Saturday, 30 April 2016

Z is for Zilche Zakouska

We went off to the local Greek place last night called Jim's Greek Tavern and it should surprise you not at all that we ate ZILCH ZAKOUSKA, cos it was a Greek place not Russian so no vodka or caviar and actually no chance to even place an order cos you just get what you get given.

It is a wonderful cavernous place that at least on this Friday night was completely heaving with loud pissed people who arrive carrying in cartons of wine...yep not a bottle, but a fucking carton! I reckon it's clear they had been there before cos they knew just how high they needed to hoist those cartons so to avoid knocking the shit out of anyone's heads as they strode towards their table.

So we waited for our table to be cleared in some strange bar across the road and downed a pint until it was our turn to join the circus.

We were seated by not-so-mr-smiley, let's call him George, who quickly noticed we arrived sans carton and so offered us a house wine as they aren't licensed. What the very fuck? No Beers? So we chose white wine and then thought we might have a lively look through the menu.

Yeh ...No ....No menu! So George asked us if we wanted dips. 'Yes Please!'

Then he asked us if we wanted .... ??????? can't hear you ???? calamari frittes...Missed that bit...??? Nope Missed it again. So I said slowly that yes some calamari frittes would be good, and maybe some Kleftiko and sauted potatoes, he nodded and said no potatoes you can have salad. Righto then!

The dips were delicious and the bread plentiful and then there was Greek salad and lashings of Calamari and the biggest wedge of lemon I have ever seen. Must have been some fucking lemon I reckon.

And then we waited. All manner of food was being delivered to tables. Noone had seen a menu but all manner of stuff was being chomped. Flat fish and sardines and more calamaris and salad and more bread and that's just nearby us.

We waited and Stevie struggled through the carafe of house white.

It seemed pretty clear that everyone else knew the rules except us.

And they had all arrived at the start of a session and we had lobbed in in the middle of a session.

The programme called for dips and bread, then salad, then fish, then I guess finally meat.

But we didn't know this cos we forgot to buy a programme.

Anyway, well after the last of the frittes had been flung down our throats, and the wine had been drained and we were both bleeding from the ears cos of the noise, we asked George for the bill cos honestly we were full up to pussy's bow and didn't need the meat which may or may not have been forthcoming, anyway.

The bill was impressive in it's brevity, and obscurity.

I don't know how George did the add ups and maybe the total included a surcharge for the dinner theatre, but it was cheap and dear at the same time.

We left full of food and merriment.

We'd definitely go back but next time we'd ask more questions, get there at the right time, and remember to take our own carton.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Y is for YIPPEE!

Yippee Ki Yay mother fucker! Bruce Willis would be so proud!

We have crawled and plunged and slammed and shoved our noses into places you are just never meant to shove your snorkel and this morning we finally found it! And now the offending item has been wrapped in plastic and popped out on the balcony and we hope that the appalling stench has gone away with it.

I have been figuring that the Leukemia was making me sensitive to all things stinky, instead of just being my usual fussy self. I have stopped wearing perfume and have been slapping on oat meal and coconut moisturizer and anytime some stinker shares space on the trams I am aware that it is probably my problem not theirs.

In Adelaide there was the mildew stink that finally drove us, well maybe only me, from the flat into anothery which whilst it had a slight pong, it was more than livable.

And so when we moved in here for another week and there was this really strong odour, I was hoping against hope that it was the just cleaned cleaning product smell and that it would dissipate in short order.

But 4 days in and poor old Stevie got up this morning and said the smell was making him sick, so yippee! it wasn't just me after all. We began the hunt. There must be one of those electric stink dispensers somewhere and the flat is not all that big and still we couldn't find it. I buried my nose into the ever disgusting rag mop head and it wasn't the culprit. We shifted furniture and I even wondered about removing light bulbs cos I thought one of the down lights looked odd. The rubbish bin was searched and the appliances opened and the store cupboard given a thorough going over.

And suddenly, mid bite of his marmite toast, Stevie leapt up and shoveled a piece of furniture near the front door sideways and eyespied the fucker. He grabbed it out of it's hidden home and relegated it to the little balcony. I stuck my nose in there for one final whiff of that shitful smell to make sure that was the thing, and have now opened everything I can to blow that shit right out and away.

We are very proud of ourselves.

It was clearly never meant to be disturbed.

We hope it wasn't used to cover up some even more diabolical smell.

Back in the day, way back back back, when I was preggie with Belly, I was suffering more than a little morning sickness. This was also the era of those solid little rocks of smell coverer-upperers that we all plopped into our loos. They made the water blue or green or yellow. Do you remember them? Maybe they still make 'em I don't know, cos when you have had you face stuck into the bowel for more hours than you fancy ever recalling and it stank of that synthetic cover up, well I am pretty sure that like me you will never have bought one again.

Smell is a very strong memory trigger and if I ever am unlucky enough to smell the shit that is out on the balcony again, I am certain that I will instantly be transported back to this flat in Melbourne.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

X is for XAT

Melbourne flat XATS

Yeh it's a stretch, but it was either a story about carved memorial totems, XATS- or maybe the rather bland candle sticks in this flat, or a description of the xray facilities in St Vincent's Hospital, and as I only ventured in to the Pathology area yesterday, the totems have it.

I have not kept it a secret that the preliminaries to securing this flat were long and more than a little painful, but once done and once we got hold of the keys out of the letterbox out of the key safe using the code provided and then we let ourselves in and found the fob for the garage and Stevie got a little lost but did finally find it by NOT using the neighbour's directions, we took a few seconds to pull a hanky over our mouths to avoid the stinking fumes of cleaning product, and check the place out.

There are all sorts of weird shit shoveled in here, not least being the timber candle sticks on the dining table. There are House Rules on little stickers all over the place but none to do with the the lighting of candles and the consequent dripping of wax onto the glass table...Maybe this is the loop hole to the whole cleaning issue. Maybe a little hillock of spilled wax on glass is ok but a clean glass left in the drainer is cause for invoking a $40 additional cleaning fee - $60 has already been paid up front. That seems a pretty steep cleaning bill, but I suppose that stinky shit, which 3 days in still really really pongs, might just cost a motza. I am pretty sure that no one has used the bloody candle sticks - My CSI investigations indicates no wax anywhere on 'em or scratch marks where wax was pried off 'em either. I reckon they just take up space on the bloody table, or maybe it's for 'decoration'.

Like some of these other bits of tat. I mean who hangs a wooden monkey up in a rental holiday place and who would come to Melbourne and book into a flat in Fitzroy so they can practice their Japanese Tea service ritual?

The pantry is full of left over other people's stuff, which I do not want to touch, but imagine is well passed the use by, and there is a condiments pull out which is similarly stacked with shit of dubious vintage. Seriously this all just suggests to the next people in that it's OK for old leftovers NOT to hit the bin, just leave it there to fester, but that clean glass on the dish rack, well that's a big NO NO.

We are off to roam around Fitzroy today and after last nights meander we expect to eyespy the stores from whence all this stuff sprang. Last night we saw, not a stag, but an elephant so I reckon if I were to go in when the shop is open I could find a matching pair for this fella.

Now I am not saying that all this tat is hideous, it's just really odd for a short term holiday rental. It all needs to be dusted - not very well to date, and it is very personal taste.

She has access to a $500 bond in case we bust up the place, so I am pleased to have taken photos of the already less than pristine plumbing and bathroom fixtures and the kitchen bench, oh and I have a fine one of Stevie vacumming up the dust lumps that fell off one of the door edges. Maybe what she is really concerned about is that someone is gonna take off with her Stag, or the Sticks or the Swinging Monkey, cos damage enough has already been done to the actual flat itself.

500 bucks for XATS of dubious authenticity seems pretty steep.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

W is for WASHING.

Even when you are on holidays, the old bullshit domestic chores rear their ugly heads, and as we have been gypsies for more than 2 weeks now, and brought with us limited outfits and undies, washing definitely needed.

The trouble is that at home washing is done on remote control. I don't give it a thought....and my laundry is set up so that our clothes fit on the washing line and it's done in heart beat and left to dry, away from anywhere where I have to see it or trip over it, but that just ain't the case in other people's places.

The women who own the flat we are staying in Melbourne really do have tickets on themselves. They think this place is so very flash that we and anyone lucky enough to have parted with cash to stay here, really should be leaving them a gilt edged thank-you note and a little parcel. It's meant to be a 2 bedder, but one bedroom is internal and no light or external window and I thought there was 2 bathrooms mentioned in the ad, but there must have been fine print saying that the second bathroom is only a loo, and so only a bathroom for midgets or small children who don't mind the idea of showering under the flush. So it's an odd little place and there is certainly no place to hang wet washing.

But all up it's not a bad head rest for a few days.

It has a washing machine and so I threw in a load and then went looking for somewhere I might hang some stuff that really shouldn't go through the drier, which is a lot of stuff I reckon. I only use my drier for towels, cos I don't like the way clothes smell when they come out of the machine.

I improvised. I emptied out the clothes hanging in the wardrobe and opened the window and hung our wet clothes in the cupboard, leaving the doors open and now I hope that the air-drying method might just work, at least we are not tripping over wet washing and looking at the sag of it all in the lounge room.

This holiday thing is hard work.

The CML keeps rearing it's ugly head, or maybe it's the meds, or maybe it's all the good food and the booze and the sight seeing and the packing and the unpacking, and the acclimatising to different beds and pillows, but whatever it is my eyes decided that my face needed a bit of a wash too.

So we have clean clothes and my face is gleaming and we are off again tonight to follow up on Stevie's reccie today, in the hunt for more food and drink, and maybe some vegetables, or maybe not...who knows, cos it's all part of the adventure.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

V is for Visual feast.

We drove around the Mornington Peninsula on our way from Victorian Sorrento, (as apposed to our little Goldie  Sorrento), to the big smoke of Melbourne and it really is just picture perfect. You can zig zag across the peninsula and pop into little lookouts and bigger touristy places all in very quick order. Most of it is sort of slow poke farming type of places but soon, if you head out to Arthurs Seat ( no punctuation so I guess that's not Arthur's seat, but a bunch of blokes called Arthur playing musical chairs with only one seat), you'll be able to get a chair lift from the beach up the 330m hill to the top and I reckon this is gonna be quite a ride and a fabbo view. Stevie said, ' I don't fucking think so,' and that was before we saw that it was still under construction. Chair lifts are clearly not his thing, but I'd have a go in a heart beat. Look out for this bit of fabulous if you are there in the next little while.

No I don't have any photos, but I do have some wonderful images in my brain so you will just have to check it out for yourself and fill that bit of your head with beach and headland and cows and fields and golf courses and canopy trees over the roads. All very AHHHH.

Neither of us have driven around Melbourne, instead always opting for public transport or Shanks's ponies, so it was useful to be doing it in 2016 cos I managed to navigate between the many paper maps we had gathered and the google maps on my phone, with the moving icon which was us. These phone maps are just bloody brilliant, and we only went wrong once and only a little bit and only because I just couldn't see a big enough bit of the map all at once.

So land in Young Street we did, and move in we have, and out onto Brunswick street for a long mooch, we've been.

It's a pretty gritty end of town although the further north you go up Brunswick street the looser can be your grasp on your handie.

The contrast between the rural idyll and the urban grit is palpable and even though I have thoroughly enjoyed the bush pace, I am pleased to be back in town.

Monday, 25 April 2016

U is for UNUSUAL

Living on the Goldie as I do, I am very used to the long stretches of white white squeaky sand beach, and people wandering around in bugger all clothes most of the year and then on the 2 days of winter they don their full cold clobber including long boots and all manner of furry coats and gloves and hats. I have spent time wondering where exactly they keep all this shit cos it's not oft used and there is not usually any loft space in homes, to chuck it into, so I guess it hangs in cupboards surrounded by summer singlets and thongs and just feels very out of place.

But the Great Southern Ocean is far removed from the Pacific Ocean and the Goldie. It is wonderful in it's unusualness.

The beaches are mostly brown cold sand, edged by very dramatic rock wall cliffs, and the water is cold. Not chill-blain leg cramping cold like in the UK in Newquay in the winter where Belly and I almost lost all use of our legs, but still it's pretty cold, so the crazy swimmers are all wearing their wet suits even if they are just dipping in a toe or 2. The really unusual thing I have discovered here on the southern coast, is that wet suits do in deed come in a variety of sizes, even big enough to accommodate bodies which are frowned upon in public on the all too often pretentious, skinny Goldie. These must almost certainly must be housed in the garage as they could well smell of piss and salt cos I have heard that everyone wees in 'em to keep themselves warm. How very unusual.

The Great Ocean Road has been built to give tourists full view of the wonderful diverse landscape. It is bloody brilliant and if you fancy going for quite a bit of a drive, then make sure you give yourself enough time to call in at all the lookout points, or at least most of 'em, cos they are worth a look. Please leave the selfie sticks and the fucking moronic need to climb in with the snakes amid the unstable cliff tops, in your car, and just take a moment to smell the salt and listen to the crash of the waves.

Seriously the number of people who grabbed a selfie and took off, just ticking another destination off the list, was staggering and ultimately I was looking for a shovel to smack 'em with. All too often walking 4 abreast and expecting everyone else to move, or wait til they had taken their stupid pictures - yep, I have had enough of tourists. The good thing about the list tickers is that they are not too long at any destination so if you wait a few seconds they move away and you have a wonderful view all to yourself until the next wave of selfie obsessed loons arrive.

I have thoroughly loved every part of the coast down here.

Of course it's the ANZAC Day Long weekend and today started with a service at the memorial at Lorne. I was lazy in the extreme and watched from the balcony of my place while I warmed my hands on my mug of tea. My fortune, by comparison to our Diggers was not lost on me.

Lest We Forget.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

T is for Tourist Information Centres

When you roll into a brand new place and have no fucking idea where you are or what to do or where to stay, and you eye spy one of those Big Yellow I signs, you can breathe a sigh of relief cos help of all sorts is at hand.

When I was younger I just refused to go into these places cos I figured arrogantly that they were staffed by banjo playing yokels who would get off by sending you 100s of kilometres out of your way to a place that still wouldn't have a loo, but age has its perks and wisdom might have to be one of the biggies.

It was a big drive yesterday from Robe to Port Campbell.

We had found the Robe accommodation as we drove in and even though we immediately disliked LOIS with the 'I'm Responsible' badge we checked in and parted with too much cash because we were keen to get out and about and have a look at this lovely wee place, and lovely and wee it truly is.

The Big Yellow I gave us a map and told us everywhere was wonderful, the accomm was all wonderful and the food everywhere, yep, everywhere, even that manky smelling takeaway place was wonderful. Sometimes the Big Yellow I people are just a little too parochial, but they always have good maps.

So where we stayed in Robe I would not recommend, but more of that in a later post.

The point was, that we were under prepared so I chewed into my Mobile data while we bumped along towards the Great Ocean Road, to find somewhere to stay in Port Campbell for a couple of nights. I had already done quite a lot of research before we left the Goldie so I had a list of places and phone numbers, but I did a bit of checking first. I rang a few people and bugger me it seemed that the whole of this village was booked out - of course it's a long weekend - great to remember the ANZACs of course, but not so wonderful if you are trying to find somewhere clean and tidy to rest your head.

I ended up ringing one of the places I had found online, only to be told by SUE, that I would have to book it online cos she didn't take bookings over the phone....SHIT. It's a bit tricky punching in info and card numbers while you bounce along, but punch I did and we were all sorted.

The Big Yellow I beckoned us as we got to town and we popped in to get a map and some directions to our little home away from home. I clocked that our guide did a bit of a double take as she handed us the map and circled stuff and then found a brochure and told us everywhere was wonderful, but I wondered if she might have just had a little palsy.

Off we trotted to our hand built A frame place. It was a little out of town, not great, it didn't seem too far on the map, but what was really not too great was that it was up an almost vertical dirt goat track and when we got there we really were looking out for the banjos.

There was a little parking but it had mostly been taken up by vehicles that looked as if they had not seen action since perhaps some of our oldest Anzacs parked up many moons ago. It was oddly silent. There was a hand written sign saying to call SUE. She said to let ourselves into the cabin down the the hill aways, so we did.

Well fuck me!! I thought I was not all that fussy, well ok actually I am aware that I am pretty fussy, but I thought I was at least reasonably shock proof! This place was truly fucking awful! I mean I suppose if I had built every bit of it by the sweat of my own brow I might have looked on it fondly, but as a stranger wandering in from the big smoke, well I wanted at least for it to be clean and the bedding to be clean! One of the beds was still unmade and the mattress protector, well let's just say it had done it's job, and then some, about 100 years ago and had earned a long a prosperous retirement, just not on any bed I planned to rest my head. OOOh Yukky. There was newspaper stuffed into the roof boards and Steve couldn't work out what it was there for cos it couldn't have been water proof. Anyway to say we were underwhelmed might well be the understatement of the holiday! But SUE had our 350 bucks and I was beside myself in not wanting to stay, so Stevie took a deep breath and put on his very best polite English and managed to talk her into giving us our cash back, but he did truly have to suck it up as she told him she didn't think we sounded like the sort of people who should stay at her place, and she thought that was a insult!! We took it as high praise, and tootled off back into town where we found a clean tidy place across form the pub. Bliss!

So now we are off to Lorne today via the 12 Apostles which I can hardly wait to see.

We haven't got anywhere to sleep sorted and our methods to date have been unsuccessful, but onward and upward and we'll keep a little look out for the Big Yellow I and maybe ask specific questions, like, 'Is this place fit for human habitation?'

Friday, 22 April 2016

S is for SLEEPY

Yeh this is a bit of a cheat, but I am buggered. And it has been Stevie doing all the driving. I have just been looking and trying to keep him entertained.

Robe at sunset yesterday. Beautiful!

Near to Port Campbell at the start of the Great Ocean Road. Ohh soo excited!

Stevie being the London Bridge.

London bridge has fallen down

But for this challenge I would have been mute today.

When are you at your most tired?

Thursday, 21 April 2016


The cross country attack so 2 folk who live at the beach can see more beach, starts today. Must be cos we really love the beach huh? It ain't cos we love to drive that's for sure, in fact I do wonder what the hell we are doing.

We are driving the 'long way' from Adelaide to Melbourne - about 750 kms but it might be longer cos I want to see the southern most Sorrento and compare it to our little bit of lovely. We both know that 750kms is not far and certainly not when you look on the map, shit it's only a couple of inches across the bottom bit, but it's far for us because, firstly, I only drive in MY car and had I been able to teleport it down here I would have been OK with driving, but we have hired this walloper. Stevie asked for a Mitsi but instead they 'upgraded' us to some big old black toyota which maybe was a funeral car in a previous life. It's fucking huge and I will never be able to park it up and I have no interest in reading the 'how to' manual to get to know it, and the handbrake is on the floor next to your feet. How are you meant to climb in under there to do a hill start? Really, why is the fucking HAND brake next to your FOOT? So I might drive if we pull over on the side of the road to do the baton exchanges, and I never have to even come close to having to put in in between other cars or even run the risk of deflating the tyres by pulling up alongside of the concrete curb.

Stevie just doesn't like to drive long distances. He finds it boring and tedious and if there are dickheads on the road, frustrating and irritating. This is not just an Aussie thing where everything is so bloody far apart, he wasn't all that fond of driving in England either. Shit see now I am thinking of one road trip there from London to York where the bloody car blew up and we sat for 3 hours in the middle of a traffic island breathing in exhaust and then I had a migraine for the time away. Yeh that was pretty shit.

My lovely dad used to throw us all in the car and take off. I remember that this happened particularly at Easter. We'd all roll around in the back of his monster car and head to Sydney. It was great fun, except that my sister was always car sick so there was a stink of vomit cos Dad never wanted to stop until it was too late, and if you wanted to pee, you just had to hang on. One year he thought he'd take his mate in Sydney a crate of apples but when we got the the border, the inspectors said that we couldn't take 'em into NSW cos fruit flies recognised the arbitrary line and never flew south by mistake, so we sat on the side of the road and ate 'em all up. That's a lot of apples between 5 people! And you can just imagine how much we needed the loo for the next 900km.

So even though 'drivers' could do the distance in a day, we are taking 5 days to get there.

I hope there is stuff to see, but I imagine that in true Aussie style, there will be long long stretches of bugger all spotted with, 'Wow did you see that!'

Do you like driving?
How far is far enough in a day?

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Q is for Quaint and Quickly hurry up and slow down.

Adelaide is a lovely quaint town / city.

It's got oldie-worldie charm and just when you think you have it all worked out and are in the slow groove of trams and free buses, friends take you for a drive up to Mt Lofty for dinner and drive the windy way back to town and you see the sparkle and shine of the a modern place and the roadworks and night madness of construction in very poor light reminds you that you are in deed in a big old city.

There are many pockets of houses, (which quiet possibly are now businesses, even though I like to imagine families there not papers and offices and phones and computers,) which are Victorian terraces or semis or detached like in London except that many have a wonderful swing up roof over their front verandah and the Stone construction makes 'em look like little pieces of abstract art work, small but perfectly formed.

And did I mention the pubs? Bloody marvelous!

But the Victorian nature and the pubs,  might well be where the London connection end. The roads are wide and the whole city is well planned and easy to navigate, and the people are country style folk who happily look you in the eye and smile and give directions and I am only guessing here cos it hasn't happened - yet - call you a dick head if you are one, cos I don't reckon they fudge over what they think.

The weather has been a little bit of autumn and we have certainly loved that. And standing under a dropping - leaf tree and watching the deadens float down is lovely. It's dry and they swirl around making a crunchie scraping noise instead of landing in a black rotting wet mess as happens in London.

We had a 3 day unlimited metro card and that took us very far afield and all around. It's efficient and I reckon if you knew all the buses, there is just no where too difficult. The app for your phone however is not always reliable as the folk who watched our little melt down as we walked fucking miles out of our way following the app directions, can attest. Hurry up and slow down!

The food is wonderful, although you can always do better than that manky pizza shop in Melbourne Street that sells 'em by the acre....that was seriously shit, big, huge shit! in fact Melbourne Street might not be the place to head for food - remember the Chinese meal? Yep Melbourne St.

There is so much to see and do that really a week is just not long enough. Today we are hiring a car and heading out of town and tomorrow we are off on our driving adventure, so we sat yesterday and worked out what we wanted to do in a day and by the time we did it all I was a snoring mess on the couch....Quickly hurry up and slow down. But while we ate eggs at the Adelaide markets we planned our day we wandered when we might be able to come back to this lovely quaint girl-lady, cos even going like maniacs we weren't going to be able to see it all.

Have you ever been surprised by a city?
What is favourite place to visit?

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

P is for PUDDING

When I was younger, well ok last week , I would be tempted to forego the actual dinner part of dinner and dive straight into the dessert. Typically I'd have a good look at the menu and think in reverse. So if there was a really good pudding, and let's face how could anything full of sugar and fat not be good, then the rest of the meal needed to be chosen with that in mind - you know - leave plenty of room for pudding.

But now all too often restaurants have a special silly little menu for puds, that they present at the end of the mains. It's a trendy bit of bullshit, that gives me the irrits, cos room may not have been left. Bugger! And the chances of me doing a quick 4 miler to build up an appetite are less than me saying no to the sugar.

But this week, I have replaced the pud with booze - beer and wine and nightcaps. Yep and that's been very pleasant too.

Adelaide seems to be home to flash chocolate shops and midnight dessert bars, and so last night when we got off the bus, after yet another lovely meal, but no pudding, we saw that the dessert place nearby was actually OPEN.

We looked at each other and thought, nightcap vs pud and laughed as we pushed open that door.

The place was heaving with young folk! It was darkly romantic and there was a subdued hum and I couldn't decide if it was because they had all fallen into a sugar coma or because they were all busy playing on their phones.

The menus were somewhat tatty red laminated card and were more than a little difficult to read.

Finally my beer eyes focused and I noticed that most of the puddings were like $35!

Oh sure they were listed as being for 2 people, but I didn't see anyone actually sharing.

I was in the middle of a quandary, a real dilemma. Stevie on the other hand was not nearly so conflicted - 3 and a half Peronis or a pud was not a difficult choice and the pub was right across the street.

I finally opted for a liqueur and we somewhat sadly handed back the menus and pushed in our chairs.

What I did wonder about though was how the kids afforded such a dessert. Oh sure they were all skinny little things so tucking away a few thousand calories would be no muffin top for them, but I worried that they might have had to forego dinner not just once but for a week to allow for the sugar hit.

It seems that this might just be the fashion of the day, and who knows next month the place to be might be a free lettuce and water bar, but in the mean time these places are making money hand over fist and good luck to 'em too.

What's the very best dessert you have ever eaten?  

Monday, 18 April 2016

O is for OMG

We like a bit of sport. Well Stevie plays a bit of sport and I like to plant my arse firmly in the lounge chair and take charge of the remote, cos I reckon sport is walking to the fridge for another drink or maybe a bit of choccie, so as it's Stevie's birthday trip I thought I'd see about some tickets to see an AFL game at the Adelaide Oval. But they were sold out. And I am not surprised really cos Adelaide folk do very much love their CROWS, even their public buses are painted in the CROW colours!

The Oval stands out like dogs' balls from all around and I only whisper that it sure looks better at night with all the lights on. People traveled to and from the game with patience and decorum, and whatever systems Adelaide has in place for moving this large number of people, she should share with the rest of the world.

But as I said we didn't have any tickets.

We had wandered in, perhaps illegally, to some strange building that used to be a church. The door was open a crack so we didn't have to break in. And inside there was a small but interesting music 'museum', mostly about Jimmy Barnes and Stevie wander upstairs for a look see and it was some odd arrangement where you could RENT A DESK. As we didn't want a desk and weren't supposed to be there anyway, he didn't ask for the lease details.

But downstairs I found a poster for a sporting event that I thought might make up for the lack of an Oval visit.

I took a photo and later tried to get some tickets, but we don't have a printer and they wouldn't send 'em to my phone, so instead we took a chance that there'd be some at the gate.

We popped on the tram out to Glenelg and there was a helpful local hearing us chatting about how to get to the EVENT. He gave us very specific directions. The Beach is very pretty, somewhere between Manly in Sydney and Sidmouth in England.

Not that we doubted the fella's advice, but we doubted the fella's advice, so we did a reccie on the way back, and bugger me he was absolutely right.

Later on we made our way back. The game started at 6pm the flier and the website said, so 5.30 saw us join the line. There were I think 3 lines. Season ticket holders, pre booked folk and dicks like us with no printer. We settled in line thinking it must move very fast once it started cos the game started in less than 30 minutes, and everyone would have to get to their seats.

And then some strangeness started to dawn on me. People were carrying big shit in with them and on closer inspection it seemed to be CHAIRS, and sure enough people were sitting in line on the chairs they had dug out from their camping gear. Well fuck it! we didn't have a chair! There were some around the place, low ones and taller bar stool type ones and we and the people behind us, similarly sans seats, decided that we'd collect a couple of these on our way in, ah all settled and sorted. Until someone further up the line was outed by a chair Nazi, cos they had grabbed a couple too. He had to hand 'em back. Shit no chairs!

What sort of place was this?

So now it was about 5.55, and still noone was going in. The fellas in front of us, sitting in their big flash smart arse fold up lounge chairs were having an argument about legalising medical marijuana. They were big blokes, really big blokes and I was pleased that they were sitting cos if they got all riled up I reckon some blood would have been spilt. Instead they just did a lot of pointing with their smart phones and raised their considerable voices a bit. Perhaps this was their vocal warm up for the game.

And still the bloody doors, well ropes really weren't open.

Finally my irritation at the obvious poor time keeping bubbled up and I asked someone important looking. 'Yeh - No. Game starts at 7'

So we were faced with another hour standing, before more standing to watch the game.

Fuck that! I was already dead on my feet. We had been walking since Thursday and I was buggered.

Roller Derby patrons be warned, bring your own fucking chairs and be prepared to line up like cows to the slaughter for far too long cos time keeping is flexible.

So bugger it! no Adelaide sporting event for Stevie.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

N is for NEARLY, so very nearly.

A youngster, well a child really, maybe even just a fetus, arrived yesterday to do a sniff test at the stinky-mininky, and declared that there was in fact no smell and no problem, but that she would send in Harold the Handyman to fix the window opener so at least a little fresh air could mix with the stench. Yep very nearly swatted her with the newspaer, but we're on holies so we pissed off for breakfast and hoped that some open window action might make all the difference.

Breakfast was very nearly the best omlette I have ever shoveled into my gob. We ate outdoors and the air was cooler and the sky - oh I am now waxing too lyrical about a plate of eggs and mushrooms but it certainly filled the hole.

In Adelaide there is a free bus. YEP A FREE BUS. I know, I very nearly fell off my feet too. And it's useful for getting oriented. So breakfast done and onto that very bus. It's about an hour for the round trip. We are in North Adelaide and had been the full monty yesterday, so we decided to hop off at the southern most point and walk up to town.

Looking at derelict buildings and foreign architecture is not everyone's cuppa, but we like it. We strolled and pointed and imagined.

Rundle Street and the Mall are much as I remember them, although there have been obvious store changes and there are still some empty shops and closed up second and third storeys of lovely old buildings, which I hope get a second chance sometime soon.

There's a lift in a clear tube at Target, that very nearly sent Stevie screaming for the stairs and lots of sculptures and bits to look at. It's a busy pretty little town centre.

In the Adelaide Arcade, last night's very very ordinary Chinese food came a calling...urgently and insistently. We all but ran to DJs and VERY BLOODY NEARLY, needed to purchase new under bits, whew just in time! Enough said about all that the better. Suffice to say that I might have had a little cry in the disabled persons loo and was therefore pleased with Stevie's old fashioned habit of carrying a carefully laundered and ironed snot rag. I felt very much better but am not going back for Chinese food any time soon.

We popped back onto the free bus and made our way to O'Connell street, to check out the foodieness. I sat in a lovely pub with my feet up, slurping something icy, while Stevie did a wander and then joined me for a beer.

We did a bit of groceries and very nearly lost it at the price...things are expensive here in the south, and then we wandered cross country back to the flat.

We asked for progress and it seemed that Harold had in deed fixed the window although in his expert opinion the problem was the damp towels we had hung on the rails after our shower. Yeh Harold had better watch himself.

The place was better though still not good, I played the leukemia card and they gave me that shitful face that I can't stand, but they did say they'd see what they could do.

She rang and said that she thought she had something sorted so she collected us for the grand reveal. Stevie popped in to see if the smelly bath situation was peculiar to apartment 48 or indicative of all, and his verdict was that the smell was there too. They have some wierdo air vent tiles in the face of the bath like they EXPECT leaks and are not disappointed.

We told her that as the smell is still there, we might as well not bother packing and moving. Well she VERY FUCKING NEARLY slapped the shit out of this old woman. She went a little red in the face and I was certain she was too young for it to be a menopausal flush and was understandably not too gracious in defeat. I felt badly for her, she had tried, she had juggled, she was proud of her efforts, and we turned her down. I have seen that face on my student kids before. Nothing quite like the look of disappointed youth.

Off for dinner just around the corner, cos really enough walking is enough walking. The British Hotel seemed like a reasonable choice and as I had picked the Chinese, it was Stevie's turn. The steaks were bloody brilliant and the potatoes very nearly as good as Stevie's. I am sure we will wander back there before we have finished with Adelaide.

Beer and wine and Tia Maria saw me very nearly slightly sloshed.

Ah and to bed.
How has your day been?
Do you do well in holiday accomm? 

Friday, 15 April 2016

M is for Manky Smell.

We are all settled in.

Well we would be if I wasn't quite so susceptible to shitting smells. My mouth starts to go a bit numb and my lips begin to swell up, seriously, who needs lip fillers if you suffer allergic reactions to stinky stuff.

Except that it's not only damp and mould and some sort of vanilla cover-it-up so they don't notice stench, it's lots of smells that do it.

When I walk through Myer and those people come at me with their spray bottles and swatches, I imagine myself in Vietnam during the war, being stalked by stealthy soldiers. Sometimes I just have to go out and leave 'em to it, sometimes I will politely say, 'No Thanks' and sometimes I must look like I am a snipper soldier myself - fierce and dangerous and they just fall back to the safety of their counters. I fucking hate going through all that shit!

I am allergic to so many different perfumes and after shaves that I have now settled on one for me and one for Stevie. He likes to change things up - you know, walk a while on the wild side, and at times like that I put my nose to the sniff test and try to find one that does not make me gag and swell. It ain't easy and it's not pretty either.

So anyway the window in the bathroom doesn't open and that might be the cause of the problem but whatever it is, it's not getting any better and when the girlie came up and said, 'I can't smell anything', I very nearly turned too quickly so I could knock her flat with my protruding lips. Stevie came in and reinforced that it DID in deed smell. I doubt she was best pleased. I am not sure why she would think anyone would make it up. I mean who wants to pack up and move again while you are on hols?

It's a bit of a pain in the arse. Now she is looking for another apartment and we will have to pack and move, but we are here for a week so best get it sorted I reckon, and I don't think Stevie could bare the whinging.

I must remember to take the ice-cubes I have already been making cos I like it, and the ice also helps with the must have heard that before huh? lol

Do certain smells set you off? - in a good way or a bad way?

Thursday, 14 April 2016

L is for Leaving on a Jet Plane.

Tra la la la. I am absolutely certain that you are pleased NOT to be hearing me sing this classic from the 60's. There is totally enough horror and shit in the world without me adding to it via the noise pollution that is my singing.

But the sentiment is right.

Stevie's little birthday holiday this year, starts today. Yeh it's a bit late but that's cos I didn't fancy doing the dance around all those little snots - oh sorry, kids, on holidays, but it seems for all my sorting and planning, that I have buggered up, cos we will be flying straight into the South Australia's Kids Set Free Zone. Bugger!! Still it's all sorted so off we will go and hope that Adelaide kids have all gone away for their hols so we won't be dodging them all day and all night.

I trusted the travel agent to book the flights and she has sent the bills through for the extra leg room seats (I'm a shortie so don't give a damn about the legs, but I do care about the face space), and whilst I can see it all on paper, I am never comfortable until the boarding passes are in my hot little hand, so I have checked in online and have said passes and now am hoping that there is no reason for Virgin to bump us around.

It's unlikely that anyone would ever be thrilled to have disrupted sleep cos of bloody night road works, and I must admit that when, at about 3.30am, they were dragging in their noisy metal sign, which for some reason known only to them they place just outside my bedroom window, I was not best pleased, but as I still haven't packed, I now have plenty of time. Isn't that nice?

It doesn't matter how many times I have been on a plane it is always the same, apart from the going on the actual plane, I get really excited about heading somewhere new. Must be the gypsy in me. I unpack fully and set the bathroom up like I like it and then am happy to explore.

We haven't really got a list of what to see and what to do, cos I reckon that what ever we see or where ever we end up it will all be new and it's not always a helpful travel idea to start out with a list that could possibly herald failure, 'Oh Bugger I missed that!' In Singapore after nearly a fortnight of seeing all sorts of stuff not 'on the list' but wonderful, I recall hiring a driver for the day and giving him a list of all the places I had missed. He was excellent, but the day passed in such a blurr that I don't really recall that stuff. Better I reckon to be pleased with what you have seen, even if it's by serendipitous accident.

So to finish packing and saying bye bye to Dog, who is being left in the capable hands of P and J. She is not thrilled to see the cases come out of hiding, but I am sure these folk will spoil her well, but not too well I hope cos I want her to be thrilled to see us when we get back.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for KISSING

Ah yes KISSING, I remember you fondly.

We met when I was 11 or 12 at some kids' party in a game of Spin the Bottle. His name was Greg something or other and Daddy Cool was playing on the radio. It was shit! I reckon this might have been where my disdain for peer pressure kicked in.

But we ran into each other a lot, some good, some not so good visits, some perfunctory and some truly hot hot hot.

My lovely Dad's mother was a bit of a strange old stick. She smoked like a maniac and died very young of yeh, hate to say it, Lung Cancer. She'd look after us very occasionally and my greatest memory was that when she was meant to be brushing my hair, that she just sort ran the brush bristles over the very top and it was all a bit fragile, but perhaps that was all she could manage, and she smelled when you kissed her cheek goodbye.

My other Nanna had soft squidgy old lady face powder kisses, you could sort of slump into her cheeks for a snuggle up and a snog.

No Dear Reader, I am not gonna bore you or you with a walk down snogging street, titillate yourself I say by having a think back to all that lovely. But here's a jumping off point, behind the shed, on the train, in the back of a taxi, in the pub. Go on, spend a minute or 2 dwelling on the best ones, it doesn't matter if you finish reading, I reckon reminiscing uses up more calories than reading anyway.

Yesterday was the Grandie's interview for High School, he is growing up so fast, taller and more lovely and needing new shoes. I was given to thinking as we made our way to the car, passed little corners of seclusion, about all the snogs he has coming. (Surely I am not the only one who spent time sucking face at school?)  Some will be good, some spinach stained, some sexy as hell, some spiteful and some so comfortable that he'll think he's found the ONE.

I think perhaps he has already started doing a bit of practicing, if the love-bite-bruises on his arm are anything to go by. Sucking arms and snogging pillows seems to be timeless.

Oh sure I hope he spends time studying too, ah but the snogging!

Generally I do not envy the youngsters anything, but it is exciting to think of all this being ahead for him.

Who was your BEST kiss and who was your WORST kiss?

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J is for Juggernaut

  1. a large, heavy vehicle, especially an articulated lorry.
    "the juggernaut thundered through the countryside"
    • a huge, powerful, and overwhelming force.
      "the juggernaut of public expenditure"

Ok so really I am taking the piss just a little, cos as I lay in bed in the wee hours and the rain started pissing down and the carpet got wet and Stevie was up on a chair closing the top part of the sash windows, (which are never closed), cos rain was pissing in, I rolled over and thought, 'Ah how lovely, that'll be my 'I' post - Inclimate V Inclement weather.

So I got up and took some piccies of the damage and thought I'd get started.

Bugger me if I don't open the blog and see that 'I' was yesterday.... SHIT!

But Juggernaut still fits, cos the rain, while not a large heavy vehicle, it did prove to be a powerful overwhelming force.

It absolutely chucked it down!

The pool overflowed and most unusually the fish pond was almost full to bursting. The level was way above the overflow pipe so now I am hoping that it drains before some council dick pops round to tell me I need a fence around my pond cos it is at least temporarily, deeper than 30cm. I hope I didn't miss the bit where my girls were washed over the top! But the real sign that it had been pissing down, was that the whole of the back deck was wet, right up to the back doors. The wind must have been pushing the water horizontally.

So now I have stripped the couches outside and am washing the covers and have pulled all the cushions inside and they are just pissing themselves all over the floor, but I have to somehow get 'em dry before thursday when we are off and P and J move in to love Dog. This wasn't part of my schedule. Bugger!

It has been a long long long, hot dry summer and I guess we are out of practice with storms, so instead of leaping to action I rolled over and enjoyed the fact that the patter on the roof was drowning out the sound of the fucking road works across the way. Isn't is amazing how screeching sound leaps about at night. 

I hope that they got wet, except that that will just mean that they will drag back their walloping machines another night to get the job done. Ah well, will you look at that....I got to the Juggernaut vehicles!! See if you write for long enough things work 'emselves out.

Is there a noisy price for progress near you? 

Monday, 11 April 2016

I is for ICE

No this is not a yarn about the modern drug ICE, mostly cos I know not enough to cover the head of a pin about that stuff and I am pleased about that. I am hoping like a grandmother that the Grandie can go his whole life in such blissful ignorance too but I fear for him and all young people who might be tempted to 'find out more'.

Nah my drug of choice has always been booze, fizz, alcohol, goon, plonk, or the hard stuff.

When I was a girl my lovely dad, had a wine cellar stacked with braggable stuff, all kept climate controlled. He was one of those, some say pretentious, I say pretty fucking discerning fellas who could tell you on which side of the hill the grapes were grown - yeh that's not too much of a stretch, but he could say that Bob, with a broken right pinky and wearing a big hat, from whatever winery picked the damn grapes on a tuesday afternoon, just after the rain and an argument with his missus, and all sorts of other info, which I found, to be honest more than a tad boring. He happily let us taste his stuff, yep even the good stuff, but it took me a long time to develop a real taste for it, although we did manage to down a bottle of - he'd be almost ashamed to say, Asti Riccadonna, which was MY favourite, as I got ready to head off to married life. But he really wasn't that much of a snob about it all. There was always a bottle of Asti in the fridge for me and I loved it very very chilled.

Advocaat and Lemonade was a bilious concoction I drank for a few years, along with Blue Lagoons and at home, just a Bundi rum and Orange juice was fine. All this weirdness one by one fell by the wayside after a night of too many left me throwing up like the hose had been left on and the smell of these drinks still makes me feel queasy.

I have tried most things but have settled on vodka and soda sometimes with a dash of lime sometimes not. Or a glass of bubbly or white wine, almost ever red.

But what drinks have always had in common is that they need to be cold, bloody cold, icy bloody cold, I am an Aussie girl after all.

My adult life has seen me filling ice trays and emptying the little cubes into ice cream bins in the freezer. It was always been a sad day when the ice ran out. The ice maker in our fridge might well be my favourite thing in the house. The automatic making of the cold stuff is reassuring and well just plain bloody wonderful.

But let's face it there are more ways to use ice than just shoving it into drinks or ice buckets for drinks.

So here are some home remedies for you to consider.

* The old fashioned esky for picnics, fill it up to save any old salmonella.
* A zippy bag of ice and a little water wrapped in a tea towel on the head or back of your neck, is good for a migraine.
* Freeze that chewing gum slapped into your hair with some ice cubes and it just breaks off - the gum not the hair.
* Ice up an Insect bites - bees, midges, mozzies,  though I would suggest for a Redback Bite something more powerful might be necessary.
* Pulled a muscle at Netball, grab the zippy bag again.
* Want to pierce your ears - ice 'em up and go the big poke, not sure if this works for other body spots.
* If you want to be fancy schmancy with veg, you can make pretty little flowerettes by chopping and putting in ice water.
* And as luck would have it if you unfortunately need to be downing poison cos you are unwell, then swilling back water close to frozen makes for a very pleasant numbing effect on the gums. 

 My grandie loves a bit of ice. 'Do you want ice in your juice?' 'Yes please, but only 5 cubes please'

Dentists are less pleased with ice cos apparently chomping on it can break your teeth. There's always a naysayer isn't there.

What do you use ice for?

Saturday, 9 April 2016

H is for Happiness, Hugs and Handbags.

I just watched an Ellen interview with Michael J Fox. Now he has always been a favourite of mine since he was is 'Family Ties' and 'Back to the Future' and I have done and still do, watch anything with him in it just cos he's in it. His Parkinsons disease just hasn't stopped him, oh yeh, sure it's slowed him down and he's made adjustments but he's not miserable or bitter or angry. He told a story about a woman in Mozambique, who was in labour and was being swept away in a flood, who climbed a tree and gave birth in the tree and waited for help. He said that he reminded his kids of this woman whenever they complained about stuff. 'A lady gave birth in a tree.' has become something of a happiness mantra at his place. And seriously, if you compare your lot to giving birth in a tree, well most of us are probably quids in.

Oh Shit I broke a nail.....Tree birthing
Bugger, that's the last of my Lippy.....Tree birthing
Fuck it! I forgot the anchovies and limes.....Tree birthing.

Nah this is not one of those Try It On Blogs, designed to make you feel guilty about shit that you have or the life that you live, and it's not even about encouraging you to take a breath and remember to feel lucky, as you fight with some dick at the council, or as you are driving behind some slow coach geriatric who is poodling along in second gear. Cos god knows that would make me the biggest hypocrite in the world.

I complain about shit all the time.

I go off like a rocket about any little annoyance and the neighbours must be sick to death of hearing the 'FUCK IT' cries as I do battle with the washing or last night when I was trying to make a pizza and I wanted to get the pizza stone out of the drawer and the roasting tray flew out of the drawer and landed behind it and I had to take the drawer out to get it and it was really heavy and I had to empty the shit out of it and it was all over the kitchen and then I couldn't get the drawer back in, and did I mention I was trying to make a fucking pizza. Yep some swearing happened. Even Stevie called from upstairs to make sure I was OK.

I am pretty quick, alright, very quick to irritation, but I am pleased to say that I can generally do a Taylor and 'Shake it off'. I shoveled all the shit and the drawer out of the way and made that gormet fucking pizza and Stevie came and reinstated all the shit, and we ate the pizza and as it had been a while since I had made one he gave the high praise of, 'You've still got it.' Ah praise in deed.

Michael J Fox's Mozambiquan tree climbing birthing lady is just useful after the fact.

The hugs and handbags are optional extras, but they make me happy.

Are you calm or does your mood go up and down like a whore's drawers?

Friday, 8 April 2016

G is for going GREY

In lieu of colour last time at the hairdressers, and in a bid to disguise the tumbling out of the tresses, I opted for a perm...I think I have mentioned this before.

I rather thought I'd pop back and get something done with the roots but haven't bothered, cos, well, cos I am quite enjoying seeing what colour my real hair is. It's been a veritable age since I have seen it.

The demise of my marriage introduced me to hair colour! I went from naturally very blonde to fire engine red almost as I left the building and that was more than 2 dozen years ago.

Since then there hasn't been a style or colour I haven't tried, except au natural and certainly at my age and size no-one wants to see that ever again. Except that now I am curious, and if I don't like, then I can fix it, no surgery required.

There was a rumour that blondes don't go grey. Well I am here to tell you that that is just bullshit! There are plenty of greys in that regrowth. And maybe I should be pleased, cos isn't grey hair a sign of wisdom?

So now I am sitting here sifting through what I know and think I know and wonder what wisdom the old grey hairs have dragged along.

Here's 10 bits of grey haired smart-arseness. It's not mantra worthy, and please do not send in the legal fellas if it doesn't work for you. It won't cure cancer or make you a more pleasant person or allow you luck in the lotto, so read on at your own risk.  

Don't argue with the Council you are on a hiding to nowhere.

Wearing cheap synthetic nickie-noos makes your bits itch, go bare arsed in preference.

Doctors are useful but are not gods to be hailed and bowed to, so pick good ones.

You get the education you put up with, so have your say.

Use the whole bottle of Anti-fungal shit on your toe nails, or that mess will never go away.

Carrying weight is exercise.

Please yourself, it's no-one else's job.

Nanna naps are a luxury, one for every grey hair zzzz.

Wear comfortable shoes, happy feet show on your face.

Read shit and enjoy your coffee.

What are your best bits of wisdom?

Thursday, 7 April 2016

F is for Fond Farewells

Saying goodbye brings visions of the Von Trapp family escaping the Nazis through the nunnery, and most of us will have waved a teary goodbye or 2 to folk who have wafted in and out of our lives. We waved Our Pom off last night so he can continue his adventure. We hope he calls in on his way back down the coast and we really hope that if he needs anything he'll give us a call, cos he was a lovely house guest and now is sort of the part of the Big House family.

Many folk of my vintage - particularly the girlie variety may have said 'adieu adieu adieu' to some unwanted body bits too, but all too often with less fanfare and ease of waving and laughing and joy.I have gotten rid of some tiresome tonsils, a gruesome gallbladder, a useless uterus, 2 cantankerous  
cancers and 2 nobbled knee caps. That seems to be quite the bucket full huh? But unlike our Pom, I never wanted to see any of this shit again.

I remember waving off my Lovely girl when she was a wee baby of 18. She was away on her big adventure. I don't reckon I quite held it together while she hugged me goodbye but I do know that as soon as she headed off down the plane tunnel, I sank down and sobbed and sobbed sobbed. It was definitely not a joyous fare-thee-well. I was bloody terrified for her and sorry for myself cos we had been the 2 Musketeers for so long and now I was gonna be on my own. Took me a while but I did get into the groove of single gal washing and ironing and cooking and cleaning and shopping and complete control of the remote control and it wasn't too shabby at all.

Criss-crossing the globe for more than a dozen years, has drawn tears and laughter and more drinks than enough at goodbye dinners and hello welcome backs.

I guess the reality is that many people do move in and out of our lives. We live in a busy sometimes frantic world and we can wallow when we lose someone or we can carefully wrap up our best memories and tuck them away with a smile. Easier said than done when the loss is raw. 

Rest in peace brother John Ponsford. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for Equestrian Entertainment

When my Lovely girl was but a wee lass, she went Horse riding,,,,,,,She was a natural, she looked like she was born on the back of one of these great big fellas, Yeh I know what an uncomfortable image that makes! I loved watching her, she had such an ease and confidence and grace. So much so that occasionally I was talked into having a go myself. It might have been that the instructor was a bit keen on getting into a certain single mum's knicky-noos, or that he was just keen to make a family day of it, instead of leaving me sit in the car enjoying an afternoon of peace and quiet.

But whatever the motivation I had my first 'go'. I was a skinny agile youngster of about 32, and even so the mounting was about as ugly and arse presenting encounter as you can imagine. It looks so easy huh? Stick your foot into the stirrup thing and grab the nobbly bit on the saddle and just go the big swing, and voila there's your bum in place and you're looking Olympic dressage ready, but not for me. I was left hanging upside down and calling for help. The cynic would reckon the instructor was only a little too eager to come to the damsel's aide as we tried again and his hands slid to where they should not have been, but it was all very effective cos I moved quickly to get away and I was up and going. The next time I stood on a box and he kept his hands a little more to himself. The riding was calm and serene...yep no galloping for me, just a stroll....ah very nice.

I do love watching a horse run about. Bloody beautiful creatures.

Our Pommie visitor is ready for the off today, and so last night we took him off to 'The Outback Spectacular'. We had taken other poms some years ago and liked it so thought it worth another visit.

There is quite a lot about this place that gives me the shits, the up selling, the pushy vendors, the thwarted promises of free-flowing beer, the time keeping, the irritating contrived competitions and audience participation, but if you can get passed all that, then it's pretty terrific. The food is ok and the set-up is an effective way of serving great swags of folk in lickety-split time.

But the very best part of it is the HORSES and last night they featured a couple of very clever Kelpies as well. I was not disappointed! All the shit sort of gets flushed away as soon as the first gorgeous horses make their first appearance. I could do without the lame attempts at cobbling together a story which allows them to recycle the helicopter and the jeeps and cars and the acrobats, but I was happy to wait out the crap to get to the HORSES and the DOGS.

It's not cheap, $100 a ticket, and if you don't fancy horses this place is not for you, cos they are definitely the silver lining amid some pretty big irrritations.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

D is for Dangerous Daggy Hat

Here's me hat except that in the breeze I wear it wedged down and use the chin strap - rather ordinary looking huh?

Some of the first things overseas visitors want to see here in Oz are the weird animals and let's face it we have quite a few. And you could take your visitors on the road to spy Kangas and snakes and emus and stuff, but if that's the kind of adventure they want, The Big House isn't the jumping off point for them. We take our visitors to Currumbin Bird Sanctuary.

In my youth it was just a circle paddock where people stood around holding honey sloppy bread and let birds come and sit and shit all over 'em. It was quite the spectacle and I bloody hated every minute. If it wasn't the parakeets shitting in your hair, it was a scrub turkey wedging it's self firmly in your face. It's possible that this place is single handedly responsible for my fear of birds today.

But the Bird park has been well and truly expanded and is the gentle home to lots of Aussie wildlife and so it's where we go except not at bird feeding time, cos that is still yukky.

We took our Pom and my lovely there yesterday.

We visited the Koalas and the Kangaroos and old man Emu and more bloody lizards than enough, which just roam fee everywhere...perhaps a cage might be useful to save scaring old women? Think I'll put that in a suggestion box except that Bell would go mad.

But the big attraction since the last time I was there is the crocodile feeding so we made sure we were positioned well to see those enormous chompers. The big fella was 4 and a half metres long and more than half a metre across. Pre-historic and completely terrifying.

We were standing waiting for the feeding to begin when I was approached by a blonde, pretty if she smiled American woman. She turned out to be more hostile than the croc.

'Can you take off you hat so the people behind can see?'
'I am wearing it so I don't get sunburned?' ( Clearly it is not a fashion forward piece of kit.)
'Maybe you should consider using sunscreen then.' delivered in an angry retort. Wild guessing tells me she is not used to hearing NO.
'Maybe you should mind your own business.'

It was all very unpleasant.

I should point out that:
The hat sits firmly onto the top of my head and I am shortish so it makes me not even as tall as the average woman so I have blessedly discovered via Facebook this week.
The 'people behind' were on a raised platform more than a metre above me.
I was wearing the hat cos the poison I am taking means that sunscreen is not possible and sun burn is chronic and painful and best avoided.

Where ever we found ourselves after this, there she was was, looking crabby and constipated and maybe that was her problem?

I don't mind that she asked me to take the hat off, but I do mind that when I said no she got all shitty. I was about to explain why, then thought better of it. It wasn't her business.

The Koalas were bloody marvelous - as active as I have ever seen them - all climbing and crawling to mum, and chomping up food and sliding down to the ground for a waddle and and a wee.

And I think Tom enjoyed the weirdness of it all.

Have you been struck silent by rudeness this week?

Monday, 4 April 2016

C is for Clock Watching

This is sometimes a pretty volatile household. We don't need to look too far for an argument and because we are both not backward in coming forward, the neighbours must sometimes wonder if something is gonna get broken - nah not me or him but something.

We mostly agree on the big stuff, like politics and almost on religion, although Stevie's views are not quite as extreme as mine, and generally on people, although we are happy enough to give plenty of lea way for each other's choice in playmates. We like the same sort of foods and fancy going to the same sort of places and care equally little about what other people think. But Time is too often our undoing!

The clock is my favourite piece of household equipment. It has driven me my whole life. From the beautiful marcasite  watch from Nanna that I took off carefully so I could dive up to my armpits into the enormous vats of coleslaw and mix up that hideous mayo when I worked at Coles - yeh the one some fucker took from the kitchen ledge and then laughed behind their hands as I cried at it's loss, to the stopwatch timings at swimming, I have always been aware of time.

I was not one of those fashionably late - read bloody rude, brides, and my classes knew that on the very rare occasions I was late, that there was an excellent reason, probably about them and possibly arguing in their corner with the principal. My classes ran to time and I might not have complained about the lack of air con - but I did, or the sweat stink of the carpet, but I did, or the general lack of equipment, but I did always insisted on an operational government issue clock.

I used to play and teach THEATRE SPORTS. These are Drama Games designed around impromptu story telling in teams of up to 4, a bit like 'Whose Line Is it Anyway' on the tellie, except the games are timed, 1, 2 and 4 minutes. A lot of people would not think it worth even starting on a story in only 1 minute, but you'd be surprised just how much you can cram into it.

If the clock says 9.20 and I'll think 9.30, my car clock is 30 minutes fast, but somehow I have convinced myself that it is only 20 minutes ahead.

I am never late.

If I am running even close to late, that means I am not gonna be 10 minutes early, I get that sick nauseous feeling in my guts and my colour wanes and a nervous sheen appears on my top lip. Now at least, with the advent of mobile talking devices, I can ring or text to give notice that I might be running late. Warnings of my possible lateness have often been received by people still washing the sleep from their eyes, prior to shitting and shaving.

Ok it's all a bit nuts, and pedantic and frantic and often stressful, especially when balanced against Stevie's 'whenever' approach. He was infamous for being late almost all his life. I reckon his pommie mates probably lied to him about departure times so he'd make the rugby tour bus. So now I should be pleased that it's only a few minutes.

He has definitely improved, and that ain't easy as we get older.

Just as well really cos he's running out of time to get it right.