Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Impossible to look away....

It's all my own fault. I like to hoik my heaving bulk up onto my hobby High Horse and pontificate to Love Chunks about the crass and clueless celebrities of today.

He always manages to prick my pomposity to a whirring, rapidly deflating balloon when he counters with, "Well you READ the stuff, so they're making money because of you."
"Oh no they're not - I read it online, I don't buy those ~ pause to add a snobby-but-dramatic shudder ~ magazines."
His look of contempt was withering enough to singe my eyebrows. "Haven't you noticed the advertising and pop-ups on every page? They love faux intellectuals like you!"

Humph. Yeah, well.... Take yesterday for example. Richard - I still wear those stupid chunky jumpers from airport souvenir shops - Branson has obviously felt the need to show off more than he usually does. His normal modus operandi is throw around millions of dollars that would be better spent providing malaria tablets and AIDS education to needy communities, to instead ponce about in hot air balloons trying to break records that generate about as much excitement as scum build-up on bathroom tiles.

So very clearly a bloke trapped in a mid-life crisis, he revealed yesterday that he was definitely NOT a Mile High Club virgin and had left his finger prints on a toilet mirror or two. He then 'treated' us to an anecdote about his first experience with Viagra, concluding that "I had to tie something around my trousers the next day to make sure nothing showed." Rest assured, Dicky dear, no-one was looking.

And why oh why did I happen to come across an old Oprah repeat where the clearly deranged Janet Jackson (in a thin phase, so it must have been Michael was still white) tell Oprah that her numerous below the neck piercings left her feeling aroused. All the time. If I'm not mistaken, her current Rump-pumpy partner is a dead ringer for a fresh stack of camel crap, so maybe she needs all the metallic help she can get.

Despite my horror, I remain fascinated. And ashamed of my fascination. I have a book to write, a family to care for, a child to inspire, washing to fold! ...........To read recently that Geri Slapper Spice Halliwell had dated Little Britain's David Walliams....! She had confided to one of those slippery little close insiders that it was the ~*cough*~ size of his wand as well as the magic he could wring from it that made him the Geri-jammin' stud muffin of her dreams. I'm still struggling to work out what is more repulsive: he being attracted to Geri or she deciding that his love muscle was the best thing about him. Pity her daugher, poor little BlueBell Clueless Prancy Unicorny kiddie whatshername thingy.

There are some good sides to being a secret celebrity vomit voyeur however - their pathetic escapades, Brazilian-exposes and faulty fashion choices make me - slightly less sylph-like and moneyed - feel rather good about myself. As such, it's time for some more Self Esteem Boosters!
Kirsten Dunst. She may be only 25, earn millions for her 'acting skills' in Spiderman but even a size zero needs a bra to re-lift and rectify the 'ol rack droop. What's her shirt made out of - my grandma's bathroom curtain?

Steve Martin, 61, married Anne Whatsit, 35 on the weekend. I'm not sure which one to pity the most. (They make *me* look addicted to permatan and people don't call me Fluoro Legs without good reason.)
Poor old boofhead Britney is really just saving reality TV companies a fortune by living out her own trash tube show, isn't she? Not a day goes past that she's not wearing a G-string to the kindergym or driving back from a nightclub with a newly-bought baby harp seal shoved in her naval ring and her two sons occy-strapped to the SUV's bullbar...

This shot is apparently from her latest single and reveals her continued determination to remain a powerful role model to the tweens and has-beens. It's such a comfort to know she was awarded dual custody when her divorce to Devon Spermline was finalised yesterday.

Could this be the face and fate of our dear, sweet, sensitive Britney in 20 years' time? Thanks to drugs, surgery and botox, Courtney now has a mummified mouth that could suck the seeds of a lemon a mile away and has to pluck her bikini line which has moved up under her chin.
When the research laboratory runs out of beagles for experiments, they call on Clinically-Dead Courtney instead. She doesn't feel a thing: she thinks it's Frances looking for the keys to the liquor cabinet.

I'll conclude this post with a picture of horror that is still allowed to roam freely and relatively undisturbed. That's right, Madonna's arms. Do they even have skin covering them any more or does she directly spray paint the sinews and muscles white before she goes out? And is it just me, but is she getting face lifts downwards instead of sideways like Courtney? Is a horse the look she's going for?
* thanks to the Superficial, eonline and go fug yourself for the photos

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What if we all sucked?

If you've ever spent time with anyone aged under two recently, you will not have failed to notice that everything - everything - everything (to paraphrase Mr Haggle, our retarded rug retailer) goes into their mouths.

As you can see from the gorgeous young Zara here on the left, even a felt Kermit is worth sticking in at least six times before deciding that the pink plastic motorbike is a much more mouth-friendly option.

It got me to thinking: What if we all sucked? Well maybe we all do already, but let's forget kicking our own arses for a while about our achievements and ponder my query from another angle: what if our nine-month old tendency to 'try before we buy' involved putting everything into the 'ol cake hole before we did anything else with it?

Can you imagine how messy grocery shopping would become?
If our oral urges were still strong, we would be literally drooling on unpeeled bananas and giving grapes a good gumming over before putting the soggy selections into the trolley. Tins would be licked; corners of packets popped in the mouth for quality control and heaven help us if toilet paper was no longer wrapped in plastic. My thoughts go out to the check out operators who would have to patiently wait for us to stop sucking our credit cards before handing them over, still dripping with drool, for payment. Then we would have to try and flatten out their paper mache balls that were formerly our receipts so that we can get our 4c petrol discount later on.

How we would ever find the time to get the groceries into the car and head off to work? The average set of car keys would have to rank in the parental all time top ten choices for 'Impromptu toys to entertain toddlers when no toys are available.' In doctors' waiting rooms around the world are millions of knee-high nibblers busily inserting keys into their mouths and then taking them out and shaking the set to not only hear the jangle but also to see the sprays of saliva catch the light in a dazzling display. If we also were as fascinated, imagine how clogged the car parks would become. We would have to eat our entire weekly shop because of the time taken to suck every key, the door handle, antenna, gear stick, seat-belt buckle and the container of wet-ones shoved in the glove box since 1997.

Sales of bottled water, filters and tanks would skyrocket due to the need to top ourselves up with ten times the fluids we do now. As Tom Hanks said to the drooling dog he inherited in the movie 'Turner and Hooch': "Isn't there some way we could use that stuff? Like for some industrial lubricant or something?" What would the workplace be like - I sure as hell wouldn't be as keen to lend or borrow my stapler, hole punch or liquid paper and job interviews could get far too personal.

First dates could be a much more erotic - or repellent experience, depending on your thrill factor and point of view. Do I suck his ---------------- jacket zipper while we're in the car or wait until we're inside the cafe? Should I lean in to lick her -------- handbag strap during the movie or afterwards? Ooooh yuck, why does his hair taste like coconut and glue? Crikey, when was the last time she washed behind her ears??

Our-two-years-and-under role models also use their oral fixations to keep themselves amused when they're not feeding, backing out a John Howard into their huggies or laughing at Daddy tripping over the mega bloks. If you have nothing to do try their techniques: grab the dog's tail, give it a saturating suck and rub it all over Mummy's new designer sofa cushions like a poochy paint brush. Or, if you're into living on the edge, have a bite of the barkchips covering the ficus and regurgitate them into the nearest unoccupied shoe. Don't forget the bookshelf - who says it's not fun to dampen each and every Encyclopaedia Britannica with farex-flavoured saliva?

Oh well, it'd be cheaper than smoking and less fattening that a faceful of fries.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Immature Orange

As some of you may know, my 8 year old daughter Sapphire and I have been going to weekly karate lessons since December last year. In January we earned our 'yellow tip' belts and then the full yellow in February. A couple of weeks ago we were shoulder-tapped by the sensei and asked to do the test for the orange belt.

I was pumped: the second kata is not unlike a rather complex set of dance steps - albeit designed to shake off an attacker trying to grab your arms and getting a swift chop to the throat in retaliation. Not sure that the vienna waltz would work out too well as an accompanying soundtrack but it was thrilling to be chosen (you are not allowed to ask to be tested, your sensei decides when you are ready) and I was ready to 'dance' to the new orange tune. Nevertheless, such silly thoughts were not in my brain as I jubilantly skipped back to the carpark.

Deliberately fumbling for the keys meant that I could do a few awe inspiring 'moves' in front of the reflective car door, and Sapphire managed to pop my balloon of self-inflated pompousness by pointing out that, "Mum, we can't do the second kata test next week. I'm in the school concert."

Pffffftttttzzzzzz went the wind out of my sails (and a sly fart or two, after all it was karate and an hour of bending, lunging and high kicking is hell on the bowels after a long day paying proper attention to my fibre requirements).
"Oh. Yeah. That's right," I said as tonelessly as I could manage. "You're in a recorder group thingy, aren't you?" And then I tried to do what no parent should ever do - I tried to guilt her out of being in her own school concert: "Look, do you really need to be in it? I mean, can't Maya and Lucinda do 'Speed Bonny Boat' without you?"

Not for the first time did Sapphire's expression of hurt, disdain and utter disapproval reverse our roles - me as the selfish child and she, the towering personification of maturity, consideration and fairness. "Oh, Mum."

My apologies were brushed aside during the drive back home and she rushed inside to dob on me before I'd even finished locking up the car.
"Dad, hey D-a-a-a-a-d! Mum wants to try and get me to not to go the concert next week so that we can get our orange belts! She told me to quit the recorder so that we don't have to wait until October to get tested again!!"

Well putting it like that didn't make my actions sound too noble, so I stared down at my sneakers and tried to find a tiny shred of self-confidence - which is hard to do when you're dressed in an oversized, white canvas kimono.
"Ah, yes, I did say that, but I had only her continued progress in karate at heart...... she's done so well and is ready for the next stage and...." They both ignored me and went off to have a cuddle and a snack together before she went to bed (and also in time for Love Chunks and I to watch 'Spicks and Specks').

The next morning as we walked together to school, I was recovering from enduring a night of lectures by Love Chunks and a couple of strong coffees to help stir my senses and reawaken my maternal responsibilities. "Sorry about last night, Sapph. I am truly really *dying* to see you in concert and know that you'll be great. After all, your dad and I get to hear you practise every night after school, don't we? That silly orange belt can wait until October."

She reached for my hand - even though she could see some of her classmates - and I knew that I'd been forgiven. Of course, leave it to stupid old me to ruin our precious moment by keeping on pushing the boundaries: "Um, do you know what time you're on? Maybe I can have a chat to Miss Stevenson after her school crossing duty to put you on first and then I could stand outside with your Gi and we could roar on to the dojo straight afterwards and--"

Oh well. Perhaps the concept of orange stuck with Sapphire, or perhaps it's a clear indication of how much she overhears my conversations with Love Chunks because look what wandered up to me when I was on the phone

..... perhaps I was rewarded with a taste of orange after all.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Coffee Connection

Every morning, my caring and considerate husband, Love Chunks, makes me a big mug of cappuccino courtesy of our gorgeous Gaggia machine. We've had the beloved shiny beast for nearly a year now and boy-oh-boy has it improved our breakfast time.

Not only does it make a delicious, full-frontal, eye-opening caffeine kick-up-the-arse that we both need - nay, crave - each day, but it gives us about five minutes together before our little 8 year old bird starts chirping from her bedroom. We sit up at the bar in our kitchen on our black'n'chrome stools and for those 300 seconds we sip the warm nectar and are content to just 'be'.

My meditation class teacher reckons that this morning ritual is a modern form of meditation in that we are in the moment: we are fully mindful - or appreciating - the act of making, drinking and getting the full benefit from the coffee and we are alone together. Good.

Lately too, this time has become more valuable because Love Chunks has been left to provide about 99% of the parental supervision, entertainment, transport, social coordination, excursions, shopping, cinematic experiences and discipline required to ensure that Sapphire remains alive, sane and relatively unspoiled. He has also cooked a gourmet-standard dinner every evening and still found time for piano practice and muscle-pumping in our backyard gym.

His mediocre marital reward is seeing me like this first thing in the morning (and at night) and hearing my endless stream of complaints about sore neck and shoulders, being too farty from the new fibre diet, pining for chocolate, crying about my weight gain from said chocolate, insomnia from worrying about how the chapters in my book are panning out and the odd visit from Mr Migraine. My poor swindled soulmate!

Even so, our coffee time together is the time I long for. I lean against his side, feeling his warmth and strength and am so grateful for the support and encouragement he's been giving me.

After our coffees we'll chat about things that matter to us - Sapphire first and then stuff about our upcoming house renovation, a future holiday, his overseas trip for work and how cute Dogadoo is. If he's made me two cups of coffee, he'll even be able to coax me into having a lively discussion about politics and the ills of our society; perhaps even raise a few suggestions for improvement.

Mostly though, we're silent and happy to enjoy the silence of long love and companionship. His blue eyes are always glistening, full of intelligence and foresight. Yesterday morning I asked that question that all males dread. No, not "Sweetheart, will you please pull over so that I can get out and ask that bikie over there for directions?" but the other one: "Love, what are you thinking about?"

And my physicist/meteorologist answered with, "Oh I was wondering about something..."

"What?" I asked eagerly, ready for an illuminating discussion on the progress of the Labor Party and the demise of John Howard.

"I was wondering why premature ejaculators hadn't died out already."


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The seven modern wonders of the world - as if!

It's nice that the bloke who played Ghandi got to help read out the seven winners (as voted online) for the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

Firstly, I didn't even know that there was an online competition, so it raises all kinds of questions (or eyebrows if you're as statistically-challenged as I am) about the validity of the votes cast. For instance did the the Rio de Janierio-ans have a glass rocking-bird executive paperweight tapping on the 'vote yes' button while us Australians couldn't be arsed?

Secondly, what do they mean by 'modern'? If the Cheops pyramid was a finalist and Petra was a winner, do we consider that the days of stoning for being an unmarried mother; having to give birth in a goat shed and tagging along with some scraggly bloke wearing sandals and a beard only happened yesterday then? That the young Christ chap was encouraging you to drop your things and follow him around the countryside without having made any accommodation or meal bookings beforehand??

Ah, who cares. If *I* had been consulted, the list would have been much cheaper to attain/visit, easier to enjoy and much, much more 'now':

1) Haighs chocolates
2) Nestle chocolate (especially their mild dark range)
3) Cadburys
4) Dove (chocolate, not the soap0
5) Lindt, darling, sweet, fabulous Lindt
6) Mars M&Ms (even though we don't get the peanut butter variety here in Oz)
7) Menz Fruchocs - heaven in a handful.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Puking on Public Transport

After reading (and enjoying, despite her suffering), Redcap's recounting of her joyous journey on public transport; meeting ships crew who called her 'Sir' and being lost in the darkness at Port Adelaide, I thought I'd share my own travel experience.

Many many blue moons ago, I was still living in Melbourne and suffering the effects of morning sickness when Sapphire was a mere 10-week-old embryo. In the space of only three weeks, 7:18am from Heidelberg to Swanston street was fast becoming an olfactory nightmare and the lowest point of my day. I would feel queasy when my eyelids first reluctantly opened and all the well-meaning advice about eating a cracker before getting out of bed (no doubt making for itchy sheets) didn't appeal and didn't work.

Instead, what was normally a ‘refreshing’ one-and-a-half kilometre walk from our house to the train station became a march of straining, sweaty agony, vainly chain-sucking boiled sweets the entire journey. I’d be on my fifth by the time I shoved my ticket into the validating machine. Each colour and flavour was carefully selected before I left home - orange or raspberry ones today?

It was at the first second the train doors slid opened that I realised that morning sickness produced an ultra-sensitivity to smells and, as we all know, train carriages aren't exactly up there with fields of lavender and red rose petals. Even so, the pervading BO, morning breath, smelly feet and general unsavoury ponginess almost took on an active physical presence - so much so that it seemed as though the carriage had a vague brownish fog of odour inside.

I tended to rely rather heavily on the air sickness bags that I’d been prophetic enough to take from previous plane trips, and had even asked Love Chunks to grab a few on his work travels. Alas, by the ten-week mark, this precious stash had now gone. The closest thing I could find (apart from a sealed Tupperware container) were those clear plastic snap lock sandwich bags.

On one particularly cold-morning the over-heated carriage was stifling hot with condensation dripping from the window and the unwashed funk of wool jackets brushing up against my legs. The rocking motion as we chugga-chugged our way into the city was encouraging my stomach to do some unwelcome chugga-glugging of its own. Sweat formed on my upper lip as I forced myself to focus on the station signs - only six stops to go.... I was determined to last the distance and heave somewhere on the platform or in the station toilets - the blue lights installed there to deter drug users would make my pallid face look particularly attractive.

Drops of perspiration ran down my temples and the backs of my knees and the glugging in my tummy began to develop an even faster, more bilious beat. Slowly and reluctantly, I reached into my back pack and felt for my plastic bag. It was there - good. I prayed that the comforting act of touching it would prevent any further evictions from my digestive system. Another stop went past. Another milestone of non-vomit. I touched the bag again for good luck, fingers sweating against the plastic.

Eventually I counted only three more stops to go. My stomach had become a set of internal bellows, hellishly determined to pump out its contents ASAP. Panicking, I hastily unsealed the top of the bag. No time for prayers or to wait for doors to open now -

BWWAAAAH! - straight in, no spillage. This would have been something to have been proud of if I had been in any mood to care. I hurled three more times, wiped my mouth with my hankie, and sealed the top of the bag again. It was then I looked up from my lap and noticed the stares of my fellow passengers.

The blush I experienced was so deep and so red that I felt as though my internal organs were on fire. I muttered my explanation to the passenger on my left, “morning sickness,” but the look he returned was so devoid of sympathy I pretended to rummage for something in my back pack - my dignity had a good chance of being in there, next to my work shoes, buttered vegemite crackers and spare sick bags. I could not look anywhere or meet the stares of anyone. The entire carriage was disgusted and their collective opinion of me seemed to be the derisive judgment of ‘Alcoholic.’

It was then that I longed to have a big belly and be hugely and obviously pregnant. My size 12 trousers still fit me and no-one offered me a seat when all were taken because I still looked like everybody else. At least, like everybody else when they had their first real hangover after a night on the Blackberry Nip, St Agnes brandy, chewing three bird's eye chillies and drawing back on a cigar......

The remaining five minutes of the journey stretched out before me like the space-time divide still to be travelled by Dr Who's Tardis. I forced a vacant (but hopefully contented) smile on my burning red face and primly clutched the sick bag in my lap. I could hear a faint ‘sloosh sloosh’ of my vomit each time the train entered a tunnel, and only then had the wit to realise that, perhaps, clear plastic wasn’t the best way to hide the ‘ol regurgitated peas and carrots from my fellow travellers.

That demented smile remained on my face for the longest five minutes of my life. Never again did I take the 7:18 - it was worth getting out of bed fifteen minutes earlier to preserve some of my anonymity on the 7:03.

Probably no surprise to you, dear reader when you consider the intelligent frame of mind I'd obviously shown from very early on in life (see above, circa 1970)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Fabulous Footy Follices (Hair)

It's been a while but it's long over due - it is time for to focus our attention on AFL players. No, not their superbly fit and chiselled bodies, but their hair. Yes, brace yourself, it is finally time for Dumb Football Hair 2007!

A common strategy amongst Aussie Rules players is to cultivate some ludicrous locks in order to catch the umpire's eye, hoping that they will remember/pissthemselveslaughing/automatically-nominate them for a brownlow medal point or two. That may be true, but for us at home watching it is often the case of, "What the hell has that guy done to his hair - is he the full can of fanta?"

In no particular order of talent, youth or stupidity, this year's contenders are:

Dale Thomas, Collingwood

This one concerns me, not because my flokati rug has suddenly gone missing but for reasons of safety. Surely Daley-babes is at risk of getting his flokati-follicles ripped or pulled out of his head during play?

Wouldn't it be hot running around the oval (don't they run an average of about 10km per game) with the equivalent of a container load of mukluk liners on your scone? He's a brave - but none-too-bright - young man...

Daniel Hayes, Melbourne
I know you're good at your footy Dan, and it's great to be able to live the dream but must your hair be styled to resemble the shape of the football itself??

Or are you a fan of that funny-as-death Dan Akroyd movie, 'The Coneheads'?

Daniel McConnell, Kangaroos

Another Dan but this one's got a flatter head and ears like an angry elephant. What's not helping his case is the oily mop flopping down in an awkward imitation of a comb-over from the back to the front.

Perhaps he's the son of the guy in the Godfrey's tv commercial? (that guy has the KING of comb-overs). Haven't you heard of layering, my son?

Josh Kennedy, Carlton

Joshua, sweetie-darling-sweetie, normally it is good form to brush your hair before having your photo taken. It will make you look less like a five year old who has just been told to stop eating his boogers and more like the slightly older (mentally) football hero that you are.

You may win some extra points if you can confirm that you are, in fact, trying to show us what Ray Martin's hair would look like if it was fully deconstructed and just survived a sailing regatta in gail force winds.

Brock O'Brien, Fremantle

Oh. My. God. The clear winner so far - if only through the sheer height of his hair. What should I have expected from a kid named after the surname of a dead bloke who could drive holden commodores really fast around a mountain heaps of times? This obvious hirsuteness doesn't bode well for his shoulders and back remaining hairless when he hits his thirties, does it?

If he has that much hair sprouting from his head he can either be a Busby guard at Buckingham Palace when he's no longer playing or the silverbacked stand-in for the movie 'Gorillas in the Mist 2: Fugly in the Valley'

Nathan Carroll, Melbourne

My personal favourite. 'Ol Nath may possibly be the love child of Hulk Hogan and Ben Stiller from 'Dodgeball'.

Blonde tips, porn star moustache, Chopper Read beardy-bits and Gallagher brother eyebrows makes him outstanding in the field. Or, at least 'standing out in the field' on his own after the game. Ten bucks says he'll star in a triple X feature called 'Melbourne's Meat Man' in retirement to pay the rent on his gold-plated monaro and ceiling mirrors.....

Brad Moran, Kangaroos

Now Brad, what is this? Even you look as though you're too ashamed at your own retardedness to smile for the camera!

The white hair, the pathetically half-arsed effort at spikes or a mohawk and the Amish beard just do not work. Are you the bastard son of Warwick Capper and the guy from the Curiosity Show? And the moustache.....why go to the trouble - just grab a fat black texta and draw it on so that it matches the thickness of your eyebrows and do us all a favour!

Cameron Moody, Geelong

It was quite a challenge finding a photo of Mr Moody that did him any justice and even here his Paddle Pop Lion (or should that be cat?) hair is kept back by a rather fetching head band (Note to Dale Thomas - an Alice Band can do wonders for your complexion and keep your vision free for play).

The blonde dye job just completes the stereotype. Warwick Capper's long lost baby brother.

Beau Waters, West Coast Eagles

Didn't you go to school with me? Are a bona-fide Murray Bridge Bogan and still proud of it? Are you still driving that Ford Escort with the 'La Cucharacha' air horn that you'd blast all the way down Swanport Road?

Can you now do the drawback on your Winnie blues or are you still bum-sucking to save your lungpower to sing out the chorus to the Angels' 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again' at the pub after hard week at the meat works?

Beau's buddy-in-crime, Mitch Morton

Ah Mitch, how could I forget you. The last time I saw you was at Donger's 21st at Mypolonga: you were out cold after drinking bundy and couldn't get out of Macca's Mum's hammock quick enough to stop getting sick all over your Levi californians. Your girlfriend, Trudy, ending up getting on with Mud-Guts who left a big 'M' in love bites on her neck......

Daniel Merrett, Brisbane Lions

To be honest, I'm not sure if it's his kewpie doll hairstyle or the arched eyebrows framing his beady, slightly-deranged little eyes that unsettle me the most.

I'm crossing my fingers that he's an intelligent, hard-working model of society who does NOT film geriatrics getting it on or collect body parts to sew himself a wetsuit..

Courtney Johns, Essendon

It's tempting to write 'Last, and certainly Least' but I won't. The albino rasta look isn't one that's likely to sweep the nation: I can't see Kevin Rudd rockin' this style on his way to the polling booths.

The lack of fringe on his lo-o-o-o-o-ng horsey face doesn't help matters - it's as though Sarah Jessica Parker has been gender reassigned and slapped with a sliced squid. Probably also stinks like Laurie Oaks' trousers after a short jog to the buffet table.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Izzy the gorgeous white and black terrier (pictured below) had cleverly managed to buy, hand write and post our dear little Dogadoo a Scooby Doo-themed invitation, asking us around to help celebrate her 2nd (or 14th, depending on either human or canine age interpretation) birthday and commemorate moving into a new place at Kensington.

Apparently Douglas the fuzzy muttley (adopted after a cruel dumping at Mambray Creek) arrived first, and promptly left a fragrant calling card or three on the back lawn. Whilst hostess Izzy busied herself giving them a good sniff, William the whippet seized the moment to expertly squeeze himself into the cat-flap and cock his leg on the loungeroom beanbag. Luckily Eleanor (aka Izzy's Owner) deducted that, at age thirteen (or 91 if you're four-legged), William was reduced to producing 'dry runs' as a purely symbolic gesture and no damage (or saturating) was done.

My pooch, Dogadoo, heaved up her breakfast as soon as she arrived via the back gate. Not being the world's classiest guest, my first reaction was to say, "Ah well, you know what dogs like to do...it'll be cleaned up soon enough", but Eleanor (Izzy's owner) decided to find some newspapers and get rid of it so that the party guests would still have their appetites for chew bones, mutt mints and chook necks.

The tone had already been set for this doggee soiree however: - poo, wee and vomit, and all in the first five minutes! All it needed now was some ear-bleedingly loud doof-doof, P-plated gatecrashers and a visit by the police to be the carbon copy of the 18th birthday party down the street that we'd suffered through recently (including having lemons stripped from the neighbouring tree and thoughtfully placed under our windshield wipers).

I decided it was time to hand out a Schmackos beef hide for each of the guests. Izzy and Douglas looked at them doubtfully - in terms of size to height ratio I guess it was like asking them to gnaw through a boogie board. William the elder took his off to eat in privacy behind the willow tree and Dogadoo flopped on the doormat, holding it between both paws and gnawing at it protectively. It would be nice to be able to write about Dogadoo behaving impeccably after that but alas that wasn't the case. She snapped irritably at any pooch who ventured within a metre of her until every last shred of the beef hide was eaten.

William (as you can see here) was rather non-plussed by the whole event and was clearly hoping that there'd be a fire, a broadsheet newspaper, a pipe and a rocking chair for him to enjoy and retire to.

He was quite happy to let the three young upstarts have a good tussle over the pass-the-parcel event: it was pointless telling the three boneheads that each layer had liver treats in it and each guest was going to receive a doggy rope ball. Photography was an even more pointless exercise because their wagging tails, wriggly bodies and twitchy noses made posing an impossibility.

Soon it was time for party hats but Dogadoo was not impressed. She had hers on for about three seconds before jumping clear from my restraining arms, flapping her ears like a centrifuge and escaping the infernal appendage.

Douglas was more tolerant, but no less inclined to sit still for a photograph.

It was then that the humans decided to go inside and have a cup of tea, some croissants and mud cake and leave the dogs outside. "They all seem pretty happy now - I'm sure we can trust them," said William-the -Whippet's owner. "We can see them all from here," replied Eleanor reassuringly. It felt as though we were four Norwood yummy-mummies leaving our 3 three years olds unsupervised in the garden....

Sort of. Douggie started howling, so was brought inside to the laundry and placed behind a child-proof gate so that he could see his beloved owners but not chew at the table cloth. William sought sanctuary from the rabble by hiding amongst the bushes and, as the rain started falling, Izzy decided to retreat to the warmth of her kennel.

My Dogadoo sat on the mat, looking forlornly at us eating, drinking and making merry inside; occasionally adding a heart-rending whine to make the croissant flakes stick in my throat like ash. "You won't die out there, furry-face," I told her.

An hour later we both walked home in the soft rain. Dogadoo's tail wagged as she forced me to stand and wait patiently as she strained to birth the Norton Summit of butt nuggets and eagerly investigated her party bag of treats including a pig's ear, chew-toy and bone at the other end. Life was good in Dogadoo Land.