Today I wanted to be here ‘in case the sh*t hits the fan’. Mum had a fall today and was taken away in an ambulance. She should be in a nursing home they’ll say. Well ‘don’t come the raw prawn with me’ cause we all know she just ‘won’t cop that’!
That old chestnut
People hint to mum that she should think about going to a nursing home. I’m sure ‘that old chestnut’ will be ‘back on the cards again’. I know she ‘wouldn’t have a bar of it’. Thing is oldies sometimes have no say in it. That really ‘makes mum’s blood boil’. See mum is such a private person. She loves her garden and her own space. The whole idea of being in hospital just ‘does her head in’ let alone a nursing home. She’d be ‘out of there in a flash’ if she could.
Stick to your guns
I was hanging by the computer ‘playing the waiting game’. My ‘heart was in my mouth’ when a call ‘came out of nowhere’. It was a real ‘blessing in disguise’. A stranger calls. She shares of how her nan broke her hip in her 90’s and was sent home after she recovered from a hip replacement. Her nan was ‘happy as Larry’. This stranger says “make sure you tell your mum to ‘stick to her guns'”.
It’s been a while since I wrote a piece on phrases and idioms. I hope these ones help you in understanding this uncertain space. A space where the very thing that draws family together can also pull them apart. We all want what’s best for mum but we all have different opinions.
Be here in case the sh*t hits the fan – be close by in case something bad happens
Playing the waiting game – Not sure what to do so watch and wait
Heart in your mouth – Anxious
Came out of nowhere – Unexpected
Blessing in disguise – Something unexpected or unfortunate that results in something good happening
Does your head in – Makes you angry or frustrated
Out of there in a flash – Leave in a hurry
That old chestnut – Repeating the same old story so it becomes boring
Back on the cards – Discuss something that had been spoken of previously
Wouldn’t have a bar of it – (Australian saying) Won’t tolerate or put up with it
Make your blood boil – Make you very angry
Don’t come the raw prawn with me – (Australian saying) Don’t pretend you don’t know
Won’t cop that – Won’t take that. Not happy about that
…what employer would hire some ‘blow-in’ from interstate?
(with audio) Previously it was about That Elusive First Job. Now a new adventure! I had some idea that I was going to be some famous artist when I finished studies in fine arts years ago. I really ‘drank the Kool-aid’ on that one. So I moved north interstate to a great tourist town on Queensland’s Gold Coast. I started to look for work. I looked and I looked and I looked. Month after month I pounded that pavement, applied for those jobs, and wrote those targeted cover letters. Nothing! Plenty of knock backs. I even offered to work for free and still ‘a flat no’… It was really soul destroying.
Ep 1 (with audio) After speaking to my friends daughter recently I realised she and her friends think having trouble getting a job after leaving school is new to their generation. I’m sorry to break it to you. We don’t always get things ‘served on a silver platter’. I certainly didn’t. I’ve been ‘scraping the bottom of the barrel’ a few times over the years. Let’s go back to early 1980 in Sydney, Australia when I first left school.
Firstly, in the early 80’s there were no computers, no mobile phones, no credit cards. In my late teens I was catching a bus or train to get around, or walking. As a girl you left school at 16 (unless you wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer). You were meant to get a job until you met someone, get married, have a family at around 23. It was all mapped out. Pretty easy hey…LOL.
Getting initial employment
Getting a job straight out of school was ‘no walk in the park’. It was tough. You scoured the newspaper for any jobs and would ring to enquire. Even if I got an interview they’d say, “you don’t have any work experience”. I’d ‘scratch my head’ and think to myself, “hang on, how am I supposed to get work experience if you won’t give me a job”?
‘You don’t look twice’ when you’re able bodied. Your there, rushing to get to work, ‘pounding the pavement’ to catch that bus, or grabbing that coffee. It’s like a mental repertoire of the familiar as we journey through our everyday. You go into autopilot. Then things go ‘pear shaped’.
Here is insight from a working age woman reflecting on human kindness after her world was ‘turned upside down’ a few years ago.
I get around on a 4 wheel walker these days. It’s a proper ‘pain in the neck’. Wasn’t part of my 5 year plan! But ‘it is what it is’ and has taught me a thing or two about the human spirit.
These 3 small things mean the world to me.
The power of a smile It’s the smile of someone walking past. They understand. It is a quiet acknowledgement. A kindness that needs no words. How delightful!
Time I need to plan things to the minutest detail. I love it when people appreciate that there is no such thing as hurrying up. I need to live my life considered now, not ‘hitting the ground running’ like when I was a rep.
Small acts of kindness It’s the person that holds the umbrella over your head even though there not going your way. The lady that hails down a cab for you because they know you can’t.
My world may be small these days but these things really put a ‘smile on my dial’.
Term phrase meaning
You dont look twice – you don’t have to think about it
Pounding the pavement – running
Pear shaped – don’t turn out like you think
Turned upside down- things happen out of your control
It is what it is – a common phrase. The way things are.
Pain in the neck – very annoying
Hit the ground running – common term used in team building. Means to do your best
Cake, it’s the perfect accompaniment for a great cup of coffee when your out and about. But you know what they say ‘you cant judge a book by its cover’. Not all coffee shops can ‘make the cut’. Their cakes and pastries look great in the display but how ripped off do you feel when you just used your lovely morning coffee to swill down that dry cardboard excuse for a cake.
Choose your poison Cake is my poison. It’s delectable. You can drink your wine. I choose cake. No need for a hangover you just have it with a nice roasted coffee, sit back and enjoy the world go by. If you can’t get great cake though it’s important to have a standby.
Standby cake Standby cake is cake we cake connoisseurs kick back on. When you know the cakes ‘don’t fit the bill’ standby cake is the answer. Its reliable and dependable and more importantly, edible. Still ‘it’s nothing to write home about’.
Will you have cake with that coffee maam? Sell me your cake and I’ll grab a coffee. Cake, it’s no afterthought. I want to have my cake and eat it too!
You can’t have your cake and eat it too – can’t have everything your own way
Make thecut – meet an expected standard
You can’t judge a book by its cover – just cause it looks good doesn’t mean it will be any good
don’t fit the bill – dont meet with your expectations
Nothing to write home about – average middle of the road
When I was eight I fell off the slippery dip at the park and snapped my front teeth in half. Mom in tears to show her and thus began my dental journey. Going to the dentist, it ‘scares the living daylights out of me’. It’s nothing personal. My teeth just have a history. The latest, getting an implant. Next time don’t fall down the front stairs and crack your tooth!
I think that what had me ‘gobsmacked’ was how many people I know took great pleasure in reminding me of how painful, and expensive, it will be to have an implant. Yeah thanks guys. So I was ‘chuffed’ when one of my mates referred me to someone she’d used in the past. “I didn’t feel a thing” she said. Thanks luv! I don’t care that it might not be exactly true. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. Sometimes you need something like that to ‘set the wheels in motion’ and it’s not that good dentist’s are ‘rare as hens teeth’ but more that when you move to a new suburb your ‘going in blind’. Horror stories going around and around in your head as you remember that needle coming out of your mouth bent and bloody from when you were a kid. How deep did they go?
A good dentist not only does a great job but they make you feel like everything will be OK. They are ‘right on the money’. There’s always going to be prodding and poking or times when your jaw just locks up. When you have that really good dentist. Now they’re the ones who also have this uncanny ability of being able to understand exactly what you say when your mouths full of plastic and metal and cotton. Man how do they do that? Feels like they do professional development on spit and gargle language, or something like that.
We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to have dental care that is so good ‘in this day and age’ . I take solace in knowing it was only early last century when they used to pull all your teeth out. You could get your very own dentures. It was even a gift some people got for their wedding present. ‘I shudder to think’.
Phrase or idiom meaning
Scares the living daylights out of me – feel extremely scared
Gobsmacked – so surprised you can’t speak
Chuffed – very pleased
Set the wheels in motion – to start a process
Rare as hen’s teeth – hens don’t have teeth, rare, non-existent
Going in blind – no previous knowledge of
Right on the money – accurate, correct
In this day and age – this present time
I shudder to think – something not pleasant to think about
It’s a ‘rip snorter’ of a day. We’re up the coast at a small beachside town getting a bit of ‘R&R’ with a few of our friends.
Up ‘this neck of the woods’ you can get a 4WD permit to drive on the beach so that’s the go for today. This beach goes for miles and miles. It’s such a pretty spot with a few islands dotted off the beach. The 4WDs are ready, the fishing rods are loaded up, there’s the ‘barbie’, some beach chairs, and some ‘trashy mags’ for those of us that just want to chill. Let’s go!
Thus the adventure begins. You know what they say though, ‘the best laid plans’….aargh. We get on the beach and it’s like ‘bloomin Pitt Street’. There’s 4WDs everywhere and the sand is so mushy from all the tyre tracks. It’s like bouncing up and down on a jet ski as we drive along. So annoying. Should’ve gotten up at ‘the crack of dawn’.
It was great to catch up though. Haven’t seen everyone for ages. One friend’s ‘stoked’ on catching a flathead. Another mate pulls in his line and traipses further down the beach to see if he can ‘get a piece of the action’. Meanwhile, the rest of us relax over a good read and soak up the suns rays.
Now anyone that has spent a bit of time on the beach knows you need to keep an eye out for changes in the tide. You wouldn’t want to get caught out if the tide comes in too far. You might not have room to get the car off. We start to head off. Then the worst happens. Our car gets ‘bogged’ in the sand.
The sand is deep and loose and the car can’t get any traction. The tide is coming in and the longer I look the less sand there is. Waves are getting closer and closer as the high tide approaches. I can see just a narrow stretch of beach left to be able to exit. Still the tyres spin deeper and deeper. By now my mind is reeling. I’m seeing a king tide coming in and us being swept away.
‘I’m not grabbing at straws’ here but maybe I’m just ‘being a bit of a drama queen’. Come on, ‘get a grip’. What about some positive self talk rather than ‘losing the plot’. What’s the worst that could happen?
Rip snorter – extremely good
R&R – rest and relaxation
This neck of the woods – here
Barbie – BBQ
Trashy mags – magazines with gossip and unreliable news
The best laid plans… – some plans don’t succeed
Bloomin Pitt Street – busy, Pitt Street is one of the busy main streets of Sydney
The crack of dawn – early, before the crowds.
Stoked – very happy
Get a piece of the action – get some success
Bogged – stuck
I’m not grabbing at straws – there is some truth to it
Being a bit of a drama queen – panicking, overly emotional
I’ll do my best not to ‘chicken out’ of this challenge.
This blog has been created after an Italian friend of mine wanted to know about phrases to do with animals. Her favourite is ‘the cats pyjamas’ which is about feeling like the ‘bees knees’. It hails back to Jazz happening in the 1920’s in America, that’s around about the same time pyjamas became a trendy thing. They used to say that you were ‘a cool cat’ back then. I guess it’s a blend from there. Maybe that’s where we get the word ‘cool’ from today. While that’s a tad American that’s what seems to happen in Australia. There are a blend of idioms and phrases from here, there, and everywhere that we use.
If the ‘cat’s got your tongue’ then you’d be having trouble getting your words out. If you ‘can’t swing a cat around in it’ then your room must be very small. Your not literally swinging the cat thank goodness. Poor cat! If you were that would really ‘get my goat’. But I kinda feel sorry for chickens too cause if your freaking out you’re ‘running around like a chook with its head chopped off’.
Now you might think I’m a ‘bit of a galah’ but these phrases are fairly common. While they are common they are not used this much in a conversation. You wouldn’t think so when you read some of my posts. Guess I’m just ‘pig headed’ and ‘don’t give a hoot’ about opinions so am being a bit of a ‘show pony’ instead.
So remember, people might just think your ‘silly as a cut snake’ if you blurt them out with the frequency I am. If you want an excuse just tell them your ‘horsing around’. Otherwise just ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ and use them occasionally because you don’t want that ‘monkey on your back’! ‘Because how much can a koala bear?’
Idiom or phrase meaning
Chicken out – not game to do what you say you will
The cats pyjamas – the best, highly sought after
Bees knees – the best, highly sought after
Cool cat – cool, fantastic
Here, there, and everywhere – from everywhere
Cat’s got your tongue – lost for words, can’t think what to say
Can’t swing a cat around in it – tiny space
Get my goat – annoy me
Kinda – kind of, a bit like
Running around like a chook with its head chopped off – anxious and fretful
Bit of a galah – silly, bit of a larrikin but not always making the right choices
Pig headed – stubborn
Don’t give a hoot- don’t care (an owl hoots)
Show pony – showing off
Silly as a cut snake – silly
Blurt – say without thinking
Horsing around – mucking around, having fun
Let sleeping dogs lie – leave things alone.
Monkey on your back – be your problem (this one is visual)
Because how much can a koala bear? – Because how much can you tolerate? (This is meant to be a question so always say it this way)
ESL Level – Advanced
Painting Dee Grant – Acrylic on canvas digitized – 2014
Going to a funeral online is strange, very strange. But that is ‘the way things roll’ these days with the pandemic. I watched through 3 different cameras, and 3 different views. Each person sits on their ‘socially distanced’ chair. Facemasks are worn as an accessory to somber attire. But I’m looking from a distance, observing from afar. I’m embracing a stilted sadness but maybe that’s what I’m ‘bringing to the table’.
For me the heart of the event was not ‘lost in translation’ within this virtual world. The sadness lingers and translates in ‘pride of place’ speeches and photos heralding the life of someone much loved. They ‘pay tribute’. I feel like a flaneur, slowly considering each word and gesture of his family and friends from a virtual distance. I get to know his family, background, and accomplishments achieved. I’m watching slides and seeing my neighbour from a totally different perspective. It is special and precious.
I am honoured to have made this acquaintance. You see, knowing him at this level was outside my usual ‘frame of reference’. We were neighbours, sometimes chatting at the lift or grabbing a coffee with him and his wife. I had only picked up bits and pieces of their world. But one photo truly resonated with me and put a smile on my face. There he is with his takeout coffee sitting on his walking frame near our local cafe. I can see the exact spot in my mind.
Rest in peace.
The way things roll – how thing are
Socially distanced – Guideline for keeping physically separated to reduce the spread of the virus
Bringing to the table – your contribution
not ‘Lost in translation’ – It was understood
Pride of place – treated as the most important thing
Paying tribute – honour and praise someone
Flaneur – People watching (French)
Frame of reference – set of ideas that you base your outlook on