Whinge moan and complain

Okay here it is Virgin Blue.

Last Saturday morning P and I were discussing a wine deal which involved purchasing two cartons of wine and getting a free return ticket. However the deal stated that we would have to pay the taxes and charges on the ticket.

So in an effort to find out just how good a deal it was we decided that I would find out what taxes and charges are for a Virgin Blue Flight. I selected a journey on their website and then did some comprehensive searching to find out what the tax and charge would be however, there was nothing on their site that assisted. So we decided I would call Virgin Blue and ask them what proportion of their ticket price involved a tax or charge.

Of course I was on hold and on hold and on hold - listening to some extremely tinny "rock muzak" I was on for so long I had to turn the phone away from my ear it was that annoying it was beginning to physically hurt having to listen to it. The muzak was occasionally interrupted with a helpful suggestion that I go to their website where I would find the answer to my query. Well been there and done that - your website absolutely NO HELP!

I also decided that while I was on hold that I would ask another question that was not able to be answered by their ineffectual website - like what the hell is the happy hour countdown about, because no amount of searching their site would assist in my finding the answer.

Finally someone picked up - a giggly boy named Jason I recall, who did
not understand my initial query but after a few giggles abandoned me on
hold again with the crap muzak. He then returned without an answer of
course but a few more giggles and I soon realised I had to put the question again - in words that has less than 2 syllables each " How much
of your fare consists of a tax or charge i.e. a return flight to Brisbane to Sydney $89 down and $75 return - how much of each fare is tax?"

"Okay" he says I will have to put you on hold .. yet again except this time he doesn't, because pretty soon I am listening to the unmistakeable sound of having just been dis f#%*king connected!

Two explanations:

1. Jason is sooo inept he did accidentally disconnect me; or
2. He is quite shrewd and intentionally disconnected me because of his
wanting to avoid the obviously too hard question that he or anyone else
he spoke to while I was on hold couldn't answer.

I was fuming - no answer to anything, half an hour wasted of my Saturday morning listening to crap music plus I didn't have time to go through it all again even though I dearly wanted to let rip into the next Virgin Blue Staff member I could connect with. I so wanted to write them a letter of complaint, but I consoled myself with the fact that I could vent right here the next time I got a chance to.

So Virgin Blue - I don't care how cool you think you are with your cluttered and busy website, your tasteless choice of hold music and your
clearly inept staff but I think your crap and NOT cool!


That's not my fairy - her face is too unhappy!


Free advice

If you were thinking, like me, that the recent spate of comment spamming might have just been a phase and it is over now and are pondering whether to turn off word verification- then don't do it. I turned mine off last night and then got hit about four to six times in the space of a couple of hours.

Hosting a 7th birthday party for Elliot

I am having lots of trouble generally with organising this event, but the one thing driving me mad in particular is trying to find some toy medallions for Elliot's Commonwealth Games themed birthday party we are
hosting for him soon.

I don't know why it is that we can organise parties for 60 or more people, involving adults and children and lots of food and drinks, yet a themed birthday party for a child is very problematic for P and me.

We have over the past two weeks both spat the dummy at various times over the other person's reception of his or her idea. Words have been said. Indeed accusations thrown: whose bright idea was the theme when it is so bloody hard to find bits and pieces for and whose bright idea to invite the whole class including his teacher?

Given that we have never thrown a themed party for Elliot I think it is well past due. We have certainly had lots of family parties for his past birthdays, barbeques, dinners, special days etc, but a party which involves his peer group has not yet come to pass. In my view, a themed child's birthday party is an incredible amount of work, the games, the prizes, the supervision, the venue. The food, well that will be the easy part - pizza from a pizza chain store.

The Venue however, we are hoping to host the party at a park near by but we also have to consider the fickle weather. P has always been concerned about the heat in late November, while I worry more about the rain. I believe that kids cope with heat it's the adults who do not, and this is, after all, a party for the kids. However, if it should rains it will probably mean 20+ 7 year old kids running around our house for three hours.

All is not lost however I have ordered the themed cake and so much cheaper than a Baskin and Robins one - $35.00! We are getting team bandanas made up by P's mum. Only those damn medallions elude us. Making them means purchasing expensive materials gold, silver and bronze paint,having the medallions made buying ribbon ($1 a metre) which is way more trouble and expense than we wanted to go for something some child's parent is going to chuck out when the child returns home with it. Oh
we are trying to buy a marquee for the park - P has started to consider the purchase of a karaoke machine as a wet weather option!

Not to mention the physical toll, I lay awake last night thinking of ways to devise an obstacle course - Survivor style. Can't wait till this party is behind it, on the bright side if it turns out we are failures as our child's party host and we do a bad job maybe he won't ever ask us to do one again.


I think you can guess what she sees a good deal of around our house. Also here is her hair prior to the cut I carried out on the post below.

I was baking on Tuesday (see my latest foodie post) while she was doing this. I was home taking care of Elliot. The 24 hour bug I thought he had lasted for oh about 7 days! Glandular fever was our Doctor's diagnosis. Poor chap did have just about everything, vomitting, fever, diarrohea, congestion.

I am just loving mucking around with picasa at the moment especially the collage - though like any new feature I am sure my over use could become tiresome (just like the use of the striking!)for every anyone left reading my posts. I am feeling somewhat invigorated about the whole blog thing and particularly inspired after reading some local blogs and the photography. I may start taking my camera around again - it may keep me motivated.

Hair - by mummy

I attacked her hair on Saturday morning I think the bob really suits her rather than the longer hair - I was worried it was quite crooked and then the hair dried and settled into this neat look. She looks way more cherubic and more my baby with the shorter hair I so am hoping that time can slow down, but with our relentless schedules how the hell can it.

We had some friends over for dinner on Saturday night, a big effort again, though all food I had cooked within the last week so no major concerns. But boy was I hungover today I was completely shattered no headache thank goodness but the lethargy was chronic. It must have been the Kaprioska's I decided we should start with. We had a classic one (muddled, brown sugar, fresh limes and vodka) and then one made with passionfruit, lychees and pineapple juice - FANTASTIC! I am sure it reduced the amount of wine we would otherwise have drank.

At least it made me have a big sleep this afternoon ( after I took Elliot as promised to McDonalds I think I could count on one hand how many times I have bought him Maccas this year so I felt bad trying to weasel out of it once I acquiesced) and I woke up and took Gabriella on her new tricycle to the local park - I will have to post a picture of it next the perfect little girls trike - with parent handle so fantastic for a spin around the block too.


Melbourne Cup 2005 - Pink Thai

I'm back - while I have been quiet on the posting front it has not been so quiet in my kitchen. I have been producing in the kitchen however my photograpy has been slack so I am loathe to post without pictures.

The ubiquitous cupcake was useful for our work Melbourne cup day function - I did the marshmallow flowered cakes and they were a hit - the whole 80+ of them. The thai food was great too, however some people at work forget that $15 a head doesn't entitle you to all you can eat and some people missed out. A lesson learned - we ordered on the basis of portion control so we need some people to serve and enforce the portion control! Posted by Picasa