Monday, September 29, 2008

A conversation

ME: ... been talking to (a broker's name) at (a high profile broking house).
HIM: Did you say (broker's last name)?
ME: Uh yeah.
HIM: With a name like that is she a bagel muncher?
ME: Um. A bagel what now?
HIM: A hook nosed bagel muncher....
ME: Um, I"m still...?
HIM: Jewish?
ME: ...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Step into my office, baby

Centuries ago it was a cinch to discover stuff. You could hardly make it out the front door in the morning without tripping over a new element to whack on the periodic table, accidently inventing the automobile or stumbling onto the previously undiscovered part of the brain responsible for convincing you stone wash jeans were ever a bright idea. Back then nobody knew even the most obvious things – evolution, the fact that the earth is round, smoking causes all lung cancer. All theories, one is inclined to feel now, you could pretty much knock up in your lunch break.

These days it’s not so easy. I mean, one hesitates to say that everything that can be invented has been invented for fear of looking as much of a tit in the future as the guy who said it back in 1898 does now but still it’s a little bit easy sometimes to feel there’s no new frontiers to explore and a complete lack of insights out there for the making.

Which is presumably why modern day researchers have now turned their razor sharp minds to motherfucking office romances. At least that’s the only explanation I can come up with – that or I’m pretty sure it’s one of the signs of the impending apocalypse.

Yes those brainboxes at Monash University are, apparently, “investigating” office romances to, among other things “(suggest) strategies and organisation guidelines” for coping with the issues thrown up by office romances and, particularly, those that turn bad.

Right. I mean really? Really??

Though I hesitate to blow my own trumpet I think I could save them a little bit of work. 1. Most relationships break up 2. Your office fling will probably break up 3. Try to dump them first so you don’t have to see them giving you pity eyes over morning conference and 4. Try not to have sex on the photocopier. Not because it makes things awkward later when, post-breakup you can still see your arse-grooves as you wait for a copy of that report but because it’s just a bit tacky, not to mention logistically tough.

I jest (poorly) but does anyone really need to have the pitfalls of office romances explained to them by someone in a white coat? Does anybody need to be told that there’s a reasonably high chance a work romance gone wrong will fuck up not only your love life but your working life too? Put your hand up if you don’t know it’s going to be awkward as fuck seeing them at work every day and to avoid such a pitfall you should probably attempt to keep your romantic life an work life separate. Now put your hand down only if you’re such a tosspot you think keeping said two things separate is in any way do-able. Righto? Good.

Over ten(ish) years of working I’ve had freaking dozens of work crushes and exactly one decent work romance. While I was working my way through uni at, um, Woolworths. Ahem. Ours was a love born of a deep shared appreciation for Morrissey, vague hostility towards customers and a lack of desire to work particularly hard at uni. It started off very promisingly, chugged along perfectly happily for about eight months and ended pretty badly, necessitating this conversation at a party:

HIM: You don’t want to talk about it?
ME: Honestly? Not really.
HIM: You don’t think we have to? I mean about what’s going on?
ME: Well, um…we’ve broken up.
HIM: Have we?
ME: Oh. Uh, yes.
(Two minutes later)
HIM: Can I get a lift home?

Were things tense at work afterwards? Of course. Did I employ a range of techniques and strategies inteneded to minimise the pain on both sides? Er no: although it was pretty distressing at the time the reality was I avoided him, he avoided me and we made do.

The thing is that nobody is ever going to stop having office affairs just because they might go wrong, just as nobody is ever really going to stop having affairs full stop just because it’s odds-on to end in heartbreak and misery on at least one side. In the same way, having “strategies” in place to deal with office romances, should they go wrong, is just as fucking useless as having them in place to deal with the collapse of any relationship – you can plan all you want but you’re still going to feel like shit, irritate your friends by having long boring conversation in which they tell you “you could do so much better” while their eyes plead silently for death and either gain or lose 10 pounds.

Planning for the end before it’s arrived is stupid – if that’s the road you want to take why not just get yourself a bad haircut and go on a bender now to cut out the middle man? Better yet skip straight to the rebound fling with that cutie in IT – you know he wants you and he can probably fix the photocopier afterwards.


“I picture my epitaph: 'Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown'.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Token Smokin' Hottie; Giles

In the world of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer there are two kinds of people*: those who understand how and why Giles is a hot piece of arse and those who don't. It hardly needs to be said that I belong in the former camp.

Fucking Giles, eh? I could eat him up with a spoon. I could pack him into a bong (if I ever smoked, Mum, which obviously I never ever have) and smoke the fucker. I could skin him, make him into a pair of pajamas and wear him every night.

Er, yes, quite.

A friend of mine recently suggested he was a bit of a Giles. Hmm yes, I said politely, there's certainly a resemblance. Which there (kind of) is. But the way Giles looks, in or out of a delicious tweed three piecer is almost irrelevant. Giles is awesome not because of his (relatively) sleek figure, his ridiculously posh-caramel accent, his unbearably tasty suits or even his giant brain but from a combination of all of the above. Cadging all the best lines, working the father-figure thing without actually being a creepy, um, father figure. Being completely awesome All. The. Time. This is the reality that is Giles.

Is there a better Buffy moment than in one of the final episodes of Season Three in which he nails the deliver on a cold one-liner to his douchebag repalcement ("For God sake, man, she's 18 and you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone")?? I think not. Unless it's the episode where he reverts to being a bad-arse teenager (the white t-shirt with the cigarettes in the sleeve... the accent... bloody hell). If I had teachers like this I would never have left school

*Actually there are three kinds of people including those who just don't like Buffy. But these people I fear I simply don't understand. Get on the train or stay off the tracks, friends.

Quotable Quotes: Clara Bow

“Love is just a system for getting someone to call you darling after sex” (Julian Barnes)

Oh the shame

Spotted: Me in a silver super-yuppie 4WD from the work car pool, singing along to very loud hip-hop at the traffic lights and looking like the whitest most middle class stooge you've ever seen.

Monday, September 22, 2008


The only thing worse than seeing a nort bust out what little game he has is watching his even-less-game’d wing man sit there like he just got out of jail and is only now remembering how intimidating women are.

From the archives of Vice Dos and Don'ts.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The week that wasn't

I have been a slacker blogger this week. And no excuses but here's what has been keeping me busy this (slack) week.

1. Work. Like the stoner friend sleeping indefinitley on your couch work started off the week as a pleasant distraction and quickly became the bane of my existence. Please just don't tell me it's Sunday already.

2. Buffy. I was a massive fan of the Buffster first time around and am currently involved in something of a rival. If you don't get a frisson of excitement at the sight of Anthony Stuart Head (AKA "Giles") in a cardigan then I just don't know about you. The perfect antidote to a rough day at the office.

3. Wine. Bit of a moment this week when I found myself absolutely freaking johnsing for a glass of wine one night when there was none to be found. One of those defining 'do I or so I not have a drinking problem?' moments. I think I passed the test.

4. Book buying. Here I may actually have a problem but honestly it's not MY fault: it's the fault of the second hand bookshop that is closing down and insists on having a perpetual fifty per cent off sale. It is easily the best second hand bookshop I've ever seen and I am now officially its bitch.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday questions

Question: What is the fucking point of spending your ENTIRE day working on a front page story, including running it past the editor in great detail, only to have it partially rewritten and your name entirely removed from the story despite still including 90 per cent of your work, including quotes from those you spent YOUR fucking day talking to?


Monday, September 15, 2008

In which I join the Hitler Youth party

I once saw a man in a wheelchair shout "fucking arsehole!" in the middle of the street.

I have no idea who he was talking to, nor did I crane my neck about to find out - I'm middle-class and able bodied so I just ducked my head and kept walking like nooothing was happening do-do-do-I'm-just-walkin'-down-this-road style.

The incident struck me as pretty weird though, for a number of reasons. Firstly, assuming wheelchair man (I'm sorry, I know the nickname is gross but anything I think of, "wheels" for instance, sounds somehow much worse) wasn't just mad and shouting obscenities for no reason what did said fucking arsehole do to anger him in the first place and why? I mean... who fucks around with the disabled really? Hitler maybe, in fact Hitler definitely, but anyone else? Surely even people who want Colin Barnett in charge of their State steer clear of THAT kind of shit.

Secondly, and I know this sounds even grosser than the whole wheelchair man bit but aren't the disabled supposed to be, um, nice? Has fiction lied to me when it trotted (ok, wheeled) out stereotype upon stereotype of kindly disabled people who, by virtue of their injury (natch) have developed a zen attitude towards life that the able-bodied miscreants who come into contact with them can't help but admire? Vietnam Vets aside I've always secretly thought that people in wheelchairs existed, at least partially, to make me feel better about myself in a "wow, if SHE can live a perfectly happy life as a limbless torso and still trot out a quick quip why can't I?" kind of a way. Um, but that's a secret because it makes me sound like a heartless bitch, a Conservative voter or both.

Now, having made myself sound like a member of the Hiter's Youth Party (or at least a One Nation voter) allow me to get to my point. Which is that on the weekend I had occassion to spend a day in York with a friend in a wheelchair and had my perceptions changed a bit. Oh no, don't worry, not in an afternoon special sort of way, I assure you.

You see the thing is that people are scared of people in wheelchairs. They seriously are and so, now that I come to think of it, am I. I am not scared they'll back over my foot, or call me a fucking arsehole, I'm scare of what they represent. And as a result I - and a lot of other people - bend over backwards to be nice to people in a wheelchair. It's ridiculous. Anyone else steals my parking spot or runs over my cat and I'd lose it. If the dude behind the wheel in both cases had a wheelchair riding shotgun beside him I'd offer to clean his car.

When you actually ARE a person in a wheelchair, or pushing a person in a wheelchair, it's easy to take advantage of this fact. It's not all that wrong: people want to be nice to you and you want to let them. People want to give up their seat and you, well, you can't say no. People want you to ram the wheelchair into their shins - twice - so they can pretend it doesn't hurt and you're only too happy to oblige.

It can do terrible things to a person though. Standing in line at the bakery while my own wheelchair man waits on a nearby bench I select an array of pastries and hot beverages suitable for frittering away a drizzly afternoon.

"Is that for both of you?" The bakery girl asks, nodding towards my wheelchaired friend.

"That's right," I say, trying to look like the brave buddy of someone crippled forever by a tragic hit-and-run instead of a glass-boned boob sidelined for two months after a broken leg incurred two weeks earlier in a soccer game.

"That'll be $11.50," the bakery chick says.

She wants me to pay? I think, just briefly. I'm standing here with my friend in a wheelchair, having lugged his arse all over town all day until my arms are ready to fall off and she wants me to pay?? For all she knows he's dying tomorrow and I've brought him here as a last supper before he has his fucking useless legs cut off and donated to science and she wants me TO PAY??

"Here you go," I say, handing over a twenty.

Fucking arsehole, I think.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Here's hoping

Epitaph on a Tyrant
Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand,
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.
(W.H. Auden)

Questions raised by the presence of a Norma Desmond-type I saw sitting at a bus stop in Shenton Park early this morning:

1. Can that giant red coat possibly be real fur?
2. Can those too-dark brown curls possibly be real?
3. How long would it take to break her if I kidnapped her and refused to let her out of the outside toilet until she promised to teach me the secrets of her awesomeness?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Oh and I spat in your burger too

The first time I broke up with someone I did it via email. What can I say? I've never been very good at confrontation.

It wasn't quite as heartless as it sounds, the email thing. It was, however, ridiculously fucking complicated. First there was the email breaking up with him (four pages if you can believe it). Then there was the phonecall, not breaking up with him but asking if I could come over for a bit. Oh and suggesting he might want to check his email before I got there.

The funny thing was that, as it turns out, I should have followed my nonconfrontational instincts and left it at the email: when I arrived at his house it was to find him sitting beside the email, parts of which were highlighted, presumably with the intention of engaging in some vigorous rebuttal. (He not being yet old enough to realise there is no rejoinder when someone tells you that, no, they don't love you and me not being cruel enough to point out the obvious).

I'd like to blame this enounter for the ensuing lifetime of avoiding confrontation, if only so I would have something else to pin on the boy in question besides his theft of my copy of Catch 22. But the truth was that I'd been a pussy long before he came on the scene.

1997, for instance, found me at Hungry Jacks working under the supervision of my boss, henceforth referred to as Mad Bitchface.

Mad Bitchface was, as the name suggests, Mad. She was also a bitch with a face like a perpetually smacked bottom whose idea of a good time was to yell at her employees while others stood and gawped, battling with the dual emotions of pity and schaudenfraude.

This is probably why she liked me so much, given that I provided apparently endless fodder for her tirades. You see, hard as it is to believe, I wasn't very good at my job. I was actually pretty shit. It would be nice to pretend this was because I was some kind of teenage slacker who was shit simply because I couldn't GIVE a shit. This, however, would be slightly disingenous. I was then, as I am now, an eager-to-please nerd. I wanted to be good at the job and I tried hard to be good at the job. I just, you know, wasn't ACTUALLY good at the job.

The uniform I could manage. Even at 15 I knew how to iron a good shirt and fasten my name badge on straight, which was actually more than you could say for the miscreants who operated the broiler and gave me free chicken nuggets. Also in my repportoire was turning up to work on time and being friendly to customers. It was only when it came to everything else that I lost it.

And that was all that mattered to Mad Bitchface. She didn't care if I had a good attitude or whether my cheeks hurt from grinning all day - she cared about the long queue of cars waiting by the drive thru whose orders were far from being completed, or the junkie passed out in the toilets to whose presence I had apparently failed to alert her.

If I'd had any sense or if I'd not been so terrified of confrontation I might have stood up to Mad Bitchface. But I didn't. Just as I know that I wouldn't if the same situation were to happen tomorrow. As it was I just tried harder: I came in a bit early, I stayed a bit late. No, no of course I didn't need lunch breaks.

Pathetic. It didn't work either, though again this may have been my fault. Somehow I sense that the day it all went really wrong between Mad Bitchface and I was when she caught me chucking a sickie. It was a horrible moment: the night of my brother's 21st and Mum had agreed to call in sick for me, given I'd been unable to get out of my shift. My first faux sickie, I believe, and probably my last for at least another five years. What with everything going on, though, Mum forgot the most important part of the plan where she ACTUALLY called in sick for me. So it was that half an hour after I was supposed to have started work the phone rang. I answered it to find Mad Bitchface demanding to know where I was. The cringiest bit? When I told her (in a spontaneously croaky voice, although I'm not sure my symptoms ultimately matched up to Mum's excuse) that I'd have to go and get my Mum. Oh. The. Humanity.

So things between Mad Bitchface and I were at rock bottom about then. She hated me more than ever and I gave her good reason to hate me more than ever by becoming even crapper and more or less losing any enthusiasm I'd ever had for the job. Instead of turning up early I dawdled through the door with wet hair. Any opportunity I had and I was out the back to flirt in an unbeilievably clumsy fashion with the hottie on fries (oh Brad, and we could have been so great together, too). Somewhere in there I dumped a whole bag of the milkshake mixture stuff all over the cooler-room floor.

Then a breakthrough: I got another job at a deli up the road. The pay was just as shit and my new boss was a lumbering chain-smoking haystack of a woman who would later prove quick to anger and slow to do any work but I was desperate.

Finally, I thought, this was my chance. Finally I could stick it to Mad Bitchface. This thought alone sustained me. As I worked the till, cheerfully asking people If They Would Like Fries With That I drafted a resignation letter so seethingly full of venom it would render Mad Bitchface silent for the first time in her life. Mentally I scripted dramatic showdowns in which i got all the best one-liners and she was reduced to gawping, stuck with ellipsis-riddled dialgue intended to convey her ineptitute in all matters.

But people don't change. Not really. We might change the way we look, learn to shave off some of our sharp edges and grow accustomed to concealing the worst parts of our characters but ultimately we are what we are and I was never going to become someone capable of delivering even one of my carefully-constructed denouncements of her moral character. The fiery dialogue of my confrontation was gone altogether when I hatched a plan to simply dump my resignation letter in Mad Bitchface's inbox and depart on a 2 week holiday, never to return. The vitriolic letter of resignation became an apologetic epistle that all but ended in a series of xoxoxoxos and a promise to catch up for coffee.

But just as I ultimately vented my rage with the dumped boy whose misfortunes kicked off this blog by breaking radio silence two weeks later with an incredibly bitchy demand for my copy of Catch 22, so too did I manage a parting shot at Mad Bitchface when I refused to return my (super fugly) uniform. Ignore the fact the entire cost was deducted from my pay and you can score one for Kate. That's right - who ever said I was a pussy?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Franco love

There should be a word to describe the pleasure of having two different people send me a link to the SAME James Franco interview ( within about half an hour of each other.

In return all I can do is give you this kick arse clip. Franco!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tales from the world's most optimistic veggie garden #2

Well there are... um, how do I put this? Fewer seedlings that there used to be. I'm not quite sure what went wrong. Oh sure the ground is pretty rough, I chucked them in completely too close together and I sort of forgot to water them for five days but really is this my fault?

In any case, at least half of the 50ish seedlings I put in with my scatter-gun approach are still raging along, although there's a few of them that look a bit weed-like to me. I've also forgotten which ones are squash and which are broccoli, though in the unlikely event any of my babies make it to term I imagine the answer should be obvious.

More than anything, though, I'd forgotten how bloody boring growing things can be in the early stages. It's not like those Magic Tree and Magic Garden things we had as kids where you set it up and these fancy (hey, it was the '90s) crystal blossoms start to appear within hours. Those things were awesome. By comparison my veggie seedlings just sit there all, meh, what did you think, that chucking some seedlings into a patch of dirt was going to turn you into someone who wears overalls, makes pumpkin pie from scratch and has a perpetual healthy glow? I'm too shy to say that's EXACTLY what I'd thought...

Monday, September 8, 2008

A live and decreasignly sober blog of the "reimagined" Beverley Hills 90210

8.33pm: Jesus this family is so boring I want to stab myself in the brain and... wait is the new Brandon black? Hmm. On the plus side it's scientifically impossible for him to be more annoying than Jason Priestley, right?

8.35pm: Awesome - Jessica Walter! It's 11am and she's drunk - this series rocks.

8.39pm: Kelly!

8.40pm: Man that teacher is H-O-T. I'm just sayin'

8.41pm: Peach Pit! Holy shit, I'm sure that's the same dude from the original story. Now who is the new Dylan McKay? Please tell me it's not that douchebag getting a blowjob in his 4WD.

9.13pm: Oh god oh god oh god. She's singing. Holy fuck. I'm embarassed for everyone involved.

9.19pm: Now someone please - is that or is that Dad not played by the same guy from Melrose Place? Guy... something. C'mon you remember: he lived with that hot brunette chuck um Jo? Oh right, like you're too good for Melrose Place??

9.30pm: Oh whatev show - weekly bonfire parties on the beach eh?? I call bull-shit on you - bull-fucking-shit I say. And please God let Ethan keep his wetsuit on, that's all I'm asking for.

9.31pm: Thankyou.

9.32pm: No I take that back because you have fucked me, show: you have FUCKED me and fucked all your viewers by this bullshit frolicking-in-the-ocean-while-dressed BULLSHIT. Who are your writers? Who are they that they think this is what people do? Are they on acid? That's all I want to know right now, show: Are. They. On. Acid?

9.33pm: (Broken weeping)

9.37pm: Ooh double episode. Awesome.


9.41pm: Now, on the plus side we have an alternate love interest to douchebag blowjob Ethan. But on the negative end of the scale said alternative love interest is a wank job and he's singing - singing! See above.

9.51pm: Am i drunk or is there a bit of ho-yay on my screen?

9.52pm: Aw crap, I think I'm drunk.

10.08pm: Oh riiight. And what was he doing standing out there on the balcony by himself? Whatev, show, whatev. And ew, he's such a tool. I bet he has crabs. Crabs he will pass onto Brenda Lite when he fucks her in seven episodes time.

10.12pm: i was so bored by this bullshit scene I started googling tit bits about the original BH90210 and came up with this stellar fucking summary of Luke Perry's character Dylan McKay. If this snippet of a truly awesome synopsis doesn't underscore exactly why the old show kicked this ones arse I don't know what does:

"Perry's send-off features his character marrying...the daughter of the mob boss who ordered his father's death during the third season. Before the marriage, Dylan attempted to use Antonia to get to her father, but falls in love with her instead. Her father, uncomfortable with the marriage, orders Dylan's death. The hired hitman inadvertently kills Antonia instead due to the fact that she is driving Dylan's car at the time of the planned hit, and is wearing a hooded raincoat, so the hitman cannot see whom he is shooting. Dylan leaves town heartbroken... it is revealed later in the series that Dylan's father was not really murdered and that he had faked his death in order to enter the Witness Protection Program."

10.20pm: Man even I kinda wish Shannon Doherty would come in and cut this poor imitator.

10.23pm: "I'm breaking up with us"???? MWAHAHAHA!!! That's actually awesome.

10.24pm: Brenda!!!

10.28pm: Okay I may have bagged it and slagged it but this show is so awesome I want to lay it down gently by the fire and make sweet love to it. That's right - I said make love: that's awesome awesomely-terribly-awesome this baby is. Aaron Spelling, you've done it again you mad bastard.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Saturday, 9.30am: One stupid middle-class Shenton Park-living bitch with both a 'How to Vote Liberal' and 'How to Vote Family First' slip clutched in each of her manicured little hands. That's right you silly shitbox - check the boxes and fuck off in your fucking 4WD why don't you?

PS: Nice fucking VEST.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Come on, Carps!

UPDATE: I am devastated. And I know that everyone has a right to their opinion, and not everyone thinks the same way about everything blah blah blah but FUCK IT, the mood I'm in fucking liberal voting pieces of shit should just stay the fuck away from me right now unless you have a very large glass of wine in your hand. I'm good for no man or beast. Sigh.

UPDATE 2: Well now this is just an emotional fucking rollercoaster ride, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Quotable Quotes: For Arrested Development fans only

Narrator: Gob was recently hired by the Bluth Company's rival, Sitwell Enterprises. And although he started off well...

Gob: 52% of the country is single. That's a market that's been dominated by apartment rentals. Let's take some of that market. I call it "Single City."

Narrator: ...his ideas failed to evolve.

Gob: It's, like, "Hey, you want to go down to the whirlpool?" "Yeah, I don't have a husband." I call it "Swing City."

Stan Sitwell: Let's get into some new areas, if you don't mind.

Narrator: But Gob continued to fine-tune his first one.

Gob: How do we filter out the teases? We don't let them in. This goes for the guys, too. Because sometimes the guys are tapped out. But check your lease, man. Because you're living in *bleep* City.

Stan Sitwell: You're fired.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Scenes from an Australian workplace #43

The problem: Remembering late Saturday night in the middle of a Hens party that you've forgotten to write (let alone file) your column for Monday's paper, which needs to be in by about 7am the next morning before you drive down south.

The solution: Lay off the booze, get home as early as humanely possible and bash the thing out until you collapse from exhaustion at 2.30am. Email to boss and cross your fingers.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tales from the world's most optimistic veggie garden #1

Well the veggies are in, they're finally fucking in. I've wanted to grow them ever since moving into this house and spying the perfect place to put them. Nine months later I've finally taken the first, arguably most important, step: the planting. But Christ I could have had a baby in the interim.

I've always suspected I'd make quite a good gardener, in the sort of vague way that some people believe they'd be good at sports or something given half a chance - despite a lack of any evidence to back up the claim. So I went all out at the shop: tomato, rocket, broccoli and squash. Had a bit of a hiccup when it came to the giant bag of potting mix I'd lugged from the garden centre bit of Bunnings to the check out though. The woman on checkout was surely only trying to be helpful but she got on my tits.

HER: You know this potting mix isn't very good, do you?

ME: Sorry?

HER: It's not a very good potting mix. It doesn't have the stuff that your garden needs.

ME: Oh.

HER: You need to add stuff to it.

ME: Oh.

HER: I'd say it's one of the worst potting mixes you can get. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

I wanted to tell her I didn't give two shits, or ask her why the store sold it if it was so shit but I'm such a pussy I said I'd leave the potting mix but take the plants then. Being too lazy to go back for a more superior type of potting mix and too embarassed to admit I was fine with some shoddy inferior brand actually I went to work in the garden minus any kind of potting mix at all but with the resonably strong conviction that some (allegedly) shit potting mix was probably better than no potting mix at all.

The second problem came when I realised I'd overcatered. There was only a small patch of usable garden, really, and about 50 seedlings to jam in there. The labels had helpful suggestions like "plant 30cms apart" but I thought bugger that and just threw them all in. Looks pretty bloody cosy though. If I'm lucky and if I know my year 12 biology (and I think I do) they'll probably all cross pollinate and I'll end up with one hell of a good veggie that looks like a broccoli had sex with a tomato but tastes like sunshine.