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Archive for January, 2010

While many Perth families have been obsessing over the MySchool website, this week I have been I’ve been concerned with the big issues.

Such as, what is it with Perth people and trolleys?

I hate having to pay to use a trolley at the airport but I am more and more inclined to support moves for a pay for use/deposit system at shopping centres.

Perhaps I am more sensitive than usual, having only picked my car up from the smash repairers last week, but it seems trolley laziness is at an all time high.

I have four shopping centres within a five to 10 minute drive. The closest is the one I favour the least because no one seems able to put a trolley away anywhere other than between parked cars.

On Thursday night I went to the centre that is furthest away, parked relatively close due to the time and moved a trolley from in front of my car to the return bay.

Half an hour later I emerged to find  another trolley stuck in front of the car.

But today’s incident takes the cake. I pulled into the busy car park at another shopping centre (not a major), spotted one free bay and as I indicated to pull in, a man with a trolley used the spare bay to park his groceries.

Noticing my plan to park, he moved the trolley a bit closer to his station wagon and continue to unpack. I got out of the car, said thanks and went to get my bag from the boot.

Then, the man moved the trolley up between our cars and went to get into his car to leave. I couldn’t believe it – the trolley return bay was directly opposite his car, about 5m away.

So I promptly walked back to my side of the car, grabbed the trolley and marched it to the bay, saying loudly I couldn’t believe how lazy he was.

To which he responded “maybe I shouldn’t have been so courteous earlier” (bearing in mind – he was actually hogging an entire car bay with his trolley during peak Saturday shopping hours). To which I responded “you win some, you lose some – that was going to blow into the car.”  To which he responded “it would have blown the other way”- as in, not into my car but whoever parked there next!

Our civilised exchange was observed by several people including a couple whose Hyundai Getz was parked in front of us and could just as easily have been damaged by said trolley.  But no one seemed to care.

I am thinking that from now on, I will park my car covered in bubble wrap.

Hoons, tailgaters, people who refuse to let you merge, people who don’t wave to say thanks when you let them in, people who don’t care if they hit your car with a trolley…Perth driver, you really are crap.

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From reality TV to harsh reality.

Today I watched Inside the Firestorm, a documentary screening on the ABC on February 7 at 8.30pm, the one year anniversary of Victoria’s catastrophic Black Saturday bushfires.

It was one of the most emotional docos I have seen in a long time and reduced me to tears. Knowing some of the bushfires were lit by firebugs made my husband’s blood boil.

I’ll be writing about this documentary for The West, so won’t say much more here other than make sure you block out two hours that night – it’s one of those programs that is a must see for all Australians.

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Seven has just announced another new light entertainment show for 2010.

The White Room will be a new comedy game show “that celebrates everything Australians love about television” (hmmm – very broad statement that is!)

It’s an original format developed by Seven and will feature ” two teams of well-loved TV faces, established comedians and some of Australia’s best emerging comedy talents”. Let’s hope they are not the same dozen or so we see on the Ten panel shows…

Contestants will be quizzed, challenged, poked and prodded about TV shows and TV stars. Hey, that’s my forte. I wish I was a celebrity, then I could enter 🙂

It will be hosted by comedians and broadcasters Tony Moclair and Julian Schiller. Who?

Tony and Julian have according to the Seven news release “worked together for over 15 years on television and were the force behind radio programs The Crud Show and Restoring The Balance”. Oh yes, those show. Huh?

The release continues “Julian is currently the host of the number 1 FM breakfast show in Adelaide, on Nova 919, and Tony is appearing on the Hot Breakfast team on Triple M in Melbourne.”

Actually, I do know Julian – he has been one of the better regulars on Ten’s 7pm Project. Not for much longer I suspect.

Anyone else think this sounds a wee bit like Talkin’ About Your Gen?

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Okay, before I sign off. Last week I did a spate of mad Twitter updates about the Nine 2010 launch but never followed up with a post.

That will happen this week. The ratings year doesn’t officially start until Feb 7 but to all intents and purposes it kicks off Jan 31.

So I will be giving my verdicts on the program lineups, shows that I don’t think will ever see the light of day and of course – what I have seen and recommend (eg The Good Wife, Cougartown, House, Underbelly).

As they say in TV land…stay tuned.

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On Saturday I travelled to the Margaret River region with Channel 7 and assorted media types and Perthonalities for the launch of Seven’s new reality cooking series My Kitchen Rules. 

WA contestants Marc & Natalie with MC Mark Gibson at MKR launch

When this show was announced last year, I groaned. It sounded like a knee-jerk, copycat reaction to Ten’s hit Masterchef Australia. Worth noting I also doubted Masterchef would work when Ten announced it in 2008. 

Paul & Melissa, SA contestants in MKR

I’ll start by saying I am yet to see a full episode of MKR, which some including Reality Ravings have already called a cross between Seven’s previous hit series My Restaurant Rules and Come Dine With Me. Hopefully I’ll be seeing it early this week. 

Having watched a lot of TV over the years, I was asked by other guests/media  on more than one occasion the million dollar question – how I thought the show would go? 

Again, not having seen a full episode, there are several factors to consider. First, the talent. Whether we like or dislike the contestants and how they behave and react under pressure is pretty important  (I have an inkling there’s at least one person viewers are going to find irritating – it is after all, reality TV). 

Then there are the judges; Peter Evans and Manu Feildel both have plenty of TV experience, Evans on Nine’s Fresh (he was also cooking for IGA at the Perth Royal Show last year) and Feildel on Ready, Steady Cook and Masterchef. 

Crispy skinned salmon with salsa

Yet  some media didn’t seem to know who they were. Still, that’s not such a concern – how many TV viewers had heard of Matt Preston this time last year? It’s their advice and how they give it that will count (some are predicting Frenchman Feildel will win over female viewers). 

Also worth considering – timeslot. MKR is being launched in double chunks, at 7.30pm Mondays and Tuesdays from Feb 1. Is that too much to swallow? Not when you consider Masterchef was stripped every night bar Saturday. 

But what will MKR be up against? On Nine, the answer is all new  Two and a Half Men/ Big Bang Theory and Survivor (for week one at least). On Ten, The Biggest Loser Couples and So You Think You Can Dance. 

That’s tough competition and not everyone can come out a winner. On the positive side, there will be no other cooking shows on prime time commercial TV – with Masterchef not on air until The Biggest Loser concludes around May. 

But if I had to pick a winner at the launch, WA contestants Marc and Natalie (the only married couple on the show) got the big thumbs up for their grilled lamb with Moroccan cous cous (maybe I am being parochial, maybe Sam Kekovich has me brainwashed and maybe it was Moroccan lamb, not cous cous). 

Marc & Natalie's Lamb with cous cous

I’m not sure if the side serves of potato salad and spinach salad with roasted sweet potato were also their handiwork but the results were delish. 

Apologies that there are no photos of Gen and Tanja from Queensland’s prawns, they were on skewers and eaten too quickly. 

*In my original post, I didn’t factor the food into how MKR would rate. Once I would have said accessible food we can easily make at home is the key – but the croquembouche challenge on Masterchef proved otherwise. 

And let’s not forget where the launch was held – award-winning home/luxury retreat Incognito 

Imagine waking up to this… 

View from Incognito luxury retreat

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Best laid plans

Okay, so it’s only January and already I have become a bit slack with the posts. I’m working on that.  It is my intention to write small posts more often rather than spewing forth a batch once a fortnight.

I’ve also become a bit slack posting the food photos to Flickr; perhaps that is because I continue to attract strange stares everywhere I go for obsessively photographing my food.

But I’m about to sort that out in the next few days, too.

In the meantime, here’s some satay from Friday poolside lunch with friends.

And lamb with cous cous (sorry no cous cous photo the tablecloth was too loud  to be shown twice)inspired by My Kitchen Rules.

 Nice segue to next post…(above)

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I am surprised by the number of people who have fond memories of Perth’s drive-ins – who don’t realise we still have one.

As mentioned in a previous post, we recently went to the Galaxy in Kingsley to see Avatar. That’s north of the river for you south siders.

This week the feature is The Tooth Fairy and at the weekend (until Feb 3) there’s a double feature of The Tooth Fairy and 500 Days of Summer.

You can read my review of The Tooth Fairy here at The West.com.au.

500 Days of Summer was one of my favourite films of 2009, so I’ve also dug up the link to that review here.

Pack a picnic, the Aeogard, the doonas, pillows and Thermos and have a great night out.

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