Monday, 30 March 2015

How does this little Blog travel so far?




I had a look at the stats today, cos it's cool to get a little ego boost from time to time.

I am always more than a little surprised that anyone takes to time to read the silliness I write, but the stats I saw today were a shock!

More than 10 times the number of Aussie readers are hopefully giggling away in the USA. Well what do you know. How bloody cool is that? I guess that life here easily translates. I mean we have English in common and I am guessing that there are lots of Yankie Doodles with somewhat potty mouths cos they don't seem to be offended when I drop the odd F Bomb.

But the really odd thing I found was that there are more than 7 times as many RUSSIANS reading along than. Well this is just bloody fantastic!! It tells me that English must be a common enough language there and that when I do finally get to visit this Bucket List destination I might have less trouble ordering a beer or more likely a Voddie than I thought.

The world really is shrinking like a silk dress or a wool jumper in a hot wash cycle.

I am off to see if I can find a Russian Blogger who writes in English, cos my Russian is shit.

If you are reading this and have time I would love to hear from you.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

'Imagine Believe Achieve' SIMPLE?




School mottos are often just a bit self congratulatory or masturbatory or just bullshit latin for 'pull your finger out'. I hardly ever pay any attention to 'em, but as I was driving at 40km/hour in the school zone during the week I had time to read and re-read and question and read again.

Unable to believe that I had read it correctly I came home and got onto google, and yep my mind was not making things up. IMAGINE, BELIEVE, ACHIEVE was indeed the motto, and not only at this school but at schools all over the world!. Yep a very quick search showed schools in WA and The USA and England which had all picked this motto.

It all seems so 'Disney' to me

There are a number of interpretations but I reckon kids who let's face are basically lazy, self centred, hormone factories, could easily be forgiven for reckoning that if they can dream something up it will simply drop into their laps.

Is it any wonder that graduates have no interest in starting at the bottom of the ladder? They have been imagining that corner office and bags of money since they were old enough to answer the perennially asked question, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'

Of course kids are not stupid. They know that that Disney shit is just make believe and mostly they have left the kids' movies well behind them before they get to high school.

So why then do schools put this crap up on their walls?

Years ago Rod, my all time favourite Head Teacher, put me in charge of the school notice board. Yep this was back in the day when there was a big board one the school fence and every week I would write something pithy and kids would take the appropriate letters down and slide 'em into place. I'd pop down to check the spelling and start working on the 'saying' for next week.

Rod had head hunted me after I had fallen foul of another school's Head Teacher, who was hell bent on sending me to Coventry. A little bit of anarchy was not beyond him.

He always congratulated me on the board.

Don't believe everything you are told.
Question everything and everybody.
Think for yourself.
Strive to be the best you can be.
Reward requires effort.

Rod and I rocked along very well together and the years I spent working with him were the happiest in my career. We both had great faith in young people and were always prepared to go at things from outside the square. He brought school visitors to my room and it's possible he did this just to give 'em a bit of a jolt. 2 mavericks together.

It was a very sad day when he was retired and was replaced by a pain in the arse ex-catholic priest. I lasted only a few months under that wanker's leadership, and I use the term loosely.

I am of the opinion that perhaps all the mottos in the world will make bugger all difference, cos kids will find their own ways and are blessedly cynical of just about anything that is spruiked by adults or institutions.

Hmmm ....Imagine Believe Achieve. Hmmmmm .....nope still over weight and unemployed. Shit, where's my fairy godmother?



Thursday, 26 March 2015

Jeremy Clarkson



So Mr Clarkson has lost the plot and wacked his producer in the head and the producer took himself off to get some ice and sympathy.

This happened at the end of a day's filming in Yorkshire northern England.

It was late when work finished up and it seems that when they arrived at the arranged hotel, the kitchen was closed and there was no dinner for them.

Mr Clarkson just wanted some steak and chips.

So now I am just surmising about the rest of the untold saga.

I reckon the production team had probably worked a long day and were on the tooth when they arrived at their digs. Mr Clarkson is not a little bloke so could have been more famished than others say the size of Mr Hammond.

An order for food was put in and the Kitchen Closed sign was rudely thrust in their faces.

This happened because the Hotel is run by people looking to use it as a tax dodge and if they made a profit for the BBC visit it would upset their plans to cry poor or to fully launder their ill gotten gains.

Mr Clarkson slumped into a sugar low - he was fucking hungry after all, and he came to, punching at whatever / whoever was around and sadly that was the producer.

He told his BBC bosses that he'd been naughty and they took a few days to decided that he had to go. His contract was up at the end of March anyway and this meant they could save a bit of cash on the legal - eagle bits and bobs.

Now he's off like a fart in a high wind and I reckon that's a shame. I haven't heard that the hitee has complained and I haven't heard the anything was broken at the hotel, except maybe the food curfew.

The BBC stood Jonathan Ross down and sacked Russell Brand cos they rang Manuel and were pretty silly. The BBC have to be seen to be a little pillars of propriety cos it is spending public money, but really sometimes PCness just gets taken too far.

It might of course all be a bit of a hoax perpetrated by the very clever Mr Clarkson cos he has a new idea, and the thought of  another year phaffing around in cars with his boy mates was just more than he could bare.

Anyway, I hope that the show does not go on without him. It'd be a fitting end to car madness that a knuckle sandwich in the depths of Yorkshire should herald the chequered flag to Top Gear.

Vroom Vroom

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Athena from Optus at Pacific Fair - positively God like.



There is nothing like spending hours, yes literally HOURS, trying to sort out your phone / internet deal to make you lose the will to live.

I got all excited today about getting a new phone. I did the research, picked the one I wanted and then found out that,
A. There were only 100 in the whole of Australia.
B. They weren't being made anymore
C. Maybe Nokia are going the way of the dinosaurs - this could be scuttle butt.

So back to the drawing board. I hate all this research shit. I schlepped out to Harveys to have a look there and then rang some more Optus people, Craig from Robina was about as useful as a wood glue to a jeweller. I told him so. I doubt he gave a shit about his poor review.

I settled on a Nokia 930 even though the one I wanted had a much better camera and let's face it that's why we buy a phone today, so we can take pictures. Oh how the times have changed.

And off we went to Pacific Fair cos they had one set aside for me.

Music should have been playing and angels singing as we walked in to meet ATHENA.

Young people in phone shops must routinely flip for it, when they see old people approaching. I reckon if I was a twenty something with a good grasp of technology and mega-boobies and all that, I would hide under the counter rather than deal with dickheads like me.

But hide she did not.

She sat patiently, she played show and tell with various phones, she LISTENED to what I wanted and then worked out a plan to get it for me.

She dialled and I spoke to Philippines, One through Five and finally I got onto Crystal who was very helpful. She made computer notes about our 'deal' and then it was back to Athena. During the 2 hours - yes 2 shitting hours!! Athena and I had reconciled that perhaps I didn't need a new phone at all, I just needed more memory on my old phone which I get along very well with. She did some comparative print outs and while I was singing along on hold, a decision was reached. She popped the new thing in the old thing and set it all up for me. Yippee!!

The home stuff was sorted too and new plans made for the mobs. As unlikely as it might be, we walked out of there on a cheaper plan based on our old people usage and we were all happy little campers.

Athena was a bloody breath of fresh air. She came and went as she saw to other punters but always came back to me to see how I was doing talking to the Philippines. And in the end she dotted all the Ts and crossed all the Is.

She should be giving lessons in Customer Service, although sadly that would mean she would be off the floor and I'd be stuck with one of the others.

Now I am set. No more messages about lack of space and the need to delete files - have tried that and have been most unsuccessful. I can click away and will wonder about anew phone/camera as and when this one dies or I am brave enough to take the leap away from what I know into the land of the very unknown.

Thanks very very much Athena.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Plane recliners - shitful?



This is the discussion of the day online. Should people be allowed to recline their seats in economy? on domestic flights? on long haul flights?

I could literally feel a panic attack coming on even as I considered it.

I am claustrophobic in the extreme. Sometimes I have a little panic if I have trouble pulling off a jumper, and I always travel with a doctor's note, but too often that makes no difference.

I was having this discussion recently with a fella I know and yes he is taller than me. He said the first thing he does when the seat belt sign goes off is to fully recline the seat, and I said if he did that I would spend the flight swinging from the headrest as I made my way in and out of my seat - as a statement yes and also cos I would not be able to sit there flicking off his dandruff and dissecting the thread count on the seat protectors. He said if I did that he would punch me!

So there is no middle ground.

Where possible I part with the cash for an exit row or premium economy or business and I like to do this well in advance cos until it is all settled and I know exactly where I am gonna be seated and under what conditions I will be travelling, I cannot look forward to going where I am going.

Having a full blown panic attack on a plane is just not a happy experience, FOR ANYONE.

We were flying Munich to London one evening and had as always sorted the seats and for some strange reason the German counting system was different and instead of an aisle seat on the side, my seat turned out to be in the middle of the middle section. I saw it immediately we walked onto the plane. The realisation hit me like a red mist and so when we got to the steward I said to her the only thing I could think to say, ' If you make me sit there I will cry.' Yeh I know what a spoilt little princess! She said, 'You vill sit!'

I squeezed passed the lady one the aisle and Steve squeezed in too.

I was out of control immediately. I could not get a breath. I rocked back and forward. I hid my face in my hands and as promised, I cried. Firstly quiet little sobs as I tried in vain to maintain some decorum and then I washed my whole face and my chest good and proper.

We took off and then the steward came to get me. I was completely nuts by now. I thought she was gonna pop me somewhere akin to jail and I wouldn't move at all until she made it clear that we were both gonna be bumped up to business seats.

Steve was thrilled to bits. He ate drank and was very fucking merry. Me, well as is the case after a full blown panic attack, I was just exhausted and after some sense of calm was restored I slept.

It was a truly shitful flight.

This is not an isolated event. I have stood up on many flights because there just was not enough air in front of me. Once on a plane I think to The Gambia, I trawled around the plane and sat with my legs up the walls in any spare space until I was told to move on. We played cat and mouse. I sat with legs ups, they said move, I moved somewhere else and lay there with my legs up and they said move. It was a circle dance. Sitting in the seat was just not possible. It's a long way from London to The Gambia.

So now I am thinking about 2 trips this year. One to Sydney and that's pretty simple cos I go with Virgin and pay for the exit row. It's only a few extra bucks but worth it, except that last year they bumped me out of the aisle exit seat and stuck me in the middle and Steve had to jump up and down until they fixed it. Turns out they were just trying it on cos it was one of their own travelling for free.

And then there's the small matter of flights to London in September. This I haven't yet reconciled. Steve is happy to sit at the back of the plane, have a couple of beers and snore his way  home. But I just cant think about it. I reckon I would have to be so sedated that I doubt they would let me board.

I am hoping for some super deals closer to the time.

So No reclining for me. And please if someone ever tells you on a plane that they will cry, give what they want if you can, cos crying might well be the least of it.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Open House Preparations 101



So you might know that The Big House is for sale, and Open House weekends have seemingly become my life. Preparations (ie fucking house work) are a pain in the bum, but I reckon after a good few, I have come up with some short cuts.

Restrict yourselves to the absolute fewest bathrooms possible during the week. No that doesn't mean I actually shared a bathroom with Steve and his powder, nor did he with my bubbles and potions, but that meant only 2 bathrooms to scrub-a-dub. The others only needed a bit of a guezzz around, except for the downstairs loo and that needed a scrub too. Ho bloody hum. Oh and if you can stand it, use shit towels and save the 'right coloured ones' for showtime.

Don't bother with polishing the granite all week cos it will need to be done again ANYWAY, so save the effort and give it a go just before the punters get there. Have a BBQ for dinner on the evening between inspections to save filthying up the kitchen. That's the plan for tonight, so I will see how it goes.

Just hose off the pool glass that is all manky from the dog shakes. It is NOT necessary to go at it with a glass cleaner and a squeegee. BONUS!

So now the place is in good order and it's time to insure that you are not gonna be too inconvenienced by the lookie lookers. Well more than opening your place up to a bunch of complete strangers, cos that's just a given pain in the bum.

It's the age old question - to hide the toothbrushes or not to hide the toothbrushes. Yeh I hide 'em, cos I remember a story about some shitbag coming in and sticking a toothbrush up their bum and taking a picture of it and then sticking the toothbrush back and posting the photo at a later date. OOOOH YUK!  Well even if this is an urban myth, I don't fancy taking the risk, so away they go. Bath plugs which are easily nicked for purpose or piss off value and Tellie remotes with nickable batteries can get all popped out of sight. The only trouble with this is remembering where you have hidden stuff. I have spent hours looking for those night lights and mozzie zappers, or maybe some bugger found 'em in their hidie-hole and nicked 'em. Anyway I reckon if they are still here, I will find 'em when I am packing up, if we ever sell the place.



Pack a basket with Doggie treats, your kindle and phone and be ready for the off when the smiling agent arrives, and enjoy the 3/4 of an hour to yourself forgetting that strangers are fucking up the floors, or that you have to do it all again tomorrow and next weekend.

I went to a neighbourhood auction just before today's onslaught and it was not an exciting one. No Sale and only 1 bid. I wanted to give out fliers but consensus was that that was not cool practice. Not sure why.

Come on the punters to the Big House.


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Yum Cha yumminess.



A while back Bell and I went to Yum Cha for lunch. It is such a fun experience. I love the trolleys and the lookey lookey and then choosing. It suits me well also because everything comes separately and so nothing touches on the plate, but that's a whole other nuttiness yarn.

We enjoyed ourselves, so last night we thought maybe we should introduce Zig to the wonders of the trolley dinner.

Off we went and we sat in a big booth set with little plates and bowls and tea cups and chop sticks. Well Zig was very excited. He did what all 10 year old boys do when faced with long sticks, he stabbed everything in sight, until he decided that he might like to eat his dinner with 'em. I am bloody hopeless and so is Bell, we asked for a fork. The waiter sort of smiled, but you know, well not really a happy smile.

Little bamboo baskets of yummo arrived and Zid did his best with the sticks but eventually resorted to the fork. 3 generations of finger challenged souls. Oh well.

Steamed Pork Dumplings, mmmmm Carol had taught me about the little bit of soup in the bottom of these so we all tried to spear the top of the dumpling and suck out the soup, Some of us were more successful than others. Perhaps suffice to say that there was no way that the restaurant will be able to skimp on the washing of that table cloth.

Fried Dumplings. very yummy and very easy to eat.

Fried hairy prawn balls. well he's 10 so you can imagine just how funny Zig thought these were. He started off with a little titter, but when he saw his mum and me cracking up, he fell about laughing and  crying and the same time. These balls were too hot to handle! Patience was the order of the day.

There were lots of things on the menu, but as the trolleys had been parked up for the night, and we lacked imagination, we decided to go again with the same stuff. It was very tasty and so much fun.

Yum Cha at Carindale shopping centre, near the library, we recommend you!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Illusions

 
 
Do you ever wonder what is REAL?
 
There are so many illusions. Purposeful like this stairway to no where built of paint, and then there are the lies and misleadings of turds and ad executives and media barons.
 
Ain't it lucky that we have a brain, a bit of logical rational thought, to determine and distinguish it all.
 
And what is truly wonderful, is that we also have the power to suspend disbelief and become completely immersed in the make believe of movies or novels or plays or indeed these paintings.
 
How fabulous to have such control over the workings of the mind.
 
Of course we can't all exercise this control. Some don't enjoy or allow that sink into fantasy which theatre and movies demand for best effect. Some are too na├»ve or simple to have a finely tuned bullshit detector.
 
So I know that these chalk footpath drawings appear from time to time but I thought I'd pick a few of my favourites at least from what was on offer today. Who knows where these talented artists will take us tomorrow.
 
Don't fall in little man.
 

Oh Look, Santa's got your letter.
 
I would completely lose it!

Now that's quite a thirst.

Just bloody beautiful.
 
   


Sunday, 15 March 2015

Family Law - it sure ain't easy



I am not at all sure why, but sometimes bullies just burst puss at everyone and it can be an appalling job to scrape it all off.

So imagine if someone told your kid that they had the RIGHT to determine where they live when they are 12. You figure that this could not possibly be the case. FFS they can't vote til they're 18, and can't leave home til they are 16, so how could it possibly be right that they can decide where are gonna live at 12?

Trawling through the Family Law sites seems to give you cause to celebrate, except that there is nothing definitive. Kids are sometimes asked their preferences and sometimes this is considered important and sometimes not and sometimes kids are not asked at all. So there are no LAWS as such, only applications applied by mediators and judges to individual cases and that seems reasonable. Each case on it's merit, consideration for what is best for each kid.

Except that I reckon it encourages people to follow their fear and not apply for court orders in case something untoward happens and they lose everything. After all it would not be unusual that someone lies in court and if they are very good at it they could come out victorious. And maybe it's better to have some influence rather than none. And maybe it's possible to counteract the damage done by the other parent during YOUR time.

As I guess is always the case, there are no guarantees so a good deal of bravery and faith in the system is needed just to have a go.

But there's the rub. I have long thought that the trouble in our society is that you get the justice you can afford, so if you are skint, you are a bit buggered. Yeh there are freebie avenues which are very tardy and not at all reliable and so you would need to be even braver to go down that route. At least if you were paying someone they might be on your side, stand up for you, take time to listen and have a vested interest in the outcome?



What happens when one parent has the cash and the other doesn't?  Does the money win? And stats would show that it is usually the woman in that scenario without the cash. It really is all quite a gamble.

And the idea that you just have to have faith in the ability of the mediators and judges to see through the bullshit and find the truth, scares the hell out of me.

We watch good old Judge Judy and she seems pretty wise to me, though I reckon that she gets it wrong sometimes.

Zig's father has told him that he has the right to decide to come and live with him when he's 12. And he's conned Zig into believing that living at the arse end of buggery and sorting himself to and from school miles away from his mother will be a hoot. And worse still, he's convinced Zig that all his little friends at his Mum's place, well they just hate him and that he needs to go to a different high school so he can make new friends.

He has convinced Zig that it is his turn to have him, that his Mum has had him long enough, but the truth is that Zig just always feels that his father needs some looking after. Hardly the job of a kid - but that seems to be the way of it.

And for all these years the bastard has bullied Bell and has so eroded her confidence that I am not sure she will be up for the paper warfare. I have nothing good to say about him. I can't help feel that this latest bombshell is yet another way of having a good slap at Bell. If he considered what is best for Zig, he'd have disappeared years ago.




Thursday, 12 March 2015

Girlie Shopping

 
New Mall seating. This was cool! Some of the other was very ordinary.

No this is not about sleazy men going on the hunt for some underage female ready and perhaps nots so willing to massage their way to a happy ending. That is just a hideous thought! Oh dear, I might have to go out and surround myself with pretty things again to get the image out of my head.

Nik and I trouped out to Pac Fair today for a little look around. Some of the new centre has opened up and we thought we should venture in before it gets too old and tired.

The building works are hideous and would put off many shoppers, except the most determined. The noise and the mess and the lack of signage could well have seen us just do a drive through had we not really fancied a spot of shopping, although even a drive through was not as easy as you might think cos where there should have been a sign saying NO EXIT AHEAD, there were arrows  and hope where there should have been none.

Once inside, the lingerie section of good old Myers was as predictable as ever, so we made our way quickly through to upstairs where we enjoyed a lovely little look around at pretty things but found no photo frame which was the only thing on my shopping list. Never mind. Onwards and outwards we went.

The Mall section looked much the same though some of the shops had changed hands and Crab Tree and Evelyn was gone and this was a bugger cos that was on Nik's list.

Downstairs to the cafe where we were told that there wasn't much left cos they were using up all their ingredients cos they were closing on Saturday. Bugger again. Except that we were pleased for the heads up and grateful not to be sitting down for stale stuff ready to hit the bin on Saturday. I mean they couldn't even make a pancake, so if the flour and eggs and milk are gone what else could be left?

So off to the new section. Some of it was lovely, but really as I had rather hoped for something in the way of the Westfield at Carindale, or Sydney Centre or White City in London, I was mostly disappointed. What grabs your attention immediately is the HUGE JB Hi Fi store with double storey bright yellow windows with all the garish signage and discount stickers. I mean classy it is not. Pretty it is not. Inviting it is certainly not.

But passed this eyesore is a cafe which has an outside eating area next to the river. Yes please!

We order some stuff and then the 11 year old on the til asked me if I wanted to use my seniors card! Well after I climbed inelegantly over the counter and chocked him with his bib and dummie, he said a sorry that wasn't worth a damn. Little turd! And there was me thinking I looked OK cos I had gotten out of my house clobber for the first time in days. Little upstart!


We went into MUSE which is a flash Pillow Talk and I fell upon a doona cover that was too pretty to leave in the shop. Ah lovely. and even though I obviously looked like an old woman I managed to carry it most of the time as we trawled through other pretty stores looking for nothing in particular. Shoes and skirts and dresses and togs and makeup bowls and cups and more photo frames. Our actual carry out purchases were few but the good done to the girlie psyche was wonderful, the dickhead's gaff not withstanding.

Roof down and home we went.

Girlie look sees... just gotta be done.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Online Forums = Bullying and Poor Comprehension


I do love a good old banter. I rarely find myself surrounded by either minions too scared to utter an opinion or herds of people who agree wholeheartedly with every pearl that slides out of my mouth.

That's the beauty of living amongst others.

I have never lacked the confidence to say what I think, and even though I am pretty arrogant about reckoning I am right, I know there are lots of people with other ideas that I find interesting in the hearing and occasionally so compelling that I am lead to research to possibly change my beliefs.

So life is a colourful leap through lively conversations with people that I know and like.

Until that is, you venture onto online forums.

Now it should be noted I guess that people enjoy the safety of the company of like minded souls. So if you are madly anti abortion then security could probably found in some fundamentalist religious right to life forum, though if you are looking for directions to such, I am sadly bloody useless, and if you have always been a card carrying unionist with greeny leanings, then being part of the right wing conservatives forum probably wouldn't be for you.

I read all sorts of online stuff. I think it is a habit built from years of having such a shit knee that sitting was my preferred position, and I am yet to wean myself form any of it.

Trolls, which used to be those nasties hiding under the bridge who scared little kids, seem to enjoy winding up the settled secure audiences of forums, by making inflammatory statements and then running away.

These fools are easy enough to ignore even though sometimes their outrageous nastiness is so mean that you wonder what in the world can have possible slapped 'em hard enough to leave 'em so brittle and miserable. It is ridiculously easy to really let someone have it, just tap away and click enter and walk away.

It's pathetic though isn't it? So cowardly and puerile.

Sometimes I read stuff and I so vehemently disagree with it that a comment flies out of my fingers. I don't try to sugar coat what I think and I don't second guess every word I write. I just write what I think and why I think it. It is an issue based response, not personal. How could it be personal, when I have no idea how to see through the anonymity of cyberness, to meet the authors of the opinions with which I disagree,

It would be a waste of my time and effort to spend time on name calling or making derogatory remarks about the arguments of others, so I am always surprised when I am the brunt of a personal attack, too often thrust by trolls who have neither fully read nor comprehended my comment.

Anyway, I don't suppose this modern phenomena is ever likely to disappear. It is just too easy to cowardly and ignorantly slap away at someone. It is so common place that perhaps I should write some guidelines to present to kids so they can become resilient to it all.

An intelligent exchange is far more common in person preferably accompanied by food and maybe a bit of a bevvie.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Party Weekend and Shithouse Fudge


It's no secret that cooking is not my favourite thing to do, but eating is definitely one of my fav things to do.

As we have people coming down for the weekend and as we are all going out to eat, I thought the least I could do was to whip up some little treaties.

So the bickies I made are about gone cos they are Steve's favourites. I should have been wiser and made less yummy to Steve ones if I wanted them to last.

Then I thought I'd have a go a individual baked cheese cakes. These taste pretty good, even if they look nothing like bought ones. I changed the recipe - no surprises there and added some salted caramel stuff to some of them so how they have turned out will be a bit of a wait and see affair and maybe after a few drinks it wont matter anyway.


Then I fancied some old fashioned hard chocolate fudge.

Back in the day when I was married and Belly was a lot shorter, a girlfriend Gayle and I took a stall at the local market every weekend, well a few times anyway. She made the best biscuits and way back then I could whip up fudge that melted knees and stacked on kilos just from smelling distance.

We'd bake all week and then head out at some appalling time in the morning with our good and a fold up table and a couple of chairs and signs that screamed out "Nothing over a Dollar". Gayle had 2 kids so the 3 of 'em were always disappointed that we sold out, and we girls had a fine old time counting our cash over a well earned drink when we got home.

Anyway the making of the fudge was second nature. I don't recall having a failure and I am not sure I even had a sugar thermometer.

Today I googled 'Old fashioned hard chocolate fudge recipe' and up they popped. I picked one that sounded sort of familiar, except that the temperatures were in degrees F instead of hardball.

It took a ridiculously long time to get the sugar mixture to 134 degrees F and then quite a long time for the temp to drop back to 110 degrees and then I attacked it with my wooden spoon cos it said no metal beaters and then the shit got stuck in the saucepan and the bits that I could poke off the slab were more gratings than chunks.



What a fucking mess I have made.

As I may well have to throw away my good saucepan, it seems like an expensive failure.

How could I have been so competent when I was in my mid twenties and now even with a recipe I can bugger up what really should be quite simple?

Ho bloody hum. Just lucky that the fridge has a good supply of sweeties and plenty of beer.  

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Stinker!



It was not a day to be too busy. Up at silly o'clock and whipped up a batch of Macadamia and Cherry biscuits. This was necessary as I had banged on about being unable to do any baking cos of the stinky filthy state of the oven which has since of course been rectified, so bickies is was.
Yummo and one happy Stevie.

Out to the park with dog and there was chaos at the village. Scuttle and gossip had it that someone had died of an overdose in the village loos. There were plenty of police and detectives and cars and police tape. Sad and exciting all at the same time. Seems that best gossip was that it happened last night and the investigation was perfunctory today, the rest of the skuttle seemed hyberbolic so I wont spread it further.


We had sloped off to the pictures to see 'The Second Best Marigold Hotel' last night, - yeh not too impressed, but on the way home we saw lots of police cars in and about the village so it's possible that they were starting to get things sorted.

Just as an aside, we thought we might have gone for Yum Cha in China Town before the movie, but I wouldn't race out there unless you are keen for a happy ending massage. There was bugger all open and certainly nothing that could tempt us in. Very disappointing!

Coffee and a chat with the officers standing guard at the loos and then home to grab the mower for a park path pass AGAIN. Ho bloody hum.

Pool, washing, tender attention to my baby herbs, and then collapsed onto the couch for a movie veg.

Back to the pool and on with the aircon, and just some snags and salad for dinner.

Done sod all but am pooped. Shit I hate the heat! Roll on winter...please.




Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Elf and Safety at it again.



We thought we'd take a leisurely drive down the coast today to Brunswick Heads. It's a bit less than an hour's drive, unless of course the council somewhere decides it is necessary to dig up a bit of concrete on the far left side of the left hard shoulder of the road.

This was the case today just before the Tugan tunnel. 2 lanes needed to merge into 1 and that meant stoppity stoppity stop stop, little bit of start for bloody miles. We figured that there must have been some enormous smash up between 25 cars and a truck for good measure and that countless folk were either dead or seriously maimed.

We inched our way forward while discussing the much debated idea that if an accident happens as you open your car door and a bike rider is flung off as they ride passed you, not the obligatory 1 metre away, while undertaking a truck, then you should be found guilty of something terrible increasing to murder if the biker unfortunately dies.

We wondered when and in deed how accidents became illegal. We are a 'Blame Game' society.  When something bad happens, it means that someone else must be responsible. So when I had cancer, it must have been someone's FAULT. Shit I hope it wasn't MY fault, much better if it was someone else's because then I can lay blame and maybe even sue 'em, maybe get 'em locked away. Yippee!

This became a lively discussion and I suppose it was lucky that we agreed on the idiocy of it all.

It passed the 30 minutes it took us to limp our way to 'Ground Zero'

2 lanes did in fact merge into 1. Soon after there was a walloping truck with an electric sign more than a storey high with a graphic of a someone digging dirt, and a 40km speed sign. There were the usual bright orange witches' hats shoving the cars over to the very right lane, leaving free the left lane and the hard shoulder. Because of the positively glacial pace we were going, we had more than sufficient time to count the workers and observe the work being carried out.

After the big truck sign thing, standing safely behind the barriers, were 2 blokes about 20 metres apart leaning on SLOW signs. I wondered if the signs were meant to be instructions or descriptions of the holders - maybe for a surprise both - multi purpose! That would be more unusual for the council. How wonderful.

Just a little further on there were 3 more blokes milling around on the edge of the hard shoulder, one was pushing on a jack hammer, the other 2 chatting. Maybe they were doing rock paper scissors to see who was next on the machine, or maybe they were texting through their lunch order, or maybe they were calculating where the closest loo was and whether they should even be 'on the job' as it was too far away. A small bit of concrete was being broken up. Why we couldn't say, perhaps because it was there.

I didn't know what was being done, but I would bet that if it were being carried out by a private contractor not beholden to any unions, it would have been done more efficiently, for less money and with far less disruption to the traffic.

The cost of the blame game and the old elf and safety bastard is out of control.

The number of people in charge of the 'telling what to do' now so far outstrips the number of people 'doing'. More clerks and administrators than medical personnel in hospitals, ever increasing numbers of office staff and aids in schools while the numbers of permanent placements for teachers dwindle.

Doers are being outnumbered by tellers. I wonder what happens when the doers really get the shits up with being told by people who haven't got a clue.

Is a little revolution possible?

I doubt that the blokes with the SLOW signs will get a look in.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Health Insurance - Government Sanctions Rip-Off


I am a snob when it comes to health care! I want to pick my doctor and if I need to be in hospital, it's a given that I already feel like shit, so sharing a room with half a dozen other sickos, would hold no joy for me. I want my own fucking room! My own loo with my own skid marks and my own shower with my own pubes! My own pillow to sob into without fear of pissing off the neighbours, my own little bit of silence as and when I want it.

Consequently I have ALWAYS had private health insurance. I have paid for this since I was 19. As a newly wed I was happy to forego stuff like food just to make sure that my health was covered, and as my unreliable body has far too frequently failed me, I am very pleased to say that I have made good use of the insurance.

But it's March and it's time to stump up the cash again. Now I am very lucky that Steve forks out for this now cos it is hellishly expensive, even though it is a gamble I have long won.

Up until I went to live the high life in London, various Governments had been grateful for those with private insurance cos they were not a strain on the public system. The Oz government was definitely ahead in my case as I claimed for everything from Childbirth to cancer through my private fund.

BUT in a move that I just cannot fathom for a conservative government in 2000, Howard's conies introduced penalty rates for folk without insurance after the age of 31. This wasn't me, or so I thought.

I gallivanted around for 7 years and paid no premiums of course, as I was out of the country and was unable to make any use of it, but imagine my surprise when I got back with a Pom in tow and we went to buy some insurance and even though he's older and has never had any insurance, my premiums are dearer. Yeh I have some fucking penalty rate cos I dared to go away and not pay for that which I could not use!

I was 7 years out of the system and the government as a gesture of generosity decided that I could go for about 3 and a half years, but after that they were gonna slap me. And so I have a penalty rate of 4% for the 3 and a half years of extra cavorting.

But it is possible to whittle away at the penalty percentage, but that takes 10 YEARS. So for 10 fucking years I will pay the penalty rate for daring to be away and not paying for insurance, I couldn't use, even though I had continuously been covered for more than 20 YEARS.!

I just can't see the economic advantage to the government in making private insurance so expensive that people are driven sobbing in to the public system.

I am sure this is a simplistic view and it is certainly anecdotal in the extreme, but every March it gives me the screaming irrits to see that my premium is more expensive than the older immigrant, who has paid no tax and has contributed nothing to the Australian way - no offense Steve.

Roll on April when the bill is paid and I can forget about it again til next year!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Last of Innocence

I have been wondering at what age kids become more adolescent and less childlike and I reckon it is likely to be sometime soon after 10.

I say this because at yesterday's party the kids were sort of on the cusp. Bell was concerned that as we were venturing into the unknown public territory, we might lose one or two and she was not looking forward to explaining that to the parents, in case they were truly enamoured with their off spring and got all a bit shitty cos we came home a few short. I wasn't worried about that cos I reckoned, rightly as it turned out, that they had not been let loose too often so there was still a significant degree of nerves which led them to not wander too far from us and to nearly always move in a pack. Consequently, they were easy to keep track of.

 
The Gang, Travis a little out of focus at the back - ok a lot out of focus.


So I figure we have maybe 2 more years to come to grips with the sneaky little fuckers who disappear behind the dunnies for a sly fag or a quick grope, and then we will have to put on the police hats which will never fit well on either of us. Yes then we will need to be on the hunt for drugs and trying to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

It might happen even quicker than that now that Queensland has caught up wit the rest of the world by sending Year 7 kids off to 'Big School' 

Our 5 kids - 4 boys and a girl, who was definitely no shrinking violet, were excellent. The party was LONG! 5 Hours and we were wrecked by the end of, but so too were the kids. They Jumped at Sky Zone and swam and picnicked at South Bank and played ball games and ate cake at Bell and Zig's.

 
Sky Zone - Aptly named.

 
South Bank - about to hit the beach
 
 
Bloody brilliant cake that Zig managed to chop up into 5 pieces - they were door stopper size!

 
My 2 lovelies.
 

It had to be a new format this year for the double digit party and even though the planning was a complicated and more than a little back and forward to the parents of the kids, once we jumped in it was great fun! - for all of us.