Mystery Spending

Just read a newspaper article:

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26582157-953,00.html

Apparently,  Australians are the sloppiest cash managers in the world, losing track of an average of $60/week.

ONLY $60? Maybe it’s just me. I’m  convinced that those ‘anti-theft’ scanners in the supermarket are  money evaporators. Here’s how it works. Your income, initially in a solid state in your purse, wallet or back pocket is vaporised into a volatile gas. Then (insert name of hypermegaglobal shop here) reclaim the dosh from the filters in their air-conditioning  ducts. It’s the only way I can explain the amount of money that disappears  every time I go grocery shopping.

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39 Responses

  1. The theory I prefer is the faerie one. No, not the pretty Disney Tinkerbell types, I’m talking the evil, vicious little sprites that Greeks scare their children with. And the Irish. And the Welsh. And just about everyone else a hundred years ago.

    Faeries have no morals, no conscience, no empathy. They are nasty and vindictive. They enjoy watching suffering. They have invaded my home. Little bastards!

    First is the dust faerie. She looks for surfaces that have been cleaned, and deposits more dust on them in one week than can gather under a teenagers bed in a whole year.

    Then there’s the sock faerie. He steals just one sock out of each pair. In summer, he gets bored with the lack of socks and instead steals any biro left near notepads or phones, or anywhere else you might need one in a hurry.

    Followed by the closet faerie. This little twerp inhabits my kids’ wardrobes. She delights in shortening sleeves, cutting holes in the toes of all the odd socks left behind by the sock faerie, peeing on everything – leaving insidious brown stains on carefully laundered clothing, and sprinkling shrink-dust on everything else. I hate this faerie most of all.

    There’s a faerie that opens every box of cereal in the pantry, so you have 6 stale boxes that nobody will touch. There’s a faerie that hides the new packet of bog rolls and makes sure the old roll runs out when all the shops are shut. On curry night. There’s a mailbox faerie, who deposits snails in the mailbox so that every bill/letter/Chrissie card you ever receive has holes chewed in them.

    And there’s the dollar faerie. She’s the bitch who makes sure your bank fees bring your balance to just under $20 so you can’t use the ATM. She’s the bitch who steals the silver from your purse so you are always $0.05 short when trying to pay in cash. She hides receipts so you can’t return stuff. She makes sure the bills arrive within hours of your impulse luxury purchase. She causes the price increases that are imposed immediately after you finally manage to work out your budget. And she sits in the bottom of your purse, eating any change handed to you at the shopping centre. This explains why you can buy a packet of life savers with a $50, but have nothing left when you get home.

    My theory is supported by the fact that politicians and CEO’s never seem to be short of a quid – AND are mysogenistic, egotistic, ruthlessly self serving arseholes with total disregard for anyone else. Faeries respect this, and leave them alone. Professional courtesy, if you will.

    Or it could be that your vapourised cash theory is correct, Madam. But I’m not convinced. The bastards don’t bother to hide their money grabbing profiteering, if their prices are anything to go by, so why would they go to so much bother?

  2. I am fascinated and disturbed by your faerie theory, Catty… but I may have a lead for you. Last time I cleaned out the car, I found 37 odd socks and more than a dozen biros. Some of the socks were pink and patterned with butterflies, etc.

    I can assure you that I, the only female in the house, wouldn’t be seen dead in them. Fishnets, yes, Explorers to go in my riding boots, yes, berry coloured butterfly socks – NO!

    I reckon your sock faery might live – or at least cache the loot – in the footwells of my car.

    You forgot the petrol drinking faerie. No matter if you just put $83.67 in the tank yesterday, if you go to drive somewhere… particularly in the middle of the night, with an injured child, in a rain depression… you’ll be on or close to empty.

    How do we stop the little bastards?

  3. You wouldn’t happen to have a black and red Spider Man sock there, would you? Or a purple glomesh anklet? How about a pale pink Tinkerbell one? A pale blue sports sock? If you find any of these in your car, they’re probably mine. I’ll happily pay postage.

    But before you send them back, you need to do two things. First, hold them over your petrol tank opening, and squeeze. I suspect the faeries use the socks as wicks to slowly drain our tanks. Second, place a Ferrero Rocher on top of them and (here’s the important bit) a freaking big rat trap underneath. I know they like Ferrero Rochers, because I got a box of 16 for Christmas, have eaten two, but there are only three left. Everyone denies touching my chocolate (under pain of, well, pain) so it has to have been the faeries.

    If the rat trap ruse doesn’t work, we could give them the phone number of the HR unit at NT deathstar. Hopefully getting them jobs as NT spam faeries will keep them out of our hair for a while.

    And if THAT doesn’t work, I’m buying a damned roach bomb.

  4. I’ll keep an eye out, but so far no dice. Perhaps the socks morph when the faeries shoot them through the theft vortex?

    Lol to the spam faeries, but I suspect they’re cunning enough to evade insecticides and rat traps. What we need is something as far removed from little folk as possible, the antithesis of faerie… a sort of antimatter. Maybe – AFL memorabilia?

  5. Nah, that won’t work. My kids have a vast collection of supporter beanies, scarves, socks, t-shirts, trading cards and posters. Not to mention the plethora of those stupid plastic team colour fridge magnets that Hungry Jacks insists on cramming into happy meals during AFL season. Well, maybe not a VAST collection. It just seems that way because the kids seem to think these items should rightly be stored in the middle of their bedroom floors. With their cardboard tube/pipe cleaner artworks. And their homework. And yesterday’s undies. And every piece of lego they can lay hands on. And pretty much everything else they own.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. If this stuff isn’t in the cupboards, the wardrobe faerie doesn’t touch it. This is my excuse for leaving all this stuff on the floor, and I have no intention of changing my story now – that would mean picking up all their crap. Yeah, like that’s going to happen!

    But you might be onto something with the antimatter idea. Maybe a Celine Dion album on continuous loop? Not even a faerie could stand that. Of course, I’d have to move out too, but it would be a small price to pay.

    Whatever I do, I have to do it soon. The rotten little sods have invited their manic little cousins, the gremlins, to move in too. Over the last few weeks, gremlins have attacked the fridge, the microwave, my electric shaver, the remote control, the cordless phone, my daughter’s phone charger, the dryer and our home computer. Most of these items had to be replaced – the rest had to be repaired. At a cost. Except the shaver. I’ve run out of money to replace that, and am making do with the Boss’s razors. (shhhh! What he doesn’t know won’t piss him off!)

    I’m thinking laxatives might work. All I have to do is find out what gives faeries the shits.

  6. I could write you a list of what gives ME the shits, but then I’d run out of bandwidth. And I’m not a faerie. A witch, many have opined, but not a fairy.

    If you loop Celine I think the UN or the RSPCA or some human rights mob will take you down – surely worse than waterboarding, ?

    Human fairys like candyfloss pop (Kylie, Lady Gaga et. al.) So the opposite of that would be… death metal? Pantomime fairies thrive on belief, so maybe you could stomp around denying their existence, too. We have to rid our house of this scourge.

    The appliances may not be gremlins. A friend of mine has a theory that failing appliances emit distress pheromones, causing other appliances in the vicinity to falter and fail in sympathy. Although his theory has them going down in threes, and by my count you’ve had eight.

  7. Nine. The replacement kettle just gave up. Of course, the stinking money faerie has eaten the freaking receipt, hasn’t she? Now I can’t exchange OR refund! Nor can I afford a new one until payday – she arranged for the Boss’s eBay fees to come out of my account. Rotten little bitch is probably hiding in my handbag, muffling her giggles with my granny’s lace edge hanky. The one with wee-yellow stains that magically appear every time I put it in a drawer.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!

    That’s it. I’m resorting to drastic measures – Tequila.

    No, it won’t rid me of faeries, but by the time I get to the worm, I’m not going to care.

  8. Maybe the wee-yellow stains are ectoplasmic in nature, and not down to the faeries.

    Perhaps your Granny is trying to communicate something from the Other Side… see if they make a pattern or words – hey, maybe the blotches correspond to winning lotto numbers?

  9. Good gracious, I hope not. Granny’s not dead.

    At least, I think she’s not dead.

    Hmmm, the difference between an octogenarian and a zombie…. nah, I got nothin’. IS there a difference?

  10. Well, octogenarians eat custard and jelly and mystery meat mashed with gravy, and zombies crave “Braaainz!”

    I think there’s a subtle terroir type distinction in smell, too. Zombies smell of grave dirt and the herbs used to create them; old people smell of boiled cabbage and cat wee.

    I could go on but I don’t want to alienate any incredibly old people that might be lurking

  11. Funny you should say that. I had always wondered why granny smelled of cat wee, seeing as she doesn’t have a cat.

    My sister explained it to me. She studied this kind of stuff at uni, so I believe her. Although she might have been pulling my leg – it’s hard to tell with my sister. But here’s what she said:

    Menopause triggers a chemical reaction that makes women crave certain pheromones. Perfumes such as Panache, Arpege and Youth Dew have undertones that mimic those pheromones. So menopausal women are attracted to these perfumes and wear them exclusively.

    Wearing the same perfume over a period of time causes subtle changes to body chemistry. After two years, it smells completely different from how it smelled when you started wearing it. After five years, ANY perfume that has been worn exclusively will react with the body’s secretions to produce a smell EXACTLY like urine, within an hour of application.

    Menopause causes the sense of smell to slowly diminish. This is why menopausal women don’t notice the gradual morphing of their scent. And so all old ladies leave the house smelling of Panache, and arrive home smelling like Tena Lady.

    That’s how I know the stains on granny’s hanky aren’t from her. They don’t smell like wee. They smell like mothballs and old sock. Mybe the Wardrobe faerie and the Sock faerie have been having it off on my granny’s hanky? Dirty little bastards.

  12. *wracked with cold shudders*

    What fresh horror is this – I never thought of faeries rooting. I just assumed they reproduced by a feral form of parthenogenesis… you know, like the Smurfs. Papa Smurf must lay blue eggs and hatch out new smurfs. As is the case with turtles, I think nest temperature determines sex differentiation in Smurfs, like loggerhead turtles. One unusually cold snap produced Smurfette, the rest of the time they get boys.

    The Smurfette gang bang theory is just anti-Smurf smut.

    Please thank your sister for her timely and scientific theorem. There might be research implications here… for example, perhaps nursing home riots could be quelled by pumping Arpege through the air con vents. Only problem is… how do you explain old man musk – Perhaps it’s a similar process occurring with Old Spice?

  13. I actually cracked out the mobile phone to ask my sister via SMS. The response is a bit garbled, as text messages often are. But the gyst of it was this:

    “Most old men are married, and their wives choose their clothes/aftershave/opinions for them. Again, it is a pheromone thing – old ladies subconsciously pick the smell that stimulates the strongest sexual response (Usually Brut). Old men only wear the stuff because, well, if they’re 80 and married they have long since learned that resistance is futile.

    That’s only the married men, though, and widowers who have stayed obedient out of habit (or out of fear the little woman will come back and haunt them). Single men in their 80’s are far more likely to smell of whiskey and pipe smoke, and only wear Brut if they’re trying to get laid.

    This is why I don’t work in the aged care industry.”

    My response to my sister’s explanation is one of horror. Not (surprisingly) at the thought of 80 year old men trying to get laid – Rod Stewart took the shock value out of that image. No, my horror is at the thought that I would ever find myself aroused by Brut-drenched, whiskery old men in cardigans. Gak!

    I’m beginning to suspect my first hunch was correct, and my sister is taking the piss. Either that, or she’s wearing Arpege.

  14. I flashed on an image – think Bruegel, the Elder – of a roiling nursing home, hotbed of passion amongst the knitware, air heavy with Brut, Arpege and the torrid scent of dessicated, mingled secretions.

    No wonder the staff have no time to see to adequate nutrition, or change their Depends.

    Sex is fabulous but I don’t want it with octogenarians…. not even when I’m close to a century, myself.

    Maybe we could organise some sort of future, preventive hit with Havsy? Nah, he’d just off us next week some time when he was bored.

  15. Agreed. Havsy is far too unreliable – you can’t even trust him to fetch chips.

    Maybe Havsy is the changeling child of the chip faerie? Although if that’s true, his faerie mother must have been bonking someone with a cardie, whiskers and a predilection for Brut. I’m thinking PNB, perhaps?

  16. *pissing myself with laughter, allow me a minute to retrieve my composure*

    thanks.

    I’m more than prepared to believe that Havsy is some sort of mongrel mix of fae and human – although the human bit must be recessive, don’t you think? – but wouldn’t the chip fairy WANT chips fetched, so there were more available to filtch?

    Surely they don’t have Brut in the U.S. of A? From my reading of pulp fiction originating over there, I think Bay Rum or Florida Water might be the equivalents. Perhaps they SHOULD use Brut, though – maybe it would work for them in Afghanistan or Eye-rack? Or is it listed as a W.O.M.D – I’ll just ask Google.

  17. I’ve just remembered that trolls are a kind of faerie. In fact, all sorts of lateral thoughts are rambling through my PMS addled brain. Like, if Panache smells like wee, then perhaps Panache IS wee. Faerie wee. In which case, all we need to do is get a spray bottle, fill it with Brut, and squirt anywhere the faeries are known to visit.
    Hey, it works with cats and dettol.
    But it will mean granny will be visiting far more often than I’m comfortable with – her makeup applying skills make Barbara Cartland look restrained, so constant visits may scar my children for life. Or prime them for a life of giant shoes, baggy trousers and custard pies in the face.
    But back to the point. It’s a good thing they don’t have Brut in the US. You see, that way when the blog faerie/troll pokes her ugly head into the thread, we can spray her with Brut and she’ll go away back to the US where she won’t be bothered by that horrible smell.

    And we won’t be bothered by hers.

    Oh, bugger, I’ve just remembered that one of those damned faeries has stolen my spray bottle out of the shed. Along with one gardening glove, and the little twisty thing that attaches the hose to the tap. And the measuring cup for the weed killer. And one of the spare lawnmower blades. And the salt out of the rabbit’s salt lick wheel – although to be fair, that might have been possums.

    Not to worry, I’ll go down to the shops tomorrow and pick up a new one. And if the spray bottle of Brut doesn’t work, I’m calling Havsy to come over and get all FKN on their arses. He’ll know how, being one of them and all.

  18. Not sure where to start, here – rabbits have salt licks? I never gave our pet rabbit any salt to lick, is that why she chewed all the rattan off my dead Grandma’s heirloom sewing basket?

    If the Faeries and their Troll cousins have stolen that entire inventory from your garden shed I’m concerned. With enough cheap perfume, all the stolen petrol, the chips and the socks they can build some sort of war machine, the likes of which we’ve only glimpsed in our most deeply disturbed nightmares. And since I’ve only got Bvlgari and essential oils in the house, my family is completely unprotected.

  19. War machine? So that’s what Havsy’s up to.

    No, they didn’t take all the stuff from the shed, just enough bits to render what they left behind useless. Stupid faeries.

    I like essential oils. I get the Young Living ones (from America) because they are more pure than most Aussie brands – you can ingest Young Living oils. They taste crap, though.

    Sorry about the rabbit, but they all do that. My killer attack bunny even eats our doormat. I bought her a little bamboo screen to chew on, but she prefers to gnaw holes in the garden hose. Yesterday the teen caught her eating the bottom of the fence palings. And where there was once a straw broom is now a wooden pole with stubble on the bottom. Stupid rabbit.

    Top rabbit tips: Don’t buy plastic bowls. They eat the bowl and leave the food. Don’t plant broccoli where the rabbit can get to it. Don’t buy expensive pet toys – instead, give your rabbit the cardboard tube from inside a toilet roll (they will play with it for hours. Then they will eat it). Don’t feed your rabbit lettuce unless you like cleaning up runny poo pellets. Don’t put poo pellets in the garden, as the poo is full of lucerne seeds and you will end up with more grass in your garden than on the lawn. Don’t leave your shed door open if you have a straw broom in there. Don’t let the rabbit on your lap if you’re in a terry towelling bathrobe – she will eat it.

    What I really wanted was a goldfish. The Boss got me one. I called it Fluffy. The Boss got the kids one each. Then he got himself about 13 of the things. After a month, we noticed that my younger daughter’s fish (Bubbles) had disappeared. We scoured the tank for any sign of Bubbles, but to no avail. A year on, and the other fish are thriving but we still can’t see Bubbles anywhere – therefore we have concluded that Bubbles is invisible. Bubbles the Invisible Fish. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? And gets me out of having to replace it.

    Personally I think the faeries took it, but it doesn’t do to upset the kiddies with that kind of talk.

  20. Very well done for keeping all those goldfish alive for that long (+/- Bubbles the invisible goldfish, who may or may not still be in this dimension). I told Magic Man we had to give up after we killed our third or fourth contingent. Sure, the kookaburras did for some in the lotus pot – in retrospect, putting carp in there was like opening a kingfisher branch of Sizzlers – but I still can’t explain the multiple tank fatalities!

    I’m after some Vanilla Oil for a spe… umm, bubble bath recipe. I got some Spiritual Sky but it smells like home-brand sponge cake. Do Young Living do vanilla, Catty?

  21. Yes, they do. If you google Young Living, the site not only has a comprehensive list of products, they also have full ingredient lists for their compounds.

    You have to buy from a distributor (like Amway or Avon), but it’s much cheaper if you sign up as a distributor yourself – if you use a lot of oils, that is. I’m assuming you make a lot of bubble bath?

  22. Hehehe. Yes, according to moon phase, of course – can’t be too careful about your bubble bath. I’ll check them out, thanks for that.

  23. Sad news. The Brut spray has had the oppposite effect. It attracts trolls.

    I’ve been over at the Burger, reading the pre-geek casting call. Liberal applications of Brut – but SJS has posted more than ever.

    Back to the drawing board. Maybe some of your bubble bath, perhaps? Might work. I’ve never heard of a clean troll.

  24. If we could get hair, nail clippings, a personal item or – at a pinch – a photo of SJS, I could whip her up some bubble bath, alright.

    Maybe it’s the PMS, maybe Mars is transiting somewhere strategic, but I’m just in the right mood to froth that creature.

    Perhaps I can get results with a copy-and-paste from a post… worth a shot.

  25. Oh, I don’t want anything nasty to happen to her. I just want her to go away. Kind of like possums in the ceiling.

    Thanks for the blueberry jam tip. I’m going to try making my own so I don’t break out in hives mid-“meal”.

  26. Good luck. You don’t want hives THERE! You’d have to wear cotton skirts for a week, whilst walking like John Wayne. Or conduct your life from a bath, as did Marat.

  27. Cotton skirts for a week, walking like John Wayne? Sounds just like my honeymoon.

    I don’t know about conducting my life from a bath, but I tried it from a pool once. Lasted 3 hours. I had to get out to pee – the floating esky of Coronas probably wasn’t such a smart move.

  28. Honeymoon cystitis, or just friction burns? They should throw cranberries at newlyweds, in lieu of confetti.

    I’ve never drunk beer in a pool… actually, despite a prolonged university education I’ve never drunk beer. Martinis are nice in a spa, though. Do olives have sulphur ?

  29. The olives don’t have sulphur, although sometimes the stuffed ones have preserved chilli stuffing that gives me pause. But I only pause while pouring the next martini, so that’s all right.

    Funny about the cystitis. I’ve just now been looking up treatments for it, as I’ve been suffering horribly for about a month. (even cranberry isn’t helping). This morning I decided my kidneys must be failing, because I am more exhausted than I have ever been in my life, even when caring for newborns. I had to go back to bed after the morning school run.

    Not like me at all. Once when I broke my foot, I put my shoes on and went grocery shopping – because the grocery shopping needed to be done. Another time I was in the final stages of labour, but there was dinner to prepare, vacuuming, more grocery shopping, sheets to change, three loads of washing to hang out, and a toilet and bath to scrub. So I did that first. Then I drove myself to hospital, two towns away. I made it, but only just.

    So going to bed instead of dusting is not like me at all. I’m feeling a bit frightened about it, actually. I have a pathological fear of needles, so the thought of a permanent arterial fistula for dialysis petrifies me. That’s why I’m not already at the doctor. I’m afraid he will tell me I’m right about the kidneys.

    Wow. Too heavy. Subject change! While martinis in the spa are certainly nice (a favourite of mine, too), I’d advise you to stick a straw in your martini shaker for pool lounging. Those glasses aren’t very well designed when it comes to avoiding spillage. Although it can be a lot of fun bobbing for olives once you’ve drunk – and spilled – a few. Dangerously stupid, but fun.

  30. I can bob for round objects in the spa another time, Catty.

    I’ve got everything that will bend crossed that it’s NOT renal failure… and there’s heaps of other reasons for women of our age to be tired. Shall I list a few? Iron deficiency – are your periods heavy, do you get plenty of red meat?

    Thyroid problems – have you also noticed skin/hair/bowel/almost any damn thing changes, particularly weight gain?

    Chronic (viral) infection – Ross River/Barmah Forest/post viral chronic fatigue syndrome.

    “The Change” – fluctuating hormone levels can play havoc with energy levels AND the unrinary tract, years before you stop bleeding.

    Or, most likely – and, regrettably, most intractable to treat – “Woman with too bloody much on her plate syndrome”. Just life overwhelms me from time to time, fast and unpredictable as a flash rip. All of a sudden I feel like I can’t cope for another minute and I’m heading straight out to sea without the strength left for drowning or waving. Luckily – so far, touch wood – this sensation is usually fleeting. But you also have 1 husband and 2 additional children to factor in! Most Mums I know feel tired a lot of the time. It comes with doing a 24/7/365 job with no holidays on a shift that only ends when someone dies.

    My thoughts and warm best wishes are with you. See a doc for some blood and other tests, and take it easy in the meantime. Please!

  31. Yeah, I have suffered in the past from Chronic Fatigue as a result of Barmah Forest, CMV and Glandular fever all within 3 months of each other. It took years to come good.

    This exhaustion is way, way, way worse. It is almost like being paralysed from the brain down.

    I hope you’re right, and desperately hope I’m wrong. I’m grateful for the crossed eyes, legs, and assorted other bendy things, thank you.

    Now back to the pool – did you know you can get tiny swim rings for champagne flutes? They are wonderful things! When I get to use them, that is, the kids keep filching them for their Barbie dolls. I was going to take them for a swim this afternoon, (the kids, not the Barbie dolls!) but there’s a thunderstorm coming over, so I’d better go cook dinner before the power goes out. Unless your kebab van is in the area? (hope, hope)!

    Thanks again for the positive energy. It’s a comfort.

  32. The Jihad Kebab van is still in a top secret bunker, being retrofitted with an atomic slushie machine. You’ll hear us coming when we’re on the road – instead of Greensleeves I’ll play ‘London’s Burning’. Yeah, ‘Rock the Casbah’ might seem more apposite, but it’s too commercial.

    The champagne floaties… intriguing. I’m scenting perfect gift for my ‘has everything and prefers to be tipsy’ Mama. Can you hook me up with a retailer?

    P.S Don’t take Barbie in the pool – chlorine and salt play HAVOC with her coif.

  33. Not a problem at our house. My kids learned some time ago (the hard way) that Barbie’s hair doesn’t grow back when you shave it off with daddy’s razor.

    And daddy learned the hard way why you should never let mummy find out the razor was left in reach of the children.

    The kids don’t really mind. They think Barbie is beautiful still – it’s amazing what they can do with blu tac and tufts of moulted rabbit fur.

    I’ll have to find out about the rings. They were bought for me at a kitchenware shop in Townsville. I’ll look locally, and ask the lass who purchased them to see if there are any left at the kitchenware place. Will get back to you on that.

    An automatic slushie machine in a kebab van? That is SO SO COOL! The genius who came up with that one deserves business woman of the year. Where do I vote?

  34. Thanks for the detective work… Mum’s a Virgo so we’ve got some time up our sleeves.

    We’ve got some implementation issues with the slushie machine, unfortunately… the flow control is stuck on ‘waterboard’.

    Handy if any trolls stop by for baba ganoush, but otherwise impractical.

    But thanks heaps for the support, Catty! I’ll just get back into the wetsuit, grab my shifting spanner, and try and get this bastard sorted out, once and for all.

  35. I’ve asked my mate in Townsville about the swim rings. She works next door to the kitchenware shop, so she went and asked if they were getting more. They said the rings were a limited edition promotional thing, apparently.

    I asked at the local kitchenware and pool places, they all looked at me as if I’d dropped in from the planet Idiot.

    So I googled inflatable drink holders. The cutest thing I’ve found is this:
    http://www.splashspas.co.uk/spa-accessories/hot-tub-drink-holders.htm
    If you google, you may find something even better. I would keep looking, but it’s Valentines day and the kids have gone to bed. Guess what I’m going to do now?

    That’s exactly right. I’m going to eat the chocolates I don’t want to share. Good guess.

  36. Oh, I forgot to mention, the prices are a bit steep at that website, but you can google the product names for cheaper places. I.e, the Derby Duck glass holder is half the price at two other sites I saw. I gave you the link to that particular site as it had other drink holders as well.

    I personally loved Derby, and intend to get a couple for myself when the rings give out. That won’t be long, my kids are none too gentle. Little vandals. But credit where credit’s due – they’re handy when I get something horrendous as a gift. I just tell the kids to stay away from it. Guaranteed the offending item will be destroyed within three days.

    I am such a cow.

  37. Catty, if you ever feel like being Supermum isn’t quite fulfilling anymore, can I please bags you as my researcher?

    You’re a dynamo. Thanks so much for your tireless efforts.

    I love the duck… he’s a poultry of mystery. The dark sunnies say ‘too cool for the pool’, yet the cheeky curve of his beak make him seem quite approachable. Or I may be reading too much into a plastic duck – the weekend’s been interesting, to say the least.

    Check out this pink flamingo:
    http://www.thepooltoystore.com/catalog/catalog_by_category.asp?Name=REFRESHMENT%20FLOATERS

    Screams “Idling away my retirement in the subtropic”, don’t you reckon?

    I’m always in favour of eating chocolate – and why SHOULD you share, you deserve it – but didn’t you have something more… jammy planned for the 14th? Either way I’m sure you’re satisfied.

  38. I think the jam is going straight in the bin. Unless your sister wants it?

    Loved the flamingo, too, but I don’t trust my children, or my husband (or my friends, come to think of it), not to grab that conveniently handle-shaped beak, and filch my drink.

  39. You’re so right not to trust anyone, Catty. Even paranoid people have REAL enemies!

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