Friday, 21 April 2017

Taking Leukaemia on holiday requires some strange preparations.

The Birthday Helium Balloon came with us for 3000 kms. It was one of the easiest things to pack.



No I haven't morphed into a travel blogger, I just thought I'd share a few hints I found useful this holiday but not so much for you as for me, cos if I write it down then I don't need to try so hard to remember it, cos let's face it packing changes as we get older. The stuff a carefree 30 something takes or a clueless 20 something takes, is far different to what I need when I am packing up Leukaemia to go on tour.

As a late teenager, I packed a red bikini and a pair of thongs and figured I'd find a towel when I got to the beach in Cairns. Oh who am I kidding, I didn't even consider a towel. I have a great photo somewhere of me petting a kangaroo in said RED, and all I can imagine is that that was all I took with me, cos all around me the locals were sporting their winter clobber and mine was the only skin to be seen. Yeh I was skinny then.

Sure, as I got a little older more, was necessary in the bag, but not a lot more, especially after the nappy / bottle paraphernalia phase was finished.

I went to Dublin for a girlie weekend and the 3 of us agreed to take the smallest bags as carry on cos we just didn't want to be dragging shit around. Somehow we wedged 'going out' gear and flash shoes and all other bits and pieces - even a hair straightener, into tardis bags and off we went. I suppose truth be told it didn't matter too much, cos I do recall sitting in some fake american diner type of place on the sunday morning after the night before, being so appalling hung over that not one of us gave a flying rat's arse about what we were wearing, quite possibly a pair of knicky-noos on my head, so playing 'What's in the bag?' would have been completely moot.

And I spent a number of fortnightly holidays in Greece, when I took togs and a sarong and thongs and a couple of T shirts. I wore the sarong to the beach over togs during the day and then folded it in half to make a shortish skirt to 'dress up' for dinner at night. When you book a last minute holi it often means going the next day, or even that afternoon so no packing thought is possible.

I have packed up whole houses and moved to the other side of the world twice and I am pretty ruthless, and quite canny about what will fit where, and I think in all those thousands of kilometres only a tea pot was ever broken.

But now packing is more troublesome.

Now I need to plan for possibilities, and not only good ones. Yeh I still wonder about taking a pair of 'good' shoes in case of a possible meet and greet with someone famous, and I'll take a couple of scarves to dress up something a bit dowdy, but mostly I plan for shit, sometimes literally.

Now I need to pack up a pharmacy and consider the climate controls listed on the boxes.

The side effects of the Leukaemia Meds are so varied and unpredictable, that a boy scout would have no chance of dib dib dib, being prepared.

So I packed up Class A pain meds after a trip to the doctor for a prescription cos if that fucking hip / bone pain came back while we were in the middle of the desert, then I wanted to be able to manage. Yippee to the unopened box!

And then I had to MacGyver something in case my guts erupted 300 kilometres from a loo.  This is a common enough event at home and I just sigh and sleep and imagine that it's a good thing cos I might lose a few pounds as I run to and fro to the throne, but I was far less sanguine about 'an episode' on the road. So I packed up a couple of solid looking plastic bags, one of 'em was a dry clean bag I collected along the way and stole a flannel and bought an industrial pack of loo roll and spent time wondering if I sent Stevie into the desert he'd be snake safe while I opened the front and back doors of the car and perched in between for privacy and the wondered if my knees were up to the task of holding me up for long enough to finish up. How I honestly thought I was gonna manage the bag situation is still a mystery. We tried to buy a sturdy bucket in Alice Springs but failed. Oh Well.

Funny how times change. Most people go hunting for artwork or artifacts in Alice, and we went in search of a bucket. Oh Well.

Luckily enough for me and Stevie and any poor soul driving that stretch of road, I didn't have to stop and squat and squirt. Yippee again.

Oh sure there were days when I was less well and had to admit defeat mid afternoon for a snoring nanna nap, and I did occasionally fail in my duty of entertainment provider as I slipped into a ZZZZ off on the road- thankfully not while I was driving, and there was the odd headache and bit of nausea and the tired irrits came and went.

Stevie did remarkably well, so I reckon the most important bit of packing is to stuff in someone with the patience of a saint. He would have gone much harder without me, although perhaps he wouldn't have gone at all without me. In any case, I was pleased that he went on auto pilot and slowed and sped up depending on how I was.

A list of possibilities is also useful, although I reckon it's better to end with a list of things you HAVE seen or done rather than a list of what you missed.

I am very pleased that we have driven through the desert and seen stuff, but I am not sure that a driving holiday is really for me. However, there is so much packing and unpacking, in, out, shake it all about - every few days, that if you require some practice then this might just be the holiday for you.

What I will say is that I am pleased that Leukaemia was so well behaved, better in fact than many a screeching small child, or a demanding slobbering old person, so I reckon another adventure is not out of the question.

Yippee!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Adelaide Zoo

Giant Panda foetus.

We've been to Adelaide before and we really enjoy it. It's small and friendly and enough city like to be a bit exciting, but country town enough to mostly know where you are. It's comfortable, like an old pair of boots, but good looking boots cos it sure as shit is a pretty place.

So when you come back to a place you've already explored it's necessary to find other stuff to entertain yourself. 

So we trooped off to The Adelaide Zoo. It's only 2 bus stops away but as I'd had a little tired crying melt down yesterday we caught the bus and went for a wonderful wander. 

It's been a very long time since either of us have been to a Zoo. We meant to go to the Regent's Park Zoo last time we were in London and I remember we got very close, but then I was too buggered and we gave it a swerve.

We had a look at the map - not very specific and not always accurate as it turned out, and decided that if we had to pace ourselves - yeh that means put up with my shit, we had a few animals that were 'a must'

The Giant Pandas were there in all their glory, bloody fun looking fellas rolling and squidgey. I am not sure what perversity lead me to take the pic of the foetus but that's as close as I came to a photo of these guys. But I do have a good image in my head.

There was a fairly large enclosure for the monkeys - different types separated by a moat. And it was feeding time, and while they were flinging themselves from branch to branch with such aplomb and accuracy, I wondered how long between mouth and bum and kept a close eye on their little scratching fingers in case one of 'em decided to throw some warm shit at us like happened on 'The Project' last week. I sure didn't want to be that old grandma, with monkey shit dripping off her nose.

There were weird and wonderful creatures, and if I am honest most of them seemed pretty happy in their homes / cages. The lions maybe less so. It would have been impossible for them get up to even a slow canter before they ran into the wire fence and they did seem very lethargic. Maybe a larger enclosure and some Lithium might help.


These 2 girlies groomed each other for a while and then gave it up and the their mate in the next cage went for a little walk and then rubbed himself on a metal pole and went to sleep.




We saved the Giraffes til last cos that was my carrot to finish the trails. Giraffes are my favourite. I love the markings and the elegance.

How lovely.


And then we sat down for a snack and well a sit down really. We had a great view of the Hippos we had watched swimming when we came in. Did you know they are speedy fellas? The notice told us that. But the enclosure was just a pond and there was very little room and there were 2 of these great hulking things in there. I am surprised they don't rip each other apart. But I wasn't surprised that as we sat at the cafe, right on their door step, one of 'em popped out of the water and sprayed the longest foulest smelling shit in our direction. It was like someone had turned on a high pressure hose and baby shit yellow slop spurted everywhere. We were far enough away not to get any splatter on our treaties so all was well, but I couldn't help think that he'd done that on purpose.  

These hippos could really do with some more space, please. And the lions too please, and the tiger. 


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Coober Pedy


I have been saying for some long time now that I could quite possibly be just a tiny bit of an anarchist. I mean I don't like rules or rule makers or doing as I am told and every time the government makes up another bloody law telling me what I must or can't do I get a case of the screaming irrits, and if it wasn't against some more than likely small print law against hurting the feelings of machines, I might well chuck something heavy at the tellie when such news breaks.

But I reckon I have seen a bit of anarchy in action in Coober Pedy and so now I am not so sure.

As you drive in from the north, there are kilometres of conical slag heaps of different sizes and colours, just sitting there pert as a Madonna bra and twice as brazen. All this mining and never an attempt to 'make good'. I was surprised.

Except then it was explained that if anything is made good then the next fella or bird who pops in to try their luck, much like chucking rolls of cash at a roulette wheel it seems, well they might be digging a tunnel under the made good bit and the whole shooting match would collapse on their heads and clearly that would not be good. So all this random, perhaps not, but a number of miners told us that it was just  'crap shoot', digging and loads of secret tunnels going who knows where, we were pleased that the ground was rock cos otherwise if it was sand it could have collapsed beneath us as we yomped around. Yeh but for the rock, I reckon that the main street's footpath would have come with a weight warning cos it must be like honeycomb under there.

And the building is no different. There is a large Aboriginal settlement on the edge of town and these houses are your bog standard looking places, on stumps so I guess you can see the snakes coming, but most of the privately owned homes have been bored right into the rock. I am not sure if there is any control about the digging or the direction or the prerequisite number or height of power points, but like moles they go. The outside of the homes is mostly more than a little ordinary, cos of course in 65 degree heat in the summer, not much of a garden is possible, but inside anything is possible.

Stevie wanted to stay underground, so I dutifully found an apartment that fitted the bill and we went to check in. It was my first look see at undergroundness.

Stevie marched in along with the fella and they were chatting away and I got to the front door and my feet called a halt. It was tidy enough and didn't lack for space, but there was just no way I could get my feet to take my even close to the back of the place. It did go back a long long long fucking long way. In fact it went so far back that without lights on you couldn't see a marching band coming at ya. It was fucking DARK!

I could see from the outside that there were vent hole looking things that might have provided air, but what if  birds sat on all of 'em at the same time? NO AIR! What if a dust storm rolled in and covered 'em all up? NO AIR.  What if the owner turned out to be some crazy homicidal maniac who fancied the smell of rotting flesh so he covered all the vents with Gladwrap and locked us in there by bolting the front door closed. Yeh I was trying to calculate how long we'd last.

It's fair to say rationality flew right out of the nonexistent window and I freaked well and truly out and so we stayed at a very nice place called The Mud Hut - above ground with lots of windows and air - thank you very much - sorry Stevie.

We were there for 2 nights and had a good look around. I took my turn driving on the ruttity rut rut road and we looked at opal earrings.

I reckon the locals might have been very pleased to see that back of us cos for the first time in a long time, there was a blackout - town wide, and not just one night, but both nights we were there.

With luck like that it's a good thing we aren't miners.



Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Erldunda - maybe ErlDON"Ta


Here's me Erldudna Tellie

When I first arrived in London for what turned out to be a 7 year stay, not the usual Aussie 'nip in and have a quick look-see', I bought a somewhat suspect car from a guy literally on the side of the road, and used it to tour around a bit like a maniac, cos it did in fact go like a shower of shit, so long as I kept up the oil along with the petrol.

So one weekend I took off to the coast - Bournemouth about 200Ks away, and as my luck would have it, it turned out to be Gay Pride weekend and decent accommodation was hard to find, but I wanted to get out and get looking so I threw my bag into the very first available room, and without a backward glance I was out on the street dancing and drinking beers with gay men a plenty. It was a rainbow time.

However when I returned to put my head down and my danced out feet up, I was faced with looking in detail around the room. There were pubes matted around the shower cubicle and blood stains on the doona. At a rough guess I would say that the cleaner had had more than the day off, they may never have appeared at all.

So I did what I imagine we have all done at some point in our lives, and that is, with tweezery fingers I lifted the sheets and threw the pillow on the floor and lay fully clothed, flat out on the bed, arms crossed over my chest, corpse style, and did not move as I willed myself to sleep, and as soon as daylight hit the window ledge, I was up and outta there....oooooh YUKKY.

Well the Erldunda accommodation reminded me very much of Bournemouth.

Old didn't worry me, I'm not a youngster myself. Worn out didn't worry me cos I feel pretty worn out most of the time, but grubby, pest catching equipment in the loo, signs warning to close the doors so the snakes don't visit, whole walls that move when you plug in the kettle, well that was all pretty shit. Still we moved in and went for a look around. It doesn't take long.

When we got back to the room - no we were not changing for dinner - this was not the Queen Mary after all, we were gonna make a cuppa, and then some shitful noise started up.

Seems the people next door who thought it was acceptable to park up their truck and trailer right across where we might have liked to park, well they had turned on the ancient air conditioner, the machine for  which was hung right out side our window. The fucking noise instantly reminded us of TMR night works, so Steve went to see about a change of venue.

The girlie suggested that it would be OK cos they probably would turn the air con off at some point through the night.

I didn't think so and between us we and the manager we came upon a compromise which suited us all, or nearly us all.

I watched the ancient tellie, which could well have been the one some turd stole from me under the guise of taking it back to his workshop to fix, back in the early 90s, while Stevie threw himself through the shower. Bore water didn't appeal to me as I am already itchy enough with the meds and so I figured I would just add to the ambient stink and shower at Coober Pedy.

Happy Hour at the pub was indeed happy, so we downed a few beers and decided to brave the food. 2 specialties of the house burgers appeared and once we removed an entire bag of unwashed spinach and other lettuce, we looked into the face of slimy perhaps nuked from frozen, perhaps meat patties. I ate the bun and the chips, Stevie had another beer.

I don't know what the other options are if you are driving from Yulara to Adelaide, cos you almost have to stop here, but I reckon it is definitely necessary to lower your expectations. Just cos you are paying a reasonable sum, don't expect a reasonable room or anything close to fine dining.

We are at Coober Pedy, and it is already an olympic pole vault leap ahead or Elrdunda.

Monday, 10 April 2017

'On The Road Again' - Thanks Willie Nelson



We're on the road again today, and I reckon whilst it is not unpleasant, for me at least, cos I mostly sit back like ol' CleoP while Stevie does the driving, it is not the most exciting part of our holiday.

The ruttitty ruttitty between Hermannsburg and Yulara was a bit exciting and sometimes scarey, but mostly it's a bit boring, so the bush radio goes on and then we play how many of these words to this old song can you get right. As I sing very very badly this game is not Stevie's favourite, although the mistakes I make - which are numerous and ridiculous, can make him laugh til he cries and then we are back to a bit scarey on the road.

We are heading to Erldunda today and that's only a couple hundred Ks away but then we are in for some really biggies. More than 500 Ks to Coober Pedy and after a few days there more than 500Ks to Port Augusta.

So I will have to take my turn at the wheel on these 2 legs.

And that's ok, except that I am already worrying about the fucking ROAD TRAINS. I am not sure I have ever seen one, but the guide books all warn of the suckers.

Stevie will not want to be stuck behind one but I just don't fancy the idea of finding a bit of road empty enough to try to whip passed a 55 metre long juggernaut possibly needing to reach speeds of a million Ks per hour, on some skinny bit of road, while I wait for Mad Max to appear on the horizon. I can see settling in behind them and pulling into the next 'picnic zone' - read a bit of wider bitumen, or sometimes it is only a bit of steam rollered dirt, while Stevie takes over. In any case my driving will not be much of a relax for him.

But the car we have seems to be in pretty good order - we had to take the first one back cos it was a little bit fucked - yeh a technical term, making a screaming noise and chewing through petrol like a camel filling up to be a fire breathing dragon. The guy at the counter was not amused, but then he is not right up there on our list of 'wonderful people we have met this holiday' either. I asked Stevie just to make sure we have a spare tyre and guess what... it's one of those temporary things that are good for old grannies who just drive to church, or bingo or the male strip club, not people who are driving 1000s of Ks, but hopefully we wont be needing it anyway.

And off we gooooo!



 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Uluru.....Yippee!

Sure I could have opened with a pic of the Rock, but this is a a view of it no-one ever thought they'd see.

I am loath to admit but philistine that I am, I have often been heard to say, 'Ayer's Rock - Nah I don't want to go there, I've seen it on the tellie.' But now that we are here, I am very pleased we popped by.

There is lots to do and places to go and things to see and wonderful stuff to eat.

Yeh the flies are still driving us mad - I know, not a long road, and it is pretty fucking hot, but we have been out and about seeing stuff that I am so pleased to have had a look see at.

I think my favourite might have to be Kata Tjuta - The Olgas for us old folk. I just loved the roundness of the place and it is vast! And of course Uluru is pretty impressive. Lots of people I know wax lyrical about the spiritual nature of the place and I waited for something to hit me, but nah, that was just another family of flies.

But it doesn't matter to me that I am gonna leave this place, the same, non god fearing atheist who arrived here, cos the images themselves have been wedged into my memory and they are curious and beautiful and strange. There are bits of the rock that have been so oddly eroded, that it looks like some alien has dropped by and infected it with a flesh eating disease. There are caves and hollows and scratches and there was one really long bit that was like a finger lifting itself right up off the Rock. You could see daylight between the long skinny strip and the bulk beneath. How it stayed there I do not know, but it was bloody wonderful to see.

So by all means pop out here and have a look and there is a walk all the way around - 10 and a half Kms so not for me, but it looked pretty manageable, and there are shorter jaunts for those of you who don't want to carry enough water for a camel drinks party.

And then there is the controversial climbing over the top. The Aborigines who own the Rock don't want people climbing it. There are signs up asking you not to do it, that the place is of spiritual importance, and then there are whitey signs saying that it is dangerous, but still we saw a steady stream of folk, arses stuck to the ground - literally slip sliding down one side of it, one young bloke sat and cried fearful of going forward but knowing there was no way back. One fuckwit father with 2 young girls, not more than 4 or 5 attacked the end drop with such gusto I feared for the babies. They carried no water and sure enough he held their hands, but I had to go cos I couldn't watch him so thoroughly put those little lives in danger.

And so I am conflicted. The owners of the land have asked that people stay off the Rock. I don't think they are best pleased about all the usual yomping at the base of it either, but that is their compromise. In the early 80s when the government handed ownership back to the Aborigines, it was on the proviso that it was immediately leased back as National Park, and so National Park rules apply.

So instead of a spiritual awakening, I just feel a sadness. I wonder where the extraordinary amount of cash goes and I wonder where all the local Aborigines live and how they live. I rather thought this trip might provide some answers, but instead I just have more questions.

But that is a side bar, cos I have been really impressed. The place we are staying at is lovely and we have eaten fab food and seen beautiful art works of all kinds and visited places that now, when they are on the tellie, we can shout out, 'We've been there!' Surely we aren't the only ones who do this? It's an excellent game to play while watching suspect movies like Mission Impossible 1-Infinity.

AND Stevie took me on a Camel Ride. He didn't want to and when we got there, I wasn't at all sure my 2 metal knees were gonna bend far enough to even let me mount the fella - Psycho ours was called. But the girls shoveled me on without the need of a backhoe so that's a testament to the strength of these gals and off we trotted.

It was something! A bit uncomfortable if I am truly honest, but pretty fab too. The sunset was brilliant and the photos in my mind are better than on the camera. Getting on and off Psycho was a bit fraught and yeh I did swear - a lot. I am not G entertainment afterall. I am so pleased to have trooped through the desert on a camel.

When I was shoveled off I walked away like an old arthritic John Wayne, but today has dawned blue skies and straight legged. Yippee!

I really like this place.

Friday, 7 April 2017

King's Canyon

The balcony from the King's Canyon room.


Do you remember the old fairy tale about the Emperor's new clothes? The tailor for whatever perverse reason conned the Emperor into believing that NOTHING was the latest in fashion and after numerous fittings the fool was happy enough to trot on outside to see his minions wearing his new gear, but really he was bollocky naked. I am not sure how the story ended, but I like to think that there was someone like me who might have yelled out a rude comment perhaps about man-scaping his bits and so would have begun the Emperor's speedy fall into his carriage and a wrenching closed of the curtains as he realised that what he thought all along was indeed the truth and that he had been conned for great bags of wonga and the world had seen the size of his bits and laughed out loud. Oh SHIT.

Well that's sort of how I feel about King's Canyon.

It's about half way between Alice Springs and Uluru, so if you have a 300 odd Kilometre a day driving limit cos more than that is just too much, then you might look to stay here.

And it is plenty expensive!

And it sounds exclusive and luxurious, and altogether the beauty spot of the desert.

The big boast is the dinner under the stars - a many course degustation extravaganza, which promised Australiana by the bucket load, and an unbeatable table for 2. Yeh all in all I reckoned this sounded like the bees bollocks for Stevie's big birthday.

Our whole schedule had been balanced around fitting in this dinner.

The day before we left Alice, I got a call saying that the dinner was a no go - not enough punters. Well I'll be fucked. We were given the option of cancelling without any penalty, but that's pretty useless unless you fancy pulling up on the side of the road and bunking under the stars with the dingoes and snakes and stuff, cos most places are booked out well in advance. So we figured we'd stop by there anyway and for 2 nights no less!

The restaurant was pretty good to be honest, but that's about where it ended for me.

The visual highlight was supposed to be the walk around the rim of the canyon. No I am not gonna make any rimming comments.

But when we got there the scuttle was that the 'walk' was goat trekking up 560 'stairs' and then 4 hours of slogging away before somehow falling back to earth at the other end. Well I wondered about all that. And then it came with a warning that it was for experienced fit hikers.

Well I'll be fucked.

No dinner and no view for me. Stevie took off all in a flutter and was back in quick order cos the stairs were not stairs in his language, they were random arrangements of flattish rocks and he climbed a few and then looked down and didn't like what he saw, so he came back home, but not before he wandered along another dry creek bed.

It has not taken me too long to get to, 'If you've seen one dry creek bed, you've seen 'em all. A bit like AFC in Europe - another fucking church, well I'm up to AFDCB.

So we spent 2 days in this place where there is no wifi and not even any phone coverage. The reception on the tellie was pretty shit and the big noted spa bath with a view to the desert was far less spectacular than the brochure implied.

But the food at Carmichael's was good. Beef cheeks - slow cooked and bloody marvelous and porketta and veg and chicken and veg, both were fine. And the linen was excellent and there was a mattress topper so the bed was far more luxurious than the bloody hard as an Uluru in Alice.

We are not sorry to have called into King's Canyon, but I would advise unfit fatties to give it a big swerve. There sure as shit is not much to do there.

So far our tally on the road is 3 lizards, 3 dingoes, a dead horse - fucking huge! and some unidentified road kill, and more abandoned cars than enough.

We are not in Kansas anymore.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Floods to Desert in a Single Bound




How do you know when you are in the Desert?

Well yeh you'd think it'd be pretty clear huh? Except that in January, a few short months ago, there was some rain in these here parts, and so all around Alice Springs sprung into life. Flowers bloomed and rivers ran and grass greened up and the trees bowed down to the rain gods for a long long long overdue drink. It was good rain. It was memorable rain, and the landscape is still singing its praises. Yeh there is soft swaying grasses where I thought there'd be, well, I thought there'd be dirt and swirling spinifex, and there is a definite green tinge where I expected rust colours - even with his old pal colour blindness Stevie can see the difference.

But we know we are in the desert cos the maps tell us so.

The Simpson Desert crossed by the Macdonnell Ranges with Alice Springs settled grandly where the hills took a little break - yeh that's where we have been exploring - not in the style of the old fellas who set out with too little food and a horse and their mates without first stopping into ANACONDA for a tent or a billy or whatever else one might need to go 'bush'. Nah we are staying in an apartment and we look at the maps and head out in our air conditioned chariot with an esky filled with drinks and food and we look around and go, 'Wow, look at that!' and then I peel Stevie a grape and we sometimes get out and go for a bit of a yomp. Yeh it's all very civilised.

Except FOR THE FLIES.

I always thought that desert people on the tellie were just lazy. Too lazy to even brush away the flies. But now I know they aren't lazy, they are immune to the fuckers and I would like a bit of that! When we get out and yomp for a look see, we become magnets for the fuckers. And I don't mean just one or 2. Whole herds of the swarming fucks descend. The weight of 'em could quite simply push you into a shallow grave, in fact I wonder if all those early explores didn't in fact die from starvation at all, but from being pile driven into the ground by a weight of flies.

The upside is that I have been getting an aerobic workout for tuckshop flabby arms as I windmill my way around. Thankfully the place is empty of people and Stevie is not mean, cos if any video of this action surfaced, it would be an internet sensation and I would be a global laughing stock. Crazy mad woman tests to see if she can fly. Blessedly though it would be a silent flick cos if you open your mouth to speak, you can end up with  FLY Fricassee for lunch - ooh crunchie yuk!  

There's an art to getting back into the car without all your new friends too. It's helpful to rub most of 'em off your back by dusting the red dirt off the car doors with your shirt and then give yourself a final flutter all over with your hat and then with olympic speed and the finesse or a prima ballerina fling open the door and dive in and slam it shut. Inevitably, between us, one or 2 of the buggers join us and then it is sport to see if you can fool 'em into flying out the open windows, first one window down a bit, then both, then a dance of the 7 veils with the window controls, or - vegetarians should look away now - squash those fuckers into the dash board. Except they are smart little fuckers and it can take sometimes 20 or 30 Kms before you rid the car of 'em and of course by then you are at the next point of interest, so it all starts over.

But you'll be surprised to know that it's not the red dust or the flies or the empty creek beds or the long long roads of nothing that herald the desert. It's the snot crust up your nose and the constant reach for lip balm and the skin flaking off your legs and hands and arms and maybe even your face - I am not looking that closely.

Yeh it's DRY out here in the desert.




Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Holiday Prep and Birthday Shopping.




The GAFA - also known as the Great Australian Fuck All, is now frantically beckoning. Our Big Adventure starts on Friday, cos we are over-nighting in Brisvegas so we can make the silly o'clock flight to Alice Springs.

The last couple of weeks has seen stories of propeller planes falling to bits in the air so when I say I am marginally nervous about getting on the smallish fella, read - fucking terrified. Still it's only for a couple of hours so unless BOTH propellers free fall off the thing we are probably gonna be ok.

Because it's Stevie's BIG birthday and he's not surrounded by all his London mates like he was for his less big birthday, I am trying to make it as bloody fabulous as possible. But the pressure is on. Like most fellas I suppose, he is a bit of a big kid about birthdays and parcels, and even though I reckon the trip of a lifetime has gotta count as the pressie, well, I know he wants a little something to unwrap on the day - don't be smutty, and anyway that unwrapping ain't what it used to be.

It needs to be special and small and weigh fuck all and NOT be something he has dashed out and bought himself in the last little while, and that's more than a bit tricky. But I think I managed it today.

In times gone, a day's shopping filled me with joy. Heading out without a clue, and waiting for inspiration to slap me around the fanny was fun and a test of creativity and staying power, but now I am pretty pooped a lot of the time so I need to have a bit of a plan and move with determination and purpose.

All those meandering tourists just need to look up and get outta the way.

Wednesdays often find me a little worse for wear after a big day in Brissie with the gorgeous kids, so it was no surprise to me that I trooped out today looking just a little, well OK, maybe a lot, under-done.

Yeh I could have been the poster girl for a DAG CITY campaign. But Ho Hum, needs must and all that.

It's interesting though, when a daggy old bird with 'just fucked' hair, and mismatched everything waddles in to a flash shop. The greetings from the staff are soo very much straight out of 'Pretty Woman'.

I was asked, not what I was looking for but what my budget might be. I was given the up down all around once over and then followed to make sure I didn't nick anything. When I asked where I might find the price on an item I was shown rather than allow me to have a look for myself. When I settled on an item the girl tried to talk me down to a cheap bit of tat instead. In another store, every time I touched something the woman nearly had a stroke cos I was leaving my grubby little paw marks an all her beautiful stuff, then I must admit that I touched stuff just for sport.

In any case, I came home loaded with lovely, small, some light, some not so light bits and bobs so the boy will have parcels to unwrap, and I am giving myself a big pat on the back for creativity and staying power and not having smacked anyone over the head with a shovel. Well Done!

Now tomorrow I need to make sure the house is not too much in need of a spring clean so Dibley Dog's babysitters can have a pleasant stay, and then pack a bag.

The Desert is calling, and it's telling me to bring a hat and a water bottle cos it's gonna be fucking hot and hugely exciting.


Monday, 27 March 2017

The Results are IN!


I am still collecting the poison bottles. I am not sure why?


It was an early start today. 5.50am up and at 'em cos I needed to wash my hair and make myself look presentable for my 8.45am appointment with my Haemo Dr, cos I was rather expecting to have to put my foot down and that's always easier to do if you are wearing a bit of lippy and you have your eyebrows on.

Since my last visit only 3 months ago, I have been worried cos he said if the numbers didn't improve, he was gonna have to change the meds. Bugger Bugger shit and fuck that. And it's been quite the 3 months, what with all the TMR roadworks shit and getting arrested and all. I am only imagining it, but I rather guess the mutants feed up on stress. I HAVE NO MEDICAL REASON FOR THINKING THIS.

Anyway, Friday saw me sneak off to Dr Jane about some other usual bullshit, but mostly I wanted to get a heads' up on my scores.

0.14% of little mutant fuckers!

That's the exact same number as last time.

That'd be one hell of a job huh? Sitting around all day, eye glued to the microscope, counting mutants. I can only imagine how pissed I'd be if someone interrupted me or if I needed to pee or scratch an uncontrollable itch, and I looked up and then lost my place. Bugger indeed!

So I have been wondering since Friday how I was gonna put my argument to Dr Greg. He was pretty insistent last time about changing the meds, to a twice a day jobbie which needs to be taken 2 hours after food and 2 hours before food.

And I know there are lots of folk who manage this and I reckon more power to 'em, but for me this sounds like shit. Cos I do like to eat, the size of my arse is testament to that. I hate the idea of doing maths all day just to see if it's OK to have a sneaky biscuit or a bit of cheese. I don't want to set an alarm for some silly o'clock and shovel in a pill so that everyday starts with a reminder that I am unwell. Yeh I like to kid myself for even just a few minutes a day that all is good.

The idea of downing these new pills twice a day just doesn't sit well. It'd mean for me that all day everyday the only thing to think about is the fucking drugs that are designed to kill the mutants before they kill me, and I don't want to live like that. ANd I haven't even thought about googling the side effects of this other stuff, but I imagine it ain't no picnic either.

The once a day poison I shovel in is more than enough.

I am already more than aware of the mutants and if I wasn't, the side effects of the drugs would be a strong reminder. But there are whole half days that can drift by without me wondering about it, and that's just fine. One day last week I actually started planning for a London holiday next year for 3 months without once considering the ins and out of the drugs and stuff. That was pretty cool. I don't think I can go for 3 months, but it was cool to be so forgetful that I considered it for a while. Ah Lovely.

In any case, jolly old Dr G was pleased as punch with the numbers. I didn't have to make an argument at all. Last time there had been a little increase and I guess in his mind he was just preparing me for some change, if the increase continued.

But yippee to the status quo!

And the biggest vote of confidence altogether was that we are back to 6 monthly visits. I mean he's a pleasant enough sort of bloke for a numbers man but twice a year is more than enough.

Yippee!

Now to get sorted for packing to head off into the desert. Alice Springs temperature today is 40 fucking degrees!

Do you reckon anyone is gonna mind if I go naked except for a whalloping hat?

Friday, 24 March 2017

What do you call your computer?





My how times have changed.

Back in the early 1990s I was newly single, and working full time and raising my wonderful girl and clambering onto the roof with a pail of bituminous shit to cure leaks and my fear of heights. Teachers beavered away writing report cards by hand, and I can recall clearly one particularly shitful interim note which required every teacher of a kid to write a line on the same bit of paper and woe be tide anyone who made an error cos then EVERYONE then had to do it all over again. More than 200 times I held my breath and hoped it'd be OK and then I crossed my fingers that the other teachers were OK too. Of course there were some fuck ups - some of them mine. Oh Well!

Computers were new fangled things, and whilst we could all see the advantages of 'em we could not have even begun to imagine just how integral to our daily lives they would become.

In the beginning I just got excited cos it meant that the computer might be able to write my name and the date and the subject on every report card and with over 200 of the suckers to do, that was an enormous time saver for me.  If I happened to be teaching a whole year level for 1 lesson a week, I could have maybe 400 reports to do. I fucking hated writing all that repetitive shit. One year I got the kids to all head up their own Report Cards. Well why not huh? I filled in all the important stuff and wrote an individual progress comment. Yeh I got into trouble Oh Well.

I did not envisage a time where every room would have a smart board and the teachers would carry a computer under their arms or in their pockets and that anyone at any time would be able to pull up the lesson plan and goals and objectives for every minute of every day in every subject. How fucking organised is that! And if I am honest - how boring for the teacher? Everyone doing the same thing at the same time in the same way, I would rather have to go foraging for nits in school kids' hair and be paid by the egg. Yeh I have never been good at doing what I am told.

And if you think this is far fetched or Sci-Fi then think again. My girl and I trotted off to the Grandie's school this week for what we thought was gonna be a 'What the kids are allowed to do on their school computers' chat. Yep, every kid has a school computer - all exactly the same, for the princely sum of $750 rental for the year. But that's a whole other chat.

Instead, we were told that every lesson in every subject was outlined on the machine and that parents are meant to go through all this and then set tests and exams and revision all with the help of some whacko programme and it seems the kids are meant to knuckle down for hours at a time EVERY day after school.

And bugger me we still don't know if they are allowed to download M rated games on the school machines, and what about Facebook or Instagram,  which is why we went along, Fuck it!

I am not sure when teachers became computer technicians or when parents doubled up as teachers or when the school day was extended to infinity hours, but I don't think I like it.

My name for this machine would not be a genteel type of name. It wouldn't be Emma or Darcy or Heathcliff. It'd be Kardashian or Toe Jam or Mammogram Squeeze or Putin. It'd be harsh and hateful.

It's Health Insurance renewal time here in OZ and so we trooped into the Medibank Private office yesterday, cos the  time on hold on the phone was enough to make me want to pull out my own teeth.

They have JUST rolled out OSCAR.

OSCAR is a pain in the arse, cos OSCAR is not even capable of doing simple calculations like dividing a number by 12.

The Service Gal was ripping out her hair. She could do the maths, Stevie had already done the maths and poor old OSCAR was just fucked. He couldn't work it out. Service Gal had to go in and override OSCAR -  twice! Oh dear. - poor thing I hope he didn't have a hissy fit and a melt down.

I was left wondering what OSCAR was short for:

Overhwhelmed
Seriously
Constipated
Awkward
Reprobate

Whatever it is, it surely is not anything pleasant, and that's a shame cos OSCAR does indeed sound like a cool helpful dude. I don't think I have ever taught an OSCAR I didn't like.





Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Take my money by force and then sucker punch me.




Nobody likes a smart arse, so I won't spend too long outlining why I believe I have more than a reasonably decent ability to comprehend the written word, at least words written in English  that is, cos if you shove a page written in Mandarin at me I might well want to frame it as a lovely example of modern art.

I wasn't a bad student. Oh sure I was a little subversive and I wagged quite a lot of days and I was fairly cheeky to the Nuns, and I didn't do anything I didn't want to do, but my results were more than OK. Yeh, Dad in his tough love way always managed to point out some small flaw in my report card, but I reckon he was secretly quite proud, him being a bit of a smart arse himself.

School led to Teachers' College where the study of semantics and syntax and linguistics were the extensions of your basic comprehension and grammar and punctuation and paragraph writing. Nah the science teachers didn't do all this and neither did the PE folk, but I wanted to teach high school English so this was what was necessary.

After 15 years studying the English language, I was more than proficient, and then I've subsequently 'top upped' over 30 years,  and even if age has slowed the old grey matter a little and the Chemo brain kicks in from time to time, I can still manage to make meaning of stuff. No I don't want to ply my way through an aero-space manual and learn how to build a rocket, and sometimes the details about blood test results are taxing, but I can read the newspaper and all manner of blogs and novels without having to sit side by side with a dictionary or keep asking someone, 'What does this mean?'

So imagine my surprise when I received the latest epistle from Alan Stone from Transport and Main Roads - TMR, Queensland, to find that I had to go through it para by para to see what it was all about.

12 whole paragraphs of Departmental gobbledigook, lucky me! It was like he was being paid per acronym and there was enough legal-ease committee double speak to choke a giraffe.

But in a nutshell, this is what he and his little group of committee minions had to say.

There are SECRET DOCUMENTS ( CMP and the NVMP ) that outline what the TMR have agreed to in terms of their contractor's process and noise allowances. No-one is allowed access to these SECRET DOCUMENTS. Hitler would be so proud.

But he, ALAN STONE has had a little look see at the SECRET DOCUMENTS and some SECRET DATA and now in his seemingly incontestable opinion, his workers have always been in complete compliance, with legislated noise allowances.

EXCEPT THAT IN PARAGRAPH 6 HE ADMITS THAT NOISE LEVELS HAVE BEEN EXCEEDED BUT THAT'S OK, BECAUSE THERE IS A LITTLE CODICIL IN THE SECRET AGREEMENT THAT ANY NOISE AT ALL IS ACTUALLY OK.

Are we in NAZI Germany or North Korea? Can the Government now just do any damn thing they like and keep us all in the dark? Are they allowed to make SECRET AGREEMENTS to the devastating detriment of the local people?

So today the Queensland Government is sanctioning SECRET DEALS that put at risk the health and well being of local people - and the irony is that these local folk are the self same people who are funding all this secrecy. Yep we are forking out for all this manipulation and lies and bullshit. We are paying the wages of the people who cannot or will not call a spade a spade - instead it's an ADD - an alternate digging device. We are paying their rent and clothing their children. They have their noses stuck so firmly in the trough of our money that they are now immune to rationality and reason.

It cannot be a big leap from this situation to the establishment of some Government sanctioned and funded secret dumping grounds for global nuclear waste, or secret compulsory medical testing on every second child born to families of mixed race parents. Yeh I know it sounds extreme and unlikely and the stuff of Sci-Fi, but so too does what is happening today - appalling and underhand.

TMR have secret deals and approvals in place which they believe allow work to be carried out which exceeds noise levels set down by the Environmental Protection Agency. They have effectively set themselves up as being above the law.  And they are funding all this by sticking their hands into the public purse.

It has taken me close to 3 months of writing and reading to unravel all the bullshit. Initially the noise drove me to donning my Sherlock cap, but I am way past the noise now. The mismanagement and the lies and deceit and the semantic plays on words used to justify ANY DAMN THING AT ALL, at our expense, just makes me see RED.

Here it is in a nutshell:

TMR - a Queensland Government Department has signed CMP / NVMP  documents with their contractors. These documents cover practice and noise level compliance. These documents are secret and contain clauses which allow the contractors carte blanche to work however and whenever they choose even when the noise generated is well in excess of EPA legislated levels. The data collected and used to test compliance is secret, and in any case is moot as TMR have agreed to allow the contractor to do whatever they want.

I am surely not the only person, amazed and appalled. I feel especially violated when I consider that the Queensland Government and TMR are grabbing my cash in one hand and sucker punching me with the other.

How very fucking dare they?

Monday, 20 March 2017

No NOAH Needed

Rainy skies over Broadbeach surf.


The big green eyed monster has been nipping away at me all summer and NO the bastard has not nipped off any kilos, it's just snapped off tiny pieces of my sanity day after day, and we all know that I don't have much of that stuff to spare.

All summer long I have read of people's irritation caused by the wet drizzle at their place, too often while I am out in the yard slurping out hundreds of litres of H2O onto my grass or trees or flowers, salty sweat pools forming in my thongs and my even temper simply dashing out of the building.

It has been a long hot hot hot, fucking hot DRY summer.

The pool has been topped up more often than a young person's pay-as-you-go phone especially if mum's paying for it, and the grass has just swung from brown to crunchie to wet as a shag cos I left the damn sprinkler on all night. You'd think that I'd remember cos the pressure in the shower is reduced to a dribble, so smart folk would turn off the garden tap prior to trying to soap off the sweat of the day. Maybe I can blame heat stroke for my lunacy and general forgetfulness, I hope so.

The road works has filled the house with sandy dust because they almost never wet anything down and the fishy girls must have wondered if they were gonna die a quick suffocating death as their moist environment rapidly evapourated away.

But NOW IT'S RAINING.

Yippee!

The pool is full to overflowing and while the grass is not green, it is not crunchie either, and the girls are swimming with renewed vigour.

Dog is less pleased, but then she will just have to suck it up and remember that she actually enjoys playing cubby houses under the bed.

I love the grey skies. Sure, the brilliant blue days are pretty fab too, but the rainy grey seems to happen so rarely that just the novelty of it is wonderful.

It's been raining for a few days now and NO I am not yet sick of it.

Sure, I'd be happier if it was cooler, maybe 20 degrees instead of 30 degrees, and that certainly would make sleep a whole lot easier to manage, but as the water continues to tip out of the clouds, I am not gonna whinge too loudly about the heat.

I'm hoping it is not finished yet.

'Let it rain doooowwwwn on me' apologies to Phil Collins.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

This Quiet is Making Me Nervous.




'These pretzels are making me thirsty' Thank you Sienfeld.

I don't know why this jumped into my head, but that's how I am rolling today. It seems the more I think about it the more I feel like Elaine going mad in an Ophelia way.

Yep I am mixing up the references and now just one more for good measure, cos I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Yeh that might be it.

It's been quiet for more than a week now and the notices seem to indicate that the night work will be on the bridge further south and it is due to only go on til about midnight. So whilst that must be shitful for some folk, it is not too bad in all honesty at our place.

But that doesn't mean that we are calm. Nah, we are still jumping up and legging it out to perv over the fence if we hear a truck or a backing up BEEP BEEP BEEP. And of course we do this because TMR are staffed by such a bunch of lying toe rags that if they told me that it was going to e a fine hot day, I would automatically reach for a coat and an umbrella, and maybe a rain coat and take out rain damage insurance on my shoes and make a hair appointment to calm the frizz.

One of their dickhead workers was paying too little attention this week, or maybe he was fiddling with his bits or maybe he was trying to put a call into the police to report a possible demonstration cos someone got off the bus and walked in his general direction, in any case he was so distracted that the stationary Power Pole - yeh the ones that are maybe 10 metres high and thicker than my thighs around, became an obstacle too insignificant to notice, and he backed his fucking great truck up over the top of it. Yep he knocked the fucking thing flat, ripping electrical supply wires from the fronts of houses and of course causing general havoc. No-one was harmed thankfully and surprisingly. No power, no phone, no internet, no access to the road, and I am not sure but I rather imagine no apology. Fucking idiot. 4 hours where locals were not able to drive out of their street, to collect children from school, or make dinner, or watch tellie, or make a land line call to find out how long all this shit was going to go on for.

Just more shit. Ho Hum.


I chased up some legal advice this week about what to do with my INFRINGEMENT NOTICE after my little ARREST / UNARREST tour in the Paddy Wagon. I followed the advice and fired off a letter to the Officer in Charge and now we will see how serious the police are.

Did you know that if you opt to go to court to challenge an infringement notice, that it costs you 70 bucks for the summons that the court needs to generate, and then if you are found guilty by the magistrate then you are fined $110 along with the original ticket fee. So if I go to court to question my ticket 'for crossing the road too slowly' it could cost $228 and perhaps a little more if I need to pay for a witness to attend. The Legal Eagle seemed to think that that probably wouldn't happen, but who really knows.

All this road works has been such an education. I have learned so much, and if I wind up in court I suppose my education will continue. Chasing JUSTICE was always second on my list of vocations. That could explain why I so enjoy a John Grisham story.

Anyway I have always said that any sort of education is worthwhile. You just never know when you might need it.

So bring it on I guess.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Pop Up Pissoirs and Talking Toilets




It seems that the Gold Coast Council in it's wisdom and 'It's someone else's money' attitude approved the erection of some Pop Up Pissoir in Surfers Paradise. Yeh that's literally our Council Rates money flowing right down the shitter, or the pisser, or quite possibly both.

So apparently this is the way forward, because men it seems can't be relied upon to piss in the normal facilities. Now we need to provide some stinking pop-up in public, so they can whip it out and flash it all about when they are pissed as maggots, and this needs to be right out in the street, in the middle of the Glitter Strip, that is Surfers Paradise. Like dogs they can be, going for the longest smelliest up the wall the furtherest piss. Nice huh? Classy? I suppose we can all now stop pretending Surfers Paradise streets are paved with gold and breath a sigh of relief that beer soaked piss will no longer be splashed liberally over the paving, unless of course you are walking more than a few metres away from the new stainless erection.

Yeh it's a sign of the times. But where's the equality? Why not a pop up loo for the ladies? And if women want to don a pair of thick rubber gloves, like the ones you might use to clean other folks' bogs and exercise some great core muscle strength, then are they allowed to drop 'em and just perch on the trough, or do they need to use those new fangled pee directors which are out now so 'women can piss like a man'?

In any case, I don't fancy wandering into the piss zone for a look see and a sniff anytime soon.

Nah, instead I'll take the roadie about an hour south to Byron Bay and have a little scout around there for the morning. I don't think they have pop-up dunnies, even though it is a well worn hang out for youngsters on the drink and on the pull.

Our flags on the pontoon are faded and frayed - yeh I know, what a First World problem and we usually head to Byron for replacements, cos we know they always have 'em, so yesterday was the Flag Day.

So there was the all sorts rubbing along together, the $1000 ripped up to the whatsit designer shorts swinging the innocuous brown bag from some other designer shop, wandering passed the junkies squatting in the gutter having a quick bite to eat before they head home to bed. It's an interesting place that I have written about before. I like it but I don't want to live there.

Yesterday was not a good day meds wise. I should have known something was afoot or elsewhere as I had spent the early morning popping into the loo, but it's remarkable what you can ignore when you have a plan.

Our arrival saw me directing Stevie up the main street in search of a loo. I didn't have time to scope out a pub or a cafe, it need to be out and proud, like a Mardi Gras marcher. And there it was in all it's Mission Brown ordinariness next to the Bus Stop dumping off and picking up young folk from all around the world.

Only it wasn't ordinary at all.

The doors were electronic, and if the wee room was empty, then the doors stop open. Welcome to Byron Bay huh? And so I popped inside and read the instructions about the lock and pushed a button and bugger me if the loo didn't start up a conversation. It told me I had 10 minutes to do my business and that it would give me a warning chat when I only had one minute left and if I was still there pants slopping up the liquid all over the floor when time was up, it'd show me, by flinging open the door leaving me red faced and bare arsed.

I was quick, as quick as I could be at any rate.

And not much later, I was back there again. Bugger Bugger and shit.

I did not feel well.

I sat feeling a bit sorry for myself, I might have even had a little eye wash.

When all of a sudden the fucking loo started talking to me again.  'No Movement has been detected' What? Well that was wrong, Plenty had been going on. And then it said something about thinking that something might have malfunctioned and I thought, 'You are right about that', and then it said that if there was anyone in there they should move around a bit.

Oh fuck! I was sitting there having a little weep amid a terrible stink, but I started waving my arms around like a maniac in case the fucking loo decided to open the doors and all those folk just off the bus got a glimpse of more than they expected. And then I wondered how long I had left. As if things weren't bad enough, now I could feel a panic attack coming on. I had to get outta there. Farkkkkk.

It was a blessed relief to stop at the MaccieDs loos near the Crematorium just south of Tweed Heads. Clean and new and normal.

Why mess with a classic I say.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Are YOU an Organiser?



We caught up with friends for dinner on Friday. This is quite a regular thing. We go to the same place at the same time, same table, and yeh we eat different food, and I can see that it could all be considered boring and sedentary, but we are more interested in the catching up than shoveling in calories.

We glanced quickly at the menu, made a selection, grabbed some drinks and got down to swapping stories.

They knew all about my arrest and the bullshit road works, and really, whilst it makes for a pretty funny cartoon of a yarn, I was more interested in their latest antics.

This woman is amazing. Oh don't get me wrong, he's impressive too, between the 2 of them they have organised a 3 day event next weekend for 500 people. 500 PEOPLE!

Now that's what I really call AN EVENT.

Too often these days there is a TV event, or a summer event at the beach, or people stop to watch a dog peeing in the gutter and that becomes an event cos another dog joins in. It doesn't take much for something to be termed an EVENT, and too often it's just banal bullshit, bigged up by some twat trying to big note themselves or sell some advertising space.

But when someone has organised food and accommodation and drink and entertainment and let's not forget the toilet facilities as well as the insurance and security for 500 people, well that's worth a round of applause and quite possibly a week's respite in a care home when it's all done and dusted.

Loot bags have been stuffed and lanyards strung for everyone and even though the troops are arriving on Friday, she is gonna set herself up on Tuesday.

THEY ARE CAMPING! And they need to be on site to take delivery of all the Glamping tents and the food vans and more stuff than I can even think about, cos I am still back at the CAMPING.

They are taking their very own brand new never been erected before tent. I asked twice if they had put it up before and I think the answer was NO. And so then I reckon I could have missed some of the details cos I was still back at the TENT erection.

The scale of the event overwhelmed me. And their attention to every detail was nothing short of bloody amazing. Good on 'em I reckon.

And now that the bulk of the 'thinking' jobs are done, they are giving thought to the actual days of fun.

The forecast for next weekend is torrential rain.

I just fucking hope that this is typically wrong and that folk do not have to break out the galoshes.

She is staying an extra night after the revelers have all gone and plans to sink into a little bottle of something cold, cos she is realistic and recognises that she might be pulled from Arthur to Martha like a crazy woman over the weekend and so is planning a quiet relax and a pat on her own back when it's all over.

I am in awe of this sort of organisation. I hate the common use of AWESOME, cos that too often refers to something average and I don't like it when average is promoted in this way, but sorting this event is an awesome feat.

I wish 'em so much good weather and fun, and smooth sailing even though that's not the travel mode of choice for this crew, and a calm, head banging good time.

As for me I am pleased when I can organise myself a cheese sanga and a cold bevvie for lunch. Baby steps as my girl is always telling me. Oh Well.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Does Pinocchio have a wooden dick?




I am wondering just how many ways there are to call someone a liar.

And I guess that depends on a number of things:

The nature of the lie.
The perpetrator of the lie.
Your relationship with the perpetrator of the lie.
And of course if it's the first lie or if your patience has been whittled away by a series of whallopers.

As a relatively polite person - nah don't fall about laughing and snorting back your friday bevvie, I try hard to keep my blood pressure on a an even keel and so go slowly into rude escalations.

So if I am doubtful about the veracity of someone's yarn, then I might say something like, 'Really?...Really...I wouldn't have guessed that.' Because if I have no solid firm evidence to the contrary I don't like to start up a big angry argument, but I am unlikely to pretend that I believe every part of every syllable that was uttered either.

And of course we are all pretty patient with kids we are fond of who have clearly been kissing the blarney stone, so if My Darling Grandie is spinning some unimportant crap I will just raise an eyebrow and change the subject.

But I don't like it when people lie, mostly cos I reckon people who tell lies do it cos they figure they are smarter than everyone else, or everyone else is stupid. They figure that their lies are OK cos they won't get called out on 'em.

I have fallen out with people over their lies. Sometimes 'Goodbye' is preceded by a heated conversation and a theatrical storm out and sometimes I just float away without explanation cos it would take more energy than it'd be worth.

So here might be a reasonable escalation.

Oh Really? I don't think so.
Oh Really? That is very hard to believe.
No, that just doesn't make sense.
That's neither reasonable nor rational.
That seems extremely unlikely.
That's a load of old tosh.
That's a lie.
What a load of crap.
That's just utter bullshit.
You're a fucking LIAR.

The question for the afternoon is where do you reckon I am along this continuum in my dealings with Transport and Main Roads Queensland?

It has taken a good while to get my head around their 'bullshit dispensing', cos I mean really who readily can believe that public servants would deceive and bend the truth rather than be honest and who can believe that they do this knowingly because they are party to departmental processes. Yep I reckon they are told to be deceptive. They are told how to be deceptive. They are given the language to be deceptive, and the bounce around the department is designed to confuse and exhaust. Yeh it takes a while to believe that this is the reality of people chewing up tax payers dollars,

Yeh I started politely, 'I find it hard to believe', and 2 months later, today I finally made it to, 'That's a load of old tosh, that's a lie. I don't believe you.' I am pleased to say that swearing has to date been avoided, but just because I haven't written the bad bad words down, it doesn't mean I haven't said some pretty blue sentences out loud to about anyone who will listen.

Well that won't surprise anyone who knows me even a little.

Yep it's been a long week.
TMR is full of utter BULLSHIT! and the people I am in contact with via email are FUCKING LIARS.

There it's out there! And I suppose if they fancy suing me for defamation, they would have to spend sometime proving that they tell the truth, but I reckon they would be pensioned out long before that could happen.

I have lots of evidence of their lies and misrepresentations. Bring it on I reckon.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Married at First Sight and Women's Day



Rosie Batty - such a courageous dignified person.


My guilty little secret is that I have been recording Married at First Sight and then sneaking a speedy look through while Stevie is busy doing some other stuff, sometimes 'blokey' shit and sometimes just playing cards on his computer.

I think apart from the scripting and the audience positioning and the careful editing and the usual reality bullshit, well I think it's an interesting proposition. Can psych studies match up folk? And I figure that they are probably as effective as the old tried and true method of getting pissed in the pub and falling over each other then wanting to chew off your arm to escape in the morning.

But last night's episode which I watched this afternoon, made me sad. All the tired old, 'Boys will be boys' excuses to explain away just plain meanness to women, well one woman in particular, was like I had been teleported back to the 50s or maybe even long before that. Maybe the cave men dragging their chattels around by the hair had similar conversations on thier boys' nights out. Surely modern fellas don't carry on like this any more? And even though a couple of the blokes did in private think that the chatter was demeaning they didn't jump in to shut it down and I wondered why that was.

Blokes don't lack courage. Oh sure some of 'em are not keen to go to the doctor for fear of bad news and not all of  'em are rushing in to rid the world of snakes or spiders, but generally men don't lack courage.

Or do they?

Courage might be as rare as hens' teeth.

It's Women's day and I have long wondered what actually is the benefit to women to having this day. I mean really  what change occurs because middle class women get decked out in green and purple and chat about women's rights in third world countries? It seems like it is all just noise.

Blokey banter and girlie gossip.

When even one person shows courage, change is possible. When Sean from MAFS said the banter was bullshit, it allowed other fellas to join the conversation. It's a shame that they didn't speak up straight away but that is the nature of courage. One person's courage can snowball into something impressive. When Rosie Batty speaks about domestic violence I feel inspired and chilled to bone in equal measure.

Women of substance, women of spectacular courage, don't need A DAY. They are hard at it, EVERY DAY.

Rosie Batty and her ilk  never stop talking and I reckon if they had watched that dickhead Andrew be so appalling they would have had serious words to say to him. In fact I would pay very good money to see that, unscripted, unrehearsed. I'd like to think that he'd crawl up his own bum, but I fear that more than likely he would make some hormone / whore moan, remark and consider himself all very funny and man of the world.

I reckon women and men have courage in equal doses. It just is sad to me that the percentage of folk tucking into the medicine cup of courage is so small.




Monday, 6 March 2017

BBQs



We are up to BBQ number 3.

Our first was a baby weber. It sat on the balcony at the wee flat in Main Beach and then we brought it over to the big house and it stayed on the back deck until one day, while I was at work and Steve was on a UK jolly, some fucker legged it over the fence and walked out with it. Bloody thing was that I wasn't sure when it happened cos I don't EVER use it and it wasn't until a gaggle of girlies came for a drinkie-poo that I even noticed that it was gone. BUGGER!

It was a good'un.

Then for Chrissie that year I pushed the boat and bought Stevie a BEEFEATER. It was bloody enormous. It came with all the bells and whistles and was very pretty. And NO I didn't used it either.

We rented out the Big House to some dero drop kicks while we flitted back to Blighty and when we returned the house was a disaster and the BBQ was fucked. It had not been even casually cleaned, and parts of it were rusted through and rings were burnt out. We replaced just about the whole fucking thing in bits, had some parts made cos they weren't replaceable and cracked on with using it.

But it died a death and last chrissie we bought ourselves anothery. Well as I don't use it, Santa delivered it to Stevie. What a jolly little fat fella that bloke is.

And Stevie has taught himself to cook his Sunday roast in the BBQ and all is good with the world.

My darling girl got a BBQ for chrissie too.

And so here's the dilemma.

To wash or not to wash your BBQ

Stevie is more than a little anal about the scrub up. In just a couple of months he has worn out 2 of the specially designed weber scrubber metal things and the grill plates do look brand new.

But my darling girl is using the Aussie method of leaving all the fat and grease on the grill to save it rusting up and falling to bits.

Of course both methods have merit, and just as an aside, if you are using one of those communal BBQs in a park then for god's sake give it a wash down with a bit of water or a splash of beer when you are finished cos otherwise, oooooh yikky.

So do you clean or do you rust protect?

Thursday, 2 March 2017

ARRESTED AGAIN - this could get old.

Police cars bred like rabbits except they are illegal in Queensland


Industrial noise all day.

Night fell and the rain came and there was blessed silence outside.

Celebrations were premature.

At about 8.30pm the 2 dollar sucky sucky started up.

We went out.

They were at it again, digging a hole on the footpath with the sucky truck actually parked off the road so it could clearly have been done during the day.

All the sucky sucky behind the barrier = day work.
What do you call a group of people standing around earning top dollar doing fuck all? 
Yeh I don't know either, but it probably isn't complementary.


Another couple joined us.

A bloke in his 4WD, clearly with the shits up about the noise rammed a number of the bollards and parked his truck up to stop the work.

The noise stopped.

More local people were driven out of their homes and joined us on the street.

The supervisor rang the police and gave them my name.

I got a call from Policeman Paul telling me to get off the Refuge Island or he'd send a wagon and arrest me / us.

The Police came and then they called for backup, because a dozen or so 40-60 year olds were gonna be so dangerous, what with their bellies and sagging boobs - me not them, most of the others are fine figures of folk.

We were standing on the central reservation, the refuge island, a traffic island, so to get the best look at the progress without going into the WORK ZONE.

And then there it was the old MOVE ON ORDER.

Another local and I stood our ground.

We were arrested and had our phones taken and were frisk searched - not as sexy as it sounds, and put in the paddy wagon.

Stevie leapt in with us. Coppers didn't know what to do about that cos they hadn't arrested him. He finally had to get out cos he wasn't allowed to be in the wagon cos did you know wagons are single sex only.

Seriously one could not make this shit up.

Did you know that there are no seat belts in the back of a paddy wagon?  So I wedged myself between the 2 low seats with one leg and used my left hand as a brace on the ceiling and my right hand was shoved hard onto the front barrier thing. My partner in crime, taped up bad back and all, hung on for dear life.

It's interesting that we were arrested under the guise of police protecting us from ourselves but there we were rolling around in the wagon. Just saying.

We were driven to the police station.

I couldn't make it out of the paddy because of limited knee bend so I had to piggy back onto the copper and slide down. Yeh the irony was not lost on me either.

We all trooped into the station house.

The coppers waxed on about now NOT ARRESTING us anymore and instead issued us both an INFRINGEMENT NOTICE, code 2185 - taking too long to cross the road or maybe it's bullshit, I can't find it, but I've only had 2 hours sleep so my research skills are not up to par.

This is the same sort of INFRINGEMENT NOTICE one might be given for speeding or some other traffic offence, but I haven't ever heard of someone being chucked in a police car and taken off to the station house to get a speeding ticket have you?

We were put out on the street at around midnight.

2 women, no wallets, no lazy fifty tucked into my knickers, one dead phone, one operational, in the pissing rain, and told to make our own way home.

Yep we walked to the cab rank and it cost us 20 bucks to get our tickets.

Appalling noise went on until passed 4am.

Then even though no such sign was necessary in the dark pissing rain, some fucker gleefully threw a metal sign up right under my bedroom window at 6.30am,

Ta very much.

Am I the only one who thinks this 6.30am sign is superfluous?


Monday, 27 February 2017

Autumn is coming, isn't it? Sometime soon, PLEASE.



Tomorrow is my darling grandie boy's 12th birthday. Yep 28th of FEB! We are pretty sorted for parcels after we finished off today with a bike chain lock thing and a wall fixing which will see his bike locked up outside and so release a bit of space in the lounge room. That can only be a good thing. Yeh we got him some fun bits and pieces too, cos everything practical would just be a bore.

It's supposed to be the end of summer and March 1 heralds the start of the cooler weather. Yippee!

And it has certainly been a bit cooler today. There was a sprinkle of rain overnight and just a bit of damp during the day, not even really enough to wash the windscreen, but the cloud cover has been pleasant.

Now don't get me wrong, I do very much love the loud, bright, vivid colours of OZ. Whenever I travel I'm pleased to be greeted by the COLOUR when I come home. The ads are louder and faster and colloquial and the primary colours do lively combat. But sometimes enough is more than too much and a day or 2 of London grey is a very pleasant change.

We watched the rugby replay this afternoon. The poms were playing the Italians at Twickenham. The day was overcast and misty and eventually the clouds opened, and it was lovely to be sitting under a similar sky.

And so I slumped into my chair for a little nanna snooze, when the scratchies snuck up on me. Yep unusually, the house was full of midges. Bugger.

It might be hard to believe, but we rarely get the biting little buggers IN the house. Yeh if you go out into the park, unprotected at dusk, then you are a bloody idiot, cos the midgies will just about pick you up and carry you off, and sometimes if we sit out on the deck in the evening there might be a little meal made of our feet. But somehow the little buggers usually know not to pop on passed the doorways.

Not today. Damn

So another lovely thing about the coming of winter is that these little fuckers hibernate somewhere far away from us, so there is a great deal to enjoy. Yep no biting turds and no sweating. Bring it on!

Happy birthday to my Darling Boy.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Notification to Threat in a single bound.

Three notices individually folded dropped on Friday.


My Darling Grandie Boy was thoroughly bemused this week as I told him a story about how a boy serenaded me at my house when I was only 12. He could have been laughing at the idea that his fat old greying wrinkled grandma was ever young enough or cute enough to attract such attention, or he might have been laughing at the whole idea of serenading - how embarrassment! or perhaps it was the image of a man his Mum remembers so fondly, just walking on out and then closing the door on the young man, I mean How RUDE! Yeh my darling Dad took no prisoners. Oh Well.

In any case laugh he did. And I have since spent time thinking that's as close to a stalker as I have blessedly ever come. Stories of women forced into hiding from their exs have filled the news this week, so I am definitely NOT lamenting the lack of attention, and I fear for these women when I hear their stories. It is high time the justice system worked in favour of the victims not the violent dangerous turds.

I got notices in the postbox yesterday and I was given to wondering about when good intentions turn sour and when lines are crossed, and if I can be wondering that then surely to shit the legal system in this country can too.

Yeh it's a shit segue but my mind is a bit all over the place, and I am definitely not comparing my lack of sleep due to noisy roadworks to the violence endured by so many women. This is just the flinging around of my mind caused by the fucking notices.

If you get a detailed text message inviting you to a party which doesn't sound like fun to you, from a person you don't like, then you can ignore it or politely send back a refusal, cos, 'you have to wash your hair or take your cat to the vet, or scrub the kitchen floor with a toothbrush'. Done and dealt with!

But then you get the exact same invitation. Now that's a little odd, but maybe the person hit re-send by mistake or they had forgotten that they had already sent the first one. Surely they haven't got the shits up because you didn't immediately go Yippee!

And then the exact same invitation is sent AGAIN.

Did the sender think that the third time would be the charm?

Did they send it 3 times by mistake?

Did they put some whacko in charge of the invitations?

Are things getting nasty and should you lock the front door?

The Department Of Transport and Main Roads sent THREE notices of the impending doom - next week's NIGHTWORKS.

One would have been plenty. It would have been fair warning that their sanctioned contractor was again going to be breaking the law and that sleep would once again be impossible. Yeh, ONE would have been plenty.

Two would have been more than enough. Two could possibly have been a mistake made by 2 people delivering the notices and double dipping into our letterbox. Or it could have been designed to up the ante from warning to threat.

Three notices however - well that can only be inflammatory.

That's a, 'Ha fucking ha ha to you, we are gonna be getting our penalty night rates and you can just go suck the big one.'

I am not sure where their hatred and hostility comes from. They have their noses in the public purse trough and are getting excellent cash to do little more than fuck all and they know full well that the noise they are making is excessive, unreasonable and illegal, but still they think they can take the moral high ground and hate ME. Perhaps there is an intelligence test which must be failed before being rewarded with a job on this site, certainly their emotional intelligence is piss poor.

So now I can spend the weekend anticipating more shit next week. More noise - 24 hours a day. More rudeness and being ignored. More silence in lieu of requested information. More feeling nauseous and unwell. More hostility and hatred spewing forth from workers on the ponce. More visits by our local coppers. More of a whole lot of shit and nothing pleasant.

Spite can be the only reason why these notices dropped on Friday. Bastards!

Yeh there might be another explanation, but I doubt it. A gormless joyful little jig no doubt accompanied the notice.

Once more into the fray.

And if you think the woman next door needs your help please call the police and then give her a hand. So much better to be safe than sorry.