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.