Culture Vultures

Team Abulous had a small taste of culture this evening. No I am not talking about Dairy Farmers Greek Style yoghurt. (BTW – yoghurt is by far the best thing to have  come out of Greece. Democracy and botty sex are over rated). We actually did some bona fide art appreciation and joined the local cognescenti at Sculpture By The Sea.  P1 was the driving force behind this brief rendezvous with Post Modernism (or are we post Post Modern nowadays). The weekend’s encounter with the Lego Forrest on Coogee headland whetted her appetite for the sculptural medium. That is to say she was excited by the idea of more oversized plastic stuff to clamber on.

The Lego Forrest

We ventured to Tamarama, the stretch of sand otherwise known as “Glamour -rama” to find it denuded of its usual crowd of scantily clad gay mafia and off duty models. Instead the beach was adorned with a different kind of fabulousness. P1 was enchanted by this colourful igloo. It was made out of much more clothing than you would normally find on the entire beach and park on a mid summer’s day.

Welcome To The Pleasure Dome.

P2 made a beeline for the first thing that resembled a climbing frame.  Signs forbidding the public from touching the artworks were gleefully ignored. Seriously you can’t put this kind of stuff on the beach and expect kids to not climb on it. Its against the laws of nature.

P2 and the art of climbing.

P2 had tremendous fun swinging from the colorful monkey bars but it was this fellow who really impressed her. Its a solar powered, bike riding, punk rocking frog. Come to think of it, he sounds like a composite of some of the dude’s I dated during my 20s. Yup I kissed many a frog.

Like a frog needs a bicycle.

The robotic frog wasn’t the most surprising thing on the Tamarama sands. Twiggy made a guest appearance* and I recovered an over sized pair of retro sunglasses that had been missing for some time.

A guest appearance from Twiggy – tish boom!

So that’s where my sunglasses got to!

Things got surreal in a Salvador Dali sort of way with this. Its a melting dump truck. Sometimes I feel this deflated when I am taking a dump. (Apologies for the unpleasant imagery).

Your dumped!

Winding our way up the coastal walk towards Bondi, things got beastly. I’ll refrain from making any corny one-liners about metallic cocks and let the photo do the talking.

Playing chicken.

Where’s Dr Who when you need him? The eastern beaches are about to be over run by a bizarre alien race of gun toting sheep men!!

Dr Who’s latest nemesis.

Similarly this has me disconcerted. Is it the result of a cloning experiment gone horribly wrong? On the positive, while the dude has a face like a dog, he’s got some righteous abs. The bunny could be in Playboy (wokka, wokka, wokka). Meanwhile I’m wondering what the donkey’s making of all this. Its certainly got the bum end of the deal.

A mixed race relationship?

We would have loved to have seen more but with a three year old who has recently dropped her day sleep it was impossible to continue.  The event brings out the fun and playful side to art. There was no need to reverentially deconstruct of the deeper nuances underlying each interactive piece blah, blah blah. Although there was nothing to stop you analyzing the exhibits to your hearts content if you are so inclined. The rest of us got our share of smiles and giggles from the spectacle and you could not have asked for a better gallery space.

What a lovely trade mark.



* Why should Dad’s have all the fun with the lame jokes.




If you only ever see one Tim Burton film in your life this should be it. A black and white stop motion animation, Frankenweenie neatly encapsulates the spirit of Burton’s career so far. The movie is a loving homage to the cheesy black and white B grade horror films of yesteryear with more references to the genre than you can poke a stick at.

We are introduced to young Victor Frankenstein, a quirky loner in the mold of  many of Burton’s previous heroes. Lean and pale with dark rimmed eyes and a shock of  black hair, Victor bares more than a passing resemblance to the Cure’s Robert Smith, as does Burton’s best known creation Edward Scissorhands. The movie’s setting, the hamlet of New Holland with its immaculately manicured landscape closely mirrors the Edward Scissorhand’s universe. Victor spends most of time obsessively making monster movies starring his beloved dog Sparky. In the opening sequence Victor screens his latest masterwork for his parents. Its an hilarious shlock, horror rampage featuring a gigantic  pterodactyl with visible strings. In fact its much like the work of the infamous B grade director Ed Wood whom Burton depicted in the 1994 film of the same name. Are you detecting a pattern here?

Tragedy soon strikes when Sparky is hit by a car. Mr and Mrs Frankenstein try to comfort the devastated Victor by telling him that Sparky will “always be in his heart”. This is of little consolation. Victor doesn’t want Sparky in his heart, he wants his dog back by his side.  As luck would have it a new science teacher, a Vincent Price look and sound alike named Mr Rzykruski, arrives on the scene the following day. He demonstrates how electric current can re animate the the limbs of a dead frog thus spurring Victor off on a bizarre quest.

Victor and Sparky.

In a makeshift laboratory in his attic, Victor harnesses the power of lightening and brings the dog back to life. However he has created a force that cant be contained. The secret soon gets out and creepy, hunch backed classmate Edgar ‘E’ Gore persuades Victor to revive a gold fish. This feat goes “viral” and with a school Science Fair looming a bunch of Victor’s classmates attempt to resurrect their own deceased pets. As we know from countless zombie movies, raising the dead is an undertaking that never ends well. Soon the township of New Holland is engulfed by monster mayhem.  Victor and Sparky must contend with a mummified hamster named Colossus, a were rat, a vampire bat/cat hybrid, a group of sea monkeys on steroids and most fearsome of all a giant turtle with a bad attitude named “Shelley”. To amplify their troubles the townsfolk form a torch weilding mob and try to lynch Sparky.

Despite some mildly scary moments the film’s happy ending is both poignant and heart warming. My girls enjoyed the action and I heard them oohing and aaahing through the climatic scenes. I suspect P1 even teared up during the finale. However much of the humor went straight over their heads. I found myself laughing out loud while they simply looked bemused.

Mumabulous Verdict: 8/10

Frankenweenie is an animated movie that is really pitched at adults. While the story line works on its own, its real beauty is in the way that it celebrates the creature features of old. Every aspect of it is a salute to previous classics. I’d recommend it as a fun Halloween outing for tweens and teens. It would even work for a date night.

P1’s Verdict (aged 5)

First it was scary. Then it wasn’t as scary and I liked it.

P2’s Verdict (aged 3)

Mmmm ummmm ummm. Mmmmm ummm ummmm. Popcorn.

photo credit: dragaroo via photopin cc


Hipsters For a Day

So you thought Team ‘Abulous were hard core geeks? I’ll have you know that this morning we put on our hipster hats and attended the Surry Hills Festival. This is a metaphor people. Dadabulous wore a floppy canvas number that makes him look like Benny Hill and I unwisely went hatless. Nevertheless we left our Eastern Beaches comfort zone and ventured forth to Prince Alfred Park. Contrary to the spirit of the day we drove.

Immediately upon entering through the festival gates it became apparent that the event was fifty shades of “groovy” and “right on”. Everything was certifiably organic, sustainable and free range. The hair was long, the sunglasses oversized  and there was nary a synthetic fabric in sight. A sustainable living tent was the first port of call, followed by a recycled art installation. These pretty much summed up the vibe of the entire shin dig.

The sustainable living tent. Because its easy to live sustainably in tent.

Upcycled art.

It wasn’t long before we encountered the giant adult sized, bouncing twister board. I’m hiring one of these for my next date with Fassbender (to see just how much the Fass can bend bahaha). In the meantime the girls got their shoes off quicker than you ask ” how much for a ticket?”. Luckily it was a free ride.  Ps 1 & 2 could have easily stayed on board this inflatable square all day. We had to bribe them off with the promise of a snack.

Bouncing Twister.

We found refreshments in the Chai Tent.  This was a “tent”

in the fashion of “have him washed and brought to my tent”. In other words it was one fancy camp. Everything was decked out like a Bedouin boudoir. I mentioned to Dadabulous that I would be happy to take it with us the next time we went to Dunbogan, as long as somebody else did the erecting.

Fancy pants camping.

What would you expect us to dine upon in such exotic surrounds? Camels balls perhaps? Nup – we got two regular coffees, industrial banana bread and a juice popper. The juice was  organic and the carton recyclable of course.

I was happy to recline on these ornately embroidered cushions for a little longer but the girls nagged us to move on. We entered the market zone – a wonderous world of cotton, cheese cloth, hemp, crystals and feathers.  I’m hardly a cool hunter but just maybe the American Indian look is warming up to become “so hawt right now”.

Ever wondered where Jay Kay gets his head gear?

Similarly here’s another prediction. 2012-13 is shaping up as a Summer of Love V2. Prepare yourself with a floral garland or several.

Party like its 1969.

Whilst we’re dressing for a Summer of Love – show a little love to your pets this summer. This is stall devoted to doggy fashion accessories. Seriously?

Inner city dogs are very fashion forward.

These sweet delights had the girls turning up the volume knobs on their whinge-a-phones but Dadabulous managed to skirt around the issue by promising treats “later”.


Somehow we managed to stumble into this tunnel of terror. Whoever had the bright idea of handing a bucket (yes a bucket) of neon paint to a five year old and a three year old should, in the vernacular of Mrs Woog, be sent to “spanky town”.

Kids, buckets of paint and enclosed spaces – a dangerous mix.

P2 decided that some maestro’s interpretation of ET was incomplete and generously painted in the heart lights. An improvement – don’t you think?

What’s ET without a big pink splodge?

By this time Dadabulous had all the sustainable, organic animal, loving creative, warm fuzzies that he could take and I was chaffing at the bit to buy something. The girls were nagging to go on

the dodge ’em cars and the sun was dehydrating our pale and interesting skin. It was time to withdraw from the inner sanctum of inner city hipdom* all the while praying to the parenting deities that P2 would fall asleep on the drive home. Alas no cigar.

Its worth mentioning that there were four stages and dozens of performances going on through out the day. Unfortunately chaperoning kids around meant we didn’t get to take in any. Its lucky for us our girls are just so entertaining isn’t it?

Happy organic, sustainable environmentally sensitive festival going.


* The cake pops were done by the new kid on the baking scene Valhalla Dessert Bar. http://www.valhalladessertbar.com.au

(Not a sponsored post – I just want to be nice)

* Another word I just made up because I like to take liberties with the Queen’s English.



The Delectable Pear


I’ll come right out and say it – I’m noticeably pear shaped and this has been the bane of my existence for close to thirty years. Likewise my mother before me is pear shaped. Hey Mum – you could have given me a little less of the hips and a bit more of the brains when you were doling out the genes – I’m just saying.  I’ve been waging a war of wills against my hips for most of my adult life. Ever since I noticed them pop out of my denim capri pants at age 14, I’ve tried to bring them under forcible control through harsh diet and exercise. I know this makes about as much sense as a donkey trying to stretch its neck to look like a giraffe.  Nevertheless the battle continues.

Reading through all the wonderful posts for the “I heart my body” campaign got me wondering what’s wrong with pears anyway. Why is being pear shaped something that you have to hide or reduce. Unlike the unfortunate custard apple they are not ugly fruit. Their sleek curves are elegant. Their flesh is juicy and sweet. Mmmmmmm.

Mmmmm tasty!

What if the current standard of beauty shifted and carrying a little extra junk around the trunk became the gold standard of sexiness? Would we start seeing memes like these circulating on Facebook?


It looks like society is just starting to catch on. There are some encouraging signs from the world of pop culture. Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian have achieved goddess status. ( For JLo this is partially due to being a multi-talented performer, for KK not so much) Beyonce has immortalized her celebrated shape with the catchy tune “Bootylicious”.  We succulent pears  should be pumping up the volume and shakin’ my money maker right? So why aren’t we?

Its baby steps for me. Here I am rocking an outfit that is completely wrong for my body type according to conventional wisdom. Trinny and Susannah would no doubt scold me for squeezing my large butt and short legs into denim three quarter lengths. However as I slide into middle age I have an increasing awareness that time is fleeting. I’ve wasted too much of it trying to change the unchangeable. I’m feed up with being the donkey trying to stretch its neck to be a giraffe. Its time the delectable pear took pride of place in the fruit bowl!

Back in my denim capris.




The Joys of Eavesdropping

I really don’t mind when Chez ‘Abulous runs out of milk first thing in the mornings. It means I can take a blissful ten minute stroll to our local main drag alone. Its an all too brief interlude where I can enjoy the early morning sunlight over the ocean. Even better still I can grab a cheeky cappuccino on route. Despite the beach being taken over by boot camps there are surprisingly few places open at 6.30am. One particular joint  is always reliable – a smallish nook called JTs. Without fail every time I visit the same lady is propped up on a stool sipping her coffee and yakking – loudly. She’s a MILF sort, immaculately turned out in brand name exercise gear. I dont know her name by piecing together her snippets of conversation with the barista I’ve become quiet au fait with her dating exploits.

Similarly I have garnered way too much information from listening in on conversations at the hairdressers and on public transport. I’ve found that the money sink previously known as Fox Studios is a great place to do some quality eavesdropping given the concentration of pretentious media types in the precinct. If you are like me and simply cant MYOB*, you’re likely to over hear some strange stuff indeed. Here are a couple of snippets that will be forever etched upon my memory.

1) I’m sitting on a bus lurching down King St Newtown on the way to meet a friend at the Bank Hotel. I’m contemplating indulging  in a few too many vodka lime and sodas for a Tuesday night when from the seat behind me I distinctly hear a cheerful male voice ” Man, your girlfriend hates me because I’m a warlock”.  It took all the inner fortitude I had not to turn around at that moment. There were so many questions that needed to be answered. What are the best dressed warlocks in the inner west wearing these days? Why warlocks need public transport? Don’t they have broomsticks or is flying on household cleaning equipment passe? Perhaps the girlfriend in question disliked the dude because of  his complete disconnect from reality.

Something you don’t see on Sydney buses everyday. Even in Newtown.

2) We’re working our way through the crowd at Homebush train station on our way to see the Ben Hur Spectacular (because my husband’s mates love sword and sandals epics). Two fit looking young hipster dudes are meandering just ahead of us. One says to the other ” Mate, mate I swear she wouldn’t leave me alone. But you know what? Turns out she was Germaine Greer”.

Who would have thought that feminism’s most notorious icon is a wannabe cougar? Notch one up for the sisterhood.

Cougar Town?

Here’s one that had Dadabulous sniggering. Two teenage guys were walking back from the beach cigarettes in hand doing the tough macho strut. One of them says to the other “Your Mum is really f%*king hot”.  The other spits out in disgust ” No way man. No f*%king way”. I’m kind of curious about the Mum myself now.

What fascinating things have you overheard recently?

Listen well.


* Mind your own business

photo credit: APJ Photography via photopin cc

photo credit: Maggie Hannan via photopin cc


Blander Homes and Gardens

If you read as many blogs as I do you will have noticed that the interwebs has heralded spring with cascades of floral magnificence. Cyberspace is awash with enough gardening porn to make the late Alan Seale (Squeal) fist pump in his grave.  I’m sure Peter Cundall goes all a quiver at the merest thought of logging on these days. Every second page I look at is plastered with glorious blooms and manicured lawns to make astro turf greener with envy. If the blogging world is any reflection of reality, Australians certainly know how to handle a hoe. We’re masters of manure and wield our garden hoses with Ninja like skill. As a result many of us are cocooned in the kind of splendor that is usually reserved for the Chelsea Flower Show.

If you are thinking I’ve got a dose of garden envy, you’d be right. As magnificent as Chez ‘Abulous is, it’s not  The Palace of Versailles. Venturing out of our sliding glass doors my immediate thoughts are, the yard (just like my face ) could use some work. I even asked Dadabulous if I could have a boy to do the gardening, hoping to take advantage of the hordes of backpackers in our neighborhood. He acquiesced on condition that he could get a busty Swedish blonde to wash the car in her bikini.  We remain locked in a stalemate. In the meantime the sprawling grounds of Chez ‘Abulous are in need of some Jamie Durie type magic. (No not Magic Mike magic – actual fair dinkum landscaping).

This is what greets us in the drive. The dandelion in full bloom is a cheery site. The kids love nothing more than to collect drooping bunches of them. They are hardy little blighters too – springing up from cracks in the concrete.

Dandelions – bloom de jour.

This luxurious foliage resides next to the garbage bin and camouflages the water meter.  I dont know what they are but they’ve had a Lazarus style resurrection this Spring with out any input from me.

The stunning pinkus flowerus shrubus.

Lovely as all this is, its only a tantalizing entree to the real action out the back. However first we have the pleasant detour through the side passage. Why are side passages so rarely featured in those glossy home making magazines?

The pink flowers contrast superbly with the green bin.

Our side passage features its very own herb patch. The chamomile (I think its chamomile) sprang up of its own accord.

A spontaneous herb patch.

The side corridor opens out to  sweeping views of the clothes line and sumptuous outdoor dining area.

Panoramic Hills Hoist views.

The outdoor dining area.

You’ll notice the detailing in the paving. It took a lot of time, effort and expense to get the weeds to come up through the cracks just so.

This is what happens when you neglect your cracks.

We couldn’t show you where Chez ‘Abulous entertains without high lighting Dadabulous’ pride and joy.

Dadabulous’ rig.

Doesn’t every spacious patio have a feature plant in a statement pot?  This is ours. If you look closely you’ll notice that the cactus is nuturing a weed.

Dual occupancy.

Things really get wild and adventurous in the lower terrace. This seat is on the  periphery of the wilderness that I  call the “corridor of death” due to its high concentration of spiders. I hate going in there to fetch errant balls. Dadabulous thinks I’m a wimp.

On the edge of the corridor of death.

Being the environmentally sensitive drippy hippy people that we are we’ve dabbled in self sufficiency. We planted a crop of carrots but just like Team ‘Abulous they are vertically challenged.

Short arsed carrots for a short arsed family.

We even produced a luscious crop of strawberries but the fruit was eaten by lizards – at least that is P2’s explanation.

Can you spot a strawberry? I can’t.

Nevertheless if our attempt at organic produce fails we can always fall back on potpourri. We have lavender and we not afraid to stink like your grandmother’s smalls.

Like a bathroom deodoriser.

Finally if you are wondering how we manage to keep our gardens its charmingly unkempt state,  I’ll let you in on a secret. We have the two best landscapers in town.

The best landscapers in town.

Is your yard space magazine worthy? Or are you ready to be featured in Blander Homes and Gardens.

Really I am thankful to have a yard space at all in this part of Sydney even if it is a little unkempt.

Happy shoveling.




In Excess

Certain pressing matters are creeping up to bite me on the bum. Never mind that they’ll get a mouthful of white wobbly cellulite when they do. Diverting my attention to social media is not going to make them go away.

To start with Halloween is drawing nigh. As sure as our politicians wear arsehats, my girls will need spooky costumes for kindy. In Halloweens past I have decked out my princesses in glorious home made confections. I enjoy seeing my daycare Mumrades shaking their heads and muttering about me “having too much spare time”.  This year both P1 and P2 want to be devils which is very fitting.  Mind you they don’t want to be any just old devils. They want to be “fashion devils”.  I’ll see what kind of magic I can weave with spangly red horny headbands, red t-shirts and rhinestones. We’ll add some tulle and sequins to the mix somewhere.

In the meantime another issue has been racking my poor addled brain. P2’s birthday is fast approaching and I have no idea what to get her. Its a text book case of what to get for the girl who has everything. Chez ‘Abulous has been affected by that most prevalent of first world problems. We have far too much crap.  Our theme song comes straight from The Little Mermaid.

I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty
I’ve got whozits and whatzits galore
You want thingamabobs?
I’ve got twenty!
But who cares?
No big deal
I want more

Somehow we’ve managed to accumulate so much junk that it we laid it out end to end it could circle the equator. If we put it all for council clean up our pile would be featured on Google Earth. We’ve got enough stuffed toys to start up an army – if an armada of teddy bears is part of your defense strategy. There’s a zoo load of plastic animals and zu zu pets. We could re-enact the move Jurassic Park with our dinosaur collection. Our duplo supply is large enough to construct a new suburb and our Barbie Doll tribe resembles the first episode of Australia’s  Top Model. Lady Ga Ga herself would be dazzled by the Chez ‘Abulous dress up collection and Carrie Bradshaw would sigh in envy at our walk in wardrobes.

Jurassic Park 4 – Dinos vs Zu Zu Pets

Who will be the next Top Model?

I’m thinking of building a float for next year’s Mardi Gras just to use up our art and craft materials. Then there’s the bike, the scooter, the pool toys, the bath toys, the plastic fruit, the tea sets, the books, the dolls houses, the musical instruments and the uber irritating talking electronic stuff. DVDs? I’m sure there’s over a hundred on the media centre hard drive.

I wish I could “forget” about this birthday so as  to stem the marching tide of plastic crap. This makes me feel really mean indeed.  P2 will have her birthday celebrations but the whole thing will be low key.

Do your kids have a serious excess of toys? Any suggestions about what to get P2?

When you’ve got your own castle what more do you need?