Friday, April 30, 2010

Weekend Recharge

It's been a full-on week & I just need a quiet & relaxing weekend to recharge the Millie batteries. Work has been very, very busy & somewhat drama filled. And MOTH & I have been terribly worried about the gorgeous Missy (above), daughter of Son #5 & his sweet girl A. They are such doting, responsible & loving parents of their girls Missy & Border Collie puppy Tazzie. On Sunday morning they bathed Tazzie & then decided to give both little girls a quick prophylactic dust with their respective flea powders. All was fine until a couple of hours later when Missy became extremely unwell, followed by a series of convulsions. A rushed trip to the Vet resulted in Missy requiring resuscitation & 3 days in the Vet's ICU. It transpired that Missy inadvertently received Tazzie's doggie flea powder & vice versa & so she has been a very sick little kitty. She's home now thank goodness, much to the kids relief. However, its knocked a huge hole in their bank balance - a harsh lesson to learn.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I visited my very, very favourite client yesterday & as always it was a joyous experience. 20 years ago, when I made the leap from nursing into a sales role, Dr. J & his colleague & partner Dr. N were my first & most important clients. While I adore Dr. N, it is with Dr. J that my heart really lies, for one reason, & one reason only, he is the most charismatic person I've ever met. Now before I go any further I should do a quick description of The Charismatic One (TCO). He is mid-60's, 5'4" (on a good day) & almost totally bald. Not exactly George or Gerard or Jude. But Dr. J has more charisma is his little finger than all the current pack of male Hollywood movie stars put together.

MOTH is well aware of my feelings, in fact he knows Dr. J well, through inter-Club rowing comps. & they like each other a lot. When I've been to see Dr. J in the Lab., I drift home, my feet not touching the ground & with a wistful, far-away look on my face. This generally lasts for 3-4 days by which time MOTH is sick & tired of it all & so breaks the magic with a loud 'You've been to see Dr. J, haven't you!!!' 'Yes,' I sigh, & then sigh again, gazing out the window & remembering with much fondness my most recent visit with TCO. And then MOTH's standard retort comes loud & clear. 'Geez Millie, I honestly don't know what you see in him!' Well, bloody hell MOTH you wouldn't, 'cos you can't even begin to understand that wonderfully elusive thing called charisma.

I've often thought about what Dr. J has & why I'm totally besotted by him. It's certainly not a physical attraction, I like to think that our relationship & mutual admiration transcend the base desires. In fact, if Dr. J had ever made a pass at me I would have run a zillion miles an hour in the opposite direction. He does something though that no other man has ever done to me - when I speak to him, he gives me his total & absolute attention. I feel like I'm the only person in the world to him at that point & it's awesome. He leans in toward me when I'm speaking, yet doesn't invade my personal space. He looks directly into my eyes, yet I don't feel threatened. He's just got IT.

Interestingly I was at lunch with half a dozen of my competitors a few years ago (we're a friendly mob here in Adelaide) & the subject of Dr. J came up. Much to my amazement, the table went silent & all the girls did exactly the same as me....big sighs & wistful looks took over. Wow I thought, it just isn't me who's beguiled by Dr. J's charisma, it's all of us!!!

I'll be so interested to hear how you define charisma & if you'd care to share your experiences with A Charismatic One please go right ahead, I reckon it may make for some very interesting reading!

Image: Art Form

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dream On

Dream job - Travel & Lifestyle Writer for Conde Nast Publications. Dream retreat - this renovated farmhouse on the Dalmatian coast where I could happily rest between assignments & file my stories from. Reality - neither, it's back to work today..... get a grip Miss Millie & quickly!

Monday, April 26, 2010

BFH Up-Date

A couple of you have requested a progress report on the Bathroom-From-Hell. While it may not appear to have progressed too much, MOTH has actually done quite a bit. While I was away last week, he spent nearly a day just fixing in around the window frame. He'd had to cut into the wall big time with the Big Bertha Brick Cutter early on, so getting the gaps fitted properly with plasterboard was a big job. I was going to climb up onto the ladder & photograph his excellent work, but my stilettos wouldn't allow it.

All the wet area blue board in the double shower alcove is now up & on the weekend he taped & waterproofed it & then applied 4 coats of waterproofing polyurethane prior to commencing the tiling (1st image). For the first time I can actually see a chink of light at the end of this horrendous tunnel. More would have been done, but we needed to spend all of Sunday in the garden separating all the new 'babies' from their Christmas Lillie mothers & then potting them up. I'm happy to report that again these original 'girls' have presented us with at least 200 new additions to the family. Not bad for a $50 investment from Tesselar's bulb catalogue 3 years ago!

Sock It To Me

Thanks to Sharon at My French Country Home for a recent tag. I need to go to the 1st folder in My Pictures, select the 10th photo & discuss it. Crossing all my finger & toes & hoping it would be something half pie decent, my hopes were dashed when I saw the title of the folder - Christmas Day 2008. And yep, it was the worst pic in the folder!! The kids started a Chrissie tradition years ago, buying MOTH the worst pair of socks they could find & putting them in his Santa Stocking. Then the deal was he had to wear them all day.

Every year I request that the boys & MOTH dress up for the occasion, & every year it falls on deaf ears. A clean T-shirt is about as much as they can manage. And looking at this pic again, MOTH couldn't even manage a pair of long trousers on the day, a pair of cargo shorts & sports shoes were de rigeur. So here in all its embarrassing form is the photo, with Son #5 pointing to MOTH's offending hairy legs, complete with scratches & war wounds - sorry to those who's gentle souls have been offended by the sight!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

For My Uncle Freddie

I never knew you Freddie, you were killed 11 years before I was born, but you are still loved & adored by our family. A beloved son to Fred & Mary & only brother to Kathleen (my much-loved Aunt Kay), your memory is revered by us all. Your parents had emigrated to South Australia from Ireland after WW1 & you were born in Adelaide in 1920. Named Frederick after your Dad, your happy, uncomplicated life came to an abrupt end with the onset of WW11.

In 1942 at the age of 21 you enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve & commenced pilot training.

Your RAAF medical records of that year describe you as a tall, muscular man with an olive complexion, brown hair & grey eyes. So like your younger sister & her children, I see my cousin Rory, the nephew you never knew in your strong, handsome face. In 1943 you were sent from Australia to the U.K. to fly missions into Europe with the British RAF, quickly becoming a very competent war-time pilot, flying sorties in Anson, Oxford, Wellington, Stirling aircraft & Lancaster bombers. In 1944 you met & fell in love with an English girl Monica & quietly married her in July of that year. The address listed on your marriage certificate is The Dog Inn, Kidlington, OXFORD.

On the 7th of March 1945, just as dusk was falling, you left Skellingthorpe Base at 1750 hrs. as Pilot Commander of Lancaster 111MN 474. Along with your crew of six you were headed to Hamburg for a bombing operation. This was to be your 17th operational sortie, with all the others having brought you home safely.

No further communications were received from your aircraft & you were never heard from again. Your service records list you as Missing Presumed Dead 7.3.45. On the evening of your mission several pilots of other aircraft in the vicinity reported considerable Flak & enemy Fighter opposition & that several Allied aircraft were seen to go down in flames over the Hamburg target.
On March 11th the Royal Air Force Commander from your squadron wrote to your father in Adelaide confirming your Missing In Action status, but still expressing the hope that you & your crew may have managed to parachute to safety behind enemy lines & that soon everyone might receive reassuring news of your survival. He also added what a fine Officer & highly skilled Pilot you were & that your loss was a great blow to the Squadron. You were just 25 years old.
On November 27th 1945, your father Fred in Adelaide received official notification that all hope was lost & that any chance of finding you alive had been abandoned. Your parents never recovered from this crushing loss. Both lived into their nineties, & I can still hear their soft, lilting Irish accents catching as they spoke your name so many years on.

Sometime later, your body washed ashore at Markermeer. Your plane had crashed into the sea after being hit by enemy fire. With your ID tags partially destroyed, you were hastily buried as an Unknown Soldier in the U.S. Military Cemetery in Margraten. 2 years on, after a very persistent RAAF Officer pieced together your ID tags, your body was identified & re-buried with other Australian airman killed in the last days of the European conflict.

So much has been written about the 'wisdom' of continuing such heavy bombing of German cities that were all but annihilated. With the risk to further civilian & service lives so close to the end of the War, I bow my head at the futility of it all. So my friends, if you are ever in Nederwest British Military Cemetery in The Netherlands, please walk over to Row D. Linger a moment at Flying Officer F.S. Farren's grave & tell him how much he's still loved by his family back home. With his movie star looks & gentle ways, he would have quickly become our favourite uncle, of that I'm sure. If only we'd had the chance to find out.

On this most sacred of days


Friday, April 23, 2010

Magic Mushies

Thank you to everyone who left such beautiful messages of congratulations after yesterday's post. It made my win extra special being able to share it with you all. It was remiss of me not to mention that work on the BFH actually occurred in large chunks while I was gone, so MOTH's back in the good books. He was jumping up & down at the Airport, busting to tell me & everyone in earshot that the second pour of concrete screed in the double shower alcove was a winner & passed the Bucket of Water test with flying colours!!

Having been trapped inside most of the week, I enjoyed a quiet & much-needed wander in the garden last evening. The weather has been playing funny tricks on us here in the Hills, with warm days & cool, rainy nights. During my roaming I found these interesting mushrooms. Not really something I should probably include in MOTH's Low-Fat dinner food tonight, although he really loves mushies!!!!! Happy weekend to you all my cherished blog friends.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Most Awarding Experience!

A very busy week in Melbourne for the FY2009 Sales Meeting is over!! Late, late nights were required to ensure I was adequately briefed by my gorgeous interstate colleagues on various 'business' matters. These important Meetings were held in various lounge bars in the vicinity of our Hotel. If the Company Accountant is reading this post, I suggest you take an additional one of your 'De-Stress' pills prior to opening my next Expenses Report, you'll need it!!!

I was really looking forward to the glitzy glamoury Awards dinner on Monday evening. It's always a delight to see one of my lovely hard-working colleagues receive recognition on the night. I was having a great time sitting up the back at the noisy Rabble table when the Award presentations commenced & I must admit I wasn't really giving the C.E.O. my full attention. So I was somewhat surprised to find myself stumbling down the front to accept the gong for Top Sales Interventional Cardiology Aust./N.Z. Sitting back down again, & about to dash out for a loo break, I was back up the front again being handed the Top Sales Interventional Radiology Aust./N.Z. Award (I do a dual portfolio). By this stage my table were screeching like a troop of excited monkeys as I plonked the second Award back down. I knew I'd had a good year, but this was beyond anything my by now befuddled brain could take in.

Thinking I'd better move onto the mineral water pretty quickly in an effort to clear my head, the room went very quiet as the C.E.O. announced the Sales Specialist of The Year Award. This is the big one & I had my eyes firmly fixed on my favourite Sydney team-mate who I just knew would receive it. She is such a star, & my heart was racing for her. This Award encompasses all 6 divisions of our Aust./N.Z. business & is highly competitive. Then the Winner's name was announced, & it wasn't the name I thought it would be, it was mine. I honestly couldn't get out of my seat, it needed the strong & supportive arms of everyone at my table to propel me up to the podium.

To receive the Trifecta is so mind-blowingly awesome, back home this morning I'm still in shock. I'm so lucky I do what I love & love what I do & I've received Awards before but these are extra special, as now at 54, I'm the oldest Sales Specialist in the I guess there's still life in the old girl yet! The Award comes with a very substantial travel voucher that will allow MOTH & I to have a fantastic overseas holiday sometime this year. It couldn't have come at a better time, as we are both in need of some time away from the renovations to refresh & recharge our batteries before commencing the kitchen. Planning our itinerary will commence over a celebration dinner with the boys on Saturday night. We could be heading your way dear overseas blog chums, so be very afraid!!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Adieu For Now

Just like my beloved Larry, Curly & Moe, I'm a bit all over the place at the moment, so will say my goodbyes until the end of next week. I'm off to Melbourne on Sunday morning for our annual Sales & Kick-Off Meeting & as usual, have left the preparation of all my financial & scientific presentations to the very last minute. So I'm in deep do-do big time. It looks like another huge Meeting, although I always want these things to be over with before they've begun. But I'm looking forward to seeing all my lovely interstate work colleagues for a really good late-night goss & whinge session in the Hotel bar!

We also have Son #5's birthday to celebrate on Saturday. Our baby will be 27 & if you missed his birthday pics from last year, do take a look here, they're ever so cute. I'm hoping to see the Melbourne sons for a quick Mother/Sons bonding session prior to the work meetings commencing on Sunday night. I hope if they are reading this post, they have remembered & are rescheduling their hectic social diaries. I am preparing an Agenda boys, so be prepared to answer your Mother's probing questions in a full & frank manner! MOTH's counting the seconds until I go, he's been surreptitiously digging for the date for months. When I finally confirmed them, he really struggled to hide his excitement, the high leap in the air & loud whoop of joy were a slight giveaway! See you all when I return, I promise to write a suitably 'interesting' report.

Image: All Posters

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Footy Fever

MOTH & I are overjoyed that the 2010 Aussie Rules Footy Season has begun. Another reason for a good old barney!! Looking at my Game Day wardrobe, it's obvious that it needs refreshing. MOTH said yesterday he'd be happy to buy me a couple of new things, as he always wants me look nice as we slug it out in the Member's. So here's what I'd like to present him with.

I do like to be warm, so this Burberry Funnel Neck Check Wool Coat will be fine. AU$1497.
Tucked underneath I'll throw on this Belinda Robertson black cashmere sweater. AU$487.

A comfy pair of 7forallmankind bootleg jeans are a must. AU$225.

I do love a boot with a high heel. These Jimmy Choo's will be perfect. AU$2033.

And they are just as scrumptious from the back!

A Be&D Garbo studded satchel for MOTH to throw all his Footy paraphenalia into. AU$2006.

And last but by no means least, the piece de resistance, a 100% acrylic Port Power scarf. AU$3.

All up I make that approx. AU$6,251. Not a problem, a bargain I reckon to look nice for the old boy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's Going On?

We've just experienced the biggest weekend of Auction sales on record. Houses are going for record amounts & new stock is being snapped up as soon as it's hitting the market. I'm interested to know the state of the nation where you are. What are real estate prices doing currently? Are you noticing a better situation than this time last year? Is there a greater feeling of economic optimism, especially in the real estate market?

Image: Klemich

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

I'm happy to report that the Bathroom-From-Hell is steadily progressing, although MOTH had a minor set-back over the weekend as he wasn't totally happy with the fall level in the double shower alcove, so ripped up a couple of centimetres of the newly-laid concrete floor & is in the process of redoing it. He performed that highly technical manoeuvre The Bucket of Water Test & found that there was minor pooling just outside of the shower screen area. So thought it better to be safe than sorry & decided to redo it.

I'd ripped the pic below out of an Country Style mag years ago, dug it out recently & gave it to MOTH to use as a guide for the mirror over the vanity bar. I thought it looked good inset in a surround & he said it wouldn't prove difficult. However over the weekend I had an minor epiphany while drooling over the real estate images of a newly renovated house in Adelaide. Considering the BFH is only the size of a small broom cupboard, I've scrapped my first idea & asked MOTH to do a floor-to-ceiling mirror instead. I'm hoping this is going to create an illusion of more space (ie. the old smoke & mirrors trick!). Is that old decorating tenet of using mirrors to reflect more area still relevant. Any thoughts?

Image 1: Klemich Real Estate Image 2: Country Style

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Of Love & Loss

For dear Amanda @ Oliveaux

We do not have to rely
upon memories
to recapture the spirit
of those we have loved and lost -
they live within our souls
in some perfect sanctuary
which even death
cannot destroy -

From The Thoughts of Nanushka Vol VII-XII - Nan Witcomb

Friday, April 9, 2010

Masseria Cimino

I need you to hurry this morning, grab your overnight bag & passport......your destination is Fiumicino Rome Airport. On arriving grab the The Leonardo Express Shuttle from the Airport to central Rome's Termini station. Then purchase a ticket to Fasano in Brindisi on the Lecce-Bari-Roma-Bologna route. When you get off at Fasano, I'll be waiting for you & just a short 5km. ride away is paradise.

Masseria Cimino is a fully restored fortified farmhouse with a tower dating back to the 18th century, built just metres from the deep blue waters of the Adriatic. It's whitewashed rustic buildings exude a casual ambience, with just the right amount of quirkiness, this is not your regular 5 star resort hotel. It's getting dark so we should move inside, past the pool terrace & into the warmth.
The concierge will take care of our bags, so let's go straight to the restaurant San Domenico. The fire is blazing & the candles are flickering their welcome. Tonight there's a hearty Zuppa alla Tarantina (fish & seafood broth) served with warm crunchy pane, then Melanzane Ripiene (baked eggplant hollowed and stuffed with its chopped pulp, tomatoes, breadcrumbs, capers, olives, anchovies), Cavatieddi con la ruca (oricchiette pasta with cooked rocket greens, tomato and pecorino), Gniumerieddi (skewers of lamb & goat with slices of salt pork, pecorino and bay leaves grilled over the coals of a wood fire) & Torta di mandorla (almond tart) served with honey & fresh ricotta.
Then we can complete the evening in the lounge area enjoying a glass of Puglia's famous desert wine Aleatico di Puglia Francesco Candido.
Then to our rooms, stylishly presented. Rough-cast walls, white furnishings, mood lighting & beds framed in metres of soft muslin.
Candles softly lighting the room with their twinkling flame. A bowl of fresh regional fruit to be enjoyed.
A fire flickering in the fireplace to warm the cool night.
The bathroom is set with travertine stone basins & rustic taps.
And linen towels, olive oil & lemons for hand cleansing.

Tiny alcoves holding small glass vases lined with fresh olive branches are a delightful feature. Sleep tight, see you in the morning.

The morning brings a refreshing & invigorating swim in the pool.
Then into the Terrace Room for a yummy breakfast.
Fruit & freshly made yoghurt, just for starters.
Then the thing I've been waiting for since arriving. A short walk next door to one of the finest golf courses in Italy - San Domenico! Measuring 6300 metres, with a par of 72, it meets all USGA standards.
Being so close to the sea, the wind sets a real challenge on the course. Together with strategic bunkering, definitive fairway shaping and clever green design, a real test of golf has been set. Oh my heart!
After an awesome day, a drink or 3 in the fantastic Club House is well deserved. See you soon!

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