Bored cooped up at home and annoyed by the bank…

I am kinda annoyed tonight by one of the big Australian banks: ANZ bank. I’ve been learning from others the art of accumulating frequent flyer points by signing up to credit card special (yes, I am kinda bored cooped up at home with the stupid COVID-19 restrictions so I started looking frequent flyer sites like pointhacks and milelion…).

 

So most recently I applied at https://www.pointhacks.com.au/credit-cards/ for an ANZ bank credit card with a bonus 75000 Qantas Frequent flyer Points bonus.

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Firstly, they took forever to acknowledge and process my application (compared to their competitor banks), and then when they finally got back to me today – just took them about 10 days (where my experience with other banks for credit card application is roughly 2-3 days) – they stated ‘..To progress with your application, please send us your Individual Tax Return (all pages) and corresponding Notice of Assessment (not older than 18 months)..’

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This is the first time I am asked to provide ALL PAGES of my tax return and Notice of Assessment for just a credit card application. I am thinking of telling them to stick the card into their you-know-where damp dark hole but before I do that I just want to know… has anyone been asked to do the same for just a credit card application: ALL PAGES of my tax return and Notice of Assessment for just a credit card application?

 

Xoxo

Natalie

Panic buying before non-essential services shut down

It is hard to avoid anything that is NOT COVID-19 related these days.

 

Here is Australia the response to the pandemic had been chaotic and haphazard at best, contradictory, conflicting, and illogical at worse. So all services with the exception of essential services are closed, but who would’ve guessed bottle shops (liquor shops), beauty salons and hair dressers are classified as essential services– yes these can stay open. WTF.

 

When closure of the state borders were announced late last weekend hubby decided to beat the dateline to border closures and fly back into work before they close. A bit like in Southeast Asia when Malaysia announced impending border closures, those working in Singapore beat the dateline and got back into work before the borders closed. Same idea. This is not to say that I am completely happy with the decision (because who knows how long the borders will remain closed – China after all locked down Wuhan for weeks and weeks), but we probably need the money. More so during times like this when I myself is not even sure if I will still have a job next week.

 

So when I dropped hubby off at the airport 3 days ago on Monday, I noticed it wasn’t quite as quiet as I expected: there was still a steady stream of people and cars. I am not sure whether the airport is still as busy today as it was on Monday given we just beat the dateline to West Australia border closure, and people may have been trying to do the same.

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In any case after I dropped him off at the airport I decided to take advantage of the fact I am already near the DFO factory outlet mall to indulge in some last minute panic buying, you know, before we are all confined to home like those poor New Zealanders. The DFO looked rather quieter than usual, probably a reflection of everyone being across the road queuing for toilet paper at Costco (yes the queue for Costco stretched around the outside of the store!), which translate into a pleasant enough shopper experience, if only the sales and discounting were sharper!

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In any case I did not leave the factory outlet mall empty-handed though, for I managed to get myself Heidi Klum Intimates ‘Sofia’ bra (similar here on sale at Myer)– this one in blue and one in black/ purple.

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Readers of my blog will recall I bought my first Heidi Klum Intimates ‘Sofia’ bra at the same DFO factory outlet mall last year – well I fell in love with it! It manages to achieve the impossible for any bra: Not only is the bra pretty to look at, it also provides enough lift to give my breasts a pert shape under my dresses, and also at the same time manages to achieve the impossible of being comfortable enough to wear all day long!

 

Needless to say I was happy to add 2 new ones to my lingerie cupboard!

 

Now if only I can find toilet paper to buy…

 

Xoxo

Natalie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OOTD – Valentine’s day 2020

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It’s been a while since I received any notable presents on Valentine’s day (the last time I did, as I recalled, was a number of years back when I received a bunch of flowers on Valentine’s day by a secret admirer).

 

So imagine my surprise, in a good way, when I received my Valentine’s day gift this morning! (note to the person giving the present: he even got my size correct!)

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I am always partial to nice lingerie. Although shopping for one, less so receiving one as a gift, can be a bit like internet dating. Why? Because how do I know the lingerie will look as good on me as on the bed? Will it do what it says it can do? All too often we use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to buy something we think our partners would like to see, even if it’s not our style. These are like the one-night-stands we always end up regretting.

 

But it’s always a nice surprise when the lingerie we buy, or being gifted, one that makes me feel weak in the knees, actually also fits and makes me feel good.

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Because there’s nothing like the confidence that a great lingerie that looks good provides!

 

I do have a question though when it comes to this sort of pretty frilly corset/ torsolette lingerie – do women wear it only in the bedroom? Or is it worn to go out as well (e.g. under a dress for dinner, etc)? It seems a little constricting / uncomfortable if worn to go out. Women – let me know your experience!

 

Xoxo

Natalie

 

A timely reminder

A timely reminder in the New York Times, a well regarded newspaper, of the false pretense we went to war with and illegally invaded another country. When is Australia, who was part of the ‘coalition of willing’, ever going to admit to the fact it participated in an illegal invasion based on fabricated lies and make good on its mistake? My fear is that our country’s leaders, emboldened by having gotten away with this, will continue to keep leading us into illegal wars at the expense of our morals…

 

Notable excerpts from the article:

 

”I had privately questioned the motive for going into Iraq, suspicious of the way the administration had shifted its justification over time…”

 

”I had risked the lives of a dozen soldiers to be there — only to find a small-scale confirmation of the ludicrous false premises under which we had invaded and occupied Iraq. The Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were no more than a bit of improvised sham, a con man’s counterfeit goods.”

 

”I had been taught throughout my childhood and my military training that America conducts wars based on just cause, but the reality emerging from Iraq was that we had been compelled by deception.”

 

”I couldn’t know it that morning, but the interview would entirely change my perspective on America’s involvement in Iraq, and set me on a decades-long course of struggling with the false narratives used to persuade us to march into that conflict and other ones.”

Saying it as it is…

It came in the news today that, as part of the travel ban for anyone who has visited China, Australia has blocked the evacuation of a nine year old girl from Wuhan. An Australian citizen who travelled to the city before Christmas to visit her parents, returning alone in early January due to work commitments and left her nine year old in care of her grandparents, have now been refused entry back into Australia because  she did not have “legal guardianship” with an Australian citizen for the trip.

Like the Americans, the Australian government cannot help itself but to go back to the same rhetoric of ‘keeping pests and diseases from entering the country.’ It is a form of racial targeting, considering in previous virus outbreaks for example mad cow disease, Australia or the U.S. didn’t ban non-citizens from Britain. Nor was the blame placed on the British.

For a country that loves to talk itself up on human rights and chide other countries on ‘human rights violation’, maybe Australia should fix its own first. And if the Australian government don’t know where to start, offshore detention of asylum seekers is a good place to start.

 

OOTD – wearing my auspicious red Karen Millen satin fold mini dress on the first Lunar New Year of the new Millennium 2020

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It’s the NEW MILLENNIUM! Yes I am well aware that the new Millennium is determined by the Roman calendar and not the Lunar calendar, but somehow its significance had been slow to sink in and it’s only now crept up on me. Had it dawned on me earlier, I would have paid more attention and devoted more of my time to commemorate it rather than spent the day doing my laundry and getting groceries

 

As if I missed the significance of it 3 weeks ago and a need to make-up for a lack of attention slowly emerged, I decided I will make an affair out of the first Lunar New Year of the new Millennium 2020. Parents usually expect their children home for the Lunar New Year, and families try really hard to meet up, and we call that re-union. Which is why in Chinese majority countries (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc), there is often a mad rush to get home for a ‘re-union dinner’ the night prior and then the following day is spent with family. Go online and google for dramatic photographs of massive congestion of the human scale if you want to see what I mean!

 

This year, for the first Lunar New Year of the new Millennium 2020, I decided to do it properly and observe age old Chinese tradition.

 

I made it home with my parents and family for our ‘re-union dinner’ the night prior.

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I took the next day off work to spend time with family, including bearing gifts to visit extended family – and for my favourite uncle it means buying him a bottle of Japanese whisky from liquor store Dan Murphy’s (and as you can see the store has stocked up on just that, in time for the Lunar New Year)

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And of course I kept the age old Chinese tradition of wearing red for good luck and auspiciousness on the first day of the Lunar New Year by rocking up in my new favourite dress: my red Karen Millen satin fold mini dress.

 

I am such a good daughter!

 

Occasion:

Family re-union; Lunar New Year

 

Wearing:

Karen Millen satin fold mini dress (in red)

NineWest pumps

 

xoxo

Natalie

Australian bush fires? We have brought this onto ourselves.

The news in Australia has been saturated with bush fires lately (aka forest fires for those not in Australia).

I wanted a quiet day in to catch up with reading last week’s newspapers (which I hadn’t had time to read yet) and it is hard to not read about it as I sipped my morning coffee. While here in Perth we have been relatively fortunate compared to those East Coast folks given the lack of fires despite seasonally hot summers, as I sip my morning coffee I cannot help but realise Australia have brought this onto ourselves.

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Why do I say that? Let me explain.

Recalling the fire training courses I was made to go thru at my workplace, remember that in order for a fire to start there must be a material to burnthe fuel. Then there is heat, which must be present in order for ignition to take place. Fires also need oxygen to stay alight. Given that heat and oxygen are naturally occuring and that Australia is subject to extreme heat in summers, there is little we can do about those two. Fuel, i.e. material to burn, is the only thing we can make a difference.

BUT, as a nation Australia has some of the most over-zealous policies when it comes to ‘conservation’ and ‘maintaining the natural environment’. Nationally, native species are all protected and require approval before any removal. Why are native species so special? No idea. Logical? Not in any way. Even our former West Australian Premier admits in his essay in the Australian Financial Review we have ‘too many’ National Parks.
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Quite simply, Australia’s overzealous policies in ‘conservation’ has resulted in way too much fuel, way too much available material to burn. I must admit that I am a bleeding greenie – I love the outdoors and nature. But even bleeding heart greenies like myself think this country has gone a step too far in prioritizing trees over humans.Common sense to me, and to the writer who wrote this in the Australian newspaper, but not to our policy makers.
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Examples of such over-zealous policies are not limit to rural land, they are abound and are aplenty even in built up areas. Even in the city despite the fact that a tree may be located solely on your backyard does not mean you can remove it. In fact, removing a tree from your property without proper approvals from your local council can incur hefty fines. And council is at free will to decide whether or not it can be removed, even if the tree is clearly causing problems to the house.

Working in real estate I have seen it first hand where one of our management properties with a gum tree in the yard has its roots were actually twisting the back corner of the brick residence. We applied to council on the owner’s behalf, but council refused to give permission. The owner ended up spending thousands of dollars to get ‘expert reports’ from an aborist, tree surgeon, structural engineer and in the end a solicitor.

Councils are always ready to dish out the orders, order such as demanding owners get expert reports from an aborist, tree surgeon, structural engineer, etc, but aborist and tree surgery is hardly an exact science and they nor the councils are not the ones having to deal with the consequences. Examples abound and are aplenty: a university professor killed by a falling tree in Melbourne which was only inspected ‘one month ago‘, a young schoolgirl is in a serious condition and two other girls have head injuries after they were hit by a falling tree branch which was also recently inspected, a young woman crushed in a car and killed by a falling branch. Notice the pattern here?

Somehow Australia has allowed itself to prioritize trees over humans and even bleeding heart greenies like myself think this country has gone a step too far. And so there is no other way to put it really: Australian bush fires? We have brought this onto ourselves.

 

xoxo
Natalie Lim