Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Death by Slideshow

So Christie returns from her escapades in Laos and Cambodia.

Jane and Andy are teeming with excitement as they have regained power and control over at least one of their children's lives again.

Four of us are crammed onto a three seater couch to be subjected to the most unorganized holiday slide show ever known to man kind. The George family are the toughest critics when it comes to photos which they have had no involvement in or are not featured in.

Christie's photos were actually rather enjoyable. I have always found different cultures fascinating and could honestly say I was interested. Jane on the other hand was far more critical, pointing out when a photo was duplicated, "YOU DUMB! We already saw these!".

I tried a similar feat when we returned from honeymoon but as far as I was concerned was far more professional in execution. Slideshows with themed music based on the country which the photos were from. Latin music in Spain, Carla Bruni in France, Bob Marley in Jamaica... only to discover both Christie and my uncle simultaneously posting about how bored they were on facebook, while I was pre-occupied delving into the significance of the photos we had taken.

My parents also have the tendency of assimilating photos with experiences from their own travels. They attempt to justify their reason for not traveling with "Oh yes, EXACTLY like Thailand" (about most of Cambodia), "Oh yes, we saw similar in Vietnam. It is the same" (about Laos). My personal favourite is when we showed photos of Vegas to my parents which has been a life long dream trip for them. "Oh really? I have seen better at Crown Casino. It's all the same..." Sorry mum and dad, but somehow, I don't think it is. Really. It is not the same.

When my parents travel however, it is a different story. We are subjected to hundreds of photos which fall victim to being out of focus, poor lighting or photos of the floor which they don't know how to delete from the slide show. My mum took around 2 and a half hours to explain her five day trip to hong kong. Come on, there couldn't be that much action?? Five women over 55 in hong kong for five days?? But sure enough, she managed to come up with the material. From what they ate for breakfast to every person they had a conversation with, be it bell boy at the hotel or waiter. Everything is glorious, magnificent, unbelievable even; while our trips.... they are not bad, its all the same really, they have seen it all before.

Until the next memoRANDOM,


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Oh Christ!mas

I absolutely adore Christmas.

Christmas is a delicious combination of my favourite things in life; food, family, friends and of course, the now scarce afternoon nap.

When I think of the joys of Christmas, my mind instantly takes me back to my childhood, as I have so many fond memories of the George family Christmas rituals.

Each and every Christmas Eve, Christie and I would religiously prepare a plate for Santa to snack on and leave him a nice beverage to quench his thirst from all the hard work. We always left Santa a tall glass of milk, but as we got older, we thought spiking it with some Johnny Walker would be hilarious, as we discovered Andy would drink some to make us think Santa had come to visit.

I now cringe as I watch my young and naive, tomboy self in the footage which dad would film each and every Christmas. Christie was always as cute as a button with her mane of curls, chipmunk like voice and cheesy smile. I on the other hand always appeared disheveled, with my hair all over my face, wearing daggy nighties with animals or Christmas bears adorning the front and never had my legs crossed properly so bright pink underwear is prevalent in every frame.

Our reactions to the stocking fillers from "Santa" were so dramatic. We would pretend to hyperventilate and shriek with delight as we would pull out something as trivial as a set of pencils from our stockings.  Just what we always wanted.

One Christmas, "Santa" was particularly generous and left behind a  "Michael Jordan Basketball Set". I think I have watched the video footage of us unwrapping this monstrosity about a dozen times, in which Christie and I both start squealing "Ohhhhh myyyyyy gooooooddddddd! A Miiiccchhheeeaaalll Jooorrdddaannn Basssskkeeetttballlllll Set!! *insert delirious giggling here*" Essentially this was a mini basketball ring, where you fill the tank underneath with sand to keep the pole upright. It was for athletically challenged kids like Christie and I who would never develop the ability to play with a standard sized ring.

The much sought after Michael Jordan Basketball Ring of the 90's

One of my favourite childhood Christmas memories was re-kindled by a visit to the Boulevard Christmas lights a few years ago. I remember Andy loading us all the car for a trip to see the famous Christmas lights of the Boulevard. Christie and I were teeming with anticipation as we couldn't wait to go to school and tell all our friends we had seen the lights as well. Only, we never saw the bright lights of the Boulevard. Andy got a little confused and took us to the Boulevard in Bulleen rather than the one in Kew. I remember us driving up and down the street with Christie and I asking "DAAADDD, where are all the lights???"

My childhood Christmas memories are essentially all filled with much excitement, love and countless gifts from my generous uncles, aunties and Yiayia. As the years have progressed, so have the Christmas rituals changed with new additions to the family and friendship group.

I now celebrate Christmas Eve with Khoa's family, which is the most adorable event because I don't think Christmas has ever been a huge deal for them. This year, as a newly married couple I decided to invite them to have Christmas Eve dinner at our house. Besides the copious amounts of food I prepared which could have easily fed an additional 15 people, we had a great time eating, drinking, sharing a laugh and many stories. One of my favourite moments of the night was when my father in law calls out to me:

F.I.L: "Hey, Joj"
Me: " Yes Ba"
F.I.L "Next year, we say, we don't buy lots of presents and we just buy one. We put names in the hat and we pull out. They call it the K.K"
Me: "Oh yeah, KK good idea"
F.I.L: "Yes, but you not write your name and it is a secret"
Me: "Yes, thats the idea of K.K Ba"
F.I.L: " And we spend no more than fifty buck!"
Me: "Oh ok... "
F.I.L: "But I will buy something from the $2 shop and no one will know its me! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA"

You've got to love him, he has the most infectious and triumphant laugh known to man kind. The night proceeded smoothly and all my new family went home well fed, with numerous take away containers to sustain them for the following few days. 

Christmas morning is now spent at Jane and Andy's house, so we can swap presents before heading to the main event at Yiayias. Khoa and I were running late this year, so Jane had her grumpy face on when we arrived armed with presents at her front door. "YOU ARE LATE. I was hungry. We ate breakfast without you." We unloaded the car and began the song and dance that is deciding who goes first to give out gifts. I knew Jane had her eyes on our gift for her, as she had picked all the others for herself, so we intentionally said we would give them their present last.

After building much anticipation, we finally hand over the present that they were waiting for. Andy and Jane tear at the wrapping and suddenly, Jane's rejoicing "YES, YES, YES!" fills the room. We had bought both our parents robotic vacuum cleaners this year as they always comment on the one we have and how they both need it so much more than us, being old and all.

Once the gift was unwrapped, all we could hear from Andy was "No love, no, no no too much love, too much". "I don't care!!" Says Jane, "I didn't ask for it, they gave it to us! YES, YES, YES!".

Khoa and I believe the laughter which their theatrics created for both of us and Christie was well worth the money spent. It was definitely as Kodak as Christmas moments can get in the George household.

I should also mention that Christie bought me a knitted vest which I mistakenly thought was a poncho and proceeded to jam my head in the arm hole. Just to prove that Jane and Andy aren't the only ones that provide the family entertainment.

My Xmas Tree and our Stockings

So with Christmas 2011 done and dusted, I now look forward to the future Christmas' to come and the new traditions we build on each and ever year.

I hope your Christmas was just a rewarding as mine.

Until the next memoRANDOM,

George xxxx

Monday, 12 December 2011

Along came Eddy...

Khoa and I were both deprived as children when it came to pet ownership.

The most responsibility I had ever had for an animal were the ducklings which I took home for a week in kindergarten. Jane thought the shower was an appropriate home for them- so it doesn't surprise me that I never had another opportunity to take them home after that.

Besides the one off duck experience- we were strictly a gold fish family.

We started off with "Bonnie and Clyde" who lived a long and happy five years. I found out from a childhood friend years later that it was only one fish that died, but Jane was over fish so flushed them both down the toilet anyway.  It was only when my two best friends bought me the googly-eyed "Father Ignatious" that I resumed my career as a pet owner. Father Ignatious lasted around 6 months and was promptly replaced by Father Ignatious the 2nd. The second was clearly the more intellectually challenged fish who routinely vomited in the tank and had many bizarre tendencies, like pretending he was dead and then when we went to fish him out would swim away. He also threw rocks at the glass continuously driving Jane insane- "Why is your fish so noisy?? BE QUIET NOISY FISH!".

So that was the extent of my pet resume up until recently. Khoa's wasn't much better as both our parents vehemently opposed owning an animal that couldn't be contained in a 4" x 4" enclosure.


Khoa appeared extremely anxious on Christmas morning and tried to hurry us through the normal proceedings- in which as usual no one in my immediate family took any notice of. My turn comes around and I open what appears to be a pathetic looking present from Khoa. My eyes widen and what follows was a blur of excitement, shrieks of delight and tears as I realise it was a dog toy. We all run outside to discover the cutest creature I have ever laid eyes on. His big googly eyes looked completely out of place on his little head. I cried, Christie started crying, even Andy got caught up in the moment and joined in. Jane sat their laughing at us all sobbing "I'm not going to cry for a bloody dog!".

                                                         Best ever Christmas present!

2 years, 16 kilos and 3 spa covers later- "Eddy" is the centerpiece of our immediate family.

Prior to being a dog owner- I was so naive about dog ownership. I would say "Dogs should remain outside" and "If I ever had a dog, he would be so well trained he would be a role model to other dogs". I now think of my innocent misconceptions as I tell Eddy off while he leaps over and clears an entire 3 seater couch.

Having Eddy around is the equivalent to having a child that is stuck in the terrible three's stage, with ADD and separation anxiety disorder. We receive so much flack about our "dumb dog" but surely deep down there is potential to develop some sort of dog genius.

You know your dog is special when he lifts up the latch on the gate, pulls the door back and lets himself out into the street. After wondering around for a while, he casually strolls into a neighbours house as they open the door for a visitor. We were at work and were totally unaware of what was occurring at home. The neighbour also had no idea that the dog was ours. The one mobile phone call we missed could have saved us paying $60 for a dog at large, as well as a further $80 to release him from the pound.

Clearly the time at the pound was not enough to scar Eddy. At the first opportunity of an open door, Eddy is off like a rocket into the street running around like he is competing in a sprint at the Olympics. We chase him through front yards of our fellow (possibly fed up) neighbours as he waits for us to gain on him and then off he goes in leaps and bounds thinking were all having the most wonderful time. Eddy also loves to time this when we have guests over and are for the most part, intoxicated, so we organise squadrons of friends to stumble up the street plotting together in attempt to outsmart or outrun him.

Comfy there Eddy??

When he's not planning the great escape, Eddy has his routine down to a tee. The knows that the walking man (aka Andy George) comes twice a week in the morning, so he waits anxiously, crying by the door in anticipation of his arrival. Eddy has a wonderful time with the walking man and if he could,  I am sure would tell tales of their great escapades.

"And this one time, on a walk, Andy picked up my droppings, put them in a bag, shoved it in his pocket and forgot about them until Georgina asked what the smell was when he got to her house."

The rest of Eddy's routine entails digging up and then re-burying any bones lying around the back yard, chewing a few of Khoa's plants, having an afternoon nap or two and finally, waiting around the side of the house to greet mum and dad upon their return from work.

                                                         How can you say no to this???
Eddy is first class when it comes to entertainment. We often say we get treated to "Dinner and a Show" on most nights as we laugh at the antics which Eddy puts on for us. From parading around with his beloved blanket wrapped around him like a Caesar and belting out the most triumphant howl to licking underneath the glass table to reach the food on top, Eddy loves to remind us of his presence.

One of my favourite features of Eddy, is that he is the ultimate lap dog. We often wonder what goes through his little head as he finds the cosy spot behind our knees and nestles in for an afternoon nap with his beloved owners. He snores gently while whimpering in his dreams, chasing those pesky birds I assume, with his little legs running a hundred miles an hour.

If Eddy can do one thing right, it is that he loves whole heartedly. I have never met an individual that Eddy hasn't launched himself at, showering them with kisses and presenting them with his latest toy. Whether it is a fellow canine or a human, Eddy has room in his heart for all and is put simply, a very friendly, sociable dog.

His gentle nature allows us to do all sorts of ridiculous things like hug him, dance, sing and even dress him up for our own entertainment. (See image below)

Eddy suited up on our Wedding Day

Eddy is as loyal, affectionate and loving as any dog can get. Khoa and I now both agree that we will never again not have a dog in our lives. Although his nervous nature drives us insane- he has destroyed couches, scratched the polished floorboards and eaten numerous tropical plants- we both agree that he enriches our lives in so many ways.

I could write a book on the memories we have already created in a short 2 years with Eddy. He makes us laugh and cry on a daily basis and I know he will be providing us with much happiness for many years to come. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

An Introduction to the Georges of Roper

Tuesday nights really are an event at the Georges of Roper.

My uncle and I often joke about the possibility of our gatherings being filmed and used as the latest reality TV show. We speak about the issue in the most nonchalant manner, but I know deep down we both really think we could pull the ratings for the likes of channel 10.

So what makes Tuesday nights so special?

It is has almost become some sort of sacred, religious holiday for my mother, in which my husband Khoa and I make the 5 minute pilgrimage to my parents house for dinner. Although it occurs most weeks, it is as though millenniums have passed since our last visit and they must fill us in on the day to day details on what has happened during our absence.

I LOVE hearing their stories on the events of the day which would be insignificant to some, but a world of problems to my parents. From writing notes to the owner of the suspicious car parked up the street, to people illegally adding to their pile of hard rubbish waiting to be collected by the council, we hear about all the pressing issues of the Eastern Suburbs.

My personal favourite part is hearing Andy's random fact of the week.

I believe the most recent fact was the average gestational period for a donkey. He was about 6 months over the correct answer but we don't let the finer details bother us.

If it is possible to begin losing hearing at around 90-95 decibels (measuring noise levels), then the frequency coming out of Roper must surely consistently sit at around 80 decibels. Around the time Khoa and I were planning our wedding, I dare say we peaked to 115 decibels which is equivalent to the likes of a sandblaster or rock concert.

Ironically, the yelling genuinely is unintentional half the time and occurs over the most trivial conversations:

Georgina: Mum, do you have any coke?
Jane: Coke, why do you want coke? I have Solo, you like solo. Have solo.
Georgina: Because I feel like coke. I don't like Solo, never have. I'll have coke.
Jane:  What do you mean you don't like Solo? I bought 2 boxes of Solo because you like Solo.
Just have Solo.
Georgina: Mum, I seriously don't like Solo, Khoa does. I would like coke. Please. Do you have someee?
(Screaming Begins Here)
Andrew: We dont have coke love, we only have solo.
Andrew: Ok love.
(Andrew goes downstairs, returns empty handed)
Andrew: We don't have any love.
Andrew: I went downstairs, there isn't any. We only have ginger ale and solo.
Andrew: ok love.
(Andrew goes back downstairs and sure enough still no coke, returns upstairs.)
Andrew: I can't find it, it isn't there...

And it continues.....

I could go on for hours about Tuesdays, but for now will summarise to say I will never let myself take my amazing family for granted. My parents are loving and caring albeit slightly dysfunctional, but I cherish every minute I spend with them.

Until the next memoRANDOM,


Friday, 25 November 2011

A new blogger is born

I'm new to the blogging scene.

Never have blogged and I honestly thought I never will.

Until recently, when I decided it was time to scrub up on my vocab and get the creative writing juices flowing, which have probably dried up after over a decade of neglect.

I've always found myself to be somewhat a story teller and with a little help from the Greek-Cypriot gene pool, it is a breeze to re-tell (and possibly slightly embellish) these stories for the entertainment of my nearest and dearest.

I am not planning on limiting my blogs to anything in particular. From interesting encounters with members of the general public, hilarious family antics, to observations I make of life and those around me.

Essentially, I am hoping it is going to be deliciously random.

Until the next memoRANDOM,