November 29, 2011

I Will Always Love You, Dolly.

I, like most people, have always known who Dolly Parton is. The sky is blue, the grass is green, Dolly Parton has humongous boobs.

My first encounter with her music, however, came in the 1990's, when I, like every other pre pubescent school girl became a fan of Australian band Frente, thanks to their catchy pop number Accidentally Kelly Street.

While I can't remember a single thing I learnt for my Year 12 Human Biology exam, I can still sing that song word for word.

Anyway I was given the single for Christmas that year, or perhaps it was my birthday? It was a tape of course in those days, and on the B side was a song called Here You Come Again. I loved that song even more than Accidentally Kelly Street and it got a fair amount of air time that summer at our holiday house.

While I explained to my parents how talented this Australian band Frente was, Dad did his usual job of raining on the parade. "They didn't write that song, Dolly Parton did. And she sung it well too, not like that woman with the nose ring."

(I think he would have like the cover better if Angie Hart didn't have a nose ring.)

This was a little bit of deja vu. A couple of years earlier I'd had a similar infatuation with Whitney Houston and what I thought was her song, I Will Always Love You.

On that occassion, Dad had been quick to point me in the right direction. "Dolly Parton wrote this and her version is far, far better."

After rifling through Mum and Dad's record collection,  I realised he was in fact right.  Dolly wasn't just all about the boobs.

And so begun my love affair with Dolly.

An affair helped along of course by statements Ms Parton made, like "Dumb blonde jokes don't offend me, because I know I'm not dumb. I also know I'm not blonde."

My kind of lady.

P.S Look how beautiful she was.

Giddy on...down.

Yesterday was Melbourne Cup Day.
I went shopping in the morning.  At 35 weeks I thought it was probably time I got a few things organised for the hospital. I bought All Bran cereal, absorbent pads for EVERYWHERE, nipple cream and ginormous undies.

As I was leaving the shop, two girls about my age dashed in, wearing gorgeous frocks, fabulous facinators and ridiculous but beautiful heels.

I looked at them, then looked in my shopping bag and before I knew it I could feel tears springing in my eyes. I raced to my car, well, waddled to my car, where I sat and sobbed for about ten minutes.

They were the first real tears I've cried since I got pregnant. Hormones are a funny thing. While husbands are given dire warnings about the emotional fragility of their wives during pregnancy, I for one have never felt more balanced. Gone is the monthly roller coaster of emotion and irritability. And tears, well I am struggling to remember crying even once over the last 9 months.

Mind you the bloke who tapped on my car window to ask if I was alright probably wouldn''t have believed that.

"Oh yes I'm fine, I'm just suffering severe back pain." was my reply.

Back pain, and heart break for a chapter in my life that's about to be closed.

I didn't dare tell him I was distressed because I'd traded bronzer for nipple cream, champagne for prune juice and stilettos for sneakers. And just as well.

"It's those shoes youse young girls wear these days, back breakers. Yer mad, all of youse."


August 17, 2011

The end of an innings for one of my great loves

With a few exceptions (including, it must be said, my brilliant husband), my track record with fellas hasn't been all that fabulous over the years.

Some blokes I've taken a fancy to have had minor issues. There was one with poor grooming habits and personal hygiene, one who supported the Dockers and another who drove a Hyundai Excel.

Others have had bigger issues. There was the one who is now gay, and another with drug induced anger management issues. 

One of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to men is that I have often been misguided in my loyalty.

Never was there a man that I was more loyal to than Shane Warne.

I was about 14 when I was first captivated by Warnie.

When he'd appear in the lounge room of our Miami holiday house a buzz would go through the room. Whether it was just me and Dad in front of the Rank Arena or a house full of holiday makers visiting for afternoon beers, the excitement was palpable.

He wasn't just a cricketer, he was a showman and I was in love.

It wasn't, obviously, just his cricketing prowess that sucked me in. He was a spunk then with bleach blonde hair and a bit of bling in his ear. I also really loved the fact that his diet consisted of baked beans and fags. What a man.

At the height of my Warnie mania I found out he was signing copies of his book in the City. My Dad wrote me a note to excuse me from a school excursion so I could go and get my book signed. I guess Dad thought giving me permission to meet Warnie was better than me wagging school to go to the beach?

I met Warnie, had my booked sign, my photo taken and went home on cloud 9. Thinking back on that meeting years later I was slightly miffed there was no untoward advances made in my direction.

Through the years, through the scandals, from diuretics to text messages and extramarital affairs, my candle for Warnie may have waned a little but, it was never extinguished completely.

That was until yesterday when a cold bucket of water was tipped right over said flame.

Yesterday I discovered the attached photo of the newly dubbed "Scrawny Warnie."

It is perhaps the long overdue end of what has been one of the great loves of my lifetime.

Thanks for the memories Warnie.

Now bugger off, I can no longer look at you.

June 14, 2011

Pulled Pork

My friend Claire is in New York City at the moment and stumbled upon this terrific street stall.

June 2, 2011

The Mystery of the Missing Diary

I was reunited with my diary yesterday.

Last week I turned my house, office and car upside down looking for my diary.

My life is literally in that little book. Every appointment, meeting, interview and important phone number is in that diary. My menstrual and pay cycles are also well documented in that diary. Not that the two are in any way related.

I was a mess last week. Was I coming or going? Was I Arthur or Martha?

A breakthrough in the mystery of the disappearing diary came last Wednesday with a phone call.

"G'day Kate, it's Danny at Dowerin, I've got your diary."

Come gain, excuse me, or as the young kids say these days WTF?  How on earth did my diary end up in Dowerin?

"I won the quiz on your breakfast show last week, you know the Ukulele Quiz? Well I've just received my prize in the mail- great CD, but your diary was also in the envelope."

It went on.

"I'm really sorry, but I've read some of it. I thought it was part of the prize but then I saw all these appointments written in in pen and pencil and realised it belonged to you."

Oh Lord. Has he read about which body parts I have waxed on a regular basis? Does he now know when I'm ovulating? He certainly now knows that I'm not naturally blonde these days.

Horrified, looking to somehow explain my embarrassing mishap, I told Danny at Dowerin that it must have been a blonde moment. Nice work Kate, just in case he didn't already think you had a few screws loose.

Although, it's possible that Danny read enough of my diary to suspect that I may well have had an attack of so called baby brain.

Unable to have a stiff drink to overcome my embarrassment, I think I'll have to buy Danny one when I'm in Dowerin for the Field Days in August.

June 1, 2011

A Live Debate (mach 2)

Like most people having their two bobs worth on the issue at the moment, I am no expert on the live trade. I have, however spent a number of years working in pastoral areas of  Western Australia as a rural journalist, and along the way I have formed an opinion or two. I am also married to a live exporter and my in-laws farm beef.

I have been trying to bite my tongue and ignore the comments by both friends and strangers calling for a total ban on live export since Four Corners broadcast A Bloody Business on Monday night.

But remaining balanced and without an opinion at work is one thing. It's the right thing, and I respect my position and would never and have never expressed a view or opinion about anything other than my football team.

But it doesn't stop me wanting to defend the livelihood of my family and friends "out of hours."

The footage on Four Corners on Monday night was disgraceful. Two days on I still haven't been able to watch the entire program. (Although it should be said I'm a bit soft when it comes to seeing roos shot and chooks beheaded too.)

The subsequent decision by the federal government to block trade to 11 abattoirs was the right decision. However I totally disagree with calls to completely banning the export of cattle from Australia to Indonesia.

Why? Because banning the live trade will do NOTHING to address animal cruelty in Indonesia. Surely those of you calling for a ban on the live trade are concerned about the plight of animals of every race and religion? Not just Australian animals?

If Australia stops exporting to Indonesia, that country will simply source live cattle elsewhere. This week the the Indonesian government has confirmed it is not interested in taking any more chilled boxed meat from Australia.

The only impact a total ban on live trade will have, will be to decimate the Australian cattle industry (not just those involved in live export) and the many thousands of people, families and communities that make a living from farming cattle.

I personally feel that Livecorp and MLA have a massive case to answer. There job is to prevent cruelty to Australian animals in Indonesia. They have failed. There needs to be a total overhaul of management, auditing and inspection of all facilities in Indonesia.

And those that don’t comply need to be shut out of the Australian market immediately. Without question.

However I believe that what was broadcast on Four Corners this week is a minority practice in Indonesia. It’s a minority practice because Australia has been working there for years teaching Indonesians how to kill cattle in a way that is acceptable to those of us living in the Western world.

It's simply not newsworthy to broadcast images of the clean abattoirs where they kill animals using Western methods and meet Western standards.

Without Australians working in Indonesia, chipping away slowly but surely with education and resources, the cruelty towards animals will NEVER end.

It is a very difficult task and one that Australia has a moral obligation to continue.

Have you been to Bali for a holiday? When you see how the Indonesians treat their own people, you can see how hard it is to change their mindset in regard to animals. But terrific work is being done and real, measurable progress has been made.

You call the Live Trade shameful? I believe to simply walk away from Indonesia and wash our hands of their animal welfare issues would be shameful.

And it’s worth making the distinction- live exporting, putting animals on boats to Indonesia is not the problem. The problem lies in some abattoirs, not the actual process of exporting the cattle.

I feel that it would be a complete disaster if the atrocious actions of a minority were to result in the whole industry being wiped out. We don’t sack entire police forces because of a handful of corrupt coppers; we don’t ban the entire church because of a handful of perverted priests.

Oh and one more thing. Those of you who have now given up eating meat because of what you saw on Four Corners? You’re simply depriving yourselves of one of the joys in life. The only thing that forgoing that juicy steak will impact is your protein level. You won’t influence the live trade or the Indonesian industry in any way shape or form.

March 17, 2011

To be sure!

Happy St Pat's to you!

Isn't it fabulous the way we Aussie's embrace and celebrate St Patrick's Day with such enthusiasm?

We wouldn't dream of paying hommage to the Poms, Yanks or Frenchies with such gusto.

I'd like to say it's about more than just the drinking, but I'm not so sure?

Anyway in the spirit of St Patrick's Day, I would like to introduce you to my new favourite band.

Their name is Flogging Molly and fronted by a bloke by the name of David King.

Their sound? There's no mistaking it, they're quintessentialy Irish.