Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ho, ho, ho

So, this is Christmas.

Prudence, clinging to her German upbringing, insists on having Christmas on Christmas Eve. Besides, the candles look lovely, it's cooler and much more of a party atmosphere in which to drink too much champagne.

Beloved, on the other hand, is English, and quite put out at the thought of opening presents the night before, insisting on waiting not only until Christmas morning, but after coffee.

Among her haul of both sparkly and very useful presents, Prudence is now in possession of a box of very vintage toilet paper.

Yay for family who really get her.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Out of the mouths of...

At one of the new job's Christmas dos last week (there are four - can you imagine?), a young colleague, fortified with a glass or two of sherbert sat opposite Prudence, grinning.

"So," he started, "what do you do for fun, Prudence?

"Make jam?"

And Prudence was utterly obliged to say yes.

A most perspicacious young man.

Who also happened to buy a couple of Prudence's preserves as a Christmas present for his mother.

He'll go far.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reason for the season

Despite being an avowed atheist, Prudence rather likes Christmas. (The most interesting people are contradictory, n'est-ce pas?)

Being blissfully free of relatives, she's free to enjoy those of Beloved, who are a wonderfully eccentric lot, and to lavish food and presents on dear friends. All care and no responsibility.

Of course there are decisions to be made - generally nice ones - but this one raised an eyebrow:

One of the most important decisions you and your family will need to make is what sort of Christmas tree to have."

Which, one supposes, could cause some familial consternation, although, presumably, much less than which bubbly to buy, or what to serve the vegetarians for entree.

It appears the people at Yates (from whom this preposterous sentence landed in Prudence's inbox) are far more concerned with the plastic -v- live -v- cut and shedding needles dilemma.

One does hope it gets sorted out in time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Brown paper packages

Beloved called, sounding, well, bemused.

"I've just had a box delivered to me at work," he began.

Prudence: "Mmmm?"

Beloved: "It's addressed to me, at work, and it's got six bottles of whiskey in it."

Prudence: "I never get boxes like that."

Beloved: "Did you order it?"

Prudence: "No. "

Beloved: "There's no note or card or anything and it's from [enormous discount liquor chain]."

Prudence: "That's a pretty cool mystery."

Sadly, it turned out to have been sent by head office in Sydney and the bottles were presents for Beloved's top clients.

A most unsatisfactory solution to the mystery.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This life and the next

Just as the weather in Perth gives an unmistakeable preview of summer (hot, dry, windy, exhausting) Prudence and Beloved are off to Melbourne for a little holiday.

After the, um, joys of renovating, and having only just started a new job, they've earned it.

There were two reasons for planning this little sojourn - a not-particularly-significant birthday and the baptism of young W.

Prudence was bemused to be asked to take on the spiritual responsibility of a god child: "I'm only doing this if I can lead the child astray", she said.

L, the child's mother, agreed: "You're only doing this if you lead my child astray". So that was that, then.

Plans were made, arrangements put into train. Then the church derailed things.

Apparently late November is too close to Christmas, and all baptisms are off. One wonders whether the church really has the child's best hereafter interests in mind!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Canine psychology

Prudence and Beloved have some interesting neighbours, two doors down.

P and B and baby S also share their house with Billie, a golden retriever with entirely too much enthusiasm for everything.

Billie occasionally comes to visit Jodie the neurotic Kelpie. The last time, Billie hadn't had a run for a week. P apologised for her behaviour, explaining that she was neurotic.

Knowing a thing or two about dogs, Prudence begged to differ.

"Your dog isn't so much neurotic as chaotic."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The respect of one's colleagues

Rather unexpectedly, Prudence has been offered a promotion - a secondment to another department.

As is traditional, she had a farewell afternoon tea at her old one.

One of her favourite now-ex-colleagues expressed his disappointment at her leaving the department for the second time.

"If you want to come back, tell me whose job you want and I'll push him down the stairs."

Prudence is absurdly flattered, if not a little concerned that he might go through with his... offer.

Monday, October 31, 2011

In which Prudence goes, perhaps, a step too far

It's enough to make one clench one's teeth and utter an expletive under one's breath!

The local butcher, whom Prudence would like to patronise, as she believes in the sustainability of small business and the quality of his merchandise, can't spell.

Which in and of itself would be forgiveable if he were to correct his misspellings when these are gently and senstively pointed out by his clientele.

After three gentle and sensitive pointings-out, he still insisted on selling crapetto. Rather than the young goat known to gourmets the world over as capretto.

The fourth pointing-out occurred thus:

Butcher: Will that be all?

Prudence: Yes, thank you. And there is one thing you can do for me

Butcher: What's that?

Prudence: You can fix that sign that says crapetto. It should say capretto.

Butcher: Oh, yeah. We've had a few people say that.

Prudence: It's disrespectful and it makes you look like an idiot.

Butcher: (nervous giggle) Well, I can't spell vegetable and some other words either

Prudence: I'll help you.

Butcher: Are you always that harsh?

Prudence: I have pointed this out before. And I'd like to think you aren't an idiot.

Sigh. One wonders whether one can shop there again.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Not well brought up

Prudence is mortified.

Jodie the Kelpie can't swim.

She also gets quite nervous riding in the back of the ute.

A parlous state of affairs.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Extremist nut-casery. Which may be a tautology.

Prudence loves an unexpected extra.

At the Karagullen Horticultural Expo - her first visit - immediately on entering, a wild-eyed, grey-haired nana thrust a newspaper into her hands. Prudence, having been well brought up, thanked her politely and put it in her shopping bag.

Into the shopping bag went brochures on bee-keeping and fruit fly control, a promotional wooden spoon and other assorted bits and pieces.

Over tea and scones later, she examined the bag's contents. At the bottom was the newspaper - The New Citizen, the official publication of the Citizens Electoral Council. And what rich comedic material it provides!

The CEC nut-cases pop everywhere - acosting one at the train station, at the Royal Show, at farmers markets and school fetes and sometimes at the shops. They're conspiracy theorists at the far end of the madness spectrum.

The lead story claims Charles Darwin was a fraud, and blames him for the Global Financial Crisis, and implicates the Queen and Hitler.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Don't bother

Prudence loves a good art exhibition opening, so it was with excitement she went along to the joint opening of this and this.

And was heartily disappointed.

As well as a meandering speech by an Associate Professor of art mostly about the manufacture of locomotives overseas, and a cliche-ridden opening by the arts minister, one of the artists spoke.

Her first words were a double exhortation not to touch the works.

Which is an object lesson on how to insult and alienate your audience in less than a minute.

Prudence saw unmistakeable similarities to this book, and can't forgive the lack of canapes to soak up the cheap wine.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dog's life

Prudence and Beloved were devastated when Kate, the blue heeler cross died nearly two years ago.

Suddenly the tennis balls of the world were a bit safer, but the aching hole in our lives has never healed.

This morning Jodie the kelpie - red heeler cross joined our multi-species family. Lola-cat is disgusted.

Jodie is five, and has lovely manners. She chases tennis balls and catches frisbees and barks only when necessary.

After a run in the park she lay down for a rest on her mat.

Beloved looked on fondly: "She needs a soft, cuddly toy".

Prudence: "Darling, NO! She's a kelpie!"

Beloved: "OK - a tonka truck".

At which they both dissolved into chuckles, because that's exactly what a tough kelpie needs!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Otherwise engaged

In something of a counter-intuitive move, Prudence has said goodbye to her colleagues at the private sector office where she's been working for the last year, took a significant pay cut and a shift sideways and went back to her government job.

It is lovely to be back in the CBD, with decent coffee and any number of distractions for lunchtimes. And it is very nice to be back with lovely former colleagues, although she does miss the more immediately former colleagues.

But now, rather than the stock exchange and joint venture partners providing either progress or frustration, now it's down to Cabinet.

And there's no rhyme or reason to that at all.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The end is nigh. Maybe.

Prudence loves a good Christian fundamentalist fear campaign as much as the next smug atheist.

So she was delighted to find a photocopy-of-a-photocopy-of-a-photocopy of THE WARNING in her letterbox.

To wit: New prophecies reveal global events in the lead up to the Second Coming.

It goes on to detail The Warning which is to come from the European Visionary Our Lady of Garabandal, who, we're told, received an ILLUMINATION OF CONSCIENCE (their caps) in 1961. One wonders, idly, whether it hurt.

Prudence finds it alarming that everyone over the age of seven will experience a mystical encounter with Jesus Christ, lasting up to 15 minutes. Two comets will collide in the sky.

Our sins will be shown to us, and some will be so sickened and shocked that they will drop dead before having a chance to ask for forgiveness.

And so on.

But, just to ruin the effect, the exhortation that all this is to happen in 2011, has been crossed out in biro, and replaced with the word soon.

So long as that's clear.

Prudence rather suspects the British Humanists are right - there's probably no god, and you should stop worrying and enjoy yourself.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Prudence happened to catch an interview with an academic, who said some interesting things about the nature of community and sustainability and such.

It was all very interesting.

Until the academic used the word co-operativity.

This being one of Prudence's pet hates - the making up of new words when there's a perfectly serviceable old word.

Whatever happened to co-operation?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Evolution of an idea

Three weeks ago
Prudence: That is my scarf! You nicked it!
Beloved: No it's not, it's mine!

Two weeks ago
Prudence: What a lovely scarf, wherever did you get it?
Beloved: I stole it from my wife.

Prudence: I see you really like that scarf...
Beloved: Yes, my wife lends it to me, she has excellent taste.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A new perspective at breakfast time

Apropos of absolutely nothing, Beloved said this morning:

"I'm not just a husband, I'm a whole concept."

And there was not a thing Prudence could say to dispute that.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quote of the day II

Prudence's office is populated with sick people. Some of them are taking advantage of their illness.

Overheard two minutes ago:

"It was a cough, not a snigger."

Note careful use of the word snigger, which Prudence believes to be an admission of the exact opposite!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Quote of the day

Overheard in the HR Officer's office:

"Come in and sit down.

"I won't lick you."

Followed by a frenzied attack of coughing.

Prudence hurried away, thankful the invitation hadn't been directed her way.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The great disconnection

The renovation of Marmalade Cottage continues apace.

Most things are surmountable, but Prudence fears the lack of internet may not be.

First the internet company suggested that, since there's no phone connection, it would mean lots of hassle and lots of money to get the cabling installed, then the phone connected, then that connection converted to the internet.

The someone else from the internet company disagreed, saying it would be only one visit by a technician and $300, so Prudence booked the technician and felt rather pleased with herself.

Until Telstra called. Prudence, like everyone else in Australia, vowed never to have anything to do with Telstra if she could possibly avoid it after one too many debacles.

And this experience was no different. The Telstra lady asked about the cottage's former connection, Prudence patiently explained there was not now, nor had there ever been a phone connection. Therefore there was no cabling to which to connect.

There was flummoxment.

Telstra explained that the technician booked would not be able to connect a phone line if there was no cabling - was Prudence certain there was no cabling? Prudence was absolutely certain.

Telstra said she'd still send the technician.

"No," said Prudence, "please don't, there is no cabling, therefore no point a technician turning to up to attempt to connect to said non-existent cabling."

Telstra said she didn't want to cancel the appointment.

Prudence felt her patience slipping as she explained again the futility of this, and morphed from asking to demanding the appointment be cancelled.

The phone call didn't finish well, but Prudence was reasonably confident no technician would appear at the unappointed time.

Then she called the company charged with putting in the cabling, to start that process. Which should take a couple of weeks. And felt reasonably confident the process was proceeding as it should.

Until a gentleman from the cabling company called to enquire about the work order just submitted by Telstra that seemed in contravention to the notes from her earlier conversation.

Fortunately the gentleman was in possession of a robust sense of humour, as Prudence was moved to say some very bad words.

Prudence has no idea when she's likely to have an internet connection.

Monday, June 13, 2011

On renovation

There are ragged fingers and fingernails, bruises, scratches and assorted aches, but there is a lot to show for it. Marmalade Cottage is now mostly functional and starting to be quite pretty.

So far there have been no nasty discoveries, although an ornate vent in the kitchen disintegrated as Beloved tried to clean it. There's a hole in the wall now, which acts as a perfectly serviceable vent.

Peculiarly, the rather new stereo no longer receives FM radio. One isn't sure what to make of that.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Unable to pay

If you've been paying attention, you'll have gathered that Prudence and Beloved have bought a house. It's a deceased estate, the old man having gone quite potty, been in a home for two years before dying more than a year ago. The pottiness having, it appears, been inherited by at least one of his surviving daughters, but that's by the by.

Today a power bill arrived. For 40 cents.

Dutifully, Prudence rang the electricity retailer, and offered to pay the bill, if the amount could be transferred to her account. Explaining that the person to whom the bill was addressed was not likely to be troubling anyone again.

The consultant, as Prudence believes call centre workers are now referred, put Prudence on hold for a good while.

Her first question when back was: "Can you get in touch with the previous owner?"

Prudence waited a couple of beats, but the consultant needed to be prompted to understand that deceased meant the former owner could not be contacted. Sigh.

Eventually the 40 cent-bill was waived. To Prudence's relief.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Here and not

Prudence is rather preoccupied just now.

With this.

Which is bound to offer lots of the sorts of gems Prudence likes to share, but does take up great amounts of time and thought.

So, please forgive extended absences. One has walls to scrub.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A bargain, if only one knew what it was

Prudence has been trawling Gumtree rather a lot of late, and has been finding lots of bargains.

But really, some of the things for sale beggar belief.

A small selection:
  • clooth dryer
  • Dinning tables
  • chests of draws
  • wrote iron
  • vacumes
  • a toroly
  • any number of lounge suits - two and three-seaters.
Most are, of course, easy enough to work out, but the toroly had no picture accompanying it, and Prudence is mystified.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You didn't need to ask

Words of wisdom from A.

Who is a rockin' mummy and knows about these things.

"An Audrey Hepburn style frock is always appropriate."

She is, of course, right.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Moving on

Despite the elevated pay and proper Christmas party, Prudence has decided the private sector is not for her and has declined a second contract with the very capitalist company.

After a year of biting her socialist, greenie tongue, Prudence has decided enough is enough.

The chief executive, a very avuncular capitalist, seemed genuinely disappointed Prudence had not decided to stay.

"Sorry J," Prudence smiled, "I don't fit in."

"Why's that?"

"I'm a socialist, and I should hate you. But I don't."

To his credit, he chuckled and said he understood.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The reason for the season

With a commitment to cut sugar from one's diet and not a little horror at the stories of child exploitation and adulteration of the bean, it wasn't a hard decision to forego chocolate this Easter.

And what will be given in its place?

(Prudence caught a sneak peak)

A bright pink nana trolley for shopping.

Prudence is holding on to her delight for when it's handed over Sunday morning.

For Beloved - that clever foldy ladder about which he's been lusting. Easter traditionally being the season of odd-jobs and renovation.

Praise the rabbit!

Monday, April 11, 2011

View to the past

Prudence is very partial to a garage sale - bargains, treasures, good- (or not-) natured haggling.

This week's haul included some divine vintage sewing patterns, a set of bathroom taps, brass hooks and some books.

An Enid Blyton (Claudine at St Clare's) and the delightful Jean Behind the Counter by Nancy Martin. Prudence hadn't heard of her either.

To quote the blurb: "Jean had always wanted to serve in a shop, and in the large store where she began her career she sold all kinds of things, from haberdashery to baby-linen. At Stacey's she made new friends and was soon caught up in a whirl of swimming galas, cycling clubs, skiffle groups and staff dances. But it was only after she had battled with discouragement at work, difficulties at home and jealousy over her friends that she made a success of her chosen career."

Published in 1960, it is most definitely a book of its time - more than once Jean's ambitions are dismissed with an off-handed comment that she'll probably get married anyway.

But the most amusing aspect was the bookmark - a series of Christmas stamps, not issued by the post office, designed, one presumes, to be affixed to a card. They say: From a supporter of the Slow Learning Children's Group.

Now there's an encouraging name!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Are you being served?

Despite being struck with the first cold of the season, and the attendant joy that brings, Prudence had a lovely dinner with L, N and J tonight.

After many reply-all emails, we settled on a cheap and cheerful Vietnamese.

It was busy and buzzy and the conversation flowed.

But the service was not-in-a-good-way notable.

Prudence was prepared to overlook having the waiter deliver glasses to the table but not fill them with wine. She even turned a begrudging blind eye to the waitress leaning in front of her to clear both L and J's plates, when there was more than ample space to move around the table.

But serving peppermint tea with milk, sugar and a tiny teddy biscuit is utterly inexcusable.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

And for the YTD

So Prudence bit the metaphorical bullet and signed up for a financial management course.

It was more than time to learn how to decipher balance sheets and profit and loss statements. And so she did, along with assorted ratios, variances, bills, and abbreviations.

Which are the bane of Prudence's existence.

The whole course can be summed up with one equation:

Arithmetic + abbreviations = angst.

Prudence has decided it is best she sticks with wrangling words.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A thoroughly modern dilemma

Prudence has long disagreed with organised religion - it has been and remains responsible for more pain, suffering and premature death than any other cause in history. Including reality TV.

So, she wonders (not very hard, admittedly), is it unethical for an avowed atheist to shop at church-run op shops?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Someone really should have been paying attention

Prudence loves a public display of irony.

Among some 920 breakfasters (including James Packer and Christian Porter), Prudence listened to Kerry Stokes deliver a long advertisement for Channel 7, a merger between Channel 7 and The West Australian newspaper and the newspaper itself.

Projected onto an enormous screen behind Stokes was an image of hands holding the front and back page of today's paper.

Sporting a typo.

Most surprising was that no-one else seemed to notice.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No, it's not like that at all

Prudence is trying very, very not to become a cliche about which she has been scathing - the real estate wanker.

But it is interesting how many of one's friends are fascinated with potential purchases.

Fortunately the same friends are equally as disgusted as Prudence at the crimes against English grammar and syntax (don't even mention style).

Some observations:
  • Very few houses are exceptional, none are unique. No really.
  • Perhaps 5% of the backyards described as gigantic, are even vaguely sizable.
  • None of the kitchens so described would impress a chef.
  • Sort after is not an adjective.
  • Your is a possessive. Always. If one wishes to say, for example: if you're looking for..., that's how it should be written.
  • There is no delight in renovation. Ever.
  • BO stands for something much more personal than buyers over.
  • It really helps if the dishes are done and put away when photographing said chef's kitchens.
  • Feature walls are an abomination.
  • Few locations are as desirable as described. Such a word does smack of desperation.
  • If the agent needs to mention that said house is a good alternative to renting, it most probably isn't.
  • If the agent needs to implore: what more can you want? There is much, much more one could want.
One does hope this process is over quickly.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Life, in all its everyday-ness

Prudence's gorgeous friend D, possessed of 1940s screen siren looks, lives a life of which Prudence is unashamedly covetous.

This arrived yesterday: sorry stilted typing---cradling solo duckling, asleep in my palm :o)

Which is the best email Prudence has ever received.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

End of discussion

Prudence just adores Stephen Fry.

On Qi last night the following was uttered:

"That was a laughable misunderstanding.

"And I am, of course, using the word laughable completely incorrectly."

Prudence hopes to find herself in a conversation, soon, where she can use such a witticism.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Pussy-cat Lola: Meow.

Beloved: Yeah, I know.

Pussy-cat Lola: Meow.

Beloved: Well, I did warn you.

Pussy-cat Lola: Meow-ow-ow.

Beloved: Now you're being unreasonable, it wasn't like that at all.

Pussy-cat Lola: Meow-OW!

At which point Prudence dispensed the fish-shaped biscuits and cut short the conversation.

To Lola's relief.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Making the first time count

Prudence remembers her long-ago deflowerment with mixture of sadness and nostalgia. And not a little cringe.

The chap involved probably has the same sort of memories as it was his first time too.

That feeble reminiscence pales further upon learning that one's friend C lost hers to James Bond, and her husband, P, lost his to Elizabeth Taylor!

Only namesakes, but still...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Wednesday night biscuit capitulation

Beloved: I want some biscuits.

Prudence: If you hadn't gobble-gutsed all your biscuits, you could have had some. I'll share my peaches with you.

Beloved: (in a slightly whiney voice) I don't want a peach, I want biscuits!

Prudence: (with exaggerated calm) You promised to make a packet last all week, and you scoffed them all three days in. You've only yourself to blame.

Beloved: (with a trace of triumph) I didn't promise, I had my fingers crossed.

At which Prudence had to concede defeat and Beloved went off to the supermarket to buy TWO packets of biscuits.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Definitely not

Through no fault of her own, Prudence found herself at an exclusive event held at a very exclusive institution.

At lunch with some retired ladies with large bank accounts and very high opinions of themselves, Prudence got caught up in a conversation on politics and who-knows-whom.

Did Prudence know a recently late, loveable rogue?


"He had an affair with my daughter's friend, L - did you know her?'

Prudence did know of L, along with several others. He was a rather loved-up rogue.

"Did you have an affair with him?"

And the trouble with a rapid and vehement denial, is that it smacks of, well, denial.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Caveat emptor

Prudence is quite pleased with herself: when a young man wearing a skull mask and calling himself Evil demanded of Prudence her soul, she had enough presence of mind to inform him she'd already sold it.

To be fair this did happen as part of a show in the Perth Fringe Festival.

And Prudence does know better than to sit in the front row.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Sashaying past the Catholic Church office in St Georges Terrace this afternoon, Prudence was bemused to see a sign sticky-taped to the door.

Heretics will be held in the cathedral

Prudence didn't think the church was too bothered by such people any more.

But there you go.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

From 1 to 1.30 sharp

Prudence, having no small experience of such things, is pretty sure that demanding a tenant dust her window sills is in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act.

So, also, is criticising the quality of one's vacuuming.

This led, variously to stamping of feet, mutters of annoyance, dark threats unlikely to be acted upon, frantic checking of bank balances, serious conversations and A BIG DECISION.

And thus the rounds of home opens begin.

And, if nothing else, it is amusing to note the number of people who subscribe to the view that feature walls are haute home couture. And the colours they've used on said walls.

Friday, January 21, 2011

On the home front

Prudence and Beloved found themselves, late on a Friday afternoon, faced with the unenviable task of purchasing a new vacuum cleaner.

(Best not to think about the sound and the smell the old one had taken to making.)

Prudence had no idea makers of essentially peaceful appliances had taken to using such terribly violent names for them!

After rejecting the Combat Ultra (yes, really a vacuum cleaner) and several versions of Extreme, they settled on the Action Plus.

In the hope it would not get all shouty if a corner was missed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

On names: an ongoing rant

Prudence shakes her coiffed head at the parents of the child on the front page of today's West Australian.


If one is determined to name one's child after a dry, barren place mostly inhabited by venomous reptiles, one could at least pick a desert in Australia.

Prudence respectfully suggests Tanami as a name for any subsequent children.


Monday, January 10, 2011

More evidence of a decline in standards

How, Prudence wonders,

could the two cars being advertised,

both be identical?

Friday, January 7, 2011


Is it fair,

Prudence wonders,

to judge a man

on the number of facebook friends

he has?

And that would appear to be the end, before it's begun, of a romance of which Prudence recently heard.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goings and comings

Looking back over the year just gone and making resolutions is, it seems the thing to do.

Prudence's year has followed typical form and involved a moving of house and a changing of job.

It has also involved:
  • the acquisition of a cat (good);
  • the breaking of a staggering number of wine glasses (embarrassing);
  • a broken resolution to learn Italian (ah, well);
  • the nurturing of an olive tree that once more did not bear fruit (death row, shall try a native finger lime);
  • varying rates of economy with the truth (also known as good manners);
  • varying degrees of success with sewing and other crafty projects (if at first you don't succeed...);
  • the growing out of a truly ugly haircut (painful, indeed);
  • three very small lotto wins (just enough to buy another ticket);
  • complete success in avoiding quiz nights (invitations no longer coming in); and
  • the making of new and very precious friendships (BSC Perth, that's you).
So, for 2011

(and these are not resolutions, that process will only end in tears)
  • grow a cut flower garden;
  • try not to break so many wine glasses; and
  • learn to sew button holes.
There - that ought to be doable.