29 November, 2009

The Great Deodorant Debacle

So there comes a time in a girl's life where she forgets the wisdom of old: Never skimp on hygiene products. Specifically, my usual deodorants are strictly limited to two brands, both of which are on the more expensive end of the deodorant price scale. I learned this piece of wisdom the hard way.

Yes, dear readers, I've tried many of those in the Australian list, and found most of them rather ineffective.
But in my new city I have discovered the local discount supermarkets. To be fair to the shop concerned, their body wash products are fantastic. They smell delicious, and, well, as long as soap does the whole "washing" thing, the smell is really my only other consideration.

Nor have their cookies disappointed, for I can gleefully tuck away copious amounts of gingerbread snaps while my husband looks on in horror (not for my expanding waistband, but for the awful concept of actually eating gingerbread).

And so we come to the conundrum of this week. My old faithful deodorant, imported with me, finally ran out, and I was forced to buy more. And in a moment of sheer frivolity I decided to try the house brand.

Of course, no deodorant purchase is complete without the smell contest. Several varieties were rejected based on the unattractive scent contained within. Finally I discovered one which passed the test: the price was right, the description was encouraging, and it smelled suitably non-specific "lady".

The next morning happened to see me in Finnish class, wearing my new deodorant. Sadly, minutes into the lesson, I dared move my arms. I was assaulted by a stench so powerful I was rendered mute with horror (and this was fortunate... after all, who would want to announce the fact that they stink?). For a moment I wondered if I had forgotten to apply deodorant... but no, I had not.

Alas, my new purchase, which had smelled so benign in the shop, had a secret. In practice it replicated perfectly the stink of obnoxious locker-room sweat. If there was an international prize for "Best Approximation Of Body Odour", we'd have a clear-cut winner.
There's only one problem. As far as I'm aware, deodorants are supposed to suppress such a smell, not create it.

21 November, 2009

In Which I Assume The Correct Position

To cope with Christmas preparations, of course. Because it's imperative that one does so correctly. (Just for a second there, I was channeling Hyacinth Bucket.)

I confess to being a little bit lost here. I kinda know how to do Christmas Aussie-style, ya know? Copious amounts of lazy food and gaudy decorations, and gifting being a "generous" thing. I get the feeling people just aren't so present-centred here. And that's fine, but I really don't quite know how not or how much and it's a bit befuddling. The issue is, really, that my kids are quite used to the Down Under version and I don't want their Christmas too horridly scarred by it being (compared to usual) a too low-key an event. So really, I'm probably overcompensating, and then maybe it will be remembered as the year Christmas was all screwed up by the freaky Australian woman who overdid everything. Since when do I worry about stuffz like this anyway?

Christmas Pic

18 November, 2009


For those of you not conversant with super-special-awesome-abbrev., it stands for F%@k I'm Good, Just Ask Me. You know, that state of mind where you're so full of your own brilliance that you almost break your wrist trying to pat yourself on the back and grope your own arse. I get that way sometimes reading my previous blog entries. But today, there was a second sensation interwoven: mainly something like, "Damn, how the hell did I write stuffz that good?"

Sometimes I forget that I'm a published writer. Sometimes I wonder if I'm intermittently possessed by an alien space being who knows how to write - and that in the interim moments I'm replaced with a dull Australian girl from the streets of ghetto Sydney whose Task Of The Week is to learn to tie her own shoelaces.

My Finnish lessons are going well. I've almost exhausted my supply of "things I already know and am merely revising", and in some ways it's akin to being in the front of the speeding train while the brick wall looms ahead at the end of the tunnel. When I reach that point, my friends and neighbours, I'll fall rapidly from the top of the class, hurtling downwards to take my proper place in the gutter amongst the dregs of society beginner students.

At that point I suppose I shall see whether I have regained any of my childhood ability to learn stuff. I'll keep you posted.