol in the house and someone to make her a hot honey lemon drink.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

On travelling hopefully

Prudence has recovered from the travails of travel by low-cost airline, and is firmly focussed forward.

Her holiday was a mad rush of sensory stimuli and, inevitably, too short.

  • American doughnuts and coffee at the Vic Markets;
  • watching a two-year-old enjoy the dinner Prudence cooked so much he was not able to get enough pasta into his mouth;
  • the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (the beginning point of the holiday);
  • rain (those in Perth will understand the significance);
  • buying stunning designer earrings in Balmain;
  • dim sum lunch with dear friends here;
  • Glebe Point Road;
  • buying hand-made espresso cups at Toby's Estate;
  • catching up with old friends here;
  • coffee here;
  • meeting new nieces;
  • coffee and breakfast here; and
  • wandering through here.
On the next trip she promises to catch up with more friends. But for now, it's back to workaday reality.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Antidote to corporate speak.

Prudence is very excited.

Don Watson is speaking at the Perth Writers Festival. Why isn't there an apostrophe in the name? Surely the writers own the festival?

She hopes a sizable number of bureaucrats come too, as the levels of jargon she's been forced to deal with lately defy description.

For example, a sentence in a speech she wrote recently included the phrase "... within and without the department... " was changed (without her permission) to "... within and external to the Department... " (Note also the self-important use of capital D.)


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On ramifications

Prudence disapproves of the need to put those stupid window-mounted Australian flags on the grounds of aesthetics, but much more so because they're made of plastic.

In China.

With a huge carbon footprint to manufacture and ship to Perth.

And because they'll all end up in landfill and take a thousand years to break down.


Monday, January 25, 2010

A little local knowledge

Prudence and her beloved are planning a brief sojourn in Sydney.

Any suggestions on what we should see and do?

What to do?

Prudence is congratulating herself on having had the foresight several weeks ago to book off the day before Australia Day.

Fortunately the oppressive heat seems to have abated - so how to best use a rare school day off?

Things that need doing:
  • drag oneself out of bed
  • wax legs
  • touch up roots
  • make baby-arrival card for three different friends
  • finish off restoration project - lovely 1920s kitchen dresser found in op shop, but badly abused by ceiling white and 1970s-vintage plastic cupboard knobs
Preference: find a nice cafe in which to spend an hour drinking coffee and reading the paper.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dirty little secret

Prudence doesn't like to admit it, but she does secretly enjoy a little schadenfreude. And no, she's not going to include a link to its definition, as she's certain all her readers are sufficiently educated to know what it means.

This week has seen a rather delicious cause for such snarky thoughts.

The manager who took quite a bit of pleasure in shafting Prudence just before Christmas, has himself been shafted.

Isn't karma lovely?!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

If only she'd had warning.

Prudence, still in Saturday morning torpor, has just been visited by, well, she's not sure what brand of Christian fundamentalist missionary.

Two men of indeterminate age, dressed in what can only be described as clicheed used-car salesman style. Not a name badge between them, and some very dodgy sunglasses.

One led proceedings, telling Prudence they were visiting houses to read people some scripture.

What Prudence would have liked to have said was: "Can I have your address so I can come around to your house unannounced and at an inconvenient time to read you some of my favourite fiction?"

What she did say was: "No, you're not." And shut the door.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Splitting of sides

This blog may be the funniest thing Prudence has ever stumbled across on the internets.

Monday, January 11, 2010

More on the eternal question

And what else comprises essential gentlemanly skills?

According to hazelblackberry a gentleman should be able to open a door. While Prudence thoroughly approves of the type of fine motor skills such as those required to wrangle handles and locks and such, she suspects Ms Blackberry means the opening of doors in a chivalrous fashion. Prudence agrees.


A gentleman should also know how to:

deliver a credible compliment;

accept directions (of the map-reading variety) with grace;

insert a doona into a doona cover the right way and without resorting to colourful language.

To be continued.

Unfortunate facial hair

Can someone please tell Kim Snowball - the just-appointed interim Director General of the Health Department - that Movember has been over for some time now.

It's time to shave off that moustache.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

An eternal question

One of Prudence's more enduring topics of conversations is that of essential gentlemanly skills.

Despite there being a number of publications devoted to this, opinion remains very much divided.

Interestingly, and Prudence's beloved is included in this, the gentlemen rarely offer suggestions, it is the ladies who have the clear ideas of what is necessary.

So far, these abilities seem to be agreed upon:

To make a good cup of tea

To tie a tie

To choose a decent bottle of wine

To just listen.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Division of responsibility

Within the building: two Fire and Emergency Services Authority heavyweights, one over-burdened with brass gewgaws.

Without the building: one rubbish bin, smouldering with intent.

Do you think those within deigned to even acknowledge, much less deal with, that without?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Something for everyone

In a fit of New Year energy, Prudence found herself at the local green and orange hardware emporium.

And also in the car park was a beautifully restored vintage Rolls.

One wonders just what was carried home in its walnut-lined boot.