Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Boys!

Anyone who tells you that 4.30 am is a wonderful time of the day clearly does not suffer insomnia and are more than likely facing the dawn from the dark side. Ah yeh, I do remember those days of all night drinking and dancing and falling asleep as the sun poked up. There was a little patch of cold sand in Greece that had my name on it for 2 glorious weeks. A young gay fella and a Brazillian woman and I arrived in Mykanos hungover and sleepy and watched with rather stale amusement as the rest of the tourists played carousel roulette, waiting for their bags. We 3 stumbled onto the ferry towards Paros and then became firm holiday buddies. We dined and drank until sunup and slept a great deal during the day when it was too hot to be out in the sun anyway. Ah those beach sunrises....bloody beautiful!

But those days are a distant memory now.

Sunrise today at the Big House and as to be expected, I was on my own and the silence was lovely, being awake of course gave me the shits but the calm was pleasant.

The smaller boys were up at 7 looking for food and we were ready for the off at a little after 8.

The Southport Parklands was about empty at the hour so we swam to the Lego man pontoon and the boys just had a hoot. Then they jumped and then they swam again. Home to the pool to replace the sea salt with pool salt and off to the village for some sugar for morning tea - please don't ever send me a diabetic kid to care for cos I just truly wouldn't have the capacity to say no to the donuts and milkshakes...that's my Ma story and I am sticking to it.

The heat of the day and they are playing on the I Pad and then there is a movie from the rental box in the village. Maybe then it will be cool enough to allow 'em back into the pool.

Dinner at the surf club tonight where they can play out on the beach after dinner. All pretty mellow really.

The bigger boys slept later and now the little big boy is off on an exploration of town adventure.  

Time for a little zzzz off for me maybe?

Do you enjoy a little Nanna Nap?

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Dentists and modern science?

Just the background - like the opening gambit, the dynamic splatter is still to come.

It's NOT my turn, so no panic attacks today.

It's Stevie's turn. He's going for some root planing.

Now a few decades ago I could have convinced myself that any sort of rooting could be conjured to be sexy and smile making, but the very idea of having a dentist with his arms up to his elbows in your mouth shaving off bits of root / bone, well I am pulling that 'Ooooh Yuk' face and only Dog is here to see it.

Sounds completely fucking hideous!

It might just be panic attack avoiding wishful thinking, but I never really expect anything to got too terribly wrong with teeth and I don't know why, cos there sure has been a shitload of stuff go wrong with mine.

Oh sure I can see that holes need to be filled and sometimes wayward little fuckers need to be pulled out, but a couple of weeks ago Stevie had some sort of a shelf bit of tooth that was growing the wrong way,. This wasn't one of those useful types of shelves on which you can display important things like your Oscar or your 3rd place ribbon from the year 4 Tunnel Ball competition. Nope, this fucker had broken off and there were little bits of tooth floating around like flotsam in his gums. Now who would ever even dream up this shit? And I don't know what the 'Round the head' Xray showed but now some serious scraping is in order.

I reckon I would need to be sedated.

I suggested something softish for dinner but as his mate's boy is landing tonight, I think he wants to feed him up, so steaks are on the menu. I am making that face again just thinking about chewing it and all that extra scraping on the gums.

But it's all very modern isn't it.

In times past, teeth just rotted and fell out and in the recent past some dentures were shoveled in and the distant times gaps were tolerated or maybe even thought to be sexy?

But that's the way of the world I guess, years ago, I'd be dead and there'd have been no such stuff as blood tests and pathology to find out why.

Modern science is scary but wonderful too.

I have started a painting of pathology slides of leukemic bloods. They are beautiful. The Philadelphia white cells are pretty fierce and confronting, but I am looking forward to overlaying them on top of my opening gambit.

For any Pathologists out there, I am aware that I have taken an artist's liberty with the colour, but I have never been any good at following the rules or colouring by numbers.

How does modern science help you?
Does science scare you?

Monday, 28 March 2016


Oh dear, I thought it looked ok in real life, but this pic looks like I am setting up an old people's home lounge room. Hope I will be forgiven.

The Big House will be filled with testosterone tomorrow and that will be quite the shock to the usual . female domination of Dog and me.

The lovely Grandie is coming for a mini holiday and is bringing his mate for a bit of a wild old sleep over. I imagine that he has already told his friend that Ma is a push over and that they will be spoilt rotten and that anything they wish for, within reason of course, will be granted.

SO my so very recently reclaimed studio is having another makeover. I am moving in the pair of the big brown chair and setting up the little tellie and blowing up 2 air matresses so they can keep all their fartie smells and noise to themselves. Of course I am hoping that we do get to see 'em at least a little bit, for food I imagine and maybe the odd swim.

I don't imagine there will be much of slipping into my bed for a silly o'clock cuddle and game of Eye Spy, but people would argue that he is already to old for such nonsense.

His mate is silly fair and needs to be slathered at all times with factor 50. so I will need to be on my toes and Belly tells me that she is not sure about his swimming abilities so I suppose we will see how much of my life-saving skills I need to resurrect when he first dives in.

So that brings the male tally to 3 and the females only 2.

Except that one of Steve's mate's boys is also arriving tomorrow, so the balance will be well and truly skewed. Our last arrival is in his middle 20s and I don't know how much he has had to do with young boys but I imagine they will want to rough house and be silly and he might be tired after travelling the world for months and looking for a bit of a feet up before he goes on his merry way to work some farm near Bundy. Yeh he is a Pommie fella on walkabout.

So 3 generations of men in the house!

How will I cope?

By doing very much like I always do I dare say.

Ignore, adapt, go off like a rocket and then make a nice dinner.

What is the gender balance at your place?

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Real Estate Moguls

Once upon a time there lived in the flash classy town of Melbourne a little lady. She had watched For Sale signs go up and down like yoyo's on their strings since was she was but a wee lass and had longed to be apart of the fun, until one wonderful Saturday, when it was her turn! She was the big old winner at an auction for a nice little cottage in Fitzroy, on the border with Brunswick, maybe it really was Brunswick, anyway it didn't matter cos she was a winner!

She set about setting it up so that nice decent folk would be able to rent it out for a few days while they wore their best clobber and enjoyed the romance and elegance of her town.

She charged top wack for a night or two and figured that that would separate the careful kindly folk from the dirty arseholes, but sadly she was wrong.

Once an elderly couple who had booked in for a week, just didn't show up. She was left in the lurch, the old man had died enroute, so the old lady was almost as woebegone as our heroine, who never made that mistake again cos she insisted that all her short term tenants paid in full, a month in advance and made it clear to them that if they changed their minds for whatever reason, she would just keep all their cash.

Another time, unfortunately the holiday makers were remiss in polishing the coffee machine to a sufficient shine and so she now charges for 3 hours cleaning, on top, in advance, and no the cleaning fee is not refunded if punters change their minds, even though no cleaning would be necessary if they didn't spend time in the cottage.

And along the way our little lady was clearly bitten on the arse by all manner of unscrupulous holidaying folk who did all manner of damage and so now she must charge a deposit of $500, which is of course refundable, except that there is no incoming or out going inventory so when she says that one of her Waterford glasses has been nicked, how can there be any argument? She sends a security code as a hearty welcome and so there is none of that messy dealing with actual people.

Our heroine has been lucky at auction 4 times and is running a damn fine little business. It's a shame that her book keeping skills are ever so slightly lacking in that she can send emails requesting more money, before she finds the time to receipt moneys received, but hey ho off to Melbourne we go.

In Adelaide there is a little lady with a flat to rent who sounds lovely on the phone. For a week's holiday she was happy to take a credit card number but not charge it, to confirm the booking, and efficiently popped a friendly email to me confirming everything, no bond was requested and no cleaning fee. She is looking forward to greeting us and showing us around.  I guess she figures that to run a little business there has to be some slight risk and there needs to be some outgoings to get the in comings, or maybe she does the cleaning herself, after all she may not be as posh as the little lady from Melbourne.    

Or maybe people who holiday in Melbourne are turds and folk who go to Adelaide are salt of the earth (what does that even mean?)

We had a holiday flat here on the Goldie for few years. There were managers in charge of the bookings. Sometimes after folk had been in and paid rent, we would still owe the managers money, cos they gave discounts on the rent and we paid for every-fucking-thing - cleaning, linen, towels, Welcome Packs, lightbulb changing at $50/hour etc etc, and when something got broken we paid for that too cos we didn't take a bond!! When it was costing us more than it made, we sold it, cos that was clearly just silly, but we always accepted that there would be some outgoings involved.

We have parted with a good chunk of wonga as a deposit for Melbourne and now are reading the fine print - yeh I know we should have read that first. The rest of the cash is gonna fly out next week. I fucking hope this place is a a bit of a palace, cos already I have a bit of a shit feeling.

Friday, 25 March 2016

The Old Girl is being Microsoft resistent

For some weeks now I have been warding off notifications from the gods about when I want to install Windows 10, and rather than answer 'em, I have just been clicking the X in the top right hand corner and it all disappears, until next time, that is.

You might remember that I gave 10 a go while I was in London last year and it seemed flawed to me, not at all easy to get along with. I like to KISS - KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID, and so wasn't keen to learn a whole new way of doing shit. Anyway, after I installed it, I spent a few days uninstalling it cos it gave me the shits. I have not been rushing into popping it up again.

But, the Old Girl has been fucking around and not in a good way. The size of font changes without request and the pages sort of swirl all around like the ceiling after too many voddies. My photos have disappeared and reappeared somewhere else and I reckon She was trying to tell me something, or maybe it's the computer gods pushing me into doing something I don't want to do.

A couple of days ago, She decided that it was time to 'RECOVER'. No She didn't take a Bex and have a good lie down, instead the dreaded blue screen appeared and about 24 hours later I am left with what I imagine was on the Old Girl when she first came to stay.

And in theory that might be ok, except that it just sort of doesn't fit anymore.

I have a whole wardrobe of clothes that I love from a different era, that I rather doubt I will ever be able to shoe-horn myself into again, but I do love looking at 'em from time to time and as space is no problem, they just hang there and do no harm.

But Her old gear is not that specie. I mean no one would be keen to spend time with an old worn out pair of skid marked knickers and that's what this old shit is like. I admit to being surprised that I am able to tap this out.

I have a theory that the computer gods have decided that as this is a religious holiday they are gonna pull rank and force my hand and I am thus waiting for that bloody sign about up-grading to 10. And as I am not enamoured with what they have left me, and as I reckon there must have been some tweaking done since last September, maybe it won't be too bad.

But I do imagine that my penance for disobeying before, will be that the invitation will come at the most inconvenient time and the installation will be difficult and perhaps not initially successful.

Who has installed Windows 10?
How's it going?

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Door to door sales.

When I was but a girl and newly married and just qualified but unable to get a job cos I was neither single nor male - yeh Ta very much Education Queensland, I took a job selling diaries door to door.

Oddly enough I remember clearly being nervous at the interview. I had driven from Manly to Chermside - that's a fucking long way for an interview to sell shit door to door, but I was desperate for a job, any job, and somehow my self-worth at the ripe old age of 19 rested on scoring the position.

I got all gussied up and put on my polite hat and it would surprise no-one to know that I left there with a few cartons of these bloody books in the boot of my car.

This was years before the idea of arming school kids with boxes of fucking chocolates to hawk around the nieghbourhood. That's the same nieghbourhood as every other kid from school cos that's the very nature of schools. So the parents buy the shit.

I'd had no experience in the door to door schlepping and had never read 'Death of a Salesman'.

It wasn't a great deal really. I had to coax $3 out of punters and I could keep $1 for myself. I was never gonna be a millionaire.

My 'Patch' was the whole of Bayside...

I was bored out of my gourd before I finished the first outing.

I didn't enjoy one little bit, interrupting people's days to try to sell some shit that they truly didn't want and could easily do without.

We bought the boxes, sent the firm the cheque and ended up giving them away to unsuspecting mates. It was not a cash cow!

When I started teaching I put all that crap behind me, and dove into the classroom filled with joy and expectation that only someone doing what they love could understand.

There was a bloke there at the school who always struck me as a bit dodge and it became clear very early on that you should never be caught alone with him. Oh no he wasn't one of those ikky fucks who couldn't keep his hands to himself, but he was almost equally insidious.

He was an AMWAY agent.

A girlfriend made the mistake of being tricked into extending him an invitation to drinks and he arrived with wifey in tow, lugging a fucking blackboard and a flip chart. My friend and her hubby sat through the whole pyramid shit before a breath was drawn and the immortal words of 'Id rather eat glass' were coined.

Once warned was more than enough for me.

Back in the day it was hard to avoid the door bangers cos they could walk straight up to the front door and go a banging. But thankfully now at The Big House, we have a buffer. The front gate is locked and there is an intercom that chimes through the house in an irritating fashion. Too often I just go out and see who's there instead of picking up the handset. It's not cos it's more friendly, it cos I am all too often waiting for a parcel from some online purchase that I am trying to sneak into the house - sorry Stevie.

But I won't be doing that again!

Today there was some old woman waving a pamphlet through the bars of the gate and whispering some shit.

The hackles rose. I stopped short of the gate.

I said, 'What?'

She repeated the spiel.

I turned and walked away, I did not take the paper, I did not speak, I did not collect 200 dollars.

She was selling jesus.

I was glad the gate was locked.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Cucina Vivo - Jupiter's Casino STAR

Our girth is testament to the fact that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out here on the Goldie. Yeh there are a number of shit places who want to scarper naive tourists out of their cash by serving up dross, but locals who like food are pretty discerning and tend to be loyal to places that offer up stuff that brings smiles and drool to their faces.

There are a number of places we like to go and one of 'em, oddly enough is the Casino. You'd think that this huge place which seems to offer something for everyone, would be impersonal and ordinary so as not to offend, but also not ever really please, but that is not our experience.

I am of course not talking about trawling the gaming tables....that is only ever interesting in so much as I wonder how people can be so miserable doing something for so long that costs them so much money, cos for me if I am gonna toss away cash by the inch, then I want to be grinning like a mad woman as I do it.

No we go there for the food and the air-con in the summer, cos it always has a good chill going.

I don't remember when the restaurants had a big overhaul, maybe a couple of years ago I suppose, but the Italian place CUCINA VIVO has quickly become a favourite. The food has always left us undoing a button or 2 and wondering about the recipes.

The space is modern and airey and the settings are generous. There is no squeezing in between other punters and having to scrap your arse across their plates as you shoehorn your way out to the loo. Nope, it's a very comfy place to visit, but not so posh as you can't pop in for a bit of a nosh up, on your way home from somewhere and no-one has ever stared down their judgmental noses at me cos I am under-dressed, or carrying the wrong handie. Yep it is just a very comfortable place to go.

A while back we were a little underwhelmed after one visit and so I popped an email off to the manager who wrote back immediately and asked me to call him personally to arrange a table when we wanted to return, and that happy day was yesterday.

Kevin sorted a table and our waiter and left it to us.

Our long time favourite meal was their Meatballs but sadly they are off the menu, so we ordered Calamari Frittes and a Caprese Salad for entrees - bloody marvellous. Reckon I could chew up this fare every day all day. The batter on the calamari is so light and the squid so tender and the garlic aolie was so delish that I ran my finger around the plate so as not to leave a smidgen. Yeh I know now I sound like I could be a judge on master chef huh? And the salad was pretty and tasty and the buffalo mozzarella was just yummo - not very MKR - but you know what I mean.

For main I had Maltagliati and I reckon this has become my best ever favourite. Hand made pasta with Moreton Bay bug tails and asparagus and lobster bisque. Don't be fooled be the size of the plate, the serving is hugely filling and every mouthful was so satisfying. I am happy to try the other things on the menu, but I can only imagine they will disappoint in comparison cos this stuff was soooo good.

Steve chowed through the Porchetta. It is a walloping serve of pork, slow cooked and rich and unctuous but he soon found it too much. The witlof leaves helped break through the richness, but he figured a serving of green beans would have been good too.

We were full up to pussy's bow, so no space for dessert.

Kevin and his staff provided us with a wonderful evening - and there is no doubt that they more than redeemed their first class reputation.

I am so very pleased that we went back and gave 'em another chance, cos it's back on The List and I just can't wait to go back again.

The big question will be, can I order something other than the Maltagliati.

Monday, 21 March 2016

45% of the votes = SHIT

This is the gated crapper in the park which about covers the effectiveness of the now returned councillor. How very shitful

Yeh yeh yeh, I live in a democracy and so we get the government we deserve, from the local branch up to the Federal Houses, but I can't help be disappointed that the old man PAUL TAYLOR is overseeing and I use the term so very loosely that if it was knicker elastic they would just be a puddle on the ground, Division 10 for another 4 fucking years. At 71 I reckon this is the only job he'd be able to bluff his way into and certainly the only one where he can stick nearly 200 grand into his pocket.

4 more fucking years of behind closed doors deals and 4 more years of spending public money on whatever whim grabs him or whatever dick requests come from his mates. 4 more fucking years of trying to track down the stinker and trying to get some clear concise HONEST answers out of the fella who's mantra is, 'I don't remember that meeting.'

And all this because we had 2 other damn fine candidates up for grabs and these 2 split the vote. Either one of them on their own would have romped in.

And all this because we live in a democracy where anyone can run for Council so long as you register on time and throw 250 bucks at the clerk.

Mona Heche and David Taylor ( definitely NOT a relative!!) are both young, clever, enthusiastic, 'say what they mean and mean what they say', kinda folk and I am very sorry that we wont be represented by them. I have had contact with both and it has definitely been far more pleasant than any dealings with the other tosser.

So after a possie of about a dozen lads invaded the park next door on saturday night and the police were called AGAIN, I am wondering if PAUL TAYLOR will now do what he promised to do in January and that is put in some lighting and some CCTV cameras. The lighting that comes on in the broad daylight of 5pm and is turned off at 9.30pm is clearly ineffective. The toilet in the park has been given the promised upgrade and is now lockable, at night, except that no-one comes to lock it, and so there is still shit smeared all over the walls in the morning light. The healthy shrubs have been ripped up and grasses have been planted in their stead and the picnic tables and the rotunda are still awaiting their ANNUAL hosing down. The Neighbourhood Watch programme is yet to get off the ground. 200000 dollars and you just have to know that cos I have chased him down for information and because I have had the audacity to expect representation, that I will never hear from him again and maybe that's a good thing cos at least no contact at all is not a lie.

Are you happy with your local representation? 
Don't even start me on the whole Trump fiasco in the states.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

First World Decisions.

We stumbled upon the movie, 'Blood Diamonds' the other night. It was bloody torrid and full on. It encouraged me to have a little look at that shitful history and the short story is that the 10 years of misery and carnage was the result of unspeakable greed of the neighbour's leader, propelled by the corruption of western business tycoons.  Yeh he's in jail now - in the UK, in some sort of first world jail luxury, which no doubt would have been and would still be the envy of all the poor souls his actions, left homeless and familyless.

The civil war in Sierra Leone ended in 2002, but the memory lingers, the poverty, the homelessness, the unemployment, and the appallingly low life expectancy of not even 50 years. Yep I am sure as shit pleased that I don't live there.

Steve and I visited The Gambia in 2006. It's pretty close to Sierra Leone, and whilst there was no overt violence it sure as shit wasn't Versace flash. The schools, the housing, the unemployment, the transportation - all not flash.

Anyway I was reminded of all this today cos I wanted to set up my studio, and I went about shuffling some stuff including some paintings we bought home from The Gambia.

Here's the list of First World choices I made today.

Iced Latte in lieu of a hot cappucino.
Kalamata Olives for tonight's pizza.
Tossed out old moldy paint bottles, and kept a few bottles of different mediums.
Dragged out the old bed ready to be taken to the humpity dump.
Washed old bedding from the bed in the Studio instead of ditching it.
Placed of the few furniture pieces in the space.
Downed the poison at 1pm.
Closed all the windows in case it rains.

And of course it is the Local Government election day.

Aren't we lucky to live where we have a choice.  

Friday, 18 March 2016

Computers and mental arithmetic.

Earlier this week I proclaimed that the Internet was NOT making me lazy, and I still stand by that.....for ME, but I do wonder about how bamboozled people have become when they need to go back to working out sums in their heads cos someone has questioned the computer tally.

Consensus of opinion this week, both friendly and professional is that my mind is in a bit of a funk and that I would do well to get back to some painting, not the kitchen ceiling type of painting, but the slapping on of colour onto a canvas type painting.

I admit that I was initially reluctant and in funk fashion found many reasons why it was not a good idea, but my reasons were frayed apart and so I sat there today with no good reason why I would not try to lighten my mood by doing something that I love.

Tomorrow I am gonna return my studio to STUDIO instead of the bedroom it has become and chuck out all the moldy old paint and other assorted shit I have been hanging onto for years and get ready to open the 2 boxes of new canvases Stevie and I bought today.

By a bit of serendipity I got an email from a local art supplies store yesterday saying that they were having  a big half price sale on paint and canvases, so that was the last of my excuses shot to shit.

Off to Robina we popped. The selection of paint was easy cos I have always bought the same stuff and it's like riding a bike. I spent more time on canvas selection. I got 2 really biggies and 2 little biggies.

The guy gave us a total without the discount and then the REAL total. It wasn't half of his first guess. Even I - who vowed never to do Maths again , could see that. Steve pointed this out and gave him the right answer pronto, just by using his head. Then he popped off to Woolies to borrow a trolley to balance all my loot back to the car.

Well the guy was flummoxed. I think he could see that Steve had it right, or maybe he couldn't but he didn't want to argue, but he just couldn't get the computer to see it Steve's way and he all but had a little melt down. The phone was ringing and he was the only one there and it was a pretty big order so he didn't want me to walk so he kept changing the stuff he was entering until he came up with a price that was less than Steve had said and then he seemed to be satisfied.

The final figure was just silly. I flashed the card and we did a circus worthy juggling balancing routine to get it all to the car.

Steve took a look at the docket when we got home, cos it worried him that he just couldn't work out the working out. Ah, it seemed that the dividing by 2 and adding up had been mixed up. and the order of the functions had been turned inside out. His year 3 onwards maths had been forgotten and because he was so reliant on machines he just couldn't come close to the right number.

My hope is that he won't get into strife for the under charge although how anyone would be able to find it I just don't know.

If I manage to make anything even half way decent with these canvases they will be the cheapest art I have ever hung on a wall.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

We are trying to grow grass

Here's just one of the patches we are trying to repair!

This is my silly little erection to keep Dog at bay.

Years ago when I was but a slip of a single mum and was trying to entertain us both for the princely sum of bugger all, I met up with a strange sort of fella at a square dance. Yeh it's ok to pick yourself up off the floor now, cos I reckon it sounds unlikely too, but it's just a bit of my odd-ball past.

The poor old Corolla would be filled with kids and blankets and leftover bits of food and a torch or two and we'd all head out to find - long pre-satnat so via the street directory, that week's obscure field at the arse end of buggery, where the bands and the callers would be.

It was free entertainment and the leftovers always tasted better outdoors, in the dark. In the winter this was quite the adventure with open fires and kids running everywhere and the dancing was all a bit hectic and random.

So I met this fella, Allan, who sometime later became Julie, but that is a whole other story. He, then she, was all a bit alternate. He had me drinking wheat grass smoothies and I drove him everywhere cos he had no car and no cash. I must have found him interesting, cos now I just can't recall him bringing anything to the party.

One child free weekend he fancied a drive to northern New South Wales and I was happy to oblige. We ended up visiting friends of his in the hills behind Murwillumba. They were odd and I didn't want to stay cos I was heading for the beach, but as it happened we had stayed long enough for him to have bought a good sized baggie full of grass, not the sort of grass we are trying to grow now you understand, grass grass, and as a teacher, I was worried for the of the rest of the day that I might get pulled over and be found with the bag full and then I'd be given the sack and my girl and I would be out on the street. I remember the panic and the argument and the dropping off and the never seeing again as Allan. Yeh I did see Julie some long time later, when I took her to buy good underwear but again, that's a whole other story.

It seems pretty clear to me that the growth industry in rural Northern NSW was and more than likely still is, the cash cropping of weed. And I mean why not huh? The weather must be perfect for it and the properties are pretty isolated but still accessible for the punters. The sugar cane prices varies and the crops have been known to fail, but there is no such gamble with the weed crops. They flourish under the leafy canopies and the market seems endless.

But the thing that confuses me is this. We can't grow ordinary old grass in the front yard. We are not far from the weed growing capital of Australia, and we can't grow a bit of Sir Walter Buffalo. For about 6 years we've been giving it our best shot and still we are failing. The local grass layer bloke installed a good covering of the stuff at an appalling price and since then it has just failed in varying degrees. We water and fertilise and patch grow new bits but the handkerchief bit of lawn seems to be beyond us. The back yard of my Brisvegas place had grass that you couldn't kill with a stick but this bit of lawn which is tended and preened seems hell bent on giving up the ghost.

Dog does her bit to kill off a little corner that I have today roped off, but apart from that it's all a bit of a fuck knows. Today we tried again, with Steve roughing up the surface and I sowed the seeds and fertilizer. And the rain gods have been kind so I guess we just wait and see.

It's all a bit of a pissier, cos the price of this sad bit of greenery, we could have concreted the lot, and still bought a small island paradise in the Pacific.

Have you any suggestions about how to grow grass grass - not the weed grass?

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Who is voting on Reality Tellie?

I have chattered on aimlessly about the shit on the tellie before. The number of Reality TV shows is pretty impressive, the number NOT the shows you understand, and the ones I am thinking of today are the ones that require votes from punters like you and me.

I have never once been compelled to pick up the phone and vote for my favourite anything.

I guess more than a dozen years ago when Big Brother first raised it's ugly head, we were introduced to the viewer voting phenomena. It's a wonderful cash cow for the networks ontop of them being able to make hours upon hours of programs for a whole lot of fuck all. Build a house, pay some techies and an editor or 2 and an MC and pop in a disparate group of wannabes who must work for nothing and get 'em to sit around and do nothing all day except try hard to annoy each other and so amuse viewers.

And yep people all over the world are happy to play this game and so pick up their phones and call a premium rate number to record their preferences.

But I wonder who actually votes. There must surely be a demographic breakdown.

I have got this idea that it is mostly women and mostly young women and mostly young teenage hetrosexual girls, who get a kick out voting for the cutest looking boys, regardless of what the point of the voting is.

Yeh I know I am raving, just to get to the point that I am trying to work out how come in 'Australia's Got Talent' all the finalists were blokes.

Now it just cannot be possible that only fellas in Australia have talent. I know personally a large number of very talented clever entertaining women.

Maybe only fellas in Australia can be bothered with the whole audition process, or maybe they are the only ones who are able to put their lives on hold for long enough to play the whole game.

Except that there seems to be in the recesses of my ever diminshing memory, many women who did take part in the game, they just didn't make a favorable impression on the Aussie Joe Public, nope the women didn't get the votes.

So in the final we had 5 male teams - yep there were some minority groups represented but no women and NO I do no consider women to be a minority group.

A fella wins King of the Jungle - no surprises that it was a good looking Aussie sports hero, and a young good looking guy wins the talent show.

I can't even consider watching that Reno show with all those lunatics but I don't think the winners are voted for are they? I seem to think that there are some pseudo experts who deliver their pearls of wisdom critiques and determine the ultimate winners and on the cooking shows at least most of the judging is done by pretty good cooks who look good on the tellie and have bothered to put together a book or two, or at least have seen to it that someone did and then  they put their name to it.

I am not keen on the whole talent competition coming in the guise of a popularity contest.

The young guy who one AGT was a good musician, and popular too, I am just not convinced that he was the most talented performer of the season.

Did you watch ?
Did you vote?
Do you know anyone who votes?

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The Internet is not making me LAZY.

Sure I am definitely rounder than I was before I had any Internet. I can no longer run miles or bicycle up hill and down dale, or play multiple games of netball, or run after my girl or chase down a fleeing kid on a mission to destroy, and I am pretty sure that the days of standing on a plastic chair on a table so at full tilt I can paint my ceiling, are done and dusted.

And yes I clearly recall days of, 'What does that mean? Where is that? How does that work?' and heaving arse out of the chair to grab the relevant encyclopedia and doing some forearm curls with the whalloping book to find the answers, and yeh I agree they were all too often already out of date.

I remember planning holidays by just phoning an agent and just taking their say-so, just parting with the cash and just hoping for the best.

At the ripe old age of 19 when I got hitched, we planned our honeymoon in just that fashion. My lovely Dad said that he thought Nambucca Heads might be nice - he might have been having the last laugh, so we rang and booked a place. We drove all bloody day to get there on a sunday evening. The whole town was empty and closed up tighter than a drum. The agent was finally roused and keys were sorted and we moved into our first place together....ahhhh bliss. Except that as we walked into the flat we were a little disappointed. It was up a rickety staircase at the back of a real estate office, looking out to nothing. It was pretty dark and gloomy and a bit small and it took only seconds for our bare legs to attract the literally millions of fleas that had been laying in wait in the carpet for a good old snack. Bloody grim barely describes. No shops open, no place for dinner, no can of Baygon for the fleas, but we were young and married so we wiped of the fleas before diving into bed cos 'tomorrow is another day'

I have spent days online planning Steve's birthday holiday. I found a couple to look after home and Dog. We scrubbed the house top to bottom so when they popped over they didn't think we were filthy scum and so we hope they will run a broom over the place while we are away. It was so much easier in time gone just to call and book your pet into a pet motel and drop 'em off. Easier but not OK for Dog - not anymore cos there are so many other options and yeh she is a spoilt old thing.

 I found the flights easily enough, only a morning of searching for the right times, even if ultimately I had to get my head around going anticlockwise instead of clockwise. During my search I was up and down like a whore's drawers to get drinks and travel books and print outs. I could have called an agent and did so in the end, but only because I want a few extra days to get myself sorted.

But the biggest time consumer is finding the accommodation, perhaps cos the memory of those fleas is still very raw, and so I am perhaps more picky than I might otherwise be. So I have trawled for days looking at every website I could find and that sure is a lot, and then I started calling people. Inevitably I would be at the wrong end of the house when my phone would ring for call backs and so I been dashing from end to end grabbing at it sometimes breathlessly. These bookings have been quite the fitness regime. I have peaked into more bedrooms than the local peeping tom and it is amazing just how quickly places are discounted - too dark, too small, shit furniture, no bath, no carpark, NO WIFI. I made pages of notes and finally yesterday we both sat down and the bookings are done.

We are flying to Adelaide and then driving to the Great Ocean Road and then to Melbourne and flying home. We have a roof in Adelaide and in Melbourne but the week on the road we are winging it at the moment. I have a list of places in towns all the way along but I reckon we want to be a bit flexible with where and for how long we stay. Yeh we are gonna do that bit 'old style', making it up as we go along, except of course I do have a list.

In the pre-internet days, this would have been all done and dusted in a couple of phone calls instructing other people to do stuff, and then with all the extra time I could have been out getting sweaty. So doing it myself, online doesn't make me lazy, just cerebral not physical.

I do wonder how we will mutate. I guess our thumbs will develop more finesse and our brains and therefore heads will expand and our feet and legs might atrophy. I wonder if there will be a time when oversized noggins will be the epitome of sexiness and long lithe limbs a sign of stupid.

Anyway I don't feel lazy. I feel pretty self satisfied actually.

Now to get a list of adventures to cram into our time away.

Have you any suggestions for Adelaide and Melbourne or places to stay in between?  

Friday, 11 March 2016

How Quirky is your House?

It's nearly Steve's birthday and so I am trying to sort a bit of a tourist time away, but as is normal if you have a pet, that is my first list item; Sort Dog.

There's a website which we joined last year and I popped up an ad for this little adventure. Today Peter called in and over a cordial and a bit of a chinwag, everything was sort of sorted. Yeh there is still a bit of paperwork to do and I guess over a coffee a bit later on all the foibles of our place can be pointed out.

It got me thinking about all the weirdness this place holds.

Some years ago we went to London for an extended stay and we foolishly rented the place out. I say foolishly, cos the family just took the piss and broke stuff and stole stuff and ran a business and had who the fuck knows to stay. One of the things they stuffed was my induction cooktop. They smashed the glass top - fuck knows how, and then spilt shit all through the crack. We replaced the glass and just cracked on with producing food.

Seems I am ridiculously right handed and a rather predictable lazy cook cos I only ever use the 2 right hand elements. Until that is recently when I went to use another spot and found that the lefty ones don't work! I don't know when they threw in the towel but they are fucked. Yep this is not the stove for great cooks.

So I started getting a list together of the odd things that go on in the Big House that we hardly ever even notice anymore.

If you know of a simple foolproof fix for any of these, I'd be happy to hear 'em.

The light switches for the bathrooms are on the wall outside, English style, which still catches me out from time to time especially if I am tired.

The Tellie takes a while to 'warm up' like an old black and white 60s jobbie. It does eventually come good but sometimes it flicks itself on and off for 30 minutes or so, and so I turn it on before I really want to settle in so it gets itself sorted without causing me grief.

2 of the toilets sort of squeal like an early teenage girl chasing Justin Beber.

Each bath offers a different service and some experimentation is required to find the best fit and the downstairs tub's plug is not the greatest fit so some leakage happens.

It's necessary to hang clothes on the top rack at the back 3 rows before you put up the lower rack. Of course this might only be because I am a short arse.  

To cool the place down, all the upstairs windows need to be open to suck the dreaded heat up and out.

During storms from the wicked witch of the west, water is pushed under the side door and the concrete floor gets a good wash. We are sanguine about this, but I can see how novices might panic.

The hot water takes quite a long time to climb its way upstairs, so you have to turn the taps on and then write the missing chapter from 'War and Peace' before dropping your duds and getting in.

The trees standing to attention by the front door need to be watered even if it has been pissing down cos they just don't get enough of the wet stuff.

The WiFi seems to have a mind of it's own - ho hum.

I am sure this list is limited and there are lots of things that we do by rote, that others will find more than a little strange.

Still these are all such first world problems and I reckon Peter and Judie will be up for the challenge.

Is your house user friendly or would the 'How to' booklet be long and involved?

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Less is more in the Garden.

It's been a satisfying kinda day. 

Full bill of health from the Eye Doctor and we all know how rare it is that I get a full bill of any sort of health. Yippee!!! Steve's was good too, but then that is no surprise.

Ran the ugly gauntlet of pusher fuckers at the pre-voting place and got that crossed off our lists too. I fancied having a slap at some of those well meaning folk as they thrust their shit in my face, but figured that they were only trying as hard as they were to ward off the utter boredom of standing there all day, or maybe all week.

And finally we got into our farmer Joe outfits and had an almighty go at The Tree.

I have enjoyed allowing it to become very fringe heavy, and visitors could easily be forgiven for thinking that they might not be very welcome cos they had to dive under all the mess. Of course we always use the trademen's entrance through the garage so the low hanging branches never slapped us around. 

Still I have had a hankering for a view of The Tree as a sculpture and so the leafy camouflage had to go. We started conservatively but then went boldly on the attack.

There was an enormous pile of tree on the ground, and now there is a wonderful open space where maybe tomorrow, if I can convince Stevc to climb that shitty ladder again, maybe we can pop up some solar lights so I can enjoy The Tree day and night. Ah...Lovely. 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

International Women's Day - Oh Ho Hum!!

The dichotomy between ladylike and free and easy. I love both of these and am not sure why they need to be mutually exclusive. 

I am now gonna bravely stick my head above the parapet and ask why we need this?

Yeh I know that there is about as many whinges to be shouted as there are women to shout 'em, and there is stuff that goes on that needs to be addressed. And yeh there are too many to mention, women who are doing great stuff all the time.

I just wonder why we need a day to celebrate or notify or campaign or protest about it all.

I can't help feeling that it all becomes trite and perfunctory and not really at all self-serving or satisfactory.

As I was driving up to Brisvegas yesterday I had the radio blaring and every channel I switched to had some self congratulating woman going on about it all and bigging herself up because she was playing songs by women singers, and I guess it pointed out to me that apart from the harpies, the music content was pretty much the same as any other day. I really wondered what all the nonsense was about.

Then when my girl told me of her day, I realised that actually women are our own worst enemies. It's not always the menfolk who keep us down.

My lovely works hard. She wears her steel capped boots with pride and she is never happier than when she is sweating up a storm and driving some machine that would seriously scare the shit out of me. Yesterday a customer came in and said to her, ' I want a man to serve me'. Bell repiled, 'This is your lucky day cos I am your man.' She had to convince the customer that she was the only person there to serve and so reluctantly she was allowed to throw about 50 besser blocks onto the ute. She managed to carry 2 at a time - better by far than me. I reckon I might have been good if I could have toppled one into a wheel barrow and toted 'em that way.

There was no gracious, 'Thank you' or anything of that ilk. Just a hurried exit.

The customer was a woman.

Belly called her a lady, but I don't even know what that means anymore. Is a lady someone who wears the right clothes and doesn't swear, and is aglow instead of sweaty?  Is she someone who has a clear expectation of what a female should do and what a man should do?

While we as women play the sex card, how can we expect men not to?

So I say bahumbug to a special day for women. I would so much prefer us all just to look up and speak for ourselves all the time. I would like us to acknowledge greatness without pausing to comment on gender. I would like it if women weren't lining up to put each other down.

And I'd like this ALL the time not just on one silly day of the year, cos somehow that seems to me to be a license to forget about it for the rest of the year.

Did you do something yesterday that made you proud to be a woman? 
How about today?

Monday, 7 March 2016

Dog's got arthriitis

Dog has arthritis.

We have known for some time that her back end ain't what it used to be, but in typical feisty female fashion she just refuses to slow down and be other than what she is, which is a running-after-the-ball-like-a-maniac-dog. So twice a day she makes her her presence well and truly felt by chasing us and shoving the ball at us or tripping us up or sitting mournfully looking at the back gate. And when she is in the park she just runs and runs. If we go to the beach she just runs and runs and swims and digs. When Zig visits she is on the go all day - no time for sleeping - plenty of time to that when she's dead she reckons.

So after a big day she collapses onto the floor or the couch and is off to the land of nod, in a heartbeat, after of course she has hoovered up whatever was left on our plates...yeh disgusting, but they do go through the disher so ho bloody hum.

And there she stays until it's time to go out for a final pee-wee before heading up to bed. The mind might be willing but the body is now beginning to protest. She all too often struggles to stand up and as the owner of 2 artificial knees, I can feel her pain.

There are a couple of ladies who come most days to the park with their dog, who clearly has had a long life of dreadful arthritis. They told me that recently a vet told them that there are needles for dogs which can help out.

I took Dog to the Vet today to see what he thought. He said there was some tension in her back end but that he could easily believe that she might suffer after a big day out.

He said that if she was lame in the evening we could give her a squirt of anti-inflammatory meds. This stuff is specially for dogs and does in deed cost a bomb. But I have a bottle and will use it as and when. He said we could try some Blackmores Glucosamine/Fish Oil combo pill - one a day and then yes there are the needles. One a week for 4 weeks and then monthly and then finally every 3 months.

But I am conflicted cos she was so chipper today and I remember clearly the trauma for her and me when she had to have weekly injections for mites when she was but a girl. This went on for the requisite 8 weeks and finally she just went nutso in the car on the way. It never got easy. I rather doubt this would get easy either and I don't want to cause her stress.

What is interesting is that the medical approach is the same as for a person, except that Dog would need a full general anesthetic to get an Xray, I guess cos she wouldn't understand the need to be completely still.

I have always thought Dog was close to human.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Gold Coast City Council Fairytale

Once upon a rainy old Saturday there was an aging woman just minding her own business. She was not beautiful nor fashionably slim, in fact in Hollywood terms she'd have been closer to the villain than the heroine.

Saturdays are quiet and peaceful in the castle. The Lord goes forth to do battle with a ball, by wildly swinging a stick and after Dog is seen to, it's up with the feet and on with a movie. Ahhh bliss.

But all was not well in the Old Woman's kingdom. There had been trouble afoot for months and the tension had been rising. There was evil brewing.

The anonymous evil ruler, had been stretching and flexing his ever increasing tentacles. The seemingly omnipotent ruler had put in place sufficient buffers to see him quite removed from the day to day dirty gritty nitty, and the system had allowed for favoritism and corruption. But the foot soldiers who did his bidding had been seen alternating between lazing around and trying to intimidate and wheel nonexistent power.    

Our Old Woman hero, had spent a goodly while documenting the corruption and misadventures of the Ruler's Fellas. She had not shied away from calling a spade a shovel and it seemed these tools were more than a little foreign to the Fellas.

This tardy slothful band of bozos had begun to get a little angsty. They were not happy having their work ethic or effectiveness questioned, and the Ruler also had had a bellyful of our Old Woman and her letters and social media exposes. The Ruler had firmly stuck his head in the sand but naturally kept his snout in the public money trough, as he hoped against hope that he would be re-elected so his reign could continue. The sloths, however,  began a campaign of destruction and intimidation. They broke laws and fist pumped with glee. They smashed up our heroine's property and they drove their chariots at the Old Woman's castle and when that didn't frighten her they marched right up to her becoming a very unattractive shade of puce, shouting and swearing like the banshees they were. They tried to frighten our Old Woman and scare her off. The tentacles swept in from many directions and tried to slap at her, but still she stood firm.

It seemed that our Old Woman was out of options and that she might have to just ride out the abuse and intimidation and threats unless one of the Fellas actually bashed her up, cos only then could the White Knights ride in with all guns blazing.

Perhaps a change in Rulers, might restore some sanity in the Kingdom?

Friday, 4 March 2016

George Pell should die in prison.

Decades ago I found myself teaching in a Catholic Girls' school. I started as a part timer and so my admitted atheism was no impediment to my work. Yeh I took the girls to Mass and my lot were exceptionally well behaved because I didn't want my quiet enjoyment of the church architecture and the iconic artwork and the smell of the incense to be interrupted by getting up teenagers. They prayed or thought rude thoughts, who knows what really went on in their minds and I didn't care so long as they knelt and sat and stood and sang on cue.

By the time I wanted to work full time I guess the powers that be were impressed enough in my teaching and my general morality, that they kept me on even though there was that small issue of belief to hurdle. I guess the Head Teacher, pulled on her track pants cos she was happy for me to stay.

Anyway, sadly the school was closing so I found another job and when I left the same Head Teacher gave me a plaque with that quote on it. I kept that plaque for many years, and even though it is now long gone I remember it fondly, even with the Godly reference.

Yeh she knew me well.

She knew that I never flinched from an argument or a fight that needed to be had. But she was a wise woman and she could also see that I sometimes lacked the ability to see that a particular brick wall had my name written all over it. She knew that I would go forward and spend an appalling amount of time and energy fighting important hopeless cases cos she saw that there was no OFF switch here. And this has been my painful head - banging truth.

It drives Steve mad. I see something that is irrational or unfair or illogical or dishonest and I have to go at it, too often like that bull in a china shop. I shout and thrash about and things get broken and sometimes, certainly not as often as I'd like, change happens.

I don't stop to wonder about the success of my protest, cos I argue that even if the probability of success is slim, the fight is not just worthwhile, it's vital that a voice be heard.

And so we get to George Pell.

I can barely contain my rage.

The idea that he has been party to long term abuse of more children than we can know about and that he now sits in luxury, cloistered and pampered and plays the bullshit card, is abhorrent to me. I feel the bile rising just thinking about it. And I am completely and utterly incredulous  as to how anyone reconciles this abuse and cover up and complete vacuum of justice, with a loving god.

I remember, 'Blessed be the Children'.... I don't recall 'Cover the fuck up all that abuse to try to save face'

Fuck him and all those other bastards who stole children's innocence and left them irreparably damaged. Send this scum off to the worst jail imaginable to suffer the consequences from less than forgiving in-mates. If I believed in a God it would have to be a wrathful deity who dealt out fitting punishments, certainly not forgiveness for a Hail Mary.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Roles and Lies

Does this look like an authentic signature?

I have lost count of the number of lies that have fallen out of anonymous Optus call centre operatives' gobs over the last 2 weeks. Today's epic call to Zac, who I am pretty sure had pushed the speaker button so that I could be the brunt of hysterical laughter with his co-workers, gave me cause to wonder just how honest anyone is, and in deed how honest I am, cos it's really only my integrity that I routinely doff my pride hat to.

So to the roles I have played and the lies I have told:

Daughter: Yeh Dad it is hot today- (My flushed face has nothing to do with that young fella I have been snogging like a maniac and who is now stashed in my wardrobe.)

Babysitter: The kids have been excellent. ( The little fuckers locked me out of the house for 2 hours)

Checkout Chick: I slipped with the scissors when I took my uniform up and now this is how it needs                               to be. (I have good legs and I will show 'em off not like these old fogies in the Deli.)

Student: I had to go home Sir cos I got my period - ( Yeh NO I was wagging class and going to the                   pictures.)
Retail Agent: Petrol, Tyres....just told it as it was.

Wife: Yeh I am happy - (And so I want a divorce.)

Teacher: I have no political opinions at all. ( What a walloper!)
               Your child is a little talkative (Your kid is a royal pain in the arse!)
                Mongolian herders live in yurts ( And they have no toilets so they get fatter and fatter until                   they go outsde and burst.)
                Yeh I think there might be so many lies told during my 30 years teaching that that's a whole                 other post.

Mother: Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny
              No I never did....
Call Centre Worker: Nope, it just wasn't important enough to lie...Sometimes the Bosses were not                                         amused but actual lies is where I drew the line. I was selling stuff so glossing up                                   was ok but actual lies were NOT  

Nah, I reckon I got into far more trouble telling the truth, but the truths had it, at least I have never had any trouble remembering the truths, and I reckon I am just not smart enough to keep a bunch of lies in order.

And that's exactly the problem faced by the Optus people I have had the very great misfortune to speak to this week. Once they lie, they need to remember what they have said and oh how they hate it when you point out that whatever crap that just fell outta their gobs contradicts what they said mere minutes before, they get all shitty. The list of lies told by Zac and Ryan and Brennon and Mandy, is just too long and bile making to bother with here, but suffice to say not one of these folk is bright enough keep even ONE lie in line let alone a string of 'em.    

I have now been told by these 4 gatekeepers that they would all email HARVEY WRIGHT on my behalf. Harvey, of the variable title, and of the 'I have never heard of him' fame. Harvey who has supposedly signed a business letter to me, but who has no business address that anyone is permitted to give me, yeh that's the same Harvey who is protected from return correspondence, and who does not have to take responsibility for his own correspondence. It's the same Harvey that one call centre worker said was so high up in the hierarchy that no details were available and that yeh he has a PA, but the PA needed to be protected from incoming letters too, yep even emails are considered too dangerous so it seemed.

Ho Hum huh?

I reckon if you asked a cross section of folk where they would be most likely to find an overwhelming percentage of lying scumbags, they'd probably start with politicians and car sales people and I'd agree, but now after the last 2 weeks, I reckon my list is topped by Optus call centre workers.

What's the biggest LIE you have heard recently? 


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Do Artificial Colours scare you?

Autumn today! If such a thing happened here in the Goldie, it would herald the browns and oranges and the crunch of leaves underfoot. But as is well documented, no such thing exists here in the land of the perpetual stink, instead all it means to me is that the birthday month of February has come to a close and now as is too often the case, I am spending far too much time checking out poo cos I wonder if all the food colouring in the party fare is absorbed or just passes through.

I am happy to agree  that it's a strange thing to wonder about, but wondcr I do.

My girl can whip up a cake in just about any form you can think of and once upon a time the requests were pretty simple and covered in lots of chocolaty mess. But yesterday's bright bloody blue tardis might have taken the cake - sorry about that lame-o pun. The blue lingered on teeth and tongues of us all, and not cos we had chomped up a huge big chunk each.

We'd had lots of healthy meat and salad and the kids had vacuumed up some lolly water, and we'd cheered each other on over the snooker table. The kids had taught me to play hand ball in the garage - yeh very patient they were too. We had all siphoned up what seemed like gallons of water cos it was so bloody hot. Suffice to say we were all about full to pussy's bow and could only fit in a ladylike chunk.

It was delicious. I reckon it might have been the best tasting cake Belly has ever made, even if we had to dodge the straws she'd used as part of the engineering necessary to hold the tardis upright. But it was the instant BLUE which was most remarkable. We are all used to the yummo stuff she makes, but the big BLUE was new.

Now it can be no secret that there is very little artificial stuff that I won't shove in my gob, anything full of fat and sugar is fine with me, and I just don't give a shit what colour it is. All those sweeties that proudly proclaim they are artificial colourings free can only jump into my mouth if they are on sale, cos I only care about the sugar content and the price. Colourings don't scare me.

The bright blue of last night did fascinate me though. It stained fingers cos god knows no-one bothered with spoons or forks, shit I thought we did well to even pop the slices on the plates provided cos we ate it up with such gusto.

This is some serious blue stain.

If it appears anywhere else I will let you know.

Do you worry about what you pop into your gob?