What the F%#k Friday

What the F#%? Friday - Header

Linking up with The Lounge because we’re failing with STYLE 🙂


Howdy all, it’s it finally time for another What the F#%? Friday!

This week I’m not just cataloging the weird, wonderful and just plain WACK. Oh no. This week is dedicated to those most satisfying of WTFs … FAILS.

Now there is an argument that all instances of WTF have, at their heart, an element of FAIL.

However if you want to argue semantics you should probably go and find a blog where the author knows what semantics ARE and then argue with them instead of me. Lord knows it’s school holidays and I am having all the arguments one woman can stand.

And on that note I’d like to give some credit to my boys.

Finding random stuff for these posts has become a bit of a family obsession and they have become my unofficial “spotters” when we are out and about. And in the case of several of the number plate photos they have also taken on the role of photographer.

If I’m driving and we spot something interesting, who ever is sitting in the front will shout “I’ll get it Mum!”. Then, after a brief scrummage in my handbag for my iPhone, they’ll start clicking away with the professionalism of a miniature paparazzi!

My little accomplices – how I love them! The irony of someone trying to make a Volvo “cool” with a number plate like this was lost on them but not on me 😉

My little accomplices photo-bombing a number plate pic :)

My little accomplices photo-bombing a number plate pic 🙂

OK, so now without any further ado here is the What the F#%? Friday FAIL edition…

Street Names

I’m going to cheat a bit here (already!) and include an awesome street name fail AND one that is an absolute winner. See if you can guess which is which.

1. A street of winners?
In Brisbane we don’t just let Bogans live where ever the damn hell they like! No we take a much more sensible approach. We give them their own street…

If you ever wondered where they came from, now you know!

If you ever wondered where they came from, now you know!

2. A winning street
Call me a nerd if you like, but wouldn’t this be the most awesome street to live in? Or is that “illogical”? 😉

I loved this so much I just had to give it the Vulcan Salute!

I loved this so much I just had to give it the Vulcan Salute!

Number Plates

The personalised number plate is almost doomed to failure from the start. Put simply if you need to tell people something about yourself so badly that you have to express it on the exterior of your car, then you are trying WAY TOO HARD.

Like these people…

1. Livin’ (or lovin’?) IT
Ok so we can see you’ve got a beemer. Round of applause for you. It’s not clear whether it’s an abbreviated version of LIVING it or LOVING it. But either way it spells W.A.N.K.E.R to me…

Are you mate? Are you really?

Are you mate? Are you really?

2. Desinger Label
This one is my favourite, and not just because this person has blatantly tried to gain street cred by associating themselves with a prestigious designer label.

No it’s the fact that they put this number plate on a KIA, the crappiest car ever to grace the byways of suburbia, that really appeals to my sense of irony.

The number plate may be all class, but the car is all ass!

The number plate may be all class, but the car is all ass!

For those of you who are startled by my animosity toward KIAs you can get the back story here

Sign Fails

It never ceases to amaze mt the truly bizarre shit that people put on signs! Totally wack. Again I’m going to give you a couple of FAILS and one mega-WIN.

1. Lushington Softstone

We’re going to do a little quizz for this one. When you read the name Lushington Softstone what do you think it is referring to?

Once I get 20 votes I’ll post a picture of the answer 😉

2. Toilets. They are not for standing on.

My trusty friend Paula has done me a great service by drawing my attention to a very serious issue. Apparently there is a world-wide epidemic of people who think it is OK to stand on the toilet to do their business!

No Standing. Anytime.

No Standing. Anytime.

Alright, epidemic may be too strong a word. But there are clearly enough people doing this to warrant an actual sign being constructed. And it also helpfully reminds you to put your toilet paper in the toilet. In case you’d planned to, I don’t know, put it in your pocket instead.

Who does this? I have no idea, but for any closet toilet-standers out there be warned. The toilet police have your number…

3. The Death of a Video Store

I’m a bit obsessed with the slow slide into obsolescence that is currently being experienced by many products and institutions that I grew up with – machines like faxes are a good case in point.

Video stores are also at risk of extinction. There are a couple still hanging on by their finger nails but more and more often when I see a video store it’s empty with a “For Lease” sign on it.

As is the case with the store in this photo. But this store is a little bit different. It decided it would NOT go gently into that good night. It was going to have one last shot – and here it is…

Vale, Video Store

Vale, Video Store

I salute you noble video store. You died a good death.

The Mother if all FAILS

If you ever needed evidence of the decline in musical culture since the the grunge era, then you need look no further than Psy. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more naff a marketing team in Korea decided that what Psy really needed to consolidate his popularity was a doll…

Life like in a very creepy way

Life like in a very creepy way

But that’s not the fail. The real FAIL is that is dances!!!!

If you’ve got a photo that you that made you go WTF then you can post it on my Facebook page or DM me on twitter @theviblog using the #WTFFriday hashtag.

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed the FAILS edition of What the F#%? Friday. And don’t forget to do the Lushington Softstone quiz 🙂

We need to talk about…

Linking up with The Lounge today for their “Rants & Raves” week over at Robomum.


An open letter to the parents of the two young men

who knocked on my door a few weeks ago…

Dear Parents,

A few weeks ago your sons knocked on my door, and despite my best efforts I have not been able to get this seemingly unremarkable event out of my head.

It has plagued me to such an extent that I have been compelled to write this letter to you, in the hope that by doing so I may able to end the recurring episodes of rage that I experience every time I remember it.

They arrived on a Sunday just before lunch.

Their tentative knock was answered by my eldest son Jack, closely followed by Oscar and Max. The first I know of their arrival is when the three of them come barrelling down the hallway yodelling “MUUUUUUMMMM. There’s some people at the doooooorrrr for you!”

Grudgingly I extricate myself from the depths of the bathroom I was cleaning, and drag myself down the hallway, swatting boys out from under my feet as I go.

I don’t have my glasses on, and from this distance I can’t quite make out who these visitors might be.

Dishevelled, sweaty and squinting unattractively I arrive at our front door and try to rearrange my features into an expression of pleasant welcome. Now that I’m closer I can see there are two young men on my doorstep.

And then I freeze when I notice:

The white collared shirts.
The cheap looking black ties.
The little black name badges.
The smallish black book each them are clutching.

Mormons. Awesome.

“Hi… we’re from the church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints and we were just wondering if we could… uhhm… talk to you about Jesus?”

Irritation flares inside me and scathing words form on my tongue.

The arrogance of these religions that feel that they have the right to try and force their world view down anyone’s throat. The audacity to think that they can intrude on my family and I in our own home.

But before I speak I take a second look at the two of them. I notice them both shift slightly as if to steel themselves for my response

“Young men” was really overstating the case.

These two are kids – there’s not a chance either of them is over 18. One of them has bum-fluff and the other hasn’t even got that far yet.

The harsh words turn to ashes in my mouth.

“No, thank you but… we’re not really… look no, I don’t think so. Sorry.”

Pity does not make me eloquent but it does lighten the situation. Despite the adult costumes they are wearing their teenage minds relish my obvious adult discomfort, but they are gracious about it.

“That’s ok,” they say, sounding slightly relived.

Then remembering their mission, the slightly older one with the bum fluff rallies and has the presence of mind to ask…

“Would you like us to leave you with a copy of the Book of Mormon? Maybe you might like to take a look at it later?”

“Actually I already have one,” I say. They look surprised – clearly I have the look of the unbeliever about me!

Drop one letter for a more accurate description ;)

Drop one letter for a more accurate description 😉

And so we get chatting.

I tell them how I came to have my copy of the book.

(to wit: some similar missionaries had door-knocked the unit I was living in as a 19 year old student in 1996. I answered the door a bit stoned and let them talk to me for about 20 minutes before they realised I was not a good prospect for conversion. Asking them if they wanted a beer was probably the clincher)

I ask them how long they’ve been out door-knocking so far. They tell me they’ve been out since 8.30am and they’ll stay out until 1.00pm. After that they’ve got church from 1.30pm that will go most of the afternoon.

We all say our goodbyes and I watch them walk down the stairs and off down the road. Off to trudge the streets and talk to strangers for another hour and a half until it was time to go to church. Doing their best. Trying their hardest.

Those boys. They broke my heart.

And although I’ve tried, I cannot get them out of my head because every time I think about them I experience such piercing rage that it actually makes me stop what I’m doing.

So as the parents of these fine young men I’m sure you’re keen to know WHY I’m so angry.

And before you puff yourself up with righteous indignation and sanctimonious swagger it’s NOT your religion that bothers me per se. Even though it does seem MIGHTY convenient that America actually had it’s own a visit from JC back in the day.

Yep the Book of Mormon states clearly that Jesus Christ came to the Americas 2,000 years ago shortly after performing his own version of “The Walking Dead” back in old Jerusalem town.

How he managed this despite the tyranny of distance, the dearth of technology, and the lack of low-cost air carriers such as Jetstar is not clear, or at least not clear to me.

But I digress.

So no, that’s not what’s bothering me. What IS bothering me, what is really, really fucking bothering me is this…

In this life there are many things that we will not be able to protect our children from. Despite all our efforts they will inevitably get hurt, experience pain (both physical and emotional) and possibly even face real danger. And although we would do ANYTHING to take their place and shield them from these things we won’t be able to.

But I believe that where we can protect them from being hurt or spare them from pain, we should. And although there are things that are beyond our control, we should do everything in our power to ensure that those things we can control do not harm the precious lives that have been entrusted to us.

So my problem is that by sending your children out into the streets to force your religion into the homes of people who have not asked for it is…

You have knowingly and deliberately sent your children into danger.

You don’t know who’s behind any of those doors they so innocently knock on. You don’t know what awful things they could be exposed to. You don’t know whether behind the nice white picket fence lives a piece of human slime.


You have sent your children into humiliation.

To be laughed at and insulted and made fun of. To be belittled and rejected and made to feel like shit. What effect do you think that has on their self-esteem and emotional development?


But worst of all you sent children to do an adults work.

Oh I’m sure there’s something in that little black book that allows you to brainwash them into thinking that they need to do this to please their heavenly Father.

But make no mistake – the people they are really trying to please are you, their parents. They want your approval and to live up to your expectations. And you are ABUSING this fundamental trust.


*pause to regain composure*

So in conclusion I hope those nice young men you’ve brought into this world stay safe and have the chance to grow into the good men they have the potential to become. I hope they experience all the joy and beauty that this world has to offer.

But as for you? You can go fuck yourselves.

Yours Sincerely,

Citizen R

The Truth About Toilet Fairies

I’m hosting The Lounge this week for our first “Freestyle” edition! No themes, no rules, just great people and fabulous reading 🙂

Workmates. Colleagues. Fellow inhabitants of the salt mines.

Whatever you call them, the people you work with are a lot like family. Not just in in the sense of being prone to having loud alcohol fuelled arguments at Christmas (surely that’s not just my family?). But in the sense that you can’t choose them.

Regardless of industry or occupation all workplaces are made up of an eclectic mix of individual personalities that all need to find a way to accommodate each others quirks and perks.

The process is not always easy.

Quiet achievers are forced to endure gregarious, social co-workers.

Big picture people are frustrated when their ideas for innovation are shut down by colleagues who can’t imagine doing things differently to the way they’ve always been done.

Neat Nancys are forced to co-exist with slovenly Susans.

You get the idea.

Then there are the challenges of sharing.

Work spaces, resources and facilities are all shared with our co-workers, not to mention in endless rounds of the flu. And it’s these shared resources and facilities that can cause the most friction.

Communal kitchens are often a source of tension. No one will ever confess to being the owner of the festering Tupperware container in the back of the communal fridge – the one which has been there so long it requires a HAZMAT suit and safety goggles to remove it.

They also frequently end up as the scene of Mexican stand-off style confrontations over who owns the dish that’s been left to “soak” in the sink for three days running.

Office equipment and resources can also be fraught with conflict. No-one in the history of offices has ever wanted to be the schmuck who has to change the toner in the printer. People use the last piece of stationery and don’t put it on the list to be replaced. And then there are those people that are so uncoordinated that they can’t even seem to use a basic piece of office equipment without rendering unfit for further use…

Yep I broke the laminator. It says so right there on the sign....

Yep I broke the laminator. It says so right there on the sign….

Ok so it was me.

I put something in to the laminator and for some bizzare reason NOTHING CAME OUT!

The best part about this particular sign is that I DIDN’T MAKE IT! After about 15 fruitless minutes of taking the damn machine apart and still not finding the document I stalked off in disgust. So to save everyone the bother of trying to work out who exactly had buggered the laminator, one of my particularly diligent colleagues happened to be around when the incident occurred and made it for me. Just in case anyone wanted to know who broke the laminator… IT WAS MEEEEEEE!

The upshot is that people have different standards.

But from the freakishly clean and tidy, to seriously dodgy and gross, all must learn to live together in some sort of harmony otherwise your workplace ends up resembling the shoot out at the last chance saloon.

In my current workplace we’re all pretty good *most* of the time. We don’t have anyone who’s really gross but I think we are probably all guilty of the occasional moment of absent mindedness when we forget to wash our teaspoon or re-fill the water dispenser.

And this is where signs come in.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against signs, and have even made the odd one or two myself in my time…

One of my former co-workers and I had a partition between our desks. Instead of constantly having to wheel our chairs around to speak to each other, we created signs which we could raise over the top of the partition to communicate with each other  It was very effective as you can see...

One of my former co-workers and I had a partition between our desks. Instead of constantly having to wheel our chairs around to speak to each other, we created signs which we could raise over the top of the partition to communicate with each other It was very effective as you can see…

I like to think I’m a fairly considerate co-worker. I wash up my stuff after lunch and generally try to leave all office equipment in the state in which I found it (apart from the laminator, obviously…).

But living in a smallish house with up to 5 children at any one time had given me shall we say, realistic, ideas about standards when large numbers of people have to share communal facilities. I definitely think everyone should do their best to be considerate of their colleagues but I’m not going to get bent out of shape over a slip here and there.

However some of my colleagues have higher expectations which they are certainly entitled to.

And recently there have been more than the usual number of instances where someone has used the last of a toilet paper in the ladies toilets and *GASP* not replaced the toilet roll!

Now since we’d had some extra casual staff in over this period it was impossible to pinpoint exactly who the culprit might be. But someone, and I’m still not sure exactly who it was, decided that something must be done. That someone needed to set the record straight about the standards regarding toilet rolls in this organisation.

So they made this sign and stuck it above the toilet roll in both cubicles…

This sign appeared in the ladies loos at my work last Friday...

This sign appeared in the ladies loos at my work last Friday…


For some inexplicable reason this sign really spoke to me.

There was something about it that made me feel quite sad – as if by admitting there was no toilet fairy meant we were saying goodbye to the possibility of a little bit of magic in the world.

I decided this wouldn't do.

So I made this. And stuck it next to the original sign in both cubicles…

We do have a Toilet Fairy after all!

And hopefully now peace will reign in our communal facilities 🙂

The Toilet Fairy

The Toilet Fairy

Tantrum on the Highway of Life

Linking up with The Lounge this week for the topic of “adult Tantrums”

Initially I thought this was going to be a tough topic to write about. Although I do plenty of run-of-the-mill shouting, carping, whining and complaining I’m not really a tantrum thrower.

Sure, I get frustrated by various aspects of work, kids, relationships and family but it takes a lot to really piss me off. And in times of extreme stress I’m more likely to go quiet and clam up rather than get my shouty on.

So there I was – feeling pleasantly sanctimonious about my zen-like composure, but without any material for a post. At my wits end I turned to my two older sons Jack and Oscar.

Me: “Boys,” I said, “can you think of a time that Mummy has ever really, really lost her temper about something?”

Jack: *puzzled* “Uhh yeah sure I can”

Oscar: “You did this morning when I threw a pair of novelty teeth at Max and got him in the eye”

The novelty "hill-billy" teeth that were the subject of this morning's dispute. Why would anyone fight over these?

The novelty “hill-billy” teeth that were the subject of this morning’s dispute. Why would anyone fight over these?

Me: “Why were you arguing about those anyway? Actually, no don’t answer that – I don’t want to know why you and Max (my youngest son) were arguing to the death about a pair of revolting, hill-billy style novelty teeth”

*pause while I marvel at the truly inconsequential crap the boys will argue about*

Me: “Anyway that wasn’t what I meant. What I meant was has Mummy ever had a TANTRUM? You know, really chucked a nana about something”

They considered for a second and then Oscar’s face lit up. For he had remembered the two words that was guaranteed to trigger a massive tantrum

Oscar: “Remember when we had the Kia Mum?

Creators of my  nemesis, the Kia Carnival.

Creators of my nemesis, the Kia Carnival.

Me: *in a fugue state* Oh no. I’d almost managed to block he memories from my mind. It’s all coming back to me.

Oscar, blithely unaware of my mental distress, continues…

Oscar: “Remember that time when it broke down Mum? You were REALLY mad that time”

If only it was that simple.

You see in the brief but tumultuous stint as owners of a Kia Carnival there were SO MANY breakdowns he could have been referring to.

We’d bought our 2003 Kia Carnival in 2007, after our trusty Pajero had died inconveniently close to Christmas. Add to that the fact that we’d started a business earlier that year and that I was also 6 months pregnant and I’m sure you can see that needing to buy a new car at short notice was a bit of a strain.

So we were after something a couple of levels above “rusty old bomb” while not venturing into the realms of “ooh that’s really nice”. A solid family car that wasn’t more than a few years and didn’t have too many miles on the clock.

And – here’s the kicker – it had to have 7 seats

This was essential so that we could fit my stepson and step daughter every second weekend when they stayed with us.

Now the Pajero had 7 seats and I quite enjoyed barrelling around it. Being a 4WD it made me feel slightly intrepid which gelled quite nicely with my image – or at least MY idea of what my image was.

The Kia did NOT fit in at all with my the self image I had in mind. It was a people mover – pure and simple. No style whatsoever. But it fit our price range and seat criteria so we bought it.

Don't be deceived by it's benign outward appearance. This car has a death wish and is determined to self-destruct!

Don’t be deceived by it’s benign outward appearance. This car has a death wish and is determined to self-destruct!

The problems started almost immediately.

First there was the blown radiator hose two weeks after we bought it.

Then within a few months the air-con went and we had to replace that. For some reason after this the radio never worked again. I could have put a new stereo in but a growing sense of doom made me resistant to the idea.

And then the engine blew up. Apparently it got so hot that it actually melted the thermostat. So we replaced it. At great expense and maximum inconvenience. The car was now way over-capitalised, but because we had finance we were looking down the barrel of 5 years of repayments for a car we didn’t have.

Two out of the 4 door handles snapped off at some point after this.

And then it happened.

I was driving down the freeway on 20 minute journey to visit my mum. The journey had been uneventful by standards at the time. Max, only a baby at the time had mercifully fallen asleep.

Jack and Oscar, aged 5 and 4 respectively, had engaged me in their favourite topic of conversation at the time which was “Let’s name ALL the dinosaurs and discuss what they ate and which ones were big ones and which ones were small ones”.

Suddenly I felt the car losing power. I tried to accelerate – no dice. I was of course in the far right hand lane so immediately made tracks to the left hand lane so I could pull over. By some stroke of enormous god luck there was an emergency breakdown area only meters ahead. The car was crawling by this time but we made it – just.

Jack and Oscar immediately unleashed a barrage of shrill questions… .

“Mummy why did we have to stop?”
“Mummy what’s wrong with the car?”
“Mummy are we still going to Nanny’s house?”
“Mummy was a stegosaurus a meat-eater or a plant-eater?”

They woke Max up, who immediately started to wail for a feed.

I got out of the car. I called Brook and let him know where we were. Gave him few choice words on my opinion of the car and Kia as a manufacturer of motor vehicles.

Then I checked to make sure all the windows on the car were closed. Yep good all shut.

And then I let rip.

Safely out of earshot of the boys I called down every vile curse in repertoire while kicking the tires repeatedly…

” You fucking fucker! All I wanted was to go to my Mum’s for the afternoon. Was that too much to fucking ask? Why are you doing this to me you fucking piece of shit excuse for a car. I HATE YOU!!!!”

God knows if anyone was watching. I sincerely hope not. To say this was not my finest hour is an understatement.

But the stress and the constant insecurity of wondering what was going to go wrong with it next had taken it’s toll and I was at the end of my rope.

I got back in the car. The boys hadn’t heard but they’d definitely seen.

Jack: “Mummy why were you kicking the car?”

Me: “Oh… well I was just… you know, making sure the tires were pumped up enough”

So that was my best dummy spit! What about you? Ever gotten to the end of your rope and just ha to let rip?

Linking up with The Lounge because it’s the kind of place where you can let it ALL hang out!

The Lounge <

A Fashion Odyssey: 1977 – 2013

Linking up with The Lounge for the topic “Fashion Fails”

When I found out that Sarah from Slapdash Mama had chosen this as her theme my initial thought was “NNNOOOOOOO!!” quickly followed by “WWHHYYYYYYYY???””.

While I’m by no means a fashionista, I do think that in the last few years I’ve finally arrived at a place where I have a good idea of my own personal style. I know not all trends will work for me and I’ve learnt to take the elements I’m comfortable with and ditch the rest. I like to think the result is a safe version of whatever’s “in” at any given time.

Me in the present. Dressed as a pirate in my role of Mother, and dressed to kill in my role as semi-retired party girl ;)

Me in the present. Dressed as a pirate in my role of Mother, and dressed to kill in my role as semi-retired party girl 😉

The journey to this place however has been fairly fraught with fashion disasters and I had hoped that evidence of these fails could stay hidden in the past along with my roller skates and Bros records.

But alas it was not to be.

The Lounge has demanded that I ‘fess up to my greatest fashion faux pas and as a Lounge Lizard I have no choice but to take a pill, pull up my big-girl pants and get ready to re-visit these moments of questionable style.

When I started rifling through the old photos I found evidence of fashion crimes from various stages of my life, so I have conveniently categorised them for your viewing pleasure

Now sit back, grab a martini (or maybe even something stronger- this is not for the faint-hearted) and allow me to take you on a Fashion Odyssey through my life from 1977 – 2013.

Fashion Fails – The Early Years

As you can see my younger sister and I should actually be claiming royalties from The Wiggles for providing the inspiration for their iconic skivvies. I hated these with a passion, as they were both scratchy and uncomfortable as well as hideous!

Skivvies Ahoy! The Wiggles looked to us for inspiration...

Skivvies Ahoy! The Wiggles looked to us for inspiration…

Now here we have two absolute classic 80’s fashion fails and I think I’ve executed them quite well, considering my tender age.

On the left we have the “double-denim” combo of denim jacket and denim skirt. But wait – I’ve teamed them with white ankle boots which propels the outfit into the stratosphere of fails.

And there on the right is me in my “material girl” get-up. I loved Madonna and thought her lace bow was the epitome of cool!

Check out the out the double denim/ white boots combo! And my Madonna inspired lace bow!

Check out the out the double denim/ white boots combo! And my Madonna inspired lace bow!

Teen Fashion Fails

When I entered my teens I was introduced to the world of uniform-inflicted fails. Although they were completely out of my control they are still significant.

On the left is me the early 90’s Hungry Jacks (Burger King) uniform I wore for my part-time job. You can see in the photo I’m trying to give it some attitude but I’m not really pulling it off. That may be because it was 100% polyester and extremely gross to wear. It was like wearing plastic bags had been that fashioned into clothes.

I spent my teens as a choir girl by day and Burger chick by night!

I spent my teens as a choir girl by day and Burger chick by night!

On the right is me in my school choir performance outfit.

Yes I was in the choir. You can shut-up now.

In addition to the uniform check out my quiffed fringe! I used to render it absolutely immobile with hairspray and my family referred to it as “the dish” due to it’s resemblance to a Sky TV dish.

The dreaded body-suit teamed with high-waisted white jeans. Verrry naiiiiice!

The dreaded body-suit teamed with high-waisted white jeans. Verrry naiiiiice!

And this one is me on my 16th birthday. What you may not notice is that the top I’m wearing is actually a body-suit! For the uninitiated it was a shirt that was kind of like a leotard in disguise because you did it up under the crutch with press-studs. Classy AND functional no?

Thank god I stopped wearing them before I started drinking because the co-ordination required to do up press-stud in your crutch requires a clear head and a steady hand!

I think the high-waisted white jeans speak for themselves so we’ll move on…

Party Girl Fails

So I finished high-school and became an adult. HAHAHAAAA! No I certainly did NOT become and adult or anything even close to it for years and years.

What I did become though was a party girl. I took to night clubbing with a vengeance and as far as I was concerned the best night for going out was any night the sun went down.

This of course lead to some spectacularly LOUD fails. Everything in this era was too bright, too tight or too short, but hey what else do you wear when your whole life revolves around cutting a swathe through the Brisbane CBD in your platform shoes? Shoes which were so high they had their own name “The Towering Infernos”…

The peak of my night-clubbing days saw fashion fails aplenty...

The peak of my night-clubbing days saw fashion fails aplenty…

On the left you’ve got a fairly mild fail – the mid-riff shirt isn’t quite doing the job and black and brown seems a strange combination. I also know (that you can’t see in this shot) that the skirt is very short – the kind where if you drop something you have to lower yourself down into the crouch position, as bending over would give the world a flash they could probably do without.

But on the right… ohhh, on the right.

I don’t know what I was thinking.

Fuck, I don’t know what the MANUFACTURERS were thinking. But god help me I loved that shirt – and in this case love was most assuredly BLIND.

Let us just say that the words “mauve” and “lycra” should probably never co-exist in the same sentence and leave it at that shall we? Before our eyes fall out from the sheer glare coming off that thing…

Failing Abroad

I did a lot of travelling in my late teens and early twenties and let me tell you this era was fertile ground for fashion fails. It seemed whenever I left the country I left my fashion sense (and my inhibitions but that’s probably a topic for another post!) behind.

On the left we have me with a friend in Germany. The hat is red crushed velvet and I had bought it in Paris, where we’d been for the weekend. I LOVED this hat. Because I’d bought it in Paris I thought it made me look artistic and bohemian. In reality I looked like the type of mad aunt one might keep locked in an attic.

On the right I am sitting in a tourist trap restaurant in Istanbul. I at least have the sense to look mortified in this one. The hosts made you wear the full kit and my mate took the photo while we were waiting for them to bring us a hookah pipe.

All serious travellers wear hats. No really, they do...

All serious travellers wear hats. No really, they do…

And here I am in Thailand on the way home from my 3 year working holiday in the UK. This trip was my last hurrah as I was heading home to be sensible and go back to uni.

On the left you can see me and my mate Mark in our fetching tourist beer shirts. In fairness this was when they’d first come out (around 2000) but even still they’re pretty daggy and do absolutely nothing for me fashion wise.

On the left you can see I’ve gone for the obligatory hippy hair-wrap thing-a-majig. I had really long hair down to my waist at the time and balked at getting the Bo Derek style braids that a lot of the other girls were getting. I don’t know what I’m pointing out to Connor (an Irish fella we’d met with his fiancé Jo-anne while travelling) but it looks far out man!

Tasteful beer shirt? Check! Dodgy hair thingo? Check!

Tasteful beer shirt? Check! Dodgy hair thingo? Check!

Fails of my Twenties

By the time I hit my mid-twenties most of the really big fails were behind me. But not entirely as is evidenced by these fetching fails…

On the left is me fire-twirling! Yes I am a woman of hidden talents 🙂
But my fire twirling costume leaves a lot to be desired. Leopard print shirt teamed with blue floral bikini bottoms which are poking out the back of my skirt – that’s a pretty major pattern clash!

And why do I have my hat on backwards? Or indeed, why do I have my hat on at all since it is clearly night time? Well that’s all part of the fire-twirling scene. Us fire-twirlers know that the hat on backwards is the key to doing rad spins 😉

I should join the circus!

I should join the circus!

On the left is me on my first night out after having Jack. I was clearly a bit “out of it” fashion-wise. I think we can all agree that pale pink is really not my colour. I look like bacon – if bacon could stand up and wear shimmer eye-shadow.

And that’s the end of my Fashion Odyssey!

You’ll notice I haven’t really included anything from my more recently history. That’s not because I haven’t worn any regrettable outfits. On the contrary I am 100% sure I have! It’s just that not enough time has passed for their true horror to become apparent.

Because in the end it’s really time that makes these fashion outfits “fails” rather than “fierce”. I remember how much I loved that mauve lycra shirt of my early twenties. How many of my go-to outfits of today will make me cringe in 10 years time?

So I’ll see you all back here in the year 2023! We can catalogue the fails of 2013 as well as those yet to befall us. I bet it will be just as much fun the second time around 🙂

Thursdays in The Lounge – it’s a “come as you are” kind of place!

The Lounge

The Siren Song of Salami

As some of you may have read in this post I’ve recently commenced my mid-life crisis.

And far from being the relaxing slide into self-absorbed indulgence I had thought it would be, the crisis has actually turned out to require a fair bit of input from ME!

Soul searching, navel gazing. I tell you some days it’s just one more ting on my fucking to do list!

This internal “stock take” has been a bit of a double edged sword.

I have been able to congratulate myself on my achievements which are, in no particular order…

– Three children who are well-behaved, quiet ummm, let just say they’re “characters” full of spark and wonderful little quirks

– A career that, although it has taken many twists and turns, is at least now pretty much on track

– Fantastic friends both IRL and online

– A good relationship with a man who, apart from his habit of leaving his socks on the lounge room floor, is as good a man as you could want.

But I’ve also had to face the fact that there are some things I definitely thought i’d be better at by now. This was a less comfortable list to write but here goes…

– I still drink far too quickly for the first two drinks at any party.

I think it’s a combination of nerves and the feeling (which any parent will relate to) of having to cram as much fun into an evening as possible, since it may be several months until I have another opportunity to get out and socialise.

– My relationship with exercise is still very much an “on & off” affair.

After an awesome period of being “on” last year, exercise and I are currently very much in the “off” stage of the relationship cycle. So once again I am trying to re-kindle the spark there.

Believe me I could go on and on but in the interests of not boring or depressing you I’ll only add one more point.

There is one thing I definitely hoped I’d be better at by now and that is…

Self Control

Need an example? Picture this if you will…

I’m in the shopping centre with my boys. We’re standing at the deli counter with our ticket waiting for the teenager behind the counter to notice we exist.

And then it happens.

One of the boys, looking aimlessly at the olives, cheeses and smallgoods in the cabinet, will suddenly have a brain-wave…

“Mum, can we make home made pizza?”

Innocent enough you may think? Sure it is – on the surface. But you see I know what’s coming next and it strikes terror into my heart.

“I know! We should get some salami while we’re here at the deli. We can put it on the pizza”.

Cue a chorus of excited “Yeahs” as the other two boys congratulate who ever it was on having the foresight to not only suggest a dinner that is practically take-away, but also for suggesting an ingredient that will make it taste even more like the real thing.

Here lies the tragedy… that salami will never make it on to the pizza

What will happen instead is that at regular intervals throughout the afternoon I will be drawn, as if by an invisible force, to the fridge. Once there I may put up a token resistance…

“No… no, I mustn’t. I shouldn’t. Oh God help me!!!”

Me doing my best "mills & Boon" heroine pose trying to resist the lure of the evil salami!

Me doing my best “mills & Boon” heroine pose trying to resist the lure of the evil salami!

To no avail. The primal call of the salami is too strong and I succumb over and over again until finally late in the afternoon I’ll go back one last time.

All that will be there is a small, sad, empty plastic bag. A bag that was once full of so much pizza-ish promise. Now empty.

So there I stand forlornly in front of the fridge knowing that I have just eaten ALL the salami. Slightly ill, full of salami and remorse I think to myself…


I’m almost 36 years old. How can I not know when enough salami is enough?

What about you? What makes you lose your self control. Is it something wicked and decadent like pate or dark chocolate. Or is it just plain gross like salami?

What did YOU think you’d better at by now?

Linking up with The Lounge over at Musings of the Misguided because losing your self control is not only encouraged it’s damn well expected!

The Lounge