Office Politics and Office Bitches and Bastards

Warning – this blog is politically incorrect and makes insulting and piss taking reference to the following:

1. Large people that eat their bodyweight in pasta 

2. Toilet humour

3. Good looking smarmy bastards

4. Overtly sexual females

5. No nonsense office bullies

6. IT Geeks

7. Menopause

It also contains some bad language and sexual innuendo so please read at your own risk. 

I have worked in many places during my working life and I have had a rich variety of should I say, ‘experiences’ – some good and some not so good and one thing that has remained constant and that is the characters that fill ‘the people boxes’ in the office environment.

Here are some of the characters that you may find in any office, you may be one of them or by reading my blog, may recognize some of them in one of your colleagues in which case, I would ask you not to snort with laughter if you see Andrew/Sharon from accounts doing exactly what I have written in my blog, you must restrain yourself for I am going to open up the doors to your imagination and hopefully ‘free’ you of those office bitches and bastards that may frequent your workplace.

The Dieting Office Bitch

Usually a rather large/fat woman that tells everyone that she is dieting, yet brings in a tub of pasta that could feed several families in several different countries.  This is normally devoured in a short space of time say 1 minute and then followed by a large slice of cake that she has made herself and will proudly announce that it is the ‘Weight Watchers’ recipe.

Don’t get in the lift with her because you may have noticed that she will always get in your lift when it is full to busting with people and there is barely enough room for a stick.  You will notice the horror on your colleagues faces as she comes bouncing towards the lift saying ‘Room for a little one!’ – except that she isn’t little and if she squishes herself into that lift, people could die – including the lift itself because it will fall down the lift shaft and you will end up in hell with fire, flames and people that wear horns.

She will also detract away from her own eating issues by bringing in boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts or cakes and make a point of handing them around so everyone can see that she has bought them.  This is where you will hear cries of ‘Thank you, did you bring them in? Oh how kind’  She may even be known as ‘Cake Woman’.

However, if she doesn’t like you, you will find that the offer of a doughnut does not come your way and you will be left with a few broken bits or pieces of doughnut with fat fingers poked through them.

Please don’t believe that the doughnuts ran out, they didn’t – she ate them or smashed them purposely to stop you having them.  Why? I hear you ask, the reason being is you are younger, slimmer and your arse looks better in jeans than hers ever would – quite simply she is jealous and if by some miracle she did save you a doughnut, then please for the love of Mike, put it in the bin because you can bet your bottom dollar that it will contain laxatives.

Now Dieting Office Bitch has some other traits that are not very pleasant, she will use the toilet at precisely the same time every single day and have her own favored cubicle that she uses and if you dare to be in that cubicle at the time she uses it then prepare to die.  It is an unwritten ruling that everyone has their own preferred cubicle at the times they like to use the toilet and in her case, it is normally two hours after eating the pasta mountain that she has devoured that morning.

You will soon know which is her preferred toilet by the smell that she leaves behind which trust me, is unique to her and normally smells of ‘bad stomach’ and pasta and as for the skid marks down the pan of the toilet – well think ‘tractor’ and you will just about cover a suitable description of such horrors.

But whatever happens, never ever steal her ‘toilet time’ – it is her time to ponder and reflect on how nasty she is, what she is going to eat the next day and more importantly, who will be on her hate list for cake denial.

How to deal with her:

1. When you know she is going to bring in cake, bring in your own and make it better, offer it one hour before she does so that people are full.

2. If you are brave enough, when she goes for ‘toilet time’, steal her cubicle and make nasty smells yourself, only wait until she is in the toilet because trust me, she won’t want to use another cubicle, she wants HER cubicle.  So write in the cubicle your name like ‘Judy’s toilet’ and then announce it to the office that is your favourite toilet.  If you have to, cock your leg like a dog outside to make your point and do it with a smile on your face and if you can, do cartwheels so it spreads further.

The Good Looking Smarmy Office Bastard

He is what he is – very handsome either in an obvious way or perhaps the more you look at him you think ‘Yes he is nice and I would’ but that could also be a case of ‘any port in a storm’ and if hot guys are thin on the ground, this guy could be ‘your port’ in the ‘office storm’ so to speak.

He is quite meticulous with his clothes, they are always clean and freshly pressed and he wears nice aftershave.  He lunches out every single day in an exclusive cafe and would absolutely hate it if he saw you there which ought to tempt you into going, purely to see his mouth disappear in disapproval when he spots you ordering your ham sandwich and latte at the counter, especially if you wave to him and yell in a high pitched voice ‘Hi there! fancy seeing you here!’ and then eat noisily and speak in a common accent to embarrass him further.

The Good Looking Smarmy Bastard is just that, he will be sugary vomit-inducing nice to any female that he finds attractive and to anyone that isn’t, he will speak loudly, he will shout and say things like ‘Just do it will you’ or ‘Let’s crack this thing to the bone’.  He will also reek of chewing gum and gaze at his perfectly manicured hands at frequent intervals – normally when he is plotting to either get the office (female) ‘hottie’ out on a date or who he would like to fire.

His ability to ooze sleaze is quite remarkable and his ability to crack the whip and work people into a stress induced influenza even more so.  He takes immense delight in telling people they have been made redundant and relishes in the fact that the average family man needs their job to pay their bills and feed their family.  This is a weakness that he hones in on and exploits to the point he becomes evil personified.

We must not forget that he is good looking, is well paid and could probably charm the undies off a nun so if you are going to allow this man take you for a drink after work to ‘discuss the new system’, please wear three pairs of panties and stick a trout down there as a deterrent because jumping into bed with him is akin to selling ones genitals to the devil in return for a paid lunch break.

How to deal with him:

There is no help with this one, he has the power to make your life hell but you could tell him that his breath smells and each time he talks to you, cover your nose and pretend to gag. Or perhaps when he enters the room, do a little finger wriggling sign which is indicative of a small penis.  He will have slept with many women in the office so implying he was not blessed with a good ‘pant python’ would be a way of putting him in his place.

The Overtly Sexual Good Looking Female Bitch

She is what she says on the tin – good looking, overtly sexual and oh boy is she a bitch.  She will appear sugar and spice to you when there are men within earshot but trust me, she is not interested in your 100 year old Great Aunt Mavis Davis being in a nursing home, she doesn’t much care if you have recently had twins or if your arm fell off in a boating accident – the only person that she is interested in is herself and the only people that she likes are the ones that in some way, can benefit herself.

It is easy to spot this person in the office, she wears clothes that show her entire self off, think super short skirts that could almost expose the ‘Lady Garden’ if she bent down low enough, her heels are skyscrapers, her tops are tight and low cut but her clothes are of exceptionally good quality, she does not buy crap clothes – they are well made but their sole purpose is to show off her body.

She will be loud, giggly and flirtatious in male company, she cannot help herself and can turn very quickly into a nasty and cutting female that can make one feel as though one needs to be placed in a body bag.

She is busy doing everything and nothing, and she will look rushed off her feet and claim to be ‘snowed under’ but will get very little work done but at the same time, will make the work that you do look inefficient and worse still, the management will fall for her charms and refer to her as a ‘little diamond’.  Do not trust her, she may be a ‘little diamond’ but she is a roughly cut one in a skirt and with a camel toe.

No matter how important the work that you are doing is, no matter how important your role is, she will take delight in trying to place herself on a higher level by standing over you while you are doing something super important and saying ‘Come with me, I have a LITTLE job for you’ and despite your attempts to explain that what you are doing is quite critical in terms of priority, she will insist that archiving her accounts stuff is more important.

She will finalise her moment of power by finding someone else to do the job that only you are trained to do, only she has taken the young girl from reception who has no clue about your skills and job description, to do your work and duly fuck it up.

Don’t fall for it, it is a power trip of the highest order – tell her that she can find someone else and really she should cover up her genitals and stop behaving like a female dog in season.

How to deal with her:

1. Dress yourself up better than her

2. Be better than her – make yourself indispensable

3. When she tries to take you away from your job to do something menial for her, tell her that you will be happy to help but you are just doing this one thing for your boss and will be there in a second.  (Pre empt her response by telling your boss what you are going to do before you do it so you are prepared)

Then adopt the ‘I am busy’ expression which involves walking past people and looking ‘through’ them as though they are fresh air because you are far too rushed off your feet and busy with important stuff – the secret is, you ARE busy with important stuff, you just have to ooze the confidence that says as much.

The IT Geek (and potential bastard)

The IT Geek and potential bastard is usually a plainly dressed plain man with jet black hair that tucks his shirt into his pants and smells of Sunday dinner farts and cheap aftershave and because he forgets to drink water at frequent intervals, he has bad breath as well.

He will keep himself to himself and always has his coffee at the same time every morning, brings a cheese and onion roll for lunch with an Activia yoghurt and an apple for afterwards and reeks of onion breath for days afterwards, in fact he always has onion breath which begs the question – does he brush and floss his teeth?

The IT Geek and potential bastard is comparable to God as he knows EVERYTHING that you do on the computer, he sees everything and stores it in his geeky head – not that God is a geek but you know what I mean.  So if you have your party photos stored on the company network, he will have seen them and will have a selection of them to add to his own hottie collection that he likes to look at from home and rate out of 10.

Try and get on his good side because if your internet is metered then you never know, he may just have the power to turn the blind eye to your internet usage so that you can have unlimited Facebook or something.

But be warned, if he gives you a knowing look and eyes you up and down, that means he has seen your entire collection of photos from your holiday in Turkey and those photos of you and the girls dancing naked to the ‘Macarena’ you were trying to keep secret – well he has them all in triplicate and has even made tablet mats out of them so that he can claim to have eaten his lunch off your breasts.

Why is he a bastard?  Because you need him for IT type favours, he knows it and you know it, he knows the underwear sites that you visit, he knows where you get your bras and your online shopping right down to the bra and panty size, in fact everything that you have put into the search engines including the time you googled ‘I have spots on my genitals’ or ‘How to wax an arrow on your minge’ and for that reason alone, you will end up being a slave to him forever – because my dears, he knows everything.

How to deal with the Office IT Geek

1. Tell him that you love Apple products, if he blanches and vomits and tells you that his heart belongs to Microsoft, tell him that you love Microsoft more but was bought an Apple product as a gift/experiment and could you please pick his brains and expertise about some new software that you have recently purchased.

2. Never, ever ever in your long legged life, store your photos on the network drive.  If you have then delete them – your holiday photos are not for his eyes and you never know if he has ordered place mats with your breasts on them so play it safe and never store them.  If you are unlucky and he already has photos of you, tell him that they are off your twin sister Mabel and could he delete them as a mark of respect.

3. Ask him if you can see his Facebook and then admire his photo collection whilst at the same time, making a mental note of his photographs and out of work dress sense.  You may be able to gleam from this information if he is a panty sniffer or not, or perhaps he wears a leather gimp mask at the weekend and calls himself ‘Genelle’.

The ‘no nonsense’ older nasty office bitch (usually a supervisor     and menopausal)

Now this is a tough one to crack.  She is good at her job, has made herself indispensable, has been there so long that she is part of the furniture and her reputation for being a bitch is well justified as even management are scared of her because she shouts at them and loudly – at least twice a week.

When you are given a task by her she will be positively acidic if you don’t get it right yesterday and first time and she will think nothing of shouting and berating you to prove her superiority and totally in front of an audience.

You will get to the stage where you feel nauseous just by the sound of her voice, which is so sharp you could cut glass with it.

She eats healthily but will ‘eat on the go’ as she doesn’t feel that she has time for a lunch break and will stare at you to make a point if you dare to take a lunch yourself and will often pass derogatory comments at whatever food you bring in, glaring at it over the top of her glasses complaining ‘that smells awful, what is it?’  Which a good reply would be ‘dog turd pie’ to shut her up.

She is going through the menopause and boy does everyone know it.  Now the menopause is a perfectly natural and normal part of a womans life and whilst the symptoms may be unpleasant, it does not give you the right to be evil and this woman is evil in its purest form.

Jealous of anything younger, fitter, prettier than herself, she will take each and every hot flush out on any female that appears to have more moisture.

When she loses her temper which is frequently, she will go red, hot and sweaty and steam will come from the top of her head, a bit like Fred in that ‘Drop Dead Fred’ film or even like a steam train.

If she coughs, she wets herself and you will see this because after each cough, she will scuttle away to the toilets to check the damage and then come back smelling like an old lady in the post office on pension day.

If you so much as leave a pencil out of place on your desk, she will  scream like a beagle with shampoo in its eyes and if you turn up looking attractive, then that is it – she will set fire to your minge and perform a menopausal war dance around your feet.

Watch her and watch her well because the moment you stand up to her, your cards are marked and she will try and get you out of the company because as good at her job though she is, she is also good at being nasty and does not want you to challenge that.

How to deal with her:

This one is severe and requires serious handling so I suggest the following:

1. Look the part

2. Be the part

3. And do not let the bitch grind you down

Failing that, wear a T shirt on ‘casual Fridays’ saying ‘Young, Moist and Full of the right Hormones’

So my friends, that is it for my rundown on office bitches and bastards and the run down to office dynamics.

Know your place and make sure it is way above these characters, be one step ahead of your game and never ever let anyone make you dread going in to your job for which you have every right to be there.

Basically, draw your line and let no-one cross it.

 Samantha Rose (c) copyright 2012

Sjogrens – Through Hoops We Must Jump – *Adult Content*

*Warning – this blog contains female related issues and some bad language*

The pathway to diagnosis of Sjogrens disease can be a long and drawn out one.  I compare Sjogrens to being a huge jigsaw puzzle that can take many years to find all the pieces and piece them together and during that journey of diagnosis, you can often not only be pulled in different directions but worse still – disbelieved entirely by those that are either completely uneducated (I prefer the term ‘stupid’) or by health care professionals that are only looking at ‘one piece of the jigsaw’ and not seeing the whole or potential picture of your overall health.

My Childhood

As a child I remember having a mouth full of mercury fillings as my teeth happily decayed rapidly over a period of time.  I would brush my teeth twice a day but Sjogrens people will tell you that you need to brush them within 30 mins of having a meal so you can imagine the damage brushing teeth only twice day can cause.

Dentists would accuse me of not caring for my teeth and even when I got my adult teeth, my gums had receded and I was prone to dental issues that were to plague me for a huge part of my life.

My dentists in London would firstly ask if I was pregnant as that can have a profound effect on the gums, then accuse me of ‘not flossing or brushing’ and generally not being compliant.  My gums would continue to recede and I would develop cavities that were not obvious but would only show in an X-ray that they were developing under the back teeth and each and every time, my dentist would despair of me and quite frankly, I would despair of myself because there is nothing worse than being called a liar.

As an adult

Living in London was as you can imagine made for a hectic life.  At the weekends I would go to car boot sales with my friend Norma – our favourite being Denham car boot sale which was huge and excited though I was, I would have to keep sitting down, swallow some pain relief and get totally exhausted on a seemingly calm morning just walking around after having some sun exposure which at the time, I did not know I was sensitive too.

Girl talk *Graphic Female Content*

With Sjogrens, the dryness throughout the body can cause certain ‘female issues’, which can result in repeated testing for various STD’s and no matter how many times that you tell your doctor that no, you don’t have an STD, they will insist on those tests being performed.  It got to the stage where I almost changed my middle name to ‘Candida’ just to shut them up.

The obligatory phone call would come and say ‘No, Mrs Rose, you don’t have an STD but you do have thrush’ and then they would reel off the usual crap about what cream to purchase.  I had one GP tell me that my issues were ‘Psycho Sexual’ – well excuse me ‘Doctor Bollocks’ although I will admit to finding the male genitals ugly, I do actually quite like sex thank you kindly.

Fast forward to now

Now that I have a diagnosis has any of this become easier?  Well actually no, peoples attitudes are still pretty much the same, I still have the odd person that perhaps thinks that I am a hypochondriac because as anyone with Sjogrens or Lupus will tell you, we get attacked from all angles – pain, tiredness, sore eyes, sore lungs, you name it we get it. But we also have to suffer the stupidity and ignorance of many that believe illness to affect only one part of the body and even then, in their eyes, you can only get sick once or twice a year before you officially become a hypochondriac.

However I do find it somewhat amusing that when people like that are sick themselves, their colds very quickly ‘become flu’ and I truly believe that these people would not survive a week if they had to live with an auto immune disease of any description.

The funny part about it…

What makes me laugh about Sjogrens – well there has to be something doesn’t there?  When I go to collect my drugs I normally am faced with some level of interrogation, warning or questioning about what I buy.

Painkillers and other drugs – an incident in a pharmacy a while ago

I had gone to a pharmacy to get my painkillers, anti malarials and steroids plus some eye drops.  ‘Do you know what these are for?’ The chemist said in a firm voice, holding the plaquenil tightly in his hands.  No shit sherlock, I haven’t a clue why I am taking anti malarials, I just take for the fun of it and for the fabulous psychedelic dreams that I get.

‘Do you know the side effects of these, have you had them before?’ He asked.  Oh dear, it was going to be one of those days I could feel it in my water.

‘Can I also have some of those please and pointed to my painkillers that sat winking at me on the shelf.  Those beautiful little darlings that reduce my pain levels from a 6 to a 2 on the pain score, they SO wanted me and I wanted them.  I mean, come on – how many Sjogrens/Lupus patients clock watch till painkiller time? I know I do ‘It’s panadol-oclock’

‘Can I see your driving license please?’ The pharmacist asked me – glaring through his little steamed up glasses, his face going red with excitement that he may actually stop a ‘druggie’ in their ‘tracks’ (get the joke there?).

I passed him my license, he scanned it with his eyes and then looked up at me accusingly, hell – I was sure he was even checking my arms for track marks.

‘Did you know that the codeine in these tablets is addictive?’ He said with his mouth disappearing into the shape of a dogs bum in disapproval.

‘Yep, I know that’ I replied – I was being very restrained, I wanted him to shut the fuck up and give me my painkillers. Then I added ‘But if you want to see REAL addiction, then try taking me off the steroids because that is one baby I am TOTALLY addicted to’ (and it’s true as well)

‘Why don’t you try Nurofen?’ He said in a firm ‘I know best voice’

‘Because I am allergic to them’ I replied – my goodness I was being polite.

‘Have you seen your doctor about the reason you need these painkillers?” Mr Dog bum mouth pharmacist asked.

‘Which doctor – the eye specialist, the skin doctor, my GP or the immunologist?’ I snapped and then added ‘Take your pick’

Remembering that I needed to ask some advice for about mouth ulcers caused by the Methotrexate and I also had to buy some ‘girls’ cream for ‘down there’, I whispered to him what I wanted so that only he could hear.  Perhaps this would take the heat off me asking for painkillers.

‘If you want something for THRUSH, I think that you need to see your doctor’ he yelled and I mean he yelled – the bastard, I wanted to  pull his hair by now, I was getting somewhat angry because the entire shop now knew that I had a vagina – well I knew that I had a vagina myself but ‘lady gardens’ are sort of sacred and one doesn’t think of them until they are shouted about and very loudly in the middle of the chemist and then it is a case of ‘Oh look, she has a vagina.

Oh my god, it was happening again – I could already envisage going back to the doctors and telling him about my Sjogrens mouth sores and whatever cream I needed and then having to be tested for the millionth time for an STD.  It wasn’t happening, really it wasn’t – no way no never.  Now the chemist was looking at me as though I had made friends with a posh girl called Chlamydia.

I was so angry that I wanted to test the boundaries as you do, I was seriously pissed off.  Having a disease like Sjogrens is hard enough but having to deal with people that don’t believe you are sick is one thing but then you go to the chemist to get the medication that you need and you are accused of being a drug addict with a diseased minge and mouth ulcers.

‘Can I have two boxes of those please’ I repeated and pointed to my usual painkillers and then remembered that I needed Panadol Osteo which is rather good for rheumatic pain and helps me sleep through the night.

Oh my goodness, you should have seen his face – his mouth had all but disappeared and he went rather red and said in a somewhat high pitched voice ‘you want them all – all 3 packets, do you know the dosage?” he looked around for support or was it an audience, I wasn’t quite sure.

‘Just give me the damn painkillers, my plaquenil and steroids, keep your thrush cream and oral gel, just give me the painkillers’ I said, literally glaring at him.  I mean, can you imagine if I had cashed in my methotrexate script – it would have finished him completely.

I must have looked a touch demented because by now the entire shop knew that I took painkillers, had a vagina of my own, had mouth ulcers and dry eyes because I was also hugging a box of Poly-tears.  Thank god I never asked for my inhalers as that would have sent the pharmacist over the edge, dribbling into his coffee.

He handed me the painkillers but wouldn’t quite let them go so it was a slight tug of war but I won because I was pissed off and must have had a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp.

I would like to say that was the sum total of my medication but I also had to buy a giant tub of Omega fish oils (helps the joints/dry eyes), plus some Biotin to stop my hair falling out and some Biotene mouth wash to stop my teeth falling out and some fake saliva as I don’t have any.  My basket was literally overflowing at the counter and the shop assistant just stared in shock/amazement at the wide selection of health stuff and prescription stuff that I had to pay for. I thought for one moment she too was staring at my lady garden but I could be forgiven for being paranoid.

Are you sick again? (you just can’t fix stupid)

‘Are you sick again?’ You get people asking, well I don’t with my close friends as they really are that – genuine friends but anyone with Sjogrens or Lupus will confirm, that question is asked many times to many of us.

No you idiot, I pretend my joints are swollen or my lungs are dry and I have this nasty dry cough, I pretend that my eyes dry, red and painful, I love taking dangerous cytotoxic drugs to make myself feel better, I love taking steroids that have a whole plethora of side effects and even better, anti malarials that can cause retinal damage.

So you see, not only do we have to jump through the hoops of the medical profession to get a diagnosis, we also have to jump through pharmaceutical hoops to get our medicine, and we have to go to extreme lengths to prove that our lady gardens are not disease infested furry money boxes and that we do really like sex and routine STD checks are not required thank you.

But may I tell you what the biggest insult is?  It is after jumping through the hoops above, we also have to prove to many, that yes we really are sick, the sun hates our guts, we are not boring despite the fact we cannot drink, we need lots of sleep, we are not senile – we just have brain fog, we are not fat – we are on steroids, we do still love our hair – we are just losing some of it through illness/medication and if you see us stock piling our painkillers with a look that is comparable to a starving dog, we are not addicts, it is because if we don’t get them, quite simply we cannot function.

Suggestions on how to deal with the above – all in good fun of course!

For all those that can relate to what I have said, here are some (fun) suggestions on how to deal with those issues.  I don’t of course recommend you actually do these but the thought of it could cause a giggle or two.

The obligatory STD check

So you have thrush again! That is a bummer isn’t it.  Go to your doctor and give them the benefit of the doubt that they will know that you know your own body.  If they for the millionth time, suggest you might have sexual issues or perhaps an STD, tell them calmly that you didn’t think you could catch Chlamydia by having sex with donkeys.  Don’t forget to scratch your head in confusion as you say it and then add that you could be pregnant and ‘Dobbin is the father’

Chemist issues (yes, chemists ARE only doing their job when they question you but we do and are allowed to feel frustration when it is the same chemist and it happens repeatedly)

If you go to your chemist and are faced with the questioning on pain relief, tell them that yes, you know the dosage but your preferred method of consumption is by crushing them up, mixing them up with sherbet and snorting them through a $50 whilst sitting on the toilet.  If he asks you whether or not you know the effects of your steroids, tell him that no you don’t and is that why you have gained 5 stone in one week and have started to cry over Lassie movies or Home and Away?

Friends/relatives and stupid comments

What can I say on this subject – tell them to piss off but promise that when they become sick, you will laugh at them and hide their tablets and snap their walking sticks.

On a more serious note…

My own little bit of news on the Sjogrens front.  I have been over ten weeks on the Methotrexate and this week switched to injections which was a bit scary as you can imagine.

Taking it in tablet form is one thing but when you get the bottle that says ‘Cytotoxic’ on the front and you actually see the needles and syringes, you sort of think ‘shit, these are the big guns’ and I don’t mind telling you that I cried a bit.  Well when I say cry, no tears came out as I don’t produce them so I looked like a faker, but you get what I mean.

I am pleased to report that my nausea has disappeared as normally the day after the tablet I feel really sick but with the injection I haven’t at all, I have felt exhausted and weak but not sick.

Today I even managed to go to the gym which is great for me.  I have decided not to berate myself if I cannot make the gym, just be grateful for as and when I can go and praise myself for managing any of my workout.  I did 36 leg raises today, if I keep this up I could have a 6 pack – or is it 8?

My joints are a bit sore after this mornings workout but I am revelling in the fact I have heaps of saliva.  You see that is how I judge my progress – having saliva excites me immensely, I am sure you understand.

That’s it for me – I am off to have my tea and sort my work stuff out for tomorrow.

Have a lovely weekend wherever you are.

Samantha Rose (c) Copyright 2012

Mud bath for two!

Oh my days it is all happening!  I am having half of my garden dug up so I can have lawn put on it, it is about 65m2 so it is far from a small job and as I cannot afford to have a bobcat and my pavers professionally moved, it has been advertised to builders that if they can dig and remove, they get to keep them for free – a bit like ‘build it and they will come’ kind of thing except it is ‘dig it and you can have it’.

Now this has happened far quicker than I anticipated as the advert only went in yesterday and I got the call at around 7am this morning and the guy is coming at 7.30am tomorrow to come and dig them up.

I really should be rather excited as it means the work on the garden can begin but I am actually crapping myself and you may well ask why.

The reason why is because from tonight I am fostering another kelpie dog called Winston for about a month or just under, in fact he will be arriving with his kelpie suitcase at 5.15pm today, I say he has a kelpie suitcase I mean why wouldn’t he? You have your own suitcase don’t you so why shouldn’t he?  And those of you that know me will know that I will no doubt write stories about the two kelpies together, talking, smoking and drinking because all of the animals in my stories talk, smoke and drink and lead full and active lives.

Here is Rocky, now imagine another kelpie that looks identical to him except for being a bit more coffee table shape as middle age spread has set in with him.



So whilst I am looking forward to the arrival of another kelpie which will no doubt have fun with my Rocky dog herding up tennis balls and bones, I am also imagining a huge mud bath in the form of my large garden with the pavers removed from half of it and two kelpie dogs having a ‘Project X’ type party, filling the mud pit with water, inviting the local female dogs around in skimpy underwear and having a party.

I am also imagining getting home one night and finding the cops there as the party has escalated and involving all kinds of mud, dust, and drunken debauchery but then again, you know my imagination is more fertile than a fertility clinic overloaded with hormones.

Why oh why have I set myself up for this one I ask myself.  Is it at all possible that the two kelpie dogs won’t dig up the large expanse of dust and mud in my garden and they are sensible good dogs and avoid it?  Don’t be so daft Samantha, of course they will be good dogs, they will be clean dogs and they will be obedient dogs (sound convincing?)

And to think that the work in the garden won’t begin until the new year – Rocky will have dug his way to South Australia by then.

Right, I need a coffee and I shall pretend that it is not happening but keep an eye out for the talking animal blogs that will by my own admission, be prolific because having two dogs on my property – anything could happen and if anything happens then I have to write about it.

See you tomorrow with more updates as they happen.

Early morning wake up call – if only they (animals) could talk

Ask me why I am tired – go on, I dare you!  Well let me tell you why I am tired.  This morning I was awoken at precisely 4.45am and it was not by my alarm clock, not that I would ever in a million years set my alarm clock off for ‘stupid-o’clock’ unless my life depended on it.

Nope, it was the sound of a galah on the fence near my bedroom window and for those of you that do not live in Australia or know what a galah is, it is a rose breasted cockatoo that is native to Australia and has a high pitched call that sounds like no other bird.

Here is a photograph of a galah for your benefit:


Now with my fertile and somewhat childish imagination, I imagine what animals would say if they could talk – it is a bad habit that I have so if the thought of talking animals fills you with dread then it is probably best to leave this section of the blog now as I cannot take any responsibility for possible mental scarring or psychiatric visits.

The conversation from the galah went something like this.

‘Samantha, wake up, wake up now, it’s happening!’  the galah yelled from outside the window.  I was dreaming about nice things and from the ‘outer window’ of my dream, it were as though someone was knocking on the window to disturb me – bastards.

‘Samantha, you will miss it, it’s happening!’ the rather shrill and annoying voice said, getting even louder.

Rolling over and putting a pillow on my head, my first thought was ‘shut your mouth feather-pie’ and then I realised that it wasn’t going to shut up any time soon.

‘Wake up!’ the galah yelled and then started to get itself into a high pitched frenzy of galah-type noises.

‘What is happening?’ I said drowsily.

‘The morning, it’s started, it’s already happening, get up or you will miss it’ the galah said matter-of-factly.

Jesus Christ on a bike, was that all? I sat up and grabbed my phone to check the time, it was 4.45am and I didn’t have to be up for another 2.5 hours!  So as you can imagine, I was not impressed.

‘I shall shout until you get up’ the galah yelled and that is exactly what it did – shout for another hour or so.  Now don’t get me wrong, if you are an animal loving ‘Dr Doolitle’ such as myself, the sight of a rose breasted cockatoo is enough to warm the cockles of your heart, however at 4.45am in the morning, it makes you want to use words such as ‘bastard’ or even worse.

I guess I should be grateful really, you can have normal alarm clocks and I have a cockatoo and various other members of the wildlife community, although our local possum sounds like the screeching of tyres when he/she tries to defend its property (our house).

Anyway, that was my morning and that is why I am so tired and I am hoping that tomorrow morning will be better and the birds can hold their AGM somewhere else.

Have a lovely day

Tales from the Rails…..

I don’t know if you have noticed but there seems to be a set group of characters that travel by train, a bit like a jigsaw of various shapes and sizes and these characters fit that jigsaw like a glove – except a glove that fits me because I have only 9 fingers but that is another story.

Here are my characters

Cute Businessman

You get your hot and rather cute businessman, that wears a nice suit, smells of nice aftershave, carries the latest Apple iPad, wears shiny shoes, has a briefcase and usually catches the train in the rush hour in the evening (my train) and despite being crowded by lots of smelly people, he will successfully do business with a somewhat smug look on his face while he manages to type quite quickly on his iPad which is a skill in itself.  I get huge pleasure from watching this guy because any man that can multitask whilst surrounded by stinkers gets my vote.

Older (dry) Woman

Then you get the older woman who just oozes menopause – this was the woman sat next to me on one journey, she kept staring at me and either wanted to eat my minge, thought I was a long lost friend, cousin, enemy or just wanted to look at me the way in which I look at others.  She had short ginger hair, thin lips like she has sucked a lemon and she just looked plain resentful of other women – especially those that hadn’t entered ‘the change’. Now there is usually one of these women on a train and you can imagine working with them, and perhaps them slipping poison into the cakes of the young and fresh twenty somethings in the office.

Old man

The old man that falls asleep – this was the guy on one of my train journeys that coughed irritatingly in his sleep, he wore a black duffle coat with toggles on it – not unlike the toggles on my tent in the shed, perhaps it was my tent I am not sure.  This guy probably falls asleep on every train journey and I should not go any further because I too have fallen asleep on the train – several times, but I don’t wear a duffle coat with toggles that could have come from a tent.

Larger lady (camel toe)

The larger lady that wears leggings – now this really is a crime and I have sighted more than my fair share already.  Now I am not a lover of leggings anyway, but if you are of suitable size like myself, and care to wear leggings – please for the love the lady garden, cover up your vagina – we do not want to see it, no really we don’t and it is all well and good saying ‘don’t look then’ you try not looking when you have half a pound of camel toe encased in leggings with the shortest of top staring at you, virtually winking like a hippos minge.  Wear a long top to cover up the genitals and please, don’t bend down near me when you are wearing a G string that cuts your arse like cheese wire going through cheddar.

Jesus (lookalike)

The Jesus lookalike – now there is always one man that resembles Jesus, he could be a blonde Jesus or a black haired Jesus or even a ginger Jesus – he usually smells quite a bit and may have some food attached to his beard in case there is a war and he needs to be sent to a shelter while some old dear sings ‘we’ll meet again’ – Jesus normally wears tatty cargo pants, tatty trainers, trench coat and smells of testosterone and sweat and filth and maybe even dog shit.  Don’t pray to him please, there is not point – only unless you pray he has a wash or you want extra Easter eggs or something.

Lady with a foghorn voice and mobile

The lady that talks too loud on her mobile phone – I sat next to her on my way back from a temp job once, she was from Beijing – how do I know? because she started the conversation in English and said she was going home to Beijing and then chatted for 15 mins straight in Chinese and did so very loudly.  I had to laugh because she had a book about rice recipes in her hand and kept flicking through various pages of rice recipes.  By the time she ended the conversation purely because the battery on her iPhone went flat, several passengers were glaring at her and I was at that point where I wanted to tell her that rice was illegal in Perth and she would have to substitute her recipe ideas for pasta, purely to annoy her.

Oddball ‘regular’

The man with the fat tongue – now he is a regular and honestly, when I used to commute in to Perth every day, I would witness him chewing on his tongue every morning like a fat steak.  His tongue is like a mattress and rather splendid and deserving of a seat of its own, I like him.  He is a regular and I can forgive his body odor because he has become comparable to a rather comfy pair of slippers and if he is not on the train, I miss him – Go Mr Fat Tongue!

The ‘Farter’

The man that farts in crowded places – MY train!  now I don’t know who the culprit is, well except for the other day when Justin Bieber lookalike guffed in front of me, I heard it, I smelt it, I tasted it and I nearly sicked it up.  He had the grace to blush as soon as he had farted and then shuffled off in his tight jeans that made him walk as though his arse was chewing a toffee, or perhaps he was scared he would shit himself, who knows? Not me that’s for sure, but either way I think he has mega colon or some sort of bowel disease or perhaps he ate something or needs a bowl of rice, except there is no rice because I have declared it illegal in Perth.

Now I hate standing on trains as I cannot observe or anything and I am having dire urges to do naughty things on the train, some of my ideas include:

1. Pole dancing around the poles and playing my iTunes on my iPhone and turning it up and saying ‘feel free to put dollar notes in my boots’

2. Getting two friends to join me and we can dress up as the three monkeys ‘hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil’, except we could change it to ‘See no camel toe, hear no noisy eaters’ and ‘smell no shit’ and we could perch on the seats, one covering their eyes, one covering their nose and one covering their ears and we could adopt the monkey position.

3. Getting a friend to give me a piggy back down the train whilst saying ‘I am disabled you know’

4. Dressing my kelpie dog Rocky up as a guide dog, give him dark sunglasses, get myself a white stick and smuggle him on the train, except he wont have the traditional guide dog outfit, I will make him a ‘Super Kelp’ cape like Superman had and tell everyone he has super powers.

5. Get on the train with a doll and then ask everyone to admire my baby.

6. Get my fart machine and yes, I do have one – thanks to my friend Nicola who lovingly bought it and posted it to Perth where it got through Australian Customs and then I could set it off on the train.

7. Go up to a passenger and ask them to pull my finger – then use the fart machine.

8. Dress up in a uniform and go down the train and say ‘passports please’ and pretend I am from immigration

So you see the childish ideas keep coming and the more I do this journey I do fear that I will become more insane than I already am and at 45 years old, this is not a good sign.

So my tips for train travel are as follows:

1. Always be clean and wash yourself

2. Wear clean clothes – egg stains are not nice

3. If you must store food in the tangles of your beard, make sure you change the food regularly

4. If you must look like Jesus, then wear sandals to complete the look and always carry some bread and fish

5. If you want to wear leggings – cover up your vagina, it is not nice and makes me think that you smell

6. Please do not eat noisily, it doesn’t matter how much you enjoy your food, you can enjoy it with your mouth closed – except when you are putting food in it of course.

7. Please don’t let the entire train hear your phone conversation, not unless it is about juicy gossip about how your mate got gang banged in the Northern Territory or how your mate Jimbo lost his penis in an incident involving a kangaroo and an emu feather.

8. If you are old and enjoying your menopause, please do not glare at women younger than you as though they had cockroaches pouring from their ears and nostrils.  If you are going through a dry spell, do not be resentful, just talk to the chemist but don’t glare at other women or they may think you are after their mackerel.  Besides, menopause comes to all women and if the fresh young twenty somethings are annoying you, take comfort in the fact that in twenty years, their minge will resemble something like the Sahara.

So that is a breakdown of train characters for my train and if I could take photographs I would.

Samantha over and out – until next time where I will be appearing at a station near you, on a train you may be on.

See you later….

Letter to a healthy person – from a Sjogrens sufferer with a ‘dry sense of humour’

Dear Healthy Person

This morning I have woken up feeling really quite sick and I am having rather angry and patronising memories of a ‘nurse’ describing Sjogrens syndrome as at worst, a case ‘mild dryness causing inconvenience’.

What is Sjogrens syndrome? – well let me enlighten you all – Sjogrens syndrome is a chronic auto immune illness that attacks the moisture producing glands in the body – it can often ‘bring it’s relatives’ in the form of other auto immune diseases.  It is incurable and a rather unwanted ‘gift’ for life with no option of a refund, it is a nasty lodger that you cannot evict and it is a part of you whether you like it or not.

So what do moisture glands do in the body? – They produce moisture, if it is wet, it needs moisture which involves your organs/tears/saliva, get the picture?

To cry or not to cry…

Crying should come easy shouldn’t it? One would think so but let me tell you that I do not produce tears so have my tear ducts plugged with silicone and have to add my tears every hour – yes I said every single hour.  My eyes have deteriorated hugely, my vision is blurred from dryness and I have to have my eyes dilated twice a year and eyes tested twice a year, I cannot read or see small print at all now without glasses as the ageing affects and my long distance have both been accelerated due to the sjogrens.

Watching me cry is a laugh a minute, I literally look like I am faking it – my eyes look red/watery but that is it and it still freaks me out that such a strong and natural emotion such as crying can be denied of tears.  It is rather like when you go to sneeze but the sneeze doesn’t come out if you know what I mean, you are left feeling ‘incomplete/unsatisfied’  So don’t take me to a weepy movie, it would be pointless and I would look like a big ‘faker’.

I do not produce saliva so I have to use fake saliva spray, rinse with an enzyme mouthwash after each meal, floss and brush within 30 mins of each meal and use flouride wash twice a day.  The enamel on my teeth is eroding and I am getting cavities because I don’t produce enough saliva to neutralise the acid on my teeth, I will have to work exceptionally hard to hang on to my teeth by seeing a dentist every 3-4 months and it promises to be an expensive project.

My bones are sore, dry and not lubricated so they hurt – (like hell) my finger joints hurt, my feet hurt – my ‘everything’ hurts in a nasty rheumatic pain making pain relief not only my best friend but the thing that I count time on till the next dose.  If I do get the slightest bit of sun exposure, my joints swell up – the sun is not my friend, in fact it hates me with a passion and frequently makes its presence known by making me hurt.

My hair has started to fall out – ‘oh but you have plenty’ people say and sometimes laugh as though it is funny.  But finding your hair in the shower is neither funny nor pleasant, your closest friends that know everything about you, notice you have significantly less hair, you notice you have less hair and take to examining the mirror each day to see if ‘baby hairs’ are growing.  What hair I do have is brittle and breaks off to the point I add half a cup of warm olive oil to my hair when I wash it (yes really).

I get rashes on my neck and cheeks if I go out in the sun – they itch, Sjogrens and Lupus patients are often intolerent to UV sunlight and react quite badly to it as in dizziness, palpitations, sickness, pain – this ‘flare/episode’ can last for days/weeks.  Stress is another enemy of this illness, one stressful event can send you into a flare for months.

Lungs – my lungs dry out, especially at night, I can go all night without swallowing because my mouth/throat dries out due to no saliva, I can hardly drink through the night to compensate so when I wake up, my tongue is cracked and bleeding and I cant swallow until I have sprayed my mouth.  Then my lungs hurt as though I have bronchitis when I breath in and this goes on for hours.

Cognitive dysfunction – Sjogrens can affect your brain/memory/thought process and the least said about me locking my husband in the house and taking his keys, throwing away his chef knife, forgetting that I have a dog and leaving him in the laundry room unfed as he silently pleaded with me that yes, he really is my dog and could I feed him now, the better.

Exhaustion – I get so tired, some days not so but it takes me ages to do anything, ages to pluck up the energy to do anything and then ages to recover.  Compare it to having a lead blanket wrapped around you making you want to lie down when you would rather not.

Being a writer, I have two projects on the go – one is a collaboration with my sister Sally in Cyprus and if I say so myself it is a very good project with potential.  I feel as though I am letting her down as my ability to write at the times I want to is severely compromised, so message to Sally – I am so sorry Sally, we WILL get there I promise, just bear with me and I love you for being so patient (and being my sister of course!)  Sally I might add, is fabulous for a sister as she patiently has listened to my various dramas over the months and knows I am sick and always manages to cheer me up.

Muscle weakness – opening bottles or anything that requires strength has suddenly become a sport and one that I don’t win very often.  I went horse riding with my friend Tori and had to be helped down off the horse as my feet went numb and I couldnt dismount.

Sjogrens can also effect the liver and kidneys – touch wood mine are so far not affected but it is like a Pandora’s Box, you do not know what ‘surprise’ you are going to get from one day to the next.  I realise how important appearance is to me, with my hair falling out, and having to be on super alert to stop my teeth crumbling – I often wonder why the hair on my head is falling out and not ‘down below’ – that is a bit crap actually, because it would save me a fortune on Brazilian waxing.

Pins/needles/numb body parts – I frequently get tingling down one side of my face, or sometimes my hands feel ‘full’ or heavy, and weak and I can barely lift them, usually my left arm tends to be the weakest yet it is the right side of my face that gets the sore skin/tingles.

Well meaning people offer suggestions of supplements to ‘boost the immune system’ but I need to do the opposite because my immune system is having a party and I am rarely if ever invited.


This has been said to me so many times, as well as ‘There is always something wrong with you’ – well technically yes, I have in hindsight, been ‘sickly for years’ and I suspect moving to a sunny hot country such as Australia, has really brought the illness that I reckon I have had for years, out into its own spotlight.

Comments about how much medicines I take are not welcome either because although I am on treatment and although the treatment is helping, it comes with huge risks and a worrying trade off.

Plaquenil – it is an anti malarial drug which is used in Sjogrens/Lupus to modify the disease response in the body and helps with inflammation and pain, noone knows exactly how or why to be precise but it helps, it takes from 6 weeks to 6 months to start working and longer to reach full potential.  For me, I noticed I was actually living again after 8 weeks and now I can go out and my ‘brain fog’ has reduced and I can do more than I ever could before.

However, this medicine can cause blindness from retinal problems and I have  to be watched carefully by an eye specialist to monitor this.  I try not to think about the eye issues and focus on the fact that it is helping me.

Steroids – steroids surpress the immune system and are used as an anti inflammatory, I am on them for the rheumatic pain and the unpleasant symptoms of dry mouth, lungs and no saliva.  Steroids also come with loads of side effects – google ‘corticosteroids’ and see what you come up with.

Now when I was younger I was on them for asthma and had the ‘moon face’, mood swings and people would take the piss out of my face and so would I and it was all one big laugh.  Except now it isn’t so funny, because although now I am not on a huge dose of them, I have also become incredibly sensitive to them (steroids) and cannot tolerate doses above 7.5 mgs so should my symptoms worsen,  I am between a rock and a hard place as a higher dose makes me aggressive,  affects my blood sugar levels, my judgement and my ability to react to things – to name but a few of the side effects.

So you will have to forgive me if I now tell you to shut up if you dare to comment to me about steroids because that is akin to laughing at a diabetic for taking insulin.

Methotrexate – This is an old chemotherapy drug and I take a low dose of 10mg per week to add to my immune suppressant drugs.  Methotrexate is a dangerous and toxic drug but also has huge benefits in certain conditions and when I first went on it, I remember thinking that the tiredness and nausea were SO not worth it after all, nothing was happening was it and where the hell are the benefits?

Well 10 weeks down the line and the drug has been a godsend and seems to have made for a formidable ‘Toxic Army’ with the Plaquenil and Prednisolone.  I have cut out my midday painkillers and my sense of taste has come back and the best of all, I have saliva (yes I know, I am easily pleased but take away your saliva and you would understand).

I will not go into the side effects of Methotrexate and I refuse to worry about them – I trust my consultant to do that, which he does by sending me for monthly blood work on my liver/kidneys etc.  It isn’t a ‘nice drug’ but then again, is any drug ‘nice’?  At the end of the day he prescribed it because he felt that I needed it and in turn, I have to trust his expertise and judgement.

I have to take 4 cod liver oil capsules a day to help with dryness and joint pain, I have to take a vitamin B complex to stop my hair from falling out and I have to take prescription dose vitamin D as people with auto immune diseases are often very deficient in this supplement.

All of which costs – I am under two specialists which have to be paid for and you have days where you think to yourself ‘what can I afford today’ or ‘Do I REALLY need to see a specialist?’

There are worse illness that you can be diagnosed with and I remember feeling utter relief when I was diagnosed as in ‘thank god it isn’t and never has been all in my head’ But you also get to a stage where you wake up to each nasty surprise of a symptom and compare it to having a hositle lodger in your body that won’t be evicted and you realise this is as good as it gets with regards to health.

Sjogrens Syndrome – you cannot see it, it is a chameleon of an illness in the guise of many symptoms and complaints, you cannot escape it.

Because for an invisible illness – Sjogrens, Lupus and many other auto immune illnesses like it, they are debilitating, painful, draining, costly and to coin a phrase from the RSPCA are ‘For life and not just for Christmas’

So if you see your mate taking lots of medicines, or notice she cant quite keep up with you – be a real mate and don’t make judgements.

From a Sjogrens Sufferer that has a name, a personality and somewhere inside her body – a zest for life.

Samantha Rose (c) Copyright 2012

Toilet Ducks and Tea Towels

You make your bed, you lie in it…

I believe that we as women tend to carve our own niche in the workplace, we find out what we are good at, or comfortable with and we tend to make ourselves indispensable so we are known to our colleagues for that very quality.

Sounds good? Not always because it really depends what impression and niche we are trying to make and carve and we could unknowingly, be setting the trend for our future female colleagues thus making an enormous and rather unsavory pile of ‘work baggage’ for them, not to mention reinforcing the fact that women are not always perceived as equal in a workforce that can be dominated by men.

What am I going on about? I shall tell you and it is with some shame that I am going to elaborate on my story because let me just say that my previous ‘indispensable behavior’ came right back to bite my butt  – take this as a warning if you see yourself in the article.

Not all ‘ducks’ are nice…

When I worked for a company in a male dominated environment, I took ‘my boys’ and ‘mothered them’ somewhat.  I would make sure the toilet supplies were replenished – which yes, as a department administrator was my job but although the three female staff including myself, in the facility had no problem pouring bleach or toilet duck down our lavatory, the men however saw it as an alien concept and were happy to urinate on the seat/floor or wherever they ‘aimed’ their manhood and toilet duck was akin to the work of the devil, in fact they were even known to urinate in the women’s toilet – which I assumed to be like dogs, a bit of territorial marking – except they missed and would pee on our floor.

So I would dutifully go in during the day and make sure toilet duck was put down, ‘Glenn 20′ (disinfectant) was sprayed on the taps so if we had visitors/auditors, it would not resemble a complete cesspit.  Toilet rolls were filled up and it got to the point people would say ‘Sam, there is no toilet roll in our toilet’ and I would fill it up ‘for my boys’.

Boys and their mothers….(or Administrators)

The trouble is with men (boys), the more you mother them, the more they refuse to grow up and you end up with some tragic 20 something virgin that nobody wants as the only experience he has with women is being mothered by his mother, he has no idea of how to wash, cook clean and certainly the only duck he knows are the ones his mum takes him to feed down the river/lake, and if you put the word ‘toilet’ in front of duck, he will no doubt have visions of a duck taking a swim in the river.

‘We need to get a cleaner’ someone said at work, ‘Oh get Sam to do the washing up’ and after moaning a bit, I would wash up ‘for the boys’ or should I say ‘for my boys’. And before long, I didn’t just have one boy spoiled to the point I am surprised they didn’t need breastfeeding, but I had lots of ‘boys’.

One day it was suggested that I took home the work vests to wash and launder to make sure the ‘boys’ had clean ones to wear for work.  I was horrified to the point of wanting to raise my voice somewhat and the manager looked horrified that I was horrified, after all – was it just one step up from the toilet duck?

I refused point blank and still carry that horror to this very day.  Another time it was suggested I came in at the weekend to do some cleaning to prepare for an inspection – again, this was met with more horror.  But did I have a right to be horrified when I in fact had carved the first step by making myself into what they wanted me to do more of – a skivvy?

Moving onwards and upwards….

So I left this company because my job description had become so diluted (with Toilet Duck and Glenn20) that I felt my role was no longer defined nor skilled.

After a few disasters with regards to employment, I went for a short term temp role and immediately I felt a sense of ‘deja vu’  and you know what? I am surprised it didn’t involve a toilet and some duck.

This very pleasant old lady did a handover, I say old – she was about 60(ish) or she could have been 50(is) with elephant skin, I couldn’t tell but she was well spoken and well dressed and from behind could have been a bit of a ‘Mabel’ with a nice figure and nice clothes and then she turned round and morphed into an ‘Ethel’ with no breasts but she was smart and well presented and guess what? She could have been me when I am 60 (except for the breasts and the Ethel/Mabel hair cut) and the fact I would never wear a grey skirt.

‘Now, each Friday I take the tea towels home and I wash and iron them’ She told me matter-of-factly with a hint of pride in her voice.

Alarm bells rang so loudly in my head at this point, I am surprised there was not a vicar perched on my shoulder.

‘Pardon, did you say I take the tea towels home to wash and iron them?’ I said totally astounded, any second now, she was going to mention Toilet Duck and Glenn20, I could feel it in my womb.

‘Yes, you have to take them home and wash/iron them, you also have to clean the kitchen a bit and take the coffee machine apart, but if you have an trouble – one of the boys will help you, they are good like that’ She said, as though the King of Thailand might help you if you smiled nicely enough at him.

‘If I brought those tea towels home my husband would have a baby’ – remembering husbands face when it was suggested I wash the vests, and he doesn’t even know about the Toilet Duck saga.

Looking at me as though I had beaten her kitten with the head of a pit bull terrier chewing a guinea pig, she stared at the other woman who was in the kitchen and said ‘But you have to, you must’ and then her bottom lip went out like the bottom of a wash hand basin because I was about to shatter her routine – the men didn’t have to wash them, that is ‘women’s work’.

‘It isn’t going to happen, I am sorry’ I replied firmly, I could smell the duck – citrus flavor and any second was going to morph into an ‘S bend’ shape ready to clean the urinals.

‘You will have to take it up with the boss’ She said crestfallen, and that is when the penny dropped – she was me, but older, she had made herself indispensable ‘for her boys’, she mothered them and did the things I used to and instead of being recognized for her true skills, had unknowingly taken a step back several decades in time where women were expected to fulfill the stereotypical female of being a cleaner/mother/carer to the men in the workforce, which results in their real skills being totally ignored, smothered and never to surface again because the only recognition they will get is for domestic skills and even then, that recognition is out of convenience and nothing else.

So Why Did I Do it?

You know something, I do not know – I guess I like looking after people and thought at the time it was appreciated, but it wasn’t and never will be.

I am skilled in the areas of Administration, Secretary and Personal Assistant and by turning myself into a cleaner, I did myself and probably the lady that took my job after I left, no favors either. I found this to my cost when I went for the temp role and got myself tangled up in ‘Tea Towel -Gate’.

What happens now?

Ladies, if you are guilty of ‘looking after your boys’ then remember one thing, they are not ‘boys’ they are grown men capable of washing their own vests/safety gear, they are capable of cleaning their own toilets, washing up their own cups – they are over 18 years old, they can drink, go to strip clubs, do whatever they like and if they still really need to have basic domestic chores done for them, then perhaps they need to move back in with ‘Mum’ to learn survival skills like the art of putting toilet duck down the lavatory or how about, not peeing all over the floor when they urinate.

If you are employed as an Admin person or Secretary/PA then make sure that is the job you should do and nothing less.  If you want to be recognized for your formatting/editing/typing or any other real skill then make sure that is what you are known for – you do your job and let ‘the boys’ do theirs and do not cross those boundaries.

Women have fought hard to be seen as equal in the workplace and we still have such a long way to go on that score, so if you see yourself in this article, do yourself a favor and step away from the toilet duck and adopt the persona that the only thing you are good for and exceptionally good at that, is the one you were hired to do.

Because it is only when you leave your job, you will pass down your domestic legacy to the next poor female who may not be happy to carry that gauntlet because I know I am rather horrified myself – horrified at what the old ‘Mabel’ woman had started and left and also horrified at what I have started and left in my old job.

Be recognized for real talents, start as you mean to go on, look the part, dress the part and play the part but make sure it is a part you would happily play in the future and hand down to another female without any guilt.

Ladies – put a price on yourself and make it high – you know it makes sense.

Samantha Rose (c) Copyright Dec 2012

Cancer Council/Cancer Research – Not Just ‘Faceless’ Charities

For me personally, November is a testing month with regards to emotions as I keep thinking back to November 11th 2005 when my Mum was given the news that shocked our whole family. I remember at that time thinking I would do anything, pay anything, turn to religion or if I had to, do a bloody deal with the devil to have my Mum cured of a disease that robs, affects and tears the lives of families apart – cancer.

Earlier this year I was offered a two day temp role with Cancer Council WA and it was here where I learned a few things about cancer charities and what they do.

Firstly you may think that you don’t need to donate because a couple of dollars wont make much of a difference. Well actually it makes all the difference. I used to open the mail at the Cancer Council and see just how many $2 donations we would receive every day so trust me, it all makes a difference.

‘Cancer hasn’t affected me – so what?’ I used to think like that until I saw my strong Mum have her life taken away by this disease. Then I heard that one my best friend in the UK got diagnosed but thankfully she kicked its ass and beat it.

So whilst I am ashamed to admit that at one time cancer had not affected me and that giving money to a faceless charity was not on my agenda, I can tell you that now it has affected me and my family big time and you know something? It’s not nice.

I have come to realize that Cancer Council/Research is far from a faceless charity – it carries the faces of everyone that has been taken or affected and its painful legacy lives on and will live on until a cure is found and for me, it carries the face of my Mum and each advertisement I see has my Mum’s face on it, it carries the faces of my family and I repeat, it carries the faces of everyone that has been affected by it.

Where does the money go? – Let me tell you about where your money goes. it goes towards training people to man the phone lines, it goes to provide support in the way of food, medicine, treatment, nurses, psychologists, counselors, the staff that work so hard at the Cancer Council and believe me when I say this, they are fantastic, special people and many of which are ‘survivors’ themselves.

Your money goes on medical research, hospice care, home care, cancer drugs, – all the things that make this charity tick which in turn give patients and their families the support and lifeline that they so desperately need.

Why haven’t they found a cure after all this time? New drugs and modern medicine are being developed all the time. Cancer is a bastard of a disease, it is a clever disease with hundreds of factors to take in to consideration – family history, genetics, exposure to certain chemicals/hazards, risks of taking certain medicines, quite simply it is a minefield.

There are many different kinds of cancers, some so aggressive that it requires equally aggressive medicine to fight it. My Mum had the aggressive form that ‘stole’ her within 6 weeks of diagnosis, it was too late to treat her by the time she was diagnosed.  However, she was lucky enough to be able to spend the last of her life in a hospice with specially trained staff to enable to her pass away pain free with dignity.

Doctors are not just fighting one enemy with cancer – there are many different kinds that make for a ‘harsh army’.

Fifty years ago a persons chances of surviving cancer would be nowhere near what they are now and that is due to the skill and dedication of the doctors/medical staff trained in that area, plus modern medicine and a thirst by this profession to gain the knowledge to fight this disease.

So please do not be disheartened that there is no cure as yet, because behind the scenes of the ‘faceless charity’ are teams of people doing their best to find one because nobody wants this disease and nobody chooses to have it.

If you are lucky enough to never have been affected by cancer then I am jealous, so jealous I could cry because you wouldn’t know the pain that comes with hearing that word as a diagnosis. The shock of hearing the word ‘cancer’ in the same sentence as your loved one.

If you have never been affected by cancer, you would not have experienced the feeling of crying until your arms go numb because no bastard is going to take away your loved one and if you cry loud enough and hard enough, and stamp your feet even, surely it wont happen? Hell, you won’t even know where you got those tears from or that you had so many to cry.

But all I ask is that when you see someone collecting for a cancer charity, give them your spare change – no matter how little it is, it makes a difference, it all makes a difference.

When did I change my mind and why? I will tell you – I changed mind on the 11th November at 11.01am as Big Ben chimed to mark Remembrance Day, when I hugged my Mum on her hospital bed as she had just been given the news that cancer had indeed decided to become ‘part of our family’ and completely uninvited.

Quite simply, I changed my mind when I lost my Mum to cancer.

This status is dedicated to the following:

The cancer charities, the oncologists, doctors, nurses, specialists – everyone that fights so tirelessly to find treatment and a cure for this disease.

To the champions that beat this bastard and keep smiling along the way and prove that modern medicine and cancer research not only works, but is pretty damned awesome as well.

And finally to my Mum, Avice Stocken who lost her 6 week battle to cancer on 26th December 2005, but put up a damn good fight along the way.


Samantha Rose (c) copyright 2012

About my animals

My animals will play a regular part in my blog so I thought that I would introduce them to you so that when I do write about them, you will know exactly what and whom I am talking about.  I will state now that my blog will often contain bad language because my cat and dog are prone to what can only be described as ‘potty mouthing’ and swear so if you are easily offended, then perhaps this blog is not for you.

Now for those of you that have animals and truly love their animals will know that animals can ‘talk’, you just have to really listen to them and once you open your imagination and belief that they can talk, they will become very loud and you will get little peace from the ‘noise’.

How do they talk? I hear you ask, well many of you that may have told off your dog or cat for being noisy, will know only too well that the sulky growl from your dog or high pitched ‘meow’ from your cat really means ‘fuck off’ or even ‘bollocks’.

Take a look at their faces, I mean a REAL look, check out their expressions, the look in their eyes and you will start to build a very different relationship with your furry friends and you will soon see that I am right, that not only do your pets communicate with you, they do so loudly.

Anyway, enough of that – allow me to introduce my pets.

Meet Gordon


Gordon is nearly 11 years old, he is British Short hair crossed with Siamese and was born in Ealing, South West London, United Kingdom.

When we moved to Perth in March 2008, we had very little money and I wanted to bring Gordon to Australia with me and started the ‘Get Gordon Down Under’ campaign and had to raise $3000 for his flight, documentation and quarantine.  This involved writing blogs and stories in return for donations, the donations came in from all corners of the globe, requests came from everywhere to write children’s stories and after a few months, I managed to raise the cash to pay for Gordon’s passage to Australia.

Gordon landed in Perth in March 2008 and did his ‘time’ in Byford Quarantine, he now lives with Rocky, a Kelpie dog in a 3 bedroom house in the suburbs and is an indoor cat and despite being well fed, he has a habit of chewing towels, shoes and more recently, clothes.

If he is not fed by 5pm, he will bite you in increasing increments of pressure and if you ignore that, he will trash the house.

Gordon enjoys playing with Rocky and allows himself to be herded up on a daily basis, have his ears cleaned and his head chewed.  More recently he has discovered the joys of chewing and scratching the leather sofa.

His favorite food is Snappy Tom – Tuna Temptation, he shits like a man in his litter tray and swears like a docker but maintains that because he is senior, this is allowed.

Meet Rocky


Rocky is a 4 year old Kelpie dog that lived on a farm and was re-homed at 4 months old.  Due to a ‘blunt injury’ (kick), he now has hip dysplasia and a damaged patella joint.

His crimes include chewing the mortgage documents, digging 4 feet under the retainer wall, stealing cushions, chewing teddy bears, chewing Gordon’s head,  herding up Gordon, children and other dogs and pulling washing off the line.

Rocky is a professional swimmer and can often be seen on South Beach in Fremantle wearing kelpie type budgie smugglers.  He has been known to swim out to Rottnest and now has to swim with a 20 metre rope tied to his collar to stop him attempting to swim the length of the Indian Ocean.

Rocky loves to go camping and enjoys trips to the country where he can bark at kangaroos and emus and will also admit to being scared of cockroaches, doves and ghekos.

His favorite food is Royal Canin, his favorite toy is his rubber chicken and he enjoys an occasional bowl of Guinness – he also swears and has a habit of urinating on the heads of other dogs that he calls his ‘mates’.

So that is about my animals – they talk, they swear, they have character, come to my house and see for yourself if you don’t believe me.

Now I want you to go and have a look at your animals and come back to me and tell me what they have said to you.

Until later.

Samantha Rose (c) Copyright 2012