How not to talk to strangers at parties

The other day I went to a function where I knew no one other than the host. This doesn’t happen to me very often, not because I know so many people, but because I say no to going out a lot. I am an introvert in real life, not just an introvert but a shy introvert who is not a fan of small talk, deep talk or strangers.*

Anyway off I went to this function because it was my friend’s birthday and although I don’t really know any of her other friends I love her enough to make up for that.

[Read more…]

I was unkind and it came back to bite me


I write this blog with my head hung low while still flushing with the red hot embarrsment I encountered earlier this morning.

It was bad. I was unkind and it came back to bite me.

Let me set the scene.

A while ago we ordered some very expensive garden furniture which seemed to be handmade by elves – not only because of the cost (and beauty) but because it took quite a while to go from ordering to delivery. Elves are talented but I hear that they are not very fast.

Anyway last week on Friday the furniture was delivered by two wonderful men who in no way resembled elves and who were very tolerant as they walked through the house with heavy furniture while being licked by Henry. (It was 40 degrees on Friday and there is no taste that Henry loves so much as that of human sweat).

After assembling the furniture they informed me that there was a bolt missing for the umbrellla stand so they would not be able to put it up. They alerted their manager and told me that athe missing part would be delivered next week. Very kindly, they also suggested that I contact the shop where we had bought the furniture to er, put a little pressure on them.

I called them on Friday. I started to get a bit snooty because we had paid A LOT of money for the furniture and it was hot and actually no excuses, I quickly realised it was a mistake and not the end of the world. I told the woman  on the phone it was no big deal but could she make sure we got it this week. She said she would call me on Monday.

On Monday she didn’t call me backd. I hate being ignored almost as much as I hate the phone. So on Tuesday I emailed her. I got an out-of-office reply saying she would not be back in till Thursday.

For some reason, perhaps insomnia related, I stewed on this a little. I was being ignored for days now and all I wanted was my bolt. My one little very expensive bolt.

So this morning I plucked up all my courage to phone the store. Now remember how much I HATE the phone. I literally had to psyche myself up. Somewhere in that psyching process I channeled my inner arrogant, self important South African. She still exists after all these years,

With the stress of making the call and the rise of the self importance swilling in my ears I almost forgot that the lady answering the phone had done no wrong. She wasn’t responsible for my insomina, the missing bolt or my very bad mood.

I forgot all that. And I snapped at her a bit.

“I JUST WANT THIS SORTED” I kind of yelled, Like it was getting oxygen to a dying patient.

“May I have your name please” the very lovely woman on the other end of the phone said, “just so that I can bring up the order”

“It’s Hirschowitz” I barked and I didn’t even spell which is just mean. And as she asked me to spell it I began to realise I was not being very kind at all. “It’s probably under my husband’s name” I said trying to sound a little more helpful.

“Are you Lana?” she said to me obviously finding the file which had both our names on it .


“Oh I am such a huge fan of yours” she said “I love the 5 minute coffee break videos you make.”

My blood went cold.

She had just been witness to a side of me I hate, The angry, impatient one. Before this she had thought I was a nice person.

It was mortifying. Horrifying. I have never been more contrite in my entire life.

When I told my son the story he looked at me and said “you should really treat every person you comes across as they are your biggest fan”. He’s damn right.

Even if I am not a very nice person all the time, at least I’m doing a damn fine job of raising an intelligent and thoughtful son.

Sorry again to the lady on the other side of the phone and thank you so much for sorting out my bolt . And also extra sorry I forgot your name – but as you understand I was too frustrated to think. SORRY

There’s a butterfly in my email

I’m not the kind of person who likes practical jokes, in fact I hate them. I think Australia’s Funniest Home Videos is cruel and I get very uncomfortable when people are being pranked– even if everyone is aware it’s a joke. I think I get it from my mother who once told me that when she was a little girl and she used to eat a soft-boiled egg for breakfast her dad would turn the eaten egg over and tell her that she hadn’t started yet. She cried. I completely get where she came from.

[Read more…]

The longest two minutes in the world

toothbrush timer

This is my actual toothbrush timer. Note the 4 stars

I think it may be the abyss of your blogging career when you decide one morning to devote a whole post to tooth brushing. Unless of course you are a dentist or an oral hygienist – then it’s probably the pinnacle of your career. But stay with me, even though I have no dental qualifications.

[Read more…]

15 (sort of) cleaning tips that (sort of) actually work

cleaning-memeOne of my favourite people in the whole world is Maria. Maria comes to my house, kisses my dog for half an hour while he cries with joy at her very presence and then she cleans my house like some kind of hygiene ninja.

She makes my life easy, tidy and very, very clean but when she doesn’t come over our lives crumble a little. Like over the holidays when she takes some very well deserved time to spend with her family while my family rolls around in the dirt.
[Read more…]

Are you a marketer’s dream?

dog paper clipOne of the reasons that I became a teacher a million years ago was to justify my repeated and rather grandiose stationery expenditure. I used it as an excuse, but the truth is that teachers don’t actually need heart shaped erasers, staple-less staplers and electronic erasers any more than they need farm animal shaped paper clips and sweet smelling textas. Funny that. [Read more…]

David Attenborough narrating the MTV video music awards may be the best thing you see today.

I know that this may be cheating a little bit because a blog post should be more about writing than sharing videos (but maybe that’s  a conversation for another day?) I also know I may have promised to stop talking about Miley Cyrus so much but this is the funniest (cleverest) thing I have seen all day month and I HAVE to share it with everyone.

Have a look (or at least a listen) as David Attenborough narrates the MTV video music awards

Attenborrowed from wreckandsalvage on Vimeo.

Now tell me that wasn’t worth it!

Enough reason to never buy your mother a birthday present again

birthday presentSometimes I write to help me unpack things, sometimes I write because there are literally no words but I have to add some… Today is one of those days.

I’m going to take you back a while to when I asked my mum what she wanted for her birthday. She thought about it very seriously for my mother is a very serious person. Finally, days later, she told me she wanted a pair of running shoes.

At this point there are a couple of things you should know

  1. My mother has never run in her entire life. She’s never even run late so averse is she to the idea of running. But, to be fair she walks a lot. Very slowly but a lot.
  2. My husband has some very er, strong connections to the world that is running shoes so perhaps she was just trying to make it easy for me…

My husband suggested she go to one of the retail stores with which he is connected, find the shoes she wants and get back to us with the model and size.

[Read more…]

Just what I needed. I think you need it to

It’s been a bit of a hideous week for me with my dad having surgery and me having 24 people over for dinner. Well having the people over for dinner wasn’t bad but preparing for it and cleaning up afterwards was not as much fun.

I haven’t been sleeping much and I haven’t been feeling very, er light. But at about 4am this morning (I really could not sleep) I found this video and what do you know – it did make me feel a little lighter for a few minutes. In fact I keep singing it and singing is good for the soul*.

Performed by Norwegian comedy act YLVIS it’s a little Old MacDonald and a little pop music. It’s also a little catchy so beware.

Elephant goes toot may be my favourite line.

*I may also feel a lot lighter because my dad has pushed through his surgery and last night had his breathing tube removed and is doing it all on his own. YEEHA!


Things are not always what they seem

spending the day in bedI was quite excited yesterday when someone on Twitter disclosed a secret that I myself had held close to my heart. Michaela from Five Frogs On A Blog admitted “a friend and I used to joke about wishing for a temporary illness that would hospitalise us but otherwise leave us unharmed”.

Which mother (or other person) that is responsible for someone else 24 hours a day, seven days a week doesn’t wish for some respite? Sadly, given the chance of a freak holiday without any family members is not likely, I am guessing Michaela, her friend and I are not alone in wishing for some “hospital time.”

The truth is that when you are looking for this respite you don’t really want to be sick at all – you just want to lie in bed uninterrupted except maybe for people bringing you meals on trays and other people dropping magazines and lollies by your bed while you pretend to sleep so that you don’t have to make conversation. You forget when you get caught up in the “sick fantasy” that being sick is actually pretty shit.

Now I am nowhere near sick enough to be at the doctor let alone at the hospital but I am certainly sick enough to be complaining a lot and believing that I should be in bed surrounded by soft cushioning and crap day time TV.

But I am also sick enough to realise that it’s not at all fun being in bed because you are sick.

In your “sick fantasy” the bed is uber comfortable and the freshly washed linen is soft and welcoming. In real life you cannot get comfortable no matter how hard you try and the linen has sand in it from when the dog jumped straight on to the bed after his walk.

In your “sick fantasy” you will relax in the bed and drift in and out of a peaceful sleep. In real life you cannot relax or sleep because it feels like you are allergic to yourself and you have got a month of dust in your eyes, your throat is on fire, your bones are sore and your nose is a tap. Oh and our ears are blocked.

In your “sick fantasy” there will be brilliant TV on all day that you will watch in between napping and magazine reading. In real life the TV is spectacularly bad and full of violent crime shows and infomercials where no one dies but you sometimes wish they did.

In your “sick fantasy” you will just love lying in bed. In real life you still feel sick when you lie in bed plus you can’t really lie down because as soon as you get horizontal you start to cough violently.

In your “sick fantasy” you will page through magazines finding articles of interest on every page. You will occasionally find an article that answers every question you have ever had about Pink and what Jennifer Aniston is really like at home. In real life you will realise that you hate magazines because they are full of fluff and lies.

In your “sick fantasy” your child will get home from school by magic and then do his homework by himself after checking that you are okay for tea and toast. In real life you will go to pick up your child from school in your daggiest tracksuit and the coolest mum will find you and insist on “catching up”. You will get home from school and your child will insist on sitting on your bed watching his choice of TV and taking all the duvet. He may also demand food.

Turns out you just can’t enjoy being sick. But you can certainly enjoy a fantasy.

Have you ever wished you were sick just so that you could spend a day in bed?