Monthly Archives: May 2013

Office Colleagues

So in The Lounge this week, we’re talking about horrible jobs and work situations.



My favourite boss Michael Scott, from one of my favourite shows



Right now, I work for some excellent managers and with some fine teachers.

But throughout my career, I’ve worked with some interesting characters, let me tell you…



Here’s a compilation, the best of the best.



The Office Manager

During my four year tenure at this company, I endured countless incessant, one-sided discussions with The Office Manager.  Her tennis lessons, her volley, her bad knee, her renovations, her hair, her family, her ski trips…  I cannot tell you how many hours I wasted, leaning against her door, being ear-bashed by this woman.

She was known as the person in the office you didn’t want to ‘get started’.  Her level of self-absorption was phenomenal, her self-awareness, non-existent.  The only upshot of working for The Office Manager was that if you ever felt like not working, you could head into her office for a guaranteed way to murder 40 minutes.



The HR Manager

I worked with this guy for a period of about three months. He seemed nice enough and the girls felt a little sorry for him;  talked often about a girlfriend he’d left back in his home state. Whenever the conversation would steer to anything remotely personal, he would always discuss her, in great detail.

At one Friday drinks, some male colleagues called bullshit and The HR Manager was unexpectedly ‘outed’.

Within a few weeks, there was an angry visitor at reception, a young outwardly gay, young man. He claimed that The HR Manager was his estranged lover and in actual fact, a HUGE sexual deviant.  That day, there were elaborate details screamed across the lobby of our building and the HR Manager left our workplace that week.



The Marketing Team

Have you ever met a person and clashed immediately? This happened to me at my second ‘proper’ post-university job.  I was working in a Marketing Team with a number girls and their male boss, but it was a disaster. The manager was nice, but oblivious to the cut-throat women who decided to not like me.

The Marketing Team withheld information, excluded me from meetings and lunches, acted as though I should know information that they failed to share…  It was a terrible period for me, one of exclusion and self-doubt.

Of course I did nothing about it, even when I resigned two years later, but looking back I wish I had.  It was workplace bullying at its finest.  Marketing Bitches!



Annoying Teacher

I currently work with Annoying Teacher and on a daily basis, she makes me want to punch something.  If there’s a problem, she can solve it.  If there’s a crisis, she can fix it.  She eavesdrops, she butts in, she offers advice when it isn’t requested, she dominates staff room conversations with her ridonkulous pet stories and inane chatter about her absurd hobbies. She never listens to a word anyone says, always preferring the sound of her own pathetic opinions. She is yet another colleague who has absolutely zero self-awareness.

The only amusing aspect to working  with Annoying Teacher is that before too long, most new colleagues ask the question:  Is she for real?

Unfortunately, she is.  Some days, I want to hurt her.



The Food Thief

This colleague is so unbelievable she has her own personal post that you can read here.



The Milk Guy

The Milk Guy was caught drinking milk from the communal supply in the kitchen.

Still turns my stomach.



Lunch time Jogger

Never, ever used deodorant.  Ever.

It was a close work situation.  The worst.



Mrs Camel Toe

High-waisted slacks.  It was not nice first thing in the morning.

Every morning.



Coffee Breath CFO

Need I say more?



I have worked in several workplaces and with hundreds of people.  This post is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to weirdo colleagues.  I could go on.  And on…


The only positive that comes from having a colleague from hell, is that you inevitably bond with someone else through shared disbelief.


 fuck this shit



Have you worked with anyone  who has made you shake your head?



Link your work posts with The Lounge, today over at Kim’s Blog.


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Robo X

Killing Time

Time is going faster, isn’t it?

It feels like just five years ago that I would shop at Sportsgirl and Miss Shop for my night club staples of short skirts and chunky heels.  These days, with my conservative hemlines and flats, I’m lucky to find even a scarf in those places…


It wasn’t five years ago, by the way, it was more like twenty…  But it just feels like it was yesterday.


Time is going quickly these days, isn’t it?    Tell me it’s not just me…



My Fox ring that I bought on my Thrifting Tour with Kimbalikes. 

So after winning a pass to hear Molly Ringwald speak at the Sydney Writers Festival, Saturday afternoon saw me travelling into beautiful Sydney Town to visit Molly.  And she was fabulous!  But you’ll have to read about Ms Pretty in Pink elsewhere…


Today, I’m talking about my afternoon and how I managed to drink the tiniest amount of elixir from that elusive fountain – I recaptured a small part of my youth and I’m still on a high.



So here are the highlights of my Saturday:


  • After Man wrangled the kids to their second play date of the day, (welcome to my world, babe), I had two hours to not only shower without interruption, but to also carefully choose an outfit and accessories.   Yes, I looked a bit on the on-trend side.
  • This part is a little unglamorous, but I caught the train and the bus into town carrying just a handbag.  A handbag!  No Dora backpack, drink bottle or spare clothes.  I did however, hang onto the mini packet of wipes – they’re indispensable, everyone should carry wipes.
  • I walked slowly down to World Square, not worried about pushing a stroller or losing a toddler.  I did a spot of browsing as the shops closed.  Aimless shopping just like the old days.
  • I stopped for some quiet reflection time and a vodka lime and soda.  I sat at the window seat of a bar, looking out onto busy George Street.  I observed people on the street, watched the monorail doing the last of its runs forever and listened to the different snippets of conversation around me.  I wasn’t Mum, or Wife or Teacher.   For an hour or so, I was just another face in the crowd.


Not a clear shot, but I had a cozy spot at the pub. 

The traffic was for once, a welcome distraction as I looked out my window.  Each time it would start and stop, I noticed drivers clenching their steering wheels and throwing their heads back in annoyance at the amber lights.  As the minutes edged closer to 6pm, the driver frustration grew more apparent and understandable.


I suddenly felt very lucky.


For the first time in a long while, I could just kill time.

Like the old days.

I was killing time, I was without purpose.

And it felt so refreshing to do that, to just be.



How often do you kill time?

When was the last time you did something just for you?



Killing time today with the effervescent Jess and #IBOT.



Robo X

My Island

I often share the subject of this post with people I meet, so I’m pleased to have the opportunity to share it with you at The Lounge.



Today, I’m writing about a place where history spans back to Greek mythology.

Folklore tells us that my place was once a beautiful woman and she was abducted by Poseidon – God of the sea.

Since her landmass was rich with succulent fruits and fragrant flowers, the Gods called her their bank – God’s Bank.



Her pronunciation and spelling have changed over the eons but she is known today as Astypalaia – the butterfly of the Aegean Sea.





When people think of the Mediterranean, popular islands usually spring to mind.  Mykonos is known as the place to party while Santorini is known for its whitewash and sunsets.  Other islands are known for their architecture and churches, their history and their holiday lifestyle.



Unlike her sister islands in the Dodecanese, Astypalaia is not known for a great deal.  My personal view is that people don’t visit Astypalaia because the Greeks, quite cleverly, do not talk about her.


Those cunning Greeks!



Astypalaia is a place of vast beauty and intense serenity.  She is rich with archaeology and ancient ruins can be found high on hills and low down near pebbled beaches.



The view from The Kastro, The Castle, which was built on a high vantage point, to detect invaders.


This is the church of Panagia Portaitissa, located within the walls of The Kastro.

I lost myself by day, on beaches, winding paths and roads to nowhere.  And by night, I partied my hardest, with ouzo, bouzoukia and tables built for dancing.

SONY DSCChora, or the main town.



I’m a lucky girl.  Astypalaia happens to be my father’s home.

I’m connected to this island.  I’m drawn to it.

If I could only choose one island to show my kids, it would be this one.


Is it naff these days to say, spiritual home?

If not, I have more than one…



  This aspect is from below The Kastro – my elderly Aunts live in those homes just below it.



As a tot I was taught this song by my Dad.

Το κάστρο της Αστροπαλιάς
έχει κλειδί κλειδώνει,
Έχει κορίτσια έμορφα
μα δεν τα φανερώνει,

Loosely translated, it means:

The castle of Astypalaia,

has a key which locks it.

It also has beautiful women,

but it does not reveal them.


I’m teaching my Miss 2 that little ditty.



So I’ve only ever met one couple who have visited My Island and they raved about it more than me.


 If you tell me you’ve been to Astypalaia, I’ll lose my shit…

Where is your spiritual home?

Have you been to the Greek Islands?



Share your travel tales with us at The Lounge link-up – this week over at The Very Inappropriate Blog.


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Robo X
Email me for image sources.



What I woke up to this morning


Linking with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

Robo X

The Day I Met a Talking Pig



Hands up if you have you ever had a public hissy fit?  Not a garden variety, standard spit, but a real cracker, one where you went right off your Barry Crocker?


I‘ll go first….



A lifetime ago, Man and I used to shop in the city for his business suits.  Suit expeditions meant a chance to drop some serious, pre-kids cash.  Suits for him always meant something new for me too. So one Saturday, with good moods intact, we headed to a specific store he knew about – Italian suits at reasonable prices.



It wasn’t hard to notice that service was not the forte of the staff in the store.  The salesmen, (no women), were pushy, to the point of arrogant.  Their priority seemed to be getting your size and getting you out the door.  They were greasy yes, but we played along – the prices were too good not to.



As Man tried on his suits, I people-watched a Russian couple beside me.  The man was trying on a distinct looking, pale grey suit and with his impractical colour choice, I assumed it would be his suit for their wedding.



My Man motioned to me that he didn’t particularly like his suits and he passed them out, over the door.



Upon seeing me holding an armful of clothes, Greasy Salesman reappeared.  I thanked him and explained politely that we would look around.  He pulled the suits away from me, a little too quickly, then mumbled something, too quietly for me to decipher.



While I waited for Man to get changed, I followed Greasy Salesman with my gaze and watched him engage rudely with every interaction.  This shark was hungry for sales.



In the meantime, Russian Bride was dejectedly adjusting Russian Groom’s grey suit.  The fabric was quite noticeably, puckering on the shoulder.



Enter Greasy Salesman.

He too adjusted Russian Groom and assured Russian Bride that there was nothing wrong. She kept pointing to the area and explained in limited terms, that it was poorly sewn.



Enter Back-up Greasy Salesman.

Together, they performed a chorus of, No, no, no!  It’s good quality!


But Russian Bride, rightfully, was unrelenting.



Before I go on, I need to tell you that one of my many talents is knowing a veritable UN of curse words and insults.

Robo can say ‘hello’, ‘I love you’ and ‘get fucked’ in a number of foreign tongues.

Arabic being one of them.



Back-up Greasy conversed directly with Original Greasy in Arabic and what happened next remains one of the foulest acts of hate I personally witnessed.



Original Greasy pointed to his watch, then pointed towards Russian Bride, and loudly and clearly said the Arabic word for slut.



Disgusting.  Little.  Man.



So Robo stepped in.



I spoke directly to Original Greasy.

What did you say? 

What did you call her?



Original Greasy was dumb struck. He didn’t say a word.

 Did you call this woman a slut?



The store went silent.  I was using my clearest, loudest teacher voice.



I turned to Russian Bride.

He called you a slut, you know?



Then back to Original Greasy.

How dare you?!

You’re a PIG!



People from across the store held their items of clothing and stared at me.

I didn’t care.  I was so far beyond angry that my voice quivered and my body trembled.



Man finally emerged from the fitting room, (God knows what took him so long) and steered me out of the store with both hands on my shoulders.



Original Greasy followed us out.  I could tell he wanted to hurl abuse but he used his better judgement.

Maybe I could’ve handled things differently.

Perhaps I should’ve written a letter of complaint, but I think I made my point.



I hope that misogynistic piece of shit learnt that disrespecting women in ANY language is NOT ON.



Man’s expensive Italian suit days are over but I remember my dummy spit with pride.


Did Original Greasy get into any trouble?

Probably not.


Did Russian Bride or Groom understand what I was saying?

I hope they did.


Did people think I was a crazy lady?

They probably did but non mi importa! 

That’s Italiano for I couldn’t give a faaark!



My Man, by the way, said, Good on you… But you really went off at him…




Have you seen a misogynistic pig in action? 



Robo X

Welcome back to The Lounge. 

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The Lizards are looking forward to reading your cringeworthy tantrums in our link-up this week.

Grab your drink, relax, and tell Aunty Robo all about it…

The bar link is open all weekend.

Our theme is Adult Tantrums, but if there’s something else you want to tell us, hit us up.

Link your Blog Post below.

The Lone Rangers

Some time ago, Luisa from The Motherhood Herald, posted about a few of life’s little failings and somehow, the topic of odd socks came up.



How do they disappear?  Where do they go?

What can you do!?!


Bloody missing socks.

They were once the bane of my life in the laundry.



But thanks to some clever Robo thinking, I no longer have a lost sock problem.



Here’s what I do…



This is the sock bag that hangs on my laundry cupboard.





Whenever I wash, I put any stray socks in my bag.





I spend a minute now and then, dealing with the inevitable randoms.





I matched up these socks tonight.





And then I located these buggers a couple of hours later.





It’s not rocket science but the sock bag trick works.

The key point is to not let your odd socks make their way into bedroom drawers – if you do that, they’re as good as gone.


While I’m on the topic, some places where I look for socks is in and around the dryer, in the doona cover, under the bed, under the clothes line, in the pockets of other clothes and anywhere my kids play.



So this is how I deal with odd socks at Casa de Robo.   Fascinating hey?

You’re welcome.



What do you do?



As always I’m linking up with Jess for #IBOT

It’s getting old but I was #IBOT Blogger of the Mo for April.

With posts like this one you can really see why, right?


Robo X


Sydney and thrifting

This weekend has been all about Sydney.

Rediscovering places and experiences that remind me of days of old.



Friday night brought an impromptu visit to the Manning Bar at Sydney University.  We were there to see a band called Unida, the lead singer being from another band I saw recently with My Man. We were treated to three raw music sessions – Unida, Sweden’s, Truckfighters and New Zealand’s, Beastwars.


What a line-up!  Even if you aren’t into heavier music no-one can go past a live show.


Even though I’m on the downhill slide to forty, last night I was 19 again – even mingled with the bands after the show.


This is Arthur Seay from Unida.




Robo has a big thing for bearded men.

I asked Arthur for a more candid shot but the one I took didn’t work out well.

He’s just keeping up appearances here  – you know, Rock n Roll.

Very sweet though – polite too.



Today, sober but sorry, was all about Balmain – one of the most vibrant pockets of our inner west.

Since moving to the southern suburbs, I’ve missed hanging out there.  Today was like coming home.


Kimba from Kimbalikes invited me to join in on one of her Terrific Thrifting Tours and I jumped at it.  A morning of serious shopping and an opportunity to reconnect with a place I love.  I’m in!


So with my bloggy buddy Mumabulous and our new friend Camille, we joined Kimba on her insider tour of Balmain vintage.



The stores are gems.

One store is better than the next and each location is a treasure chest, waiting to be rifled through.

I’m not a regular thrift shopper but I’ve always loved looking through racks of used clothing and rummaging in boxes of pre-loved goodies.


My version of thrift shopping however, always involves a great deal of pot-luck. The thing that sets Kimba aside is that she is a skilled thrifter – she knows what to look for and she has that keen eye for style.  



Today I learnt about using clothes in unusual ways, to get the most out of them – layering, mixing fabrics, using colour and combining old and new garments.  I also refined some insider tips on styling longer body lines – in other words, looking leaner and meaner. Gyeah!



Here are my finds…


A brand new denim vest that I bought to wear over dresses on summer nights. $12.95





A pure wool pre-loved vest that I plan to wear with jeans this winter $20





A heavy carved wooden and metal bangle – love at first sight $8





A leather studded clutch in peach. I think I’ll use this from time to time.  Huge bargain. $9





A red check shirt, circa eighties maybe…  The detail on this is amazing and it’s excellent quality.  I was not letting this one go. $8.50


check shirt



A round 50 cent piece – 1966. Here I should fess up another Robo secret – I’m a coin collector.  $12


 fifty cents



A Fox ring that I fell in love with in two seconds flat. $5

Unfortunately my Fox ring refused to be photographed but trust me, it’s cute.



And lastly, this awesome pre-loved army vehicle for Mr 4.   She’s tough but she works and I haven’t seen anything like it in toy stores for a while.  Instant hit as you can see by the Lego men additions hitching a ride. $5.00





Thrifting is something to be experienced,

A wave of calm washes over me when I’m in these spaces.  Giving any item an extension of life is something I find very satisfying.


If you’ve never thrifted, take a morning off and check out your local store.


And if you find yourself heading to Beautiful Balmain, contact Beautiful Kimbaand treat yourself to one of her Terrific Thrifting Tours.

You’ll surprise yourself.



And Arthur Seay if you read this, next time you’re in Sydney, wanna go thrifting?  DM me.



Robo X

WTF is that on your head?

I’ll admit to my share of fashion faux pas.

It goes without saying that thick blonde foils and lip liner were never my friend but I was channelling Laura San Giacomo and it was the nineties.

I’m not as fashion forward as I’d like to be but I try to stay on trend, in my own special way.


You might already know that Robomum blogs incognito, so I won’t be sharing with you my own personal failings.

Instead, for this week’s link-up in The Lounge, I will pick on the Royals and those ridonkulous hats they wear.

I don’t understand it.

You have all the money in the world and you decide to stick something stupid on top of your head?




Zara Phillips can barely keep this satellite dish on

Queen In San Diego

In the Navy!

Even the Queen is guilty of a theme crisis.


And Crown Princess Mary’s mother-in-law is not exempt.  

When Mr 4 saw this he said, ‘blue pipe cleaners’.

Yes, as I sit in my pyjamas and Adidas jumper, it’s easy to cast my critical eye over celebrity fashion disasters. But I cannot ignore an emerging theme; regardless of your status in society, your bulging hip pocket or the amount of personal stylists you employ, money CANNOT buy good taste.

Here are my favourite Hat Fails…

Beatrice blue

Feeling blue Beatrice, or is that Eugenie?  Plate head.

Eugenie green

Other daughter of Fergie.  Terminate whoever said that this was OK.


Kind of cute but I reckon those butterflies could put a serious dent in my mortgage.

And the best Hat Fail ever…


Now hun, you’re attending what is arguably, the most important society wedding of all time.

Didn’t you check this one out with mum?



I found these on the net…


Who did this to you?

And this one…




As Coco Chanel famously said, before you leave home, take that Stupid Looking Hat OFF your effing HEAD!






Have I got it all wrong?  Do you like these hats?

Do you wear hats?

My fanciest hat is a straw beach hat…

Getting my fashion biatch on for The Lounge – this week over at Slapdash Mama.

Join in the fun!


Robo X

PS.  Email me for the image sources.

A couple of bags of lemons









Last Monday, my mum gave me two shopping bags filled with home grown lemons.

They sat on my kitchen bench for a week.



We had a beautiful lemon tree at our old place and I too used to give away bag loads of fruit. 

Our lemon tree is one of the things I miss most about my old house.

We grew it from a small pot that my father gave me for my bridal shower, into a plentiful, lively tree.

We loved that tree.






This time of year, when I dig out my electric juicer, my thoughts always drift to my Grandmothers. Between them, they had sixteen children, each one hand-reared, in their respective villages, in Greece.



They lived simply, ate meat rarely and they made food using grains.

Compared to my standards, they lived very inconvenient lives.

No IGA up the road, no takeaway for those busy afternoons and hardly any refrigeration.



Everything needed was made by hand.  Every day.

With purpose.  Without waste.



So as I juiced my lemons today, quickly and conveniently, I thought about my Grandmothers at my age, juicing their lemons by hand.

I thought about them as young wives; hand washing woollen blankets, pressing clothes and rearing so many children.



What did they think about?

Did they curse the never ending fucking housework when the citrus stung their cuticles?



The more we want, the more we want.

Some days, the thought of having so much stuff makes me sick.



I’d love to live more simply.

Do you think if we did more by hand, we would want less?




My grandmothers passed away aged 96 and 103.

There’s definitely something to be said about the Mediterranean lifestyle.



Linking up today with Essentially Jess for #IBOT.

Did you know that I was April’s Blogger of the Mo?

Yep!  I was…



Robo X

A List and Some Memes

This is the first link-up for my new baby, The Lounge and as fate would have it, I’m suffering from an epic case of writer’s block.


In my 35 plus years on earth, there is SO much I wanted to be good at, or thought I could be good at…

Alas, I’ve wasted countless hours doing the things I enjoy most – all of which have very little to do with self-improvement.



I had lots of trouble writing this post.  I even googled the phrase, ‘biggest regrets’ for inspiration but I was still unable to put the proverbial pen to paper.



What do I think I should be better at by now?

Where do I begin?!


Amidst all of my inadequacies and disasters, how is it possible to choose just one topic?



So instead of a traditional post, this is what I came up with:


Robo’s short list of things she thought she’d be better at by now.  And a bunch of memes.



Dwight Failure

I love Dwight Shrute



I claim to be a water baby but I’m a shite swimmer.  I love the pool and adore the beach.  I can swim, but because I didn’t learn to swim properly as a tot, I can’t do it well.  I can’t swim laps with any confidence.

My swimming blows.





Eating well

I can’t say no to good food and wine.

If it’s there and it looks good, I’m going to shove it down my cake hole.  And if there’s an occasion, I’ll drink to it.  If I’d developed better self-control with food and wine, I’d be more Elle Macpherson than Elle McFeast right now.  No offence, Libbi.

I should know how to eat by now.

 clean eating




When I was a youngster, the community language at school was Italian.  In high school, it was German.  I aced them both.  ‘Gifted’ was the word teachers used to describe my ability with languages.  In true Robo fashion, I didn’t bother continuing in this area, nor did I focus as much as I should have on my mother tongue, Greek.  I can get by, but it’s nowhere near enough.

I should be able to speak Italian, German and Greek.


google translate



Following through

I have a long list of things that I have started but have not seen through to the end. Home improvement projects, knitting, art, school work, household chores…  This list has no end.  By now, I thought, I’d be better at commitment, at finishing things…  But I am still a quitter.

Why do I never finish anything?






At this age, I thought I’d be better at saying no.  I can do it in front of a class and with my own kids.  I can do it with Man. But if a colleague or a perfect stranger asks something of me, I agree to do it.  Today, I took a risk and said no to a man in the queue at Myer and of course, I received an epic telling off.  Back in my box.

I should have bigger balls by now.


true story



So there you have it.  Just a smidge of the post I didn’t want to write.  And a few memes thrown in for good measure.

But trust me, there is so much more I thought I’d be better at by now!



What did you think you’d be better at by now?  Are you anything like me?


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Don’t forget to link-up at and leave love at The Lounge, which is being hosted this week by Tegan at:

Musings of the Misguided



Hope to see you there!
Robo X