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Bon Bons and Paper Crowns

We have to drive down Rocky Point Rd to get to our ancestral home – The Sutherland Shire. Its a soulless six lane strip lined with bland apartment blocks and brick veneer townhouses. Except for my Aunt Ida’s old place on the corner which is heritage listed. Its exterior remained much the same from when she was born at the beginning of last century to when she died at the beginning of this one. It adds a desperately needed touch of character to the area. I am glad it’s been preserved but despite this for me something has been lost….

A few blocks back down is an unremarkable medium density development. Thirty years ago there stood a ramshackle old house with a cracked concrete pathway and double garage that looked suspiciously like it contained asbestos. The whole shebang sat on a spacious quarter acre block – the type which has been consigned to history (at least in Sydney). It was my grandparent’s home.

My Mum is the second youngest of eight so as you’d expect I have MANY cousins – 15 infact. (And NO we are not Catholic). When the clan converged on the place for Christmas it was always bigger than Ben Hur.

Christmas lunch was an unfashionable feast. You’d never the likes of it on a gastro porn blog these days but Oh My! it was tasty. My grandmother and aunties would roast three different types of meat served up with boatloads of gravy. Apple sauce in a naff crystal bowl was de rigour to compliment to pork crackling. Everyone wanted the pork crackling. The veges were roasted to with in an inch of their lives. They were so soft that they sagged the minute they hit the plate (like a middle aged butt).

Dessert was the traditional sherry drenched pudding drowned in homemade custard, whipped cream and icecream. If you could possibly fit in any more, a family of naff crystal bowls, related to the one that held the apple sauce, offered up choc coated nuts and sultanas. There was even some of that awful white Christmas made with rice bubbles and studded with (cough, cough) glace cherries. The passing of time has not made that particular confection any better.

Not dreaming of a white christmas

Not dreaming of a white christmas

The fancy glassware was extracted from the display cabinent where it resided next to the trinkets Uncle Donny brought back from the Korean War. As a special treat the kids could imbibe sparkling grape juice directly from the shelves of Jewel ( a super market chain before the Colesworths apocalypse). We felt very mature and sophisticated indeed.

After all the plates were emptied and we all felt like exploding there was some actual exploding. The cracking of Bon Bons resounded about the room. Grown men donned flimsy paper crowns and guwaffed at the corny jokes. It was only then that the tribe could migrate to the living room for the presents.

With such large numbers the family stuck to a gifts for kids only policy. Still there were so many presents that a large section of the faded floral living room carpet was obscured. My Grandfather took the mantel of Santa and handed out each one. He always saved the very best for last – the bag of Violet Crumble that he coveted every year.  After that he’d umpire the game of backyard cricket. Our clan did it French style with under arm chucking in place of bowling. A hit over the fence was a six and out.

All my grandfather wanted for Christmas

All my grandfather wanted for Christmas

As the cousins grew up and scattered all over Australia the gathering shrank. Then in the late 1980s a developer approached my grandparents with an offer they couldn’t refuse.  They sold and moved to the lower Blue Moutains where my Grandfather contentedly spent his remaining years pottering about the garden. He left the building at age 83. Lung cancer defeated him whereas the Depression  World War Two, the times a changin’ in the 1960s, Whitlam and even the Trevor Chappell underarm bowling incident could not. My Grandmother battled on but was never the same without her beloved “Snow”. (That was his nick name because of his very blonde hair). She joined him in 2009. I was heavily pregnant with P2 at the time – her 33rd great grand child.

Team Abulous is pretty much assured of having a wonderful Christmas this year. We’ll join my brother and sister in law in the Shire. They are generous souls who love nothing more than putting on a magnificent spread. The girls will splash about in the pool  jump on the trampoline and work themselves into an excited frenzy with their cousins.  I’ll sip on Yellowglen laced with Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup. Undoubtedly some silly hat wearing and lame joke telling will happen.

There’s no doubt it will be a great day but I’ll feel a touch of melancholy when we drive back up Rocky Point Rd. For me a slice of history has been lost.

What will you get up to this Christmas?

Not my family but it could have been.

Not my family but it could have been.

 

PS: Thanks to all the blog fans who have put up with me in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


48 Comments

The Twelve Hunks of Christmas

At last some Christmas porn worth (ahem) pinning.

Everybody grab your beverage of choice and sing along with me.

On the first day of Christmas the internet gave to me

Channing Tatum

Joy to the fecking world!

Joy to the fecking world!

That beats a partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas the internet gave to me

Flight of The Conchords

Christmas time is business time

Christmas time is business time

That beats two turtle doves so stick your partridge up your pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas the internet gave to me

Russel Brand

Ho Ho Ho is right Rusty!

Ho Ho Ho is right Rusty!

That’s an improvement on three French hens and two turtle doves so jam your partridge up your pear tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas the internet gave to me.

Damien Lewis

My My - Damo the red haired crumpet.

My My – Damo the red haired crumpet.

Which was waaaaaaaay better than four calling birds (WTF), three french hens, two turtle doves and a sodding partridge in a pear tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas the internet gave to me

Kit Harington

Errrrrramaaaagaaaawd! Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Errrrrramaaaagaaaawd! Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

 

Mrs Slocombe's retort!

Mrs Slocombe’s retort! Are You Being Served This Xmas?

I’m sure we’d all take Kit over four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a sodding partridge in a pear tree. But five gold rings? That’s a close call.

On the sixth day of Christmas the internet gave to me.

Colin Firth

Its Love Actually even in that sweater (lets mix up our Richard Curtis films)

Its Love Actually even in the infamous sweater (lets mix up our Richard Curtis films)

That wasn’t quite as good as five gold rings but I’ll take it.  You can shove your six geese a laying, four calling birds , three french hens, two turtle doves and your partridge up your pear tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas the internet gave to me

The Bondi Hipsters

It would be aihronic but aihrony is so 2012.

Walking in a hipster wonderland…

That beat the bejeepers outta seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying (seriously?), four calling birds , three french hens, two turtle doves and the partridge in a pear tree. I’m still oscillating on the five gold rings.

On the eighth day of Christmas the internet gave to me

Clive Standen – Thanks internet!

Now there's some bells I'd like to jingle!

Now there’s some bells I’d like to jingle!

Oh my. Forget the eight maids milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, four calling birds , three french hens, two turtle doves and the partridge in a pear tree.  I’m still keen on the five gold rings however.

On the ninth day of Christmas the internet gave to me

Ian Somerhalder

Hark the herald angels sing Ian is a red hawt thing.

Hark the herald angels sing – Peace on earth, goodwill to hawt men.

Why would anybody want nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree? Five gold rings I can understand.

On the tenth day of Christmas the internet gave to me

Chris Pratt

My Oh My. Check out the baubles.

My Oh My. Check out the baubles.

That may or may not beat ten lords a leaping depending on who was cast as the lords. So sod nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.  At this point I’m hanging on to the five gold rings.

On the eleventh day of Christmas the internet gave to me

Tom Hiddleston

Baby make my dream come truuuuuue. Cause all I want for Christmas is youuuuuuuu.

Baby make my dream come truuuuuue. Cause all I want for Christmas is youuuuuuuu.

Ah Tom – its scientific fact (and nothing to do with my subjective opinion) that Hiddles is the world’s third hawtest man behind my next hunk of Christmas and Dadabulous.  I’d ditch the five gold rings for him.

Anyhoo all together now – stick the eleven pipers piping, ten lords leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five gold rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and your partridge up your pear tree.

Ok. Lets bring this baby home. Just when you thought my chance has passed I go and save the best for Fass.

On the twelfth day of Christmas the internet gave to me

Michael Fassbender – You’re standing under the mistletoe Fass, how convenient!

 

Have yourself a Fassy little Christfass.

Have yourself a Fassy little ChristFass.

Sing it loud, sing it proud – Fass is hawter than twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five gold rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves and a fecking partridge in a fecking pear tree.

Phew Thank God that’s over.

Technically I have given you 14 hunks of Christmas. Underpromising and overdelivering is integral to my style. Just to underscore my point – here’s Viggo Mortensen

Peace of earth, Goodwill to hawt older men.

Should older crumpets be forgot and never brought to mind? Hell No!!

and that picture of Colin Firth.

Oh my - all your Christmas just came at once.

Oh my – all your Christmas just came at once.

 

So who would you like to stuff your (ahem) stocking this year?

Mumabs (aka FassBrenda) wishes you a Merry Crumpet and a Hunky New Year.

 

Notes

Channing Tatum was selected by Kirsten Tatum of Kirsten & Co.  http://www.kirstenandco.com/

Kit Harington was hand plucked by Hugzilla Harington.  http://hugzillablog.com/

&

Ian Somerhalder was chosen by Em Somerhalder of HALOM.  http://havealaughonme.com/

 


15 Comments

New Celebrity Fragrances

Celebrity narcissism (or in Kim Kardashian’s case arsisssism) knows no bounds. It isn’t enough that they inflict their oiled up backsides on our social media feeds, dress us in their signature clothing lines and parade the minutiae of their lives as reality TV? Apparently it’s not. They want us to smell like them too.

It seems like all the listers from A to Z have their own perfume.  According to Wikipedia (yes someone had enough time to collate a Wiki page on this) Brittany Spears has lent her name to 16 different fragrances. That ought to keep K-Feds bank balance smelling sweet.  Antonio Banderas ( the latino crumpet which I rank as my daggiest crush but – that’s a whole other blog post) has a collection of colones under the “Seduction” banner. The marketing campaign for  Seduction is laughably cheesy. Just imagine Derek Zoolander advertising “Blue Steel” aftershave and you get the picture. Actually don’t bother imaging it – I’ll give you the picture.

Antonio splashes Angelina Jolie

 

Here’s our hero seducing none other than Angelina Jolie with his big blue splash. To my mind the connotations are quite obscene. (If they are not to your mind why are you reading this blog? You are not filthy enough. Click away).

At the other end of the spectrum One Direction have two signature scents – Our Moment & You and I. Doubtless 1D could sell anything from toilet paper to tax returns but seriously who would want to smell like five barely pubescent boys on a hormonal rampage? P-eeeeeew!

I would not want to smell like one teenage boy let alone five of them!

I would not want to smell like one teenage boy let alone five of them!

The fragrance that really puzzles me comes from that marketing behemoth some people know as The Beckhams.  Dave and Vic’s “Intimately” line is quite the turn off for this cougar.

Seriously who would want to smell like The Beckhams getting intimate? Eeeeeeeuw.

Who would want to smell like The Beckhams getting intimate? Eeeeeeeuw.

I have decided to get in on all this celebrity stink action. You may not have guessed but there’s a marketing genius inside of me (he looks like Don Draper – HONK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and he’s just busted loose all over Photoshop CS6.  With no further ado I present Mumabulous’ new range of male celebrity fragrances just in time for Christmas.

 

Class4 med

Shane Warne Klass med

 

krass med


TAs denial med

If you’re going to lower the tone of the political debate you may as well be non-partisian about it.

but as Bill doesn't get about in Speedos he is not nearly as much fun.

but as Bill doesn’t get about in Speedos he is not nearly as much fun.

And finally as his existence in the Parliament stinks its natural that Clive Palmer should bottle his own odor.

Clive palmer 3

 

Why the PR agencies aren’t knocking my door down in a frenzy I will never know.

Celebrity scents – do you own any?

Who do you think would make a great fragrance ambassador?

Which celebrity do you want to smell?

 

Love

Mumabulous


27 Comments

Madonna’s Triumph?

A triumph for all women rang out the headline in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Daily Life section last week. Just what did this triumph entail you may or may not be curious to ask. A narrowing of the gender pay gap? A reduction in domestic violence? Affordable childcare?  NUP. Madonna flopped her tits out – again.

http://www.dailylife.com.au/health-and-fitness/dl-wellbeing/madonnas-topless-photos-are-a-triumph-for-all-women–whatever-their-age-20141203-11ywei.html

Madonna  recently posed for a provocative photo spread in Interview magazine (I’ve heard of that publication which in itself blunts any cutting edge it may lay claim to). The material girl is seen gyrating about in classy lingerie, fetish gear and in one shot bares her breasts. The triumph referred to in the headline lies in the fact that at age 56 Madonna actually looks good.

Its a classy lingerie shot but a triumph for women?

Its a classy lingerie shot but a triumph for women?

As you know Mumabulous is far from prudish. The sight of Madonna’s boobies does not shock me. Mind you western society has had over 30 years to acclimatize to Madonna’s breasts. Their shock value has diminished somewhat. Ironically she’s often praised as being the queen of re-invention but here she is in her late 50s dishing out the same old schtick. Bondage gear be soo 1992.

This latest addition to Madonna’s (ahem) body of work has me oscillating like Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard. I’m all “Yeh but, Nah but, Yeh but, Nah but”

This is me looking at Madonna's tatas.

This is me looking at Madonna’s tatas.

On one hand I am genuinely pleased that an older woman (at 56 Madonna certainly qualifies) can be considered attractive and sexual. On the other I am more than a little irritated that women feel they need to whip their tits out to be viewed as valuable and relevant to society. Where does it end? Will Madonna be slapping her fun bags against her gold plated Versace zimmer frame as she totters triumphantly into the the nursing home.

The wonderful Caitlin Moran has provided a very simple litmus test for what she calls “patriarchal bullshit”.

“You can tell whether some misogynistic societal pressure is being exerted on women by calmly enquiring, ‘And are the men doing this, as well?’ If they aren’t, chances are you’re dealing with what we strident feminists refer to as ‘some total fucking bullshit’.”

Overwhelmingly successful middle aged men are NOT undressing to garner attention and demonstrate their worth. Why then should Madonna feel compelled to?  Madonna is sitting on the very pin prick of the pinnacle of success. According to Wealth X she recently upsurped Sir Paul McCartney as the world’s richest living recording artist with a net worth of approximately US 800m. Now there’s some bodacious assets!

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6334796/madonna-paul-mccartney-worlds-richest-list

Surely all Madge needs to do is flash her bank statements to prove a point. Meanwhile Sir Paul, despite being an A-grade crumpet in his day, is not known for his edgy naked photo shoots. (Believe me I looked hard for them ). Madonna’s male peers – think George Michael, Bono, Prince, Bruce Springsteen etc are keeping their clothes well and truly on. This is a blessing in the case of Prince* but I’d be happy  to see The Boss lose his classic white T-shirt. An outstanding (really really outstanding) exception to this is Jon Bon Jovi.  The photo below is indeed a triumph for women of all ages.

Oh my! The sisterhood thanks you JBJ.

Oh my! The sisterhood thanks you JBJ. You give feminism a GOOD name.

If anything, when an aging gentlemen in possession of a large fortune wants to prove he’s still “got it”, he keeps his gear on and poses with a scantily clad young lassie. I point to Exhibit A below in support of my case and apologize profoundly for any retinal damage caused.

And so this is Xmas. And what has Geoff done. He's bagged himself a hawtie. Bare boobs and bare bum.

And so this is Xmas. And what has Geoff done? He’s bagged himself a hawtie. Bare boobs and bare bum. Everybody sing now!

To my (albeit warped) way of thinking true gender equality wont be achieved until we’re copping sights like this on Instagram.

A very Gina Christmas

A very Gina Christmas.

I think we’ll be waiting for quite some time. Meanwhile the voice of reason came from my husband when he said ” What kind of messed up society are we living in when flopping out your tits is a triumph? That’s a terrible message to women – telling them that the most important thing they can do is get naked”.  Whoa – Go Dadabs! Nikolaj Coster-Waldau I insist that you take this shirt off and hand it to my husband immediately. Win / Win!

because Game of Thrones is known for its feminist credentials.

because Game of Thrones is known for its feminist credentials**

So what do you think?  Is Madonna posing in her underwear at this late stage of the game a triumph for women? Or is it merely more evidence that women are valued by their looks above everything else? Doesn’t she look fab though?

Love

Mumabulous

* I am a BIG fan of Prince’s music.  The Little Red Corvette is one of my fav songs of all time. BUT I’d prefer he didn’t nude up.

** Nikolaj Coster Waldau plays Jamie Lannister on Game of Thrones – just one of several reasons why YOU SHOULD WATCH IT!

 


20 Comments

My First World Issues

Last Sunday was particularly arduous. Swimming lessons followed my five year old’s birthday party. I returned home from the reservoir of toxic chemicals sometimes known as the Des Renford Acquatic Centre at 4:30pm. Drinks o’clock was half an hour away but that didn’t bother me. Nor did the fact that we had drained the open bottle of chardonnay. I grabbed one of Dadabulous’ Cascade blondes and flopped on our bed starring out across our ocean glimpses.  I mumbled to Dadabs that I couldn’t really complain but folks you know me by now. Not having the right to complain wont stop me none.

Life in Chez Abulous is beset by a myriad of first world issues. Here are some of the more taxing;

Have I ever mentioned that I have five bathrooms? Here’s an investment tip for you – buy shares in this stuff. We are keeping the company afloat.

We keep this company solvent.

We keep this company solvent.

Meanwhile perversely on the statistically rare occasion when both of my girls need to relieve themselves at exactly the same moment – they converge upon the same bathroom despite being spoiled for choice. It’s inevitably this one.

The fancy one.

The fancy one.

In our household we experience

Glitter-geddon

Glitter-geddon

Sticker-geddon

Sticker-geddon

Glue-ageddon

Glue-ageddon

Toothpaste-ageddon

Toothpaste-ageddon

and

F8%king soap scum.

F8%king soap scum.

Perhaps its a sign that the end is nigh and I won’t be able to get my house clean for the Messiah’s second coming. Judgement day is fast approached and I will be found wanting.  At the same time you know you are in a party house when you come across hidden stashes in the bathroom.

Ozzy Osbourne never had a stash like this.

Ozzy Osbourne never had a stash like this.

Whilst the grime is taking over the doll population is exploding.

They're multiplying like bacteria.

They’re multiplying like bacteria.

Its outpacing the plaster figurine boom.

The house can no longer support the plasters.

The house can no longer support the plasters.

Its enough to make you want to get plastered.

Sadly this is just apple juice.

Sadly this is just apple juice.

The odd thing is we’ve only got two male toys in the house.

Surely these two can't be responsible?

Surely these two can’t be responsible?

Things in the kitchen are no better. My fruit bowl is full of

f%^king brown bananas.

f%^king brown bananas.

There’s only so many banana muffins one can bake and consume.

We are experiencing problems with technology. Mainly the lack of screens.  Team Abulous consists of four members but we only have two PCs. Even worse there is only one Ipad.

Our precious.

Our precious.

These are merely the tip of the proverbial ice-berg. Delve deeper and you’ll find a myriad of trivial but the nonetheless annoying problems like ;

  • The logistics of parking between two SUVs
  • Sequins embedded in the carpet
  • The delicate art of washing tulle
  • Deciding which items of plastic junk to keep and which to donate to the charity bin.
  • Milk wars – your child wants you to purchase the carton with the pink label then refuses to drink it because its skim.
  • Too much crumpet in the neighbourhood. I have almost permanent whiplash from turning my head to have a perve at a fresh one every few minutes.

What First World problems are affecting your household? Do you have solutions.

Love

Mumabulous


27 Comments

Who Are The Mummy Mafia?

Cate Blanchett, arguably Australia’s most successful actress, (although IMHO she doesn’t hold a candle to Toni Collette in Muriel’s Wedding) recently did an intriguing expose for Porter magazine.  I was unaware of Porter Magazine until now. It shouldn’t suprize you that high fashion is not my bag and if I must look at glossies I prefer Men’s Health.

CB2

Anyhow the article is choc  full of stunning highly stylized photos – that’s not the intriguing bit. In the revealing personal interview which justifies the expensive photo shoot, Cate claimed to be intimidated by the “Mummy Mafia” at the school gate. “You know [the other mums] are observing how you parent” she tells the magazine then elaborates with “there is a certain circle of people – and we all get insecure – who then ask, ‘Why can’t she brush her hair?’ You just have to shrug that off.”

I’m not judging the fact that Cate feels like she’s being judged. Being a mega star she’d inevitably attract intense scrutiny whatever she does. I can only say full kudos to her for doing the school run when she could offload that menial task on to a stunning 21 year old nanny.

What has aroused my curiosity is that so called Mummy Mafia and the school gate Judgey McJudgersons have raised their heads yet again. Who are these people? I’ve heard el mucho chatter about them in on social media and in real life. Apparently the school drop off at certain  private schools is a style competition akin to Fashions on the Field at Spring Racing. Legend has it that yummy mummies parade about in their Channel and Jimmy Choos. I repeat – who are these people? I have never encountered them. In my suburb cut off denims and birkenstocks are on point.

Cate on the school run looking like she actually has brushed her hair.

Cate on the school run looking like she actually has brushed her hair.

My school run is usually a rushed affair. I’m often famished from not having organised f breakfast and  delirious with dehydration because I haven’t managed to get a glass of water down my throat. A pair of Target shorts is thrown on over the tank top I’ve slept in. Much like Cate, I dont brush my hair so much as scrape it into a pony tail. Its a very poor showing and I certainly deserve a place at the bottom of the social ladder. Yet here’s the thing –  when I interact with the other parents I never feel judged. Most of them are in exactly the same boat. The lack of high gloss and glamour is overwhelming.

The "drop off" at Cranbrook - or so I'm told.

The “drop off” at Cranbrook – or so I’m told.

The usual pleasantries are exchanged. Mothers moan about what a crap morning they’ve had  and arrange play dates. There’s a smattering of Dads on drop off duty. My conversations with them have ranged from the direction of international currency markets to Ozzy Osbourne’s drug taking which is equally erratic.

If there’s any judgement its self judgement. Some of my peers have managed to get their careers back on track and are working on exciting creative projects or even better – travelling. By comparison I judge myself to be the world’s most boring, ineffectual person.

Talk about school gate cliques, bitchiness and competitiveness refuses to die down despite the fact I have never experienced it. It must be going on somewhere. Is it happening in your galaxy? Who are the mummy mafia? Have you experienced their savagery at the school gate?

Mob wives - is this the Mummy mafia?

Mob wives – is this the Mummy mafia?

Or are the overwhelming majority of  parents at your school lovely and down-to-earth?

Love

Mumabulous