Saturday, July 26, 2008


Yesterday when I got home from work, I went through the day's mail on the little bench in the kitchen and was excited to see an envelope with my name handwritten on the front! It's so rare and so exciting to see your name handwritten on the mail. These days its all typed, and it's always a bill, a bank statement or a 'buy this' letter. I figured it must be a wedding announcement (because that's usually what a hand written envelope means), but instead it was a thank you card from Jessima's Mum Michelle, for inviting her to my little tea party last week!

Isn't that lovely? People don't really write thankyou cards anymore, and I think that's sad. It was really nice to get the card and it made my day. I think I'm going to buy some thankyou cards that I can keep in my desk drawer so that I can be a 'thankyou card sender' too :)

xo Tammy

Friday, July 25, 2008

High Tea

About six months ago, my bosses at work (they're a brother and sister team) called me in and gave me a voucher for six to a place called High Societea, as a bit of a 'thanks for your hard work'. It was a lovely surprise, and I was excited to take Mum, Jessima, Abby, Bethany and Jessima's mum Michelle. We put it off for several months though, because Michelle was moving back down to Brisbane from Cairns, and we wanted to wait until she was here.

Anyway, last Saturday morning was the big day. The voucher was for the Royal Asscot tea, and we'd booked ourselves in for the 9:30am sitting, since we all had busy days planned :) The place is a really cute little teashop that's won a lot of awards over the last few years. Very cute, with Roses and tea-sets everywhere. They brought out cute little three tier stands with savouries on the bottom, scones and picklets with jam and cream in the middle and sweets/desserts on the top tier. It's not a great photo, but here's was our little group. From the left, there's Mum, Abby, Jessima, Michelle and Bethany.

And this photo shows a little more of the shop, but it was out of focus (sorry!).

Here's Jessima and Michelle trying to make up their minds....

Our little three tiered stands :

My plate full of savouries:

And this is the desserts tier: Sadly, it was the most unappreciated part of the tea party - hardly any chocolate!

Anyway, it was a really fun little tea party. Jessima's baby shower is coming up (Mum's putting it on), and it's going to be a high tea party, so Mum spent half of the tea party taking notes on everything that was being served ('Wait, everyone, the circular sandwich... is that, Samon?').... Isn't it fun to be a girl?!

xo Tammy

Truly Brilliant Idea!

Okay, I just finished reading Jess' blog, and all her talk of brilliant ideas (teleportation etc) inspired me with a brilliant idea in response to my own 'gas prices are killing me' type question...

My conundrum is simple: I'm a truly terrible blogger.

I mean to be good - I really do, but then I get so busy during the week that I never write, and then when the weekend finally rolls around, and I have time to write, I write more than most people could possibly have time to read! It's no good feeding a child a massive banquet once a month, and then feeding them nothing in between. Children in those scenarios die. And the people responsible, they go to jail.

I don't want to go to jail.

SO! I here's the brilliant idea: Every weekend, I'll write a bunch of posts (because as soon as I sit down to write, I suddenly have a lot to say), and I'll keep them as 'drafts'. And then every day or two, I'll publish one!

Brilliant, right?! That way, you all feel loved (which you are), nobody dies of starvation, and I don't go to jail!

I think this could work... I have to go now - I have several posts to write.

xo Tammy

Saturday, July 12, 2008

4 Happy Thoughts

Every morning, I get in my car and drive into the city. The otherwise 17 minute drive usually takes 45 minutes to an hour because of the thousands of other people who are also driving into the city during peak-hour. So there we all sit: alone in our cars, thinking about the night before, or the morning, or our upcoming day, and we each do it in isolation - even though we're surrounded by hundreds of other people all sitting in their own cars; all doing the same thing.

Every now and again, though, something happens that makes me feel like we're all part of the same giant community - and I always love it when that happens. I like to listen to the radio in the morning, because it's the only time I hear the news or can keep up with what's going on. People call in, and talk about traffic accidents and everyone around me nods, because now we all know that the left lane is blocked up ahead. Indicators go on, and everyone starts to move over into the right hand lanes. Occasionally, you're singing and dancing along to a great song on the radio, and you glance in the rear view mirror and see the person in the car behind you dancing and singing along to the same song. That makes me smile :)
A few nights ago, I was driving home at about 7pm, and the roads getting onto the freeway to head out of the city were still really congested. All of a sudden, I heard an ambulance coming up behind me. I quickly maneuvered my car awkwardly over to the side of the road, and made some space for it to get through. I was coming down a bit of a hill at the time, so I could see the roads and intersections stretching out in front of me as they merged to the highway. Now, I know that an ambulance isn't the kind of thing that makes most people grin - and I hate to think about the poor person who needs the ambulance - but I have to say that seeing an ambulance on the road like that always makes me smile in a deep down happy kind of a way. As the ambulance went past me, I saw each of the crazily congested cars in front of me likewise move off to the side to let the ambulance through. People with green lights stopped so the ambulance could zip safely across the intersections, and space was created where there literally wasn't any space before. All so that someone we'd never met could get the help they needed as quickly as possible. I realize that there's a law saying that people have to move for an ambulance, but still, I get excited to be part of a giant, unspoken, community cooperation. It made me smile the whole way home.

You know what else made me smile? Yesterday morning, I was driving past a little cafe, and I saw a guy standing out on the curb, talking on his mobile phone. As I glanced at him, I realized that he was giving someone street directions on how to get there. How did I know this? well, because he was standing there (all alone) with one hand holding his phone to his ear, and the other hand actioning out the directions. From what I was able to gather, his friend needs to head straight for a good little while, then vear to the left for a couple of minutes before turning right at a round about to move around and under a bridge (which would make sense, because the cafe was actually under a bridge). His brow was wrinkled in concerntration, and it made me smile to think that the fellow probably didn't even realize he was gesturing for a person who couldn't see him.
About four weeks ago, we received a letter at work that let us know that some apartments were going up on the vacant block across the road from us. We'd seen signs, so we weren't surprised. But they did say that they'd be putting in the foundations over a three week period, and that neighbours in the area might experience 'some noise disruption' during that period. I think the note got pinned up on the kitchen notice board, but we didn't think too much about it. Well, about a week later, workers started arriving on the site. Here is what I have learnt, 3 weeks later, about their particular approach to dropping a foundation:
1) Every morning, huge piles of wooden poles (about the height of tall telephone poles) get delivered across the road. 2) The hammer machine then lifts one pole at a time, and BANGS it into the ground. This BANGING makes A LOT OF NOISE. 3) Once that pole is all the way into the ground, they lift another pole up on top of the pole already in the ground, and bang it down on top of the original pole. 4) A third pole gets banged down on top of the second pole until suddenly, when it's almost all the way in, the ground (for about a 5 block radius), SHAKES VIOLENTLY. This means that first/bottom pole has finally hit bedrock (the rock layer beneath the dirt layer). 5) the machine then moves about a foot to the left or right, and starts the process ALL OVER AGAIN. BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG!!!!!
When the entire block is riddled with these poles, they'll cut off the tops, and pour a cement slab that covers/joins the pole. Apparently this means the foundations for the building is sitting on the bedrock, and the building's more secure. Seems a bit strange to me, but I figure they know what they're doing.
This has been going on, across the road from my office, everyday, nonestop, from 7am-5pm, for 3 LONG WEEKS! The only reprieve I have is if I'm in one of the sound proof studios downstairs, but my office upstairs is defiantly not sound proof, and anyway, even when you're in the sound proof rooms, the ground still SHAKES VIOLENTLY periodically! I had to move a studio shoot last week to a studio off site because the ground kept shaking in the studio!

Naturally, the works across the road have been a source of discussion for the past weeks - culminating, yesterday, in rumours that the yesterday (Friday) was the last day. By our calculations, the three weeks should be up, and on Monday, we should be back to a quiet normal. What's funny - or what made me smile - was realizing that by the end of last week, I'd grown completely accustomed to the constant banging. i hadn't really thought about it for 2 days. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicious, that come Monday, if that noise isn't there, I might have a hard time concentrating! How crazy would that be?! What strange confused beings we are!

My final little happy/funny thought for today is dedicated to my brothers: Last night we had a Stake Relief Society 'Christmas in July' activity, and I had been asked to sing a few Christmas songs. I was late home from work, and then I had to quickly download backing tracks for the songs etc., so I was running late. I discovered a few years ago, that drinking hot water before I sing is a really quickly easy way to warm up my voice, and since I was running late, I asked my brothers (Micky, Oliver and Ben) who were all home, if they'd put some hot water in my drink bottle. Within minutes though, the water was getting cold again, so I asked them if they would mind boiling some water in the microwave and then putting it in my water bottle, so that by the time I came to sing a couple of hours later, the water would probably still be hot. As I was running out the door a few minutes later, Micky give me the water bottle, and it was really hot. I actually tried to drink a bit in the car, and burnt my tongue. It was even still hot when I swallowed a few mouthfuls before singing an hour or two later, so good job boys - it was well boiled!

When I got home late last night with Mum and Bethy though, I looked at the bottle as I took it out of my bag, and then I burst out laughing! I pulled another water bottle (same brand) out of the cupboard, and compared them both...

The one I took with me is the tiny shrunken one, but this photo really doesn't do it justice! Trust me, it's even smaller in real life! What did they do to the bottle?! I'm guessing they must have put the water bottle IN the microwave to boil the water?! Either way, If I happen to die some time this week, have them check my stomach - I'm pretty sure I must have drunk the missing half of the water bottle!

xo Tammy

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I wish you really COULD jump into chalk pavement pictures...

I've decided to go on a holiday. It might not eventuate for years, but I'd at least like to dream about it :) I don't want to talk about work - because that's all I talk about on my blog - but it has been crazier than usual lately, and I've been working longer hours than usual (which is saying something!) Several people are away at the moment for various reasons, and I've had to pick up a lot of 'extras', and then I've had several really big jobs with converging deadlines - so it's been a little ridiculous. Jobs on my docket over the last two weeks have included:

1) Shoot & post for a 20 minute doc about the history of a global mining company (ergo the trip to Mt. Isa and organizing shoots in London and Johannesburg);
2) Desiging, storyboarding and directing production of an interactive website for an energy distribution company;
3) 10 minute DVD (with a 3 minute showreel and 4 x 2 minute 'people spotlights') for a global consortium who are pitching for the contract to build a dam here in Australia (this also included organizing shoots in Paris and London);
4) Shooting & post for a series of interactive AV's for a HR company's website;
5) continuing the post for an energy company who we're producing 9 induction videos for (a total of 12 shooting days, on four locations finished earlier this month - thank goodness!);
6) Writing, shooting & producing a series of short A/Vs for a big bank's website;
7) Producing a series of animations to be played on the website and on instore plasmas for a national phone company;
8) Overseeing post and station distribution for 9 TVCs and 2 Radio commercials for a construction client;
9) and quoting for an endless stream of job requests that keep coming through the door.
- And of course each job includes endless too-ings and fro-ings with clients (who all seem to somehow have my mobile number, and call anytime between 6am till 9pm)

I do like my job, and I was lucky to find it, but over the last two weeks, I've worked several 12-17 hour days, and after a while you find yourself, well, dreaming about going on a holiday! I'm just trying to get through this crunchtime which will hopefully wind up in the next few weeks, and wait until a few people get back to work, and then I'll see about taking a day or two off :)

Maybe I'll go visit the Greek Islands.... or drop into Beijing for the olympics.... or go hole up in a B&B in Ireland.... or catch a musical on Broadway... or visit the Inca ruins.... or take an African Safari, or go hiking in the Swiss Alps, or go digging in Egypt...

At this point, I'd just settle for a day at home :)

xo Tammy

PS. I miss uni, where the holidays were built in!