Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Masterchef - are you fucking kidding?

Last night's left overs ready for Nuking tonight.

My sad little Veg collection


Hello, My Name is Sue and I am a food finder and shover into my gobber. I do Love Food! All sorts of food. Fast food, slow food, out of a packet food, food cooked by others and sometimes food cooked by me.

I like salty and sweet and crunchy and sour and but admit that I am not too fond of slimy - is that even a foodie description? Well how the fuck would I know, I am not on Masterchef.

What I am not fond of at all, well ok what gives me the screaming irrits is all this masturbation about food.

Did you see Masterchef last night?

'Pearl on the Ocean Bed"

Fuck me, is that the new Disney movie?

Nah it was a whole lot of shit that I just didn't want to eat, tipped 'artistically' onto a plate. Philistine that I am, I didn't reckon it even looked good. When did tweezers become kitchen equipment George? Tweezers are for pulling out splinters or doing your eyebrows or harvesting those pesky menopausal whiskers. Tweezers are NOT for dishing out tucker.

And so I googled it and bugger me if it's not a 'real meal' - far far from a ready meal which you just shove into the nuker, but Pearl on the Ocean Bed is real.

There's some fancy schmancy place in Melbourne which serves it, but to go there, according to the Trip Advisor reviews, you have to pay for the whole lot in advance, including tip, yeh you have to PAY when you ring up for a reservation.

Well I'll be fucked!

Going for dinner has reached the lofty heights of theatre, where of course you have to pay for your tickets when booking. NO need to include a tip though, I guess if you fancy it you can just chuck flowers at the actors during the standing ovation at the end.

I mean what happens about Statutory Rights? What happens if the food is so gross that you puke up on the linen table clothes? There would be table clothes wouldn't there? Tough shit I guess, cos you came for the SENSORY EXPERIENCE, so stop your whinging huh? Yeh there is no refund at the theatre either. Oh well.

Now I admit that I only did the google while I was watching that NINJA show, bloody marvellous if you can record it and fast forward through all the crap and just get to watch these amazing athletes have a go at stuff that no amount of mechanical aide would help me pull off. Anyway my google search was sparse. But I couldn't find the price of this food. I suppose they tell you when you ring up for a reservation and they tick off the Mastercard numbers and you resign yourself to missing the mortgage payment this month.

I love going out for dinner. Sometimes it's for the food, and sometimes it's for the company, But I never want to look down at a plate of food and wonder what the fuck it is. I don't mind if there is a bit of garnish that I can't recognise or there is an ingredient in the sauce which is hard to identify, by I do not want to sit down to a meal that looks like it was made by and for a group of travelling Clingons.

Yeh I know, I am not a Masterchef. Stevie say he's glad about that.



Monday, 17 July 2017

Accordion cramming - How much do you do?

This looks pretty hectic to me, but in any case, I am just trying to use some photos of bits of paintings I have around the house, to brighten up my page. 


Not even 20 years ago interstate travel was an adventure. There was the planning and the looking in the NEWSPAPER - the what? to find some accommodation or preferably there might have  been some friend or distant relative who knew someone who's best friend's aunty had a couch going begging, and so, Yippee! The plane fares were astronomical and the packing took days.

It wasn't the sort of thing one did on a whim, although once, only once, when the husband was going to Melbourne for work, which he did a lot, I downed tools from my supply teaching gig and packed up the wee girl and all of our shit and in a minute's notice I loaded us onto the plane and met him in Melbourne town. That was avant garde and brave and exciting and I recall that week with great fondness, even today, more than 30 years later, Yeh I also remember her taking a big shit in one of the parks and using a leaf to wipe her bum, and jumping out of a tram at its terminus at somewhere which I suppose was less than salubrious cos the driver and the conductor went into coniptions yelling for us to come back to the tram, and in the end they held up their departure for long enough for me to have a bit of a look around. They didn't want to leave us out there, where ever THERE was. And I remember her crying from blocked ear tubes and throwing up from the turbulence on the way back, but ho hum, we'd been on an adventure. We had no idea what was there and no internet to give us a LONELY PLANET schedule for the week. I just popped her into her umbrella stroller and grabbed a bag and a tram ticket and we looked and laughed our way all around Melbourne in the bloody cold of winter. I have loved Melbourne ever since.

But enough of all this reminiscence. What I have been thinking about today is the way we take travel for granted today.

There is a Leukaemia Foundation meeting in Melbourne in September and I am interested in going.

It's only for a day.

And it's all so easy now isn't it. Fares are cheap and accomm is expensive but easy to find.

It's just not something I would have given thought to 20 or 30 years ago.

We really do try to cram a lot into our lives don't we?

Friday, 14 July 2017

Today's been a good'un



So I cracked an eyelid open this morning and waited, waited for the shitting headache and the topsy turvy walls of the last week. Sure I had been up a couple of times to pee - what's that all about Alfie? Just when you get to a point in your life when you need the sleep and are NOT doing the 'Mummy I threw up in my bed,' dance, you are awake with a fully laden bladder and the loo route on auto pilot, probably more than once but hopefully less than half a dozen times a night. Bugger. But I digress. Yeh I had been up a couple of times and was pleased to see that I made it to the loo without head butting any walls, but I was still apprehensive about being fully awake just in case the virtigo and the headaches were just sliding around on the floor waiting to attack.

But the sky was blue and the sun was shining and things, including walls and floors were all where they were meant to be, so all was very good with the world.

It's remarkable to me that this NORMAL shit that I take for granted was such a relief this morning.

No I didn't LEAP out of bed, but I did sit up and was cautiously chipper about the day. Fucking YIPPEE!

Poor old Dog has got a sore back leg again, so she needs a bit of a rest, but she's not much fond of that idea. Regardless of pain she just wants to run like a maniac after her ball, literally until she can run no more. But today she was forced to wander around the off leash dog area in the Botanical Gardens and the 3 of us enjoyed the outing. Yep I got some steps in and was thrilled to be able to enjoy the great outdoors under the pale winter blue sky. Ahh.

And I told Stevie that I'd make a roast chicken for dinner and that's still on my list, although I must admit that I am flagging a little now.

I know why people buy whole raw chickens, it's because they are so cheap, but in reality, it'd be far more energy - mine, efficient to just buy a ready cooked one. Are there still places like Big Rooter? Not here in the small country village of the Goldie I don't think, but maybe in the city?

Anyway I am getting ready to stuff it with a lemon and garlic and slather it with butter and shove it in the oven for 90 minutes - yeh she's a pretty big bird, and I'll make some cheater roast veg and call dinner done.

And then I am gonna slide into my chair and probably snooze away until bed time, cos whilst I feel better, I reckon the week from hell might just have taken it out of me a wee bit.

Seems ridiculous to me that now I consider today to be a good one. 5 Years ago I might have said, 'Oh fuck that was boring, let's do something fabulous tomorrow huh?' Times sure have changed.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Pissed as a Maggot.


Ain't that a quaint ol' Aussie expression. So pissed that you are flailing around on the ground, often slithering from one spot to another just like a maggot. I guess that's cos we Aussies are a literal lot. I mean, some of the other slang expressions for having one too many alcoholic beverages are a bit less graphically clear. I mean bollocky drunk - what does that mean? Testicles flobbling about? Isn't that the usual way they hang, at least when tethered?

Banjaxed, blathered, blotto, fleemered, hammered, jeremied, legless,  off me trolley, palintoshed, squiffy, stocious, yeh there are as many descriptions as places I have been trollied and tempted to chunder after one too many.

In my younger days going for a tipple sometimes turned into slurping from the fire hose and drinking til I fell over.

But actually I might have been mostly lucky cos I don't recall too many times where I actually fell over. Oh sure I remember clearly throwing cash at the cabbie and really legging it into the house so I could drive the big white bus until there was just no more juice to power it and I have slept the night curled up around the porcelain. And I remember dancing inelegantly on tables and beer kegs and occasionally being asked to vacate a club or drinking establishment.  Oh well.

But now I am not a big drinker, and given that this week I have been waking during the night and fumbling my way to the loo by bouncing off walls and tripping over shit like shoes and dirty wash that I failed to put away, it is probably just as well.

Feeling that pissed in the middle of the night after an evening of such sedate suburban debauchery as hoovering up a roast dinner and suffering square arse from too many hours in front of the tellie, was a little disconcerting I can tell you, so I slid back under the covers and hoped that all would be righted by the morning.

But bugger me if the whole world wasn't still askew in the AM. The floor was all a kimbo and the walls were anything but vertical. I stumbled out of bed and the room whizzes hit me just like in days of old after one too many voddies. My head was aching and my stomach was heaving. What a pisser!
A bloody huge hangover and no booze silly fun - bugger!

This lasted until after lunchtime. The world flipflopped for a couple of hours and then wooliness took over.

Then the next night it was more of the same, and the morning was same, and again the cloud lifted by lunchtime.

And again this morning.

I am getting better at focusing and swallowing down the nausea.

Research since tells me that this sort of vertigo is a problem for quite a number of CML folk.

It's just another happy little side effect, although it might not even be a side effect, it might be a part of the fucking disease.

No-one really knows.

But what I do know is that the thrill of being this kinda out of control is wildly exaggerated. I don't fancy drinking myself into this sort of stupor ever again, even if it would mean that I'd at least for a short time be courageous enough to scamper upon to a sturdy table and kick up me heels.

Nah I'd prefer to be able to make my way to the loo without having to dodge imaginary obstacles.  



Monday, 10 July 2017

Design by Committee

More than enough concrete barriers on half the road. Committee approved work on Friday night - not planned or advised. 

It might not shock you to know that I do not play well with others. At school, group work nearly always gave me the shits, cos I just didn't like relying on someone else to do a bit of the work, and if I am gonna go for full disclosure, what I really didn't like was that when kids did their bit, they didn't do it the way I wanted it done, or the way I would have done it, or the way I told 'em to do it. If it was a project that I was interested in, I could be a little pushy, or maybe a little bit more than a little, yeh perhaps even Genghis Khan type pushy.

And I just don't know anyone who happily rolls over and allows adjustments to plans that they hold dear.

Painters collaborating beggar my belief. It's not common, but occasionally I'll see a painting accredited to 2 artists, and I just cant's see how that would work. 'You do that corner, I'll start over here and we'll meet in the middle'? or maybe 'I'll do the sky and you do the trees and perhaps we can get a sign writer in to do the letters on the street signs'? Cos even if they mix up the paints together and agree the colours and the context, what happens about individual style and technique and personal preference?

And architects, they can't do their best work in collaboration can they? A single vision is surely gonna make a more cohesive design. I am not saying that they can't ask colleagues about roofing materials and such like, but if someone does the west wing and someone else does the north wing, I reckon the whole thing will look a little like a platypus. You know, a bit of this and a bit of that, and it might be interesting but all up pretty ugly.

But I guess committees are a necessary evil today when most big projects are public purse funded. I mean who would put their hand up to be solely responsible for the design and outcome of a public project costing millions? That'd be one very brave, very thick skinned soul, yep TEFLON come to mind.

So instead, a committee is formed:
A Designer
An Engineer
A Feasibility Study person
An Accountant
A Statistician
A Herd of Health and Safety Gurus
A Union Rep
A Big Boys' Toys truck driver
A person with a shovel
A Gun toting body guard dressed as a police officer.
A Community Liason Officer
A Bullshit Spinner
And maybe a person who likes a flower.

And you gather all these folk in a better than average sized hall and give 'em a few big sheets of butchers' paper and a fat felt pen and say 'Go to it,  design me a road'. You break out the first of the cash from the public purse and you feed and water 'em all while they fiddle with the felt pens and fight over the small print.

They finally come up with a half arsed design - and I'm taking a liberty using the term design, which accommodates the needs of one legged, blind, bisexual platypuses first and foremost and then somewhere down the list, perhaps cars, and lastly, very lastly, no who am I kidding, no attention to the aesthetic is ever agreed, or even considered. Yep an ugly as a hat full of arseholes design is agreed, but the finer details are gonna be worked out as they go along, cos there are no more croissants and it's happy hour at the local so here's cheers huh?

Mistakes are routinely made and no wonder really when tape measures seem to be Noah's equipment and theodolites are passe because they are not nearly as accurate as say pacing out a number of heel to toe boot lengths and marking spots with a bit of spray paint. Yep that'll be good enough. And if, as it happens you have to dig up a hole 2 dozen times or a huge chunk of concrete is built in the wrong place, it doesn't matter cos someone else is paying for it, and in any case the whole project has been excellent for the economy cos scores upon scores of folk have been employed and are no longer scunging off the dole, instead the public money they are grabbing is paid to 'em because they are standing around leaning on a shovel and generally slowing progress down.

But I digress. The overall aesthetic is what I am wondering about.

The road widening is just fucking ugly, and the vast expanse of concrete and bitumen will create enough heat nine months of the year, that there should have been some sort of air heat transfer grabbing energy thing installed, or at least maybe some public saunas could have been installed on every corner. At the very least there will need to be health warning signs suggesting that old folk only cross at night to avoid exposure to heat and sun. I am guessing the Elf and Safety folk are already onto this. There's gonna be more than 8 lanes of traffic, and long bus lanes in both directions and there's already a 2 metre wide concrete walk path or maybe it's a bike track who knows, I guess it depends if a biker was more vocal on the committee than a person pushing a stroller or a wheel chair. And all of this in the suburbs of a smallish city of less than half a million people.

Yep this committee of people have not yet finished spending our money, but it's clear to me that there is no cash left to make a silk purse out of this pig's ear.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Are you FUNNY?

This is my feet at the Grandie boy's TaeKwondo grading. He told me, 'No pictures on the blog please Ma'. Adolescence has begun.

Way way back in 2001, when I took off for what was gonna be a little year long junket to the UK, I had a bit of a bucket list sort of mapped out in my head. There were places I wanted to go and stuff I wanted to see and lots of stuff I wanted to do.

I must have been more sure of myself back then, yeh I lament the loss of that girl, cos on my list was to have a go at some stand up comedy.

It never happened, not because there was no opportunity, it didn't happen cos I chickened out and I reckon I chickened out cos, well cos I just can't tell a joke, never have been able to, I get the punch line all buggered up and if the gag is really funny, then I am already pissing myself laughing and the tag line is swallowed by giggles and nose snorting. People might end up laughing, but at me not the material, and not in a good way, oh dear.

Perhaps because of this I like comedians who tell funny stories, I like the clever segues and the backward links and ties. Kitty Flanagan does a stand up routine which leaves me rolling about. Her combo of physical and story telling appeals to me.

So I reckon fairly certainly I can say I am never gonna do any stand up. Bugger and Whew in equal measure.

My Grandie is similarly lacking in confidence to try stuff that could lead to a dose of adolescent ridicule, and in a bid to encourage him without just saying shit like, 'Don't be a girl.' ( Why is that not considered high praise I wonder? or 'Harden up with some cement' or whatever that shit expression is, I tell him a little yarn of my early womanhood. He does love it, or at least he says he does, when I tell him  a story.

I told him that when I was about 29 or so - yeh he does a little eye roll cos, well that's fucking ancient to a kid huh? I wanted to have a go at THEATRE SPORTS - a series of improvised story telling games, but I lacked courage, like the Lion in the old Wizard. Was it the Lion? Bugger see I am no longer either as fleet of foot or brain as the Lion. Oh well.

Anyway I told him I used to go to the workshops and sit in a corner. I remember being appallingly shy and intimidated. I told him I watched until I got a handle on the games and I watched until I realised that the only way I was gonna learn how to do this, was to have a go, and that yes when I started I was shit and there were many shit moments even long after I had become more comfortable with it, and then I told him that on my first big night on stage in front of paying guests, I was the JUDGE, dispensing scores - not a far cry from marking school performances really. I got all dressed up for the occasion, in flash 80's style and I entered the space waving like a queen, and as soon as I sat down in my place, the fucking zipper on my blue taffeta, tight as a fishes arse hole dress, the fucking zipper burst open and the only thing keeping my dignity remotely intact was a tiny hook and eye at the top. Faaaaarrrrk.

I told him I didn't move at interval when there was typically loads of frivolity, and when the gig was done, I waited til the theatre was all but empty and then slunk off looking for my jeans. Oh Well.

But the point of my story was that even though I buggered up plenty of times after that, that's the time I remember and apart from my embarrassment, it wasn't all that bad, and I am very glad that I grew a pair and played on. And then his mum and I told him of lots of fun times playing the fool over the next few years.

He did his grading for Tae Kwondo a couple of weeks ago and to his consternation I admit to a couple of woops woops, so if he ever does decide to to something on a big stage he's just gonna have to suck it up and wave to Ma being a dick. No rehearsal needed for that.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Is Honesty the Best Policy?

Yeh this is our corner, last night. Looks like work to me.


Oh yeh we have all been guilty of those little adult white lies when asked 'Does my arse look big in this?' 'How does the dinner that I have taken 3 days to cook taste? Is it OK?' 'Who was that that just let one off?'

Yeh we all muddle the truth from time to time and at least with me if I do then it's to be a bit kind. 'Oh you haven't changed a bit.' 'This dinner is delightful, I would never have thought of making a dog turd and pebble pizza - very creative.'

But I am a bad liar. I have mentioned this before. I am mostly a bad liar cos I have no capacity to remember the lies and so apart from the fact the my face goes beetroot red, the next thing that falls out of my mouth nearly always makes a mockery of the lie, so I am always caught out and that shit feeling is something that I try very hard to avoid.

Perhaps because I am such a shit teller of porkies, I just do not EXPECT folk to lie, nah, I EXPECT people to tell the truth, and I expect truths especially if I am reading shit in a flier with a Government Logo - call me naive, call me stupid, but don't call me at night cos I can't hear the phone cos of the fucking noise going on outside.

Yesterday I got an email from the Department of Transport outlining this week's road work. It arrived at 12.07pm.

I was relieved that there were NO NIGHTWORKS planned for outside our place, Yippee. Yippee Yippee. Sure there was work planned for further up the road but selfishly I realised that that wasn't going to impact here.

In any case my relief was as short lived as a person doused in petrol waving a lighted candle.

At about 7pm, a police car parked up strobing its lights and an avalanche of hostile people and huge machines arrived to create a raucous.

I nearly cried.

It is just not possible that between noon and 7 there can have been such a radical change of plan, not least because, in theory, every time there is a road closure, permits need to be applied for and granted by the police. And planning and staffing and scheduling all those fucking machines and bitumen deliveries just don't happen at a moment's notice.

I went out and asked the police body guard fella, in the employ of Georgiou, if he could turn off the strobe. He said NO. Then he thought he'd give intimidating me a go. He crowded into my space and looked over my shoulder as I took photos, under different circumstances the hot breath down my neck could have been sexy. When I moved, he moved with me, like a fucking shadow. He didn't much like it when I referred to him as a body guard with a gun, and when he lied to me about his role being traffic control and I pointed out that that was not entirely accurate, he was less enamoured again. Yeh I might actually have used the term LIE. Ooops!

The merry-go-round is playing at full speed ahead and ear bleeding volume.

The lies are being rolled out by Georgiou and TMR, and I now just want to be relocated. There is provision for people adversely effected by the noise to be housed elsewhere but I've been told there is no money for that, only by the bottom of the totem pole gal cos that's as far as I've been permitted to climb today. I don't know what sort of footwear would be required to climb that greasy pole any further, but I know I haven't got anything even close to useful enough.

I have been told and my local MP has been told that the update notice is correct for tonight. But they lie more easily than I can shovel in sugar, so I very much expect to be out there again tonight. This is NOT a Ho Hum or an Oh Well. This is a FUUUUUUUCK.

What stops TMR telling the truth?
Why do TMR have to consistently lie and evade and avoid?
Why is it that dealing with TMR is like wading through a shit mire, when as a Public Body, their activities aught to be completely transparent?

This has been going on for 18 months. No wonder I am weeping.


Monday, 3 July 2017

Waiting



Are you a good waiter?

No I don't mean one of those clever clogs with a good memory so there's no need to write down orders and who is able to pour a glass of champers from a full bottle all the while holding the bottom of said bottle with your thumb up it's what-sit. Nope those are definitely clever clever clogs, and if I wore a hat I'd take it off to them.

Nope not for me all that precision. I am always in awe of folk who can so seamlessly line plates up their arms, and the idea that I would ever be able to master the double spoon delivery of slippery shit into the exact right spot on the plate, well that's just the stuff of calm pleasant dreams, cos the reality is, is that I am more the slop it onto the plate kinda gal.

And as for their ability to smile and accept all manner of bullshit from dickhead punters all in a bid to pull the minimum wage, well I honestly do not aspire to that. I fear my tips would be few and probably my longevity in the job, limited, because my temperament or more likely just my temper would  see a stream of blue language and quite possibly a dribble of spit into food.

Nah, I would not be a good waiter, but I am pretty good at waiting.

I can while away hours reading, or surfing the old internet, or day dreaming, or people watching, or playing with dog, or watching the tellie, or sleeping while pretending to watch the tellie.

Today I am waiting - waiting for Stevie to get back from his current junket to NZ to watch a game of rugby and drink with his mates.

He's due in at later this afternoon.

That's quite a long wait, especially since my day started with a flying visit from Dog while it was still dark... no sleep in here... bugger.

I am doling out my little jobs so the whole day is covered.

Pick up all remaining dog shit - done

Wash hair - done

Check departure for first leg of journey - done

Calculate the time difference - oh who the fuck am I kidding, tried and failed.

Plant up last pond plant - done

Clean away all the takeaway containers and hide 'em in the wheelie bin - done

Wash up - done

Make special homecoming dinner: slow cooked lamb and beetroot - next on the list.

And then I have to get dressed - not up you understand, just dressed fit for going out in public, and that means finding a bra and perhaps swiping on some makeup - last thing before getting in the car cos it just wouldn't do to be too early and then fall asleep in front of the tellie - the drool is a makeup killer.

It's a pleasant day waiting for him to get back.


Sunday, 2 July 2017

What's your Formula for Happiness




I just got back from doing battle at Bunnings and Woolies.

Sundays in the holidays, the weather's close enough to perfect so what's not to smile about huh?

Well there seemed to be something in those fucking snags today, cos there was not much smiling or joy de vivre going on there. Mums were yelling at kids who, armed with those kid sized trolleys were running a muck and ramming old people's shins - read MY SHINS - little fuckers!, and there was a fella loudly on the phone to some co-worker telling him how to up the anti on Sunday billing and feeling very proud of himself , and there was an overwhelming number of staff all mauling their way to get to ya to help out. If they were Zombies it could have been a terrifying Sci-Fi moment.

The Bunnings at Mermaid Waters must have been newly opened and everyone was trying make a good impression, except that the inescapable truth is that the store is small - well smallish, and they have still tried to shovel in all the usual shit, so the aisles are narrow and the crowded feel that sends me into panic attack mode is easily measurable. And they didn't have my solar lights and I forgot anything else I might have wanted and did a runner, rubbing my shins and hoping not to get way laid by anyone else with a double stroller or a trolley.

It is not my happy place.

So to some shopping for groceries, also not my idea of how to bring a smile to the dial, but needs must and all that. Ho Hum and outta there. Yippee.

Yep it seems today, that the warmth of my car heading home is definitely my happy place.

But I was given to thinking about what equals happiness?

It's easy to list out stuff that DOESN'T make you happy, but a negative list is not the same.

I would prefer to be moving towards a smile than avoiding a grimace.

Dog took a flying leap onto my bed this morning, she snuggled right in next to me and promptly went back to sleep. Yeh I know that it was because it was only 10 degrees and she wanted to share my body heat, but it was still smile making.

I am wearing jeans and sleeves and am not sweating up a storm - how lucky that something as simple as the weather can bring happiness?

There is food aplenty in the fridge and again tonight I do not need to actually COOK anything, even though with Stevie's return tomorrow the kitchen will need to be fired up again, I am gonna make hay while the sun shines and enjoy the empty kitchen syndrome for as long as I can. Ahhh Chicken enchiladas at nanna o'clock. Here's hoping that there's not too much onion....there's the rub with buying store made...you have no real idea what's in it, but what the hell, I'm living on the wild side and I read the small print and saw NO ONION listed, so finger's crossed.

I'm a pretty simple gal when it comes to happiness. A good long snuggle - even if it's from Dog and a chuck in the oven dinner after an early sunset, all the while wearing tracky dacks and slippers. Bloody smile making formula that!

So  what simple things make you smile?

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Perfectionist?



Don't look for the flaws, just enjoy the Cousin It plant.


I am a fussy fucker, yeh a fussy complaining, notice the flaws pain in the arse. There's not much I do not notice. Reckon I have always been the same. Too often pointing out oopsies happens without thoughts of offence or consequences, 'Oh did you know your jumper is inside out?' 'You've got spinach in your teeth.' 'Are you going bald?' 'What sort of a shit hole is that? -pointing out a smallish caravan to owner or said van. and the ever present 'You missed a spot!'

Luckily,  I taught myself a bit of selective deafness while I was teaching, and it was pretty useful while raising a teenager too. Sometimes it's kinder to your blood pressure to NOT hear,'Oh for fuck sake this is boring.' or 'Shit I wish she'd just shut the fuck up' or any of the countless other bits of teen angst nonsense I have managed to ignore over the last 30 plus years.

In my mind I am a perfectionist, but my nowadays reality is that if I was only gonna settle for for completely bloody perfect, I would never haul arse out of the chair. It wouldn't be worth the expenditure of calories, cos I reckon my days of chasing that Holy Grail are sadly long gone.

Now I am just happy with near enough.

I can sweep the floor in about 45 minutes and it takes Stevie a full day to push the broom, cos he shifts every bit of furniture and doesn't leave one strand of dog hair anywhere. But I reckon to have collected some of the dust and fur is better than none at all, so WINNER!

And I am sorry to say that it's the same in the garden. The Kids and I put in a couple of huge days and shovelled and planted and surveyed and stuff, well all right My Girl did all that while I pointed and washed shit, and the results are fab.

After the clearing and before the planting

After!


 But we didn't quite get finished, so I headed out again this morning to finish up.

I wonder if anyone ever thinks their garden is finished?

I dug up dead shit and planted new stuff and then had a bit of a prune deciding that the full bin was an indication of job done, and then pulled some weeds from the side garden. Sometimes distinguishing weeds from purposely planted grass stuff is not easy and in any case I just wanted it to be better than it was, not perfect. There is just not strength enough for all that palaver. The garden is now not weed free, but it's better now than before. Yippee!

Yep near enough is now good enough, ahhh Breathe.....ahhhh.

Maybe tomorrow I'll go to Bunnings for some solar lights so I can see the loveliness at night too, and I still need another big pot for one last plant for the pond....see the garden is never gonna be finished. Oh Well.

How about you - does your yearning for perfection hinder making a start?

Friday, 30 June 2017

Women's Literature - Marian Keyes



I do love getting my nose stuck in a book, and the Kindle has allowed me to be ridiculously lazy about it all. I can be lounging in the bath amid the coconut oil slick and oatmeal sludge and finish a book and go straight into shopping mode and before I can reach to top up the hot water, there's a lovely new book all ready to jump into.

Now I will admit that I sometimes miss that 'new book' smell, but I don't miss the weight of 'em or the pages falling out of 'em cos I've folded 'em in half too many times too roughly, and I really don't miss trying to find space on the crammed shelves to house 'em, or the extra packing boxes required to move 'em all from one places to another or just to lug 'em to the Op shops.

And I read all sorts of stuff - autobiographies, crime -who dunits, legal stuff, love stories, period dramas, political satires. Well anything really, and once I start a book I am loath to call it a day before I get to the end. If it starts out badly I just keep reading in the sometimes vain hope that it will improve. Sometimes the wait is LONG.

But the thing about the Kindle store is that it offers you titles it thinks you might like and if like me you have read a couple by the same author, then it's hard for the wee computer to let you forget about 'em, and so book lists grow like topsy.

I have read a good few  books by Marian Keyes, so when 'The Charming Man' was recommended by the little person in my machine, I stumped up the cash and am now mid way through it.

I like the diversity of Ms Keyes women, well, I think mostly they are white middle class Irish Lassies, but they have different personalities and their predicaments are relatable, to me at least, and the stories are wound around female relationships and their usual modern day urban dramas, sometimes involving men, and sometimes pondering where to go for a good hair cut.

Her books have been very easy reads, but this one I am struggling with for a couple of reasons.

The chapters roll along directed by different characters and I guess Ms Keyes was having a little experiment with using different writing styles, cos one of the character's ramblings appear in broken sentences, with so many words missing that I am spending a great deal of my time with my imaginary teacher's red pen, filling in all the blanks, and I don't enjoy this sort of reading. Yeh I left all that marking crap behind me some years ago. If I hadn't found that the next character spoke in full grammatically correct sentences I was gonna have to give the book a miss, but as luck would have it, only one of the women are driving me mad - I know - it's not a long road.

But the biggest problem for me is that the driving force behind the story is that these women have been flung together because of their shared misadventures with some bloke. Yep he is the driving force behind the whole damn thing. Is this Women's Literature?

Up until now I have enjoyed the female-centric nature of Ms Keyes' books. I have enjoyed the unravelling of their relationships and the knitting of new ones. Now I'd just like this fella to face smash a bus so the women can get on with other stuff, but as I am only a third of the way through it, I suppose he is gonna continue to lord it over 'em all for a good while yet. SHIT.

What are you reading at the moment?

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Cartoons

Strange piccie but it might make sense as you read along.


I am pretty sure that My Girl has quite the number of whinges about her teenage years and maybe even some from before that, and maybe the complaints about her baby years are the ones that even today she has not been able to reconcile. Yeh I was one of those mothers who rang the other parents to make sure arrangements were all above board and I was the mother who'd tear arse around and honk loudly on the horn and then storm in and drag her out of places she was not supposed to be, and I was the mother who unashamedly manipulated to ensure the tiniest bit of modesty in an era when less was definitely the preferred way to go, and I was the mother giving all the girls a lift to wherever and all the way there, there'd be a lyrical barking of the rules about drinks and drugs and watching out for each other.

I was quite the embarrassment. Oh Well.

But the home rules were not always rational and reasoned.

You see, lean in cos I have to whisper cos it seems that it is almost akin to child abuse, yeh that's right, I was THE royal pain in the arse mum, cos there was a NO CARTOONS rule in our place. The remote made very short work of even the briefest ad for some moving drawing shit. I was quite obsessed about NOT seeing any of it.  It is quite possible that she has never got over it. But I just fucking hated 'em so they were a no-no, not in the house and certainly not at the pictures.

However Grandma is more pliable - ok I admit it, she's just a bloody push over. Anything My Darling Boy wants he can have.

So the holidays movie selection was entirely in his hands, and we trotted off today to see 'Despicable Me 3'. This was his choice. I thought he might like sit next to a snoring old gal while she slept through 'Transformers' or 'Spiderman', but the cartoon was his call.

And it must be said that 2017 animation is a far cry from all that 60's crap which may well have not been as shit as I remember. In any case, we enjoyed the movie.

It didn't take long to work out what might have happened in the first 2 instalments,

And I will admit that I even enjoyed the art work and the story rocked along at a pace. Yep it was good, far better than I thought it was gonna be.

Of course there were kids talking and kicking the back of my chair and some dick woman who was so engrossed with the movie, or maybe she had earplugs in? but incredibly she failed to hear her Mob going nuts, the first time and the second time and it wasn't until I turned around and stared daggers at her that she cottoned on to it and reached into her bag to turn the damn thing off, on the third ring a ding.

It was a lovely date day and if I can now just forget that in the pocket of his coat he has a tooth wrapped in the cinema ticket, the tooth that fell out midway through the movie....oooh yuk! then I can sit back and smile.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Winter gardening





Whew!, Where did those 24 little hours go ?

Kids arrived early, yippee.

Coffees and then lunch and Dog play and then into the garden.

My wee Fit Bit has been counting steps since my birthday and no I have not managed the recommended 10000. Usually I wander about 4000 to 6000 on a very busy day, and sometimes if I am buggered I am lucky to stretch to 2000, but yesterday I clocked up 8400 steps - 25% more than my best days. Well good on me huh? Except that I was rooooooted, and truth be told I did very little in the garden cos my Green Fingered Girl, took charge and lugged shit and re-potted shit and lugged it all back and then tidied up. She worked like a dog, while Dog kept well clear cos she feared getting in the way of the master.

Today we are gonna go at it again. I hope I survive.



Then we all took 2 hours to make Chicken Parmigiana. What a marathon! Special cheesy potatoes just in case there wasn't enough grease and calories in the slabs of crumbed delight, and we even made the tomato sauce from scratch too, bloody delicious. I reckon we all learnt a thing or 2. Did you know that when you crumb something it's best to leave it rest before you cook it so the crumbs have time to stick together? I have not ever crumbed anything so that was quite the revelation. It was all delicious although if I am honest, I might save the Parmi joy for trips to the pub, cos it's a messy time consuming exercise and whilst what we made was very much tastier than any I have eaten out, I don't think it's worth the trouble or the anxiety.

And then to bed. Ahhh Blessed relief.

My Fit Bit if also monitoring my sleep patterns.

It's quite interesting.

Yes I already knew I dragged my tired arse up to pee during the night. And I am sometimes awake and restless even when not peeing, I mean there's all those woes of the world that need solving isn't there?

But last night the awake restless time hit an all time high. 9 times so says the Fitty Bitty. Fucking hell! How many woes can there possibly be? What can cause that sort of disruption and consequent eyes on stalks fatigue this morning? What could it possibly be?

Yep it was more fucking road works, all fucking night and I reckon the timing of my wakefulness would correspond neatly with the noisiest bits of the work.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Holidays are romping towards the Big House.


Here's some of the box of plants that My Girl is gonna transform ..... 

It's been a whalloper of a week! Not like in times past, with the speed and madness of single motherhood, teen rearing, school marm, householder, cos that was a kind of busy that I can now, barely even contemplate. Nah my NOW busy ain't like it used to be.

I remember limping across the end of term finishing line, where if I was lucky there'd be no marking and maybe a bit of money to shout My Girl and me a bit of a blow out at the beach or the shops or something else fun fun fun. The madness would grind to an instant halt and PJ days vegging on movies and pancakes, were not out of the question

But back to this week. I did battle with the all too often mongrel whalloper truck relays up and back to Brisvegas, twice, once on my usual Tuesday to see the kids and again on Thursday so I could be very proud Ma at my Darling Boy's Tae Kwondo Grading. Just as an aside, am I the only one to notice the increased aggression from the truckies now that there are signs going up about how, come August, they will need to stay left, so there will be no more boy racers on 32 wheels, in the fast lane, but in the mean time, they are all over the road? Really am I the only one to notice?

I filmed just about the whole Grading and he was bloody brilliant - I admit that a couple of times, even though it was against the rules, I lost control and let out a few woop woop woops, especially as he slammed those thick boards, firstly with his hand and then with his foot. Brilliant!and he was so chuffed with himself when he was finished, Ahhh,  but not so euphoric that he forgot to ask me not to post any photos of him here. Yeh he's become shy. So you'll have to take my word for it about just how damn fine he was.

And then in preparation for the Kids' arrival on Monday, cos my Girl has offered her expertise in the garden, Stevie and I wandered around the garden centre - not being even close to expert, we were just guessing what might be ok. We got a bunch of stuff and now I am hoping that my girl will be able to simply transform my fish pond and help me to fix up the rest of the garden.

But this doesn't excite my Darling Boy really. He's not all that keen on yard work. He's got a plan to do some cooking while he's here. And he's been charged with finding a recipe for his very favourite, Chicken Parmigana. I have never cooked it but I reckon I can have a good guess about the ingredient list, so this is also on my prep list.

So the tireds hit like a brick today and my feet have been up and the tellie is working overtime, in preparation for the fabulous onslaught.

The holidays are now a time of noise and activity, and a bit of chaos. Yippee!

I have said it before and I'll say it again, I am so very lucky that I get to be Ma for the hols. I know lots of grand parents sometimes feel that their babysitting duties become a bit of a chore, but I am not ever gonna whinge about it. He's now the tallest in the family and I am just pleased that he's still happy to pay his old Ma a visit.

Bring on Monday.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Winter Solstice



I am sure it has not escaped readers' notice, but I am not a scientist. I hated everything about science at school - Needed to be in your class Ms Jess, and even though there was a strong sciencey bent in university geography studies, I can honestly say that if you want some science info, you'd better ask Google cos mostly I am clueless.

But I knew it was the winter solstice today and that always makes me a little sad, cos it heralds the lengthening of days and so the end of winter. Bugger! and I had only just started to get snuggly under a bit of a cover and even though I have found my woolie slippers I am not ready to file them away for another year just yet.

I know my mates in the UK are sweating up a storm in 30 degree heat and why not, it's summer huh? Except that the fridges there don't like the heat much and pubs have a little trouble keeping the bottles cold, and so even though they will be busy shedding clothes in public parks, they might also be having a little look heavenwards, thankful for the now shortening of their days.

The grass is always greener huh?

But I do love our winter. Nah it's not a Toronto winter, where your nose might fall off if you dare walk out to catch a bus or a streetcar and have to stand for more than a few seconds, and there is no snow to cause havoc on the roads - how I managed to slip slide in my car, through the back streets of London during the rare but wonderful snow storms, without slamming into any other cars is still a mystery to me.

But it's our winter.

It's just lovely, comfortable short days, and if I was given to walking out for exercise, I would be able to work quite a bit harder before sweating happened. There's the wonder about the need for a little coverlette on the bed, instead of searching for an extension lead for the pedestal fan and tossing water spray all over the sheets.

And it's school holidays and so we are getting sorted for a Grandie visit. Yippee! I rather doubt even he will be in the pool so movies and Dog and silly games will be the order of the day.

And then there is the State of Origin,  and that'll be exciting if the Queenslanders get their shit together tonight. Fingers crossed.

So even though the days are now getting longer there is still some winter to be enjoyed.

Pass me the blanket please.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Dreaming



Stevie, at my request, cos you know it would take a ridiculously brave individual to suggest loudly that I am lazy arse and that I should move it or lose it, got me a fit bit for my birthday, So I am keeping a bit of a look at just how little or much I walk every day. And here's where the Big House comes into it's own cos even on the most sedentary of days I manage to walk a kilometre or 2 just popping to the loo or the fridge.

Now you're supposed to aim for 10000 steps a day and so I put my target in at 2000. After all I didn't want to be kicking myself everyday for being a slacker, and bugger me most days the wee thing on my wrist goes off to tell me I have made the target. I mean good on me right?

The other thing it does, well I am sure there are lots of things but I just don't know what they are, cos counting steps and looking pink and cute is mostly what I care about, is it tracks sleep patterns.

Now I know I am easily awoken. This explains why Stevie's snoring sends me a mile away and why the night works so readily disturb me, but it's interesting to look at just how many times a night the THING reckons I am RESTLESS. Last night I was awake 2 times - yeh night time peeing is a bitch! and restless 10 times and then there is some sort of calculation about how much sleep I missed cos of all this activity. A lot as it happens. Oh well! I just don't know how the thing decides that I am restless, cos honestly if I had a bed as big as Straddie Island, I would roll around every square inch of in a usual night's slumber so if movement is the restless, well I am surprised it's only 10 times.

But last night was a dreamer's paradise.

The best one was all about a very large group of kids all of whom were prepped by my teaching partner and me for performance in a huge eisteddfod - is that really how you spell it? I could have sworn it had an R in there somewhere, I am trusting Google. It was all pretty frantic and kids came and went and we were trying to corral kids and teachers cos there seemed to be some big finale event where the whole school was to perform some bit of craziness. I reckon my arms and legs and probably my mouth were all going mad, cos I am a demonstrative sleeper - Yeh don't get too close in case I smack you one in the head as I fly about or swim the Channel or applaud like a crazy thing cos my lovely girl was a winner.

Yep towards the end of the dream, she rolled up all red faced and squealing with delight cos her group had won their section and she was  just so bloody excited. And here's the piece de resistence, her grand prize, in fact the prize for all the winners was a crocheted poncho! Yep they were all wearing 'em, bright yellow and cream ponchos! The colours left a great deal to be admired, but they were PONCHOS!

And so now apart from feeling a bit like shit cos of an energetic night's sleep of too few hours, I am left wondering if I should be transforming my long THING into a poncho cos after all the dream might have been giving me a big clue.

Do you remember your dreams?
Would you now be making a Poncho?

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Bruising

This is the culprit, the cause of the ache in my everywhere.


About a month ago I thought I'd have a little go at some crochet, I think I have mentioned this already. In any case, I bought up some wool and started and the thing is that as too often happens, the wee project has grown like topsy and now after many hours of stock still except for finger action I have a long long shawl thing that I am still managing to control and design and the most appalling pain across my back and shoulders and neck and into my head.

This all started out slowly enough and in my usual casual, blame it all on the meds manner, I just hoped it would go away, like the occasional skin flare ups or the belly aching or the bone pain or the other shit that goes along with the meds.

But this little unpleasant addition to the usual, well it just didn't go away. And it soo didn't go away, in fact it just got worse and worse, and so finally I figured that a little visit to Dr Jane was in order, but as luck would have it she was away on a holiday and I took that as a sign that the pain would just go away.

But it bloody wouldn't budge. Bloody stubborn shitful thing! Seriously if the mould in the bathroom was this bloody minded you'd have to sell up and move on.

So I popped off to see Sylvia the Therapeutic Massage woman at the physio place I go to.

I have seen her before. I like her cos she doesn't think it's odd that I bring my own coconut oil and just enjoy a lie still and a if I am honest, a little ZZZZZ off while she goes gently about her business. If I spill a little pile of spit onto the floor through the head hole, well she doesn't seem to mind that either.

But on Friday I went there and told her I was in a bit of pain and she had the usual furtile looking at movement restrictions and such like and then she got down to business.

She still used my coconut oil but that's where the similarity of the relaxing visits of yore ended.

She thumbed and elbowed and poked and prodded. I grunted and breathed and panted like I was having a baby, and not wanting to appear too whimpish, I only occasionally let her know that I was in serious pain. She giggled and regaled me with the noises other folk make when they are in pain.

I admit now that I don't give a shit what other noises fill the room from people who are hurting.

Because I was having a little bit of a cry my nose got all blocked up and so my breathing was all in and out of the mouth which was just as well cos otherwise there could have been a very big wet patch indeed on the carpet under the head hole, as it was there might have been just the teeniest little drip of snot involved.

When my hour was up, I was grateful.

I was disorientated and when I got home Stevie reckoned I looked like I had been 10 rounds with Tyson, except that my ears were intact.

We grabbed a burger for dinner and part way through I had to trundle off to find a planter stand cos a wave of nausea hit me like a brick.

And now, after a couple of days, when I thought perhaps all the pain from the massage might have done the trick, I am still just one big ache, and even with Stevie's colour blindness he can see bruising points all over my shoulders and up my neck.

So I am aching on the inside and on the outside. BONUS!


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

'Churchill'



I do love the way the Poms put movies together. They are mostly well written and well acted and beautifully shot. Yep they sure are well put together. And I am certain that it helps that I find the landscapes romantic and gentle and inviting and in such stark contrast to Oz, so it's all foreign and familiar at the same time.

Yep, I am always happy to pop off to the pictures to see a Pommie production.

So there I was today watching 'Churchill'.

Now maybe cos I am just an Aussie gal, my knowledge of British history is sadly lacking, but as luck would have there is another movie, 'Dunkirk' which featured as a trailer so I got a bit of info from that and then I just sat back and watched.

In typical Pom fashion, the cinematography is beautiful and I reckon Poms would be able to play 'I have been to that place', but not me, I could only sit back and think how lovely all the locations are.

But if I am honest I did become a little bored with it all. I just wanted the story to move along a bit faster, after all I wasn't there to see a travel doco, I wanted to hear the story.  If I was reading this I would have got to the point where I'd skip paragraphs and possibly whole pages cos I am impatient.

Anyway the movie covers the 4 days prior to D Day and even historical fools like me know something about that, so tension development was a bit of a stretch and I guess making 4 days into 2 hours is not all that easy either.

It is an intimate peek into Churchill's life and I was surprised to feel myself not liking him all that much. There are moments when he is positively yukky. And what I wondered is how was all this information gathered.

I was unaware that he gave the scotch more than a bit of a nudge. It seems he thought it was an entire food group, and I didn't know that he suffered from depression, and maybe he didn't cos his sort of depression was remarkably easy to cure in the movie, with a bit of a face slap from the Missus and some crying doe eyes of an office worker. But Churchill, the boozer,  battling the black dog, seems to be well documented.

It's possible that Mrs Churchill wrote a whole lot of journals but I rather doubt it, and I am pretty sure that Mr Churchill did not write about himself being a bit of a dick.

So where do all these personal details come from?

Alex von Tunzlemann, the author, dived into the private moments and of course poetic licence is allowed.

And then I wondered  whether other people watching the movie would be wondering the  same stuff, and I wondered if things had moved along a bit faster then I would not have had the time to wonder at all.

So now for a recommendation, or not..... I reckon I would be happy to watch it again on the tellie if I could skip through the ads or grab it on DVD, cos let's face it, a delay of a few more months is not gonna change the well documented outcome. I am not sure it's worth the ticket price at the pictures.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

A Story in 2 Halves.



Once upon a time a certain someone moved out of their house into a brand new - to them at least - flat. They had sourced a mortgage and furniture and all the usual shit that one has in their house, as well as stuff that is not necessary and perhaps some stuff that had been collected over a life time, both theirs and other people's, stuff that perhaps was gathered by mistake or by design or just by stealth. In any case there was much excitement cos they had their own flat and their own stuff and other people's stuff and a new sex partner and a job and plenty of cash for holidays and socialising. Yep all was good in their world.

And once upon another time, a different someone was forced out of their home, the one they had decorated and furnished and loved and paid for, and they were living day at a time on other people's couches.

Yeh this is not even a thinly veiled look at divorce.

And there are absolutely NO prizes for guessing which of these scenarios would best describe the outcome for most women.

Oh sure there are on occasions, splits which are reasonably amicable where assets are divided equally and splits which are not the result of the man sticking his revolting little cock into anything that'll have it. But I don't think that amicable is a common description for most divorces.

Yeh all too often it is the SHE, who is the person couch surfing after a dozen years of propping him up and supporting him and more than paying her way. Through the blindness of LOVE, she might have adopted his appalling debts as her own and now it is SHE who is left without the energy to go 10 rounds over a coffee cup, let alone trying to get what is reasonably owed to her.

She might have supported him for all the time he was unemployed after he was sacked in less than clear circumstances, all the while stoking the fires of his poor dented male ego

She might have supported him while he gained new qualifications and started up a new business, helping him celebrate every little win along the way.

She might have maintained the mortgage and all the household expenses and had no respite until finally, after a long long time, he found another job.

She might have paid and worried, and paid and worried.

She might have become tired cos of work and the propping and the ego stroking and finally cos of the wondering where he was and what he was doing or who he was doing.

He could have squirreled away cash in hidden accounts held by people he could trust not to spend it, while he courted and bedded who the fuck knows, all the while making sure that his wife became a miserable soul. Yeh not much love left there huh?

He might have played hide the sausage with a work colleague while the wife cooked his dinner and kept house.

And given all this, He might have been fair and equitable when he desired divorce.

But this is not a fairy tale.

This is playing out right now, probably far more often than we think, and all too often it is the women who end up in dire economic situations when relationships die, even if they were not the ones wielding the murder weapon. How is this reasonable or fair or just?

If I had been caught out with my knicky noos all a kimbo and the smell of some other bloke wafting about me, then my conscience would kick in and I'd walk away with fuck all cos of the guilt. But too often it seems the one 'playing away' comes out on top - excuse the pun, and perhaps that's just cos they have had ample time to plan and scheme and the other poor soul is hit with a sucker punch and is an emotional basket case while things disintegrate around them and so they are just not up to the fight over the 'good towels' or the coffee machine. They haven't got a solicitor on speed dial and are not familiar with the ins and outs of the law. They are starting so far behind the cheater, that they are never gonna catch up.

Let's shine a spotlight on these turds who think they above reproach, above reasonable expectations, above treating others with dignity and fairness and let's NOT allow them to slide by thinking no-one has noticed, or that because no-one has said anything that it means their appalling behaviour is acceptable.

Let's shine a very bright light on 'em, and then walk away, leaving 'em to stand there alone, with only their sad little cocks to keep 'em company.

I hope yours falls off G!



Thursday, 8 June 2017

What is your favourite cake?


It was my birthday last weekend and my lovely girl made the drive down and arrived with a bloody marvelous cake. Her birthday cakes are legendary. She makes 'em from scratch and they are a diabetic's worst nightmare, because she decorates 'em with the birthday person's favourite sweeties. SO even though the cake was light as a feather, well actually light as any mud cake ever is, it was well and truly ladden with all things lovely. I licked the plate when I was finished. YUMMO!

But sadly I took a photo with my new phone that Stevie got me for said birthday and I have been waiting for it to sync up with my computer by magic ever since and so this is the excuse for no stories. But it seems there is more than one way to skin a cat - what a fucking terrible expression huh? who wants to skin a cat? and how many ways can there be? and who did the research anyway? So the photo is me holding my new phone with a photo of the cake, bloody hell. And if anyone has a simple solution for idiots to sync things up I'd be pleased to hear it.

Anyway I reckon my favourite cake is one made in my girl's kitchen, cos they are made with such love. She agonises over every detail and she starts with a picture in her mind of what she wants to create and is always critical of her efforts but she is the only one. She's been making people cakes for their birthdays for a long time. It's her present to 'em cos cash is light on. She always apologies for the that, and I just want to give her a bit of a tap when she does this cos I reckon the home made cake is the best pressie ever.  

Apart from a delicious cake, my birthday nearly always brings a few days of cooler weather which is bloody wonderful. I found my fake uggs and pulled a little blanket over my knees, just like an old person and am as happy as a pig in shit, and now when I have to shrug off my wee cocoon to pee or get a drink or whatever, I do so in the knowledge that at least I am getting some 'steps in'.

Cos my arse has become square and I asked Stevie for a 'Fitbit' for my birthday so I could appall myself about my abject slothfulness and maybe move about a bit more.

Yeh so things went like this. Lazy - Fitbit - new phone cos old one wouldn't work the Fitbit - no sync on computer - further slothful ways cos where's the point in moving?

But not really cos I have discovered that even on a lazy day here in the Big House, I walk about 4 km. How about that? I know it's not much cos 'they' reckon we should do about 10000 steps a day and I am only doing about 6000, but it's more than I thought - clearly not enough to walk off a big chunk of my lovely's cake but not too bad. And as I am competitive old thing, I can keep an eye on it and if I see me getting even more lazy, then I can think about stepping thing up - shitful pun I know.

I very much doubt that the idea of the things is to allow complacency, but it works for me.

6000 anythings in a day is a good day I reckon.


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Birthdays YUK




Years ago when it was my birthday a gaggle of us women would head out - near enough was close enough given the need to shuffle childless weekends and stuff, and we'd drink too much and flirt a little, OK maybe more than a little and did I mention drink too much? There was dancing and dare I say more drinking.

But in my 50s since my body has well and truly failed me, think rotting from the inside, now for my birthday I do something daring and OK more than a little strange, yeh I spend the day dying my hair an unlikely colour - Not permanently a strange colour just painted for a few washes, and then it will be it's old blonde, grey brown self again.

So tonight Stevie and I are gonna walk around to the local Thai place for dinner where I hope he's gonna show off all he learned while in that mother country and I'll have a glass or 2 of white wine and then we will toddle home where Dog will no doubt be pleased to see us, and tomorrow my lovely girl is coming for breakfast, and I am gonna feed her some pancakes cos recently they have become her favourite.

Except that this time I am not gonna use the recalled frozen fruit to make the compote. Last time the kids were here, while Stevie was away, I used this diseased stuff which was recalled just a couple of days ago, and then afterwards I was extremely unwell. I just put it down to the meds and when it all went away a few days later, I was pleased.

But yesterday I saw this recall and then I checked the batch number on the stuff I had left over in the freezer, and bugger me it was the self same stuff. Well I'll be fucked. 

I reckon I have got to my current decaying age without ever having something that needed to be recalled.

Stevie's car was recalled for something, I can't remember what, but it can't have been life threatening, but that's as close as it has come.

The warning is that the fruit which was processed in China, was filthy with shit - human, doesn't that just make you feel good? and so there is a threat that folk who have eaten it - that's MY FAMILY! - could have contracted Hepatitis A.

And so maybe for my birthday I could have given myself and the kids Hepatitis A. And so maybe I should google that and see if it is as bad as I think it is. And maybe I should mention it to the Doctors and get an extra test done just to be on the safe side.

Or maybe I can just ignore it, apart from buying real fruit again for the compote and making sure that in the future, I check out all the ingredient details in the small print, and only choose glass and kitchen flat packs made in China and leave the food well enough alone.

There you see there's the silver lining in the aging process, wisdom. Bloody marvelous huh?

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ban the ...What the fuck are we Banning NOW?

This bag has been used twice, how often was that disposable nappy used?



'The Project', a sort of news come variety show on the tellie here every weeknight, has taken up arms against the sad old plastic bag. You know the ones I am talking about, the ones which hold your 300 bucks worth of groceries, yeh the ones into which the checkout person shovels your eggs along with the bottles of stuff, and they're the ones that catch all the spilled milk and scrambled shit so it doesn't all slop about in the back of your car, on your way home.

Yep 'The Project' folk have decided that it's time the government BANS something else.

I am so far fucking over BANNING shit.

I reckon people should get to choose.

You remember CHOOSING, for yourself?

These sanctimonious folk who find the humble plastic bag so offensive, well let them carry around a big old satchel just in case they fancy buying something and they don't want to have to juggle it and possibly drop it into the gutter where quite possibly a filled disposable nappy has floated.

Surely people can choose?

And perhaps we could all be encouraged to consider our 'footprint' when choosing, and you know what? I'd still choose the damn bag.

Unlike 'The Project' people, who (I don't know this for an absolute fact cos I haven't spent time drifting through their rubbish bins,) more than likely have used disposable nappies to collect their offsprings' shit and piss, I used 'wash 'em every fucking day after scraping off the shit nappies.' SO for every nappy I didn't use, surely I am entitled to a bag or 2? My 'Footprint' should allow that.

A disposable nappy takes somewhere between 250 and 500 years to break down - same time as it happens for a grocery plastic bag. So I want to be able to choose the bag, cos unlike the nappy, which unless you are a very strange soul indeed, is definitely single use, I use the bags for all sorts of stuff. They are definitely not SINGLE USE here.

Our inside rubbish bin is designed to use these bags. Sure I could waddle out to the wheelie bin and toss every little bit of rubbish in there, unwrapped and festering and if everybody did this then maybe I could take up a job as the Pied Piper to rid the world of vermin.

I use these bags to wrap my smelly sneakers when packing a bag for holidays cos I don't want all of my clothes to smell of feet, and I am pretty sure that people I meet on my travels thank me for my kindness.

We collect up our lovely dog's shit in em but I guess instead we could just get a shovel and launch big old piles of the stuff straight over the fence onto the footpath, and if I was feeling kindly, perhaps I could make some sort of warning alarm to enable passersby to either run or put up an umbrella.

I even remember a woman making bread wrapper hats when I was a girl. She'd cut up the plastic bag wrappers into long strips and crochet it all into hats. Perhaps that's taking the reusing just a little far. I was pleased that she was not my mother.

But the point is that most of us are aware of the environment and do our bit. So what if I want to use plastic bags for my groceries. I wash in cold water, and have no heating in the house and only turn on the air con maybe twice a year, my dog eats just about every scrap of leftovers, I have even been known to grow my own tomatoes and my car is regularly serviced so it doesn't spew out fumes, and of course I washed all those fucking nappies. It's just a balancing act.

My 'Footprint' like most people my age, I reckon is far smaller than the clodhoppers of today. People calling for BANS should just BAN themselves.

In the UK, a number of stores have decided for themselves to not have bags, except that well of course they have bags, cos how else can their customers part with large lumps of wonga for their groceries if they then haven't got any way of getting the stuff home? Yeh they have bags, but instead of supplying them as a courtesy or a necessity, they are now charging for them. Sounds like Aldi huh? Go there, don't go there, it's your choice. Remember choosing?

I reckon that stores can please 'em selves, but calling for a universal BAN just gives me the shits.

I remember choosing fondly.






Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Social Media and Politicians



Nah this is NOT gonna be about that Twitter account of the small handed orange man, but please, someone stop him! For fuck sake!

I have been on the arse end of some very unpleasant social media comments because if you put your face out into the public arena and you make a statement, then people are bound to leap at ya and say mean shit from the safety of their study or lounge room or toilet - from where ever it is they spew bile. So I am getting better at firstly NOT reading the shit, and secondly, perhaps more wisely still, not replying to the shit.

I am all very keen to continue with discussions, even feisty heated ones so long as there is no name calling and personal meanness. I think that social media is an excellent tool for sharing opinions and information.

I follow a number of CML forums on Facebook and sometimes the posts are funny or informative or sad and sometimes they are entertaining and sometimes boring, and sometimes they ask for very specific advice and as there are not many of us with this fucking disease, we are mostly happy to share even disgusting details, if it might help alleviate another's concern and we share tips about timing and topical shit for rubbish skin and how to deal with the tireds and disappointing people cos we can't go somewhere or do something. In any case, this part of social media I find helpful.

And I follow an number of other groups and individuals on social media. Some are a bit famous, and some are funny and some I know very well and some I am yet to meet.

I enjoy my local MP John Paul Langbroek's posts and sometimes make a comment. He nearly always replies. I have met him, but we are not FRIENDS. I don't reckon he replies for any reason other than he's interested in the conversation, cos he's my MP and he feels he has an obligation to his constituents  and to fulfill that obligation, he needs to listen to 'em and understand their situation.

Out of utter frustration last week I found MARK BAILEY Minister for Main Roads on Facebook. I have been waiting for a response from him about the appalling secrecy involved in the government contracts with the local contractors, since FEBRUARY.

I 'liked' him on Facebook, even though I had never met him, mostly cos his office refuses to make an appointment for me to see him, and in truth, I very much doubt I would 'like' him, if we did meet up.

And because of that 'like' and the way Facebook works and because his press people pop shit up online presumably to make him seem cool and hip and groovy, I get updates about his gallivanting, and pictures of him with smiling youngsters wearing political slogans all over their chests. When I saw such a photo with a caption about how he loved being out and about listening to the concerns of his people, well my fingers went all a quiver, and not in that lazy morning before the sun comes up, good way.

I wondered about what to say, cos I certainly don't feel like he's given any consideration to my concerns. But you catch more flies with honey than vinegar so I was polite, not pleasant, but not down right rude either, and that's what I wanted to be.

I figured that his handlers would immediately remove my comment. But NO bugger me, I get a reply pretending to be from the man himself saying he'd look into it. So my itchy fingers went at it again.

And I don't suppose anyone will be surprised to hear that I am still waiting.

It will not surprise me if they/he unfriend me, and I will not be upset or wonder about it, cos as I said we were not and are not and will not be friends.

But it makes me wonder. Just like the Orange dick let loose on Twitter, how does anyone in politics make good mileage from social media? JPL seems to manage pretty well, but maybe that's cos his handlers jump onto any meanness with their delete finger at the ready.

But a reasonable rule for 'em might be just to NOT REPLY. Cos once there is something out there in the public domain it's impossible to get it back. Sure the servants of the public, and you know how loosely I use that term, sure they can deny receiving phone calls or emails or letters and pretend they responded but emails and letters have gone missing, they can put the phone down at anytime siting bad language or shouting as their excuse, they can speak in government bullshit speak and take a very long time saying less than nothing at all, cos even though they warn you that calls are recorded( wouldn't that be useful sometimes?) and you get automatic email responses, they just deny deny deny.

But with social media, well there's just no 'take backs'.

There is now a public record of Mark Bailey saying he would get back to me, that he'd look into the delay and there was an apology too. Of course this could be me overstepping what was actually said, cos he did not say he'd look into  the whole sorry mess - just the delay in responding, he didn't say he would ever answer my direct questions, he didn't say that he'd put a stop to the secret silent agreements that give governmental permission for appalling noise and outrageous behaviour, nah he didn't say much of anything at all.

So perhaps his minders are better at all this social media malarkey  than I gave 'em credit for.

FUCK!

Monday, 29 May 2017

Me Fella's home

Here's my souvenir - a smiling Buddha, equipped with sharpened teeth and he's wearing a dress. 


Travelling through time zones is such a difficult concept to me. I just find the idea that somewhere else it's a different time, difficult, well very difficult, virtually fucking impossible. Not because I think the world is flat, or because I think I am the centre of the universe, well mostly I don't, it's just because I find it tricky to imagine.

So this little Stevie sojourn was to Thailand to visit with a mate of his and to go on a little tour around parts unexplored. Thailand is 3 hours behind the Big House, and for those who are similarly handicapped, that means that when it is my 9 o'clock in the morning, it is only 6am in Thailand, and that is much easier to work out than when Stevie is off in his homeland where the difference is 10 or 9 hours and when I have to take off 2 or 3 hours, or maybe I add them on, and then go to the other side of the day. It doesn't matter how often he heads away, I need to work out the formula again cos it doesn't stay in my head. And when I am in London and I am trying to Skype the kids, working in reverse does not come easily to me either.

I am a world time zone fucking idiot.

Anyway, even though he was at the blunt end of the plane and has had a ridiculously interrupted sleep as he ran like a maniac through Singapore's airports to find 2 trains to catch his connection to Brisvegas and then had dinner and avoided breakfast before getting on the train to the Goldie after hare-arsing through customs and immigration, he seems remarkably fresh. (It took him longer to get home by train, on the last leg of the journey than it did to get from Phuket to Singapore, but that's just an aside.)

Me, on the other hand, well I feel less than spritely. You see I waited up to hear if he made the Singapore connection which he obviously did, and then had trouble going to sleep, cos I wanted to be awake in time to send him a welcome home text at silly o'clock this morning, which I did.

And I sort of had a little schedule planned in my head that after I had sent that 'hello', I might snooze for a while and then get on with things, but bugger me if his plane wasn't Elliott Early and he had somehow vapourised himself through all the usual shit and was happily sitting on the train! Fucking hell! My 3 hours had become an hour and half so that meant screaming into action. Cos you know, I had to get sorted for my fella, and that meant I had to wash my hair and draw on some eyebrows, and find something half way decent to wear and down a cup of tea and tell Dog her Dad was coming home and make my way through school hour traffic without getting nicked for another speeding fine.

It was all pretty frantic.

He seems happy to be home, although there is a certain lean to his walk that tells me he needs some sleep, and I rather expect that he will slump in his chair tonight after his welcome home dinner, which unlike anything he's downed in the last 2 weeks, contains no chilli at all. He might be awoken by swearing at the tellie as I watch House Rules, because this was my dirty little secret, but whilst he was away it has been promoted to my dirty little obsession - watching it tomorrow or the next day just won't do.

Scents of slow cooked lamb in red wine and lashings of garlic are filling the house and Dog is a waggy tailed crazy girl cos her Dad is home.

All's good at the Big House.