Thursday, 28 April 2016

Breakfast for Cambodian orphans fundraiser

Hello again my lovely audience, today I want to discuss with you an amazing woman and her quest to bring breakfast to orphans in Cambodia.



I was contacted recently by a lovely Deakin University student called Catherine. In January of this year she travelled to Cambodia with the Deakin Abroad program to help do refurbishments and repairs at the Kolap Boun Children's Home.


While they were there they repaired the existing play equipment and added new equipment, created gardens, refurbished the boys dorm and made safe areas for the children to play in. 



For anyone who is unfamiliar with Cambodia, it is a beautiful country rich with history and culture, but torn apart by war. They have been ravaged by harsh dictatorships, invasions from neighbouring and far reaching countries, and famine. While they are a democratic country now, it has been a long and bloody road to get to this point, and poverty is still commonplace.

The Kolap Boun Children's Home is a government run children's home which houses 50 young people between the ages of 5 and 18. When Catherin and the Deakin Abroad group arrived to help out in January they discovered that the children's home had just had their funding cut, and now they cannot afford to provide breakfast to any of their residents.



The Deakin Abroad group has now started a crowdfunding program to raise at least $18,000 to bring a permanent breakfast program to the children of Kolap Boun, and help give them the healthy start they need to their day. The breakfast program costs $1 per child per day, an amount which should be easily afforded, unfortunately in a country where poverty is still the norm this simply isn't the case.

This is where you lovely people come in. If any of you are feeling generous, and have a few dollars to spare, click on the link below to go to their crowd funding page and donate it for the kids of Cambodia.

https://chuffed.org/project/breakfast-for-the-kids-at-kolap-4-orphanage-cambodia

For further information on the program you can also visit their Facebook page.



All funds donated to the breakfast program go directly to the children, so there is no need to worry that you are simply paying for their administrative fees, you can feel safe knowing that your money will be helping the children.



Well that's all from me for today, don't forget to check out the links above, and I will be back again soon for more fun.

*All photographs used in this blog are photographed by and published with the permission of the Deakin Abroad group. Searching for Sanity is in no way affiliated with either the Deakin Abroad Group or with Kolap Boun Children's Home. I have not been reimbursed in any way for this article.*

Saturday, 23 April 2016

April Fly on the Wall The Facts of Life Edition

It's that time of the month again people, time for another instalment of Fly on the Wall. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this series, today 13 bloggers are inviting you into their house to be a fly on the wall. Here you get to see all the crazy we see every day at home.

Fly on the Wall

Below is the list of all of the bloggers involved in today's link up. Be sure to visit them all and enjoy the madness that ensues.


Juicebox Confession     http://www.juiceboxconfession.com                           
Menopausal Mother      http://www.menopausalmom.com/                         
Someone Else’s Genius http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                           
Spatulas on Parade        http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/2016/04/walnut-energy-bites-and-fotw-april-2016.html                                          
Never Ever Give Up Hope             http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                        
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy         http://dinoheromommy.com/                           
Southern Belle Charm                   http://www.southernbellecharm.com                       
My Brain on Kids                          http://mybrainonkids.net
Go Mama O                                http://www.gomamao.com        
The Angrivated Mom                http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com/   

Miss K: Mum, you and dad made me.
Me: (Feeling horrified because I thought I had years before I had to have this talk) Yes we did. Now how do you think we did that?
Miss K: I don't know
Me: Thank God. I'm sure we'll figure it out one day.
Miss K: Yeah, (wanders off)

Miss K had been discussing how babies live in their mum's tummies with Sam one day.
Sam: So if the baby is in it's mum's tummy, how does it get out?
Miss K: Like this, BOOM (complete with hand actions of her arm shooting away from her stomach like a rocket)
Me: I wish it was that easy. 

I've started a diploma of management in my "spare time" just to keep my skills up to date while I'm not working. One part of my assessment was to get a performance review done by a client or employee. I decided to get my big sister to answer the questions for me one day while she and her kids were visiting. Prior to this I'd been discussing with my niece the "joys" of being a single parent.
Me: Now can you think of any training I can do that will improve my skills?
Eliza: How to use a condom?
Mum: Yeah or you could...wait, what? ELIZA!!! 
Now that the 12 year old has finally inherited my filthy sense of humor I can retire knowing that the torch has been passed on. 

A few days later Sam decided to have all the kids over to her house for a playdate. This meant she had all five of our children in her tiny house, plus two dogs. The next day we were discussing how she coped with all the kids.
Sam: I was exhausted at the end of the day. So was Eliza. I think she's having her legs sewn together now so she can't have kids. (Eliza was with us at the time and she agreed with this comment)
Me: Or you could come with me to my classes on how to use a condom
I then had to duck while she threw anything she could lay her hands on at me.

This conversation happened while I was signing up for my diploma. Part of the deal I took was career coaching help to try and get me straight into work once I've finished my degree. 
Career coach: If you send me your resume, I can get it freshened up for you and looking more professional. We won't touch any of the content, we'll just make it look nicer.
Me: Aww, I was just about to ask if you guys could put on there that I was an astronaut. 

Earlier this week I had to spend a day helping out at Miss K's kindergarten. I walked over to a group of kids who were pulling apart an old park bench and the teacher who was supervising them.
Teacher: The kids just told me I was like the Hulk because I could remove the nails from the wood. I don't know whether to be flattered or insulted.
Me: Well, out of the mouths of babes... I think the Hulk is pretty cool, so I'd take it as a compliment. 

Miss K and I got a dog this month, with thanks to my brother's Husky jumping the fence to catch up with her boyfriend the German Shepherd who lives next door. While it adds a million jobs to my already full days, she's such a beautiful and smart dog I love having her around. Except for one gross habit she has which I can't stand, she loves to eat snails. It's gotten so bad I've started calling her nightly toilet trips snail snack time. Gross.

Well that's all the crazy from around here right now, be sure to keep buzzing around and check the rest of the blogs joining in today. 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

March Fly on the Wall

Welcome again to another monthly episode of Fly on the Wall. For any of you who are unfamiliar with the premise, what happens is every month a group of bloggers joins forces to share all the crazy and weird things you'd see and hear were you a fly on one of our walls.

Below is the list of bloggers who are participating this month, be sure to visit them all and see that I'm not the only mad one around here.

Someone Else’s Genius        
Go Mama O                             
Not That Sarah Michelle           

Upon seeing that Miss K had spilt an entire marble run game over the living room floor:
Mum: Look at that, now your balls are all over the floor.

Me: I'm debating whether or not to have a nap. That's really the only reason I shipped Miss K off to kindergarten, so I could have daytime sleeps.

My brother in law Jason shaved off his signature goatee this month, which for some reason always causes a lot of discussion in our family. This time he didn't even warn anyone before he did it, so the first we all knew about it was when he came home one day after work with a naked face. This was the conversation...
Sam: What did you do?
Jason: I just felt like a change.
Sam: World's greatest shave?
Me: No, world's weakest chin.
Eliza: At least he makes up for it in nose size

Mum and I were making up a shopping list...
Mum: And Malteasers, in case I feel like them.
Me: Did you say Malteasers to pay for the funeral?

Kim was struggling to open a high chair at work one day. Her boss walked up and rescued the chair from her wrenching, and got it opened in two seconds, Kim decided to walk off in a huff, and yelled behind her to the laughing boss "Shut up, I never graduated high school OK?" Her boss then yelled back "You have a diploma in child care."

Miss K and I were sitting on her bed chatting one night, when I stood up she patted my backside.
Miss K: You have a big bum mum.
Me: I know honey, I ate too much sugar when I was younger. But if someone has a big bum, trust me when I say they know they have a big bum, so you should never point it out to them.
Miss K: But you do have a big bum right?
So glad she learns so much from me.

Miss K and I were at my friend Frankie's for dinner one night when two of his friends stopped in for a visit. The husband and Frankie went outside to look at his car, and I stayed inside chatting with the wife, who is originally from Texas. We were having a lovely discussion about her home town when Miss K decided we were being boring and wanted some attention. So she starts stroking the lady's face and declares "You're really old." I was mortified because this lovely lady is only ten years older than me, and hasn't aged too badly at all, but luckily she took it well and laughed. I think I need to have a discussion with Miss K about appropriate declarations to make to strangers.

Miss K: Mum, I'll be me, and you be Nonna.
Me: What? Why?
Miss K: Nonna, I'm hungry.
Me: Right. And what would Nonna say right now?
Miss K: Here, have some food.

So two days before I was meant to post this, Miss K took a tumble while running around the house (if I've told her once, I've told her a million times not to run in the house) and she ended up with a concussion. It wouldn't have been such a big deal except I was already babysitting my niece and nephew that day, so I had to rally the whole family to help me organise school pick ups, getting Miss K and I to the doctors so they could check her out, and look after a baby. In between scheduling medications and ducking streams of vomit I may have gone slightly more insane, but at the end of the day Miss K was over the worst of it, and everything else that had to be done that day got done. It's times like this I'm so grateful I have such a big and caring family, who all pitched in to keep us going. Miss K is back to her smiling, bubbly self now, and seems to be suffering from no ill effects after trying to scramble her brain. In fact her biggest annoyance about the whole day was that she had to miss kindergarten because of it.

Well that's all from me this month, I'm off to remind Miss K "gently" that she's not meant to be doing pirouettes in the living room again. Apparently she'll never learn.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The week I tried to have it all (and why it sucked)

Today is International Women's Day, so I thought this was the perfect time to discuss being a woman. I know it isn't something I'm forbidden to speak about the other 364 days a year, but I recently tried an experiment, and its findings seem relevant on a day like today.

If you ask a woman what the three most important things in her life are, she'd probably have a hard time answering you. We all have so much going on, it's sometimes hard to put a number on anything in our lives, but I'm going to hazard a guess and say a pretty popular answer would be family, friends and financial security. That's just a total stab in the dark (and probably what I'd say if asked). But these are three very big things, and they can be hard things to juggle. Some women have an ability to do just that, and make it look easy too, but I don't think I've ever been that woman. If my career is going well, my housework is suffering, as are my friendships. If my family life is taking up my focus, my work ethic goes out the window, along with my cleaning schedule. (Let's face it, I'll take any excuse not to clean up after myself.) I've never been able to find that perfect balance, and I will quite often choose to sit on the couch and drink coffee rather than actually do any of the things on my mile long to do list. I'm an expert procrastinator, just ask me. (But not right now ok, I'm too busy staring at my eye worms.)

But recently I wanted to find out whether or not it is indeed possible to have all the things. I wanted to know whether there was a way to be the perfect woman we always see in the media. She's impeccably groomed, she has time for coffee with the girlfriends, she has wholesome home cooked meals on the table every single night, and I'm sure she's a tiger in the sack too, but they never really show that part during prime time television for some reason... So I decided to become that woman for a while, to step into her shoes and find out exactly how the hell it is she does all the things the television says she does. I was hoping that I'd find some secret formula to all of this, which I could then rush off and share to all of my female friends who at the end of the day always look the same as me; exhausted, overwhelmed and not a little bit crazed. So for one week I decided to become the "perfect" woman, I was going to be everything for everyone. I was to be the perfect mother, the perfect daughter, the perfect sister, the perfect housekeeper and the perfect employee. I'm sure you've all already guessed how this turned out.

In order to be the perfect mother, I decided I couldn't reprimand Miss K too strongly. You would never see a TV mum calling her kids bone headed for sticking their finger in the fan, so neither would I. (I did giggle while I was comforting her though, which is also something you'd never see a TV mum doing.) You'd never see her sending her kids off to school with junk food in their lunch boxes or serving convenience meals for dinner, so neither would I. All meals for the week were to be healthy and well thought out. There was to be nothing artificial pass our lips at all during this time. And all this meant was a lot more time spent in the kitchen for me. Of course there were some moments of pride like the night my carbonara fettucini turned out really well, or the day Miss K and I made popcorn for her lunches (no salt or butter though, that's just too unhealthy) but for the most part all I remember is pruny fingers from having my hands in dishwater, and sweat pouring off me while I slaved over the stove in 30 degree heat (86 degrees farenheit for my American friends) which immediately made me regret not trying this experiment in the winter when my kitchen is my favourite place in the house simply because of all the heat I can generate at once. I will say the time spent with Miss K at the end of the day as we ate our dinner without watching television, and cleaned the kitchen together were pretty pleasant when I wasn't stressing that she wasn't eating her vegetables, or was taking too long to dry the dishes (mainly because she was turning the cutlery into people), but listening to her constant chatter was always guaranteed to make me smile.

Being the perfect daughter was more of a challenge for me, because I'm pretty much perfect already. (I can hear my mum laughing at this statement already.) but I figured that given I know one of mum's biggest pet peeves in the world is a dirty kitchen, all the time I spent in there keeping it pristine would have made her pretty happy. Plus she had a whole week off from having to cook food, which is something all mum's dream of. (Trust me, I know.) I felt bad that I couldn't think of anything earth shattering to do to assert my role as the perfect child, so I had to take comfort in the little things like a (mostly) edible meal sitting in the microwave every single night, and a block of cheese in the fridge for her midnight snacks at all time. It clearly worked though, because she literally just called me a dick, so I'm obviously the favourite child right now.

As for perfect sister and perfect employee, they kind of ended up being rolled into one, as I spent the week helping my big sister who is trying to get a business off the ground. I'm hoping that by getting in at the ground floor, I'll be in for easy money once she's a millionaire. So for this part of my role, I spent my week studying up on contract law, and drawing up terms and conditions as well as a refund policy for her new business. I also drew up a business plan for her, and got started on the registration process for taxes and other boring stuff. Believe it or not this was actually the most fun part of my week, which makes more sense when I tell you I do my budget for fun, and I can write up legal documents in my sleep. This was also the area where I felt the most useful. There are definitely times where I miss being in a work environment, so having a chance to play secretary for the week was rewarding.

One of the things I learned throughout this week is that it takes a hell of a lot of organisation just to be remotely proficient in more than one of these areas. I had more lists running through my head and written down in my organiser than I knew what to do with. I would almost be happy never to see another list again. I also learned that when you're doing everything for everyone else, it is very easy to forget yourself quickly. My own needs eventually became low priority, simply because I can forgive myself for forgetting to shower more than once a week. (Another reason why this would have been a better experiment to do in the dead cold of winter.) I also became very protective of time I put aside for myself. Texts and snapchats suddenly became an intrusion during a time I wished to speak to no one, whereas once upon a time I was happy to be reachable right up to and even sometimes after bedtime. When you put so much of yourself into working for other people, those three hours at the end of the day when kids are finally in bed but you are not become a revered time that you spend all other waking hours dreaming of. When someone dared to take up that time by making me look at photos of their latest trip to the pub I started to feel just the tiniest bit stabby. I could have turned off my phone, but a perfect person probably wouldn't shut themselves off from the world like that.

But where did all of this leave me at the end of the week? It leaves me with a sparkly clean kitchen, a freezer full of pre-prepared meals I can pull out and defrost, it leaves me with lots of lovely memories of times I didn't lose my temper at Miss K like I normally would, and it hopefully leaves her feeling a little bit more secure about her place in my world. But most of all it leaves me feeling over tired and under appreciated. It's not like I went into this looking for praise or accolades, or even that people didn't recognise the hard work I put in during this week. My big sister even forced me to take the weekend off from working for her, simply because I was starting to look like a zombie by the time Thursday rolled around. It was more the feeling that what I just spent a week doing is expected as the bare minimum for women these days. We're expected to go find work outside of the house, plus keep doing the work we've always done inside the house, and look like a million dollars the whole time. I simply couldn't keep this up for much longer before I needed a week at the local psych ward. I definitely understand why women turn to alcohol.

 I certainly don't feel perfect right now, if anything I feel less perfect than I did before I started. It served to highlight all of the areas in my life where I don't balance things properly when I'm not watching myself, which is always a cheerful thing to think about. But I definitely came out of this with a newly found respect for women everywhere who do this for more than one week at a time. For the women out there who this is necessary each and every single day. Be it because they simply don't have the support network I am fortunate to have around me, or because they find doing all of this rewarding, instead of exhausting, or even simply because they want to prove that it can be done; I still think you're slightly mad, but I salute you anyway.

Now if you'll excuse me, this perfectly imperfect woman has just earned herself a perfectly long nap.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

February Fly on the Wall

Welcome to another monthly instalment of Fly on the Wall.  For any of you who are unfamiliar with the premise, each month a group of bloggers join together and share the crazy things you'd see or hear were you a fly on their wall.


Fly on the Wall
This month there are twelve bloggers joining in, all listed below for you to check out once you're done here. 

http://www.BakingInATornado.com        Baking In A Tornado
http://www.juiceboxconfession.com        Juicebox Confession
http://www.menopausalmom.com/          Menopausal Mother
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com      Someone Else’s Genius
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/     Spatulas on Parade
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com             Never Ever Give Up Hope
http://www.gomamao.com                       Go Mama O
http://dinoheromommy.com/                     Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://www.southernbellecharm.com        Southern Belle Charm
http://mybrainonkids.net                           My Brain on Kids

Miss K: Mum what should I draw?
Me: Draw an existential crisis.
Miss K: Here, I drew a pizza.
(about 2 minutes later)
Miss K: Mum what should I draw?
Me: Draw the fall of man.
Miss K: I can't draw that, so I'll just draw a sheep ok.
Me: Well that could be the fall of man, you never know. 
Miss K started kindergarten this month, and it has been a very exciting time for her. Every morning when we arrive at the kindergarten gates, she likes to announce at the top of her lungs for everyone within a three block radius that she has arrived. On one of her first days there, she noticed a no smoking sign that is posted on the fence of the kindergarten, so she decided she'd add to her normal announcement "I'm not smoking today!" She couldn't understand why we all laughed at her. 
Sam was at our house trying to do a crossword puzzle
Sam: What's another word for refund, that starts with R?
Me: Rebate.
Sam: Oh yeah. I was going to put rabbit.
about five minutes later
Sam: Another word for plentiful, 5 letters starts with A
Mum: Ample.
Sam: Bugger, I was going to say apple.
My big sister Sam has started getting clucky again (it happens on average about every four years) and she's decided to start a campaign to get me to have a second baby. Miss K is adamant that this does not happen, as she has recently discovered that babies are boring, and they take the attention away from her. I feel that there are larger problems standing in the way of me having another child, so I decided to bring one of the many issues up with Miss K one day.
Me: But Miss K, if I'm going to have another baby, we need to find it a daddy, we don't have a daddy for the baby yet.
Miss K: How about your daddy?
Me: That's slightly illegal, try again.
Miss K: Ok then, my daddy.
Me: Yeah, no thanks, been there, done that.
We eventually settled on my best friend Frankie being the best daddy for the baby, now just to break the news to him...
So Nat has been having troubles with breathing the past week, and the doctor sent her off for a CT scan to check for blood clots in her lungs. She called me after she'd finished at the clinic to tell me all about it.
Nat: So the nurse said that it would eventually feel like I've wet my pants, and after the saline solution worked its way through my face and my arms, it spread down to my pelvis, and sure enough it felt like I'd wet my pants. I felt like asking her if she was sure I hadn't just wet my pants, I was certain I was about to stand up and there would be a wet patch on my jeans. But it was just the saline.
 
Things I never thought I'd have to say to my child #468635
As I'm taking a fry pan off the stove;
Now remember, the frying pan is hot, so please don't sniff it.

Me: Can you please put this lid back on the butter?
Miss K: Did you say put it in the bathroom?

Well that's all the crazy I can muster for one month, I'm now off to tell my best friend he's been selected as the finalist for the baby Miss K doesn't want. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Top Tips to Childproof your Home

Greetings again everyone, I have another guest poster on the blog today, she is very kindly stepping in for me to give you guys a total gem to read while I am busy writing another book for someone. So please welcome Diana from Zero Commission to talk about the ever important topic of childproofing your home. 



Childproofing your house might appear to be such a daunting task, but any mum (and dad!) knows a child’s safety is worth all the effort. As mum to two toddlers, I get nervous when I see the statistics on child injuries that occur at home. The tiniest preventions, I’ve learned, can definitely go a long, long way.
And when is the best time to start childproofing your home? The correct answer is yesterday while the second best answer is now.
Whether your baby is still in your belly or you have a two year old bouncing around, most of us can never childproof our houses enough. For parents with newborns, you’d be surprised how fast time passes by. Before you know it, your bundle of joy will be crawling and touching everything in sight!
I’ve outlined certain sections and parts of your home that you’ll need to focus on in order to create a hazard-free zone for the little ones in your life.
Cabinets and Drawers
Cabinets and drawers can be dangerous to children because of what they store. These can include sharp objects, medication, and objects than can lead to choking.
Your best bet in childproofing cabinets and drawers is to install latches. The latches are typically placed inside drawers and cabinets that are within a child’s reach. You may also find knob latches that attach on knobs. Put in as many of these devices as possible. Toddlers can climb quickly and the drawer that seems out of a child’s reach in your eyes may surprisingly be within easy distance, especially for extra curious and energetic tots.
In cases of irregular cabinets that don’t work with any latch you can find, the safest option is to empty out said cabinet or drawer. Use the space to store child-friendly things instead like toys. Absolutely hazardous objects like poisons and chemicals should be kept totally out of any child’s reach.
Ovens, Stoves and Other Appliances
The kitchen can be the most dangerous room in the house. Within easy reach are knives, hot food and more. The height of most stoves make it terribly too convenient for inquisitive toddlers to explore and get hurt. As for ovens, you’d be surprised to hear how common it is for children to crawl inside.
The seemingly innocuous dishwasher is also a minefield of danger. Inside dishwashers we tend to store knives and objects that can break. A refrigerator with yummy treats can provide choking hazards or a space where a child can crawl into and possibly suffocate.
What’s the best way to keep your kitchen child-friendly? Put in locking latches on all appliances that have the ability to open and close shut. As for stoves, knob covers can help in keeping your child from turning on burners. Look into a stove guard as well to keep your kid’s hands protected.
When cooking, turn in pot handles so they don’t get knocked over. Keeping the pot handles turned inwards will furthermore prevent your little one from grabbing them and ending up scalded. There are dishwashers that come with built-in child locks.
I don’t allow my children to play in the kitchen. That’s just asking for trouble. These latches and other childproof gadgets make the room a safer place but I take it a step further by keeping my toddlers away from the kitchen as much as possible.
Stairs
The majority of nonfatal injuries involving small children occur from falls. Unprotected stairways are one of the main culprits involved in these falls. Did you know that baby walkers cause more harm than any other kind of baby product? Some major organizations like the American Academy of Paediatrics have requested the banning of baby walkers. If you insist on allowing your child to use a baby walker, make sure they use it away from stairs and other places where they can fall.
Keep your stairways safe by putting in safety gates at both the bottom and the top of stairs. At the top of your stairs, install a gate with a secure latch. Don’t pick a pressure-type gate for the top.
Remove all clutter from the stairs so nobody trips. This includes shoes. When your small child is learning to climb the stairs, always keep them supervised.
Tables
The sharp corners of tables, especially low tables like coffee tables, are dangerous for babies who are learning to walk. When they use these tables to “cruise”, they can bump their heads or injure themselves in other ways on the sharp corners.
Put in table cushions to avoid mishaps. Look into specific brands that fit correctly on the corners. There are cushions that fit all the way around tables as well.
Plants
You’d be surprised to know how many common houseplants are poisonous to us humans (and pets). Even those that aren’t toxic may pose a choking hazard.
Always know the kind of plants you have at home. Remove any rocks in the potting material. Kids love to pick up rocks and marbles--these are dangerous choking hazards. All toxic plants should be completely out of your kid’s reach or, better yet, discarded from your home.
Childproofing your home is an ongoing process. As your child grows and becomes more curious, you’ll have to do more work to keep your place safe. Don’t let this stress you out. Our children are not going to be babies forever, after all. This is all temporary and the right precautions will protect your child tremendously.
*****
Diana Lyn Mitjavile is a content writer for Zero Commission, an Australian online real estate agency based in Tasmania. The company helps sell any Australian home for a fixed fee and will take absolutely zero commission.

Contact her at Diana@zerocommission.com.au

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A lesson in Aussie English

So here in Australia right now we are celebrating Australia Day. This is a day that is steeped in controversial history, and the current topic of a hot fight around the country as some argue to change its name, others fight to change the date of this celebration, and some say we can do away with it altogether. But I'm not here to talk about any of that today. While Australia's history is rich with colourful (and sometimes shameful) stories I would gladly talk about another day, today I am here to give you guys a lesson in linguistics. Aussie linguistics to be exact.

After my Fly on the Wall post on Friday where I wrote about Miss K wanting a glass of cordial, a lot of my American friends were notably confused about what cordial is. This comes up occasionally, and this time I forgot to include a translation for those of you who don't call Australia home. So today I have decided to give you a list of some of the words you may hear come out of the words of a typical Aussie person, and exactly what they mean. Please note the words G'day mate will not appear on this list, mainly because it's been covered to death elsewhere.

Hopefully this post will help you guys understand exactly what the hell I'm talking about when I write stuff down here. It should also help you stand out less as a tourist if you decide to visit our fine country, because if you don't see what you think is a popular word or phrase here (like crikey, or put another shrimp on the barbie) it means we don't use it, so you shouldn't too unless you want to look like an idiot.

Arvo - Afternoon. This is just a classic example of Aussies taking words that have too many syllables and contracting them.
Bench - Counter top or kitchen counter. These things take too long to say so of course we're going to go with the shorter word people. If someone asks you to put something on the bench, please put it on the closest counter-like surface you can find. If you put it somewhere we plan on sitting later you will get weird looks. The only time we call a chair a bench is if it is in a park, and then we call it a park bench.
Bikkie - biscuit/cookie. We call all biscuits and cookies bikkies, there is no stuffing around with checking if they are chewy or crunchy before we name it around here.
Bloke - Man. We usually use the word bloke in complimentary situations, like "he's a good bloke".
Blowies - blowfly. If someone walks in complaining about "those bloody blowies" this usually just means it is summer and the flies are out in force. Just smile sympathetically and offer them some fly spray.
Boot - Trunk of a car.
Brekkie - Breakfast.
Bottle-o - A bottle shop, or a drive through alcohol store. Another example of our unwillingness to use full words.
Bundy and coke - A classic alcoholic beverage (which I can't stand) of rum and coke. Bundaberg is just the local brand of dark rum. It is brewed in Bundaberg, Queensland.
Chuck a sickie - To take a sick day off work.
Chuck a uey - To make a u-turn
Ciggies - Cigarettes
Cordial - A sweet syrup concentrate you add to water to make it taste less like crap and more like sugar. The best brand is Cottees, no matter what anyone tells you. I know this one is really foreign to Americans, and the closest you guys have is Kool Aid, which is totally different.
Dickhead - A derogatory but not incredibly offensive way of calling someone an idiot. Dickhead is a pretty tame curse down here, but no one is safe from being called one, including the Prime Minister.
Footy - Australian rules football. This is different to English football or American football. What you guys call football we call soccer, because we found a better use for the word football.
Heaps - A lot. I didn't realise this was an Australian thing until I started doing research for this article, but apparently no one else says heaps when they mean an excess of something. A classic example of this will be if someone says "thanks heaps", this just means thanks a lot.
Howyagoin - How are you going? This is just one of those times where our habit of running our words together has created a new word out of three existing words. If you try to say howyagoin like the locals do, we will laugh at you, but just because no one can replicate our accent as lazily as we do, so don't feel bad.
Goon sack - Cask of wine. These are a cheap way to get drunk for young Australians everywhere.
Maccas - McDonalds (Side note, that is actually what the stores are called in Australia now, so if you see the golden arches next to a sign that says Maccas, don't think we've just ripped off the logo and made our own restaurant, it is still a McDonalds, we're just too lazy to say the full name.)
Milk bar - Convenience store/corner store. These aren't as common as they were in my youth, and are slowly being replaced by independent grocers, but you can still see them in rural areas. They are more expensive places to shop than supermarkets, so we only ever go there when we are desperate.
Mozzies - Mosquitoes. These are the bane of every Australian in summer, the same as blow flies.
Nah, yeah - This means you are wrong, and I am right. Nah, yeah is a very gentle way to say your argument is moot and I refuse to change my mind right now. There are stronger ways, but considering this is still a family friendly blog I probably won't mention them here.
No worries - This can mean no problem or it's all good, or yes I will follow through with your request, since you asked so nicely.
Petrol - The fuel we put in our car. Some cars run on LPG gas or diesel, but the most common fuel for now is unleaded petrol or ethanol petrol.
Petrol station - The place where we buy fuel for our car. All three kinds of fuel are sold at petrol stations, but we just call them petrol stations.
Rego - Car registration.
See you later - This just means goodbye. Apparently this one confuses Americans because they think we mean we'll be back, but we just don't like the permanence of goodbye, so we say see you later to keep the possibilities open.
Servo - Another word for gas station. Again we're lazy, so if someone says they're going to duck to the servo, they are just going to put fuel in their car (or buy an over priced pack of cigarettes)
Smoko - Cigarette break.
Stubby holder - A foam insulator for a bottle of beer. We don't just use stubby holders for beer though, I know I'm at a nice house if they offer me a stubby holder for my can of coke. It's called a stubby holder though, because once upon a time (and probably still for some people) bottles of beer were called stubbies. This is different from cans of beer which were called tinnies, but you could put a tinny in a stubby holder. A tinny these days is an aluminium boat.
Sunnies - Sunglasses.
Thongs - Flip flops. If we start talking about thongs, look at the feet and not the butt. If we mean the underwear we call that a g-string (or a g-banger if the person is weird).
Trakky daks/trakkies - Sweatsuit pants. These are one of the main staples of my wardrobe, but that's because I rarely leave the house except to go to the supermarket, so who do I need to dress up for?
Yeah, nah - I know this just sounds like I'm messing with you right now, but yeah, nah is different to nah, yeah. This means I see what you mean, but I disagree with you, or it could also mean I agree with what you are saying, but the situation as a whole is ridiculous. I know those two meanings are totally opposite to each other, so it is important that you listen to the rest of the sentence to understand which one they mean.

So this is by no means not a complete list, there are plenty more words out there, some which are unique to certain states, and others that are only said by people younger or older than I am. If anyone wants to add to the list, please leave them in the comments below. And to all my Aussie friends, enjoy your barbies, or your trip to the beach, or sitting at home listening to the Triple J Hottest 100, but most of all, enjoy the day off (unless you work for a hospital, the police, the supermarkets, or anyone else sacrilegious enough to make people work on Australia Day.


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