Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm off

to a place in the other hemisphere where it is warm and where John Howard has no influence! Yah!

And if you need another reason to seriously wonder about our Prime Minister at times, take this extract from The Age:

However even Mrs Howard's considerable influence has had its limits. When she was in end-stage labour with their third child, the book recounts that Mr Howard refused to break the speed limit while driving her to hospital, despite her obvious panic. He also baulked at driving the wrong way up a one-way street. In the end, he missed the birth while trying to find a legal car park.
So little Australian battlers, just remember that whilst babies (and the associated baby bonus) are good things, it is against the law to break the speed limit or travel up a one way street the wrong way. It is always important to do the "right" thing and laws are more important than people.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sub-editor humour

Someone at The Age just could not help themselves. Nothing like an old adult cinema gag....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Suggestions welcome on a page-turner

It is only a few more sleeps until I take a nice long flight, otherwise known as the time that busy people from the antipodes catch up on sleep and reading when travelling to the old world.

For some reason I am not inspired by any of the many unread books on my bookshelf, and I'm keen to splash out on a page-turner or two. I'm not in the mood for trash, rather something well written and neither depressing nor overly joyful.I'm fond of the classics, don't mind the odd bit of crime, or a historical work, or an autobiography. I've been recommended A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Any other suggestions very welcome....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

In the words of Boney M ....

"Hooray, hooray, its a holi-holiday
What a world of fun for everyone, holi-holiday
Hooray, hooray, its a holi-holiday
Sing a summer song, skip along, holi-holiday
Its a holi-holiday
Well, Im game, fun is the thing Im after
Now lets all live it up today, get set for love and laughter
Well, lets go, time isnt here for wasting
Life is so full of sweet sweet things, Id like to do some tasting"

That is right - Ms Batville has booked a holiday, a spur of the moment overseas trip with The Man for a few weeks. I'm leaving the week after next and I'm going north, to that other hemisphere, where it will be warmer than Batville. A bit of sleep, a bit of reading, more than a dash of culture, a bit of driving around sightseeing, a lot of good food and good wine, and a good Man who is very easy to travel with. Just indulge me as I gloat for a second or two.
It has been so so so long since I had a decent break and frankly I have been exhausted, weighed down with work and prone to self indulging in the odd moment of melancholy. But now I feel as light as a feather and happy happy happy. I went and bought a travel guide today and can hardly hide my excitement.
It will also be really nice to get away from the pressures of two stressful careers for some relaxed couple time. In the past few years I have become accustomed to travelling alone which is fine for a while, but can be lonely if it is part of every trip you take. I am really looking forward to sharing a trip with someone. Of course now I have to work like buggery to get things in order before I go. But I don't care cos....
"On the country side well take a ride (hi dee hi dee ho)
Where the stars all shine and lots of time (hi dee hi dee ho)
Back of your old car we might get far (hi dee hi dee ho)
In the summer breeze we feel at ease (hi dee hi dee ho)
Hooray, hooray, its a holi-holiday
What a world of fun for everyone, holi-holiday
Hooray, hooray, its a holi-holiday
Sing a summer song, skip along, holi-holiday
Its a holi-holiday, its a holi-holiday"

Friday, July 13, 2007

Stone the crows - is this fair dinkum?

Check this out!

It reads (with italics added by Ms Batville):

Australian translation you can trust
Your most important choice when selecting a translation service, to handle your translation, is trust. You probably don't speak Australian yourself, so there are a few questions you'll need to consider when choosing a translation company.

How do you know the company you're using haven't just picked a lot of words from a dictionary and handed them back? (For example: bonzer, shelia, drongo and aveagoodweekend)

How can you be sure your text has the same meaning when translated into Australian? (For example: "The arrangement is satisfactory" becomes "she'll be right mate")

Hundreds of companies trust us to get their translations right first time, including UEFA, Sony and Morgan Stanley. (Sell your shares quick) We'll deliver your documents back to you, the way you want them, on time and at the price we quoted you.

Quality assured Australian translators
Language is a living thing it develops and changes constantly. To ensure our translators keep abreast of the language our Australian translators live in-county and translate into their mother tongue. (However English grammar is not their strong point). Our database of translators ensures that we can guarantee you a fast turnaround, even on large documents with short deadlines. (Even this arvo) Only 20% of the translators who apply to work for us pass our quality checks. (The other 80% must go to work on Neighbours) That's how committed we are to ensuring that our standards are kept extremely high.

The Best Australian translation to help your business grow
We have only one level of translation service - The Best. (Sleece Tiger do which translates as It is the least I can do)

The Best service means:
- We stick to our promises. (Struth)
- You'll only ever pay the price on our quote. (We're on the up and up)
- We're honest and open with our customers. (True Blue)
- We don't cut corners, every project gets our total attention. (Fair Dinkum)
So, whether you have one or one hundred translations done, you will always receive consistent top quality translation. (Bewdie)

Top quality personal Australian translation
"It's too small for us, you'll need to speak to someone else", is what most Australian translation companies will say, when you ask them to help you with your important letter, certificate or document. (Actually they are probably too busy laughing down the phone). We are more than happy to help you. You will receive the same high quality Australian translation service as all our customers. (You'll never need to do your nana). Your translation will be completed on time and at a reasonable price. (Flaming oath it will)

PS: I can recommend the very witty and informative monkeybizness, a great newish blog I stumbled across in my travels.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Our Foreign Minister's attempt at policy debate

That fat ponce Alexander Downer is at it again.

Earlier this week in The Australian he accused Kevin Rudd of being a boy in a bubble, because

He wants to pretend Australia can abandon Iraq, retreat to "our own backyard" and leave others to carry the burden of the great global security challenges of the day. He scarcely considers the consequences beyond the next 24-hour news cycle.

Downer also goes on to say that "maintenance of global security will sometimes require Australia to shoulder its share of responsibility, even when that involves difficult choices" and that Rudd is "unfit to lead the nation [as a] foreign policy imposter".

Extraordinarily he states that Australia, presumably under his bumbling, stuttering, overweight English-school boy act as Foreign Minister has a "sophisticated strategy of global engagement". Why is it that coming from his pen that sounds like semi-colonial rhetoric? And why is our sophisticated strategy so damn similar to that of the US?

All of this is a bit rich coming from a man who in January 2003 claimed it would be "folly in the extreme" to send Australian troups to the Solomon Islands because "foreigners do not have answers for the deep seated problems afflicting the Solomon Islands" and "our intervention would only delay the inevitable."

Apparently Alex wasn't thinking much beyond a seven month news cycle when he also said of such an intervention that "It would be very difficult to justify to Australian taxpayers" because by July he had changed his mind and Australian troups were on the ground. However that didn't stop the 2006 rioting and looting in Honiara, or the persecution of the Chinese there.

In today's Herald Sun Downer has another go at Rudd, saying that after his visit to Iraq and Afghanistan, he believes that our presence is necessary. It would be funny where it not so pathetically tragic for him to boast "General Petraeus told me [out troops] were world leaders, making an invaluable contribution." Anyone else get the sense that Lexie is really excited to be playing on the big stage with the boys with real guns.

Downer even goes on to say "As I told Prime Minister Maliki and President Karzai, their governments need to make tough decisions." A big call from a man whose government has said in response to a United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that "in the end we are not going to be told what to do by anybody" because these matters should be resolved by Australians, not by foreign bodies who "failed to grapple with the unique and
complex history of race relations in Australia

I don't purport to know all the answers and I am all for a serious debate about our role in Iraq, one that doesn’t talk about "emboldening terrorists," "appeasement" or "poll driven sloganeering". However I don't think Downer is the man to take us on that debate. I am also finding it particularly hard to take him seriously after seeing that "I'm so freaky" number in Keating the Musical that seems him adorned in fishnet stockings and a feather boa. Even seeing him in a tuxedo makes me feel strangely ill.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Uniqueness part one

I was thinking today about those things are unique to your city. By that I don't mean something that is merely unusual, or that can be imitated in other places. I'm talking about those experiences that are truly different.

For example, in Sydney it might be standing on Sydney Harbour at The Rocks and taking in the majesty of the Opera House, or catching that first view of the bridge lit up at night when the Manly ferry swings around. Alternatively it might be something more humble, like that somewhat sad lighted cube in Civic in Canberra that changes colour when you talk to it. I would bet you can't recreate that experience anywhere else in the world.

Here is my tentative pick for Melbourne:

  1. Running your hand along the water wall at the NGV like a little kid.
  2. The experience of having your AM radio reception (yes I'm a Newsradio junkie) cut off with weird hissing sounds when a tram goes past you.
  3. The experience of being madly "dinged" by a tram driver who objects to you being on the tram tracks trying to do a right hand turn. (More disconcerting is the relatively new phenom en of the tram driver using their microphone to broadcast their disapproval to the whole street, causing everyone to turn around and look when they say "You in the blue Camry, in a hurry are we? Is that why you need to block this entire tram full of 60 people, just so you can turn right? Well get a move on love or get out of my way.")
  4. The roar from the crowd at the MCG just after the singing of the national anthem at AFL finals.
  5. Shaking your head at how the Sandridge Rail Bridge is a blight on the Yarra. I know we keep it because it was one of the first railway bridges to use steel girders but it is still a bloody eyesore.
  6. Buying fruit from the sellers at the Victoria Market, and apologising for giving large notes to be met with that uniquely Australian-Greek accented response "Doesn't matter".
  7. Seeing Paul Kelly sing Leaps and Bounds at the Prince of Wales.
More to come as they come to me.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hello dearies (but not in a Dame Edna way)

I'm back. Shamed by I'm not Craig and dismayed by the number of people who visit my blog after typing the words 'strange' and 'sex' and 'opposite' into Google Images and decide to check out a photo of a man licking a turtle, I can stay away no longer.

Truthfully I've been far too busy with The Man (all good), waaaay too much work and waaaay too much worry, life, low iron levels (must eat more beef), lack of sleep and not enough fun. I lost my inspiration for the written word for a while, however I've determined to stride purposefully back into this little blog (mentally I'm wearing some lovely grey wool Katherine Hepburn style wide leg pants and patent pumps when I do this) to see where it takes me.

Besides which, there is much commentary to be had about Australia the movie .

I look forward to catching up.

Ms B