Posts Tagged ‘Wesley’

I’ve booked a ticket to the UK finally. Much like Christmas I like to have these things sorted well in advance. This, to me, is cutting it fine plus I miss out on airline specials. Ah well.

After I wrote this Qantas did an airline special where I could have saved 1.5 thousand by waiting! The Buggers. I had to cancel my previous ticket at the cost of $300 however still saved $1200 so win for me. Cheers for that.

I have six weeks prep time to get as much overtime as possible to pay for these sojourns and also make arrangements for when I am there. In the meantime, my drive shaft has died and the air conditioner saga rolls on and on and on, so basically looks like  it’s back to prostitution for me.  Last time this cost me money as I had to pay the clientelle but this time I’ve lost a little weight so, you know, I live in hope….

On a completely unrelated note, I have the worst rash on my back. It is Driving. Me. Mental. I just want to itch the crap out of it. As part of the cool down after a work out, my personal trainer gives me a back massage. Yesterday, as he deep tissue massaged my fricking annoying itchy skin, he told me I was “freaking him out” by all the orgasm noises I was making. Wuss. But damn it was wonderful. I am not sure why I have the rash. It is evidently a heat rash caused by sweating and lying on the rubber mats. I am also not convinced the  chlorine in the pool doesn’t have anything to do with it. I am not sure.

In a  rare moment, my GP and Wesley agreed with diagnoses. Amusingly my GP got VERY snitty with me when I suggested I wanted a further opinion on the ?BCC/? Meibomian Cyst on my eyelid as my friend in the US was convinced it was a BCC. Very snitty!!!! ha! I laughed. Anyway, I have a further appointment to get it assessed but was told by my GP that “if the specialist doesn’t believe it is a BCC, your friend must trust in his opinion.” To which I thought, you do not know my friend, my friend is not gonna be happy till it is removed and under a microscope but I kept schtumm.  The GP then wrote an amusingly veiled annoyance referral letter to the dermatologist.

Anyway time will tell. I hope Wesley is wrong cos then I can forget about it. I suspect though…

My father is 70 this year, in addition to his 50th Anniversary (god love him he was married when he was 20, a baby) and for his birthday present (again, God love him) wants a week in Disneyland Paris. I am currently looking for specials. He is such a big kid. Anyone still holding out hope that I am ever gonna grow up need stop wondering.


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Concluding the positives of 2010 then, from yesterday.

Dead Eye Dick

I have been chatting to Ray online for a good ten years now. Excellent lad and we get on well unless you discuss two issues which we have agreed to disagree on. George W Bush and Gun control in America. So it amused me greatly that I thought I should put my money where my mouth is and see what all this gun fuss is about. So off we went to a shooting range and it amused me even more that I was a good shot. Really good. Especially good when you consider I’ve never shot anything more than a pop gun before. I smelt of gun powder for days. We still disagree about gun control though.

A Completely Magic Weekend in Cardiff.

Ok so going out on the gay scene was like playing spot the person not dressed like it’s still the 80’s however,  other than that, the weekend in Cardiff was epic. Firstly Cardiff is beautiful and one of the places in the world I could see myself living. Secondly it houses (sadly now defunct) an amazing Doctor Who Exhibition which was completely and utterly brilliant, he said, his geek flag flying.

And finally it was the site of the most surreal day of exploration, all to see the shrine for a dead character in an average television series. Most people visiting whom were Ianto’s Shrine were like me, bemused and intrigued. You could tell the true fan though as they were already crying as they approached. People were crying as they put up poems etc on the shrine. Kissing the poems.  Weeping more. It was most delightful and amusing to my blacker than soot  sense of humour. Evidently the shrine still continues, so if you want the most delightful day out, to witness what people with too much time on their hands get up to, this is the place for you.

The Best Morning Ever


Burned into my memory, those mornings.


There is this weird sensation when you go somewhere and you know you’re meant to be there. Never knew that until this year. And it’s like everything falls into place.  Nothing is easy though.  Welcome to my life.

Best Till Last

I was hesitant to put a person as the best thing of last year, largely as its rather personal and hopefully not too embarrassing. However there was no denying the reality. All in all, if you asked me to define one event that was continuously delightful in 2010; whether it was from daily tie pictures or 6 am videochat soul-searching or email tag or constantly nattering throughout each day or blubbing over the tele  or being taught so, so many things, it was the growing and amazing friendship with Wesley. When I did a list of the best things that happened to me last year, he was at the centre of most of them. In the spirit of the best of companions, I have learnt so much from him already and have so much more to learn. Hopefully this is a two-way street.

So GM, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship and love this year. I look forward to years of our new, really old bond, wherever that may be. As ever, I got your back.

And it’s pronounced Mah Crah May.

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You know, all in all, 2010 was a pretty good year all told. I had some of the worse episodes of feeling depressed in my life in it (I hesitate to call it depression, more a pity party that needed a good slap) however, looking back, the pros far outweighed the cons.

I’ll get to the good stuff tomorrow, for the moment some of the things that sucketh last yeareth. Interestingly, and thank God, most of these things seem to be single events as opposed to long-term drawn out things. For this I am extremely grateful and blessed and even more embarrassed about the pity party.

Moving offices

I don’t mention work at all, or rarely, and certainly not openly disparagingly. However the move in locations from run down but functional building to previously condemned building that had been “spruced up” where the water was undrinkable for 5 months and the toilets didn’t work for 7 was a cause of considerable distress for all concerned. Even trying to be  buddhist about it wasn’t working. The workplace hasn’t recovered really. I am actually glad to be on nights cos morale here is in the (non functional) toilet.

Sam’s Death

My brother-in-law in law died this year after an extremely long battle with cancer. He left behind his wife and two children.  I would not dare to say his death had the effect it did on his immediate relatives however our families are so entwined now his death was incredibly hard. And so young. Fortunately, his was the only significant loss that directly affected me last year, for which I am extraordinarily grateful. Unfortunately this year looks like it’s going to be harsh already as I was told two of my friends had been diagnosed with lymphatic cancer on New Years Day.

The Bionic Bum

I made light of it but my gluteus tendonitis was absolutely agonizingly crippling at one point. I literally couldn’t walk a step without crying, the pain was so intense. And I wasn’t being stoic either. Lord if there had been drugs available I would have downed them in an instant. The worst night of it, when I couldn’t walk without screaming, I spent on my bed, sobbing with pain all through the night and feeling so sorry for myself. Much of it was pain related however there was also the realisation that if I had died no one would have known and certainly no partner I could rely on to help me out. So I just lay there in bed, a sobbing mass of pity, feeling more alone than I’ve ever felt in my life. Fortunately the next day I could walk without screaming and I could get to the phone and get some help (and wonderful help came) but wow, that night…. that night was harsh.

Making a total cock of myself

Oh I am good at that! I actually am including this only cos the last entry was so rugged. I am well used to making a total idiot of myself, despite my best intentions. Whether that is urinating loudly in front of the Queen Of North Carolina (incidentally, that post went ballistic. People I had never heard of wrote to me to tell me how funny that post was); wearing the wrong eyewear in the cinema; taking my entire extended family to one of the worst outings of their lives (so bad all other outings are measured by it : “Yeah, it was bad but it wasn’t Cadbury World bad.”), setting off alarms in the middle of the night or killing my mother in a walk across London, basically I will make a twit of myself if I can. Welcome to my life.

Absent Friends

Most days that’s the hardest one of all.

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The Bird

So I am minding my own business at work ( for those coming in late I work alone at night on a telephone crisis line). The colleague I have replaced hands over and goes home. When I arrived she had the door open to allow fresh air in. I am a big fan of fresh air however we have not been allowed a screen  door on this doorway (as it will upset the air conditioning or some rot ) so I close the door so as not to spend the evening with a thousand bugs.  This is important. I close the door at 2030.

I also close the one other door to the hallway for the night. My theory being if a killer comes in at least I will hear either door open so I can be aware and terrified before I am killed as opposed to not knowing it’s gonna happen…. hmmmm, wait a second…..

So I am sitting in essentially a closed room all night, other than when I go to the bathroom down the hallway, and am minding my own business. I go to the bathroom at 6 in the morning and there on the floor, in front of the door to the hallway is a bird. Quiet, head under its wing, not moving.

I assume it’s dead and get something to pick it up and it scares the bejesus out of me by moving its wings. It clearly is a very sick bird and I have no idea what to do with it. So,  when in doubt, ask. Fascinatingly the first person who I think will know what to do and who will be awake is Wesley who I try to call but end up texting cos the phone line doesn’t want to work for me for some reason.

Now stop a moment to marvel at this. In a situation of which I am unsure, the person I am able to rely on lives in the US AND I am able to contact him incredibly easily. This is the most incredible age. Ten years ago I would have sent him an air mail and waited a few weeks for him to respond.

While I wait for his reply I remember that one of the security guards  is a complete Grizzly Adams and would be able to care for the bird. I ring security but the person I am thinking of isn’t on shift tonight. However, I am told, another one of the security lads also takes in stray birds who need getting back to health. (Why do all these security guards take in stray birds? Is it a sideline?). He will come around and take a look.

Wesley writes back with some sound advice and I do as he suggests. The security lads come to see the my poor bird and deem him to be “stuffed”  (I also thought that was probably the case as the bird must have been in the room with me all night and didn’t make a peep.  It was clearly dying a long time.) 

One of the security lads takes the bird away to ‘take care of’ the ‘stuffed’ bird.  I am not sure what taking care of it entailed and I am sure I do not want to know either. He brings me back the empty box though which was thoughtful. Sheesh.

I dread to think what they do with the birds they take home.

So, there you go. Poor Bird. Evidently it was one of those bastard birds that swoop at you as you walk so I am not as upset as I probably should be.

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OK time to catch up. Sorry for the eclectic and chronologically challenged series of posts that you are about to endure. I wanted to finish off the holiday posts ( I have about fifteen) of events I did while I was away. Forgive the scattiness; it’s time to play catch up.

After a brief sojourn in  Disney I caught the Red Eye to Charlotte. The trip is 4 and half hours there (5 and a half going back) and I foolishly figured no one would be on the plane. Wrong. The flight was full, full, full.  I couldn’t work out why anyone would want to catch such a late flight until I returned. Sleeping through it is the only way to make it tolerable ( unless you’re not in cattle class).  Having said that I scored some major wins. Firstly, I was sat at the front of the plane on the bulkhead so more leg room and, secondly, I was sat next to the smallest lady in the world. She was so small it was as though there was no-one sitting next to me. Brilliant.

US airlines make you pay to carry luggage so, as a consequence, everyone brings on (very full) carry-on luggage (which does not incur a fee.). I have not been on a flight in the US yet that hasn’t had delays caused by there not being enough room for the overhead luggage. Seriously. It is insanely annoying. The idea being that, if there is not enough room for your carry-on luggage, they will store it underneath for you without charge. As such,  everyone does this. Consequently flights never leave on time as they are always sorting out the fricking luggage. It seems a false economy to me. And US flights are always full. Always. And cramped.

What is fascinating is that you are allowed to bring your pets on board (ie in the cabin) as long as they are small enough to fit under the seat. A person had brought their dog on board (and seriously, the dog was fine. I didn’t even realise he was there) and the lady who would sit next to it was having a major hissy fit that she was allergic and couldn’t sit there. (Now bear in mind I had no idea dogs were allowed on board and thought she was referring to the passenger. I was amazed at her brassiness.) She was dressed in a poncho and had bling galore and (bless her) was a Give me a P, Give me a D of epic proportions. It was her drama and she was going to star in it. People around her offered to swap seats with her however, no, she was having this seat and nothing else. It was brilliant. She was screaming her head off and the entire plane had stopped talking and were holding their breath so as not to miss the next moment of the drama. Bloody genius!

In the end, they kicked her off the plane. I was expecting complete drama but, sadly for the blog, she went as meek as a lamb. The plane took off  late and arrived on time, thanks to some lucky wind. When I got to Charlotte I nipped into the toilet prior to meeting Wesley and Trey and got dressed into my suit. Thus, after a 4 and half hour red-eye with everyone looking like they had been dragged through the bush backwards, I arrived to the boys looking like a million dollars.You should have seen their faces.  Criticise my dress sense, you bastards…. That’ll learn ya.

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And Then…

Prepare for a rant. You HAVE been warned.

I have left  the country however it has not been without its drama, both self-inflicted and imparted.

To put you in the picture: Wesley, very kindly, suggested that I could utilise USAirways to tag my bags from Charlotte to Adelaide, rather than have to retrieve them at LAX and take them to the international departure terminal. This sounded a good idea. My bags were heavy and the thought of dragging them around LAX did not appeal. If only I had known. He had also arranged with his friend that I could stay in the US Airways lounge when I finished check in. Another excellent idea….

And Then I put it into practice.

I approached the Very Kind Lady (VKL) who was to assist me at the USAirways desk and suggested to her the idea of tagging the bags all the way to Adelaide.  Qantas is not a Star Alliance affiliate like US Airways so this caused the VKL some confusion. Quite a lot of confusion, in fact. 80 minutes worth of confusion, to be precise.  I suggested, seeing how this was rapidly turning into a nightmare that she should just tag the bags to LAX and I would sort it out there but VKL was on a mission.

As predicted, the bags were overweight however by my calculations not so. I was allowed three bags of 23 kg each. I had one bag that was 28, one bag that was 20, and no other bags. By my calculations I was 21 kg in the black but  not according to VKL. She weighted the bags together…

And Then put the lighter bag on the trundle to the baggage area.  VKL insisted I pay for the overweight bag unless I could transfer some of the weight into my carry-on suitcase. There was no way this could happen as the carry-on was full and the laptop bag had two laptops in them already. I argued that I possibly could have put the weight into the smaller bag, now disappeared into the ether, but VKL could not retrieve these bags once there on the trundle (or some such… who knows. I was losing the will to live….)

And Then she charged me fifty bucks for the overweight luggage…..

And Then she said she had to ring Qantas to see what their baggage allowance was. This turned out to be 97 dollars then I was told I had to take the receipt to Qantas when I got to LAX  (which completely negated the point of the entire exercise) so they could see I had paid for the fricking overweight luggage. By the time this was over I was literally five minutes from boarding though I had arrived so early so I could go to the lounge (no chance of that. Thanks anyway, Brian.)

I did manage to get the wi-fi working and was texting Wesley of developments. I then tried to call him cos he made a VERY SENSIBLE suggestion and I wanted to know if he was serious. I rang on the public phones in the airport (which mystify me as much as the toilets) after changing a dollar from a bemused tourist (I had given away all my change earlier in the day as I knew I wouldn’t need it any more. ) I finally worked out how the phones worked and I got through to Wesley on the public phone….

And Then the phone went dead. By this time I was so emotionally overwrought I was a basket case. I had never been charged excess before and was already distressed over leaving, in any case. I ran down to where the plane was boarding ( and got sweaty and hot five minutes into the 29 hour journey) and rang Wesley again. This time we got through. He made the bestest suggestion which he has no idea how close I came to accepting. And I was emotionally overwrought by the VKL and leaving and missing the lounge and being hot and sweaty already..

And Then I had a meltdown. A complete and utter one. I had never been charged excess baggage before and knew this to be  a sign.  I was certain I was going to die on the plane. (I have a slight fear of flying but this was epic, even for me. This mindset made complete sense to me at the time, sad to say.) I was absolutely certain. I told him, while blubbering, that I loved him and to tell my family I loved them and he was responsible for letting them know this as I was being paged to board the plane of death. He was very good and reassuring but I entered the plane knowing I was going to my doom. I am nothing if not dramatic. (and bear in mind this is the start of the journey and I am a wreck.)

I board the plane and spend the take off quietly blubbing in my seat, trying not to disturb my fellow passengers and awaiting the explosion. (Oh lord. I am writing this in Sydney airport and I am alternately cringing at my hysteria and hoping I am not tempting fate before I head on the plane to Adelaide). We take off on the long, boring, boring, boring trip to LAX. It is 5 and a half hours long and, unlike Australian airlines, they offer no entertainment at all. I am calming down and getting myself together….

And Then I see the angel in the plane. Not an angel at all, obviously, however there was a man on the plane and his head was PERFECTLY framed by the window. Through it the sun was setting. His entire head had a halo of light, ala Touched By An Angel but much, much better. I knew then I was going to die….

And Then I see the smoke coming out of the front of the airplane. Seriously, how I didn’t cack myself (americans look it up) I do not know. I had enough sense to watch the smoke closely and realise it was coming from the kitchen as they were steaming the first class customers dinner. (Cargo class pays for snacks). I spend the rest of the long, long boring trip giggling at my stupidity. I  do not die (obviously) though have a couple of close calls at heart attacks.

I arrive in LAX and have three hours before the flight is to leave. I go to the Qantas check in and give them my receipt. They sympathise with me that I got shafted. We discuss by how much…

And Then they tell me I should have only been charged $35 for the overweight bag, not 97….

And Then they tell me they can’t get my money back as US Airways charged the credit. Sigh. I do get three people involved in my case which appeals to my sense of drama. I plan to head to the Qantas Club (seriously, people, think this through. Money well spent) and head to security to get through to the club.

And Then I see the TSA have the new, improved x-ray machines…..

And then I knew, knew, knew that I was gonna be a random sample and, unless I agreed to be xrayed **,  I was going to have my goolies played with, and not in a good way.

** (Just a minor rant here: these are x-ray machines???? In the public domain????? Where they zap random people???? Where are the precautions???? Every time I have had an xray the technician has run from the room when the actual procedure takes place  and always wore a leather apron to protect their nads. They certainly weren’t out in the open and not wearing any protection. Surely the TSA are gonna get really sick soon from radiation???? Or do they expect the TSA uniform to protect them???? Or is it a different type of xray????? Like my specs.)

After the TSA party time (he wasn’t even cute) I head to the club lounge, determined to make up for 67 dollars worth of product I didn’t have to pay for. So I eat the stale sandwiches like a man possessed. I manage three full sandwiches and a couple of liqueurs before I realise my stomach, surprisingly, is not a willing participant and I am still going to be out-of-pocket. I head towards the gate to board the plane, stomach full of Bailey sandwiches and I give my pass to the check in man…..

And Then he starts doing weird things on the computer. By this time I am spent, not being allowed on board and there is something wrong with my boarding pass. I am ready to go postal armed with my new jacket and hand luggage full of Hallmark Ornaments (which, in this instance, postal means putting up the Christmas tree while dressed stylishly)…..

And Then he upgrades me to business class……

And Then things get better. Much, much better. And I get  a blog post for tomorrow.

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with apologies to John Denver

All my bags are packed (to the brim!!!!) I’m ready to Go (as long as I dont pay excess luggage – bastards)

Im standing here outside your door  ( no, no problems there – barged the door down and woke you up and told you to feed the dogs)

I’d hate to wake you up to say goodbye (well Im leaving in 8 hours Still Im preemptive)

But the dawn is breakin’ It’s early morn (It’s going to snow. It’s going to fricking snow. I am fricking leaving and today is the day it snows. I LOVE snow. I am so, so, so, so, so annoyed and I don’t think Wesley realised I had such a colourful vocabulary. Welcome to Nigel’s fricking life!)

The taxi’s waitin’ he’s blowing his horn (yeah, that part aint true. Late afternoon flight and Wesley is dropping me off. Some artistic licence here)

Already I’m so lonesome I could die (that’s a really good line, cuts like a knife)

So kiss me and smile for me (if you don’t weep buckets, you’re gonna be in so much trouble! lol)

Tell me that you’ll wait for me (so not an issue.  An aside: the very first time I heard this played was with my friend Robert Debenham and I was eight. He played this for me on his guitar. An easy song to learn I guess. I knew I was different after that song)

Hold me like you’ll never let me go (ok, that one cut like a knife too)

Cause I’m leaving ona jet plane (please don’t crash, please don’t crash, please don’t crash)

Don’t know when I’ll be back again ( this is true. The lap of the gods is a big one)

Oh baby, I hate to go (ouch)

To everyone invloved in my most excellent holiday, old and new friends alike, thank you for a fabulous time. You know who you are. Love you. Please don’t let it be too long before we can hug again.

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The Tie Whisperer

I’m leaving tomorrow and was going to write a melancholy post on my mixed feelings at this. Wesley suggested I focus on something light, which was a good idea. Plus, I think, he wants to see his collection on the blog.

So, presenting the Tie Whisperer, Joel Wesley Thompson.

Everyone collects stuff. I collect comics. Wesley collects ties. He has 500 plus of them. He has a system for them as well, so if you remove one without his knowing, he will know if you don’t return it to the right place. I have a system for my ties as well. I have one tie. Red and triangular. If you remove it I know it’s missing as well. When I admitted that I only had one tie I couldn’t have wounded him more had I stabbed him repeatedly in the heart, ala Murder on the Orient Express. Interestingly, in all of my clothes shopping, I still remain singular of tie.

Wesley sends me a pic of himself with a different tie each day, except for no tie Fridays. I will make a coffee book on it one day. Only he and I will buy it (and he reluctantly) however it will be a fascinating book. Each tie has a story.

I am not sure when the tie obsession started, however he has ties for each occasion and enough that he can be an advent calendar each Christmas season.  I have seen pictures of Peanuts (which always makes me weak), a tie that looks like stethoscope, a tie that looks like a bottle, glow in the dark and blinking lights ties; ties for Chanukah; for Easter, for Halloween.

So, without further ado, the ties and an explanation (hopefully) of the system:

Holiday and theme ties:


I will probably get into trouble for printing this picture of him, however the tie in the picture is a Californian highway (route 66) and there is a tie pin that follows the route on the tie (I didn’t see it however I think that’s what he said)


I’m not sure of the system here; I can see toy Story, a nice autumnal scene and beach umbrellas. The eclectic system?

On surer footing here: the cartoon characters:

The business ties:


Locations ties?

An example of how the ties are stored:

There are three walls of two tie racks each and one with three, ignoring the ties in the other room and the resting ties in the drawer. I cannot criticize him as my comic collection is even larger. His ties are superbly organised though, much better than my collection

The tie whisperer is currently asleep next to me so I cannot ask him the reason for the rows of certain ties. I also cannot tell him how much I appreciated him and Trey looking after me for the last month nor how much I loved his cooking nor how much I have learnt this month (I learnt so much – a future blog post).

No, the tie whisperer  is fast asleep and will get told all of those things in the morning plus more. In the meantime, I have taken a tie. Let’s see how long it takes before he realises which one.


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Night of the Parentheses

We (meaning Trey, Wesley and I) went to a dinner with a drug rep friend of Wesley’s called can’t remember cos I have had four martinis. Simon? Anyway, a really nice chap and he paid for this fantastic dinner at a  place called Upstream. This place is amazing and, it would appear (given the number of press clippings framed in the building) one of the top 20 restaurants in the US. The food was fabu.  Evidently on this particular evening  there was a  world-wide push to promote sea product from the gulf stream (which, as you know, had a smidge of an oil problem lately.) The day was very kindly dedicated to promoting and using the seafood of the gulf stream to financially support the fishermen there and allow people to know the seafood of the area is now edible and available. I am continuing this promotion by letting you, my dear 6 readers, know it’s ok to eat gulf stream fish. Should Simon?, Trey, Wesley and I all get cancer in the next six months you have my permission to not listen to that sage advice, ok?!

Anyways the restaurant is superb and, as Simon? is a drug rep, he was paying which made the night even better. I was kicking back the martinis (  I had four. I am snockered)  and suggested that anchovy stuffed olives were the perfect accompaniment to them (which they are.)  Upstream did not have these particular olives but were happy to make them for me which was amazing and very appreciated. I have to say I have been spoilt on pre-made already soaked anchovy stuffed olives so freshly made ones tasted odd (the irony does not escape me!) Trey preferred blue cheese stuffed olives which (love him dearly) would be gross in martinis. Jennifer, our server/ waitress was happy to bring me  a supply of blue cheese and ‘normal’ olives so I could see which was best in a martini. (I did not care after the second glass.)

The fish was superb (even the gulf sea fish, which we had for an appetizer – we are not completely mad) and the company delightful. I did suffer some (martini induced) melancholia as the night seemed to focus on people, situations and experiences known only to the three of them.  I ordered the fourth martini (and confided in Jennifer I had no idea what they were talking about) to combat this. I also experienced this horrible time when they all were extolling the virtues of the smell of a pear gin Trey was trying and I couldn’t smell a thing. And I was breathing in till my nose bled. This lack of smell upset me enormously however  they were all too engrossed (and libated) to care.  I could smell something burning in the kitchen though so my smell isn’t completely shot yet. Despite these minor setbacks, the night was very jolly (and presumably there’s nothing wrong with my taste yet as, God knows, I have no problem eating.)

We did participate in one meaningful conundrum; what was the name of the Peanuts character with naturally curly hair? We were all  wrong. Guesses left in the comment section  please (and NO googling.)

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Adventures in Toileting

Ok first off, fair warning: this post is gonna be about my confusion with American toilets/ bathrooms. This may be too much information (TMI) for some people. If such pleasantries offend thee, please come back tomorrow when I will discuss further adventures in shopping. For those of you who want to see me further embarrass myself for the sake of this blog, THIS post is for you.

Consider yourself warned.

So American toilets… its been an education. I mention this purely for the unfortunate traveller who may learn from my mistakes. Firstly, they call them bathrooms here (I guess largely cos most of the toilets are in the bathroom but often times not.)

Ignore the fact that toilets flush differently, the first thing you’ll notice about the toilets here is that the water level is full to the brim.  Full. To. The. Brim.  Americans who have not been to Australia, toilets are only just a little full, hardly at all.  This will be important later.  Most American toilets are about an inch from the top of the bowl. This is also important later.

America toilet paper is DIVINE!!!!!!!! It’s like wiping yourself with a duvet. Australian paper is like sandpaper in comparison. The lads don’t know this yet however they are sending care parcels to me when I return and top of the list is the magnificent toilet rolls.  The only problem is, due to its thickness, you really don’t need as much toilet roll as you do in Australia. As such I have had a few blocked toilet adventures (Lord. My housemates must have thought I was mentally challenged the number of times I had to flush) before I adjusted for the new, super-duper rolls. (Again the lads don’t know that yet, either – this post is just gonna be just chock full of surprises for them)

The horrible thing about the so-full-its-painful toilet bowl is that there is only an inch of rim to aim at when you need to urinate. Wesley and I went to visit his parents and his sister Dani (pronounced, Dana, remember.) Meeting Wesley’s mother, Colleen, is like meeting the queen. She is an utterly wonderful woman. There’s a southern regalness to her that makes me neurotic, however.   While we were there I needed to go to the toilet, which was tricky as the bathroom was near where the queen was sitting. Wesley had preceded me and was quiet as a mouse. I went afterwards and couldn’t for the life of me be quiet. It sounded like a downpour on a tin roof in a flood.  I kept stopping and starting as I felt sure everyone in the living room could hear me.  I thought I might have got away with it until Dani yells out “Don’t forget to wash your hands!!!”  When I got out of the bathroom everyone had moved to the other side of the room to avoid the noise.

I was dying.

Colleen regally ignored my embarrassment but Wesley and Dani were not that forgiving. Wesley has an evil grin like a Cheshire cat and Dani smiles sweetly and says “Well that was lovely.” I couldn’t look Colleen in the eye for the rest of the visit.

Finally there are the toilets in the shopping centres or airports which have no visible means of flushing. Certainly there is no button or lever to push. Evidently there seems to be some type of infra-red or sensor thing that makes the toilet flush automatically. I am not sure how this works. I jump around in front of the toilet like an indian doing a rain dance but the toilet remains steadfast in its refusal to flush. It eventually does so, presumably after the toilet stops laughing at me. I suspect the flushing may be magic. I am still to work out how to make the blasted thing flush. They will take away my Mensa card at this rate.


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