2013: the Year of the Flat Pack

cats in a box
“Where did you put that Allen key?”


707 Responses

  1. Your cat is called Allen?

  2. ‘I ATE it.’

  3. Hehehe. From the look on Jet’s face, he might have accidentally sat on it.

  4. I’ve been saying it for years and there’s your proof – A trip to the Swedish Home Store is the key to a healthy bowel movement.

  5. The bloke just peered over my shoulder and said how good it was to see the twins. And he wants to know if they are still best mates. Since your last report, of course.
    Meanwhile I have a pest control question – I dosed the dog with Capstar or whatever the smurf it is this am as the Sentinel spectrum stuff I’ve had him on for the last 5 weeks seems to be utterly useless at preventing fleas & we picked 6 rather ill looking insects off him during bath time on Thursday.
    The bloke picked the capstar up from the vet but failed to ask for guidance how to use it. Poor little dog is still madly scratching although the few fleas that i have found on him seem very sick and miserable. It’s only your faith in it that’s giving me any faith in it’s ability to soothe him. Poor little guy. It only takes one smurfing flea and he’s miserable.
    The cats are fine and have been dosed up with advantage to ensure they continue that way, so the dog must have picked up a few bugs on his travels with the bloke when other dogs have walked up to say hello to him.

    How long do you reckon it takes for the capstar to do it’s job, MM?
    Online the company BS says it starts killing them within 30 minutes but I’d believe you before I believe some college undergraduate who’s getting paid $5 an hour to write product reviews.

  6. Well, I agree with the packaging – or, that is, I usually get results within a few hours. In about 30 minutes the dog starts scratching like mad, which I’ve always assumed is the fleas having one last bite as they cark it, and then she stays flea-fee for 3 -5 days.

    But she doesn’t get summer itch or whatever.

    Perhaps if you bathe him in something soothing and insecticidal, in case there are stragglers? he is v hairy (Riley not the Bloke). Rosemary and Lavender??

    And yes, tell Bloke the twins are still more like 1 1/2 cats than 2 separate entitites. They have a hive mind going, although Flot is much more manly. We suspect Jet is gay … not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  7. Indeed. We’re quite sure that both my boys are gay. The siamese next door has taken to visiting our front porch around 4pm for loving trysts with Ron, and if his BFF spots it, a shocking jealous hissy fit erupts. We’re really going to miss Ole Blue Eyes when he moves. Only another 9 days of having nice neighbours. I returned their key after my 3 days of cat sitting & they told me that they have to be out by the 14th and the nice people in all the flats upstairs who’ve been there for ages have been asked to leave by the end of the month. Siamese family are OK as they are taking over a friend’s lease down the road but the others are very upset at being told to FO given that it’s such a competitive time of year for house-hunting around here – I think they’re all POd after all the hype about not wanting any of the tenants to leave & being told nothing would change.
    The Bloke & I are mystified & are more convinced than ever that the Crazy Woman who looks like she’s spent most of her life running a Bali Brothel must’ve bought it, so she probably wants to turn it into a Hookers and Blow factory. The Bloke is inclined to think that Greed and Stupidity are the forces behind this & the greasy REA has probably told the new owner he can get $50 a week extra for each of those disgusting rat holes but the tenancy laws won’t let him jack the rent up by that much.
    So…you can all look forward to tales of Folly from the new slum lord next door as of mid January.
    Behold the Power of Derp.
    Thanks for the flea advice, MM.
    I’d already bathed him in some hypoallerginic ph balanced stuff so I may do that again today – vet said not to do insecticidal bath because of his sensitive skin & preferably not to bathe him more than once a week. So I’ll see if it settles down.
    He’s had one hair cut this summer but could probably stand to get shorn again.
    He went absolutely nuts with the itching about 6 hours after we gave him the tablet but evening does seem to be itchy time for him and he’s much better this am.
    Evil little beasts, fleas are proof that there is no god if you ask me. Why would anyone invent a creature that would make a sweet little animal suffer so?

    Oh and hallelujah for the rain. Hope you’re getting some up your way. It makes no sense to wish that the Melbourne folk won’t suffer in the weather, so I won’t do anything so foolish. Instead I shall wish that you have the strength to bear whatever Melbourne dishes up for you this week, Catty. According to the folk at BOM, the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse have been sighted at the outer markers so we’re all in for it. Eek.

  8. Three horsemen and the Boss on a motorbike, actually.

  9. I hope he’s delivering pizza.

  10. Mmm… pizza.

    Yes, the insane itching seems to be par for the course, Q. Glad he’s settled. Fur-face, I mean, not the greasy REA. Sad to hear about you neighborhood upheavals, but on the other hand I do love a good Bog Hollow story.

    Maybe we could get you a reality show? You could wear an old Paddle Pop Lion costume or something to foil the stawkas.

  11. Or I could dress up as a brush turkey. That way I could scratch around looking for the last surviving hippeastrums from the previous owner and nobody would even notice me.
    Yeah it’ll be interesting to see what kind of folly is scheduled for next door.
    I’m sure I can count on a steady flow of freaks to entertain you all.
    heh heh. The vegan-hippy station wagon pulled out yesterday with their 30m of coiled agricultural tubing piled high on top and I got the giggles, wondering if their new neighbours are thinking what I thought when I saw that.
    i.e. Agriculturalists…NOOOOOO!
    If I’d known they were Vegan cyclist enthusiasts instead of the indoor branch of the Mullumbimby Farmers association I’d have panicked far less. As it turns out the obnoxious landlord wouldn’t let them plant their veggie garden at bog hollow. Not that he told them this, he just waited until their lettuce and spinach plants were a week away from being ready for harvesting and he yanked them all out of the ground and chucked them in the compost.
    Such a charming man.
    He’ll be a hard act to follow when it comes to entertaining you all while I aerate my spleen, but I’ll do the best with what God gives me.

    Dog is feeling much better MM, but I’ve had to give him a tablet each day to stop the itches. The instructions were 1 tablet each day for 6 days and then 1 tablet per week to follow. So we’ll see how that goes.
    So long as he’s comfortable and flea free, I’ll be happy.

  12. Will Capstar work on the Teen? She was just complaining that she has to pay extra rent to Richmond’s mother in exchange for de-flea-ing their pets regularly. I thought it might be cheaper if she just takes the flea tablets herself.

  13. I agree, Catty – I’ve often thought it would be easier to just put a flea collar on the kids and let nature take it’s course on the furlings.

    Q, I’m sure you can craft gold out of whatever dung heap you find yourself living next to… oh, you know what I mean.

  14. Hmm. You might want to send the teen home with a bottle of Gastro-Stop for her MNIL, Catty, as a gesture of your understanding and goodwill.

    MM, thank you for your compliments, I will endeavour to entertain you.
    The nice cat owning Vegan Cyclists have been making frantic efforts to get out of Bog Hollow before the next 37C+ Apocalypse arrives. The Bloke found them hard at it on his way home yesterday & they told him they’ve heard rumours that the greasy REA is kicking them all out so that he can fill Bog Hollow with international students.
    So as sad as I am to lose the current well-behaved batch, if we end up with a dozen lack-lustre over-achieving refugees from the PRC and it’s Tiger Mother regime I may have little to report. Unless they have cars and and are unfamiliar with the local laws regarding yellow lines and rabid marsupials.

    There is hope, though, for some episodic entertainment.
    When I was wandering about yesterday checking measurements for our working plans, I established that the stairs that Mr. Greasy built to create the flat that so offends me by overlooking my bedroom (and yes the windows are still open in order to release the lingering smell of God botherers & lamb fat) are in fact less than 70cm from our boundary. Not 100, or even 150 which council and the fire department generally prefer such things to be.
    We told the fool where the boundary was before he built those stairs, and he responded by pulling the survey peg out of the front and throwing it away.

    As part of the privacy plans for Casa Q there is a 2.7m high council approved concrete wall going between us & the stairway to Heaven, so my only sorrow here is that I won’t be able to watch when tenants are moving in to the 4 flats that you can only access from the back yard & they’ll have to squeeze washing machines, bongo drums & flat packs through a 4m long tunnel that measures less than 70cm wide.

    I’m tempted to email the REA and suggest that he gets one of those dreamworld style cut outs along the lines of ‘you must be this high to enter’ but has it custom made to say ‘You must be no wider than 68cm to enter these flats’.

    Still, perhaps he’s smarter than he looks, hence the plans to fill it with small-boned myopic students.

  15. Hehehe.

    Team Quokka 5, Team Slumlord nil.

    And so, the Games commence!

  16. Meh.
    Pity me, for I have been shopping for garments and you know how much I hate this.
    I have been out in the heat trying to obtain new bathers, as my old ones failed this morning and I got out of the shower bearing little black spots of lycra that had melded with my skin.
    After shrieking at the mirror, convinced I’d had an overnight outbreak of melanoma on the scale you’d see in chicken pox, I realised that my decaying togs were the source of the Black Death & I flung them into the bin.

    Naturally I take the size that is out of stock – everywhere – so after hunting all over town for something in my size that’s capable of containing my chest, I was left with a choice of two bathers that fit.
    One was a funkita Smurf pattern (I do not jest, nor do I find this remotely funny and I will find it on line for homework that you too may be afflicted by smurfs) and the other was a colourful striped pattern reminiscent of liquorice all sorts. Hardly the best stimulus to help me shed the excesses of the silly season but still, a damned site preferable to the smurking horrid smurfs.

    My choice was made when a 10yro dashed out of the toilets at the pool, all but collided with me, and beamed ‘They look great, get them.’
    If she sped off outside giggling, so be it. Its official I am now a swimming confection, all that’s missing is a logo that says ‘sponsored by Darrel Lea’.

  17. Behold the liquorice all sort swimming trainers. The favoured costume of female impersonators on stage and in the water, if the marketing genius behind this image is anything to go by. Which reminds me, it’s time to trim my moustache.


  18. But, Q … it’s perfect for hours of lap swimming! I’m a little concerned by how much the liquorice lady looks like a (very) young Lisa Curry, but as long as you email the manufacturers and obtain some sort of waiver or assurance that wearing them won’t turn you INTO L.C. then I’m sure they look lovely.

  19. Turning into LC wouldn’t be that bad. She looks ten years younger than she actually is, she has a luxury home near the beach, she has a bevy of toyboys, and she has a lot of money. Also, she has surprisingly little cellulite.

    I like your new togs, Quokka. Liiiiiiiiiiiiiick!

  20. yeah, so do I but every time I look at them I want Darrel Lea.
    Maybe I should’ve gone down the smurf path after all.

  21. Nooooooo! The smurf path is strewn with sticky little berries – and it’s compulsory to sing the song.

    La la lala la la,
    la lala la laaaaaaa.

    Also, Azrael may eat you.

  22. Oh gods … I snuck in from work and now I can’t stop going
    La la lala la la
    la lala la laaaaaaa

    That’ll teach me to misuse company resources.

  23. Happy New Year ladies, and pllleeeeaaaasssseee forgive my rudeness in not responding to your various festive season emails 😦 I really do love you all, I promise, but I get to a point where I just can’t… sorry!

    Q, I don’t know how to post pics here, so have sent you a pic and related endorsements for the shampoo I use on Mischief. It’soatmeal shampoo, and once it was recommended to me, it occurred to me that oatmeal soap was some widely used for skin irritations in kids, back when I were a lass. It’s fabulous! Has worked a treast for Mischief and for Mum’s Peke.

  24. Thank you! yes, I used to use it but the vet was worried he might be reacting to that too so I’ve had him on a hypoallergenic soap-free pH friendly vet care product which seems to help.
    The trouble was the fleas came out of nowhere and were really freaking hard to kill as I couldn’t use frontline or advantage, because of the likely toxicity when added to the sentinel spectrum flea & worm treatment that I had him on.
    My Dumb Bad, he was on interceptor which allowed me to use the poison neck drops but they ran out before Xmas so I settled for the sentinel and too late checked the fine print.
    The capstar was ‘give one tablet every day for 6 days’ followed by one per week and he’s had five tablets now and seems to be pretty comfortable, so it’s taken a while to kill the little buggers but I’m confident we’re flea free.
    I have much more faith in the advantage as the cats had no vermin & they’d been on the Advantage. Mind you, they don’t get out much. Actually, they don’t get out at all but they do get the occasional feral visitor smooching up to their pen downstairs – we hear them telling the strays to FOAD. As does everyone within 3 blocks.

    We know you love us Mayhem, don’t worry.
    let us know when your surgery is scheduled – I’m only paying intermittent attention to twitter and very little at all the scribe’s blog.

  25. Yeah, Mayhem, what Quokka said.

    The oatmeal soap sounds good. I may buy some for the Teen, seeing as the Capstar advice seems to have worked – I haven’t seen her all week.

  26. Mayhem – HNY, pet!

    All I can think of now is Malcolm McLaren: “All of that scratching is making me itch”.

  27. HNY Pet…heh heh.
    Maybe we should issue all visitors with a flea collar and a tick bath before they’re allowed to leave.
    Dog seems back to normal at long last today so I’m guessing what they say about it taking 5-7 days for the bites to stop itching is probably true. Poor little guy.
    Speaking of pestilence, I’m taking the car out to the furthest reaches of Whoop Whoop that it may be assessed by our insurers and be given over to the panel beaters for some TLC.
    Apparently they send me home in a taxi and then I sit here and twirl my tail till they tell me it’s done. Dog help me, I see cabin fever coming, between that and the heatwave I may go completely mad.

  28. It is hot. Damn hot. Lucky we’re visiting pool friends in a few hours.

  29. Yes, at the risk of whinging – and who would do that around here – it is indeed damnably hot. As always I’m counting myself very blessed to have a pool, the only trouble being that five minutes after I get out I’m hot again and need to get straight back in. Otherwise the sub-tropical malaise makes me nod off. And we all know there’s no point trying to sleep through this heat. You hide from it, or you suffer the consequences.
    I’m glad you have a pool to slink off to Catty although knowing Melbourne weather it’s probably 14C again there by now.
    Well, I’ve sent the citreon off to the panel beaters via the insurance assessor’s car/junk yard & from the sounds of things it will be back in my arms tomorrow, untouched. They cluck-clucked about the difficulty of getting parts for them, particularly at this time of year (Santa must have cleaned them all out) and said in all likelihood I will have to reclaim it tomorrow and drive it around town broadcasting our shame until the parts turn up in a few months.
    Just as well it’s all drivable. Too bad we can’t open the hatch, though. That’s making for some fun trips to the grocery store.
    Oh well, at least it’s drivable.
    I need the expertise of the panel, though, to explain a WTF moment.
    While the assessor had his pen out and was circling the dings and scratches to be repaired, he scrawled a cryptic note on the hatch in large print.
    I assume this means he’s concerned about damage to the nether regions of My Precious and he needs to know all is in working order before the next time she takes it up the arse.
    Given the prevalence of urban assault ve-hickles that seem intent on this, it’s probably a prudent move.

  30. Hehehe. Check Beaver. Maybe it was just an … erm, marital note?

    • Or they were curious about what Quokka had in her car stereo?

  31. I asked him where the beaver is and apparently it’s some technical name for a part of the frame that commonly gets damaged when you’re the meat in the sandwich in a high speed collision.
    Don’t ask me where you’d find the badger, rat and toad though.
    Under the wheels, or by the side of the highway, most likely.

  32. I’d say it’s probably between the forks.

    Tish boom!

  33. We are bad, very bad.
    Well, the verdict is that they’ll be beavering about fixing it for at least another week so The Bloke has seen the light with my Smurf this, let’s rent a car suggestion.
    He has about a squillion frequent flyer points to use up on car hire so we may as well use them. Bog Hollow changes hands on Monday, and I am so looking forward to cluttering up the street with a rent-a-car while they’re busy hunting for new tenants next week.

  34. Get a stretch limo, Q.

  35. Heh heh. What I want is a fox truck with a trailer attached. That’d larn em.
    Well, it being the weekend and the holidays we were a bit stuck for choice at the car hire place in the city.
    She tried to give me a commodore and I freaked about driving something that big. Aside from which, a commodore is the reason my baby is at the smash repair shop in the first place.
    So she said she’d give me something smaller, a Mitsubishi.
    That seemed reasonable. We had a mitsubishi in Melbourne and it was easy to wrangle.
    So off we trotted to the parking bay and there, awaiting us, was an electric blue urban assault vehicle.
    And for my first stop, I had to go to the shops at west end, oh, the shame of it.
    I just hope nobody I know saw me cruising around in the ugly horrible pretentious awful thing. Smurf only knows what the vegan hippy cyclists next door will think when they see it. They’ll probably never speak to me again.
    Anyway, plus side – thanks to some daredevil stunt driving I discovered that The Beast fits into our garage – yes, that undersized creation where as you know from experience, there’s really only room for a goat and a bale of hay.
    I checked the dimensions on google and decided to test it’s skills at ascending cliffs, and I managed to get up the driveway without scraping it’s belly or losing a wing mirror.
    So at least the godawful monstrosity is hidden out of sight & for now, at least, my shame is concealed.

  36. Hehehe.

    Now you’re a Weekend Warrior in a Smurf mobile! Kindly have the Bloke forward me a picture or two, to the usual location.

    Well, maybe you should get out of town. I wouldn’t recommend coming here, though. Not with the tourists, and the heat, and the fires and monster sharks. Hmm … Catty – I’m coming to visit!

  37. Yeah I saw that monster shark. It’s nearly as big as our Smurf Mover.
    Sounds like the tourists have got their money’s worth paying for holiday accommodation at the sunshine coast this year. Still, that’s where our obnoxious neighbours usually go and they aren’t back yet so clearly conditions there are still preferable to what we’ve got in Brisbane. Well, that or…are you sure that was baby sharks they found inside that monster, and not an investment banker and his offspring?

    According to BOM the apparent temp didn’t go much below 30C last night. Thank Dog for air-con in our bedrooms. We might go to Redcliffe for breakfast and for kicks we can take the Smurf Bus along the esplanade at Sandgate and see if it’s amphibious in the king tide.

    Catty must have melted, poor darling.
    What plans have you to escape the heat today – and do they involve hobbits?

  38. If you’re driving one of those things, Quokka, you simply must start chatting on your mobile phone while attempting to park at shopping centres. Or while pulling out of driveways. Or while turning corners. Or anytime the car (?) is turned on, really.

    We’ve been making the most of our holidays. We went up to Lake Eildon to visit some friends who had a campsite there. The kidlets were dragged across the lake on a rubber ring known as a biscuit. (I’d have preferred cake, myself.) There was much hill climbing, and fishing from the back of our companions’ little fishing boat. I didn’t catch anything, but the Boss and the middle kidlet both dragged in teensy fishes. We couldn’t have a barbecue because of the total fire ban, and because of the dog belonging to the yuppies in the next tent. It was a lovely dog, and the kidlets played with it for hours, but it was far too curious about our eskies, our bucket of yabbies, and our rubbish bag.

    Our friends had brought their own pet. It was a cockatoo (named Rex) that gave up flying about 10 years ago. As is the way with critters and me, the bird seemed to think I was lunch. I was wise enough to keep my distance, but it drew blood from the Boss, and gave the youngest kidlet a fair bit of exercise by chasing him around the campsite whenever the silly boy got too close. That bird could run!

    Although the weather was utterly perfect, it wasn’t as peaceful as I would have liked. The yuppies next door had brought a selection of bubblegum pop for the ladies and death metal for the gents. We were kept ‘entertained’ by a steady stream of doof-doof-doof-doof until I was ready to sic Rex onto their stereo. They had it nice and loud, to drown out the sound of the generator they’d brought to keep the stereo going. Huh. I thought camping meant getting away from it all, not bringing it all with them. Still, it could have been worse. It could have been karaoke. Then I really would have sic’d Rex onto them.

    The council have put in dunnies (drop toilets, really) since the Boss last went up there. Interesting – and smelly. Ours even had a teensy little sink with bore water to wash our hands – but not all of them had sinks. I was just grateful not to have to hunker down with a shovel behind a spindly tree…. aren’t we all?

    The verdict? Too much dust, too many flies, too much noise, too much stink, not enough edible food or drinkable water, not enough chairs, not enough fish in the lake…. it was wonderful.

    In a couple of days we’re off to Rosebud for more holidaying. There will be fishing, but this time we will be staying in a motel. Yay!

  39. Sounds like you met my neighbours, Catty. All the really obnoxious loud annoying ones fark off and go camping over Xmas and we always enjoy the serenity and sit here smugly pitying all the fools in paradise that they’ll be intruding on.
    Next time take your guitar and serenade them with some lemonheads:

    Anyway, sounds like fun was had by all and Rosebud is simply gorgeous, I’m glad you’ll get to have a holiday under a real roof. We loved the Mornington peninsula, the water looked very inviting on our day trip down there even though the temp didn’t get above 19C. I hope you get nice weather for it. If you are after gelato, stop up in the village at Mornington – I can’t remember the name of the shop but as you drive up the main street you turn left & its beside a Big Girls fashion outlet (for good reason) and its just before the supermarket. Their blood orange gelato is the lightest and the most delicious I’ve sampled yet.

    Well, I’m still driving the smurf bus. Its got one of those automatic sensor things that panics and hisses at you if it considers that you’re too close to the nearest hard surface. Which means it has hysterics when I turn it on inside my garage as it’s only got about 30cm clearance either side to back out. It’s the Smurfbot equivalent of ‘DANGER WILL ROBINSON!’ but hey, at least I have a car. This morning when I dropped the bloke off at work it was an interesting exercise in psychology. he’s on a building site and normally the stop-go guys wave and smile and are friendly at me chugging along in my little silver citreon. This morning I got glares and grunts and plenty of disdainful looks. I’m keen to get my Quokka mobile back as I’m just not feeling the lurve in this beast.

    Anyway. today is a fun day here at Casa Q because its the last day that the greasy slimeball is in charge at Bog Hollow and tomorrow there will be a new greasy slimeball in charge. So there’s currently a team of shit-collectors in there, rummaging through the bowels of the dump and tossing everything that isn’t nailed down into a large junk truck down on the street. It looks for all the world like the truck that the beverly hillbillies drove into town so I expect the last thing I’ll see will be Mr. Greasy, tied to the top on his rocking chair smoking a big spliff, rolling off into the sunset.

    There’ll be an entire new chapter of Fun At Bog Hollow, starting tomorrow.
    Stay tuned!
    And happy holidays, Catty, just in case you get busy and I miss you. xoxox

  40. Hehehe. I’d forgotten the Lemonheads. “God bless the great indoors.”

    Well, everyone seems to be having fun except me. I’m having parents. It feels like they came before Halloween and are staying through Lent. but I believe … hope … pray! that they’re going home today.

    Perhaps they could rent a little dementia pied a terre in the new improved Bog Hollow, Q? i hear you love the sound of sniping and smashing glass.

  41. Yes, and if only it was legal to have a sniper rifle I’d be so much happier breaking all that glass.

  42. Hehehe.

    Well, I meant “bitching” … but, yeah, that works too.

  43. Meh. That’s one thing to be thankful for, the bloke’s parents don’t come to stay, and he’s not silly enough to think his sanity will last the length of an overnight stay with those two. I heard him snarling when his iphone beeped at him last night and no, it wasn’t a crisis with the hospital falling down, it was his parents, doing the ‘are you dead?’ text because he didn’t call them for the scheduled weekly phone conversation. If they crank up the neediness just a little bit more he’ll be setting off fireworks when they finally depart this mortal coil.

  44. Heh heh heh heh heh.
    It’s begun.
    And too much fun not to share.
    It being 10.56am of this fine day and the new owner having been on premises for only a few hours….just heard a loud bang bang bang and cooee as of knocking so went to investigate.
    Not my door – whew.
    Gen Y Smurftard from Bog Hollow, knocking on the new owner’s flat and intoning in nice loud nasal Bogan Tattoo Beast tones: ‘Eh, mate, I’ve got a bit of a problem…I’ve locked meself out of me flut and me phone’s locked in me car.’
    Oh, the expression on her face.
    Total disbelief, shock and horror at the stupidity on display in front of her.
    Welcome to Gen Y tenant hell, neighbour.
    Judging from the look on her face I gather she thought her tenants would not be needy, demanding, incompetent and idiotic – well, not on the first day, at any rate.
    Can’t wait till the yob squad get in at 4am on a Friday night Pished with the same complaint.
    Nyak nyak nyak nyak.
    I give it three months, tops, before she has the smurfs with the lot of them and moves out. to a nice restful bed with a view in the psyche ward.

  45. This is not the restful retirement pied a terre you were looking for.

  46. Heeheehee.
    Yeah I don’t think the job description for slum lord includes ‘Caring house mother & freshly baked cookies provided every time you smurf up’.
    She actually looks and sounds quite nice but I think Day 1 of Are You My Mother? could be stretching her patience.

  47. Soon she’ll learn how to just say “snort” – like the steam shovel.

  48. yeah, that might happen tomorrow when he complains to her about the $100 parking fine he’s due to get for parking 1/3 of the way over my driveway. πŸ™‚
    Presuming council turn up to ticket the tard.
    I have faith, they showed up on Sunday at midday to ticket the Tard that parked over my driveway then.
    This is the joy of waking up at 4am, I get to ring council at that hour complaining that I still can’t get out my driveway and whoever is on night duty is feeling so vengeful by then about being up at that hour listening to complaints about Tards, that they ring it straight in.
    God bless parking cops.
    Seriously. There is one car parked on the street at the mo and it’s a third of the way over my driveway. The same thing happened on Sunday and when council turned up to ticket the tard, the parking cop just stood there shaking his head.
    the wind was blowing the wrong way for me to hear if he said ‘SNORT!’ too but I’m pretty sure I saw the bubble appear over his head saying SNORT, and worse.
    Ah, January.
    Tis the season for breaking in a whole new batch of smurftards re: the folly of parking over my driveway.
    I must be getting mellow in my menopausal years, as being as this particular Tard has had a bad day what with locking himself out of his flat & having to announce to the new owner ‘I am a Tard’, I’m thinking of going easy on him and sparing him the parking ticket.
    When I wake up at 3.30-4am I might just call the cops and tell them I’m blocked in and would they please phone the Tard and ask him to kindly move his ve-hickle so that my spouse can get to work at the hospital.
    Tards are rarely Morning People so that one always gets fun results.
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    gosh I love my yellow line.

  49. And gosh I love being awake at 4am. πŸ™‚

  50. yes! And that’s a prize for the wankbadger that’s parked me in. Thank you BCC. I love the smell of parking tickets in the morning.

  51. Wankbadger?

    I am unfamiliar with this curse, but it feels fruity on the tongue. Derivation, please, Q?

  52. Wankbadger: Term used and possibly coined by Dr. Bruce Yobbo in order to describe transcendent levels of stupidity in an unevolved primate. And used extensively by his followers to insult, demean, slander and degrade those that offend them with their idiocy and utter disregard for social niceties. Commonly used when discussing cricket.

  53. Fabulous. Now I can use it correctly and in context. Not, perhaps, at the cricket, though.

  54. Oh but you can think it, MM.
    Often and with passion.
    Just as I do every time some fresh green new wankbadger parks me in.
    The street looked like a clearway after the tosser in the toyota got ticketed at 4.45am yesterday…so hopefully the wankbadgers have fled.
    I think two parking tickets in the space of three days outside my house has to be a new record.
    I think what gets to me is the complete ‘FU’ approach of it. i.e. there’s 3 easy parking spaces nearby they could get to but for the sake of saving themselves 4m of legwork they’re willing to smurf me over.
    I was just about in tears when they did it the other day as I’d spent the previous week feeding the neighbour’s cat & only an hour before, when I knew that my other poor neighbour was due in from a 24hour flight from Canada & she was coming home on no sleep/jetlag/cranky with husband and two kids under 6 in all that horror heat, I’d made a point of popping over to leave her fresh milk, olive bread, weiss bars & a tupperware container full of chopped up tropical fruit so the kids wouldn’t start eating the furniture while she was trying to gather her wits.
    The Tards have seen me doing my good fairy thing & their response to that is ‘let’s do something to piss her off’.
    I’m back in Elphaba mode.
    It feels far more in keeping with what’s out there.
    Thankfully the neighbours that like me laugh uproariously at my biting snark at the tards so at least that’s working out for me.
    How’s the wankbadger count in your life at the mo?
    I went to Westfield yesterday and it was like stepping into the monkey cage at the zoo. I think a lot of parents took their kids in there yesterday, deliberately ‘lost’ them and vanished to play the pokies over at Easts Leagues Club. I’d put money on it that there were children there by the dozen unclaimed at the Lost & Found pen come closing time last night, my only surprise was that I didn’t see a mention of it in the paper today. Must be the same all over town.
    When are they due back in their cages again?

  55. Back after Australia day for our lot … I think they have longer down south, though, so wankbadger cubs may yet infest your shopping centres well into February.

    All serene up here – as I am familiar with their ways, I only venture out when they’re in.

    And the Plumber’s been having days off … nothing like your pipes being thoroughly lagged to put one in a forgiving frame of mind.

  56. Good. Because the ones in my hood have run out of fun things to do, like scream and fight and break each other’s xmas toys and bones – and they’re looking for new fun things to do, like playing with the car horn on mummy’s SUV. A skill which may come in handy when they learn how to pop the handbrake and swing it into drive.

  57. Aha. That last comment was punctuated by a very loud BANG.

  58. Hehehe.

    My Nana was such a bad driver that every time she went to take Poppa’s car in to town – it think it was a Studebaker Hawk – she made an appointment with the panel beater to iron out the dints she put in the beast as she was ungaraging it from the tiny lean-to it lived in.

    No-one ever seemed to think of just leaving it out of the shed, though.

  59. Heh heh heh. I think I passed one of those OTW to the vet just before, or if not that, something similar in the way of endearing american gas guzzlers.
    It was flying the national flag of alabama, a long fox tail streaming out from the antennae.
    Nothing says redneck like roadkill for a flag.

  60. Oh, and I’m happy again, because the Smurf Bus is back in it’s aircraft hanger, and I have my beloved little hatch back. yay!
    no wonder everyone that drives one of those suckers needs medication.
    Jeebus, I was a wreck and I was starting to think it was permanent and not just smurf-related.

  61. Maybe whatever makes new car smell also smurfs up your Hippocampus?

  62. It stank of cigarettes and coffee although not enough for the Bloke’s non-preternatural sense of smell for him to pick it up.
    My anxiety vanished the moment I got behind the wheel of my little C4. I adjusted the seat and the mirrors & thought ‘Wow, I can actually see to the side of me and behind me again, no more blind spot blocking out cyclists, children under 160cm tall, emo kids on skate boards, cyclists, scooters, rocks, retaining walls and the limited demographic of environment friendly non-urban assault vehicles sneaking up on your passenger side.’
    And that’s all it took to restore my sanity.
    A valuable lesson, though.
    If anyone comes to me wanting treatment for anxiety all I’ll need to do to fix it is look out the window and say ‘Well for starters get rid of your FKN 4WD.’
    Once that’s gone you won’t need the anxiolytics, the sleeping pills, the booze or the cigarettes.
    I am more than ever persuaded that a prerequisite for driving one of those FKRS is an absolute disregard for the safety and wellbeing of anyone else unfortunate enough to be sharing the road with you, because those FKRS are not designed to share. They are designed, like the terminator, to dominate and to kill.
    I guess school holidays are just a bad time to hire a car, yesterday when I was returning the smurf bus there was a family at the counter bitching when she tried to give them an urban assault vehicle and she repeated what she told me, it’s a busy time of year and all their sedans and hatches are taken.
    I’m glad I had a car, because I had a shirtload of things to do this week (the bloke turns 50 next week & the panel beaters had made no guarantee we’d have my baby back before then) but once I realised how FKN dangerous the thing was, there were some places I decided not to take it.
    The car park at my local swimming pool being high on that list, because kids run everywhere and the mothers are too bombed on prescription medication to keep them out from under the wheels of your car.
    The shopping centre car park was the other horror, so I made a point of only going there when I knew most kids were tucked up in front of the idiot box at night eating pizza and getting dosed up with laxatives.
    The Smurf Bus was fitted with one of those beeper systems that tells you when you’re about to hit something, but the sensors just pick up on the cars and the posts parked beside you, so the minute you turn the car on to reverse out, it starts up with it’s panic attack & the noise is so FKN distracting you can’t actually hear the chirrup of the toddler that’s about to go under your wheels.

    The other thing I found was that it was near impossible to stick to the 40-50k limit that’s required in a high-density urban area. Every time I went down a hill the weight of the FKR took it up to 70 or 80 in the blink of an eye, and if you were trying to get up a hill, it was really hard to do it unless I jammed my foot on the pedal and got it up over 60k/h. The citroen is a rally car so it can speed with the best of them, but it’s a cinch to keep it at the speed limit. Judging from the Glares that the traffic controllers on the bloke’s work-site gave the smurf bus, I’m not the only one that’s noticed this & as most of the deaths on construction sites are caused by guys being hit by speeding cars when their trying to keep the traffic at a safe speed, they must have reason to hate them. Quite a difference, there. When I’m dropping the bloke off at work in the C4 the lollypop guys wave and smile and are friendly. With the smurf bus, they looked at me like I was rolling past in a two tonne dog turd

    it was interesting because a friend used to leave us his car (a toyota hilux ute) when he left his kids to stay with us and I had absolutely no issue driving that – it was actually quite fun. You’ve got good visibility and no problematic blind spots.
    After driving the friggin smurf bus for a week, though, I’m ready to join the child safety activists who who want them banned from schools and shopping centre car parks. Those things belong off-road in the jungle, where all god’s creatures know to follow their instincts and run away very, very fast if they see one.

    Anyway. It was an edjamacational experience so one must assume its enriched my mind and my soul on some level. Possibly just because I’m so GD grateful to have given the FKR back. πŸ™‚

    How go the school holidays, MM, you’ve been very quiet online since your parents went home. Kids busy shorting out your download allowance, or have you been out with the nurf blaster picking off tourists?

  63. Mmm … prescription medication.

    I’m limp and mellow with relief to have my house back, for sure, Q. But work is busy! Also, in heatwaves we can’t run the computer other than pre-dawn and around dusk, ’cause the core temp rockets up to 50 and we face melting the whole hard disk.

    I’m going to spend the weekend investigating:

    proper broadband – but it’ll have to be Terriblestra, they rule the lines in these parts (hence the shilly-shally);

    and a laptop.

    Mum has a lappie and a wireless dongle and hers works so much better than my system – in all temperatures! – it’s made me a convert.

    When this happens, I should be back in touch. And the twitching might stop!

  64. I think a lap dog is a great idea, the Bloke has one and it’s very useful, once you get used to the mouse thing. And provided you’re not trying to look at 3D CAD house plans on it, the mouse thing wasn’t pleased when we attempted that. I can see you ferrying it off to air-conditioned cafes & the library when it gets too hot to work from home.

    And as for twitching, feel free to twitch around me, I’m an accomplished and well practiced twitcher and as I’ve been parked in by the same DERP that got a $100 fine for parking me in last weekend, it’s not possible to get out and find something better to do.

    Poor you, suffering in the heat. today promises to be a stinker too, i was thinking of getting up early and driving to the south coast for a swim but the DERPS have decreed I must stay here and simmer & be vengeful. My one consolation is that I know the offending DERPS have been told to FOAD by the new administration at bog hollow. My second consolation is that they had an O4I the other day and it drew a range of myopic-small boned serious looking students from the sub-continent, all of whom arrived here by bus, sans vehicle.
    So my hopes of Wok Inferno have been raised considerably.

    Carry on, happy bored brand hunting, and stay cool.

  65. It would have been ideal at our beach today, except for the surf boat races. Still, the water was lovely and fresh and cool … between tourists.

    What a shame you don’t still have the Smurf Assault Vehicle, Q. You could just drive right over Derphead and on to freedom.

    I’m glad I dropped by – must go to Terriblestra tomorrow, I did forget. And also clean, laundry, supermarket and Capstar the animals. And some gardening. I’d stay and remember that thingo about women’s work but I have to get dinner on.

  66. I think you mean a woman’s work is never done (by a man) except I’ve managed to beat that out of mine from a tender and impressionable age.
    Yes, I was very thankful for the pool yesterday & we spent much of the day slothing about in it. The beach sounds gorgeous. Maybe that could be today’s plan.
    And yeah, next time I get a hire car I will ask for one of those armoured Israeli tanks that they use to mow down 20yro US anti-war protesters. I think Avis would twitch a bit if the stupid tinny smurf bus crunched into a nissan but nobody seems to call the sheriff when those tanks gun someone down. Hmm. Wonder where they keep them in King’s parking garage. The roof, maybe, where they can use the anti-aircraft fire to best advantage?
    I’m thinking of the channel 7 chopper & Eddie Groves, but hey, that’s me.
    heh heh.
    That reminds me.
    I had a call from the ticket officer yesterday am, saying that the wankbadger over my driveway was the same wankbadger he’d ticketed last week, and he was having a ‘WTF?’ moment as to why the driver was such a slow learner.
    His theory is that they must be lazy or stupid which meshes with my theory, which is that the girl who drives is so tuckered out from her sessions at an expensive all-girls gym that I don’t think she has the strength to drag her lycra & cross-trainers 3m further than is absolutely necessary.
    I think the only thing that gives her strength to make it up the stairs is the large box of milo biscuits that awaits her in the kitchen. (pictured in the photo of the flat they’ve just been kicked out of. Woohoo!)
    They had another open day at Bog Hollow. the new owner spent hours tarting it up and putting flowers and wine glasses/coffee cups on display (I could just make them out through the years of grime on the windows) & she got more furniture delivered from A-mart ‘to make the flats look less grotty than they really are’ – Ah, the things you can overhear in the toilet at Casa Q.

    Turns out she’s not planning to live in the front flat, that was just a line they used to evict the nice cat-owning vegan-hippy cyclists because the greasy agent has persuaded her she can get more money for it. The vegans were paying $360, I think. They’re asking $540 now, by my calculations. They’ve also hiked up the rent in the flats upstairs by $30pw which is why they kicked out all the well-behaved long term tenants that they had.
    So she must have believed the greasy REA’s spin that the previous owners were too stupid to know how to milk it for what it was really worth.
    Yesterday they had zero interest in the O4I until the last minute, when a young Asian couple turned up. And by turned up I mean, walked through the front door of the downstairs flat, stopped before they’d made it a metre inside, turned up their noses and left.
    The Greasy REA spent the next 80 minutes placating the ever so slightly flustered new owner as to how it was early days yet and once it gets closer to the uni start date, they will get desperate (not his words, I got that from the saliva bubble drooling from his lips) and they will be fighting each other for space in there.
    The bloke rolled his eyes and said ‘I give it six months of this crap and she’ll put it on the market.’ So we will see.
    It really is funny, there are stacks of brand new 2 brm units in our area with pool/gym/gardens/security/and no 80year old grot or essence of paedophile peeking through the mould on the walls – and they are asking $500pw.

    So we’re just giggling at the asking price for the rat-bitten squalor next door & thinking ‘Good luck.’
    And meanwhile, I’ve hit upon a bit of genius that should solve the issue of Tards parking over my driveway – I went out yesterday at dawn & dragged all of Bog Hollow’s bins off the street and lined them up neatly by their front fence. I doubt that anyone noticed other than the woman across the road, who immediately went and fetched her 4WD from 5 doors down and parked it where the bins were. I wouldn’t have dared to touch the GD bins while Mr. Greasy ran it, as for him the whole point of having the bins on the street was to inconvenience people, so if you took away his ibis & bin porn he would have popped a vessel.
    So if all it takes is that I have to drag their bins in, to stop the wankbadgers nesting in my driveway, then that works for me.
    Mischief managed.
    I guess I just enjoy the serenity while the place is near empty.
    Enjoy your bacon/market free day, MM.
    Oh, and it might pay to pop in to twitter (if your ‘puter will let you in) as Humpy had some grumble about internet service yesterday so I think they were nattering about the pros and cons of all that. Might be worth listening in.
    The heat wave is over – according to the Curious Snail.

  67. Sounds like I’ve missed all the excitement, swanning about on the peninsula. Quokka, you really should start your own blog so you can post daily updates on Bog Hollow. Apart from a constant stream of amusement for us, you could make lots of money on the side, running blog adverts for taxis, Xanax and sniper rifles.

    Good news about the departure of the smurf bus. I despise those things, partly because the women who drive them usually take up 8 parking spaces at the school gates with just five SUV’s (possibly because they’re too busy chatting on their mobile phones and pulling lycra gymwear wedgies out of their bums to park properly – or more likely, because they are self-important bitches who don’t give a rats arse that the three families with disabled children have to park two blocks away), and partly because they come to a complete, total stop at speed humps before speeding up to 2kph for the arduous journey over the humps. I mean, really, if those off-road SUV’s can’t handle a speed hump, why on earth does anyone buy one?

    Also good news about the end of the heatwave. It’s still hot down here, but it usually only goes for two or three days before we have a bit of cool relief.

    Not good news is your internet problem, Madam. Terriblestra sucks severely, but not quite as badly as Optus and Dodo. The only real advantage is that 75% of the time, Terriblestra’s unhelpful, bewildered Customer Service Officers can speak English – whereas you’ll get a mere 5% of English speaking CSO’s from the other providers. Quokka’s on to something – get a laptop and sit in an internet cafΓ© all day. Air conditioned, continuous online service, and somebody else makes the coffee. Actually, it might be worth finding out who provides the service at the internet cafΓ©, and getting the same thing.

    I’ve just gone through the kidlets’ school clothes, doing the stain removal/mending thing ready for back-to-school. Bloody wardrobe faeries have piddled on the lot. Quokka, when you start that blog, make sure you advertise a Faerie Pee stain removal product. I’m getting desperate.

  68. Oh, noes! Back to school. I haven’t even told the newsagent bimbos I need to pick up their boxes. And then the labelling! Dear God, the labelling!!

    Plus, did I mention that MM will need men’s size 12 school shoes?

    Q, it’s not the ‘puter it’s the boys stopping me from Twitting. I have to take them fishing. Truly it is said, “lie down with dogs and get up with fleas”.

  69. The vet prescribed comfortis for that, MM, when other measures failed to get the desired result – and truly, it is a miracle drug. Our little dog is so much happier.
    I was just wondering how your journey to the beach went, Catty. It’s very pretty down there. Did you buy any decorative sheep sculptures for your lawn? Gelati? hot chips? I’m envious of the 20C temps I’ve seen on the BOM observations in Melbourne, its stinky hot here. I’ve been thinking enviously of your trek to Rosebud. Find any crazy people to report on or are they all holidaying up here?
    Nice try persuading me to get my own blog, but i’m still far too lazy and irresponsible to set up my own.
    Besides, with Madame hardly here to use hers, how can I resist the urge to fill that silent void with my cranky rants about slumlords?
    I’m feeling warm all over knowing that at least from my misery this week, Brisbane City Council earned $300 from the Tards that parked over my driveway. They should name a new swing in the local park for me.
    i.e. ‘This swing set was donated by those of the community too stupid and lazy to park a metre behind a yellow line.’
    We got surly looks from the repeat offenders this morning but hey, the way I look at it is I’m good for their health. They’ve got $200 less to spend on Milo biscuits & hot dog condiments (remind me to send you pix of their flat) and their hearts will be healthier for having to walk that extra 3m from their car to their flat every day.
    heh heh heh.
    I’m just devastated that they’ve been kicked out, being how hard it is to train them that it’s a mistake to park me in at 5am. I’ll have to break in a whole new batch, and this year there’s a friendly neighbourhood metre man promising to watch out for Tards at Dawn for me.

  70. I would LOVE to see pix of their flat, Q! Next to reading other people’s correspondence, seeing how they love is one of my favourite hobbies.

    Send, and I will caption and post. For the edification of … well, you, Catty, me and Stafford Ray.

  71. Done, except we’ll have the same problem of it being filed under non-stawka and slander proof links. Maybe if you email it to Stafford as i’ve done to you and Catty. That way, the identities of the fools who risk my ire by parking over my driveway and urinating/vomiting off their decks into my garden won’t have their rights to privacy whilst being a total twat violated. And I’ll be safe from slander and acts of retribution.
    The way the toyota drivers have been glaring at us, I can expect far worse things than urine, vomit, gobs of green mucous and damage to the undercarriage of my car as it bounces overland onto the road as I wind my way past the wank-badger-mobiles.
    I hope you enjoy the pix.
    I’ve always walked past the boxes of Milo cereal in the grocery store and thought ‘WTF kind of moron would eat THAT smurf-faecal matter for breakfast?’
    And now I know.
    It is the fuel of wankbadgers.
    Really, I might have known.

  72. “Got to be made of wankbadger fuel!”

    I’m pretty sure you missed your calling as a slogan writer for ad agencies, Q. Or perhaps skit writer for the Gruen Transfer?

    BTW, my last comment should have read “live” rather than “love”. Even since the dwarf porn fiasco I’m wary of how the other half love.

  73. Yes, its a sad loss for the world to hide my snark under a bushel.
    Still, at least with only three people viewing it, the prospects of retribution and twitter-tar-&-featherings are limited.

  74. Yes, we’re a secluded cul-de-sac of the Internet. Maybe that’s what’s causing that smell? We’ve gone stagnant.

  75. Oh is that what all the stink is.
    And here I was blaming Facebook.

  76. Don’t be a Twit!

  77. But its so much easier to shield yourself from the stink in the land where the little bird poos.

  78. Help me out here.
    The ABC just tweeted that more schools are telling their kids that they can’t bring lunches if they’ve been Laura Palmered. i.e, wrapped in plastic.
    the mothers amongst you will have to explain the dangers of cling wrap. I thought that was mostly limited to it clogging the waterways and choking marine life. But if it’s a global conspiracy to make everyone buy tupperware, pray tell.

  79. The “Litter-free Lunches” has been a thing from time to time at our school … but not yet compulsory. I think it’s a “can’t afford groundsmen” conspiracy wrapped in eco-friendliness.

    I’m nose out of joint about Vacation Care’s “no nuts, no mangoes” ruling. It’s not that I have no sympathy for anaphylactic kids ,,, but there’s a strict no food sharing rule in place, now. Isn’t it a greater survival advantage for these kids to learn how to avoid peanuts, rather than to strive to create an artificially peanut-free world for them?

  80. Maybe they should stick with wrapping their kids in plastic so that they’re safe in the event that it hails peanut paste sandwiches.

  81. Hehehe.

    Especially tight around their mouths. So they can’t scream in my ear while I’m in Woolies, trying to remember my smurfing shopping list. It’s time for the holidays to end, before I kill. Again.

  82. Done.

    • This is a fabulous craft to try at home during an Australia Day cyclone long weekend. This and Cluedo will help me through. Thanks, Q!

  83. you can thank twitter, I am merely the portal through which this silliness has travelled to you. πŸ™‚
    Isn’t it lovely to have all this lovely rain after all that stinking heat?
    Too bad that it has to come when every parent in SEQ is going mad with child-exposure. so long as you all have strategies to avoid RL scenarios where CSI turn up to determine it was Ms Scarlett in the kitchen with the vodka bottle that dunnit.
    I am feeling a bit happier as it looks like my dream of Wok Inferno…er, I mean, quiet bespectacled Uber-Nerds from the sub-continent may be taking up residence next door at Bog Hollow.
    Yesterday they had an open day during the swirling rain and without the sauna like temperatures in there, a few of them seemed quite beguiled by the swirling mist over our green little valley and by the lorikeets zooming through the trees in my garden.
    Dare I think that a new era of peace, quiet, sanity and productiveness could be the future for Bog Hollow? Well, at least until May when our Drott arrives.
    Yay rain.
    Assemble your murder weapons, MM, and your alibis. It’s going to be a long wet weekend. Will you be doing Soggy Bacon or does that only happen in the kind of temperatures where you can cook the bacon on the bitumen in the carpark?
    I’m sure it’s no more than some of your customers deserve.

  84. I am very much hoping that this delicious wind and rain will keep up … nay, intensify! … and get me off. I have a sore throat and sniffle and would love nothing more than to stay in my pjs playing Cluedo all weekend. Or sleep. Or maybe both at the same time.

    And if it really rains maybe cricket will be cancelled on Monday as well!

    Glorious, glorious, glorious rain.

    To encourage Geeks, have you thought of putting up a sign that says “Internet Cafe – free noodles with every 2 hours!”

  85. Well, it looks like the Drenching Fairy is about to grant your wish. I heard BOM this morning on 612 radio say that the big blob will arrive here later during Saturday and stay until Monday.
    Dam operators at Wivenhoe have decided to release 42,000 litres of water this weekend in anticipation of the soaking that we are likely to get. Too bad it coincides with three days worth of king tides but this is life in the great south east. The flat landers that haven’t been burned out will now get very, very wet.

    I just saw a whole van load of air con units arrive so whatever moves into Bog Hollow may end up being rather muffled in terms of noise and stench. As for attracting the Right Kind of People, I still think my best plan is to stick a Dalek on sentry duty above the front stairs.

    Where does one buy a second-had Dalek these days…ebay?

  86. It would have to be ebay. You won’t find a Dalek on Gumtree.

    Well, there is much to be said for the predictable hum of aircon and it’s power to absorb the stench of bad drains, poor cooks and idle bathers. Plus, when aircons on you close the windows so your K-Pop and domestic violence are muffled, also.

    Win for Casa Q!

  87. Yes, although thus far the most effective tactic at silencing all of that seems to be the fact that the flats are listed at $50 – $100 over the price of comparative rentals in the suburb.
    Where’s that Like box for me to click on?
    And isn’t all this wind and rain just glorious?
    I can’t believe the Zen that it’s created in the neighbourhood. Possibly not so much inside the crowded humid little colonials where the screaming has been sequestered, but it’s done wonders to improve the ambience at Casa Q.
    There was a brief shriek on the street last night followed by a plaintive ‘I’m getting wet!’ and then the noise was gone.
    So I’ll have to go outside when it’s light and see if there’s a neighbour-coloured stain on the bitumen where the shrieker has melted and oozed into the gutters.
    Ah, marvellous rain.
    I thought the wet season would never come.
    We’re simply revelling in it.
    Any concerns about that creek near you busting it’s banks, MM, or do you think you’ll be OK? I remember some mutterings about ducks and puddles and moats last time it was this wet.
    I’m still betting there’s Smurf all chance of The Baconing on Sunday.
    Well, I’m off to do a kayak safety course with the club this am.
    Wish me luck that they let us sit in the clubhouse and drink endless cups of tea, I don’t fancy going out on the water in all this squalling wind & rain.

    • lovin this weather. Hooray!

  88. Well, I walked … despite the squalls and showers … down the front this morning and the sea is certainly gobbling up the beach and I’m sure the creeks will rise. We’re expecting the worst tomorrow, I gather. So far, though, it’s been wild but not CONSTANT heavy rain, so not really even puddles in the yard.

    I don’t care. I thought the heatwave would never break and I’m gloriously, blissfully cool!

    Thanks, Oscar.

    Happy safety … surely the first lesson is, “You’re mad if you go out in this!”. Even our beach is closed and we’re a foolhardy brave mob.

  89. Oh dear dog yes.
    Our instructor took one look at the city cats all but side-swiping our pontoon and decided that if conditions were so dismal that their drivers couldn’t locate the central third of the river then it was best that the newbies stay off the water. Looks like there’s a few nice women down there in the newbie bunch – there’s also a clique of Gen Y Alpha female triathlete types who looked like they’d learned much of what they know about life from our old Alma Mater, MM, so maybe in 20 or 30 years when real life has knocked that out of them they might be good company too. Anyway, they indicated they’d likely still be drunk and in bed when it comes time for Saturday morning training so I doubt we’ll see much of them once the introductory course passes.
    I think I’ve found a training buddy nearer my own age and interests in the group, and I was absolutely inspired by a very fit and tough looking grandmotherly type who must easily be in her mid 70s who has taken up the sport. Wow. Just wow. I hope I’m that fit and that tough when I’m her age.
    So yeah, all went well.

    And like Mrs. D/Hooray I too am revelling in this weather. So nice to go to sleep listening to the squalls and then wake up to the same.
    Although it’s still gentle rain, yet – we’re still awaiting the big blob that’s sitting over you. How’s the Soggening? I assume it’s taken precedence over the Baconing as I can’t imagine the punters turning out in all this slush unless it’s to head to the bottlo or Maccas.
    Which reminds me, is there an Aussie version of Cluedo?
    Because on a day like today if you were trying to solve a murder I’d imagine it would be Gazza, with the BBQ prongs, lying dead beside the 6foot wide flat screen TV.
    And no real need to guess whodunnit.

  90. Glad you’re found a nice moist niche in the Dead Canoeist’s Society, Q. That older lady sounds like our Margaret form writing group – 90 not out and survived WWII in Austria and a Nazi Husband. No, he was literally a Nazi.

    AS for Aussie Cluedo …. hehehehehe. You should make one! Bog Hollow could be the central venue where all the action happens. Was it Yuan Shen, in the communal kitchen. with the cockroach spray? Or maybe Aisling, locked in the toilet with the toilet brush?

    THIS will be your contribution to the world!

  91. Thank you, thank you. I’m still amazed that Aisling didn’t kill them by remote, with the hair-straightening iron in the bedroom, after she was released from the toilet to swill vodka cruisers at the Chalk.
    Once Catty returns I’m sure she’ll want In for this too. In fact given how long she’s been missing, she’ll probably have had the time and opportunity to contemplate the matter in some detail.
    How you doing, Catty?
    Kids hogging computer again?
    God I hope they don’t cancel school this week.
    I’ve looked at the flood maps & my 2011 refugees look like they’ll be safe but I’ve checked in on Vanessa and offered them all Sanctuary again, so we will see. She said they were fine and were in ‘wait and see’ mode & then her next report was that the power went out. At meal time. So I assume she was trapped in the howling darkness with a howling anxious hungry 7yro in need of a bath and a bedtime story. Must be worrying for all the kids that lived thru it last time.
    Ah…one bit of good news, drove past Janet’s house the other day and it’s finally sold. So lets just hope she doesn’t have to scrape any more mud out of her yard or her street before she goes. They’re saying 2.6m but cantydoody being the prize fool that he is, & releasing all that water from a dam that was only1/3 full (200% being the actual capacity, not freaking 88% like he decided to keep it at) you’ve got to wonder.
    How’s the apocalypse up your way, MM?
    We’ve had a very windy gusty night here but don’t seem to have lost power or phone lines. Looks like we’ll have a lot of poinciana pods to pick up once its safe to go out there.
    So my only complaint was when I headed out to the supermarket yesterday to get supplies for Aunt Irma, I couldn’t get in to that street because there was a tree down over the power lines & the SES didn’t want us getting Zapped while we stocked up on Cadbury’s. So I headed off towards the next closest outlet, West End, but heard on the news that the carpark in there was an underground swimming pool. So the local nightowl did rather well out of that as even with 6 inch deep puddles they couldn’t compete with that.
    How are you going to amuse the children today?
    I’d take them and their nerf blasters to the local woollies and terrorise any tourarists that haven’t yet been blown away.
    Ah yes, while we were discussing the disaster most likely to have silenced you during the storms, and I offered up a list suggesting that filicide prevention would be top of that list, Khan Greybeard asked me What Category Elf boy would be in. (I may have listed the contents of your confined space by including ‘werewolf’).
    Mel promptly bounced back with ‘on the scale of disasters Elf Boy is listed as a Category 5’.
    Heh heh.
    Isn’t she fabulous?

  92. I do love Mel. She often facebooks at the same time … i.e predawn as I do. I will come to Melbourne this year, I’ve made a resolution. Sprog-free and fabulous!

    It’s just normal unsettled weather here, now – thank Smurf. Probably just as well that school is likely, as I’ll have to go back to the coal face tomorrow.

    Good luck down there. Your canoe might come in handy earlier than anticipated. Just smile sweetly, wave and call out, “Return on investment!” as you stroke off to do your hunter-gatherer bit.

  93. Excellent. End of year meeting for the Coven may need to have additional gatherings at all the cake shops in Acland Street to celebrate.

    And back to the weather – yes, that’s a thought, I could nip down and get one of the club boats and row it through the aisles at the local supermarket to stock up on chocolate eggs.
    We got an email from the club president last night saying ‘your boats should be safe but come and get them today before the high tide at midnight if you are worried.’
    So that’s another good reason NOT to store my boat at the club when I do finally have my own. I remember the traffic jams around here as people tried to evacuate and getting 200m down the road in a car was an impossibility.
    Well, the view from Fortifications at Casa Q shows lots of trees down and bits of trees down in the neighbour’s yard. We’ve got about a squillion poinciana pods to pick up but thus far, no real damage per se.
    Lots of reports from friends of roofs leaking, so I wonder how Bog Hollow has fared. Eek. I will be very surprised if there’s not a roofing company come visit this week to give a quote for a new roof.
    Must say it’s very, very nice to be safe and dry during weather like this.
    From what we’ve seen on Disaster TV, it looks like lots and lots of peoples aren’t able to enjoy it. Crazy stuff. I heard a BOM guy say that essentially the cyclone is travelling down the entire eastern coast from Cairns to Sydney and that’s just unprecedented in the history of white-fella weather watching.

  94. I was just reading that 25% … yes, 1 in 4 … of SEQld electricity consumers where without power. And likely to remain that way for days, due to the volume of work the crews have to deal with,

    Uncle RV is powerless, but he has a generator. Hopefully, also fuel!

    A friend of MM’s came to play and his Mum was telling me their rental is without sockets. They have light and ceiling fans, but the stove and power has died. Of course, being a public holiday, they can’t get on to the agent. Last I heard, she was going to pluck a random sparky off the street and present the REA with the bill. What else can you do?

  95. Wow, that’s a lot of people without power.
    Not surprising though as the east coast is so heavily populated and that’s been the path of the storm – Cairns to Sydney.
    Another tree feel down in the neighbour’s yard after I reported in yesterday am – hard to say when it fell, but it was there at 6am and it was lying down being chopped up when the bloke ventured outside to pick up sticks at noon when the wind dropped. A very old frangipani up the back in nice neighbour’s yard – rat damn.
    We ducked out to get supplies and there were trees down and traffic lights out everywhere. you can tell Flotsam and Jetsam that I’ve been in touch with their grandmama & she is safe and dry and expecting to stay that way but is rather anxious and sleepless like everyone else in a street that’s likely to flood. Thus far the waters have been a bit higher than they thought – so I’m not sure how accurate those council flood projection maps are. I think they may have forgotten to add the projection of the water released from the dams at Cantydoody’s orders and against the advice of the hydraulic engineers at SEQ water. Water at the river around here & the CBD was certainly higher than anyone expected yesterday.
    We’re betting that the ambulance/flood chaser lawyers are rubbing their hands together over that one & odds are high they’ll chuck their current pursuit (high risk/low likelihood of reward) and go after CannedOoh for this one instead. ugh.
    Anyway, not much to report at Casa Q as we have been mostly eating (I made buttermilk scones) and watching Disaster TV.
    We are baffled as the new owner has spent a week fussily cleaning and airing Jesus & Mary’s old flat trying to get the stink out, and she’s been busy stacking it with crockery. And yesterday the occupants of the front flat who’d been evicted spent the night in it. Judging from the location of the drains from the gutters on the roof – two of which were located outside their flat, and flat being the nature of the rusted and decrepit roof over their habitat – my best bet is that some of the 150ml of water that landed on us trickled into their lair.
    So I’m torn between two forms of logic.
    1. Owner has discovered it’s stupid to throw out tenants when there’s no sign there’s any new ones to replace them.
    2. The front flat provides Access To the Elements that doesn’t meet with contractual obligations in the tenancy agreement.
    God I hope it’s not permanent, they’re OK people but if they’re awake they’ve got the TV on. The kind of TV that makes your IQ drop 50 points.
    Hey! I think I’ve just figured out why they keep parking over my driveway.

    MM, I think that agents deliberately switch their phones off during times of crisis so that they can avoid having to deal with them and then they can squeal at you that if the work wasn’t done by someone they’ve authorised, then the tenant has to pay for it. Our landlord tried that one year when the toilet blocked so I told him I’d pay for the plumber that fixed it if he’d take the same number of days off our rent where he wasn’t answering his phone to deal with it.
    he paid the plumber.

  96. Good strategy, Q – I’ll pass it on to the afflicted.

    Sad to hear about the frangi. We’ve had quite a few banksia and callistemon succumb, but no really big trees. Luckily. And my Fraser Island Apple transplant has never looked happier … shame it took an ex-tropical cyclone to perk the little bugger up.

  97. The scribe wound up with a tree in his pool, he put the pictures on twitter.
    I know it’s wrong to miss the apocalypse weather but truly, when it got so very, very nasty hot and humid today I was wishing the lovely apocalypse back.
    And from what BOM are saying it’ll be at least 3 weeks between end of the world weather system scenarios.
    I know you’ll share my pain. πŸ™‚

  98. Yes. Other than the abject fear of Sunday, it was perfect weather. And – I know I can tell you – it meant the weekend turned out much more to my liking than planned.

    God bless the Great Indoors!

  99. And God bless whoever invented air con and chlorinated swimming pools.

  100. Work is air-conditioned. Even on the worst day of deadbeats, it is cool and dry. I love my job!

  101. Yes. I am listening to the happy sounds of electricians installing air-con in the mouldy halls of Bog Hollow. One by one the windows have closed, and the constant jibber-jabber of Moron Radio & Bigot TV have been replaced by the slow soothing hum of electricity being sucked out of the national power-grid at an accelerated rate.
    Three months from now, when you’re chasing down unpaid power bills – remember – you’re doing a public service (to me at least) to ensure their bills are paid and they remain silently cocooned in their AC little rat holes.
    I can’t believe how quiet it is in there.
    this is fabulous.
    Well, to a point.
    How will I ever entertain you if I can no longer hear it when Aisling and her mates get stuck in the bog & are unable to fight their way free to the nearest swilling hole?

  102. They have to emerge some time, Q. To buy more beer and prophylactics, for example.

  103. True.
    And there’s always fun to be had when one of them locks their partner out and refuses to let them back in until the police arrive and make them.
    Gosh I miss those two. They’ve gone north to pick fruit, maybe now that the storm has swept it all out to Mt. Isa they’ll come home & ask for their old room back.
    Mind you, they’re asking $150 more for it since they cleaned the mould off the walls so it might not be quite so much to their liking.
    The owner is starting to get concerned that it’s 2.5 weeks into this game and thus far, none of the rooms that she’s kicked well-behaved long-term tenants out of are leased. Twice a week a group of over-indulged Gen Y school leavers troops through there, sneers at the rat holes, and says ‘When we looked at the add we thought it was a house,’ and leaves in disgust.
    Yesterday Gweedo got her off his back by persuading her that the reason the flats weren’t renting was because she hasn’t arranged the furniture to it’s best advantage. My eyes rolled so far back in my head I think they did a complete somersault.
    So she rearranged all the furniture and laid out a new tablecloth with a nice dinner setting & wine glasses.
    It would be hilarious if I didn’t feel so sorry for her.
    I know I shouldn’t, because she kicked out the only decent batch of tenants that place has had (parking over my driveway being discounted in this case as it helps to top up the council disaster fund) & you’d think she would have done her homework before she bought the place…caveat emptor and all that.
    But – Oh. Dear.
    You’ll have to visit for a viewing, MM. With every passing week the place looks more like the Ikea display village, teleported by some dreadful miscalculation on the deck of the Starship Enterprise out into the slums. Its surreal. This week she put a pitcher of water & glasses out for the punters. Since the wine glasses were set out yesterday, I’m thinking that next O4I she’ll open a bottle of champagne & hope that if she can get one of the spotty 17yro’s over the limit, they might be addled enough to sign on the dotted line.
    Oh. Dear.

  104. Tax Loss.

    Which, I have it on good authority, is the whole purpose behind the way Clive Palmer is running his Coolum Resort into the ground. At the moment there are a grand total of 15 guests there, half of whom are Clive’s rellies.

    Should cut down on the housekeeping expenses, but I’m betting saturated animal fat and imported cigar consumption is WAY over budget.

  105. Oh dear x2. It is too, too horrible.
    Gweedo Junior has turned up to install new locks.
    Remember Fast Forward’s ‘Victor you are very unattractive man?’
    Add 3 stone, subtract the head hair (relocate it over the shoulders and the spine) and include an unsightly Henry VIII type skin condition and that’s what’s in there picking – er, changing the locks.
    Naturally he’s started with the flat that’s inhabited by one of the extras from the gym scene in Legally Blonde…if I was her, when I got home I’d be checking the walls for hidden cameras overlooking the bed and the shower. Eeek.
    Where ARE you two when all this horror is unfolding. I may have to go to Westfield for an hour or two for a donut in order to block it out.

  106. Heh heh heh. You’re a genius.
    You’re also doing wonders for my conscience as I can know swan about through my day smiling and thinking ‘Negative gearing’ in stead of pitying the owner for being silly enough to buy it.

  107. Ah, my three fave words. “I love you” makes me hurl or laugh, but “you’re a genius” melts me everytime.

    Happy Hot Carbs, Q. I’m off to Writer’s Group.

  108. Hot carbs are so wonderfully comforting when Aunt Irma comes to call.
    Well, the derpery continues unabated with the same idiot nissan continuing to park over my driveway. I ran into the BCC council cop as I was OMW home from walkies with my very endearing little dog – it was raining so my customary LJ tee was clutching rather firmly to my Double D chest – and you’ll never guess what, but the parking cop became even more sympathetic to the problems I have with smurfwits parking over my driveway. He said that this is his regular route & he’ll drive by every morning to check up on it for me.

    Some days it pays to be out and about at dawn with plus-sized dripping wet breasts.

  109. I wouldn’t know anything about that. (she muttered jealously into her gaping, empty blouse…..)

    Aunt Irma is here. The bitch has been attempting to remove my brain via my ear with a potato peeler. (An option for Aussie Cluedo, perhaps?). Not to worry – I plan on savagely beating her with a lump of Rocklea Road in about half an hour.

    The kidlets are finally back in school. On day one (Wednesday), the littlest kidlet brought home a school swimming notice, requesting that the $135 payment be sent no later than today. Seriously. As if anybody with school children has $135 lying around the house at the end of January. They’ve also sent me a letter announcing that several school programs have been cancelled due to industrial action…. oddly enough, only the free programs have been cancelled. The ones where they charge us stupid amounts of money (like the $80 chess program) are all still in place – and compulsory. And now I read in the paper that Victorian teachers are going on strike on Valentines day, so there goes my plans for having the Boss come home for -ahem- ‘lunch’ that Friday. Pah. Bloody teachers.

    Oh, and the oldest kidlet had his school locker broken into within an hour of it being assigned. The thief didn’t touch his books – they only stole the lock. Welcome to high school, son.

    Sorry for the prolonged absence. I’ve not been coping too well with the influx of demands on my time, and on the rare occasions I had five minutes to spare, someone else was using the computer. I hope you lot haven’t suffered too much from the tornado plague. The news reports had me worrying about you all. No webbed feet or moldy crevices, I trust?

    Now. Where are those scones, Morgana?

  110. I ate them all, as Aunt has just departed. And she brought me migraines, too! I’ve been surfing waves of furious rage all week as well as the odd bout of uncontrolled sobbing. Stupid, stupid hormones.

    Catty, I feel your pain. Elf Boy has swimming, too, and MM wants to do six impossible things before breakfast. And I’d write more but I have to get everyone ready for cricket. Sigh.

    Q, flaunt those money makers. Perhaps you should have included a glamour shot with your DA?

    Love you all xx oo

  111. Bloody Aunt Irma and her bloody migraines. Poor Madam. Good luck with the Baconing. Hey, maybe you could set up the bacon tent outside Bog Hollow for the next O4I. The sizzly goodness may just attract some worthwhile tenants. Or Quokka’s cats. Just make sure to film it for Youtube. Or Australia’s funniest home videos.

  112. Hehehe. We’d just screw up in the dark and set it up over Q’s driveway, Catty. Then she’d have us towed and impounded. And what’s the likelihood of Council Workers giving Baconers their liberty?

    We’d be Les Miserables de Bacon.

  113. Oh God, if only they would tow them, my problems would be solved.
    Still – that does add weight to my theory that the glow of the yellow line attracts them in their late night drunken derpery. You missed the fun while you were scraping vomit off the carpet, Catty, and while Madam& I were battling with the ill-timed visits of the hormonal harpy…two weeks into the change of ownership I’ve been parked in repeatedly by the Derps next door.
    The English tourists in the Nissan have now racked up 3 x $100 fines.
    I told the parking cop that at this time of year the newbies often tear them up & try to argue their way past the judge that it’s unreasonable to think that I should have 24hr access to my driveway and instead should seek permission from them should I want to escape the noise and smells extruding from Bog Hollow. He snorted and said in that case they’d be going to jail. Except apparently the legal system doesn’t like to pay to keep OS tourists here on Her Majesty’s courtesy so they give them a free ride home instead.
    So I think I’m actually starting to see the rationale behind the sudden interest in parking over my driveway when there’s spaces available 6m further up the road. Given that they’d been here for at least 6 months without managing to get a ticket – while there were three extra carloads of their friends vying for space outside Casa Q & Bog Hollow.
    Anyway. I’ve made a new friend this week (aside from the council parking cop) – she’s a magistrate so when we go to breakfast after kayak training I’m sure she’ll have many a fabulous story about things that backpackers will do in order to get a free ride home. So if Bog Hollow does empty out of miscreants I shall have a steady source with which to amuse you. Albeit second hand, which may be a strange adjustment.
    I was busy with the chores yesterday so I didn’t get to see much of the Freak Show Tour of Bog Hollow – I did get to hear it, despite closing multiple windows and doors & turning on appliances to block it all out – but from the brief glance I took out the window, I think all I missed was the Justin Bieber lookalike parade & a 19yro single mother + toddler, who was carried away by her knight in rusting armour – a Tattoo Beast in a commodore who took the trouble to stay in the car down the road, well out of sight of the greasy REA.
    I don’t feel like I’m in any danger of becoming overly familiar with her, or the Irish Backpacker who lingered for 20 minutes after the last O4I, casting longing eyes towards Aisling’s Prison, because the owner has moved into the upstairs flat in Bog Hollow, overlooking Casa Q & the street. She looks like a reasonable human being & she keeps the same ungodly hours at me. i.e. early to bed and early to rise & to switch on the ABC.
    Ergo she is like to be as irritated as I am by the 2am strains of what files into a maxi-taxi, pished, begorrah.
    And my dream of Wok Inferno…er, I mean, silent myopic small-boned students from the sub-continent – was fulfilled the other day when a very sweet looking young couple moved into one of the other flats upstairs.
    This may not be too bad.
    If not, I do have a contingency plan to satisfy my sense of Karma & to encourage a localised ‘early to bed, early to rise’ regime until we can arrange to relocate to a gated community – while I was out with the dog the other day at dawn I encountered the most fabulous bird feeder that I’ve seen outside of Currumbin Sanctuary.
    The householder had crafted a suspended wire mesh pen that was hanging in their back patio – it was about 5- 6 feet long and held a long line of metal bowls full of lorikeet food. And it was absolutely swarming with greenies. They were flying in and out of what I assume was possum proof wire and shrieking like all the devils in hell.
    I promptly went out to my friendly neighbourhood pet store and stocked up on items designed to attract things that shriek at dawn but thus far, only the possum and the brush turkey have spotted it up there by the pond.
    Persistence, I am told, is the key.
    They were absolutely gorgeous, I might have to chat to the woman round the corner and get a closer look at her bird feeder. I’ll nip out with the bloke’s iphone one day and try to get a photo for you. Morgana, failing that we’ll do surveillance next time you visit, although I can’t promise that the birds will be looking for food at the same hour as we are.
    Today I’m trying to entice them with some diced mango but I suspect they are being far too well fed and loved to tempt them to my side of the hill.
    MM, I’m counting on inside knowledge gained from your Uncle RV to help me attract lorikeets/backpacker deterrents.

  114. That sounds gorgeous, Quokka. We’ve been toying with the idea of a bird sanctuary in our yard, but every time we start looking for birdie furnishings, the local paper publishes another story about somebody’s front porch being eaten by cockatoos. Apparently they can completely devour a porch railing in as little as a month. We did manage to attract a non-house-eating bird to our yard, but I shall elaborate more when (if?) I ever get around to that holiday blog I promised.

    These days we are more interested in garden ornaments to scare away the pests. The possums that can no longer access our roof are getting their revenge by gnawing every lemon on the tree as soon as it begins to ripen. The Boss hates this, as there is never a ripe lemon for his fish – or his Corona. We’ve heard owls are a good deterrent. A friend in NQ had one on her patio to keep the marauding birds away from her doggie’s food bowl. It not only kept the birds away, it kept the doggie away. The poor thing was terrified. I don’t blame it, after watching the Boss’s Ancient Alien Theorist videos. If those videos are anything to go by, owls are really aliens, spying on us all and selecting rednecks to probe.

    Today will be fun. I get to spend a few sticky hours covering school books with contact paper and Angry Birds stickers. Joy….. But it’s not all bad. The middle kidlet can now bake a cake without any input whatsoever from me. I’m thinking chocolate, today. Oh, I love having useful slaves.

  115. Our local bakery has a range of Faux Hawks glued to the rubbish bins to scare away the ibis. I haven’t seen any Ibis down there for ages so it must be working. They sell them in Bunnings up here – due, no doubt, to the prevalence of Ibis so if you have trouble finding them, Catty, let me know and I’ll grab one and send it down.
    Well, it is now Day 2 of my attempts to attract screeching birds and I think all that’s happened so far is that I’ve given the possum dyspepsia. We caught the dog under the poinciana this morning gobbling up something disgusting & we’re pretty sure it was the Mango chunks I’d left out for the greenies. Its hard to say if the lorikeets have found it yet or if I just have a very greedy possum passed out in a diabetic coma up in the nut tree, in need of a dose of bicarb soda.
    Speaking of which, the lovely nut tree up the back – which is technically in the neighbour’s yard but which mostly hangs over our yard and shelters our cubby – it copped an absolute hiding in the storm last weekend.
    We spent much of the weekend on garden-tidy duty, as council is having a kerbside green-waste cyclone clean up. The owner of the flats up the back got some Cuzzy Bros in to ‘prune’ his mangled nut tree and holy snapping duck excrement, it is one shocking hair cut.
    It always baffles me how people who have lots of money can’t be arsed paying someone to come in and do a job properly. If we get another storm like that one, that nut tree is in trouble.
    We have a poinciana in the back yard and once every few years we get it trimmed – at considerable expense – by an accredited arborist. It’s strong and beautifully shaped and it didn’t lose a single branch in the storm – to which I credit the skill of the arborist in shaping it so that the wind can move through it properly. Judging from the carnage that I’ve seen piled on the street for kerb-side green-waste day, a lot of other trees around here didn’t fare so well. The hound and I had to side-step some towering mounds of horror on our morning walk yesterday. It seems that wattles and macadamias bore the brunt of the storm’s fury. Which could explain why SpannerX is whining on twitter about the severity of his allergies – every GD wattle in Brisbane has been blown clear across the boundary into northern NSW.
    Did you have to do storm clean up, MM?
    A friend at Caloundra told me that during the storm the fixed glazing looking onto her deck started to pop and bend. She thought the wind was going to blow it up & she has to get a glazer in to look at it – and of course they’re all busy tending to the windows that did blow out. Eek.

  116. We have a wonderful tree man. He’s reliable, punctual, does a really good job, cleans up after himself and charges about half the price of all the other local tree men. I only wish he had a brother who was a dentist, and another one who was a mechanic.

    My FIL has planted a macadamia tree. I didn’t like the chances of it growing in this cold climate, but it seems to be surviving despite the recent storms. If he ever gets nuts on it, I’m planting one too. Mmmmm…. macadamias….

  117. Our yards – front and back – looked like a Vegan Chainsaw Massacre. You know how gums get when cockies go through and clip flowers off Swamp Mahogany, like a tip prune? Just bits off the ends. But everywhere!

    But thanks to a dawn bout of gutter clearing and yard securing, no major damage. We were very lucky indeed.

    Lorikeets love the nectar out of tea-trees and they also go berserk for Umbrella Tree fruit. Which I wouldn’t advise you to plant because (1) they’re a bit of a weed outside FNQ; (2) Bats also love them and then they’ll shit runny purple everywhere. But maybe a more purple fruit … frozen blackberries?

  118. Heh heh heh.
    Now I have an image of bits of bacon-avoidant slouch bikers, raked up into the compost pile by the chicken coop. And being thrown about by white cockatoos.
    But something to remember the next time a cyclist cuts off my turning path & leaves me wedged in the turning lane being abused by Assault Vehicles in peak hour traffic.
    As for the berries, another brilliant idea, thank you. I hadn’t even thought of frozen fruit and I’ve usually got some stashed away for making muffins.
    We had a heap of those sorts of trees in my misspent youth when I shared with the gay guys. My flatmate loved birds & even so the greenies weren’t that interested in our yard. We had more of them when I were a lass out in Uncle RV territory and the garden was full of bottle-brushes. They loved them.
    I think I’ll have to talk to my neighbour with the elaborate bird feeder and discover her secret. I saw her at dawn on Sunday when I was sticky-beaking over her fence, but she was heading out with her dogs and we couldn’t say a word to each other over the racket her dogs were making.
    I gather from the insults they threw at my dog that an Alsation knows a cheese-eating surrender monkey mutt when he sees one and they carry some grudges that date back to at least D-day in 1945.
    So there’s only so much you can convey with cheerful waves, I’ll have to approach her sometime when I’m not hampered by the airhead little fluff monkey.
    Meanwhile I have no news to report of Bog Hollow. They leave in the morning, they come back at night, they park dutifully clear of the expensive yellow line, and there it ends. The last thing I hear is the click of the door and then the low hum of the AC as they plug themselves back into the Matrix & settle down to an evening of lamb chops and celebrity dance competitions. Which I can smell, but not hear.
    Its fabulous.

  119. I’m assuming you smell the lamb chops … which always smell like wattle flowers to me, when they’re cooking. Why is that?

    What would a celebrity dance comp smell like? Mostly defeat and desperation, laced with a thin top-note of bitter rivalry, I guess.

  120. I’m thinking sweat and urine, but backstage it would smell much the same as the eating disorder wing of the psyche ward.

  121. Eeew.

    Who wants to join me in skipping breakfast?

  122. All those in the eating disorder wing say ‘Aye’.

  123. The kidlets skipped breakfast. That’s what happens when you get up at 8:15 and have to leave the house at 8:25. I didn’t even bother to check if they were dressed when I dragged them to the car – but now I think of it, the littlest kidlet may have still been in his pyjama pants.

    Funny thing about the bottle brush. We have one in our front yard, but the pretty birds avoid it. It could have something to do with the crows that have roosted above our wheelie bins. I love crows, so I have no intention of shooing them away to test the pretty bird theory.

    Back to the salt mines today. Library duty. *sigh* All I want to do is go back to bed. Preferably in one of those nice, quiet little flats in Bog Hollow, with the lamb chops and the AC. Hold the dance comp.

  124. Oh, poor Catty.

    I hope the pyjama pants were in school colours … then again, at this stage if the term I doubt the teachers would notice flannelette Zombie print.

    They’re just as shell-shocked as us.

  125. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. For some unknown reason, the littlest kidlet wore boardshorts to bed last night, so he didn’t look too out of place. I also didn’t realise until pickup time that the oldest kidlet had been in such a rush this morning, he had grabbed yesterday’s uniform from the discarded heap of crap on his bedroom floor. It was wrinkled, and had tomato sauce smears all over the front. So he didn’t look too out of place either.

  126. Whatever you do to a school uniform shirt, it’s wrinkled and has tomato sauce stains down the front.

    Every school’s emblem should be a tomato sauce stain. That. or texta bleed marks.

  127. School uniforms should also be made of a ScratchnSniff product range that perpetually smell like squished banana. So that from Day 1, everyone knows what they’re in for.

  128. With a top notes of oil pastel. Even in high school, there’s a strong whiff of crayon.

    Along with the usual desperation, from both students and teachers.

  129. Has anyone else noticed that the green dye in crayons, pencils and poster paint DOES NOT wash out, ever?

    Or that if you leave a red crayon in your uniform pocket and mum puts your uniform in the dryer, everything else in there will be permanently stained with pink smudges?

    Or that if you wear a dark shirt, your friends will splatter you with whiteout – but if you wear a white shirt, your friends will splatter you with green paint?

    Or that the one day your mother absentmindedly allows you wear boardshorts to school, the teacher takes class photos?

  130. Smurf’s up, Catty. πŸ™‚

  131. Now there’s a word I’ve been using a lot lately. Smurf. Smurfity smurfing SMURF!

    But it’s not all bad. I found out that the Teen’s sack of crap ex-boyfriend (the one who encouraged her to leave home) was run over. Car-ma!

  132. Ee-ew. Are we talking bloated echidna by the side of the princess highway or leg fractured in three places, Catty?

  133. Hehehe. Poor bloated echidna.

    He wasn’t run over by an incensed Mother-in-Common-Law, was he Catty?

    Think of this, though – if the Teen had never left home, she might not have met darling Richmond.

  134. Yes.
    She might still be living with you driving you all crazy.

  135. Because it happened outside the Kidlets’ primary school at pickup time, I actually drove past him as he lay injured on the road. If I’d known it was him under the blanket, I would have been tempted to plow through the crowd of ogling parents and finish the job. The Teen rang me later to ask hopefully if it were me that had put him in hospital. She was most disappointed when I admitted ‘not guilty’. Apparently there was a celebration on Facebook, with several young ladies rejoicing that the sack of crap who had punched, sexually assaulted and/or besmirched them had finally gotten his comeuppance. Still, you both have valid points. I should be thanking Crap Sack. But I’m not going to.

  136. He sounds like a charmer.
    What was he doing outside the school at pickup time?
    Selling drugs to minors or indulging a death wish?

  137. Bit of both, by the sounds. Look on the bright side, Catty – he might get Golden Staph while hospitalized.

  138. And the mother who failed to finish him off might have contacts at the nursing station.

  139. One can only hope, but unfortunately Victoria Health is slightly less deadly than Queensland Health. Crap Sack wasn’t actually loitering. He was legitimately on his way home from high school (he’s repeating year 12), and was being an idiot on his pushbike without a helmet. The consensus on Facebook was that it was a miracle he hasn’t been hit before now, what with his complete lack of road sense and the number of local mothers who have at some stage experienced a strong urge to turn him into the aforementioned bloated echidna.

    So. Does anyone have any swanky plans for Valentines Day? Madam, I hope you’ve been practising painting lovehearts with chocolate body paint. (Liiiiiiiiiiiiick!) Quokka, I assume you’ll be on Cupid duty, maliciously shooting arrows at anyone who ventures within range. (Don’t forget to post the video on Youtube). I’m making little fondant lovehearts and have unearthed my triple layer chocolate cake recipe. (I’m hoping a massive fudge cake will keep the Kidlets busy while the Boss and I sneak off for a little snuggle).

    But before Valentines Day comes Ash Wednesday. And before Ash Wednesday comes Shrove Tuesday. PANCAKES!!! Wooo Hoooo!

  140. yeah I thought this year I’d bust out the rocket launcher. So I’ll lend it to the school mothers once I’m done with cupids and asshats.
    And yeah, I do have plans that coincide with Vday but for the sake of privacy on the innernet and all that I will tell you via gmail.
    tomorrow, becoz I is a sleepy little quokka that has worn itself out persuading the Bloke to do something super gushy, very much against his will.
    heh heh heh.

  141. Ooooh … Pancake Day!

    Thanks for the reminder, Catty. I’ll fire up the batter.

    Survived the cricket club fundraiser, off to Bacon. This is my Hump Day. If I don’t make it through to Thursday, Q can have my DVDs and Catty my handbag collection.

  142. Confusing.
    Now you’ve got me wondering what happens at these markets that would leave you blind and unable to grasp a handbag.
    I assume it’s some sort of breakfast deal, i.e. Bacon & a Hump.
    Now I understand why you grumble about having to serve breakfast with a smile.

  143. I don’t hate serving people bacon and egg rolls. It’s my job. It’s the ones who talk to me and expect responses that make me stabby.

  144. Here’s something to remember when you need to use the ‘I snapped’ alibi.

    Listening to tourists from snowbound countries chirruping ‘isn’t it a lovely day?’ when the mercury is over 30C & the humidity over 90% would make me stabby too.

    • Hehehe. Nice one, Q. It’s not even the tourists … most of them won’t be back. It’s the high maintenance repeat offenders who want to tell me their life stories while their bacon cooks. If I wanted to be a counsellor, I’d be making more and I’d be sitting down somewhere less greasy.

  145. Now that’s what I call a plan.
    Not sure if you’re a 30Rock fan – I always managed to sleep thru it but the Bloke acquired the disc of season 1 recently so he’s been introducing me to the joys of Tina Fey. I must say, for those of you who know the show, I think its a marvellous use of a Baldwin.

  146. I’ve heard it’s fabulous … but on the box far too late.

    I’m working my way through The Sopranos box sets, atm. I call them “training videos”

  147. Heh heh heh.
    For parenting or dealing with debts of dishonour?
    I suppose both would apply.
    Well, I am a happy little chipmunk today.
    Grumpy Man has gone to FNQ – apparently yesterday’s sulks were because he expected to have to fight his way through a union blockade of his workplace, but that didn’t happen and when he got to work he discovered there was a cake fundraiser on for the flood victims – so he was surrounded by the Cake Blockade in stead.
    He came home muttering ‘None of it was to your standard though’ so I think that cured him of the residual surly discontent that seems to be part of Male Turning 50.
    It probably helped that I was making pumpkin pie and I’d scored a particularly sweet and delicious pumpkin from my local Greek grocer.
    I went out on the weekend & introduced myself to the Lorikeet Lady around the corner & she has advised me of the Preferred Diet of the Shrieking Green Menace, so that’s sitting up there by the pond awaiting discovery. A cat is on lookout so I’m sure I’ll know if they find it.
    All is silent because yet another AC unit got fitted into Bog Hollow yesterday- so now I don’t even hear the muted strains of ABC classic FM when the landlady awakens at dawn. A couple of boys of exotic appearance have moved into the Irish’s old flat downstairs, I didn’t even know they were there till I looked out the window last night & saw them tucked up in the AC, making mushroom & mozzarella pide.
    I had to do a double-take to ensure they weren’t hallucinogens but hey, boy tenants that will dice up a smurf village for dinner are all right by me.
    Onto other happy news, the English Tourists have given up on parking over my driveway or trying to reason with me about it and they have instead taken to parking over the Flanders driveway. Flanders has a very large 4WD with an enormous bullbar & a propensity to be a danger to himself and others with his collection of power tools, so that’s a well-thought out plan on their behalf. They’ve also turned their ‘I’m gonna park you in’ aggression on the psycho drunken lawyer who drives like he’s operating a dodgem franchise.
    And, best of all – we had an email from the architect saying that our working drawings will be ready today, so we can email them off to the builder and he should be able to start calculating the cost of our project.
    You wouldn’t think it could get better but yesterday there was a lot of discussion on the radio by statisticians and demographers saying that in 2 years time there will be such a glut of new units in the inner city area & around the halls of Higher Learning near Casa Q that supply will outstrip demand and purveyors of Rat Holes will not be able to get tenants.
    Apparently the market is about to get incredibly competitive and the units that offer better living conditions and amenities (pool, gym, pleasant garden with BBQ areas) will be the ones that get the tenants. I’ve been watching the rental market & there’s a number of converted boarding houses that are struggling to get tenants while well-designed units have been snapped up, so if they’re in trouble now, they’ll be in a whole world of smurf poop come the Unit-glut-apocalypse. It’s taken 4 weeks in peak demand season to rent out those rat-holes next door – so if it’s all downhill from here then that’s gotta hurt their profit margins.

    So that little news item has me bubbling over with joy, as it means that Bog Hollow has at best 2 years to bask in the glory of what seems to be its first ever civilised landlady, and then it’s Smurfed. It’ll be due for another makeover by then so it sounds like whoever owns it will have little choice but to strip it out and turn it into 4 flats rather than 8 – with pool, BBQ, landscaped gardens and squash court to lure the punters in – or else, as I hope, someone who is desperate to get their 3 kids into state high will buy it and strip it back into it’s original gracious queenslander state.

    We may not have to move to Woody Point after all. Although we may do it anyway, just for the joy of being on the bay.
    Happy happy happy, and it’s all thanks to Greedy Developers.
    God bless their dark twisted hearts. . πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  148. Handbags? Did someone say handbags? I hope they come with matching shoes. But seriously, I’m a bit concerned, Madam. I didn’t realise baconing was a high risk occupation. Can’t you get OH&S in to enforce a gag requirement for all customers?

    Happy Quokka! Oh, it will be so much fun watching the fallout when Flanders shoves the English tourist’s car out into the middle of the street with his bullbar. It’s certainly better than what I have to watch. Yeah, the Boss has just downloaded another series of Gilligan’s Island. No 30rock, no Soprano, just Ginger and the Professor and Mary Anne.


  149. I loved Gilligan’s Island when I was 7 or 8.
    Despite high levels of sentiment for anything that provided a pleasant diversion from reality back in those days, I don’t think its something I could comfortably revisit, though.
    Sympathy, Catty.
    Gak x 2.

  150. I feel the same way about the 60 Million Dollar Man. Sure, there was once a time when I would have cheerfully bitchslapped Farrah Fawcett for stealing my intended husband, but to be honest I don’t think there was much chance Lee Majors would have married an OCD 8 year old.

  151. The Pide Makers sound promising, Q. Perhaps you should bake them welcome muffins. Mazel tov to the renos, too. Can’t wait to see the finished result!

    Catty, he was perfectly suited to playing a man that was mostly robot, though, Lee Majors. Makes Chuck Norris look demonstrative.

    I had like a TIA or acute drug reaction or something the other day and saw half of a “Love Boat” – featuring that screechy booby woman, is she called Charro? Something like that. And I’d repressed it from my youth, but now I think I know why I’m so romance averse.

    I love youse all, but – Happy V Day for tomorrow!

  152. Catty I like to credit the bionic people with seeding an early interest in Sci Fi. I moved on shortly after to Blake’s 7 & never looked back.
    I didn’t watch much love boat. So I don’t recall the screechy booby woman. I remember a screechy midget but that must have been another show. Time in front of the TV was usually limited to the hours where Dad wasn’t home as like most of the other WW2 vets he hated silly noises. So if we watched a show with silly noises, they had to come out of something he could relate to.
    i.e. arrogant sexist old gits.
    Sid James, Dave Allen and Benny Hill have taken up residence in a dark corner of my mind and will never, ever leave.

  153. Oh, I LOVED Dave Allen! Not that I understood half of his jokes – which is probably a good thing. The Love Boat just annoyed me. Logan’s Run was a favourite, but I didn’t get to see it often, what with homework and housework and early bedtimes. Shows like Diff’r’nt Strokes were banned in our house because Father Dear said that they were racist against white people, and any sort of racism is bad. And Mother Dear wouldn’t let me watch The Goodies because she saw a toilet in one episode once. For a while there I was watching Home and Away, but a dose of antibiotics cleared that up.

  154. You missed out, Catty. I loved the Goodies and I just found a DVD in Lifeline and now the kids love it, too. Want me to mail it to you so you can catch up?

  155. As promised… I am here. Having a quiet day, which will involve bacon, nanna naps and watching my recorded tv shows.

  156. Scooch over, Mayhem. I want in. As long as you’re not watching Gilligan’s Island, of course. The Boss has downloaded another season of the 7 castaways who seem to own even more stuff than I do – and you all know what a shameful hoarder I am.

    Which is why I shall have to decline your kind offer of the Goodies, Madam. The Boss will not relinquish the TV remote until Gilligan is rescued from that freaking island. And when he does relinquish control, the kidlets will be all over the remote like monkeys on a cupcake. Suffice to say, I have a large stack of DVD’s waiting to be watched – some of them I’ve had for over two years. *sigh* One day, Timothy Dalton. One day.

  157. Speaking of Timothy Dalton, have I bored you yet with how much MM and I ADORED “Skyfall”?

    Add that to the stack, Catty. It’ll be on DVD by the time “Gilligan” is over.

  158. Oh, don’t worry, I’ll get to see it – just as soon as it airs on TV. The Boss is very keen on 007, so he’ll probably only channel surf during the ad breaks. I’m looking forward to it, especially Craig’s much-touted bare chested scenes. Noice.

    I’m feeling particularly cheerful today. You know how I’m always saying that no politician should be allowed into office until they’ve lived in Blacktown for a month? Well, Julia Gillard will be living at the Rooty Hill RSL for a week. It appears someone actually listened to me for once. Well, sort of. Close enough, anyway. I just hope she’s remembered to pack her pink tracky dacks.

  159. Because pink goes so well with red hair, and has such a lovely arse-slimming effect?

    She’s got the right accent to slide right in. “Oi, Shaz! Turn it up, you mole. That’s my effing pokie machine, And have you taxed my durries as well? I swear to Gawd I’ll go ya.”

  160. Heh heh heh…. For the full experience, Jules should borrow some brats for the occasion. She needs someone to lock in the car for five hours. Joe Hockey, perhaps?

  161. I don’t think you could lock Joe Hockey in a CAR. What happened to that minivan the lesbian Goths in the caravan park had?

  162. I think they converted it into a mobile tattoo shop.

  163. Oh, dear. Now I’m giggling uncontrollably at the thought of Joe Hockey being tattooed in a minivan by Goth lesbians in a Rooty Hill car park.

  164. Oh dear! Catty, have you reconsidered twitter? I’m happy to open an account for you if you like. Then all you need to do is come up with 140 character witticisms several times a day. For you, that will be a doddle

  165. Hehehe.

    “Hockey gets jiggy at the Rooty R’ie”

    Could this be the origin of the phrase, “you’ll rue the day”?

  166. Aunt Irma is taking her time departing, and I am feeling antisocial. So I am going to take my Kettle chips and hide under the doona until school pickup time. If anyone dares say a word about the lack of cleaning or the dearth of dinner, they will bloody well wish they hadn’t.

  167. Mmm … chips.

    You know what I always say about Irma, Catty. Could be worse. Could be the dang stork.

  168. I love storks. But I couldn’t eat a whole one.

  169. Awesome drumsticks, though.

  170. True. Especially when served with fresh veggies. Say, something from the cabbage patch.

  171. Hehehe.

    Speaking of the vege patch, I just saw the rudest mushrooms growing next to a friend’s pumpkin vine. They not only looked exactly like you-know-whats … and had balls clustered at their bases, they SMELLED like them, too.

    Whatever’s for dinner, it’s not fungus.

  172. I invited a mushroom to my last party because I thought he’d be a fun guy….

    (boom boom)

  173. Testing, testing, testing.
    I was wondering why the cybergremlins wouldn’t let me into your blogs on my new Precious.
    And then it occured to me to plug it into the Big Mac.
    Which seem to be working with Catty’s but it wouldn’t give me the ‘post comment box’ here.
    If this doesn’t work I will eat bacon and try another day.

  174. ha, it worked, but apparently I had to create a blog account first.

  175. I’m getting my car back today! I’m getting my car back today! A whole week early. Yay!

  176. Not that there’s anything wrong with bacon.

    No good talking to Catty for the next few days, then – she’ll be busy driving around confectioners’ and claw machine arcades.

    What are you doing for the weekend, Q – and how’s Bog Hollow?

  177. yay Catty. Just in time to stockpile for easter, too.
    I was anticipating another fun-filled weekend of scraping mould off the cats.
    Is this your Vagus weekend?
    I’d just mentioned Bacon to Khan Greybeard because the most scrumptious looking frittata popped up on my twitter feed. Is breakfast in the hippy kingdom in order, or did you want to gather the troops and have lunch?
    Bog Hollow is eerily silent and lacking in entertainment value.
    Thankfully we have other neighbours that we can rely on to amuse us. The folk across the road had what we think was a 21st party last Saturday night so the guests spent a good chunk of the evening getting stuck in their driveway – no doubt due to an overgrowth of mould and slime caking the sheer descent down the cliff – and needing to be winched out.
    Still, as exciting as burning rubber is at 1am, it can’t compete with Aisling, in the bathroom, trapped and shrieking for release.

  178. Never mind, Quokka. There’s always the Flanders’ rage at your renovations to look forward to. And the teenagers puking on your lawn. And 4WD’s parking across your driveway. And the plaguey German neighbourhood watchman. And the fire-twirling bongo players. And scrub turkey breeding season. Huh. Some people have all the fun. The only neighbourhood excitement we’ve had in the last two years has been the talking cat that moved to Queensland. Oh, and a couple of murders and an attempted child abduction.

  179. True. We are sadly lacking in neighbourhood murders around here which is a mystery, although you have heard my thoughts about why there aren’t any child abductions despited repeated attempts by parents to abandon their children on the street.
    I was so impressed with the new tenants at Bog Hollow Belowstairs that I gave them my remaindered cake mixes – which are UBD April & aren’t compatible with my current efforts to prevent asphyxiation by shorts/jeans. GD RT rabbits.
    They seemed confused but hey, so am I most days.
    MM we just got back from brekky in West End & there are the most fabulous new range of shoes in that shoe shop by the fruit store. They are open till 3pm today so you might want to nip in and look at what they’ve got.

  180. I miss Aisling. It was like Neighbours only yuckier.

    I am still stuck on the Sunshine Coast – which, ironically, is actually sunny today – until Easter, owing to the sad prolongation of the Under 8s Cricket Season.


    My current plans are to visit Brisvegas at some point in the Easter holidays. At which point, I’ll happily eat anything that’s not chocolate. It might be a too-mor, but I’ve kind of gone off choccy. Stupid sugar detox.

    Catty … couple of murders? We’ve only heard of one. Spill!

  181. You want sunshine? We’ve got plenty. The temperature has been in the 30’s all week, with promises it will nudge up closer to the 40’s all of next week. Blech. I’ve been starting the Easter egg accumulation, but everything I’ve bought has wilted. Sad, wilted little bunnies….

    And sad, wilted little me. No new shoes since December. *sigh*

    On a positive note, I’m hoping to catch up with Mayhem and Melbo this week, so I will be able to pop into Haigh’s and soothe my aching newshoelessness with something from the 70% cocoa range.

    As for that “gone off choccy” comment, I shall ignore it and pray for your speedy recovery, Madam.

  182. It was a momentary aberration. Last night I had to stay up until The Plumber got here – 9 p.m., it’s like the middle of the smurfing night! – so I managed to eat 4 “fun size” Crunchies and Boosts.

    The Plumber is also “fun size” – but in his case, this does NOT mean skimpy.

    Kiss the girls from me, Catty … hey. maybe you can find a choccy shoe!

  183. Funnily enough the last few times I’ve been in our great southern capital I have seen life-sized chocolate shoes for sale, several adorned with Bling.
    I’ve never seen them in Vagus but maybe we’re not cultured enough.
    The market here probably lends itself more to the Chocolate Croc or the Chocolate flip-flop.
    Not sure yet what is happening here over Easter, but most likely we’ll be lurking. We’re trying to arrange for a long weekend in Sydney & another kayak lesson but the instructor hasn’t gotten back to me yet so not sure when that will happen.
    Yesterday we went hunting in our local bookstore for a BD gift for the Bloke’s 19yro nephew. He’s taking a ‘gap year’ from studying ecosciences & has just split up with his girlfriend, who’s gone to work at Seaworld or some such thing. So the bloke found him a book and I found him a squeeze-ball stress toy.
    It seemed rather apt. Dog help me, for I will rot in hell if it ever becomes TOO apt.

  184. Forget the shark. I want a zombie stress ball that spews out brains.

  185. Braaaaaaaaainz!

    That is too awesome, Q. I need half a dozen for gifts for the other office drones, next Christmas.

    Well, here we go – another Monday. What happened to January and February, that’s what I’d like to know? I feel like we’re aging at warp speed. It’s highly illogical.

  186. Hm. Bulimic Zombie doll.
    Another brilliant marketing idea, Catty.
    Maybe we could tweak the Princess Diana Doll for best effect and have her vomit some oversized ears. She had a good go at biting off a few royal heads and the hands that fed her in life, so imagine what she’d be inspired to do in death.

    I’m sure we could have them manufactured in a range of designer evening frocks to suit your needs by Xmas, MM.

  187. We also need a Sarah Ferguson one that pukes toes. And an Elton John one that pukes… um… everything. You wouldn’t need any gowns for the Sarah one – just a bikini bottom. Which is good, as you’ll need the extra fabric (and glitter) for Elton’s outfit.

    Another marketing idea for Christmas:


    A little bit of creative carving could turn those pegs into effigies of our most hated politicians. I’d buy one, just for the fun of bashing certain MP’s over the head with a hammer.

  188. I don’t think the Elton doll should puke anything. But, when squeezed, a large expensive bouquet should erupt from its arse.

  189. Oh, that is just too perfect! I’ll take a dozen.

  190. Fabulous, darling!

  191. Maybe after the bouquet it should pop out a few pebble sized rhinestones to act as a vase stabiliser.
    To keep the flowers safe when it gets windy.

  192. Q’s always thinking, isn’t she? That makes one of us.

  193. How will Elton fill the vase with water?

    O.k, now I’m thinking too much.

  194. Eeeew.

    I much prefer you when you’re not thinking at all. Is today the day you’re meeting Melbo and Mayhem for lunch? Waiter, another round of chocolate shoes!

    • No, that was yesterday – Mayhem ignored my piteous whining and set up a Twitter account for me, right there in the middle of the cafΓ©.

  195. I can’t hear myself think today because there’s gophers on the roof at Bog Hollow, evicting vermin and laying down insulation and new colourbond roofing.
    The cats complained long and loud but thankfully the sound of bouncing roof iron drowned out their grumbles. They’ve done less than a quarter of the roof today. It could be a long week, I may have to seek shelter in the caverns of Westfield and the local cinema.
    They’ve selected the same shade of green as our roof though, so at least we won’t have to look at anything that looks like it’s escaped from Roswell.

  196. And now I have that stupid roof seal jingle stuck in my head.

    Thank you, Quokka. (*stomps away muttering rude things about lichen and mortar*)

  197. Actually, at least it’s not the bright silver stuff. That happened to friends of mine in Paddo. It made their back patio virtually unliveable in summer, due to the heat and blinding glare.

    Go and see “Django Unchained”, Q. I’m dying to.

    So how’s Twitter treating you, Catty? Still confusing and disjointed? It’s a lot like life, really …

    • It’s weird. I make a comment on Twitter, and it shows up in five different spots. It’s like watching a mob of teenagers talking on a train.

  198. Yes I was expecting the silver space-ship cladding because it’s less expensive than coloured, but I guess it’s in the owner’s interests not to do that seeing as her flat looks out over a large chunk of flat roof below her. The glare would be hellish.
    It’s been fascinating watching the roof come off because I can see the original structure before that abomination got extended. It must have been quite a sweet little Qlder at some point, with a 2.5m wide deck on 3 sides of the building. It is very cheering to finally see the new roof going on.
    Even more cheering is that the old roof has been flung from a great height onto the *landscaping* and I use that term loosely – that was done by Mr. Greasy.
    I doubt much of it will survive The Flattening & as it’s a weed infested mouse farm, this pleases me immensely.

  199. No worries there. Greybeard’s little feathered friends will have the roof remains mounded in no time.

  200. Poor mice. I shan’t tell the children.

    Any luck tenanting Bog Hollow yet, Q … or do you think the renos will drag them in? Past term time, so looks like the Ramen Dreams have evaporated.

  201. Well, there’s nothing advertised in there anymore so either they’ve given up or they’re tenanted. Bog Hollow belowstairs has filled up with foreign students as Gweedo predicted, but it was very last minute & after uni started. After O week there was nothing left for rent in our area so I guess Desperation won out. A friend’s daughter is commuting from Caloundra to UQ 3 days pw because the accommodation was so shitty and horribly overpriced.
    The AC seems to run 24/7 and I don’t hear a peep out of anyone.
    That may change now they have a proper roof with good quality insulation but perhaps not – it’s not like there’s any air flow through those flats.
    A week or so before uni there was a lot of talk in the media about how many DAs for unit blocks have been approved for the uni catchment suburbs. Demographers are predicting that while the uni rental market is tight, within 2 years there will be so many new units on the market that competition is going to be extremely stiff and it will drive rental prices down as there will be oversupply. I’ll believe that when I see it, but given how many nice units there were on the market for comparative prices to Bog Hollow, if that prediction is accurate then what it means is they’ll have trouble getting good tenants.
    We may move to the other side of the country to get away from it if that happens.
    Still, while the roof was off I got to see the bones of the house before all the ugly add-ons. If someone got it into their head to renovate it, it really would make a very picturesque little Qlder.
    Anyway, they have all STFU and there are very few cars parked on the street, so that is good enough for me.

  202. I’m glad that the sanctity of your double yellow line is being preserved, Q.

    It’s a great shame about the Qld’r, though. It would be absolutely awesome perched there next to you, with the views and the breezes. Maybe someone will do that when the proposed unit developments make slum lording uneconomically viable.

    I never really thought about student accommodation being a side effect of the green bridge. This town planning is tricky stuff, hey?

  203. At the moment I am wondrously impressed with the New Order next door. They are silent, sober, and sane, which is a rarity here in the Freak Hood.
    A very sweet little English girl has moved in with the OS boy students in Bog Hollow Belowstairs, I met her early one morning when she was trying to get some sunlight in between bursts of mould inducing rain.
    I’d overheard her on Skype the afternoon before asking mother (in the northern hemisphere where by my calculations it was 5am) to tell her how to bake a cake – it was her flatmate’s BD and she wanted to surprise him.
    I gave her my remaining boxes of Duncan Hines as they’re due to expire in 4 weeks and the last thing the zippers on my pants need is more friggin cake.
    And aside from that, I’m not sure the oven in Bog Hollow is up to the strain of manufacturing a real cake. I
    Nice one, Catty. I bought a stack of those packet mixes so it was good to see them go to a good cause.

  204. They were very delicious. I made ours up as cupcakes, and made a chocolate orange cream cheese frosting to go on top.

    mmm … I wish I had cake right now. Instead, I have deadbeats and office coffee


  205. After three weeks of sweltering heat, today is finally cool enough to arc up the oven. I shall be making bananana cake and smearing it with that new Philadelphia chocolate cream cheese. And then I shall be eating bananana cake and Philadelphia chocolate cream cheese.

  206. There’s chocolate cream cheese? Not in our supermarkets. Oh, the humanity!

  207. It’s a new product, I think it was only released last week. It was in the IGA and Woolworths catalogues, and I saw it in the Coles fridge too. You’re sure to get it soon. Buy some. It’s good.

    Meanwhile, the kidlets are ignoring my screams of “Do your homework!” and are building fruit out of Lego. It makes you wonder, at what point does a shrieking harpy’s ranting become white noise to a child? Or a husband, for that matter. Huh. I’m getting a sore throat. I may have to soothe it with a chocolate-philly-coated chunk of cake.

  208. Fruit out of Lego?

    Innovative, but ironic. If you pleaded with them to make a fruit salad, they’d just blank you.

  209. Or laugh hysterically. The likelihood of my lot eating fruit salad is about the same as Gillard’s chance at another term as PM.

  210. I was at a party on Friday night, where I was told fructose and sitting make you fat.

    So I settled more comfortably into my chair and had another jelly snake.

  211. I think I spent a chunk of Saturday sitting in a trendy cafe with those people.
    I still have lumbar spasm from perching on an upturned metal milking pail, which was what passed for seating in this hip cool trendy establishment.
    I may need cake and jelly snakes to cope.

  212. How about jelly snake cake?

    A Medusa special.

  213. Maybe if I gave one of those to Mrs Crazy across the road it would turn them all to stone?
    They’d be silent if they turned to stone, and unable to roar and bellow their way through their regular drunken Saturday night revelry.
    If one of you has a cake recipe that can turn the consumer into stone, ‘fess up, the Sistahood needs you.
    Well, I have been repaired by the osteo and after a trip through Coals I have a 500g block of Jarlsberg and a Red Tulip Easter egg.
    Life is good.

  214. Well, I reckon if you mixed enough cement into a cream-cheese frosting, you’d slow them down.

  215. More so if you mixed it in to their shoes.
    Which is entirely possible given some of the shady characters that they choose to hang out with.

  216. Elf Boy goes on camp tomorrow. I’m desolate. Who remembers the first time Magic Man went away?

    Heathcliffe, it’s me your Cathy I’ve come home …

    Cue the draperies and the wind machine.

  217. Draperies and wind machine? Is that why Cathy was so cold and demanding to be let in his window?

  218. It’s been a while since I read it … maybe she was a vampire, they’re always trying to get in windows. Cold, too.

  219. Heathcliffe always struck me as the one that needed to be hammered with a stake. And maybe sprayed with silver bullets to make sure he stayed down.

  220. Castrated with rusty horse-shoeing pliers has a lovely period ring to it. don’t you think?

    Speaking of castration, have you SEEN John Laws blaming a CSA victim … and today he issued a statement saying everyone outraged can go and get stuffed.

    Silver bullets are too good for that one.

  221. Eh? A celebrity said something ignorant and offensive?
    Don’t they get paid extra for that?

  222. If Laws didn’t get paid to be offensive, he wouldn’t get paid at all.

    Makes me feel like draining all the Valvoline out of my car.

  223. Laideez… I’m here. As it appears I’m not going to get a chance to wish you Happy Easter on the twitterzzzz, I’m doing it here (where the heck are you all anyway? Even the fabulous Miss Melbo is MIA πŸ˜ͺ)

    Anyhoo, may your Easter be filled with love and peace and most importantly CHOCOLATE πŸŽ… (Sorry, stupid emoji has no Easter Bunny, so Santa will have to do).

    Currently on house arrest due to conjunctivitis, but GB is here, and rumour has it, the wonderful Flinthart is on his way to Melbourne. Hoping for a burger catchup in the near future.

  224. Consider yourself lucky that conjunctivitis is all you’ve caught if you’ve been playing with Khan Greybeard. I’m still trying to chase the rats out of my roof that he released before he fled the countryside.
    And yes, happy chocolate bunny day to all.

  225. Happy Dead Man on a Stick Chocolate Fesitval to all!

    Last day of cricket with the presentation night tonight. Huzzah! in my spare time, I’ll … well, not be running endless BBQs at the cricket club.

  226. heheheheheh. And congratulations on the end of cricket.
    I’d suggest gender reassignment for both children by next season but girls would only be worse.

    Happy chocolate god day, people.

  227. Girls play cricket, unfortunately. Penis lopping is not the answer.

    Well, in many cases it IS, of course. Just not in this instance.

  228. Huh. I didn’t get a chocolate Jesus. Admittedly, it’s probably the only chocolate I didn’t get. I got so many noms, I can’t even finish it all today, despite my best efforts. And to top it all off, the Boss cooked a batch of the most delicious hot cross buns ever, from scratch. *happy sigh*

    I hope you lot are having a happy Easter too. Big, gooey, chocolate kisses for you all!

  229. Mmm … chocolate kisses. I’m saving mine for later, I’ve had enough chocolate to last me for winter.

  230. Indeed. It was necessary to balance out our chocolate consumption with a visit to the dumpling stall at the Eagle Farm markets yesterday. And then stopped at the juice stall, the bagel stall, and the iced tea stall.
    It was The Bloke’s first trip out there and he resisted the urge to indulge in sausages. Which meant that he had something to whinge about when he got home. (i.e. I’m hungry. If only I’d eaten that sausage I wouldn’t be hungry for a week.)
    While he was admiring the sausage stall and wrestling with his greed, I found some M&M earrings so I bought them in memorial of the many, many humpty dumpty smarties that I shovelled down this Easter.
    They’re bright green & look very realistic and for some reason everyone at the stall thought it was hilarious to see a middle aged woman in a Lorna Jane tee shirt wearing M&M earrings.
    So she took a photo for her FB page.
    Apparently not many people can pull off the green M&M earrings and I am one of the blessed few.
    I’m just cursing that I didn’t have them when I was doing student clinic.
    They make a statement.
    I’m not quite sure what it is, but I’m sure you’d both approve.
    Back to the salt mines of Domestic Goddessing I go.
    We have been busy tidying up the house & the garden – the valuer is coming tomorrow as part of our loan negotiation & because we’re planning to change banks (suck on that, NAB) they actually want to make sure we don’t live in a tip. Ergo, frantic efforts to reduce Tip Resemblance have ensued.
    The Bloke even got out the whipper snipper and the edger yesterday while he was doing the lawn. It does look pretty bad out there – our garden wall has been graffitied & while the roofers were busy at bog hollow they tossed the old roof onto the front lawn next door, effectively flattening Mr. Greasy’s ‘Lost in Space’ landscaping theme. So it’s an unholy sea of crushed bayonet plants and burgeoning weeds. Hard to believe it sold for 1.2M but there you go. I guess that’s the asking price for an inner city Smurf Hole these days.
    Un. Freaking. Believable.
    Happy Bunny weekend, kids.
    I’m off to scoff the sole surviving blueberry Bagel from yesterday’s foray into the markets.
    MM, you should aim for another Sunday trip there. The Bloke discouraged me from purchasing another of those oversized Boston Buns like I did when I went with you womenfolk.
    Then he discouraged me from buying snails at the bakery and some gorgeous looking french looking bundt type thing that was full of gooey custard.
    Next time I leave him at home.

  231. It’s a date. I also want to do some shoe shopping, as you know, and men are hopeless at that.

    I should be able to come down now cricket season’s over. Did I mention how excited I am that cricket season’s over?

    But we’re about to go up to see Uncle RV. I’ll pass on your kind regards.

    Best of luck with Not NAB, Q. They are rat bastards, I know from their overdraft policies.

  232. No matter what NAB get up to, they are still a million % better than ANZ. Now they really are the scum beneath the belly of the lowest bottom dweller.

  233. Lower even than Lobes, Catty?

    I must say, Westpac haven’t annoyed me for yonks. But then again, I never really ask them to DO anything, either.

  234. I think they have the same MO as the NAB if you ring up and ask for something – they put you on hold, get a robot to ask you a series of invasive questions and then when they say ‘We’re putting you through to a real human being now’ the line goes dead because the real human being has transferred to a job in Melbourne, training Skynet’s computers on how better to piss callers off.

  235. So how’s the real estate value adding going, Q? Unearth any skeletons in the cupboards?

  236. Well I managed to rid the walls of gecko shit before the valuer showed up & am feeling deep remorse for saving one of the messy little FKRs from the jaws of The Princess of Darkness at 1am the night before.
    NFI what the house is worth though, the valuer walked in, scratched his head, said ‘This wasn’t what I was expecting from how it looks from the street’ and told me he’d never seen anything quite like it before.
    What, young grasshopper, so you’ve never seen a house without a front door before? Clearly he’s never visited an architect’s home before.

    He said it’s going to be really tricky to assess it as he’s got nothing to compare it to. The only reassuring thing he said was that he’s familiar with the area and normally every house he looks at is a Qlder and each and every one of them is a heaping pile of crap. And they will all be very expensive to fix.

    So what I infer is that our house is not a heaping pile of crap but because it looks like one from the street, he’s gone away deeply perplexed to puzzle it all out in the safe confines of his office.
    The only thing that reassures me is that he has assessed the value of some of the yuppy mansions nearby. Including the Acropolis which is currently under construction on the hill behind Bog Hollow. He has valued the finished project – from the plans – at 2.6M. Still not sure what they’re building up there but judging from the size of the hole in the ground they’re building a toll tunnel to Shanghai.

    Thank Smurf I can stop cleaning now.
    My nice neighbour came over for a swim with her kids yesterday & before she even made it up the stairs she said ‘Your house looks different. What have you done?’
    A: ‘The bloke did the edges when he mowed the lawn.’
    Jen: ‘No! That can’t be it.’
    Me: ‘Yes. That is the only thing has has changed. He will be gratified that you noticed.’
    πŸ™‚ heh hehehehehe.

    So, how are we all surviving the school holidays?
    Do you need brochures for Christian youth camp yet?

  237. Well, I’m safe in the air-conditioned splendor of my office, sipping coffee from my Deliverance mug and safe in the knowledge that my parents and the kids are wearing one another out.

    They’ll all sleep well tonight. Hehehe.

    Tell me though – does Christian Youth Camp have a Senior’s Repsite Programme?

  238. Yes, but you’d have to send them to Alabama.
    Is that a problem for you?

  239. I have a facebook friend in Alabama. I’ll just DM her “Incoming!”

  240. Does she play the banjo?

  241. With all six toes.

  242. Pity me. I’m cleaning out the kidlets’ bedrooms. The middle kidlet’s room took two days. I’ve just begun the littlest kidlet’s room…. the horror! We had to spend half an hour sorting through a box of rocks so he could pick out the ones he wants to keep. Not Dr Seuss rocks, just rocks he’s picked up off the ground. I’m contemplating delegating the oldest kidlet’s room – if I give them all a shovel and a miniskip, it should be done by the end of the holidays, surely?

    Still, it could be worse. I could be cleaning out my kitchen. *shudder*

  243. Oh God, the horror.

    This is where employment comes in really handy. I threw a tantrum the other day about the state of the lounge room, and then left for work. Then Mum made the kids do it!

    Catty, try getting drunk first, you poor darling.

  244. God have mercy on your soul, Catty.
    My neighbour was complaining about her kitchen the other day. We’ve both had an ant invasion and she said every time she opens the pantry door a cloud of weevils flies out.
    Thank Dog for my tupperware, at least I don’t have those little FKRS to contend with.

  245. At least you don’t have termites, Catty. Mind you, the termite poison seems to keep numbers of everything else down. Except holiday visitors, sadly.

  246. yeah I too was perplexed about that until I realised that you have to put it in their scones.

  247. Totally off topic unless you’re looking for ways to frighten the house guests but too good not to share.

  248. FF to 4.50 secs for the good bit.
    Morgana, do hide the children’s eyes.

  249. Dear Gods – the man’s a gorilla! Cruelty to animals.

  250. heh heh.
    The true cruelty there is letting Joan Rivers do a running commentary on it.
    FWIW I thought she was quite restrained.

  251. By her own standards, positively discreet.

    Who is this Graham Norton? He seems to have come out of nowhere.

  252. The Bloke has been watching it for years.
    BBC show, was playing on ABC digital TV & he thinks it’s been bought by channel 10 or some such thing.
    In an idle moment of couch surfing with the ipad I discovered that Julian was in the running to be the new James Bond but lost out to creepy man..er, sorry, that guy that you and Catty plan to drizzle with chocolate and whipped cream.

  253. Really?

    He’s more Roger Moore though. Daniel Craig is like an ultra Sean Connery.

  254. Hmm. Do I google Roger Moore or do I remain blissfully ignorant.
    The Quandary.

  255. Is it just me, or does the phrase “Google Roger Moore” sound dirty?

    Speaking of dirty, I agree with Norton. That hair should NOT have been green.

    Also, my kidlets are pigs. I’m still only halfway through the littlest kidlet’s room. But I’m nearly all the way through a bottle of Baileys. The second bottle.

  256. Umm, Catty … you didn’t find the Bailey’s in the kid’s cupboard, did you?

    Although, it counts as incentive, I suppose.

  257. Never! Baileys isn’t for hiding. It’s for quaffing. Oh, and I’ve finished the littlest kidlet’s room – and the second bottle. I’m currently tackling the third bottle in preparation for the oldest kidlet’s room.

  258. It’s not for nothing that you’re a pirate, Catty.

    Only I thought it was yo ho ho and a bottle of RUM?

  259. Speaking of dirty pirates, do I recall you saying you went to visit Uncle RV?
    How’s the miniature horse stud proprietors these days?
    & did Flotsam & Jetsam ever find that Allen key?
    BTW, whatever happened to the boys’ names for them?
    Or had they decided they only answered to Flotsam! Jetsam! Come quickly! by that point in their sheltered little lives.

  260. They go by Flot and Jet now, and are happy as weasels. Although strangely rain averse.

    Uncle RV is fine. We had a great trip, except MM got some gravel embedded in the palm of his hand. We flooded it with local, but he refused to let Uncle or I dig it out. In the end, he did it himself, but the howling reverberated off the hills and frightened the local dingos.

    Oh, and my car still has the refreshing scent of Hibiclens. Happy days.

  261. All part of the fun of being a teenage boy.

    Well, news from Casa Q – MIL has sent me a polaroid picture of herself for my BD.
    I confess myself somewhat disappointed – I shook the envelope but no nail clippings or strands of hair with the roots attached fell out.
    Just once I wish she’d give me something I could use.

    Twitter has asked me to post it so that they can have a caption competition.
    Oh, the temptation.

  262. I’m surprised she can capture herself on Polaroid. Wouldn’t her corrosive soul blister the plastic coating?

    Happy B’day. by the way, Q. I have a tribute for you, if i ever make it back to BRisvegas I hope to deliver it in person. Around a vat of artisan gelato.

  263. Well, it burned my eyeballs and when I asked the bloke what to do with it & did he want to keep it for posterity, he shrieked ‘Throw it away, I don’t want those nasty things looking out at me every day.’

    So the corrosive powers of her personality have definitely permeated into the cardboard. πŸ™‚

    You are very kind, BTW & yes, if you ever make it to Brisvegas I still have a small gesture to pass on to Khan Greybeard for his BD. Which it may entertain you all to witness as it may cause him some mild mortification. Or so I hope. maybe we should gather up Mrs. D and arrange for that Three Witches BD celebration you guys suggested last time we were in Oxford Street. Oh and all those silly men of course.
    I’d vote for the same venue so that I can show you all the new Deli/supermarket near the Hawthorne cinemas. It’s overpriced as is everything out there but OMG they have some awesome stuff. Pistachio fairy floss, among other things.

    So yes to that vat of Gelato, preferably to wash down dumplings from the nearby racecourse markets, but bear in mind there are fresh culinary wonders to be viewed at Bulimba. They even have buffalo haloumi. I went there for lunch with a GF a week or so ago and we walked out with some fabulous goodies.

  264. I’m happy to do the markets again, but only if the boys go to the pub or something. They cramp our style.

  265. Heh heh heh.
    I don’t remember seeing Damien after he saw the sausage hut.
    I say we dump them at the German Sausage stall & tell them we’ll meet them in the stands later. & if they’re very very good we’ll buy them an ice-cream when we’re done.

  266. Mmm … icecream.

    I could really go more of those dumplings. And some baklava. Damn, now I’m hungry and I’m stuck at work with a salad sandwich. I pack my lunch with the best of intentions, but by this time of day I just want saturated animal fats.

  267. Now I’m jealous. You lot have all the fun. I’m going to the sulking corner. With cake. It’s quite nice there now that I’ve scraped out all the empty vodka bottles and discarded Kettle chip packets. I even threw the cuddle blanket in the wash, so now it smells of lilies instead of my bitter tears.

    Oh, and I sent a parcel by Express Post this morning, Quokka. I hope it gets there in time – but you are not to open it before Sunday.

    Actually, I’ve just realised I don’t have time to go to the sulking corner. It’s almost dinner time, and I have whining children to feed. Hmmm…. now, where did I put those takeaway menus?

  268. On the billboards outside McDonalds?
    Catty you are very sweet. Looks like Aunt Irma plans to visit me for my BD this year so I may be needing kettle crisps and vodka too.
    I think I forgot to have dinner last night, I had an enormous chunk of caramel mud cake from the cheesecake shop, which is fatally positioned next door to my video store. So you know what happens when there are DVDs due back, right? Morgana’s fault, really, for reminding me that a chicken and salad sandwich on wholegrain is lacking unless you supplement it with saturated fat.

  269. Sometimes a thick layer of butter is O.K … but sometimes you just need cake.

    On the subject of which, I’m happy to report that Coles Finest Lemon curd and pasionfruit tart with curls of white Belgian couverture chocolate is very tasty. Especially reduced to 70% off normal retail price.

  270. Mmmmmm… discounted tart…

  271. Cheap tart, even.

  272. Snarkle.
    Will have to email you both rather than share here, though, as I’m still trying to be discreet about who I slander on the internet. One day all that shit will come back to bite me on the butt fur shore.

  273. If that’s the only cheap tart available, I’ll have the salad thanks.

  274. I’ve got a pretty strong immune system … and stomach – but pass the salad, Catty.

  275. Sorry. I looked at the crisper and it was just too much. But I have these nice butter cakes I just took out of the oven. Fancy helping me finish them before the kidlets get home from school?

  276. You had me at butter, Catty.

  277. The scribe tweeted rather a lot about salad on the weekend.
    No doubt he had his reasons.
    And yes please, pass the cake.

  278. I’d eat salad, if it was made of mint leaves and came on top of a cake.

  279. Veering off the food topic and back into the familiar realms of local lunacy, I finally got an explanation for one of the many things that go THUMP! in the middle of the night in our street.

    I ran into a neighbour from the other end of the road – he’s a tradie who does a lot of local renovations, including the house opposite ours where our sole bunch of Sane Neighbours resides. He was asking me if the feral family next door to them still get on the piss and yell at each other & their kids & everyone else (yes) and he was not surprised when I reported the break-in of the Numbat’s car window.

    He said that down his end of the street, there are a number of rental houses with students & the THUMPS that we hear periodically are what happens when the uni students have a party and decide to go Car Racing.
    i.e. They line up outside the party house, someone yells ‘On your Mark!’ and as a pack they bound up and across all the parked cars on the street, jumping from roof to roof like so many oversized beer-inflated possums.

    I imagine that there’s a prize for the one who makes it furthest up the street & leaves the biggest dents in the roofs of the cars. I assume disqualification arises from falling off or through a roof or being dumb enough to try it when a cop car cruises by.

    Ergo, Steven seemed to think that the double car lock-up-garage that we’re planning is a wise investment.
    Not as much fun as the rocking chair & the shotgun on the porch, but at least next time I’m woken by thumps and shrieks I’ll know better than to malign the possums.

  280. Good lord, really?

    When I was at Uni, our idea of a good prank was taking the Pro-Vice Chancellor’s car to bits and reassembling it on the top of the bell tower. This Car Racing seems a little … dunderheaded.

    I’ll have to check Suncorp’s website and see it my insurance would cover that.

    Hey, it might be amusing to get there ahead of them with some industrial strength car wax. Thump, thump, “Aaaarrrrrgh!!!!!”, SPLAT!

  281. Best prank I ever saw at uni was in my days at JCU.
    There was a large roundabout at the entry to the uni, and one dark and drunken night, all of the suburban garden gnomes ran away from home and set up camp on the central island there.
    Sadly I can’t remember whodunnit, if the engineers took credit for it, or it was the marine biology students.
    Probably the MBs. The engineers would’ve been too drunk to pull it off and it would’ve been them that was found in the island, encrusted in vomit the next fine day.

  282. The engineers probably would have built a gnome trebuchet, and launched them at the Biological Sciences block.

  283. The mess hall where I lived in at JCU was designed by the engineers.
    Theory was that they put the roof on upside down.
    Certainly looked that way to me.

  284. Pool party on the roof!

  285. I used to date an engineering student at JCU. I think you’re being generous in your assessment of them, Quokka.

  286. Oh, and I now desperately want a gnome trebuchet. Do you think Greybeard would have one to spare?

  287. In the old days, he would have knocked one up for you in the shed.

    Now he’s got a grandbaby to tinker with, though, I imagine he’s busy warping the next generation.

  288. He’s busy teaching the rats to tap dance so they can back her up in toddler beauty pageants.

  289. Oh! They’d look just darling in tutus.

    Not Honey Boo Boo, so much as Honey Bubonic Plague.

  290. Yargh.
    I saw a video of that family eating and I couldn’t bring myself to stomach pizza for a month.

  291. Jen watches it avidly. Frankly, I think even the STILLS are a fabulous advertisement for retrospective birth control.

  292. So is Lobes. I sometimes suspect that the only reason his mother didn’t suffocate him at birth was because she mistakenly thought he was the afterbirth. By the time she realised that her baby wouldn’t breastfeed because it was really the placenta, it was too late.

  293. Well reasoned argument, Catty. But I always assumed he hatched from a leathery egg. Or out of someone’s chest.

  294. He seems to be grating on the Scribe’s nerves of late. Did you see he had to delete a comment by Lobes and labelled it ‘Daft’.
    Given what we have to compare it to, which was deemed acceptable, I’d love to know what he had to do to get censored out of there.

  295. He deleted one of his pet’s comments? The mind boggles. (*she says, refraining from typing her first exclamation of surprise, which had some rather salty profanities*)

  296. Oh, do share some salty profanities, Catty!

    I’m all congested, and a good laugh might clear my sinuses.

  297. Sorry, love. My original exclamation began with the words “Well, FK me….”. And there’s nothing even remotely funny about the suggestion of such an act with the Lizard Man. So I’m afraid you’ll have to slather the soles of your feet with Vicks vapour rub instead.

  298. Good old Vicks. What can’t it cure? Just don’t mistake it for normal old Vaseline. Live and learn.

  299. I must’ve overcooked my brains trampling the halls of Westfield, because somehow all this talk has conjured up an image of a situation where using Vicks as a lubricant would be the only way to take your mind off the horror of your dance partner.

  300. It burns! Oh Gods, it burns!!!

  301. Gee, thanks Quokka. I just got out of bed and thanks to that mental image I already need a bex and a good lie down.

  302. heh heh heh.

  303. mmm … Bex.

    We missed the hey day of housewifery, Ladies. What we couldn’t have accomplished on a handful of Valium and Bex.

    They did have Tim Tams back then, right?

  304. Oh yes. They had Tim Tams.
    And Vodka.
    So I don’t think we’re missing too much.

  305. I think I need a bottle of that chocolate liqueur for my bottom desk drawer. I’m going to start carrying on like a “Mad Men” extra,.

  306. http://www.weis.com.au/_imagecache/image.php?image=/_media/products/multibars/Hazelnut%20multipack%20website.jpg&width=600

    I had to go to Coals last night for cat food, lest we Forget and they starve come ANZAC day & during our weekend in Sydney – and I found these. So that was dinner. For some reason it seemed like the natural selection to follow those pork dumplings I ett at Bulimba yesterday for afternoon tea/late lunch. They are damned good (all of the above) so do keep an eye out for them.

    • Now that’s a dessert worth skipping dinner for.

  307. Pork dumplings in Bulimba? Whereabouts … you interest me.

    What are you up to in Sydney, Q – a show or exhibition? I’m planning to luxuriate in no cricket. Oh, and finally put the damn Smorgen Jurgen together. A clever friend glued up the cracked door for me. Thank smurf for handy people.

  308. A night at the Rocks (and possibly on them) and a morning in Sydney Harbour having a kayak lesson. And having another test run in the sea kayaks that we covet. Which is what I wanted for my birthday, but you know, nowhere to keep them till the Excavation at Casa Q is all done.
    Which shouldn’t be too far away, the builder is sending out sub-contractors to assess the site and issue quotes. yay.
    I’m so excited that I wasn’t even bothered by the numbats parking me in again on Monday.
    I just looked outside and thought ‘Live it up kids. Come the spring, I will have a new and enlarged driveway and as a result there will be one less parking space on the street in front of Casa Q. As for those stairs you are so fond of parking beside on the footpath? They’ll be in the landfill somewhere.
    Which is where I anticipate visitors will end up if they can’t navigate the cliff up our driveway.
    I am thinking the best place for our builder to spend 6 weeks cutting shit up with power tools is the concrete patio directly under the Parker Inner’s flat.

    As for the pork source, it’s called ‘happy dumplings’ & is tucked into an alley behind the DIY dog bath machines & directly opposite that thrift shop on the corner where you found all manner of 1950’s goodness to ferry home after our excursion therein with the Greybeards.

    I thought Smorgen Jurgen was an icecream.
    Sounds like I could be mistaken, do edjamacate me.

  309. I want to go there. I’d forgotten all about Annie’s House of Crapola until just now. Can we, can we, can we? Pleeeeeease?

    The Smorgen Jurgen is the damn IKEA unit that’s been in bits cluttering up my house since the smurfing beginning of the year. Didn’t I whine incessantly about my travails? I started putting the smurfing thing together and then realized that one of the cupboard doors had a bloody great crack through it.

    Anyway, one of my writer’s group happens to be a talented woodworker so he’s fixed it for me. My plan for Anzac Day – lest I forget – is to hastily assemble the stupid thing before something else can happen to it.

    I’m never going to IKEA again. Remind me I said that, please.

  310. After all the glowing reports, I once went to IKEA. I will not make the same mistake again.

    It’s worth noting, though, that my Smorgen Jergen survived 5 years in a bedroom with the Teen, and a further 3 years in a bedroom with the youngest kidlet, and is still in very good condition.

    It’s also worth noting that that would not have been the case if I had had to assemble the fracking thing. Thank goodness the Boss took over before I got any further than opening the box and attempting to throw away that stupid bent piece of metal that somebody had accidentally sticky-taped to the instruction manual. I think the Boss said that the somebody was called Allen? Whatever.

    And a further note: always have a man assemble Smorgen Jergens. Instruction manuals written in Swedish won’t hamper them – they never read the bloody things anyway.

  311. I just had a man, but I had other uses for him. And now I’ve sent him on his way.

    Silly me. Next time, I’ll be all ‘You know what really turns me on? Watching you assemble my flatpack, big fella.”

  312. I hope IKEA included Vaseline in that flatpack.

  313. No – but now I know why there was condom taped next to the Allen key.

  314. No wonder you can never get a man to put those bloody things together.
    The Swedes need to reconsider their incentives and attach a six pack of beer.

  315. I like the way you think, Q.

    Or maybe a small whip – made of recycled materials, of course – for motivation?

  316. Knowing the Swedes (which I don’t, really…) those instruction manuals translate to “Put this Smorgen Jurgen together as quickly as possible, and the woman you are constructing it for will pour the beer all over herself, smother you in vaseline, and whip you senseless”. Or maybe not.

  317. Hmm, I could get into 2 out of 3 of the steps in that scenario.

    Now I know what I’m doing Saturday night!

  318. Excuse me while I step away from the flat packs and admire my assortment of built-ins. Italian crafstmanship with no messy sucking up or nagging required.

  319. You make a good point, I really should seduce a cabinet maker. How do you tell … they smell of wood shavings?

  320. You can tell by the splinters. Don’t ask me how I know this.

  321. Look in the gutter outside the RE at closing time.

  322. Yeah. What Quokka said. That’s where I found the Boss. Or it might be where he found me.

  323. Love is such a beautiful thing, once you hose it off and sober it up.

  324. Speaking of things you hose off – in the context of my front lawn, at any rate, we’ve returned from Sydney to discover that the numbats who like to park over our driveway seem to have FOd and it looks like the owner is readying their flat for a fresh batch of suckers.
    I guess they’ve heard me outside their flat with the tradies, planning the Apocalypse, and decided to smurf off. πŸ™‚
    The Bloke and I had cocktails last night to celebrate, and today I think I will make cake.
    I didn’t think my week could get better, after paddling around the shallows in Watson’s Bay, following the penguins, but yep.
    Life is good.

  325. Cake? Someone said cake? Bring it on!

  326. So you had a lovely time in dear old Sidders, Q?

    I didn’t know they had penguins, though. Did you paddle past any Bondi Lifeguards? The boys love that show, but I think they should re-title it Meatheads on Jetskis.

  327. Oh is that what it’s called. I think that was playing on the plane and not having earphones in, I assumed it was entitled Desperate underemployed actors sniffing diesel brine.

    Sydney was gorgeous. 26C and not a cloud in the sky nor a discernible gust of wind. The water was like glass and fabulous visibility, so we could see the penguins streaking through the water. The Bloke & the kayak guy both said they go much faster when there’s a sea lion in pursuit. Apparently there’s some fairy penguin rookeries in the harbour so they are there all year round. I had no idea that they ‘bark’. They sound a lot like my dog did when he was a puppy and he didn’t have proper growly dog voice. So, so cute!

    I’d wax lyrical about the food, but you know, things to do and it will only make us all hungry. Three words should suffice, Blood Orange Gelato.
    There’s a gelateria up the road at Watson’s Bay so we just had time to scarf down a scoop each before we had to bolt for the ferry. Anyway, that was my birthday treat and it was so lovely I think I’ll be tempted to do it again next year.

  328. Mmm … blood orange gelato.

    Was it served in chilled stemmed glassware though? No, forget I asked. I’m hungry now and all I’ve got in my desk drawer is this stupid apple. Damn roughage and vitamins!

  329. No, it it was served in waffle cones so that we could run down the hill in order to catch the last ferry. Thankfully Sydney ferry staff do not give a damn about enforcing all those signs that say no eating on the boats. So we were still licking them when the boat stopped at Catalina. My that’s a lovely spot for a restaurant.

  330. It’s been yonks since I was in Sydney. I’d love to take the boys to Taronga Park and The Rocks and etc, though. Maybe we should jaunt down. The Harbour really is fabulous, just being able to hop on a ferry and almost go to sea is great. I like Brisvegas’s City Cats … but it’s not quite the same.

  331. Sydney is a much friendlier place on weekdays than it is on weekends, so it was nice to arrive on the Sunday afternoon & depart on Monday nights. We usually stay at the Sebel at The Rocks and on Friday & Saturday nights the entire town goes completely mad and stays that way.
    Can’t blame the little people as when we were there on Monday, there were kids everywhere enjoying the idyllic weather that had combined with 2 pupil-free days at the start of the week.
    When you go, avoid the Cocaine Hour, is my advice.

  332. My fondest childhood memories of Sydney are the giant slippery dip at Luna Park, and not being on the Granville train (we missed it by minutes). Otherwise, all I remember of Sydney is the horrendous traffic and the plethora of child abductions. I used to dream of finding out that I was a kidnapped child, but the genetics module in high school science sadly crushed that dream. *sigh*

    I don’t remember any penguins, though. Just the stunned mullets (as Uncle Cat Man called them) floating around Bondi Beach.

    I’m glad you had fun, Quokka. Are there photos?

  333. Not this time, Catty. I wish there were, as it was such a magical day. The bloke left his iphone in the instructor’s car for safety & his partner, who is the gadget man, didn’t come along this time.
    It really is a beautiful city.

  334. Dear Old Uncle Cat Man – with relatives like that to boast of, Catty, why WOULDN’T you be proud of your heritage?

  335. What? My Tidge isn’t hairy. I’ve got an epilator.

  336. Maybe I should borrow it and use it on my cats.
    Its a GD fluff factory around here, and yet, somehow, despite the fact that it’s hot enough for the cats to be shedding, the Flanders have their fireplace going by the time it’s dark every night. When it is 23C. What the What?

    Happy news, we have some more crazy people in the neighbourhood to replace our recent loss. This time it’s via breeding. (or perhaps it’s inbreeding).
    There’s a small child down the road who has gotten into the habit of sitting on the footpath at 6am shouting, in tones of Hand Me My Crown and Sceptre you slimy peasant ‘I want MUMMY CUDDLES’. We infer that Mummy feels otherwise and at that hour she bolts from the house leaving the tyrant in charge of his useless father. I know I used to complain about the rooster, but seriously, can we swap? I miss it. Lots.

    We’ve also met the new slumlord at Bog Hollow. I contacted the agent & said we need to speak to the owner so that we can discuss our renovations. So she introduced herself as ‘I’m the caretaker but I have authority to act for the owner.’
    Four different sources now have asserted that she is in fact the owner, among them her tenants, the agent and a friend of hers around the corner who used to work with her. So I have NFI what she’s playing at, but she spun me a story about how she’s occupying an unwanted flat.
    Which just happens to be the best one in that smurfhole.
    And for which some long term tenants were evicted so that she could occupy it.
    Yeah, right.
    We explained what we’re doing & said we will speak to her about details when we have all the quotes in & we have worked out exactly what is going on.

    So of course there have been tradesmen coming and going all week to work on their quotes. She came blustering in here three minutes after one of them left to complain because she’d heard that we would be removing a section of the fence.
    I just looked at her and said ‘Yes. The fence is going. It’s on our land.’
    Her: ‘Have you had a survey done? I haven’t seen any pegs.’
    Me: ‘Yes. We had it surveyed nearly 20 years ago when we moved in. We built the fence 100mm inside our boundary and when it changed hands in 2005 there was a peg in the back yard next door and a nail in the retaining wall out the front. We asked the previous owners to leave them there and they are not there now. I asked the agent to give you this information on purchase so I don’t understand why he hasn’t passed it on.’

    Eventually she calmed down – after several more ‘I have already emailed this information onto the agent’ statements – but JEEBUS!
    All that we require of her is that the builder will need to put safety fencing alongside the Hole he is digging for our back courtyard in order to prevent her tenants from falling into it. Which isn’t a request, it’s a REQUIREMENT from workplace health and safety, and if she refuses to allow this to happen then she’ll be liable if she and her tenants fall in the hole. What this will involve is blocking her side path because as you guys know, the previous slumlords built a set of stairs 80cm from the side boundary.
    She started getting worried when I pointed this out to her and at that point I had to bite my tongue very hard to stop myself saying ‘You mean you haven’t had it surveyed?’
    It means that for a week or two they’ll need to use the other side as access.

    What I neglected to add is that once the wall is built there will then be 70cm, not 80cm, between it and the non-regulation stairs – because according to the council guidelines, we are allowed to put our block wall dead in the centre of the boundary. And now that she’s pissed me off, that’s where it’s going.

    The bloke & I have just been looking at each other going ‘OMG what is it with our street that we get all these FREAKS?

  337. It’s odd that she should lie to you like that. What’s the motivation? It’s like some sort of personality disorder.

    Bring on the stair impingement. Bitch deserves it.

  338. She’s not a redheaded, name-changing stawka, is she? Check her windows for a Scribe-seeking telescope. Oh, and start sleeping with one eye open.

    No, wait, you’ve met Whatever-Her-Name-Is-This-Week, so you’d recognise her. Maybe your neighbour really is an agent…. and is videotaping your movements for the Obsessed One.

    Or maybe the neighbour you met was being controlled by a different personality when you spoke to her. Either way, I am really looking forward to your renovations. Bring on the broughaha!

  339. Her attitude went through a remarkable improvement once she got inside our house and realised that we’re not white trash central – her place is. Gobsmacked, by the time she’d made it to the back of the property and seen the pool.

    I guess what annoyed me is how her attitude changed once she realised what she’s dealing with. i.e. the yuppy architect.
    If she’d spent three minutes on the internet looking at the friggin DA approval – which, as the agent well knows, is still there for all to see – she wouldn’t have been so shocked once she saw that the inside of our house is, in fact, not the spectacular white trash residence that it purports to be from the street front.

    She seems like quite a pleasant woman & is always nice to the tenants and tradesmen, so I think she’ll be fine.

    I have NFI what the lies are about.
    Perhaps she believes them?

  340. Lucky you. My house is as big a dump on the inside as it is on the outside. Possibly more so, now that every surface in the living areas is coated in budgie crap. My attempts to remove it have proved futile – I think someone’s been feeding the stupid bird a steady diet of wood glue and asbestos.

  341. Just let your Raven crap EVERYWHERE, smooth it out where you can with a spatula and call it French Provincial, Catty.

  342. Genius, MM.
    If you leave some baguettes and sunflowers lying around, it’ll add to the effect and function to fuel it.

  343. Heh. I think we’ve resolved the mystery of the Lying Slumlord.
    Just remembered that last time we tried to contact the saner element of the previous Team Slumlord, she’d sold her house & moved, taken her name off the electoral roll and listed her mailing address for all correspondence regarding Bog Hollow as being at Mr. Greasy’s down the road.
    Who she was no longer on speaking terms with.
    I knew where she worked but as she’d changed jobs that wasn’t useful either.

    I recalled a conversation that I overheard between the new owner & the agent saying that she’d needed to buy Bog Hollow under the conditions for a home loan, in which Westpac (and I assume the tax office) required that she live in it.

    So I deduce that the level of slippery lying means that 1. she plans to start lying to the bank and the ATO as soon as it’s convenient and bugger off some place better. Where she’ll do as the previous team slumlord did and ensure that any searching of public documents for her contact details eludes success.

    Leaving us to deal with the influx of Irish Backpackers urinating on the stairs once she scarpers to live the high life.

    I might have to do deploy some charm in order to ensure that little plan doesn’t work.

    Meanwhile, the Bloke and I went up to Bribie yesterday to investigate affordable housing alternatives when Casa Q is rendered uninhabitable by tradesmen. Redcliffe will of course be undergoing it’s annual influx of Jehovah’s Witnesses at that point (the August convention at Boondall) so that’s not an option. Apparently they haven’t discovered Bribie, as the estate agent had never heard of this phenomenon and didn’t sound like she found it particularly appealing. Heh heh heh.

    It was a gorgeous day & we stopped in at the SLSC so the bloke could enjoy a $5 schooner and the view over the bouncy castle below us. I got a toasted sandwich on the other side of the island for $3, with an apology because they only had ‘chunky’ oversized bread left.

    Its full of retirees, lots of them look to be ex-defence force, and there’s 1980 prices everywhere. Did I mention it was a glorious 27C perfectly cloudless day?
    I may not have wi-fi or internet access for a month or two – not without visiting the Bribie Library, but it looks absolutely gorgeous.

  344. No, that won’t do at all. A month or two of no Quokka? Unthinkable. Cross Bribie off your list, forthwith.

    Trying to rip off the ATO is hard work. I know a bloke who is on a Centrelink payment and also working cash in hand. He stuffed up his stories last year, and managed to get a large tax bill. I used to work at the ATO, so I asked a few questions and discovered that he hadn’t claimed a large deduction he was entitled to, and could easily have his bill lowered by lodging an amendment. But he said that he was too scared they’d audit him if he drew attention to himself, and the bill he got was a mere fraction of the bill he’d get if that happened. So he paid the bill. I tried to explain that he could lodge amendments for the last five years and would possibly even end up in credit, but he was adamant that this was a bad idea. At which point I realised he is probably making a damn sight more cash in hand than he had admitted to me, so I shut up. Still, I know whose shout it is next time I see him. (Hint: not mine).

    Speaking of shouting, I may not be able to use the computer for the rest of the day. The littlest kidlet has a major assignment for school, and will be seated at the computer for the rest of the day while I scream at him. They gave the class 3 weeks to finish it, and it’s due in two days, but he hasn’t actually started it yet. I am NOT doing it for him. Apart from the fact that he needs to learn to do this stuff himself, and the fact that the Boss has some horrible gut infection (possibly salmonella, but he refuses to go for the tests – typical man) and I’m busy looking after him, I really (REALLY) do not want to do it. It will probably end up being slapped together tomorrow night. By me. *sigh*

    Oh, well. I guess I should go gird my loins for the shout fest.

  345. Stand your ground, Catty. I have friends who are currently writing their eldest child’s university assignments because she’s threatening to drop out of her degree. I assume they’re using the same strategy that got her through senior as when we visited a few weeks ago, the younger daughter announced from the sofa that she had 5 pieces of assessment due that week, none of which she’d started. She was planning to go to a party that afternoon with her friends & nobody screamed at her to go to her room and start typing.

    I think the end result of that is you then end up with one of these:

    Yeah. Sure that kid didn’t know that 3 hours work a fortnight wasn’t actually worth a 130G pay check per year.

    I hear that there’s a roaring trade in being an assignment writer for high-school and uni students, so perhaps you should farm your skills out on the internet and work from home?

    I’m with the French. They just need to ban homework, chuck essays out the window and go back to the rigours of those 100% exams at the end of every semester to keep the little darlings on their toes.

  346. * Only half serious there. it just hits a nerve because my sister did this for her children & wrote their assignments all the way through uni. And then she had the hide to fail students in her own classes when she thought their parents had done their assignments for them ‘because they need to know this stuff in the real world.’

  347. Oh, yeah. The “do as I say, not as I do” type. Joyous.

    I’ve had a teacher mark down one of the middle kidlet’s assignments because I helped her finish off the colouring-in around the border (at 5 to 9 on the morning it was due). The teacher only knew about it because I told her I’d helped. Now I just don’t bother telling the teachers when I help. Or when I do practically the whole assignment myself (which rarely happens, but sometimes the teachers really do ask too much). Fortunately, they don’t usually notice because a large percentage of the students are overachieving Chinese immigrants who do nothing except study (and work in their parents’ shops), and actually do produce professional work. Also, I get a real buzz when I… I mean ‘they’ get an A+. That said, I once did the Teen’s maths homework, and got it completely wrong. I don’t help with maths homework at all any more. On the up side, the two older kidlets were doing all their own assignments without any help at all by grade 6, so I’m hoping the littlest kidlet will follow their lead. But then, he is dyslexic, so he may need help for a little longer.

    The littlest kidlet avoided the shoutfest yesterday by catching the Boss’s lurgy. He’s currently tucked up on the sofa, moaning about how much he hurts. Poor love. I spent all yesterday looking after them, and have another day of it today as the Boss has had to take a day off work. Poor darling. I’m just glad that my bout of the lurgy isn’t as painful or debilitating as theirs. But then, I’m a girl.


    Back to the salt mines.

  348. Oh Gods, the horror! Poor, poor Catty. As soon as they get off your couch and stop their whinging, lay down and have a day off. You deserve it!

    As for dodging the ATO, how on Earth can you get away with it with all the computers and what have you?

    No, hang on … the answer is “using computers and what have you”, isn’t it?

    I’m not clever enough to try dodging the ATO. I can barely remember what actually happened these days, let alone being able to make up and remember credible lies.

    I wish you joy of Bribie, Q – maybe we can meet half-way in Caloundra, one of these days? They have awesome op-shops.

  349. And Gelati.
    I think they have the same gelati people as the ones at Milany in Racecourse Road. Except the scummy deal is that at Caloundra, they wouldn’t let me do a taste test of their gelato.

    They were closing up for the night and clearly I looked like some sort of grifter who’d eat my way through fifty dollars worth of product before going ‘Nup, I don’t like any of that.’

  350. http://www.redcliffe.net.au/kitefest.htm

    Looky, Kitefest is on. Just in case you wanted to take the boys.

  351. She was … The Gelato Grifter.

    Oooh, Kitefest does look awesome. I miss ours. Stupid Chamber of Commerce. I’ll find out what the sproglets commitments are next weekend. I’ve probably agreed to have 6 boys over for a sleep-over and then blanked it for my own mental health.

    What news of the Pathologically Lying Landlord, btw?

  352. No news, which is good news. She seems to be pottering about happily enough. there’s a lot of annoying noises coming out of there, some old guy is rebuilding the central stairs, from what I can make out. Looks like they ripped up the disgusting manky carpet which was covering it and discovered that the stairs have been built from ugly bits of shit. there’s lots of lovely sharp edges now that the bare treads are exposed so let’s put it this way, it’s not a good week to come home Pished
    Just as well the current batch don’t seem that way inclined. the Tap Tap Tap is of course driving me nuts and the cat sits on the window sill swishing her tail and glaring at them with the Death Stair. (heh heh see what I did there). I think that daily scritching and scratching is just going to be part of the new regime. Its their hobby.
    I’d probably find it less irritating if I thought there’d be something of value there at the end of it, but nup. Come five years time when it’s time for her to cash in, it’ll still be a piece of shite that will want pushing over. At which point someone will still need to smack it with a hammer every day to keep it standing upright, or else they’ll need to send the machines in to take it down and start again.

    It is pleasant to not have the Nissan Numbats around and the kids across the road, who are good kids, seem a lot happier for not getting parked in by the little cretins. I know I am.
    I think the English tourists are on their way to Cairns so Godspeed and may they spill many soggy bowls of fruit loops and steaming cups of roadhouse coffee on their laps throughout the journey.

  353. Maybe they’re not doing carpentry? Maybe they only bought the place because they found a pirate treasure map at the markets, and believe there’s pieces of eight buried under that raggedy staircase?


  354. Not a smart move.
    Judging from the smell I think that’s where the original slumlord used to stow tenants who failed to pay their rent.
    He always said it was the drains leaking but I know half-baked junkie when it wafts this way.

  355. Eeew,

    They do make good mulch, though. Particularly for exotic tomato and opium poppy crops.

  356. Speaking of which, I think I’ve figured out a reason for the owner not wanting me to know her name or address. I read the news about the Tenants Union being dismantled by cantydoody & it twigged.
    Now that there’s no watchdog in place to ensure tenants’ rights, we’re about to go back to the good old days of slumlords stealing bond money from their tenants. Which will probably coincide with when she ships off to Ibiza to sip daiquiris. She won’t want the neighbours knowing where she is just in case I tell a pissed off former tenant who has connections to the underworld. Which, given my sister’s marriage into organised crime, is really rather astute of her.

  357. Aahhhh. Genius!

    Actually, when you consider the tenants it makes a lot of sense all round. Any toilets that have suddenly turned into geysers or holes that appear in the floor or what-have-you and she’ll just have to “let the owners know”.

    Which could take until she can be bothered or can afford the repairs, whichever comes first.

  358. Maybe she found a berry under the stairs? Or a DeJesus. Or a Knight…..

  359. Well that could explain the clutch of papers she was holding because I’m damned sure they weren’t floor plans.
    More likely a list of missing persons with the rewards for finding them listed from highest to lowest.

  360. Contracts with an agent, and McDonald’s endorsements. That’s what they’ll be.

  361. Since I’ve told her what the original Kansasian slum lord used to bury in the back yard, she’s given up on the idea of growing lettuce and runner beans. Which is a shame, as there’s lovely fertile soil in there thanks to the leaking sewerage drains.

  362. Ewwww!

  363. No, it’s OK once it’s filtered through a lettuce, Catty. But that’s why you always wash greens!

  364. Wash them? I don’t wash things. But that’s o.k. The only green thing I’ve eaten lately is cheese.

  365. I had pistachio gelato.
    I may need some more.

  366. Seriously, have you tried pistachio and honey cheese? A friend brought some over the other day and now I’m addicted.

    Green is good.

  367. Not usually a fan of combining sweet and salty. Unless it’s lolly gobble bliss bombs. Not that I’ve seen them around lately, but no doubt Catty will report finding them in Aldi. I think there’s an Aldi on Bribie so in that case, my time there shall not be wasted.

  368. They were on sale in last week’s Ritchies IGA catalogue.

  369. They have them in our Woolies!

    But right on the bottom shelf, under the no-name Pretzels. Want me to bring you some down, next time I come?

  370. Heh heh. Sounds good, thank you, but I probably should look in our woollies first and see what I can find. I tend to go to Coals because they sell the tea that I like and Woollies – cuss them – does not.
    I have to go to woollies at Buranda occasionally, and brave the parade of the limbless escapees from the diabetes ward at the PA, crawling up the junk food aisle in search of sustenance/certain death, as it’s the only place around here that stocks sanitarium crunchy peanut paste with no added nasties. Unless I go to the health food store, but they don’t grind it right. I like it chunky. Like the custard back in boarding school. Speaking of which, I ran into one of my fellow captives from my boarding school days. She admitted that she didn’t go to our 25 year reunion either. She’d rather poke hot needles in her eye. And she’s committed the grand felony of enrolling her children in a local Catholic school that’s reknowned for it’s arts program and for fostering a sense of community in their children.
    Yup. Another one from the reject pile. We’re going out for lentils and chai one day soon to pick at our scabs and discuss our failure to achieve Alpha Female status.
    In West End, where Alpha females dare not roam.
    Should be fun.

  371. Lentils and Chai…. so that’s what we’re calling Kettle Chips and mudcake now? Good plan. That should discourage anyone from attempting to share our Irma noms.

  372. Did I tell you, Elf Boy’s gone veggo?

    In his case, it’s more like anorexia, though. How can you be a vegetarian who doesn’t really like vegetables.

    Sigh. Pass me the lentils and chai.

  373. Just as well he didn’t go veggo during his Amish phase, or he’d have to grow his own. And that would be devastating for the poor mice in your neighbourhood:


  374. Happy mother’s day, courtesy of Dr. Yobbo and his many useful twitter contacts.
    Or as she says at this blog ‘congratulations on the unprotected sex’.
    Heh heh heh.


    Take all the lentils you want, MM. There’s plenty of ginger and coriander in this batch of dahl.
    While you’re explaining the virtues of lentils, do take this opportunity to point out that the numbers on the paddle pop packets represent all the little baby guinea pigs that were mashed up to get that special powdery texture that makes them so unique.

    Bon Appetit!

  375. Oh, is THAT how they make Paddle Pops so yummy? I had wondered. I had also wondered about guinea pigs. They seem so pointless. Cute, but a complete waste of molecules. I’m glad to see they actually do have a function in the food chain, so thanks for clearing that up, Quokka.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all of you! Did you all get nice gifts? I’m guessing Quokka got a dead mouse, and Morgana got charcoal toast and weak, cold tea in bed? Actually, knowing EB, I wouldn’t be surprised if Morgana got a dead mouse too.

    I got a shitload of pretty stuff from the school’s mother’s day stall. I also got a couple of things that the Boss helped the kidlets to buy – including a zebra print snuggie which I am not going to take off until we wend our merry way over to the MIL’s for a late lunch. There will be champagne. And cheesecake. Yay!

  376. I got to see Star Trek at 10am in a near empty cinema. And then there was nobody at the dumpling shop and nobody at the bakery.

  377. MM made me a five-course breakfast: fruit and yoghurt, only the yoghurt was mouldy so he substituted custard; fried egg on vegemite toast; chicken and corn cuppa soup; chocolate cake with passionfruit (from our vine, “locally sourced” as he announced proudly when he presented it; and milo.

    They also gave me some bath stuff and two silver rings.

    It was a lovely day. Only next year I’m teaching him how to make coffee.

    The more I hear about the dumpling shop, though, the more I feel the urgent need to go. What did you select, Q?

    Huzzah to the snuggie, Catty – zebra stripes will camoflague you when you raid the secret chocolate stash … and also camoflague the extra love handles. It’s all win!

  378. I’m glad you all got spoiled & had a nice day.
    The Bloke got it out of the way on Saturday and returned filled with knowledge of how other family members are faring and as usual, aghast in the satisfaction his parents take in other people’s suffering.

    Next year I’ve suggested that the Bloke get his parents plane tickets to visit his brother, who hasn’t spent MD with his mother since he left home over thirty years ago.
    It’s a shame not to spread the joy. πŸ™‚

    Star Trek was fully AWESOME and I hope there’s a follow-up on offer for MD next year. I may have to go back and see it in 2D as in 3D most of it quite literally goes over my head. I am getting a bit better with the motion sickness but yikes. Truly.

    I am a sucker for the pork shu mai dumplings but their veggo range usually draws me in, too. I think that the dumplings at the race-course markets are better but these ones are still mighty fine. And I found chocolate cannoli at the Oxford Street deli down the road. And then, to complete my non-mother’s day celebrations, I bought this:

    T’was good.

  379. Mmmm … French Martini. That looks a damn sight better than Milo. I’ll recommend it to my kitchen staff.

    The airline tickets are a fabulous idea, Q. And Dear Brother has blessed the world with offspring as well, I believe, so you could spread the Mum’s Day horror joy even further! Well worth saving up for. Just make sure you don’t put them on Tiger – you’d hate to see them bumped at the last minute.

  380. They’ve been complaining for the last few years that they are too frail to travel to see BIL. Which inspired the Bloke to book tickets to visit his brother 18 months ago, safe in the knowledge that his parents wouldn’t follow. Except the minute that they thought they’d have the chance to have Golden Boy in captivity and for added value, torture my SIL with 5 days of Lady in Waiting duties while she slept on the sofa & her husband hid out with his mates in the local brewery….well.
    Scrap that. No need to pay for the tickets, really. He just needs to mention that he plans to visit his sibling next MD and they’ll pay their own way.

    And I wasn’t contemplating Tiger.
    I was considering a camel and a dray.

  381. MM did you see the add for the monsters film that is on at GOMA till 2 June? I picked up a postcard/flyer about it while I was down in west end. Will stick it in the snail mail if you or your boys are interested. Looks great.

  382. Camel and dray? Bumpy!

    No I did not see the ad and yes, pretty please, I would LOVE the flyer. Sounds awesome – you know how much we love GOMA. Actually, there’s a karate tournament in Brisvegas soon that I believe we are attending, so hopefully we can dumpling? Or gelato? or whatever?

  383. Aww, no fair. I want gelato dumplings too.

  384. I’ve heard of soup dumplings which I really want to try, has anyone had them? you cut them open and the soup pours out.

    Smurf it all, now I’m hungry. Gelato soup dumpling, anyone?

  385. I could probably do all three in that order but the concept of a soup dumpling just seems bizarre. I’ve been far too spoiled by all the asian restaurants around here that do variations of dumplings within their soup to be tempted by some slimy furrin thing like that.
    Speaking of which, (well, of people who are geographically deprived of the wonders of West End’s multicultural cuisine) our caloundra friends have instated their first born child in a house up the hill so that she can go to Uni. I took her out to introduce her to Sushi Kotobuki yesterday & made her very happy. πŸ™‚ She was even happier when I told her about the Tibetan Kitchen. Yum.
    Her sister finishes school at the end of the year & also hopes to go to UQ or QUT, so it will be lovely to have the two of them so close by. I’ll have kiddies to unload my baking excesses on again. Yay!

    Um, MM, I know you said something somewhere about coming down soon and yes, definitely email me deets of when and where. I am on sleep deprivation (again) as the smurfing dentist has me attempting to sleep with a mouthguard thingy in to try to stop me grinding my teeth. I can manage two or three hours unconscious and then Bing, I’m awake. Grr. Stupid dentist.
    I’ve cracked a molar and he says I need a crown. As the crown doesn’t come with a sceptre and the keys to the kingdom & it will cost me two grand it sounds like a shitty deal to me. Also, since my nocturnal grinding habit will no doubt eat it away. I’m sorely tempted to tell him to yank the tooth so I can sleep and smash my teeth in peace.
    Meh. I’m gonna give it 6 weeks to try to adjust to the mouthguard/NTI thing.
    So feel free to roll out your dental care complaints, even if it’s just to bitch about the tooth fairy hiking up her prices in line with inflation.

    The only good reason I can think of to save that lower molar is the ongoing satisfaction of using it to crunch Darrell Lea peanut brittle fingers. Otherwise – meh.

  386. I reckon pull the thing out and be done with it. It’s not like anyone except your dentist can see your molars, for goodness sake. Didn’t Cher have hers pulled to make her cheekbones look more hollow, or am I thinking of ribs or perhaps Marie Antoinette?

    Poor Q. Look, you don’t have to be sleep deprived to make no sense. I had a solid 8 hours.

    You can always pulverise the brittle with a hammer and snort the dust.

  387. Heh heh heh. Good plan.
    Yeah, I haz been researching the molar loss on the internet & there’s mixed reports about it. The look doesn’t bother me, it’s the knowledge that once you lose a tooth it destabilises the gums and the other teeth in proximity to the missing tooth start to ‘travel’. Which leads to Ishews.
    Also lots of complaints about nerve pain after the surgery, other issues with teeth, food getting stuck….meh. Functional stuff that eats at your quality of life, basically.
    Then again I have heard the stories that crowns crack and require ongoing work.
    So you’re kind of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    Ultimately, though, the grinding will crack and destroy the rest of my teeth so it’s probably in my interests to try to make the unholy little piece of horror workable. I’m going to take the NTI back to the dentist and ask him to rebuild it so that its less bulky and invasive and I can sleep with my mouth closed. I think a big part of the problem is that with my mouth open, I get dehydrated and that wakes me. I’m just not someone who can comfortably sleep with my mouth open. So we’ll see.
    I think psychologists say that it takes 6 weeks to adjust to anything new.
    I did have a less invasive NTI a few years ago but I chewed it up in my sleep, so this time he built me something that’s stacked like the Queen Mary.
    The dentist says that the tooth is strong and it’s just two small hairline fractures near the filling, so it’s still viable. After the tales of woe I’ve read on the internet in the last hour or so (probably all written by dentists worried that the repo man is coming for their porsche) I think I just need to suck it up and learn to deal with the mouthguard and shell out for the crown.
    If I was 70 I’d probably say yank it, but the prospect of 30 or 40 years of regretting in leisure holds limited appeal.
    Might be better off paying for his annual holiday in Ibiza/saving the FKR.

  388. Well, if you remember the Kettle Chip incident … was it 2012, or maybe even 2011? … I have a crown after one of my teeth sort of cleaved in half like an iceberg that’s heard Clive Palmer’s on his way.

    I shelled out for a crown and it hasn’t been any trouble, so far. It does feel a little bit odd compared with a “real” tooth for a while – days to a week, only – but not in an uncomfortable way. Probably just, as you say, because of the novelty.

    Go all out. Get one with a ruby in it, while you’re at it. Or a cyanide capsule, in case Bog Hollow ever gets too much.

  389. Yes I think I do remember the kettle crisp crack up. Good to hear your crown is holding up. I did a stint for a few months as receptionist in a public dental clinic 25 years ago and the memories…oy.

    I suppose the cyanide capsule would be motivation to persist with the mouth guard. And it might even give me an Out for providing EAR if I’m ever called upon to restore life to the dead.
    Mind you, since they told us last time I was in at Qld Ambulance that generally once people are dead, they stay dead despite your best efforts, I’ve been disinclined to go back to update my first aid.
    I might just stick to what I know, applying bandaids and stingose.
    Would you believe they actually encouraged clinicians to buy a freaking defibrillator, last time I was in there?
    Yeah sure. I’ll keep it in the closet between the slow cooker and the cocktail shaker. That’ll work.

  390. It would be fun at parties, though.

    How on earth would having your own Packer Whacker make any sense? On the remote off chance you ever had to use it, it would no doubt have fallen apart due to pressure cooker adjacency fatigue or something.

    May as well cultivate your own leeches, as well, in case you come across someone with an iron storage problem.

  391. They tried to encourage us to figure out where they are stored in the supermarkets, too.
    then they gave us a lecture on how low the survival rate is for the people who do get zapped with them – because of the likely extent of the heart disease.
    I think they are obliged to tell you to use them, and also to try to sell them (my they’re expensive) but burned out ambos being no BS types, I think they feel it’s their moral duty to tell you that you’re wasting your time.
    I like ambos.
    And I’ve never bothered looking for where they keep the defibrillator in Coals at West End. Keel over down there near me, and that’s bye-byes.

  392. I’d say a little prayer over your twitching soon-to-be-corpse, and make up something comforting for the Loved Ones about their final words.

    Hell, I’m a writer, not a compressor. And not a fan of swapping spit with strangers.

  393. No. I think the main reason they’ve given up on the idea of EAR at first aid training is simply because whoever is dead is likely to stay dead and the person trying to save them is likely to catch whatever communicable disease is lingering on their lips.
    Meh. I should be doing my First Aid upgrade this month and I am having a ‘who cares’ crisis. Which is normal. But really, I am starting to think that they give way too much focus on restoring the dead and not enough on reinforcing skills that will help people that can be helped. Especially given my confusion regarding left and right. If an 8 month pregnant mother fell over in front of me, she’d want to leave her iphone charged and non-password protected because I can never remember which GD hip you are supposed to elevate to ensure baba within gets blood and air. I’d have to google it.
    I might skip the CPR upgrade this year…I only did it last year so I could rejoin my professional association and I still haven’t done it. I went looking for an old friend/colleague that I’d lost touch with (dead email/new service provider, it happens) to get her advice on changing prof. associations. When I finally found her she’d moved from New Farm to the country, is happily raising chickens and growing organic veg and she’s no longer practicing. When I asked her why, she rolled her eyes and said ‘People, Q. People.’
    I know.

  394. Just saw the BOM observations. Got snow up your way yet MM?

  395. My computer is not working! It will be out of action until next Thursday (if not longer). I am posting this on a borrowed iPhone. Carry on without me… *sob*

  396. Oh Catty! What stuffed it … not budgie shit in the vents, I hope? We’ll miss you darling. *sob*

    It is SO cold that I’m wishing I hadn’t shaved my legs. From here on, I’m growing a winter pelt. We don’t have snow yet but my fingers are icicles, does that count? We’ve gone straight from mild to about as cold as it gets. Brrrrrrrrr!

    You know, your friend has got a point. People do bite. Particularly day in, day out. Remember who they irked you in clinic? Can you be some sort of research witch, and only venture out of the lab to accept accolades for your achievements? That would beat being a necromancer or clinician.

  397. Poor Catty! We will miss you.
    Just as well it’s a busy weekend here, and as the builder has promised us his quote I assume I’ll be back to the drawing board looking for compromises and budget cuts.
    Yeah a friend of mine has a really cool job as a research assistant at the ACU so she’s surrounded by nice people who believe in social justice & she gets to download new information into her brain all day. Something to aim for, maybe.
    Don’t know, don’t care, will worry about that once we have finished the house. I have not yet ruled out smurfing off away from the hustle and the bustle of the city.
    Meh, well the dentist is going to try to fix my mouthguard next week and failing that I can go for an upgrade. Another friend who grinds has the model he’s trying to sell me and she says she’s had a much better time with it so perhaps that’s the way to go.

    A GF texted me yesterday to say her husband cracked a tooth while eating pizza. And at least I have not been forbidden to eat bacon, like poor Spanner, by his mean, mean doctor. And at least none of us works for Qld health. Eek. Heard some more horror stories about budget cuts while I was out yesterday from a few nurses. Yikes. Apparently there’s no post-grad positions advertised this year because none are available. So the nurse I was speaking to is scrapping her plans to do specialist training & is thinking of seeking out some other form of study and changing professions, as it looks like this gubbermint is here for the next 6 years.

    Meanwhile it is a glorious day here so I am thinking of bouncing off to the brookfield show to see horsies and pig racing and purveyors of fudge, if they still exist. I meant to enter the cake comp, but you know, a week of insomnia isn’t really what I want to put in a cake. The result could poison people.

  398. Yeah, one of my deadbeats works for Qld Health and they just didn’t bother paying them this week, I’m told.

    Let’s all try not to get sick!

    Good old Brookfield show, give it my regards. They had some spectacular knitting last time I was there.

  399. It was fun, and a simply gorgeous day for it. We watched the horse whisperer and the dog show and trawled through the baking and the craft exhibits. I may have to bake this morning to convince myself I can do better than some of the forlorn items wilting beneath their red and blue ribbons. Then it’s time for kitefest. Whoohoo!
    WTF were you doing awake at 2.48am, MM? admittedly I got up at 3.30am to let the dog out. Note: even he came back inside having declared it to be a dumb idea.
    I assume you’re baconing?

  400. I will send you girls some pix of kitefest, since I’m not sure how to post them here. It was really big this year – they added a sideshow alley for the kids, and it looked like they’d added all the carny folk from the Sunday Jetty Markets. The queue for the fairy floss wheel was beyond belief. I’m glad I wasn’t there with a 3yro in tow, intent on eating spun sugar. I was meant to meet friends with 3yro twins but they had a meltdown in the fairy floss queue & went home to recover their humour. πŸ™‚
    Nice to see it doing so well. The peninsula was packed.

  401. OK, next year I’m coming down for Kitefest. Sounds just as good as our one ever was, plus a market!

    Yes, regrettably I did bacon. I still can’t feel my fingers. It was SO COLD before dawn on Sunday. It’s doing wonders for my early-morning dog walks. To try to avoid freezing to death, I’m practically jogging.

    Oh, and thanks for the GOMA monster card, Q. Best bit of mail I’ve had all year! Keep an eye on your letter boxes, ladies. Incoming random noms.

  402. Yum!
    Just what I needed.
    Much appreciated, so thank you very much.

  403. Geez, that was quick. We might have to take back some of the bad things we’ve said about Australia Post.

    I don’t know the heat insulating properties of neoprene, but perhaps you could use the mitt as a glamorous kayaking glove, Q? It is wetsuit material, after all.

  404. Its the Rwandan delivery guy. He drives that truck like he lives in perpetual fear that admin will raid his village to loot and plunder if he doesn’t provide good service. God help us all if he ever decides to change careers and drive taxis.

  405. I wish he’d move up here. We’ve got a heavily bearded bloke who looks like he should be on a Harley Hog, rather than a step-through. And also seems to give less of a fuck than the average Hells Angel about my mail and packages.

  406. Yes, thank you Morgana. I got mine too, and it is divine! I am going to use it to make biscuits – as soon as I get the house tidied up.

    Computer’s working again. YAY! Just as well, as the littlest kidlet had an assignment due this morning and I had to finish it for him. It rolled off the printer at quarter to nine, but we made it to school by the bell. Thank goodness there are no speed cameras between here and the school.

    Much has happened since last week. I have a Teen sleeping on my couch. Indefinitely. Whoever’s idea it was to get a sofa with a bed in it deserves a kick up the pants. Oh, wait, that would be me…. Damn.

    Richmond turned out to be a cheating scumbag (Surprise!) and dumped the Teen a couple of days ago. She told him to cram it in the nearest accessible orifice, took all his money out of the bank, packed his electric blanket/xBox games/kilo of bacon in an overnight bag, and jumped on a train to mummy’s house. I ended up with a sobbing mess on my doorstep at 10pm, and the Boss said she could stay here until she finds somewhere else to live. Madness. Madness, I tell you! Personally, I think it was the bacon addling his brain.

    She is planning to go to QLD next week to visit my mother – I think it’s because she’s trying to lose weight and my mother’s cooking is the best way to do it, as she will be on the starvation/dysentery diet for the whole week she’s there – so we’re stuck with her until then. My MIL reckons mother will try and convince the Teen to move up there permanently. (The horror!) But at least then she’ll be off my couch.

    Anyway, after two nights of Teen, my house looks like a Teen has moved in. I.e, disgusting. Now I have to go and attempt to restore order before I can bake biscuits. It will take some time. On a positive note, biscuits aren’t on the Teen’s diet. So I won’t have to share any with her.

    Oh, dear. The budgie just crapped on me. Is there such a thing as nappies for budgies? If not, can we invent some?

    If it wasn’t for marvellous friends who send delightful parcels, I’d be miserable right now. But who can be miserable when there’s fudge? I love you, Madam. MWAH!

    Yes, budgie. ‘Nevermore’ to you too. Oh, dear. More crap.

  407. Who on earth did Richmond find who would cheat with him?

    I admire her style, stealing his bacon, though. The cash, sure, win, but it takes a special sort of woman to clear out all a man’s bacon.

    There must be something of you in her after all, Catty.

    Enjoy the biscuits and the bling mitt – and love you too ❀

  408. I on the other hand think it’s a stellar bit of creativity to take the electric blanket. I checked the Melbourne temps at her time of departure and it was 8C.
    Not sure whether to congratulate or commiserate on the teen moving back in, Catty, but at least we have you back in cyberspace where we want you.
    So, welcome back.

  409. Combine an electric blanket AND a kilo of bacon, and you’ve really got something going.

    Pig in a blanket. Oink!

  410. Very, very happy to be back. I missed you ladies. Who else would have come up with ‘pig in a blanket’? Hee hee hee hee hee…..

  411. We missed you too. Don’t ever go away again.

    So, how were the cookies, and have you bought a Greyhound bus ticket North yet?

  412. I think the Boss hates me. He told the Teen she can stay until she goes to QLD, and she promptly put the trip off for another week. AAAAAAAAAARGH!

    The cookies were brilliant. Giant ones with milk, white and caramel chocolate chips. I scoffed the first one straight out of the oven. It must have been the oven mitt that made them so yummy.

  413. Caramel chocolate chips?

    Not ANOTHER yummy thing not currently stocked in my supermarket.


  414. Coals has them here and they are on my To Consume list. I’ll grab extra for you, and hold them hostage till you make it down here for lunch with the crew.
    If you dilly dally, I can’t guarantee their safety beyond 3 days after the shop and within 3 days of Irma’s next visit.

  415. Aunt Irma came early. I think the universe is conspiring to make me suffer this week.

    Oh, did I mention that as of tomorrow I will have two teenagers in the house? The oldest Kidlet will be the new Teen. If anyone’s looking for me, I shall be on the bottom step, whimpering softly as I rock back and forth in my pyjamas. Which will be clever as we don’t have stairs.

  416. What a pity you don’t have a Cupboard Under the Steps, like in Harry Potter. You could lock them both in there.

    Poor Catty. The question is not one of calendar age, though, but of rampaging hormones. Is he hairy and grunting, or still somewhat reasonable?

  417. He’s been sassing me for at least six months now. But at least he took the smelly armpits in his stride and promptly asked me to get him some deodorant. So that’s one bonus.

  418. As long as it’s not Lynx, you could be on a winner there.

  419. The Plumber and now Declan wear Brut!

    Yeah, it’s pretty much Clan of the Cave Bear around here.

  420. I should get some for the Teen. My recent complaints about her pong have led to twice-daily bathing and the use of Grape Hubba Bubba-scented Hello Kitty body spray. (I think the BO was better.) She managed to jam the shower taps off so hard that the washers split, and we had dripping taps keeping us up all night. Dead Set, I woke up soaking wet at 2am to the sound of trickling water and thought I’d peed myself – thank goodness it was just a hot flush.

    If the Boss forgets to bring home new tap washers after work, I may have to divorce him – or jam the Teen into the pipes. Yes, that sounds like a more satisfying plan.

  421. Here’s a thought Catty, empty out the Hello Kitty bottle and replace it with some Goodbye Kitty and see if it cancels the teen stink.
    Just don’t blame me if it starts another one. πŸ™‚

  422. Ooooh, I must get some of that for the Kia. The neighbour’s cat still thinks our yard is it’s personal litter box. And as the Kia is out of action until the Boss gets around to fixing it, I expect rather large quantities of piddle will be anointing the air vents.

    Why didn’t the Boss fix the car last night? Easy. He’d bought a new toy for the budgie, and it didn’t fit on the perches. So he had to go out to the shed and craft a new perch for the toy. You know, important stuff.

    He can’t look at the Kia tonight, either, as he will be replacing the tap washers. And if he isn’t replacing tap washers, he will be hiding to avoid my shrieking wrath.

  423. Goodbye Kitty?! Q, you’re a genius! A breakup fragrance for teens and geeks everywhere. Make it smell like melted icecream, defeat and bitter tears.

    Congratulations on the Hot Flashes, Catty. I’ve got Aunt Irma in the house wrecking havoc as per usual. Bring on the Blessed Pause.

  424. So, Madam, that will be the Kirsten Stewart signature fragrance?

    Aunt Irma came early, because the universe hates me. On the up side, at least she’s gone already. I’d say ‘short and sweet’, but the only sweet thing about her visit was the box of scorched almonds I devoured for breakfast on day two. And the family block of Cadbury’s I scoffed on day one. And the jumbo bag of peanut m&m’s I inhaled on Friday night. Not to mention the 14 mugs of hot chocolate I quaffed. Or the Sara Lee Chocolate Pie with caramel ice cream and whipped cream. Or the bag of Caramello Koalas my MIL foolishly left in a crystal bowl on her kitchen table.

    See? Not sweet.

  425. I wish I had relatives who left chocolates in fancy dishes on the table.

    Mostly we have cats, agile dogs, discarded laundry and homework-in-progress. I’m going to get a crystal bowl and a bag of Caramello Koalas and place them in my bedside cabinet.

    Sure, they’d look more decorative ON the bedside cabinet, but we don’t want the children or other animals to sneak any, now, do we?

  426. Perish the thought! Just as the kidlets would perish if they ever dared raid my bedside stash.

  427. You guys are much smarter than me.
    I used to keep a tupperware lunch bowl full of cat biscuits in my bedside drawer. If a brawl erupted between the Fur Babies at 3am, all I’d need to do was open the drawer, shake the bowl of kitty crunchies and the Psycho kitty would come thadumping down the hallway and leap back into bed.
    Problem solved.

    I’m not sure if the same thing works with kids but on a cold winter’s morn when they’re trying to kill each other and you’d rather stay in bed, it could be worth a shot. Oh and if cat biscuits don’t work, try mars bars.

  428. That’s genius, because a Mars Bar also has enough calories to serve as breakfast AND lunch!

    And the caramel glues their little fangs together, so they can’t answer back.

  429. I thought the caramel glued the couch cushions together Or is that just me?

  430. That’s what sticks the buttons to the sofa. The ones that pop off your pants when you’ve had too many Mars Bars.
    Did I tell you that the scribe has found a Mars Bar cupcake over at Oxford Street? I’ve yet to try them, since going back for seconds of the RV cupcakes (moister and heavier than nigella’s and much more sickening) and the oreo ones.
    I made caramel & macadamia cookies out of those nestle caramel bits, too. the bloke complained they were too sweet. I think the cooking sucked the caramel taste out of them so my suggestion is the hell with cooking them, just eat them on the sofa.

  431. Maybe I could alternate handfuls of nuts with handfuls of caramel chips?

    Hey, I know what we’re having for dinner tonight!

  432. Damn straight. I’m putting the chook back in the freezer and heading to Coals for caramel chips.

  433. You know, people make apricot chicken, don’t they? Also, put pineaple on pizza. i reckon caramel chicken might be quite tasty.

  434. No. Just, No.

  435. OK, Caramel without Chicken, then.

    Hell, though. If they can drizzle maple sauce all over perfectly good bacon …

  436. Mmmmm…. maple bacon….. bacon fudge….. bacon hats…. aaaaghaghhhhaaaaghaghhhhhaagh.

  437. You had to go ahead and say “fudge”, didn’t you?

  438. Yes. Yes I did.

    I am in a good mood. The Teen is currently on a plane headed for QLD. She has apparently arranged accommodation for when she returns in a week. So if nothing goes wrong, I have my couch back!

    But then, this is the Teen we’re talking about. Something will definitely go wrong.

    Damn. There goes my good mood. Still, I’ve got a week to brace myself for her return.

  439. You mean she’s in QLD?

    Lock up your bacon, everyone!

  440. Yeah I told twitter about that, Catty. the scribe was appalled. He’s of the conviction that you’ve raised a hard woman.

  441. Wait until she’s been with my mother for a week. That should soften her up nicely…. or break her into several small, manageable pieces.

  442. Can she change the return date, or is it locked in?

  443. The Boss loaned her the money for the return flight. (Yeah, right…. ‘Loan’). So if she doesn’t use the return ticket, he will be mightily pissed.

    No, scratch that. If she stays there, I think he will be somewhat relieved.

  444. Small price to pay, surely?

    And kind of killing two birds with the one stone, having her torment your Mother.

  445. I was hoping she’d let me know how it’s going, but the Teen hasn’t touched her phone or logged into Facebook. Given her attachment to both, I’d say she’s suffering – and given her penchant for ‘sharing the love’, she will be making as many other people as possible suffer along with her. Heh heh heh heh….

  446. Look on it as your karmic reward, Catty. Look on it from your present, comfortable distance from both of them.

  447. Ooh, Catty, given what you’ve said about your mother I’m worried the teen has terrible indigestion and she’s dropped her iphone down the loo.

  448. Wouldn’t we get facebook check-ins from the sewerage system, though? You know, ‘The Teen was at filters past the s-bend’.

    And maybe a shout out from a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or two.

  449. And Stephen King’s clown. It’s still down there somewhere.

  450. They all float, down there.

  451. Huh. She rang. They’re spoiling her rotten. Gifts, money…. my mother even bought her cigarettes. Un-freaking-believable.

  452. Yay! She’ll never come back.

  453. Until they serve meat loaf.
    Better stock up on laxatives and ipecac, Catty.

  454. I don’t need laxatives. The Teen already gives me the shits.

    Oh… you mean for her!

    Will do.

  455. NOW I know what’s for dinner!

    Only kidding. By Wednesday I can barely order the pizza, let alone have the strength to pick it up.

  456. Oh, oh dear. The sausages I defrosted for dinner have mysteriously disappeared. I guess we’re having pizza too.

  457. What a shame. Perhaps the Aliens took them … are you missing any onions?

  458. Why yes, I AM missing some onions. How did you know?

  459. I went to the post office today. Yes, yes, I know I said ‘Tuesday’, but I was busy looking for aliens after the lawn mowing incident. So keep an eye out for that omelette I promised you, Madam. Actually, you probably won’t need to. You’ll probably be able to smell it from the other side of the property. Perhaps I should have kept it in the fridge until I was ready to post it? Oh, well, too late now.

  460. I can always use some new biological weapons. Yay!

  461. It may come in handy to put in school lunch boxes. Or not.

  462. Sounds like a waste, I’d save it for the punch bowl at the next P+C meeting.

  463. Knock out suggestion, Q.

  464. If you get it right it’ll do way more than knock them out.

  465. For once, that doesn’t sound ‘just like mother used to make’. Mother’s punch was rather good, actually.

  466. Speaking of Catty’s Mother’s punch, did you hear, one bloke’s dead and three in hospital from home brew out past Warwick?

    That couldn’t just be dirty bottles, surely. I figure they must have decided some methylated spirits or wood alcohol would give it a nice little kick.

  467. Home brew lesson #17: If you wash your home brew bottles with Omo, remember to rinse them out afterwards.

  468. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-11/men-who-died-after-drinking-home-brewed-grappa-named/4745014
    It was grappa. Apparently it’s prone to toxicity so who knows what happened there. Dreadful for the families.

  469. Ah … yes, distilling spirits is a whole different ball game.

    Come to think about it, it’s a wonder Hawkeye and Trapper John never poisoned themselves. What do you mean. M*A*S*H is not real?

  470. Don’t look at me. I never said it wasn’t real.

  471. One of the reasons I love you ladies is our glorious fantasy world.

  472. Fantasy? What fantasy? This is my reality….


    I’ve forgotten my meds again, haven’t I?

  473. I’m hoping you’ve sent them up to me. Thank you thank you thank you for my lovely present, Catty!

    I’m not allowed to open it before the kids are up. Actually, the wrapping is so lovely I might leave it intact.


    • What day is today? It’s Morgana’s birthday!
      Hip hip replaceme… um… hooray!

      Have a fabulous birthday, beautiful girl. I hope you like the present. Apologies for the state of the packaging, it was the last one left and the salesman was none to gentle cramming it into the box.

      Now. Where’s the cake?

  474. Hawkeye and Trapper would never have added anti-freeze to their still.
    Although they were no doubt frequently tempted to provide it to visiting dignitaries.

  475. I heard on the news last night they might have mixed up a batch of grappa with a batch of bio-fuel. It’s such a horrible, preventable tragedy.

  476. Crikey, that must have been one putrid batch of grappa if the poor boys couldn’t tell the difference. So sad.

  477. I’m guessing they got totally wasted on dope while they were making it and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
    What baffles me is the idiot cyclist here in Vagus who shot a sleeping homeless man with an arrow. WTF? We’re getting random vigilante violence, now?
    I’m waiting to hear his name in the news & I’ve got $10 with Tom Waterhouse that says we’re related.

  478. The Scribe has been warning us for years about cyclists. So, finally, the Cycleopalypse begins….

    But it should be over pretty quickly. If they’re relying on arrows, Havock can wipe out the whole lot of them in his lunch break.

  479. I know. I’m mourning the collapse of tweetdeck, which has rendered me temporarily unable to enjoy cyclist jokes on the birdynet.
    Stupid technology update fails.

  480. I know. I couldn’t contribute to CBG for ages. After we got it fixed when it died last month, suddenly I could contribute again. Then a few days ago, I tried to post something incredibly rude about a politician but all of a sudden I can’t contribute again. Poop. And it was such a cleverly written insult, too.

  481. I heard in an the news driving down – it was a 35 year old architect!!!!

    If anyone wants me to forward any insults, feel free to use me as a clearing house.

  482. I dread to think what his building designs must look like.
    All they said here was that he was mentally disturbed.
    I wonder if they got that bit from the cops, Belle Reeve or a client?

  483. It might have been observation based. I mean, the effing effwit just cycled past and shot a poor homeless bloke.

  484. Yeah, I wouldn’t qualify that as mentally disturbed. I’d just call it homicidal.

    Twas wondrous to see you today MM & thank you again for the lovely gifts. Uncanny that you picked out the same thing that I’d been eyeing off for Catty. How entertaining was the scribe’s face when I offered to scry on ilost for your missing car? The Bloke told me I can now sit at home and scry for evil. I already know what I’ll find – CATS!
    I had a fabulous day, a shame the others couldn’t make it but we probably made enough noise for 5 extras anyway. And mess.

    Anyway, have fun with Django, and enjoy your weasel-free time. That was just what I needed today & it was lovely to see you. xoxox

  485. Yes,the only thing that could have made it better was if Catty could have been with us.

    I can’t wait to get in to work and try some pranks, and the vampire poetry is too fabulous for adjectives. Now, where do I get some “on the beach” mix for my false teeth?

    You’re cheesecake was totally amazing, btw Q – please remember to post the recipe. I spent the whole trip home regretting not fighting AB for the leftovers.

  486. There was cheesecake? Huh. I’m going back to the sulking corner. But I am glad you all had a good time.

  487. I had something witty to say here yesterday but my screen froze and refused to post it. Thus: imagine witty rejoinder, and settle for a banal Goody-Oh. I’m glad you enjoyed it. We missed you, Catty.
    The Scribe has posted an ode to Cheesecake over at his blog so if you want to see what you missed, wander over there.
    MM I also tried and failled to post a link to Urban Thirst’s cocktail mixes – which are sold in Dan Murphy’s barns all over Vagus. I found a pineapple and raspberry combo which is another one that I’d enourage you to try. It makes awesome vodka slushies. Should look good in your false-teeth ice trays too.
    The cheesecake recipe is in the mail, I had it photocopied and ready to give to you on the day – Duh – but left it on the kitchen counter at home. Another menopause moment in my week of disgraceful smurf-ups. Just as well you two can be bribed with rum cake.
    Just out of curiosity, where in the name of all that’s blue and unholy are the 259 followers who wordpresss are telling me have subscribed to your blog? Or have they all blocked me so I can’t see their comments?
    That one’s got me boggled. Three of us snarking about Aunt Irma and kettle chips gets 256 silent viewers? What the What?

  488. It’s nothing to worry about, Q – it’s part of the social media formula. Other bloggers “like” and subscribe to my blog with the aim of me doing the same for them. And then proceed to never again view our riveting discussions of chips and men.

  489. I’m not worried, I’ve understood for some time that your blog is open to the public so I watch what I say here accordingly. Remember that article that Nick Earls linked to about the uselessness of social media as a marketing tool for authors? I think I posted it here, or at Catty’s.
    It’s just the number of them. 396. I’m just staggered at the vapidity of it.
    Social media, forging intimacy and depth in every relationship it touches.
    That is just bizarre.

  490. It’s a pity we can’t harness all those dead-end clicks and bring peace to Syria or something.

    Still, keeps them off the streets I suppose.

    I already got the cheesecake recipe, thank you! Do you think I could soak candied peel in Cointreau? Only one way to find out …

  491. What a waste of good Cointreau.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been a bit (and still am) dreadfully busy. Yesterday I went to the city to have a brief but delightful visit with a dear friend. She’s in Victoria for two days to visit a sick relative, so there wasn’t any spare time for socialising. But she loves me, so she made time for me. And I made fudge for her.

    Then today, a friend down the street was telling me how her cake-making business is off and running. She’s encouraging me to start my own fudge-making business, so that she can offer fudge on her soon-to-be-active website. I’m a little nervous about the whole thing, as it will mean getting an ABN, doing a food handling course, sourcing packaging, finding fail-safe recipes, and beating children off with a stick when they try and taste-test entire batches of fudge. I only warded them off my friend’s fudge by making two batches and a tray of pecan brownies. It was only moderately successful. Mainly because I was taste testing the brownies a LOT. Mmmmm….

    But now, after reading your comments, all I want is cheesecake. I wonder if I can make cheesecake fudge?

  492. Catty, you totally should. I’ll be your first customer. A 1/2 kilo of Russian Caramel should do it.

    No, you’re only young once. Make it a full kilo.

  493. I told my MIL about it, and she immediately said I should forget it. She reckons I’d get sick of it in about five seconds. Huh. How’s that for supportive?

  494. I reckon it’s worth a go, Catty, seeing as its something you can do from home and you enjoy it. I had a go at making lunches for the Bloke’s office a few years ago. all it ever really did was bring in a bit of extra cash, but after a few months I was sick of the planning, the chaos involved in people changing orders, and the fact that it completely took over my day so it was hard to get other stuff done.

    That said, I think there’s got to be a niche market, in Brisbane at least, for making nice desserts and sourcing them to a local cafe. So why not fudge? They sell them side by side. Same with rocky road.
    If you go into a cafe around here every single frigging cake is made by the same company (The lady who owns it used to be a client of mine) and there’s no such thing as variety, unless the restaurant has it’s own stock of ghastly milky puddings. I think that’s why the CBG crew were so enthused about my cheesecake and they’ve gone ‘meh’ to the mass produced macaroons. Everyone is sick of eating the same old tired desserts. Especially after years of watching masterchef, Heston’s Feasts, and that crazy Japanese cooking show on SBS that started it all.

    Maybe find someone who does something similar for a living and see if they’d be willing to offer you some friendly business advice.

    Apologies for my absence from your blogs, I was doing some random clicking last week and I find the cutest little beach shack overlooking the bay that I just wanted, so bad. It was auctioned on Saturday, only one bidder and as he was a mate of the owner’s I think he just went to a point that he thought was a fair price and all were satisfied. I am kicking myself that we didn’t have our smurf droppings together as it really was beautiful. I got the site plan from the agent & spent hours going through the planning codes to work out what we could feasibly do with it.
    Sunday am we got woken at Bogan O’Clock by a bunch of idiots coming home drunk. They realised they were lost when they reached our house so the girls consulted iLost while the boys dropped their dacks and emptied their bladders into the neighbours’ front yard. My nice neighbours. Why is it never the fucktards that wake up on a Sunday to a letterbox full of urine?

    Anyway, I’m back to the drawing board working on Plan B for Casa Q. There’s an entire row of Tipper Overs out on the bay next to this one, & as it went for an affordable price, I figure if we can get all our ducks in a row, we might be able to leave the noisy public urinal that is our street and wake up to the seagulls.
    Nblob came to visit and view our collection of Architecture Pron books as he’s thinking of building too. He had some useful suggestions regarding weapons and plausible deniability to fend off the marauding bogans but meh, who wants to be out on the porch with the shotgun when it’s 5C taking potshots at the drunks?

  495. Yes! Come up closer to the Coast, Q.

    I was struck, this last visit, by how startlingly awful Brisbane traffic has become.

    I can’t guarantee that you’ll encounter fewer drunken idiots if you relocate in a Northerly direction … but on the whole I feel they’re better natured.

    Except maybe for my next-door neighbour who parked an overflowing wheelie bin right where I usually swing the car out of the garage in the morning. I delegated to Poor Mother and the weasels and just drove off.

    Days like these, I really love my job.

    Catty, don’t listen to your MIL. Think of the perks – like quality control sampling!

  496. What a day! I spent most of it shivering in an unheated theatre, stuffing 12 year old boys into pirate costumes and monkey suits, and safety-pinning garbage bags to their Bonds undies, all the while screaming “THAT’S ENOUGH! SHUT UP, THE LOT OF YOU!” until the teachers came in (repeatedly) to complain they could hear the boys (um, and possibly me…) from the front rows of the theatre. Then I came home to an unheated house, where I spent the evening stuffing spag bog into kidlets, then stuffing kidlets into pyjamas, all the while screaming “THAT’S ENOUGH! SHUT UP, THE LOT OF YOU!” until the neighbours came over to complain they could hear the kidlets (and possibly me…) through three brick walls. Joyous.

    On the bright side, if the fudge making business doesn’t work out I can always start renting myself out as a loudspeaker. Or a foghorn.

  497. Why is everything unheated, Catty – and why weren’t you wearing a Snuggie?

  498. Sounds like good practice for life as a spruiker, Catty. Or life in a strait jacket. Same thing, surely?

  499. Can I make a living banging my head against a brick wall?

    Sorry you didn’t get your beach shack, Quokka. It sounds divine. The Boss’s rich aunty and uncle have a beach house in Rye. Rich aunty wants to sell her house and move to a posh retirement village, but rich uncle has just finished about $100k of renovations so he doesn’t want to move. So rich aunty has decided she is going to sell their beach house and move into the posh retirement village without him. I offered her $5K for her beach house (cash, mind you), but she laughed. I don’t know why, I wasn’t joking.

  500. Kill them both and inherit the lot!

    Sorry, Catty, I don’t know what came over me. I was maybe channeling poor dead Tony Soprano.

  501. No can do, I’m afraid. Rich aunty and uncle have three children to inherit their substantial estate. One daughter is married to Lindsay Fox’s nephew (he’s an economist with Goldman Sachs, I think), the other daughter is married to the son of the woman who owns 51% of Country Road (he has his own international consulting business), and their son is a dentist (the sort who gives referrals to specialists for anything more complicated than a standard clean). All three live in multi-million dollar houses, have annual overseas holidays, and give each other gifts like three week P&O cruises or Jimmy Choo handbags. (One cousin bought herself a $70,000 oak dining suite because she liked the colour. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit in her dining area…. now there’s a first world problem that I wouldn’t mind having). Yes, I’ve asked aunty if she would adopt me so she could include me in her will, seeing as her three don’t bloody well need their parents’ money, but she laughed. Again, I wasn’t joking.

  502. Sigh.

    I had one rich Great-Aunt but she left the lot to the Cat’s Home. Literally. The really painful part was that she made my Dad executor!

    Yes, he DOES hate cats.

  503. Now that’s funny. I like your Great Aunt.

  504. She used to sit in a bunker in Redcliffe watching for enemy ships during WWII and married a composer, Catty.

    She was quite a woman.

  505. ROFL.
    There’s a woman to inspire me.

  506. You’d look good in a bunker, Q. I assume you’re incorporating one in the new shorefront wish list?

  507. And a moat. You simply must have a moat.

  508. Indeed. Water features are fabulous for property values.

  509. True. Just look what those sunbaking crocs have done for the sand trap at the Cairns golf course and the Bullsharks at that one near Logan.
    I’m torn. Which do you think would serve best to keep the Jehovahs away?

  510. Lobes.

  511. Ex-Labour ministers. There’s a glut on the market, at the moment.

  512. Bicarb soda and vinegar is the best way to remove gluts.

  513. I haven’t seen him at CBG for ages, I think he got sick of JB’s new stance on No FKWITS and he’s circling the drains looking for someone else to torture.

  514. Thank heavens for small mercies. Meanwhile, I haven’t seen a Blunt Instrument since Tuesday last week. Is there something wrong with my computer, or is the Scribe on a BT holiday?

  515. There was one yesterday, Catty – I commented on it.

    Here, have a go at this:http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/blogs/blunt-instrument/life-in-the-surveillance-state-20130626-2owzq.html

    Oooh, it’s on surveillance and you couldn’t find it – conspiracy theory time!

  516. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/blogs/blunt-instrument/ruddbot-the-sequel-20130627-2ozvz.html

    He’s down around Byron for school hols, I think, and tweeted a photo of himself wearing fairy wings. I refer you to today’s CBG blog for the commentary on that, presuming you’ve stocked up on Ipecac, of course.

  517. I don’t care about fairy wings, but I wouldn’t mind a fairy cake.

    I made the jam doughnut muffins for the kids yesterday. They were completely awesome, even though a bit fiddly. I went to take a pic but when I turned around they were all eaten.

  518. Really? You’d be surprised how erotic some people find them.

  519. Surprised, or repulsed, Q?

  520. Dunno, but disturbingly it’s got me wondering how drunk we’d need to get him in order to get him into the complete Tinkerbell outfit.
    If we propped him up with a bottle of Absinthe while he leered at the camera he’d really look quite fetching.

  521. Well, get to it Quokka. Arc up the Photoshop app.

  522. Oh man, yes. Christmas party!

  523. Catty I hardly think that will be necessary. Morgana’s right, he’ll do any silly thing if you give him enough booze. Cocktails, eggnog, pixie suit – done.

  524. Hehehe … pointy green boots.

  525. He has the ears for it.

  526. You’re right, Catty. What little hair remains would look awesome green, too, I’m thinking.

    But certainly not a flowing blonde wig, Legolas style. That would clash most unpleasantly with the perpetual stubble,

  527. Yes, it would destroy my Fabio fantasy completely. *snort*

  528. I saw a short at the flicks on Sunday – all I can think now is, “Ride the Palomino Stallion!”

  529. Now you’re scaring me.

  530. You think I’M scary? Go and see “World War Z”.

    Then again, maybe don’t. Every time I try to go into a dark room I kind of wish I hadn’t.

  531. The littlest kidlet just asked me what I was doing. I told him I was typing up a dream interpretation on the computer. Then he asked me what it means when he dreams of being chased by zombies, and of bullets ripping through his body, and bombs exploding. I said that means he’s been watching unsuitable Youtube videos behind my back.

    *sigh* At least now I know why he’s been having night terrors.

  532. Bloody YouTube!

    Poor little fella. On no account let him see any promotion material for “WWZ”. He’ll never sleep alone … or dry … again.

  533. And I’m thinking it’s a bad idea to watch any more of David Attenborough’s Life Beneath the Sea.

  534. Although I still think your rationale of why my subconscious mind would be plagued by slimy bottomfeeders is spot on, Catty. You’re very clever. And I’d be lost without you when it comes to analysing my night terrors.

  535. I thought I was dreaming when I came home and Elf Boy’s room was spotless.

    These cranky old woman (his Grandma) are pretty good when it comes to cracking the whip.

  536. My MIL uses bribery to manipulate the kidlets. Me? I just yell a lot.

  537. Yelling just makes my throat sore and the neighbours call the cops.

    As for bribery, I’ve tried it – believe me. But EB just ups the ante to ridiculous levels. Now he wants a Lego Death Star that costs almost $600 on sale! I told him no way, most of the cars I’ve owned didn’t cost that much.

  538. True. Yelling doesn’t work for me either. I just like doing it.

    But you have given me an idea. We’re currently hunting for another budget vehicle, so the Kia will soon be available. If EB wants a bribe, you can have the old girl for $500. Although the dodgy clutch makes it unsuitable as transport, he could easily convert the interior into a brilliant cubby. But you’ll have to hurry, as I think the Teen is eyeing it off as a potential home.

  539. Oh, no? She’s back? I thought she was going to stay forever up here in the land of home cooking and free cigarettes.

    Oh, that’s right. Your Mother’s cooking. I take it she’s in ICU recovering from a thorough stomach pumping?

  540. Funny you should say that. She did spend a day in hospital just after she got back – but she told me she had an allergic reaction to the paracetamol in her Codral cold and flu tablets. As the Boss always says, “suuuuure there’s a pink elephant in your birdbath!”

  541. Oh yeah. The paracetamol. Sure it wasn’t a bad batch of home-cooked meth, or some dodgy Mexican painkillers?

  542. My money’s on the meatloaf.

  543. Either she’s been overdosing on energy drinks, or the new housemates have hooked her up to their Speed dealer. She has been completely hyper ever since she moved in to the new place, and has apparently given up on sleep – if her Facebook activity is any indication.

    There’s a new boyfriend, too. She says he’s not her boyfriend, but when you walk around shopping centres holding hands, you wear each other’s clothes, you buy each other gifts and you spend the night together frequently, well…. I don’t believe her.

    Oh, and you might be interested in the latest on her job hunting. (And other myths…). A couple of years ago (when Centrelink told her to go to school or get a job if she expected to be paid), she started announcing that she was bi-polar. (Did I mention pink elephants and birdbaths?). I opined that she was angling for a disability payment. THAT’S not going to happen, I thought, unless she has intensive acting lessons. But I was wrong. She had yet another mental assessment a couple of weeks ago and finally managed to convince them that she is mental. So she’s now on a disability payment. Huh. When I worked for Centrelink, bludging was not classified as a mental illness. Times sure are a-changing. *sigh* Her mother must be so proud… oh, wait…

  544. Geez, she must be NIDA quality. I thought they’d really cracked down on DSP payments.

    As for the “non”-boyfriend, who does he look like and what are we nick-naming him?

  545. I really don’t know what to make of him. With his spiky purple hair and outlandish clothing, I’m reminded a little of Cyndi Lauper. Yeah, he does look a bit girly, but Cyndi probably isn’t a good choice. A boy’s name, perhaps? His best friend is called Snow Pea, which I believe is the name of Charlie Brown’s dog. So what do you reckon – Cyndi, or Charlie Brown?

  546. I think we should stick to names from BBC comedies so that we retain the quality of the humour. How about Rick, or Vivian?

  547. Depends – is he smarmy and full of himself, in which case I’ll go with Rick – or a massively destructive but kind of lovable Vivian?

  548. Maybe this is what you get when a troll baby grows up?

    Then again, I’ve done the spiky purple hair myself, so who am I to judge?

  549. Speaking of babies, that outfit you gave the Beard Spawn was just too adorable, Q.

    Where did you get it?

  550. Now I’m torn between Troll Baby and Vivian Lite. You’ll have to decide for me. She announced yesterday that he was down at Centrelink, arranging for his payments to be deposited into her bank account. I know parents are supposed to be horrified when our teenagers make the same stupid mistakes we made, but honestly? Even I was never that stupid.

  551. Hehehe.

    She has her mother’s natural magnetism. Or mind manipulation spells, either or.

  552. Maybe we could use several names for him, Catty.
    Seeing as it sounds like that’s what he’s doing with the dole office, why not continue that theme here?

    As for the monkey suit, I found it in the sales at Carindale, in a baby shop called ‘olly’s place’ (sp?). My newest little cousin over in WA is nicknamed ‘monkey’ so it caught my eye. Sadly they didn’t have one in his size but seeing as I’d been on the lookout for a Rat Suit for the Grandevil, it did seem like the next best thing. All that was missing was wings, and a suit of livery with my coat of arms on it. Still, she’s young. That can come later.

  553. I said that to GB … “knowing Q, I’m puzzled at the lack of wings”!

  554. She would make an interesting study in ‘nature vs nurture’. Give the child a metal collander to use as headwear. (KMart has some adorable tiny metal ones). Without GB’s mind control messing up the experiment, we can watch her progress to see how far the apple has fallen from the tree.

  555. Hopefully, distance will protect her from GB’s evil influence.

    It’s got something to do with the Higgs field and strange attractors.

  556. I’ve met one of GB’s daughters, years ago she was the librarian at Hogwarts. I’m confident that all his children learned early in life to make their own tinfoil hats to block out his dangerous turkey & toad breeding influence.

  557. His breeding influences…. I hope he wasn’t allowed near the lab when the GrandEvil was created. We all know what he can do with GM rats.

  558. She’s a darling little bubba. No evidence of mutant rodent at all, as yet.

    Then again, we’ll know for sure when she cuts her teeth.

  559. I can hear it now: “Oh, you poor widdle lammy. Are your gums hurting your poor widdle mouth? Here. Bite Grandad.” Not only will Karma be getting her pound of flesh, but they will save a fortune in teething rings.

  560. Eeew.

    She shouldn’t teeth on Greybeard. We know where he’s been.

  561. I don’t know where he’s been. I don’t want to know, either.

  562. Even the NSA is afraid to spy on GB.

  563. Its the GM rats. Who’d want those running loose in your ceiling?

  564. Would insurance cover GM rat damage?

    I’m thinking it would be easier to just get them to raze MM’s bedroom to the ground and start again, rather than to try and get him to tidy it. Probably smell better, too.

  565. Ugh… that stench… When the Teen came for her last shopping trip (raiding the pantry for multiple bags of everything), she positively reeked. Oh, my poor olfactory! It took two days to air out the house.

  566. I was just reading the paper and came across this….


    At least now we know where Rudd can get footwear to go with that pixie outfit.

  567. I read that article. Fabulous shoes! There’s something about red shoes, isn’t there? i mean, Dorothy, the Pope …

  568. Oh it’s all very well for you lot to laugh at KRudd.
    he’s my local member, another reason to move. I think I prefer the openly vapid self-interest of the local member for Redcliffe.
    Did you see that KRudd’s first order of business was to try to install legislation which would stop him being stabbed in the goolies and dispatched to the bottom of the dung heap by the 80% of his party that actively loathe him?
    Of course, the same rule would apply to the mad monk, meaning that if there’s any plans afoot to scupper him and replace him with someone saner, the LNP would be screwed, too.

    I quite like the Off With Their Heads democratic process. Who do I need to vote for to see that it lives on? Katter, Clive, or the Greens?

    Wait. I think I forgot to take the little green pills again, didn’t I?
    *mutters and stomps off*

  569. If you’re thinking of voting for Clive Palmer, Q, you need a horse syringe full of Modecate. Stat!

    I never realised you were in Ruddistan. There must be a thick vapour of smug, even up on the hill.

  570. Yup. It’s so dense, we’re choking in it.
    I may have to ask the GP for a new inhaler to counter it’s noxious effects.

  571. Meanwhile, we’re mired in a Swamp of Clive.

    Does he have food tasters, I wonder? Man is crying out for a nice hemlock salad.

  572. Quokka could make that. Quokka can make anything.

  573. Can she make this headache go away? I’m sure it’s work-related. Maybe I can interest Workcover.

    So, Catty – any teen news? How’s the house-hunting and decluttering treating you?

  574. I’m gratified by your faith in me, Catty, but it wouldn’t work. The Ruddbott will spend the next three years feasting on the entrails of his frenemies and a garnish of hemlock and wolf’s bane would only serve to add acid to his bile.

  575. I saw his brother on “The Project” last night. Seems like some of his frenemies are liable to sit with him around the Christmas table.

    As is so often the case.

  576. NOOOOOOOO! It’s too soon for Christmas, but it’s already starting to rear its expensive and frustrating head. I have kidlets circling meaningless crap in Christmas toy sale catalogues, I have the Teen dropping hints on things she needs but can’t afford because she’s blown her disability payment on meaningless crap she saw in the Christmas toy sale catalogues, and we’ve already been invited to the Boss’s Christmas function for work. It’s next week. Next week!!!

    Do you think if I go back to bed and hide under the doona, Christmas will go away?

    Actually, I can’t go back to bed. The Boss is nagging me to wash the new car he bought us yesterday. It’s a five-seater, so the Teen can no longer ask me to shift her furniture. (heh heh heh…). Anybody want to buy a ratty old Kia with no rego or roadworthy… or brakes… or clutch?

    I thought not.

  577. Congratulations, Catty! You can load it up with cake and drive to Qld and leave them all to fester in their piles of lost socks while you take a holiday.
    And no, don’t ask me about Xmas, I’m still trying to figure out a way to hide from it this year too.
    The Bloke has to use up a bunch of freebies on his frequent flyer account before November or they will cancel them. So we are thinking about going to Perth, and for a holiday in Albany, but it’s cruddy timing as it seems likely that the renos will be happening from Sept/Oct onwards, so really we need to stick around for security (Bungee Zombies and marauding possums).

    I’d like to do the November trip to VIC to see all of you guys but I’m really not sure how I’ll fit that in, this year. Maybe January. We’ll see.

  578. Next week? That’s not a Christmas party, Catty. That’s Christmas in July. Check the fine print, and make sure you don’t have to do it again in December.

    I’ve got a good way to avoid the rellies and stay put, Q. Invite them to a “Help with the Renos!” party. Just include a filter mask and injury waiver with the invite. You won’t see them for dust.

  579. Brilliant idea, Madam. I am so stealing it! But not for January…. come on down, Quokka! I promise I won’t ask you to do any painting.

  580. Hehehe.

    I wonder what would be a more noxious invite, Catty. Possibly a DIY Colonic Irrigation Fiesta.

  581. Or I could hold one of those Botox parties. I’m sure this guy’s looking for new customers:


    On second thought, my face is already horrific enough. I’ll just stick with Amway. And get mother to do the catering.

  582. I don’t know which of those suggestions scares me most. No, I do – your Mother’s cooking.

  583. Heh, I’d respond with suitable snark over at the corner, Catty, but there’s some sort of slow-time delay on keyboard provision of snark over there. It was doing it here on the weekend when I tried to type responses too.
    Weird. Just plain smurfing weird.

    More from me later, the Dishwasher is going into rigor mortis as I type so I’m meant to be cooking lasagne and looking online at mechanical dish pigs.
    I can’t even remember what Catty’s advice was last time it threatened to die.
    Miele, maybe?

  584. My boring old Dishlex has been very reliable. Not as quiet as they make out, but very reliable.

    You should totally get one of those steam ones Georgie Parker advertises though, Q. She looks like a lady who values a clean dish,

  585. From what I remember:

    -Bosch doesn’t dry the dishes if you mix plastic and crockery, and the manual appears to have been translated from Korean to English by a German schoolboy. A good choice if you like puzzles.

    -Fisher & Paykel is fabulous, if you get a good one. But if you get a bad one, it will give you nothing but very expensive grief. I.e, same as any other F & P product.

    -Dishlex is brilliant, for about two years. Then it will die, and possibly catch fire.

    -LG has the worst reviews of any dishwasher, probably because they are as prone to problems as any other brand. But people who have been seduced by the advertising hype into paying that much money inexplicably expect to get better quality. Suckers.

    -Mistral is a very cheap, simply made model. Great if you don’t want or need bells and whistles. But Mistral appliances are usually sealed units, which means repairing them is not an option. Accordingly, after-sales service isn’t a company focus. So if your Mistral product dies, you have to chuck it. But because they are so simply made, there’s little that can go wrong and most Mistral products will last a long time with standard use. Great for uni students, and anyone else who lives on takeaway and two-minute noodles.

    -Whirlpool has poor reviews, mostly because their call centre operators aren’t too flash with their English speaking skills, so problems aren’t easy to resolve. A good choice if you can speak Hindi.

    -Westinghouse is easy to use, so it’s ideal for people who just want something to whack the plates in once a day. But it’s prone to small leaks in concealed areas, so you unexpectedly find the bottom rusted out. Perfect for landlords who want to sucker-punch ex-tenants out of their bond.

    -Miele has the best reviews, and if I ever bother to replace the broken machine the previous house owners left for us, that’s what I’ll buy. But for now, I shall continue to use my disconnected Vulcan as storage space for kitchen gadgets that don’t stack neatly in my cupboards.

    You can find heaps of good review sites online. The best site is Choice, but I think you have to pay to access Choice these days. I’d advise you to look at the free reviews instead – why waste money on opinions when you could be spending it on chocolate?

    Mmmmm…. chocolate….

    What were we talking about again?

  586. What a lovely comprehensive summary of available appliances, Catty. You should be Choice. Subscribers could pay you in chocolate.

    Delicious, soothing chocolate.

  587. Catty you’re better than choice.
    This is why I always ask you before I bother to read the reviews.
    I think I’ll have to go out and look at them to see what they’re like inside with the stacking space. I’m kind of constrained to the maximum 81cm height because my hobbit ancestry means that my 13yro custom designed kitchen (custom designed by me and I’m still completely in love with it, despite all the dings and bangs and cracks in it) won’t cope with anything taller.
    Sigh. It’s a gorgeous day here in Vagus and the last thing I want to do is head out to the whitehouse barn to stare at white goods.
    I guess I’m just stuck on washing up duty till I get my smurf faeces together.
    I made veggie/lentil lasagne yesterday evening so the stack of dishes to put away – thank God the bloke washed them up – is the size of a freaking turkey mound. I made some mini-lasagnes in ramekins by pureeing up the leftovers, they look quite cute so hopefully that’ll tempt the appetite of my adventurous friend who is missing most of her teeth.
    Gotta run. I will email you girls later.
    Enjoy the Sun MM, even if you’re only staring out the window at it.
    Catty, I’d say enjoy the arctic winds but then you’d have to slap me.
    And as you’d have to run to catch me today, we don’t want that.
    have some chocolate. And give some to Stinky the Snail from Plants vs. zombies while you’re at it.
    It’s great having it on the ipad, it’s so much easier to cheat.

  588. I am enjoying the sun, Q. It beams in my window as I hunch at my desk, slaving over the deadbeats.

    Still, it could be worse. I could be dishwasher shopping. Good luck!

  589. What I wouldn’t give to be slaving over deadbeets (mmm…. salad…) and dishwashers, instead of wrestling with the Boss’s tax return. I’ve already eaten a whole bag of Flake bites and I haven’t even finished tallying the travel expenses.

  590. Oh Gods, the horror!

    I’d forgotten I’ll have to do a tax return this year.

    I don’t suppose there’s another bag of Flake bites, Catty? Maybe just some Flake flakes?


  591. Sorry. I licked the bag clean. And the tax return still isn’t finished. I may have to head to the shops for more supplies.

  592. Cadbury has that delightful new range like crazy paving with bits and pieces in it. I think we should petition them to include Valium Chip with Baileys.

  593. Yes. Yes indeedy. And how about a rum ‘n’ raisin chocolate without the raisins? Or the chocolate… no, that wouldn’t work, would it? But I know something that would work – chocolate swizzle sticks for mixing drinks. I’d buy them.

  594. Or maybe chocolate straws, to sip them through?

    I always meant to get a bottle of that chocolate liqueur … no, not creme de cacao, the one in the bottle that looks like gold bullion … and then I sort of accidentally stopped drinking.

    If I get a Tiger flight to Melbourne, as I’ve been threatening Melbo, shall we split a bottle in a park somewhere, Catty? We could sip it through though spirally Italian wafers.

  595. Funny you should mention that as Wicked is coming to Melbourne (and Sydney and Brisbane) soon & I wondered if you mob would be interested in going to see it. I’m quite happy to wait for it to come to Vagus, and it might even be fun to see it in Sydney if it goes to the Oprah House, but it’s worth asking.

    Catty my keyboard is still on time delay at your blog.
    Once I’ve dealt with my dishwasher crisis I’ll tackle that problem by bribing Khan Greybeard to fix it.
    The problem with that exercise is I’ll need to make brownies to throw them at the rats or they’ll never allow me safe entry & exit to his lair. And brownies make a mess, and I don’t have a dishwasher. I think I’ll be eating out until it’s done. I’m dragging the Bloke out to Hardly Normal to view the Miele range on Saturday. Big Fun.

    Today’s mission, should I choose to accept it, is to clean out the fridge.
    I’ve been inspired by your tales of radioactive slime, perhaps if I leave the door open for long enough then the slime will walk out on it’s own in search of the Golden Arches. I’m thinking if I just whisper to it to go forth and seek it’s spiritual home, then it will know to Go To God without my assistance, and I can sit in the sun and blow up zombies.

  596. I’ve been lying in bed for the last hour doing just that. So much for the grocery shopping.

  597. Oooooh … I have been thinking I’d like to see “Wicked”. When’s it coming, Q?

    Please refrain from mentioning cleaning out fridges, though. You know what we really need? Fridge Undertakers. They could come in and remove all the dead, giving it a tasteful burial somewhere remote.

  598. They’d have to cart mother’s fridge a loooooong way out into the bush. Don’t tell any Greenies. They may try to stop it happening, on the grounds that every animal within a 3km radius will be at risk of extinction.

  599. Now all I can think is “Attack of Catty’s Mum’s Zombie Fridge”, and other people in the office are wondering why I’m chuckling.

  600. Well considering that some unseen assassin has murdered my DW, why not call in the appliance undertakers?
    Meh. Believe it or not I have muscle aches from squatting on the floor scouring congealed muck from the insides of the fridge. Plainly I am not fit for domestic drudgery. If only someone with Authoritay would put that on paper, then I would have an excuse.
    Luckily when I was doing the Purge whilst restoring the contents, I found some frozen mini-mudcake cupcakes that Khan GB and his lovely wife brought here the last time they came to visit. Which was just well as I was approaching hysteria when I dropped a bag of frozen peas on the floor and they went smurfing Everywhere. (Context: I had just vacuumed and mopped) It looked like I’d gone a few rounds of Plants vs Zombies with the snow-pea shooter to protect the fridge.
    It wasn’t as bad as I thought in terms of lurking Things That Will Kill You, but I discovered that the cat’s laxatives are 6 months out of date. Not sure what effect that would have on his bowels but if it’s anything like my MIL’s vegemite with the UBD of 10 years ago, I’m sure it will just add to the desired effect.

    * Back after forgetting WTF I was doing and wandering off in that deranged way of mine:

    Huzzah. I have been to Hardly Normal in the Valley, where a lovely New Farm type boy took pity on my woes and ensured that I will have a new DW arriving and being installed on Monday. Huzzah and double Huzzah.

    Now to plot how to get through the weekend without needing to wash a single dish. I see a great deal of eating out (well, out of cardboard containers) in my future.

  601. http://wickedthemusical.com.au
    Oh yeah. 2014 apparently, the article said to look at FB for more info.

  602. Will do.

    So you’re spared a Weekend In Hardly’s. Well, that’s worth celebrating, especially the way the weather’s likely to be.

    Much more rain and I’m going to turn British – I see why they’re often such miserable bastards.

  603. The rain makes their dishwashers break down?

    I dreamed that I was stacking the new dishwasher last night.
    I’m looking at the growing mound on the sink (my kitchen hand fell asleep watching drug cheats on bikes last night: ergo, messy kitchen) and wondering if I can leave it all till Monday lunchtime.
    The only problem with that plan is that by Monday there’d be smashed glassware and china all over the floor thanks to the kittehs and their preferred policy of Minimalism & Clean Surfaces.
    And the dog would be in ICU at the vet after swallowing spaghetti-coated china fragments.

    I have a dream, and it’s name is Miele.

  604. You could always bribe the Bloke to wash up, using your feminine wiles. What else are they for?

  605. Buggered if I know.

  606. You know, this would be an excellent day to organise the pantry, clean out the kid’s cupboards, vacuum and mop.

    I think I’ll go to the markets.

  607. Fabulous plan. I may do the same.
    When I’m awake properly. I woke up at 1am with indigestion. Which, I’m sure, had nothing at all to do with the lemon-meringue pie that I picked up from the Rock n Roll bakery for afternoon tea yesterday.

  608. No, surely meringue spreads a calming layer on the surface of your stomach. like Gaviscon?

  609. Yes that’s what I thought.
    Well, I haz a sparkly new dishwasher. It arrived at 10am and was all installed and ready to go by 11am. Except the installer fellows pointed out that the tap supplying the DW was leaking badly and required a new washer. STAT.
    The Bloke, when applied to, said that he could come home and change the washer on his lunch hour so I picked him up at 12 noon.
    And returned him to his place of employment at quarter past two.

    Slight hitch,
    1. He couldn’t find his spanner. Not to worry though because the nice new Not The Owner at Bog Hollow was happy to lend me one that was the right size.

    2. He then spent 40 minutes trying to figure out which way the tap unscrewed. At which point I asked what the problem was and consulted Bunnings Online advice for Not-so-handy men. Unwilling to be advised by Bunnings sales staff, he went out to the garden and unscrewed a tap out there, thinking that would help. (???) He then came back inside (having been rained on during this process) and discovered that the garden tap bore no resemblance to the dishwasher tap. So, still resisting the Bunnings Advice Hotline, he returned to his task, and promptly broke the tap.

    3. Unwilling to be defeated, he went to the hardware (not Bunnings). He returned with a shiny new spanner and a replacement tap. Slight confusion because it came with male and female parts and he spent some time playing with the transgender tap before figuring out how to pleasure it. And me, by this stage desperate for 1. Tea 2. Toilet flushing 3. The entire smurfing thing to be over.

    So I went off to the neighbour’s to return her spanner and was greeted with a cheery ‘How’d it go? All fixed?’ and was able to report ‘Well, no, he broke the tap and had to go out to buy a new one. And now he’s confused about it’s sexuality.’

    Anyway, at least I was able to return the spanner and say that we shouldn’t need to borrow it again in the foreseeable future, because he’s got a nice shiny new one and I think he’s learned his lesson about leaving them in an upturned bucket full of leaves in the garden in between tap-repairing exercises. Maybe.

    Anyway. It didn’t end there because I needed special DW salt to stuff into the Miele. So as my local Coals didn’t sell it, after restoring the Bloke to the spanner-free peace of his workplace (all those wielding spanners and power-tools having by this stage gone on strike & repaired to the local pub) off I went to Hardly Normal to buy salt and look at kitchen appliances. I felt that I deserved a treat after the stress involved in watching the architect spend two hours trying to change a washer (It’s always like this) and after a quarter of a century of domestic bliss with my hand-held $15 Tiffany beaters from target, it was time to splash out.

    So I found the salt and the sales staff asked me how it went with the DW installation. So I told them the Tale of the Tap Washer and they laughed so long and so hard that they gave me the complete set of Extras with the Breville mixmaster for free.
    I’ve got the Scraper-Mixer Pro, which won the Choice 2012 award. One of my GF’s bought it for her young niece and said it’s great as it actually scrapes the side & bottom of the mixing bowl properly, unlike others on the market. So I haz the Ice-cream maker attachment/bowl and the smaller bowl/attachment to whisk egg whites etc. Which is fabulous as I now have enough frozen egg-whites to make mandarin/poppy seed friands in the baby bundt tin again. Yay. So that’s tomorrow’s plan. I bake, and make a hideous mess for the Miele to clean. Huzzah.

    I plan to spend the rest of today on the couch killing zombies & watching DVDs, while the new Meile works its way through the mound that’s accumulated on the kitchen bench on the weekend.

    Thanks to my crappy sense of direction I turned one shopping centre too early for the Hardly Normal store but this was a good thing as I found myself in front of an Italian Patisserie called ‘Belle Epoque’. So I went in and bought an eclair and a vanilla Macaroon and was then able to navigate my way into the homeware store.

    So I’m really rather grateful for the Washer Fiasco as if I’d had a normal spouse the washer would have been changed in 10 minutes and I wouldn’t have a new mixmaster or a box of Patisserie Treats.

    I was so proud of the Bloke’s efforts that I reported them on twitter and attached a photo of the newly replaced tap for them all to admire.
    I will send it on to both of you so do look out for that one.

    Well, I’m off to the couch. Who wants eclairs?

    • The question is not “Who wants eclairs?”. The question is “How many did you bring me?” (Please be three please be three please be three…)

  610. Yum. Although why does an Italian joint have a French name? Did they have cannoli, and those cakes that look like peaches?

    The Bloke got there in the end, let’s celebrate that.

    And huzzah to the mixer. But what on earth is dishwasher salt – also, why?

  611. No, you’re right, it was a French patisserie. That was another menopause moment. I parked in front of an Italian restaurant called ‘tartufo’ and got out to get my bearings and to see if I could walk through an arcade or such to the electrical goods store. That must be what’s confused me.
    DW salt, as explained to me by the sales folk (it could all be lies) is necessary in Europe because they have very hard water and if you don’t use it regularly in your DW, scale builds up which damages the machine. So there is an ‘add salt’ setting in all European DWs. In Europe, I’m told, you go through a lot of DW salt. Here, not so much, you need to add it once or twice a year. And mostly it’s to stop the machine bugging you to ‘add salt’.
    Ordinary salt has additives which the innards of the appliance will not like, so the DW salt comes in tablet form, around the size of a slightly squashed ping-pong ball.
    The Miele has had it’s test run and everything is beautiful and shiny clean. the plastic has of course failed to dry but I don’t mind shoving it all on the draining board where it can add to the general humidity on this wet drippy day.
    I wasn’t sure about the cutlery drawer up top but it’s done a much nicer job than the basket in the kleenmaid DW so that gets the big Tick of approval. there seems to be more dish-stacking space for plates and such down the bottom, but the glass rack seems to have it’s own line that seems to be only suitable for long stemmed slender wine glasses or those tiny little cups you drink short blacks/macchiatos out of. We might have to experiment with stacking it differently. Well, that or I ditch my tea habit for something that requires champagne flutes.

    So I’m pretty happy with it, so if/when you guys need a new dish pig, I’d say it’s well worth considering. And it’s so quiet! The poor old Kleenmaid was getting a bit old and would gurgle and cough and splutter its way through the cycle, and you’d have to crank up the volume on the TV to block out the consumptive wheezing & intermittent death rattles. We barely knew the Miele was on.

    I can’t wait to play with the Mixer. Perfect day for switching on the oven, too, since it’s wet and it’s freezing.

  612. BTW – he took horrible revenge on me this morning by shaking me awake and saying ‘The Princess had her baby, its a boy!’

    I knew he’d get his own back for the Tap Baiting but I feel this was uncalled for.

  613. Hehehe. Not only woken up to news, but to Royal Tragic news, to boot. Nice one, Bloke.

    You know, speaking of dementia the dishwasher you describe seems eerily reminiscent of my Mother’s. She in fact, also has a Miele. And she’s very happy with it, so congratulations.

    If this keeps up they’ll need to put me in a home. Speaking of which, EB saw an older gentleman on a bike on the weekend and was highly affronted.

    “What are these old people doing on bikes, and with canoes, Mumma?”

    ‘Well, some of them are on holidays, I suppose. And some are retired, so it’s like they’re always on holidays.”

    “Old people should not be on bikes. They should be at home, knitting and watching ‘Inspector Morse’.”

    • Heh, heh, heh…. I went to visit the MIL on the weekend. She was knitting while watching Midsomer Murders. Shall I tell her she’s old?

  614. Knitting and solving murder mysteries, that will be my next undertaking.
    (I know it’s early, but see what I did there?)

    Well, I made Red Velvet cupcakes with the new Breville & I must confess myself disappointed. Almost disappointed enough to take it back to the store, but as I bought it primarily for the dough hook, and I’ve yet to experiment with the free ice-cream bucket, I can’t write it off as incompetent just yet.

    My grandmother (from whom I inherited the OCD pedantry baking gene) always said that no stand mixer could ever rival a hand-held electric beater + a spatula controlled by human fingers and it seems she was right. I was hoping Skynet might have finally been able to replicate her baking talents, but no.

    The Breville did a good job of creaming the butter and sugar but when I added the red velvet emulsion it became obvious that it wasn’t mixing properly. A layer of white creamy mix persisted on the side of the blade that was behind the twirling edge, and the red emulsion did not blend smoothly throughout and it splattered up the sides of the bowl where the scraper would not go. I had to scrape down the sides manually several times. Not a fun task & it kind of defeated the purpose of the mixer that said it would do that. The cupcakes came out not as light as usual, they were stodgy, the bubbles were an irregular size and there were craters inside that you could have used for a lego style moon landing. Given that I measure everything to the last ml and gram, it wasn’t the recipe or the cook to blame. Skynet will not be winning any prizes in the CWA cake competition at the Ekka this year.

    I am hoping it will do better with biscuits, which are more forgiving than cake recipes. And for blending up sloppy things like my cheesecake recipe, it should be fine.

    I had the feeling that it wouldn’t be able to outdo the 25 year old $18 Target Tiffany hand-held beater (grandma knows best) so I might just have to try to replace it and continue to use the hand-held for cake mix. I’m still excited by the dough hook, as when we get the pizza oven in the courtyard I’d like to be able to make pizzas and piadinas and calzones. And I have high hopes for the ice-cream churner. I’m going to get some ingredients for that today, you need to freeze the ice-cream bucket for 24 hours before you use it so that can be tomorrow’s project. I’m torn between wanting to make macadamia ice-cream and blood-orange sorbet. I’ll get some really good fruit from the Greeks down in West End so that if it smurfs up I’ll know not to blame the ingredients. The thought of being able to feed you all home-made ice-cream after a BBQ on a hot-summer’s day is still a happy fantasy. Let’s hope the Breville makes all our dreams come true.

    Catty I’m still having issues getting my keyboard to connect at your blog and to type faster than 3WPM. Khan Greybeard has Manflu so once he’s stopped releasing spores I’ll seek out his help. Do forgive my silence but trying to post at your blog makes me want to hurl the nearest appliance out the window.

    Speaking of which, the light in my oven blew during the last batch of cupcakes last night (no doubt sensing my frustration at the less than masterful efforts of the breville) so it looks like I’ll have to try to find someone who can repair it. It’s a St George oven & I’m pretty sure they went out of business long before Kleenmaid, who we bought it from. I’m secretly hoping that you can no longer get parts for the smurf lover as it’s never liked being heated to 240C for making scones. So assuming I can get someone to fix it, that’ll mean another day at home waiting for a Skynet Repair Man.

    Just as well I have a dough hook and an ice-cream churner to keep me amused as otherwise I’d have to attend to the weeds in the garden. and I’m still hoping the bobcat will turn up to attend to that.

    If I spend the next three days puddling about in the kitchen, do you think the googoooogooogoooo cootchie coo news will be relegated to fish & chip wrappers? I’m still traumatised by that wake-up call. Bastard.

  615. I wish I could care, it would make me a better person. About the Royal hatchling, I mean – I feel deeply about your beater woes, Q. As MM put it, “Babies are lovely and everything, but who cares that it’s a royal one?”.

    I’m just thankful we have electric mixers at all. Apparently my great-grandmother used to beat egg whites for meringues with a butter knife on a plate. Puts even polenta stirring in the shade, i reckon.

    Tell GB get well soon. Wouldn’t it be funny if the Spawnlet had given HIM whooping cough.

  616. Yay for the Miele! Yay for the ice cream maker! Where is my red velvet cupcake?

    The lightbulbs in old ovens can usually be changed easily. If you check online, you may find a local parts supplier (a lighting supplier or oven wholesalers, perhaps?) who has the bulb. I reckon if you get the Bloke to change it, you will get to go oven shopping a couple of hours later. Yay! And if you do it now, before Zara gets to the delivery ward, he won’t be able to punish you with royal baby news at sleep o’clock.

    Remind me to send you my lavender ice cream recipe. It is divine.

  617. Mmm, lavender icecream. Doubly anti-depressant.

    Not that I’m depressed, I’m happy as a weasel. Guess what I found on the curbside, out walking the dog at stupid o’clock yesterday morning? 4 50s chairs, the ones with vinyl upholstery and spindly UFO legs … in purple! One perfect, and one that just needed me to cannibilise the back off a busted one to make it perfect.

    I thanked the flannel pyjama wearing coffee drinker who put them out profusely, and snaffled them all up.

    Now I need a sparkly laminex table with ridged chrome bumpers. And maybe a poodle skirt.

  618. Lavender? Sounds interesting, Catty.
    Colour me intrigued.
    Well, I’ve got blood oranges and I stocked up on ingredients to make basic vanilla, but I plan to shove some roasted macadamias in there too. Not sure which I will make first, but I’ve bought ingredients for my pizzas and calzone, too.

    Yeah I considered getting the bloke to fix the oven light but once I went out into the garden and discovered that the tap he pulled apart to work out how he broke the DW tap is now broken too, I figured it was best to call in a professional. I want to get the seals and the thermostat tested anyway so I’ll get all that done at once. The oven guy will be here tomorrow, early, and hopefully then I can bake and shake.

    I’m not worried about Zara going to the delivery ward, she’ll go to foal in the stables, for sure. Doesn’t she have a mobile home complete with foaling chamber for that?

    Your cupcakes are in the freezer, ladies, awaiting cream cheese frosting. the Bloke has alerted me to the fact that there’s some sort of RSPCA cupcake fundraiser on at his office in a week or two. I figure once I smother them in cream icing and pretty flowers, nobody will notice that the bubbles are an irregular size. Unless Merle from the CWA pops in. Did any of you watch that baking show last night? normally I can’t bear to watch the cooking shows, but I was rivetted, watching the catastrophic destruction of their gingerbread houses. It was like Katrina, but with smarties and frosting.

    Like. πŸ™‚

  619. Wow, MM. Your chairs sound awesome. Photos?

  620. Katrina, with smarties and frosting…. Oh, Quokka, I am SO stealing that line! You are spot-on about the macadamias. I did that when I used to make vanilla ice cream. Word of advice – use macadamia pieces instead of whole ones. Or, for a bit of Un Zud creativity, coat macadamia halves in chocolate, then mix them through chocolate ice cream. That’s pretty good, especially with whipped cream on top.

    You know what would be even better? Sitting on purple UFO chairs, watching Merle poke (uneven) holes in other people’s cakes while we skarf home-made ice cream. Good score, Madam.

  621. Thanks for the tip, Catty, if only I’d seen it before I tried roasting my macadamias whole.. It was a multi-tasking fail as I burned them. then I burned the butterscotch I was trying to make so I gave up on that as an Aunt Irma induced cooking failure and went with the simpler task of making orange juice for a sorbet.
    In order to placate Irma and her penchant for Culinary Disaster I added a good splash of cointreau and some lemoncello. After leaving it to chill for a few hours I’ve just churned it up into sorbet and while it looks like baby food, it has the most fabulous taste. I suspect it comes down to the quality of your fruit. And the zing in the booze.
    All is forgiven re: the Breville’s failings to mix Red Velvet emulsion into cake batter according to my standards. They actually taste much better now Irma is in residence, I ate three last night in anticipation of her arrival.

    While I was out at the IgA restocking my cream supplies for tomorrow’s more modest attempt at a basic vanilla ice-cream, I found some Darrell Lea peanut brittle to smash up and add to it. I’ve bought a double sized mars bar to chop up and add to it but Irma is eyeing it off so we’ll see if it survives the night. I have plans to create my own Hoboken Crunch seeing as I rarely see the homer hudson variety these days. It sounds like the kind of thing you’ve probably done before, Catty, so do issue warnings/tell cautionary tales as appropriate.

    Now what we need is some spectacular Sundae glasses so that we can eat them from MM’s purple UFO chairs, while we watch the skies for Daleks.

  622. Stupid Irma. I was so incapacitated yesterday I just doped myself to the eyeballs and watched nearly the whole of “The Sopranos” Season 2 on DVD. It’s not just the tsunami of blood and rat parts, this month is a vile dragging pain, too. And a near-coma of indifference to every bloody thing.

    Q, roasting macas is hard. You need to have the oven very, very low. I’m very interested to hear of your attempts to pirate HH, though. Hoboken Crunch used to be my absolute fave.

    I will post chair photos on the weekend. Also new vege garden photos. Perhaps I’ll put one of the chairs IN the garden.

    Happy weekend, ladies. And if you meet Aunt Irma in the street, kill the bitch.

  623. Irma has left for other parts, although she has left the usual trail of rat entrails dangling in her wake. So I’ll have to wait another month to kill her, unless you get her first, or she decides she’s sick of me & refuses to come back. *wishful thinking*

    Thanks MM, I suspected that like cooking butterscotch, roasting nuts required a level of patience that’s not available when Irma is in residence. The ice-cream was awesome. I used fresh eggs from someone’s backyard rambling chickens so the yolks were almost orange, they were that yellow. Wonderful consistency.
    Most of the mars bar made it into the mix & I bashed the peanut brittle with a rolling pin so that it was partly powder & partly little chunks. And it’s awesome. Remember me telling you that our friends’ little daughter is living up the hill so that she can go to uni to study archeology? Well, she & her flatmate came over for dinner last night and they excavated the ice-cream barrel & left looking very well pleased with life. I did butterfly roast chicken, marinated in ginger/lemon/honey/garlic/chilli, risotto, roast veg, salad and the Bloke made them Cosmos.

    Funny when you remember holding them as newborns & you mix them their first cosmo.

    Anyway, they squirmed with delight in their chairs as they dug the chunks out of the ice-cream. It had a wonderful consistency so again, all is forgiven for the Breville’s ineptitude with cupcakes. I’ve discovered that the scraper-beater does have one or two blind spots, so the trick is to manually scrape down the sides & swirl the mixture every 5 minutes or so during the yolk & sugar churning process. I found one or two dollops of egg yolk when I thought it was all creamed in, nothing that can’t be resolved with a bit of eagle-eyed pedantry & a spatula.
    I used Berambah organics cream & between that, the fresh eggs & the vanilla bean – wow. I think it’s actually better than hoboken crunch. They say it only lasts for 3 – 4 days, though. Still, I’ve never had a tub of Hoboken crunch last longer than that in my freezer so that’s hardly a problem.

    I’ve yet to try the dough hook (which was the main reason I wanted it) as a while ago we bought this great little book on how to BBQ pizzas and piadinas. the dough recipe looks really nice – it uses organic/health food store type ingredients – unbleached organic flour, maize flour etc – so I’m keen to try that sometime soon. A GF of mine who married an Italian guy swears they are wonderful, and as he was fussy enough about his pizzas to build his own pizza oven In The Tradition of His People, that’s coming from a harsh pizza critic.

    So that’s my ongoing rolling review of the Breville scraper-baker. There’s been a few fights during the honeymoon but considering what it does with ice-cream and the blood orange sorbet, its all been worth it. It may not get the heart-foundation’s tick of approval, but I’m giving it mine.

  624. I’d say I want one for Christmas, but my list this year is already chokkers with necessities. My vacuum cleaner snapped in half this week, and I’m stuck borrowing the MIL’s repeatedly until Santa brings me a sucky Shark.

    Bummer about the burnt macadamias. I always do my nuts in a non-stick frypan. It takes five minutes or less. But good news about the ice cream. What you did was almost exactly what I would have done. The only difference is I would have used Cottees caramel topping instead of Mars Bars – but that’s only because I absolutely adored butterscotch brickle ice cream before some idiot thought it would be a good idea to stop making it. It was probably that Aunt Irma bitch.

  625. Oh no, Catty! Your Noo-Noo no longer tidies up? Sucky, sucky!

    Mmm, pizza. And butterscotch. Butterscotch pizza! I’m still frail and emotional, thanks Irma. A nice morning Baconing in the howling southerly drizzle should fix that up.

    If I die this morning, I loved you both dearly. And I’ll try to visit from Beyond the Veil.

  626. I prefer your visits to be Beyond the Pale but if Bacon + Irma should finish you off, perhaps you could strive to combine the two?

    Poor Catty. Appliance miseries. You have my heartfelt sympathy, but surely you can think of something more exciting to ask for for Xmas? the vacuum sounds more like something the boss should find at the bottom of his Xmas stocking, if you ask me.

  627. My Uncle, the Cat Man, once gave his wife a lawnmower for Christmas. The following year he gave her a hammock. The year after that, he discovered on his credit card bill that he had bought her a nice diamond necklace. I like the way Aunty thinks.

  628. I’m happy to be … well, no, I just AM … reporting that I love to Bacon another day. Bacon does one thing. It gives me a fine appreciation for sitting in my air-conditioned office talking on the phone. Most of our clients smell much better than the bacon tent. Not all, but many.

    A friend of mine has a complex theory about dying electrical appliances giving off some sort of radiation that also takes out any other appliances in the immediate vicinity.

    Come to think of it, it makes sense to think that Hardly or his wife Joyce retrofit such devices as whitegoods leave their showrooms.

    Catty, obviously we have no need to worry about the women in your family. Except maybe still the Teen.

  629. The Teen…. *shudder*. She rang yesterday afternoon to ask if she could bring Troll Baby over for sandwiches, as they were broke and hadn’t eaten for two days. The Boss gave them the o.k, despite my desperate head shaking and mouthing of “NO! NO!” Sure enough, they arrived three hours later – spot on dinner time. They did a fairly good imitation of locusts, (large, smelly, unkempt locusts), pausing only in their relentless nomming for Troll Baby to wash the dishes (which startled me no end, I can tell you), and for trips outside to smoke our cigarettes.

    By bed time, they were attempting to graft themselves to the pantry and ignoring my subtle hints (such as, “Oh, look how late it’s getting” and “Don’t you have a bus to catch?”, and “Are you two ever going to bugger off?”). Eventually I had to lure them into the car with a packet of cigarettes, then drive them with undue haste to their bus stop.

    The Boss was annoyed and surprised when he realised what she was up to. “She said she was coming for sandwiches, not to eat my dinner!” he complained. I was surprised that he was surprised, especially as this is about the millionth time she has done the same thing. He obviously isn’t paying attention.

  630. Catty, he’s a man. Of course he’s not paying attention.

    However, as I now work in finance, I feel I’m qualified to ask – what the Smurf is she doing to have already run out of two lots of dole money?

    It seems she’s not spending up on toiletries or the laundromat.

  631. I would imagine it’s all going on supplies that keep up the semblance of bi-polar disorder.

  632. She once told me that they go down to the 7 11 before sunup on dole day to buy vast quantities of junk food. Then they sit in the gutter outside the shop to devour it. The rest of their dole money goes on cigarettes and alcohol, and for some bizarre reason, AnimΓ© toys.

    I have yet to work out what she does with all the Rexona and Cold Power I give her. Maybe she trades it for body piercings?

  633. There’s your problem. If they bought their rubbish at Woolies or Coles, they’d get more empty calories for the Gubbinmint’s buck.

  634. And there you have it.
    With every 7-11 franchise there is a Jay & Silent Bob franchise peddling their wares out back. Watch Clerks again, then follow the teen & Troll Boy. They’ll be purchasing some appetite boosters before their junk food benders.

  635. Sheesh.

    Or should I say “Cheech”? And Chong.

  636. They showed up again last night. At dinner time. I shrieked, “Noooooooo! I haven’t restocked the pantry since your last visit!” The Teen replied, “No, we’re right for groceries. We need medicines.” So after they’d vacuumed up dinner, (after which Troll Baby washed up again… I could get used to this), the Teen proceeded to clean out my medicine cupboard of every painkiller and topical remedy she could imagine a use for. *sigh*

    The Boss says he hopes they get paid soon, so they leave us alone for a while. Amen to that.

  637. So they’re reduced to drinking Isocol, then.

    Just so long as they don’t combine that with The Weed. Actually, if they DO start breathing fire, perhaps they could busk?

  638. Heh, heh, heh…. when I worked at Westpac, there was a bagpipe player who would busk the length of Flinders Mall. He’d set up at the entrance of a shop, and stay there until the manager paid him to move away. It usually took about a week. I should suggest something similar to the Teen; she could go into CBD stores and stay there until the manager pays her to leave. Given the smell, she wouldn’t have to be in any shop longer than an hour.

  639. Should go down particularly well outside “Dusk”.

    No, scratch that. Those places pong so much you wouldn’t even be able to smell the Teen over them.

  640. Don’t be so sure.

  641. Hmm.

    I was thinking of enjoying a nice, runny lump of aged Brie and crackers for an afternoon snack. Perhaps I’ll just shower three times instead?

  642. I reckon if you rubbed the Brie all over the Teen, she’d smell better.

  643. I’ve never regretted having pizza for dinner until this moment.

  644. Meh. I went out for lunch with a GF yesterday & we ordered the vegetarian platter. When it came out we discovered that the cauliflowerettes and asparagus spears in brie that we’d ordered were in fact, Deep Fried Battered Everything. We looked at the platter in dismay and she said ‘Is that ours? What is that? That one looks like a lobster’
    I replied ‘That thing beside it looks like a dagwood dog.’
    The snooty waiter was unimpressed.
    Lesson learned: never go to a restaurant where you can’t ID what’s on your plate by looking at the unintelligible snooty menu.

  645. You don’t have to tell Catty and I that, Q. We prefer restaurants you can drive through.

  646. Well then, next time you’re at Boondall, do I have a treat for you:
    Falafel without leaving the comfort/comforting clutter of your car.


  647. Sigh: update on my tech troubles at Catty’s blog, and at twitter, a Nerd tells me that it may be that my computer lacks the capacity to load the updates that are necessary to communicate with the modern world.
    The magic mouse just died a horrible death so when I am out replacing it I will look at what else is happening with Big Macs. I don’t like my chance of replacing the Beast, though, seeing as we’ve just bought a new DW, new TV & blu-ray player, and I’ve got that new Breville mix-master.
    Plus side, we’ll never again run out of biscuits or cake.

  648. I’d say who needs us when you have biscuits and cake … but then we’re best served WITH biscuits and cake.

    Can’t you blog from The Precious, Q? It should have all the bits and bobs required, for want of any actual understanding of the technical processes involved,

  649. I can but it’s painful. It requires a lot of scrolling down, which, I think, is Mayhem’s rationale for not posting here. At least on the big Mac or a desktop you can hit ‘control/end’ and it takes you to the bottom of the blog. If you try that on an ipad it takes you straight down the rabbit-hole.

    I will get this fixed, but it may take another month or two. I’m planning to replace the magic mouse within the week, as the alternative is to replace my wrist.

  650. Ouch.

    Although it would be quite handy if you could get maybe a stylus implant in one index finger, and maybe a laser pointer cum death ray in the other.

    Greybeard could probably hook you up. Then again, no – you’re right. A new magic mouse would be infinitely preferable.

    How cold was it this morning? The lady at the local organic shop told me it was 6 degrees for a little, while when I was out dog walking earlier. That’s not Qld weather. It’s positively Canberran!

  651. The bloke was boggled at how I could destroy a magic mouse in under 12 months until I pointed out that it does bear the full toxic burden of my hexing finger. At which point he went ‘Oh yeah. Makes sense.’
    Khan Greybeard has taken his latest GM flu spores to the lands of the south, there to lay low Victorians in the thousands. An estimable goal but he’s no use to me while he’s down there training the Grand Evil in the arts of choreographing tap-dancing rats.
    6C is truly unholy. It was 18.6C inside when I woke up at dawn and I saw no reason to venture onto the 11C porch. It’s 26C now on my porch and despite this the Flanders’ chimney is puffing out a cloud of black smoke. I have NFI why the shivering occupants are sitting in the coldest darkest room in the house, other than to hasten global warming and the coming Apocalpyse, but I’ve found that it’s best to relegate my dog-walking to hours when the loons in my neighbourhood aren’t smogging up the valley with embers and ash. The hours of 3-5 seem to be smoke-free, no doubt due to the urgency of attending jazz lessons, piano class and remedial Maths and Chem for the intellectually challenged. So I take the dog out then. You meet a better class of nitwit.
    i.e. people who aren’t busy taking their kids to jazz, tuba and remedial maths, and whose kids are outside playing on bikes or walking their dog or washing the car. (for $$ I assume – does it work any other way)

  652. My fingers are still cold now. I’d turn on the fan heater behind my desk but if I got too comfy I might fall asleep. I wouldn’t want the snoring to disconcert my cube companions.

    Maybe I’ll try afternoon dog walking. At least the temps should be double-digit by then.

  653. I used to do the early am winter dog walk but once I discovered how much nicer (and warmer) it was in the afternoon I switched. Dogs are amazingly compliant when it comes to staying in bed with a book and a cuppa on a cold winter’s day.

  654. My dear old dog is getting a bit demented I think. The other day when I was walking back home from the Down Down at the end of the street she barked at me coming in through the garage. I used to get pathetic “why did you leave me here and go walking alone?” whimpering. Poor Miko.

  655. Better to bark than to bite.
    Well, I haz been to the Fruit Store to purchase a new magic mouse (done) and to book in for MacTutoring (done, third effort is the charm) and the Fruit Nerd has explained my woes in trying to post at Catty’s Blog. She asked if Catty started using a new device or updated her technology at the time I started having troubles. And I remembered that Catty’s new Ipad arrived just around the time that wordpress decided to put my words into slow motion. Her theory is that Catty has new technology that my 8yro MacDinosaur Desktop is not compatible with which is why I am struggling to post there.

    I have my first Fruit Lesson next Friday the 16th so I’ll see what I can do about updating my ancient Mac but they think it’s just too old and decrepit to talk to the new kids on the block. So Catty, I might have to try the ipad for your blog unless I can coax you back to twitter?

  656. Don’t listen to her, Catty. Twitter is the work of the Devil. Stuff your ears with Tim Tams and keep blogging.

    Actually, marshmallows would work better as ear plugs. Stuff your ears with them, and slam the Tim Tams.

  657. Well, the ipad blogging didn’t work so well either, so much for that solution. The Fruit Store seemed to think if that failed, then all my woes would go away if I purchased a bright new shiny desktop Mac. Pfft. Not this year. GD technology. If it’s so much smarter than us puny humans why doesn’t it just WORK when you want it to?
    On the plus side I am ever so happy with the new miele dishwasher and my mix-master, and the new TV & blu-ray player have been occupying a goodly chunk of my time.

    You know how I’ve grumbled at length about the motion sickness/nausea/ghastly headaches that I get from watching 3D films at the cinema? Well, the new smart TV has 3D capacity so being as the Bloke loves it I sat & watched a few 3D movies with him. And did not feel sick during or after the experience. It was actually quite enjoyable. We’ve watched 3D Avatar, Avengers and last night, some surfing movie called Storm Surfers or some such thing. (admittedly I mostly slept through the latter as the surfers were pathologically mad – possibility of smashing your spine into quadroplegia on a reef? worth the adrenalin rush. Crazy. They need to come sit with me in the brain injury unit at PA and rethink their life’s priorities. Nutters.)

    All good. So much so that I’m looking forward to seeing the next Iron Man movie in 3D on the telly and it took me a good 24 hours after seeing that on the 52 foot screen before my skin lost the greenish tinge and I was able to look at food without feeling nauseated.

    So, MM, since I’m pretty sure you are no more impressed with the 3D cinema experience than I am, perhaps there’s hope for you being able to enjoy 3D telly too.

    You’re not missing much with the twitter feed at the moment. There’s so much election chatter/propaganda/infighting that I’m tempted to ignore twitter completely until the voting process is over and we have a new Smug Dictator – er, PM, sworn in to inflict misery upon the little people. If it weren’t for the LNP ethics committee dipping their genitals into wine and sexting them to channel 9 – via their pissed off girlfriends – there’d be nothing to entertain me there at all.

  658. I do love that Ethics Committee Penile Dangler … he’s nearly as impressive as NY’s finest, Mr Weiner.

    I like the idea of having a 3D TV, Q, but I’m not sure I want to relax in my lounge room wearing glasses. I’m still persisting in holding things out almost to the length of my arms to get them into focus, and pretending I don’t need reading glasses, you see.

    Maybe I’ll succumb to specs and 3D TV at the same time? The kids would go batshit for one.

  659. Well, most of the DVDs that I’ve seen available in 3D at Blockburster and JBHoFo seem to be the chillun’s movies so you’d be backing a winner with that one. I asked the nerd girl in JB yesterday what’s the best thing to watch on 3D and she said animation and action. She said that the 3D glasses that come with the TVs/blu-ray are much better quality than the cheap-ass scum that the cinemas hand out and FWIW, given the dramatic difference in my experience, I’d be inclined to agree. They seem to be more comfortable, too.

    We got 4 sets of 3D glasses with our consumption (seems like an appropriate term given the lethargy set in after its arrival) but I think if you want more, you can buy them separately.

    I turned to the Nerdenfolk on Twitter for advice about my TV choice & I must say that I’m impressed with the LG. Might be worth paying a visit to Hardly Normal to see what they’ve got. Your children will remember this when they’re choosing your nursing home. It might mean the difference between rats, and mice.

  660. Erm, check the rental costs at your local blockburster, it’s $7.50 pw for a 3D rental, although I’m thinking as they become more common, that price will go down.

  661. Video Sleasy rents us new releases for $6.95, but I’ve almost always got a coupon for around $3 instead.

    I must work out how to stream things off the ‘Net. I’d love not having to take the bastards back.

  662. Look into the Smart TV option, ours has iView, not that we’ve figured out how to work it & hook it all up to the net just yet, but possibly you’d pay more attention to the sales staff than I did. My main concern was ensuring that the Bloke didn’t purchase a TV that was too large to fit into the corner of the lounge, or the back of the hatch, for that matter. Did I tell you or twitter that when we were picking it up he actually thanked me for stopping him from buying the next size up, because it wouldn’t have fitted into the car – and he would have had to wait for delivery – at which point he would have discovered it wouldn’t fit into the lounge corner, either. You know, that spot where the electrical cables & the plug-in thingies are.

    Heh Heh. I went to visit Miracle Girl (which is what the doctors are calling her) at the horspiddle earlier & I told her that it’s August now, winter is fading away and my jasmine has just sprung into bloom, and the Ekka starts tomorrow. I got Wows to all but the latter, at which news she rolled her eyes and said ‘OMG Why would anyone be crazy enough to want to go to that?’

    Clearly she didn’t hit her head hard enough to make her think the Ekka is worth attending so suck on that, all you brain scanner experts who said she wouldn’t wake up and make sense. And she had a damned good chuckle when I said as much. Heh heh heh.

  663. If she can recognise the errant idiocy of Ekka attendance, she’s obviously got higher level brain function.

    Well, I’m definitely not going. I’ve had the ‘flu all week anyway, and another dose would polish me off. I never thought I’d say this, but bring on summer!

  664. How very vile, did you catch it from Facebook?
    I’ve been waiting all through the cold wet winter to catch something horrible but not even Khan Greybeard’s GM Flu Spores delivered in my letter box (artfully disguised as halloween cake decorations) have managed to suck me under. I’m starting to wonder if I’ve developed immunity from regular exposure to all that’s incubating at the horsepiddle. Between my visits to Miracle Girl and the Bloke’s 3 day sojourns to the Infectious Centre of the deep north surely you’d think something nasty would have felled me by now. But no.
    I’m almost considering that it might be safe to go to the show twice, so that I can see the dog and horse shows. Well, that & I’m wondering if now the LNP is embedded in power, the CWA will celebrate by delivering Smurf Towers + Casino in the cake decorating competition. I wouldn’t want to miss seeing Slutty Smurf all decked out by the sundeck chatting to Mob Boss Smurf – er, I mean, Ethics Committee Smurf with his blue bits dangling in a glass of champagne.
    At least this year I have an iPhone so I can get photographs for you two of whatever horrors await me. Admittedly the Bloke hasn’t gotten around to connecting up the sim card for me, but it still works as a camera.
    Work gave him the new & improved model so I’ve inherited his old out-dated tech, pretty sweet, huh?

    Well, rest up and glug down the ginger drinks and chicken soup, MM. While you’re still infectious perhaps you should call in and visit your old pal the school nurse & see if you can’t give her worse things to worry about than purple spots?

  665. Well, speaking of the school nurse I can only assume my germs were incubated there and brought home, like an unwanted paddle-pop stick and playdough construction, by my precious children.

    Only they seem to get a mild sniffle that doesn’t impede them from running around like maniacs and punching one another, and is better in a day – and I get something anguished that goes to my chest and makes me feel lousy for nearly a week. Might have something to do with the housework and deadbeat work that doesn’t stop just because you’re snotty, I suppose.

    Have a blast at the Ekka, Q. And do try a funnel cake, they’re new this year. Fresh from the home of the deep-fryer, the US of A. I look forward to seeing the delights of the decorated cake pavillion. If there’s a people’s choice, throw in my vote for Slutty Smurf over Expense Account DIngle Dipper.

  666. Heh heh. I couldn’t bring myself to leave my sunny porch on Friday, not even to watch the canine agility trials. Which would have been fabulous. I’m off later this week with a girlfriend. I saw Nat’s write up about the Ekka but can’t say the Funnel Cake stall appeals to me. And if I try to feed my GF any more deep fried batter, it could be the end of a beautiful friendship.

    What a glorious day it is here in SEQ. Perhaps we should call the Red Cross to see if they should go pull Catty et al out from under a snowdrift?

    I spent the morning at the horsepiddle with Miracle Girl. I took the hound in and he spent over an hour snuggled up to her on her bed, snoozing and licking her face and her fingers, just like a professional therapy dog. Aren’t animals amazing that they know what’s needed when someone isn’t well? He didn’t even squish her, which is better than he does for us here at home. Once her Mum showed up I scuttled off & we came home via the local markets – there’s an awesome calamari stall in there. I think they must add a touch of chilli or cayenne to the batter, it’s really, really good. Another food source to introduce you all to.

    Hope you’ve survived the day. I see cricket is back on TV, Dog help us all. One hell ends (football) and another one opens it’s jaws.

  667. It WAS fabulous weather. Somewhat marred by a stint in the bacon tent, but now quite glorious.

    Any good Mac news from your local Apple nerds, Q? Or are you scrabbling madly across leagues of the Precious’s touchscreen?

  668. Well, it’s fine to type on the Big Mac into your blog but Catty’s blog still hates me. I am due to have a McLesson later in the week, the Bloke bought me 12 months of lessons but I’ve been unable to use them till now as i couldn’t register the ipad in my name till they sorted that out last week. He insisted it was in my name and it was registered to a PW and email address that I’d lost. The Fruit team discovered it was registered in his name and linked to his work email & work PW. Oy.
    Its comforting to know that we’re dementing at the same rate, at least.
    He did what was necessary to transfer his old iphone 4 over to my old account yesterday, so now I can’t read any of my messages and none of my contacts transferred across. So as far as technology goes, I think for this week at least i’m living with the Chinese curse of Interesting Times.
    Dog help me.
    Did somebody say Bacon?
    *wanders off, hungry*

  669. Being as Catty’s been AWOL from her blog for so long, perhaps the cybergoblins have decided to turn their attentions on her?
    Although I’m still thinking she’s stuck in a snowdrift. Have you seen the weather observations in Melbourne in the last few days?
    It’s the land that God forgot.
    29C here today. Yeehaw.

  670. Poor Melbourne. But at least none of us live in Can-bloody-berra. Except the Sausage King.

    I know Catty lost her Grandfather last week, I hope she’s not too sad. There may be a lot of family stuff on. I might post some therapeutic noms today. Everything is better when you have noms.

    Happy frolicking in the Fruit Grove with the Geniuses (Genii?), Q. I’m sure you can teach them a thing or two.

  671. Great minds, MM. I sent something off to Catty today & have been plagued by the uneasy feeling ever since that I forgot to take the price tag off first.
    It’s the thought that count, not the degree of stupidity that accompanies it, surely?

  672. Crikey, have I been away that long? I was just reading all the goss I’ve missed. Poor Morgana, not the ‘flu again? You know the drill. Take two vodkas, go to bubble bath, and call me in the morning. Your mum won’t mind doing all the housework, cooking, washing, child care and shopping for a month or two, will she? Sure, a month or two may seem like a long time, but you can’t rush serious matters like vodka and bubble baths. Get her to bring you cake while she’s at it. Maybe an apple cake – Quokka probably has an apple or two she’d happily donate.

    I agree about the weather. Anything is better than Canberra. Although it’s probably quieter (and nicer) there than usual, now that all the Pogans are away kissing babies and pretending to give a toss about their electorates (or into their wine glasses).

    Most surprising is the revelation that Greybeard is running a nursing home – at least, that’s how it looked to me after reading a comment about nursing homes right after mention of G’s gm rats. I shouldn’t be surprised, though. An oubliette full of rats and little old ladies sounds like it would fit right in with Queensland Health’s Mission Statement.

    Glad to hear Miracle Girl is doing well. If she had wanted to go to Ekka, that would have been the time to worry. Speaking of Ekka, are you going to whip up a packet mix for the CWA comp this year, Quokka?

    Oh, and congrats on the new telly. Do the glasses mess with your peripheral vision? I’ve heard that they can screw up your depth perception short term, so that it’s really hard to grab a decent sized handful of popcorn. I can’t verify that, though, as personally I never actually look into the popcorn bowl until my blindly questing fist comes up empty.

  673. Why is it that you can eat three times more than the volume of your own stomach in hot buttered popcorn?

    Science never really answers the important questions.

    Welcome back, Catty! My mother is finding the children a trial at present, so I doubt she’d be supportive of your vodka bubble bath regime. Since I’ve discovered Whittaker’s Peanut Butter Chocolate blocks I’ve been pretty zen, though, so it doesn’t really matter. Well, I might be mellow. Perhaps it’s a prediabetic coma. Meh. Pass the chocolate.

    Melbo told me this a.m. that Mayhem, GB and Fifi are all flourishing. Apparently even Havsy came to the catch-up. But I don’t think he bought hot chips.

  674. Ripped off! Why wasn’t I invited? Oh, well, if there weren’t chips I probably wouldn’t have been good company. But I may have to get in touch with Mayhem a little more often – she’s probably forgotten I exist.

    Now, tell me more about these Whittaker peanut butter blocks. I’ve never heard of them before, but now they’re the only thing I’ve ever wanted.

  675. I won’t tell you – but I’ll send one down in the delayed care package.

    It shouldn’t take more than one chunk to fall in love, but feel free to eat the whole block.

    Mmmm … I wish I had some right now.

  676. I saw the invite go out on twitter so I think you just missed roll call that day, Catty. That’ll teach you to go AWOL from the land of Twits.

  677. Now I’ve got “Rockin’ Robin” as a earworm. Ta, Q.

  678. You want earworms? The kidlets have been singing this one for a week:

  679. They’re making a Wombles movie! I can’t remember when I was last this excited. Oh, wait – it was when I found the peanut butter Whittakers.

  680. A Wombles movie? You’re kidding. Finally, a crappy children’s movie I actually want to see. What’s the bet the kidlets don’t want to go? Meh. I’ll go without them.

  681. You and me both.

    Maybe I should time my trip down to coincide with it’s release? We could pick up rubbish on the way. I shall call myself Nairobi. What’s your womble name, Q and Catty?

    Q was at the Ekka, she sent my pix of some ninja pumpkins. And the Muppet cake! Actually, give me time and I’ll see if I can make a new post featuring it. It was thoroughly awesome. I’ve yet to hear if she had a funnel cake though.

    • My Womble name shall be Hungary – because I usually am. The Teen will have to be Snodgrass. Yes, that Womble name was taken, but I can’t ignore their obvious similarity.

  682. No, I didn’t find the funnel cakes although we looked very hard. We left to take the train in at 10.30am and it was 6.30pm when we got the train home so I am knackered and I ache all over. It was fabulous fun though, to have a GF in tow this time round, so give me some time to recover and I will send you more photos.

    I didn’t get any treats for you guys this time. Susie and I did three laps of the showbag pavilion in quest of Darrell Lea bags and when we finally found them, the Rocky Road showbag was sold out. The firemen didn’t seem as cute as last year, and I studied them closely while I was eating sushi in the Real Food pavilion.

    I did, however, take lots of photos of cakes. So I will email them to you both. I don’t know how to compress the files so I may have to send a few emails to get them all through.

    Later, though, as my iphone needs to recharge & FWIW, so do I.

  683. OK, I’ll wait for the emails and do a whole album.

    Bugger about the firemen, though. All the cute ones are probably modelling underwear. Stupid public service cuts. Curse you, Can-Do!

  684. By the time we made it to the showbag pavilion & the fireman stall I was pretty much over it all & had resolved to drag the Bloke back there on Saturday, anyway. So I will take another look but hmm, dunno.
    Well, the Big Mac is refusing to talk to my iphone, so I can’t transfer the pictures. Yet.

    I do have that lesson in the fruit store later today, so I’ll add that to the list of the mysteries I need to resolve. I got some absolute corker photos so I want to do an email with pix telling you the story. Hopefully I will get to that tonight while I’m waiting for the Bloke’s flight to get in from FNQ. I think my GF came along with the ‘Let’s humour Quokka by going to the show’ but she too had an absolute ball & we definitely got 7 hours worth of value entertainment out of it.

    It’s priority 1 to get these photos transferred to my ipad, though, as I’m off to see Miracle Girl at BIRU this evening & I got some spectacular shots of the cakes to entertain her.

    OK, busy day, gotta run. have fun, kids.

  685. Ooooh, looking forward to that email! You know how I get about cake. Sad about the firemen, but if we are now adopting Womble names, I shall also adopt their recycling practices – I sure won’t mind drooling over that calendar for another twelve months. Mmmmmm…..

  686. You sure did. I’m looking forward to seeing the Muppets in a larger format.

    Must get reading glasses. Stupid middle-age.

    Give our love to Miracle Girl, Q.

  687. Yes, many healing thoughts for Miracle Girl.

  688. Huzzah.
    I have learned how to transfer photos from the iphone to the Big Mac and from there to the ipad.
    Apparently you need to check to see if the cables are all plugged in.
    Who knew?
    One 50 minute lesson with a genius, and look what I’ve achieved already.

    I am off to the horsepiddle as soon as my Ekka pix have loaded up onto the ipad. Thank you kindly, BBL tonight with fun for all the family.

  689. Hmmm … I already knew about the cables. Maybe I’m a genius?

  690. Yes, so did I, but not, apparently, when I’m half asleep. Bit stupid yesterday am as the creatures kept waking me up demanding food and toilet trips. the dog took about 20 minutes to come back inside at 1am so I assume that the possum bailed him up for giggles underneath the cubby. Thankfully the cats have taught him that when confronted with threats of death from a deranged beast, you stay very, very still and pretend like you’re a statue.

    Well, I am in bed with my now much more functional ipad. Will have to email photos later as I stayed later than planned with Miracle Girl last night, she was wide awake & quite chatty so obviously she’s less medicated. She’s now able to sit up by herself (from a reclining position) & she told me they’ve got her up and walking but she’s not allowed to do it by herself yet as her muscles are still so weak from the 3 months of being flat out. It was quite amazing & I got a bit teary. Couldn’t have imagined this kind of progress, 2 months ago.

    Yesterday I learned how to synchronise my apple gadgets so I had created an Ekka photo album on the ipad for her. I hit ‘slideshow’ and the duelling banjos from Deliverance popped up as the background music for it. So she got a good giggle out of that. As did the bloke when his flight finally got in from FNQ last night. Anyway, once she saw all the gorgeous dogs (mostly old english sheepdogs as that’s what my GF has, so that was the Lure to suck her in to going with me) and the cakes she totally changed her attitude about the Ekka. She said that she’d had no idea there was so much wonderful stuff to see in there and now she wants to go. So lets just hope she doesn’t repeat that to her neurologist in case he decides she hit her head harder than they initially thought.

    Will post photos when it’s warm enough to get out of bed. Can’t do it from the ipad yet because, um, I didn’t get that far with my lessons. Apparently you need to know passwords so I’ll have to figure out where I wrote them all down.

    I’m contemplating going back to the Ekka for more, today. The bloke says he’s woken up feeling sniffly so once he wakes up properly I’ll hit him with everything I’ve got in my apothecary in hopes of dragging him out to see Best In Show.
    For some reason the banjos are particularly hilarious paired with that.

  691. OK. Now that I’ve updated all my Macinware, it’s been much easier to send you all those Ekka photos. I’ve done it in three batches, just in case it’s too much all at once for your poor beleaguered desk tops to manage.

    The Bloke has the sniffles. So I’m taking him to where the rest of the snifflers will be, i.e. the main arena at the Ekka.

    Have fun, kids.

  692. Only the sniffles? Not the dreaded Man Flu? I guess he hasn’t been to PRC lately. Speaking of PRC, I was at the local markets the other day. There are a lot (a LOT) of Chinese immigrants in our community, so half the people at the market were Asian. One of them suddenly leaned forward directly in front of a stall and sneezed out a stream of spit and green slime. Then he wiped the back of his hand across his mouth and kept walking RIGHT THROUGH THE SLIME. Suddenly I changed my mind about getting a hot jam doughnut from the next stall.

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