Thursday, 25 May 2017

Old Style Dinner



When I was married - just a girl, we had a house with not much furniture and plenty of room and the thickest 70s shag pile carpet you have ever seen, courtesy of one of Dad's friends as a very flash wedding present. Ahhh. Bloody impractical of course, especially when you add in a naughty dog and a blind cat and 2 people not much fond of housework. It was a social place and a there was a core group of friends who were regular visitors. Lot of drinks and meals were consumed, but nobody had any money so food pickings were slim and the wine came in flagons, which then became planters. Ahh the 80s.

There were a number of recipes that became staples like Tuna Mornay which we all had a go at, deciding that the addition of a little horseradish was the piece de resistence. I think there was a can of tuna and a packet of cheap pasta and some milk and maybe a packet of french onion soup, but I could have just made that up. I think there was cheese on the top and then the whole thing was thrown in the oven while copious amounts of booze was downed and consequently any old shit would have tasted OK. This one pot wonder could be expanded to feed the many, Jesus would have been proud.

Occasionally, though if it was just him and me, and there was any money left in the cigar box at the end of the fortnight, I'd splurge on a can of asparagus and make a deluxe quiche. I don't know why asparagus was so expensive but it was, and still is so it seems, cos I am gonna step back in time today and make a quiche for my supper.

Since then it's been possible to buy fresh asparagus and that's what I have done. When in season, it's about my very favourite vegetable - versatile and tasty and somewhere in the back of my mind, even when it has only cost a few pennies cos it was growing like a grass weed and the farmers are pleased to get rid of it, even then I reckon it is a special treat. But today I didn't even look for a fresh bunch, I went straight for the can.

But now, before I start, I am trying to recall the recipe. I have a sheet of puff pastry, but think it should be short crust - never mind. Oh Well. And I have eggs and cream though maybe not enough. Oh Well and my can of asparagus and some pancetta instead of bacon - should be an OK substitute. and I think that's all there is to it. Blind bake the pastry then fill it up and bake it til it's cooked.

Fingers crossed it's OK, but if it's not then I reckon I can pick out the green stuff and feed it to Dog.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

TV Round Up.

Any Aussies watching this show? Am I the only one who is shouting shit at these 2? Yeh I can see the dust too.


My Name is Sue and I am a TV tragic.

I will watch any old sort of shit, and if it is really shit shit shit, I will play channel shuffle and watch 2 or 3 or more lots of shit at once. Yeh I am an addict. I can't imagine a day when I don't have the box on. I speak to the characters and shout abuse at the ones I don't like. I rouse at news reports and reporting and loathe it when shit goes down on the tellie which is just too fantastic to be real, but is presented as absolutely authentic, cos I do hate it when the TV assumes I am some sort of dickhead. How very fucking dare that machine treat me like a fuckwit?

So I am about over the cooking shit shows cos they just make me feel lazy, which I am, and a shit cook which I am not always. I record Masterchef and whip right through it to the end to see the final dish and see who goes home. I am over all the pseudo tension build up of ooopies and mistakes or the fake confidences which are almost always followed by failures of biblical proportions, after all, pride cometh before a fall.

But I am still hooked on Survivor even after all these years and while I watch the recorded programmes so I can skip through the ads, I watch every conversation and spend time trying to work out what is gonna happen, and I like to watch it in a very timely fashion cos I like the tension of wondering, not the knowing cos I saw who was voted out on social media.

And I am embarrassed to admit this, but I have been reeled into HOUSE RULES, this season. Of course it is all bullshit. The people do about fuck all I reckon, oh they might slap around a little paint, and I believe that they do go to shops and buy stuff and then they carry some of it into the house and pop it into place. I don't believe that these people have been living in the houses. I believe that someone in TV land found the houses and made up a story and found some unemployed, or maybe unemployable folk who fancy getting their faces on the tellie for a couple of months. I believe that the directors and writers position the viewers to have sympathy for or love or hate the supposed renovators. Let's face it there has to always be a villain to keep us interested, so lines are written and rehearsed and delivered and edited, and played on the box, and we are encouraged to believe it's all true.

But I don't buy it.

Well except for those dreadful women Fi and Nicole. Yep I have totally bought into their bullshit. And I think it's cos they are old enough to know better. They are old enough to think for themselves. They are old enough to tell the TV people to fuck off when they come up with more and more extreme bullshit, and they are old enough to be able to work out just how they will be coming across on the box. SO as they are presenting as 2 just hateful, bitter, not very bright, bitches, some of it must be pretty close to the mark. I dislike these 2 A LOT, especially the long haired one. Yeh  admit I have been shouting at the tellie. I am wishing them all manner of misadventure. I'd like someone to come along in the dead of night and run a chalk coloured tattoo line right down their faces.

And I wouldn't mind if one of those ridiculous hard hats that they are all wearing was mysteriously filled with cat shit and piss and we could watch it drip down someone's face. There's an idea for the director...just a 'Thank You' will do.

My Name is Sue and yes I am a TV tragic.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Nostalgia.

Grade 1A Morningside SS 1965

Grade 7A Morningside SS 1971


A New Year's idea of mine was to find my old journals and include some of the entries here occasionally, and I reckon it is some sort of result that it has only taken me 5 months to unearth the box. Now I didn't say it was a GOOD result just some sort  and pretty piss poor comes to mind but Ho Hum.

As is often the case I guess, where I thought they were was not where they were, Bugger!, but as I had started I thought I'd have a good rummage around in the 'storage room' - yeh that's where I pop things that have no real home and more than likely should be given away or dumped - 2 big boxes of the grandie's baby toys comes to mind - any takers?

Anyway, I found 'em and I spent a somewhat tortured 6 hours reading a lot of 'em, cos I was quite prolific between 1990 and 2001. 10 years worth of stuff and as it mostly has to do with my girl and me and how we managed her girlhood, it's gonna remain private. I remember when I started writing, I figured that she might like at some point to read it and see if she reconciled the words and her memories and this became very important after I was first diagnosed with cancer in 1992. Any way it is all packed back up again and she can have it when I shuffle off, and read it or not as she sees fit.

But in the same box was some shit from MY childhood.

The school photos just made me smile, and I wonder if people can find me among all those good looking kids. I'll give you a clue - I'm one of the girls.

And as I had a little nostalgic moment I recalled that the old woman used to make our uniforms. For some strange reason in year 5 she decided to make 'em with sleeves. Now puberty must have kicked in early for me, cos that was the year I began an imbalance between front and back and consequently I kept ripping the back of the sleeves. They would rip open if I played sport or danced or even just reached across the desk for a ruler. So the sleeves would rip and she would beat me, so I took to trying to stitch 'em up myself, but in the end there was more cotton stitching thread than fabric, so I wore a hot shitting jumper for most of the year. Ah the things you recall when going through old photos.

And then I found old school report cards.

Precious little shreds of paper, half an A4, folded again, divided into 3 terms. and kept for the whole year. My god I can only imagine the pressure on the teachers to get it right in term 3 cos I guess the 'no cross out' rule was still in play back then.

The comments made me laugh, and some of the maths. They give a percentage score for each subject and then for some strange reason - perhaps to show that the teachers could do some averaging themselves, they'd give an average percentage - but really what would that mean? Averaging Maths and English and Social study scores? Why?

One year I got 94% average and a comment 'Suzanne tends to be careless, and this is what loses her marks.' I mean fucking hell, 94% ain't too bad, how careless could I have been?

In anycase, the comment was probably echoed at home with darling Dad asking why I didn't get 100%

And I found most of my Girl's stuff too. I wondered if her father might have the couple of things that are missing, but if not then they are just gone forever.

And then I wondered why we keep all this shit.

The journals I can sort of justify, but only for my girl, but I bet most of us have old school reports and similar dross. Oh sure it is a pleasant enough way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but apart from that what's the point?

In my journals I was always lamenting the fact that I was too fat and that I was on this diet or going to that gym.

I only wish I was as fat as I thought I was at 40. Ho Hum.

Friday, 19 May 2017

'Don't Tell'



I love an Aussie film. I enjoy the accents and the vernacular and the colour and the settings and I have always been all about looking after the kids, so this movie was a Must See for me.

It starts by saying it is based on a true story, and even though this hit the news the year I transported myself to London for my 7 year sojourn, I do remember some stuff about it.

In 1990, a youngster was sent to boarding school from the family farm cos she was good at sports and within a semester she was a changed girl, begging to be allowed to stop at home. Her mum investigated and found nothing untoward at the school so wanting the best for her daughter, the kid was sent back, where her life became a living hell. No she didn't tell her mother, cos the bastard had told her not to tell.

This piece of filth was raping and 'having a go' at a number of the little girls and when it looked like he was gonna be caught out, he topped himself, gutless fuck, no loss to anyone I reckon.

So that's the background and the movie deals with a legal battle in 2001 with the now woman taking action against the school and the Anglican Church - all the way up to the Arch Bishop who was then THE FUCKING AUSTRALIAN GOVERNOR GENERAL!

I make lots of comments about the Catholic Church, and so I should apologise I guess, cos whilst I make anti Catholic remarks, in my mind I am really making comments about ALL ORGANISED RELIGIONS. - yeh that's any religion where you go to a building and someone is in charge and is telling you what to think and what to do and drawing up a schedule of penalties for not following their rules.

I fucking hate all that!

And it just gets to a point, as it did here in Toowoomba and it certainly is happening in Rome with that disgusting Pell turd, that all manner of appalling, truly abhorrent behaviour is tolerated and covered up in order to save the face of the religion.

Yeh how very NOT FUCKING Godly.

This is an excellent movie. There is fine attention to detail with fashion and cars and locations and the acting draws you in, in an unhurried and raw way.

It is not possible to say I enjoyed it, but I am very glad that I went along to see it, even if my doctor might have preferred not to see the raise in my blood pressure.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Chemo Brain V Alzheimers



It's all part of the routine: get up, have tea, down poison, get dressed, play with Dog in the park, go for coffee in the village. With Stevie away the routine continues, except earlier and without his ordering finesse.

Today I fancied breakfast, but I couldn't remember the words - Raisin Toast. So I ordered coffee and then had to mime and play guess the word with Laurence. Luckily she was happy to play.

Me: I want some ahhh, stuff, like, flat, with some sultanas.
Her: Raisin Toast!

There it was a fist pump moment as the order was made. Whew!

What a drag it is being temporarily unable to move a word from your brain to your mouth. If I was teaching, the kids would very soon think I was some sort of lunatic stupid fool. Yeh, see I miss Stevie cos he doesn't judge, he just waits for the words to find their new odd way from brain to tongue. It might be time to see about a new Sat Nav for my brain.

But I am not, at least I don't think I am, suffering from Alzheimers, cos whilst words sometimes go missing, my memory is still well honed.

So when some dick rang the bell this morning and told me he was here to do the tree lopping, I didn't hesitate for a minute. I KNEW I had never organised any such work.

Him: I'm here to do the tree lopping.
Me:   WHAT?
Him: You agreed to us doing some work.
Me:    You're WRONG.

Yeh I was surprised too that I didn't swear at him, but these sort of gypsy / pikey scams were pretty common in London and the arseholes were well known for doing all sorts of vandalism if their game was rudely rumbled so sometimes politeness is an advantage.

What worries me is I wonder how it would be if you were aware that you are sometimes a bit forgetful, and you think there is a chance that you did sign up for this work and you go out and let 'em in, cos you know it's possible, even though you don't recognise 'em at all, and then they smile and show you some dirty bit of an order form which shows an agreement for work for say $400. I reckon you'd be so consumed with trying to remember and feeling stupid that you wouldn't question it too much or look too closely at the order form and perhaps the only bright spot would be that you don't have the cash to hand, although these scammers would no doubt drive you to the ATM, before they buggered off after doing either no work or a shit job.

The Goldie is a city of scammers, but it doesn't have it all to itself, as I said door knocking shit happened all the time in London. But here on the Goldie we have an aging population. Oldies come to retire and put their feet up or stroll on the beaches and typically many minds ebb away with the tide.

This fella this morning probably has some percentage for success. Like maybe he needs to knock on 10 doors to land 1 sucker. Or maybe it's more?

But it wouldn't do anyone any harm to keep an eye out for strangers lobbing in to elderly neighbours' places, just to make sure that as far as we can, we are keeping the bastards honest. It doesn't need to be a full time occupation, but a bit of awareness never hurt.

And if you are having a conversation with an other ordinary looking soul and they go in search of a word, a bit of patience will be appreciated. Now I've got to get back to the .... um .... black...legs...sweet girl.......Ah DOG.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Resemblances?



I do love a bit of sculpture, and this piece at Nobby's Beach always makes me smile.

Can you tell that Stevie and Dog and I were the inspiration?

Well except that Dog is almost never sitting still. She is mostly jumping around like a maniac, or tugging fiercely on the lead, or playing the sand game or shitting or squirting, or saving up her vomit for the back of the car like she did today. EWWWWW! 

She likes to go in Stevie's truck and I reckon she thinks she is slumming it when she has to go in my car, and if I thought she had a vindictive bone in her body, which I don't cos she never shits in my shoes or chews stuff up while I am out, then perhaps I would think she did this on purpose today, but I am pretty sure she found the whole thing appalling and was more than a little disgusted with herself.

But in the long run, let me just say, I'd rather Dog vomit any day over kid or drunk spew. There seems to be no stink and no bile acid immediately eating away at the metallic paint. I spewed out the car window once when I was suffering morning sickness and it really did the paint job no favours whatsoever. Ooops! Front and back doors splattered. Best paint stripper in then world. So the hatch boot has been pulled apart and scrubbed clean and I hope it dries, spit spot.

But back to the sculptures.

Can you see the resemblance between the people and Stevie and me?

Tall skinny athletic running folk. Yep that's me in my wildest dreams. 

However I reckon the only way we would ever look like that is if we were fleeing from danger, Stevie from a giant spider and me from a grasshopper or a bird. Yep, then we might be legging it like these 2 gazelle creatures.

I do like that the fella is looking back slightly, perhaps to see if he needs to kick on a bit to make sure that he wins, cos it wouldn't do his old male ego any good to be beaten by a girl, but if  Stevie and I were the inspiration then he'd be looking back to make sure that I  wasn't lagging too far behind, cos yeh, I am a bloody saddo slow coach.

The beach was beautiful this morning, wide and empty and as ever Piccolo Cafe served up a good coffee which I downed in the sunshine, sans the summer sweat. 

Dog and I both loved our little outing. 

Friday, 12 May 2017

Time to Quit



I am not good at doing what I am not good at. I have always been the same. I am happy to have a go at new stuff, but if I don't cotton on right away, then I will give it a miss. Perhaps it has to do with a fear of public humiliation?

When I was but a wee slip of a girl, I wanted to learn to play squash. I'd sneak off for private lessons on deserted Sunday afternoons, so no-one could see and when I thought I had a handle on the game, I joined a competition team. Sure I buggered up sometimes, sometimes more than sometimes, but mostly I didn't do too badly.

I have somewhat famously thrown a whole meal at a wall in my own kitchen because I buggered it up after cooking all afternoon, but I learnt a lesson and now my pies are legendary - just ask Stevie, but my attempt at making Gozleme was such a disaster that I decided that a repeat performance was never gonna play.

I reckon you just know after one or two shots at something if you are gonna get the hang of it.

And the only way I could possible continue to go at something where failure was the only common denominator would be if I was getting paid huge chunks of wonga, and seriously maybe not even then, because you know - INTEGRITY,  and I know my ego would not allow me to front to work everyday and FAIL.

Surely I am not alone in this?

Fancy fronting to work and being told to mix up a cake batter and then throw it away, never getting the chance to pop it in the oven and actually bake the cake?

How about being told to tot up a column of figures and then forget the total never mind manipulating the figures in some game of beat the tax man scheme?

Or maybe you'd like to slice into someone's guts and stand around looking then just sew 'em back up? Now that sounds like a cancer diagnosis doesn't it? Shit I am very glad that is NOT my job. I reckon Doctors who do this must drink heavily or down happy pills or go for fun runs twice a day.

And how would any normal person manage being told to dig a hole, have a look, then fill it in again and then be told to come back tomorrow to do exactly the same thing again?

How many times do you reckon you would do this before the straw broke the camel?

If you are getting paid and need to make rent and have children to feed I guess you can suck it up for quite a while, weeks maybe? But surely unless you are some sort gormless fool who can't find their arse with both hands and a torch, or a masochist who enjoys feeling completely inept and impotent, or you are some vile subversive creature looking to bring down a whole country by exploiting Work Place Agreements, or you are just the laziest useless piece of shit waste of air standing incredulous that you even have a job, well then surely you'd SAY something, DO something, ANYTHING to get the job done.

The Main Roads Department has been responsible for digging up our suburban corner more than 23 times. Yeh there are the usual services which need to be tickled for the road works - power, communications, water, gas, but still I wondered if there had been some huge problem which had slowed the work. Perhaps the Chinese are digging from the other side and want to send in Whale ships to help Japan - ridiculous I know I am just being silly.

I asked The District Director, who has gone missing, only to be replaced by an Acting fella, who is too lazy or incompetent to write his own emails so has hand-balled that job off to someone else with no title, yeh I asked what problems they had faced on this corner. Surely there must be a massive complication, an intriguing puzzle never before seen or solved, but no the no title, fill in for the fill in, said,
'There have been no delays or additional requirements....When dealing with public utilities such as gas, water, electricity and data cables, contractors must take utmost care.....blah blah blah'

These people are being paid for 11 hour shifts and large herds of 'em have been sucking from the the public purse trough on this corner more than 23 times, and that's not because there has been any problems, it's because they are being 'careful'.

23 times - dig it up, have a look, fill it up, dig it up, have a look, fill it up, every time using a machine chucking out 100 Db in contravention of EPA guidelines. I reckon with a staff of say 15 people a shift, paying penalty rates cos of Night Works, the wage bill alone is in the range of $190,000! To dig a hole and move 4 or 5 services!  Of course if we added in the cost of the 'supervising' bosses' wages we might find ourselves throwing up into a bucket, or a hole somewhere, out of sheer incredulity. Yeh I know where there is a good one.

That's one fucking expensive hole huh? Aren't we all thrilled that this is how our tax money is spent?

And you know what? The job is still not done, so keep that abacus handy.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

All Hale the Cool


Yippee to closing the door on the summer heat.

Yep it's time to dig out something a little fluffy and to snuggle up.

But it's not like we have to stuff a cupboard with supplies and hibernate for the winter. Nope. Not here at the Goldie. Here it's still thongs and shorts and walks at the beach, paddling and playing the 'Sand Game' with Dog during the day and donning a pair of less than sexy socks and a layer or two at night.

In London I had a rule that I'd wear sandals until the last holidays before winter just in an effort to extend the summer and this sometimes meant bare toes in the snow. Some people saw this as a little odd. My expectations then were different. 10 degrees C was considered positively balmy, and now I reckon 10 degrees is just a little chilly.

Sandals were finally swapped for boots and I had quite the range. Flat, low, high, cheap, stupid expensive and in about every colour, but you know what, even though I whinge about the heat here and I reminisce fondly about the long cold grey winter months, I don't fancy wearing boots anymore. I am not at all sure I'd be able to squash my feet into 'em after all these years of thongs and bare feet.

So no boots, but scarfs and wraps and little blankets over knees at night. Bloody bliss.

And loads of slow cooked dinners with scrummy sauces and loads of veg.

And closed windows to keep the bloody road works noise out.

Shorter days and pale blue skies, well except for today cos it's raining and I like the grey closed in rainy skies too.

From this vantage I cannot recall ever whining about the long cold wet winters in London, but it must have worn a bit thin, cos a number of the paintings we have hanging were chosen in a bid to eliminate the gloom.

We were driving home one Sunday with the top down and we stumbled across an art show out in the boondocks countryside somewhere and we popped in and fell for a couple of wildly bright paintings, I said to Stevie that if we hung these in the house we'd never notice the blahs of winter. So we paid for 'em and then faced the very real problem of fitting them into the back seat of the car, and then yep, you guessed it, it started to rain. I can't remember HOW we got 'em home but I'm glad we did, cos even here on the other side of the world they brighten things up.



Boredom must consume folk who live in places with no seasonal variety. 

I just don't even want to imagine it.



Monday, 8 May 2017

Poaching

Good Old Uncle Toby's Oats is the piece de resistance.


It is no secret that Sundays are bath days. This is not to say that for the rest of the week I just get about progressively more stinky from one day to the next and waft powder into my hair whilst sticking snuff shit up by nose - no I am not gonna make a comment about all those cocaine losers over the weekend. No during the week I just throw myself through the shower, which is a perfunctory task and brings very little joy - not none but not much. So on Sundays I slide into a bath, yes, sometimes for hours at a time.

Stevie has always spoiled me with all manner of bath stuff, smelly stuff that is sometimes so cloying and lovely that I can still smell it in the bathroom on Wednesday. AHHH just lovely.

I like a deep hot soak with millions of bubbles and I light a candle for extra pong. I load up with my Kindle and sometimes a glass of stuff and maybe some sweeties or some cheese. People could be forgiven for thinking that I was actually moving into the bathroom, never to return.

But recently some of the joy has been lost.

The Poison Meds are playing havoc with lots of parts of me and also of course killing off the mutants. On an ordinary day I might have 3 or 4 side effects not really worth banging on about, sometimes I have to call an ambo cos I am crying with fucking hip pain. But generally I am pretty good - Stevie might beg to differ.

But the constant thing is that my skin is a bloody desert disaster. I have been downing antihistamines since the beginning of this little adventure cos I broke out in very attractive rashes and old gal acne, and the little orange pills stop me from scratching the be-shitter out of everywhwere, and I do mean EVERYWHERE. But ultimately, there are still occasional little upsets and my skin all over has taken on that crepey crappy thin scaley look and little bits flake off into the breeze. Yeh Hansel and Gretel would have been pleased for the help, when they ran out of breadcrumbs.

So hours in a decadent chemically scented hot as Hades tub, is more than a little counter effective in treating the scale and the scratch.

Yesterday I poached in lashings of coconut oil and oatmeal.

2 heaped tablespoons of solid coconut oil - 4 I guess if it is melted, and a cup of oats stuffed into a sock held closed with a hair tie, all shoved into the bath, and in you slide. Slide is seriously what you do, so unless you want a real reason to call the Ambos cos you broke your bum bone or something else - so do be careful.

The water can't be 'Frog Jump Out' hot but it's still pretty relaxing. The candle was on and the kindle was charged and soak away I did. Not for a marathon - Stevie was surprised when I re-entered the world before my usual time, but today, I have not been scratching up a storm, so maybe a final change was necessary.

I have been slopping on the coconut oil on and off for a year, but I haven't really wanted to say goodbye to my divine Sundays with all the gorgeous potions. However it seems like it might be necessary. Bugger.

I sidled up to Stevie to give him a whiff of my new bath perfume and he said I smelt like soap. I guess that's better than stinking of stale sweat. I thought I smelt like an old fashioned bakery. Tomatoes V Tomatoes

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Bastards.


This is our street corner after 21 'GOS'

The Footpath here is not as smooth as this photos implies.

They are now chucking random bits of ply wood over the holes.


This is the year of the Battle with the Bastards, and after yesterday's post about Rocky 4, I rather like the idea of being able to give these areswipes' noses a bit of a tickle.

I thought things had calmed down and rather hopefully or naively or stupidly, guessed that we might have even had a little win, but NO, TMR has started up again! Friday night at 11.45 PM - yeh that's right, at a quarter to the witching hour they parked up their fucking Vacumm Excavation truck and dug another hole in the footpath. Of course they could have done this work during the DAY and of course they could have used a person with a shovel, but why let some consideration for the health and well being of the locals get in the way of being total fucking bastards?

This followed on from, or might have been because of - depending on the degree of paranoia you permit, an email I sent last week asking what trouble or problem they were having. In an idle moment I sat and counted back in my diarised notes and found that these fuckwits have dug up the corner of my street 21 - yep TWENTY-ONE times, and still they have not finished. And 21 times is a conservative count cos I am sure I have missed recording some of the attempts when I was just too tired to lift a pen, and I was away for a while too.

So they dig it up, have a look and a little shoulder shrug, and fill it up again. By the looks of the mess they have left this time, they are not bothering too much with the filling up and if this is their effort at 'making good' the footpath, I await news of a law suit filed by an old person less fleet of foot, who has gone for a tumble.



The District Director of TMR has been replaced by another job's worth who is now Acting District Director, and the cynic in me wonders if this is just more of a ploy to hinder any honest forthright dialogue with this appalling government department. He sent back a shitful stupid response but finished off saying that this work is going to go on until late 2017. Hmmm. It was meant to be September and then that stretched to October, but that is clearly no longer the end date. Just more shit for longer! Yeh I know all government departments are all the same, but I only really have experience with this lot, unless you count the police department, which it seems is run by TMR anyway.

So the new fella sprouted the same old shit the other fella started with 5 months ago.

The merry-go-round is making me nauseous, nauseous but not surprised. Ho Hum

The Bulletin Newspaper has been following up and is now looking into the methods and the obscene waste of tax payer money, and I think they might also be having a little look see at what role the police play in this very sleazy wee dance. I am still waiting to hear if the police are going to continue to pursue the infringement notice they issued me on the first of March, for 'Walking too slowly across the road'. I guess it will depend on just how much TMR wants the $48 fine. I do wonder how long it takes to make a decision about this - perhaps as long as it takes TMR to relocate a few services in a suburban street?

Stevie is getting nervous cos if they are starting up again I might head out and get myself arrested while he is away. He hopes that if I go out there I will take Dog cos the coppers might be less keen to chuck a dog in the paddy wagon. I wonder what the procedure will be if no-one is available to take delivery of me.

I must remember to tuck a credit card up my whatsit just in case huh?




Saturday, 6 May 2017

I am a slow starter.

It's a bit obscure but this is a clue about the movie watching today.


Saturdays are self indulgent quiet affairs here in the Big House. Stevie heads off to do battle with the little white ball and I please myself.

Except that today the ironing basket was hollering at me and because sometimes there is just no escaping it, I sucked it up and set up for my most loathed pass time.

The only half decent thing about ironing shit is that I can catch up on rubbish TV.

Over the last few weeks I have fallen upon a bit of Rocky action as I played the Tellie shuffle, while lounging the afternoon away on the couch, and there it was again today.

Somehow I have never seen any of these movies all the way through, so I settled in to have a look see. The clothes were all hanging and looking good, so I had my computer on my lap and was reading stuff and playing some cards, and shoveling in food and drink,  but mostly I suspended disbelief and grunted with each punch, and hid behind my hands and just so didn't enjoy all that brutality.

I can't or rather will not, watch boxing on the tellie and would just never go to a bout live cos well, just yukky no, so I am not sure what I expected really, cos god knows the possibility of a Stallone Oscar winning performance was pretty small.

But I will say that those fellas were definitely FIT. Or maybe they were enhanced? I don't now and I suppose it is all so long ago that no-one would care now anyway.

And as I rather doubt that Mr Stallone or the Mr Lundgren - Russian Giant, would have been experts at pulling their punches, some of that action really must have hurt like hell. Yeh of course the blood and guts would have been applied but it looked pretty real to me. Blood and spit flying is not pretty.

I don't know if there is a Rocky 5 or 6 or 11, but I rather think that I have seen enough. Spoiler alert! I was surprised that the first fight today finished in a funeral, but the final outcome was no surprise, so I am tempted to think that if you have seen one of these movies, you might well have seen 'em all.

Have you seen all these movies?
Would you sit through a Rocky Marathon?

Thursday, 4 May 2017

When is child abuse funny?


There has been this You tube story rattling along this week about some shitful American couple who blended their families to become anything BUT the Brady Bunch. I don't even know how they did it, or more importantly WHY they did it but they set up a You Tube channel and put up videos of them abusing their blended 5 children.

Well I'll be fucked! and not just because such people do such dreadful things but because they managed to find 75000 similarly flawed fuckers to subscribe to their channel and at last reporting they were raking in $350000 a year from this disgusting little venture.

I looked at a montage vid before the details came to light, and to my untrained eye, there did not seem to be too much joking going on. Taunting and sadness and frustration and physical abuse. I willed it to stop. I was lucky cos I could turn it off. But what of the kids?

I read today the the birth mother of the 2 smallest kids has taken them back and there is an odd explanation for how she gave 'em up in the first place, but ho hum - shoes and walking a mile comes to mind. But the other 3 belong to the woman in the filming family so I guess they are stuck and as the targets of most of the abuse are now out of the house, I guess they might all be watching their backs hoping that they are not next.

And so all this is appalling, of course. But how come it went on for so long?

I don't know anything about You Tube except that occasionally there are very funny vids of monkeys throwing their own shit at grandma, and as I was not the Ma in focus, I laughed up a lung. But I reckon that there must be some content filter which edits out some stuff - naked romping with animals maybe? or overt violence maybe? or rape scenes? I fucking hope so, cos this is available to EVERYONE, yeh kids and all!

So my question, on a par with what the very fuck is wrong with those parents, is how is it that these violent degrading videos of children  are permitted to be aired on a free for all site and for such a lengthy period?

How are filters applied? I am not at all tech savvy so perhaps there is a programme which can be used to pick up this footage, or maybe the computer just cottons on to milliseconds of too much nakidity. I really don't know. But if, as I imagine, PEOPLE are in charge of the filters, then what the fuck was wrong with the people who looked at this shit and thought, ' Oh Well, it's harmless cos the parents are filming it all - must be crocodile tears from the kids, let it run.'

I would be very pleased if anyone who knows about You Tube Filtering could explain it to me.

PLEASE.

Monday, 1 May 2017

I don't understand Tattoos.


The real world has seemingly has passed me by cos it's a long weekend here in Queensland and I didn't even know it. The first I heard about it was when a friend of mine PINKY POINKER who writes a fabulous blog, www.pinkypoinker.com.au  mentioned it in relation to something else completely random and I have been back pedaling ever since.

So we went to the Spit cos there's a wonderful off leash dog zone as big and as wonderful as my lost mind.

Now I always come away from this place relaxed and calm and usually full of wonder.

Today I wondered how people just refuse to pick up their dog shit.

Oh sure very occasionally Dog will squirt out something closely resembling dirty mud water, cos the salt water she slurps up by the gallon goes right through her, and this is impossible to collect cos it disappears into the sand almost immediately. But when she drops a solid one, we are there with bags in hand.

Today there were 2 dogs galloping around and for our whole visit, we didn't see who they belonged to. The followed us up the beach and back again and stopped to play with random dogs and shit all the way. Yep little piles of Dog Dirt were left like Hanzel and Gretel's breadcrumbs, and when we left, these 2 dogs were still there unattended.

I have heard of people dropping off their kids at patrolled beaches and heading into the casino or the pub, but I am shocked at the idea that folk with dogs would be equally cavalier. Anyway it made me a little cross, cos these piles of poo give purpose to people's argument about no dogs on the beach and that is irritating. Oh Well.

And while we sat and watched the day away, I noticed people and their tattoos. Of course the beach is an excellent place for a tattoo perv.

I don't like tattoos.

I don't understand tattoos.

I am a flighty bitch and just know that I don't want to wear ANYTHING at all EVERY FUCKING DAY OF MY LIFE - Easily bored, I suppose.

And my eyesight, even with my specs is not good enough to distinguish the intricate details - surely there are details, so all too often the markings just look like dirt to me.

And then I wondered if the folk who get tattoos all up and down their legs, get 'em so they can see 'em or so everyone else can see 'em. Which way up is the right way up? And if the right way up is so everyone else can see it, what joy would there be in looking at an up-side-down something on your thigh everyday. Yeh I don't get it.

And then there are the piece meal bits with space and stuff missing and I just hope that one day the canvas will be completed, cos I don't get a bit of this here and a bit of that there. It's a bit like decorating a room and doing a bit of the wall and then the ceiling and then buying a chair and putting it next to salad bowl and a crossword puzzle. One thing at a time, and do it well I always say. I like it when a project is finished. I like drawing a line under things. I don't like half done.

Except half done would have been better than 'job done' on the bloke who was covered from arsehole to breakfast, all over his head and face and shoulders and chest, and then, well I just had to look away. Who does that to themselves?

I can sort understand someone trying to disguise and ugly scar with something pretty and I can certainly understand women who have had double mastectomies who get artistic things tattooed all over their chests, but this mutilation of your face, I just don't get it. I mean no-one is that ugly.

People gave him a very wide birth and perhaps if I was 'in the know' I might have been able to interpret the stuff all over his face, but he was just scary and that surely must have been his intention. 'Look at me! - Don't you dare fucking look at me!"

Once I had seen this fella the rest of the day's body 'art' was of very little significance.

I don't care that people get tattoos, their body and all that, but once done surely there is an expectation that people will perv, except that this bloke wanted people to look then look away. Intimidation! Seems like a permanent way of pointing a gun at the world.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Old Family Recipes.



The kids were down last weekend, and I do very much love to feed 'em up. Yeh I have officially turned into my Nanna, that lovely woman who used to spoil me with all sorts of treaties. One of my earliest memories was being with her almost every Saturday morning and we'd 'walk up the terminus', that was where the old trams stopped at Camp Hill, and she'd do the weekly shopping at the butchers and grocers and candlestick makers. Well I made that bit up about the candles, and then on the way home we'd walk through the BP garage and she'd let us buy a little white bag of lollies. They cost a couple of pennies and I loved it that I had my very own little baggie of goodies. It was a treat indeed.

I think I might have mentioned before that whilst she was a sweetheart, and there were somethings that were her specialty in the kitchen, like her chrissie plum pudding which hung in calico in the laundry from October til the big day, there were many famous failures too. She was an expert at buggering things up, and I am not sorry not to have those recipes, but I would like to have written down the pudding recipe instead of just hanging around waiting for my turn to lick the bowl. Mine were a maggoty mess and I have not ever bother to replicate them.

Anyway, I made the kids pancakes and berry compote for breakfast and they both raved about how good it was. Zig whinged that too often his Mum's pancakes were a bit crap and it was only then that we all realised she had been making up the recipe and had missed the essential ingredient of an egg, so basically she had been making flat little rounds of clag glue...oooooh yukky. But now she knows. and maybe I should write some sort of recipe down all the same, except that I just throw stuff in til it looks right, so amounts would all be a bit of a guess.

And that's just like my Dad's plum sauce recipe which goes so well with porkie's spare ribs. This is a Stevie's favourite especially on a Saturday after golf. This is what I am whipping up today. Except that like any of my 'recipes', Dad's has remained a bit of a secret. Oh I know the ingredients list but the amounts are a mystery. It's a slow cook thing which allows all the flavours to meld and it's only as it cooks and I can smell it, that I know I have got it right. It is often a bit of a crap shoot - never truly awful but often a bit off.

So here's the recipe I think.

Saute one large chopped onion in plenty of butter.
Add some crushed garlic - a couple of cloves.
Stir in some mustard powder - maybe 2 big teaspoons?
Empty in a bottle of plum jam - not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either.
Throw in a couple of tablespoons of Red wine, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, and I usually put in a splash of balsamic too.
Then it needs to simmer, very low heat for a couple of hours - about as long as it takes to cook the whole foiled oven baked spuds.

The really good thing about the plum sauce is that it freezes well, so if it's a good one, I chuck the left overs into a zip lock baggie and freeze it for next time. Yippee.

Here's to comfy Saturday nights with Dad's plum sauce.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

De Clutter Regrets?

Starting again.

More years ago than I care to remember, but it was definitely after 1989 cos that's when I became single and so the wardrobe of the married woman became obsolete, a very gay friend of mine was going to his debutante ball. He asked me to be his date, or give him away, or present him, or something. Some of the details are a bit of a blur.

He wore my wedding dress. The whole enchilada. And I wore some sort of tuxedo. Cross dressing was the order of the day. He was more into cross dressing than drag queen and so his makeup was demure and I might have drawn on a Mo.

We made a very dashing pair.

There was the presentation line, ahhhhh.

One of the blokes looked amazing from the front and riotous from that back cos he was sans girdle and slip and actually sans back of the dress.

It was a bloody marvelous evening.

I imagine John took my wedding dress home and maybe he used it as bedding for his cat?  I don't know and I don't care. I have never missed it.

But as I started to crochet something this week I have been wondering about a beautiful shawl I made when I was but a girl. It was a lovely thing that I wore with pride over many winters. It went with everything, and I can still feel the glamour I felt when I threw it with gay abandon over my shoulders.

I must have thrown it out at some point, or maybe I just left it behind when I did a runner from the marital home. But I miss it.

So now that I am sure I have remembered HOW to crochet, I am wondering WHAT to crochet, and the idea of replacing that shawl is a pleasant one. I guess I will see how it progresses, cos I definitely lack persistence these days and it might turn from a huge project into a sampler like we uselessly made in primary school. I fucking hated the waste of time and effort of those things and the memory of my third grade teacher telling me mine were shit, still lingers, Cow!

My girl suggested that I might like some of her crocheted squares she has squirreled away, and too quickly I said no, but now I am re-thinking it. Maybe it would be a cool thing to make a something out of hers and mine. I am sure that whatever colours she has used will blend with mine cos we both jump onto the same side of the colour wheel. Yep this seems like a good idea. And I have / maybe had, cos I am not sure if I still have it, a cardigan which is / was, very ordinary except for some lovely ribbon threaded randomly through it. This is an idea that is entertaining my mind so I might start collecting remnant bits and pieces if indeed I could stumble over an old fashioned haberdasher.

The unexpected advantage of this project came to light while watching the tellie last night. There was some story about women and exercise and the usual shit was sprooked except that the fella ended with the good news that even doing exercises with your THUMBS was good for increasing white blood cells. So fingers flinging about some thread for a few hours at a time, must be like running a fucking marathon. Brilliant!

Are there clothes from before that you still remember fondly?




Monday, 24 April 2017

Squeezing in all sorts.

Easter and souvenirs and parcels are coming. It's quite the smorgasbord.  


Well bugger me, if all of a sudden my darling boy seems to have gone from boy to big fella, overnight, in an instant.

Of course this is not true, but it sure as shit seems like it to me. Friends in the UK this week are wondering where the last year - their little fella's first year, has gone and I am wondering where the last dozen years have gone. Time really does just slip by.

The kids are popping down tonight for an Easter catch up and a holiday review, but mostly it's for Pa's big birthday. We are all gonna head out and eat lashings of seafood and have a jolly old time at the same place that made the news last week cos some dick did a runner without paying for his expensive supper.

But I digress. In preparation for the kids coming, I set to making up their bedrooms, which was more of a job than it should have been, cos the lovely lady who looked after Dog while we were away likes to iron all of my sheets, but is never too concerned about where she stacks 'em afterward, so I had to unfold every fucking one to see what size it was and once I started I figured I might as well get 'em all sorted. Yeh they don't look nearly as well sorted as before, but at least I can find the different sizes easily enough now.

The kids negotiate which room they want when they get here, even though the blue one was always meant to be for Zig and the purple one for my girl, so the smaller double bed is in the blue room.

And as I was making the beds I was thinking that he really should be in the blue room cos the bed is smaller. I had a happy few moments thinking of him tucked up, curled up with so much space to spare. I remember reading him is bedtime stories and listening to his little boy secrets and playing eye spy - or is it I spy? I don't know. But I do know we both fitted neatly into the bed and he'd sometimes just drift off to sleep while I was reading, ah...and then I remembered.

He is now the tallest in our family!!

Yep! I am the widest but he is the tallest. I guess that means he and I are due the biggest beds?

And then I wondered how people in days gone by ever managed. Whole families tucked up in a tiny bed a la 'The Waltons' or 'Little House on the Prairie' and I can only imagine that none of 'em snored. Can you just imagine a snorer in one of those log cabins? I reckon the family would all line up to whack the offender on the noggin with a skillet. And what did they do for privacy and when did adolescents have time to wonder about body and mind changes? I mean it wasn't always wonderful sharing a room with my sister, but there was no other expectation then. The 5 of us all shared a bathroom and a toilet and I imagine it was sometimes a pain in the bum, but I don't really remember it being much of an issue.

Perhaps snoring is a first world, 21st century condition. Perhaps all that sniffling and snorting has evolved to fill the extra space in the bed.




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.