Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Different Ways and Means

There are very many ways to the same end.

My most tiresome teacher task was hands down all the essay marking. A senior essay of say 1000 words would take at least 20 minutes to mark, longer if it was hand written or arguing from a different if interesting point of view. So if I had 20 kids in the class and say 3 senior classes, well you can see that's a shit load of marking, perhaps 3 or 4 times a semester.

I had a personal rule that I would mark 'em in the order they fell off the pile. And I would count how many I had to go and was always doing the Maths to see if I was gonna have time to do 'em all that afternoon or morning or evening. I can remember counting again and again.  Finding out what the kids thought, and HOW they thought things out, was cool, but coupled with all that was the requirement to identify all the errors and the inconsistencies and the inaccuracies and be on the look out for the sneaky stealing of others' words. If it was just a matter of reading stuff the marking would have been if not enjoyable, at least marginally entertaining. Of course if you are gonna give a kid a D for an essay then they can reasonably expect plenty of explanation - plenty of red pen, plenty of notes. The A essays just could have lots of ticks and a pretty comment at the end. But good or bad they still took about 20 minutes.

Sometimes kids would hand in shit and think that would irritate me, but instead, when I got a scrawl of crap and no effort, I rejoiced cos it took far less time and that meant that my initial Maths was a bit exaggerated, so I might finish early.

If I was lucky enough to be marking some short answer exam or better still a multi guess test, I had my own little routine. I would do it all page at a time, cos I could really steam through each page by rote, turn the And not knowing which was whose meant that I never lost concentration wondering why a good kid got that one wrong, or feeling pleased about the surprise right answers. Now lots of teachers would mark the whole paper and then go onto the next one. You see it didn't matter the method, cos the end result was the same. Things got done.

Yesterday while I was in Brisvegas, Stevie decided to pressure wash the back deck. This is usually my job. I quite like it. I don't think he has done it before. I am better at the mindless repetitive things - maybe all that time marking? Boredom does not sit well with him. He has not learnt the pleasure of letting your mind drift away. All his attention goes on, 'This is a fucking dreadful job, waste of time, what else is there to do?' and so yesterday when I got home he explained that he had given it away but hadn't quite finished. That I get, cos sometimes you just have to walk away, get up and leave the pile of essays on the table and do something else. But what did make me giggle was the BIT he left unfinished - a nice neat little rectangle in the middle of the deck. He explained his method and still I had to have a giggle. I would have left a strip at the end near the park cos that's the way I go, others might leave a strip by the pool, no right or wrong, just different.

So it's all finished today while he was at golf, but our different approaches is sure to be a topic of discussion again tonight, when he sees the shit that happened as I pressure washed my antique table. Fuck I hope that it is salvageable. Stevie would just never have done it, and even if he had started, the second he saw what was happening he'd have stopped, so the whole of the top of the table wouldn't look like paper pulp.


Sometimes going hard is just fucking stupid - a bit like when I used this stuff on the coffee table. I could see something odd happening, but pushed through the doubt. Stevie still sing, ' Bang, and the varnish is gone.' whenever I get out the dusting rag.

It's all horses for courses.

And it's what happens when you combine an arty fart and an engineer.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Pete Evans - Dairy Bad, Kale Good and Avocados Cure Cancer.

I'll have both please.

A long time ago, in a country far far away, there were travelling gypsies selling all manner of potions to cure everything from drop foot to toothache, potions that could stiffen that which needed it and soften anything that had become petrified. It was all done with smoke and mirrors. And before that of course there were witches who cast spells and became fire fodder.

Throughout time people have believed all manner of crazy shit: The earth is flat, The weak shall inherit the earth, There is a God. It is clearly all in the delivery. Ad men - and women, have a great deal to answer for.

I used to believe that what goes around comes around and so if someone did something a bit shitful, there would be a bus with their name on it - or at least a push bike coming their way soon. But it seems to me that even this little idea is a load of horse shit. There are just too many turds wandering carefree and too many undented buses.

And so we get to the 'NEWS' that Pete Evans - yeh I know....WHO? Pete Evans, that world famous doctor, no nutritionist, no cook, no TV presenter, reckons that dairy products strip your body of calcium, so eat kale instead. Well fuck me, throw that bit of cheese away and you'd better start slopping on some almond milk or spider blood onto your cornies.

Yeh I read the shit about how too much protein strips the calcium out of your bones and this may or may not be true, but what is not explained in detail, is exactly what constitutes TOO MUCH. Anyway Ho hum. Cos the info scaring people away from cream and all things COWY, is being delivered by a TV show host, and how that makes him an authority, I don't know, but he does paly up with a cute French man and eat food so I suppose people want to believe him, a bit like those gypsies selling shit out of a covered wagon. I bet they put the good looking fellas up the front to do the selling too.

So let the buyer be ware. Follow old Pete to a brittle boned end if you fancy, but don't pretend cos he's a bit pretty and he's on the tellie that he's smarter than you, or decades of medical research.

And the second bit of medical advice this week is that people with Leukaemia can replace their meds with Avocados. I don't fucking think so! Again the quantity of AVOs is not made explicit but in any case, I don't fucking think so!

Avos are lovely mashed up with some salt and pepper and maybe a tiny squirt of lemon juice and then slathered onto a piece of hot thick toast....YUMMO! Or scooped out and in a salad, or topping a plate of nachos. I am not such a fan of the idea of squidging an avo and then pretending that it's a chocolate mouse, but if that's what floats your boat, then goodo.

Just don't let's pretend or worse still believe that the delicious but humble AVO can cure cancer!

Eat 'em up by all means, but if you have been prescribed some drug that has taken decades to develop and test and certify, that has been proved to be unbelievably successful in treating cancer, then for fuck sake keep taking the pills.

The fingers crossed and 'Oh look at him, ain't he pretty' approach to health is not for me.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Aussie 'SURVIVOR' - the Jury is still out

Yeh this isn't a real dog and it's not in a real forest, but it's still a bit interesting.

In 2000, the Reality TV business was a but foetus, I think there was a bit of Big Brother and that was OK and then there was this new show 'Survivor' about a good handful of folk dumped somewhere remote, who had to 'out wit, out play and out last' through physical trials and all manner of psych 101 thinking to be the last man or woman standing. I found it a very intriguing game.

A girlfriend would pop in on 'Survivor' night and we'd have drinks and dinner and discuss the goings on. If she wasn't up for a visit, the discussion would happen over the phone. I thoroughly enjoyed the human 'reality' of it all. I had yet to be bitten by the cynic bug and so believed all that I was seeing, with the gormless gullibility of a naive youngster.

There has been 32 'Survivors' and no, I have not seen them all, I don't think it ever quite made it to the tellie screens in the UK so that is at least 14 of 'em that I missed. It's strange that Jeff yelling out, 'Come on in guys!' was thought to be too, not proper I guess for the poms. But I reckon if it has been playing and I have had access to it, I have watched it.

The new 'Australian Survivor' then was right up on my list of things to watch. But it is a little disappointing. It's just not as slick I guess as the American version, which I suppose aught not be much of a shock given they have had all those years to get things smooth, except that it seems the Aussie version is legally bound to follow the old routine, if not the old dialogue down to the letter, it's all pretty close.

The American version tripped through the 3 day event highlights in 1 hour, less ad breaks, but the Aussie show drags things out for an hour and a half. I am not interested in footage of fish or weird insects, and all the possible dangers and hazards the players are facing, mostly cos I don't believe that any of that is happening anywhere near 'em. I just want to see the guts of it, the challenges and the disasters caused by a storm and the voting off. I just want it to be more savagely edited, yep I want 'em to move it along.

So it's ok, although if the producers had selected some more hard nosed players, who could have spiced things up, that would have been OK with me. Some bitchy bastard acts just wouldn't go astray I reckon. It's on 3 nights a week so I can only guess that channel 10 wanted to get it over and done with, or else they figured it might be a good foil for channel 9's 'The Block'. I cna't begin to pretend to understand the scheduling, except that it is all driven by what advertising can be sold and for how much.

We are recording both these shows and are watching them both on the fast forward, so clearly the advertising is wasted on us. I admit that 'The Block' is getting very quick shift, cos really I only want to see the room reveals, the rest of the drama is too for my bullshit detector.

So I think 'Survivor' is on Sunday Monday Tuesday, and maybe so is 'The Block'. 3 people have been voted off the island so if you fancy having a little look at it, you haven't missed too much, but if you have anything at all else to do like perhaps squeeze a pimple, or decipher your Optus bill ( good luck with that!) then go your hardest, cos I rather doubt your life will be too much the poorer for having missed either of these shows.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Gold Coast Show Crackers and Craziness

So a year ago, I was a bit cheeky and fanangled a free pass to the Gold Coast Show and I tripped off for a day's country entertainment. Well it's on again this weekend and that means that for 3 days in a row, from the balcony here in the Big House, I get a front row seat - well actually I stand, to watch the crackers.

Yep I do love 'em. This has been well documented. I know! Ok I know!

The traffic jams to go anywhere and then to get home and the extra people about become insignificant when I think about the lovely crackers.

I popped into Pac Fair today and got all snarled up coming home. The traffic news on the radio was bad so I switched stations and turned up the music and belted out a couple of tunes, cos the traffic was being paid for by crackers, so I was quids in I reckon.

Stevie and I have been discussing going to the Show. He is not too thrilled, well even that is an exaggeration, but he would go if I wanted to go. I have been waxing and waning. I enjoyed last year, and it wasn't too crowded, not at all like the Brisvegas EKKA, but I am having trouble getting truly motivated.

I would happily sit and watch the wood choppers so long as I could be certain that I would get my excellent spot from last year again, and reckon I could manage the crowds in the Show Bag place so long as I was just quickly in and out to grab something for the Grandie. The old Side Show Alley could be skirted and I am not sure I could manage the Arts and Crafts display, even though it is no doubt as good as last year, I do remember having to do a very quick tour of bits of it last year to avoid the crush. So all up really the highlight is the crackers and we already have an excellent free spacious view so not much point in putting the old fella through it.

But I didn't know why I am really so reluctant to go until last night after the crackers, I said that it was cool to be able to watch 'em without having to be alongside everybody's germs.

I thought about this. It's a consideration that keeps jumping into my head.

I hear stories about the anti-vacers and I go all red in the face when I think that they might infect other children and ME.

When I see people sneeze and cough in public, I have taken to saying out loud, 'Please cover your mouth / nose' or if I am feeling less pleasant, 'Keep your fucking germs to yourself', has fallen out of my mouth, generally, blessedly, in a whisper.

The idea of being stuck in a germy crowd really just doesn't do it for me.

Last year I sat around with the great unwashed and chattered and ate and laughed and took photos, and didn't think for a millisecond about their diseases, and now I am loathe to venture out into the world.

This is a big pisser. A big irrational pisser. I might - well do in fact have a number of mutant white blood cells which if left to their own devices are trying to multiply and kill me, but I also have the right number of good healthy little white fellas, which I imagine are quite capable of seeing off your bog standard germs, but what about the not-so-bog-standard fellas?

Oh fuck, I can see me becoming one of those mask wearing crazies that I have laughed up a lung over for years. And maybe I should have that hand sanitising shit shovelled into my handie by the litre, or maybe I could just stay home and watch the world go by on my computer and tellie.

So yeh, I see all this sounds a bit nutty, but sub consciously, I have managed to go all the way through Winter without a snuffle, and that's not a bad effort.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Ab Fab Movie Review.

The Ab Fab sit com girls are icons. Everything about the TV show was big and bold and brash and wildly politically incorrect, cos I don't think that was even a thing when they started out. There were so many cringe worthy moments when I used to wonder if they were allowed to do that stuff or say that shit on the tellie. It was daring and excessive and glamorous, and always roll on the floor having a little wee, funny.

A quick google search will tell you that it was made between 1992 and 2012. That's a bloody long time and whilst Eddy's family dynamic changed, the Fab girl's relationship did not.They found themselves in funny, unlikely situations which they managed to wriggle out of in 30 minutes, much to the chagrin of those around them. The dialogue was fast and furious and shocking and ridiculous and very funny. Well that's my opinion anyway. The re-runs were always worth a look and a giggle. In fact I am still happy to watch today, any day.

But the movie was less. Less everything, less funny, though there are a few laugh out loud moments which I am tempted to think were probably improvised on set rather than tightly scripted, and even though the through line was as ridiculous as ever, it was a bit disjointed and sort of jumbled like a bad acid flash back - maybe that's what they were going for? And as for those, 'Did they really say that? moments, well you can forget them. Of course political correctness has limited all manner of possibilities, and so it's not shocking or even surprising, and that's a shame I reckon.

It is cool to play, 'Spot that Famous Person' and that, then is a reason to sit all the way through the credits at the end to see if you were right. The music is cool too, especially if you fancy singing along. But it didn't add to the story line, instead I reckon it was a distraction. It just seemed like an excuse for the girls to give as many of their mates as they could a little walk on role. Or maybe it was like trying to do a whole sitcom season in one movie. You can imagine that if 'Friends' was made into a compilation movie, there would be walk-ins by a huge number of Hollywood stars.

Jennifer Saunders has often said that she wrote the screen play in something of a rush cos she had a bet with Dawn French, who bet Jennifer would never finish it. Perhaps she should have taken more time, or maybe she could have leaned heavily on French's quick wit instead of relying on her as a producer. But now we are getting into far too much detail that may or may not be relevant, a little like some bits of the film.

If you want to go star spotting then you might like the movie, but if you are expecting a movie rather than just a poorly assembled extension of an excellent tellie show, then you might be disappointed.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Ahh the Lovely Rain.

I do love the tippity tippity tap of rain on the tin roof. There are no storms today driving Dog into some kind of mad fear frenzy, instead she is just lazing around enjoying the slow pace and trying to avoid the smell of the floor cleaner Stevie is sloshing about. See that's another advantage of the rain - no golf means the floors get a wash.

Anyway, rain at this time of the year is lovely. It's still cool enough to pull on a light sleeve and the humidity is not making your thighs stick together - not in a good way. Everything can do with a little dust wash off and because the colours here are always bright and vivid, it's cool to sit back and enjoy the grey, of the sky and the water. It's not at all depressing to me, although to be honest I never found the London greys miserable either.

The garden is about ready to punch out of its very brief hibernation and so is looking out at the rain like a long lost friend. Yeh you can almost see green stuff smiling.

We have put the Big House on the market again. It has taken 2 years for us to get over the bilge from real estate agents and so it's time to try again.

Stevie reckons we should expect no-one to come have a look-see in the rain, but that's a time I would like to go for a visit, cos I reckon if a place looks good in the rain, it must look bloody marvellous on fine days.

We have had the usual battle over semantics with the agent, and there has been some brief concern over the truthfulness of the final description, but perhaps punters take more than a third off when they read shit so a certain degree of hyperbole is in order.

Who knows what the truth is when it comes to selling property, the only thing I reckon you can know for sure is that someone is gonna have to love the place before they stump up the cash to move in.

It's not like when I bought my place in Brisbane all those years ago. The financial settlement via the divorce saw me with a chunk of change and I knew that I needed to buy a house or else I would be forced to rent a bigger flat to accommodate my ever growing shoe collection.

So I trawled the market.

Of course I couldn't afford what I had left so I needed to adjust my wish list.

When I first went to see my place, I thought, 'I fucking don't think so!' - it was small and a bit ugly. I ran from the yard.

Then after a month or so of seeing places suffering from damp and dingy, I went back for a second visit.

It was actually OK. Plenty big enough for my girl and me, and I could paint it any damn colour I liked and I could afford it, so I bought and we moved in and lived happily there for many years.

So maybe our buyer won't have to fall head over heels for this place. Maybe it will just have to 'do'.

And if you know of someone who wants to buy a 6 or 4 bedroom house with or without a study, maybe they should stop by for a  look or 2.

I am tossing up whether or not I should buy an orchid, cos that's about the extent of effort I want to spend dressing the place.

We are giving it 3 months.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Whales and Tourists.

If we had left Dog on this beach today she could have seen us boating out to the Whales.

We went out in public today. We ran with the great unwashed as my lovely dad used to call 'em - the pushy, poor-mannered, jumbo sized but think they are tiny and can therefore fit into a non-existent space, by pushing their feral children ahead of 'emselves, tourists who don't give a fuck about orderly cueing and leaving space for everyone to have a little look see.

Yeh we went on a fucking BOAT with these people!

We went whale watching, which is one of the most wonderful things I have ever done, just not on the Goldie.

We ran the gauntlet of Photographer Pete, who really didn't want to take NO for an answer and so followed us onto the boat arguing with us and pushing us for an explanation. We kept walking and asked another crew member about the seating arrangements and because he seemed to think he was the next Billy Connelly he gave us a load of old tosh instead of an answer.

Anyway we found seats that we were happy with and settled  into a game plan which covered the possibility of people pushing in to hinder our view.

The trip out was good and rough and the swell was quite exciting, the only problem was that it was too often accompanied by the misogynist banter of some grubby partly bald, partly grown out dreadlocked old fella, who didn't miss an opportunity to say something shitful about women. I figured almost certainly he had been dumped often, probably every time he open his mouth, cos he was an unfunny bitter dickhead, and when he finally said that any women left on the boat would be 'Jolly Rogered' really I wanted to slap that 'rape is ok with me' look straight off his face.

An Asian girl tried to scamper under the rail and stand right in front of us and Stevie saw her off, and then there was a Pommie woman and her kid who actually did push and slide into our view. I told her off, but it made no difference. It seems that she had missed the British art of cueing lecture, but when the whales moved to another side of the boat she and the off spring buggered off and were not game to return.

I ended up with boobs in my ear and my elbows poking into places I would rather not even think about.

Sometimes I was up for standing and sometimes I wanted to sit down.

The whales were good, but not as wonderful as they were when we saw 'em out from Fraser Island. Perhaps they objected to Pete prostituting them. Yeh there were arrival photos for 20 bucks and whale pictures which might or might not have been the whales we saw or even the Goldie whales, for an extra 25 bucks, but that is just the touristy scam huh?

I decided that for future adventures into public, I should get a T Shirt printed.

I said it could be :'I might look well but actually I have Leukaemia so I might need to sit down and it would be good if you didn't sneeze in my direction.'

Stevie reckons it should be : 'I might look well but actually I am highly contagious.'

This reminded me of the time we were trying to manoeuvre through a horrible crowd in a street in Zadar. 'There were clowns to the left of me jokers to the right' you know the song huh? Anyway we started acting a little nuts, laughing loudly, swaying, swinging our arms about madly, speaking in tongues, calling out to strangers, you know the harmless sort of crazy. A space opened up. We crossed a bridge and there was no one ahead of us and the people behind us had settled way way back. The bridge was ours. Yippee!!

The bus stop also became our own and even though it was the last bus for the night, the whole back of the bus was ours too. Bloody brilliant.

I suppose the lesson learned is that people will stay away if they fear something but are far less likely to pay heed to someone in need.

Yep the 'I'm Contagious' T Shirt is the one I reckon. Maybe the text needs to be in puss yellow, and perhaps I should draw a picture of a vomiting face, or a big old pile of poo.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Kambrya College Melbourne.

Yeh this is the face of a youngster who deserved to be a victim - I fucking DON'T think!

The school system was always a challenge to me, from primary school sit-ins, and allowing my white blonde hair to be dyed green by the regulation green ribbons that I always 'forgot' to remove before swimming practice, to snogging a boy of the wrong religious persuasion while in uniform at the bus stop right outside the Mother Superior's office. And when I parted ways with the convent, to the mutual joy of all, I ended up at the local state high school. Ah!

No more rulers out and measuring skirt length, or the policing of bra wearing or bloomer patrol, or so I thought.

We all tracked along quite nicely for a couple of years and then fashions changed as they do, and short skirts became the vogue and so we girlie girls started hitching the skirts of our dresses over our belts and all of a sudden stickler teachers, who obviously felt they needed to protect the boys from feeling us up, would walk along and tug on our skirts, til they were daggy and hanging down all crocked and messy.

I hated it when some fucker came along and tugged on my clothes.

I was lucky cos I could sew and so one afternoon I came home from school and chopped off about a foot of fabric and then put a tiny teeny hem on my skirt. Yep, it just barely covered my arse! Oh dear, how were those boys gonna help themselves now! No tuggability for the teachers and no way to let the sucker down. Luckily for the purposes of inter -school debates, my other uniform had all its original length so I let it down as long as it could go, almost floor length and then threaded a hoop through the bottom. The uniform had huge box pleats front and back and so the hoop held it out nicely and of course when I sat on the ground, the whole thing flew up over my head and I suppose my knicky noos might have been hanging out a bit for all to see. Demure indeed if I was standing up, but less so if I was sitting. Ho Hum.

Yeh I was a bit of a tear away. I wasn't rude or obnoxious, just subversive and perhaps a little passive aggressive.

HOWEVER, if I had been the object of unwanted attention from some boy or teacher or some perv on the way home, that would have been THEIR fault.

What sort of a world is it, when women are expected to dress and behave in a way to save men from themselves? And what sort of a world is it when it is accepted that men are incapable of any sort of self control, and that a length of leg is an invitation to do any damn thing they please?

In response to being named as a school, party to a widespread child pornography ring, Kambrya College organised 2 assemblies, one for boys and one for girls, the WHY of this escapes me. The girls were told to dress conservatively and not put themselves on display. I don't know, but am hopeful that perhaps the boys were told not to photograph women without their consent - this information has not been made public.

What sort of school takes girls aside and tells them to adjust themselves - what they wear and how they wear it and how they behave,  so that they do not become the victims of a child pornography ring? It doesn't matter what the boys were told,  cos what they will have HEARD is that if a girlie is dressed like a bit of a slut, then she's up for anything and so it's OK for the boys to go their hardest. They will have heard that 'nice' girls don't show too much leg or act provactively and any girl they see doing this, well really they are just fair game, cos after all boys will be boys.

Truly I wonder what fucking century we are living in when women need to cower down and act out of fear to avoid becoming a victim.

Oh dear, my legs are out! do old women need to be careful too?

Thursday, 18 August 2016

It's all just a number.

When my girl left home and I was earning enough money to no longer need to put cash in a cigar box to be eked out over a fortnight, and the presentation of the usual bills didn't leave me running for a calculator as if that was gonna do some loaves and fishes trick with my dollars, after all those years of wondering and adding up and trying to stretch and stealing from Peter to pay Paul, after all that I decided I was never gonna do Maths again.

I fucking hate maths. Yeh I can do it, and the poor old Grandie can almost never beat me in a tables bee, but it is a pisser when numbers become the focus of your day.

I have been a bit nervous about my test results from a fortnight ago, cos if they are shit, it means that the poison is not working and that'd mean - well I don't know what the fuck that would mean, but I bet it wouldn't be anything good.

For the last 8 months I have lurched from one set of stats to the next, and today I got my my 8 months numbers, which were meant to be 9 months numbers so I guess there would be a formula to calculate how much off they could have been but I don't know what the fuck that might be.

My CML mutant count started at 54....54 whats exactly is a question whose answer has never satisfied cos it is said that it is 54% except that it's possible to get a score of more than 100% and even though I have taught some very clever kids, I have never given more than 100% results, but that's all by the by. In any case I started with 54 mutant fuckers, then suddenly the poison had killed off so many that only 5 remained and then we all got off kilter a bit cos the scores are meant to be done 3 monthly but the next one was a month early so the little fuckers still added to 1.2 when there was an expectation that there'd be less than 1. And today, 8 months on when it should really be 9 months on, the score is .13!

I thought Greg Onc was a little disappointed but he said all was ok.

When we get to .0 something, that's a good score and so there was a strange conversation between the Engineer and the Arty-farty on the drive home about a formula that would satisfy us both about how much improved I have to be by Christmas to be doing well and crossing over between fractions and dividing by 10s and working in numbers too small to bother with certainly if you were thinking squares of chocolate, was all a bit abstract and silly.

The researchers have been busy again, or still, and even though 8 months ago Greg Onc said that I'd be on the poison for the rest of my life, he agreed today that there is research into stopping the pills after 3-5 years of effective results. At the moment this is leaving about 50% of CML patients free and clear - cured! and the other 50% have to go back on the meds - no worse off. That is really a big leap forward! Maybe there will a time not too far away, when I can give the pills the flick. Something to really look forward to I reckon.

In the meantime I am gonna give myself a pat on the back cos things are going OK. Yeh the side effects are sometimes a bit shit, but it's a numbers game. Bugger and there was me saying I was never gonna do maths again after I turned 40...fuck it!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Leftover Laziness. Lamb - tastes better than it Looks

Yesterday's lamb shoulder, ready to re-cycle tonight.

It wasn't a typical Sunday, cos we met some lovely folk for a leisurely lunch which saw us full up to pussy's bow, so the usual baked dinner went by the board in lieu of jelly and yoghurt. Yeh I went straight to the pudding. What a treat on a Sunday night. No cooking no washing up no smell lingering - oh except that there was a linger, cos I had popped a lamb shoulder in the oven before we went out and it had cooked itself stupid while we chattered away.

I just Glad wrapped the lot and saved the jacket spuds and am ready tonight to present a yummo meal that seriously should be better than had we eaten it yesterday.

I reckon that very often, things 'next day' are even better.

Spag bog sauce is defo better and my plum sauce that goes with Pork Belly improves with age.

It might be that these things are better cos the cooking is already done, and laziness tastes damn fine.

I remember at Uni the first time, cutting up a pizza with the other end of a fork, the morning after a particularly brutal booze splurge, and even today that pizza remains one of the best I have ever eaten. It's true, I might have still been bladdered, memory is a strange thing.

My darling Nanna's less than triumphant forays in the kitchen have been documented here, but one thing she could whip up were fritters from leftovers. I loved her fritters. She would shovel in all sorts of stuff that would today be bin fodder cos it'd be well passed the 'use-bys' and she must have added stuff to the batter, or maybe the penicillin green stuff flavoured it all pleasantly, and I guess she fried 'em up in lard or something that you can't even buy today. In any case, her fritters were bloody marvelous. I make 'em from time to time when I am feeling nostalgic, but Stevie is not much fond of 'em and I fed 'em to the Grandie once, but  I rather doubt that they made it to the top 10 list of things he liked about going to Ma's place.

So it's feast night at the Big House. Slow cooked lamb shoulder with leek and mustard sauce, with spuds and broccoli and I might even whip up some pancakes and drunken strawberries cos I fancy a big old vodka, perhaps a a nod to my younger wilder years, and if I hide it all under a mountain of heavy cream and fruit then no-one needs to know.

Fuck the hiding, break out the bottle!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Wheelie-bin Gate

The park next door is well used, by us and Dog and lots of folk with dogs and people who chomp up their fish and chips or their sushi and young lovers and not so young lovers, and youngster hoons with their dinghies,  or families having birthday parties for their kids in public places cos either their yard is too small or they don 't fancy cleaning up the kids' shit everywhere at their place and if they leave a bit of crap in the park, oh well never mind.

By PARK standards I reckon it is pretty small, but by back yard standards, it's pretty big.

There have always been 4 rubbish bins to cater for the usual crap and sometimes the strange shit that passers-by chuck in cos presumably it wouldn't fit into their bins at home, or in the case of christmas prawn shells, maybe they, sometimes us, just don't want the stink to hang around.

There is often a big mess down by the water's edge and civic minded locals like us will do a clean up of bottles and broken glass cos it would hurt the dogs' feet, and maybe not be good for kids either. A few years ago I rang the Council and asked for a bin to be placed down where the weekend mess accumulated, but was told that according to logistics and prorataness and council calculations there were already too many bins there and just because they might not be well placed, it didn't mean that more were needed - I added the last bit.

So we have just cracked on with our own little clean up of our bit of Australia and ho hum to 'em all.

2 weeks ago there was some activity out in the park, the usual council - worker - taking - the - pissness. We all know the routine, dig a little, sit a little, go home early, and a week and a half later there 4 little neat squares of concrete planted next to the useless expensive white elephant of a bike path. So those kids who risked the gravel rash injuries of falling onto the concrete, to play footy in the park, now also have to dodge bins and metal posts. Fucking brilliant!

4 well used bins have been replaced by 6 bins. And I presume that a committee of overpaid council fools agonised for hours over the placement of said new bins, cos all the existing bins have gone and new possies have been found - still none down by the water's edge where the majority of the rubbish is left to float around in the wind. Fucking brilliant!

They are not nearby where people sit and eat their food, but they are on the useless expensive bike path that has so successfully chopped the park in half, so I guess the fellas who wheel the bins over to the rubbish truck are pleased purple, not to have to arduously drag them over the small expanse grass.  

Ah maybe the purpose of the fucking path was to make life easy for the bin emptiers. That makes as much sense as all the other lies and excuses I was given for it last year.

Seriously, I reckon these fools could do well swapping with the IBM idiots, cos god knows they all could not do a worse job.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Census Debacle

Australian Bureau of Statistics logoAustralian Bureau of Statistics logoAustralian Bureau of Statistics logoAustralian Bureau of Statistics logo

I used to think that the Census was bullshit, just the government having a perv into my private life and making it compulsory to boot, making sure I answered all their fucking questions or else go straight to jail, do not collect 200 dollars. They used to employ actual people to walk the streets to deliver the surveys and then collect  em back up like they were primary school test papers and the collectors were grumpy teachers having a quick look to make sure that no funny business had gone on and all the blank spots had been filled in.

But then when I was a girl teacher, barely older than my students, accessing this ABS (not stomach muscle 6 packs - Australian Bureau of Statistics ) was vital to the Urban Geography unit. It all became very interesting and so then I thought insisting on the info was sort of OK.

But last night's debacle makes me question it all again.

I mean there is no need for your name to appear anywhere, so if I were less compliant, I might have made up a name, and I hand wrote the reference number so I didn't give 'em my email address, cos god knows I get enough bullshit every day, without adding wear and tear to the delete button for government crap.

But all my objections to the need for my details was overshadowed by my irritation about the lack of options in the answers.

I was married in 1979, and divorced in 1990, so when it came to asking for my marital status, I rather figured they wanted some more contemporary data.

There was no de-facto option so the fact that it is a recognised legal 'arrangement' here in this bloody marriage backwater of a country, I had to put divorced. Now don't get me wrong, I am not ashamed of being divorced, but that was 26 years ago! I have been living with my fella for 13 years, and surely if the bloody government was really interested in collecting statistics, the current state of play would be more relevant than what happened before it would have even thought about making the collection of the fucking data via a big fuck off computer.

And so I can easily appreciate how gay couples might feel about the lack in inclusivity in the fucking form. I have mates who would need to tick, SINGLE - never married, even if they have been happily partnered up for decades. The fucking form gave me the shits in it's old fashionedness.

Don't even get me started on the religion question cos I had to put NO Religion and I am not at all convinced that that is the same as Athiest. It seems possible that the questionnaire was put together by some right wing christian committee, and maybe they were plucked from the same employment pool, who put their faith in the fucking useless government computer system. Excuse my cynicism about the government's spin, that a big bad boogie man attacked their system, so they shut it down to save us all. Bollocks!

Dr Chris, the TV vet put out his own little pet census this morning, cos there were no questions about who owns a little fury friend, and I reckon that would be pretty important for planning of dog parks and the like. Maybe they should have invited him to be on the census committee. I hope that his data can be somehow included, although honestly, given the complete failure of the collection process to date, I imagine that it would be included as a tally of blonde haired blue eyed rubbish bins.

Anyone who doubts the extent of the utter incompetence of Public Servants, probably is one.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

The New Gold Class Piccies at Australia Fair.

It's no secret that I am claustrophobic and tend towards the panic attack end of things in a crowd or if people move into my space, so I always sit on the aisle - on a bus, on a train, in a theatre or at the pictures. And the older I get the worse this has become. Some would argue that I have just succumbed to the slide into grumpy old woman land, and those fuckers might be right. A fella I knew used to give me the HOUSE SEATS for all the best shows in Brisvegas, and I would swan along like someone important, but I wouldn't thank him for those middle seats today. I used to be able to sit dead middle of a bunch of teens, in a theatre to make sure they behaved themselves, but I know I couldn't do that anymore, not that it was ever really needed, cos in all those years, I only ever had to frog march one kid out. Usually the performances were so wonderful that the kids were gripped from lights down, or maybe they were afraid that I would truly embarrass 'em, but that's all ancient history now.

I love going to the pictures. An hour or 2 of surround sound and enormous projections and unlikely stories, an airconditioned sanctuary in the middle of summer, ahhh lovely.

But the idea of going into the usual cinema, just doesn't hold much appeal. All those people, climbing over you to get to the centre seats, which unfathomably seem to be the most popular, and all the crackling of wrappers and the swinging back and forward on the chairs that actually rock the whole line of the bloody things and people with their feet up near your ears, and people who stare daggers at you when you put your feet up near theirs,  and dealing with people with worse bladder control than me and young people who are so important that they need to reply to calls and texts in then middle of the film and these fuckers are nearly always sitting right next to me.  Yeh the slummy pictures is not much fun. I'll go with the Grandie but that should be seen as a testament to grandmaly love.

But for not much more than a usual cinema ticket you can go to the Gold Lounge at Australia Fair.

It was always a little less than salubrious with manky velour chairs that I am sure would shine brightly under a forensic blue light, but there are only 20 seats and so only 20 people and no feet or rocking and mostly little noise. Bloody marvelous.

They closed up shop a while back for a re-furb and I figured that almost certainly they were gonna re-open with the sky high prices of the other flash places at Pac Fair or Robina, but NO, the prices are the same-ish.

The seats are all new leather and very comfy too, still only 20 people, AHHH. And if you go before 6pm it's only 20 bucks. Yeh I know that's not for nothing, but I pop into Coles downstairs to pick up snacks and a bottle of water so there is a big saving there.

We saw 'Jason Bourne' on Friday. I had caught up on the story by watching the 3 previous ones that have been on the tellie recently and so it all fitted into the puzzle well. It was more than the previous movies - more places, more shootings and killings, more jump out of your seat surprises and perhaps best of all, more car chases. They were bloody terrific and Matt Damon was as good as ever.

So the movie is worth a look and it is definitely worth parking your arse in those new chairs at the new Gold Lounge at Oz Fair.

Friday, 5 August 2016


So this is about 1/3 of the tree left this morning.

I am a little afraid of being too friendly with the neighbours. I mean it's a bit like sparking up a conversation with the stranger on a plane when you have just settled your arse into a the seat for a 14 hour flight. I don't do that either. And it's not cos I am up myself, it's because I am too polite to just tell 'em to fuck off if they are giving me the shits, so then I have to spend 14 hours of head nodding and fake smiling, when what I want to do is snuggle up and pop my eye mask on and slink into the Phenergan world of strange dreams and spittle.

And with neighbours it's even more fraught, cos it's so much longer than 14 hours.

As a bit of a gypsy, I've had lots of neighbours, some have been cool and others you'd walk a very long way out of your way, even with sore legs and a hangover, to avoid.

Our neighbour here is a very pleasant woman and we smile and wave and keep a little eye out for each other's houses when either of us is away. We don't pop over for a cuppa or a bit of a weekend BBQ, but if she needs something fixed, Stevie might pop in and have a tinker or if Zig's ball flies over the fence, she's happy for him to scale the fence to get it back. We are cordial and smiley and I like that.

My Girl and I lived next to an old Italian woman for many years. She was deaf as a post and more than a little mean. She would sit in her garage which was metres from our lounge room and have the tellie on full wack. Very often I could not hear myself think, let alone hear my own TV. There was no point in playing the turn mine up louder cos she couldn't hear it anyway and that would have just pissed off my neighbours on the other side who were lovely boys - coppers who often worked nights and needed their sleep. So for many years we just trundled along with Amelia giving us the shits.

Until one day her mail was delivered to my letter box and so I learned her surname and finally I had a little weapon.

I looked up her phone number and kept it close to hand.

When the tellie rang out, I called her. She would finally hear the phone over the din, turn the tellie off,  trudge up the few stairs into her house - yeh I could hear all this cos we were close, so close that I could spit out my dining window into her bedroom - I said I COULD, not that I did. I would wait til she was almost at the phone and then I'd hang up.

Then I'd hear her head back to the garage and the tellie would blare again. I'd call again. It became sport. The most I ever needed to ring was 3 times and after that I guess she either forgot she was watching a programme or she figured she had done quite enough aerobic work for the day. Then  we were able to settle into a peaceful co-existence. AHH.

The Boys on the other side were a different kettle of fish. We got on very well and they were young enough to be matey with my Girl and old enough to have cold beers in the fridge. We pulled down the dividing fence and created one big back yard that we took turns mowing and using it and when it came time to paint the houses we co-ordinated the colours. They were LOUD and these 2 cute cottages one blue and one green sat side by side amid the usual, the boring, the ordinary.

But since then I have lived next to lots of people, most of whom I barely nodded to.

We have 2 new sets of neighbours across the road. One couple who I have not even seen, who seem to come and go by stealth, and the other is a fella with a truck with problems.

His fucking great truck which seems to not want to work is parked in the front yard or on the front footpath or over the driveway hanging way out into the street and his mate's Ute is thrown around somewhere nearby with such gay abandon, that I sometimes almost feel sorry for it.

He and his mate work on the truck at all hours of the day and night.

It's pretty loud, like Amelia's tellie.

But it's not as loud as the Main Roads' contractors who were charged with chopping down the 200 year old fig tree to make way for the new road. Yeh, they rolled into the village car park last night with maybe 10 huge trucks or it could have been 100. They parked up and double parked up and stopped the usual local traffic through the delivery road and made a great big fucking noise.

They did about fuck all until maybe 10 PM and then they started screeching away with all manner of shitting equipment. And then this noise droned on most of the night.

Now it would be better if they could have left the tree there, but progress and all meant it had to go, but I wondered why it had to go AT NIGHT. I reckoned that it was cos there a small ground swell of greenie complaints and they wanted to avoid any protests, so they swanned in, in the dark and swept it away without having to get the police in to unchain any hairy arm pitted, crystal waving, yoga pants wearing chanters.

The fucking Road Works Department does not make for a  good neighbour.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Odd piccie I know, but this is the slump-into chair with the Girlie on my lap position from which I send most of my posts. This is why I make typos and also why I used to love the Touchie Touchie screen.

My 'Girlie' has been playing up for a while now, I am pretty sure I have mentioned this before.

I thought it might have just been some sort of teenage tantrum, but it turns out that actually she was in the middle of a monumental menopausal meltdown and finally was fit to spear anything in her way, just before she blew a fuse and shutdown completely.

Yeh my machine was fucked.

The touch screen had become, let's say,  a little unreliable a while ago. I had added a green screen cleaner cloth as an accessory to all my outfits, cos I figured that my greasy grubby little digits were upsetting the screen's delicate sensibilities, and then late last week the touchiness of the Girl went the way of my ovaries and so I had to re-learn the Mouse play.

The thing that I liked most about the 'Touch myself' nature of working was that as I got tired, I could just swipe the screen to enlarge all the stuff so I could see it without any strain, Yeh I could probably have found some glasses but I have stopped popping the seeing glasses on my head cos of the swipe-ability of the Girl and my kindle has a font size changer that is dead simple to use and that's about it for reading really, so finding these glasses would be time consuming and honestly I am just too fucking lazy to haul arse out of the chair to go hunting.

So the Touching was over. No more Chrissy Amphlett 'I Touch Myself' It was the end of a very lovely era. Oh well, menopause, wrinkles and buggered machines. Shit.

So the Mouse was king for about a week and then all of a sudden it got the shits up too and stopped being useful or reliable and then eventually the whole shooting match just dried up and was a frozen solid mess - yeh I will quit with the menopause analogies now cos it could get ugly.

I called in the Doctor.

He lives on the Mountain and once he made a house call and then he had to take her away in his ambulance for a little hospital visit.

And now I just got her back and even though the touchiness will never return, the rest of her is working just fine.

The Doctor said that it would be possible to fix the hardware behind the screen but it would be costly and not really economical as I would still have an oldish machine, just with a new face.

So I won't bother. I'll just persevere with the mouse.

It did make me wonder about the whole face lift thing though.

You can make the face  pretty and all, but the underneath stuff, the back end, the down there bits are still old. I mean I am happy for people to do whatever the hell they want to with their bodies, but I do wonder about looking into the mirror and seeing a youthful face when the rest of you is just crying out for a Bex and a good lie down.

Anyway that's way off topic.

I am very pleased with my Girl's Doctor. He can work remotely or in your lounge room or he can take your little bits of precious to the hospital, and he is caring and punctual and does what he says he's gonna do, so if your machines need a little talking to maybe he'd be able to coax 'em into behaving. It's worth a shot.


Monday, 1 August 2016

Russia - Welcome

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
Here's a map showing my readers for the last week. The darker the green the more readers.

There has been a real spike in the number of folk reading this old blog in the last few weeks and it seems from the stats, that the big increase is from people in RUSSIA, and whilst I am happy that they have joined me, I do wonder how the bloody hell that happens.

I thought, about a year ago, that it might be possible to make a few rupees from my page, but have in typical fashion done fuck all about that. I mean I just really have no idea how to go about it. I don't know how to build a readership, or sort of advertising sponsors or organise a Media Kit - yeh I don't even know what that is except that I know after a seminar for bloggers last year, I know I sort of need one. So I have done no promotion and am yet to be approached by any company hoping that I might prostitute myself for cash in trade for good reviews.

So how does it happen that one day more than 500 people in Russia decide to click on my page.

I read a lot of blogs, none in Russian cos I am hopelessly mono-lingual doesn't that just sound a tiny bit rude.

So here's a request, if you have bothered to click here and have a little look - see, could you just write where you are from in the comments below.

I promise that I will not give this interaction to some whizz bang 11 year old who can do something - although I can only imagine what, with your comment, it is just to feed my idol curiosity.