Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tim Tam Games

I’m sure Arnotts Tim Tam sales aren’t on the decline, so their latest ploy to get us to part with our cash made me curious and had the desired effect I guess. I rarely buy chocolate biscuits, but I bought two packets, you had to buy two of course to get the special, and they’re not just any ordinary Tim Tams. Their flavours have multiplied over the years and now some more have popped up on the market, but there’s a twist.

Stick them in the fridge, which is what I always do with chocolate biscuits anyway, and the claim is that the packet will change colour. So I did as I was told, taking before and after photos in order to check the claim, for as I took them out of the fridge later I must admit I couldn’t see the difference. The iced coffee pack was still brown, and the Turkish delight still a pinky purple, but it wasn’t until I saw the pics on the computer that it became obvious. The ‘Chill Me’ was what had changed, going from white to a distinctive blue with ice crystals.

I scratched my head, puzzled. Had Arnotts become official sponsors of the Winter Olympics? Had they gone to all that trouble to coincide the release of their latest creations with the Games? Had they sent plane loads of our choccy favourites to PyeongChang so people from all around the world could munch on them while wandering from one outside venue to the next, watching them turn blue with cold while they did the same?
Somehow I doubt it, even though it is colder over there at the moment than the inside of a fridge, and the reasoning behind the fridge trick left me with a ‘So what?’ I wondered how many different departments were part of making that dubious ground breaking suggestion and bringing it to fruition. It’s not as if Arnotts need any extra help in cornering the market in chocolate biscuits. By and large they’re everyone’s go-to choice, and this latest marketing strategy has me thinking I won’t be bothering to go back again, but rather stick to my occasional purchase of the plain dark chocolate variety which in my estimation is the best anyway.

There are moments when our western culture and what we take for granted must seem so idiotic to those in developing countries and other far flung places where there’s not only not much choice in what to buy, but the drawcard of fancy packaging simply wouldn’t be on the radar. For way too many, a roof over their head and a full belly are a luxury, and I have to confess to being as guilty as the next person in putting those facts to the back of my mind as I wander up and down fully laden supermarket aisles.

Finding that balance, not being a grumpy old woman and decrying everything that assaults my sensibilities in this consumer driven society, but not being self indulgent either, isn’t always easy. Negotiating a pathway where I adequately care for my own needs while finding ways to support others sounds simple. Maybe it is. The slogan ‘Live simply so others can simply live’ comes to mind, and I guess for me that’s what it comes down to. It’s all about choices.

I don’t need much to get by. I certainly don’t need Tim Tams in packaging that changes colour.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Big Bang, No Fireworks

There I was, innocently sitting in front of the computer up in the study this morning when this almighty BANG from the other end of the house got me out of my seat quick smart. Sounded exactly like a bird hitting the window, only a bit louder, so wondered whether it was the kookaburra that’s been terrorising the neighbourhood, flying at our windows and rapping like fury at his reflection. He’s been one seriously disturbed bird, thought I’d investigate, but as soon as I headed up the passage I immediately realised that wasn’t the cause of the noise.

A distinct burning smell reminded me that about thirty minutes earlier I’d put three eggs in a pot on the stove with the intention of having hard-boiled eggs on hand for salads and egg and lettuce sandwiches. Now I’ve boiled pots dry before, but being greeted with an egg explosion which covered every horizontal and vertical surface in the kitchen, then landing as far away as the dining room floor, table and window sills, and even making it through the doorway into the lounge room, that was some explosion.

Twenty square metres of egg debris. I guess the good point is that they were hard boiled, so the cleanup, though lengthy, was pretty straightforward, and spurred me into doing the post-Christmas pack away the decorations, take down the cards and vacuum the house. Even yesterday’s dishes in the dishrack had to be done again to remove the eggy residue….as well as the kettle, the toaster, microwave, mobile, newspaper, pot plants, kitchen door, fridge, you get the picture.

Blowflies were having a field day, trying in vain to penetrate my fly-wire fortress as every door and window was opened to disperse the smell. Couldn’t really understand what the attraction was for them, it’s not like I was cooking meat, but maybe all they need to stimulate their gastric juices is the burning of anything food related. Thought I’d reward them by dumping what I collected in the dustpan out in the backyard for them to pick over at their leisure, as I certainly didn’t want it festering away in my kitchen bin for another week.

Contemplated putting the eggy mess in with my kitchen scraps which usually end up with my friend’s chooks, but that felt distinctly cannibalistic and stepping over the line as far as the fair treatment of our feathered food providing friends was concerned. Probably wouldn’t faze them in the least, but at least my conscience is clear.

So as far as this New Year’s Eve is concerned, I’ve found you don’t need fireworks to finish the year on a big bang, though in much the same fashion as confetti keeps turning up long after the honeymoon, I have a hunch bits of stray shell might continue to surface from hidden crevices for a while yet.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Would you like a Facelift with that?

Felt sure when I stared in the mirror this morning I would look years younger, but not to be. The little crater I’ve had on the top of my noggin this past month which started out as a slight bump before it was unceremoniously removed, turned out to be a Basel cell carcinoma with unfriendly cells still lurking in its depths, so further excavation needed. The crater was about to become a canyon.

Had prepared myself well, getting my hair cut an hour beforehand as I knew I wasn’t going to front up to a hairdresser any time soon looking like I’d had brain surgery, plus a new cap to hide it all so I didn’t scare any innocent Christmas shoppers with my Frankenstein’s monster head.

In the process, discovered a new meaning for the word undermine. I’ve always thought about it just in behavioral terms, such as discounting or belittling someone’s efforts, or placing someone in a bad light so their integrity is brought into question and their reputation tarnished.

One definition though actually does mean to excavate, which is obvious when you think about it, so in my case the skin specialist had not only undermined it a month ago, but had essentially under-undermined it as he now had to dig deeper. Seems my education has been sadly neglected by not seeing The Incredibles, as the doc proceeded to fill me in on the exploits of the Underminer character.

My haircut changed shape somewhat as my scone was prepped, turning me into a medieval looking monk with a bald patch on top so the deed could be done. Now there’s not exactly any fat on your head, have plenty distributed all over my body, but unfortunately none up there to soften the sting of six local anaesthetic jabs before we could even start. After that it was plain sailing, a few strange noises, not quite sure what he was digging around with, but when the stitching up process arrived, that’s when things got interesting.

Also due to the lack of fat on top, getting the skin back together after creating a darn big hole brought with it a whole new sensation. The needle was going in and out, hate to think what life was like before anaesthetic, and as he worked his way along the open-cut mine with his expert needlecraft, everything suddenly went tight. This picture instantly came to mind of an eighteenth century woman (or whatever century it was) being laced up in one of those torturous corsets till she can't breathe.

Was I getting a bonus instant eyebrow lift, or maybe a mini facelift? Whatever was happening, it certainly felt like it could only be a good thing, just so long as I didn’t end up looking like I’d been caught in the headlights with a permanent stare of shocked surprise, or had been botoxed and couldn’t move my eyebrows.

But the mirror doesn’t lie, face looks the same, just as old as it did yesterday, no smoothing out of wrinkles. I have a pic of the outcome, as I knew it was the only way I would be able to see the doc’s handiwork, but thought it best not to share it. He did a good job mind you, but it’s not my best angle. My little experience under the surgeon’s knife for health reasons certainly convinced me I’d never go through the full enchilada voluntarily just to improve my appearance.

Will have to simply age disgracefully.