You Are Here: Why?

By now, you’re all well aware of my feelings about tourists: they park out the library; they stagnate the supermarket aisles; and often they have heads straight out of H.P. Lovecraft.

So, I’ve got nothing but praise for the new signage Council have plonked down the front. Isn’t it perfect? We call it “Four Ways To Die At Coolum Beach”. All it really lacks, in tourist-repulsion terms, is a big arrow pointing north that reads “Noosa That Way: Open All Hours”.

But I think the sign should be  more explicit. It is a matter of public record – police reports, death certificates, transcripts from the Coroner’s Court – that our proud beach-side community boasts many more ways to die than those depicted. There should also be a little stick man, hurling over the balcony rail out the back of the surf club – ALCOHOL POISONING. A stylised chalk outline  in the pub car-park, with a halo of blood – GLASSING. A hotted up V8, speeding away from a broken stickman – HIT AND RUN. And a little stick woman, bludgeoned in her own kitchen over a meal she was preparing – ANSWERING BACK.







170 Responses

  1. Heh heh.
    Whatever happened to the sign on the highway that read ‘Bring Back Ivan Milat?’ Perhaps someone will add it to the back of this sign, lest the backpackers be in any doubt as to what the locals are really thinking when they gaze on their acts of idiocy with wide eyed wonder.

  2. I presume most readers of this erudite blog have seen tear-off phone niumbers hanging from ads on public notice boards and in some parks, doggiepoo bag dispensers. So it is not a big jump to body bags and tear-off death certificates!

    • I like that concept. A lot.

  3. Townsville council used to run a crop dusting plane to dump bulk clouds of poison on the mosquitoes a couple of times a year. I’m sure they’d be happy to rent it out to your council, for tourist-dusting purposes.

    I had friends in Airlie Beach whose kids would collect shells and coral fragments from the beach, glue them to rocks, slap on a little coloured paint and the words ‘Airlie Beach’, and flog them off to tourists (or Terrorists, as they called them) as souvenirs. Their massive profit margin put one through a photography course at TAFE, and the other through pole dancing classes. Now they’re in business together. One strips, while the other takes photos of her. And again, there’s that massive profit margin.

    How are your boys at shell collecting, Madam?

  4. Perhaps my local council should erect a similar sign around these parts with a symbol of an angry witch in a pointy hat turning a child into a toad and stuffing a few tom thumbs and pin wheels into the nearest orifice.

    I’m getting heartily sick of school holidays.
    Our pilates teacher has been allowing her toddler to roam the room while we’re paying her Fk knows how much for personal tuition and her sister’s kid was there last week, too, thanks to school holidays. Teacher was distracted, failed to supervise our exercises properly and I’ve been staggering around with a wrenched sacrum since nearly colliding with the brat, hoping it would go TF away. (yes, I realize that’s bad grammar but I refer to both the child and my inflamed sacrum) Got the shits with it last night when I couldn’t sleep for the pain of it, and emailed them and complained. got an email back saying ‘it’s a one of.’

    Why do people use the expression ‘It’s a one of?’ when you you finally complain, having realized that their One Of has become a Weekly Habit?
    That expression is like a red flag to a bull, for me. I told them OK, I’ll see how things go, but we’ll be reviewing our options when the current batch of classes runs out.

    I suspect I’m going to have to hunt around for a new pilates class, though, as if this woman seriously thinks that this incident was a One Of then clearly she’s just oblivious to the fact that her own child is in the room and its in my best interests to find a pilates teacher with better powers of perception and clearer eyesight.

    Unfortunately the delusional teacher is the boss lady and she seems to think it’s cute when her kid roams the halls getting under your feet. Time to look for a new class, now, I think.

    • Yes, pity she seemed unable to have the child minded or at least sat with in another room. Some jobs just aren’t compatible with Bring the Kids to Work day.

      Sacrum – the word sends shivers up my … well, sacrum. Had spot of bother in that area once myself and remember the excruciation so clearly. Hope it is better soon.

    • Children should be seen… on webcam, in the day-care centre… but not getting in the way of your expensive torture, Quokka.

      Don’t they realise the roasting oven in the gingerbread cottage is always warmed up and ready to go?

  5. I love that sign, Madam. Saw one a bit like it at Diamond Head once. It was at the foot of said Head, obviously placed to deter certain tourists of dubious fitness from climbing it. They should have put the sign at the top of the Head in my opinion: the hike was a cakewalk but the damn tiny tunnel thing you had to climb through in order to see out over the beach was a claustrophobic nightmare!

    I hope the tourist season is over soon for your sake. But if it gets a bit much, I’d be taking Catty’s suggestion (provided that sign doesn’t do the trick first).

  6. A crop of fabulous suggestions, here – I’m going to slot them all into a submission to Council.

    Stafford’s tear-off death certificates also triggered another thought… How about, on check-in, we present “terrorists” (we call them that, too, Catty) with a room-service style menu:

    Please select your preferred terminal options from the following list (courtesy of the Darwin awards):
    (1) Excruciating pain from wandering irukandji sting, severe enough to cause death;
    (2) Left behind by careless whale watch operator, causing panic, exposure, then death by drowning;
    (3) Death by a thousand cuts, caused by auditing credit card statement on your return home;
    (4) At home, quietly in your sleep – IN YOUR OWN BLOODY BED.

    You know, I really think I could get into this tourism game…

  7. (5) In a motel room shower. A Bates Motel room shower. (cue manic violin screeching)…..

    Hey, weren’t you planning on opening a motel, Madam? That would be a good name for it. The Sweeney Bates Hotel Motel. (Pies are our specialty).

  8. What they need is a large billboard on the David Low way bearing this image and the words ‘Coolum exit, beware of the local birds’.

  9. Mmm… pies. And wouldn’t that be economical, too? Very green. Check ’em in, pie ’em up, serve them to your next victim. We’d need to be careful, though. I wouldn’t want to spread Mad Tourist Disease.

    Still, I suppose if you’re “turning over” within a day or so, it doesn’t give anything much time to develop…

    Fabulous photo, Quokka – but that’s more a Kin Kin look, I reckon.

    Meanwhile, for reasons best known to a small cluster of my brain cells that I’ve since killed, as punishment, I’m taking the offspring to the Megaplex of Doom today to see Kung Fu Panda II. If I don’t make it back, tell Mother I loved her.

  10. The megaplex?
    It will be dark in there.
    You’ll need infra-red targeting on the sniper rifle.
    Good luck, and remember, don’t take any prisoners.

  11. Farewell, Madam. We will remember you with love and fondness. 😦

  12. Argh.
    We are off to Carindale as the bloke wishes to purchase new undies on sale at target.
    Catty, by sundown you could be down two friends.

  13. Marco?

  14. Polo!

  15. * sigh *

    Megaplex was fine, as it happens. I have certain reservations about Jack Black, but we lurved Kung Fu Panda II.

    However, the kids came home and, to thank me for the excursion, crashed my computer.

    Thank the Goddess I have a tame geek with little better to do with his time than to restore my system… although, when I rang he was making sausages.

    A man’s got to have a hobby, I suppose.

    Quokka, congratulations on making it back from underwear shopping alive. Here’s a hint – go commando, and you never have to go underwear shopping again!

    Speaking of household hints, I wonder how Stafford is getting on with that sea eagle up his mizzen mast…

  16. Probably out swabbing the poop deck, judging from his complaints.

    I too was surprised and pleased to see how well behaved were the small fry out at Carindale. We went expecting horror and as none appeared we wandered around eating donuts and enjoying ourselves.

    So, tell me, did the kung fu panda develop an opium habit in the sequel or am I mixing up the characters with Disney? The Bloke sniggered as we drove past the Hawthorne earlier and offered up the theory that Owen Wilson’s got zero hope of recovering his mental health if they keep handing him characters like the Mid Life Crisis red rally car.

    Apparently the stomach bug has finally made it to Perth. Rang one of my cousins to find out why I couldn’t get a hold of her Dad – everyone’s been keeping him busy, so he’s OK, but she’s got her head down the toilet and was hoping it just a delayed grief response rather than a lurgy. She has a fever and didn’t sound pleased when I told her it sounds like the East Coast gastro has finally crossed the continent and the rest of us have wound up suffering with it for 5 – 7 days. I just hope my 79ryo cousin doesn’t get it, he’s been through enough without that, too.

    So. We’re all good for the Medieval Tournament?
    Who’s bringing the Catty Effigy?
    Sounds like we’re all aiming to be there by 10am but I must warn you it’s hard to get the Bloke out of bed on weekend mornings, so shall text you if we get off to a late start.

    This’ll be fun.

  17. Yes, I’m getting all excited myself.

    I’m going to be wrapping up warmly, though. It was so cold when we took the dog for a stroll this morning that my fingers turned purple. I thought I was going to have to turn back, just a few minutes in, because the cold wasn’t just cold, it was painful.

    Commiserations to the bereaved in WA. Still, they’ll be too close to death themselves to grieve much, I suppose that’s some sort of consolation.

    We’ll aim to see you at 10ish, then, but if not don’t worry. We’ll be able to catch one another, somehow:
    “We’re right next to the Falconer.”
    “The Flagoner? Is that near the Olde Ale House?”
    “No, the Falconer!”
    “Is that the bloke who doesn’t like the Commodore?”

    Hehehe. They know we’re coming. That’s why they’re called the Dark Ages.

  18. Indeed, here’s hoping they confiscate all the iphones at the door.

  19. If you bring a tin can, I’ll bring another and some string.

    We can tie them together when we meet. Sure, we won’t be able to wander far apart, but we’ll beat the smart phone embargo, by jingo!

  20. Here’s what I think:


  21. Heh heh.
    Nice timing for a technofail, Catty.
    I hereby surrender my crown and sceptre as Luddite of the Month.
    Do those empty tins of cat food do call conferencing MM, because if so we need to hook Ms. Catty up to the cyberphobia network.

  22. It’s much more string-efficient if we just use our powers of evil to contact Catty, telepathically.

    Catty, I’m thinking of a colour and an animal… are you reading me?

    In other news, remember our Zumblasting a while back? News just in that chiropractors are warning Zumbastards to be careful – or they risk Zumback pain:

  23. colour… animal… hmmm…

    I know. Green. Lizard. You’re thinking of Lobes, right?

  24. * Shudder *

    No, I never do that unless I have no other choice.

    I was thinking purple monkey. We’re going to have to work on this. I believe imported chocolate strengthens psychic bonds. I’m going to eat some Lindt, now. You do the same, Catty, then we’ll try again.

  25. May I please have some imported chocolate and a tin can too? Do two-ways work when there are 4 of them?

  26. It works better, but ideally over a kilo of hot chips and a 500gm pack of Darrell Lea Peanut Brittle. Hello Mayhem, how’s tricks?

    MM, I think the chiropractors need to add pilates to their list of sources of life threatening injuries. I’m still sorely tempted to threaten the pilates teacher’s life after what she did to my sacrum last weekend. Off to see the osteo on Wednesday where I will take great pleasure dobbing her in (his referral, after all) and because she was such a child about dealing with it that The Bloke and I left the studio this morning and barely made it to the footpath before erupting in laughter at her antics.

    Looks like I’ve found another personality disorder. Looks like my trauma counselor may be onto something when she says it’s 1:5 and not 1:20 as the DSMIV tried to tell us.

    Still giggling, here.
    Ow, ow, it hurts.

  27. Hehehe… only in Swedish co-ed movies.

    Hey, Mayhem, lucky you dropped in – it reminded me to email you.

    Quokka, you know I love a good personality disorder. Was she borderlining, threatening self-harm and trying to drive a wedge between the two of you? Antisocial perhaps, muttering dark imprecations against, well, everyone while sharpening her throwing knives? Or narcissistic, maybe, refusing to make eye contact while you complained because she was too busy eyeing herself off in any handy reflective surface?

    If the answer is “all of the above”, you might perhaps see how you go with Bikram yoga or Qigong.

  28. Hey, Mayhem, I had a dream with you in it the other night. JB was having a party, and you were doing this cool party trick. You found a furry black caterpillar, and sniffed it up your nose. Then you stuck out your tongue, and hey presto! There was the caterpillar. Everybody was very impressed.

    Hmmm… I wonder if that dream was trying to tell me something? I mean, other than the fact that I’m about as stable as Quokka’s pilates teacher.

  29. Ah, yes – the old French caterpillar drawback. JB would have become very familiar with that manoeuvre, back in the 80s when….

    * what on earth ?!*

    Catty, it’s clear to me that you’ve been working too hard, and haven’t eaten your quota of carbs or saturated fat. Pull yourself together by putting down the mould cleaner, and eating some chips. And some chocolate. Stat!

  30. Neat trick, Catty.
    Did you guys perform this after a bottle of neat scotch, which is how most of JB’s parties end up at the Snorting of Caterpillars stage?

    MM she was channeling the Red Queen from Alice in Blunderland and the refusing to make eye contact thing while bellowing orders at all around her while they shook in terror suggests to me that I’ve found another narcissist.
    Which is good to know as I’d long suspected this so it was good to finally tip her into a smashing good ‘I’m not having a tantrum’ type episode as I came home relieved to know that at least I’m not imagining it.

    As we were walking in the previous class was walking out, and one of them made the mistake of walking up to me in concerned tones and saying ‘Q, how are you feeling?’
    I looked at her and said ‘I’m fine, why do you ask?’
    At which point she went red and stared guiltily at the teacher and her classmates and they all made a rapid exit from the room.

    Must remember to email management later in the week and remind them that in future when I make a complaint I’d prefer that the teacher doesn’t air my grievances (and hers, I’m sure) to all the other students in the centre.

    Heh heh.
    Sometimes its fun watching a PD go over the edge, there’s just so many opportunities to kick them off the cliff while they’re bouncing down that treacherous slippery slope of social ineptitude.

  31. It sounds to me like teasing out the psychopathology at that centre is a lot more fun… and, in all likelihood, better for you… than actually undergoing the GD Pilates.

    With a bit of thought, surely you could devise a home toning regimen? Eg:

    Lift 3L milk carton of collected cat wee, perform biceps curl, repeat x 10. Then hurl at rowdy neighbours, making sure to fully extend the triceps and deltoid.

    Repeat on the other side.

    For the pelvis and hips, I recommend a mix of jumping front kicks and turning side kicks, using the neighbours (in effigy, or in person if you can zip tie them to a fence or other handy vertical surface). Aim for the solar plexus for the front kicks, the head for the side kicks.

    Repeat x 10 per leg.

  32. The girl who normally teaches us there is really very good.
    Its just that the last few weeks we’ve been stuck with the owner/partner, who can’t be arsed telling you how to do things properly and certainly doesn’t hang around to supervise them – she’s too busy gossiping with the students in her class.

    I might have to email management this week and say I was surprised that HRH NPD didn’t ask me to fill out an incident report re: my injury the previous week.

    Our current block of lessons runs out next Saturday, and HRH NPD is off on holidays for the next two weeks – so the Incident Report might give her something to look forward to when she comes back – and I’m long gone.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with me aside from a twisted sacrum – it’s happened before – but its always fun to remind them when you catch them behaving unprofessionally.

    And unlike Nurse Ratchett, I can walk away from this one and I never, ever have to see her twisted angry face again.

  33. Unless you bump into her in the refrigerated section at Coles. Isn’t that where PD’s usually take their children to play?

  34. Madam, heading over to check my emails soon, you,ve given me something to look forward to. Something other than what I usually look forward to 😉

    Catty, eeeeuuuuwwww Caterpillars???? Couldn’t we replace the Caterpillar with a nice triangle of dark Toblerone? Or Darrell lea peanut Brittle. Just as impressive, less furry and much tastier I’m sure…. And are you going to email me too?

    Quokka, just checked, and I sent you the text with my email address as well, along with a plaintive request that you use it, so I can replenish my sadly depleted contact list. It occurs to me however that I may have Blokesy’s mobile number rather than yours…. Everything is going well. Tricks especially ummm tricky…

  35. You know, I’m looking forward to the announcement of the carbon tax today. What better time to hear about how we all have to reduce our emissions to save the polar bears than the coldest chunk of the coldest winter I can remember?

    Here’s my tip for reducing greenhouse gases and living expenses in general – live at or below the poverty line!

    Do try not to die of malnutrition or Queensland Hospitals’ waiting list blow-outs, though – rotting corpses give off far too much methane.

  36. Mayhem the bloke has probably changed work mobiles since you last used his phone to find me. I’ll DM you when I’m over at twitter – off to the Abbey Fest now so just DM me a reminder if I forget what I’m doing.
    Happy carbon tax day, all.
    Now remember – nobody fart.
    Ever. Again.

  37. Never again? Oh, dear, I’d better buy the Boss a cork.

    I don’t want to discuss the carbon tax. I have very strong feelings on the subject, and may offend someone if I unleash a diatribe. Let’s just say I’m not a fan.

    Mayhem, I’ve sent you an email. I’d have sent you one of those DM’s Quokka mentioned, except that I have no idea what a DM is. (Is it just me, or does everyone think I’m an idiot?). Which reminds me, how’s your sarcophagus, Quokka? All better?

    Madam, get yourself some Cadbury drinking chocolate. And vodka. You’ll never notice the cold again. But you may fart….

  38. I’ll need more than chocolate and vodka to recover from yesterday. I know, what more is there? I’m thinking, stem cell transplant, something along those lines.

    We had a fabulous time in the Dark Ages, after the chiropractic contingent hobbled home. Elf Boy discovered a deep yearning to be an apprentice blacksmith, after a turn working the bellows for the forge. Magic Man had fun slaving for the rope-maker. They tried on various helms and chain mail, watched a puppet show and then we saw the jousting final.

    No animals were harmed, but I think a jester or two might have copped some abuse.

  39. Good to know you’re still with us.
    The Bloke decided to do a lap of the venue before he’d let me return to the comfort of couch and caffeine – and who am I to discourage his manly interest in all things primitive?
    So I’m pleased to hear you made it past the stocks and the executioner’s block, if I’d passed by that with a sibling in tow I daresay we’d have made it to the front page of today’s news.

    I’m off to have breakfast at the jetty to celebrate the bloke’s final day of liberty.
    Although I won’t be ordering bacon – as discussed yesterday, I suspect after the last week of lazy breakfast outings I am getting dangerously close to discovering the LD50 of pig products.
    I’ll leave you to describe Lethal Dose 50 to your followers.
    After all the bacon I’ve inhaled lately its really not something I care to contemplate.

    Oh, and just in case your children start repeating any conversations they may have had with me, I admit that my repertoire of conversational remarks with small males has dwindled to ‘So, dug any holes lately?’ or ‘How are the holidays? Killed anything yet?’

    You have only yourself to blame for exposing them to the moral risk posed by the company you chose to consort with yesterday.

    Catty, an odd thing, they searched us all for weapons before entering the venue, however weapons were on sale at every second stall, naturally GB acquired as many as he could carry, and limped off, muttering something about vengeance and the injustice of targeting it at native wildlife.

  40. It sounds like you all had a great time. Wish I’d been there. I could have done with a few more pointy things for the upcoming zombiepocalypse – and the wave of JW’s that seem to think that they can find Jesus at my house. Honestly, I keep telling them I’ve checked under the couch AND behind the book case, but will they listen?

    Hopefully GB wasn’t referring to Bogans when he was muttering about native wildlife. Those things stay stringy even after 8 hours in the crock pot.

    Oh, dear. I just mentioned the crock pot. The Boss isn’t going to come home tonight.

  41. We missed you, Catty.

    Still, chocolate as we know and love it was not available in the Dark Ages… despite the misleading name. I looked everywhere, and the Milk and Lindt White with Almond Praline Ages were also nowhere to be found.

    Unfortunately, I was too late to consult the Desert Oracle, or I’d have up-to-date information on the zombiepocalypse.

    Still, things are always more fun when they come as a surprise, aren’t they?

    Quokka’s footnoting: the LD50 is the amount of a substance it takes to kill 50% of experimental rats. So it’s low for, say, cyanide and very high for salt. As far as I know, they haven’t established an LD50 for caffeine, but my self-experimentation continues unabated.

    As for bacon… it’s a GD superfood! There’s no LD50 – in fact, there should be a recommended daily intake.

    I’m not sure you’ve been a bad influence on my boys yet, Quokka – you may have to try harder.

  42. Interesting footnote. It explains my mother’s cooking.

    On reading your comment about the lack of chocolate, Madam, I’m kinda glad I wasn’t there. They may have had a riot on their hands.

    Instead, we went to play mini golf with the Boss’s brother and his wife and kids. It was frustrating, as someone was having a kids’ birthday party there, and the little snots were running unsupervised around the green. They appeared to be playing tiggy, and had no regard whatsoever for the poor patrons attempting to hit fluorescent balls around the course. They had plenty of regard for the balls, though, and on a few occasions appeared to be using them for soccer practice. Mid shot.

    We adults refrained from speaking our minds, and limited our comments to “Piss off, you little bastards” when a flash of mini-bogan rushed across the course, kicking the ball out of the way as it rolled towards the hole. But I did discover that if you ‘happen’ to swing the golf club right when a swarm of brats runs past you to block your shot, it makes a very satisfying thunk when it comes into contact with small shins. It was an accident, I swear. Well, it was an accident the first time.

    All in all, a good day. Especially when my sister-in-law gave me a chunk of Rocklea Road, just because. I love that girl.

  43. Sounds like fun!

    When we come to Melbourne, we’ll have to add “mini-golf” to our to-do list. Which currently reads “Absorb culture. Eat stuff.”

  44. Morgana there was chocolate of the dipping variety to be had at the churro stall but agreed, none to be found in it’s more solid and delectable form.

    Catty have you tried the new flavors of Rocklea Road? The girl at the Carindale store knows my weakness and swoops down upon me with the tray of different varieties waiting to be ‘tested’ every time I try to make it past the Sainted Gates of Chocolate.

    There’s now a rocky road with fudge and peanut brittle.
    Ah, heaven.
    Hm, cravings, must mean that Aunt Irma is due to lead us all to hell sometime in the next week.

    Thankfully I’m booked in to see the osteopath on Wednesday so he should undo the damage done by pilates before she arrives to give me grief.

    Pass the lindt, please.

  45. New flavours? Why wasn’t I told! That’s it – I’m going shopping tomorrow.

    Oh, and I just got the phone call from the Boss, announcing that he’s off drinking tonight. I’d say “bloody crock pot!”, but this means I can eat my Rocklea Road in bed without having to listen to him whining about crumbs in the sheets. Yay!

  46. As far as I can tell were coming up to Aunt Irma. Too many carbs are barely enough.

    Fudge and peanut brittle mixed with marshmallow and chocolate?! For that, I would go to the Plaza. Luckily, I have to pick up Elf Boy’s soldered specs.

    Catty, that’s spooky. You didn’t even get it out, did you – you just typed “crock pot” earlier.

    As for spooky, check this out. We took friends to the Eumundi Markets, where Elf Boy demanded a little string voodoo doll. I bought one, to shut him up, as you do.

    The next day, a friend came over for coffee. “This is you!” said Elf Boy, pointing to Fred. He gleefully stuck a pin into the voodoo doll.

    Then I noticed that Fred was bleeding. On his arm, for no apparent reason. Fred hadn’t noticed any arm trauma. He was just sitting at my kitchen table drinking coffee and being taunted by my offspring!

    So, should I confiscate the voodoo doll and put it somewhere very safe – or start assigning victims to it?

  47. I see a lucrative business opportunity in hiring him out for weddings and family reunions. Just remember to put him under contract for minimum wage, with yourself as his agent and custodian of monies received.

    Do I get a discount if I book him for my mother-in-law’s birthday and Xmas with the in-laws as well?

  48. As always, Quokka – any malevolent spell-casting conducted by myself or my dark minions delightful offspring is on the house.

    Catty, can we curse anyone for you? You’re family, too.

  49. I have long suspected that my rellies have a voodoo doll of me, and that they keep it impaled on a spike between bouts of tossing it to crows.

    It’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy – so that’s my mother out. As the rest of the rellies are bearable (usually) when she’s not around, I’ll pass thanks, Madam.

    One suggestion, though. When you make voodoo dolls, give them pipe cleaner skeletons. That way you can bend the dolls into random and interesting positions. Also, glue a magnet to their backs, so you can stick them on the fridge. It’s funny that this should come up, because this sounds remarkably like the fridge magnets we are in the process of making as our holiday craft activity. Spooky! Oh, of course. The moon must be waxing. Which is fair enough. If it shaved, we’d have third-day moon stubble to deal with on top of everything else.

  50. Hehehe…

    “I fell in love with him by the light of the shaving moon.”
    “Sorry, officer. I couldn’t see the Give Way sign. I had shards of moon stubble in my eyes.”

    School holidays are nearly over, here. In a few hours I’ll be packing lunchboxes and sending them off with a tear in my eye.

    Yeah, I said tear. Haven’t you ever cried from happiness? Actually, I’ll miss the little weasels. Now I’ll have no one to fetch me stuff until mid-afternoon.

  51. No problems. Tie a string on the end of Elf Boy’s arrow, and keep the bow under your couch cushions. Now you don’t have to get up to fetch things – you can just aim, fire and drag. Easy!

  52. Ahhh… takes me back.

    Does anyone else remember the book “A Big Ball of String”?

    That’s what the invalid boy did. It all unravelled in the end, of course.

    Simple times. These days kids think string has got something to do with theoretical physics and wormholes.

  53. I thought kids believed that string was what Kirby was made of.

  54. Kirby??

    Is he a mate of Gumby’s?

  55. Gumby… hehehehe…

    “Come in!”
    *crunch, splinter*
    “Awwww, open the door and come in!”
    “Hello Mr Gumby!”

    Oh, dear. Now I’m going to be quoting Monty Python skits all day.

  56. Which is what we were doing as we ambled around the medieval fair.
    MM did Khan Greybeard send you those pics that he took of us?
    He certainly knows how to capture the moment, you and I do look like 2 of MacBeth’s witches about to hurl lizard and toad parts into a cauldron.
    I just hope he doesn’t do weddings…anyway, I told Nbob at CBG about Elf Boy’s attempt to rid the world of his nemesis and that we had documentary evidence of it. How would you feel if I were to email him a pic?
    Thought I’d best ask before do as most mothers I know hate the idea of their children’s photos being launched on the internet – and in many cases understandably so – which is probably why said children are so keen to do so via facebook.

    My gmail is intermittently bedevilled again so apologies for not simply emailing you.
    Other than that FARK! It’s freezing.
    I am off to the osteo today to have my sacrum untwisted so do excuse my absence.

  57. Weddings? Why would it matter to us if he did weddings? I’ll need a buryin’ before a hitchin’.

    I was glad to have copies of the chastity belt and cannon shots, though. I didn’t even think about dragging out my puny 2 MP camera phone until late in the afternoon. Tell me when your email gets it out of its system and I’ll send you some cute dressed up in armour shots. Elf Boy and Magic Man, not me.

    The “If you kill the old guy, you have to eat him” photo is hilarious and I’m happy for Nbob to be in on the joke – as long as he doesn’t post it out in public, anywhere. You know, the psychotic stalkers and all…

    I hope your sacrum unkinks nicely. I am going to have to embark on a Certificate II in Business, just to evade the clutches of the Borg Queen. That should be hilarious, don’t you think? Still, keeps me off the streets, I suppose.

  58. I just spent a stupid amount of money on eBay toys for Christmas. I have no idea why, unless there’s a full moon coming up.

    After a short search, I found that new Rocklea Road flavour at the chemist. Unfortunately, they also had a lot of other sugary goodness at a child’s eye level, and I had the kidlets with me. As it was the end of our shopping trip, I only had enough cash to buy them each a treat. So the new flavour is on my ‘when I can afford it’ shopping list. Given this morning’s eBay idiocy, I’m guessing that won’t be until October. Ah, bugger it. I’ll just get it with the grocery money. I’m sure the kidlets won’t mind a week without fruit or vegetables.

    See? There’s proof a full moon coming – I took the kidlets shopping.

  59. The moon is about 3/4 full, and shaving.

    That doesn’t explain taking children shopping, though. Might I suggest it was a combination of school holiday stir-craziness and perhaps a brain parasite?

    You know, some Amazonian flatworm that’s run out of suitable habitat due to tree clearing and etc., and found it’s way into your central nervous system… ooh, I dunno, maybe through a suspect shipment of Hopi ear candles, or something?

    I think I’ll give the children bacon for Christmas. I can dress a side up in a suit or something, make it look festive.

    Mmm… bacon.

  60. Sounds like you’ve been reading Terry Pratchett. I’ve always thought the Hogfather was a much more practical idea than some fat bloke leaving toys… but never batteries… why, oh, why does he never leave batteries?

  61. I wish I’d been reading Terry Pratchett. I’ve only been reading guff from Centrelink and my own drivel.

    I think it’s more still being a bit Medieval… and also because bacon doesn’t require batteries.

    Santa should leave batteries – and Valium. Lots and lots of lovely Valium.

  62. That reminds me. Quokka, I’ve lost your recipe for valium/vodka cocktails. You’ll have to post it again soon, as I’m going to need sustenance for the upcoming Christmas season.

  63. Oh, don’t be cruel, Catty. Christmas is only… *counts on fingers*… Holy Saint Nicholas on a pikestaff! It’ll be here before we know it!!

    I guess I’m lucky – I’m pretty sure my sister won’t be visiting. Hehehe.

  64. All I can remember is that you add coffee, stir it three times anti-clockwise with a poking stick, and drink it from a mug.

  65. Hehehe… hold the mocha.

  66. And the Latte. Come to think of it, skip the mug, too. Just pour it straight into my mouth.

  67. I think I want it delivered via IV drip.
    The Quokka Mangling update runs as follows:

    My osteopath announced that I’ve got a grade 1 sprain of my iliolumbar ligament, which explains the inflammation around my sacrum, and (bless him) he told me I’m not to do any pilates in the next 4-6 weeks until it heals. He’s also referred me to another pilates teacher who runs a tighter ship and doesn’t allow children to roam around the room, maiming those of us with heightened startle responses and unnaturally high levels of musculoskeletal tension.

    So as he’s told me not to bend forward more than about 4 inches until it’s healed, it looks like I’ll be having a quiet time of things for the next few weeks. Thankfully the pain has eased and I’ve got blessed relief from being unscrunched yesterday, but I don’t think I’ll be up to sitting through the HPDH-2 film until the inflammation goes down a bit more. Drat that stupid woman and her annoying Free Range Child policy. Oh well, only 2 lessons left, the bloke can use them and as he’s rather unimpressed by all this, we won’t be going back there. The Bloke is notoriously hard to bother (evidence: he’s spent 23 mostly unruffled years by my side) so my tormentor must have made a hell of an impact on him.

    Plus side, Hogwarts released my results yesterday and I’ve done quite well. I got a 7 for the Wednesday class and a 6 for the Monday class – which, given the capriciousness of the supervisors, I’m in amazement at. I’m simply happy to have passed the GD thing. I know for a fact that the Monday SV didn’t even read those fracking case studies, did I tell you guys that to prove the point, in one case I substituted the word ‘snotgoblins’ for children and the paper came back without a mark on it. Much to the hilarity of my prac-mates, when I pointed it out.

    I’ve written to Admin & advised them I’m due to graduate so once they send me my bachelor, and there are no more nasty FK up type administrative surprises to negotiate – I will breathe a huge sigh of relief and be happy to walk away from their crazy making.

    If I’m a bit slack about computer chat for a few days it’s just because the most comfortable spot for me to be is propped up, under the dooner, reading Harry Potter books.

    Catty you should have children to entertain you this week and the osteo assures me that if I don’t do anything silly I’ll start to feel much better in about 48 hours.

    Morgana when are you due to enter Dante’s business certificate inferno, and how much time do those unreasonable borg drones expect you to spend away from your cats?

  68. Yes, I still have the kidlets at home. My darling children are currently singing their own version of the Postman Pat theme song. Although blood and guts are mentioned, there isn’t a single ‘poo’ or ‘wee’ in their lyrics. A big improvement on last week’s Scooby Doo theme song mangle.

    I’m surprised you want Hogwarts to send you a bachelor, Quokka. Bachelors are dreadful creatures, what with only changing their socks on Sundays, and leaving pizza boxes all over the lounge room floor. And they NEVER put the toilet seat down. Bastards.

    Enjoy your course, Morgana. No, not the training course. I’m referring to the course of Valium (or possibly antibiotics) you’ll need to recover from the training.

  69. Congratulations! We knew you were brilliant, Quokka. And surely ‘snotgoblins’ is in the OED by now? If not, it should be.

    As for not being able to lean forward… regrettably, surely that means almost all housework is out of the question, too? You should be able to manage unwrapping a Lindt bar, though, so all is not lost.

    Catty… antibiotics? Really? I don’t think training is so much fun that I’ll be contracting an infection there. I think when you die of boredom, it’s usually in a completely sterile environment.

    I don’t even want to think about it. I might start a small business instead, just to evade the training. Pole dancing in a shish kebabery would be fun… and dangerous – or perhaps a home-town version of Wikileaks, when I just post all the gossip about the Coast to registered subscribers?

  70. I went down to the local Polish club to watch some of that Pole dancing. It didn’t look at all sexy to me.

  71. I dunno… who doesn’t like a floral garland and a bit of laced bodice action?

  72. The Boss does. And he looks so lovely in them…..

  73. Hehehe… “Wither goest thou, hairy yet strangely comely maiden?”

    “I’m orf to the footy, mate. D’ya wanna have a go? Hey? You want a piece of me?”

    The moon must be near completely suave, by now. I fear the lunacy has come upon me again.

  74. Coles now sells little chocolate medallions with footy team logos printed on the foil wrappers. Which means even the Boss can have a chokky fix when the moon pops in for a xxxx brazilian. Personally, I think the moon should take the Boss with her – he’s a little hirsute for lacy french knickers at the moment.

    I can’t blame lunacy for that last comment. I’m always like this.

  75. I think they should make AFL choccies shaped like a footballer’s arse.

    Mmm…. taut, chocolate buttocks.

  76. So that’s what those things are.
    I thought they were chocolate coins, so that children could use them for pretend games of ‘Bet Now’ while they’re watching the rugby with dear old Dad.

    Well, I dragged us both off to the cinema last night with an embarrassing quantity of soft squashy things, including a loud orange leopard print cushion, to support my achey breaky sacrum, and we watched Harry Potter DH2. Very few children were out and they were obviously a smart bunch; they took one look at me and decided to keep at least 6 rows between us. So no children got cursed during the series finale and a good time was had by all.

    Well worth waking up with a stiff neck today as being a lady of leisure I can roll over, push the cat out of the way, and go back to sleep.

    I’ve gone back to reading the first book, as when I was going through Book 7 there was a staggering amount of detail that I could swear I’d never encountered before.

    Ah, retreating from reality, it’s my favorite way to while away the time.
    How’s the weather in Melbourne, Catty?
    Apparently it’s not meant to get past 15C here tomorrow, and its meant to rain all weekend.
    Which means I’m planning a couch and DVD day – probably two of them.

    Morgana – I think your kids would be much more likely to cope with this movie than part one. This one is action packed and, I think, less sinister. There’s something gratingly Austin Powers-ish about Voldemort so even though he looks utterly creepy that whiney little voice makes you wonder why he’s not stuck in the Wizard equivalent of Woodford Prison, getting bitch slapped and suffering panic attacks over what will likely happen if he drops his lavender soap.

  77. Thanks for the review, Quokka. However, it’s never been Voldermort, or even Bellatrix or that evil headmistress who’ve worried them.

    They’ve got a morbid fear of Dobby.

    It’s got something to do with his nose, I gather, and is an atavistic and deep-rooted terror which can not be addressed with logic or coercion.

    So I’ll save HP V 7.2 for late in August, when you can join me having forgotten most of what you saw last night.

    I’m getting great mileage out of falling asleep before the children. I just bought True Blood Series 3, and have so far fallen asleep trying to watch ep 3 twice. At this rate, it’ll last me all year!

    Ah, sweet rain. Bringer of mud, wetter of washing, saviour of the hosepipe. I wouldn’t get out of bed if it wasn’t for the offspring.

    * sigh *

    Funnily enough, a reluctance to get out of bed is also what caused the offspring.

  78. This weather reminds me of the polar bear joke. Except that this weather is no joke. I’ve just stocked up on vanilla infused vodka, so I’ll be right tonight at least. Bloody winter! Like the Cussons Imperial Leather lady says, “Tahiti looks nice”…. but Simon still hasn’t brought the jet around to fetch me.

  79. Bloody Simon!

    You know where he is – he flew Justin to the Seychelles.

  80. Damn. I thought there was something suss about that pair, showering naked in the jet together.

  81. Indeed.

    Showering naked with a lithe young accountant is a little luxury you can afford everyday… until just before the end of the financial year.

    Gorgeous weather here – squally, raining, so not quite as cold as it has been. I do believe I will spend today completely in my pyjamas.

    Forget “Friday, I’m In Love”. It’s Saturday I adore.

  82. I did that last Sunday Madam. It was bliss! A bit of reading, some DVDs, a roaring fire, no housework…..

    Not sure I’ll be able to manage it this weekend though… I still haven’t washed those jammies I slothed around in last weekend, and as I only have two pairs, I’m reluctant to do the same without fresh ones to change into after my toasty spa bath……….. Did i forget to mention the spa bath??? And chocolate!

  83. You didn’t move to Melbourne, Mayhem. You moved to heaven. *sigh*

  84. I’ve got a spa bath, too.

    Every time I fill it up and turn on the jets, the tell-tale rumble of the pump alerts Elf Boy. He then scampers in, strips off and proceeds to take over. Sudsy, fun, but not exactly relaxing.

    Glad to hear you’re having such a great time, Mayhem. Brisbane misses you so much the weather is sulking all weekend!

  85. I have a detachable spa machine, and a lock on my bathroom door. I also have an aversion to removing my clothing when it’s too bloody cold. Spa baths will have to wait until the mercury sneaks out from under it’s iceberg.

  86. You’re not wrong, Catty.

    A very dear friend – thanks Quokka – just gave me some luxurious, calming body butter. So far I’ve only opened the jar and smelt it… I’m not taking my gear off long enough to lavish my freezing, naked bod with ungents of any kind. My body is lucky it gets soap and water once a day. I’ve never felt so much empathy for the English, as during this winter.


  87. Soap? Que?

  88. Oh, you’re in Melbourne, Catty.

    Probably you don’t do that down there, what with the wind whipping straight off the Antarctic and the Global Financial Crisis and everything.

    I’ll translate. It’s a quaint little ritual we have, up here in the Sunshine State. It’s called a “shower”. Not shower, as in “or a grower”, but shower, as in power.

    I’m scheduling my next one for sometime in early September. Until then, I’ll keep clean with Wet Ones under a doona.

    Eeeww…. that sounds even worse than it would feel, doesn’t it?

  89. That explains a lot.

  90. I have the perfect fashion accessory for those amongst us who plan to dispense with personal hygiene until September.

  91. And also the pants to do it in… note useful under-crutch built in storage area, for all the used Wet ones.

    Okay, that’s enough. I feel soiled. Bath time!

  92. So now we know where Rhianna and Lady Gaga get their inspiration. And I thought it was the reject bin out the back of Vinnies.

  93. I quite like Rhianna, but Gaga mystifies me. She seems to have all of the brash idiocy of Madonna, with none of the charm.

  94. Ladies…. A Challenge for you! Save me typing it all again, (I’ve just cleaned the salt off my keyboard), and head over to The Corner PLEASE????


  95. Salt?

    Were you drinking Margaritas, or trying to ward off the Devil??

    Or, perhaps it’s so cold in Melbourne that you have to de-ice your keyboard, like Americans do with driveways.

  96. I was persuaded by one of my classmates (occupational hazard – knowing every health food store staff member in Brisbane because at some point I’ve done a class with them) to buy Himalayan crystal salt as an alternative to the common Coles and Woollies Salty Salt that I’ve been smattering on potatoes and eggs for the last 46 years.

    Once home with the box of it I realized I’d need a fracking salt grinder.
    The bloke insisted we had one, a Xmas gift from some relative or other.
    This was two weeks ago, so I told him I had no memory of this and he’d need to produce the salt grinder as evidence.
    And…nothing happened.
    So I went out and bought a very cute salt and pepper grinder set on the weekend, marked down ix 30% n DJ’s, and came home, feeling well satisfied.
    But not as well satisfied as the bloke was, because he’d hunted all through the cupboards and found the fracking salt grinder that the in-laws gave us, god knows how many Xmases ago. And it’s a very nice salt grinder, but as it obviously never interested me enough to fill it with salt, I think I’ll give it to lifeline.

    I’ve just been to a workshop on decluttering.
    Unfortunately the lady who was meant to run it was ill, so the Stand-In was a woman who runs her own business – a bit like Janet’s – and she sells all sorts of knick-knack type stuff.
    Thankfully I don’t like knick-knacks, so I didn’t come home with any extra clutter. however I suspect the morning may have been more productively spent getting some tips from Oprah Dot Com and actually going through some drawers with a bin at my side and the required elements of discipline and ruthlessness, both of which seem to be somewhat lacking.
    Maybe I should just go have a cup of tea and read Harry Potter and let the clutter fester within the cupboards. I mean..until it climbs out and attacks someone, how bad can it be?

  97. The best way to declutter is to take a large cardboard box and mark it “Lifeline”, and a roll of garbags (marked nothing, because they’re going in the bin).

    Start on a day when you hate everything and everybody, so nostalgia and sentiment won’t get in your way.

    Then, room by room, cupboard by cupboard, throw shit out. Somehow, it’s much easier to do if it’s going to a good cause – but anything broken, or useless, or too manky, or missing its lid, goes straight in the bin bag. The more you do, the easier it is.

    Now, this is the crucial bit. When you’ve finished for the day, put the bin bags straight in the bin and drive the boxes to Lifeline. Then there can be no going back at 3 a.m. the next morning when your cortisol is low and you start getting weepy about your old school yearbooks or something.

    But don’t ask me about books – you just watched me buy a copy of “Bottersnikes and Gumbles”, for goodness sakes!

    • Succinct and on the money. It is the only way.

  98. My problem seems to be this.
    Options for the day
    * Clean out the crap of ages that is artfully concealed within existing built in storage spaces.
    * Make tea, sit in sun with cats, read book until it’s time to order take away.

    Now do you see the trouble I’m having with this?

    • … and thank you Quokka for so artfully articulating why I also have not done this yet.

      I have to say too Catty that it was heartening to see that someone else has stuff in bags lying around that needs throwing out. I don’t know why I think that I’m the only one who has this stuff.

      I try not to look at the IKEA catalogue if I can help it – it just makes me feel inadequate. But a good dose of Kim and Aggie on “How Clean is Your House” could possibly be the kick in the arse I’ve been looking for.

  99. No argument here, Quokka. Cats in sunshine win hands down, every time. That’s why I can hear children whimpering beneath the mounds of crap, but can’t actually find them. I do know where my grinders are, though. My grinders are shaped like little bunnies. You squeeze their little ears together to make them grind, and you have to pull off their little cottontails to pour rock salt and pepper corns into their little bunny arses. And because they have magnets on their backs, they stick right on the fridge, so the kidlets can’t lose them in the knife drawer (which is where I found my old salt and pepper shakers that went missing last December – and I only found those because I was looking for my favourite vegetable knife, which still hasn’t been found). I did find my breadknife, though. The Boss had taken it into his freaking shed to cut lengths off the garden hose. Pest.

    I’m wondering if it’s worth gaffer taping magnets to the kidlets? It would be so much easier if I could slap them on the side of the fridge, so I could find them again later. Hmmm….. maybe not. If they’re stuck to the fridge, they may find the box of Cornettos I hid behind the Black and Gold frozen peas.

    • You’ve found the ever important household implements – the kids can wait. And whatever you do, don’t give away the location of the Cornettos.

      JB’s “Felafel” book was the first book I ever gave the spouse with the instruction “Don’t ask questions: just read it”. Recently we were reminsicing fondly about the chapter where JB and his housemates take a week off to clean the filthy share house and by week’s end, they’ve got a burning pit in the backyard and are still no better off so they end up doing a runner.

      I love that bit because I can laugh about the situation but still kid myself I don’t have the same clutter problem. At least, not yet.

  100. Yes. Yes, I do.

    I didn’t even get the nesting instinct during either of my pregnancies. Cats and books would always trump housework, for mine.

    What has made you even think of decluttering, Quokka – some ridiculous salt grinder? Just turn the one your MIL gave you into a voodoo doll of her. Look, see how the bulbous top eerily mimics her real head? Now, torment the MIL salt grinder until you feel better, i.e. all thoughts of domestic slavery have retreated.

    Catty, another good reason not to magnetise the children is that they’ll wipe your hard drive and play havoc with your television reception. Plus, they’ll annoy you even more if they’re always facing North.

  101. Well, I have this strange idea that decluttering my house might actually declutter my head. This month Aunt Irma has gifted me with Brain Fog – which I suspect is just a side effect of not being able to do my usual bendy stretchy stuff, thanks to the sprained ligament.

    I’m one of those people who find that my mood is affected by my environment, so having a good clear-out usually helps my head.

    Aside from this, I’ve left a lot of things untended in order to plough through the study, so some of it has reached the point where it just feels too overwhelming to begin. Again, partly Aunt Irma’s malign influence. The rest of it is just the malign influence of the clutter.

    I think I’ve got the post degree blues.
    Exacerbated by the fact that they still haven’t posted me my GD degree.

    Oh well, time to think Happy Thoughts.
    Morgana, when do you think you’ll be able to do a Harry Potter run?

    • Me too Quokka .. mind and body are inextricably linked. Can’t have one offline without the other following if you know what I mean.

  102. It’s true, there’s nothing more soothing than a clear, uncluttered work environment. Or so I’m told. My house is a collection of scrub turkey heaps, but I was quite proud of doing the floors yesterday. Until the Chocolate Milk Crisis. Let’s not go there.

    Well, I know that I’ll be down in August, the weekend of the 20th/21st.

    Do you need an intervention before then? Because, if motivation and getting started is a problem, I’d be happy to rock around with a platter of sushi and get you going on the study clean-out.

    We could amuse ourselves with a soundtrack of greatest hits from the 80s. Was everyone aware that some fool is staging an 80s music festival?

    If ra-ra skirts and blocky slogan t-shirts come back “in”, I’m going to Dharamsala to find a nice cave in which to live.

  103. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, I’m an 80’s tragic, oh, oh, they HAVE to bring the Rewind to Melbourne, they must, they MUST, oh, oh, oh, I have my high waisted jeans and laceup boots and my wide elastic belt and my fluoro t-shirt with ‘Party like it’s 1985’ all ready, oh, oh, oh, and can somebody call Ross Wilson and Dave Gleeson and make sure they’re coming too, oh, oh, oh I think I’m going to wet myself with excitement!!!!

    • You probably looked good in the 80s, Catty. I was a Liberty printed tragic and unfortunately photos of that still exist.

  104. Party like it’s 1985?

    I remember that old sleaze merchant Prince partying like it was 1999… I guess he didn’t factor in that Y2K crap, writing the song… but what was so hot about 1985?

    Well, other than Billy the Bad Boy Rocker. He literally struck matches off his boot heel. Yeah, since you couldn’t still get Vespas in 1985 he stuck strips of striking paper on his heels, beforehand, but I was young. Young and full of hormones.

    Explains much of my life, actually, although these days I can’t blame it on youth…

  105. These days I blame it on early onset dementia.
    Shop girls always look bemused when you say ‘Whoops. Another menopause moment in my life, sorry about that.’
    Morgana I’ve put that in my diary.
    Sounds good. The movie, not the 80s remix.
    I think I’ll just pretend I didn’t see that, lest I have nightmares.
    Thanks for the offer to declutter.
    Probably what I need most is motivation from afar…ie. ‘Q, have you done your 30 minutes of decluttering today?’
    According to the workshop it’s best approached for 40 minutes a day, you set a timer, approach the loathesome task and then reward yourself with some sort of joyous waste of time (and chocolate biscuits) at the end of it.

    I think today’s decluttering can count as the hour I spent in Hoppy’s car wash, reading Harry Potter and trashy Women’s Weekly magazines while their minimum wage minions set to in the arctic winds and made the car sparkle. Now at least it won’t embarrass me when I take it in for it’s annual tune/service tomorrow.

    Unless of course they find rats living in the side panels, like they did with one of my girlfriends from college.

  106. Rats in the side panels?


    I thought we’d plumbed the depths of infestations in working cars, when an anonymous relative dropped so many food crumbs in their vehicle they had a swarm of cockroaches. And a separate visitation by ants. Still stonkers me how the insects managed to climb aboard – unless they parachuted in using helicopter seeds, or something.

    I can just imagine rat girl going to her mechanic. “When I’m driving along, I hear these funny scratchy sounds. Then, sometimes there’s this really high pitched squealing? And, umm, a strange smell when it’s been parked in the sun for a while. This sounds really dumb, but it’s kind of like rat wee. Maybe it’s the carburettor?”

    Okay, I’ll be your personal HassleBot, Quokka:
    If you’re reading this, young lady, I assume you’ve done your 40 minutes decluttering!

    Yesterday was the weirdest. I had a long list of appointments, etc – and then every time I was just finished with whatever, someone would ring or drop in to launch into something else. I felt like a cosmic baton. Hope I get some quality pulp fiction and cat time in today.

  107. Beautifully done, Madam. Every time I tried to do something, I had at least two other somethings nagging me to drop what I was doing, long before it was done, and do them instead. Nothing actually got finished. Today, I hope, will be slightly more productive – but if it isn’t, I don’t care. I have cake. Which I will only share with Quokka IF her 40 minutes of decluttering is finished before the cake is.

  108. Oh, incentive. I like it. You be the carrot, Catty, and I’ll be the stick.

    Get cracking, Quokka. Tidy study, tidy mind. Or maybe I meant, “Tiny stud, Mine all mine”.

    No, can’t have been the latter. I like ’em big and hairy. Especially in winter.

  109. Cake’s finished. Chores aren’t. *sigh*

    But it was good cake. Better luck tomorrow, Quokka. There will be almond bread.

    Um, Madam, I hope you’re not referring to body jewelry. I’d hate to see something big and hairy poking out of your nose.

  110. No, my mind was straying back to men. Given that Mr Underbelly and I had… umm… a full and frank exchange of opinions, yesterday.

    No, not really opinions. More body fluids. Why, oh why can I not leave him alone? He’s like catnip, and I just want to…

    Sorry, I won’t go on. Vote for Janet in the Ford Focus vlogging thingy!

    • I’ve been voting like buggery. I hope she wins.

      Can I also have some of what Morgana’s having?

  111. Yum, pass the cake please Catty!
    Yesterday I was very productive but today has been pretty much domesticus interuptus. had to leave the house at some horrible early hour and fight the traffic to take the car in for a service. Caught the bus into the city for some most enjoyable time wasting in there – I even managed to get some sushi from that place near DJ’s in Adelaide street where there’s normally a queue that runs the length of the block – YUM! hadn’t had it before and while I still think my sushi kotobuki people make the best sushi I’ve tasted, this was pretty damned good.

    So I’ve come home with a selection of birthday cards & wrapping paper (child’s BD on Saturday to tend to), nice trashy Super Food Ideas magazine, and another one on outdoor design to inspire my final drawings of Stage 3 constructions here at Casa Quokka, and I’ve found a lovely book on managing IBS via diet/FODMAP (if you need to ask, then ask it of google, I’m still in cerebral avoidance mode) in the Myer ABC bookstore. It looks like a very handy one to have on hand in the event that I’m ever insane enough to contemplating practicing, down the track.
    So I’ve just come in, had a cuppa and read a chapter of HP-3, and now I’m contemplating the chores. Don’t know about the rest of you but it’s fracking freezing, here. Since the RSPCA will arrest me for cruelty if I take the dog out for a walk in this I figure I may as well leave him asleep in his sunbeam in the front bedroom.
    So I don’t think I’ll achieve much today.
    I’ve fed the neighbour’s cat, which should earn me a medal for bravery, in this wind, and now I might go warm my icy hands up by plunging them into a nice hot soapy sink full of dirty dishes.
    Why can’t we live in a climate where the temperature fluctuates between 21 & 27C and there’s none of this ‘apparent temperature when you factor in the wind chill, 6C BS?
    Brr, chatter chatter…oops, I think I may have just snapped a frozen pinky typing that last.
    Somebody put the kettle on, it’s COLD!

    • Have heard it is nasty up there today. Must be almost time for the Ekka surely?

      • Sssh!

        I’m not mentioning it to the kids. If we want to get the flu, we can just go to school and take a deep breath – and if we want to spend $500 in a day, we can just go to Woolies “to pick up a few things”.

  112. Nup. Still here adding to the Brain Clutter.
    check this out – useful if you gave birth to triplets, perhaps.
    Hell if you get mastitis and you’re wearing Katy Perry’s shoes, though.

    • Thank God I don’t have one of those. The youngest already drives me insane and doesn’t need another portal into paradise.

      • It would be awesome!

        You wouldn’t have to undo your top, in winter. Just kick off a shoe and say “Here, get a little sole into you!”

  113. Bizarre. And I thought I had trouble finding a bra that fit comfortably.

    As for the weather, best viewed from under at least two feather quilts while wearing flannelette.

    If it’s a choice between lovely clear sunny days with cruel southerlys blowing frigid air straight from Antarctica and down my shirt –

    or nasty grey rainy days when the blessed rain clouds act like Nature’s doona, trapping the lovely warm air closer to where we shiver, then it’s no contest, for mine.

    Bring back the drizzle!

    So far, no one has called me and no one had dropped around. And while I was out, the nice man mowed my lawn. So, despite the shivery conditions I’m calling it a good day.

  114. On the lawn mowing alone, I would agree with you. I don’t do gardening (but you knew that).

  115. Glad to hear it, Melbo.

    I have to declare this week pretty peculiar, though.

    Everyone I meet seems to be have experienced a string of bizarre ill fortune, or be terminally scatty. A friend says Saturn is in transit, or something’s due to eclipse – but I prefer to think the CIA put a mind-altering substance in this seaon’s flu vaccine.

  116. Really? It hasn’t struck here, just yet, I’ve been busy catching up on routine stuff that I put off during semester.
    Then again, I haven’t had a flu shot since I was a teenager so they’d have to slip the mind FK drugs into chocolate if they want to mess with me.


  117. How nice of you Madam to put up the link to Janet’s competition! Just remember ladies, each one of your personalities may vote only once each day. And don’t let them all use the same computer or email address. ISP addresses will be checked.

    Still not sleeping terribly well, it appears that my new GP has no faith in alternative medicines. Unfortunately the Temazepam he prescribed doesn’t seem to be working too well…. at least not at the dosage he prescribed, and despite the addition of alcomohol!

    All is not lost however, I have had the green light from my Breast Care Nurse to grab some Valerian, I will do that today. She’s also recommended a referral to the Royal Women’s Menopause Clinic, apparently they’re big on assisting women with “induced menopause” (“that’s you” she added helpfully), and there IS a drug that can reduce the salty symptoms, without interfering with the Tamoxifucken, which is causing the problem in the first place…. It has the added bonus of being an anti-depressant…

    Am I weird in that the only way I will consider using an anti-depressant is if it has another useful side-effect?? Like stopping the sweats, or helping you quit smoking? I think it’s a brain blockage of some sort, but I just hate the idea that I need drugs to induce happiness/stability whatever…..

    Anyhoo, I’m happy to give it a whirl, and to accept a referral to the Psych at Peter Mac (another thing I have difficulty with, due to bad experience in the past), ‘cos I’m really very happy in every other area (apart from missing The Brat terribly), and I’m sick of this disease harshing my mellow….


  118. Sounds like a good idea, Mayhem.
    There are a lot of studies showing that regularly daily exercise can produce similar benefits to anti-depressants (endorphin release and all), also yoga. So if you really don’t feel like taking meds you could try that for a while and if you aren’t feeling better after 2-3 months, go the GP’s advice re: meds.

    No wind here today, yet, hallelujah.
    Meaning it’s nowhere near as fracking cold as it was yesterday.
    So I might try to take my own advice and get down to the pool.
    Mind, if there’s a layer of ice on the top, I’ll be coming straight home.
    The hound is off to have some dental work done, and I’ve been busy last night and this morning fiddling with drawings for the architect/town planner.
    OK. Chores!
    I’ll be back late this arvo, for cake.

    • I’ve got some caramel tart topped with roasted macadamias, Quokka. I hope that will suffice.

      If not, I can highly recommend the left-over Matt Moran rice pudding, with a little bit of raspberry jam for zing.

      Mmmm…. zing!

  119. De nada, Mayhem. My multiple personalities and I have been voting for Janet, it was past time to spread the love.

    I don’t blame you for being anti-psych drugs, or indeed anti-psychologist, but have a crack with an open mind.

    In any profession there will be:
    (1) Idiots;
    (2) Crackpots who espouse some whacked-out philosophy that makes you incontinent with hilarity;
    (3) Strong personalities which may clash with your own strong personality;
    (4) Sensible people, you warm to, who may be able to help.

    This woman – surely to God she’s a woman – may be a (4), if you’re lucky. I’m crossing my legs for you. If nothing else, she’s paid to hear you whinge, so go for it, Sister!

    Of course this is a turbulent time. You’re facing issues of womanhood and death, damn it! No matter how over child-rearing you are in theory and in practice, you’ve spent the last 20 odd years identifying as a (too) fertile female. Now you’re menopausal. Your offspring, (however annoying) who may have helped soothe and alleviate this crisis, by his mere presence, is far away. You’re planning to amputate your boobies. You’re in a relatively new live-in relationship, in a new (again) home town. Holding down a new job. By Crikey, if you weren’t stressed and conflicted there’d be something wrong with you! Sometimes just acknowledging things helps. It’s lurking horrors and shadowy fears that keep us awake at night.

    Love from afar and best wishes always xx oo ( . )( . ) (virtual boobies)

  120. Thank God for good friends!

  121. And Lemon Meringue tart.

  122. And double chocolate brownies, which I just remembered I had when I went to defrost the freezer.
    See, this declutter BS can yield unexpected rewards.

    Mayhem my counselor encouraged all her clients to read a book called ‘The Happiness Trap’. Morgana is right, you are in the middle of a big adjustment period – and you know I’m a fan of support groups so I think it’s worth asking your oncologist if he/she knows of one.
    Re: the psychologist, you know that as the child of a veteran, you probably qualify for some free counseling from the Veteran’s Family counseling service?
    Probably easy to find via google/Veteran’s affairs, but I think the freecall number is 1800 011 046 if you want to ask them about it. Insanity, I’ve discovered, is a costly indulgence, so always worth checking out the freebies.

  123. Thanks for the tip Quokka about Vet Affairs. As a cancer patient, I am entitled to some free counselling through the Hospital. I also have the Employee Assistance Program many companies (including mine), now encourage staff to use. I’m also fairly certain I can contact the Cancer Council for assistance as well.

    There may be limits on some of these entitlements, so all avenues may be required. I’ll check it all out.

    For now, I am going to take a cup of Chamomile tea, add some bubbles (soap ones) to my bath, turn on the jets, and read a book, adding hot water as it cools. The jury’s still out on the Chamomile tea by the way, but I thought it prudent to try that, rather than a bottle of Vodka. If it turns out I really don’t like it, I’ve wasted $1.65, not $30.

  124. I don’t know how you can use the words “waste” and “vodka” in the same sentence, Mayhem.

    Even if you don’t want to drink it, you can use it as a base for a signature scent or kill mould with it. Glass cleaner, home wrecker, tractor fuel – you can do it all with Vodka (TM)!

  125. Unless it’s ‘I got totally wasted on organic vodka. Whatever you do don’t believe the pitch that just because it’s organic means you won’t get a hangover.’
    I still have that large bottle of organic vodka in the pantry that we didn’t touch on T-day.
    Ho hum.
    I was a good little marsupial yesterday and trawled through the ugly contents of Paper Tray No# 1 (or Domestic Enemy No# 1, as I prefer to call it).
    I found a number of lost things that I’d entirely given up on.
    So perhaps it was worth the trauma of facing that particular bit of horror.
    Domestic Enemy No# 2 is my next mission – probably not today.
    Its 4 tiers high and at this point in time, I can think of better things to do.
    I’m off to sit in the sun and read Harry Potter.
    Catty, when do those kids go back to school and how’s your domestic relocation program going?
    Morgana, how’s your business course progressing?

  126. Good job, Quokka! I’m sure all that industry will make your solar lounging all the sweeter.

    As to my business course – nicely, thank you. As in, I got an email confirming they’d received my email expressing interest, and since then nothing.

    If that’s good enough for Mission, it’ll do me. I can certainly fit their requirements around my lifestyle.

    Speaking of lifestyle, I got a call from sick bay just before lunch. Elf Boy was complaining of seeing purple spots before his eyes. I laughed and said I’d come and pick him up, but I think they thought I was a bit harsh for branding him an overt malingerer.

    Is there some purple spot pathology the escaped my attention at Uni? I might have slept or tripped my way through that lecture.

  127. You mean to say you spent HOW many years at uni and yet you never came face to face with the Tequila monster?
    i.e. Purple spotted weasel in sombrero, pictured below

    The point of concern here is that Elf Boy has encountered this evil being in a grade 2 class room rather than the girls’ lavatory in some hallowed hall of tertiary education, at 3 of the am, after ingesting a cocktail of booze and gold top mushrooms.

  128. Had a good, (almost) uninterrupted night’s sleep, and am feeling heaps better today. Have an appointment with a Psych at Peter Mac on August 16th, a lady named Tess. Waiting to hear from the Royal Women’s re the Menopause clinic.

    Still feeling a little fragile, doesn’t take much to upset me, but I am at least functional today, and a long chat with The Brat has lifted my spirits significantly.

    Thanks ladies for your supportive words and virtual sugar hits.

    P.S. Madam, I consider it a waste of Vodka if you end up tasting it twice!!!!

  129. Madam, it could be an unexpected blood sugar drop. Hypoglycemia can hit fairly suddenly, and that often results in seeing grey, white or purple spots. In school children, scientific boffin types say the most likely cause is not eating their snack and/or lunch, then running around during play time. So if Elf Boy had spots, it could possibly be that he didn’t eat his morning tea, and went running around with his friends instead.

    The boffins also say it can be caused by eating a high-sugar, low-carb breakfast (like Coco Pops, or Mars Bars), but I don’t believe a word of it.

    The easiest way to find out if he’s bluffing is to tell him the only cure is brussells sprouts. Or maybe it’s just the most entertaining way?

    Of course, it could be leprosy. Have any of his fingers dropped off?

    Meanwhile, I’m having a Murphy week. Anything that can go wrong, has gone wrong. My voice has defaulted to ‘screaming profanities’ mode. I’ve made phone calls to everyone you can imagine about the most ridiculous problems you can imagine, and by this afternoon I found myself ranting and expleting at a voice recognition service.

    Mayhem, I don’t know how you deal with all your stress. My petty pile of hassles aren’t a patch on yours, and I’m ready to implode after a week. You’re not a woman, you’re a goddess. (LYLT!)

    The kids are back at school. Homework, parent/teacher interviews, readers, making lunches, washing uniforms, getting up early….. oh joy…..

    And here I am with no brownies. You’d better eat yours up fast, Quokka, or I may just have to find myself a vampire, get bitten, become a vampire, turn into a bat, fly to your house, steal your brownies, fly back home, turn back into a vampire, find the vampire who bit me, stake him (yes, ‘him’) through the heart, burn his remains, scatter the ashes, and transform back into a human so I can eat the brownies. You know, it would probably be quicker and easier to make my own, wouldn’t it?

  130. Yes, Catty, it would – but not even a quarter as much fun. As for this week, it’s been ridiculous. Every person I’ve had dealings with has been off their trolley, including me. I assume Saturn is transiting or something or other is eclipsed. Or perhaps the CIA were a bit heavy-handed with the dose of mind-control chemicals in the water supply – again.

    Glad you’re feeling a bit more chipper, Mayhem. Have a great weekend!

    Thank you, ladies, for Polyfilla-ing over the sad deficiencies in my scientific knowledge base.

    Quokka, knowing the child’s father, I wouldn’t be surprised if gold tops or blue meanies were involved… but we’re short on cow paddocks here at the beach. Do you think a Feral Mummy accidentally slipped some into a batch of birthday chocolate crackles, and the littlies got out of their gourds on Whackles?

    I know it’s not Tequila… the teachers would confiscate that quick smart, and do body shots in the staff room at morning tea.

    Catty, you may well be right. Although he had a Weetbix for breakfast (low GI, if you don’t count the handful of brown sugar he decorated it with before consumption), he is notorious for not eating and then running around like a maniac. Which explains why he came home sick and then devoured his way through the kitchen like a bulimic wolf. At one point he even demanded that I stop what I was doing to make him sushi, but I declined.

  131. It wouldn’t have worked anyway. You can’t make him sushi. Sushi is made with fish, not little boys.

    I vaguely remember reading something about Saturn being in Capricorn, so all the goats were having a crappy week, but it may just have been an hallucination induced by lack of sleep and too much stress.

    Just to top off a frustrating and horrible week, I was requisitioned to help move the teen into a sharehouse. The Boss and I loaded up all her crap out of the shed (including a futon), and all the crap she needed (including bedding for the futon) into the Kia, and off we went with the axles straining. That night, the police came knocking – the house two doors down had been burgled that day, and someone told the police they saw our car loaded with crap driving slowly down the street. Policemen scare the crap out of me (I’ve had dealings with QLD police), so the whole incident left me shaken – not stirred. And do you think I could find my vodka stash? Not a hope. I had to make do with the cooking port.

  132. You’re kidding?!

    Your neighbours dogged you to the cops for moving your own damn crap around.

    Hooley Dooley, Catty – what are street parties like, in your suburb? Do they pat you down,take a precautionary DNA swab and have you sign a waiver before you’re allowed to add your plate of dip to the buffet?

    Here’s a ray of sunshine – not much to miss in that street, when you move!

    As for the teen… that means you’ll see much more of her, I suppose. What with needing to do her laundry, and because their fridge will always be empty. First share-house fridges are usually empty, except for the odd influx of cheap booze.

    Does anyone remember Nikov? It was a cheap cask of vodka and orange, briefly on sale in the 80s. Other than getting you maggotted ASAP, it was notorious for making people fight. They should have called it “Beserker Punch”. I saw vegetarian lesbians, mellow through to their bone marrow, come to blows after a glass or two of the old Nikov. Happy days.

  133. I remember Nikov. I didn’t drink it. I was more of a Passion Pop type – it was only $2.00 a bottle. Yeah, I’m a cheap drunk.

    Re: the teen. She’s moved to a suburb so far away that she has to catch two buses and a train to get to school. Although this means she’ll probably drop out of school by September, it also means she’ll need a packed lunch if she wants to drop in here. I’m more likely to get calls/emails begging for money and food. We’re starting a book on whether the dear girl is going to:
    A: become a prostitute,
    B: become a drug dealer,
    C: sell all her crap, then start stealing other people’s crap to sell, or
    D: have a baby so she can get Centrelink’s single parent’s payment.

    I was going to add E: get a job, but everyone laughed when I suggested it.

  134. No, I don’t remember Nikov and I wish I didn’t remember Passion Pop.
    thankfully I don’t remember most of what I did within a 3 week perimeter of consuming it so that, at least, is small mercy.
    Do excuse my absence, the MAC decided to translate everything into Wingdings and Gobbledegook on Friday, so I’m a bit behind.
    Catty, that’s just woeful, your Mrs. Kravitz tale.
    Sitting here shuddering at the thought of having a teenager.
    Poor you.
    Speaking of responsibilities, I looked after my nice neighbours’ cat all week and they came over yesterday to give me a bromeliad by way of thanks. I was in the bath, so the Bloke answered the door and explained that I was in the bath. Which prompted their three year old to start tearing off his clothes, as he anticipated joining me.
    Yesterday we went to a 6 yro’s birthday party, my Flood Cat family friends.
    They had a wildlife show visit, complete with face painting and bouncy castle.
    I’ve never seen so many kids so utterly entranced at a children’s party, Vanessa did well. Must say the reptiles seemed much more at ease with the children than the birds or the marsupials. there was even a very small crocodile – I have crocodile phobia so even the very small one was enough to give me nightmares.
    Even though it was tiny it still had that glint in it’s eye that said ‘Apex Predator’.
    It was eyeing all the children off the way that you and I would look in the sweet shop window when it’s shut. i.e. ‘I know where you live, and I’ll be back.’

  135. Nothing to stop her going with “E: All of the above”, although I’d like to put my virtual money on “running with a bikie gang, cooking speed in the bathtub and causing a minor explosion”, please. Poor Catty. I’m overflowing with sympathy for you… please regard this as a deposit against the time – just a few short years away, I’m sure – when my darling Magic Man starts to run amok.

    Speaking off the offspring, he did something hilarious but horribly embarrassing the other day. I laughed until I cried, then, wiping the tears from my eyes, noticed that he was a cascade of misery.
    “What’s wrong, sweetheart? I couldn’t help laughing, that was very funny.”
    He sniffed, and replied “You’re going to blog it, aren’t you?”

    Clever Vanessa. I wonder if they come up this far, either/both of mine would love to get jiggy with the reptiles. Sorry to hear about your Mac, though, Quokka. Break your covenant with The Dark Emperor, Steve Jobs, and buy a nice straightforward PC. Mine only flips to wingdings when the kids have been trying out spy codes.

    Laughing to think of the toddler in the bath with you… and very relieved to know that Elf Boy isn’t the only budding pervert!

    Now, Weird Sisters, I want to go on the record as stating that this week will be exponentially better than last. The mantra is, “I am having an awesome week. Everything is going my way.”

    Repeat after me, until we create the change we want to see. Anther week like last week might push me over the edge.

  136. “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    “I am having an awesome week.Everything is going my way”

    There… that should see me through until close to Christmas I reckon…

  137. Bring forth the vodka. It cureth all ills. And fools. We need fools to amuse us. Aha, I shall retire forthwith to the room of fools. (or, CBG, as they like to be called). My week shall be marvellous, so long as I don’t run out of olives, and no three year olds climb in my bubble bath.

  138. Hehehe… the room of fools.

    And, yea verily, she went unto the room of fools and spaketh unto the fools. And it was good. Well, she was good, but the fools were foolish. Except for the odd one or two, which were unto the arse of the Beast. Yea, I say unto you, there are those among the fools who are more rank than foolish. They are vile beyond all imagining, viler even than a lunchbox left half-full of tuna sandwich and mashed banana in the summer sun for three months.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  139. Madam Morgana, thou hath spaketh with great wisdom. I bow before thy lunchbox.

    Actually, I did go over to the room of fools, and prodded everyone with a stick. Especially that disgusting little turd Orin. Heh heh heh…. now where’s my vodka?

  140. Here.

    I’ve had it in the freezer, with shards of lime zest.

    Oh. Hang on a minute. I’ll strain out that zest, or you’ll choke. I didn’t realise you’d be drinking it that fast!

    Try now.

  141. Which one of his multiple personalities did you prod?
    I hope it wasn’t the one that lives quietly on acreage, stockpiling tons of fertilizer and deadly weapons.
    Wait…have I just described much of the CBG demographic?

  142. Yes.

    Except for those who live on the eastern seaboard, stockpiling tons of fertilizer and deadly weapons.

    Or those who reside in inner urban settings, stockpiling tons of fertilizer and deadly weapons in leased storage units…

  143. Or those that live by the river, hoarding sharp implements and encouraging the local wildlife to tip their more OCD neighbours over the edge by thieving and stockpiling their stores of fertilizer and compost.

  144. Indeed.

    Speaking of those who dwell feloniously along Brisbane’s riverbanks, where is dear Greybeard?

    I haven’t made a detailed study, but I suspect he avoids us for a week on either side of the full moon.

    Well, it’s early days yet but so far this week is shaping up nicely. The children have staged only one fight to the death and I’m currently relaxing in an empty, cleanish home, listening to the magpies’ warble and the frantic scampering of the cats trying to get out and shred the magpies.

    We’ll overlook The Inevitable Supermarket for the purposes of maintaining serenity.

    How’s everyone else?

  145. I don’t know, but as there’s been an influx of flapping turkinators here at Casa Quokka, and they’ve been particularly destructive, lately, my guess would be that he’s hiding behind the back fence with a sack of bird seed and a remote control robot bird device.
    I think we should try to lure him out with us for our HP-7/2 screening.
    Do you have a preference for 3D or 2D?
    I’ve seen it in both and I do think it was better in 2D.
    There’s so much happening on screen that I think you miss the subtlety of what’s happening to stage left etc in the 3D version, because the special effects tend to dominate. Which works in things like Avatar, which was designed for 3D, but not for something with the complexity of HP.
    Well, this was my argument to the bloke (who loves 3D) and it only became valid when he found a film critic who aired the same opinions as I just did.
    That said, one should bear in mind that I am a visually challenged marsupial and I do tend to become easily confused in 3D cinema settings.
    Having seen both, and reread the final book, I’m much less confused and am happy to go to either.
    How long is your mother visiting for, MM?

    • 2D every time, please.

      3D gives me a headache… and since I’m still in the denial phase of my vision-failing-as-old-age-encroaches stage, the thought of paying extra to sit wearing glasses and develop a migraine doesn’t sit well with me.

      Mum’s just up for her standard two days a week. I’m never sure if she comes up because she doesn’t trust me, left alone to run my own life, or because she loves the grandkids so much, or because she has to get away from Dad, at least part-time. All of the above, I suspect.

  146. I wanted to dust my timber blinds (honestly, I really did!) but I’ve spent the entire morning tidying up everyone else’s mess. Honestly, from the mounds of crap I’ve had to sort and relocate, anyone would think my whole family were turkinators. And now, instead of dusting, I have to package and post the Boss’s eBay sales for the weekend. Just what I need on a Monday – standing in AusPost’s queue. Joy.

    But I shouldn’t complain. I shouldn’t. But I’m going to. Wah, wah, wah.

    I might just go over to the room of fools and poke Blarkon some more, before going to the post office. That will cheer me up no end. Much like your vodka did, Madam. Cheers!

    Greybeard, you can come out now. I promise not to clear away your fertiliser mound. I’m done with that for today.

  147. Catty, I do feel your pain.

    ALL of the crap that falls into mounds around this place is other people/animals. I’m so busy cleaning up after everybody/thing else that I never have time to generate crap piles of my own.

    I’m sure you’re also familiar with the “as soon as I’ve sat down for the first time in four hours someone starts to bleed/wail/pass out from starvation” phenomenon, too.

    It would be a sure-fire mean to prevent teen pregnancies if – Instead of educating kids about the joys of latex and how to say “no” like you mean it – they just sent them over here to run my house for a day.

  148. Another crappy, crappy week. If I had a cat, I’d kick it. The neighbours have a cat, but I’m not going outside to kick the stupid thing. It’s dark out there, and I might get murdered. I’ll just have to kick the kidlets. Oh, I’m not allowed, am I?


    Vodka bubble bath it is, then. Hey, there’s an idea for your mum, Madam. Once she’s soaked her outards in a tub full of bubbles, and her innards with a jug full of vodka, she’ll be too mellow to notice any chocolate milk streaks on the floor.

  149. Or maybe I should have the vodka bubble bath, and then I just won’t care.

    Sorry to hear about your on-going crapulence, Catty. I’m sure everything will start to look better when the mercury stays above 10 overnight. At the moment, it’s SO COLD. Even emotional pain is more painful in the cold, I reckon. This may explain why the Vikings were so surly and rambunctious.

    I left Elf Boy with Mama and took Magic Man to karate training last night. My word, Sensei hammered them. I’m not sure whether to feel like I’m really getting value for money, sending them off to be rigorously drilled in the martial arts, or cruel!

  150. Cruel indeed – cruel for you. Sensei is allowed to kick the crap out of our kids, but we aren’t. It’s just not fair.

    But seriously…. don’t call DOCs, I am only funnin’. I’d never hurt my babies. Use them as zombie bait, yes. Sell them for medical experiments, yes. But hurt them? Never!

  151. I, too, am a victim of non-violent parenting. By which I mean, my own. When I was pregnant with the first I decided I wouldn’t smack or slap or bash or whip as a form of discipline.

    Well, that’s all lovely and Kumbayah in theory, but in practise it means they have little to fear and run amok like a pair of toey Beserkers.

    I’m considering mind control chemicals in their Weet-Bix. Or in my green tea. I suppose if I dose myself until I don’t care, it would work just as well…

  152. My own mother was fond of brandy when we were little. A good swig in our baby bottles, and we were out like a light.

  153. Brandy?

    They’d never drink brandy.

    For goodness sake, they won’t even eat my risotto.

    My mum tried the brandy trick on me, too – but only once. She reckons I stayed up past midnight, gurgling and carrying on and thoroughly enjoying myself.

    Explains all those nightclubs 16 years or so later, now I come to think of it.

  154. Ah, yer pussies, all of you.
    Once weaned from mother’s milk – or the bottled formula that swiftly took it’s place – I moved straight onto Dad’s lap where I latched onto his beer glass and would refuse to let it go.
    Mother, being a scotch drinker herself, and holding strong convictions about how only hussies and tarts drank beer, decided me to cure of this by spiking my nightly tot of beer with a shot of dark rum. And beaming with satisfaction at the 48 hour vomitathon that followed.
    I just hope she was hovering in the ether when I was at university, steadfastly refusing to drink anything yellow and yeasty out of a yard glass. Thankfully her cure meant that I’d developed a taste for a cocktail that a gay friend had introduced me to – the ‘dirty mother’ = 4 white spirits and a dash of orange juice, in a 10 oz glass.
    I still run into people who run screaming in the opposite direction, presumably because of whatever TF I did while I was channeling Satan those weekends – but thanks to the neurotoxic effects of the Dirty Mothers, I have no clue who the screaming running people are, or WTF I did.

  155. Hehehe.

    What a beautiful tale of family dysfunction, Quokka.

    Only your mother would cure beer sipping in an infant with a dose of Bundy.

    As for her hovering in the ether, Elf Boy initiated a conversation on related matters today:
    “Mumma, is there an Afterlife?”

    “I’m not sure, darling. I know that the people we love live on in our memories, after they die. Like I remember my Grandma, your Great-Grandma. What do you think?”

    “I think when you die you can whisper secrets from the sky. I would like to know if there is a Heaven, or not.”

    “Well, when I die, if I can whisper secrets from the sky I will let you know.”

    That satisfied him. It didn’t occur to me until later, though – what if he decides to hasten the dying, to uncover the secrets faster?

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