Monday, 24 October 2011


Well colour me disheartened. My friend and I planned a big night out on the town on Saturday night, got dressed up, had some drinks, researched where to go and . . .yep, better not stop the on-line dating thing just yet.

We had such high hopes. We didn't expect to meet the loves of our lives, we just wanted to meet people, mingle, chat, or at the very least observe. Despite researching as well as we could where we should go we were not successful and have concluded that Melbourne on a Saturday night is for 20 year olds. We had a list of bars elicited from friends on FB but they were all so young. A couple of bars seemed to be mainly female too, and we were fairly certain they weren’t gay bars either. There was an awful lot of frilly pink décor happening here at Madame Brussels- that’s probably what put the men off.

We walked and walked to get to bars, had some cocktails, were ready to enjoy ourselves but just couldn’t find the right place to be. As we’d set our sights on bars - and there must be about 300 in Melbourne - we didn’t even get any dancing done. 

We were sick of it early enough to call it quits and catch the last train home. Lovely - with all the young things, and their Maccas, and the three rough looking lads playing their metal-something music very loud. For obvious reasons no one was game to ask them to turn it down. Including us bossy teacher-types.

Plan B involves maybe going to Richmond instead or Brunswick St, or trying the drinks-after-works-crowd. Wish us luck because Plan C is to continue with the highly unsuccessful on-line dating.

Friday, 21 October 2011

The more things change. . .

They say the only thing you can rely on is that things will change. Is that so? Well I wish it’d hurry up and do so. Here I am apparently still in the same position as I’ve been all year.

First, French. I’ve re-enrolled in another French course and guess what, I’m still crap at it. Merde! Will go back to doing it at university next year and keep my fingers cross I can make a success of it. The feedback I’ve had from friends still there, although most of them dropped out, was that the course wasn’t “all that.”

In the meantime I’ve been going to a short course with a girlfriend. Sometimes my brain hurts and I feel like bursting out into song à la the Wizard of Oz:
I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin' while
my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain.

Yes, maybe I am overstating my case a bit but jeez it’s difficult. The first week I had no idea what anyone was saying, this week I have more of an idea but don’t always follow everything. Other people can produce an entire sentence en française with no hesitations while I bring new meaning to the words “glacial speed” when producing my sentences. Then I give up and babble it in English, which is not the point.

Of course speaking French once a week isn’t really the way to go. Never mind I will continue. My plans to go and live there for a while are on hold as now I want to move to the inner city first. . . then return to uni, then go and stay in France. I’ll get there.

Second, can you guess, on-line dating. Yes, I’ve finally got the MOS out of my hair and gone back to on-line dating. The MOS, well I just can’t bear to give you all the gory details. Suffice it to say we had hardly any dates when he was back, and hardly any contact. Despite this I kept hanging in there; at what point does hope turn into stupidity? Finally he actually said the relationship stuff was too much pressure and we’d be better off just as friends. (Hm, but I'm not looking for another friend.)

Anyway, so have re-written my on-line profile. It’s terribly witty now and I’ve got some nice pictures up there, but it’s not helping. Yet. Perhaps when I say “witty” I mean “sarcastic” but I prefer to think it’s “playful”. My complaint is still the same, most men in their 40’s have apparently given up on how they look. Me on the other hand, I look good. (Apart from the VPL issue.) There’s weights, Spin classes, Bikram and walking the dog, and avoidance of junk food. (Oh, and I'm still modest.)

However, I’m willing to hang in there and wait for change. Change in the man situation and improvement in the French situation. Wish me luck.

Stella x

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The vagaries of underwear

I’ve never been a brand name kind of girl; I don’t understand the desire to pay for the privilege of wearing an advertisement for a particular brand. Nor do I understand the desire to pay three times the value of the clothing item to advertise the product for the manufacturers.

As a result I frequently shop at Target. In fact, I generally buy my underwear and gym gear there. Lately, however, I’ve been pondering the wisdom of this. Buying underpants and leggings for the gym at Target has led me to start questioning if I’m not actually a bit deluded about my size. 

I used to think that I was in pretty good shape. I used to think that I am not actually overweight or even plump; now I’m questioning that assumption. I mean I work at keeping fit and being in shape, I go to Spin classes and then do weights a couple of times a week, walk the dog, and do Bikram at least once a week. Plus my diet is pretty good; I like to eat healthy. So why is it then that the underpants I buy at Target need to be at least one (sometimes two) sizes bigger than my regular clothes?

I’m generally a size 10, sometimes a 12, yet if I buy size 10 underwear I have serious VPL (Visible Panty Line) even if I buy both the outer and inner wear at Target. So I can be wearing some size 10 cargo pants, bought from Target, but if I wear size 10 undies I have muffin top. Surely if I fit into size 10 clothes I should fit into size 10 undies? I recently bought size 14 undies in a desperate attempt outwit VPL. Yet I can still see the outline of my undies.  Perhaps I need to go more upmarket and buy my underwear elsewhere? Or maybe I'm just an odd shape and underwear doesn't quite fit me. . . 

I’m having the same problem with my leggings. I refuse to pay the $65 (and more) I encountered when trying to shop for leggings at Rebel Sport. Instead I trotted off to Target and bought a pair for less than $20. I mean, they’re going to get sweaty, they’re going to be washed frequently, I’m not going to look great while wearing them, sans make-up, at a Spin class anyway so $20 seems a reasonable price to pay.

The trouble is I ended up buying the size 12s because the 10s gave me a little bit of a muffin top. (Friends will laugh at me but it’s true.)  So I opted for the larger size, now they’re starting to get baggy in the knees and legs- I’ve only had them for three months.  And I still don’t like that they’re a little too tight in the waist/hip area for me. Oh, plus how do I find undies that don’t give me VPL under the leggings- even if I buy large Bridget Jones' grandmother type undies? I’ve checked out other women at the gym (in a very discreet non-sexual way) and they don’t appear to have a muffin top or VPL. What’s the secret?

Why are these two items sized so differently? Maybe my back/butt is actually fat?! (Although I don't know how it would have the hide to be with all the squats, lunges, spinning and walking that I do.) I have size 10 jeans (and some size 9 ones too!) size 10 shirts and blouses, size 10 cardigans, size 10 trousers and am willing to admit sometimes I do buy size 12 instead. Yet size 14 undies still give me VPL! But how can my underwear be a bigger size than my outerwear? How?

Friday, 14 October 2011

I'm back!

Sometimes your life just feels so boring there’s nothing to blog about . . .and yet when I think about it I’ve been pretty busy so there should be something there to blog about. I’ve been working, I’ve been having girls-nights-out-where-one-drinks-far-too-much, I’ve looked at apartments in the city and on the outskirts, I’ve been to the gym and  lifted too heavy weights, and I’ve been in touch with the MOS. (Then have been too embarrassed to blog about it.)

So, girls-night-out: a friend of a similar vintage to me is getting divorced. As a gesture to help her celebrate her new single status, or simply mark the end of an era, one of the young things at work organized a night on the town. Ten of us came along! You probably heard us from your continent.

We began in the city apartment we were all staying in with a few drinks - champagne. (Sweetie, darling.) Then moved onto Double Happiness. Yes, that really was its name. A small, very small, bar in Chinatown. I think my kitchen is bigger, which is probably why we ended up sitting out the front on the footpath.

Knowing my limits I wasn’t going to have another drink just yet, so how did I end up consuming a cocktail called Great Leap Forward? A guess you never grow out of peer group pressure. I shouldn’t have announced my intention to skip the cocktails quite so publicly and I would've been safe. Lychee vodka, ginger and other strange ingredients didn’t sound like they’d make a good cocktail but I was wrong.

Then onto Madame Brussels- a very girly bar all decked out in pink with fake lawn inside and waitresses rushing jauntingly around in short tennis skirts and frilly bloomers. I want to get a job there just so I can wear the outfit.

Finally we went to the happening new place Marmasita, a Mexican restaurant that specializes in tequila; I had white wine. From memory the food was good but I was busy engaging in a text conversation with the MOS. He was upset with me because I’d criticized him for not seeing me to my car when we had a date the other day. (Yes, I know I said no more MOS.) The girls confiscated my phone, gave it back then advised me on what to text. (Yes, I know . . . even the dog rolls her eyes when I mention the MOS now.)

After dinner we hit another bar/club called Spice Market. It claims this Eastern name by having some imitation terracotta warriors at the entrance and about 200 empty bird cages hanging from the ceiling. I guess the bird cages look slightly exotic.

Bored because no one would dance with me I was finally taken under the tutelage of one of my friends, Aussie Bridget, and told to go and speak to men. She took me for a tour of the club, which was half empty as it was a Thursday night, and told me I had to find someone I wanted to talk to. Naturally as the MOS wasn’t there (yes, I’m mocking myself) I couldn’t find anyone. So Bridget just picked some boys out for me and told me: talk to them. Acting completely out of character I went over and chatted to them. Who knew it was so easy?

After a little while I was bored so went and chatted to some different men. They were much more interesting. But naturally, because I only pick men who live/work overseas, one was from Canada and the other from the States. Shortly thereafter everyone wanted to go home. So we did, even though my newly divorced friend and I barely got an hour’s sleep courtesy of the alcohol imbibed, we should’ve just stayed out as we were destined to be awake anyway. (Breakfast was a non even the next day too.)

There, I’ve gotten back on the blogging-pony. Hopefully my future posts will be more scintillating. And I will return and check on everyone else's blogs too- sorry for my slackness.

Stella x

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Bitten by spring

Spring cleaning – that’s how it started. Actually I had no intention of doing any spring cleaning. I was pushing the vacuum cleaner around because when you have a largish, inside dog, no matter how short her fur, you need to vacuum. Often.

Then I got to the bathroom. The floor's clean but it never really looks clean; the grout between the tiles is so grubby. I investigated closely. Hm, if I get a toothbrush and the Jiff does that make the grout a closer shade of pale? Yes, it does! It does!

I abandoned the vacuum cleaner, armed myself with an (old, don’t worry) toothbrush, Jiff crème cleanser, and a cloth for rinsing and commenced attacking the floor. It looked so sparkly when I finished I started on the toilet next.

The next day it was the en suite, and the kitchen. It rapidly bordered on obsession as I moved onto the metal rungs edging the steps. All looks shiny and clean now. Sigh.

Only problem is I now move around the house like Jack Nicholson’s character in As Good As It Gets avoiding stepping on any cracks/edges between the tiles so that they remain pristine.

Must get a new hobby.



Her eyes widened in disbelief at the scene in front of her:  two figures in the bed, her bed. She gasped incredulously, “Stephen?” One was her husband, the other she did not know.

“What, what are you doing?” she floundered. Later the thought struck her that was a particularly stupid thing to ask. It was quite obvious what they were doing.

What she meant more accurately was: What are you doing to us? To our marriage? To our trust? To my trust? And why would you do it in our bed?

The nausea that had sent her home welled up.

Another Velvet Verbosity 100 word challenge. Brought to you this week by the prompt: widened.

Stella x