Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Well, I haven't posted in exactly 4 months which is a fair indication that this blog has probably served it's usefulness.

To follow me in the future, check out my

Saturday, March 17, 2007

South Park Kim

south park kim
Originally uploaded by Sponky's Modern Life.

This time, updated with BOOBS!

Also, check out

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Originally uploaded by Sponky's Modern Life.
Pleased to report we have finally got our tank, at the time they predicted, too! Thanks to a week and a half of light rain, we have now got 2/3 of a tank to play with (probably all it will have in it until next summer, which is very sad), but it does mean we can get in and do some tidying in the garden. Today we put in the last of the camelias we wanted to around the front window, and tomorrow we have a few plants to put in the side garden to fill up the gaps and make it a bit more low maintenance. Now we just need to decide what to do about the stupid driveway gardens...

Friday, February 02, 2007

DJBebe gets a store

I direct you all to the goods of DJBebe at etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=59351. Get thee a bib, I direct you!

Sponky goes to Africa

Sooo, for the purposes of running 7x2hr workshops, I was shipped over to Nambia for 3 days of work and 4 days of sitting around waiting for my outgoing plane. Thanks to late decisions on amount of time required + peak season in Namibia for German tourists who want to sit by the sea, I couldn’t get my flights changed and had to spent 4 days (weekend + Monday/Tuesday) waiting for my return flight.

In the end, it turned out due to workshop rescheduling, I actually only had 2 days to run all my workshops, and ended up having effectively 5 days of entertaining myself (ok, well, more like three days of hanging around, and 2 days of work).

Thanks to the wonderful travel policies of my client, I got to fly business, which totally and unbelievably rocks. Beds incline to 15% which is so much better than economy that it’s no funny. Only problem is that when you wake up, you feel like you are about to fall out of bed because of the lean. Hotel at the Joburg airport for the overnight was great and had the one thing you really want in a hotel at the airport – good shielding in the windows – so I slept like a LOG!

When we arrived to Walvis Bay, this is where the strangeness started to kick in for me. We landed in the middle of a desert, and everything around looked like this. Tiny little airport terminal, sand dunes, roads under construction, that’s it. The beginnings of a small freak out start, but I keep it under control on the assertion that the place we are staying (Swakopmund) is very nice and the hotel is like a ‘palace’. We drive along for about 40 minutes through dunes, houses by side of the road, and eventually hit the ocean and head north. When I arrive at the aforementioned ‘palace’, I start to wonder if my boss was joking, or if ‘palace’ in Africa is actually ‘2 star nightmare with questionable security in the rooms, towels with holes and no fridge to keep stuff in’. This wasn’t helped by the person above or below or on the side of me playing loud music all night and keeping me awake. One small freak out call to my mother later, I managed to get to enough sleep to get on with the workshops.

Needless to say, the freak out was basically for nothing. Namibia is very very safe (unlike South Africa), all the people on my floor were work people, and, yes, the hotel was a bit daggy but we were out-booked by an insurance conference, so yes, it really was 2 star. Some other lucky folks got to stay out at a golf course in the middle of the desert (one of 4 or 5 in the WORLD) and their rooms where actually, yes, like a palace. After hooking up with some of the girls from Brisbane, I proceeded to have a great time.

Swakopmund is basically a German-African Noosa/Wollongong on the edge of the desert – lots of fancy houses, overpriced shops and places to get massages etc. Food was fantastic and really cheap – dinner out, a really nice dinner involving wine, and steak and chocolate mousse, was about $20 a head. Local fish was really great (especially when served smothered in butter and bits of lobster) and there was plenty of restaurants close to the hotel.

The mine site, was, well, a mine site. Hot, dry, in the middle of nowwhere. Lunches were a bit questionable (with the people who had been there a week bringing their own) but other than that, quite interesting (and I was only there 2 days - I am sure the novelty wore off after a week or two)

Zeenat and I hung out over the weekend – we went up to the local seal colony with some locals who took us on a ‘local tour’. This involved driving 100 km up the coast to the seal colony (apparently 100km is local), where the only things we say were a small town, some salt mines, and a few springbock by the side of the road. The seal colony had a whole mass of babies, and while being smelly (think septic tank combine with fertilizer) was very interesting and the babies where very cute. We even saw a jackal of some kind on the lookout for an easy lunch. After the seals, we visited the local lodge, which really defines ‘private accommodation’. I doubt you would find anyone but the national park guy for 50km in any direction. It’s a fascinating concept – you drive through desert, and little local towns and more desert, then end up at a tiny, but luxurious hotel which serves icy cold beer and has it’s own mobile tower.

Sunday was spent quad biking in the desert, with some dodgy, crusty local who took us on a combination of education/adventure tour. Even though we started at 8:30, when the sun is not out, and despite about 3 applications of sunscreen, I managed to get my first real tan in about 5 years. We got a small lesson on quad bike riding (including how to go down a dune face) and got to see some of the local mud fossils, places where bones have been exposed etc. It was enormous fun, and felt like you were going about 100km a hour, but it was more like 20km…

The rest of week involved eating, slaving over a hot computer, swearing at the local internet speeds, getting a massage, and generally relaxing on African time. The week went far faster than I expected, and the flight home was quite bearable. All the photos are here.

Possibly the best vacation known to man.

So, you have all heard me boasting about going to Lord Howe Island for a big family get together. I am pleased to report (and once again, a big thank you to my parents) that is was possibly the best holiday spot ever and we had a GREAT time. Photos really are the best way to show you how damn good it was, so I would direct you to this set on flickr. In summary, we had:

So, we had a great time, and now we all need to start a fund to allow us to come again as soon as possible!

Ramblings of a modern woman

So, I was reading a column by Maggie Alterton where she put together a list of things a modern accomplished woman should know how to do. It was all 'matching handbags to your shoes' and 'make a souffle' and 'program the VCR'. Hrm, not all that relevant. So I wrote my own list. Please feel free to add some more.

  • Say yes to doing 3 times out of 4 when doing new things. The 1 in 4 get out jail free card allows you to turn down that creepy guy and avoid doing anything that might set you on fire. (Authors note: sometimes this rule totally backfires on you e.g. Pirates of Penzance. But most of the time I am surprised how well it works and how many cool new things I have done). Also good for collecting transferable skills!
  • When you get good at something, work out how to teach other people to do it as well. It can be very rewarding and tell you if you really know what you are doing!
  • Learn to stick up for yourself and your opinions (if you don't already). Life is too short to be doing something crappy just because you didn't say no.
    On previous point: Realise you may have to ditch friends AND this doesn't make you a bad person. As they say in the movies: "I like to be surrounded by good people". If your so-called friend only waits until YOU make the effort or is continually criticizing you as a way to make themselves feel better, perhaps you should lose their number in an unfortunately phone-number deleting accident.
  • Make the effort to take preventative care of your body - floss, go to the doctor, dentist, optometrist, put dust mite covers on your bed, take your vitamins, do extremely personal things in the privacy of your own bathroom (Nasal irrigation: ask me how), deal with that dry skin, eat plenty of fresh foods, work out how to keep those bladder infections or fungal breakouts (whatever is your personal curse) under control. It will pay off in the long run, even if you feel like an Young Nanna at the time.
  • On previous point: Use Suncreen. And a hat. And a shirt. Everyone has a relative with bits of their body cut off to remove sun cancer, so no excuses!
  • On previous point also: Take responsibility for your general physical condition - thinking about it won't make you more flexible or thinner. Go do something about it. Most useful advice I have heard on this is - doesn't matter what exercise you pick, just pick something you can keep doing. Not sure I have found mine yet but will keep trying. Curves is going well, BTW.
  • Don't wait for anyone else to save you. This applies to work and your actual life. Get your shit together, work out what is it you want or need to do, and then do it. Nobody likes a victim. (also another reason to ditch friends...)
  • Learn to drive AND also to navigate. And give useful directions (Husband-person will attest I am working on that last one still). And also how to work the public transport system. Nothing is as satisfying as getting from one place to another with only your wits, three forms of transportation and $7
  • Don't fool around with superglue
  • Learn to cook from a book but also using your tastebuds. Makes it much easier to finish a dish when you find you forgot to buy the last 4 items on your grocery list.
  • Tell your parents they were right. About most of it, anyway.
  • Know how to play at least 3 card games. Other than solitaire.
  • When you are in a relationship, expect to have to compromise 85% of the time. You will probably only need to compromise 50% of the time, which means 35% of the time you can be excited about having your own way!
  • Learn to admit that you are doing something you know is bad but you will do it anyway, thank you very much. Like: eat that cake, make a disturbingly rich Kahula milkshake, or watch episodes of Smallville in the summer break.
  • When you buy a new bottle of personal lubricant, take the cap off and remove the silver safety seal. Nothing kills passion trying to fool with tiny silver pieces of plastic.
  • Don’t ever expect not to be afraid of things. This is unrealistic. Learn how to do things despite the fact you are scared out of your wits. Most of the time you will fool everyone else, and after a while, you can fool yourself as well.