Saturday, 29 October 2016


Yeh this is a calculator in an Offertory church collection box given to me as an ironic gesture years ago and I am collecting strange coins in it, but I might have to empty it out and send the cash as payment for the latest bills.

If it's close by, please have a look at your latest bill. Doesn't matter where it's from, cos there is some basic info that nearly all bills will include, especially if the sender fully expects to get your wonga.

I mean I am not an accounting genius, far fucking from it, but I am not in the habit of handing out cash willy-nilly for stuff not received, or stuff that I don't understand, or stuff that has not been specified. I mean I am not a genius, but that's a far cry from being some wealthy, naive, crazy person, who's best friend is a Nigerian Prince.

So when for the third time this week I got a bill, and when I say bill, this third one was actually a DEBTOR'S INVOICE, I began to wonder if in deed I was some sort of crazy person who had just forgotten to pay something important. It's possible of course what with chemo brain and all, but rack the poor old noggin as hard as I could and I just couldn't remember missing something. Ho Hum.

Then when I had a little look, there was nothing specific on the account and no date due. Now that's also pretty odd. Again, never in my life have I sent out an invoice, but if I did, I reckon I would include some of this basic info if I expected to be paid.

So I rang and tried to get a handle on what I had taken delivery of but had forgotten all about.

Yeh, there had been NO DELIVERY. I was not going nuts, I could continue to take the chemo shit without fear of going completely senile. The bill, now a DEBTOR'S INVOICE, was for stuff - still unspecified and not due for delivery until the end of January, yep it was for the Emperor's new clothes.  So you can imagine I instantly grabbed my credit card and told them that if they had a bridge for sale I would be interested in that too.


Does this all sound like a scam to you?

The DEBTOR'S INVOICE was for $750. Now that's quite a chunk of cash I reckon. And I was left wondering who just stumps up the wonga without questioning it. I mean how lazy or ridiculously wealthy would you have to be to provide your credit card details without at least asking what it's all about?

In case you are still with me and wondering who sent the bill 3 times in a week, I will tell you, it was NOT a Nigerian Prince, and it wasn't a gypsy house painter or drive way fixer, it wasn't a telemarketer flogging funeral insurance. Nope, it was from a State Government agency, a High School. A State High School.

Proving that certainly education is not free in Queensland, and that the accounting system in place is not your bog standard, 'User pays' type of thing. This is more, 'You will probably use it at some point, months in the future, so stump up now and don't ask any questions, cos this place is so popular that if you don't like it, you can fuck off and we'll find some other schmuck to pony up the cash,' type of system.

A tiny bit of rudimentary adding up and I reckon it'll cost a least $2000 a year to go to this place. And that is not including stuff that continually rears it's head and sticks it's hand in your pockets.

This surely is not standard? How do people with no cash manage?

I spent 30 years teaching, and most of that time was in the State system. I am an absolute believer in Education for all, regardless of family circumstances. But it appears this is now some sort of pipe dream. It seems your kids get what you can afford. And it seems that schools can and in fact DO charge any damn amount, in any damn way they choose and there is nothing the local punters can do about it.

I would be jumping up and down giving myself a heart attack if I was still teaching.
This sense of elitism should never be part of the ethos of a State School.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Shit Parking tests metal knees.

I tried to post this last week and then learned that the photo hadn't appeared and so I reckon the story could not have made much sense. The old computer gremlins at work again huh? Anyway I think I have fixed the problem and so here it is again.

00 BED

Yep I reckon if I was a prossie, a lady of the night, or a beck and call girl,  and I wanted to advertise my wares I might get a number plate like this.

ooooooh aaaahhhh Bed baby? Now? anytime?

And if I wanted to make sure that any prospective punters could expect a classy bit of tail, then I might pop the number plate on a pricey car to let 'em know that their money would be usefully spent and if I was so inclined, I might also pop a large photo of a perfect set of teeth so that the Johns would also know that dental hygiene is important to me, or maybe a glamour shot of pert boobies, although maybe a different body part photo would be a better advertisement, but as I am not in the game I am not sure.!

I don't have a personalised plate, probably because I lack the imagination to come up with anything that would suit me everyday.

Sometimes, when some dick forces their way into my lane without a gesture of thanks or a little beep or a twinkle of the indicator, I'd like it if my car cried out, MANNERS. And sometimes when I am just tootling along in no rush, just enjoying the scenery, it'd be cool if my car could gently encourage other drivers to, Smell the Roses.

There could be all manner of sage advice that could be succinctly popped onto the plates, but they'd have to do a Bondy 007 rotation to accommodate moods and circumstances I reckon.

I am an average sort of driver. I don't routinely get too stressed about speedy bully pushy fools and I don't bully or tailgate, or flip people the finger when they piss me off. I am not vindictive about letting people in and will pull over on a single lane road to let speedy gonzalies pass, mostly cos I don't like the stress of 'em being right on my bumper.

I quite like driving, and have only ever had one accident.

I was 20 and had just bought a brand new lovely blue car. It was only 2 months old and I smashed the shit out of it. I was never sure how that happened. I took responsibility for the crash, cos the bloke walloped me on the right, even though I reckon the fellow must have really been moving. Ho hum hey. My fault, thankfully there was insurance.

So one accident in nearly 40 years, that's not too bad.

But because I imagine my little Mazda 2 is the size of a tank when it comes time to park up, I am pretty careful. I will take a couple of runs at it if necessary, just to make sure that I am in the bay properly and I can reverse park if needs be, but I don't like it if someone is watching me cos I don't do well with that extra pressure.  It really is a sort of obsession and one that means that generally speaking my little girl goes unscathed by dickheads shoving open their car doors onto her. There is always room, and if there isn't any room, I drive on somewhere else. Yeh cos I think I am parking a tank, I have been known to start out shopping at one place and finish up being somewhere else. But I can always get in and out of the girl with ease.

Always that is, unless some fuck pulls up alongside and literally throws their car in with wild abandon such as would definitely please a bed partner, but definitely not please an overweight old woman with 2 fake knees.

Such was the case on Wednesday in Brisvegas. We returned to the car after a meal celebrating the Grandie Boy's Martial Art's grading, to find 00BED parked up so close that I could not open my door. I slid sidewards between the 2 cars. I backed out and tried going in the other way. I backed in and fronted in and tried hard to vapourise myself so I could float in. I worked up quite the sweat trying to get in. I swore loudly and badly and my girl went looking for the dick who had parked up with so little regard for anyone else.

People came offering assistance. People came for an incredulous look see. People came to wonder about the fat old woman with the bucket mouth. I was not very gracious, cos I was single mindedly trying to work out how to get in.

Finally, after giving the side of my car a damn fine dusting with my hitherto clean outfit, I decided to try going in from the passenger side.

Now, in my dotage, I can happily recall times in my youth when clambering all over the front seats of cars dodging steering wheels and gear sticks, lead to moments of uncomfortable joy, but those were skinny times of fully functional joints, and now are only fond memories.

I tried going in face first...Useless! So I sat and shimmied - no not in a good way. Spread-eagled, I arse planted from one seat to the other and then slowly managed to get enough bend from the metal knees to pull myself over the hand brake and the gear stick and seat belt thingy, into place. Damage to my nether regions was a risk I needed to take. I am pretty sure that the sweat thankfully added to my 'slipperbility'. I puffed and panted and people of the Panel Van, 'If the van's a rocking don't come a knocking' era, would have given my car a wide birth for fear of interrupting an intimate moment.

Finally, I tucked my side mirror in and reversed out slowly, pausing to take the photo, wishing that I had some old piece of shit car that I could have tossed willy-nilly at 00BED.

The owner didn't return.

A note was placed under the windscreen wiper. It was vehement and angry and rude and perhaps just a little shocking. I wanted to do some bad bad word name calling in red lippy all over their windscreen but my girl thought that not a good idea. I am still a little sorry that I pulled up short on that.

I kept thinking that as I am pretty cool calm and collected in a car, especially when I have precious cargo, that my reaction was quite extreme. I can only imagine what would have become of the car park had a hot head been so stupidly parked in.

It's unlikely that anyone who so completely disregards others as to park so shockingly, will give a rat's arse about the note, but I like to think that perhaps they will be encouraged to get a smaller car, and if they want to advertise their wares, then maybe they could sit on a street corner on a bed wearing a sandwich board sign saying, 'Come and get me'. Whether they mean themselves or the bed can remain delightfully vague.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

I'm a City Gal...but....

I have been yodeling 'I don't want to live more than 5 miles from a Myers' for as long as I can remember. Myers being a big department store that sells everything, well not like Harrods but a lot of stuff, and the stores are only found in the city and that's where I like to live.

I like the pace and the horns blasting and the emergency vehicles screeching by. I like the grit and the anonymity, even though I always nod and say 'Good morning' to total strangers, including bus drivers and rubbish collectors. I like the cafes and restaurants and going to the pictures or the theatre or art galleries. I like being able to get around leaving the car behind, cos the public transport is cheap and cheerful. Yep I like the city.

The Goldie is not the city tho. Oh sure it has it's pluses. It has a Myer right by the beach and there are certainly plenty of police sirens screaming towards Surfers Paradise on weekend evenings but the place is really only a biggish country town.

There is no argument that there is an awful lot more going on at the Goldie than in many places, say WOOLI for example.

Wooli is about 50 km east of Grafton in NSW, and is just a tiny spec of houses along one rather narrow road drawn down an isthmus of land which runs precariously between a creek and the Pacific Ocean. The public transport here consists of the courtesy bus to the bowls club which makes damn fine slurppy cosmopolitans and serves up some Chinese fare that must be bought only by locals cos the menu was so weird and there were no prices listed.  We didn't try it, just not brave enough I'm afraid and they don't like dogs. I guess they just don't fancy the idea of bowling around a big old turd. I understand that.

There is a pub, where we were allowed to sneak Dog for a fab dinner and there's a caravan park and a wonderful little coffee shop and a service station which doubles as a ' where's the chocolate' store, and quite a large Deep Sea Rescue place, with lots of boats and stuff, and there was an oyster bar place that Stevie would have liked to have tried but it closed at 5pm so no dinner there then.

And that was it.

There was this finger line of houses and bugger all else. Lots of the houses are holiday rentals and so were empty, and I wonder if this gives the locals the shits.

We stayed in the second last house in Wooli.

The back yard was the ocean and the front yard was the creek.

It was bloody beautiful.

We drove around a bit and saw some country side, Kangaroos and a couple of Emus and rural stuff like cows and horses and open space and bushland which we didn't yomp through, because, well SNAKES and ticks and grasshoppers and birds and shit like that. I mean I might have been wearing my farmer Joe hat, but I sure as shit wasn't going country feral.

We got a bit lost and the sat nav turned into a wandering arrow as the maps became hazy and we found some lovely little places and a vehicular ferry that took us free of charge across the mighty Clarence River. We discovered that even the week out from their big festival of the Jacarandas, Grafton town was closed up tighter than a nun's what'sit on a Saturday afternoon, and we found the beach. Everywhere we went we found the beach.

We drove to Coff's Harbour which is a much bigger little town than I thought it would be and we found the beach. Bloody lovely. And we popped back out to the coast from the highway and we found more beaches and headlands and coastal walks. Bloody lovely.

But the best beach was our back yard.

I imagine the generous council had stumped up for these benches along the dune ridge just so the locals could sit and watch the day go by. Best bit of council spending EVER!

Dog loved it, I loved it, Stevie loved it although he doesn't enjoy the sandy foot shit as much as me or Dog.

We ate in and played card games and watched the biggest fuck off tellie I have ever seen, seriously we were so close you could see actor nose hair and I am not sure that's much of a recommendation.

And we listened to the waves. Ahh.

It doesn't sound like a wonderful time for a city gal, but I would go back in a heart beat, no not for ever, but for another visit. Sitting having my morning cuppa on the bench seat, looking for whales and watching the dumpers roll in, ah I can feel the heart rate dropping just thinking of it.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The World Must be a Scary Place.

As a teacher I have been yelled at, sworn at, punched, and had furniture thrown at me, all by teenagers, many bigger and stronger than me, and don't even get me started on the shit I have endured from the kids' parents, adults who aught to have known better, but who were clearly the tree from whence the children fell. Yeh all a bit ho hum, and that was part of the job, not the best bit, but still, a part of the job, and generally if you hung in there the real problem would surface like a bloated body in the swamp and then solutions could be found.

But it seems pretty clear to me that if I was actually still in the classroom today, when a kid goes off like a rocket, I would be empowered by the Boss Gods, to put my hand up and say, 'If you go off again, I will terminate this class, as I do not have to put up with this.'

I can just see it now! perhaps 20 times a day, sticking my hand up and reciting a little catch phrase, and all would be well. Or if I wanted to finish early, all I'd have to do is wind up a couple of kids in say the yr 9 vocational English class to the point where they'd whisper, 'Shit' and then I could scarper, cos no-one can be expected to put up with that sort of shit, ever!

So what it means is that insurance companies and super funds and government agencies and quangos and utility companies and banks and telcos can all, without fear, keep sending wrath cooking shit in the post, or emails, and then encourage 'customers' to call premium rate numbers to ask what the fuck is going on. Yep they no longer need to fear that the shit that they send or the procedures they put in place, will make people cross enough to swear or heaven forbid raise their voices, cos if they even think that's gonna happen they can just trill off their little phrase about, 'terminating this call' and they can go onto the next one. It makes fuck all difference after all cos they have no interest in providing customer service, cos they get paid regardless.

So I have got to imagine that something truly horrible must have happened, and not as an isolated event, horrible, terrible things must have happened to call centre operators so now they are allowed to just hang up. And not just allowed to hang up, they are encouraged to do so after sprooking their little one liners.

So what devastating things could have befallen our fearless, now fearsome folk on the phones. Well I guess someone could have hung up on them loudly, although that really hasn't happened in the last decade cos in the digital era, it's not possible to slam of the old plastic receiver onto the phone ( this was excruciating and exhilarating depending on which end you were on ) - yeh back in the old days, when there was some interest in solving a problem or easing a complaint, that slamming clunk would have meant trouble cos that would have been one pissed off customer who might be immediately walking their business elsewhere. Yeh the boss would not be happy about the customer hang ups, follow ups would happen, and apologies would be offered and businesses would grow.

So there might have been a hang up or 2, or as happened, every day when I worked the phones with my mate Rosie, we'd be told to 'Fuck Off'. I suppose it was lucky that we were a couple of teflon gals cos instead of needing stress leave and psychiatric attention, we'd laugh it off and count 'em up. I reckon that 24 might have been the winning score in a 6 hour shift.

What truly dreadful thing must have happened that has lead to this 'Terminate the call' crappola? Perhaps it's the 'elf and safety police' just making sure they all stay in a job, so people are employed to write the 'terminate the call' dialogue, and then trainers need to be employed to teach the phone operators how to best deliver this speech, and of course then there would need to be counselors on hand or at least on  speed dial for when things get really out of hand. Yeh I can see how the unions would be tickled pink with themselves to have engineered all these other roles, it's just a shame that from a customer perspective, there is less and less service.  

I was gonna outline the events leading up to me hearing 'the speech' today but I am pretty sure that we have all heard it before and the organisations are, let's face interchangeable. I didn't swear, I have learnt my lesson on that one, but I did raise my voice, mostly because I imagined that PAUL was hard of hearing cos it was that or he was just thick as shit.

Ho fucking hum!

Monday, 17 October 2016


Do you like a bit of Tom Hanks?

Do you like to reminisce about travels to Venice or Florence or Istanbul?

Would you very much love to go to these places for the first time or again?

Well 'Inferno' might just be the movie for you.

From all accounts, and by that I mean a bloke that Stevie plays golf with, who read a review somewhere, the movie is shit and you should not waste your money on it, but as is often the case, I disagree.

We recorded the first 2 Prof Langdon stories on the tellie recently cos we knew this movie was a coming and so we were sort of ready for the puzzles and the twists. Some of the dialogue is a bit oopsie, but not too much, and certainly you get the drift very quickly of what the hell - Dante reference just to be a smart arse, is going on, in fact I reckon it might be easier to get into this story than the others.

I did quite a bit of hiding behind my hands, even though there was a voice in my head saying that things were more than likely gonna work out ok. After all OK is a relative term.

Anyway I was pleased to have stumped up the cash to see it. It's been a pretty big day as I get sorted for going away so I did rather think that I might have had a little zzzzz off if things went pair shaped, but I didn't nod off even for a second, and god knows I have slept through plenty of movies and the odd play too, so it can't have been too bad.

If like us you have caught up on the old movies then expect to see Tom Hanks looking more grandpa than professor, cos he has aged a bit, but his acting is a good as ever. Laconic I reckon is a good description.

Pop along if you like, but if you come down on the side of the critic who panned it, please don't ask me for a refund. It's all fair in love and war remember.

Saturday, 15 October 2016


What a random collection of books on this page? Top right is the book my friend Pinky Poinker wrote and it's worth a look for a giggle. Dawn French has never written anything that I haven't loved, Lauren Bacal - what a woman!

I downloaded and read, 'The Girl On a Train' when it first appeared on the best seller list. Now that's not how I fell upon it cos I am not privy to all that hoopla, so I must have seen something about it on social media, and as I nearly always have my nose stuck in a book and because it is so ridiculously easy to get a book delivered to your Kindle, I ordered it and then there it was waiting for me to imagine.

Anyway, I just fell into the chapters. The characters and the places all appeared in my head and I was too often a big old scaredy-cat, pleased to be able to close up the Kindle and put it all away before the nightmares stampeded into my head, cos god knows I already have enough trouble sleeping. The 'Who Dun-it' was pretty long and drawn out, perhaps mostly cos likable characters are a bit light on the ground. Yep I enjoyed the read, and I loved the way my imagination ran rampant. I feel more than a little sorry for those literal, black and white, real or fake folk.

But it might be exactly these folk who drive the making of best sellers into movies, long before the readers' memories are even slightly dimmed.

There has been quite a lot in social media this week about how terribly plain Emily Blunt is in the movie, and given that she played a tortured alcoholic that shouldn't be too much of a shock. She did a good job living up to my imagination. All the crap written criticising  Ms Blunt's appearance seemed to be off on an irrelevant tangent but that's just my opinion.

The cast did a pretty good job but if I have any complaint it might be that everything unfolded too quickly and so the tension was a bit lost. Of course it is entirely possible that having read the book, there was just never gonna be too many surprises, well none in fact. I mean what the fuck did I expect really? 

So truth be told, I was happier and more frightened and upset and worried and relieved when I read the book than when I watched the movie, but if you haven't read the book, pop into the pictures to have a little look see and let me know what you think. 

It is probably always wise to see the movie before you read a book, especially if you have a vivid imagination cos then you can sit back, self satisfied in the knowledge that what played out in your head was better than in the movie and therefore you should make a bee line for Hollywood and take up directing - well maybe not?

Friday, 14 October 2016


When was the last time you squealed like a piss poor girlie actor in B Grade movie? You know, that hand over your mouth and a throat scoring scream with an after taste of adrenaline?

I reckon that most of the time I am not a girlie girlie. I didn't like playing with dolls tho I did enjoy designing clothes and chopping off the hair of any Barbie that came too close, and if I was given the choice between tea parties and rough housing in a field, then the great outdoors was always a winner. I happily - well not really happily, but needs must and all that, climbed onto my roof and slopped shit around to cure leaks and prepared and laid many many square metres of paving. I have never shied away from doing the 'Boy's' jobs cos well for most of my adult life I was the bloke as well as the girlie.

I am not notably afraid of too much stuff though I will admit that I spend quite a lot of time watching 'Criminal Minds' from behind my hands or with my eyes closed. Redback spiders are no match for a pair of thongs slapped together to smear those bastards, but I am not fond of snakes. In fact I am probably OK with just about anything, anything that is, that is in full view. I don't like the creeping up on ya shit, cos that does scare the crap outta me.

Last night I made my way upstairs for a shower. It was dark. I saw a fat shadow skitter across the wall high up near the ceiling and knew that it was just a friendly old gecko.  I am not afraid of of these fellas. They do a damn fine job of chomping up most of those annoying little buggers - mozzies and midges I mean, cos even a gecko is no match for those religion touting fools who sometimes knock. The Big House is home to a good number of gecko families who sing loudly to let us know that they are at work.

Having said all that, I do like to know where they are, so I turned a light on so he knew where I was, and I stood back and let him scurry, along one wall, across the top of my door, and along the top of the wall coming back towards me, and then I reckon the poor fella saw me and shit himself and lost traction on the wall and fell with a loud splat onto the floor.

The noise scared me. I squealed like a child. Stevie's legs did that cartoon running action. He yelled. I laughed. He thought there must have been an intruder in the house. We were all relieved when the intruder was just a lovely gecko. The 'squeal taste' took longer to abate, especially when I went into the bathroom to be confronted by the giant black brown moth who has been living there for a while now.  Of course it does no harm but I would so like it to find somewhere else to live and to that end I had left all the windows opened in the morning so it could fly out into the big wide world. It clearly likes my room. Ho Hum.  But I didn't want it flying at me in all my nakedity and do any more scaring. It sat high on the wall and I kept an eye on it and then forgot about it. Who the fuck knows where it is now. Ho hum.

There is a limit to how much adrenaline can be processed in a day.

And it seems that I am more flight than fight these days. Well that might well have always been the case. I am remembering a wet, towel clad, skinny woman racing out into the street to ask the delivery man dropping something next door, if he could come and help me with a ..... wait for it....a grasshopper! IN MY BEDROOM!  Yeh, well it was the size of a small bird! Anyway I reckon he figured all his chrismases had come at once until that was, I showed him to the bedroom, pointed to the hopper bastard and then hid behind the door, I mean I was a lunatic about the insect, but certainly loud enough to bark instructions through a bit of wood.

Well the grasshopper didn't like the look of the guy apparently and so hopped behind the wardrobe. Matey boy thought he'd call it a day, until I yelled to move the wardrobe and kill that sucker. He was trying to catch it and let it free outside. I am yelling like a towel draped banshee, 'Kill it. Kill it.' He finally did get a hold of the fucker and then he and the hopper scurried away, both very happy to have made their escape from the nut house.

Oh and I don't like birds, they scare me too. Oh shit it seems I am not the Zena warrior I'd like to be. Bugger!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


Yeh It's just as well that this is not a podcast or a Youtubey thing,  so you don't have to listen to me wailing away along with Barbra Streisand. As a singer, I'd make a damn fine gardener, or brain surgeon, or telepathic flying crazy cow, cos let's face it, I am a shit singer, not that it stops me, it just encourages all around me to test out new ear plug designs, and makes Dog try to escape over the 2 metre fence.

'Memories are so beautiful and yet so painful to remember and easy to forget'.... yeh I know I got it wrong but no-one is listening so who cares huh? Do you sing along to the radio and then suddenly a moment of clarity smashes into your ears with the devastation akin to wacking an overripe pawpaw with a golf club and you hear the 'real' words? I am always amazed when these proper, 'real' lyrics blare out clearly and plainly and I am faced with the dilemma of having to change the habit of decades or pretend I didn't notice.

I was reading, 'What Alice Forgot' by Liane Moriarty and so she doesn't miss out any sales royalties and to save having to make a big SPOILER ALERT warning, all I'll tell you is it's a story about Alice, who lost her memories of the last 10 years. She was well enough to be let loose in the world, but her ideas and attitudes were 10 years out of date. Did she manage? Did she like the same people? Was she interested in the same stuff? Well buy the book by all means and find out.

So I've been thinking about the last 10 years and weighing up how disappointed I'd be if I woke up one day and didn't know what has gone on... Yeh difficult to do when you know what you might be gonna forget, but that's the way my mind has been rolling.

Medically, certainly I would not be the least bit sad to not know all the shit that has gone down, although on close inspection I might go a little nutty- well all right, a little more nutty,  trying to figure out all the scars. Some relationships have shriveled up and died without warning or good explanation and that is a shame, on who I am not prepared to say. People have died and some who would be no loss to the world are still kicking around. I do wonder though if there would be an inexplicable cringe reaction to shitful people, even if the memory was gone, and I guess that would depend on the degree of initial shit. But if I was in the book, I wouldn't know this stuff.  Not too bad a black hole huh?

But mostly the last 10 years have been pretty fabbo, and it would be more than a bit miserable to not remember some of this stuff except that I wouldn't know I didn't know it, if you know what I mean. Cos NOT remembering stuff that made you proud or wonder or joyful would surely leave you less than you are.

My reactions today might be slower and possibly less intense, dare I say it, more mature and circumspect, than 10 years ago, but outcomes would not be wildly different with or without the knowledge and experience of a decade.

Possibly I would just get myself into more trouble today, if my ten years ago self appeared out of nowhere, and spat out her strong objections to stuff, cos at the very least I am no longer as spritely as I once was and I am much less able to quickly leg it away if I found myself in a tricky spot, where escape was necessary after my mouth spilled over.

Anyway I am sure that I have forgotten ridiculously more than I remember, and I am also pretty sure that some of the things that I am pretty sure I remember, perhaps happened differently to my memory, cos we all surely lie to ourselves from time to time.

And then there's the stuff we remember. Even though my girl and I were under the same roof some of the stuff she remembers, I have long ago forgotten. Yesterday we were discussing punishments and she recalled very clearly being grounded for almost the whole of year 10. I had forgotten all that. Yeh she was systematically a bit naughty and so would slide from one misdemeanor to the next. I am not sure what she did that was so terrible, but this might have been the year that I caught her not being where she was meant to be and driving in, skidding to a halt and yelling for her to get in the car. In retrospect it was not a big deal, but at the time it was worthy of another month of going nowhere. I had forgotten all about that until yesterday.

I am pleased that mostly good memories remain and that the shit often melts away, unless it's to do with your mother or other really bad things of course.

Monday, 10 October 2016

How Tall Are You?

Amsterdam Heels.

I have been 5'5" ever since I was about 12, so for a while there I was one of the tallest in the class photos, standing at the back and then as time went by and kids caught up, I ended up sitting next to the teacher on the front stool bench thing, sometimes balancing that awful blackboard between my toes or sometimes in my lap. So I was tall, then I wasn't.

When I started teaching at the ripe old age of 21, yeh you guessed it, I was still 5'5" (165cm for the youngsters) and cos I was a newbie and a little nervous and cos a lot of those Yr 12 boys were bloody giants, I wore heels to school. Seriously I just don't know how I managed it, ouchie ouchie ouchie.

My confidence in the classroom grew and the height of my heels dwindled, until now as a result of dementia or old age perhaps, I just can't recall the last time I might have worn heels to work. I am comfortable with my 5'5" and I long ago realised that kids don't give a shit how tall you are, they only care how honest you are and how fair and how clearly defined your rules are and how well you enforce them.

So when I was in Amsterdam one weekend away, as happened perhaps more often than you'd think it should while teaching in London, I stumbled across these hand painted heels and just had to have 'em. Yeh they were a folly and they have followed me all around, cos they are MY HEELS, the only heels I own, not that they are ever worn, it's just nice to think that I have a pair for you know, if the Queen comes for a spot of arvo tea, or if I have to appear in court on cheeky cow charges and I need to look respectable. The extra height just can't hurt can it?

My lovely Nanna used to say she was 5'5" and I would play along as I wrapped her up in a bear cuddle, a full head and shoulders above her. People do shrink I suppose cos she must have been that height at some point and just stopped measuring herself. And this week I reckon I have seen how that happens.

You know in the ADDAMS' FAMILY there is Uncle Fester, of the light bulb in the mouth fame, well I always thought him a strange shape, what with his ears folding straight down onto his shoulders and all. The electricity mouth didn't worry me so much as where his neck had gone.

And then I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror - something I do try rather hard to avoid, and there it was, or rather there it wasn't...where the hell was my neck?

My ears were planted firmly atop of my shoulders and I looked as uncomfortable as I felt.

Time for a massage then.

I go to Sylvia Lin a remedial massage therapist at Ferry Road Physio, and she is bloody marvelous, Baby Bear 'just right' pressure and as I lay on the bed with my head wedged firmly into that paper lined hole she did her stuff and I could actually feel myself getting taller and taller and taller. Every part of my spine must have been collapsing onto itself and then I wondered if that's how my Nanna lost so many inches - no Sylvia for her.

So now I wondering how often I should book an appointment so to avoid being a shrinking violet like my Nanna. Maybe once a month is called for? It sure is a bloody wonderful way to spend an hour. I came home and had to have a little lie down, after all I just had a growth spurt of about about 2 inches.

Yeh that means I can bury those heels again. Yippee!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Mr and Mrs Sprat own a MOO MOO

Jack Sprat could eat no fat
His wife could eat no lean
And so betwixt the two of them
They licked the platter clean

Now I have absolutely no evidence for this, but I am gonna go out on a limb and say that once upon a time the Sprats wanted to open a business. Mrs Sprat wanted to run a swanky happening drinking establishment and Mr Sprat, well he wanted to serve up walloping great chunks of cow and charge obscenely for it.

They were determined to be a point of difference in a tourist destination renowned for food, drink, lively nightlife and separating folk from their wonga.

They found the perfect location and she got to and set up her side into a lovely bar and stocked it with all manner of stupefying grog and people visited in their droves. Music blared and people looked jolly and the bartender almost always got the orders right and everyone smiled and had a damn fine time. People would pop in for a night cap on their way home from somewhere else, or else they might spend a good long while drinking up before being led to their ever so swanky linen lined table on Mr Sprats' side.

Mr Sprat had been out and introduced himself to many a fat cow and had 'em killed and strung up and sliced up and decided that so many folk would want to try his fare that he needed to insist on an enforceable turning over of the tables. So he took bookings from 6 til 8 and then later, so folk who decided to eat at the old timers' time of 6 would arrive and settle in, but have no time to visit Mrs Sprats' bar, cos they were meant to sit and order, eat up and get out, maybe out to the bar, maybe back to the old people's home.

Come people did, and the Sprats' reputation grew. The Sprats were known for their excellent cow and their high prices, and come people did.

Some people stuffed coins into their cigar boxes for years until they had saved enough for a category 9 fat swirl steal, and it seemed that all was well with the world.

Until that is, one night a group of feisty folk went for steaks but they also wanted to drink. Now this is Australia and Surfers Paradise after all, so that's not an uncommon combo. The waiter knew all about the anatomy of a cow but found taking a drinks order rather taxing, and so Mrs Sprats' bar staff could be seen pouring all the drinks and leaving them tidily on Mr Sprat's side of the bar to be collected. But they sat and sat. Eventually when the beer was flat and the chill gone from the sav blanc, someone would be reminded for the fourth or fifth time that thirst was a killer and so they'd trip off to Mr Sprats' side of the bar, look at the trays lined up there, GRAB THE SWIZZLE STICK LEFT THERE FOR JUST THIS PURPOSE, GIVE THE BEER A SWIZZLE (makes me want to make a giving head remark, but I won't ) AND TRY TO DELIVER THE DRINKS. 

The poor girl was sprung. She apologised and said she'd try again, but one of the group, ready to keel over from dehydration said he'd take his bubbles or no, and while this discussion was happening a fleet of other folk from Mr Sprats' kitchen arrived with rather sad looking steaks and other stuff. The table had yet to be cleared from the extravagant provision of 2 tiny bread rolls and a sweat slick of sauce and even though the bottle of red to go with the cow had been delivered and unscrewed no clean glasses had been provided presumably because the girlie had said they needed to be asked for if required.

4 People stood in unison, seriously the Russian synchronised swimming team would have been proud. The cow deliverer was confused. He thought the problem was one of tardy timing in the kitchen, but then he was introduced to the chock-a-block table of uncleared plates and glasses and bits of bread crumbed detritus, and the girlie with the swizzled beer was still there and the troop of folk with the side orders straggled along and then the 4 thirsty people made a bee line for the door.

Oh sure there were apologies from Mr Sprat on the way out, but really he needs to take a leaf out of Mrs Spats' nursery rhyme, and get his shit together. 

He needs to find staff who can cope with the hospitality industry, he needs to recognise that folk who want to eat cow, probably want to have a drink first, and just because they have booked for the old folk's sitting, doesn't mean that they will be happy with swizzled beer and the wrong wine and dirty glasses and a smear of sauce and complete chaos really, just cos all the attention in the place is directed towards Mrs Sprat's bar where the people waiting for the 8 pm sitting are standing around loudly downing as many drinks as they can possibly cos they have been there before and know that drinks are beyond Mr Sprat's capability.

Our 4 adventurers tumbled outta there and walked not even a hundred yards and found a delightful place where simultaneous food and drinks was not only possible but ably delivered and delicious it all was.

Mr and Mrs Sprat would do well to remember that their place is one of very many and that it's doubtful that they will be able to thrive on the largesse of tourists for ever. Those locals will never be back and they won't spare breath telling other locals of the disaster.  


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

I don't like SMORGASBORDS.

I don't like food touching on the plate. I am not one of those people who enjoys loading up a forkful of tasty tidbits from all over the plate and shoveling it into my gob. I nearly always eat the green stuff first, often with my fingers, and then do the rest of the veg and then the meat. I never load a fork. Please don't send me links to nutter sites, I know!

Buffets or Smorgasbords are the stuff of nightmares for me. I flew into Manchester UK for a teacher thing and stayed at the venue. They had a ONLY buffet food. I was on my own so was not distracted by conversation and against my better judgement I sat looking at the tables of food.

I watched as small kids kept coming up to the pudding counter and plunging their fingers and then their whole hands into the stuff. I nearly puked. Needless to say I had no pudding and I spent the rest of the evening wondering if they had similarly contaminated any of the other stuff I had actually eaten. I don't remember learning anything at the conference, but all this is crystal clear.

So apart from the contamination issue and the laziness issue - the need to go back to the food tables to get a new plate after every different bit of food has been tasted, there is also the greed watching issue.

In 2004 when Stevie and I were in the Maldives for Christmas, the buffet tables were loaded with all manner of exotic fruits for breakfast. I think it was Stevie's first sighting of a passionfruit and he just bloody loved 'em. So every morning he'd help himself to one, and if he fancied, he'd haul arse up and get anothery a bit later on, perhaps after coffee. There was plenty of food and there was no chance of running out, but still we watched people pile up their plates with so many halved passionfruits that they were literally waterfalling off the plates onto the floor, where they were unceremoniously kicked under tables out of the way.  The greed was appalling.

It was the year the tsunami and earthquake rocked Indonesia and all places across the Indian Ocean. Our little bit of paradise was washed away. We were lucky to be able to  cling onto a tree and when the water levels rose and fell and rose and fell, the devastation was complete. Electricity, plumbing, sewerage, communications were all fucked. But the island population was ok if a little beaten up except for the poor poor father who had chosen to go fishing. He never returned.

Your imagination could not possibly match the disgusting antics of the passionfruit hoarders, when faced with the crisis of limited everything. Some people risked life and limb by climbing into destroyed villas to steal all the grog from the minibars and then just pickled themselves waiting for the rescue boats to come, and others stockpiled bottled water and boiled rice and then took to shitting close to their barricaded areas, so as to not run the risk of anyone being as fucking selfish as they were, and nicking a water bottle.

It really was a demonstration of the worst and best humanity has to offer.

How people handle themselves at a smorgasbord tells you a great deal about 'em

There is a bounty of side-effects from the poison meds I take - yep quite the buffet.

  • Headaches
  • Itchy skin everywhere, and I do mean EVERYWHERE! Ouch!
  • Lesions and adult acne
  • Aching everywheres (not always the same spot - fingers, wrists, feet, hips)
  • Stomach cramps that make your eyes water.
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea - not at the same time as the constipation, obviously
  • Nausea
  • Debilitating tiredness
  • Insomnia - stupid combo with the tireds.
  • Foggy brain - no surprise given the tireds and no sleep
  • Swollen dry eyes 
  • Hair thinning
  • Mouth ulcers
There are common worse things but thankfully I have not been troubled by them so I am not tempting fate by listing them here.

Here's the thing though, at least if you go to a smorgasbord, you get to choose what goes on your plate, but everyday here is an adventure cos you just never know ..... 'Life is like a box of chocolates' and all that. 

Some days are good 'uns cos only one or 2 irritations rear their ugly heads and other days there are so many that I am reminded of those overflowing plates and I hope for a less greedy day tomorrow. 

Some days I open a tentative eye and am relieved to feel normal - whatever that is these days - I guess it's when I don't feel the need to whinge too loudly to Stevie about anything - poor bastard also gets the dubious pleasure of opening that box of sweeties everyday not knowing what is coming his way. Lucky he's not diabetic I reckon.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Wet afternoons.

This is as close as I could come to a pic of Bessy. She looked pretty fine back in 1981! Well she still looks pretty good I reckon.

It's the Queen's Birthday weekend, even though her actual 'cut the cake and get mullared on anything alcoholic' day was way back in April. Yeh we Aussies are so laid back we are horizontal when it comes to blowing out the candles with our Queen. But I digress.

We got up late-ish, well Stevie did anyway cos I was up at 5am washing sheets and kicking myself cos I couldn't sleep in til 12 like I used to do, - well never did actually, except that I sure as shit would like to.

By the time he was up, I told him it was afternoon tea time, more than just a little hyperbole cos really it was only just passed 9.30am, but I had been up forever. So we went across the village for breakfast and it was heaving. Avril had upped-sticks for the holiday so everyone was at The Duck's Nuts. It felt quite festive. Breakfast was delicious and Dog was happy as a pig in shit cos she got plenty of leftovers.

We ran into Dog's best friend, Sam, in the park on the way home and they had a very controlled little play cos he is going in for some major surgery on his leg tomorrow. He's a very sore boy and neither of them understood why a park gallop wasn't possible. They sat under the tables on their leads, and every now and then, thinking we weren't paying any attention, they'd go at a bit of a wrestle, until we pulled 'em back into line. We all hope that the lovely Sam will recuperate quickly and that shenanigans can be on once again.

While we sat and caught up on our news, the rain started tumbling down. I love lazy afternoons - well let's face it, all my afternoons are lazy cos I am a lucky bitch, when the grey seems to wander inside.

We got out the Monopoly card game and had a few hands. Stevie would agree that I am indeed a lucky bitch cos the cards really fell my way, and then he thought he'd put together some puzzles that had been calling out for some time.

The pace of the day has been slovenly, ah bloody marvellous.

Beds need to be made, but all the washing after our visitors has been thrown through the machines, and so the short week can start with all the shit jobs behind me. Ah, that means it's OK to be a lazy cow for the whole week. Yippee!

How have you spent the lazy long weekend?